You know what’s great? When Liverpool pretends, just once a year, that’s it’s a continental city that has more to offer past 5pm than restaurants and vertical drinking.

We’re joking, of course. Because Liverpool’s brilliant. And this week’s Light Night – that rather magical time when you can tour public buildings, go and see some art and catch some music at a venue you never knew existed, all after you’ve finished work – is a perfect example of the direction our city should be heading.

Exhibitions, plays, tours, talks, walks, gigs – you name it. Liverpool really comes alive on Light Night, with many of the usual suspects around town participating – St George’s Hall, Tate Liverpool, FACT, the Walker, the cathedrals – and some less likely ones too.

Of course there’s far more stuff on that it’s possible to see, brilliant under-the-radar stuff, brilliant on-the-outskirts stuff.

This list is not exhaustive and it’s not confined to the things we really want to see – more a reflection of what is theoretically possible in the few hours we’ve got. But this is what we’ll be making the effort to take in. Our picks, if you will. Good Night. (For a full run-down of Light Night’s offerings, head on over to its official website).

The Bold Street Market (Bold Street)

Buy stuff, eat stuff, watch stuff. Sometime we forget how cool Bold Street is. Go and celebrate it, cobbles and all.

inside:OUT (Metropolitan Cathedral)

Kaleidoscopic projections (above, right) on the exterior of Paddy’s Wigwam. Oh yes.

LightNight at the Bluecoat (The Bluecoat)

Exploring the Bluecoat is a joy in itself. On nights like this it becomes a grotto of unexpected treasures, with a multitude of great things dotted around inside and out.

Polly Morgan – Live and Stuffing (Victoria Gallery and Museum)

Stuffed birds (below, left), courtesy of of taxidermist Polly Morgan is the evocative surroundings of the VC&M. Sounds a bit sad, but very cool.

Bumper Night at the Anglican (Liverpool Cathedral)

Anything in the cathedrals is wonderful, but how about being part of a massive choir, reverberating around the walls of the Anglican Cathedral? Plus a ceilidh and taking in the twilight from the top of the tower. Nice.

LightNight at the Town Hall (Liverpool Town Hall)

A rare chance to have a look inside the place where those blokes in the Echo shout at each other. Stunning building.

Impropriety’s Journey To The Yet Unknown (St George’s Hall)

The improv troupe brings St George’s Hall to life – or death. Sounds spooky to us – and a heap of fun.

Stuff at The Walker (The Walker)

Tours around the museum plus a sneak peak at Rolf Harris’s excellent, highly anticipated new show. Pshaw to your cynicism – we’re going.

Light and Sound Light Night Afterparty (LIPA, Seel Street)

Noises from the excellent Clinic and Kazimier Krunk Band, with accompanying things for your eyes. A sensory feast.

Light Night Liverpool
18 May 2012
Various venues across the city

  • Fairminded

    I don’t mean to be negative, I would totally love to see regular light nights, but with light nights means staff working.

    As most of the events are free, then it means businessess having to pay overtime for staff to stay on in galleries, art spaces etc.

    It would seem fair that there was a lightnight pass, not overpriced, that gets us into everything we want to see, this would show a committment from us that we really want Light nights to become a more than annual/bi annual event. Having said that, I’m really looking forward to lots of events. Thanks and well done to the peeps who have put this together

  • Andy Johnson

    Thanks for the picks – there is a lot to sort out from the programme so this is useful. The one I would add is the candlelit labyrinth walk outside the metropolitan cathedral. I did the one last year and found it a wonderful unique experience.

  • Linda Houghton

    This is no criticism of your article at all, but what are these things you can do in a continental city after 5pm?

    For most of the last five years I’ve spent the working week in a variety of European cities and their museums almost always close at 5 or 6pm, just like here. After 5 or 6pm you’re mostly restricted to eating, drinking, cinema and theatre. Just like here.

    I just wonder what this myth of the exciting late night continental city is really all about?

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com Robin Brown

    Ehhhhh. One can only go off one’s own experience of course, but over the last year in Lisbon, several cities in southern Spain, Paris, Cologne and Riga my experience was that places tend to be open beyond 5pm in those cities. Shops, galleries etc.

    During a recent trip to Barcelona the fact that everything was open until 7, 8 or later was used to dodge queues that were at their height mid-afternoon. These places include Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Nou Camp, Miro Foundation, The gothic Cathedral and Picasso Museum among others.