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The 2021 Festival…


After a year off in 2020 due to Covid, the festival will return in 2021 on the 5th – 6th November 2021 . Our artists and performers are now working on their creations for this year – follow our Facebook page, check out our What’s On page, or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with the details as they are released, or read our Frequently Asked Questions about the Festival page!


During the first weekend of November, join us in Lancaster city centre on a family-friendly trail of discovery and enjoy the transformation of the city into a magical installation of light. Catch free performances dotted amongst secret squares and well-known buildings, and experience captivating light projections, amazing performances, music, dance, film and fireworks.


As an antidote to the hard times we have all experienced over the last 18 months, this year Light Up Lancaster has adopted the theme, Flights of the Imagination. Imagination can take you anywhere and we have invited our artists to transport us all into a magical never-never land through light art. And they have responded with ideas that are a terrific mix of fun, playfulness, fantastical and thoughtful. From a moving story told through projection and sound on the castle walls; to the very latest in robot technology, there is something to thrill and delight everyone. The Priory will again host a stunning large-scale installation and Lancaster University will return with their hands-on Exploration Zone. Plus we welcome a Saturday daytime arts fair and three new light art commissions from the Light Up The North’s SHINE programme. The performances, activities and installations in the city centre are all free – just turn up and enjoy!


Then on the Saturday evening, you are invited to come along and watch the amazing firework display, launched from the top of Lancaster Castle and viewable from locations across the city.


So join us for Light Up Lancaster 2021 and see where your imagination can take you!


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.


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.