Free arts festival opens up city’s arts and heritage venues for a spectacular culture-crawl for all.

LightNight Liverpool, the city’s one-night arts festival, returns to Liverpool city centre on Friday 17 May 2019. 50 of the city’s best arts, heritage and community venues will throw open their doors until late at night, staging over 100 free special events.

photo by Matt Thomas

Curious visitors of all ages are invited to follow a self-led trail of exhibitions, music, dance and theatre performances, film installations, hands-on workshops and parties all on one special night in celebration of Liverpool’s world-class cultural offer.

Places and spaces will come to life with arts happenings for this city-wide collaboration, with free activities spanning the iconic and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Pier Head, Albert Dock, Ropewalks, St George’s Quarter and the Commercial Quarter through to the Baltic Triangle and Hope Street.

The theme for 2019 is ‘Ritual’. Rituals of all kinds, ancient and modern, are seen in cultures from all over the world; where there is community, there is also ritual. For 2019 we will explore personal and collective rituals, from the spiritual to the habitual, and consider how they help us to understand the world and define, or transcend, our place within it.

Six new local and international artistic commissions will be announced in March, followed by the full programme release on 15 April. Produced by social enterprise Open Culture – who are also behind Tickle the Ivories and the Winter and Summer Arts Markets – LightNight Liverpool is in its tenth year. It showcases the creative lifeblood of Liverpool, presenting new and ambitious commissions alongside free events including everything from concerts, exhibitions, hands-on workshops and dance to street performance, theatre and talks.

The full programme will be released on 15 April and is available to pre-order now at