LightNight is back and in its eighth year! This one night only annual arts festival is an opportunity to see Liverpool in a new light (pun intended). With everything from large-scale light projections and live music to art, crafts and theatre, street performance, walking tours, dancing and late-opening exhibitions, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
The theme for this year’s festival is ‘time’… “the past, present and future, memory and the world we live in.” Use your time wisely this May 19th, and get involved! We’ve put together a list of events at our LJMU cultural partners and some general highlights, which we think you should check out…
Everyman & Playhouse
As well as the ticketed new Everyman Company play ‘The Sum’, there will be a free post-performance discussion at the theatre. Alongside the production, YEP and Bass Techs with be working with LJMU in Ev1 to create interactive installations linked to time, whilst Ev2 hosts an installation exploring the relationship between dementia and the passing of time. There will also be live music, storytelling and spoken word throughout the evening in the street café and bistro.
As if Liverpool Cathedral isn’t beautiful enough as it is, a number of musical celebrations at this year’s festival will completely bring it to life. On a journey through time, the evening will begin with a processional evensong by the Cathedral Choir (17:30-18:00), followed by several local community choirs taking us back to songs of time gone by (18:45-20:30), and eventually a run through the decades of music by DJ Greg Wilson (20:45-23:00).
If you don’t fancy exercising your vocal chords, you can enjoy making some noise through the fantastic music-making sculpture that is Illumaphonium (17:30-23:00). Taking place outside the Cathedral, this one-of-a-kind instrument combines music and light in a magical manner, and invites the people of Liverpool to create sweet sounds together.
Utilising the rest of the Cathedral space, will be The Handless Project; an event which comprises a public handwashing ritual in the Lady Chapel (17:00-17:45), a handwashing procession (18:00-18:20) and the Bedtime Stories installation in Chapter House (17:00-23:00). If you’ve still got any breath left in you from all the dancing and singing along, you can use the opportunity to head up to the Cathedral Tower up until 10pm. It’ll be the best vantage point to plan your route around the cultural sights of the city!
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
If you find yourself near Hope Street, why not call into the Liverpool Phil to hear some of the city’s best musical talent taking place all over the stunning art deco building. The Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company Ensembles will be in the Grand Foyer performing new works from the Rushworth Young Composers, and in the Hall the ‘Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir’ will perform a variety from Vivadi, Billy Joel and more; perfect for entertaining the whole family!
Don’t miss out on the newly built Music Room at the back of the Phil where the walls will be bouncing with one of the UK’s most recorded guitarists ‘Craig Ogden’ followed by ‘Rubber Duck Orchestra’, who will be weaving Balkan, Roma, Klezmer and Swing into an unabashed frenetic vibe. To finish, composer Jonathan Raisin will play ‘40 Time’ which will be a great opportunity to grab a drink and get some sneaky toe tapping on.
If you think that the only thing you’re going to get at TATE is some art, think again. Their ‘Past Times’ event will see a cocktail of art, music, food and dance. You can take part in crafts workshops, hear storytelling throughout the gallery and raid the dressing up box to get all dressed up. Finally there’s an art-inspired cake competition, so if there’s a little bit of Mary Berry in you, this event is for you!
Perfect for families, drop into the free Mad Science workshop exploring pendulums and time. Learn more about the first time-keepers and how they used periods of pendulums to monitor time which ultimately led to the first clocks being invented (18:00-20:00). Visitors are also invited to take part in Great Art Bake Off, a cake design competition where everyone can have a go at making a Picasso from pastry, a Matisse from macarons or a Bacon from buttercream. The theme for this year’s cake competition is ‘Time’ and all entrants are invited to display their creation where it will be judged by celebrity baker and Chef Dan Lepard (19:45-20:00).
Local band ‘Off the Grid,’ made up of three high school students who have been performing together for just one year, they have been invited to play at numerous folk festivals, have won Battle of the Bands contests and wowed audiences in Liverpool last summer as part of Folk on the Dock festival (20:00-21:30).
LJMU Mount Pleasant Campus
At LJMU, we are lucky to have so much activity on our very own door step. Now on the fourth year as principal sponsor of LightNight, the LJMU events, including exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences, promise to be the best yet. Here is a breakdown of some of the highlights to expect at each of the locations:
Aldham Robarts Library: The library will be showcasing some of its history in ‘University Life Yesterday And Today’. On display are some of the best collections from classic girl comics in ‘Girls Comics Through The Ages’ to Frankie Vaughan through to The Beatles Special Collections and Archives in the ‘Archives Discovery Tour’. Also, discover the wonders of 3D printing and make your own personalised star to take home with LJMU’s FabLab Team in ‘Stars of 3D Printing’.
John Foster Gardens: Check out the lovely green space leading into Aldham library with a commission by Jonathan Raisin – ‘Where Time Goes’. LJMU student dance performance ‘Trio’ will also be encouraging you to take a moment to reflect and step back from the bustle of LightNight.
Drama Theatre, Upper John Foster Gardens: LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute and the Department of Geography will help you gain new perspectives on how scientists work out how far away things are in space with the fun, interactive installation of ‘Time, Space And Climate Change’. Also expect immersive video, pop-up drama performances, short films, documentaries and poetry recitals from our very own ‘Liverpool Screen School Annual Degree Show’.
John Lennon Art and Design Building: There is too much going at JLAD to be able to list it all but here goes! Find out more about the history of the university as it celebrates its 25th anniversary with exhibition ‘The Story Of A Pioneering University’ or take a trip down memory lane and share your memories of working/studying at LJMU in the ‘Instant Exhibition’. Don’t miss the variety of dance performances from our very own home grown talent at LJMU with ‘Perception’, ‘Improvised performances’ and ‘Screen Dance’. After being mesmerised by all the movement activity, why not participate in the new experimental audio visual installation ‘Zugzwang’ by artists Logan & Wilcox which focuses on how participants can act as ‘conductors’ in a hierarchical system. If it gets all too much then take time out and have a coffee in the café area and look at the views of the gardens overlooking the city.
St. Georges Hall: There are three wonderful events taking place at neoclassical Hall:
-Bloom: 20 minute musical performances in the catacombs of St. George’s Hall.
-Ceilidh: Dance your socks off and learn some new (although very traditional) moves with the lovely live ceilidh band ‘Gallimaufry’!
-Duuome 360: MorestateLab brings a dome installation to the Concert Room, the inside of which is covered in sounds and visuals and open for people to wander around.
Bluecoat: Fancy a Selfie?: Go mad in the a costume workshop which takes you on a fancy dress journey through time (17:00-21:00).
Exchange Flags: Liverpool Samba School: Other than plenty of street eats from the best North West food locations, witness the Liverpool Samba School and Wirral Samba Drummers do their thing, and maybe have a little boogie yourself (21:30-22:15).
Williamson Square: Batala Mersey & the Anahis: Music, dance and incredible costumes – experience the carnival in Liverpool and watch it light up our very own Williamson Square (22:00-22:30).
There’s a lot to see – so get there early, and most of all… have a ball!