900 Artists, 100 Arts Organisations, 1 night. Welcome to LightNight Liverpool, something a bit different to our normal Friday night.
Liverpool’s annual “culture crawl” returns and the full programme has been released. Liverpool will once again come alive for its eighth annual LightNight on Friday 19 May with over 100 free cultural events at venues across the city. Festival organisers 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.
The lineup is incredible but with so much on offer, how on earth do you decide what to do? Well that’s where we come in, with a snippet of what we feel is some things you can’t miss.
LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL – LIGHTNIGHT SPECTACULAR (17:00 – 23:00)
Prayer stations are situated throughout the Cathedral and compline (night prayers) will take place on the hour (from 19:00 – 22:00) in the Lady Chapel to provide spiritual sustenance. If you fancy taking in what else is happening in the city, head to the top of the Tower (until 22:00) and see it from the best possible vantage point. From 18:45 – 23:00 the Super Sonic Assembly, a giant vocal jam followed by a DJ set from Greg Wilson, will take place in the main Cathedral space, or immerse yourself in a soundscape created by Ellen Loudon in the Lady Chapel. Outside on the plateau, play the Illumaphonium, a giant music-making sculpture.
Address: St James’ Mount, L1 7AZ
ALBERT DOCK – TOUR OF THE DANNY (17:00 – 20:00)
Affectionately known as The Danny, this 1903 steam ship moored at Albert Dock is registered as a National Historic Ship. Saved from being scrapped and fully restored in 2016 with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the ship is open for free guided tours of its luxury Art Deco interior. All aboard The Danny…
Address: opposite the Maritime Museum, Canning Dock, L3 4BB
The Black-E – Rock Around The Clock (17:00 – 0:00)
The Black-E hosts Rock Around the Clock, an evening of family friendly workshops and performances. Throughout the night be sure to look out for Cabaret From The Shadows; an international ensemble of artists specialising in an electrifying blend of clowning, music, comedy and dance. Expect lantern workshops, family circus workshops and performances from Mersey Swing.
Address: 1 Great George Street, L1 5EW
Georges Dock Building – Mersey Tunnel Tours
Hard hat walking tour of this iconic building; ventilation station and original headquarters for the Queensway Tunnel. Visit the old control room – a time capsule to a bygone era of engineering – then visit the giant fan chambers and original Georges Dock area from 1771 before heading down to see the tunnel itself. The tour culminates with a walk around the outside of the building to look at the marvellous art deco features, finishing with a look at the Biennial feature created by Betty Woodman on the South Plaza. Book your free place via firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Georges Dock Way, Pier Head, L3 1DD
Merseyside Maritime Museum – Fanny & George’s Georgian Liverpool (17:30 – 21:00)
Join Fanny and George for a poke around Georgian Liverpool and discover death, disease and docks plus a few beauty secrets that will make your hair curl. With tales of smuggling, ‘oyster selling’, and a good old fashioned day out at the hanging, this performance is not for the faint-hearted!
Address: Albert Dock, L3 4AQ
Gostins Building – Liver Sketching Club
Visit England’s oldest continuously active art club: view an exhibition by club members and find out more about the club’s long history. A model is sitting for most of the evening, so feel free to join in and draw. Visitors also have the opportunity to sit for a portrait during the evening. Materials provided free of charge, takes place on the 7th floor.
Address: 32 – 36 Hanover Street, L1 4LN
FACT – How Much Of This Is Fiction? (17:00 – 22:00)
A series of performances and activities around exhibition from 5pm-10pm exploring post-truth politics. Alexandra Morton presents political puppetry workshops and performances for children and adults throughout the evening. From 21:00 – 23:00 artists Bill Thompson and Saffy Steohy perform Light Field in Ropewalks Square; an evolving, inter-related constellation of people, light, sound and movement within a playful off-grid environment, Light Field invites people to both become and activate the installation through simple instructions, which generate an emergent choreography of elements.
Address: 88 Wood Street, L1 4DQ
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic – Musical Experiences (17:30 – 22:00)
An evening of diverse musical experiences awaits! In the Music Room, enjoy a performance by classical guitarist Craig Ogden, one of the UK’s most recorded guitarists, before the Rubber Duck Orchestra takes the stage with its lineup of seven barmy, brassy, stomping, dancing musicians weaving Balkan, Roma, Klezmer and Swing.
Address: Hope Street, L1 9BP
Blackburn House – Liverpool Scran’s Pop Up Food Market (17:00 – 22:00)
Pop up food market that includes some of Liverpool’s favourite food folk and will provide a taster of the great producers, makers and sellers of food from the region. Liverpool Scran is a Liverpool Food People project supported by Defra to promote and celebrate Great British produce. Liverpool has a diverse food heritage, courtesy of our cultural mix of peoples and our own somewhat independent attitude.
Address: Blackburne Place, L8 7PE
Wong’s Jewellers – Liverpool: Then & Now (17:00 – 20:00)
Take a trip down memory lane with an exhibition of blended photography work by artist Keith Jones. Wong’s also launch a new Liverpool-inspired jewellery collection where visitors have the opportunity to meet Mr Wong and his team of designers and goldsmiths. With live music and drinks.
Address: Whitechapel, L1 6DS
dot:art – Dot-Art Street Party (17:00 – 22:00)
Step back in time and see the last remaining 19th-century avenue in the city while dot-art serve up the best in street food, live music, immersive light art suspended from above and hands-on workshops creating work from recycled materials. Discover a glowing art installation by Sarah Nicholson consisting of 450 plastic bottles (one for each year it takes a bottle to degrade). As suspended trails of sculpture and light bring the avenue alive and day turns to night, take part in a hands-on workshop and add your own contribution to the recyclable artwork.
Address: Queen Avenue, Castle Street, L2 4TX
Open Eye Gallery: Victorian Drummers In Time (20:00 – 20:15)
Wirral Samba Drummers return from their performance at the Victorian Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace, travelling through time to be in Liverpool for this momentous event. Still dressed in Victorian costume complete with illuminated drums, they perform rhythms of the ages.
Address: 19 Mann Island, L3 1BP
Northern Lights – LJMU Screen Candle-Lit Labyrinth (17:00 – 23:00)
A unique spectacle and experience. Enter a realm where time doesn’t exist and step into the moment with a mindful candle-lit labyrinth walk set within the expansive space of Solstice. Created by artist Alex Irving, supported by LJMU Screen School and soundtracked by choral and meditative audio.
Address: Cains Brewery Village, 5 Mann Street, L8 5AF
Merseyside Maritime Museum – Old Dock Tours (17:30 – 20:00)
Join expert guides for two special late night tours of the historic Old Dock – the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock. Discover how this revolutionary dock was key to Liverpool’s development and see the bed of the Pool, the creek that gave the city its name, under the streets of Liverpool One. Spaces are limited, meet in the foyer at Merseyside Maritime Museum at 17:30 or 19:00.
Address: Albert Dock, L3 4AQ
Open Eye Gallery – Flow2: The Pioneers
Internationally renowned pianist David Braid and innovative 13-piece orchestra Sinfonia UK Collective perform a bewitching classical-jazz crossover exploring time and landscape.
Features newly-commissioned compositions on the subject of time and temporality. David is joined by the 13-piece Sinfonia UK Collective, an innovative ensemble dedicated to bringing new and unusual compositions to life, conducted by Liverpool-born Lee Tsang.
Address: 19 Mann Island, L3 1BP
Merseyside Maritime Museum – Katumba (21:30-22:00)
Katumba is part of the BrazUKa International family, bringing a world of rhythms to Liverpool. They close LightNight with a fabulously uplifting drumming performance outside of the Dr Martin Luther King Jnr building, beside the Maritime Museum.
Address: Albert Dock, L3 4AQ
Constellations – LightNight After Party: Time Capsule
A live future-Polaroid / AV installation meets club project, presented by artist Sam Wiehl and soundtracked by the indomitable Andy Votel (Finders Keepers). Enter Constellations via the Time Capsule scanning booth and see your image evolve into a digital memory bank played out across a bespoke AV installation, degrading and morphing during the course of the show. Finish off your festival with this hedonistic horological mash-up; a fitting soiree to bring down the curtain on an incredible evening. Book your early bird ticket for £7 here (£9 OTD).
Address: 35-39 Greenland Street, L1 0BS
With over 100 incredible events all throughout Liverpool’s beautiful buildings, this is just a mere snapshot of some of the things you can get up to on May 19th. For a full list click here or if you fancy helping LightNight with their amazing work and to keep everything free, buy a guide here. Not only will it help you around on the evening but it goes towards a remarkable organisation.