Natural wonders to illuminate Leeds as Light Night returns

The spectacular wonders of the natural world will come to life on the streets of Leeds when Light Night returns this October.

The hugely popular cultural showpiece will see a breath-taking programme of illuminated artworks take over well-known landmarks and locations across Leeds city centre on October 14 and 15.

Under the banner Back to Nature, this year’s event will be themed around nature and the environment, with artists from around the world creating pieces reflecting everything from the spectacular diversity of the animal kingdom to the beauty of trees and plants and even the unstoppable power of the weather.

The event will also encourage visitors to think about their own impact on the environment and how we can all play a part in combatting climate change and supporting the planet’s precious and fragile ecosystems.

Highlights this year will include the chance to catch digital lightning bolts, cast from the front of Leeds Civic Hall thanks to artist Seb Lee-Delisle, and the opportunity to take control of a circle of futuristic monoliths on Millennium Square with Canadian studios Jack World and Ottomata.

French artists Pitaya’s light sculpture at Leeds Dock will recreate a giant, endangered marine mammal in a powerful message about biodiversity, while Leeds Town Hall’s Victoria Hall will be hosting a captivating combination of light, music and performance created by artist Richard Evans exploring the critical issue of climate change.

And on Queen Square Luke Jerram’s remarkably accurate large-scale replica of the Earth, made with detailed NASA imagery, will remind visitors of the Earth’s precarious beauty.

This year’s Light Night will mark a return to a more familiar format after COVID-19 restrictions meant that last year’s events were socially distanced or enjoyed remotely. The 2021 programme has been modified to allow for additional safety measures but will still feature more than 40 installations and artworks spread across ten different zones, many supported by local businesses.

In previous years, Light Night has attracted up to 80,000 visitors to the city centre across two nights, generating millions of pounds for the local economy and supporting city centre retail, leisure and hospitality venues as well as local emerging artists.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“Light Night really is a one-of-a-kind event symbolising everything that makes culture in Leeds so completely unique and special.

“It’s inspiring to know that this year’s installations will be carrying such a powerful message, encouraging all of us to consider our impact on the planet and what we can each do to make Leeds a cleaner and greener place.

“Light Night will also have added significance this year, coming after such an incredibly challenging time for the city. We’re thrilled to be welcoming visitors back in person this year to safely enjoy what we hope will be the start of much brighter days to come.

Light Night Leeds takes place on October 14 and 15 from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. More full details of the programme will be available on the Light Night Leeds website in the coming weeks.


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

Photo: Lightning Catchers by Seb Lee-Delisle


2 Replies to “Natural wonders to illuminate Leeds as Light Night returns”

  1. Why are you spending all this money, (as I assume the artists are getting paid) when the council is crying poverty, closing this ? and selling this ? to make money, yet your paying people to do this, I personally think it’s a disgrace

    1. I think you have probably never attended Light Night. It is a most magical experience, and nearly everyone who attends will spend some money somewhere in the city, thus benefitting the local economy. Many of the installations are sponsored by businesses. It would be a miserable life indeed if there were never any cultural activities.

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