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Liverpool's BlackFest promises a packed programme for 2021


Liverpool’s BlackFest opens next month promising a busy programme of events.

This year’s festival returns to the real world after going online in 2020, and features music nights, spoken word performances, exhibitions, film, literature events, workshops, surgeries and rehearsed readings.

It’s launched on September 20 with an opening night ‘extravaganza’ at the Unity Theatre.

The main festival programme runs until October 9.

Venues include The Royal Standard, Tate Liverpool, Museum of Liverpool, Everyman and Playhouse, FACT and the Philharmonic’s Music Room.

Rhythms Night – Lost in Sound, at Grand Central Hall on September 25, will feature MC Nelson, Philly Djan, AMBA, Starkey the Messenger, and Eliza Mai, along with DJ sets from Papu Raf and Funk Butcher.

A spoken word surgery will be held at the Hope Street Theatre while two Autumn Equinox food events take place at Granby Winter Garden and Squash Grapes Garden.

Festival director Jubeda Khatun says: "Last year we were really proud to deliver a fully digital programme, and despite it being all online, it was highly successful and brought many important conversations to the table - it brought communities together virtually, raising much needed awareness on Black Lives Matter. It made arts accessible even through Covid restrictions.

Above: Jubeda Khatun. Photo: Wes Storey


"When it was confirmed that we were going to be able to use physical spaces again for this year's festival, it felt so liberating.

“We're working with lots of Black artists we've never partnered with before and the whole vibe of the programme is fresh and exciting, creating safe spaces for unapologetic, audacious, innovative voices to completely feel uncensored; creating much needed dialogue on themes of colourism, race, gender, class, spirituality, claiming ancestral rites, and decolonising narratives.

“We can't wait for it to start and we'd love to see as many people as possible out supporting grassroots arts in Liverpool."

The annual festival was founded in 2018 and aims to platform, empower and develop work by Black artists across community spaces and established venues.

Blackfest 2021 runs from September 20 to October 9. More details on the full programme and tickets HERE