UP to 70,000 people are expected to visit ‘Light Up Leicester’ over its four day running period say organisers of the event, which launched in the city last night.
Until March 6, Leicester’s residents as well as visitors from further afield can see the city streets filled with ‘world class’ illuminated interactive artworks as part of the free four-day festival.
With nine installations in the city this year, it is said to be “biggest and better” than the original event, which took place in 2020.
Speaking at last night’s launch (March 3), Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester praised the displays, and their exciting impact on the city.
“We’re just now beginning to emerge after two years of darkness and lockdown, and how better to emerge than with a celebration of light in our city centre,” he told the Leicester Times.
“Although it’s very difficult to measure it, this will contribute enormously to the economy,” he added.
“You only have to look at the numbers of people it brings into the city, to shop, to eat to drink and to enjoy, and that’s good when they’re here, but I also know it will bring them back.”
In its second edition, this year’s festival includes impressive, large-scale projects from some of the world’s most exciting and renowned artists.
Many of the pieces are being brought to the city for the first time.
‘Pulse’ by ‘This is Loop’, is situated outside the city’s Showcase Cinema.
It features a huge tunnel of light and sound, roughly the size of an articulated lorry, with tightly synchronised pulses of light triggered by the soundtrack.
Visitors can also experience ‘Fantastic Planet’, a large-scale work by Amanda Parer on Orton Square, consisting of giant, inflatable, glowing human sculptures that seem to have just landed on earth.
The piece is a “showstopper,” which has seen many visitors stopping to take selfies at the site.
“We’re thrilled to build on the success of the last festival in 2020 and to continue bringing events like these to the city centre,” said Simon Jenner, Director of BID Leicester.
“We’re expecting audiences of over 70,000 to attend across the four days of the festival, which is a fantastic boost for local businesses as well,” he added.
“There’s quite a few businesses quite close to the installations where people can drop in, get something to eat and something to drink, and we think that’ll provide a real boost to the local economy.
“You can use a very conservative figure and say if everyone spends £10, which is one metric, you’re talking about £6-700,000.
“We have really great light festivals around the country but this is at the top table now, and this is the sort of event that Leicester actually deserves.”
When asked about the total cost of the event, which is funding by the Arts Council and Leicester City Council, Mr Jenner refused to offer a comment.
To find out more about the festival which runs between 6-10pm until March 6, visit https://www.lightupleicester.com/