Background

We Are Placemaking had the pleasure of working with the local community of Thamesmead to create their first ever Light Festival. The Festival spanned across two areas Butts Wood and Tump 53, and housed several light installations. Alongside the fantastic light art, guests enjoyed great live music and entertainment, whilst local food traders provided a great selection of food for the guests to enjoy.

Challenge

The main challenge for this event was navigating how the local community would respond to an event like this on their doorstep. We were slightly worried that it wasn’t going to be received well, however the event was accepted by all and had a really amazing feeling to it during the live hours. There was a buzz of excitement in the air and the event was loved by all.

Delivery 

In the initial stages of producing the event we thought about what the best way was to approach delivery of the event as a whole. We worked with Peabody on commissioning two art pieces by the local community and thought that this would be a great way of involving the event as a whole. We also had a selection of light installations from renowned light artists, such as Squidsoup, Terraform and Amberlights.

Adriana Marques, Head of Thamesmead Cultural Strategy for Peabody, said: “The idea to hold a light festival came from local residents as a way of bringing Thamesmead’s diverse communities together and addressing isolation in winter. We had over 1,300 people come to the event, of which 95% were local residents. The event was a great success with lots of local food, live local music and family activities for all ages. I was truly moved by how friendly and warm the atmosphere was. We received such positive feedback from those who attended that we are looking into how we can develop this for future years.”

Results

The event as a whole was a real success with the most important factor being that it was well received by the community. We had a selection of local community talent, perform with us during the event, with the likes of local dance troupes, DJ’s, young singers and semi-professional singers all coming out, showing up and making their friends, family and Thamesmead proud.

Click here to see what Thamesmead residents had to say about the festival.