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Generally, when you think of ‘creatives’, you probably think of musicians, actors, dancers, filmmakers and painters, and you’d be right! We love nothing more than shouting loud and proud about the creative melting pot that is Liverpool and while the high street takes a lot of the limelight, we’re shining a big old torch on the very best of our firmly rooted, home grown talent.
Once upon a time there was only Bold Street to house the quirky kind but, now the times have changed, and The Baltic Triangle has grown to become the main hub for creative cafes and innovative industry. The area is awash with cafes and music venues such as Constellations, Camp and Furnace and District to name a few.
Woven amongst this is an array of independent business that has inhabited the warehouses that give the triangle its identity. These business range from Cut Throat Pete’s Barber Shop to graphic designers and architects such as Unit3, all with something a little unique to set them aside. Also, the iconic Elevator Studios is situated in The Baltic Social, a home to many artists, producers and businesses who have rehearsal rooms, studios and offices in this creative hub.
Although some may consider this part of The Baltic Triangle, Cain’s Village is becoming its own entity; the most promising up and coming area in the city right now. The village is perfect for both day and night ventures as the Ryde Café and Red Brick Vintage, a huge warehouse of a vintage shop, offer much to enjoy.
The Baltic Market has recently opened its doors providing great food and atmosphere with food vendors dotted around and DJs on every weekend. Then, when you’ve filled up, you can head to Alhambra for a glass of wine before hitting the eccentric, Ghetto Golf, pimping up your night out.
Finally, the Cain’s Village offers a little extra competition to Elevator Studios with the new, ‘wood-chipped’ SORT Studios housing brand new rehearsal rooms and Brakeline Recording Studios.
The Music Industry is exactly that, an industry. We usual think of either the artist or the big record label, namely Simon Cowell’s X-Factor juggernaut that is Psycho. Two complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to creativity verses business. However, between the two there are some innovative companies that use their creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking to further the development of the industry.
On top of fantastic festivals such as LIMF, Threshold, Sound City and the now touring Fiesta Bombarda, we have DITTO Music and Sentric Music bringing a new look to distribution and publishing respectively. It takes something special to go up against the so well established and both of these have done it becoming favourites with both upcoming and established acts. The cherry on top of this musical cupcake is our BBC Introducing show that is constantly finding local talent to project onto the national stage at some of the countries biggest festivals. We obviously have great artists, but we’ve shown that we have the foundations and entrepreneurs to provide an unrivalled platform for them – just as important as having the talent in the first place.
One of the hits of this summer was the Open Eye Gallery on our docklands, with another being Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ in the Liverpool Tate. Art is something that might not be synonymous with the city, but it is something close to our hearts. The Tate is one of the most visited attractions of the city along with the stunningly picturesque Walker Art Gallery. If you dig a little deeper you’ll find the galleries at FACT, an institution that likes to fuse science and art together, often exhibiting some of the worlds most thought provoking works, with ‘How Much Of This Is Fiction’ fusing art and politics of the modern, Trump era, an installation that turned a lot of heads this year.
Light Night is a special occasion in the city. It is a one-night arts festival that includes live music, workshops, spoken word, crafts, theatre and street performances and exhibitions across the city. Light Night sees venue large and small, old and new staying open passed dark to celebrate the culture fusion in the city. Although the event has a lot to see crammed into one night, the main event is always the final light show which last year took over the Anglican Cathedral, creating something very special indeed.
Projections can be seen all over the city, on the sides of building, in interesting venues such as the Cathedral or as part of other productions. The event has previously used the power of lighting and projection to show solidarity after the Paris attacks, showing just how important the cultures of other places are to the culture of our city.
The Liverpool Film Festival is constantly on the rise and, although not at a level at which is can compete with the big guns, it is helping grow the cities movie scene. Like art, film isn’t something that the nation would associate with Liverpool, however, as you can see from our list of big films shot in the city, we have our own relationship with the UK movie business and our own take on the medium.
Philharmonic Hall does magical screenings of both classic and modern films with the soundtrack provided by our very own Philharmonic Orchestra. Before the refurbishment you could catch a classic flick at St. Luke’s (Bombed Out) Church, in the open air with a blanket, perfect for a date night. With that on the back burner whilst the building is in process, you can drive down to the Route 66 Drive-Thru Cinema on the dock road, another way that the creatively minded businessmen and women are levelling up our nights out.
Where do all these creative folks come from? Well, right here. Education institutions like schools, colleges and universities might not seem like the most exciting, or creative, places to talk about, but these are the places the breed and nurture the next generations of creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Not only do we have a vast choice of universities and colleges such as John Moore’s, Hope and The City of Liverpool College , all offering courses in the creative industries, but we have institutions that are solely dedicated to them. LIPA is obviously the big hitter with the Paul McCartney School offering music, acting, dance, theatre management, and production and design courses. The institute has branched out in to creating a sixth form and primary school to help nurture talent from younger ages. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find the musical theatre and dance college, RARE, a school with ties to New York for their dancers, as well as the Liverpool Media Academy, offering courses to those interested in the visual medium.
We often blow our own trumpet when it comes to performers from the city doing great things or showing great potential, and so we should. However, this one is for the more unsung heroes of the creative industries and to those who are adding a little spice to otherwise uncreative places. Whether you’re looking for innovation through industry or for some to make your night-out one to remember, Liverpool has it all.
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