Things to do in Liverpool

So much to do, see and experience

For its size Liverpool enjoys more festivals, free events and city-wide celebrations than any city outside of London. Yes, the city has galleries and theatres aplenty but, often, the best culture is found in the streets, along the waterfront, in our parks and in our pubs. Here are just ten of the city’s best loved yearly events to red circle.

Liverpool Sound City (April)

Located in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool Sound City is one of the leading independent festivals for uncovering new musical talent in the country. Alumni include Ed Sheeran, The Vaccines and The 1975.

Writing On The Wall (May)

The city’s best-loved literary festival has a suitably radical edge. Writers from Jeanette Winterson to Melvyn Bragg have appeared in the past. Always worth a look.

Arabic Arts Fest (June)

Citywide celebratory event raising awareness and promoting an understanding of Arabic culture for both Arab and non-Arab audiences in Liverpool and beyond.

Africa Oyé (June)

The UK’s largest free celebration of African music and culture, Africa Oyé, takes place annually in Liverpool in Sefton Park. With over 90 stalls selling food, drink, arts and fashion, as well as live music all weekend, the festival provides one of the best experiences to immerse yourself in African culture. Plus, it’s completely free!

On The Waterfront (June)

Building up to being one of the biggest summer festivals in the Liverpool, On The Waterfront is hosted on our Pier Head and provides a stage for some of Liverpool’s most famous homegrown talent. In 2023, Jamie Webster, CamelPhat and James sold out their headline shows. Who will it be next?

Liverpool Biennial (June – September)

The UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art, Liverpool Biennial, provides a platform for a range of artists to showcase their work around the city. One of the most famous being the cast iron statues on Crosby Beach from the 2005 biennial.

Liverpool Pride (July)

Join thousands to march through the city to the festival's home on Tithebarn Street, right in the heart of Liverpool City Centre. Year after year, our colleagues from across the University work closely with our partners at the LCR Pride Foundation to support the delivery of this incredible day. 

Liverpool Philharmonic event - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Ensemble of musicians from LJMU cultural partners, Liverpool Philharmonic, at Light Night 2016.

Comic Con Liverpool (October)

Like many other comic cons, Comic Con Liverpool is a place where fans of pop culture, tv, comic books, and more, can dress up and join the cosplay community while meeting with favourite actors and actresses. Guests include Helena Bonham-Carter, Jensen Ackles and Gwendoline Christie, amongst others from a variety of tv shows and films.

River of Light (October - November)

Every year, a range of artists create light installations to light up the city. Our illuminated gallery is usually a 2km loop, featuring a mixture of light and sound art from local, national and international artists. Usually around Bonfire Night, the festival runs for one to two weeks and is completely free!

Homotopia (November)

The country’s most artistically inclined LGBT festival regularly attracts the big hitters (Jon Walters, David Hockney, Boy George) and is always dazzlingly inventive, and full of food for thought. The festival aims to support and platform local, national and international LGBTQIA socially engaged artists and creatives.