Liverpool’s vibrant soul is about to come alive once again as the iconic Liverpool Disco Festival gears up for its monumental 10th edition. Set against the backdrop of the city’s rich musical history, this year’s event promises to be a glitter-infused celebration of disco and house that transcends boundaries and genres. Mark your calendars for 19th August, as CONTENT prepares to host an unforgettable day and night of groove, featuring an impressive lineup that will keep you dancing from dusk till dawn.
Since its inception, Liverpool Disco Festival has been more than just an event; it’s a testament to the undying spirit of a musical movement that has roots running deep in the heart of the city. This year, the festival returns stronger than ever, bringing together an array of artists from across Europe and the United States, uniting soulful genre legends and inspiring new talents in a kaleidoscopic celebration.
A Legendary Lineup: The Soundtrack of the Night
The 10th edition of Liverpool Disco Festival boasts a lineup that reads like a who’s who of disco and house music. Prepare to be mesmerised as Chicago House Legends Ten City grace the stage, making their debut with a full band performance. Their iconic tracks, including “That’s The Way Love Is,” “My Piece Of Heaven,” and “Devotion,” will transport you back to the golden era of house music. Joined by Byron Stingily, Ten City will deliver a show to remember, enriched by the quintessential voice of Soulful House Kenny Bobien, who will add his soul-stirring energy to the performance.
NYC disco legends Odyssey return to the festival, armed with a full band ready to deliver hits like “Going Back To My Roots” and “Inside Out.” Expect an electrifying set that includes classics from Chic, Sister Sledge, and more, as they set the stage ablaze once again.
But the excitement doesn’t stop there. John Morales, a staple of NYC’s Studio 54 scene from the 1970s, will be bidding farewell to his faithful crowd as part of his worldwide retirement tour. The decks will also be graced by Glitterbox and Defected’s Kirollus and Marcel Vogel, along with Rahaan, Malfalda B2B Rebecca Vasmant, Sy Sez, Morgan, and Dharma Collective, ensuring a night of non-stop dancefloor magic.
Beyond the Beats: A Weekend of Celebrations
Liverpool Disco Festival isn’t just a one-night affair. The festivities kick off with the traditional ‘Welcome To The Disco Session’ on Friday 18th August, and the magic continues with the ‘Sign Off’ Session on Sunday 20th August, both hosted at the picturesque Botanical Garden. Main event ticket holders will enjoy exclusive complimentary entry to these additional parties, extending the disco euphoria throughout the weekend.
As James Morgan, the founder of Liverpool Disco Festival, eloquently puts it, “Our bi-annual main Disco Festival events are the culmination of that and it’s clear to see that it brings a lot of people a huge amount of joy as they dance, hug, smile and connect positively via the unifying message which Disco & House music undoubtedly bring in abundance.”
From its humble beginnings nurtured in the late-night sessions of The Magnet to becoming an essential part of Liverpool’s musical fabric, the festival has evolved over the years, drawing larger and more diverse crowds with each passing edition.
A Glittering Decade Ahead
As the 10th edition approaches, Liverpool Disco Festival is poised to deliver an experience like never before. The dance, the energy, the unity – it’s all coming together to create a night that promises to be the best yet. So, grab your dancing shoes, gather your friends, and join the city in celebrating a decade of dance, joy, and the soulful sound of disco and house music. Get ready to groove your way into the heart of Liverpool’s music scene on 19th August at CONTENT.
Meet Rea Fortis, a classically trained musician who possesses an innate talent for composing and songwriting, effortlessly weaving her magic to create unforgettable music.
Fortis will release her highly-anticipated debut EP ‘Where Are Your Gods Now’ on 2 August. However, this release is special as it doubles as a visual album that will premiere for one night only at FACT’s Picturehouse Cinema in Liverpool the very same night.
We caught up with Rea to find out all about her and this impressive project.
Uncover Liverpool: For our readers could you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?
Rea Fortis: I’ve been writing songs ever since I could hold a pencil, so then the music started and it hasn’t stopped since! My musical journey started by learning classical woodwind, which then migrated to piano, and as of now I am a pianist with a couple of saxophones. Performing turned to producing where more options for sound came into play, and I’ve been able to dip into a variety of genres such as neo-jazz, funk, Latin and blues. Since moving to Liverpool during the pandemic, my creativity has gone through the roof and I’ve been able to tap into what I really enjoy making, which is fun, grandiose, melancholy and dramatic all at the same time. My songs are normally influenced by current happenings that affect me; such as sexuality, ethnic minority issues, being surrounded by great friends, starting a new project or even hearing new sounds and wanting to capture them in song.
UL: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
RF: There’s definitely a few of those! I grew up listening to P!nk and I’ve loved her musical journey (especially in my teenage years) to where she is now. Timbaland and Mark Ronson are my favourite producers of all time; they have crafted some of the most iconic songs of our generation and I am aiming to emulate that. I love all things Latin and swing, so Yerba Buena, Caro Emerald, Buena Vista Social Club and Willie Bobo have significantly influenced how I produce music now. The older songs from the 60’s were mastered via analog processes and I love the crunchy sound of tape, so I try to mimic that when I can. Chromeo are a Canadian funk duo that I’ve got into in the last few years and I cannot get bored of listening to their songs – I think last year I was in their top 0.5% of listeners on Spotify.
UL: You’ve created an incredible piece of audiovisual art for your upcoming EP release, with a screening of the visual EP happening at FACT in August, what can you tell us about it, without giving too much away?
RF: ‘Where Are Your Gods Now’ was made in the same vein as Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’ or Melanie Martinez’ ‘K-12’ which are visual albums. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend them – they are the epitome of an audiovisual musical experience. Instead of doing a traditional launch party in a bar or club, I wanted to celebrate this EP with a cinema screening where you can see the music and follow me on a journey where I navigate religion in a fictional post apocalyptic world. Jazz and blues is explored as a homage to the western style setting and all the instrumentation you hear is either me or my partner who features on a few of the songs. We filmed at some iconic Liverpool locations such as Crosby beach and Sefton Park which takes on a whole new light when coupled with the music. This EP was recorded in my home studio and filmed with one camera and honestly, it was a joy to produce and direct what is essentially my first mini feature film.
‘Where Are Your Gods Now’ Official Trailer
UL: Do you have a favourite track off the EP?
RF: That’s a really hard one! ‘Reckoning’ is the main single which I wrote with my partner. That song was a complete accident but is the ultimate reason that this EP was born as the rest of the songs followed straight after. It’s a real western blues vibe that goes into climate change while throwing in double entendres about religion. However, ‘Contemplations’ was one I made in a rush where I chose to make a song completely out of my comfort zone. It’s super jazzy, features a lot of sax and is written in 5/4 and to my surprise, has been played on BBC Introducing Merseyside. This one’s a tough question, so I will say those two for now.
UL: What’s your process for creating music?
RF: I have two paths for creating music. The first is starting with the lyrics and chords and building up the instrumentation from there, that tends to be the more straightforward of the two which generates a more poppy and grooving sound, and when I write like this I have a better grasp from early in the process on how it will be finished. The other one is completely experimental and accidental – sometimes I’ll get fixated on a sound or a phrase I’ve written and need to use it somehow and won’t stop until it is in the song! Pure chaos ensues and this is where I have to reign it in, make it cohesive and really think about the direction of the song. The path is not always linear but this method produces the most interesting results. I’m never far away from my sax, piano or percussion, therefore it’s easy to mess around and come up with a riff and have a eureka moment. In ‘Where Are Your Gods Now’, there is a story to follow through all the songs, so I had to make sure there was a strong concept for each song so that the whole story flowed. Ultimately, I like my songs to connect to what I’m feeling in the moment and hope that it can resonate with someone else.
UL: What does the rest of 2023 have in store for you?
RF: 2023 is a huge year for me already! I’ve released a few singles and had some collaborations come into the ether, and now I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits that come from ‘Where Are Your Gods Now’. It’s my first time getting music out in a physical format (vinyl and tape) and I’m excited to get that out into the world. Right now I’m working on my dissertation for my Master’s degree in audiovisual media, and once that’s done I’m aiming to take a break and travel South America for a while to get influenced by the music scene there. Then I’m hoping for a few more singles to polish up and release for the rest of the year and start working on my next EP.
The legendary and groundbreaking Jah Wobble will play a special show at Liverpool’s Tung Auditorium on Saturday 15 July.
Jah Wobble’s show at The Tung Auditorium is a part of a series from Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra, marking their 40th anniversary with friends and supporters throughout the years.
For this concert, Jah Wobble and his band will be performing with Tian, two alumni of the youth orchestra of that time, showcasing the exciting new development of Chinese and Western fusion music.
Jah Wobble first worked with the Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra in 2008 and his album Chinese Dub won Songlines’ Best Cross Culture Album award in 2009. His work left a legacy for the youngsters at the time and inspired them to discover new fusions of Chinese music with other modern genres.
Jah Wobble was born John Wardle in 1958 and is an English bassist, singer and composer. He began his career in music as a founding member of PiL in 1978 with Keith Levene and former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and quickly became known for his distinctive bass style, combining elements of dub, funk and world music. During his time with PiL, Wobble played on some of the band’s most acclaimed albums, including Metal Box and First Issue, and collaborated with Keith Levene and Martin Atkins on a number of side projects.
In 1980 Wobble left PiL to pursue a solo career, releasing his debut album The Legend Lives On… Jah Wobble In Betrayal that same year, followed by a string of acclaimed solo albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
His solo work continued to showcase his unique style alongside his interest in world music, particularly African and Middle Eastern music. He has also collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including Brian Eno, Bjork and Sinead O’Connor, and formed several bands, including Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart and Jan Wobble & The Chinese Dub Orchestra. His music has been and remains highly influential, particularly in the areas of dub and world music, and his innovative playing style and ability to blend diverse musical styles into a cohesive whole continue to receive accolades.
Wobble is also a prolific writer, having published books on music, politics and spirituality, and is renowned for his interest in Eastern philosophy having written extensively on the subject. He remains a highly influential musician and artist who has made a significant impact on the world of music and beyond, making him a truly original and important figure in the history of music. He has stories to tell and recounts them with charm, with humour and with honesty. His latest solo album, The Bus Routes of South London, was written and recorded on buses in South London.
Jah WobbleChinese Dub Special, Featuring Tian
15 July, 7.30pm
The Tung Auditorium, Liverpool Tickets
Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, sharpen up on your moves or start taking a hobby more seriously, here’s some amazing dance classes in Liverpool that you can join.
Liverpool Dance Centre
Liverpool Dance Centre offer a huge range of classes from Bally, Ballroom, Belly Dancing and Bollywood to Contemporary, Flamenco, Jazz, Street Dance, Tap and much more!
The fantastic female-led Sole Rebel offer fun, non-syllabus tap dance classes with a focus on technique, musicality, choreography and improvisation. There’s classes for Beginners, Advanced Beginners & Intermediate/Advanced dancers.
Movema is an inclusive World Dance organisation, with activities, classes and workshops for people of all ages and backgrounds. You will have so much fun taking part in a Movema class, we guarantee it.
Mersey Swing CIC is a dance school that specializes in swing dancing. They offer a variety of classes, including Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston. They also have a number of social dancing events throughout the year.
Jelli Studios is a dance and musical theatre school founded by Jennifer Ellison, a former professional dancer, singer, and actress. The school offers a variety of courses for all ages and abilities, including full-time college programmes, part-time evening classes, and summer schools. Jelli Studios also has a strong performance programme, with students regularly performing in local shows and competitions.
Topaz Dance Centre
Topaz Dance Centre run classes in Ballet, Tap, Ballroom and Latin, from their studio in Garston. Their fun and friendly classes are aimed for adults and are open to everyone.
Live Wire Dance Studio
Live Wire Dance Studio is a smaller, more intimate dance studio offering a more personal learning experience. They offer a variety of classes, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary.
Dance Passion run Latin, Ballroom, Zumba acrobatics, lyrical and commercial dance classes. There’s classes suitable for both adults and Children.
North Liverpool Dance Academy
North Liverpool Dance Academy offers a wide range of classes for all ages and abilities, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, street dance, and musical theatre.
Discover this month’s theatre, makers markets, live music and more!
1. be gay do rhyme (9 March)
Future Yard hosts an evening of rap-infused exploration and performances, featuring previews from Transcend Theatre’s (How to Kill a Rose, Unity Theatre) upcoming production be gay, do crime. All topped off with a DJ set from Ireland’s finest Liverpool-based queer artist, Bron. Find out more.
2. Liverpool Makers Bazaar (12 March)
As Mothers’ Day and Easter are fast approaching it’s time to get your serious gift vibe on at Liverpool Makers Bazaar and buy directly from the people who made it….there’s a story behind each item and a happy dance (inside) with every sale. With free entry to 45 talented small local businesses and pop up vintage tea room Mrs B’s Vintage Teas, they will have something for everyone.
3. Bathtime For Britain (16 March)
Wash away the last of the pandemic blues with Bathtime For Britain, this non-stop parade of big hits, belly laughs, booming vocals and Liberace-level costumery from queer cabaret legend Dr Adam Perchard.
4. Convenience Gallery: Life Drawing (21 March)
This Life Drawing session for people of all levels. It is untaught so that means bringing along whatever materials you want to work with and have fun with it. Convenience Gallery use Life Drawing to help fundraise to continue to do their work with the community. As a not for profit, your support at events like this helps them massively.
5. Bombay Jayashri (24 March)
Milap presents one of India’s most celebrated and undisputed stars of Indian classical music, Bombay Jayashri as she returns to England for the first time in over 10 years to perform her signature programme of Carnatic compositions and improvisations, at The Tung Auditorium.
To discover even more events happening across the Liverpool city region check out our What’s On listings.
February sees the Liverpool city region come alive with lots of events from exhibitions, theatre, comedy, film and more!
1. The Sea Exhibition (3 Feb – 25 March)
dot-art’s latest exhibition invites you to take in the wonder of our ‘blue world’ through paintings and photographs in The Sea. The great beauty of the deep can represent many things; endless possibilities, brewing storms, a calm horizon, or a place of pollution – the artists in this exhibition take on some of these concepts in their artwork.
2. Afrofuturist Film Season at FACT (7 – 28 February)
Journey through sci-fi worlds that place Black voices at the centre of the story. FACT’s Afrofuturist film season presents six decades of a cultural movement that explores the intersection of the African diaspora culture with science and technology. There will be four screenings; Sun Ra’s intergalactic sci-fi musical Space Is the Place, the back to back screenings of the stunning short films Mulika and Crumbs, Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s mesmerising and critically acclaimed, Neptune Frost andBrown Girl Begins, based on Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning Afrofuturist novel ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’. Join FACT every Tuesday in February for a cinematic vision of Black creativity, resistance, and freedom.
3. Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland? (9-11 February)
Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland? comes to Hope Street Theatre on 9, 10, and 11 February, with a one-person show that contextualises the rappers debut rap album of the same name. Who’s Afraid of M!key Garland? was released in June 2022, and explores Garland’s experience of homelessness in the early 2010s, and tackles themes of poverty, addiction, and mental health.
4. Fern Brady Autistic Bikini Queen (11 February)
Following a sold out tour across Europe and Australia in 2019 and her most recent BBC stand up special Power & Chaos, Fern Brady brings her fifth solo show Autistic Bikini Queen on a nationwide tour.
5. Liverpool International Jazz Festival (23 – 26 February)
Liverpool International Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 February at Liverpool Hope University’s Capstone Theatre, comprising of concerts by Milap Indo Jazz Club (Thurs 23 Feb), an all star indojazz line up of musicians, Devils of Moko (Fri 24 Feb) an electronic soul afrofunk fusion project, Dock In Absolute (Sat 25 Feb) a Luxembourgian piano trio with a classical bent, Shez Raja featuring Tony Kofi (Sat 25 Feb) who will deliver a lively slice of indo jazz funk and Marius Neset Quartet (Sun 26 Feb), the latest vehicle of the Norwegian virtuoso saxophonist and composer.
There’s so much happening in February and beyond so be sure to check out the Uncover Liverpool What’s On section to discover many more events.
If you’re looking for a creative outlet check out these arts and crafts classes in Liverpool. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone.
Independent gallery and dot-art run lots of great arts and creative classes for children and adults. Their courses include life drawing, abstract painting, cartooning, photography, an introduction to darkroom, textile arts, Cyanotype workshops and more. There’s something for everyone.
Make CIC is a great place to discover arts and crafts classes in Liverpool. Make offer a range of creative, hands-on courses including introductory courses to Woodwork (where you will make your own wine rack), Mindful Macramé, Perfume making, Tye Die and much more. Additionally, their monthly Drink and Draw night is always popular for both avid drawers and beginners, where you can enjoy life drawing in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. They have venues at the North Docks, Hamilton Square (Wirral) and Huyton.
The Liver Sketching Club
The Liver Sketching Club celebrated their 150th Anniversary in 2022 and is the oldest continuously active art club in England. Their members meet at the club’s studio in Liverpool city centre, to draw and paint from the live model and they welcome non-members at these sessions. To view their timetable of classes visit liversketchingclub.com
Smithdown Social Arts Hub
The Smithdown Social Arts Hub is an amazing creative space in South Liverpool which offers a number of arts classes. There’s their Art From The Start beginners classes and Life Drawing classes. Find out more abut their classes and times here.
Tate Liverpool regularly hosts workshops, classes and courses which you can find out about here. There are various offers for people of all ages, interests and abilities.
Lark Lane Pottery Classes
The Lark Lane Pottery Classes are run by John Parker and John Ayling, who have over 60 years of experience of pottery making between them. Visit the Lark Lane Pottery website for more information on classes.
Studio Arts Liverpool
Studio Arts Liverpool is based in the Bridewell Studios on Prescot Street, L7, and has been running classes since 2015 for people of all abilities. There are various classes and courses on offer, including the recent addition of collagraphs and drypoint etching. At the end of each course, students are invited to exhibit their work in the Bridewell Studios gallery to celebrate their achievements. For more information about courses, check here.
Liverpool Independent Art School
Join the Liverpool Independent Art School for their Life Drawing classes at 92 Degrees Coffee. The event is keen to stress it’s supportive environment and is not gatekeeping amateur artists from taking part. In fact, all skill levels are welcome!. If it is anything like the coffee shop, expect a colourful, diverse crowd who enjoy the passionate work from the staff. 92 degrees Liverpool branches are found in the most vibrant areas of the city! This includes Jamaica Street, Myrtle Street and Hardman Street. The Hardman Street venue is where this is taking place, so feel free to enjoy some coffee and culture here!
The Create Workshop
Based in the stunning setting of the Mansion House at Calderstones Park, the Create Workshop offers weekly workshops in sewing, craft and dressmaking. Students have access to a fully equipped studio complete with sewing machines, cutting table, pressing equipment and other specialist tools. Here’s the full list of courses available.
If you are a frequent visitor of The Bluecoat, then you may have come across Cass Art on School Lane in Liverpool One. Cass Art is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of art materials, and the Liverpool store is conveniently located near some of the city’s major art galleries. Various workshops take place at Cass Art, including calligraphy, oil portraiture, acrylic workshops and screen printing. Visit their website for more information about their courses.
Pottery Painting Studios
Pottery Painting studios are gaining in popularity as they make for the perfect, relaxed, creative environment for you to choose a piece of pottery to design and painting in your own unique way.
Frankie’s Paint-It Pottery Studio
Frankie’s Paint-It Pottery Studio on Smithdown Road offers a wide variety of pottery pieces which you can paint in any way you like. They will glaze and fire it for you in their own kiln ready for you to collect the following week. Alternatively, they also offer foam clay instead of underglazes, meaning an item can be taken home the same day. Frankie’s also offers clay workshops!
With two Pottery painting studios; in Oxton and Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, Bisque-It is suitable for all ages and offers the perfect space to let your creativity shine. They also offer takeaway kits so that you can keep up with your artistic endeavours at home too.
Additional Pottery Painting Studios In The Liverpool City Region
This year we welcome the Year of the Rabbit for Chinese New Year (Sunday 22 January) in Liverpool and there’s a wide range of events happening across the city to mark the celebrations across the week.
Chinese & British Exhibition at Liverpool Central Library (16 January – 31 March)
This free new exhibition at Liverpool Central Library draws on personal stories and moments of national significance to ask what it means to be Chinese and British. From the first recorded individuals arriving from China in the late 1600s to Liverpool becoming Europe’s first Chinatown in the 1850s, Chinese people, who trace their heritage to regions across east and southeast Asia, have played an active part in British society for over 300 years. The Chinese Britain panel exhibition explores the culture, history and heritage of Chinese communities that settled in Limehouse in London and in Liverpool.
Chinese New Year Celebrations At Great George Square (22 January)
You can enjoy a whole day of celebrations on Sunday 22 January at Chinatown and the Chinese Ceremonial Archway. The streets will be decorated with Chinese lanterns, the dragon and unicorn displaying their strength and sharing good luck through traditional dance and of course the noisy firecrackers to ward off bad luck and delight the crowds.
This year, Culture Liverpool are thrilled to be able to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year Celebrations in person once again. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, there is plenty to enjoy online from the comfort of your own home with a selection of activities and archive footage available before and after the main event.
The symbolic Chinese lanterns will decorate the heart of Chinatown, buildings will be lit up red in honour of this age-old tradition, the dragon and unicorn will parade the streets and the stage returns to Great George Square to host a programme of live performances throughout the day. There will also be plenty of Chinese food to sample from the many food stalls, art workshops with make and do activities as well as storytelling and the popular funfair.
12pm – 12:45pm: Pagoda Arts – Flower Drums, Fan Tai Chi, Dance and Happy Dance! 12:50pm – 12:55pm: Friendship Dancers Moon Night Waltz 1:pm – 1:40pm: Firecracker Display – Lucky Man, Dragon and Unicorn Parades 1:40pm – 1:55pm: Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association – Martial Arts Demonstration 1:55pm – 2:15pm: Wah Sing Chinese Community Centre Dancers – Traditional Chinese Dance & Song, Bless You – Chinese Dance Performance, Draw You – Chinese Dance Performance, Beautiful Taihu – Chinese Dance Performance & Happy Every Year song – Singing Performance. 2:20pm – 2:45pm: Tian & LIMF Academy (in association with Pagoda Arts) 2:50pm – 2:55pm: Wirral Chinese Cultural Association: Classical Dance – Dream in Flowers 2:55pm – 3:pm: North East Wales Chinese Women’s Association – Traditional Chinese Dance 3:pm – 3:10pm: Movema Dance – Silk 3:15pm – 3:20pm: UK Phoenix Qipao Chinese Cultural & Art Association – The Big Fan Dance ‘WanJiang’ and The Silk Scarf QiPao show ‘The Picture Scroll of Love’ 3:25pm – 3:30pm: Friendship Dancers – Beautiful River (Chinese Line Dance) 3:45pm – 4:10pm: Tian & LIMF Academy (in association with Pagoda Arts) 4:15pm – 4:25pm: Movema Dance – Silk 4:30pm – 4:55pm: Bring the Fire Project – Fire Finale 5pm: STAGE CLOSE
‘The Lunar Rabbit’ at The Bombed Out Church (20 – 22 January)
Following the success of last year’s ‘Water Tiger’, Focal Studios are partnering up with artists Eleonora Asparuhova and Laura Sullivan to create a magnificent focus for CNY celebrations at the Bombed Out Church. The Lunar Rabbit spectacle invites communities around Liverpool to come together and celebrate the Chinese New Year, through a modern and stunning projection show and light installation at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church from Friday 20 until Sunday 22 January 2023 between 5pm – 9pm.
Lunar New Year Celebrations at FACT (21 January – 5 February)
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, FACT are teaming up with the Liverpool East and South East Asian Network (LESEAN) to bring you a special programme of celebratory events and workshops. Alongside this, FACT’s artist-in-residence, April Lin 林森, leads an in-conversation and interactive workshop surrounding their new artwork, The Earthly Realm is Out of Balance.
Visit on select dates across the celebration period to experience insightful talks, lantern making sessions, plus much more! Discover all the listings below.
Tasting Menu 21 January | 3:00pm – 5:00pm | Free, booking required
LESEAN hosts a special tasting menu, as well as a discussion around Lunar New Year and how ESEA communities exist both on and offline.
In a project inspired by Singapore’s GIFFEST, LESEAN invited ESEA artists to produce GIFs inspired by Lunar New Year. Discover the celebratory creations at FACT and hear more about the project from local artist b3.png. This event will also include a performance by artist Pei Tong.
In Conversation with April Lin 林森 26 January | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Free, booking required
Resident artist April Lin 林森, hosts a conversation with their artistic collaborators, Yank Scally and Amina Atiq. Discover how they developed The Earthly Realm is Out of Balance – an interactive game that investigates the meaning of ancestry.
Artist Workshop with April Lin 林森 27 January | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Free, booking required
April Lin 林森 takes us on a gameplay walkthrough of The Interface, a chatbot which has taken up residence in FACT’s first-floor gallery. Using these interactions as a starting point, this group session will delve into conversations about ancestry and belonging.
Lantern Making Workshop 5 February | 12:00pm – 3:00pm | Free, booking required
LESEAN invites you to learn the art of lantern making alongside your friends and family. Craft lanterns together, while reflecting on resolutions and hopes for the year ahead. This workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities.
Victoria Gallery & Museum CNY Family Activities (28 January)
To celebrate Chinese New Year, the University of Liverpool Confucius Institute will host a family activity event at the Victoria Gallery and Museum on the Saturday 28 January 2023 from 11:00pm – 3:00pm. The aim of this event is to promote friendly exchange between China and the UK, and for the Liverpool community to have fun learning about Chinese culture.
Activities will include traditional Chinese dance, a Chinese game called ‘pitch-pot’, paper-cutting, origami, and Chinese calligraphy. So, please come along and make some beautiful Chinese art to take home with you!
Chinese New Year At The Lady Lever Art Gallery (28 January)
Their fun day of festivities, on 28 January, for the Year of the Rabbit will include the following:
11am and 12noon: Find out all about the Lunar New Year and the legend of the Zodiac Race with Billy Hui, presenter of BBC Merseyside’s Orient Express.
11.30am: Come along and watch beautiful dances in traditional dress from the Wirral Chinese Cultural Association dance group.
1-4pm: Make a Chinese New Year card to wish happiness and prosperity to your friends and family for the year ahead at our Year for the Rabbit craft activities.
1, 2 and 3pm: The magnificent Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association return with a breath-taking Lion Dance performance, starting at the doors of the main entrance and continuing into the main hall to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Chinese New Year Lion Dance at Museum of Liverpool (29 January)
Head to the Museum of Liverpool and watch Liverpool’s Hung Gar Kung Fu School perform the fabulous Lion dance, celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit. Performances will take place at the Museum Atrium at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
With so much happening in the city for Chinese New Year, you won’t be short of options! To discover even more events check out our What’s On listings.
As we kick off another year, here are 5 events that are worth getting excited about this January.
1. Drink & Draw at Make North Docks (12 January)
If you enjoy doodling and sketching and want the chance to do some life drawing in a friendly relaxed atmosphere, then head along to Make North Docks Drink & Draw monthly event. The sessions take place in their cosy bar and include a cheese board and glass of wine.
2. GASLIT at Unity Theatre (21 January)
Join Unity Theatre for the premiere of Rapper & Multidisciplinary Artist, Raven Radha’s innovative debut music project: GASLIT. A combination of music, theatre, and visual art. Exploring narcissistic abuse on the micro and macro scale, this is a poetic semi-autobiographical journey of self-discovery and empowerment.
3. Varna International Ballet at the Empire Theatre (23 – 25 January)
Founded in 1947 and currently celebrating their 75th anniversary, the critically acclaimed Varna International Ballet comes to the UK for the very first time. Catch a performance of Giselle, Nutcracker or Swan Lake.
4. Guz Khan Live (28 January)
Coventry’s finest, Guz Khan, brings his big-screen persona and BAFTA-nominated hilarity to Liverpool with his brand-new stand up show Guz Khan Live!
5. Sing-a-long-a Encanto (28 January)
Cheer on Mirabel as she tries to save the magic surrounding the Encanto. It couldn’t be easier or more fun! The first rule of Sing-a-long-a is THERE ARE NO RULES! Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and full audience participation essential. You, the audience, are the stars!
To find more events happening across the Liverpool City Region check out our What’s On listings.
As we near the end of another action-packed year in Liverpool, we look ahead to the array of arts and cultural events already announced for 2023.
It’s going to be an unforgettable year of music in Liverpool due to the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as festivals and more live music events happening across the city.
Boiler Room (28 January 2023)
In the club scene, the famous Boiler Room is coming to Liverpool on the 28 January for their first UK party of the year. Boiler Room put on iconic events connecting club culture with the rest of the world through film and parties. The line-up is yet to be announced but is sure to include many Bolier Room favourites.
Sound City Music Festival (28 – 30 April 2023)
The much-loved Sound Citymusic festival returns in 2023 to showcase local, popular, and new music on the scene. It takes to music venues all across the city of Liverpool from the 28 – 30April. Including a variety of artists ranging from dark electronic hip-hop sounds from rapper Finn Foxell, native Liverpool guitar band Reginmaker, to artists such as Maisie Peters who racks up around half a billion streams globally and will headline the festival.
Sound City also offers opportunities for young people between the age of 16-24 looking to start a career in the music industry to gain valuable experience. The applications are open now for Sound City Launch Training. This is a 10-week programme that will run again in February 2023; it offers essential information to get your foot in the door in the music industry. The training course has been the foundation for countless successful careers in music, from artist & producers to label execs and journalists.
The Eurovision Song Contest (9 – 13 May 2023)
Surely we can’t talk about music events happening in Liverpool without mentioning The Eurovision Song Contest! The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted at the Liverpool Arena in May, on behalf of Ukraine. The Semi-Finals will take place on Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 May, with the prestigious Grand Final taking place on Saturday 13 May.
Liverpool was chosen following a strong city bid process that examined facilities at the venue; the ability to accommodate thousands of visiting delegations, crew, fans and journalists; infrastructure; and the cultural offer of the Host City in reflecting Ukraine’s win in 2022.
Liverpool will be running a cultural programme in the lead up to the event, working in collaboration with Ukrainian artists, to mark the occasion. There will be several events, to be announced soon, which will highlight the city working with Ukrainian creatives, street artists, fashion designers and more to build a programme of events. It’s not all about the main event either, there are tickets up for grabs for 9 shows that week. This includes the Live TV show for each of the Semi-Finals and Final, Jury Shows which is a full run through of the show that takes place the night before the Live show takes place, and the Family show which serves as another full run through but is much more convenient for those who wish to bring young Eurovision fans.
For tickets, sign up the official Eurovision Song Contest newsletter and subscribe to their social media channels to be the first to find out how to secure tickets for the contest.
Pete Tong (16 June 2023)
Later in the year Pete Tong is making his debut at Aintree Racecourse, playing a whole host of Ibiza Classics live after racing on Friday 16 June.
Creamfields (24 – 27 August 2023)
Creamfields, the world’s leading dance festival, is taking place again on the August Bank Holiday Weekend just outside of Liverpool in Daresbury, Warrington. This year’s headliners are Tiesto, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia, as well as many others. The festival is already sold out despite only the first phase acts being released, proving its longstanding popularity as a summer music festival.
Liverpool’s array of exhibition space is being put to good use again in 2023.
Art of The Terraces (Until 12 March 2023)
The Walker Gallery is taking inspiration from art that is grounded in the culture of our everyday lives. Running from now until 12 March 2023 the exhibition, Art of the Terracesis an exhibition about football and the longstanding culture that comes along with the sport. It encapsulates ‘Terrace Culture’ and the fashion, music and art that emerged and was associated with it from the years 1970 to 1990. Showcasing vintage pieces from Adidas and other sports brands which recapitulate the football ‘casuals’ style, the exhibition celebrates a cultural scene which the traditional art world has often overlooked.
JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters (Until 4 June 2023)
The Tate Liverpool presents JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters from now until 4 June 2023. This is a collaborative exhibition, combining the works of Romantic painter JMW Turner with the more contemporary artist and musician Lamin Fofana. This fusion of artists from polar centuries creates a sound to accompany the depiction of the dynamism of the sea making this an immersive experience. £10 and free to university students in Liverpool.
FlowerFairies TM (15 April – 5 November 2023)
This exhibition is dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of Cicely Mary Barker’s first book in her Flower Fairy Collection. The Lady Lever Art Gallery will be showcasing 45 of her original, beautiful illustrations, in may forms including through digital projections and costumes inspired by Vin Burnham.
Photie Man: 50 Years of Tom Wood (20 May 2023 – 7 January 2024)
To celebrate 50 years of the work of Irish artist, Tom Wood, the Walker Art Gallery are exhibiting the first major retrospective of his work in Liverpool. Wood has dedicated much of his career to the people and places of Liverpool and Merseyside to create an intimate, diverse and knowing portrait of the city and the surrounding area, and his pioneering photographs capture a definitive phase in the social and political history of the region. Known fondly as ‘Photieman’, Wood is one of the most influential photographers working today.
Liverpool Biennial (10 June – 17 September 2023)
Liverpool Biennial 2023: The Sacred Return of Lost Things returns to Tate Liverpool from 10 June – 17 September 2023. The largest visual arts festival in the UK, the festival ‘explores the ways in which people and objects have the potential to manifest power as they move across the world, while acknowledging the continued losses of the past. It draws a line from the ongoing catastrophes caused by colonialism towards an insistence on being truly alive.’
Happiness! (14 July 2023 – 3 March 2024)
Happiness! is an exhibition coming to Liverpool in Summer 2023 and is filled with fun and humour, celebrating one of Liverpool’s iconic comedians, Sir Ken Dodd. The exhibition charts the life and career of the legendary Liverpool comedian and his connection to today’s comedic stars. Using memorabilia from Ken Dodd’s personal archive, this show will explore Ken’s career and how his comedic approach continues to be used and adopted by some of the UK’s most well-known and emerging comedians.
There are some fantastic shows coming up across Liverpool’s theatres in 2023.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (21 – 25 March)
Based on the Sunday Times bestseller which inspired one of this century’s most treasured films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel takes us on a journey to India with an eclectic group of British retirees as they embark on a new life. Catch the production at the Playhouse Theatre in the Spring.
Sister Act (15 – 20 May)
The Empire Theatre will welcome the eagerly anticipated brand new production of the Broadway and UK smash hit musical Sister Act direct from London. Featuring original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® award-winner Alan Menken (Disney’s Aladdin, Enchanted) and songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco, this heavenly musical is joyous and uplifting in equal measures.
Much Ado About Nothing (14 – 17 June)
Prescot’s wonderful Shakespeare North Playhouse will be hosting The Handlebards and their unique brand of Shakespeare at the Cockpit Theatre in June,for an unhinged and bonkers, laugh-out-loud version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. With music, mayhem and more costume changes than you can shake a spear at, expect the HandleBards usual irreverent, charming and hilarious style to come bursting onto the stage.
STARS (22 – 24 June)
STARS is an Afrofuturist Space Odyssey heading to the Everyman Theatre in June. Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation and captions, STARS is a moving and joyful, sensitive yet funny, Afrofuturist odyssey accessible for all.