Film-makers, pop stars and pyrotechnics will 'blow your socks off'

Liverpool is to host a nine-month long festival of the best of Chinese contemporary art and culture in 2018 to mark the city’s 10th anniversary as the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

The Year of the Dog celebrations, in what is Europe’s oldest Chinatown, will kick start the nine-month China Dream programme.

February's actual Chinese New Year celebrations will not just be more spectacular than ever, but also signal the start of the festival, says Liverpool City Council.

New Year festivities will run the length of Berry Street, while a spectacular projection show will illuminate the city’s Chinese arch, the largest outside mainland China, and surrounding buildings, accompanied by music from popular Chinese artists.

There will also be a pyrotechnic display which the council says “will blow your socks off”.

The launch of China Dream also coincides with the opening of the major Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum, which set to pull in visitors from both home and abroad to enjoy the rare experience of seeing the famous ancient artefacts on British soil.

Terracotta Army set to lure sell-out crowds to Liverpool

“During China Dream, unique, revolutionary artists and photographers will be commissioned to create one-off pieces which showcase the best of Chinese contemporary culture,” said a spokeswoman.

In the summer, Shanghai, Liverpool’s twin city takes over the Mersey waterfront to present Shanghai.. Let’s Meet!

It will feature 10 of its best emerging artists, as well as a special showcase from the Shanghai Film Festival, which will bring the latest in Chinese film to an English-speaking audience.

China Dream concludes in October with a celebration of the Moon Festival, China’s golden week, a harvest-time holiday where, the council says, some of the biggest names in the country’s pop music scene will descend on the Mersey to bring the latest Chinese sounds.

The spokesman added: “We are working with some amazing performers and artists in China to present what will be an amazing festival in Liverpool.”

Liverpool and Shanghai became twin cities in 1999.

Mayor Joe Anderson, said:  “Liverpool 2018 is an opportunity for us to roll out the red carpet for people to come and visit for the first time, or to rediscover what we believe is the most exciting destination in the UK. Some of the projects which we will be announcing in the New Year really do raise the bar and it will be an incredible time for residents and visitors who will undoubtedly travel from across the world to experience how Liverpool puts on a show.”

China Dream forms part of the Liverpool 2018 celebrations, supported by the official GREAT Britain campaign.