LightNight 2019: Ritual Full programme released!

Friday 17 May 2019
venues across Liverpool city centre
5pm – late


Open Culture is thrilled to finally reveal this year’s #LightNight programme!

This year marks the tenth annual festival, artists, arts organisations and heritage venues across the city are coming together to explore our theme of ‘ritual’; the significant and the everyday, personal and communal, public and private.

On Friday 17 May you are invited to follow your own culture crawl around the city centre, enjoying over 100 free events. With everything from street performance, concerts and installations to hands-on workshops, exhibitions and tours there is something for all ages and interests. Read more about a few of this year’s events below.

You can buy your festival guide now from the online shop. All sales of festival guides go towards supporting the festival and keeping events free!

And don’t forget to let Open Culture know you’re coming (and invite your friends) at the official Facebook event page here.

Specially-constructed in the Atrium of RIBA North, Permutations is an interactive artwork that brings together architecture and music to reinvent the rituals of classic performance and invite you to participate in a new one by playing with the acoustics of six adjustable chambers. The space becomes a musical instrument – you perform your own experience. From 17:00 – 22:00.

A multi-disciplinary performance by LUMA Creations with street arts, circus, dance and music, Pachamama is a journey of redemption ending in a cleansing ritual that brings back the goodness of Mother Earth. Pachamama has been in hiding since the earth began to crumble. Now the four elements Earth, Fire, Air and Water, represented by four performance groups, must reconnect. See them in locations in and around Central Library from 20:00 – 21:30.

As the sun goes down over the Pier Head, samba reggae drumming band Batala Mersey take to the steps of the Museum of Liverpool at 21:00 for the show-stopping Rhythms of the Candomblé Orixás. Performed by over 30 drummers in traditional costume as they pay homage to the spiritual significance of the band’s Afro-Brazilian roots and tell the story of three orixás.

Drop in to FACT with your family between 17:00 and 19:00 for Drag Queen Story Time with The Nightbus and enjoy a series of stories inspired by fairy tales, empowering characters and turning archetypes on their head! The Nightbus is a performer and theatre-maker who interrogates society’s capacity to accept and champion queer identity, race and religion through the media of drag, storytelling and spoken word.

In the Baltic Triangle, Baltic Alight: Stories from the Fireside takes you on a journey through the city’s streets, reclaimed by our creatives for LightNight. Hear stories told by some of the city’s best storytellers as you take in the sights with Paperwork Theatre – tours start at 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00 and last 45 min.

Over the way at Northern Lights, ROAD Studios are celebrating their recent relocation with a new exhibition, Rituals of the Mundane, which pays homage to the sometimes imperceptible miracles of everyday life. See the show until 23:00 and visit the artists in their studios from 17:00 – 19:00.

Also in the Baltic Triangle, design studio Dorothy are teaming up with so-new-its-not-open-yet fashion concept store SevenStore to create evolving digital installation ClubTogether that invites you to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and rituals of electronic music and club culture. DJ Graeme Park is on the decks from 18:00 – 21:00 and clubbers can also contribute their experiences to an interactive map.

Did you know that a shark’s skin can prevent bacteria from sticking to it? Or that the blood of a Komodo dragon is a natural antimicrobial compound? Join a team of artists and scientists from LJMU Liverpool School of Art and Design’s ‘Art in Science’ programme and University of Liverpool’s Arts-Lab until 22:00 to see their new comic superheroes the Antimicrobial Avengers take on the world’s greatest threat – antimicrobial resistance!

Bring yourself a cushion or blanket to the LJMU John Foster Chapel for a multi-sensory journey into the ‘nine celestial bodies’. Liam Blackburn takes you through Ancestral Voices: The Navagraha Ritual using pioneering harmonic scales and technology inspired by ancient civilisations to bring you a truly immersive experience. Like all our events it’s free, but tickets must be booked in advance at the link here.

From the makers of Illumaphonium, Halo (17:00 – 23:00) is a new participatory sonic and visual kinetic environment at Exchange Flags made up of digitally interlinked columns of ever-evolving patterns of light and sound. Touch the Halos and watch them change, with visuals generated using cutting-edge physics simulations.

Some of the region’s best-known community and arts organisations are getting involved with LightNight right across the city, with a huge collaboration of young brass players aged 11-18 coming together at St George’s Hall for a spectacular concert. Mersey Hub Brass performers come from across the region’s Music Hubs and will play everything from traditional brass band music to songs from the shows; catch them from 18:30 – 19:30!

At World Museum, join Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI), Merseyside Youth Dance Company, 50 Moves and Men!Dancing! for an immersive 15-minute dance performance. Named Constellations, the dance is inspired by the rituals which different civilisations have created over time to honour the movement of the constellations and their effect on us (18:00 & 19:00).

If you need a quieter moment, pianists Maria Luc and Wyn Chan from the Royal Northern College of Music perform Stravinsky’s beautiful and stirring masterpiece Rite of Spring on the piano (four hands) in the stunning surrounds of Liverpool Cathedral. Performed twice, at 19:45 & 21:30.

The meditative vibe is also present at Tate Liverpool with a special performance of Tony Conrad’s 10 Years on the Infinite Plain from 19:00 – 20:30 in the Wolfson Gallery. Pairing hypnotic film loops with droning strings, this is a rare chance to see a pioneering work of minimalist cinema and sound.

Inside the Town Hall, rarely open to the public, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival are celebrating the differences and commonalities of Western and Middle Eastern domestic life. See this spectacular space transformed into a traditional Arabic Living Room, with traditional Arab hospitality including music, storytelling and Yemeni biscuits and tea (until 20:30).