Bristol Light Festival is a free event which fills the city with light and colour, showcasing Bristol as the vibrant, playful and creative city that we know and love.
The festival is open between 5pm – 10pm each evening from 3rd – 12th February 2023.
There is a printed map available from any of the installation points and stewards positioned at each installation to help you.
Our website is bristollightfestival.org is available for more information about the artworks and there is an interactive map of the installations.
We use the website what3words.com to help with finding each location. You can find the ‘what three words’ location of each installation on the printed map and on our website.
There is an Information Hut on College Green, where you can go to ask questions about the event. Stewards here will be able to help you.
This page contains notes on each of the installations which should help you decide which installations you’d like to attend.
Most of the installations are in the open air, so wrap up warm. We estimate that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings will be quieter nights to attend the festival, whereas Thursday – Sunday will be busier.
We look forward to welcoming you to Bristol Light Festival.
Bristol Light Festival and Tired Industries
Bristol Light Festival’s very own Swing Song is back! A set of six interactive swings which light up and play music as you swing back and forth. Fly high for a crescendo or go low for more ambient vibes.
The swings play a set of tracks which have been produced especially for Bristol Light Festival. One swing controls the bass line, another controls the melody and a third controls drums and percussion. Small movements produce simple tunes, but as users swing higher and higher the tracks evolve into more complex melodies.
- This is a noisy installation with music and colourful, flashing lights.
- The artwork is installed onto the grass on College Green. The artwork is also viewable from the hard standing pavements. The grass underneath the swings have been covered with protective trackway.
- At peak visitor times, there will be a queue to swing on the swings. We estimate that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings will be quieter.
- There is a busy road nearby to the installation.
- The nearest accessible toilet is located in Watershed (about 5 minutes away).
- Each individual swing has a weight load of 120kg, and the seats are 570mm wide.
Supernatural creatures and mysterious mermaids are visiting Bristol’s Harbourside this festival as it is transformed by holographic projections to create a magical underwater world. Created by Award-winning Studio McGuire, ‘Sirens’ explores the impact of climate change – even fairy-tale creatures could be affected by the climate crisis.
- This is a gentle installation, projected onto the water, which will loop throughout the evening.
- There is an accompanying sound installation which is gentle and contains no loud bangs or jump scares.
- The installation contains magical creatures such as mermaids and animations of creatures more traditionally found underwater like sharks and fishes.
- You can view the installation from the pedestrianised viewing area by Under The Stars. You can also use the wide ramp to access down onto the wooden platform.
- There are concrete steps down to the lower viewing platform. Please note that the concrete steps can be slippery when wet – in poor weather conditions we would recommend using the ramp which has a better grip surface.
- Please ensure children are supervised near to the waterfront.
- The nearest accessible toilets are in Watershed (0.1 miles away) (open until 10pm every day apart from Monday).
- The nearest accessible street parking is in Queen Square (0.2 miles away).
- This installation is in the open air.
Alright My Luvver
Overheard in Bristol
Our iconic Overheard in Bristol phrases are back for 2023, with ‘Alright my Luvver’ making a new home in Bristol’s beautiful Queen Square. You can visit 2020’s Overheard in Bristol sign “Cheers Drive” at Bristol Bus Station, where it is permanently installed after being gifted to the key workers of Bristol during the pandemic.
Tag us in your photos #BristolLightFestival
- This is a static installation, with no audio or flashing lights
- The artwork is installed in Queen Square, where there are a mix of floor surfaces including grass, cobblestone and pebble.
- There are accessible parking bays on Queen Square.
- The nearest accessible toilets are in Watershed (0.2 miles away) (open until 10pm every day apart from Monday).
Overheard in Bristol
Previous commissions of iconic Bristolian phrases will form part of this year’s content with ‘Alright My Luvver’ in Queen Square and ‘Cheers Drive’ which is permanently installed in Bristol Bus and Coach Station. Each installation makes the perfect selfie spot for any true Bristolian.
- This is a static installation, with no audio or flashing lights
- The artwork has been permanently installed inside Bristol Bus and Coach Station
- The Bus and Coach Station has accessible toilets, and the building is wheelchair accessible.
Let Us Shine
Brand new for Bristol Light Festival, Morag Myerscough’s latest installation “Let us Shine” is a joyful celebration of colour, light and individuality.
- This is a static artwork which is brightly patterned and illuminated with UV light.
- There is a small alcove which audiences can stand under and some low benches around three sides of the installation for people to sit on.
- King Street is a cobbled street running west to east between Prince Street and Queen Charlotte Street in the centre of Bristol. This installation is located in a pedestrianised zone with bollards at either end. There is a width of 120cm between the bollards at either end of the zone.
- The middle of the zone is cobbled with both sides being older uneven paving stones.
- Best access for the installation is from Queen Charlotte Street which is a tarmacked road, at the easy, tactile marked dropped kerb to the pedestrianised part of King Street.
- If you approach the installation from King West Street the left-hand side of the street is blocked by pub tables.
- There is no music at this installation, but the street is usually busy at weekends with a vibrant nightlife in the local pubs, bars and Bristol Old Vic Theatre.
- The nearest accessible toilet is inside Bristol Old Vic Theatre, where there are also quieter spaces to relax.
Scream the House Down: Bristol
Take centre-stage in front of The Corn Exchange and use your voice to activate a large-scale light installation on this iconic building. Scream the House Down: Bristol has been newly adapted for Bristol Light Festival 2023 from a socially-distanced version of the installation made for Illuminate Productions during lockdown.
- The Artwork is viewed by the St Nicholas Market entrance to The Corn Exchange
- This is a pedestrianised area and there are drop curbs. The flooring in the viewing area is a mix of concrete slabs and uneven paving stones.
- To interact with the artwork, audiences step up onto a raised platform (4m x 4m) and make noise into a microphone, the microphone can be manoeuvred to reach audiences who are unable to access the platform. Noises made into the microphone will activate the lights on the building.
- You can do no wrong when interacting with the microphone- the intention is for you to scream, but singing, speaking, clapping all will trigger a reaction from the building.
- The microphone is on a swivel stand and there will be stewards present to help you.
- There is not a car park for public use within 200m (approx.)
- There are no blue badge parking spaces available
- Clearly signed and / or standard marked parking bays are available, located on St Nicholas Street. The dimensions of the standard marked parking bays are 3500cm x 290cm (114ft 10in x 9ft 6in).
- There are planned night markets on both Saturdays during the festival, when we anticipate the area will be busier.
‘Halo’ is a dynamic, interactive installation that lights up and plays music in response to touch. Created as a series of towers that feature illuminated ‘halos’, visitors can enjoy a sensory experience making music and an ever-evolving pattern of light as they interact with the piece.
- Halo is located on Broadmead’s ‘Podium’ area, a large hardstanding space surrounded by shops (where the Christmas Market is usually located).
- Halo is made up of a series of 12 columns, 2.5-3.5m tall.
- On Each Halo there are a series of circular lights. As you approach, the Halos glow brighter in response to proximity creating a slow drone-like tone. Directly touching the Halo creates a clear note and faster visual response.
- The Halos are spread across the site, leaving enough room for a wheelchair user and an ambulant person side-by-side.
- The music is gentle with no loud bangs or jump scares
- The Halos are connected together with cables which will have trackway laid over.
- There’s a wheelchair and pram-friendly toilet on the ground-floor of Starbucks (0.2 miles) for the disabled and baby-changing, but that requires a code from staff.
- Cabot Circus (0.4 miles) also has an accessible toilet available for public.
- There is parking available in the multistorey car park on Fairfax Street. Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do not need to be booked in advance. There are 10+ designated parking bays within the car park. The car park does have a height restriction barrier – The maximum height is 190cm (6ft 3in).
Amigo & Amigo
You can’t help but feel you are shrinking as you approach our super-sized trumpet flowers. Tentatively stepping inside some unseen Giant’s musical garden, you become surrounded by an explosive and immersive jungle of light, colour and sound. Moving in and around the flower forest uncovers a deeper connection to their individual trumpet key controllers. Interactive keys that allow you to play each flower as a 2-6m towering musical & light instrument.
- This installation is a brightly coloured and noisy, with each flower representing an instrument like a Trumpet or Drum.
- Giant 2 – 6m flowers are interactive – you press buttons to trigger light and sound.
- There is a hardstanding access and viewing position, the surface of the ground is concrete tiles.
- There are bollards at intervals around the near vicinity. The minimum width between the bollards is 125cm
- The nearest accessible toilet is located on the ground floor and level 1 of Cabot Circus. (Open until 8pm)
- Cabot Circus car park provides disabled parking spaces with easy access to the installation, there is not a clearly marked drop off point close to the installation.
A new artwork commissioned for Bristol Light Festival, created by Bristol-based studio PYTCH. ‘Beam’ uses lasers and haze to create a beautiful, ever-changing light sculpture that offers different viewing dimensions.
Visitors can become fully immersed as they cross the bridge, enveloped in haze whilst looking up at the lasers crossing in the air above as ambient music forms part of the experience. It can also be viewed from afar to enjoy the harbourside illuminated and the impressive lasers meeting and crossing in the air above the bridge.
- This installation is made of two lasers and an ambient sound installation.
- There are a number of haze machines which will be positioned on the bridge.
- This installation can be viewed from the Castle Bridge or either side of the bridge – looking down on the installation from Castle Park path, or up from within Left Handed Giant.
- There are hardstanding ramps to the bridge. The bridge is made of wooden slats, they have traction grips.
- There is a grit and slab pavement route to the installation on the cycle path (turning off Bristol Bridge on the Castle Park side of the river).
- There is a hardstanding pedestrianised route to the bridge from Finzels reach.
- There is a car drop off place on Bath Street, (turn down Hawkins lane from here to reach the bridge- no steps and wide large slab hard standing ground).
- The nearest accessible toilet is located on the ground floor of Left Handed Giant Brewery.
Continuum is a captivating maze of 25 mirrored monoliths, walk between the pillars to activate sound and light, bathing in the historic reflections of Temple Church, so called because the original church here was built by the Knights Templar.
- Continuum is a 20-metre immersive artwork, which stands 2.5 metres tall.
- This immersive artwork is made of 25 mirrored monoliths each standing over 2.5m tall. The monoliths are laid out in a geometric maze pattern, this creates a mirrored maze of infinite reflections. Each monolith has a column of light on each corner. As you approach each monolith the light pattern responds to your presence and the sound is activated. Ripples of light are sent between towers and an ever-evolving soundscape is created.
- The installation is wheelchair accessible – please speak to one of the Stewards about the best route between the Monoliths, as not all the structures are equally spaced – some are 1000mm and some 1300mm.
- The installation is located within the Old Church Grounds of Temple Church, the flooring is a mixture of cobblestone, grass and pebble, there is ramped access with a small incline.
- The music is gentle and relaxing.
- There is street parking available on Victoria Street.
‘Ophelia’, a stunning light installation that creates a life-size hologram of Shakespeare’s famous character. The installation references Millais’ famous Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia, recreating the scene with intense colour, gentle movement, air bubbles and swimming fish, this piece is emotive and mesmerising.
- This installation is located inside St Mary Redcliffe Church which uses projection and music.
- The artwork depicts a person floating in a pool of water – her eyes are open and she is gently moving and looking around, but for those familiar with the fictional story of Shakespeare’s tragic character Ophelia, it may be upsetting. For further information about the work, please get in touch.
- On street marked Blue Badge bays are available, located on Colston Parade
- The church can be entered via the north and south porches. The north porch is reached via a series of steps while level access is available via the southern entrance.
- South Porch Entrance – There are two doors into the venue, the smallest being 85cm wide. The doors are heavy to open but we will have stewards positioned here to help you.
- There is a small ramp, with a slight incline, with a level landing at the top of the ramp.
- There are multiple places to sit and rest within the Church.
- Once in the church there is level access and low lighting levels.
- Accessible toilet facilities are not available at this venue.