Final plans are being put in place for Liverpool to stage an ambitious and forward looking culture programme to mark the tenth anniversary of its reign as European Capital of Culture.
Details of Liverpool 2018 – the year-long celebration of the city’s thriving creative scene – will be announced in January. This will be when the city gears up to once again step into the international spotlight and showcase its extraordinary culture offer, while looking forward to the next decade of cultural innovation.
A number of major projects within the programme have already been announced including:
China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors – coming to the UK for the first time in a generation
The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the nation’s premier Beatle group The Bootleg Beatles are teaming up again for a special performance which also marks the 10th birthday of the Echo Arena
The Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta linking Liverpool, Dublin and Bordeaux on 25 – 28 May
The finale of the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race which is set to race back onto the Mersey in late July
The Clothes Show which returns to the city for a second year from 19-21 October
Tate Liverpool’s 30th anniversary programme including an Egon Schiele retrospective
Liverpool Biennial’s 10th edition presenting leading visual artists from across the world takes place over 15 weeks
Rewire – A major new art and technology commission led by FACT with Invisible Flock, working with artists from across the globe and communities in Toxteth
Alongside this, Liverpool 2018 will also showcase premieres across the worlds of entertainment and sport, new major public artworks, some extraordinary one-off music moments and four artistic seasons each bursting with new commissions exploring:
China Dream – showcasing the best of modern Chinese culture
The Future World of Work – what does this mean for society
The Art of Football – the global relationship with the beautiful game
Nineteen Eighteen (working title) – the centenary of the end of the First World War
The city’s unrivalled festival offer – from Africa Oye and Liverpool International Music Festival right through to Milapfest – will mark the year with some of their most ambitious line ups ever, while brand new music events – including a piano festival like no other – will reinforce Liverpool’s position as a UNESCO City of Music.
To add to that, the team behind Liverpool 2018 can reveal plans for Easter Fire – a collaboration with renowned live event creators Walk the Plank. Easter Fire at St George’s Hall will take place during the Easter holidays, creating a world of fire, entertainment and gastronomy. Famous for their spectacular live performances, Walk the Plank are promising to create a unique experience in one of the hidden gems of the city. Tickets for the event and further details will be available from Friday 8 December.
Mayor Joe Anderson OBE, said: “European Capital of Culture was an extraordinary year for this city, but it was never just about 2008 – it was about the legacy that followed.
“Culture has been the backbone of Liverpool’s renaissance over the past decade, and Liverpool 2018 is a chance for us to recognise the growth in confidence, ambition, creativity and cultural engagement which is seen in every corner of Liverpool – putting us quite rightly as a cultural exemplar on a national and international stage.
“Liverpool 2018 is an opportunity for us to once again roll out the red carpet for people to come and visit for the first time, or to rediscover what we believe is the most exciting destination in the UK.
“Some of the projects which we will be announcing in the New Year really do raise the bar and it will be an incredible time for residents and visitors who will undoubtedly travel from across the world to experience how Liverpool puts on a show.”
Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said: “The City Region Combined Authority is delighted to be supporting Liverpool 2018 with £5 million from our Single Investment Fund.
“It will kick-start a new cultural journey for the whole of the city region and it is my ambition that all areas feel the same benefits as Liverpool has done in the last decade. This region is blessed with a huge depth of talent and it is our job to provide the platforms to showcase that creativity and encourage participation. I was Lord Mayor in 2008 and saw first-hand the impact celebrating culture had on people and communities.
“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.”
Claire McColgan MBE, Liverpool’s Director of Culture, said: ‘Liverpool has been defined by culture for centuries, from our incredible architecture and galleries to major live events which turn the city into a playground. It is the most powerful way to tell our story across Europe and the world, and is central to the image of modern Liverpool.
“The last decade has seen such incredible growth in our cultural scene, it is right that we use this anniversary to celebrate the extraordinary organisations which make this city the most exciting in the UK, but also it is crucial that we use it as a chance to look forward to the next ten years and challenge ourselves to imagine what we might look like and can achieve by 2028.”
John Wassell from Walk the Plank said: “We worked on the opening event of European Capital of Culture and have watched on admiringly as Liverpool’s cultural sector has grown from strength to strength ever since. Walk the Plank perform all over the world, and Liverpool’s name is synonymous with ambitious cultural events wherever we go, so it’s exciting to return a decade since we were last here and to bring something never seen before as part of this truly bumper year!”
The official launch of the first half of the programme will be made on 11 January 2018, ten years to the day since the ‘People’s Opening’ which launched European Capital of Culture in 2008.
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.