Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned 268 new artworks and presented work by over 400 artists from around the world.

Liverpool Biennial returns to the city between 9 July and 16 October this year and presents a free festival of contemporary art from around the world. From the bold to the beautiful, unassuming corners of the city are highjacked in order to provoke and inspire you. It takes place over 14 weeks across the city in public places, galleries and online. Liverpool Biennial is underpinned by a programme of research, education, residencies and commissions. It is set to return this year bigger and better than ever and forecast to have an estimated economic impact of more than £21 million.


The festival, which takes place in galleries, unused buildings and public spaces across Liverpool, attracted 875,000 visits in 2014 and is expected to be popular again when more than 40 international artists create work in the city this summer. With over 50% of visits coming from outside the Liverpool city region, overnight visitors are forecast to spend an estimated total of £11 million through accommodation, dining out and visits to other attractions while they are here.


Day visits coming to the city for the Biennial, which includes high-spend groups such as families and coach parties, could boost this figure to the tune of around £4 million. Since its first instalment in 1999, Liverpool Biennial, including its partner venues, has consistently provided a strong economic boost to the city alongside the impact it has had on the city’s reputation for culture. Although it has been a whopping 8 years since the city was awarded the prestigious capital of culture title, never has it stopped being at the heart of Liverpool. Although contemporary art isn’t for everyone, you can’t deny the good it does for the city.


Following the 2014 Biennial, an independent report calculated that an economic impact of £20.8 million was generated by the festival in the preceding 15 weeks. This is as part of an overall figure of £119.6 million in the last 10 years.

We caught up with Sally Tallant, the Director of Liverpool Biennial:

“The importance of culture in the city is well documented, but I think sometimes culture’s economic impact on the city and its businesses can be forgotten about. Liverpool Biennial welcomes visitors from around the world who come specifically to see the Biennial and stay in Liverpool. While the Biennial itself is free, the visitors have a significant, tangible impact for hotels, restaurants and bars. This is before even considering the longer-term benefits that come from the city’s growing reputation for culture.”

Check out their website for more info here.