For details on River of Light 2019 head to our dedicated event information section or read the 2019 blog!

Remember, remember the 4th November… yep that’s right, we’re celebrating Bonfire Night a day early this year on Sunday 4th November with a spectacular mid-river firework display on the River Mersey!

All the action starts around 5pm on both sides of the Mersey however why not make a day of it? Here’s your ultimate River of Light guide!

LIVERPOOL - Before the Main Show 

This year's theme is 'The Elements' - each evening, from around 4.30pm Friday 2 to Sunday 4 November, you'll be able to see:

The Wave

Representing water, 40 triangular interactive gates will be found along a 100metre stretch of the Strand (on the pavement near Salthouse Dock). Designed by Copenhagen-based artists Vertigo, the gates will respond to people’s movement creating a unique light and sound reaction.


This European premiere was first showcased at this year’s legendary Burning Man festival and falls into the ‘wood’ category. Located in Mann Island basin, 6m tall copper pipes will create the effect of a giant oak tree, transforming the area into a mysterious woodland. It has been created by Italian photographer and videographer Stefano Casati.

Pool of Mirrors

In a nod to metal and taking inspiration from Chinese ‘magic mirrors’ which were cast in solid bronze and shrouded in mystery, Liverpool based arts collective The Kazimier will bring these ancient artefacts bang up to date with cutting edge materials, creating a metallic mirage of light on the canal.


Fulfilling the earth section, the Royal Liver Building will become a canvas for light projections which will explore the traditional view of earth from space. The light has been designed by local lighting, audio and staging specialists Adlib.

WIRRAL - Before the Main Show (New Brighton)

For all the pre-firework entertainment over in Wirral, head to New Brighton where there will be lots of family-themed entertainment, including the spooky appearance of ghostly pirates on the Black Pearl.


This year you’re in for a treat! Titanium Fireworks (the geniuses behind shows such as London’s NYE party and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay) will light up the skies above Liverpool and Wirral with thousands of fireworks, set to a special musical soundtrack.

On the 4th November, the pre-firework entertainment starts at 5pm and will be themed around the five elements that underpin Chinese philosophy: water, fire, earth, metal and wood. There will be plenty of street theatre, family activities and food and drink stalls to keep you entertained, so make sure you get down to get your spot early.

Look out for fire entertainers, as well as a fire-breathing dragon patrolling the waters of the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool!

Watch as fireworks light up the night in a spectacular display that will leaveyou wanting more. It’s eyes to the sky at 6.30pm!


Okay, so first thing’s first - you need to find somewhere to rest your head after a busy day & night! Luckily Liverpool is home to some of the UK’s best hotels, here’s our top picks…

FAMILY - Holiday Inn Express, Royal Albert Dock

If you’re coming to see the fireworks as a family, the Holiday Inn Express situated on the Albert Dock is the perfect base! It’s conveniently located on the waterfront, perfect for getting back quickly once the display has finished.

Titanic Hotel, Stanley Docks

If luxury is your thing then the perfect hotel has to be the Titanic. Its hotel rooms measure an impressive 56sq, include luxury bathing products and there is even a spa for you to enjoy!

30 James Street, James Street

30 James Street is the perfect place if you’re looking for a romantic stop-over. Their rooms are steeped in luxury and it’s located right in front of the Three Graces - meaning you don’t have far to walk once the fireworks have ended! It’s also home to Morgans Spa, meaning you can treat yourself the next morning.

Ibis, Royal Albert Dock

If you’re not too fussed about having the grandest hotel room, Ibis is the ideal place to rest your head. Located right on the waterfront, it’s easy to get to and their rooms are perfect if you plan on using it just to sleep!


So you’ve chosen your perfect place to stay, now it’s time to decide where to refuel yourself after enjoying the dazzling show. The hardest part is deciding on just ONE place...

Gusto, Royal Albert Dock

Inspired by the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz and a modern, stylish interior; Gusto is ideally located on the Albert Dock which is right on top of where all the action is happening!

Santa Maluco, Castle Street

If pizza is your thing, then Santa Maluco is your place! Their pizzas bring a Brazilian flare mixed with some old authentic Italian tradition and all of them are cooked in wood fired, handmade ovens.

NYL Restaurant & Bar, North John Street

Inspired by the melting pot of food and culture in New York, NYL Restaurant & Bar brings the best aspects of New York’s unique vibrancy to the centre of Liverpool. Only a 5 minute walk from Liverpool’s waterfront, you won’t have far to walk.

Dockside Dining Club, Mann Island

Dockside Dining Club really has something for everyone - it’s home to a number of different food vendors offering everything from burgers to sushi, as well as a bar for all your alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) needs!


Although the entertainment doesn’t start until 5PM, there’s nothing stopping you enjoying a great day out in the city! We’ve got plenty of ideas to help you make the most of your time...

The British Music Experience

The British Music Experience tells the story of British music through costumes, instruments, performance and memorabilia. See outfits worn by artists from Freddie Mercury and Dusty Springfield, to the Spice Girls and Adam Ant. Whatever age you are, and whatever your music taste, there is something here for you.

Museum of Liverpool

The world’s first national museum dedicated to the history of a regional city, the Museum of Liverpool tells the unique story of our city and its people. If you’re a fan of John Lennon, you can see a special exhibition; ‘Double Fantasy- John and Yoko’ that takes you on a journey through John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s life.

Royal Albert Dock

buildings anywhere in the UK - pretty impressive! You can take a walk around all the independent shops, restaurants and cafes or visit Tate Liverpool to see some incredible art.

Mersey Ferries

The River Mersey will be the star of the River of Light show, so why not enjoy a leisurely cruise along it before the night begins? You’ll get to enjoy amazing views of both the Liverpool and Wirral waterfronts on a 50 minute cruise.

Share your photos on Twitter using #RiverOfLight and tag us @visitliverpool - we’ll share our favourites!


This blog has been written by Stefan Price, Digital Marketing Assistant for Marketing Liverpool. Stefan looks after digital activity across Marketing Liverpool/ Visit Liverpool and runs the its Liverpool social channels!
Stefan is 20 years old and is from Liverpool. He loves all things to do with cruises, shopping and the odd Gin and Elderflower!


Gusto - Albert Dock

Gusto is an Italian dining experience, stylish, ambient at the cutting edge of restaurant design. The atmosphere is informal and relaxed with open kitchens where you can watch expert chefs making fresh pizza and pasta, adding an element of theatre.

River of Light
Submergence in Mann Island Atrium

River of Light will return to Liverpool in November 2019.  A light festival and fireworks will ensure that this year's nine-day festival is bigger and better than ever.

NYL Restaurant & Bar
NYL Restaurant & Bar

A taste of New York in the stunning surroundings of the Royal Insurance Building

British Music Experience
David Bowie's collection of outfits at British Music Experience

The British Music Experience tells the story of British Music through costumes, instruments, performance and memorabilia. They've got outfits worn by artists from David Bowie to the X Factor finalists, musical instruments from Noel Gallagher to the Sex Pistols and memorabilia from the Beatles through to Adele. You can also try the vocal booth, dance the decades or play top guitars and drums. Whatever age you are, and whatever you are into, there is something here for you.

Museum of Liverpool
Museum of Liverpool's 'Window with a View' Winner.

The Museum of Liverpool is the world’s first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city and the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century.

Mersey Ferries
Boat Trip
Mersey Ferries

San Francisco has its cable cars, New York has its yellow cabs… and Liverpool has its world famous Mersey Ferries.

Titanic Hotel
Titanic Hotel

Step outside the city for a uniquely different, extraordinary setting.

Holiday Inn Express - Albert Dock
High view image of entrance to Express by Holiday

Located within Albert Dock all rates are per room and are inclusive of continental breakfast.

30 James Street
Rooms at 30 James Street Hotel are themed by floor - The Cabins, Fortune, London, New York, Oceanic and Titanic

Signature Living's latest venture, offering the perfect location, unparalleled luxury and classic grandeur.

Santa Maluco
Industrial Style Restaurant showing bar with stools and long tables

Santa Maluco also offers a unique style of serving called "Rodízio." This is a ‘all you can eat’ style of restaurant service common in Brazil. Their pizzas bring a Brazilian flare mixed with some old authentic Italian tradition!