Leeds shone this year as Light Night took over town. Dazzling lights in many shapes, forms and sizes across each zone, the city saw thousands take to the streets over two evenings to enjoy the spectacle. Even the drizzle couldn’t keep people away!
Light Night is organised by Leeds City Council, who with the support of various sponsors, operate different light installations across multiple city centre zones and with art installation contributors from all over the world. SOYO Leeds were excited to be a part of it this year – the first time the SOYO Zone took its place on the map.
Kicking off with an illuminated parade down the Headrow, the city was filled with people admiring the awe inspiring multi-arts and light displays. Families were out in force to see the best of the best with crowds congregating in the Station Zone outside Queens Hotel to see ‘Forgotten’, a piece by Create Studio from Belgium, who brought to life a fire breathing dragon, awakened and seeking vengeance from it’s entrapment (so legend has it) – a clever blend of projection and pyrotechnics.
Another highlight was the Millennium Square Zone based ‘CHAOS’, projected onto Civic Hall, created by Hotara Visual Guerrilla from Spain and inspired by University of Leeds research to explore chaos through light, sound and movement.
Moving toward SOYO Zone, the Tom Dale Company from the UK brought their mesmerising work ‘I Infinite’ to the Northern Ballet. This fully immersive piece of part dance and part video installation explored the organic and digital worlds. St Peter’s Place was transformed into a disco dance floor and guests were equipped with LED headphones (and the occasional spandex) for a vibrant silent disco by Buffet, from the UK, followed by an equally illuminating after party hosted by The Wardrobe. The Leeds College of Music outside performance space was home to the ‘Mirror Stage’, a large scale installation by Gillian Hobson from the UK and local restaurant Aagrah cooked up street food wraps and offered a selection of gin cocktails. Over at Leeds Minster, on display was the ‘There but not there’ installation, representing the men of Leeds who went to war but never returned, the #SOYOZone was full of light, good food, music, art and culture.
Light Night Leeds upped the ante this year with close to 60 installations spread across the city centre zones. Plans are in place next year to host the event across three evenings to include even more, so keep your diaries free for 2019.