Liverpool LightNight 2019 preview: rituals, dance, music, theatre and more


Light Night

LightNight 2019 is here for its tenth year, celebrating the region’s culture and arts – Getintothis’ Simon Kirk previews the free one night event.

LightNight returns to the city for its tenth instalment this Friday, May 17.

It’s an event that celebrates Merseyside’s rich cultural history and infinite acceptance of the arts.

Not limited to large-scale light projections, live music, spoken word, crafts, theatre and street performances, this free event showcases why Liverpool is one of the shining beacons of culture and arts not just in the North West but in the United Kingdom.

While it’s great to see events such as LightNight continuing to shine (sorry, couldn’t let the moment pass…), when I think about such events, sadly the first thing that springs to mind are the dark rain clouds which form the impending storm that is Brexit.

Like LIMF, Sound City and many other cultural events across the city throughout the year, I imagine LightNight rely on European Union support. Simply put, without the EU, how will events like this and creative spaces around the city be economically sustainable?

That’s not being a cynic. It’s just a plausible question in this mire of uncertainty.

It’s a scary thought because this city has so much to offer where creatives are concerned. Many people from London and other areas gravitate towards Liverpool because of its vibrancy, warmth, growth, and – for a city – the cost of living on average is one of the most affordable in the country.

LightNight 2019 takes on the theme of the ‘ritual’. How do artists create? Routine? Whimsically? Throughout the program the thread of ritualism is apparent.

Here are 15 events that we’ve cherry-picked for you to consider. Honestly, though, it’s just the tip of the iceberg so do head to the Lightnight website for the full list of events:

Our picks as follows:


Constellations: World Museum, 6pm & 7pm

Join MDI, Merseyside Youth Dance Company, 50 Moves and Men!Dancing! for an immersive 15-minute dance performance.

Inspired by the rituals which different civilisations have created over time, this dance honours the movement of the constellations and their effect on us.

Torquemada – In the Mind of the Inquisitor: Liverpool Central Library (Hornby Library, First Floor), 9pm – 10pm

Lecturer at LJMU and president of the Liverpool Mahatma Magic Circle, Matteo Borrini, introduces you to the rituals and practice of medieval witchcraft, witch-hunting and inquisition, with his Cabinet of Curiosities show.

Central Library

Not Just Arts Collective – Shadowplay: Liverpool Central Library (Fourth Floor), 6pm – 11pm

Liverpool’s Not Just Arts Collective host an evening featuring a pop-up gallery, procession, storytelling, music, poetry and Morris dancing. During the evening, an artwork will be created and ritually destroyed by the public at 10pm.

The Ritual of Voting: Unity Theatre, 5pm – 10pm

Abandon your beliefs of democracy and enter an adventurous reimagining of a polling station with puppets, virtual reality, film and sound produced in association with Headstrung.

An interactive, playful take on a ritual that’s perfect for all ages! This is a voting experience like no other. It just might save the world!


Street Party Along Windsor Street: Toxteth Library, 6pm – 10pm

In celebration of the Liverpool 8 community, Windsor Street’s creative organisations are throwing a street party!

This will consist of performances not limited to spoken word, dance, food, film, arts and crafts taking in the street’s beautiful venues.

Liverpool Arts Diary: Ian McKellen in conversation, Springsteen documentary and more

Light Night

Liverpool Philharmonic and Liverpool Acoustic Present: Music Room at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 5pm – 10pm

Liverpool Acoustic and Liverpool Philharmonic join forces to present an evening of music, with the Music Room playing host to a specially curated line-up of talented local musicians.

Performers include Rachael Jean Harris, Alison Benson, White Little Lies, Visions of Albion and Two Black Sheep.

Every act will perform a ten minute set each hour and will all be invoking the spirit of ritual in their performances and musical arrangements. Expect a few surprises!

The Drag Lab: Everyman Theatre, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm

Working with some of Liverpool’s most subversive performers, this performance invites you to abolish the gender rule book, taking you on a journey of self-discovery.

A unique offering from the Young Everyman Playhouse producers, The Drag Lab is an exploratory piece taking you through the conception and evolution of the artistry of drag.

Tickets are free via telephone on 0151 709 4776 or visit

Scottie Road Writers: Liverpool Central Library, 8pm – 11pm

Based around this year’s theme of ‘ritual’, Scottie Road Writers bring to life original short stories and poems.

The readings promise to be equally entertaining and thought provoking, with members of the Scottie Road Writers given free rein to explore and present to their audience.


Rubbish Shakespeare: Liverpool Central Library, 6pm, 6.45pm & 7.30pm

This isn’t your bog standard Shakespeare, folks. We have fairies. We have goblins. We have donkeys. And we have…. water pistols? Supposedly… The Rubbish Shakespeare Company are set to present three madcap pop-up scenes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A Unique and Spectacular Moment: X Gallery, 7pm – 10pm

Starting off as a video game and ending as an interaction between two strangers, this piece, developed as a collaboration between immersive artists, Simon Wilkinson [CiRCA69] and Myra Appannah, this explores ritual aspects of routine actions which are habitual and repetitive.

This show references psychological research into human happiness and parallel concepts associated with games design.


Creative Rituals with Dead Ink Books: Thoughtfully Café, 5.30pm – 10pm

Liverpool based indie press, Dead Ink Books, host an evening of creative rituals with author and academic, Naomi Booth, and graphic and brand designer, Luke Bird.

The first part of the evening consists of, ‘The Writer’s Rituals’ – whereby Naomi will discuss the writing and creative processes relating to her dystopian novel Sealed. ‘Conversations of the Cover Design’ will follow – a discussion between Naomi and graphic designer, Luke Bird.

The evening will finish with Bird‘s ‘Artistic Rituals’, an interactive seminar exploring his processes in designing best-selling book covers, such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and the Man Booker Prize winning Milkman by Anna Burns.

Tickets for each talk are free but limited, get yours at

Output Open: Kazimier Garden, 5pm – 10pm

Go and check out the Output gallery, which works exclusively with creatives from or based in Merseyside.

Output Open is an annual group exhibition that brings together different artists all operating in the local art scene. They represent a cross-section of styles, forms and intentions in their art making.


Zine-Making with Root-Ed: FACT, 5pm to 10pm

Join Root-ed for a zine-making workshop! They will be exploring archetypes and narratives, from all genres.

Root-ed (Revolution Of Our Time) is a self-published zine that aims to promote, support and inspire creative people of colour within the North West of the country.

Music For Shopping: News from Nowhere, Grin, 88 Bold Street, 5pm – 10pm

Shopping is our modern ritual. PMS Radio (BBC Radio Merseyside’s Popular Music Show) will place new original music in shops, on their in-shop speakers, showcasing local genius.

Listen while you shop, with Mersey musicians such as Esa Shields having created unique soundtracks for your retail wanderings, to be heard on in-shop sound-systems.

The full line-up of musicians can be found at


Halo: Exchange Flags, 5pm – 11pm

From the makers of Illumaphonium, Halo is a new participatory sonic and visual kinetic environment comprising of digitally interlinked columns of ever-evolving patterns of light and sound.

Using cutting-edge physics simulations, the visual configurations created by your touch are displayed directly upon the Halos.







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