Events

Everything you need to know about Bristol Light Festival 2022

The countdown is on! The city will soon be filled with playful, immersive, and intriguing light installations displayed at every turn.

23/02/2022

The countdown is on! The city will soon be filled with playful, immersive, and intriguing light installations displayed at every turn. It can mean only one thing, it’s time for Bristol Light Festival 2022.

 

The highly anticipated event will return from 1st – 6th March, creating a trail of captivating light artworks across the city centre from some of the UK’s most renowned artists and the best of Bristol talent. Ahead of the event, the final four light installations have been revealed which include an iconic Bristolian phrase lit up in Castle Park and an enormous disco ball in Millennium Square, both designed and commissioned by the Bristol Light Festival creative team. These final four installations complete the programme, totalling 14 pieces to see at this year’s festival, all making their first appearance in Bristol.

 

From 5pm-10pm, visitors will be able to wander through the city when the installations will shine a light in a few unexpected places as well as illuminating some of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks. This year, two daylight installations will add a new dimension to the event offering a chance to experience the event during the daytime.

 

Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead for their visit to Bristol Light Festival, considering sustainable travel arrangements as well as places they may like to eat, drink or stay in the city. Visit Bristol offers inspiration and information to help plan a trip into the city and this year, First Bus is offering a 30% discount on Adult, Student and Child Bristol Zone Night bus tickets to and from the event [INSERT LINK/DETAILS]. Awaiting details from First Bus, will have by end of week.

 

Bristol Light Festival is presented by Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) working in partnership with Redcliffe and Temple BID, Arts Council England, Bristol City Council and Cabot Circus, and curated by the festival’s creative director Katherine Jewkes.

 

As a key part of our recovery programme supporting businesses after the challenging last two years, we look forward to welcoming visitors to Bristol Light Festival to enjoy the city centre and all that it has to offer. Support from key partners across the city has enabled the event to grow and offer even more in 2022 with more artworks and locations, making it a real city-wide event. We hope Bristol Light Festival will be a mark of brighter times ahead and showcase Bristol as the vibrant, playful and creative city that we know and love.

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID

This year, we have a programme that feels really special and that is reflective of the city’s creative spirit. All 14 artworks are either completely new commissions or installations that will be making their Bristol debut, offering a programme of artworks never seen before in the city. We have created spaces for people to dance, play and explore the city – with a few surprises along the way. Visitors can take in each installation across one evening or come across multiple nights and really explore the city. We cannot wait to welcome everyone to Bristol Light Festival and fill the city with colour and light.

Katherine Jewkes, Creative Director

THIS YEAR’S BRISTOL LIGHT FESTIVAL PROGRAMME IN FULL…

Overheard in Bristol – Castle Park

‘Overheard in Bristol’ is the festival’s celebration of the city and its Bristolian ways. In 2020, visitors saw the popular phrase ‘Cheers Drive’ in blue neon lights. This year, it is turn for the much loved and iconic Bristolian welcome…. Alright my Luvver!

Alright my Luvver will shine brightly in neon pink light at the Bristol Bridge entrance to Castle Park, this nod to Bristol is sure to raise a few smiles!

Disco Ball – Millennium Square

‘Disco Ball’ is an exciting new commission for this year’s event designed by the Bristol Light Festival creative team, set to transform Millennium Square into disco diva heaven. The silver Bristol Planetarium will be turned into a gigantic disco ball, projecting light and playing music across the square to disco ball themed podiums dotted across the area. Put on your dancing shoes and let the disco fever take over!

THE EYES - TREES ARE PEOPLE TOO – CLARE STREET

Inflatable art specialists, Designs in Air, will be bringing ‘The Eyes’ to Bristol’s Old City area as a fun addition to the festival. Visitors will need to take a second glance when walking up Clare Street – as a pair of huge, illuminated eyes look straight back at them from a tree!

Sticking giant googly eyes in a tree gives it a unique character. Some of these leafy giants have been part of the city for centuries yet they often get ignored – if they could talk just imagine what stories they would tell! We hope people will look up and find themselves seeing eye to eye with a happy tree and have an unexpected chuckle. Definitely an eye-catching installation!

SIGN NIGHT - HAND SHIPS SAIL - ARNOLFINI

‘Sign Night’, a poignant performance on film created and directed by Bristol-based Cathy Mager has been repurposed into ‘Sign Night – Hand Ship Sail’ for Bristol Light Festival, presenting a new edit of the performance never seen before.

The beautifully shot piece will be projected onto the side of Arnolfini on the Harbourside and is best viewed from the other side of the harbour, outside Revolución de Cuba.

The piece conveys a poetic conversation between two star-crossed lovers, inspired by the balcony performers of Wuhan and Lombardy, using British Sign Language (BSL) – the vital, visual and versatile language of British deaf communities.

Neighbours – Park Street

Neighbours’ is making an exciting return to tell a new tale. The collaborative installation by three Bristol-based graffiti artists and illustrators will create artworks that surround the window of Banksy’s famous Well Hung Lover on Park Street, and offer a peek into the lives of those living next door.

‘Neighbours’ will be a celebration of Bristol’s residents and how we interact with each other as a diverse community, whilst exploring the unique relationship we have all had with our homes over the course of the pandemic. Featuring artists; Jasmine Thompson, Parys Gardener and Abbi Bayliss.

Circle of Light – Queen Square

Lighting designers Toy Studio will bring their colourful and immersive daylight installation to Bristol for the first time. ‘Circle of Light’ will encircle the equestrian statue in Queen Square and create coloured shadows that extend and contract depending on the time of day, angle, and intensity of the sun.

Visitors can experience ‘Circle of Light’ from a distance, taking in the rainbow of colours spanning the square, or can walk through each colour shadow and see the city in a different light. The installation will also be part of the evening programme when it will light up and again bathe the square in a spectrum of colour.

End over End – Cascade Steps, Harbourside

Renowned light artists, Studio Vertigo will bring their colourful and fun installation to the harbour side, and it is sure to capture the imagination of those that see it. ‘End Over End’ is a gigantic illuminated slinky toy that lights up to create the familiar flowing movement of the nostalgic toy. It’s size and scale will make visitors feel like they’ve entered a playroom in the land of giants as they watch each coil ‘slink’ down Cascade Steps and heads towards the harbour’s water.

Lucy McDonnell and Stephen Newby, Studio Vertigo’s co-founders, design light installations that transform the daily environment, and their creations have featured at countless events and festivals across the UK and internationally.

Cascade – Left Handed Giant

One of this year’s new commissions for Bristol Light Festival is being created by Squidsoup, a group of internationally renowned artists, designers and technologists. ‘Cascade’ is an exuberant fountain of energy, light and sound, that will emanate from the top of Left Handed Giant brewpub creating waves of sound and light as it cascades into the river below.

Named after one of the original variety of hops, ‘Cascade’ is the latest incarnation in Squidsoup’s ongoing explorations into the immersive possibilities of spatialised light and sound. Each light orb is designed and hand built by Squidsoup, creating a highly immersive experience sure to surprise and delight visitors to the festival.

Exponential & Futures – Cabot Circus

Multi-disciplinary design Studio, Lucid Creates, will bring two light installations to Bristol for the first time, showing at Cabot Circus.

Exponential’ is a seemingly floating, kaleidoscopic mirrored cube, encased in endlessly moving patterns of light, triggered by an hour-long ambient soundtrack,

Futures’ is an immersive space in which audiences experience illusions that can reveal everything from how they process space and time to their perception of consciousness. Lights move in sync with a transportive ambient soundscape by Canadian artists “Exist Strategy” to create an hour-long immersive audio-visual experience.

Swing Song - College Green

A playful new commission that will bring out the inner child in everyone will feature at College Green and is sure to be a big hit with families and friends visiting the festival.

Bristol-based company Tired Industries will create a collection of light-up musical swings allowing visitors to swing alongside one another in a fun and interactive way. Music and light will be triggered by the swinging motion and play in sync with one another, featuring music that celebrates Bristol’s rich history. The piece is powered by cutting edge technology and will be a joyful way to play in the city as one of two daytime commissions.

Chirp & Drift - St George’s & Bristol Luminous Birds - Temple Gardens

Internationally renowned audio-visual artist Kathy Hinde will present two nature inspired creations at this year’s event. The garden at St George’s Bristol will feature ‘Chirp & Drift’, a flock of illuminated instruments that look like birds and that chatter in morse-code messages will feature at St George’s Bristol. As visitors walk beneath, the gentle tones and harmonies made by accordion reeds hidden inside each ‘bird’ can be heard in a delicate and gentle way.

‘Luminous birds’ will feature in Temple Gardens, the animated flock of traditional origami-style birds will suspend overhead. Each bird has a slightly different wing position to create a sequence similar to a stop-motion animation, with accompanying sounds adding to the artwork.

Office Party – Cheese Lane Shot Tower, Redcliffe and Temple

Internationally renowned artist Parker Heyl and lighting designer Michael Wagner will bring the playful installation ‘Office Party’ to Bristol for the first time, taking over the Vertigo building in the Redcliffe and Temple area.  ‘Office Party’ comes from the playful idea that our workspaces may come to life in our absence, using sequenced light choreography to make the while building dance after the workers have gone home.

Owners of the Vertigo building, Workforce Development Trust, and one of its resident businesses Boccard, will be providing their office windows for the installation that can be seen on Cheese Lane Shot Tower, best viewed from St Philip’s Bridge.

FIND YOUR WAY AROUND BRISTOL LIGHT FESTIVAL 

Bristol Light Festival has worked with Bristol based company Guide.AI to create a free audio guide that visitors can use by downloading the Guide.AI app. The audio guide is easy to use and will be available in seven languages including English, Spanish, German, French, Danish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese. The users will see a map showing the locations of all the art installations and can then be used to get directions to the chosen art installation. Once at an installation the user can choose to either read the information or listen to it.

 

For more information, a downloadable map of the installations and locations, and updates about the event please visit www.bristollightfestival.org and follow us on Instagram @Bristol_Light_Fest, Twitter @Bristol_Light and Facebook and using the hashtag #Bristollightfestival

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