LightNight 2019 – All singing, all dancing culture crawl is this month

Posted on 2 May 2019
By Khyle Deen
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Are you dancing? LightNight Liverpool, the city’s popular one-night arts festival, is back on Friday 17 May 2019 for its tenth year. The theme for this year’s festival is Ritual.

From Carnival to festivals, wedding celebrations and choirs, singing and dancing are at the heart of our ritual experience within our communities, providing cultural expression, celebration and commemoration.

As part of the 100+ free events taking place across the city centre from 5pm until late, many celebrate singing, music and dancing, calling on Liverpool’s culture as a musical city and home to diverse cultures and communities.

With two official food hubs, at Baltic Food Market and the Bombed Out Church, there’s also an opportunity to rest and refuel on LightNight. Showcasing the best food and drink from local producers, the food hubs are part of the ritual of the night and both have a great musical offer to entertain you while you eat and drink.

Mark Power, Interim Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Liverpool John Moores University comments: “LightNight is one of the key events in the Liverpool calendar, marking the beginning of summer celebrations on the streets of the city. We are delighted once again, to work in partnership with Open Culture, to bring this incredible event to the people of the city. For the university, this is a chance for us to open our doors and let visitors see the world of LJMU and to showcase some of the fantastic work of our staff and our students.”

New Spaces, Technology & Dance, LJMU John Lennon Art & Design Building, Live performances at 19:30, 20:15, 21:15

Live dancers and virtual video performers work together to create a narrative that reflects how we can passively walk, struggle to balance and inevitably fall into rituals throughout life. By using technology and choreography in conjunction this way, the installation aims to disrupt the rituals of the traditional theatrical experience. Captured using 360-degree immersive video this unique meta experience puts the audience participant at the centre of two other dance and technology works using iPads. The user can direct an alternative perspective of how performances can be experienced and presented. Performances last 12 minutes.

Rhythms of the Candomblé Orixás, Museum of Liverpool Steps, 21:00 — 22:00

Batala Mersey bring see a show stopping dusk drumming performance to the outside steps of the Museum of Liverpool. Telling the story of three Brazilian Orishas, forming the basis of three short ritualistic percussive routines, representing the human form of their Candomble spirit in the Yoruba identity.

The Physicality of Vocal Preparation with Jennifer John, Liverpool Town Hall, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00 & 21:00

Singing heightens our feel-good experience. There is a misconception that singing is a gift you either have or don’t have. This is sometimes true, but there is also a process that enables most people to increase their physical awareness when singing and through practice, their ability to improve. This workshop provides the basic tools in a safe and fun environment. Workshops last 30 mins. Booking essential; book your free place via email to

The Big Brass Singalong, St George’s Hall, 19:45 – 20:45

The Salvation Army of Walton invites you to this uplifting mass singalong to the likes of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’. Many rituals revolve around music and this plans to recreate the atmosphere that communal singing brings whether it is in a football ground, or a singalong movie. Come and help raise the roof!

Late Night Ceilidh, St George’s Hall, 21:00 — 23:00

Live ceilidh band Gallimaufry are back for their seventh annual LightNight ritual. A family friendly, foot-tapping, lively end to your festival experience in the beautiful surroundings of the Great Hall.

Mythical Mask Making Workshop, Blackburne House, 17:00 — 22:00

Theatrical production artist Carly Fisher and team guide you through the stages of designing your own mask. Best of all, you can keep the mask you make! Carly’s handmade mythical masks will also be featured in the Wicker Woman ceremonies happening over the course of the evening.

Festival as Ritual, British Music Experience, 17:30 — 22:00

In homage to the rich variety of festivals on offer throughout the UK, the BME creates an immersive walk-through experience looking at how ‘the festival’ has become embedded within our culture as a rite of passage. Journey through an audio-visual landscape exploring the evolution of the festival.

Liverpool Samba School, Church Street, 21:30 — 22:30

Liverpool Samba School and the team behind Brazilica celebrate the music, dance and costumes of Carnival, which in many Christian countries is a pre-Lent ritual that revellers traditionally celebrate before a month of fasting leading up to Easter. Mardi Gras, Venetian Carnevale and Rio Carnival all have their roots in this ritual.

Street Party Along Windsor Street, starting at Toxteth Library, 18:00 — 22:00

Join Windsor Street’s creative organisations for their first LightNight celebratory street party packed with performance, spoken word, dance, music, film, food, and arts. Beginning with an energising, ritualistic carnival performance from Katumba, follow their lead through Windsor Street’s many arts and cultural organisations to sample a taste of the diverse things happening in our community. A unique collaborative event by Writing on the Wall, Squash Nutrition, Brazuka/ Katumba, 20 Stories High, Toxteth TV, CineNation, Video Odyssey, Family Hive and artists from the John Archer Hall Studios.

Are ya dancin’? Coz we’re askin’! Central Library, 21:05 — 22:30

Pick up some swing dance moves courtesy of Mersey Swing between 21:05 — 21:45 and you’ll be Lindy Hopping and doing the Charleston in no time! Then from 21:45 — 22:30 dance the night away to the biggest sounds from the hottest swing bands of the jazz era.

Dancing in the Street, Sugar House Steps, Liverpool ONE, 19:00 — 19:30

Up for Arts is 10 and to celebrate they’re dancing in the street! BeatLife belt out the drum beats along with Samba Livre Liverpool Brazilian samba dancers – if you love to dance, come and join this joyous dancing procession! Route: Sugar House Steps, Paradise St, School Lane, Peter’s Lane, Manesty’s Lane, crossing Paradise St, Sugar House Steps.

LightNight Commission – The Great British Baraat, Church Street 17:30, 18:30 & 19:30

Milapfest and Movema will join forces for a joyous celebration of the ritual of Indian marriage, the Baarat. The exuberant outdoor wedding ritual culminates in a Milni, the meeting of two families. In a unique mass street-dance take on this ritual Movema, local dancers and Milap favourite the Bombay Baja Brass Band will meet on Church Street and combine what they do best – music and dance!

LightNight continues until late with two after show parties:

Disco Glitter I Feel ‘Ya Love, 22:00 – 02:00, Constellations
Micro Rituals w/Dogshow Live 22:00 – 02:00, Kazimier Garden

At Constellations bring your dancing shoes and worship the Queen of Disco with Donna Summer Fever with artist group Projectile Vomit between 5pm -10pm. Then from 10pm, DJs Andrew Ellis and James Binary takeover the decks so expect love, light, funk, soul, disco and plenty of twirling. It’s free but donate on the door if you like.

Meanwhile at Kazimier Gardens, resident DJs ease you into the night-time vibe in one of our favourite urban gardens. Grab a drink, soak up the atmosphere and let the music take you away. Very limited tickets are available for Micro Rituals at Liverpool’s newest live space, Kazmier Stockroom. Gather on the dancefloor for inhouse band, Dogshow.

LightNight 2019 celebrates the 10th year of the free independent festival, produced by Open Culture and is always a memorable night. Guides, containing the full festival programme, can be ordered online at Sale proceeds go towards funding the festival helping to keep it free.

You can also buy you guide from one of the Festival Guide sales outlets:

Baltic Triangle: Baltic Bakehouse, Baltic Market, Baltic Roastery, Constellations, Tusk at Northern Lights. Waterfront: British Music Experience, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool. City Centre: Merseyrail Loop Line Mtogo Stores at Moorfields Station, Central Station, Lime St Lower Level & James Street Stations, Bluecoat, dot-art, FACT, Liverpool ONE Info Centre, News from Nowhere, Playhouse Theatre. St George’s Quarter: Central Library, Walker Art Gallery, World Museum. Hope Street Quarter: Blackburne House, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool Cathedral, Unity Theatre, Victoria Gallery & Museum. Further afield: Atkinson Art Gallery (Southport), Baltic Bakehouse (Allerton Road), Lady Lever Art Gallery (Port Sunlight), Williamson Art Gallery (Birkenhead).