Leeds ,

Thousands captivated by a stunning Light Night to remember

A spellbinding spectacle of light and sound captivated thousands of visitors as one of the city’s biggest cultural celebrations returned last night.

The first night of this year’s Light Night Leeds saw buildings, streets and public spaces across the city centre transformed by a dazzling array of illuminated creations by local, national and international artists.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the event, with more expected for the equally exciting second installment tonight.

Last night, the festival officially got underway with a memorable illuminated parade, which wound its way up The Headrow and through the city centre, giving crowds lining the streets the chance to see a procession of animated puppets, luminous banners and LED signs made by local community groups.

The parade celebrated Leeds Suffragettes Leonora Cohen and Mary Gawthorpe along with other inspirational and influential women from the past 100 years including astronaut Helen Sharman and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Elsewhere in the city centre, Victoria Leeds hosted a collection of giant, luminous humanoids created by Australian artist Amanda Parer.

Entitled Fantastic Planet, the creatures are designed to look like travellers from an alien world exploring the city of Leeds for the first time.

At The Queen’s Hotel on City Square, a huge fire-breathing dragon was projected onto the distinctive building’s façade. The piece, called Forgotten features live pyrotechnics, with jets or real fire leaping from the building.

Leeds Civic Hall was transformed by a fusion of modern art and cutting edge science as Spanish digital studio Hotaru Visual Guerrilla drew on research by The University of Leeds to create a compelling projection.

And the historic, 250 year-old Leeds Library on Commercial Street was the setting for a specially-commissioned piece entitled A Certain Amount of Courage, paying tribute to Leeds Suffragettes.

Other locations featured fire displays, interactive installations, family friendly fun and live performances, with more the 60 pieces spread across locations including Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds Corn Exchange and The University of Leeds.

This year’s event has the theme of progress and innovation, with the programme celebrating history, technology and social change.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Light Night Leeds never fails to capture the imagination and create a truly enthralling spectacle which is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people each and every year.

“Tonight has been no exception, and this remarkable festival and the superbly talented programme of artists it brings to our city has once again made a bold and impressive statement about Leeds and our credentials as a truly world class cultural destination.”

Almost all events from last night will be available to see in the city centre again tonight from 6pm-11pm, with the exception of the Light Night parade. The event’s headline partner is Leeds 2023.

For more details, visit: lightnightleeds.co.uk or follow @LightNightLeeds on Twitter


For media enquiries, please contact: 

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 378 9182 (please note my new number)

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk