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28th October 2016

Salford Illuminations

Blackpool illuminations to come to Salford Quays in December as part of Lightwaves festival

For those of us who have grown up in the North-West, the annual winter trip to Blackpool Illuminations is simply the norm. Wrapping up warm, piling into one car to save on the ever-increasing petrol prices, and heading off to stare at the giant glowing Daleks and luminous Ronald McDonalds—fish and chips in hand. Well, this year, it’s coming to Salford. (Kind of).

The annual Lightwaves festival will be hosted at MediaCityUK from 9th-18th December 2016. With a collection of 10 artworks on display including works from UK artists GNI, the spectacle will take place right across Salford Quays. And let’s face it: who doesn’t love an outdoor art exhibition? And it’s free!

There are a number of new art installments produced with a collaboration between the festival and the legendary Blackpool Illuminations, including Doctor Who’s tardis, and even the infamous Daleks. But giant space enemies aren’t the only thing to look forward to in this luminescent festival of light. If you manage to make the opening weekend of the event, you will have the chance to take part in an interactive light workshop in which all participants get to try out making their very own light paintings.

One of the most innovative pieces in the festival is ‘Voyage’. A tribute to childhood days of creating paper boats and floating them along nearby water features, ‘Voyage’ will feature approximately 200 mini boats which will illuminate with a rainbow of colour as they travel along the waterfront. Now, here’s the exciting bit: onlookers can actually change the colour of the boats’ light using an app on their smart phones!

‘Footsteps’, from creator Sam Sebbage, takes us on a journey along the path of another, with 80 glowing footsteps. An incredible symbol of people leaving their mark on the earth.

An truly exciting part of this event is the Light Graffiti Workshop by Tekla Inari. This allows anyone and everyone to come together in a photography session, with a lens designed to capture the graffiti created in the air. It allows those involved to express themselves however they feel the need to; making words, or shapes with the lights provided in this lively workshop. A word of warning, though: if you wish to take part in this particular part of the festival, the workshop will not be available throughout the entirety of the installation’s run. From 9th-11th December, from 12-5 pm, and again from 6-8 pm are your only chances to get involved.

There will be so much more to see at Lightwaves festival than can be expressed in this article. So, get yourself down there and get involved! Needless to say, this is a must-see event for anyone in the North-West!


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