Russell Watson performs at Music on the Waterfront

Events success for city

Liverpool’s 2013 events programme has already been hailed a huge success, attracting around 600,000 people.

The city has hosted five large-scale events so far this year:
• In Other Words festival – 23 April to 19 May
• Re-opening of Central Library – 17 May
• Battle of the Atlantic (BOA) 70th Anniversary commemorations – 24 to 28 May
• Albert Dock 25th birthday – 31 May to 2 June
• River Festival/Music on the Waterfront – 7 to 9 June

BOA – which Liverpool led the national commemorations for – was the most attended event so far this year with 300,000 visitors. River Festival and Music on the Waterfront saw 125,000 head to the waterfront, and in its first month of opening, Central Library has welcomed a massive 100,000 visitors.

Retailers and tourist attractions also reported a massive boost in visitor numbers during the events.

• Both Liverpool ONE and City Central BID reported the BOA weekend as their busiest retail days so far in 2013.
• BID (which covers areas such as Church Street, Williamson and Clayton Squares) also saw a dramatic rise, recording more than one million visitors, compared with 600,000 during the same period in 2012.
• Liverpool ONE, which hosted free live music on Chavasse Park as part of the commemorations, saw a 33 per cent increase in footfall.
• The Albert Dock saw a 145 per cent increase in visitors over the BOA weekend (more than 100,000 people).
• Visitors to the Merseyside Maritime Museum more than trebled – welcoming 10,424 people during the Saturday and Sunday.
• On average the Museum of Liverpool welcomes between 4 – 6,000 visitors. During the Saturday and Sunday there were 15,701 visitors.

River Festival/Music on the Waterfront
• River Festival attracted more than 100,000, and Music on the Waterfront saw 25,000 descend on the Pier Head across the weekend.
• The Albert Dock reported an 82 per cent increase in footfall – more than 80,000 people.
• Merseyside Maritime Museum saw 6,195 visitors and 7,692 to the Museum of Liverpool on the Saturday and Sunday.

Albert Dock 25th birthday
• There was a 20 per cent increase in the number of visitors – more than 45,000.
• Merseyside Maritime Museum saw 4,304 visitors and 7,256 to the Museum of Liverpool on the Saturday and Sunday.

Central Library
• The library saw 17,000 visitors on its first day. This has now increased to 100,000 in the first month.
• 27,408 items have been issued, nearly 12,000 IT sessions have taken place and 4,284 new members have signed up. 
• Central Library’s archives are also proving very popular with 1,610 archives issued and more than 200 enquiries already logged with the team.

John Whaite hosts Tea at the Town Hall as part of In other Words festival

• Organised in partnership with Writing on the Wall, this was the city’s biggest ever literary festival with more than 350 events, 88 venues, 85 organisations and 72 authors involved. 
• The event attracted 22,000 people.


Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “It’s hard to believe we’re only half way through the year and we’ve already had an enormous number of high calibre events.

“These latest statistics once again reemphasise the importance of culture and how Liverpool thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the leading cities when it comes to putting on high-quality, free events.

“We work closely with partners across the city, and the outcomes really are a win-win situation for everyone.  These events will have brought millions into the local economy, supported jobs which is extremely valuable in this current climate, and, importantly, brought a feel-good factor to the city.

“I want to thank all those responsible for working so hard and making these events such a success – here’s to the next six months!”

Events still to come in 2013 which are organised by or supported by the city council include the Liverpool International Music Festival which runs from 18 August until 22 September (information and ticket booking at, Pride, Brazilica, the Irish Festival, Halloween Lantern Carnival and fireworks at Sefton and Newsham Park on 5 November.

What they say:

Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development for Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), which encompasses the City Region’s official Tourist Board, VisitLiverpool, said:
“Events play an integral part in the success of the destination’s Visitor Economy and attract local people and visitors from across the region, country and beyond – which is demonstrated by these encouraging figures. The destination has become well renowned for staging national and international events – and a hugely successful events programme for 2013 continues to further build on this reputation. Visitors not only enjoy the events and fantastic atmosphere they provide, but they also experience the shops, restaurants, bars and hotels – which results in a positive economic impact for Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy.”

Peter Cronin, Director of Development and Marketing for Albert Dock Liverpool, said:
“Battle of the Atlantic, On The Waterfront and Albert Dock’s 25th birthday celebrations saw huge crowds enjoying the waterfront animation. We are always proud to work with the City to promote cultural activity, as it brings real return for the Dock businesses and attractions.”

Ged Gibbons, Chief Operating Officer for City Central BID, which represents 630 businesses in the retail heart of Liverpool city centre, said:
“Liverpool is fortunate to have a brilliant team of people working behind the scenes to pull together its world class events programme. The benefits of such large scale events like the Mersey River Festival ripple right through the city’s economy and also serve to strengthen and promote the city’s appeal as an amazing destination to visit and enjoy.”

Donna Howitt, Liverpool ONE Marketing Director, said:
“We are committed to providing a varied experience for our customers and our schedule of events and enlivenment throughout the summer means that there is always something to enjoy. A strong citywide events programme means that we as a city can work together to provide an outstanding experience for visitors, and as we can see, it’s working.”

Dr David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool said:
“Events such as The Battle of the Atlantic commemorations mean a lot to the people of Liverpool, and they draw huge crowds to the Waterfront. We’re always delighted that the Museum of Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum are part of such commemorations. Liverpool’s museums, like the City Council, are part of the fabric of the city, and we must be in tune with what local people think.” 

Jeremy Roberts, Chairman of the Albert Dock Tenants Business Association, said:
“The first quarter of this year has been record breaking for many of our tenants here at Albert Dock.  In its 25th year of regeneration it is positive to see such results at the Dock which will be further boosted by our fantastic summer events programme and the ongoing work with our waterfront partners, making Liverpool the premier tourist destination it is.”

Liverpool City Council funds 47 cultural organisations including Tate Liverpool, FACT, The Bluecoat, Liverpool Philharmonic and the Everyman and Playhouse.  Funding also goes towards festivals such as Africa Oye and Brouhaha, which result in a year round offer of high quality events, exhibitions and festivals.

Liverpool Waterfront