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A cultural guide to... Liverpool


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Being awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2008 launched Liverpool into the cultural spotlight, and the huge investment that followed now means the city is rife with points of interest. 

Liverpool has experienced probably one the most remarkable transformations the UK has seen for a long time. It has blossomed from an industrial maritime city into a buzzing creative hub that now rivals Manchester as the most cultural city in the North West. 

The city has a welcoming vibe; a small city, close- knit atmosphere with a big city mentality. Liverpool has benefitted from plenty of investment and refurbishment in recent years, and now proudly boasts some of the most interesting and unique museums, galleries, and venues in the country.




Sitting pretty in the Royal Albert Dock, the Tate Modern offers visitors four floors of contemporary art from both Britain and further afield, including photography, paintings, and sculptures. The gallery is free to enter and has a multitude of events to enjoy all year round. Let's not forget to mention it is one of the most visited art galleries outside of London. 



Housing one of the largest art collections in England, the Walker Art Gallery stands proud as the finest gallery in Liverpool. Its collections date back to the early 1800s and exhibit a variety of pieces, including some from the Renaissance, Tudor, and Victorian periods. Visitors can find the gallery on William Brown Street, the only street in the UK that solely consists of museums, galleries, and libraries. 





When it officially opened in 2011, the museum of Liverpool was the first in the world dedicated to the history of a regional city, and the largest newly built museum in Britain for over a century. The exhibitions tell the story of the history of the city's music, sport, and popular culture through archives, photographs, and performances. 



The World Museum reveals millions of years of the Earth's history, featuring exhibitions on archaeology, ethnology, and natural and physical history. Although originally established in the mid 1850s on Duke Street, due to popularity alone it is now one of the museums adjacent to the Walker Art Gallery, situated on William Brown Street. The gallery has seen some recent refurbishment, and as a result has nearly doubled in size. 



The only national museum in the world dedicated to the history of the transatlantic slave trade can be found on the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool. The exhibitions tell the story of life in West Africa, as well as Liverpool's role in the process. The different galleries individually tackle the topics of enslavement, the legacy, and black history and heritage. Since its opening in 2007, the museum has welcomed tens of millions of visitors. David Fleming, the director of the National Museums Liverpool group said the museum attempts to address ignorance and misunderstanding by looking at the permanent impact of slavery and the slave trade on Africa. 



Yet another gem hidden away on the Royal Albert Dock; the Beatles Story is the largest museum in the world honouring the lives and careers of The Beatles, and there is no place more fitting than their hometown of Liverpool. For nearly thirty years, the museum has taken visitors on a journey through the times, the culture, and the music of the most famous music group to come from the city. 





The theatre was named after the manager of The Beatles, Brian Epstein, for his contribution to music and culture within the city. Despite being threatened with closure on several ocassions in its time, the Epstein has clung on with the help of the people of Liverpool. Although originally infamous amongst amateur dramatic groups, the Epstein has become increasingly popular with touring comics, musicians, and stage productions in recent years.



Situated on the corner of Lime Street, a short walk from Liverpool's biggest train station is the proud Empire Theatre. The stunning venue opened to the public in 1925 and has since hosted a number of famous performances, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Laurel and Hardy, Bing Crosby, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Cilla Black, Bruce Forsyth, Kate Bush, and of course, The Beatles. The venue hosted the Royal Variety Show in 2007, to celebrate the city becoming the European capital of culture the subsequent year. The Empire continues to put on productions of music, theatre, and comedy. 





Liverpool's festival of psychedelia, based in the creative hub that is the Baltic Triangle, is a two day celebration of the modern global psychedellic renaissance, through a lethal combination of music and visual effects. 



The biennial in Liverpool showcases a wealth of contemporary art located all around the city. Locations include public spaces, unused buildings, and galleries. Since it began, the biennial has presented work from over 450 artists from all walks of life. The next of these events will take place 14th July - 28th October 2018.





The popular Liverpool music festival, Sound City, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. The event is located at Clarence Dock, and every year hosts some of the most famous names in music, including Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran, The Kooks, Paloma Faith, Catfish & the Bottlemen, and Dexys Midnight Runners to name a few. Previously, the festival took place throughout different central locations in the city, but high demand in tickets led to its relocation to the docks. 



The Echo Arena is the largest music venue in Liverpool, with a capacity of 11,000. It hosts comedy, music, and sports events, the most notable including performances from Russell Howard, Beyonce, Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga, and The Killers, as well as the venue also playing host to the MTV Europe Music Awards. 


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