Liverpool's nightlife is nothing if not diverse. The evening Liverpool Echo is a good source of daily information about larger and fine-arts events; the youth-oriented L: Scene magazine will provide you with a thorough calendar of club dates and gigs; and the free City X Blag, available in most clubs and pubs, will do the same. Available free in gay clubs and pubs, Pulse lists gay activities and events throughout the region.
The Student Entertainment Office (tel. 01517/944143) at the University of Liverpool can tell you about the range of activities sponsored by the school, or you can stop by the student union on Mount Pleasant and check out the bulletin board. Another good place for finding out about the underground scene is Quiggins Centre, School Lane (tel. 01517/092462).
Open year-round, the Empire Theatre, Lime Street, hosts visiting stage productions ranging from dramas and comedies to ballets and tributes. Book through Ticketmaster at tel. 0151/708-3200 (www.liverpoolempire.org.uk).
Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street (tel. 01512/102895; www.liverpoolphil.com), is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best orchestras outside of London, which usually performs twice weekly. When the orchestra is not on, there are often concerts by touring musicians, and films are sometimes shown as well.
At the Zanzibar Club, 43 Seel St. (tel. 01517/070633; www.zanzibarclub.com), DJs spin drum-and-bass and hip-hop Wednesday to Monday nights, with the occasional rock or pop booking thrown in for good measure.
Beatles fans flock to the Cavern Club, 8-10 Mathew St. (tel. 01512/369091; www.cavernclub.org), thinking that this is where the Fab Four appeared. Demolished years ago, the old Cavern Club has faded into history. However, locals still go to this new version to hear live bands on Thursday to Sunday nights (regrettably, not as good as the dear, departed ones). The cover ranges from £1 to £8. For a more nostalgic evening, head for the Cavern Pub, 5 Mathew St. (tel. 01512/364041), where many English bands got their start before going on to greater glory. The names of the groups who appeared here from 1957 to 1973 are recorded on a plaque.
Long after the mop tops have departed, the Liverpool music scene continues to thrive at various venues around town, particularly in the Ropewalks district. The best of the lot here is The Barfly, 90 Seel St. (tel. 0151/707-6171; www.barflyclub.com). The acts are constantly changing but are some of the best of the lot. Perhaps you'll hear the Beatles of tomorrow. Cover ranges from £3 to £15, depending on the shows, which; are presented Thursday to Saturday 10pm to 3am.
A cafe by day, Baa Bar, 43-45 Fleet St. (tel. 01517/088673; www.baabar.co.uk), serves an eclectic menu, and free dancing to a DJ brings in a lot of the evening's business. A pub with a Fab Four spin, Ye Cracke, 13 Rice St. (tel. 01517/094171), was a favorite watering hole of John Lennon in pre- and early Beatles days (but expect regulars to suggest you quit living in the past if you ask about it). Better just soak up the little-changed atmosphere over a pint of Oak Wobbly Bob, Cains, or Haywood Oak.
Gay Bars in Liverpool
You won't find as frenetic or as varied a nightlife scene in Liverpool as you will in, say, Manchester or Leeds. But something about the rough-and-tumble streets of this monument to the Industrial Revolution makes for hard-party times at some of the city's gay bars. At Masquerade, 10 Cumberland St. (tel. 01512/367786; www.masqueradebar.com), a gay version of a Victorian pub, the scene is the most consistently crowded and animated of the several gay bars in its neighborhood near the Moorfields Railway Station, off Dale Street. Come to the street-level bar to drink, talk, and watch the occasional cabaret artiste, whose acts are presented after 8pm every Friday and Saturday (5pm on Sun). Head for the basement-level dance floor for a bit of boogying with the 'Pudlians. At G-Bar, Eberle Street (tel. 01512/364416), the street level is a pseudo-Gothic piece of kitsch that only a rave party could fully appreciate. The cellar has a floor where crowds of gay and sexually neutral fans dance, dance, dance. There's even a "love lounge," where you may catch up on a bit of dialogue, or whatever, in circumstances that are highly relaxing. Cover is from £5 to £9, depending on the night of the week.
The Lisbon, 35 Victoria St. (tel. 01512/316831), is set close to Moorfield Railway Station. This is the quietest and calmest of the pubs listed in this section, luring a nicer blend of men than at some of the seedier gay dives nearby.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.