BlackFest 2020

BlackFest 2020,  21 – 27 September

BlackFest is a grassroots Black arts festival founded in 2018 and based in Liverpool. The festival showcases an eclectic mix of work from Black creatives, over a range of events. These events provide a platform for artists to develop new work. The festival plays a crucial role in the city’s culture, through celebrating Black arts and bridging the gap with marginalised communities.

Events range from online discussions of Liverpool’s slave trade history to the Black LGBTQI+ experience. There will also be a special live music night held at Constellations.


Festival line-up:



Online, 21 September, 7pm-9pm. Tickets

Writer, rapper and founder of RiseUpCiC, Ashleigh Nugent, talks about his personal experience of being in a Jamaican criminal justice system, his work with RiseUp and new book, ‘Locks’.

Hosted by performer and architect Tayo Aluko, and including writers D. Hunter and Keith LaMar.


Art Practice and Protest

Artist and art historian Susan Goligher chairs a conversation on the role of grassroots arts practice and protest.

Susan will be joined by artist Ekua Bayanu and Joint Head of Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture, Ola Uduku. They will discuss their work and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Online, 22 September, 12pm-2pm. Tickets


Children Authors

Online, 22 September, 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets

A recent study showed that less than 2% of children authors are Black or people of colour, highlighting a severe lack of diversity in the publishing industry. Writers Phina Oruche and Patrick Graham will face this discussion head on, and talk about their experiences as esteemed black authors.


Spoken word and poetry night

Online, 23 September, 7pm. Tickets

BlackFest presents an electric line-up of emerging and established poets plus spoken word artists. The night also features their special guest poet Zita Holbourne. Join them as they uncover their pieces on Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 and political issues. They will explore how Black and brown communities have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic.


Black LGBTQI+ Matters

Online, 24 September, 7pm-9pm. Tickets

A discussion of the Black LGBTQI+ experience, with a panel of artists, academics and activists. The event is about celebrating who we are and what makes us. Join speakers, Mandla Rae, Felix Mufti, Akira Jeffers, Craig Adams and Iesha Palmer, as they talk about their experiences of being people of colour and part of the LGBTQI+ community. The talk is in partnership with Homotopia.


Music Night: Old Skool, New Skool, What’s New?

Constellations, Greenland Street, Baltic Triangle, September 25, starts 7pm. Tickets

Join BlackFest’s Music Night at Constellations, as they bring you Liverpool’s finest emerging and established music talent. The artists will also talk about the music industry in a pre-show discussion. The music will be a classic fusion of old and new beats, with Liverpool vocalist Jennifer John the host for the evening.


Diversity Dialogues Take: 3

Online, 27 September, 1pm-3pm. Tickets

Join the BlackFest panel of academics, artists and activists to discuss decolonisation, the conservation of slave trade history and more. The panel will discuss the need to remember Liverpool’s links to the slave trade, a history that for years has been whitewashed.


See all the listings

Follow BlackFest on Facebook

10 Family Day Out Ideas

Make the most of late summer, by exploring what the region has to offer post-lockdown. There’s still a host of ways to entertain the family.

Many cultural spaces and venues have now reopened, alongside new courses and activities for kids. You can try your hand at horse riding, watch some outdoor theatre or take an explorer trip on Mersey Ferries.

Don’t miss out, there’s still time yet for some fun with the family before the start of school!



1/ Visit an art gallery

The main Liverpool art galleries have reopened and several have relaunched their exhibitions. These are great for older children and include ‘And Say The Animal Responded’ at FACT and Frances Disley’s ‘Pattern Buffer’ at Bluecoat.

Walker Art Gallery have also relaunched their Linda McCartney photographic retrospective.

FACT, Weds-Sat, 12pm-7pm, Sun, 12pm-5pm.

Bluecoat, Thurs-Sat, 11am-4pm.

Walker Art Gallery, Weds-Sun, 10am-5pm.


2/ Outdoor theatre

Try some outdoor theatre with the family this summer. Norton Priory Museum and Gardens are staging The Wind in the Willows, presented by the award winning Immersion Theatre Company.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester are also staging Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors .

Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, Runcorn, 29 August, 5.30pm.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester, until 30 August, various times.



3/ Cinema

We can now visit cinemas again, so you could take the kids for a traditional family treat. Reopenings include independent cinemas, such as The Picturehouse at FACT, The Plaza in Waterloo and larger venues such as the Odeon at Liverpool ONE.

There are also several drive-in and open-air cinemas that have opened in response to the pandemic, including Chester’s Moonlight Flicks.


4/ Kids Art Classes

Art classes are a great way to engage children and get them thinking creatively. The classes can provide them with an ongoing interest.

Liverpool’s dot-art has several family art courses – a Summer Art School and their Collaboradoodle! sessions.

Summer Art School, Liverpool Cathedral, 31 August, 9.30am-11am.

Collaboradoodle! Liverpool Cathedral, 28 August, 9.30am-11am.


5/ Mersey Ferry

Hop on the Mersey Ferry and enjoy Liverpool’s Unesco World Heritage Waterfront views. You can also take the ferry to discover Wirral.

New Brighton Promenade is perfect for a summer walk or you could visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.

Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, various times.


6/ Swimming

Swimming pools are also back open for some family exercise and fun. There are larger venues such as Liverpool Aquatics Centre in Wavertree and quieter pools such as Crosby Leisure Centre.

Many centres also offer gym facilities for some additional exercise!

Crosby Leisure Centre, L23 – Mon-Fri, 7am-8pm, Sat-Sun, 8am-5pm.

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, L17 – Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri, 6.15am-10pm, Weds, 9.30am-10pm, Sat/Sun, 8am-4pm.



7/ St Johns Beacon (Radio City Tower)

Take a trip up St Johns Beacon, the radio and observation tower opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969.

The tower’s observation deck offers up amazing views of the Liverpool Waterfront, the Wirral and North Wales.

Houghton Street, City Centre, 10.15am-5.15pm.


8/ Horse riding

Try something different and take horse riding lessons with the family. Both Croxteth Park Riding Centre and Lodge Riding Centre cater for all abilities, with horses and ponies suitable for all riders.

Croxteth Park Riding Centre, Tues-Sat, 9am-5.30pm

Lodge Riding Centre, Prescot, 9am-9pm.



9/ City Tours

A city tour is perfect for the family to discover new sights and interesting facts about Liverpool.

Livertours have a range of tour options, including city walks, Beatle tours and a special football themed walk.

Shiverpool also offer some fantastic ghost tours, with their brand of unique ‘spirited’ street entertainment.

Livertours, City Centre, various times.

Shiverpool, City Centre, various times.


10/ A day at the park

Explore one of Liverpool’s fantastic parks on a family day out. From Calderstones to Sefton Park, each has their own character and unique appeal.

They can also host a range of activities, such as the reading classes for kids by The Reader in Calderstones Park. There are also cafes and amenities in the larger Merseyside parks.


Visit our What’s On section to browse event listings for the Liverpool City Region or add your own.

Stare off into Space: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Transport the Soul © Brad Goldpaint

Liverpool’s World Museum showcases the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition, celebrating the 50th anniversary (that’s half a century!) of the moon landing. Taking place from 3rd May to 1st September 2019, the collection features 100 magnificent photographs, including winners and shortlisted candidates from last year’s competition. You don’t have to be an astronomer to appreciate the beauty of these images.

Organised by Royal Observatory Greenwich, the competition received 540 submissions during its inaugural year, growing to 4200 entries by 2018. These photographs were sent from 91 countries across the globe, proving that despite our different cultures, we all have something in common: our fascination with outer space.

Up against thousands of other competitors, both amateur and professional, Brad Goldpoint earned first place with his shot, Transport the Soul, for the People in Space section and overall. The piece captures a fellow astrophotographer taking pictures of the milky way, which floats above the scenic landscape of Moab, Utah.

The team of expert judges also present an award for the best newcomer, under the Sir Patrick Moore prize, won by Tianhong Li with Galaxy Curtain Call Performance. Shedding light on up and coming hopefuls of our newest generation, the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year award accepts submissions from ages 16 and under, producing astonishing results. Fabian Dalpiaz takes first prize in his section, with Great Autumn Morning.

‘Each year it produces images that broaden our perception of the universe,’ says Senior Curator, Dr Geraldine Reid, when asked about the exhibition. This really isn’t one to miss, and with free entry there’s no excuse not to go and take a selfie against the #AstroPhotoLiverpool themed backdrop!

While you’re there, why not check out the Space Gallery and the immersive, full-dome Planetarium?