The Light Festival lights up the city with works by international light artists. The city’s nights will become the backdrop for a surprising spectacle, ingenious installations, spectacular performances and beautiful events, all based on light. Get ready to discover Ghent’s historic sites and monuments from a different angle. The Light Festival puts the internationally acclaimed Ghent lighting plan in the spotlight and gives you the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Ghent’s unique hidden charm after sunset.
The fourth edition gets an extra day and a newly adapted route. As a result, not only the Historical Centre and the Arts Quarter get bathed in light but also a piece of Ghent’s industrial history.
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The Ghent Light Festival from Wednesday 31 January to Sunday 4 February 2018
One day longer, a new route and a showcase for young talents
The fourth edition of Ghent’s Light Festival will be a day longer than usual. It will take place from Wednesday 31 January to Sunday 4 February 2018. The route will be amended to include not only the historical city centre and the Arts Quarter, but also a part of Ghent’s industrial heritage. What’s more, the Light Festival aims to give up-and-coming talents an opportunity to showcase their abilities. In this framework, a video mapping competition was organised during ‘Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB)’ on 28 October 2016 at KERK in Gentbrugge. This event was held in collaboration with Nerdlab and the Culture department – CIRCA.
New dates and start time
In 2015, the Ghent Light Festival attracted 640,000 people to the city. We’ve thoroughly assessed the 2015 edition and the city departments involved searched for ways to tweak and improve the festival even further.
From the next edition onwards, the Ghent Light Festival will not start at 6 p.m. but at 7 p.m. That allows the city’s inhabitants to get to their houses after work. It also gives people working in the city centre a chance to easily head home and makes the city more accessible to visitors. That safeguards the city’s liveability. On Sunday 4 February the festival will start at 6 p.m. to allow families with (young) children to visit the event too.
The Light Festival will also be a day longer than before. In 2018, it will start on a Wednesday instead of a Thursday. With this measure, the City hopes to spread the flow of visitors a bit better and give the inhabitants of Ghent an additional opportunity to visit the festival on Wednesday and Thursday night, which are generally less busy since visitors from outside the city tend to flock to Ghent during the weekend.
In 2011 and 2012 the Light Festival route mainly crossed the historical city centre and in 2015 it was extended to include the Arts Quarter. In 2018, the route will once again pass through the Arts Quarter with its many university buildings and the historical city centre with its fascinating cultural and historical architectural gems. In addition to that, it will include an area that highlights the city’s industrial past. The route (see documents) will go from Sint-Pietersplein to MIAT – the Museum on Industry, Labour and Textile – and Zondernaampark, and during the event, it will be entirely pedestrianised. That being said, we will be launching special measures on and along the route for local residents to reach their homes.
New campaign graphics
Following three editions with the white switch as a logo, the fourth edition of the Ghent Light Festival will feature brand-new campaign graphics, a shiny skyline with several iconic buildings along the route: the De Krook site, the Book Tower, St Nicholas’ Church, the City Pavilion, the Belfry and St Bavo’s Cathedral. This new logo was designed in-house by the Communication department of the City of Ghent.