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Cityscape set alight by stunning Light Festival Ghent 2015

Cityscape set alight by stunning Light Festival Ghent 2015

29 jan 2015Whale Portus Ganda

Wrap up warm and brace yourself, because the highly anticipated Light Festival Ghent bursts into life on 29th January 2015!

Spread over four days and 5 kilometres of Ghent turf, the festival is the culmination of a mammoth multi-agented effort by the Ghent city council that plays out in a series of spectacularly staged artistic modes.

The curation is exceptionally clever, bringing together thought provoking and delicate pieces like Cloud @ Kalandeberg by Caitlind Brown and Wayne Garrett, and mixing them with full blown transportational theatrical productions like Dirty Monitor is showing with Urban Keys @ Sint Pietersplein.

Without giving too much away there are some real show stopping inclusions, one being Cathérine Garret’s Mysticète @ Portus Ganda – is that a whale in the Leie?? It’s the sort of presentation you’ll want to see over and over again. Another is my personal favourite Horta @Bisdomplein, by the French studio Théoriz. The music and part scene cinematography, are beautiful, funny, and spectacular.

The festival is a full blown interactive affair, whether you’re standing and staring at giant rabbits taking a nap, dancing disco balls flying 20 feet in the air, or testing your strength against 'Den djoef' @ Boekentoren.

What makes the Light Festival Ghent unique is the city itself. The blend of picture perfect historicity, modern living, and contemporary spaces provides the best possible backdrop for an event of this type. Hidden gems like the winter circus @ Lammerstraat play a stellar role in the light festival and are yet another example of what makes Ghent a not to be missed tourist destination.

Everyone and everything is part of the action. Shop windows are transformed into magical moving displays (look out for the mouse) while the backs of buildings are lit up with living, captivating, vibrant imagery. Don’t forget to watch out for the cleverly hidden light messages at ground level.

I’d highly recommend doing the tour with a guided group to get a rounded feel of all the exhibitions. The tempo and narrative of Ghent being told in light themed artistry really comes together through the stories behind each piece.

In practical terms, if you’re planning to do the whole tour, you’re strongly advised to dress warm and wear comfortable shoes. The 5 km route is by no means strenuous, but you want to be able to enjoy it all.

You can enjoy the Light Festival Ghent from 29th January until 1st February 2015, every day from 6 pm until midnight. Head over to Visit Gent and lichtfestival.be for further information.

Whale Portus Ganda
Winter Circus (c) Steven Hendrix Photography
Boekentoren (c) Steven Hendrix Photography
Mageleinstraat (c) Steven Hendrix Photography