Lightwaves, a free interactive light festival hosted by Quays Culture at Salford Quays, returns to showcase inspiring digital light art this December, in what promises to be its most spectacular and innovative programme to date!  

From Friday 6 December until Sunday 15 December 2019, public spaces around Salford Quays will be illuminated with new and exclusively commissioned digital art displays, alongside emerging talent and interactive workshops, from local, national, and international artists. 

Lightwaves Festival 2019 will see the world premiere of Keith Brown’s GeoThicket, a virtual reality experience that will be located in The Lowry. An immersive visual artwork, guests are invited to select their own path through a colourful, multidimensional, geometric wonderland, offering a whimsical escape from reality as the adventure alters with every step. 

Light Orchestra, an interactive sound and light installation, will have its European Premiere at the festival. The installation invites visitors to become conductors, moving their arms to direct a symphony of light and music. From a conductor’s podium, visitors can direct an orchestra of motorized projectors that create beams of light and unique musical sequences that respond to the maestro’s movements.

Wave-field, the world famous interactive Musical Seesaws will turn Salford Quays into an urban playground throughout the festival. Created by Lateral Office and CS Design, with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama, the illuminated musical seesaws encourage interpersonal relationships with strangers and consolidate existing relationships between friends and family. 

The Umbrella Project from Cirque Bijou will feature 20 local Salford residents, who will all operate hand-built LED umbrellas to create a kaleidoscopic moving light performance.

Festival goers will love DigiTree, a state of the art, interactive LED installation, designed to bring the seasons to your feet. The new commission for 2019, has been created by Backstage Academy students. A large LED tree made of angular branches, the installation blooms with coloured light that changes to show the changing seasons of the year. The installation also includes an LED floor, fitted with tracking software that locates and reacts to the weight of a person as they move around on the floor to create illuminated magic at their feet.

Groups of People is a new digital creation by Visioning Lab that will animate Salford Quays using state of the art technology. Over the last month, local people have been introduced to virtual reality drawing tools and asked to respond to the work of LS Lowry. Their creations have contributed to a virtual artwork that can be discovered via an app on your smart phone during your visit to Lightwaves. 

2019 will see the return of Blackpool Illuminations, as an ongoing collaboration between the lighting behemoth and Lightwaves Festival. Spiro, this year’s installation, takes the form of an immersive walkway through a 25m light tunnel. The work, inspired by the shape of a cresting wave, invites guests to enter with pulsating, undulating light. 

Quays Culture will also be exhibiting one of its own commissioned works, Cathedral of Mirrors by Mads Christensen, an installation of mirrored columns fitted with technicoloured lights. The work will be exhibited in the University of Salford campus foyer at MediaCityUK, as part of the festival.

The festival will also see three new SHINE commissions: The Happiness Sum by Gemma Wood, Portal of Reflection by Tom Lambert and Pharos by Joe Moran. The Happiness Sum is a colourful, playful installation that poses important questions about what activities make people happy and invites guests to check if they are maximising their happiness potential! Portal of Reflection by Tom Lambert is a hexagonal installation of mesmerising radiating light and sound, viewed through special glasses, designed to alter your perception and take guests on a journey of self-reflection.

The third and final SHINE commission, Pharos by Joe Moran is a light sculpture, constructed from a series of lenses designed to absorb light from nearby sources and redistribute the light as colourful pulsating patterns. 

Homage to the Rain will also have its world premiere at the festivala short film that explores the global human connection through rail. 

The 10 days free festival aims to bring light to those dark winter nights, as light experiences span across Salford Quays and MediaCityUK. 

Find out more by visiting:

Twitter: @QuaysCulture

Instagram: @QuayscultureUK

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