Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2018

Liverpool’s packed year of diverse culture and celebration marking a decade since its stint as the European Capital of Culture is certainly not disappointing visitors or city residents!

China Dream has already brought the Terracotta Warriors to the city, Liverpool Biennial is promising a summer of contemporary art (14th July – 28th October) and the underground vibes of Liverpool Sound City are just around the corner as the festival returns to its roots in the Baltic Triangle (5th and 6th May). Hot on the heels of those announcements comes news of yet another vibrant, established city festival celebrating a landmark year – the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF).

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the UK’s largest annual festival of Arab arts returns to venues across the city from Thursday 5th July – Sunday 15th July.

Lekhfa at the Invisible Wind Factory

Ahead of the announcement of its full programme of visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and special events, LAAF has partnered with events company MARSM to bring a boundary-breaking concert by Lekhfa to the Invisible Wind Factory Substation on Tuesday 24th April as well as revealing the line up for its much-loved free Family Day event.

Lekhfa is a captivating collaboration between three legendary and Egyptian indie artists Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and its one of the most enticing projects  to emerge from Egypt’s burgeoning underground music scene. Funded by Arts Council England (ACE) through the Grants for the Arts funding stream and presented by LAAF and MARSM, the gig will feature bass-heavy to stripped down Egyptian dance tracks intertwined around the dystopian poetry Mido Zoheir, one of the most celebrated Egyptian poets of their generation.

The line-up announcement following the gig will include details of its enhanced musical programme for 2018, facilitated by the provision of additional resources by Culture Liverpool as part of the city’s 2018 celebrations. Earlier this year LAAF was one of 14 festivals provided with extra funding to allow an even more ambitious musical programme as the city celebrates a decade since its year as European Capital of Culture.

Free Family Day

LAAF’s ever popular free Family Day event at the Sefton Park Palm House will take place on Sunday 15th July (12:30pm – 5pm). The event will showcase some of the hottest talent in Arab music, including boundary breaking Danish-Palestinian percussionist Simona Abdallah, Simo Lagnawi & Gnawa London, who will bring Gnawa – the music of formerly enslaved black Africans who integrated into the Moroccan social and cultural landscape – to life, and The London Syrian Ensemble, a collective of some of Syria’s finest musicians based in the UK.

Taher Qassim MBE, Chair of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival said: “LAAF works on a model of partnership and collaboration and uniting with MARSM to bring Lekhfa to the Invisible Wind Factory is a perfect example of aligning with another organisation that is committed to promoting the very best of Arab culture to a diverse audience. Twenty years on from our inception it is only fitting that we continue to showcase the work of Arab artists who are pushing the boundaries of their genres and adding to the rich tapestry of contemporary and traditional Arab culture. We look forward to revealing our full line up next month and sharing a wealth of Arab talent with our diverse festival audiences, from newcomers to ardent enthusiasts of the scene.”

Each year, LAAF attracts tens of thousands to Liverpool for a thrilling showcase of the richness of Arab culture, with a packed programme of visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and special events taking place in venues across the city.

You can book tickets for Lekhfa at the Invisible Wind Factory here and find out more about the festival on the LAAF website.

Are you making plans to absorb some Arab culture in Liverpool this summer or attend one of the city’s other fabulous festivals? Why not book a stay in one of our city centre apartments?