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Bluecoat presents full EuroFestival programme

Liverpool’s Bluecoat has a fortnight of events planned as part of the major EuroFestival programme running alongside the city hosting Eurovision this May.

This year’s song contest will take place at the M&S Bank Arena, with the final on Saturday May 13 expected to be watched by a TV audience of around 160 million.

Liverpool is hosting the 2023 competition on behalf of Ukraine which won last year’s event.

The Bluecoat will celebrate with a host of special events over the first two weeks of May, including three new commissions as part of EuroFestival.

Added to that, it will also offer a family-friendly print party where visitors can create their own Eurovision inspired keepsake, themed children's activity packs (£2 from the café) and art trails in the Bluecoat garden.

A Eurovision Viewing Party at the Grade I listed city centre landmark is already sold out.

The new commissions are:

Dialogues – May 1-14

Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze and Liverpool based artist Ellie Hoskins will work alongside each other in Bluecoat’s gallery to create new work for the exhibition which is a partnership with Jam Factory Arts Center in Lviv.

Kakhidze is best known for her drawings, performances and videos, which use humour to understand and analyse the world around her. Recent drawings have focused on the war against Ukraine, charting the impact and effect of war on her family and neighbours. Hoskins shares Kakhidze’s deadpan humour. She uses text, illustration, painting, sculpture and animation to comment on daily life.

Alevtina Kakhidze Performance – May 11, 6-8pm

Artist Alevtina Kakhidze brings her trademark wry humour to the Bluecoat in this special performance combining elements of stand-up comedy.

Tickets £5, booking required via the Bluecoat's website.

With Fire and Rage – May 1-14

Discover the stories of artists on the frontline in Ukraine as you walk the streets of Liverpool. With Fire and Rage is an immersive audio experience combining testimony with photography, visual art, poetry and music.

Visitors simply need a smartphone and headphones to explore the powerful role creativity plays in the face of invasion, as narratives range from music concerts in metro stations during air raids, to rescuing artworks out of cities as rockets fall.

Scan the QR code in the garden at the Bluecoat and experience the story of Sasha Osadcha from the Kharkiv School of Photography, who organised the smuggling of archives out of Kharkiv during rocket fire.

Eurovision print party – May 8, 11am-1pm or 1-3pm

Make your own Eurovision keepsake and experiment with different printing methods at the Bluecoat's family friendly print party.

Choose from two sessions and learn how to decorate traditional Ukrainian pysanka eggs using wax resist techniques, make posters using stencils and screen print Eurovision flags to fly during the festival.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £8.50 for children, book in advance on the website.

Bluecoat senior curator Adam Lewis-Smythe said: "We’re delighted to contribute to the city's cultural welcome for Eurovision, both through EuroFestival and our own programme of events and activities.

“I think Liverpool does solidarity really well, and it's really important to Bluecoat that we are working with a Ukrainian artist, Alevtina Kakhidze, and the Jam Factory, an art centre in Lviv, on a new exhibition that will bring Alevtina's powerful work to Liverpool, alongside that of Liverpool-based artist Ellie Hoskins.”

Full details of the Bluecoat's Eurovision programme via the website HERE

Photo: Alevtina Kakhidze

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