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Liverpool Stays Out Late For A City-Wide LightNight ‘Experiment’

ON Friday tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Liverpool for the seventh annual LightNight, the city’s late-night arts festival which saw galleries, museums, arts spaces and heritage venues right across the city centre keep their doors open late to stage special events, activities, installations and performances for all ages.

For 2016 the festival was themed ‘Experiment’, as audiences were encouraged to see or experience something they had never done before. The events themselves were also on the experimental side, with everything from street games, live graffiti art and science demonstrations to ‘sketchsperiments’, mass singalongs and dance mashups.

Charlotte Corrie, Director of Open Culture (LightNight producers), said: ‘LightNight gets bigger and better every year – we’re always overwhelmed by the positive response to the festival from the thousands of people who come out for the night and get involved, and this year is no different! LightNight is a great way to show off the amazing arts scene that exists in the city, and to remind people that these spaces and organisations are there to be discovered not just on this one night, but every day of the year’.

Photo: Matt Thomas
Photo: Matt Thomas

LightNight visitor Christine Riley said: ‘I’ve been coming out on LightNight for the last few years – I love it! There’s always so much going on and it’s a great way to discover places I’ve never been before. And there’s always such a buzz in the city, it’s really exciting!’

The thirteen new commissions for this year’s festival were a resounding success, with people packing into the Anglican Cathedral for No Worst, There is None from Adhoc Creative and taking part in Gizzago’s games outside. Commissioned works from Foolsize Theatre, Deep Hedonia, Mindset Ensemble, Caustic Widows, Meteo-Dock, Friend or Foe, Logan and Wilcox and artists Michael Davis, Carlos Bernal, David Badger, Abi Bliss and Andy McKeown were also hugely successful, with audiences enjoying everything from large-scale musical instruments to interactive audio-visual installations to performing biker birds and parrots in a giant bird cage.

Events were staged at venues large and small across the city, including Tate Liverpool, 104 Duke Street Studios, Baltic Creative, Road Studios, St George’s Hall, Liverpool Medical Institution, the Everyman, Liverpool Small Cinema, dot-art, LIPA and many more. Principal festival sponsor Liverpool John Moores University also opened on the night for hands-on talks, science demonstrations and light installations.

Merseyside Transport Trust was on hand to ferry festivalgoers from one event to another, providing a free heritage bus service that looped the city.

LightNight took place thanks to sponsorship from LJMU and Liverpool BID Company and is funded by Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England.

For the first time festivalgoers also partied even later than usual as the first official LightNight after party was held at Constellations in the Baltic Triangle, with all proceeds from ticket sales going towards keeping the festival going in future years.

Plans are already underway for next year’s LightNight on Friday 19 May 2017.


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