LightNight: It’s time

Surtsey Projects - Alexandra Morton - Hansel & Gretel at Unity Theatre (2012)

LightNight: It’s time

Liverpool’s annual culture crawl is an evening of science and discovery with 100+ free events

LightNight, on Friday 19th May, is now less than a week away! An evening of discovery with 100+ free events across the city, this year’s festival features light projections, street theatre, concerts, outdoor dance performance, puppetry, mass singing workshops, philosophy talks, science demos, sound installations and much more across over 50 city centre locations.

The annual culture crawl starts at 5pm and runs until late, with an afterparty at Constellations (ticket details below). With a theme of “time” there are events to expand the mind, alongside performance, arts and culture. It’s an opportunity to delve into Liverpool’s world of scientific knowledge and discovery, hearing from those who make the city tick; below ground, high in the sky, under the river and in space.

Here is a roundup of just some of the mind-expanding activities on offer for curious minds of all ages:

Time, Space and Climate Change


LJMU John Foster Building & Gardens, 17:00 – 22:00

Fascinated by space? This is a must-see for any budding scientist. A fun, interactive installation features experts from LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute and Department of Geography to explore how scientists work out what the space is in, well, space. Learn what was happening on Earth when light left distant objects in our Universe, measure light and distance using spectral lamps and spectroscopes, and take part in hands on activities exploring how climate change has, and continues to change over time.


LJMU Aldham Robarts Library, 17:00 – 22:00

Discover the wonders of 3D printing with LJMU’s FabLab and make a personalised star to take home, dip into LJMU’s archives and explore university life through LJMU’s history; from the age of steam to the digital revolution.

Mad Science Workshop

Tate Liverpool, 18:00 – 20:00

Mad Science workshop exploring pendulums and time. Learn more about the first time-keepers and how they used periods of pendulums to monitor time, which ultimately led to the first clocks being invented.

What if we could Remake Time?

Town Hall, 18:00 – 21:00

In this talk, philosopher Dr. Michelle Bastian (Edinburgh College of Art) discusses clock-time and its possibilities for being redesigned. Exploring examples of how artists, activists and designers have remade the clock, she asks whether clock-making could be opened up to non-experts and used to explore the conflicting times of our everyday lives. What kind of time would you want a clock to tell?

Timelike Tales

Merseyside Maritime Museum, 17:00 – 21:00

Science and art collide in this fun and family-friendly session that, in the time it takes to make a cup of tea and drink it, you can create an artwork or poem with you at the centre of the universe. Come and make work inspired by the past, present and possible future of Liverpool – and you – inspired by Hermann Minkowski’s Spacetime Diagram, which looks a bit like an egg timer.

Tide & Time

National Oceanography Centre, Joseph Proudman Building, 17:00 – 22:00

Tides and tidal science have a long history in Liverpool and played an important part in making the city what it is today; making tide predictions for all over the world for a large part of the 20th century. This exhibition showcases the rare Roberts-Lege and Doodson-Lege tide prediction machines, extraordinary analogue computers that attempt to simulate the rise and fall of the ocean tide. See these beautifully intricate machines up and running at the only place in the world you can see two of them together; only 35 were ever made.

Book of the Dead: Journey Through the Underworld

UoL Garstang Museum of Archeology, 17:00 – 22:00

A fascinating exhibition featuring ancient Egyptian artefacts and artistic photography of ancient papyri. The path to the Egyptian afterlife was through a dangerous night-time zone, guarded by demons. The soul had to successfully pass through each of the 12 ‘Hours of the Night’ to reach an eternal existence in the utopian ‘Field of Reeds’. This exhibition begins with a practical guide to navigating the ancient Egyptian underworld with displays of the ancient papyri, coffins and amulets used as tools by the Egyptians to get them through the night and into eternity.

A Talk About Time

Liverpool Medical Institution, 19:00 – 21:30

A talk on time and timepieces, by master horologist Mr Philip Irvine. Hear Phillip talk about some special clocks in the collections at Liverpool Medical Institution and well known clocks in Liverpool both past and present. There will be the opportunity to handle cogs and clockworks and see how they work.

LightNight After Party: Time Capsule

Constellations, 22:00 – 02:30

Keep your LightNight going into the early hours! A live future-Polaroid / AV installation meets club project, presented by artist Sam Wiehl and soundtracked by the indomitable Andy Votel (Finders Keepers) with support from Bitowski (Faux Queens). Enter Constellations via the Time Capsule scanning booth and see your image evolve into a digital memory bank played out across a bespoke AV installation, degrading and morphing during the course of the show. Finish off your festival with this hedonistic horological mash-up; a fitting soiree to bring down the curtain on an incredible evening. Early bird tickets are available now at

The full festival line up is available at

The printed LightNight Festival Guide is on sale now for £3 and features full listings, a cultural diary for the rest of the year and in-depth articles about commissions and other cultural events taking place this year. All proceeds will be put towards funding LightNight 2018 so visitors are urged to show their support.