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Netball World Cup opening ceremony set to showcase Liverpool

AIMING FOR THE STARS: Culture Liverpool promises a spectacular start to this year’s Vitality Netball World Cup

THE VITALITY Netball World Cup’s opening ceremony is set to be a celebration of the world in one city – with its distinct Liverpool twist beamed to a global audience.

Due to its reputation for staging major, crowd-pulling events, the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 organisers agreed that Culture Liverpool, Liverpool City Council’s events experts, should produce and deliver the opening ceremony for the competition, which runs from July 12 - 21.

Taking place in the M&S Bank Arena, located on the city’s world-famous waterfront, dance, music, projections and pyrotechnics will wow an arena audience of more than 6,000 people and an international TV audience of hundreds of thousands.

An impressive display of colour, costume and choreography will welcome players, officials, fans and spectators to the city as part of the 45-minute display which takes place on Friday, July 12, during the second session of the tournament.

The ceremony will open with inspirational female voices, signalling a unique parade led by Lady Liverpool, portrayed by local artist Jennifer John, dressed in a flamboyant purple dress featuring an illuminated Liverpool skyline. She will welcome the 16 competing nations by singing Across the Universe by The Beatles.

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This will be followed by the arrival of all the netball teams, who will enter the arena to a soundtrack of covers of famous Liverpool songs, such as Ferry Across the Mersey, Twist and Shout and The Story of the Blues – set to a South American, dubstep or Caribbean beat.

Following speeches, including a welcome by Minister for Sport Mims Davies, an interactive dance, projection, pyrotechnic multimedia show will take over the floor, along with stunning aerial performances by Wired Aerial.

Dancers from Iceland, Spain, Russia and Mexico will form part of the troupe, and have been rehearsing for the ceremony for several months. It will include the appearance of a special Liver Bird who will emerge to the sounds of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

A rousing finale will come courtesy of a 250-strong choir made up of Sense of Sound, Liverpool Signing Choir, Pop Vox and Voice to Voice.

The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 21, which will focus around the medal ceremony and the official handover to the Netball World Cup 2023 hosts, South Africa.

The entire ceremony concept has been produced and directed by Culture Liverpool, which was recently named as the UK’s top event organiser, and 15th in the world overall, by the Eventex Awards.

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