The Witching Hour

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re thrilled you’d like to join us at The Witching Hour in Birkenhead Park. We have provided some useful information below to help make your preparations for this event as easy and enjoyable as possible.


WHAT, WHERE, WHEN

What day does The Witching Hour take place?

Join us at The Witching Hour in Birkenhead Park on Friday 17, Saturday 18 or Sunday 19 May 2019. Please arrive for a 9:45pm start.

What is The Witching Hour?

The Witching Hour is a large-scale outdoor performance by Periplum taking place in Wirral and Hull in May 2019.

In 2019, whilst Absolutely Cultured continues to build on the success of Hull UK City of Culture in 2017, Wirral is the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture. In celebration of the parallels between Hull and Wirral, places which are using culture to connect communities, a brand-new, large scale outdoor performance by Periplum – The Witching Hour – has been commissioned by Wirral Borough of Culture 2019 and Hull’s Absolutely Cultured.

The performance takes place in the stunning setting of Birkenhead Park, and features live performance, a specially commissioned soundtrack, theatrical lighting, fire, pyrotechnics and promenading action taking place in and around the audience.

Designed to connect people and inspire imagination, The Witching Hour draws on the unique characteristics of Wirral and Hull and the story has been developed through engagement with local communities. The performance weaves between the two locations and highlights legends and stories - both imagined and real - associated with East Park and Birkenhead Park and brings to life memory and myth in an exciting, mysterious and dramatic performance.

Periplum have had previous work commissioned and funded by the National Theatre, the British Museum, the British Council, the BBC, Arts Council England and many local authorities, festivals and venues across the UK.

Where does The Witching Hour take place?

The Witching Hour takes place in Birkenhead Park’s Upper Park. Entrances to the event will be via the gate on Park Road North adjacent to Birkenhead Park Rugby Club and the gate on Ashville Road adjacent to Highgate House. Please follow signage. This map shows where the performance takes place and the locations of the entrances: The Witching Hour - Birkenhead Park map.

Once inside the park you will be directed to the performance area. Please follow instructions from our team, and do not stray into other areas of the park.

See ‘Getting to Birkenhead Park’ below for information on how to get there.

What time does The Witching Hour begin and end?

The Witching Hour takes place after dark, starting at 9:45pm and lasts for approximately one hour.

Please ensure you have allowed enough time to get to the performance area within the park for a 9:45pm start.

Do I need a ticket?

The Witching Hour is free, and no booking is required. Entry is on a first come first served basis.

What should I wear?

The Witching Hour takes place on grass in Birkenhead Park after dark and will go ahead in most weathers. Although lighting will be provided, pathways and the performance area may be muddy and uneven under foot.

Please dress for the weather, wearing sensible footwear.

If it rains please wear waterproofs and do not bring umbrellas as they may block the view of others.

Is there allocated seating?

General seating is not available.

Please do not bring your own chairs as they will not be permitted.

How have we been able to bring a ground-breaking event like The Witching Hour to Wirral?

Cultural events taking place as part of Wirral’s Borough of Culture programme are funded in the main via a contribution from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and a significant grant from Arts Council England which recognises the fantastic progress which is being made in Wirral to place arts, culture and creativity at the heart of our plans for regenerating the borough. Some events and projects, including The Witching Hour, have funding from other national organisations such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund which has been awarded in this instance in recognition of what the project will do to support the work to promote Birkenhead Park as a heritage asset of international importance as well as highlighting local stories.


CHILDREN & DOGS

Is The Witching Hour suitable for children?

Yes, it is suitable for all that wish to join us.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Due to the nature of the performance, which includes moving action in and around the audience, we advise parents to only bring pushchairs or prams if absolutely necessary.

Are dogs allowed?

We are expecting thousands to attend The Witching Hour, which takes place after dark, and features pyrotechnic effects, therefore it may be a frightening experience for animals. With the exception of assistance dogs, animals will not be admitted.


GETTING TO BIRKENHEAD PARK

How do I get to Birkenhead Park?

Parking is limited around Birkenhead Park, so we advise the use of public transport or travelling by foot where possible. Please see below for details on public transport and parking. This map shows where the performance takes place and the locations of the entrances: The Witching Hour - Birkenhead Park map.


Public Transport

Main pedestrian access to the site is via Ashville Road.

Train: Birkenhead Park station is located approximately a 10-minute walk from the Ashville Road entrance gate. Turn right onto Duke Street on exiting the station, continue straight, across Park Road North onto Ashville Road. The entrance gate will be clearly signposted.

Plan your journey on the Merseyrail website or download the free Merseyrail app.

Bus: There are a number of bus services that make stops along Ashville Road with a regular timetable both before and after the event times on all days. Plan your journey with the Arriva Bus App and buy your bus ticket in advance with the Arriva M-Ticket App.


By Foot: Please head to the entrance gates on Ashville Road adjacent to Highgate House or Park Road North adjacent to Birkenhead Park Rugby Football Club. These are the only park gates that will be open. Please follow directional signage and look out for members of our team who can help you find your way.

Cycling: Bicycles will not be admitted into the site. Please travel by public transport or on foot.

Parking

There will be limited parking available for blue badge holders on a first come, first served basis. This is located inside the main park opposite the main entrance gate on Ashville Road.

A limited number of public parking spaces will be available on a first come first served basis inside the main park opposite the main entrance gate on Ashville Road.

Please respect the local residents by not parking in the streets surrounding the park.

TOILETS & ACCESSIBILITY

Are there toilets nearby?

We have arranged for temporary toilets, including accessible toilets, to be available within the park.

What considerations have been made for those with disabilities?

There will be limited parking available for blue badge holders on a first come first served basis. This is located inside the main park opposite the main entrance gate on Ashville Road.

Access from blue badge parking to the performance site is approximately 150m of pathway and grass. Although the site it accessible for wheelchairs, the performance itself takes place on grass, which may be uneven and may become muddy under wet weather conditions. Lighting will be provided, but pathways to the performance area may be muddy and uneven. We advise using your own judgement regarding likely conditions and individual needs.

Please speak to a member of staff on arrival who will advise you on the best vantage points in the performance area.

There will be a viewing platform with a limited number of spaces available for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. Spaces on the viewing platform must be booked in advance. Please contact cultureteam@wirral.gov.uk to book your place.

If you feel that you would benefit from a familiarisation visit to the site before the event this can be arranged subject to availability. Please contact cultureteam@wirral.gov.uk to discuss.

Is the performance suitable for audience members with photosensitive epilepsy?

The performance features some flashing lights and pyrotechnic effects, however there will be no regular strobing used at all and no sustained period of flashing lights. We would advise using your own judgement regarding individual needs.

What considerations have been made for people who require a more relaxed experience?

The Witching Hour will be highly visual, and will contain amplified music, live action in and around the audience, and pyrotechnic effects which will create some sudden loud noises.

Please bear in mind that we are expecting large crowds to attend The Witching Hour, so we advise using your own judgement regarding individual needs.

A small number of ear defenders will be available, should any of your group require them to help make the experience more comfortable. Please speak to a member of staff upon arrival who will also direct you to a less crowded viewing area.

Can you provide information in alternative formats or languages?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide advance information in languages other than English.

The event will be highly visual, and therefore it can be enjoyed regardless of which language you use.


WEATHER CONDITIONS

Will The Witching Hour be cancelled in bad weather?

The Witching Hour is planned to take place only on Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May, and therefore is unlikely to be cancelled in bad weather such as rain or light winds. If it does rain, please wear waterproofs and don’t use umbrellas as they may block the view of others.

In the event of severe weather, such as storms and high winds, please check our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter in the first instance, where we will share up to date information, on the day and before you travel.


SOCIAL MEDIA

We hope you enjoy The Witching Hour. Don’t forget to share your pictures on social media using #TheWitchingHourWirral

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Animals, with the exception of assistance dogs, are not permitted.
  • No alcohol is permitted within the site.
  • Bicycles will not be admitted to the site.
  • Food and beverage items (excluding alcohol) may be brought to the site for personal consumption only. Food and beverage will not be for sale within the site.
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Re-admission once the gates have closed is not permitted.
  • The organisers reserve the right to refuse entry, and will do so if you are under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance, or for any other reason at our discretion.
  • In the unlikely event that attendance is oversubscribed the organisers reserve the right to limit entry in the interest of public safety.
  • Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • Admission to the site is at your own risk and the organisers have no liability whatsoever for any loss, damage, death, or injury to you or your property which is not caused by its negligence.
  • You are not permitted to use professional audio, video and/or photographic equipment within the site without the express permission of the organisers.

CANCELLATION

This is an outdoor event, so please be prepared for varying weather conditions. In the unlikely event we need to cancel notices will be posted via our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter and on this website. Please check back here before travelling to the site.