Culture means business

Liverpool will show leaders from the world of commerce and industry that culture is big business in the city.

An eclectic cultural programme featuring 27 new commissions will run throughout the International Festival for Business (IFB) in June and July.  The new events are a mixture of original initiatives and enhancements to existing projects and include everything from unique concerts and street performances, right through to virtual book fairs and even a special caravan where businesses can create their own jingles.

The aim of the programme is to showcase to delegates and visitors, Liverpool’s ability to host high quality, cultural events which attracts renowned artists, and at the same time, makes the city a global leader in arts and culture.

Some of the programme highlights include:

  • RLPOMondrian And His Music – This unique collaboration between Tate Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will see a series of free concerts take place in the Wolfson Gallery on 7 and 8 June, as the orchestra celebrates the spectacular fusion between art and music.  They will perform pieces inspired by the vibrant work of Mondrian whose own love of jazz influences some of his most iconic paintings.
  • The Sample-ist – A team of creative scientists will set up camp in the city centre and use human voice samples to construct a bespoke jingle for businesses which have sent in their mission statements in the lead up to, or during, IFB.  The final product (which will take around 30 minutes to make) will be uploaded onto a website for the business to share.
  • One World Festival – Centred on bringing together the community, this event will showcase diverse musical and dance performances, bringing unique sights, sounds, tastes and cultural variety from the world’s continents.
  • Working Lives – Here and There – DaDaFest plan to curate a high quality photography exhibition capturing positive images of disabled people at work.  The aim of the work is to dispel myths that disabled or deaf people cannot thrive in the business sector.  The exhibition will be held in a pop-up gallery within Liverpool’s Commercial District.
  • Virtual Book Fair – Writing on the Wall will look to bring together publishers, writers and readers for the city’s first ever virtual book fair. It will include keynote speeches as well as opportunities for writers to share their experiences and their work with a virtual audience.
  • Gianni Russo – It’ll be like Old Blue Eyes is back in town as Static Gallery proudly present an evening with the sensational Gianni Russo. The singer, who is also known for his role in The Godfather, will perform a Frank Sinatra set.
  • Infecting the City – This large scale event will take place in a city centre location on Friday 11 July and will see 200 dancers, musicians, carnivalists, acrobats and circus performers come together in a performance never before seen in the UK.  Brought to the city by Brouhaha, it will mark the beginning of their carnival weekend which aims to bring the sights and the sounds of Rio to Liverpool.  
  • Summer Music at St George’s Hall – The stunning Concert Room at St George’s Hall will be the glorious setting for performances by Liverpool PhilharmonicBrazillica hits the city streets throughout June and early July.  Chief conductor Vasily Petrenko will kick-off the series of concerts which will climax in a full production of Mozart’s opera Cosi fan tutte – this is the first time a full opera production has taken place in the Hall since Emilia di Liverpool was performed as part of the city’s European Capital of Culture year in 2008. The orchestra will be joined by the Liverpool based European Opera Centre who choose their singers from the very best talent around Europe. The Orchestra will also perform a concert under the baton of Petrenko in the magnificent Liverpool Cathedral.
  • Brazilica – Working in partnership with Liverpool Sound City they aim to ‘Brazilify’ the city centre with pop-up carnivals and costume showcases in unexpected locations.

Liverpool City Council’s Assistant Mayor and cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This will be the most extensive cultural programme, and the most significant cohesive collaboration between cultural, creative, business and visitor economy organisations and agencies, since we were Capital of Culture in 2008.

“Once again our arts organisations have done us proud in helping create a series of events and activities which are high quality, diverse, thought-provoking and entertaining.

“It is all about giving our home-grown talent the opportunity to reach their full artistic potential and produce things which are exceptional.

“Tens of thousands of business people will be arriving in the city during June and July and it’s a prime opportunity for the city to showcase why we have an exceptional reputation when it comes to culture and events.

“And of course the climax of the programme will be the return of the giants, which just goes to show the gigantic scale of the city’s ambitions and the value we put on culture and the economic benefits it brings to Liverpool.”

Nick Birkinshaw, the IFB Cultural Programme Co-Ordinator, said: “The programme is a real feast of festivals, exhibitions, art events, theatre shows, music in all genres, dance, film, new media, street art, flash mobs and creative conversations.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage delegates and visitors to experience the melting-pot that is Liverpool’s cultural scene, and see first-hand the exciting, dynamic creativity which thrives in this city.”

The cultural programme is continually being developed and many dates and venues are still to be confirmed, so visit for the latest event details.

All 27 organisations who will put on new commissions for the IFB Cultural Programme:

Tate Liverpool, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sample-ist, Milap, DaDaFest, Brouhaha, Unity Theatre, Africa Oye, Fallout Factory, Brazilica, Open Eye Gallery, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Homotopia, Liverpool Film Office, Metal, Tristan Brady Jacobs, Urban Canvas, Static Gallery, Open Culture, One World Festival, Polonia, Sola Arts, Pagoda Youth Orchestra, First Take, The Sound Agents, The BlackE/China Pearl/Windows Project, Writing on the Wall.

What some of those involved in the programme say:

Andrea Nixon, Executive Director, Tate Liverpool: “We’re thrilled with the support from IFB and the drop in Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra cushion concerts are the perfect way to celebrate the opening weekend of our summer exhibitions, Mondrian and his Studios and Nasreen Mohamedi. As well as beautiful yet informal events, working with IFB gives us an opportunity to appeal to a different audience and we look forward to welcoming new visitors to the gallery.”

Michael Eakin, Chief Executive Liverpool Philharmonic: “Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to be working in partnership with Tate Liverpool in providing the musical upbeat that responds to and celebrates Mondrian’s work and influences as an artist. These free concerts, along with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer series of concerts and chamber music recitals in St. George’s Hall Concert Room, and a concert in Liverpool Cathedral are part of a superb cultural programme at the heart of the city for the start of the International Festival for Business.  We look forward to welcoming delegates to the city for Festival, national and international visitors along with local residents to enjoy it.”

Garth Dallas, Managing Partner, One World Festival: “As the world of business converges on Liverpool for the International Festival for Business they will be treated to an explosion of cultural performances and entertainment by world-class artists from One World Festival, Liverpool. We are honoured to have been chosen to contribute to such an historic event and we will certainly make Liverpool proud by the sheer brilliance of our cultural programme.”

Mike Morris, Project Manager for Writing on the Wall: The issue of digital print is a key issue for business, both within the world of literature and publishing, but also now extending outside those boundaries and crossing over into the world of gaming. The virtual book fair will help participants discover new ways of writing and working, with the opportunity for networking and the potential for future collaborations.

Maeve Morris, from the Liverpool Carnival Company: “Liverpool Carnival Company and the team who deliver Brazilica are delighted that this year’s event is to be part of the official culture programme for the International Festival of Business. Brazilica has always attracted visitors from far and wide as well as local people and we think being a part of this exciting and prestigious festival for the city will attract even more of a diverse audience for us and in turn showcase Liverpool’s eclectic cultural offering to visitors and delegates.”

Paul Sullivan, Director of Static Gallery: “I am very proud that Gianni Russo, such a significant figure in movie history, has agreed to travel to Liverpool and perform his now legendary Frank Sinatra set as part of the International Festival for Business programme”

Ruth Gould, Artistic Director of DaDaFest: “We are delighted to be holding a photography exhibition titled ‘Working Lives: Here and There’ featuring a snap shot of disabled or deaf people at work.  We are working with photographer and DaDaFest patron, Mike McCartney who will not only take an image or two of working Liverpool people, but will also help select the final images from our contacts in other countries across the world.  It is important that we put across positive images of disabled people in employment using the arts to help educate, inform and celebrate during this amazing opportunity presented by the IFB”

Max Steinberg CBE, chair of IFB 2014: “The International Festival for Business provides a unique platform to showcase Liverpool’s diverse cultural offering as well as attracting international talent. Tens of thousands of delegates are expected in the city region during the festival and the backdrop of outstanding art, music and theatre will enhance the experience for those who attend IFB as well as attracting thousands of others. It’s another opportunity to drive the city region’s reputation as a cultural capital and a must-visit destination.”

More about the International Festival for Business

The International Festival for Business is a 50-day business festival hosted in Liverpool city region during June-July 2014. It will be an ambitious global showcase for great British industry across multiple sectors and will champion UK businesses to new markets, new products and new partners.

Comprising over 100 world-class events, the festival is a key part of the Government’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020.

Backed by UK Government, IFB 2014 will cast a light on the spheres of commercial endeavour that are transforming the new economies and business landscapes of Britain and beyond.

Key themes of the festival include: manufacturing, science & technology; maritime, logistics & energy; knowledge, professional & financial services; higher & further education & research; low carbon & renewables; cities, enterprise & urban business; knowledge, creative & digital.

For more information, go to You can follow IFB on twitter @ifb2014.

Liverpool Waterfront