When: 6th & 7th October 2016
Where: Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire
£: Free, but some events are ticketed
What is it?
Head to Leeds for the 12th annual Light Night festival, on 6th and 7th October, and experience the city centre as never before. As darkness falls, see the city in a new light, with vibrant street entertainment, dance and drama performances, and light installations.
Leeds will be host to more than 50 events across the city centre, with plenty going on outside as well as in some of the city’s most iconic buildings.
Thursday night will have family friendly entertainment, including a triathlon-themed procession with a Lantern Parade, Light Night Ride and Light Night art runs. The parade will begin at 7.30pm at the top of Briggate, and work through the pedestrian area of the city centre, before joining the illuminated cyclists and runners on the Headrow for the finale at Victoria Gardens at 8.30pm.
Other highlights will include 90 glowing Giant Dandelions, which visitors will be able to walk amongst in Merrion Gardens; and the launch of the festival centrepiece, The Phoenix in the Stone.
The Phoenix in the Stone promises to be a dazzling display, in which an enormous illuminated phoenix will spread its wings across the front of the Civic Hall in Millennium Square. The installation is the brainchild of brothers Rob and Matt Vale. Their company Illuminos was behind the hugely popular Momentous display at the Civic Hall in 2014.
Friday night visitors will also get the chance to see the Phoenix in the Stone, as well as experiencing an extended programme of installations and events. This will include The Falls, a 100ft digital waterfall on the front of Queens Hotel, and Today, a music and light spectacular at Trinity.
Also on Friday, Books that Go Bump in the Night, will see visitors descend the stairs at the Print Room at the University of Leeds to hear the clatter of Victorian printing presses and meet the mad printer. Visitors may also explore the Grade II listed Leeds Central Library after dark, and discover stories of lost voyages and daring expeditions through rare books and historic maps.
Visitors can get fit and watch films with the Cycle Cinema at Reaction, or meet a magical swarm of fireflies in the crypt at the Town Hall.
On both nights, there’ll be painting with water for Waterlight graffiti, an interactive installation in Victoria Gardens made up of thousands of water-sensitive LEDs. In addition there will be fire and ice sculptures and specially commissioned light dance, Compound, with Leeds’ dance organisations at Northern Ballet.
Free water taxis will be taking visitors on a short boat ride to Leeds Dock, to see Light Water, Dark Sky; an installation of 6,000 pulsating lights floating in the middle of the dock. Plus there will be a special late night opening at The Tetley, with a range of activities including screenings, exhibitions, workshops, DJs, food and drink.