The countdown has well and truly begun to this year’s Light Up Lancaster festival with the launch of the packed programme events for this year’s magical two day festival of light, music, art and fireworks in the city.
Funded by Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID, Arts Council England and Lancaster Arts City, this year’s event will take place on 3-4 November.
The artwork and installation element of the event will span both evenings, so if you’re not able to get into town on the Friday evening, you’ll be able to enjoy the family friendly trail of discovery in a series of interlinked light and sound in the lead-up to the fireworks finale on the Saturday.
This year’s celebration takes inspiration from The Natural World, with local artists working alongside international artists to create installations and performances about wildlife, the human body and the weather.
From 5.30pm on both evenings you can discover what might happen if Mother Nature reclaimed Lancaster Castle or see the dawn as you’ve never seen it before at the Judges’ Lodgings. Take a trip to Market Square and you’ll hear the sea come to the city in musical form or venture into The Storey where you can dare to sit in the Moon Seat and see your inner animal reflected.
Go off the beaten track slightly and you’ll discover an illuminated sound garden at Dallas Road Gardens and a garden of musical plants at Lancaster’s stunning Priory Church which will react to the gentlest of touches.
Enter Lancaster’s secret garden at The Storey and you’ll discover some beautifully illuminated creatures which have fluttered all the way from Guangzhou in China to take up residence in the Storey Gardens. Created using state-of-the-art 3D printing techniques and programmable LED lights, this is the first time that our giant butterfly friends designed at the South China University of Technology have visited the UK.
Visit Lancaster on Saturday during the day and enjoy a host of activities for all the family, from walks, talks and tours to crafty creative workshops at a number of key locations in the city.
Then on Saturday evening at 8pm, the popular firework spectacular will be launched from the grounds of Lancaster’s medieval castle to provide a fitting end to what promises to be an exciting and dazzling event.
A wristband system will be in place again this year for the two official viewing areas at Quay Meadow and Giant Axe. Free wristbands for those wanting to view the fireworks from these locations will be available to order online until 5pm this Thursday (26 October). After this time, any remaining wristbands can be picked up in person from Lancaster Visitor Information Centre on Meeting House Lane.
Although the fireworks will be visible from almost anywhere in the city that can see the castle, spectators might enjoy watching them from the other official viewing area at Williamson Park which does not require passes.
Those watching the spectacular from Quay Meadow and the Giant Axe sites will also be able to enjoy the specially coordinated soundtrack as well as a range of food and live entertainment and plenty of atmosphere. At Williamson Park, spectators will be able to purchase refreshments from the café and enjoy the music and a fantastic view of the fireworks and the city at night. Those watching the fireworks from the official locations should arrive at the venue by no later than 7.30pm. Please remember that alcohol and fireworks (including sparklers) must not be brought to the official viewing areas.
As in previous years, Castle Park, Castle Hill and St Mary’s Parade will be closed at 7pm and people will not be able to view the fireworks from these areas.
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre WILL NOT be acting as an official viewing area as in previous years.
BBC Radio Lancashire will once again be broadcasting live from Quay Meadow from 6pm until 8pm with presenter John Gillmore, as well as bringing with them a number of live performers to entertain the crowds at both sites.
Commenting on the build up to this year’s weekend of events, Coun Darren Clifford, Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and leisure, said: “Year–on-year we have seen this festival grow both in size and popularity and this year’s event promises to be the most spectacular of them all and, importantly, two great days for all those who study, live, work and do business in the city.”
The full programme of events can be found at www.lightuplancaster.co.uk/
You can also follow the event on Facebook/LightUpLancaster or Twitter@lightuplanc
The delivery of Light Up Lancaster is kindly sponsored by The Duchy of Lancaster, Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Cumbria and supported by The Dukes and Pennine Events and Lancaster and Morecambe Lions.