Liverpool has long marched to the beat of its own drum — this is the city that gave the world bands like The La’s, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Gerry and the Pacemakers and, undeniably its most famous progeny, The Beatles. In the late 1950s, as skiffle faded and rock ’n’ roll became more popular, the city blended several musical influences to birth the Merseybeat sound, a bouncy subgenre of rock ’n’ roll that took over the world thanks to the phenomenon of ‘The Fab Four’.
Today, Liverpool’s just as manic about music as ever. Live instruments sound from bars seven nights a week, there are several immersive museums dedicated to the city’s musical legacy and an international music festival attracts thousands of spectators each year.
So, when Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022 and runner-up United Kingdom stepped in to host the following year, this British city was ready to face the music.
Join us as we go on a whistle-stop tour of the bars, attractions and venues that music lovers shouldn’t miss.
For fans of The Beatles, there’s no better place to twist and shout than The Cavern Club — the iconic nightclub on Mathew Street where the famous foursome played 292 times between 1961-1963. Inside the basement venue, stone walls are decked out in music memorabilia, and numerous stages have in more recent times welcomed the likes of Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, himself. There’s live music every night of the week, including an impressive Beatles tribute band who play on Fridays and Saturdays.
Walk five minutes towards Liverpool Waterfront to the Cunard Building, the grade II-listed structure designed to resemble the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Inside is a melomaniac’s wildest dream: through music, costumes, special exhibitions and performances, this immersive museum tells the story of Britain as a musical powerhouse — from the British Invasion of the 1960s to the talent shows of the early noughties and the present day. Expect holographic performances by Boy George, a dance booth to practice iconic routines and a special studio for learning to play the guitar and drums.
Ready to indulge in some more Beatlemania? Head further along the waterfront and step back in time at the Royal Albert Dock, an immersive museum depicting the chronicles of the band. To make the most of your visit, grab an audio guide and wind your way through the different rooms, which recreate Abbey Studios, The Casbah Club (the ‘birthplace of the Beatles’) and even a walk-through yellow submarine. The nostalgia doesn’t end there: on display are also Ringo Starr’s drum kit, handwritten song lyrics and John Lennon’s glasses that he wore while penning Imagine.
Stroll down Wapping towards the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool’s creative district where abandoned warehouses have been transformed into bars, restaurants and quirky event spaces. Here you’ll find the buzzy Camp and Furnace, a live music space set to host this year’s Euroclub — the official venue for Eurovision lovers to get together, party and debate who’ll be getting their douze points. For nine nights (Friday 5 to Saturday 13 May), it’ll host a series of events to celebrate this much-loved music contest, from a Eurovision-themed immersive bingo to a screening of the live shows.
From the Baltic Triangle, head back down towards the Ropewalks district to The Jacaranda; this historic, low-key pub is a must-see for fans of live music and the Merseybeat phenomenon. Situated on the bar-lined Slater Street, it was opened in 1958 by Allan Williams — the first manager of The Beatles — and stands as one of the first post-war coffee bars in Britain. It’s known for hosting performances by The Beatles during their very early days, but today, it's home to brilliant live music by local bands; a great menu of coffees, beers and cocktails and a fun vinyl bar/store.
Classical music fans should walk 10 minutes northeast to the Georgian neighbourhood and onto Hope Street to the art deco Liverpool Philharmonic. Originally built in 1840, but rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in 1933, it’s the proud home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the UK’s oldest continuing symphony ensemble. There are around 400 shows and events each year, including performances and appearances by authors, comedians and classical artists. Head here on 13 May to watch the Eurovision final with a glass of Ukrainian-themed Buck's Fizz and dance the night away at the after party.
Did you know?
Liverpool became a UNESCO City of Music in 2015 — it’s one of only two cities in the UK (along with Glasgow) to have this coveted title.
The standard rate at the Raddison RED in Liverpool is £119 for a room per night.
For more information on what to see and do in Liverpool, head to visitliverpool.com
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