Liverpool is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine this May, providing the perfect opportunity to celebrate England’s musical heritage, tourism experiences and trails.
Whether you make it to Eurovision or not, Liverpool is organizing
EuroFestival from 1 to 14 May. It is something of a first for a Eurovision host city, as it presents 24 commissions – 19 of which are collaborative projects between artists from Ukraine and the United Kingdom – to showcase the uniting power of music and art.
One of the most ambitious projects amongst the lineup, Soloveiko Songbirds, will see 12 large-scale, light-up nightingales located around the city. Each songbird will be designed with unique plumage and accompanied by bespoke audio soundscapes to represent different regions of Ukraine. When viewed collectively, the Songbirds will make up an eye-catching trail which can be followed by the public over the two-week festival.
Surrounded by thousands of sandbags to replicate the way statues in Ukraine are being protected from bombardment, the Nelson Monument, located in Exchange Flags, will host Protect the Beats. Within the structure will be screens premiering a new short documentary which highlights how live music and performance continued throughout last year, showing in one piece the protection of both physical and musical culture.
Ukrainian Eurovision Song Contest winner Jamala will premiere a poignant new album of music, based around Crimean Tatar folk songs and accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as part of QIRIM on 11 May.
Elsewhere, fans will be able to experience EuroCamp presents… – an LGBTQI+ focused three-day festival in Chavasse Park featuring drag, performance, choreography, vogue, music, carnival, circus and more. Xpressia Festival, an underground counterculture festival, will be brought to life in several locations across Liverpool. Storyville Live, meanwhile, will see the award-winning documentary series stage its first ever film festival at the Everyman Cinema, celebrating both Ukrainian and music documentaries.
Over the course of the two week period, there will also be Queerovision, an online commission showing digital video reportage of Liverpool’s Queer Fringe throughout the festival period, and The People’s Flag, a mass participation dance event. The Big Eurovision Read is a national project with The Reading Agency choosing a shortlist of books inspired by the theme of ‘United by Music’.