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LightNight is Liverpool’s free one-night arts festival and sees venues large and small, old and new around the city open their doors until late to stage over 100 free events for all ages.

LightNight offers a way of seeing the city in a new light, and showcasing the diverse, high-quality arts offer that’s happening in the city region every day. Since we started the festival in 2010, it has grown into one of the single biggest cultural events in the city and attracts thousands of visitors to venues they may never have been into before, taking the opportunity to try something new; see something different; step out of their comfort zone; or just spend time with friends and family.

“LightNight drives large numbers of new audiences into the city centre, giving tourists and communities alike a taste of the local, national and international talent we now attract and reminding them of the incredible year round cultural offer that Liverpool has to offer. LightNight is considered a priority within LCC and a crucial pillar of Liverpool’s cultural calendar”

— Wendy Simon, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member - Culture, Tourism and Events, Liverpool City Council


Each year since 2013 the LightNight programme has responded to a particular theme; previous festivals have explored themes including Transformation, Memory, Experiment and Time. The 2020 edition of the festival is themed ‘Home’ and will take place on 15 May 2020.

For LightNight we work with arts, cultural, heritage and commercial partners around the region to stage a huge range of events; from large-scale light projections, live music, hands-on workshops, crafting and dance to late-opening exhibitions, spoken word, street performance, film and theatre. We curate and oversee the entire festival programme – maintaining its artistic integrity, pairing events with venues and commissioning new work from local, national and international artists.

"Open Culture’s inclusive philosophy has seen LightNight’s profile and identity continue to grow, year on year.  We admire the innovative approach to commissions, sensitive partnership development, cross-marketing opportunities and, critically, the subsequent project evaluation.”

— Paul Gallagher
Deputy Director, Museum of Liverpool


Delivery of the festival is coordinated by Open Culture with the support of the LightNight Steering Group. Having coordinated LightNight Liverpool since its inception in 2010 the Open Culture team acts as the catalyst between organisations, mentor to artists and producer of artistic commissions. The collaborative nature of the event depends upon our unique skillsets and open outlook.


Participating organisations range from world-class institutions such as National Museums Liverpool, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Philharmonic, FACT, Bluecoat, Everyman & Playhouse, alongside festivals including Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Liverpool Biennial, DaDaFest, and Wowfest to community oriented organisations such as Blackburne House, Pagoda Arts and Liverpool Cathedral.


LightNight attracts an audience of over 15,000 people of all ages and interests each year. The demand for the festival has been overwhelming, with audience members describing their experience of the night as ‘wonderful’ ‘fascinating’ and ‘inspiring’. Partner organisations feedback is similarly positive with over 97% of participating organisations consistently saying they would take part next year because of the opportunities to trial events, develop the skills of staff and artists, broaden audiences and build their profile.

“Open Culture’s pro-active facilitation of brokering collaborations across organisations in Liverpool is impressive and visionary.”

— Alex Irving, Artist

Talk to us

Open Culture regularly consult for other organisations and councils seeking to stage similar events. Get in touch if you'd like to hear how we can support you.

If you're interested in getting involved with a future LightNight Liverpool get in touch or visit