On 18 and 19 September, an exciting mix of street theatre, contemporary visual art installations, live performances and Liberty Lollipops popped up in the North to celebrate Halton in its year as Liverpool’s Borough of Culture.

Widnes Town Centre and Runcorn Hill Park were filled with street-theatre performances and art trails during Liberty UK Festival, bringing unique pop-up performances to little ones and grown-ups. With Halton’s year as Liverpool’s Borough of Culture, Liberty UK Festival aimed to celebrate Halton and spark conversations as well as the imaginations of its audiences by offering a wide-range of cultural activities during the weekend. 

Young people from the local area were engaged in the festival in multiple ways – not only during the festival weekend but also in its planning process as part of the festival programming team,  helping to choose some of the intriguing performances that audiences could experience during the weekend in Halton. The festival activity in Widnes Town Centre and Runcorn Hill Park brought audiences from all across Liverpool to the Borough, despite a little rain on the Sunday.

With different takes on Lollipop signs and the Suffragette movement, Widnes Town Centre has been filled with engaging performances, inviting the audiences to slow down and reflect on social changes – and being left astonished by polar bears, travelling mules and cinema usherettes roaming on Widnes High Street.

In Runcorn Hill Park, magic butterflies and quirky Hedgemen have accompanied natural grown mandalas and empty chair trails during the day, whilst lantern workshops prepared the audiences tangibly for an enchanting light procession and an immersive live performance about the power of rave at the Bandstand – with support of young people from Glow.

The Liberty UK Festival weekend has celebrated freedom and democracy with its series of free fun and family-friendly activities – popping up in Widnes and Runcorn to engage its residents with unexpected and immersive cultural activities.

Thanks to Halton Borough Council, Widnes Market and Morrison’s for support and special thanks to the wonderful artists filling Halton with their incredible performances during the weekend!