Celebrating the Year of the Dragon: Chinese New Year 2024 Events Across Liverpool City Region

Lunar New Year, Liverpool
Photo Credit: Culture Liverpool

Find out what’s happening in the Liverpool city region for Chinese New Year 2024 with this guide to traditional parades, mesmerising projection shows, and cultural workshops that will immerse you in the spirit of the Chinese New Year, year of the dragon.

Liverpool

Liverpool’s Chinese New Year celebrations will now be known as Lunar New Year. The name has changed to be more inclusive to those communities outside of China which also celebrate the New Year. 

Liverpool is poised for huge Lunar New Year celebrations, marking the Year of the Dragon and commemorating the 25th anniversary of the city’s twinning with Shanghai.

Taking place from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 February, for the first time the free activities will not only take over the Chinatown area, but they will also bring a festival of colour and sound to the Bombed Out Church (St Luke’s), Liverpool ONE and the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

As well as the usual Chinatown takeover which includes traditional dragon, lion and unicorn parades, firecracker displays, family workshops, Tai Chi demonstrations, live music, a fairground and food and craft stalls – Culture Liverpool has commissioned brand new cultural pieces to celebrate Europe’s oldest Chinese community. These will take place in the run up to the main day of celebration on the Sunday, and on the day itself.

Liverpool Lunar New Year 2024 - Culture Liverpool
Culture Liverpool’s Lunar New Year Celebrations

Chinatown Takeover (9-11 February)

The heart of the celebrations will be in Chinatown, with traditional dragon, lion, and unicorn parades, firecracker displays, family workshops, Tai Chi demonstrations, live music, a fairground, and an array of food and craft stalls. This promises to be a lively and immersive experience for all ages.

Projection Show at Bombed Out Church (9-11 February, 6 pm – 9 pm)

The Bombed Out Church will host a mesmerising projection show telling the traditional Chinese story of the Boy and the Pearl. The building will come alive with captivating animations and a newly composed soundscape, accompanied by wooden dragon installations from local schools and community groups.

Royal Albert Dock (9-11 February, 5:30 pm – 9 pm)

Teaming up with outdoor art experts Walk The Plank and fiery thrill-seekers Bring The Fire, Culture Liverpool will bring three nights of entertainment to the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. Highlights include a 25-meter illuminated dragon floating through the dock system and an exhilarating fire street theatre featuring dance and martial arts.

Great George Square Finale (11 February, 4:30 pm): Bring The Fire will showcase its stunning skills at Chinatown with a spectacular fire finale on the stage at Great George Square.

For more detailed information on these events and additional Lunar New Year celebrations, visit Culture Liverpool’s official website.

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop
GPO’s Chinese Brush Painting Workshop

Other Chinese New Year Events In Liverpool

Harmony of the Dragon: A Chinese New Year Gala at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (9 February)

An enchanting musical performance including a rendition of ‘Great Race’, a delightful tune associated with the CBBC programme of the same name. Find out more.

St George’s Hall Chinese New Year Gala (9 February)

Explore the beauty of Chinese culture at St George’s Hall with a traditional dragon dance, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese music, and more. Find out more.

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop – GPO at Metquarter (9 February)

This workshop will provide a gentle introduction to Chinese painting using traditional and authentic Chinese art materials such as bamboo brushes, mineral paints and Chinese ink. Find out more.

Lunar New Year at FACT (10 February)

FACT are welcoming Liverpool East and South East Asian Network (LESEAN) back once again to bring you a special programme of events and workshops in celebration of Lunar New Year. From a Lion Dance and Martial Arts display to a movement workshop, lantern making, and more—there are plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy. Find out more.

Museum of Liverpool Lion Dance Workshop (13 February)

Discover the history and tradition of the Chinese lion while children learn how to work the life size puppets in pairs, learn the rhythm of the traditional lion dance drum and the special lion dance steps to bring the lions to life. Find out more.

Bluecoat Workshops (17 and 18 February)

Join Bluecoat on 17 February for an immersive Calligraphy workshop facilitated by multidisciplinary artist Pei Yee Tong, where you’ll learn about the rich history and ancient techniques of this timeless art form, and be guided through creating your own beautiful artwork to hang up at home.

Additionally, Bluecoat’s Movers and Shakers event on 18 February invites the whole family for a session of moving, making and shaking. Create artwork inspired by Lunar New Year with the Bluecoat, and take part in dance sessions led by artists from Movema.

Chinese New Year at Lady Lever Art Gallery - Photo Credit - Gareth Jones
Lady Lever Art Gallery Chinese New Year Celebrations. Photo Credit: Gareth Jones

Liverpool City Region Chinese New Year Events

Chinese New Year Celebrations In Runcorn (10 February)

Head over to Shopping City Runcorn to watch the Creative Dance Parade by Purple Gecko Youth – Dance & Martial Arts’s young people, the Traditional Lion Dance Parade by China Spirit UK. Plus, there’s fun arts and crafts such as making Dragons and Chinese Latins. Reserve your free ticket for these activities here.

There’s also dance workshops to get involved in. Find out more via youthfed.org.uk/chinese-new-year-festival-2024

Make it! Craft Workshop at The Atkinson, Southport (10 February)

The Atkinson in Southport is hosting a free craft workshop inspired by Chinese New Year. Join them in the Art Box for a craft workshop suitable for all the family, with all materials supplied and all for free!

  • Drop-in any time between 11am – 3pm and get creative.
  • Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult.
  • First come first served. You may be expected to wait until a space at a craft table becomes available.

Lady Lever Art Gallery Chinese New Year Celebrations, Wirral (17 February)

Lady Lever Art Gallery hosts a day of festivities for the Year of the Dragon, including:

  • Find out all about the Lunar New Year and the legend of the Zzodiac Race with Billy Hui, presenter of BBC Merseyside’s Orient Express.
  • Watch beautiful dances in traditional dress from the Wirral Chinese Cultural Association dance group.
  • Make a Chinese New Year card to wish happiness and prosperity to your friends and family for the new year in our craft activity, 1-4pm.

The activities run from 10am-4.30pm. Find out more

Craft Workshops at Eureka! Science + Discovery, Wirral (10-25 February)

Celebrate Chinese New Year during the half term at Eureka! With guidance from the Wirral Chinese Association, they’ve planned a whole host of activities that will have your little ones exploring, crafting, learning and even….DRAGON DANCING!

 

This article refers to both Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year is a significant traditional festival celebrated by Chinese communities worldwide and some people refer to it as Chinese New Year because of its roots in Chinese culture and the emphasis on Chinese customs and traditions during the festivities. On the other hand, the term Lunar New Year is used to encompass a broader cultural perspective, acknowledging that many East Asian communities, such as Vietnamese and Korean, also celebrate the new year based on the lunar calendar. Using the term Lunar New Year reflects the multicultural and inclusive nature of the celebrations beyond the Chinese context. We wanted to use both terms to reflect inclusivity. 

Keep checking our What’s On Listings as we continue to add even more events happening over Chinese New Year in the Liverpool city region.

7 Unmissable Events Happening in January

Here’s our pick of events to look forward to this January.

1. Varna International Ballet and Orchestra (9-11 January)

Varna International Ballet

Varna International Ballet and Orchestra will return to UK after a hugely successful debut in 2023. This season they will bring much-loved classical ballets The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty to the Liverpool Empire. Find out more.

2. Introduction to the Darkroom (13 January)

Darkroom

Start 2024 with some creativity. This one day workshop from dot-art is designed for anyone who has taken images using a film camera and wishes to print their own photographs in a darkroom. It’s suitable for complete beginners who are new to photo making. This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience in the traditional art of developing photographs, giving you a deeper understanding of the photographic process and enhancing your creative skills.

3. Exploring Identity Through Zine Making With Comics Youth (13 & 20 January)

Exploring identity through zine making with Comics Youth

Join Comics Youth, who use creativity to support people’s mental health, wellbeing and access to the arts, in their zine making workshop. You will learn about the history of zine making and how to make your own, then create a zine focusing on LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. This workshop is free but places are limited so please book your ticket.

4. The Vaccines (13 January)

Vaccines CONTENT

The day after the release of their new album Pick-up Full of Pink Carnations, The Vaccines will play CONTENT Liverpool. Expect all of the bands biggest hits as well as tracks from the new album. Find out more.

5. Future Forecast (15 January – 10 March)

Credit: Mark McNulty

Produced by a group of young people from Toxteth called the Greenhouse Project Young Event Producers, this 24-minute film is an imagined vision of the future, where extreme weather conditions have changed the landscape of Liverpool, and the rest of the world. See how they predict what the future might look and sound like. Find out more.

6. Stranger Things – The Musical (23 & 24 January)

Stranger Things The Musical

Straight from off-Broadway, to a UK premiere 3-month sell-out run in London, there’s now a UK nationwide Theatre Tour of Stranger Sings. This award-winning sci-fi spoof is a wild, irreverent twist on the hit Netflix series – in all its hair-raising, blockbuster glory. Find out more.

7. Rob Auton (31 January)

Rob Auton

Award winning writer, comedian and actor Rob Auton has written nine hit Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy/theatre/spoken-word shows. In his most autobiographical show to date ‘The Rob Auton Show’ Rob turns the pen on himself to explore the memories and feelings that create his life on a daily basis. Find out more.

To find more events happening across the Liverpool City Region check out our What’s On listings.

Things To Do In Knowsley

Uncover Liverpool Guide - Things To Do In Knowsley
A yawning lioness at Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley offers a variety of attractions for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a day out with the family, a cultural experience, or an outdoor adventure, Knowsley has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore various activities that you can enjoy in the area.

The Shakespeare North Playhouse

The Shakespeare North Playhouse, centred around a traditional Shakespearean theatre, aims to unite people through their diverse performances and activities. It celebrates Shakespeare’s legacy and brings entertainment to the heart of Knowsley.

Knowsley Safari Park

A visit to Knowsley Safari Park is a must for animal lovers. The park offers an incredible drive-through safari experience, where you can see lions, tigers, elephants, and more in a semi-natural environment. The park also has walk-around areas, a play park, and educational talks.

Stadt Moers Country Park

Stadt Moers Country Park in Whiston is a great place for a family day out. With vast open spaces, picturesque ponds, and a variety of wildlife, it’s perfect for picnics, walks, and nature spotting. The park also hosts numerous free events throughout the year.

Kirby Gallery & Prescot Museum

For those interested in local history, the Kirby Gallery & Prescot Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Knowsley’s past. Free to enter, Prescot Museum features exhibits on local industries like watch-making and contains archives of local significance. Meanwhile, Kirby Gallery hosts a range of contemporary art exhibitions.

Acorn Farm

With sheep, cows, goats, pigs, horses, chickens, meerkats and more there’s lots to see and do at the award-winning Acorn Farm. The farm’s facilities include two outdoor play areas, a woodland walk, a cafe, plant sales centre and farm shop selling home-produced free-range meat, eggs and dairy milk ice cream as well as toys, souvenirs, sweets and drinks.

Court Hey Park

Court Hey Park is another perfect destination for nature lovers. Home to the National Wildflower Centre and Merseyside BioBank, it has beautiful gardens and meadows, perfect for a peaceful stroll or a family picnic.

Walking and Cycling Routes

Knowsley is crisscrossed with numerous walking and cycling paths, including parts of the Trans Pennine Trail. These routes offer a great way to explore the area’s natural beauty and are suitable for all ages and abilities. Check out this Merseyrail Knowsley cycle map for more information.

How To Shop Local & Independent This Christmas

It’s that time of year again when we flock to the shops, both in-person and online, to find the perfect gifts for our friends and family.

But it now feels more important than ever to support our local economy. It’s not always easy to know where to start, but we hope this handy guide will help you find some amazing local, independent artists, makers and businesses so you can buy some incredible gifts while giving a boost to our local economy.

Shop At Local Arts Markets

Bluecoat Arts Fair

There are plenty of arts markets taking place across the Liverpool city region this Autumn/Winter.

There’s the Bluecoat Arts Market and Unity Theatre’s Night Market on Saturday 9 December, Lemon Yellow’s Alternative Xmas Market & Social on Sunday 10 December and Invisible Wind Factory’s Night Arkade on Friday 15 December.

Keep an eye on our What’s On – Markets section for even more event dates.

Shop at independent gift shops

MerseyMade Liverpool
MerseyMade

Independent gift shops such are great places to pick up items from local artists and makers.

Merseymade is a great place to pick up gifts from a vast array of artists. Merseymade is divided into a shopping area and a lovely café on the ground floor. Additionally, the first floor serves as a studio space for artists to create and engage with customers.

The Art Quarter, at the Metquarter, showcases local artists selling unique and high-quality art pieces of different mediums including glasswork to oil pastel, and even textile collages.

Utility, with stores on Bold Street and South John Street (Liverpool ONE) is perfect for quirky, design-led, homeware gifts and more.

Red Brick Market, at Cains Brewery Village, is another great independent market where you can stock up unique gifts.

Independent art gallery dot-art is another brilliant place to pick up gifts. You can buy original artworks or pick up gift vouchers to spend in their gallery or to put towards their art classes.

The Bluecoat also has a number of independent shops including the Bluecoat Display Centre – selling contemporary crafted items, Root Houseplants, R&J Porter Jewellers and more. Visit thebluecoat.org.uk/shopping to find out more.

Situated in Albert Dock, The Nest hosts an array of handmade gifts created by local creators in Liverpool. Come and browse the stunning photography, one-of-a-kind jewellery, and brilliant ceramics, amidst a plethora of independent designs.

A Slower Space plant and gift shop on Penny Lane, is great for picking up a variety of houseplants and other nice gifts.

Freida Mo’s vintage boutique and bakery/café on Lark Lane is perfect for vintage-loving friends and family members.

Dorothy design and sell music, film, literature and art inspired prints, products and other curiosities.

Bold Street has a number of great independent clothing stores such as Resurrection, Grin and Soho’s also on Bold Street is another great place to pick up clothes.

The Liverpool Tea Warehouse is a specialty tea shop located in the Baltic Triangle. The shop boasts a vast selection of over 200 types of finest quality loose leaf teas, fruit and herbal infusions, and biodegradable tea temples.

Shop at independent bookshops

The Reader
The Reader, Calderstones Park

For book lovers you can pick up the perfect gift, and treat yourself to some great reads, at a whole host of independent bookshops.

Liverpool independent bookshops

News From Nowhere
Address: 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1

Kernaghan Books
Address: The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool L1

Reid of Liverpool
Address: 105 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3

Open Eye Gallery Bookshop
Address: 19 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP

Henry Bohn Books
Address: 12 London Road, Liverpool L3

Baltic Bookstore
Address:
 Red Brick Market, Cains Brewery Village, Liverpool L8

Dead Ink Booksshop
Address: 375 Smithdown Road, Liverpool L15

The Reader
Address: Calderstones Mansion House, Calderstones Park, Liverpool L18

Kingsley & Co | Bootle: Literacy Project
Address: 
9-20 The Palatine, Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle L20

Write Blend Bookshop
Address: 124 South Rd, Waterloo, Liverpool L22

Pritchard’s Bookshop
Address: 13 Moor Lane, Crosby, Liverpool L23

Wirral independent bookshops

Oxton Village Books
Address: 
Williamson Art Gallery, Wirral CH43

Literally Books
Address: 12 Atherton St, New Brighton, Wallasey CH45

West Kirby Bookshop
Address: 6 Grange Rd, West Kirby, Wirral CH48

St Helens independent bookshops

The St Helens Bookstop
Address: 11 Bridge St, Saint Helens WA10

Southport independent bookshops

Broadhursts of Southport Ltd
Address: 5-7 Market St, Southport PR8

Widnes independent bookshops

Curiosity Bookshop
Address: 
2 High St, Runcorn WA7

Shop at independent record stores

81 Renshaw Record Shop Liverpool
81 Renshaw

There is no doubt that Liverpool has a rich music heritage and music fans with a weakness for vinyl have lots of options to shop local and independent.

Liverpool independent record stores

Probe Records
Address: 
1, The Bluecoat, School Ln, Liverpool L1 3BX

81 Renshaw
Address: 
81 Renshaw St, Liverpool L1 2SJ

Defend Vinyl
Address:
395 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 3JJ

Dead Air Vinyl
Address: 17 Suffolk St, Liverpool L1 5HS

Penny Lane Records
Address: 
The Emporium, Smithdown Road, Liverpool L15 5AF

Phase One
Address: 
40 Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BE

Rockpoint Records
Address: 
92 Victoria Rd, New Brighton, Wallasey CH45 2JF

Liverpool city region independent record stores

POPin th’ATTIC
Address: 
13/15 Atherton Street, Prescot L34 5QN

Cool Cat Records
Address:
Widnes Market, Bradley Way, Widnes WA8 6UE

Skeleton Records
Address: 
11 Oxton Rd, Birkenhead CH41 2QQ

We hope you’re feeling inspired to shop local and independent this Christmas and all year round!

Rainy Day Activities In Liverpool

Don’t let the rain put you off heading out in Liverpool and exploring, there’s plenty of indoor activities you can do to keep you entertained. Here’s our guide to how to spend a rainy day in Liverpool.

Museums

Museum of Liverpool Unsplash

Want to find out more about the history of the city? Then take a trip to the Museum of Liverpool. To discover Liverpool’s Seafaring past, head to the Maritime Museum. While you’re there, pay a visit to the International Slavery Museum and hear the untold stories of enslaved people and learn about historical and contemporary slavery.

The World Museum is great for exploring Ancient history, outer space and coming up close to some critters. The full dome Planetarium is the perfect way to discover more about the Earth and Universe.

Art Galleries

Tate Liverpool Exterior

Liverpool is home to an impressive collection of art galleries from traditional to contemporary work. The Walker Art Gallery, houses paintings, sculpture and decorative art from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes European Renaissance paintings, masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and Turner and the winners of the John Moores Painting Prize.

Tate Liverpool holds international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including work from Picasso, Tracey Emin and Sir Peter Blake. Their impressive collections could easily take hours to explore and their kids zone is a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged too. * While the Tate Liverpool building at the Royal Albert Dock is closed for improvement, Tate Liverpool has moved into the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North, Mann Island.*

The Bluecoat also offers a unique and varied programme of visual art, performance and literature. They host a regular programme of family events for all ages, so budding artists have a place to explore their creativity.

If photography is your thing, Open Eye Gallery is an independent not-for-profit photography gallery and archive championing photography as an art form, hosting entertaining exhibitions.

With a trip to Sudley House you can explore the home of George Holt and his family, a Victorian merchant with impeccable taste in period furniture and paintings.

And if you want to discover one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative arts, then a visit to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, Wirral is a must.

The Beatles Story

The award-winning The Beatles Story is the the world’s largest permanent exhibition telling the story of the lives and times of The Beatles. The exhibition features walk through recreations of key locations from the band’s career including The Casbah Club, The Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios, and many more. Additionally, The Beatles Story features an impressive collection of authentic memorabilia such as original instruments, clothing, John Lennon’s glasses, Ringo Starr’s drum kit, rare album sleeves, never-before-seen photography and original handwritten lyrics. Read our in-depth review of The Beatles Story here.

British Music Experience

British Music Experience
Photo Credit: British Music Experience

You can discover the extensive history of British Rock and Pop music at the British Music Experience. With over 600 artefacts charting the UK’s musical past with memorabilia, stage outfits, instruments, images and footage, it charts the beginnings, rise and influence of British pop from 1945 to the present day.

There’s plenty to see in their galleries and you can engage in their audio visual experiences and hologram performances. Plus, you can get hands on in their interactive zones including the Gibson Interactive Studio where you can learn to play guitar, drums or keyboards. Or dance your way through the eras in the Dance the Decades studio.

Central Library

Central Library Liverpool

Liverpool’s Central Library was remodelled and reopened in 2013 and is full of surprises. Check out their famous collections of rare books housed in the stunning Hornby Library and Oak Room, as well the impressive Picton Reading Room. You can also study their rare archives from the 13th century to the present day which tell Liverpool’s story.

FACT

FACT is the UK’s leading organisation for the support and exhibition of art and film that embraces new technology and explores digital culture. They have two large art galleries, three cinema screens showing mainstream and art house films, a media and events space, a lab for learning and experimentation, a café and a bar.

The Anglican & Metropolitan Cathedrals

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

A visit to both the Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals is a great way to take in some awe-inspiring architecture, with plenty of features to explore in both buildings. The Anglican Cathedral, Britain’s biggest Cathedral and the 5th largest in Europe, is free to enter. You can also choose to do the the tower and audio tour which is highly recommended.

The Metropolitan Cathedral is steeped in history too. Beneath the Cathedral lies a unique opportunity to view one of the city’s greatest architectural gems, The Lutyens’ Crypt. And it’s no ordinary cathedral crypt; to many in the city this is Liverpool’s third cathedral, a secret spiritual space.

The Best Autumnal Walks Around The Liverpool City Region

The Best Autumnal Walks Around The Liverpool City Region

There’s just something about Autumn, with the changing leaves, the cool breezes, and all of the cosy contentment that comes with it. Getting out and enjoying the fresh air at this time of year also brings the added treat of the vibrant orange leaves crunching under foot. It’s a great time to get out and explore the city region in all of its multi-coloured glory. Here’s our pick of the best Autumnal walks around the Liverpool city region.

Sefton Park

Arguably the most popular park in Liverpool, playing host to major annual events such as Africa Oye, Sefton Park is a stunning Grade I listed heritage site, steeped in history and beautiful landscapes. You could easily spend a full day there, with something to do for everyone. Why not grab yourself a hot drink from the Aviary Cafe or Lakeside Cafe before setting off on your walk? Tick off the many statues and monuments as you go, and take in the sights of the caves, ponds and waterfalls, such as the iconic Fairy Glen. Don’t forget to take a stroll over to the Palm House, too, where there will likely be something going on that you can check out.

Croxteth Park

Situated at the opposite end of the city, Croxteth Park is another of Liverpool’s biggest outdoor spaces, boasting 500 acres of woodland and wildlife. Take your pick of the many paths and trails, where you might stumble upon horses and cattle. You could make this trip several times and each time have a different experience. Make sure you try out the different drinks and catering vendors; a particular highlight is the hot chocolate from Lola-in-the-Courtyard or Nutella-topped donuts outside of Croxteth Hall.

Calderstones Park

A visit to Calderstones Park in the autumn is an absolute must. Head over to the lake where you can feed the ducks and geese (if it’s not already frozen over, that is!) or take a walk through the Botanical Gardens featuring almost 4,000 species of plants. Take a break from your stroll and cosy up with a book at the Reader Cafe, where they serve up breakfast, lunch and desserts.

Dream Statue Loop, St Helens

Located on the former site of Sutton Manor Colliery, Dream is a 20 metre high sculpture designed by the world-renowned artist, Jaume Plensa. The site offers views across the Cheshire and Lancashire plains, out to the mountains of Snowdonia, the Pennines and the Peak District. The Dream Sculpture is a great day out if you enjoy walking as there’s some brilliant woodland trails to explore around the sculpture too.

Freshfield, Formby

This is a route that can be split into two, or joined together for one longer walk. Beginning at Freshfield Station, the first section is 3 miles long and takes you out to the coast following the Sefton Coastal Path. Absorb the views of the Mersey Estuary, Welsh Mountains and Irish Sea, before heading through the pinewoods where you can keep an eye out for Red Squirrels. The second section is 4.25 miles long and takes you through the countryside via inland Formby. Find the full guide and map here.

Hale Village

Take a round trip from Hale Village that follows the Mersey Way along the shore. Take in the sights of Hale Marsh, which is filled with wildlife, and the decommissioned Hale Head Lighthouse. Continue down the path that runs alongside the shore until you find yourself back in the village.

The Wirral Way Walk

The Wirral Way is situated within the beautiful Wirral Country Park. The route starts in West Kirby and runs through to Hooton along an old disused railway line. There are also stunning views over the Dee Estuary to Wales. The entire route is 13 miles but you can just choose to walk sections of the Wirral Way.

Festival Gardens

Festival Gardens is arguably the most unique of these spaces, with the addition of oriental gardens and pagodas. It is a tranquil space, set back behind rows and rows of trees. Why not park up in Otterspool and follow the promenade until you find the Festival Gardens.

Botanic Gardens

Another piece of history lies in the Botanic Gardens in Wavertree, that once played an important role in the recreational and cultural life of Liverpool Residents before World War II, when the great glasshouses were destroyed. There’s still plenty to admire here with the walled garden, the ornamental carpet bedding and the ornamental fountain, summerhouse, fishpond and aviary.

Celebrating A Decade of Dance: Liverpool Disco Festival 10 Preview

Liverpool Disco Festival
© Photography by Hannah Barnes (www.hannahmetcalfe.co.uk)

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.

Liverpool Disco Festival
Saturday 19th August
Doors Open: 2pm – midnight
CONTENT, Cains Brewery Village, Stanhope St, Liverpool, L8 5XJ
Tickets and info at: https://www.skiddle.com/g/liverpooldiscofestival/

Interview: Rea Fortis

Rea Fortis Interview
Rea Fortis

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.

Follow @reafortis on Instagram for updates.

You can book tickets for Rea Fortis’ Audiovisual EP Launch at FACT here.

Stream the EP ‘Where Are Your Gods Now’ from 2 August via Spotify.

Jah Wobble At The Tung Auditorium: Preview

The legendary and groundbreaking Jah Wobble will play a special show at Liverpool’s Tung Auditorium on Saturday 15 July.

Jah Wobble To PlayTung Auditorium - Liverpool Photo Credit - Alex Hurst
Photo Credit: Alex Hurst

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 Wobble Chinese Dub Special, Featuring Tian
15 July, 7.30pm
The Tung Auditorium, Liverpool
Tickets

Get Into A Rhythm With These Dance Classes In Liverpool

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.

Dance Classes in Liverpool - Sole Rebel
Sole Rebel

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!

Sole Rebel

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

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

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

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

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.

 

To find more creative workshops, classes and events check out our What’s On Listings section.