Liverpool music’s 17 must see events for 2017 – a guide to the best happenings this year

The Anglican Cathedral

The Anglican Cathedral during LightNight 2016

As we gear up for another busy year on Merseyside, Getintothis looks at 17 key events taking place over the next 12 months.  

As a writer, the hardest part of any kind of list is the introduction. Once you have your list, you can pretty much fill in the text to go with it extraordinarily easy. But then you have to contextualise everything without sounding boring and by the numbers.

That’s a challenge. For something like this, it would be customary to go down the route of “New Year, new beginning, 2016 is over, and now…zzzz”. Problem there is that you end up sounding like a Facebook meme that sounds like it means something, but is ultimately just letting out more arbitrary hot air than Gene Simmons. Plus, let’s face it, there ain’t no new beginnings, we just write the date slightly differently.

And that, my friends, is why this writer has decided to go down the postmodern road of breaking the fourth wall and revealing the struggle behind the scenes. Not that it matters. You probably aren’t reading this anyway. I could call your mum all kinds of names, and you wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

So, now that is out of the way, what is the point to all this?

Well there is so much happening around Merseyside that we felt it necessary to break down some of the bigger events into one easy to read guide. Because our editorial staff find continued numerical alliteration (anumeration, perhaps? Is that a thing?) to be such a hilariously delightful gimmick, we are offering you a handy list of 17 big events happening throughout Merseyside in 2017. We were going to give you a list of 2,017, but frankly we have got lives to lead.

Let the games commence…



  1. Sessions Faction – A Hip-Hop Culture Exhibition: Constellations, January 10-28

Throughout January, Constellations will host this tribute to Hip Hop culture, which will play host to local artists and Hip Hop enthusiasts that’ll be coming together to present brand new works.

Amongst the exhibitors taking part are DeadOne, Mump Town, Tomo, Adam Lee, Antony Fitzsimons, Ashleigh Daley, Andrea Visconti, Mook Loxley, Jon Greenwell, Ian Van Da Vaal and many more.

Mark E Smith

Mark E Smith

  1. Club.The.Mammoth: Arts Club, January 21

All-dayers don’t come much better than this with iconic band The Fall being joined by a host of incredible names from far and wide.

Cabbage, Kagoule, Hookworms, Tigerclub, Goat Girl are joined by Ohmns, Strange Collective and Pink Kink for a not-to-miss event in January.

Read our full preview here.

Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall (Credit: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic)

Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall (Credit: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic)

  1. Revolutionaries: from Beethoven to the Beatles: Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, January-July

Liverpool Philharmionic Orchestra‘s revolution-themed 2016-17 season continues with a series of high profile and prestigious events planned. Fusing the classical and popular music worlds, the Orchestra will pay due acknowledgement to the influence of The BeatlesSgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band with a symphonic recreation alongside poet Roger McGough and The Bootleg Beatles. This takes place on May 31 and June 3 before it takes to the road, visiting London and Birmingham.

Having celebrated the symphonies of Beethoven last year, the Orchestra will celebrate musical revolutionaries such as Bach, Stravinsky and Berlioz. Notable performances to keep an eye out for will be Berlioz‘s colossal Damnation of Faust on March 11, Bach‘s Goldberg Variations on June 15 and Stravinsky‘s Petrushka on June 22 and 23. Delving deep into the oeuvre of all three, the above is a mere snapshot of the many great concerts and performances lined up.

Additionally, to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolutions we’ll be treated this month to Liverpool’s first performance of Shostakovich‘s Symphony No.12: The Year 1917 on January 19 and January 22. With the Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko‘s direction renowned for its Shostakovich interpretations this is not to be missed.

General Levy

General Levy

4. Worried About Henry Double Header: 24 Kitchen Street, February 7 & 10

With 24 Kitchen Street cementing itself in the musical landscpae of the Baltic Triangle, legendary jungalist pioneer General Levy and drum and bass turntable master DJ Hype, head to the Baltic Triangle this February for part of a massive double header.

Both artists are seen by many as being at the forefront of their chosen scenes, having been at the top of the game for nearly three decades, to get them in these intimate surroundings is a real coup to say the least.

British Music Experience opens in Liverpool in February

British Music Experience opens in Liverpool in February

5. British Music Experience: Cunard Building, opens March 9

From February 2017, and following a successful five year run at the O2 Arena in London, the British Music Experience will find a permanent home in the iconic Cunard Building.

As well as the comprehensive archive, featuring items such as original Ziggy Stardust costumes from the Bowie archive, and handwritten lyrics to New Order‘s Blue Monday, the exhibition also uses technology to help tell the story, both as part of the installation, and via apps which help unlock the secrets and stories inside the glass cases. This will definitely not be a museum trip like any other.

Read our full preview here.

Fire display

Fire display

6. Threshold: Baltic Triangle, March 31 –April 2

A perennial favourite of much of Getintothis’ staff, Threshold returns for its seventh visit to the Baltic Triangle. The festival strives for diversity in the arts and each year it grows in status, popularity and support.

This year’s headliners have already been announced, with Hannah Peel and Lack of Afro topping the bill, along with sets from XamVolo, Galactic Funk Militia and Lilium amongst others.

Read our full preview here.

Evil Blizzard at Psych Fest 2015

Evil Blizzard at Psych Fest 2015

7. WRONG Festival: Various venues, April 22

WRONG Festival is set to present the perfect Easter treat on Merseyside, an all-day event presented by Loner Noise taking place on Saturday, April 22 2017. Embracing and hyping up the avant-garde underground scene across the city region, Loner Noise promise “a festival for the Freakscene” for this day of rock goodness.

Already announced are Evil Blizzard, The Wytches, Part Chimp, HECK, Elevant, Bo Ningen, Bonnacons of Doom, Cowtown and a host of others.

Read our full preview here.

Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts

8. FestEVOL Gardens: Invisible Wind Factory, April 30

FestEVOL returns for a special bank holiday weekender at the Invisible Wind Factory, a venue that matches EVOL’s passion for the new, innovative and creative forces in music and art.

Headlining this new incarnation of FestEVOL will be Wild Beasts, along with special guests The Parrots and Ulrika Spacek.

Read our full review here.

The various Awards and mementos

The various Awards and mementos

9. GIT Award 2017: Venue and date TBA

Following a tremendous launch at Liverpool Music Week’s Closing Party, the sixth GIT Award recipient will follow in the footsteps of previous winners Loved Ones (2012), Baltic Fleet (2013), Forest Swords (2014), All We Are (2015)and last year’s winner Bill Ryder-Jones.

The GIT Award offers a cash prize of £1,000 plus recording studio time at Parr Street Studios.

Read our full preview here.

LightNight 2016 : IMMIX Ensemble

LightNight 2016 : IMMIX Ensemble

10. Liverpool LightNight: May 19

LightNight encourages us to do something a little bit different on a Friday night, and we are always glad we did. The unique mixture of art installations, music and performance strikes the right chord with over 100 free events popping up around the city.

Read our review of last year’s event here.


John Cale (Pic by Andy Hughes)

11. John Cale & Guests: Clarence Dock, May 26

Without a doubt one of the most exciting events taking place in the city this year is this historical concert marking the anniversary of the landmark album The Velvet Underground & Nico. Velvets founder John Cale is playing an exclusive UK show in celebration with a plethora of special guests to be announced.

There isn’t really much else we can say about it. It is going to be incredible!

Read our full preview here.

Circa Waves at Sound City 2016

Circa Waves at Sound City 2016

12. Liverpool Sound City: Clarence Dock, May 27-28

Arguably Europe’s premier metropolitan music festival, Liverpool Sound City moves from the Bramley-Moore Dock to Clarence Dock for 2017 to reinforce Liverpool’s position as the musical epicentre of the UK. As well as bringing some of music’s biggest names, the event consistently provides a platform for emerging artists, often providing an opportunity to see the next big thing in an intimate setting.

No acts have been announced at time of writing, but we once again look forward to a great weekend at the docks!

Read our Sound City 2016 coverage here. 

The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper

13. 50 Summers of Love: Various venues, May-August

1967 was a momentous year, and to commemorate a handful of landmark events The Bluecoat, Everyman, Homotopia, Hope Street CIC, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool Philharmonic, Sound City and Unity Theatre and many others will be producing artistic works reflecting those pivotal 12 months.

The Summer of Love season will run from May to August across Merseyside.

Reggae Q&A with Don Letts at Positive Vibrations 2016

Reggae Q&A with Don Letts at Positive Vibrations 2016

14. Positive Vibrations – Festival of Reggae: Baltic Triangle, June 9-10

Having won Best New Festival at the 2016 Festival awards, it is no surprise that Positive Vibrations is returning for 2017.

Headlining the Saturday of 2017’s festival will be legendary 2-Tone band, The Selecter, fronted by the iconic, Pauline Black, along with The Scientist, Channel One Sound System, Aba Shanti-I, Reggae Roast, Earl Gateshead, MC Brother Culture, Prince Fatty, Horseman, Vibronics, Sir Coxsone Sound System and more acts still to be confirmed.

Read our full preview here.

Africa Oye 2016

Africa Oye 2016

15. Africa Oyé: Sefton Park, June 17-18

Without a doubt the largest and best celebration of African music in the country, the much-loved Africa Oyé will return to Sefton Park this summer for its 25th anniversary.

Always a resounding success, recent years have shown the free festival as going from strength to strength. Expect this to be one of the highlights of the summer.

Read our coverage of 2016’s event here. 

Lemar Fans

Lemar Fans at Liverpool SoulFest 2016

16. Liverpool SoulFest: Venue and date TBA

It feels like 2017 will be a pivotal year for Liverpool SoulFest, and this could be the year they really take their crown after two successful years mixing up recognisable names (Gabrielle, Lemar) and introducing us to stellar talent from around the world (Joy Oladokun, SPXKEN, the sublime ESKA).

Details for this year’s event have yet to be released, but we’re putting this one here in good faith!

Read our review of last year’s event.


Moonlandingz at Psych Fest

  1. Festivals Later in the Year: Various venues, July-November

OK we’re cheating a bit here by cramming a few of Liverpool’s best-loved festivals into a single slot but there really is so much going on that we felt we had little choice.

LIMF has gone from strength to strength and become a firm favourite on the summer scene, not only with its enviable line-up of free concerts in Sefton Park but also with its special LIMF Presents series of accompanying events.

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia continues to draw people from all corners of the earth for a mind-expanding weekend of Cosmic escapism, while Liverpool Music Week hosts an often exhausting series of gigs that celebrate the best in the cutting edge and emerging talents and its closing party is always sure to go off with a bang.