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About our festival

Light Up Lancaster is a festival which invites you to explore the historic city of Lancaster at night.

Imaginative local artists rub shoulders with internationally renowned artists each year to create intriguing light art and memorable performances across the city.

The festival leads you on a trail from the most well-known places such as Lancaster Castle and the Judges’ Lodgings, to the hidden gems in secret squares and historic buildings.

The festival’s finale is the fireworks spectacular. This free to view display, lights up the skyline of the city, making it one of the finest displays in the north.

So wrap up warm and wander between sites of illumination, indoors and out, and experience this wonderful historic city at night.

View our Gallery, Archive or read some of the many comments from our Facebook page.


After a year off in 2020 due to Covid, the festival is due to return in 2021 on the 5th – 6th November 2021 (subject to government guidance) – follow our Facebook page or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with the details as they are released.


Our History

Light Up Lancaster grew from a partnership between Lancaster’s annual Fireworks Spectacular and a pilot event celebrating art and light, ‘Light Up the Streets’ which took place in 2012. The intention was to create a small but magical, after-dark multi-artform trail the night before the Fireworks Spectacular. The pilot event caught the public imagination and people came in their thousands.

From there, Light Up Lancaster gained support from Arts Council England and grew its support from Lancashire County Council and also from Lancaster Business Improvement District (BID) and the event became Light Up Lancaster – a weekend festival of art and light incorporating the annual fireworks event.

Light Up Lancaster is now a partnership event between Lancaster City Council and Lancaster Arts Partnership (LAP). The festival is supported with funding from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster Business Improvement District (BID). Additional financial and in-kind support comes from Lancaster University, Pennine Events, the Duchy of Lancaster and Lancaster’s arts organisations.

Light Up Lancaster is proud to be part of the Light Up The North network.


Our Vision

Our ambitions are to –

  • Develop a wonderful, unique and authentic light festival.
  • Illuminate and celebrate Lancaster’s landscapes, heritage and communities.
  • Place performance, participation and young people at the heart of our endeavours.
  • Grow Lancaster’s international reputation as a destination for heritage and artistic excellence.
  • Attract significant numbers of visitors and families.
  • Collaborate artistically and strategically with the other light festival events.


We aspire to develop Light Up Lancaster as a –

  • Magnet for artists of international standing.
  • Creative playground for Lancaster artists and arts organisations.
  • Place for collaborations: between art and business, international and local, professional and community.
  • Inspiring and loved event, owned by its community.