Liverpool City Council has been reviewing the remainder of the city’s 2020 events calendar
As Liverpool adjusts to the tier three lockdown restrictions which comes into force today, the Culture Liverpool department – who are the team behind some of the city’s biggest council-run events – has been looking carefully at each city council run event and has announced what will and will not be going ahead this year.
It’s a challenging time, especially when local regulations can change with little notice
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon said: “This is a year unlike any other and as a city renowned for its events, it’s never an easy decision to postpone or cancel activities which we know bring so much joy to people and a much-needed economic boost.
“Safety takes priority over everything, and for months our event experts have been looking how we can continue to stage events safely. Just yesterday we were delighted to deliver The Good Business Festival to a virtual audience – an event which was originally planned to fill conference centres and venues across the city.
“It’s clear that fireworks - which annually attract 250,000 people - simply isn’t an option in the current climate, so we need to think differently about how we stage and deliver activities. Being able to provide an online remembrance service is hugely important to us and there are still lots of conversations going on behind the scenes about the River of Light installations and the Christmas market.
“It’s a challenging time, especially when local regulations can change with little notice, but the team will continue to analyse all options, and plan for 2021 in the hope that events can return to Liverpool once again.”
Although, as we are all fully aware, plans and rules keep changing and many decisions and plans are still being discussed and finalised, here's the latest update:
River of Light
There will be no official fireworks display taking place in the city this year as there are concerns around large crowds and mixed households gathering in one place. Following last year’s success, the team is still looking at the option of installing a number of light installations across the waterfront in a covid-safe way. A decision will be made in the next couple of weeks.
Service of Remembrance
The decision has been made to hold a virtual service which will be streamed online on Sunday 8 November. There will be no public gathering on this day and anyone who would like to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph on St George’s Hall plateau is asked to avoid 11am on Remembrance Sunday (8 Nov) and 11am on Armistice Day (11 Nov). Instead they are urged to find a time over the four days (8-11 Nov) to pay their respects while adhering to social distancing. Full details of the virtual service and how people can watch the proceedings will be announced in the coming weeks.
All options are currently being explored to establish whether it’s feasible to stage a Christmas market on St George’s Hall plateau. Consultations with stakeholders have been taking place for a number of weeks relating to the delivery of a covid-safe event, to bring a bit of festive cheer to the city centre. A final decision on whether this will go ahead is expected later this month.
A quick update on other, non council-run events.
Liverpool Film Festival 2020
In light of the latest guidance and restrictions put in place by the Government in Liverpool yesterday the Liverpool Film Festival (23-25th Oct) has come to the decision to move ALL screenings at this year’s festival online. (All tickets already purchased for screenings in cinema will now be valid for the online screenings.)
The festivals aim was to host a selection of screenings at the Odeon, Liverpool One with filmmakers invited to attend to take part in post-screening Q&A’s with social distancing guidelines.
All screenings will still be going ahead at the advertised date and time with ticket purchasers given a link to the virtual screening that will take place on LIVIFF.COM. All tickets are now on sale and there's a fantastic selection of films that can now be viewed from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Liverpool Irish Festival
This year’s 10 day Liverpool Irish Festival launches 15-25 October with an online programme, celebrating the connections between Liverpool and Ireland. With a theme of exchange, the Festival programme brings together artists, performers, writers, musicians, makers and academics much of the Festival explores what we can learn from each other. The full programme and how to participate in each event can be found at www.liverpoolirishfestival.com
Cheese and Sherry Tastings at Lunya
Even with the new rules in place, there are still ways in which you can continue to support independent restaurants. You might have seen or read about Peter Kinsella from Lunya and Lunyalita in the Telegraph, BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, 5 Live, Times Radio (and a few more) and although the venues close by 10pm each day to comply with the current curfew, they are still able to host special events – each table needs to be a single household/social bubble.
You can still book for the Cheese Tasting on Wednesday 14th October and there’s a Sherry Tasting on Wednesday 11th November. You get your own socially distanced table and other very extensive Covid-secure precautions are in place. Peter is so passionate about Spanish produce and a great raconteur, so they’re great value and great fun. You can even pick up some goodies or order a Xmas gift pack while you’re there.
Liverpool Ice Festival
Liverpool's Christmas Ice Festival at Pier Head has been cancelled despite all the attractions, including a covered outdoor ice rink, ice slide, ice-themed rides, funfair, food stalls and Christmas market, having been covered by Gold Standard health and safety measures.
The family-friendly attraction which was supposed to run from 13 November 2020 to 3 January 2021, hopes to return next year.
A statement from organisers said: "After careful monitoring and consultation with Liverpool City Council and having weighed up a number of factors, we have come to the disappointing conclusion that it is in the best interests of our customers for us to cancel the Liverpool Ice Festival event this year."