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Must See Light Festivals of 2016

Light is life, light is energy, lights speaks all languages and connects people

Birgit Zander

Last year, the United Nations took a global initiative and named 2015 ‘The International Year of Light’ with the aim to ‘raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind.’

This year, the best ‘Light Festivals’ around the world are set to take centre stage and celebrate light in all its glory and splendour.

Berlin Illuminated- The Festival of Lights

Germany – 7th -16th October 2016

One of the best light festivals takes place in Berlin every year in October attracting over 2 million visitors including 600,000 additional overnight stays and 1.8 billion media contacts.
The whole city lights up with artful displays on monuments, landmarks, buildings, streets and several other places where International and national artists come together to exhibit their light installations telling stories of their culture, art, craft and personal messages they want to send out to the viewers.

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Blackpool Illuminations

England–2nd September – 6th November 2016

It is one of the most iconic annual British events, dating back to 1879. Last year alone, the illuminations attracted 3.5 million visitors to Blackpool.

Known as ‘the greatest free light show on earth’, the light festival runs for 66 days across 6 miles along the promenade starting from Star Gate at the south to Bispham in the north. Besides using 1 million bulbs for the display along the promenade, the illumination also features various interactive installations which are an amalgamation of light and art.

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Eindhoven- Glow

Netherlands – 12th – 19th November 2016

The Glow festival of lights is an outdoor exhibition across major landmarks in Eindhoven by various national and international artists and designers.

The festival features light installations, sculptures, projections and various other light displays, lighting up the whole city offering visitors a whole new perspective of Eindhoven. The ‘Glow Next’ programme features experiments which are showcased for the very first time where, according to Rombout Frieling, creative lead for Glow Next,

together with engineers, artists, designers, researchers and also filmmakers and actors, we try to make the world of light tangible. From intelligent glass to polarized light waves. Almost every project in Glow Next is a world premiere. They are the results of experimental collaborations between creative talent and the hi-tech industry.

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Lyon Festival of Light

France– 8th – 11th December 2016

The light festival runs for 4 days throughout the city, showcasing Lyon’s rich heritage. Nicknamed ‘the city of light’, the light displays are innovative, fascinating and enchanting, with a different theme, vibe and colour scheme every night accompanied with videos, music and sound effects.

International designers from all over the world take part in the event to display their work across the city incorporating building, parks, streets and other major landmarks into the light show.

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Sydney- Vivid

Australia– 22nd May – 8th June 2016

The festival first began as a ‘Smart Light Festival’ in 2009 to create awareness for energy efficiency which soon grew into a major event attracting over 1.7 million visitors to Sydney.

The annual lighting event features immersive light installations and projections throughout the city, including performances from national and international music artists and also an ideas exchange forum featuring public talks and debates from leading creative thinkers.

According to the organisers, ‘Vivid Sydney is a 23-day festival of light, music and ideas featuring many of the world’s most important creative industry forums, a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations and a cutting-edge contemporary music program.’

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