Experience the city in a new light: 5th & 6th October

We took a trip up to Leeds to see the Light Night 2017 event after hearing such good feedback last year. Whilst planning the Festival of Light in Southampton, a lot of our artists were also involved in Light Night in Leeds so we were keen to see what they did and how it works as a city wide event. We also admired their marketing in the lead up to Light Night 2016 and their live event brochure, so more the reason to go up North and see what made this such a successful event.

The event is run by a section of stakeholders including Leeds BID, Leeds city council, Trinity Leeds, Bruntwood and many more. There were a lot of sponsors and funding from different companies including Arts Council funding from the National Lottery.

We went into the centre to catch the beginning of the LED parade through the city which included West Indian Carnival, Handmade Pattern. They also had a similar selection of artists from our LED parade in Southampton such as the LED umbrella from Cirque Bijou and the LED drummers. The parade also included giant lanterns and animals, along with dancers and musicians to keep the audience engaged and following around the city.

The projection mapping on buildings around the city was particularly impressive. ‘Out of the Aire’ by The Projection Studio and Ross Ashton was one of our highlights. They projected onto the dramatic exterior of Leeds Civic Hall.

“Out of the Aire” | The Projection Studio / Ross Ashton

The dramatic exterior of Leeds Civic Hall is transformed as it hosts #LeedLightNight‘s centerpiece light spectacular. This year, leading UK projection artist, Ross Ashton, created an original display that celebrates the many people who have helped shape the city of Leeds, both past and present. Out of the image of the River Aire’s flowing water, see their fascinating stories revealed in this magnificent light projection, accompanied by contemporary music from Leeds’ artists and the people of Leeds.

POP | Blauwe Uur

Pop, created by the Dutch artist collective Blauwe Uur (Blue Hour), is a unique performance about the thoughts and images in our heads. POP shows ideas that replicate, evolve and spread like memes, creating a cultural connection between people. The performance, which is aUK premiere, uses video projection and music to make a group of mannequins and the front of the Town Hall to come to life.

Harlequin | NOVAK featuring soundtrack by Ed Carter

One of our favourite pieces was designed by our friends at NOVAK with QED productions. They digitally mapped the iconic Queen’s Hotel. Celebrating this landmark Leeds hotel’s 80’s year history and its place in the city’s heritage. The design was based around the joyful journey of vibrant patterns, colour and sound. It is such a great building, and right in the middle of the city you had traffic driving past and around the roundabout however found peace in the busy city by watching the mesmerizing designs.

Museum of the Mood | Luke Jerram

One of the installation that everyone was talking about is a piece by Luke Jerram at Leeds Docks. One of the most instagrammed pieces over the weekend, this was eye catching and something a little different. From the beginning of human history, the moon has acted as a ‘cultural mirror’ to our beliefs, understand.


By Louise Ford