in 2018, Liverpool will celebrate its 10 year anniversary since being European City of Culture.

On 11th January 2008, Liverpool began it’s dazzling year as European Capital of Culture. Since then, the city has been on an incredible journey, a cultural renaissance of international significance. 

Smaller venues have evolved, grown and popped up all over the city becoming some of the biggest players in arts and culture. Our oldest and dearest have continued to shine, from St George’s Hall to the Cavern Club.

Exactly ten years ago, Liverpool once again becomes an epicentre of UK arts and culture. 

Tate Liverpool will turn 30, the Liverpool Biennial will celebrate its 20th anniversary and the World Museum will host one of the wonders of the world, the Terracotta Warriors. That's just some of the highlights, with more announcements on the way.

Here’s it all perfectly laid out. Dates, venues and ticket links 😊

1. China Dream Season
February 9 - October 2018
Multiple Locations / World Museum, St George's Hall, Chinatown

China Dream Season will encompass three main events celebrating Liverpool's relationship with China

This unique season of Chinese contemporary art will compliment the backdrop of ‘China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors’ taking place at World Museum. Throughout this season, Liverpool will embrace its Chinese links with some the best artists, musicians and performers will present work in the city. The season is in three chapters, themed around Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival and the Moon Festival.

1.1 Presence: A Window into Contemporary Chinese Art
February 8 - June 3
St George's Hall
Presence - Lu Xinjian, City DNA Salford and Manchester, 2016. Copyright Lu Xinjian. Photography courtesy of Art Labor Gallery, Shanghai

A brand new contemporary art exhibition located within the wonder of St George's Hall. This exhibition will showcase some of the finest Chinese artists working today including Yan Zing, Cao Fei, Sun Xun and Luke Ching.

1.2 Jian Wan cello with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
February 8 - 9 
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 
Jian Wang will visit Liverpol Philharmonic for a cello recital

Famed Chinese-born cellist, Jian Wang who was born in Xi'an, where the Terracotta Warriors were discovered - will perform with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets: TBC

1.3 Chinese New Year
February 16 - 18

The Year of the Dog will be celebrated across Liverpool's historic Chinatown

Light, projections, fireworks and sound will take over Chinatown, Berry Street, William Brown Street and Bold Street in celebrating Liverpool’s relationship with China, using the voices and stories of young Chinese people living in the city.

The city will be dressed for the occasion with traditional Chinese Lanterns, lighting and digital projections with activity taking place across this period with traditional performers from Hung Gar Kung Fu. Don’t miss the lumiere showcase and Pyro party on Sunday evening.

Tickets: N/A

2. Rapid Response Unit
Starting end of February
Rapid Response Unit will be a major real-time art project

This major, international project will see a specially created ‘newsroom’ open in Liverpool city centre. The newsroom will have internationally respected artists, taking on the role of reporters - working with local organisations to create brand new work, in real time, inspired by what’s making headlines around the globe.

Tickets: N/A

3. Feast of Fire
March 23 - 25 and March 30 - April 2
St Johns Gardens
Feast of Fire Liverpool is based on the European tradition of lighting bonfires over easter

Over the Easter period in 2018, St Johns Gardens will play host to Liverpool’s first European Fire Festival. Based on the North West European tradition of lighting bonfires over Easter, this new mini-festival experience will see visitors get up close and feel the heat of some spectacular flame fuelled sculptural installations. Set to a live performance soundtrack and artisan food and drink, this is a must see spectacle during the Easter break.

Tickets: Family £32, Adult £10.50, Child £7

Book tickets to Feast of Fire here. 

4. Tate Liverpool at 30
March 30 - September 23
Tate Liverpool - the Albert Dock

Tate Liverpool will celebrate 30 years since opening at the Albert Dock

A treasure trove of modern and contemporary art, Tate Liverpool is the big three o after 3 decades at the Albert Dock. In 2018, Tate Liverpool will celebrate its big birthday with two special exhibitions.

Ken's Show: Exploring the Unseen
March 30 - June 17

Since Tate Liverpool opened its doors in 1988, one man has been a constant, and that is art handling manager, Ken Simons. Over 15 million visitors have enjoyed his handiwork and now in 2018, Ken will cast his expert eye over masterpieces of the Tate collection, to create a bespoke exhibition of 30 artists’ work, just for the birthday.


Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/Francesca Woodman
May 24 - September 23

In 2008,Gustav Klimt’s exhibition drew crowds in their tens of thousands. Now in the centenary year of (Gustav Klimt protege), Egon Schiele’s death this exhibition will explore motion in drawing and photography. Rarely-seen drawings by the Viennese artist will be on display at the gallery paired with works by the American Photographer, Francesca Woodman. Like Schiele, Woodman created daring images using the naked form.


5. Future World of Work
May - July
Various Locations
The Future World of Work will look at the future of jobs in the region and UK

With studies suggesting that in 20 years’ time, half the jobs in the region might no longer exist, a major focus of work in 2018, will look at what the future of work means. Local organisation, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) will take the lead on a series of thought-provoking artistic commissions which will take over the city centre and work alongside the International Business Festival happening at ACC Liverpool 12 - 28 June. Local arts organisation, Kazimier Productions will explore what changes in work will mean for the way that we spend our spare time with a new project called Leisureland. RE:WIRE will see FACT and Leeds based Invisible Flock work with local communities to take over Toxteth Reservoir and explore the relationship between tech and climate change.

Tickets: N/A

6. Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta joined by Bordeaux Wine Festival
May 25 - 28
Liverpool Waterfront / City Centre
The tall ships will be joined by European wine Festival, Bordeaux Fete le Vin

Liverpool will be transformed into three cultural festivals - Liverpool Festival in the centre of the city, Irish Festival at the Albert Dock and Festival le français at the Pier Head - or ‘French Festival.’ Joining this, will be the most celebrated wine event in Europe, Bordeaux Fete le Vin - perfect for food and wine lovers, this event will be held in Liverpool while the Tall Ships are visiting.

Tickets: N/A

7. The Art of Football Season
June 14 - July 15
The Baltic Triangle

Sport doesn’t stop at Boccia and Rugby League in 2018. Oh no, we’re not missing out on what’s on our doorstep and what Liverpool is world renowned for, to coincide with the FIFA World Cup, June and July will see a collection of works commissioned that have the beautiful game at heart. The works will explore the concept of ‘fandom’, challenge stereotypes and look at the impact football has on fashion, music, politics and society.

Tickets: N/A

8. Africa Oye
June 16 - 17
Sefton Park
The UK’s largest free celebration of African music, takes centre stage at the sprawling Sefton Park for its 26th year.

It’s back! The UK’s largest free celebration of African music, takes centre stage at the sprawling Sefton Park for its 26th year. Over the years, Africa Oye as hosted artists from across Africa to South America and The Caribbean. The festival encompasses all five senses. Smell and taste the culinary delights of African foods, touch and feel by getting involved in arts and crafts and feel amazing in the fashion of Africa with over 40 stalls to explore.

Tickets: N/A

9. The Clipper Race Finale
The Waterfront / the Albert Dock 
The Clipper Race will return to Liverpool in 2018 - IMG by Pete Carr

In July, Liverpool will welcome back the intrepid amateur adventurers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, 11 months after they left the Albert Dock in Summer 2017. The waterfront will be the scene of the homecoming of 12 Clipper yachts from their gruelling trip, covering 40,000 nautical miles.

Tickets: N/A

10. The Feis Liverpool (Pronounced like 'fesh')
July 7
Liverpool Waterfront
The Feis Liverpool

This inaugural event celebrating Irish culture will make its debut in 2018. The Feis Liverpool will bring with it some of the biggest names in classic and contemporary Irish music. The Feis will see a number of stages pop up on Liverpool’s Waterfront this summer. Organised by the team behind famous Fleadh and Feis festivals in London, Glasgow, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Fran.

Tickets: On sale January 26th.

11. Liverpool Biennial: Beatiful World, Where are you?
July 14 - October 28
Liverpool Biennial 20th anniversary

20 years since its first Festival of Contemporary Art, Liverpool Biennial will see specially commissioned works from some of the biggest international artists go on display for FREE across Liverpool for 15 weeks. For this special anniversary of the prestigious event, the theme is inspired by the line in a 230-year old poem by Freidrich Schiller, set to the music by Franz Schubert. The world is in turmoil - but also a chance to reconsider the past.

Tickets: N/A

12. Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF)
July 21 - 22
City locations / Sefton Park
LIMF will come back to Sefton Park in 2018

Returning for another year of partying in the park, LIMF will take to Sefton Park for its sixth annual festival. Presenting a free, two-day music extravaganza. As usual, the festival will come to a climax at Sefton Park with ‘Summer Jam’, a family friendly spectacular spread across the Grade I listed greenspace. Expect, numerous stages, silent discos, food, ferris wheels and big tunes. LIMF presents a spotlight on creative cultural diversity and brings a little something for everyone, from Pop to Urban and House.

Tickets: Free event, VIP experience tickets available.

13. Liverpool Pride 2018
July 28 - 29
Various / St George's Plateau
Liverpool Pride 2018

Building on the last nine years, in 2018 Liverpool Pride presents #AllTogetherNow. A festival of inclusion and involving all corners of the LGBTQ+ and wider community. Liverpool Pride are inviting everyone to join them in celebrating freedom of expressing oneself. This year will see a programme that covers the L, the G, the B, the T and the Q from acts on stage, to the activities that build up to the main festival weekend.

Tickets: N/A

14. Lost Castles
11 - 12 August
Various locations
Liverpool will welcome French artist Olivier Grossetete,

Liverpool will welcome French artist Olivier Grossetete, renowned for re-creating extraordinary structures out of cardboard. Grossette will work with Liverpool communities to recreate castles would have once stood across the city region, in the exact places they once stood. On 11 and 12 August, these fascinating structures will become venues for performances and events to take place.

Tickets: N/A

15. The World Boccia Championships/Rugby League Test Match
August and November
Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Anfield

Liverpool’s sporting heritage is one of the city’s most well-known and loved features. In 2018 Liverpool will welcome another sporting event to the city. The World Boccia Championships will take over Exhibition Centre Liverpool in August. Come September, home of the reds, Anfield will play host to the second test of the England Vs New Zealand Rugby League series.

Tickets: TBC

16. Smash the Keys
September 20 - 30
Various Locations
Smash the keys will celebrate the piano

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate the piano throughout 2018 with their ‘Art of the Piano’ programme, a city-wide celebration of all things piano. Smash the Keys will be a music festival focussed on a single instrument with performances from artists covering the world of jazz, pop, classical , grime, swing and hip-hop. Unique performances, in unexpected places and the re-emergence of pianos in pubs.

Tickets: TBC

17. The Clothes Show
October 19 - 21
St George's Hall / Liverpool Empire
The Clothes Show will return to Liverpool and take over the Georgian Quarter

In 2017, the Clothes Show announced that it was leaving it’s home of 27 years, Birmingham and making its way to the capital of style, Liverpool as ‘British Style Collective.’ In 2018, the Clothes Show is reverting back to its original name and will return to the city of Liverpool with an exciting new line up of fashion, beauty, designer catwalks and industry experts. The show will take place across the opulent surroundings of Liverpool’s St George’s Quarter, including the venues, St George’s Hall and Liverpool Empire. Fancy.

Tickets: £42, 327

Book tickets for the Clothes Show 2018 here. 

18. Brittle Heart Season
Various Locations
Brittle Heart

Brittle Heart will be a season of work to commemorate both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, as well as the women’s right to vote. The season will look at the world 100 years ago and make comparisons to today. The armistice commemoration will be led by a collaboration between the orchestras of two UNESCO Cities of Music.

Tickets: TBC

This blog will be continually updated as new information on ticketing, venues and more becomes available.

Take a look at our dedicated Liverpool 2018 pages at

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Blog Post profile

This blog has been written by Jess Cavendish, Digital Marketing Executive for Marketing Liverpool. Jess looks after all things website and content related for VisitLiverpool/its liverpool, Marketing Liverpool and Liverpool Convention Bureau digital channels!

Jess is originally from Chester and started out at Visit Chester.

She is 22 years old, loves music, travelling, singing and a good night out.


Cavern Club
Public House/Bar
Cavern Club

The legendary cellar that has seen seven incredible decades of music; the Cavern Club remains the beating heart of Liverpool’s iconic music scene.

China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors
Arts and Culture
The Terracotta Warriors are coming to Liverpool.

Figures from China’s famous Terracotta Army are going on show in a UK museum outside London for the first time in more than 30 years. The must-see exhibition at Liverpool’s World Museum will reveal almost 1,000 years of China’s history and coincides with the China Dream season of cultural commissions.

World Museum
World Museum

From the sea to the stars, a visit to World Museum reveals millions of years of the Earth’s history through thousands of exhibits and hands-on activities.

Smash the Keys
Smash the keys is a music festival where the piano takes centre stage

Smash the Keys is a 10-day music festival that puts the humble piano centre stage. Expect to hear all forms and genres, from jazz to grime, hip hop to swing – played by some of the biggest names in music.


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