Liverpool’s Winter Arts Market is going to be different this year
1 year ago
By Dawn Collinson
Liverpool’s popular Winter Arts Market is coming back this year, but with a difference.
Instead of the in-person market for one day with stalls in Liverpool Cathedral, sellers and buyers will be able to go online to find festive gift ideas from around 200 virtual stallholders.
Organisers have had to rethink their plans because the Cathedral has its spectacular Light Before Christmas light and sound show taking place over the first weekend in December when the market would usually have happened.
Instead of scaling back or moving venue, they’ve decided to keep the same number of stalls but create an online market directory, giving people more opportunity and access to some fantastic creatives and extra time to browse.
Clare Deane from Open Culture explains:
“The market takes over such a large area of the Cathedral so it just wouldn’t have been possible do it on the scale we wanted while the light event was on.
“We did look at other venue options because we still hoped to do it in person but it’s so difficult to find somewhere that’s suitable and also the right size, and we didn’t want to rush into an alternative. We know how much people love the Arts Market so we wanted to make sure we got it right.
“Doing it online offers something different and hopefully it appeals to more people. We’ve already had a lot of positive feedback from stallholders themselves and also from people who like to shop at the market because they’ve said it gives them more time to browse.
“They know they can go onto our website and it’ll be local independent businesses who they’ve either seen before at the Arts Market or some new faces as well, and being online gives people more chance to have a good look around different shops without feeling rushed.”
There will be 200 spaces on the Arts Market Directory for artists, makers and creators who want to get involved.
They will include ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, textiles and homewares – the only requirements are all work must be original, unique and handmade, and sellers must have an online sales platform such as their own website or an Etsy shop.
“From the applications we’ve had so far, we’ve found a lot more small businesses have an online presence now after Covid because the pandemic made people go online to be able to continue to sell,” says Clare. “They’ve seen the benefits from that so they’ve kept it going.”
The free online Winter Arts Market will be on from November 18 to December 31 so instead of one day – or two which it became under Covid safety restrictions – there’ll be six weeks to shop.
“Whether you’re an early bird shopper or a last-minute person you’ve got that extended timeframe to look and find things now,” adds Clare.
“This doesn’t mean the Arts Market won’t be coming back in person, we’ve just been a bit unlucky this year because our summer one fell on the Jubilee weekend and then with the Cathedral having its light event it’s not been possible, but we definitely intend to be back.
“Having an online market is something we’d consider doing at times as well as having the in person one though, because it just opens up more opportunities for sellers and buyers, so there’s potentially room for both.”
The deadline for stallholder applications at the Winter Arts Market is Monday October 31 – click here to apply.
Featured image credits: Winter Arts Market