Lancaster turned on a light extravaganza

Source: Light Up Lancaster 8 November 2022

Lancaster turned into an illuminated city of delight for two days last week.

Light Up Lancaster recorded tens of thousands of visits to the city centre on the Friday and Saturday evenings of the festival and fantastic visitor numbers to the fireworks viewing areas on the Saturday evening.

Ten years since the festival first lit up Lancaster, there have been many advances in light art so visitors were once again wowed by a visual extravaganza courtesy of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists.

A dinosaur roared out of the window of a building in Dalton Square, the Ship of the Gods dropped anchor in the Priory Church and transformed into a cathedral, while the Castle provided the perfect backdrop for a moving musical installation about memory and time: 100 Stories High by Lancaster’s award-winning imitating the dog digital theatre company.

Hundreds of beautiful butterflies fluttered en-masse in St John’s Church, one of the festival’s newest venues, while bees could be heard buzzing around The Nectary, massive glowing flowers in Storey Gardens.

Lancaster’s very own Ludus Dance Company and guests Night People brought the rave scene to Sun Square while the festival’s first ever Light Art Jam was hosted by Kanteena, another new venue.

Light Up Lancaster always provides moving moments reflected this year in its theme – Turning Points – and none more so than Waiting For A Message From Home, a giant lantern in the form of a soldier encircled by illuminated doves at the front of the City Museum, currently hosting a wartime exhibition.

There were plenty of opportunities for interaction and experimenting too, courtesy of The Storey, the Judges Lodgings, and new venues: The Cornerstone and Herbarium, and during Saturday, an art fair in St Nicholas Arcades offered arts activities for all.

The festival ended with a more traditional way of lighting up the skies, a spectacular firework display fired from near Lancaster Castle – the first since 2019 –  and this year on November 5 itself.

Light Up Lancaster was organised by Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID and The Dukes.  It was funded by Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster BID and supported by Lancashire County Council, the Granada Foundation, The Borough and Simply French.

‘We were delighted to welcome so many people to Lancaster city centre, to enjoy the artworks and installations and to view the firework display,’ said Coun Sandra Thornberry, Lancaster City Council cabinet member for arts, culture and wellbeing.

‘Light Up Lancaster is instrumental in bringing visitors to the city to enjoy not only the event but the shops, restaurants and attractions which are open during the weekend of the festival. Just as importantly, Light Up offers two days of fun and entertainment that communities can come together to enjoy for free and something which is very much welcomed by many, particularly during these difficult times.’

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