One of just 31 UNESCO cities of music and England’s only entry, Liverpool is famed worldwide as being a place with a passion for all things sonic. Indeed, it’s a city where music is its lifeblood, and this obsession has spawned some serious exports; the global EDM brand Cream, Elvis Costello, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the largest African music festival in the UK, Africa Oye, and of course, The Beatles. So if you want to discover the ‘World Capital City of Pop’ (Guiness’ words, not ours) in stereo, then read on; our 5 IDEAL things for music lovers to do in Liverpool.
GO ON A ‘FAB FOUR’ SIGHTSEEING TOUR
Yep, we had to start here, with the world’s most influential band. If you’re reading this article, then we’re going to assume that you know the basics. As such, the Beatles need little introduction; a tour of places in their native Liverpool which played a role in inspiring their music should definitely sit top of your itinerary.
On that itinerary, you must include the Beatles Statue, erected in 2015 on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront to coincide with the 50th anniversary of their final concert in the city. Also vital to the legacy is both Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, in South Liverpool, the home of the fab four. The world’s largest Beatles exhibition, the Beatles Story, is at Albert Dock, and you’ll find the John Lennon Peace Monument at King’s Dock; both well worth a look. Consider a hop on, hop off city sightseeing bus tour to get the best bang for your buck and to give your legs a rest between sites.
VISIT THE CAVERN CLUB & THE CAVERN WALL OF FAME
Part of the Beatles’ legacy, sure, but so much more than that, the Cavern Club and its Wall of Fame is a music must see in the city. Dubbed the ‘most famous club in the world’, the Beatles played here between 250 and 300 times, but the rich heritage doesn’t stop at the fab four; the Rolling Stones, the Who, Stevie Wonder, Oasis, Adele, the Arctic Monkeys and Queen have all graced the stage in the club’s illustrious history. The Cavern Wall of Fame opposite the venue documents groups who played at the original venue, as well as those acts from the city who reached number 1 in the UK charts.
Today, you can still catch a gig here, with Beatles tributes act often featured as well as established international acts and up and coming artists. And that’s all you can ask for, right?
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BRITISH MUSIC EXPERIENCE
The British Music Experience, the UK’s premier museum of popular music, is housed in Liverpool’s Cunard Building and offers exhibits and artefacts, many of an interactive nature, which document the history of our country’s huge influence on pop and rock music. Open everyday from 10am to 6pm, it’s an immersive ride this one, with costume and performance all adding to the notion that all your senses are getting properly stimulated. Check their website regularly for special shows, exhibitions, Q&A sessions and more.
LIVERPOOL PSYCH FEST, AFRICA OYE & LIMF
If you’re looking for bespoke summer festivals which prioritise all the right stuff – the music, the vibe, the food – then Liverpool has you well and truly covered. Let’s start with Liverpool Psych Fest (formally the hugely popular Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia). Scheduled in for 16 May 2020 and billed as ‘Tomorrow’s 14 hour high definition dream state’ (yep, that sounds so good to us too), this is one you want to get in your diary early.
What’s more, the city also plays host to the biggest celebration of African music in the country, Africa Oye, as well as the Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF), which takes place in July and draws some massive names to Liverpool. Last year legend Nile Rodgers headlined; a testament to the pull of the festival and the city.
DISCOVER NEW MUSIC
We’ve done a lot of delving into the past and cast covetous glances backwards, but what about the new music the city is producing? Liverpool has a highly energetic cluster of small clubs and bars hosting up and coming music every night of the week to satisfy your sonic sensibilities. Some of the best places to get down and discover include the Jacaranda, the Shipping Forecast and the Brink. You never know, you might discover the next big thing.
Should music not be your thing, then rest assured there’s still plenty to keep you entertained in the city. Take a deep dive into the history of Liverpool’s second most famous sons on a Liverpool Football Club sightseeing tour to Anfield stadium or get ravenous on the up and coming foodie scene. We’ve written more about that and other great reasons to visit the city over here, check it out!