1000+ artists, 135 events, 1 night. Welcome to LightNight Liverpool, something a bit different to your normal Friday.

LightNight are imploring you to wander and wonder on Friday the 13th of May and do something out of the ordinary. They want you to bin the takeaway and the night in front of the box and navigate through Liverpool’s best venues and support a huge platform for the arts world. There’s a massive team of people delivering it, Open Culture define themselves as the small arts organisation or ‘glue’ that co-ordinates, directs, curates and markets the event but couldn’t make it happen without their volunteers, participants and hosts.


LightNight, Liverpool’s one-night arts and culture festival returns to illuminate the city for a seventh year on Friday 13 May 2016. Explore Liverpool with your friends and family along a trail of light projections, street performances, exhibitions, walks, talks and hands-on activities for all ages. Take part in a dance workshop, head to a science demonstration or party into the early hours – there’s something for everyone on LightNight. LightNight is a huge night on the Liverpool calendar and a fun and profound reminder that arts and culture is for everyone. With so much to do, deciding can be quite difficult so we met up with LightNight and hand picked our top events that you can’t miss.

Here’s our mini-compendium of the not to be missed culture crawl:

Central Library – Silent Disco (8-11.30pm, free)

Local underground house / techno party STΔTK join forces with Shush silent disco to host a night of cross genre music for all! Choose your channel and dance away at this unique event housed in the historic Picton Room! But shush….it’s a library.

Liverpool Cathedral – New Musical (9pm & 10pm, free)

No Worst, There Is None brings together some of Liverpool’s leading creative lights for a very special one off performance. Bill Ryder-Jones (currently touring Europe amid critical acclaim for his third solo LP) has composed a gorgeous, sweeping orchestral response to the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem from which this project takes it’s name, with the piece arranged for a unique musical collective featuring the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Choir by IMMIX Ensemble founder Daniel Thorne.


Constellations – After Party (10pm-2.30am, ticketed)

Join the guys and girls at Constellations where they will keep the party going late into the night with smooth cuts of funk, hip hop and soul from No Fakin’ DJs, Abandon Silence resident Andrew Hill playing house and techno, and high-energy booty bass from disc jockey duo Faux Queens. Get tickets here, all funds go towards LightNight.

Tate Liverpool – Lights, Colour, Action (5-7pm, free)

Join the Mad Scientists for an adventure in light, colour and action. Experiment with indoor fireworks, light diffraction and colour mixing to add to your very own slime! Each activity takes 20 minutes so come along and have a blast trying them all out.

Maritime Museum – Flashback to 1986 (5.30-9pm, free)

As part of their 30th birthday year celebrations, the Maritime Museum ‘flashes back’ to the 80s with an evening that looks back at the history of Merseyside Maritime Museum, one of the forerunners in the renaissance of the wonderful Albert Dock.

Zap Graffiti – Live Graffiti (5-11pm, free)

Visit Liverpool’s unique graffiti art-focused venue and watch graffiti artists experiment with fluorescent paint under UV light to create murals live on the street.


Liverpool Philharmonic – Music Room (7-10pm, free)

Join Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and diverse ensembles of musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as they perform a lively programme of all sorts of music in the Music Room, Liverpool Philharmonic’s newest venue (entrance on Caledonia St, near Myrtle St). Music Room is an intimate, contemporary space, allowing audiences to get closer to live music.

92 Degrees Coffee – Synaesthesia (5-10pm, free)

Join 92 Degrees Coffee for a night of experimentation with Draw & Code. Using a mixture of mediums and technologies, all of your senses will be stimulated and confused. There will be dancing light, tasty sounds, music made from bananas and coffee that tastes like chocolate. Swing by, refuel, and breathe in a heady exploration of the senses.

Liverpool Small Cinema – One Minute Shorts (5-11pm, free)

Liverpool Small Cinema presents a special rolling screening of super-short short-film compiled and curated by artist filmmaker Kerry Baldry. Each film lasts no longer than 60 seconds, so feel free to drop in and out as you please, and see the cinema space.


dot-art – Mini-Street Festival (5-10pm, free)

Join dot-art, CAU, R&H Fine Wine and friends for a special LightNight street festival on Queen Avenue. Home to the Grade II-listed Queen Insurance Building, Queen Avenue is a hidden gem in the heart of the commercial district. Stroll down Castle Street and find us through the arches for a delicious feast of a photography exhibition launch, wine and street food.

The Black-E – Afterglow (5-11pm, free)

An immersive light and sound installation by artist Carlos Bernal which translates the immateriality of space, architecture, and causality into a choreography of structural elements. Mapped light-projections onto six consecutive screens will create a new dimension, a space-time tunnel where the energy of light is transferred and transformed.


The Bluecoat – The Experiments (5-10pm, free)

The Cage of Experiments is an eclectic mix of music, theatre and performance from Liverpool’s alternative creative community.  Curated by Katy-Anne Bellis of Caustic Widows, a giant birdcage will be filled with a feast of visual and musical experiments. Take part in a mass group waltz, discover acrobatic parrots and enjoy ambient sounds throughout the night.

104 Duke Street Studios – The Dark Side (5-10pm, free)

An atmospheric, salonesque exhibition exploring the shadowy side of the human mind, emotion and nature. Featuring experimental art from painters to performances, exploring the mental and emotion landscape of the human experience.


Pier Head – Katumba (8.45-9.15pm, free)

Liverpool’s largest drum ensemble Katumba present their fusion of unique beats & boisterous moves in a collaboration with Capoeira For All. Watch this special performance that explores the synergy between beats and flips, and how two ancient forms of communication – rhythm and movement – relate in the modern age.

This is just a small selection of the amazing things on offer, check the rest out here. In order to keep the event free, LightNight programmes are being sold for £1 this year to help fund the annual event. You can buy them at venues including: Liverpool Everyman, St George’s Hall, 92 Degrees Coffee, Tate Liverpool, St John’s Beacon, The Bluecoat, Liverpool Cathedral, FACT, News from Nowhere Bookshop, Victoria Gallery & Museum and Central Library. Make sure you support them and we will see you out.

Special thanks to Matt Thomas for the featured image.