Every year, for one night, the city of Leeds is transformed. No longer is it simply a closed city centre, but instead, it turns into it’s own theatre stage, presenting multiple art forms and light shows. Art organisations and public buildings stay open late to serve as temporary galleries to showcase artists, as well as the streets of the city themselves. Well, Shakespeare did say ‘All the world’s a stage’!
2015 marks the 11th annual Light Night which aims to be fun for all ages, incorporating Art, Dance, and Theatre performances in over 30 venues across the city. The event begins on the 9th October this year and lasts from 6pm to 11pm. This also is an appropriate Friday, as it kick off a weekend of events happening to celebrate the opening of the British Art Show 8 at Leeds Gallery. The reason we are especially excited for this year is the fact that the overarching theme across the night is Light! This is part of UNESCO’s Year of Light and so artists and performers are being asked to use light within all their performances, in whatever way they choose.
The first Light Night was in 2005, as part of the region-wide Illuminate Cultural Festival. That year, there were diverse acts as a string-quartet playing on top of the Town Hall clock tower and a ‘Treasure Hunt’ devised by the Institute for Crazy Dancing (really), where the audience became the act. In 2014, with the 10th annual event, the Civic Hall was transformed into the Theatre of Illumination, a digital spectacular combining white light projection and sound, and the University of Leeds’ LightTAG exhibit, which combined LED lights, long-exposure cameras, and it’s human participants to explain the science behind lighting in photography. Over the years, the success of the night was taken up by other cities, and now there are Light Night events in places such as Liverpool and Sheffield.
Over the last two years, the attendance at Light Night has jumped from 30,000 to 50,000 attendees last year. Hopefully the event only continues to grow and we’re really excited to see the exhibitions and activities on this year!
The Light Night website: http://www.lightnightleeds.co.uk/
Our last post, on the lighting in shopping centres in Leeds: http://news.lampshoponline.com/leeds-lighting-shopping-centres/
Tweet us @LampShopOnline on what you’re doing at the event and any photos of the light exhibitions!