Lumiere has returned to Durham in all its spectacular glory.
Twenty nine awe-inspiring art works have been installed in the city, which are set to attract around a quarter of a million people in the next four days.
From interactive pieces which respond to your movement and touch to large-scale pieces which have transformed the River banks, Lumiere looks set to be another world-class festival.
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Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “There is a real buzz around Lumiere and it’s fantastic to have it here in Durham for the fifth time.
“It’s grown from the first festival in 2009 which attracted 40,000 to something which now attracts more than quadruple that.”
The Lumiere Festival sprang from Durham’s failed bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2009, a title Sunderland is gunning for in 2021.
Simon said: “This is a great example of culture leading regeneration and how it can bring together whole communities, while giving people a real sense of pride in an event.
“It’s great for the image of the North East internationally. Events like this help dispel the mythology surrounding the area. We weren’t successful in 2009, but I’ve seen what they are planning in Sunderland which would also be a great way to show the region in a modern light.”
As always, Durham Cathedral forms a major part of the festival.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said: “We’re expecting around a quarter of a million people this year. It’s a huge undertaking and a fabulous way to show off the city as a place of light. We often think of light in terms of education and technology, but for religious organisations it is also about the light of faith.”
Tickets for peak times, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, in the central area have all been snapped up. You don’t need a ticket after that time, though you may need to queue. Half of the installations are also outside of the ticketed area.