Leicester Light Festival launch night brightens up the city centre

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

Leicester’s four-day light festival sparked joy as it opened its seven interactive installations last night (ThursMAR5).

Light Up Leicester is a brand-new free festival which is brightening locations city-wide until Tuesday(MAR8) next week.

It is running from 5pm-10pm each day.

Launch night proved to be a success, with hundreds lining the streets to view the different artworks.

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Shoefiti in Silver Street

The start of the event was delayed due to it not being dark enough, but by 5.30pm all of the artworks were switched on and dazzling shoppers.

Some of the places lit up for the first time last night include Jubilee Square, Humberstone Gate and Leicester Market.

Debbie Miles, an Ambassador for ArtReach at the Youth Culture sculpture in Orton Square, said: “It’s been quite popular. I thought being all the way out here we would get fewer visitors than the other attractions, but that hasn’t been the case.

“It’s nice to have something like this in Leicester.”

Using sensors and an internet connection, the seven light installations react to the different ways people can interact with them.

Three of these, Wavefield, Traces and Shadowdance, are brand new, with people passing through last night being the first members of the public to view them.

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Wave features 500 hanging lights which emit soothing sounds

Wave, which is Debbie’s favourite of the attractions, was popular with visitors to St Peter’s Square, where 500 hanging lights lit up and sung out into the darkness.

One person exclaimed that the bauble shaped lights would make a perfect Christmas tree decoration.

Jade Burrell, who was there on launch day, said: “It is very pretty – but I am too short to reach half of [the lights]. I hope it returns next year.”

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Wave-Field was popular on launch night

Children were understandably enamoured by Wave-Field, where visitors are invited to pair up and hop up and down on a set of giant seesaws.

This playful exhibit is located in Humberstone Gate.

“The most interesting one is Unexpected Connection,” said Debbie.

“Two people walk into a light tunnel from each side and then something happens when you get to the middle. But you’ll have to try it for yourself to find out what!”

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Unexpected Connection in Jubilee Square

Unexpected Connection is located in Jubilee Square.

The festival is being delivered by Leicester City Council, ArtReach and BID Leicester with support from Arts Council England.

 

 

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