Cold, dreary winter nights become fun, light filled entertainment during London’s second Lumiere festival. Taking place between 18th and 21st January, Lumiere is the biggest arts festival to take place anywhere in the city.
Thousands of people are expected to attend this free entertainment, and if you are planning to come to London for the festival it is wise to make your preparations early! This is colour, light and spectacle on a grand scale. Flying bodies, giant elephants and colour changing benches were among the most popular features of the first festival – so what can be expected this time?
The answer is simple – it is going to be bigger, better and more spectacular than ever before. Over 40 artists from all over the world are taking part, creating incredible light installations turning London’s iconic architecture into a totally new environment. It is not from from Mowbray Court Hotel.
Just imagine a house in South Audley Street where fluorescent blue tubes crawl up the walls and over the intricate brickwork or glittering, sparkling lights roll and splinter within a soundscape at Kings Cross. The quiet stonework of Westminster Abbey comes alive in a painted jewel like tones, highlighting every statue, nook and cranny on the walls. Busy Leicester Square takes on a mysterious atmosphere as nocturnal creatures emerge within a luminous secret garden while the brutal concrete architecture of the National Theatre suddenly becomes a blazing, liquefying beacon.
Lumiere 2018 involves a massive area of London, stretching from Kings Cross to the South Bank, Victoria to Covent Garden. Much of the West End is involved including Piccadilly, Mayfair, Carnaby Street, Seven Dials and Regent Street. Maps can be downloaded at www.visitlondon.com/lumiere/programme/map.
It is wise to try and plan your visits to Lumiere as it is almost impossible to visit every location in one night. Although the installations blaze with colour for around six hours, many involve watching or taking part for long periods. Sometimes you need to sit and reflect, or watch an entire programme from start to finish in order to truly appreciate the installation. Yet others are interactive, and involve a lot of fun as you touch or move objects to create something new. Often, it becomes hard to drag yourself away to move on to the next delight!
Tourists, visitors and locals throng the streets during Lumiere caught up by the enthralling spectacles and sheer, undiluted fun. Dress up warm with comfortable shoes, and be prepared to have a really great time exploring London’s streets and parks. To avoid last time rush, it is advisable to book your stay in advance at hotels near Earls Court Tube.