Liverpool’s contributions to culture can well and truly be experienced with their vast festival line-up. From celebrations of art to food, flowers, fireworks and – of course – music (don’t forget Liverpool has many top attractions).
Here’s our round-up of festivals in Liverpool 2018.
Feast of Fire - 23rd March to 2nd April
For a ‘sizzling, fire-cracking feast for the senses’, this Easter mini-festival is the brain-child of a ‘collective of outdoor arts fanatics’. Be prepared to set your imagination alight, with enchanting installations, fiery rituals, multi-cultural music and dance and artisan food created for taste-bud scintillation. Visitors will even get a glimpse of the Africa Oye festival’s forthcoming line-up of hot hot hot salsa, reggae and Caribbean vibes. Kids and adults alike will relish in toasting marshmallows amongst metallic trees on fire, or sipping on a chilli hot chocolate while wandering through flaming arches.
Heritage on the Dock - 5th to 8th April
The whole family can get involved in this one. A free, four-day event of walks, workshops, live music and entertainment, celebrating the unique heritage of Albert Dock. There’ll be aquascopes available for a unique, underwater “Dock Safari”, as well as street theatre, wildlife safaris and boat trips. The littl’uns will love hunting for the “Dock Ness Monster” and the grown-ups can embark on expert guided walks by the likes of Blue Badge Guides, including behind-the-scenes access to Tate Liverpool.
LightNight Festival - 18th May 5pm-Late
LightNight Festival is a free late-night event that will leave you feeling creatively fulfilled. On Friday 18th May 2018, this year's edition will include large-scale light projections, arts and crafts stalls, workshops, late-opening exhibitions, street acts and so much more!
© Matt Thomas
Liverpool Spring Festival - 28th to 29th April
The last weekend in April will see Sefton Park transform into a celebration of all things Spring. Described as ‘a cultural, captivating, culinary feastivity’, Liverpool Spring Festival has something for foodies, families and festival-enthusiasts of all ages. This is the prime time to give your mind and body a spring clean. Indulge in some meditative exercise, aromatherapy and nutritional eats that will treat your soul. Busy hands are happy hands and yours will certainly be kept occupied in knitting and weaving classes, or unearthing your inner green fingers at live gardening demonstrations.
Local health food café and coffee shop, White Wolf Yoga & Kitchen will be delivering free yoga and meditation classes over the weekend. If plant-based smoothies don’t tickle your pickle, tuck into a free range pulled pork burger courtesy of Snoutwood Trotters, a hand stretched wood-fired pizza or some authentic barbeque bites from Cowfish Smokehouse. Then wash it all down with a trip around the craft beer or prosecco tents.
If you can’t make the April edition, the festival will be returning for some end of summer scrumminess in September.
Sound City - 5th to 6th May
Sound City kicks off a summer of music and arts on the first weekend in May, with an eclectic line-up of electronica, indie, rock pop and – for the first time – a new wave of grime and urban artists. Events will be hosted in some of the hippest venues across the city, including Camp and Furnace, Great Baltic Warehouse and Constellations. A warren of warehouses and breweries will also play host to new bands, as well as global performers.
The Baltic Triangle is only a 16-minute walk from Euro Hostel Liverpool, so book your accommodation today for budget-friendly, festival-season accommodation.
Summer Arts Market - 2nd June
The Summer Arts Market takes place this year on Saturday 2nd June at the stunning Liverpool Cathedral. Another wonderful event hosted by Open Culture, there will be stalls of more than 200 artists, each exhibiting their own unique, handmade work. Expect a range of illustrations, photography, jewellery, ceramics and artisan food.
Positive Vibration Festival of Reggae - 8th to 9th June
There’s nothing that screams summer like the Positive Vibration Festival of Reggae. Say “I love you” to your taste-buds at the Jamdown Market, where you’ll find over 30 open-air traders including Caribbean vegan street food from ItalFresh. There’ll be wings ‘n’ tings, Rasta bowls and Kingston fries.
Experience Glasgow-based Mungo’s Hi Fi, who blends reggae and dancehall; Eva Lazarus’s big voice, big bass, big hair; and British electro-dub-rock group Dreadzone, amongst many others. Hosted at Constellations from 6th June, 100 reggae-inspired posters from around the globe will be showcased as part of the Art of Reggae Exhibition to celebrate positive international reggae culture. Kids under 12 go free, so they can get fully immersed in the creative, educational and dance workshops on offer.
The festival will revolve around Constellations, Hangar 34, District and YARD. All within a mile of Euro Hostel Liverpool.
© Mark McNulty
The International Business Festival - 12th to 28th June
From one extreme to the other, June’s Reggae festival is swiftly followed by a festival dedicated to business growth. The International Business Festival attracts over 30,000 international industry professionals, from SMEs to global market leaders. This biennial event returns to Liverpool in June and will see more than 40 events with more than 200 speakers.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool will host TED-style talks, seminars and bespoke business brokerage meetings. Previous speakers include Wayne Hemingway MBE, Lord Powell and Johnny Earle. Guests are encouraged to make new deals happen within the innovation hub, international marketplace and festival incubator.
At Euro Hostel, our private rooms are perfect to suite conference delegates and our Liverpool Hostel is only a mile from the festival venue.
Africa Oye - 16th to 17th June
Located in the lush, 235-acre Sefton Park, Africa Oyé is an annual event that celebrates African music and culture. Its humble beginnings from a series of small gigs in 1992 has spread to fill Sefton Park with over 40 stalls selling African fashion, food, drink and crafts plus a line-up of live music with a crowd capacity of 20,000. The event is totally free for both days and celebrates multiculturalism and tolerance. Expect a sensational, summery blend of salsa, reggae and Caribbean vibes.
© Africa Oyé Festival
Southport Food & Drink Festival - 1st to 3rd June
Southport Food and Drink Festival returns to Merseyside from 1st-3rd June. Foodies can flock to Victoria Park for a three-day indulgence. Sample cocktails and regional beers, take your pick of street food stalls, get tips from Chef demos, and take on the food challenges. Local bands will play throughout the day, so take a seat on the grass while tucking into local sausages, homemade pies or gourmet burgers. Relax with friends and family over a jug of Pimms or real lemonade and raise a glass to the Great British summer. Did we mention it's free?!
© Southport Food & Drink Festival
Liverpool International Music Festival - 20th to 22nd July
After celebrating its 6th birthday last year, the Liverpool International Music Festival returns on 21st-22nd July 2018. From face painting to fish 'n' chips and future home-grown talents from the LIMF Academy - the festival is a creative, colourful celebration of the city's approach to its ever-evolving music culture that would appeal to any age group. Catch special performances and dance under the dome, amongst the palms in the Sefton Park Palm House.
This year, Ray BLK will be gracing the Main Stage on Sunday. The first ever unsigned artist to be named on BBC's Sound Of List. Other artists just announced include Not3s, Wiley, Stefflon Don, Young Fathers, Rae Morris and Australian rising star Jordan Rakei - who's unique jazzy hip-hop sound has won him critical acclaim worldwide. Expect some serious summer vibes from Basement Jaxx's DJ set, as well as Wiley, Example and Jax Jones. UK breakthrough artists Tom Zanetti & K.O Kane, Joel Culpepper, Laoise and more have also been revealed.
Southport Flower Show - 16th to 19th August
Southport Flower Show is the largest independent flower show in the country, attracting over 50,000 visitors across 4 days.
Previous celebrity guests who have graced the cookery theatres include Ainsley Harriott and Jean Christophe-Novelli, while Charlie Dimmock shared her gardening tips in 2017 and CBeebies’ Mr Bloom (a.k.a. Ben Faulks) kept the kids entertained.
One of the show’s highlights is the Grand Floral Marquee, a florist’s fantasy land filled with plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, bonsai, cacti, vegetables and herbs. The marquee will also host a Gala Evening, a black-tie event with four-course dinner and entertainment. Ladies Day is on the 17th August, where guests can choose between a two-course lunch, luxurious afternoon tea or the full VIP experience, which includes three courses and a complimentary bar.
Sample over 60 independent gourmet producers in the bustling food marquee, or satisfy your sweet tooth with honey from local bee-keepers in the honey marquee. Over 350 trade exhibitors will pitch up in the pop-up shopping village, where you’ll find unique products to take home.
© Southport Flower Show
Liverpool Biennial - 14th July to 28th October
Taking place once every two years, the Liverpool Biennial celebrates its 10th edition in 2018. 15 weeks of contemporary art will be showcased by international artists. The thought-provoking theme 'Beautiful world, where are you?' reflects on a time of turmoil, uncertainty and profound change. Stretching from the 14th July until the 28th October, public spaces and art venues across the city including Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool will be host to a world of weird and wonderful creative expression.
International Beatleweek Festival - 22nd to 28th August
Put the date in your diary, Beatlemaniacs! International Beatleweek Festival celebrates the band across a variety of venues, including all day and night live music in the Cavern Club and an Annual Convention with guest speakers and masses of memorabilia. Fans flock to the city every year to get a true taste of the legendary, Liverpudlian foursome.
British Musical Fireworks Championship - 28th to 30th September
To round off your summer in style, head to Victoria Park for the British Musical Fireworks Championship. Yes, it’s a thing! Pyrotechnic fanatics battle it out with a three-night extravaganza of firework innovation. Companies get judged on their ability to synchronise the displays to music, mood, music and overall design and choreography! Warning: it may change your expectations of Bonfire Night forever.
So, we’re sure you’ll agree that whether you’re a foodie, a florist or a pyromaniac – there really is a festival for everyone in Liverpool this year! If you’re struggling to choose between them (and we wouldn’t blame you), book your budget-friendly, festival accommodation with Euro Hostel and save your pennies so you don’t have to make any difficult decisions.
As we’re sure someone somewhere once said, the more festivals, the merrier!
Cover Image: © LIMF