ALBERT DOCK Liverpool has unveiled an exciting programme of free events for 2016 – bringing a cultural explosion and celebration of music, fashion, steamboats, trains, and pirates to the North West’s most-visited free tourist attraction. Visitors to the Dock this year will witness never-before-seen spectaculars on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront, as well as the return of some old favourites, reinforcing Albert Dock’s status as a year-round destination for people of all ages to visit and enjoy. Highlights of the 2016 programme include:- Steam on the Dock (May 6-8) – This newly commissioned event invites the whole family to step aboard for the UK’s only inner-city steam rally. Don your flat cap, toot those whistles and witness the monsters of the industrial age roll into Albert Dock, and marvel at coal-powered steamboats as they once more chug and puff around Liverpool’s waterways, celebrating the industrial heritage of Albert Dock and the city’s historic working docklands. Steam on the Dock will see the relaunch of the Daniel Adamson – a historically significant, steam-powered tug, built in 1903, which has been lovingly restored to its former glory by The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund award. Back on dry land steam traction engines, lorries and miniatures will be keeping their fire pits burning. Joining the fun is Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway, which will see a fully working steam engine and two carriages giving visitors the opportunity to journey up and down Hartley Quay, while Roger Dibnah – the son of the late, great TV legend and steam enthusiast, Fred Dibnah – will be attending. LightNight on the Dock (May 13) – Commissioned for LightNight by Albert Dock Liverpool, created by TiLT and produced by Open Culture – comes Météo-Dock – an experimental weather ship. Launching from the Kathleen and May schooner, this promenade performance will see an eight-strong crew of dancers and musicians create a show that is an unfolding, processional conveyor-belt, celebrating the ever-changing meteorological conditions of Albert Dock. With support from Albert Dock Liverpool, Tate Liverpool will also be hosting the Mad Science workshops – where the whole family can join the scientists experimenting and creating amazing things using light and colour. Tate Liverpool will also be hosting a number of its own events during the evening, including a cake bake inviting the public to make a cake version of their favourite artwork to be judged by baker and chef, Dan Lepard, who has previously worked for David Hockney. Elsewhere, Merseyside Maritime Museum will be open to the public, while International Slavery Museum will be opening its latest exhibition – Afro Supa Hero – collecting a fantastic selection of historical, pop-cultural black action figures, comics and games selected by award-winning creative director, Jon Daniel. Vintage on the Dock (July 9-10) – Designers, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE, return with their world-famous Vintage Festival – a celebration of 20th Century vintage cool. Visitors looking for some seriously stylish eye candy can browse the vintage marketplace, with the best traders hand-selected by keen-eyed curators, Dotty’s Vintage. Dance teachers will be on hand to show you the moves, from the Lindy hop to breakdancing. Experience diverse and incredible street food traders in vintage vehicles, and marvel at the stunning selection of handpicked classic cars on display, taking us on a journey that celebrates timeless automotive design. It’s always a family affair at Vintage so parents can come along confident that they can party while the kids are creatively entertained all day. Folk on the Dock (August 27-29) – A new commission, supported by Liverpool City Council, Folk on the Dock will be produced by Martin and Marina Blore of Fit the Bill, who have vast experience of delivering West End shows and large-scale productions for Thorpe Park, Warwick Castle, Southbank Centre and Buckingham Palace. Folk on the Dock will bring together the city’s rich music and maritime heritage in an exuberant celebration of live acoustic folk, sea shanty and folk rock over the August bank holiday weekend. Folk on the Dock will tell the remarkable story of how the ships and crews coming through Liverpool’s docks shaped the musical landscape of the city forever – further cementing its status as a UNESCO City of Music. Pirates on the Dock (September 10-11) – Liverpool Pirate Festival returns with a renewed vision and a new name – Pirates on the Dock. Expect thrilling live action under sail and breathtaking stunts, this year interwoven with local folklore and the fascinating heritage of the Liverpool privateers. Again, Albert Dock has commissioned Fit the Bill to curate Pirates on the Dock to take this much-loved event to the next level of swashbuckling, live action drama, bringing their theatrical expertise to build upon the existing programme over the coming years. Sue Grindrod, chief executive, Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “A significant investment in a revitalised event programme, including returning favourites and new commissions, ensures that Albert Dock Liverpool is animated throughout the whole year, meaning our visitors always have something exciting to look forward to here at the Dock. “We are grateful for the support we have been given from our various partners and we look forward to working with them to create something really special and memorable for our visitors. Folk on the Dock, along with Steam, are two brand new events for us that celebrate two great things about this city – maritime heritage and music. Pirates on the Dock builds on previous years’ success, and we look forward to enhancing that even more with Fit the Bill now at the helm. “Of course, we will continue to work closely with our waterfront, city and wider partners, and discussions are ongoing to confirm their events calendar going forward, including International Mersey River Festival, Armed Forces Day and Christmas.” Wayne Hemingway, said: “In 2015 we weaved a little bit of vintage magic through Albert Dock’s historic spaces, and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2016. Music, fashion and culture is firmly ingrained in the fabric of the city, and Vintage on the Dock will bring all that to the fore in a way that never looked so good. “The lofty warehouses of Albert Dock provide the perfect backdrop for this celebration of all things vintage cool. Expect the best bits to get even better – diverse and incredible street food traders in vintage vehicles, immersive street performances that wander through the evocative dockside architecture, DJs that keep the crowds on their feet all day and creative workshops for all the family.” Liverpool’s director of culture, Claire McColgan, said: “Albert Dock is a fantastic events space and it’s wonderful to see such a diverse programme taking place this year which has real appeal across the board. “We’re delighted to support Folk on the Dock – a combination of live music and our maritime heritage is always a crowd pleaser. It’s also great to see that Liverpool has clearly got under the skin of Wayne Hemingway as he makes his return to the city, once again adding his creative flair to proceedings which is always welcome.” Other key dates for the diary, include:- International Mersey River Festival and Northern Boat Show (June 3-5) and Armed Forces Day (June 25) Other things to look forward at Albert Dock in 2016, include the largest Francis Bacon exhibition ever staged in the north of England, Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms at Tate Liverpool (May 18-September 18); not to mention an ongoing programme of free exhibitions and events at Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum; plus the Beatles Story, Magical Mystery Tour and new this year, Mattel Play! Liverpool – the brand new family entertainment centre featuring the worlds of Thomas & Friendsᵀᴹ, Bob the Builderᵀᴹ and Fireman Samᵀᴹ under one roof on The Colonnades, and the first of its kind in Europe For more information on all upcoming events at Albert Dock, visit www.albertdock.com.