Leeds Light Night 2020 goes ahead despite restrictions

Three lasers are shown in the sky above the Parkinson building in Leeds.Although very different from previous years Leeds Light Night will commence from this evening, starting from 6pm.
The UK’s largest free art and light festival will start tonight at 6pm despite Leeds facing local restrictions.

Despite Light Night not going ahead as originally planned, organisers have planned events which adhere to the local restrictions and maintain social distancing rules.

One of the main art events, which will be happening over the three day event, will be Laser Light City created by Seb Lee-Delisle.

Laser Light City was designed to enable people from across the city to be able to see the art work from wherever they may be located.

The lasers are located at seven major sites across the city. These include The Parkinson Building, Merrion House, Platform Building, Victoria Leeds Car Park, Wellington Place, Bridgewater Place and The Majestic.

Leeds City Council will be monitoring crowds throughout the event and if the crowds get too large within the City Centre the lasers will be disabled and the event will be stopped. Abbe Robinson, Principle Arts Project Officer says: “We want people to see the work and to enjoy it but we want them to do it responsibly.”

Digital Artist Seb Lee-Delisle who developed the idea said: “Laser Light City was developed with a need to develop a light installation which was safe with social distancing and something that could run no matter what.

“It was born out of the need to do something that was interactive and got people together without getting too close”

Seb Lee Delisle also said: “We don’t have live gigs, we don’t have theatre, we don’t have cinema at the moment, it’s just really important that we have something a bit special that everyone can take part in and to remind ourselves that we are human as art separates us from animals.”

Three lasers are shown in the sky above Leeds City Centre. The tops of buildings can be seen and a streetlight shines brightly on the lower left side.
All 25 lasers can be controlled via a smartphone to enable control over colour, position and shape.

Access to the lasers will be posted via https://laserlight.city/leeds/ on the night.

Seb Lee-Delisle describes how it works, he says: “If you go to the website on your phone, you will be presented with a list of sites, you click on the one that you want and if there is a queue it will tell you how long you have to wait. Join the queue and when its your turn you will get a countdown and you will be presented with an interface with a square in the middle of your phone. You can click and drag around the square and that moves the lasers wherever you touch. There are also options below that to change the pattern and the colour of the lasers.”

Other events that will take place as part of Light Night include Spirit Owl by Frederic Post, I MISS YOU by Asociatia Daisler and Faint Signals by British Library and Invisible Flock.

Catherine Baxendale, Executive Producer at Invisible Flock says: “Faint Signals is an invitation to slow down and explore an imagined Yorkshire woodland, a procedurally generated forest unique to each audience member.”

The experience has been developed by using sound archives from the British Library to bring alive the virtual forest.

Catherine Baxendale also says: “Faint signals will be a deep yet accessible work, focussing on an ambient and slow experience of discovery, exploring the world one step at a time. Each tile you move across unlocks a narrative and rich vein of sounds from the forest, all of which are based on real life environments, with wildlife, weather and other nature sounds reflecting the diversity and complexity of ecosystems in the region.”

The Faint signals art work can be accessed via https://whatson.leeds.gov.uk/lightnight/all-events/faint-signals from 10 November 2020.

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