River of Light Liverpool | What's Happening and Where to Watch

River of Light Liverpool: Catch the Action from 30 James Street

Spectacular fireworks will be lighting up the skies across Merseyside once again on Sunday 4 November, as the River of Light Liverpool Festival returns to Liverpool and the Wirral for a dazzling display above the Mersey.

Culture Liverpool and Wirral Council have once again teamed up to host a dramatic fireworks display on both sides of the river with plenty of street theatre, family activities and food and drinks stalls on hand to keep fireworks watchers warm, feed and well entertainment before the big event this autumn.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event this weekend, including the best viewing locations and timings…

River of Light Liverpool Fireworks

river of light liverpool
Credit: Culture Liverpool | Facebook

Get ready for a visual and musical feast on Sunday 4 November as the River of Light Liverpool sparkles across the city waterfront.

When?  Fireworks start from 6:30pm but you’re advised to get down to the area from 5pm. Display specialists Titanium Fireworks will be lighting up the Pier Head with a 15-minute display launched from floating barrages in the Mersey.

Best Locations to Watch? Culture Liverpool recommend viewing the display from Pier Head, Riverside Walkway or Princes Parade.

Anything Else? Look out for some techno art installations along the waterfront. This year’s fireworks mark the end of the China Dream season in Liverpool’s cultural calendar (more on this below), so keep your eyes peeled for interactive artworks around the area.

Alongside the art installations, visitors will be entertained by street performances including fire artists! Look out for a fire-breathing dragon patrolling the edges of the Royal Albert Dock…

River of Light Wirral Fireworks

river of light liverpool
Credit: Culture Liverpool | Facebook

For River of Light celebrations in the Wirral, head to New Brighton for a family evening out with breath-taking fireworks.

When? As in Liverpool, a dazzling explosion of fireworks is set to kick off at 6:30pm over Fort Perch Rock and the lighthouse but visitors are advised to get down by 5pm to ensure a good view.

Best Locations to Watch?

Anything Else? Yes, lots. Catch drumming and dance performances in the surrounding area and meet illuminated figures roaming the streets. Plus, watch out for some spectral pirates on the Black Pearl…

The Lantern Company’s two breathtaking creations of the Clourd Woman and the Butterfly Galleon Lady will be exploring Marine Promenade from 5:30pm, while Luma Creations will be performing a drumming extravaganza like you’ve never seen before with dancers, light effects and incredible sounds from 6pm.

Catch the  spectral pirates onboard the Black Pearl from 5pm, taking part in a ghostly and explosive battle aboard the ship! Follow them all the way up to Fort Perch Rock for the fireworks finale.

Watch out for China Dream Art Installations

From Friday 2 November to Sunday 4 November, Liverpool inhabitants will be able to spot some glowing art installations along the waterfront, as the finale of the China Dream season closes in Liverpool. Artworks themed around the elements that underpinned Chinese philosophy – water, fire, earth, metal and wood – will be visible at dedicated viewing points throughout the three days. They include…

The Wave

On The Strand, catch forty triangular gates of light created by Copenhagen-based artists Vertigo. This 100m long instillation is set to be interactive, responding to people’s movements with light changes and sound reaction.

river of light liverpool
The Wave by Vertigo. Credit: Culture Liverpool | Facebook

Pool of Mirrors

Liverpool’s very own collective The Kazimier are taking inspiration from Chinese ‘Magic’ Mirrors to create a metallic mirage at Canal Pier Head. Historically, the mirrors would have been cast in solid bronze but the Liverpool-based artists have brought the artefacts into the 21st century with cutting edge materials and lasers to light up the canal in extraordinary ways.


Head over to the Mann Island Basin to see Stefano Casati’s six metre tall Anahad. First shown at the Burning Man Festival in America, these huge bent steel pipes are bent to represent the effects of a giant Oak tree, with bespoke lighting design.

Anahad by Stefano Casati. Credit: Culture Liverpool | Facebook


Look up at the Liver Building to see a mammoth artwork in action. Terra by Ad Lib Design will be using the building as a canvas for a light installation which explores the traditional view of Earth from space.

Enjoy a VIP firework viewing experience at 30 James Street

For the best views in the house,  book a table at the Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant.

Located on The Strand, with views over the iconic Albert Dock and Liverpool’s beautiful waterfront, our restaurant is the perfect place to spend the evening during the River of Light Liverpool event. Tucked into the rafters of the 30 James Street hotel, Carpathia boasts skyline views of the city and some of the most iconic waterfront buildings.

river of light liverpool
The Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant

Head out onto the rooftop terrace during the fireworks display to enjoy all the action before returning inside for a delicious meal from our decadent menu.

Whether you’d like to book a stay in our luxurious accommodation, tuck into a delicious meal after the fireworks or simply enjoy a drink during the River of Light celebrations, we can cater for you.

Call us now on 0151 236 0166 to arrange an unforgettable stay or meal and really make the most of the River of Light Liverpool celebrations for 2018.

Leave Comment