18 events in 2018 that proved Liverpool is still cultural capital of the world

We don’t know how anything will top this year in terms of events in our city.

Millions of visitors have graced our shores, the eyes of the world have been upon us and we have celebrated our city like never before, proving that 10 years on from Capital of Culture Liverpool is still the cultural epicentre of the planet.

Here at The Guide Liverpool we pride ourselves on bringing you all of the city’s event action as it happens and it’s been an extra privilege for us this year to be at the forefront of what will be remembered as one of the city’s greatest years in its history. Here are just 18 of the many events that we will never forget. 2018 we salute you!


1 – A Giant Spectacle

We had to start with this, it was the biggest and most succesful event in Liverpool’s history after all. An estimated 1.5 million people came from all over the world to say hi (and goodbye) to our Giant friends who will forever have a special place in the heart of our city. Watch the official highlights above and get your hands on the official Liverpool’s Dream Souvenir Book here.


2 – An African Party in the Park

Africa Oyé celebrated its biggest festival to date back in June, seeing the likes of Inner Circle and Rocky Duwani take to its Sefton Park stage. Thousands of you joined the party and, with it being slap bang in the middle of that amazing heatwave, the Ray ban’s were out in force. Dates for next year are still TBC, but get the third weekend in June pencilled in and keep up to date here.


3 – A Royal Calendar of Events

It’s been a huge year for the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool; new restaurants, bars and stores, one very eye catching piece of art with Liverpool Mountain, a new inflatable assault course, Adventure Dock, and a floating football pitch. Plus, more people attended its events than ever before. We celebrated the Dock’s Heritage, welcomed Steam engines from all over the UK, got trendy with Fine Tuned, sung our hearts out with Folk and watched Pirates battle and mermaids shine with Pirates on the Dock. More to come in 2019 head to www.thealbertdock.com to keep check on  dates.


4 – A City Region Wide Construction

Surely one of the most unique and interesting events took over our City Region back in August. Lost Castles was the brain child of French artist Oliver Crosette and saw the six boroughs of Merseyside get together to construct six lost castles of the region and then, on the Sunday, knock them down again. Another City Region wide event is expected for next year, keep it with www.cultureliverpool.co.uk to find out more.


5 – A colourful weekend of Pride

It was the biggest Pride celebration the city has ever seen, with over 50,000 supporters in attendance at Liverpool Pride 2018. The likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Courtney Act headlined the main stage in its new home on Tithebarn Street, whilst over 10,000 people marched with pride through the city beforehand. The event always takes place during the last weekend in July so get that in your diary for 2019 and keep it with Liverpool Pride as they unveil some exciting news very soon.


6 – A River Mersey race finish

Things got emotional back in July as our city welcomed back 12 teams and over 700 crew who had spent 11 gruelling months at sea for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 17-18. Of course we welcomed them with a host of celebrations across our waterfront. Fancy taking the mission yourself? You can apply for the 2019-20 edition now, all the info here.


7 – A River full of Light

We have never seen the Pier Head so busy or our waterfront shining so bright. Both sides of the Mersey lit up in spectacular style for River of Light 2018, our now annual Bonfire Night celebration. The elements brought us four incredible light installations with The Kazimier’s Pool of Mirrors, the triangular walk though Wave, Terra shining bright on the Royal Liver Building and the European premier of Anahad, bringing the city’s China Dream season to a breathtaking close.


8 – A Double Foodie Feast

Liverpool Food & Drink Festival brought two weekends of foodie fun to Sefton Park this year with thousands in attendance. The first was back in Spring with a focus on lifestyle and well being, and the second in September with the likes of Raymond Blanc taking to the Chef’s Arena. Dates of next year’s Spring Festival are in, so get 27th & 28th April on your menu. Keep up to date here.


9 – A LIMF like no other 

Jax Jones, Hacienda Classical, Trevor Nelson, Stefflon Don, Wiley, James Hype, Basement Jaxx, Tim Westwood and many more treated us to two days of incredible live music in Sefton Park. We brought you all of the backstage action as it happened with LIMF TV and word on the street is that the festival will return for 2019, dates TBC but keep it www.limfestival.com.


10 – A Sail Away Spectacular for Cruise Liverpool

56 huge cruise ships, 67,000 international passengers, 33,000 crew and £7m brought in to our local economy – what a year for Liverpool Cruise Terminal! The team at Cruise Liverpool put on Sail Away shows to bid many of the vessels farewell; attracting thousands of visitors to our waterfront for events like Disney’s Magic on the Mersey and Cunard celebrations. More to come next year when the season starts up again from April. Find out more at www.cruise-liverpool.com


11 – An Award Winning Wine Festival Debut

We go back to the sunny Mayday Bank Holiday for the Bordeaux Wine Festival, which not only welcomed the city of Bordeaux but also thousands of wine loving festival goers. The waterfront was alive during this weekend as the Tall Ships Regatta also sailed down our Mersey, celebrating 10 years since our Capital of Culture win in style. We are hearing whispers that the Bordeaux Wine Festival will return in 2019 with a  brand offering and wine menu. Don’t miss it, it has just won ‘Best New Event’ and the annual NOEA Awards!


12 – A Feast at Liverpool ONE

Not only has Liverpool ONE welcomed new stores and restaurants like Footlocker, Aether and Arket this year but it’s also hosted an incredible array of events too. The Feast Weekend back in June celebrated the best food and drink L1 has to offer, Halloween brought us a giant spider, Katumba drummers and our personal favourite, Uncle Doom and his Organ of Gloom. And of course, that incredible Christmas Street Party earlier this month. There’s plenty more to come and you can keep up to date with it all at www.liverpool-one.com.


14 – A Weekend of Remembrance

Liverpool always remembers our war heroes with pride but this year’s tributes were even more poignant as we reflected on 100 years passing since since the end of World War One. Over 14,000 names of our war dead were projected on to Exchange Flags whilst a stunning portrait of Merseyside poet Wilfred Owen was projected on to Lime Street. The beautiful service of Remembrance at St. George’s Hall drew crowds of thousands and cemented Liverpool as a city that will never forget.


15 – An Irish Party on the Pier

 

As if we had Van Morrison playing a gig on our waterfront this year! But it wasn’t only Van the Man on stage; Liverpool Feis brought some of the biggest Irish artists including Shane MacCowan, Imelda May, Vance Joy and The Chieftains. The event was hailed as a huge success and the big news is that it’s returning in 2019. Keep it with www.feis1.com for the dates you need.


16 – A Children’s BBC Bash

For the first time ever CBBC brought their Summer Social to Liverpool this year with the likes of Mr. Tumble, Matt Terry and Bars & Melody entertaining the crowds in Croxteth Park. TV shows like The Worst Witch, Horrible Histories and Match of the Day were brought to life as thousands of mini CBBS fans from across the country descended on our city. Fingers crossed it returns for 2019!


17 – A race track in the city

The Strand was transformed into a custom race track in August as the Red Bull Drift Shifters roared their way into town. The world’s top drifters, including Mad Mike Whiddet (the brains behind the event) competed in an adrenaline filled race in the shadow of our Royal Liver Building. Watch all of the action above.


18 – A Tall Ships Showstopper

The Tall Ships are no strangers to Liverpool having been here now on five different occasions, the fifth being back in May of this year delivering a true spectacle on our River Mersey. The ships sailed alongside festivities for the Bordeaux Wine Festival and continues their epic journey to Dublin and then on to Bordeaux itself.


So there you have it. Just some of the many breathtaking events we have witnessed in Liverpool on this monumental year for the city. It’s true we may never meet the Liverpool Giants again, hear Van Morrison play on our Pier Head or see Drift Shifters speeding along the Strand. But one thing is for sure with Liverpool having more gigs, events and festivals per square foot than any other city in the world…there is definitely more to come. Bring on 2019!

What have been your favourite events in 2018? What would you like to see next year? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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