European culture anniversary is a
10 years since the game changing year as
European Capital of Culture, Liverpool is marking the milestone with a programme
of exciting, inspirational and thought provoking projects which will shine an
international spotlight onto the incredible cultural hub this City has become.
Bringing together international artists, performers and home grown talent which
has emerged over the last decade, more than 40 events and festivals will take
place in and across the City Region, including:- firsts, 1 off spectacles and
some returning, crowd pulling favourites.
Alongside this, there are 4 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 majority of events will be free.
The announcement taking place on 11 January 2018, is exactly 10 years since The
People's Opening of European Capital of Culture
2008 took place and brings
together music, sport, ships, the best of Chinese art, great food and drink and
even some cardboard box sculptures!
Although inspired by the huge success of 2008, Liverpool 2018 is focused on the
renaissance which has transformed the region over the past decade, and looks to
position culture and creativity at the heart of all aspects of the City.
Some of the highlights of the announcement 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.
Some events which are part of these chapters are:-
► Presence - A Window into Contemporary Chinese Art, 9 February to 3 June.
This brand new contemporary arts exhibition
located in St George's Hall will showcase some of the best Chinese artists
working today including:- Yan Zing, Cao Fei, Sun Xun and Luke Ching. The artworks
belong to the New Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art, part of the University
of Salford Art Collection, and is the first time this work has been displayed
► Jian Wang cello with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 8 February
and 9 February.
Famed Chinese born cellist Jian Wang (born in Xi'an where the Terracotta
Warriors were discovered) performs with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra, conducted by Julian Rachlin. He will bring his special brand of
poetry to 2 of Tchaikovsky's mini masterpieces, Variations on a Rococco Theme
and Andante cantabile, in a concert which includes Beethoven's revolutionary Eroica symphony. The Orchestra welcomes back Chinese virtuoso pianist Zhang Zuo,
and there's a Liverpool debut for China's leading conductor Long Yu later in the
China Dream season.
► Chinese New Year 2018, 16 February to 18 February.
Light, projections, firecrackers and sound will take over Chinatown, Berry
Street, William Brown Street and Bold Street in a celebration of the
relationship between Liverpool and China, using the voices and stories of young
Chinese people living in the City.
Artists and organisations including:- Illuminos, Pagoda Arts, First Take, CooL and
Kazimier Productions will use the City scape as their canvas to present a story
of modern China in the UK. The City will be dressed for the festival from the 8
February to 28 February, with traditional Chinese Lanterns, lighting and digital
projections with activity taking place across this period with traditional
performers from Hung Gar Kung Fu.
The festival will end on Sunday evening with a lumiere showcase followed by a
► 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. The project opens in late
February and is being curetted by filmmaker and journalist Mark Donne and
independent producer Eddie Morgan.
► Brittle Heart Season, November.
A season of work to commemorate both the 100th Anniversary of the end of the
'1st World War' 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 armistice
commemoration will be led by a unique collaboration between the orchestras of
two UNESCO Cities of Music in a performance of Britten's War Requiem.
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. They will
perform Britten's great work, which uses texts from World War One poet Wilfred
Owen. It will take place in the awe inspiring setting of Liverpool Cathedral, on
10 November (the day before Remembrance Sunday), preceded the week before, with
a performance in Hannover's Grosses Sendesaal Concert Hall.
► 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.
► 3 Festivals Tall Ships Regatta and The Bordeaux Wine Festival, 25 May to 28 May.
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. As part of this, the world's leading wine event
Bordeaux Fete le Vin (The Bordeaux Wine Festival) will be located in Liverpool
while the Tall Ships are in the City. Perfect for food and wine lovers, this
ticketed event will bring the very best of France's food and drink to the Pier
Head and is the first time the prestigious event has ever come to the UK.
Renowned artists Faith Bebbington, Lulu Quinn, Wired Ariel and Luke Jerram will
be presenting new commissions as part of the Tall Ships festival.
► The Feis Liverpool, 7 July.
A brand new annual event celebrating the best of Irish culture is coming to the
City, bringing with it some of the biggest names in contemporary and traditional
Irish music. The Feis (pronounced 'fesh') will be a multi stage event taking
place on the Liverpool Waterfront, and is being organised by Vince Power and Jona Cox. Vince founded the famous Fleadh and Feis Festivals which ran for 21
years in:- London, Glasgow, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Tickets
will go on sale, on 26 January 2018.
► Smash the Keys, 20 September to 30 September 2018.
Throughout 2018, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic will be celebrating piano
music with their Art of the Piano programme. This will culminate in a CCity wide
celebration of all things piano. From 20 September to 30 September, Smash the Keys will be a
music festival focused on a single instrument with performances from artists
covering the worlds of jazz, pop, classical, grime, swing and hip hop. Expect
unique performances in unexpected places and the re-emergence of pianos in pubs.
The festival will launch with the first post-competition public performance from
the winner of the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition 2018,
performing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko. It will also showcase the extraordinary talents of Emmy nominated
piano duo, Anderson and Roe.
► The Future World of Work Season, May to July.
With studies suggesting that in 20 years' time, ₤ 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 20 million workers
worldwide), to bring some of the biggest and best thinkers to the City to tackle
Kazimier Productions will explore what changes in work will mean for the way we
spend our spare time in a new project called Leisureland. Previously announced
project RE:WIRE will see FACT and Leeds based Invisible Flock work with local
communities to take over Toxteth Reservoir and explore the relationship between
technology and the changing climate.
► The World Boccia Championships/Rugby League Test match, over August and November.
Sport and Liverpool go hand in hand, so it's fitting that in a year of firsts
the City welcomes the hugely popular World Boccia Championships to be hosted at
Exhibition Centre Liverpool in August. While in November, Anfield will stage the
2nd test of the England v New Zealand Rugby League series.
► The Art of Football Season, 14 June to 15 July.
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 to enable these cherished events to
present some of their most eye catching and ambitious line ups to date.
All of this builds on the incredible programme already released including:-
China's 1st Emperor and 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.
And there's still more major highlights to come.
In the next few months, expect huge announcements including an epic family
festival, a huge sporting spectacle, a massive musical moment, a major public
art project with 1 of the world's leading artists and a hotly anticipated
Mayor Joe Anderson OBE said:- 'The last 10 years have been an amazing
success story for this City. Capital of Culture marked the start of
something special, and 2018 feels like another watershed year in the history of
Liverpool. Initially this year's programme was called Eighteen for 18, but it's
grown so much over the past year that there are now well over 40 events taking
place which is indicative of the scale of the ambition and creativity which runs
through the veins of this region. 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 and Liverpool
will once again be in the spotlight as a national and international cultural
The City Region Combined Authority is supporting Liverpool 2018 with ₤5 million
from the Single Investment Fund.
Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:- "Liverpool
City Region is proud to support this ambitious plan for Liverpool 2018. As
Lord Mayor during the most successful ever European Capital of Culture
programme, I know how important culture has been to driving our renaissance as a
City and City Region. I very much look forward to another outstanding year of
culture that will hopefully enrich and improve the lives of all who live and
visit here. So many of these projects will attract audiences, not just from our
own City Region, but from across the UK and the globe. Liverpool 2018 is
about showcasing our inexhaustible capaCity for creativity and innovation.'
Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture said:- '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; setting us apart from other
Cities and helping us continually use culture to attract visitors, investment
and create and maintain jobs. Without doubt, Liverpool is the most exciting City
in the UK and in 2018 it's the place to be if you want to experience something
special. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council for
their support, making a number of the 2018 projects possible.'
The 'GREAT' Britain campaign is an official partner of the Liverpool 2018
programme and will use its impressive reach across the tourism, culture,
investment, export, trade and education sectors to promote Liverpool's programme
and position it as a must visit destination with unforgettable experiences,
breath taking landscapes and iconic attractions.
Other partners and supporters already committed to the project include:- HSBC, Hotel.Planner.com, Arts
Council England in a year when Culture Liverpool will be
joining their National Portfolio, University of Liverpool, the Business
Improvement District, ACC Liverpool, Liverpool ONE, Albert Dock Liverpool,
Merseyrail, Merseytravel, CREART and Global Radio.
For more information on already released projects and to help plan your visit to
Liverpool go to:-