A ‘Circle of Light’ on Queens Square. Light-up musical swings on College Green (below, left). A flock of bird-like musical instruments in Temple Gardens. A kaleidoscopic mirrored cube afloat in Cabot Circus shopping centre… The second Bristol Light Festival starts today (March 1 – 6) with a free show of illuminated art and installation brought to life on the streets of the city courtesy of Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District. 

When the festival was launched – weeks before the first lockdown in 2020 – it was intended to be an annual event. Thanks to the pandemic, it was switched off for 2021, but now it’s back – just when we need it, a bit of light relief during these dark days. 

I’m looking forward to seeing a spot of sequenced light choreography in Parker Heyl’s Office Party at the Vertigo Building (the former Cheese Lane shot tower) at Temple Back, Studio Vertigo’s End to End – an illuminated coil that slinks down Cascade Steps next to the Watershed (pictured, below right), Squidsoup’s Cascade ‘an exuberant fountain of energy, light and sound’ pouring from the Left Handed Giant brewpub at Finzels Reach, and Designs in Air’s The Eyes (a big pair of them watching from a tree at the foot of Clare Street). Oh, yes and Disco Ball (main picture), a light-projecting, get-on-down transformation of Millennium Square’s Planetarium. 

On Park Street, on the same wall as Banksy’s Well Hung Lover, Bristol’s home-grown graffiti artists collaborate to execute another version of Neighbours – a big hit at the 2020 festival (see picture below). The following pictures, by the way, are a snapshot of the 2020 festival, but look out for new images on Instagram and facebook when I hit the streets of Bristol tomorrow night (fingers crossed, no rain). 
• More info here: Bristol Light Festival or Visit Bristol.  

All photos above courtesy of Bristol Light Festival. 

Top to bottom: Cheers Drive at Watershed, Neighbours on Park Street (with Banksy), illuminated bridge at Finzels Reach (with Shonette) and big red squares on Millennium Square.

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