Now in it’s nineteenth year, the UK’s largest annual arts and light festival returns to Leeds next month with the theme ‘Future Dreaming’.
The streets of Leeds will be transformed into an incredible illuminated playground when Light Night returns to the city this October.
Across Thursday 12 and Friday 13 October 2023 from 6:30 to 10:30pm, more than 50 breathtaking light installations, dynamic projections and spectacular interactive artworks are set to wow thousands of visitors to the highly anticipated, annual cultural event.
Here’s where you can find all the incredible pieces of art work and captivating performances by local, national and international artists around the city.
Millennium Square Zone
There are five beautiful art pieces to view in this zone, the most unmissable being the Theatre of Illumination at the Leeds Civic Hall which was originally commissioned for Light Night back in 2014. This digital spectacle of light and sound propels the historic architecture of Leeds Civic Hall into the next century with the explosive energy of a firework display.
The Headrow will welcome five installations, two more than last year’s event andmake sure you head to the Leeds Art Gallery to see ‘Journey into the Light’ – a beautiful art piece by Chila Kumari Burman MBE who studied at Leeds Polytechnic.
There’s a whopping seven installations to view at the Briggate Zone, including Harp -an immersive audio-visual outdoor installation which invites passers-by to form an orchestra for a moment.
Opera North will also be presenting ‘The Drop’ – where the companies talented musicians will transform the Howard Assembly Room into the depths of the ocean, plunging visitors below sea level.
Head to the Station Zone and be wowed by four illuminations. Don’t miss out on ‘Balloomi’ – a breathtaking instillation that consists of balloons filled with air and white light that creates a glowing pyramid with simple light sequences. ‘Public Trust’ will also ask passers by to make a vow and examine the value of your word, this will be recorded and projected onto a giant board along with others.
Wellington Place Zone
Over in Park Square, step back in time to the ancient forest of Leodis which once existed where the city of Leeds now stands and enter an ‘Enchanted Glade’ filled with glowing flowers, fairies, and mystical stone circles.
And who can resist some free UV face paint? If you’re looking to really embrace the Light Night way of life, then head to the Family Friendly Fun area at Wellington Place.
For The Junction’s Light Night debut, the area around the new neighbourhood will be covered in a lit-up installation entitled Droplets (pictured above), plus a huge projection from northern wellness organisation, Feel Good Club.
In addition to the installation, there will also be UV live artwork and face painting to get involved in, as well as food from Homeboy Pizza Co. and Threes A Crowd, live music from local artist BRANDER.
Those attending on the Friday night will also see the on-site bar with signature cocktails and a donation to LATCH: Leeds Action to Create Homes, will be made with every purchase.
South Bank Zone
Inspiring charity Simon on the Streets invites you to take ‘A Walk in Their Shoes’. Embark on a journey across The David Oluwale Bridge to learn about homelessness, the impact of stigma and what we can all do to help.
Here you will also find a whopping eight other instillations, including a late-night entry to The Tetley and an invigorating ‘Shipwrecked’ pop-up production at The Royal Armouries which will have audiences captivated.
SOYO Zone (Quarry Hill)
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled and look up when around Quarry Hill as you don’t want to miss out on a huge illuminated pear outside The Playhouse named ‘The World has gone Pear-shaped’. There’s four other pieces to see here including ‘The Service of Light’ at the Leeds Minster which will see the Choir of Leeds Minster, accompanied by the Minster’s famous Harrison & Harrison organ, reciting beautiful British choral music.
Fancy playing a game? Then head to the University Zone and have a go at ‘Pixelate’ which will transform gaming into a theatrical, immersive experience. You can also have a go at playing the piano with ‘Piano Is A Nocturnal Animal’, captivating music and light installation, inspired by the piano.
This zone is interactive as it gets, so don’t be afraid get stuck in.
Outside the Centre
Venture outside the city centre and we’re sure you’ll love what you will find. With seven exhibitions spanning across Leeds’ suburbs, there’s something for everyone to spot venturing in and out of the city.
Explore the illuminated ‘Ginnel’ in Chapeltown which will be lit up with beautiful lanterns or venture to Elland Road to see the ‘Luminosi Trees’ – a large scale light and sound art installation featuring two six metre high light trees.
To find out more about this wonderful event, take a look at Light Night Leeds’ website.
Featured image – Light Night Leeds