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World-class festival set to light up Leicester in March

Published on Thursday, January 16, 2020

3 minute read

Photo credit: Plastic Pictures; Artwork credit: Wave-Field Variation B by CS Design and Lateral Office with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama.

LEICESTER city centre will be lit up with some extraordinary illuminated artworks in March as part of a brand new international festival.

Light Up Leicester will offer a digital take on traditional light festivals, with each of the seven large-scale installations interacting with people through sound or sensors, reacting to light, temperature or humidity levels, or responding to data, thanks to an internet connection.

Most of the artworks that will be installed in Leicester in March have already enjoyed success in the UK and elsewhere, but three new pieces have been specially commissioned for the festival and will be shown in Leicester for the first time.

Shadowdance ­ - an interactive installation by Huddersfield-based Impossible - will transform people’s shadows into gigantic colourful silhouettes, Unexpected Connection by Eccentric Events of Northampton will bring people together in an interactive LED tunnel, while Leicester-based Mateus Domingo has created Traces – a piece that captures visitors’ ‘traces’, allowing them to leave their own mark on the illuminations.

Also confirmed for the Leicester festival is Wave-Field, which features eight illuminated see-saws that are activated when people play on them, and Youth Culture – a 3-metre high sculpture of a youth that reflects audience interaction, thanks to its in-built cameras, screens and technology.

Together, the seven installations will create a stunning night-time spectacle in Leicester city centre that will be free for everyone to enjoy.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “Light Up Leicester will bring together acclaimed works by international artists with three brand new installations that will be shown for the first time here in Leicester.

“Each of the pieces will encourage people to interact with them – and each of these illuminated works will help transform the night-time ambience in Leicester city centre during the four days of the festival.

“We’re very grateful to Arts Council England and BID Leicester for supporting this event, and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver what should be a very special festival in Leicester in March.”

Simon Jenner, director of Leicester’s Business Improvement District, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to bring this festival to the city.

“This is the first event of its kind in Leicester, and we’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors in March to spend time in the city and enjoy this free, four-day festival.”

Sam Javid, executive producer at ArtReach - the Leicester-based arts organisation that’s working with the city council and partners to deliver the festival - said: "As producers, it’s our job to bring artists and organisations together to create memorable and magical experiences. This new festival does just that – anyone in the city centre from 5–8 March will know something truly exceptional is happening."

Light Up Leicester runs from 5-8 March 2020.

The festival is supported by funding from Arts Council England (£90,000), Leicester City Council (£25,000) and BID Leicester (£25,000).

More information about Light Up Leicester will be available at



Picture credit: Wave-Field Variation B by CS Design and Lateral Office with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama. Image credit: Plastic Pictures


About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45billion of public money from government and an estimated £860million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.