Light Night Leeds: The must-see events at festival expected to bring tens of thousands to city

Cirque Bijou Umbrella Project- Courtesy of Gravity Fields.
Cirque Bijou Umbrella Project- Courtesy of Gravity Fields.

Tens of thousands of people are expected in Leeds city centre tonight as it is transformed by the sights and sounds of an annual illuminations festival.

Light Night gets under way this evening and tomorrow, with more than 60 installations brightening up the streets.

Now in its 13th year, the free event will include a mix of huge digital projections, interactive displays, performances and child-friendly activities.

These include a series of giant lamps illuminating Briggate, a projection on Leeds Civic Hall celebrating the city and a parade featuring performers from Leeds West Indian Carnival.

The parade is due to kick off from The Headrow at 7.30pm tonight.

A life-sized interactive game zone featuring 12 activities inspired by arcade classics will Kirkgate Market tonight and tomorrow between 3pm-11pm.

The Spark! drummers who will be performing at this year's Light Night Leeds.

The Spark! drummers who will be performing at this year's Light Night Leeds.

A street theatre production from drummers at Spark! will combine high impact percussion with elaborate light design on Briggate from 9.30pm tonight and Victoria Gardens at 6.30pm tomorrow.

The West Yorkshire Playhouse will on both nights host three giant, translucent heads which come to life using 3D mapping to show the faces of the audience. This takes place between 7.30pm and 11pm.

And these are just some of the many events comprising the festival over the next two days.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of the council, said: “Light Night Leeds is one the biggest, best and brightest occasions on our city’s calendar and brings together 80,000 people to experience something truly unique and unforgettable.

The Illumaphonium, which will be at St Peter's Square.

The Illumaphonium, which will be at St Peter's Square.

“There really is nothing like the atmosphere on Light Night and the sheer colour and creativity of the imaginative installations which transform our city each year is genuinely awe-inspiring.”

Brochures will be available to buy for £2, with all proceeds going towards keeping the event free in the future.

Information points will be located on Victoria Gardens and Briggate.

Car parks and street parking will also be available throughout the city, with special offers at The Tetley gallery, Trinity Leeds shopping centre, the University of Leeds, Merrion Centre and Whitehall Road.

And the Light Night Rider, a free hop-on bus service, will also be making stops around the city.

Five must-see features of Light Night:

1) Out of the Aire

Millennium Square, tonight and Friday, 7.30pm-11pm.

A projection on Leeds Civic Hall, celebrating the history of Leeds and the people, places and events which have helped shape the city.

2) Museum of the Moon

Leeds Dock, tonight and Friday, 7pm-11pm.

A recreation of the moon by artists Luke Jerram, made using NASA imagery and suspended above the water.

3) Lampounette

Briggate, tonight and Friday, 6pm-11pm.

Giant lamps illuminating one of the city’s most famous shopping streets.

4) Harlequin

The Queens Hotel, City Square, tonight and Friday 7.30pm-11pm.

An audio visual projection marking the hotel’s 80th anniversary.

5) Light Benches

Victoria Gardens, tonight 6pm-7.30pm and 9pm-10.30pm, and Friday 7pm-8.30pm and 8.30pm-11pm.

Five light benches created by German artists Lichtbankobjekte. Presented by LeedsBID, the benches will be a permanent fixture.