From a rollerskating jam to robot rock and a spring food festival, events are back with a bang this month
SPRING IN THE SQUARE | Exchange Flags | Friday 30 April - Sunday 23 May
For the next four weeks, Spring in the Square is taking over Exchange Flags to bring you live entertainment, DJs, champagne, cocktails and street food. The event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 10pm with tables for up to six available outside or under cover. A limited number of walk-ups will be available but booking is advised. Drinks packages are also available.
Exchange Flags, Liverpool L2 3PF (tickets from £10 per person which includes a complimentary drink on arrival)
WRITING ON THE WALL | Online | 1 - 31 May
Liverpool’s literary festival celebrates its 21st anniversary this year with a line-up of famous names in conversation via Zoom, including film-maker Ken Loach, children’s author Michael Rosen, and television presenter Jon Snow. Other highlights include Tracey Thorn, American crime fiction novelist Walter Moseley and author Maxine Hong-Kingston, Professor at the University of California.
Writing on the Wall, Toxteth Library, Windsor St, Liverpool, L8 1XF (tickets from £5.98 at eventbrite.co.uk)
AI: MORE THAN HUMAN | World Museum | 18 May - 31 October
What is consciousness? Will machines ever outsmart a human? Do robots dream of electric sheep? The fascinating world of artificial intelligence comes to Liverpool’s World Museum in a new exhibition bursting with interactivity. Including artists such as Anna Ridler, Es Devlin and Justine Emard, AI: More Than Human will give a thrilling vision of the future. Siri, set a reminder please.
World Museum, William Brown St, Liverpool, UK, L3 8EN (tickets from £5 at liverpoolmuseums.org.uk)
PENELOPE ISLES | Future Yard | Wednesday 19 May
In association with Harvest Sun Promotions, Birkenhead’s new music venue brings a socially-distanced, limited capacity show to the yard with headliners Penelope Isles. The four-piece band from Brighton via the Isle of Man have a sound that unfolds both dramatically and softly. Perfect for lovers of early Arcade Fire, Grandaddy and Mogwai.
Future Yard, 75 Argyle St, Birkenhead CH41 6AB (8pm; tickets from £14.20 at futureyard.org)
LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL | Various venues | 19 May - 20 June
The first phase of Liverpool Biennial has already been a big success with a public artwork trail around the city, including Teresa Solar's Osteoclast sculpture in Exchange Flags. From 19 May, the inside chapter of The Stomach and the Port will see the launch of nine fantastic exhibitions at galleries and spaces. Highlights include paintings by Jadé Fadojutimi at Bluecoat, while Open Eye Gallery will have large scale photographic prints and sculptures by Zineb Sedira, plus film from award-winning artist Alberta Whittle.
Liverpool Biennial, various venues (tickets are free, full programme at liverpoolbiennial2021.com)
LIGHTNIGHT | Various venues | Friday 21 May
Liverpool’s annual culture crawl has unveiled seven new commissions this year in a combination of online and offline activity for the one night only arts festival. With a live drag cabaret on Church Street, a 3D cut out opera and a piece exploring sound waves and social gatherings, the theme of this year’s festival is "Play". Don’t miss Song Machine, an interactive live set from electro-pop trio Stealing Sheep. Emily, Lucy and Becky will become human instruments, taking lyrics from the public for a new composition, just for LightNight.
LightNight, various venues (Tickets are free, full programme announced 5 May at www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk)
ROLLERDROME | Invisible Wind Factory | Saturday 22 May
Are you ready to roll? IWF is being transformed into a unique roller-skating experience and the first season’s theme is an interplanetary disco with laser grids and a giant floating spaceship. Opening night on Saturday 22 May is hosted by United Skates and will feature DJs from Liverpool Disco Festival spinning classic and rare NYC disco, boogie, rare groove, funk and soul. There will also be street food and a bar with cocktails.
Invisible Wind Factory, 3 Regent Rd, Liverpool L3 7DS (various times; tickets from £12 at iwf-rollerdrome.com)
HEATHER SMALL | The Knowsley Social | Friday 21 May
What have you done today, to make you feeeel proud? Liverpool’s biggest socially distanced festival is holding nine weeks of major events this summer on the grounds of the Knowsley Estate. 200 socially distanced pods will fill a gigantic big top, with plenty of room for party goers to enjoy a varied line-up of music, dance, comedy and children’s performances. Soul diva Heather Small, former lead singer with M-People, kicks things off on opening night.
Knowsley Park, Prescot, L34 4AN (5pm; tickets from £41.50 at Skiddle)
X-TREME MAGIC | M&S Bank Arena | Saturday 22 May
“The world’s most dangerous thrill show” is set to be the first post-lockdown performance of the year at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena. Starring illusionist Richard Cadell, X-treme Magic is packed with fire, illusion and death-defying stunts. That might sound the same as a Saturday night on the lash in Concert Square; but how about a motorcycle appearing from nowhere, Russian roulette with sticks of Dynamite, and escaping from a straight-jacket while hanging from a burning rope? Throw in a black cab at hometime and that really is magic.
The Auditorium, M&S Bank Arena, Monarchs Quay, Liverpool L3 4FP (7pm; tickets from £28 at TicketQuarter)
SPACE | Grand Central Hall | Friday 28 May
Calling all avenging angels - the mighty Space are back with their 2021 tour Music for Pleasure, Music for Pain. Don’t miss the chance to hear the Scouse indie favourites performing timeless bangers like Neighbourhood, Female of the Species and Diary of a Wimp. Support comes from The Real People and The Sonder.
Grand Central Hall, 35 Renshaw Street, Liverpool, L1 2SF (8pm; tickets from £18 at SeeTickets)
BALTIC FEST | Baltic Triangle | Friday 28 May - Sunday 30 May
This brand new three-day mini festival organised by the Coffee & Turntables crew spans some of our favourite coffee shops around the Baltic area, including Chapters of Us, The Baltic Roastery, Vault and Coffee & Fandisha. Expect live music, guest DJs, great coffee and good vibes.
Baltic Triangle, various venues and times (Free entry, more info at Coffee & Turntables)