Category Archives: Liverpool Biennial

Weightmans Wednesday – Liverpool Biennial

The joys of working in Liverpool are that there is so much happening. From new hotels, bars, restaurants, businesses, to the cultural richness the city has to offer, I am constantly keen to discover and learn about the many opportunities happening in the city.

At last week’s Weightmans Wednesday event, I listened to a very interesting talk given by Julie Lomax, from Liverpool Biennial. In a previous article, I had written about the positive impact the festival has had on the city of Liverpool. However I had little understanding of the purpose behind the festival. By the end of the talk, my understanding of the Biennial was clearer.

Liverpool Biennial is more than just a free festival of contemporary national and international art. It is about representing Liverpool’s past, present and future, using imagery to express people’s stories and ideas. This is achieved through an eclectic mix of exhibitions, films, events and performances, held in the city’s public spaces, galleries, museums and unused buildings. What this achieves is three-dimensional visual spectacles, of fiction and storytelling that brings Liverpool’s history to life.

From the talk given by Julie, I learned that Liverpool Biennial works with major arts organisations in the city, including FACT, Bluecoat, TATE Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery, Walker Art Gallery and more. I also learned how this year’s festival used a format of six episodes, which took viewers on a journey, through Liverpool history and culture, with stories interwoven between venues, places and performances. Finally I also learned that Liverpool Biennial is already working towards 2018. Who knows what artistic wonders await the milestone of ten years, since Capital of Culture?

I came away from the event feeling enlightened. What impressed me is how the Biennial has breathed life into parts of Liverpool, once unused and neglected. In conclusion, Liverpool Biennial is an asset, as it contributes to the city, both in culture and commerce.

Finally I would like to thank Julie for a fine cultural discussion. My thanks also go to John Kemp and everyone at Weightmans for organising a splendid evening, and for their usual mix of kind professionalism and hospitality.


Liverpool Biennial – An Introduction

For some people reading this article, the name of the Liverpool Biennial may sound familiar. However others may be unfamiliar with it, which is why I have decided to shed a light on the good work the Biennial does for the city.

Liverpool Biennial is the biggest free festival of contemporary art in the UK. By holding events across the city over a 14 week period, the purpose of the festival is to promote the latest artworks and community projects. This features both national and international artists and is focused on contemporary visual art, which are displayed in Liverpool’s museums, cultural landmarks and galleries.

This year, the festival is being held from 9th July to 16th October, which promises to be another exciting occasion for Liverpool. If you are interested, you can find out more information here.

Since its launch in 1999, the Liverpool Biennial has provided a massive boost to Liverpool’s economy, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. This has not only helped Liverpool in becoming a popular tourist destination, but it has also given opportunities for artists to create and express their works to a wider audience.

So what has the Liverpool Biennial done for the city? To answer this, I have listed some of the benefits below, which provide a snapshot of the festival’s positive impact on Liverpool.

  • The festival has presented work from 400 artists from 72 countries since 1999.
  • From 2004 to 2014 the economic impact of the Liverpool Biennial has generated £119.6m for the city.
  • Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 200 artworks.
  • The festival also runs education programmes with schools, communities and other organisations from the public and private sectors.
  • In 2014, there were 877,000 visitors who attended the festival.

The Liverpool Biennial is more than just about attracting and entertaining visitors through art and culture. This is because the festival plays an important role in promoting Liverpool, both as a successful city and brand, to the UK and the rest of the world. The Biennial achieves this through not only through hard work and commitment, but also from support and sponsorship from organisations and businesses.

Through my time working and exploring the city, I have grown to appreciate Liverpool’s art and culture. From the Albert Dock, to the Walker Art Gallery, there is so much to see and do in Liverpool, which makes me feel very proud of my city. I appreciate and salute the fine work that Liverpool Biennial does, and I hope they continue to do so.

Is Liverpool making its mark in the events industry?

As a professional, I like to seek out and learn from others, about what is happening in Liverpool. These relate from the latest news, such as the Devolution Deal, to proposed developments, and upcoming events to be held in the city, such as the International Festival of Business. Last month, I attended a Downtown in Business event in the Cotton Exchange, to learn about how Liverpool is making its mark in the events industry.

The event included a panel discussion featuring some notable speakers, followed by a question and answer session. These speakers included Chris Brown from Marketing Liverpool, Tim Banfield from ACC Liverpool, Rosie Cooper from Liverpool Biennial and Robin Kemp from Culture Liverpool. I enjoyed listening to each of them, as they explained the successes their respective organisations have brought to the city. Each speaker was a pleasure to listen to, and I certainly found what they had to say, to be informative, interesting and exciting to hear about.

Listening to the success of ACC Liverpool, I was astonished to learn that they have brought in 15,500 delegates into the city, generating £25.7 million for the local economy. This means Liverpool as a brand is making its mark in the events industry, evidenced by ACC Liverpool’s recently deserved success in winning Best UK Conference Centre for the fourth year, and securing 17 major events, with another 47 events in the bidding pipeline.

I had never heard of Club Liverpool. Yet, I was interested to hear about their work. Club Liverpool is a network of ambassadors, passionate about attracting events, exhibitors and promoting the city. In addition, the contribution of Liverpool Biennial and Culture Liverpool, in promoting the art and culture of the city, through festivals and large-scale events cannot be underestimated.

It was refreshing to hear about what can be done better, to maintain such high standards now expected. An example is the lack of city-wide wireless internet (Wi-Fi). Upon hearing this, I was reminded of how much more Liverpool still needs to do to become technologically smart. Therefore it is important the city continually pushes and improves the visitor experience, to keep attracting major events and exhibitors.

I also reinforced my understanding of the importance of organisations like Culture Liverpool and the Biennial to work with other organisations across all sectors (I mentioned this in a previous article here). With reduced public funding, corporate sponsorships and other funding streams will be very important in the future. This will be to ensure Liverpool continues to have the ability to host and deliver world class events, exhibitions and festivals.

To conclude I would like to thank all of the speakers, and also to Chris McKenna and the Downtown team for making the event possible. I came away from the discussion feeling enlightened and satisfied, as well as thinking and pondering about what I had learned.