Following a very successful year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool Culture Company was straight back to it in 2009 creating yet another calendar of events to remember.

On The Waterfront street theatre 2009

On The Waterfront

Liverpool’s Pier Head and Royal Albert Dock became the UK’s greatest outdoor cultural venue for a spectacular season of free ‘On the Waterfront’ events. During July, August and September the world famous landmarks were transformed with music, light, theatre, art installations and a gigantic cinema screen.

Kick starting the festivities and in association with Creative Producers ‘Walk The Plank’ was ‘Music on the Waterfront’, which brought together an estimated 15,000 people.

Day one was headlined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & The Rightful Owners of the Song, who joined forces with some of the city’s finest singers from the pub circuit.

Day two welcomed Africa Oyé, who showcased the very best of its festival favourite’s with Grammy award-winning Oumou Sangaré of Mali topping the bill.

The third and final day carried a ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’ vibe, with live music provided by The Grapes Band, Lightnin’ Willie and the Poor Boys, Connie Lush and 6ix Toys. Audiences were also treated to Samba dancing on the south side of the Pier Head by Liverpool Carnival Company, along with music and dance from young performers working with Brouhaha International.

crowds watching in awe as fireworks shoot into the air in front of the Port of Liverpool building on the Pier Head at night

More than 45,000 people descended to the Pier Head and Royal Albert Dock for ‘Art On The Waterfront’ during its three-day extravaganza in August. Over 250 street performers adorned the city’s waterfront, with a chance for the visiting masses to create their own art throughout. The highlight of the festival came on the Saturday evening, when the Port of Liverpool building was illuminated in a dazzling laser show, accompanied by a custom-made soundscape.

Marlon Brando in the film On the Waterfront

Prior to its opening in 2011, the Museum of Liverpool was already contributing to the city’s cultural scene, when its window was transformed into gigantic 24-metre wide cinema screen for ‘Film on the Waterfront’. Terence Davies’s ‘The Long Day Closes’ and the legendary 1954 Marlon Brando film, ‘On The Waterfront’, were among the classics beamed on to the giant screen, as the Pier Head was transformed into an open-air cinema for three nights.

Blue Go Penguin in front of the Liver Building

Go Penguins

Teaming up with Wild In Art culminated in the new art installation ‘Go Penguins’ being unveiled to the city in November 2009.

Liverpool once again dazzled the world with its creativity as colonies of beautifully created penguins formed a ‘Winter’s Trail’, highlighting the cultural and seasonal offerings along the way.

This free seven-week event featured 135 individually designed giant penguins, along with 98 mini-3ft penguins – each one created by professional and amateur artists, schools and community groups to celebrate Liverpool’s unique sense of fun and self expression – for all to enjoy.

An auction was later held to raise funds for the World Wild Fund For Nature, who used the event to promote its ‘Adopt a Penguin’ scheme.

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