Five min­utes:

Il­lu­mi­nat­ing a new fes­ti­val of light and love – with the head of op­er­a­tions for Nor­wich Bid

Norfolk - - INSIDE -

With one of the driv­ing forces be­hind a lu­mi­nous new Nor­wich fes­ti­val

How did the fes­ti­val come about?

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess and pop­u­lar­ity of the Christ­mas ‘Tun­nel of Light’, Nor­wich Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District (Bid) started look­ing at ways to an­i­mate the city dur­ing the win­ter pe­riod to en­cour­age visi­tors into the city. We were in­spired by light fes­ti­vals in Leon, Am­s­ter­dam and Durham and saw the op­por­tu­nity to grow Nor­wich’s rep­u­ta­tion for art and cul­ture while demon­strat­ing to the peo­ple who live here how mes­meris­ing their city can be.

Our aim was to grow an ac­ces­si­ble fes­ti­val of the high­est qual­ity for Nor­wich, to drive civic pride, and to be­come a cul­tural high­light in the city’s an­nual cal­en­dar.

We sought the sup­port of our artis­tic di­rec­tor Alex Rinsler who has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence lead­ing Light­pool (the cul­tural arm of the Black­pool Il­lu­mi­na­tions) and we were suc­cess­ful in re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from Arts Coun­cil Eng­land.

We are for­tu­nate to have the sup­port of part­ners from across the city in­clud­ing Nor­folk County Coun­cil, Nor­wich City Coun­cil and The Fo­rum Trust.

What are some of the high­lights?

Love Light Nor­wich will see a free walk­a­ble trail of light art­works from 5.30-10.30pm on Fe­bru­ary 13, 14 and 15. The pro­grammes in­clude Pro­jec­tion Teknik from Mel­bourne who will be trans­form­ing Nor­wich Cathe­dral with a vivid and con­tem­po­rary pro­jec­tion show, and Halo by Il­luma­pho­nium which will see au­di­ences in­ter­act with large sculp­tural tow­ers made of haloes to cre­ate a smooth elec­tron­ica sound­scape.

French per­for­mance duo Bilbo Basso will set hearts rac­ing at the Fo­rum with their emo­tive, wild story of love through fire, fea­tur­ing py­rotech­nics.

The Valen­tine’s Pa­rade on Fe­bru­ary 14 will be a unique spec­ta­cle of light and per­for­mance from Nor­wich Cathe­dral to the Fo­rum, by in­ter­na­tional street per­for­mance com­pany Picto-Facto and lo­cal arts or­gan­i­sa­tion Tin House. Visi­tors will also be able to en­joy Nor­wich Night Mar­ket, a Love Light food trail and nu­mer­ous fringe events across the city. To launch the fes­ti­val, Nor­wich Bid and Aviva will hold a sym­po­sium, Love Light Labs, ex­plor­ing what Nor­wich and Nor­folk or­gan­i­sa­tions can do to power so­cial and ur­ban change.

Why Valen­tine’s week­end?

Nor­folk has the unique tra­di­tion of Jack Valen­tine who left Valen­tine’s gifts on peo­ple’s doorsteps. Love Light Nor­wich builds on this her­itage, be­stow­ing the gift of fire and light to all those who visit the city cen­tre over the Valen­tine’s week­end. The theme of the fes­ti­val is love and be­long­ing, at a time of year where lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion can be felt most keenly.

Who is it for?

Ev­ery­one! Love Light Nor­wich is an in­clu­sive al­ter­na­tive to the com­mer­cial ‘ro­man­tic’ Valen­tine’s of­fer, an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate to­gether.

Are Nor­folk peo­ple in­volved in the in­stal­la­tions, per­for­mances and events?

Yes; along­side in­ter­na­tional artists we are ex­cited to com­mis­sion lo­cal artists to cre­ate unique works for the event. We are de­lighted to have Nor­wich Uni­ver­sity of the Arts part­ner­ing with us. This will be the lo­ca­tion for alumni Am­ber St­ef­fani’s work Seed of Light, a beau­ti­ful kalei­do­scopic light box. We are also en­gag­ing with the com­mu­nity with a project where peo­ple can learn how to make light-up Lu­mi­dogs cos­tumes for their pets and trans­form their front win­dows into light boxes, to take part in the Valen­tine’s Pa­rade and Win­dow Wan­der­land.

Might Love Light Nor­wich be­come an an­nual event?

If this pi­lot fes­ti­val is well re­ceived our hope is to de­liver the event ev­ery two years.

What are you most look­ing for­ward to?

I can’t wait to see Nor­wich’s beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture and me­dieval street scene trans­formed with light and pro­jec­tion. My hope is that Love Light Nor­wich will show the city in a new light, en­cour­ag­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences and in­spir­ing those in our beloved City of Sto­ries.

‘Love Light Nor­wich be­stows the gift of fire and light to all those who visit the city cen­tre over the Valen­tine’s week­end’

Love Light Nor­wich, Fe­bru­ary 13-15. love­light­nor­wich.co.uk

Love Light Nor­wich Fes­ti­val

Caro­line Bidewell, head of op­er­a­tions, Nor­wich Bid

Love Light Nor­wich Fes­ti­val will in­clude a Lu­mi­dog Pa­rade

Love Light Nor­wich Fes­ti­val

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