City region visitor economy roars back in 2022

A host of exhibitions, new theatres, sporting firsts and festivals will see Liverpool city region’s visitor economy come roaring back in 2022 – see the full list here. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Cathedral
Space, The Universe and Everything, will be hosted at Liverpool Cathedral. Picture by Gareth Jones


A host of new events and attractions will help the Liverpool city region visitor economy recover from the turbulence of the pandemic in 2022.

In 2019 the tourism and visitor sector was worth around £5bn a year but was badly shaken by COVID-19. Now a series of must-see exhibitions, new theatres, sporting firsts and festivals will offer a dynamic reboot for the region.

Marketing Liverpool, the city region’s destination marketing organisation, has announced some of the highlights of the city region’s events programme for the year ahead. They include the opening off the new Shakespeare North Playhouse and Eureka! Science museum and the Taste Liverpool festival and Turner Prize.

Cllr Harry Doyle, Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy said “Liverpool’s visitor economy experienced a really encouraging recovery in 2021 with a host of brand new attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants.

“And we’re building on that recovery with a fantastic programme of festivals, exhibitions and attractions in 2022. If you’re looking for travel inspiration, get ready to pack your bags and make sure Liverpool is on your list for 2022.”

The list so far is quite impressive with more events to be added in the coming months:

March 4: Liverpool doubles as Gotham City for The Batman 

In March 2022, Liverpool will take a starring role in The Batman as a double for Gotham City. With many scenes featuring iconic Liverpool locations such as the Royal Liver Building and St George’s Hall, it’s the perfect time to come to Liverpool for a film tour.

For his Gotham City, The Batman director Matt Reeves wanted to create “an American city you’ve never been to”. Step in Liverpool, the waterfront city in northern England more commonly associated with football and The Beatles.

Batman fans will see the city double up as Gotham throughout the 2022 blockbuster, with Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz filming at several of its most famous sites.

Watch the trailer for The Batman here.

February 18-27: Space, The Universe and Everything 

An immersive art experience, known as ‘Space, The Universe and Everything’ is set to transform the inside of Liverpool Cathedral with an extraordinary display of lights, projections and sound, which will see visitors surrounded by the awe-inspiring wonders of the universe as they walk through the building’s vast splendour.

Find out more about Space, The Universe and Everything here.

April 30 to May 1: Liverpool Sound City  

Liverpool Sound City is the UK’s leading independent festival for new music taking place across the city centre in some of Liverpool’s much loved music venues. The three day festival features some of the biggest up-and-coming artists and grassroots talent alongside a conference on all things music.

The first 15 names to celebrate 15 years of Sound City have been announced, as The Lathums take to the stage for their first ever headline slot at a major festival. With hundreds more acts to be announced, tickets are on sale for one of Liverpool’s biggest weekends in music.

Find out more about Liverpool Sound City 2022 here.

May 21 to August 29: The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics 

Step back in time to the Tudor court and discover the fascinating politics, powerful family connections and unique culture of the most famous royals in history at Walker Art Gallery.

Portraits on display will include the Tudor monarchs, alongside their counsellors and courtiers with some of the works having never been shown outside of London, including a portrait of Jane Seymour.

The exhibition will consider the Tudors from a range of perspectives, spotlighting some historically underrepresented aspects of the period including Black Tudor history and LGBTQ+ history.

Find out more about The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics here.

May 27 to October 30: Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder 

From epic monsters to costumes and props, science is brought to life exploring some of the Doctor’s many adventures and encounters through space and time in Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder at World Museum. This world premiere exhibition will see visitors engage with original artefacts, sets and much more.

Explore the past, present and future of the Earth and the vast reaches of the cosmos in this imaginative new exhibition, presented by Sarner International under license from BBC Studios.

Find out more about the Doctor Who: Worlds of wonder exhibition here.

June 2-5: Taste Liverpool 

A new food festival celebrating the people and food that make Liverpool one of the most exciting foodie destinations in the UK heads to the city on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations. More information to follow.

June 17-19: Sound City Presents: David Bowie World Fan Convention 

Coming to venues across Liverpool in June 2022, over the 50th anniversary weekend of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, an all-star line-up of David Bowie’s closest friends and collaborators will come together exclusively to celebrate the Man Who Fell To Earth.

Find out more about the David Bowie World Fan Convention here.

Summer 2022: The Shakespeare North Playhouse 

The grand opening of this new arts and culture attraction in the North, located in Prescot, Liverpool is just 10 miles east of Liverpool city centre. Prescot has a historic connection to William Shakespeare, through the support he received from the Earls of Derby.

Now, four-and-a-half centuries later sees the arrival of Shakespeare North Playhouse – at its core is a 350-seat theatre, a complete replica of the cockpit-in-court design popular during the Elizabethan era.

Alongside the theatre will be an outdoor performance garden, exhibition and visitor centre and educational facilities.

Find out more about the Shakespeare North Playhouse here.


Shakespeare North
The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot is due to open in 2022


October 15 to November 19: Rugby League World Cup 

For the first time, the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments in the Rugby League World Cup will take place together in 2022 and the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens has been announced as one of the host venues.

Find out more about the Rugby League World Cup here.

October 20 to March 19, 2023: The Turner Prize at Tate Liverpool 

Liverpool will also be living up to its reputation as a hub for contemporary art when it welcomes the Turner Prize, the most famous art award in the UK, which comes to Tate Liverpool at the Royal Albert Dock in October 2022.

Find out more about The Turner Prize here.

October 21 to November 6: River of Light Trail 

Liverpool’s River of Light, will return to the city’s waterfront next October for another celebration of light, sound and art. Showcasing installations from local and international artists, the concept, while largely under wraps, will link into the World Gymnastics Championships that takes place at the same time at the M&S Bank Arena.

Find out more about River of Light Trail from 2021 here.


River of Light will return to Liverpool in 2022. Picture by Ant Clausen


October 29 to November 6: World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 

More than 500 of the world’s best gymnasts from 75 countries descend on the M&S Bank Arena for the 51st FIG artistic Gymnastics World Championships. They will battle it out across a full range of artistic gymnastic disciplines, to be crowned world champion and qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Find out more about the World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 here.

Autumn 2022: Eureka! Science + Discovery  

Set to open in autumn 2022, Eureka! Science + Discovery will be one of the North West’s most innovative new visitor attractions and has been co-created specifically with and for children and young people aged six to 14.

Building on the award-winning approach of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Yorkshire, the attraction also features a dedicated area for the under-fives and will encourage today’s younger generations to explore and engage with the exciting science stories and challenges of today and the future.

Find out more about Eureka! Science + Discovery here.

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