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Signatures Liverpool: A Liverpool Festival Guide for 2018

Liverpool is a city that is recognised for its musical heritage and each and every year the list of events celebrating that heritage gets bigger and bigger. We have put a guide together that includes, not just every Liverpool music festival but any Liverpool festival taking place in the city during 2018.

From popular annual dance music specials like Creamfields to cultural arts celebrations like the Arab Arts Festival, there’s something in the Liverpool festival calendar for everyone.

Check out our jam-packed Liverpool festival line-up here.

May

Smithdown Road Festival

When: 5th – 7th

Where: Smithdown Road various venues

Now in its fourth year, the Smithdown Road festival is back and better than ever.

Expect to see tonnes of talented acts take to any of the 15 indoor stages at popular venues like Belzan, Evil Eye and Naked Lunch. Or catch some sun at either of the two huge outdoor stages hosting headliners like The Lancashire Hotpots, Bristol’s Beardyman and The Hushtones.

The entire event will be catering to people of all ages and a dedicated children zone will help the little ones enjoy the day as much as the adults. There will be crafts, sing-along sessions and the chance for the tots to have a go at making their own music.

With so many more acts and an amazing line-up including Stealing Sheep, Turbowolf and Ukebox, those who love their music will have a blast at Smithdown Road this May Bank holiday.

Sound City

When: 5th – 6th May

Where: Baltic Triangle

 

Taking to pastures a new for 2018, Sound City is a Liverpool festival that supports fresh talent by giving them a platform to perform in a city that lives for music.

The line-up this year includes acts from all over the world. From brand new performers who are still studying their craft in college to those who have smashed onto the gig scene and will be making appearances at UK festivals all year long.

Sound City acts are taking over the Baltic Triangle on 20 stages across the city’s most popular arts and social district. Every genre of modern music imaginable will be on display as well as some tasty food at the Baltic Market and specialised drinks to keep the party going.

The weather is set to be a scorcher so what are you waiting for get your tickets booked to Sound City 2018.

LightNight

When: 18th May

Where: City centre

For one night only Liverpool will light up in a celebration of the city’s art and culture.

All over Liverpool, a long list of venues will play host to art installations, live performances, street theatre, live music and much much more. LightNight 2018 invites people to come and explore the city in a new light in-keeping with this years theme; Transformation.

The work on show will challenge the big changes in our world, from the political and personal to the visible and invisible, change is all around us and the pieces of work on display during LightNight will help answer questions or reflect on the things we can do to better the world.

As the city darkens on the 18th May, Liverpool museums and cultural venues will stay open past their hours to partake in LightNight as part of the national festival of arts and cultures.

Come and explore Liverpool from a different viewpoint during the most visually stunning Liverpool festival of 2018.

Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta

When: 25th – 28th May

When: Albert Dock / City Centre /Pier Head

Two popular Liverpool festivals and a new addition from France will make up the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta.

Join in a blend of celebrations from three different cultures from three different port cities each with their own a rich heritage and interesting maritime past.

The Irish Folk Festival will take place on Albert Dock bringing with it a collection of live Irish musicians, dance workshops and performances and traditional Irish food and drink.

Pier Head will play host to the Bordeaux Wine Festival which is the most popular event of its kind from across the channel. This amazing event will be welcomed with open arms by food and wine lovers of Liverpool and will invite the public to taste some of France’s most delicious delicacies and wonderful wines.

The last festival of the three celebrates Liverpool in all its glory. Expect to see beach huts with miniature mechanical theatre performances inside, life-size sperm whales with tales of the sea to tell and a host of daring circus acts flying through the skies of Mann Island.

As well as all these exciting events the main show will be a fleet of tall ships making their way majestically up the Mersey River and performing races and water ballets for all to see.

Come to Liverpool and immerse yourself in the culture of the sea to learn more about the traditions of three ancient seaports at the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta 2018.

Classicsfest Baltic Street Party 

When: 26th May

Where: Constellations Terrace/ Warehouse / Hangar 34

Coming to three different venues in the popular Baltic Triangle, Classicsfest is a Liverpool festival made for dance music lovers everywhere. Big acts like Robin S, Sonique and 2Funky2 will be pumping out the tunes to keep people dancing in the street from dusk till dawn.

The worlds most successful vodka brands will be providing the lubrication for Classicsfest and local superstar DJ’s Lee Butler and Mark Simon will be keeping the party going into the small hours of the morning.

So get your dancing shoes on and snap up one of the last few tickets to Classicsfest 2018.

June

Baltic Weekender

When: 1st June

Where: Baltic Triangle

Following last years sell out success, the teams at 24 Kitchen Street and Abandon Silence are adding another fabulous Liverpool festival to the already stacked annual calendar.

The Baltic Weekender line-up will knock the socks off of festival goers for three days of the finest house, techno, grime and bass music known to man.

This years lineup includes Mostack, Mike Skinner, Tom White and the one and only Kenny Dope. So if you are into your dance music and are ready to rave the weekend away, The Baltic Weekender is where you need to be.

Positive Vibration

When: 8th – 9th June

Where: Baltic Triangle

A very popular Liverpool festival and winner of Best New Festival in 2016, Positive Vibration Festival of Reggae does exactly what it says on the tin.

From the very best live Reggae music line-up with acts including the legendary Misty in Roots who has been rocking the reggae stages of the world since the 70s or Baked Ala Ska who do covers of well-known tracks in their own unique ska sound.

As well as awesome reggae music there will be a Jamdown Market selling everything from Jamaican style food and drink to clothing, jewellery, artwork and records. There will even be a vibrant Art of Reggae Exhibition where collectors can pick up a piece of colourful artwork to brighten up their homes.

As part of the Positive Vibration festival, experts and contributors of the Reggae industry are on hand in person doing live Q&A’s helping people understand the impact that Reggae music has had on UK culture. The Positive Vibration Festival is an all round feel good experience not to be missed this summer.

Africa Oye

When: 16th – 17th June

Where: Sefton Park

A Liverpool festival that is now considered an institution for the city and a must-attend summer event, Africa Oye brings a slice of tropical paradise to the stunning Sefton Park at the start of summer.

Coming together are acts and artists from all over the world bringing with them the traditional sounds of African and Carribean music.  The event has become a beacon that supports and promotes multiculturalism and tolerance to its audiences in a fun and vibrant fashion.

Attendees can enjoy this free festival and experience a new world of wonderful music alongside a huge selection of vendors bringing a variety of traditional African, South American and Carribean street food and drinks.

People of all ages are welcome to attend this amazing Liverpool festival, with dedicated kids areas that give little ones the chance to hear stories from different cultures, get hands-on with traditional arts and crafts and develop their dance skills with interactive workshops.

A fun and free day out for the whole family and a very popular Liverpool festival that does great things in the multicultural community.

Liverpool Calling

When: 22nd – 23rd June

Where: City Centre and the Baltic Triangle

Bringing some of the countries freshest and most exciting musical talent to public audiences all over the city, Liverpool Calling is another fantastic Liverpool festival that nurtures and encourages the advancement of young musicians.

Starting out with a few gigs in the Bombed Out Church, the crowds have since expanded to fill two venues last year and now audiences cant be contained in just one space.

First, the cities most popular live music venues will play host to a variety of bands, solo performers and musicians. Places like The Jacaranda and EBGBS, who already contribute to the thriving live music scene in Liverpool, will fill with people, performers and live music from dusk till dawn.

The following day of Liverpool Calling will take place in Baltic Triangle where Constellations stage will become a haven of fresh folk music talent and Leed’s own Pulled Apart By Horses will be headlining the main stage.

Liverpool Calling is bringing talent and music fans together for one awesome Liverpool festival this year in some of the city’s best loved music venues.

Liverpool Gin and Disco Festival 

When: 30th June

Where: The Cunard Building

Gin and Disco go hand in hand, as in one hand is doing the night fever move and the other is cupping a large glistening glass of Gin and Tonic.

Music will include chart-topping disco hits from way back when with a splash of funk and a dash of house music.

The entire event will be taking place inside one of Liverpool’s most iconic riverfront properties, the Cunard Building, giving attendees the chance to check out a piece of Liverpool’s maritime legacy as well as kick up their heels and tip up their glasses.

July

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 

When: 5th – 15th July

Where: Liverpool city centre

Celebrating 20 years of Arab culture in Liverpool, this year the Arab Arts Festival has put together another exciting programme filled with art, literature, music, film and theatre that will inspire and educate residents and visitors to Liverpool about Arabic traditions.

As Liverpool celebrate 10 years since being awarded Capital of Culture, the Arab Arts Festival will be pulling out all the stops welcoming international superstars to the city such as Emel Mathlouthi and Hip-hop sensations 47SOUL.

The festival will recognise acts from Syria and a group of former African slaves in a bid to illustrate the resilience of Arab culture. Events will commence on the 5th of July and spread across the city until the 15th, showing up at prominent venues like Sefton Park’s Palm House and Constellations in The Baltic Triangle.

This Liverpool festival gives people a chance to sample Arabic traditions, experience the wonders of Arabic art, music and food and enjoy the multiculturalism of Liverpool.

Brazilica

When: 14th July

Where: City centre

Liverpool as a whole will be marking the 10th anniversary of Capital of Culture Year this year and city celebrations will be in full swing come summertime.

One event that is sure to brighten up the year is Liverpool’s Brazilica Festival, a full-on carnival explosion that fills the city’s streets and all its major venues with colour, sparkle and sequins.

Taking everything that makes Brazil beautiful and bringing it to audiences all over the city Brazilica is a fantastic Liverpool festival that envelopes the city with street parades, samba processions and live music in the city centre as well as interactive workshops, exhibitions and club nights.

Summer is coming and it’s samba dancing its way into Liverpool this year with Brazilica Festival 2018.

Liverpool International Music Festival

When: 21 – 22nd July

Where: Sefton Park

A landmark Liverpool festival that always delivers an unforgettable musical experience and is only getting better with time, LIMF is returning to Sefton Park again and bringing with it a remarkable line-up of top quality musical acts.

This year big names are headlining the main stages, the brilliant Basement Jaxx, the excellent Example and top of the tops Trevor Nelson, each performing their own unique sounds upon the stages of Sefton Park.

All three main stages will be filled with household names and unheard of, but equally amazing musical acts for a two-day Liverpool festival you just don’t want to miss.

Bring the family along for a fun-filled day of great music and enjoy local food and drink vendors providing tasty treats to nibble on throughout the day.

Liverpool Craft Beer Expo

When: 26th – 29th July

Where: Invisible Wind Factory

Not all festivals are all about the music this year, some can focus on otherworldly delights such as the amazing Craft Beer Expo taking place at a new venue in Liverpool this year.

If you like your beer (and let’s face it in the summer who doesn’t enjoy a cool refreshing pint or two?) then the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo is a must-attend for you this summer.

Try a huge list of craft beers, with over 300 to choose from, sup from the cider truck or grab a goblet at the dedicated Gin Bar.

Live music will be playing all day long from bands to top DJ’s and you can satisfy your appetite at the street food market selling a variety of handheld goodies suitable for all diets.

This is a Liverpool festival dedicated to celebrating ground-breaking breweries all over the UK who are adopting innovative techniques on a mission to create the perfect beer and you can help them by testing what they’ve come up with so far.

Liverpool Pride

When: 28th – 29th July

Where: City centre

There is no better Liverpool festival to attend than Liverpool Pride. This is an annual event that sweeps the city and wraps everyone up in a rainbow of colour and happiness.

Helping to combat issues such as homophobia and transphobia and inspire the city to celebrate diversity and individuality in everyone, Liverpool Pride starts with a parade and ends with a city-wide street party that carries on until the sun rises the following day.

Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ community and its supporters come together under one rainbow banner and raise awareness of the changes that still need to be made in our society as well as celebrating those that already have.

Join in the annual Pride March in memorial of Michael Causers anniversary and then party with the city in a celebration of Pride as local and national acts perform live to entertain the crowds in venues all over Liverpool.

Dress to be seen and expect nothing but love and great fun at this years Liverpool Pride.

August

Creamfields

When: 23rd – 26th August

Where: Daresbury

The greatest dance music festival in the UK returns to Daresbury Park this August bank holiday weekend.

Expect thrilling fairground rides, stunning stage set-ups, amazing marquees and of course the return of the legendary Steel Yards arena. The team at Creamfields provide everything you need from on-site pharmacies and camp stores to beauty parlours and glitter shacks.

Feeling peckish? Grab a bite to eat at any of the fabulous food vendors dotted around the Liverpool festival site. Chow down on anything from larger than life kebabs and vegan-friendly delicacies to fruity smoothies and Portuguese chicken, it’s all there all day, all night and all delicious.

Campsites range from your average festival facilities of portaloos and showers to the more luxurious Dreamfields where elegant shacks have been erected for your all your glamping needs.

Spend a long, hot weekend in August dancing, riding fairground rides and getting glitter makeovers at Creamfields 2018.

Folk on the Dock 

When: 25th August

Where: Albert Dock

If you love the sounds of strumming guitars and whimsical vocals then Folk on the Dock is the Liverpool festival that is right for you.

Everything from sea shanty classics from the Liverpool Sea Shanty Festival, celebrating the city’s associations with the sea, to all the UK’s top folk music favourites will be performing across three stages and three venues in Albert Dock over August bank holiday weekend.

Over 80,000 fans of folk music poured into Liverpool in 2016 to enjoy folk music in one of the worlds most historic port cities. One of the largest tourism events in the city, Folk on the Dock has given folk music fans from all over the country a place to gather and celebrate their love of traditional folk music.

And there you have our jam-packed guide with every Liverpool festival worth attending in 2018. Everything from all-night raves to daytime family-friendly events has been included in our guide to every Liverpool festival taking place in 2018.

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About Laura Bowery

Laura is a creative writer who has an interest in all types of artistic expression, be it food, music, fashion or art and she enjoys sharing those interests through her writing

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