Music and culture: what’s on in liverpool this summer

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Liverpool rightfully earning the title of the European Capital of Culture. To celebrate, Liverpool is hosting  a wide-range of  exciting musical and cultural events. With so much going on, there is something for everyone this summer – from  festivals in the beautiful Sefton Park to wine tasting on the scenic waterfront. Here are some dates for your diary…

Smithdown Road Festival (5th to 7th May)

Smithdown Road Festival is returning this May bank holiday weekend. Over 180 bands will be performing on a huge outdoor stage at The Mystery Park (Wavertree Park), and a further 15 indoor venues on Smithdown Road, including: The Handymans, Craft Taproom, Evil Eye, and Naked Lunch. The event will also feature a street food market, pop-up cinema, and a range of comedy and theatre performances. The line-up includes Krafty Kuts, Beardyman, Silent K (featuring Dave McCabe from the Zutons!), as well as the University of Liverpool’s very own phytopharmacology lecturer, Carl Roberts, with his band, Gintis!

Although the festival is completely free, it will be raising money for the Whitechapel Homeless Centre. So, head down to Smithdown Road, listen to great music, eat delicious street food, and donate money to a worthy cause. Find out more here.

Sound City (5th and 6th May)

Celebrating its 11th year, Liverpool’s Sound City festival is returning to the city centre across several incredible venues within the Baltic Triangle, such as: Constellations, Baltic Market, Hangar 34, District, Black Lodge Brewery, and Tap & Still. This year’s line-up features over 250 bands and performers, including: Peace, DMA’s, Sunset Sons, Idles, Superorganism, and many more. Weekend and day tickets are available here.

Bordeaux Wine Festival (25th to 28th May)

This May Bank Holiday weekend, Liverpool is host to Bordeaux’s finest export during the Three Festival’s Tall Ships Regatta. The Fête le Vin in Bordeaux is known as the greatest European wine event, attracting thousands of wine lovers to Bordeaux’s famous riverfront. Now, for its UK premiere, the festival is heading to Liverpool’s equally beautiful World Heritage waterfront.

The event will be hosted in specially created Vins de Bordeaux Pavilions and will feature over 65 wines from Bordeaux. The Bordeaux Wine School will give you the opportunity to experience the diversity of the wines – red, white, rosé, sparkling and sweet. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours here.

Baltic Weekender (1st to 4th June)

After their sell-out debut festival last year, 24 Kitchen Street and Abandon Silence are returning with the Baltic Weekender for 2018. The event is taking place on the last weekend of the academic year – what a great way to celebrate!

Taking place across a range of venues in the rapidly-evolving Baltic Triangle, the event features a range of artists, such as Kenny Dope, MoStack and Helena Hauff (with many more still to be announced). Partnered with club nights such as Born Slippy, Boogaloo, Worried About Henry, and The Wonder Pot, it’s bound to be a great weekend. Full weekend and day tickets are available, but are selling fast so be quick and buy them here.

Africa Oyé (16th and 17th June)

The wonderful Africa Oyé Festival is back again for its 26th year! The festival is the largest free celebration of African music in the UK, attracting over fifty thousand people each year to Liverpool’s Sefton Park.

Africa Oyé celebrates African music and culture, with artists from Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. And if the incredible music isn’t enough to tempt you, there are over 40 stalls to explore, giving you the chance to taste the culinary delights of Africa and delve into the fashion and art of Africa. I can’t think of a better way to embrace the 10-year anniversary since Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture – and it’s all free!

Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) (21st and 22nd July)

Liverpool’s International Music Festival is returning to Sefton Park once again. There will be four music areas across the park, with headliners including Example, Basement Jaxx, Aurora and Hacienda Classical. Though the festival has been free in previous years, you now need to buy day tickets in advance – but for just £5 per day, you can’t really complain! Have a look at the full line up and get your tickets here.

Liverpool Pride (28th and 29th July)

Last year, Liverpool celebrated its biggest ever turnout for Pride and this year is expected to be even bigger! Liverpool Pride originally formed in 2010 in response to the horrific murder of a young gay man, Michael Causer. Since then, the festival has continued to raise awareness of LGBT+ lives and combat homophobia and transphobia.

The festival will be held at St George’s Hall and St John’s Gardens (next to Lime Street station). The event is free, and everyone is welcome to celebrate the freedom to love who we love and be who we are. Find out more here.

Terracotta Warriors (Now until October 2018)

The Terracotta Warrior exhibition has been described as one of the biggest exhibitions Liverpool has ever hosted, with people travelling from all over the world to see it. The Terracotta Warriors were discovered in 1974 (by chance) at the burial of Qin Shi Huang – China’s First Emperor. The underground army of life-sized warriors guarded the tomb of the Chinese Emperor for over 2000 years.

Liverpool is home to one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe,  making it the best city to host the army of Terracotta Warriors. The exhibition will feature 180 artefacts, including some of the Terracotta Warriors and a life-size terracotta horse. You can buy tickets here.


It’s no surprise Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture – what a city!

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