1-31 May: WoWFEST, various venues around Liverpool. Writing on the Wall is Liverpool’s longest running writing and literary organisation, and this year marks its 20th annual festival. This year’s theme is ‘Where are we now?’, a potent and loaded question in our times. All sorts of events have been timetabled, from book launches to workshops, to Q&A sessions, to walking tours to conversations with all sorts of people on a multitude of different subjects. Contributors include Will Self, Helen Pankhurst, John Crace, Rita Tushingham, Mike Leigh, Staurt Maconie and Jo Brand. This year, the festival is encouraging attendees to bring donations for Fans Supporting Foodbanks, so take a tin or packet along to your event. Details of times, dates and ticket prices are available here.
3-5 May: Sound City, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool. The UK’s leading independent festival and conference return again. Sound City captures the vibrancy of the city with the unforgettable 3-day festival that sees established names perform alongside a constant stream of local, national and international emerging talent. After hosting the electrifying event for 11 years, and in 3 different continents, this year’s festival will, again, be returning to its roots, packing in the eclectic concoction of music into a range of venues around the Baltic Triangle. The full line up and information about tickets can be found here.
3-5 May: Gigs and Graphics, The Shed, Baltic Creative, Jamaica Street (inside The Baltic Roastery). Back again for its second year and running alongside Sound City (see above), G&G is a collaboration between a few local businesses and is a poster exhibition with live screen printing, video work, photography and record fair. Free entry.
4 May: Liverpool Health and Wellbeing Festival, Liverpool Hope Creative Campus, Liverpool. Following the successful festival last year, the Health and Wellbeing fest9ival returns, bigger and better. Throughout the day many local businesses will be showcasing healthy food, treats and juice and offering different health products and services, as well as free workshops and talks that you can join in or a get a feel for the Health & Wellbeing movement. From yoga to fitness, meditation to crystal therapy you won’t want to miss out. The full details will be released closer to the time. Tickets can be purchased here.
4 May: Introduction to Origami, Make Baltic, Parliament Street, Liverpool. During this three hour workshop starting at 12pm, Gillian will lead you through the basic folds of origami and introduce you to three designs, including the well-known Japanese paper crane. You will then be able to create your own origami arrangement, using a number of techniques to display your models. Tickets are £18 and can be purchased here.
From 6 May: Intro to Sewing: Make your own little black dress, Make Baltic, Parliament Street, Liverpool. In this course, you will create your own perfectly tailored, classic little black dress. Or, if you fancy something more colourful you can choose any colour or pattern so long as it is a suitable fabric. Over five weeks you will be taught tricks and professional techniques to ensure the perfect finish to your dress creating a garment that will be a long-lasting favourite. Runs on Mondays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm until June 3rd. Course price includes black material and use of sewing machines. Find out more and book here.
9-10 May: Beatles Memorabilia Day, The Beatles Story museum, Royal Albert Dock. Your annual chance to have your Beatles memorabilia appraised by experts. The event always throws up surprises, as people clear out houses and attics. The event runs on 10th May from 12pm to 8pm in the Fab4 Cafe in the Beatles Story. On 9th May, a very special auction will be taking place at 3pm. Held by Julien’s Auctions, this is the first auction of this nature at the museum. Titled ‘Music Icons: The Beatles in Liverpool‘, there’s sure to be something to interest fans and collectors alike. The auction will also be online at julienauctions.com.
12 May: RSPB Bird Watching & Nature Discovery Cruise, Mersey Ferries. Starting at 11am from Pier Head in Liverpool, this cruise is perfect for families, as well as new and experienced nature watchers. Over three hours, experts from the RSPB will be available to answer questions and help spot some of our amazing local wildlife. Previous cruises have seen long-tailed skuas, peregrine falcons, ospreys and Atlantic grey seals. Tickets are £16 for adults and £8 for children. More details and ticket booking can be found here.
17th May: LightNight, various venues around Liverpool. This year’s Lightnight theme, Liverpool’s most popular free one-night arts festival, is Ritual. All the museums and creative spaces will be keeping their doors open for a programme of special events. For one night only the whole city comes together to celebrate Liverpool’s creative culture after hours. The full timetable will be released nearer the time, but more information can be found here. Open Culture is also looking for volunteers to work on the night, more information can be found on the same link.
21 May: Fred Freeman lecture 2019: The reputation of philanthropy, past and present, Victoria Gallery and Museum. A special event hosted by the University of Liverpool. Two of the UK’s highest-profile experts in the field of charitable giving, Dr Beth Breeze and Emeritus Professor Hugh Cunningham, both of the University of Kent, will discuss the reputation of philanthropy. In their lecture, Beth and Hugh will examine how the points made against philanthropy in the 19th century are very similar to those directed to it in the twenty-first century and will ask how those findings relate to the role of philanthropy in today’s society. Following the lecture, which will be hosted by Professor Fiona Beveridge who is the Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, you are invited to take part in a Q&A session, before joining other guests for a drinks reception in the VG&M’s stunning Waterhouse Café. The lecture begins at 6.30pm, tickets are free, but you must register here to attend.
21 May: OVO Energy Tour Series, Hamilton Square. For the first time in a few years, Wirral becomes a host venue for the cycling tour series. Using a circuit based around Hamilton Square in Birkenhead, the team events will feature both men’s and women’s races. This is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the world’s top teams and riders. More details will be released closer to the time here.
25-26 May: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Liverpool. This increasingly popular event just gets bigger and bigger each year. Run the streets of Liverpool accompanied by local musicians and bands, whilst being cheered on by the many people who turn out to watch the run. Find out more and register to run here.
26 May: Meet the Orchestra! (a relaxed concert), Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The first ever relaxed concert held at Liverpool Philharmonic. ‘Relaxed concerts’ are designed with families in mind, with an emphasis on providing high-quality music, a safe and enjoyable environment, and support for audiences with a range of needs, including communication difficulties, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. Resources to help prepare for the event are provided, including music playlists, venue orientation sessions and video guides. Also supplied are easy-read programme materials, BSL interpretation and quiet spaces on the day, to ensure the perfect environment for all to enjoy the concert. Starts at 2.30pm, more information and tickets can be found here.
31 May-2 Jun: Bordeaux Wine Festival, Liverpool Waterfront. Come on a journey of Bordeaux discovery and treat your taste buds – from crisp Rosés through round Reds to sparkling Cremant – the best of Bordeaux’s diverse export will be available to enjoy. And in addition to your eight tastings, you’ll be able to purchase additional wine to savour at the festival. Part of River Festival 2019, an exciting programme of maritime entertainment will take place along the waterfront at the same time. Inspired by the city’s maritime history as an iconic Port with historic and contemporary trading routes, the three-day festival will celebrate the Port of Liverpool as an arrival and departure base for world-class culture, music, food, wine and art. Tickets and more details available here.
31 May-2 Jun: Southport Food and Drink Festival has been running for a few years and has established itself as one of the best food festivals in the North West. This year promises more celebrations of food, drink and everything related. Open 10-6 each day, entry is free.
1 June: Summer Arts Market, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The only place to pick up beautiful, unique work from the region’s best artists, crafters, designers and makers. In the aisles you’ll find thousands upon thousands of handmade artworks, creative crafts and design gifts from some 200 independent businesses including screen prints, paintings, intricate jewellery, tableware, beauty products, woodwork, colourful decorations, accessories, textiles, photography, knitwear and hand poured candles. All that plus an artisan food fair and vintage fair, and independent clothing designers too! Open from 10am to 6pm, entry for 16+ is £3 on the door, under 16s go free.
1-2 June: River Festival Liverpool. Once again, Liverpool celebrates all that is amazing around the city. From gigs to talks, art installations to maritime events, this family-friendly festival will appeal to all. Centred around the Royal Albert Dock and Pier Head, you can see the RNLI in action, or listen to the Splintered Ukes, or take in some beautiful boats. Of particular note is a talk to the backdrop of Luke Jerram’s Earth-Gaia by Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on 2nd June at 6.30pm. Tickets are sure to sell out quickly so get yours here.
From 14 June: Keith Haring, Tate Liverpool. The first, major UK exhibition of artist and activist Keith Haring (1958–1990). Visitors can enjoy more than 85 artworks including large, vibrant paintings, drawings and sculptures. A part of the legendary New York art scene of 1980s, Haring was a champion of his generation’s counterculture. He was inspired by graffiti, pop art and underground club culture. Haring worked with like-minded artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. All were interested in creating art for the many. They used new media and public spaces, not galleries to do so. On until 10th November, entrance is £12.50 or free to Tate members.
22-23 June: Africa Oye, Sefton Park. One of Liverpool’s favourite annual free festivals is back again. What started in 1992 as a small celebration of African music and culture is now the UK’s largest (and best!) African music festival. It also features artists from the Caribbean and South America. As well as gigs, there are stalls selling African crafts, arts, food and drink. 12.30pm – 9.30pm both days. admission free, definitely one for all the family.
29 June: Liverpool MakeFest 2019, Central Library. A free, family-friendly event celebrating all things ‘makey’ and ‘crafty’. Keep an eye on the website for details of this year’s event, but previous activities and exhibits included live glassblowing, gaming, facepainting, electronics, yarnbombing, lacemaking, laser cutting, coding, eTextiles, the list goes on and on. There are some paid workshops, where makers charge to cover the cost of materials, but entry and participation in the rest of it is free.
Would you like to see your event featured in the future? Do you know an event happening that we haven’t mentioned which everybody should know about? Then tell us! We try and pick a variety of events from a multitude of organisations across the city and beyond throughout the year. Send info and links to [email protected]. Thanks.