I love my city, I am really lucky to live somewhere surrounded by farms and countryside yet still be only 20 minutes from Leeds city centre. There is always something to do in Leeds and last week was no exception with the annual Light Night Leeds.
Light Night Leeds is pretty much what it says on the tin, lots of lights, in varying forms all over Leeds city centre. From interactive displays, like the graffiti wall and the Light Water, Dark Sky installation to entertainment by Spark! and Flame Oz. There is something for everyone.
We visited on Friday night and took Luca with us. We arrived in Leeds at about 5pm and after grabbing a quick bite to eat headed over to the Town Hall where the most child friendly things seemed to be. When we arrived Spark! were about to perform. They are a street theatre band and look like something from a sci-fi movie. Dressed head to toe in silver they walked onto the stage, before their costumes all lit up and they began their music and light show, absolutely captivating the audience. Luca was completely enthralled as they danced around the stage, changing colour and drumming away.
The town hall was also all lit up and as Ant said, it looked like something from Gotham City (super nerds in this house, can you tell?).
We went into the town hall to see the displays housed inside. The first one was inside Victoria Hall, and was called Phase Revival. It was an installation based on the principles of quantum mechanics. Using swinging pendulums, lenses and light, and tuned to a score created from the same mathematics which drives the pendulums it was completely hypnotic. We spent ages just sat watching it swing back and forth. Once the hypnotic effect had worn off we headed downstairs into The Crypt. There is a magical woodland installed in The Crypt which has been there since the beginning of the year at least. Hung from the trees was a Firefly display, unfortunately we didn’t stay long to explore this one as Luca found it a bit scary.
After a quick toilet stop we made our way up to the Civic Hall for the Phoenix in the Stone show. This was projected onto the Civic Hall itself, a huge beautiful building and the projection made it even more beautiful. There was an accompanying story all about the phoenix and once again Luca was totally sucked into the experience.
The show only lasts about 5 minutes but Luca wanted to stay and watch it again so we did whilst our friend Steph, dashed up to the First Direct arena to see what they had done with that.
By this time Luca was getting a little tired, it was about 8:30pm, way after normal bed time, so we decided we would go back to the Town Hall to watch Flame Oz before going home. They were amazing, flame dancing, hula hooping, pyrotechnic geniuses and I left wanting to learn how to fire dance. Although knowing my luck it would end in disaster.
Luca fell asleep on Ant’s shoulder as we made our way back to the car at about 9pm. We only saw a really small proportion of all the light displays that were scattered all over the city. Unfortunately there was just too much to see and not enough time to see it all. We will definitely visit Light Night Leeds again next year though and try squeeze some more in. It’s held on a Thursday and Friday night which is such a shame, as if it had been the weekend we could have visited for two nights instead and seen a little bit more. Maybe next year.
Some of the photos in this post were taken by Steph, you can see more of her lovely photography over on her Instagram here.
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