Thousands of visitors will descend on Liverpool this May to experience Light Night – Liverpool’s one-night arts and culture festival.
On Friday 17 May over 50 of Liverpool’s acclaimed arts & heritage venues will throw open their doors until late for fun-seekers of all ages.
Visitors can expect spectacular light projections, interactive street theatre, a candle-lit labyrinth, architecture tours, open studios, live music, hands-on art workshops and so much more, for free.
In addition LOOK/13, Liverpool’s biennial International Photography Festival, will launch across the city on Light Night with multiple exhibitions and events exploring identity, subjectivity and the self; asking the question ‘who do you think you are?’
A special highlight of Light Night this year will be the celebratory public re-opening of Central Library, which has been undergoing restoration for more than two years. To mark the completion of the work on the Grade II listed building, the city will host In Other Words – a festival which will celebrate all things connected with the written and spoken word.
The Queen Mary 2 will be visiting the city on Light Night; described as ‘the most magnificent ocean liner ever built’ visitors can see her all day until she leaves at 5pm when they can start their own Light Night trail around the city from Liverpool’s famous waterfront.
This year, Open Culture is encouraging the public to vote to bring two extra special events to the city for Light Night; Liverpool Cathedral and the Victoria Gallery & Museum have been chosen by two highly acclaimed international artists Matt Collishaw and Susan Forsythe as part of the national Connect10 competition.
Matt Collishaw, a key figure in the Young British Artists (YBA) movement, has shortlisted Liverpool Cathedral to create a dramatic human zoetrope on Light Night. A zoetrope is a Victorian invention that produces the illusion of motion from the rapid succession of static pictures. Collishaw has taken the device to another level by scaling it up and adding 3D elements as seen in his monumental ‘Magic Lantern’ at the V&A. If Liverpool Cathedral wins the public vote Collishaw will create his first ever human zoetrope in the city.
Victoria Gallery & Museum have been shortlisted to work with artist Susan Forsyth to bring her unique ‘Zusammen choir procession’ to Liverpool for Light Night. Everyone will be invited to take part in the musical procession which will incorporate swing band Big Band, Malaysian drumming group 24 Festival Drums and the Capoeira Dance da Liberdade, who would add Brazilian flair. The songs will reflect the history of the university and the diverse cultures represented by students, staff and the local population.
Charlotte Corrie of Open Culture, the Light Night coordinators said: “Putting the Light Night programme together is always very exciting. This year is particularly special as two of our great Liverpool venues have been shortlisted in the national Connect10 competition. We’re encouraging the public get behind them and vote to make sure the artists come to Liverpool; both events would add something truly extraordinary to Light Night. So please get voting now!’
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Light Night has become a popular event in the city’s events calendar and each year more and more people take advantage of the fact they can celebrate Liverpool’s phenomenal cultural offer late into the night.
“This year is particularly special as the 17 May marks the re-opening of the much loved Central Library. After more than two years of intricate redevelopment, this city gem will open its doors for the first time, giving everyone the chance to see its dramatic and beautiful transformation.
“It’s a landmark date for the library and it’s wonderful that being part of Light Night means that visitors will have until midnight to enjoy spending time in one of the most modern and impressive libraries in the country.”
The Connect10 competition is part of the Museums at Night initiative when galleries and museums around Europe open late, staging special events and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.