The Best Light Festivals and Unique Ideas to Make Them Shine Even Brighter
Light Installations that Transform Spaces: Unique Ideas for Light Festivals
This time of year sees a transition between sun-kissed summer events and festive Christmas celebrations. Shorter days and longer nights present the perfect opportunity for illuminated events and destinations all over Europe host a festival of lights in their streets and city squares.
These fascinating illuminated events attract people from all over the world as they immerse themselves amongst innovative site-specific light installations, unique works of art, building projections, laser shows, light parades and much more. We’d like to help you bring the wow-factor to your festival of lights, because we firmly believe you can still surprise and inspire people with unique ideas and entertainment options!
The Best Light Festivals in the World
First things first. We know how much you love lists of our favourite events and festivals in the world, so here you have the best lights festivals in the world - in our humble opinion (for all your information about European and worldwide light festivals visit the International Light Festival Organisation’s website).
1. Fête des Lumières (Lyon Lights Festival) - Lyon, France
A festival with over 30 years of tradition, the Lyon Lights Festival is a reference at a global level. A celebration of religious origin, French people started to celebrate this festival to thank Virgin Mary to protect them against the plague. Every December (around the 8th) , Lyon’s streets are filled with spectacular light installations, buildings transform with stunning video mapping projections and the city in general becomes a feast of colour and light.
Tricolore © Fabrice Dimier
2. Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival - Kuwana, Japan
If you’ve never heard of Nabana No Sato gardens, you’re going to be forever grateful to us for mentioning it here. A family-oriented theme park of outstanding natural beauty, you can find the gardens in Kuwana City, next to Nagoya. One of the largest winter illumination spots in Japan, the vast scale of the light installations is what makes them so spectacular. It is said over eight million LED lights are used every year to illuminate all areas of the gardens. If you’re planning to visit Japan this winter, make sure you pay a visit to this fascinating place.
Image by Nagashima Resort
3. Vivid Sydney - Sydney, Australia
Attended by over 2 million people each year, Vivid Sydney is the go-to festival for creative thinkers. An annual event that celebrates light, music and ideas, this festival completely transforms the city with tons of immersive art installations decorating the streets and iconic buildings such as the Sydney Opera House. One of the things we like the most about it though is the fact that artists and enthusiasts can exchange ideas in the different public talks and debates that take place for an entire month (it normally runs from May to June).
Image from Vivid Sydney website
4. FILUX: International Festival of Lights in Mexico - Mexico City
A festival that was held in Mexico City in 2013 for the first time, FILUX has definitely come to stay. Aiming to transform public spaces into works of art, each piece is meant to tell a story or convey a message. Welcoming both Mexican and international exhibitors, FILUX is a four-night event where artists and aficionados will be amazed by the stunning light projections, sculptures, video mapping visuals, installations and many other unique art pieces.
Image © Gabriel Berber
5. LUX - Helsinki, Finland
From the bustle of the Mexican capital we now jump to the cold Scandinavia nights to witness a lights festival covered in white. LUX takes place in January in Helsinki. Held for the first time in 2009, we can’t think of a better place where lights are more welcome than Finland, where daylight only lasts for around 6 hours. The festival also exhibits works by both local and international artists, such as Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, whose installation ‘Corazón’ was one of the highlights of the festival in 2014. Make a quick Google search and enjoy!
The Best Entertainment for Festival of Lights
Illuminated Decor to Transform Your Venue
Almost any AV supplier can provide you with mood lighting and lighting effects but it’s the finishing touches like the Interactive Magic Forest that transform the event into an immersive experience like no other. This option is a light art installation and sensory experience with colourful lighting and sounds. A completely unique interactive feature like the magic forest will become the talking point of your lights festival.
The Live Light Painter Booth can nestle itself into your event offering your guests a one-of-kind photo opportunity. Working similarly to a photo booth, the light painter takes 15-30 seconds to paint around guests with his torch and snap a completely unique photo.
Walkabout LED Acts Make Your Lights Festival Come To Life
We’re lucky to have just about every kind of LED walkabout act under the stars but if you’re looking for roaming illuminated entertainment to make a festival of lights shine above the rest you’ll need something visually captivating. Something like a photo opportunity that guests will want to snap and share with the rest of the world.
The stunning Illuminated Origami Dancers is one of those head turning acts. Dressed in completely unique costumes, they are able to walk around a perform short dance routines. Alternatively, the Walkabout Neon Pop Art Duo use neon paints and UV lighting in their umbrellas to illuminate their incredible Pop Art inspired costumes.
Projection Mapping takes the entertainment to a whole new level of excitement
Projection mapping comes in many shapes and forms and will help captivate your audience with utterly amazing and fully customisable visuals projected either onto a screen or a site-specific location such as a building where the visuals are entirely tailored to the structure of the facade. Video Mapping Italy specialise in the latter and have in fact featured at the Circle of Light Festival in Moscow. The 3D Tree Image Projection Show offers a more unique take on the concept by transforming surrounding trees into illuminated works of art.
Light based stage shows
Explore Further Entertainment for Festivals of Lights