Huge Success of 2014 Liverpool Biennial Suggests Better Things to Come in 2016

Liverpool Biennial 2014 ran from 5 July and 26 October across Liverpool’s public spaces, galleries and museums. The 8th Biennial Exhibition, A Needle Walks into a Haystack, presented new and existing work by international artists in locations including The Old Blind School and the city’s leading galleries. The prestigious John Moores Painting Prize and Bloomberg New Contemporaries were also included in the programme.

The North West Research Service was commissioned to conduct an evaluation of the event and provide detail about the visitors to the festival’s 8th edition.

Over 16 weeks, Liverpool Biennial 2014 attracted over 877,000 visits, making it the most visited Biennial since starting in 1999, and signifying a significant 27% increase in visits on the 2012 festival. Economic impact of the 2014 event – excluding spend by residents and those not primarily drawn by the Biennial, but including the indirect economic impact – remained steady by generating at least £20.78m.

An increase in international visits in 2014 saw 101,700 overseas visitors, compared to 81,700 in 2012. There was also significant growth in visits from the North West - from 107,000 to 186,000. International visitors stayed the longest and spent the most money in the city region (£247 per visit). A large proportion of first time visitors came from overseas (53%), including 23% from Asia, 18% from Western Europe and 10% from North America.

With plans currently underway for the 9th Liverpool Biennial, which will be held 9 July – 16 October 2016, a curatorial team has been assembled to work together. The team of curators includes Sally Tallant, Raimundas Malašauskas, Francesco Manacorda, Dominic Willsdon, Rosie Cooper, Polly Brannan, and Francesca Bertolotti.

Watch more highlights from Liverpool Biennial 2014, including performances, talks and behind-the-scenes videos here.