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Our History

Light Up Lancaster grew from a partnership between Lancaster City Council’s annual fireworks spectacular and a pilot event celebrating art and light in 2012.

The intention was to create a small but magical after-dark multi-artform trail the night before the fireworks. The pilot event caught the public imagination and attracted thousands of people. From there, Light Up Lancaster gained further funding and support and the event became Light Up Lancaster – a weekend festival of art and light incorporating the annual fireworks event.

Light Up Lancaster is now delivered in partnership by Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID and The Dukes. The festival is supported with funding from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster BID. Additional financial and in-kind support comes from Lancaster University, Lancaster University Confucius Institute, Pennine Events, the Duchy of Lancaster, and Lancaster’s arts and cultural organisations.

Light Up Lancaster is part of the Light Up The North network and Light Up The North partnership, a network of light festivals taking place in cities across the North of England.

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

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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.