International delights come to Bootle for Salt and Tar’s official opening

22 April 2024 6 min read

A colourful celebration of global culture will light up Bootle on Saturday 27th April as Salt and Tar officially opens to the public.

The canalside venue, which hosted resoundingly successful test events last year, has a packed weekend planned from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April as it kicks off a bumper 2024 schedule.

Global entertainment

Among the highlights is the Bootle International Festival, which will feature worldwide cuisine, entertainment and music. The diverse showing has been put together by more than 15 local community groups.

International Festival posterGuests will be treated to an array of food options over the weekend, ranging from local favourites to international delights. Vendors include speciality Thai street food from Big Kahuna and The Bus Yard.

Bollywood dancing & Congolese music

Bollywood dancing, Congolese music and public workshops put on by the Ukrainian Welcome Centre also feature in the Saturday festivities.

The festival looks to build on the success of last year’s Eurovision celebration, which saw community acts and more than 50 performers from the Ukrainian Welcome Centre take over Bootle Strand.

It is just one of the events planned by the Sefton Performers Network over the next year to celebrate diversity in Sefton. The network is a partnership between Sefton CVS, In Another Place, Collective Encounters and MYA Space, and brings together community arts groups across the Borough.

Exciting future

Stephen Watson, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for Place said: “Salt and Tar has already proved itself to be a popular and successful venue over the past two years. We’ve had the likes of Red Rum Club and Jason Byrne take to the stage at the heart of Bootle and help to put this fantastic emerging venue on the map.

“The official launch is another step in our ambitious journey for the area and will showcase the best Salt and Tar has to offer.

“As well as live music and entertainment, community events such as the Bootle International Festival are hugely important to us. We want to give residents the space and opportunity to share their creativity and skills. Next Saturday’s festival is just the beginning and I highly recommend coming down over the weekend to get a flavour of what’s to come.”

Celebrate our fantastic world in Bootle

Maggi Aslet, Group Development Officer for Sefton CVS said: “I have worked in Sefton for almost six years now, supporting community development and it is a real privilege to help co-ordinate this event.

“As a Borough, we are very lucky to have so many diverse, dynamic and talented community organisations, and it’s been incredibly enjoyable bringing them all together for the Bootle International Festival.

“I hope as many people as possible can join us on the day and help us celebrate our fantastic world in Bootle.”

Feast of song and dance

Annie Spiers, Creative Director for In Another Place theatre company said: “We are so excited to be leading Bootle’s first International Festival with Sefton Performers Network.

“We have been based in Bootle Strand for the last five years as resident community theatre company. We have loved seeing the increased ethnic diversity locally, even in that short timescale.

“With so many nationalities taking part on the Saturday, it will be a feast of song, dance, workshops and culture.

“We often expect to travel to other countries to experience such a wealth of creativity, but we are privileged to have everything from Ukrainian dance and song to Bollywood fitness, African drumming, and exotic cuisine on our doorstep in this free festival on the new Salt and Tar event space. We hope everyone will be curious enough to come and take a look.”

Official opening

Salt and Tar’s official launch is on Friday 26th April. A surprise guest will help to mark the special event on the Friday with an intimate performance for all attendees, alongside local music and a variety of food options. Bootle’s own Lock and Quay will feature heavily across the weekend with a pop-up version of their community pub.

People sitting at a picnic benchSunday will see the talent from Bootle and beyond invited to the stage as part of Salt and Tar’s Live Lounge. Artists will have the opportunity to share their music with the public in the same venue as local legends Red Rum Club last year and Tom Jones, who will perform later this year.

The Bootle International Festival will run from 12-9pm on Saturday 27th April. Salt and Tar’s official launch will be help on Friday 26th April from 4-9pm, with additional celebrations on Sunday 28th from 12-6pm.

Every event across the launch weekend will be open to everyone and entry is free. Salt and Tar is fully family and dog friendly.

Sefton's 50th

The Bootle International Festival is part of a programme of activity put together by Sefton CVS as part of Sefton’s 50th anniversary. The Borough of Sefton turned 50 on 1st April this year. Sefton CVS’s heritage project has been put together to celebrate the many heroes in Sefton. You can find out more on the Sefton CVS website. 

More information about the Sefton Performers Network is available on their website.

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