The only arts and culture led Irish festival in the UK launches in Liverpool on the 18th of October. Liverpool Irish Festival, now in its 16th year, focuses on the cultural and historic connections between Liverpool and Ireland through music, art, performance, literature and film.  With 60 events across the city, the festival offers an opportunity to explore both contemporary and traditional Liverpool Irish culture and identity in a period of profound societal and political change.

Taking place 18-28 Oct 2018 in venues across Liverpool, including Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, FACT, Liverpool Philharmonic, St George’s Hall, the Florrie and the Victoria and Gallery Museum, the theme for 2018 is ‘migration’. Artists, performers, musicians, writers and filmmakers explore the relationship between cultural identity and place, and how Irish identity is changing globally, affecting ‘Irishness’ in the 21st century.

Highlights include;

Kíla play only UK Autumn gig

Celebrating their 30th year in 2018, one of Ireland’s biggest acts, Kíla, play their only Autumn UK event at Liverpool Irish Festival. They bring their fresh blend of freewheeling instrumentals, furious jigs and primal rhythms to Arts Club on Fri 19 Oct 2018.

BBC World Review:

“One of the most beautifully euphoric live experiences”

‘It’s the Travelling Life’ exhibition opens

A new exhibition of a Liverpool Irish Traveller Community, ‘It’s the Travelling Life’ depicts daily life and domesticity. Curated by artist Jona Frank, the exhibition features photographs taken by the community themselves, including 6 year old Winnie and older women within the Traveller community. Inspired by Jona Frank’s project 25 years ago capturing life in a Traveller community in Tallaght, Dublin, the exhibition will be shown at two venues in Liverpool.

Marking 30 years of Féile an Phobail

Liverpool Irish Festival and Writing on the Wall celebrate 30 years of Féile an Phobail, an arts and culture festival in Belfast. A new book, Féile Voices at 30, is an unprecedented book of community memoirs uncovering the fascinating story of a nationally and internationally significant cultural and political festival. The talk, around hope, arts and the community features Dr Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, Dr Michael Piece and Professor Phil Scraton and takes place at Bluecoat at 6pm on 22nd October.

Van Morrison’s Belfast explored

For the first time, Liverpool Irish Festival unites with Liverpool Literary Festival, celebrating the writers, both emerging and established, who continue Ireland’s rich literary heritage. Events include Eamonn Hughes’ fascinating exploration and reflection on his work with Van Morrison, navigating the songwriter’s representation of Belfast. This is a joint event with The Institute of Irish Studies.

The Morning After the Life Before

It’s 24 May 2015 and 62% of Ireland is #hungoverforequality. A personal, entertaining tale of weddings, ‘coming out’ and arguments over who takes out the bins, this play is a celebration of a unique historical moment when Ireland became the first country to support marriage equality by popular vote. The play is at Royal Court Theatre, downstairs on Saturday 20 October.

The full festival programme is available at