Light Night Leeds
At 11 years old, and a fully fledged Year 7 high school student, it had become a rare event to see that look of childish joy and wonder on Mack’s face, but last year, Light Night Leeds managed to find it!
Light Night Leeds is Europes largest annual arts & light festival, and it has been running for an incredible 17 years now. For two nights in October the streets are transformed by all kinds of art installations, from huge neon-lit creatures crawling over buildings, illuminated marching bands, humpback whales in the City Square and Polar Bears in the canal basin, you never know what to expect! 2022 is no different, this years Light Night Leeds looks like it will be one of the biggest yet.
As free activities go, I think this is one of the best that Leeds has to offer.
To make it easier to navigate, the city has been divided up into zones;
Millennium Square Zone
I always love what the things they manage to do with the Civic Hall at Light Night Leeds, last year it was being continually struck by lightning! According to sources, this year there is an interactive 80’s theme and I can’t wait. The Civic Hall is just one one of five installations in the Millennium Square Zone that reaches as far as First Direct Arena.
In the Briggate Zone you’ll find four installations, including the amazing SPARK – a fantastic group of musicians who weave among the crowds, absolutely magical.
Three installations are in and around Victoria, including the return of the Hackspace Cubed, inside Kirkgate Market in the food hall. I highly recommend stopping off here to get something to eat from one of the amazing street food stalls. (Fat Annies is my favourite)
Three installations make up the Headrow Zone, including Cosmo Lounge in The Light, where there are fun games to play to bring out your competitive side!
Town Hall Zone
There are five venues in the Town Hall Zone, and both the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Central Library are open late to participate in Light Night Leeds. There are lots of things to get involved with here – you can even turn your voice into light in the Art Gallery
Down at Quarry Hill there are six attractions, I am really excited to see the massive slinky ‘tumbling’ around the buildings, but if you feel the need for a bit of calm amid all the activity, then there are two thoughtful spaces inside Leeds Minster where you can spend a reflective moment or enjoy some mindfulness with gently pulsing lights.
Wellington Place Zone
One of the three attractions in the Wellington Place Zone consists of more than 1600 resin butterflies that glow in the dark! This is also where you can get free UV facepaint, great for the kids who really want to get involved.
The station zone, with four installations, includes a sound and light display across the front of the Queens Hotel. Last years homage to the natural world was unforgettable and this years offering, ‘Joy Ride’, sounds equally impressive!
South Bank Zone
With eight attractions in this zone, it’s the biggest in Light Night Leeds. The Royal Armouries, Leeds Dock and The Tetley are the South Bank hosts and there’s plenty of interactivity and chances to get involved, including joining the ‘Chess Army’!
It's not just in the city centre
Outside the centre there are several other venues getting involved, including an illuminated swim at Bramley Baths and an inflatable sculpture that provides a bookable soft play session at Left Bank. I’ve put a link at the bottom of this page to take you to the Light Night Leeds page where you can book onto this and other activities that are going on.
13th and 14th October 2022
We had such an amazing time at Light Night Leeds last year, I can’t wait to visit again.
Light Night Leeds 2022 is happening from 6.30 on the 13th and 14th of October and I recommend you come down and get involved, it’s amazing!
Thanks for reading,