The city of Liverpool is located in the North West of England and is well known for its maritime history, elite football team, Liverpool FC, and its connection to The Beatles. Liverpool is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, making it a popular tourist destination.
Since Liverpool has a distinct musical heritage, it's no surprise that one of the UK's largest cities is also home to a bunch of entertaining music festivals. Aside from The Beatles, other noteworthy musical talents with a connection to Liverpool are Gerry and the Pacemakers who are known for Liverpool FC's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone," Elvis Costello, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who formed in the Merseyside city.
As for the music festival scene in Liverpool, you get a little bit of everything. International Beatleweek covers more than enough of their music, the Africa Oyé Festival offers an international experience, Creamfields checks that dance music box, and Let's Rock Liverpool is your one-stop festival for nostalgia. There's jazz, hip hop, and the chance to discover new local talent as well.
Before you head out to any of the awesome Liverpool music festivals, make sure you put your bags somewhere safe. These events won't let you in with your luggage, and you can trust a Bounce storage facility in Liverpool to take care of it for you.
Liverpool is a large city with over half a million residents, and as a result, it is quite spread out. Check out how to get around Liverpool for your best options of public transportation to get from your hotel to any of the festivals mentioned here. You'll be glad you did so that you don't waste any precious time that would be better spent dancing with a drink in hand.
The best music festivals in Liverpool in 2022
Liverpool International Jazz Festival (February 24-27)
Most large cities have a jazz festival and Liverpool is no different, although the event is only in its ninth season in 2022. The International Jazz Festival seems to kick off the music festival season in Liverpool at the Capstone Theatre. The venue is a little outside the main city centre, but easily accessible using public transport. It's hosted and organized by Liverpool Hope University and offers headliners like the funky saxophone stylings of the Camilla George Band and Duology.
Tickets for the event start at £15 per concert and a weekend pass covering all the performances will only set you back £50. This year's event resulted in a multi-cultural mix of the best talent from all over the world and it's a great way for jazz fans to experience new, and perhaps more modern, musicians.
Liverpool Sound City (April 30 - May 1)
For anyone looking to discover a new favorite or two, Liverpool Sound City is just the ticket. With a history of booking talent before they got big, like Florence and the Machine and Alt-J, Sound City is the place to be for new up-and-comers. Sound City events are spread across the city centre at various venues, but the central nature of the festival makes it very easy to access.
This year's lineup includes The Lathums, Self Esteem, Matilda Mann, Everyone You Know, Baby Queen, and Kawala to name but a few. The focus is on those stars that haven't yet made it that are part of the local underground scene and generally remain unsigned by labels. This is the perfect opportunity to see future chartbusters in a smaller and more intimate venue. Who doesn't like to say that they saw a megastar way back when?
Because of the undiscovered nature of the performers, tickets to Liverpool Sound City are quite reasonable. A one-day ticket costs £32.45 and a weekend pass is only £60.50. There's really no excuse not to go!
Africa Oyé Festival (June 18-19)
Set in the green space of Sefton Park, Africa Oyé has been a staple on the Liverpool music festival scene for over 30 years. This Africa and Caribbean-centric weekend event draws big crowds to the city in June. As part of the Africa Oyé banner, they also offer a Hip Hop Showcase in February.
The main Africa Oyé festival offers plenty of music, food, goods for sale, and other forms of art. Those who attend will get access to workshops and the best new and international talent on the local scene. You'd expect to pay handsomely for all this entertainment, but the festival is completely free to anyone. This is year is certain to be an exciting event after plans had to be put on hold for the last two years.
Africa Oyé Hip Hop Showcase (February 3)
If you're in town at the beginning of February instead of in June, experience a little bit of the Africa Oyé Festival at the Philharmonic Theatre, especially if you like hip hop. This year's talent features L1oo Cypher, Philly D, No Fakin' DJs, and DJ 2Kind along with headliner MC Nelson.
Let's Rock Liverpool (July 30)
Love everything 80s? Then you have to head to Liverpool for the Let's Rock Liverpool Retro Music Festival. Big names from the 80s show up every year at Wavertree Playing Fields, and 2022 is no different. Headliners include Belinda Carlisle, Billy Ocean, Human League, and Sonique.
The area normally used to play various sports at Wavertree Playing Fields is transformed into an 80s-themed paradise for one day only. Bright colors, vintage clothing, and big hair are all visible in the crowd (and sometimes on stage). The site is well outside the city centre, but luckily the event runs shuttle buses to get as many people here as possible.
The festival offers VIP and regular tickets. If you want to shell out upwards of £150, then VIP access gets you exclusive DJ sets, a more luxurious bathroom experience, welcome food and drinks, the chance to skip the line, and comfy chairs. The organizers also encourage you to dress in costume, although it isn't mandatory. If this isn't your scene and you prefer to be among the crowds, then you can purchase a general admission ticket for less than £50.
Liverpool Pride (July 30)
Although the date for Liverpool Pride coincides with that of Let's Rock Liverpool, the dedicated music festival lover can find a way to do both. While Liverpool Pride's focus is on celebrating LGBT culture, that invariably means a good time and some great music. You'll find this inclusive festival on Tithebarn Street close to Liverpool's Pride Quarter and also close to the Cavern Club and a few blocks from the waterfront.
Liverpool Pride is completely free and features a parade of floats full of music, dancing, and epic costumes. It's a true experience and a welcoming event if you've never been to Pride in any city before.
As for the headliners on the Barclays Main Stage, they have yet to be announced for 2022, but it'll surely be a good time. Previous performers have included Soft Cell's Marc Almond and X Factor.
The site of Liverpool Pride is open from noon until 8 pm, so it'll be easy to attend this and another event in the evening, like Let's Rock Liverpool.
International Beatleweek (August 24-30)
It's not exactly surprising that Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, would have a week-long music festival devoted entirely to them. And, they really go all in. The festival welcomes tourists from over 40 countries to experience more than 70 different bands from all over the world. Events are staged all over the city, but the focus is on the Cavern Club where the first-ever of The Beatles' tv performances was recorded. You'll find music going on all day every day on the three different stages at the Cavern and it changes every hour, so you'll never get bored.
True fans will want to stay in Liverpool for the full week whereas those who have no more than a passing interest may want to attend just a performance or two. Depending on your needs, you can select a package that includes tickets and accommodation or just choose tickets to select performances.
Creamfields (August 25-28)
In the heart of Cheshire on Daresbury Estate between Liverpool and Manchester, you'll find one of the best electronic dance music festivals in the world. The journey is about 50 minutes by car from Liverpool City Centre, and the festival organizes a shuttle bus to make it very easy for concert-goers.
Over 70 bands have already been announced in the Creamfields 2022 lineup and there are sure to be even more than that. Some of the performers part of Creamfields in 2022 include Armin van Buuren, Charlotte de Witte, Pendulum, The Chainsmokers, and Nina Kraviz. They're in good company as last year's North Stage was headlined by David Guetta.
Creamfields is what you might typically think of when you picture a multi-day outdoor music festival. The site offers the option to camp in everything from a tent to a luxury airstream if you're willing to pay quite a bit more. And, you'll have to book your festival tickets in addition to the accommodation. Packages range from bronze to gold with comfort and bathroom privileges increasing as you get to the gold. You can also purchase tickets for all the days or just one if you don't fancy staying overnight or commuting back and forth.
Since the ticket and package options are varied, the prices are as well. A basic one-day ticket will run you £90 and a three-day gold pass is set at £365 without camping. If you want to splurge and camp in style for four full days and attend the performances over three days, get ready to dish out £410 for camping plus the three-day concert price. Although it's certainly pricey, you're guaranteed a memorable experience surrounded by like-minded people.
Planning to stay some more days in Liverpool?
Liverpool is a world-class city and while it is heaven for music lovers, it also has a lot more to offer. Consider adding three days in Liverpool to your existing itinerary to fully appreciate this charming city. The River Mersey and the Irish Sea are great for getting out on the water and the beaches outside the city center offer a reprieve from the crowds in the summer at the music festivals and other iconic attractions.
Liverpool offers a chance to learn more about its history at the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Liverpool, two of the best museums in town. The nightlife is top-notch and live concerts and even musicals are a great way to enjoy the nightlife. Need to get your retail therapy fix? Liverpool has you covered on that too. The city center offers some of the best shopping in Liverpool for that perfect music festival outfit or souvenirs for your friends back home.
Add contemporary art galleries, the British Music Experience, Liverpool FC or Everton football games, traditional pubs, and historic buildings, and you know you have the makings of the perfect UK holiday.
If music festivals are the main reason why you travel, Liverpool definitely won't let you down. Music styles range from jazz to hip hop to dance to '80s to indie and EDM, so there's bound to be something enticing enough to get you to Liverpool, UK, especially in the summer when the festivals are denser.