Liverpool unveils spectacular programme of events to mark 10 years since it was Capital of Culture

Liverpool City Council has revealed a list of more than 40 events and festivals taking pace throughout 2018 including ‘firsts, one-off spectacles and some returning, crowd-pulling favourites’. Tony McDonough reports

The Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum will be one of the 2018 highlights


A huge programme of events has been unveiled to celebrate the 10 years since LIverpool was European Capital of Culture.

Liverpool City Council has revealed a list of more than 40 events and festivals taking pace throughout 2018 including “firsts, one-off spectacles and some returning, crowd-pulling favourites”.

As well as the published programme Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson says there will be more announcements in the next few months  about “an epic family festival, a huge sporting spectacle, a massive musical moment, a major public art project with one of the world’s leading artists and a hotly anticipated return”.

The events unveiled today, most of which will be free, will bring together international artists, performers and homegrown talent. And four seasons – China Dream, Brittle Heart, The Art of Football and The Future World of Work which will inspire different ways of thinking about ideas, people and places.

The City Region Combined Authority is supporting Liverpool 2018 with £5m from the Single Investment Fund.

Mayor Anderson said: “Capital of Culture marked the start of something special, and 2018 feels like another watershed year in the history of Liverpool.

“The next 12 months will recognise the extraordinary cultural scene which takes place in this city day in and day out. There will be some incredibly special moments to look forward to.”

Some of the highlights of the programme include:

  • China Dream Season (February to October) – Against the backdrop of the breath-taking China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum, Liverpool will be embracing its Far East links with a special China season. Throughout this time some of the best artists, musicians and performers from China and the UK will present work in the city. The season is in three chapters themed around Chinese New Year, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Moon Festival.
  • Rapid Response Unit (from the end of February) – This major international project will see a specially created ‘newsroom’ open in the city centre, with well-known artists, musicians and performers from across the world taking on the role of reporters.  Working with organisations and communities in Liverpool they will create brand new work inspired by what’s making the headlines around the globe each week. 
  • Brittle Heart – Season (November) – A season of work to commemorate both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One as well as women’s right to vote, will look at the world a century ago and aim to draw comparisons with 2018 and the future.  The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hannover NDR Philharmonic, under the baton of Andrew Manze, are joining together to mark this significant historical anniversary with their choirs and an international soloist line-up.
  • Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta & The Bordeaux Wine Festival (May 25-28) – Linking with Dublin and Bordeaux, Liverpool will play host to the starting leg of the Regatta across the bank holiday weekend. Elegant Tall Ships will line the River Mersey, and areas along the waterfront will pay homage to fellow port hosts – Dublin and Bordeaux.
  • Lost Castles (August) – Liverpool will welcome French artist Olivier Grossetȇte – renowned for creating extraordinary structures out of cardboard – he will work with communities to recreate some lost castles from across the city region in the exact places they once stood. Across a weekend in August, these structures will become magical venues for performances and events to take place.
  • The Future World of Work Season – With studies suggesting that in 20 years’ time, half the jobs in the region may no longer exist. In 2018 the future of work will be the inspiration behind a whole season. FACT will lead on a series of artistic commissions linked to this big question which will take over the city centre and work alongside the International Business Festival and UNIGlobal (who represent 20m workers worldwide), to bring some of the biggest and best thinkers to the city to tackle this idea.
  • The Art of Football Season (June 14 to July 15) – To coincide with the FIFA World Cup, throughout June and July a series of works will be commissioned which have football at their heart. They will explore the concept of ‘fandom’, challenge stereotypes and look at the impact of football on fashion, music, politics and society.
  • Festival Boost – Liverpool has an incredible annual events calendar, and as part of 2018, 14 festivals including Africa Oye, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, LEAP and DADA Fest will be given additional resources.

All of this builds on the incredible programme already released including China’s First Emperor & the Terracotta Warriors, Feast of Fire at St George’s Hall, Liverpool International Music Festival, the finale of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, 20th anniversary of Liverpool Biennial, 30th anniversary of Tate Liverpool and the return of The Clothes Show.

Claire McColgan, director of Culture, added: “As a city we are committed to investing in culture and the arts, and I think that Liverpool 2018 perfectly encapsulates why we have done that. What is planned for this year showcases the scale of our innovation and ambition

For more information on already released projects go to

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.