Prepare to see Leeds in a whole new light as dazzling arts spectacular returns
The incredible Light Night Leeds returns this week with a breath-taking spectacle of music and light set to transform the city.
With a programme of more than 60 impressive installations and performances by artists from across the world, the city centre and surrounding areas will host eleven exciting zones this Thursday and Friday (October 10 and 11) with support from local businesses and organisations.
Light Night will be taking over Leeds for the 15th year in a row, with this year’s event supported by headline sponsor Vastint UK, hosting its own installation at the Tetley in celebration for the much-anticipated Aire Park district.
Exploring the themes of mind, body and spirit, each zone will contain several installations which will delve into everything from the intricate mechanics of the human body to the limitless realms of our imaginations.
Here’s a brief look into each of the zones:
Millennium Square Zone
Telekinetic Rumours, Leeds Civic Hall
This spectacular piece of work incorporates imagery, music and sound to create an immersive dreamlike story, made all the more impressive when projected onto the front of Leeds Civic Hall.
We Are Saved by Loss, The Studio, Carriageworks Theatre
Exploring themes of life, loss and hope, these unique sculptural “hollow drawings” are hand built with layers of textile-based materials, inviting audiences to consider the pathology of human bodies.
Town Hall Zone sponsored by Steeper
Angels of Freedom, Victoria Gardens
Five beautiful angels will be descending on Victoria Gardens. Each of them is unique with brightly lit wings in ever-changing colours. Enjoy a ‘heavenly’ experience by giving yourself a halo and wings and sharing an ‘angelic’ selfie!
With Love, Town Hall Forecourt, The Headrow
A monumental bright red heart will be landing on the front of Leeds Town Hall. Its purpose: to take the pulse of the city and its lovers. Be a part of this nocturnal interactive installation by stepping up to the desk with your partner to have your collective Beats per Minute measured and turned into a song.
Reflecting Holons, Victoria Hall, Leeds Town Hall
The Reflecting Holons are a series of beautiful and mesmerising optical illusions, best compared to giant bubbles or liquid water drops. They capture the surrounding light and seem to glow.
Headrow Zone sponsored by The Light
Swan Song, St John the Evangelist Church & Gardens
Step into a symphony in St John’s Churchyard as the trees come alive in music, birdsong and light.
‘Heofon’ Light Maze, The Light (St Anne’s Gardens)
A spectacular maze built with 2.5 metre high panels of acrylic glass which reflect light rays along the entire colour range of a rainbow while the spectator moves in the installation.
Victoria Zone sponsored by Victoria Leeds
Wave-Field, Sidney Street
This illuminated musical seesaw installation invites you to come and play in the street. You’ll have to pair up with others – friends, families or strangers – to create patterns and harmonies.
A section of choirs at Victoria Arcade
The Songsmiths (Thursday, 7:30pm and 9:30pm)
Harmony (Thursday, 6:30pm and 8:30pm)
Gay Abandon UK (Friday, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm)
Lightbattle X, Briggate
In celebration of a fantastic year of sport in Leeds, come and take part in a unique light cycling challenge. By pedalling hard, participants will push their own beam of light to the middle as fast as possible in an attempt to defeat their opponents.
The Flying Violinist, Trinity Leeds
Join Cirque Bijou in their 20th anniversary year as they light the skies of Trinity Leeds with The Flying Violinist who will be spinning and dancing in a mesmeric colour-changing LED dress.
Brainlight, Holy Trinity Church
Are you curious to see how your mind works? As the participant views the colours on the Brainlight, their own brainwaves change in response to external stimulus.
Station Zone sponsored by Wellington Place
The Vision, The Queens Hotel
Projected onto the front of The Queens Hotel, The Vision will take audiences into the dreams of two characters through their eyes as it is often believed that the eyes, besides being part of the human body, are also a mirror of the soul.
Les Footballeurs, Merrion Gardens
Coinciding with the 100 year anniversary of Leeds United Football Club, Les Footballeur reveals two footballers, an attacker striking a ball and a goalkeeper diving to make a save, cleverly transmitted in a sequence of LED lights.
Brothers and Sisters, Queen Square
Brothers and Sisters takes the simple concept of asking young children to portray their sibling, or friend, in their own unique artwork and transforming it into a large scale garland of LED lights. Children from two Leeds primary schools, Richmond Hill Academy and Co-op Academy in Oakwood took part in the special workshops and a lucky 10 children will see their work in lights on Queen Square.
South Bank Zone sponsored by Sky
Pleasance, The Tetley
Step into the Aire Park dream, literally, as the street in front of The Tetley is flooded with light. The colourful and immersive multi-sensory experience is a 35-metre long, animated street projection inspired by the hundreds of new trees, acres of green space, new homes, offices, restaurants and cafes that Aire Park will bring to the South Bank.
Dream Trees, Aire Park
Illuminated, 9ft walking, talking trees will be roaming the streets of Leeds in celebration of the 500 new trees that Aire Park will bring to the South Bank. Follow their whereabouts on Instagram @AirePark.
Voyage, Leeds Dock
A colourful and spectacular floating light show which features over 100 illuminated origami boats which you can control and interact with from your smartphone.
Temple Zone sponsored by ceg
Referencing the huge regeneration project in Temple Zone and the construction taking place around Tower Works, GRID is a large sculpture of sound, colour, light rhythm, steel and air. Follow the computer voice guiding you into the installation and encounter the sounds of the unique ‘robot orchastra’.
Ghost Caribou, Granary Wharf
Giant illuminated creatures, part caribou, part spirit, roam a mystical world after dark, accompanied by a wild herdsperson. With music, song and shadow puppets they tell stories of lost homes, impossible migrations and seeds of hope before continuing the journey into their hauntingly beautiful dream-world of the night.
SOYO Zone sponsored by SOYO Leeds
Portal of reflection, St Peter’s Square
Portal of Reflection invites you to gaze through special glasses that shift your perspective and take you on a kaleidoscopic journey of self- reflection and positivity through animated light, colour and sound. Part of the SHINE emerging artist programme.
University Zone sponsored by University of Leeds Cultural Institute
The Nectary at The Precinct, opposite Leeds University union
Visit The Nectary to immerse yourself in nature and hear “the hum of the earth” as you mimic a pollinating insect, moving from flower to flower.
Created by Leeds based artist Alison Smith and Dr Chris Hassall, lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds the piece can be seen on Friday from 6pm until 10pm.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Light Night exemplifies the very best of culture in our city and we’re incredibly proud that Leeds is home to such a world class celebration of creativity and imagination.
“Year after year, Light Night also brings together tens of thousands of people and families, giving them the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable spectacle and see both modern and historic Leeds from a completely different perspective.”
Light Night Leeds takes place on October 10 and 11 from 6pm until 11pm.
For more details about the programme and installations visit www.lightnightleeds.co.uk or follow @lightnightleeds on Twitter and Instagram.