Our summer 2016 Flyover Takeover programme was ambitious, exhausting, wonderful, joyous, moving and experimental. It included 5 Sundays of road closure where the south carriageway of Churchill Way became a space for everyone, a temporary stage for performance, dance classes, flash mobs, gigs, urban picnics, cyclists, walkers and the curious – we hope you caught some of it.
The whole Flyover project is driven by people, activity and desire for a sense of local identity. We believe that working with the community to challenge how we engage with our streets, public spaces & one another, will help Liverpool develop a world-leading example of how we can create breathing spaces for people in our cities.
In our conversations with the city, we are exploring how the highway becomes a ‘shared space’, where traffic still operates Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays vehicles make way for public realm, where events and activities simply pop-up and ‘plug-in’. This approach to democratisation of vehicle space for culture and well-being works brilliantly in cities across the world including Rio, Paris, Bogota, and New York and we’re pleased to be doing this in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Flyover Takeover 2016 was an opportunity for us to ask a question; what do you want the Flyover to be? This summer we tested it as a community and cultural venue, as well as exploring the concept of closing the south carriageway to traffic on Sundays regularly in the future.
When we began exploring our plans for The Flyover we asked the local community what they felt our priorities should be and 85% of people felt community and cultural events should be at the heart of what we do. Our response to this was to develop the Flyover Takeover, and as we created the programme of events this feedback was at the forefront of our minds.
As the space became an animated walkway connecting North Liverpool to the Liverpool Waterfront, our Takeover Sundays have created a shared community events space for local people, as well as visitors to the city. We invited both artists and the public to occupy this unique and inspiring space and to view the city differently, claiming the space as a new cultural venue for the future.
What we need to do is understand both the opportunities and limitations of the space. So we worked in partnership with others, programming the best in local and national artists across music, street arts, participatory and community focused events and workshops. This allowed us to experiment with differing art forms and scales of work.
It was all about creating a space in which artists, dancers, musicians, street performers and audiences can interact differently to the way they would in a theatre or arts space and creating a cultural programme that demonstrates how arts and culture connects directly to positive health & wellbeing and placemaking in our city.
Another key part of this year’s programme was to run workshops within and for the local community; This year we’ve built the foundations of many partnerships with cultural organisations & producers in the region, establishing a framework for future collaboration. This will result in increased artistic interventions & new opportunities for co-programming and co-commissioning. We are developing similar partnerships across the Social Enterprise & Community sectors as it is here we see the impact of our work being embedded.
Partners we have worked with so far this year include Sustrans, who not only sponsored our July 31st Takeover event, but also brought their volunteers & experts to demonstrate innovative bike powered smoothie machines, pocket park design and ran workshops in the Breckfield Centre followed by their Flight of the Bikes. The World Museum have been a fantastic neighbour, supporting us & our artists practically and we look forward to collaborating with them more fully on our next programme. Peloton are a great local social enterprise that we’ve been working with to encourage cyclists to get involved in our programme. They supported our workshop in Everton Park, encouraging the young people they work with to get involved, and they also bring their Bike Lads box to our Takeover days.
Here’s some of our favourite moments:
The 2016 Flyover Takeover programme was produced with support from Arts Council England, Granada Foundation and People’s Postcode Lottery