Positive Vibration (8 & 9 June) – This award winning celebration of reggae music and Jamaican heritage will take place in the Baltic Triangle, playing host to internationally renowned bands, The Art of Reggae Exhibition, a special Q&A session, workshops, a record fair and lots of tasty Caribbean food and drink. www.posvibefest.com
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (5 – 15 July) – Celebrating its 20th anniversary, LAAF will enjoy an enhanced programme which will see a wealth of globally-renowned artists from the Arab world delight audiences throughout its 2018 edition. The festival will open with performances from Bachar Zarkan, Emel Mathlouthi with a DJ set from U-Cef and a co-headline gig featuring 47SOUL and TootArd, who will be joined by Jacques Malchance for a special DJ set. Even more exceptional musical talent will bring LAAF 2018 to a close, with performances at LAAF’s Family Day from Simona Abdallah, Simo Lagnawi & Gnawa London and the London Syrian Ensemble featuring special guest vocalist Osama Kiwan. www.arabartsfestival.com
Brazilica (12-14 July) – The UK’s biggest celebration of Brazilian Culture will take place on the Per Head, with an extra special carnival parade on Saturday 14 July. There’s a packed programme of fringe events, films and exhibitions, with highlights including the internationally acclaimed Brazilian singer Agathe Irecima and the raw carnival energy of Muntchako from Brasilia. www.brazilicafestival.co.uk/brazilica-2018
Liverpool Biennial 2018 (14 July to 28 October) – As part of the citywide exhibition Beautiful world, where are you?, Ari Benjamin Meyers is creating a special film installation featuring four famous Liverpool musicians. The film ‘portraits’ tell Liverpool’s musical history, representing its major musical movements while relating back to the city’s industrial past. The project will be presented on the stage of the Playhouse theatre as an immersive installation. www.biennial.com
International Weekend of Wellbeing (15 & 16 September) – Run by The Comedy Trust, this weekend will see Liverpool’s St George’s Quarter become a celebrity-endorsed hub for a cutting-edge and compelling conversation on mental health and wellbeing. High profile appearances from star comedians will sit alongside health professionals from the international community, along with performances, Q&A’s, panel discussions and debates. www.thecomedytrust.com/international-weekend-of-wellbeing
Liverpool Mental Health Festival 2018 (10 – 14 October) – Liverpool Mental Health Consortium present a programme of free events bringing together arts and mental health in creative ways, including: an extravaganza of music, dance and spoken word, with acts including David Hoyle, Nachda Sansar, Bring the Fire Project, Liverpool Comhaltas, Kasai Masai and Barbara Brownskirt; a Film Night featuring short films by local film-makers, plus ‘Adult Life Skills’; ‘The Art of Falling Apart’ art exhibition; ‘Feel Good Friday’ – including yoga, drumming, music, dance, capoeira, parkour, open studio, Baby Book Club and information; ‘Articipation: a Wellbeing Forum for the Creative Industries; ‘TranScripts’ – a showcase by local Trans writers. www.liverpoolmentalhealth.org/liverpool-mental-health-festival
INDIKA (17 October – 3 November) – Organised by Milapfest, this is the largest festival of classical and contemporary Indian music and dance in Europe. In a huge coup, it will feature three world premieres, taking place in venues across the city it will feature international musicians and dancers, including flautist Pravin G, and stunning dance artists Abhimanyu and Vidha Lal. www.milapfest.com/indika
Liverpool Irish Festival (18 – 28 October) bring Ireland and Liverpool closer together through arts and culture. #LIF2018 is proud to welcome Deborah Frances-White’s The Guilty Feminist to the city for the first time ever (Liverpool Playhouse, 2pm, 20 Oct) as well as world music music spectacle KÃla (Arts Club, time TBC 19 Oct). www.liverpoolirishfestival.com
LEAP Dance festival 2018 (2 -12 November) – MDI presents its annual festival in a new time slot marking the dance company’s 25th birthday. The festival’s theme is Suffrage, commemorating 100 years since some women won the right to vote, and will look at how the power to bring about change inspires us. It will feature work by some extraordinary female choreographers and performers and will predominantly take place under one roof at The Creative Campus and Capstone Theatre, supported by Liverpool Hope University. The festival will close at The Epstein Theatre with Fagin’s Twist presented by award winning dance company Avant Garde for a unique production inspired by Oliver Twist – creating a new female protagonist. www.mdi.org.uk
DaDaFest International (November) – This innovative and cutting edge disability and D/deaf arts organisation hosts this critically acclaimed and award-winning festival every two years. The festival showcases high quality and exciting work in key arts venues across the Liverpool city region which challenge stereotypes and celebrate disability and D/deaf cultures. www.dadafest.co.uk
Food for Real Festival: Winter Solstice (21 December) – on the shortest days of the year join in with SQUASH, Liverpool’s socially-engaged art and food enterprise. Come celebrate and reflect on community, nature and wellbeing through new music, live tree-planting, ritual, fire and food. www.squashliverpool.co.uk
Writing on the Wall – Liverpool’s longest running literary festival took place in venues across the city for the month of May, bringing together writers, performers, journalists, poets, novelists, activists, commentators, broadcasters, academics and communities in a radical programme of work exploring the theme Crossing Borders. With 42 events, an array of guests took part including Carmen Bugan, Mourid Barghouti, Marcello Di Cintio, Chuma Nwokolo, Stephen James Smith, Benjamin Zephaniah, Robert Webb, Richard Blair (George Orwell’s son) and Beatrix Campbell. Nearly 13,000 people took part in this year’s indoor and outdoor activities, making it one of its most successful festivals to date. www.writingonthewall.org.uk
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This city has an extraordinary cultural scene and our grassroots culture organisations do incredible work in ensuring we have an enviable annual events calendar.
“When we were planning our European Capital of Culture tenth anniversary celebrations, we were not only committed to attracting new events to the city this year, but we also wanted to shine a light on the creativity which takes place here on a regular basis.
“The extra funding has allowed these local businesses to build on what are already established and popular festivals and activities, helping them to raise the bar and hopefully attract more awareness and even bigger audiences.
“Each of the 13 organisations have amazing, diverse programmes which are thought-provoking, entertaining and boundary pushing – things Liverpool are renowned for. I wish all of them luck with their events and I look forward to being part of as many of them as possible.”