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Bristol Light Festival: Everything you need to know

Bristol's first ever light festival kicks off today with four nights of interactive and immersive light displays. Credit: Sophie Becks

Bristol's first ever light festival kicks off today (Thursday 27 February) with four nights of interactive and immersive light displays.

From 5pm-11pm every evening until Sunday, seven light installations will pop up in six locations in the city.

They have all been created by local and international artists to illuminate a trail through Bristol.

At each location, visitors will be able to see, experience and play with light art installations that are visiting the South West for the first time as well as brand-new installations created exclusively for the Bristol Light Festival.

The 2020 light festival is the first of a three-year series organised by Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), which is supported by 760 local businesses, in partnership with Bristol City Council and The University of the West of England.

The Festival is being Curated and Produced by Bristol-based Creative Directors, Katherine Jewkes and Vashti Waite.

The square will be transformed with 30-metre-long luminous frames and LEDs, made by French artist Olivier Ratsi. Credit: Bristol City Centre BID
Made by French artist Olivier Ratsi. Credit: Bristol City Centre BID

Millennium Square will host a large-scale sound and light installation of a 'Frame Perspective'.

The square will be transformed with 30-metre-long luminous frames and LEDs, made by French artist Olivier Ratsi.

Each bottle, located next to Ted Baker in Quakers Friars, will be filled with LEDs. Credit: Bristol City Centre BID

In Cabot Circus 'MilkBottle Cages' will be set up by Jack Wimperis which is made up of thousands of recycled milk bottles.

Each bottle, located next to Ted Baker in Quakers Friars, will be filled with LEDs.

The bandstand in Castle Park will also host a 4 x 2.5m screen of 600 illuminated pint milk bottles which will light up the route to Castle Bridge.

The sculptures have been made to raise awareness about single-use plastics.

Castle Bridge will be be transformed into 'Pink Enchantment' which will illuminate with pink lights as visitors cross the water. Credit: Bristol City Centre BID

Castle Bridge will be be transformed into 'Pink Enchantment'which will illuminate with pink lights as visitors cross the water.

As people cross the bridge, bursts of pink fog are omitted, and lights illuminate the way.

This installation was created by former UWE graduate and current resident at Bristol's Pervasive Media Studio, Tine Bech.

In the Planetarium at We The Curious there will be a 15-minute show Credit: Bristol City Centre BID
In the Planetarium at We The Curious there will be a 15-minute show Credit: Bristol City Centre BID

In the Planetarium at We The Curious, a 15-minute show, 'Nimbes & Nebulae'created by Joanie Lemercier will take visitors on a unique journey through time.

Joanie will bring one of his earlier works, Nimbes to the festival as well as his latest fulldome work, Nebulae.

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Projected onto the Arnolfini, will be 'Wildlife on the Waterfront' - a bespoke projection created by Bristol charity, Send a Cow.

The piece will tell the tale of the people and wildlife in Uganda, and will appeal for their protection.

A final addition to the line up will be announced this evening.

The interactive installation is created by Lateral Office and CS Design Credit: Bristol City Centre BID
The interactive installation is created by Lateral Office and CS Design Credit: Bristol City Centre BID

In Queen Square, eight giant, illuminated see-saws will appear.

People are encouraged to partner up and create their own piece of art.

The interactive installation is created by Lateral Office and CS Design with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama.

On St Augustine's Parade, a four-foot neon sign which reads 'Chhers Drive' will be erected. Credit: Sophie Becks

On St Augustine's Parade, a four-foot neon sign which reads 'Cheers Drive' will be erected.

The 'Overheard in Bristol' installation will be doing a callout for Bristolian phrases for next year's sign, so get your thinking caps on...

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We are delighted that the full programme for the festival showcases local and internationally talented artists who all embody the playful and creative spirit of the city. We are excited to be working alongside the rich and varied talents of Bristol’s unique cultural sector and city centre businesses to create a new Light Festival for the people of Bristol both this year and building across the three-year series.

– Katherine Jewkes, Bristol Light Festival co-director