Glittering, eye catching, dramatic, spell binding, colourful – just a few of the many words used to describe London’s Lumiere Festival of Light when it occurred two years ago. Now it is back for four nights this January, and the organizers say it will be bigger, better and even more spectacular.
Thousands of people are expected throng the streets and parks of London, determined to enjoy this stunning free entertainment. All you need is a hotel near Wembley Stadium, festival map, comfortable shoes (it can be very hard on the feet!), and some warm clothing. Choose your areas and enjoy the fun.
The sheer scale of the 2018 Lumiere makes it hard to see everything on just one night. To really appreciate it and find all the sites involved, you really need several excursions. Fortunately, the Festival locations are well sited to divide up into manageable areas: Kings Cross, the West End, Victoria & Westminster, and the South Bank. By far the biggest concentration of installations can be founding the West End as this includes Carnaby Street, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Seven Dials, St James’s and St James’s Market, Fitzrovia and Covent Garden.
Flying bodies, giant elephants and fountains of light were among the attractions of the previous Lumiere. So what can be expected this time? You can also book a stay at any of the elegant hotels in Cricklewood London as it is the best time to visit various other events in the capital.
One of the biggest highlights definitely has to be the colourful painted façade of Westminster Abbey turning dull stone into a brilliant picture. Then there are mysterious creatures to be discovered amid the luminous secret garden in Leicester Square, or the vivid tubes of fluorescent light creeping like ivy up the walls and round the ornate brickwork of a South Moulton Street building. Even the brutalist concrete of the National Theatre on the South Bank liquefies and softens into a glowing beacon, while further north at Kings Cross an audio visual work called Aether connects light and sound to emotions in a rich, sensory experience that rolls and splinters, glittering and fragmented in sound and light.
There are more than 40 artists taking part, drawn from all over the world as well as the UK. Lumiere has become London’s largest arts festival, attracting 1.3m people to its premiere in 2016. This year’s festival between 18 and 21 January is expected to attract even higher numbers, so make your arrangements early while a resident at Best Western Palm Hotel London and prepare for an extremely memorable occasion.