Lancaster’s history will come alive in light art during one of the city’s most popular free festivals this November.

More than 20 stories about Lancastrians of the past projected onto an historic city centre building and a lantern sculpture linking in with a museum’s wartime exhibition will be just two of the many highlights of this year’s Light Up Lancaster festival from November 4-5.

Festival producers always aim to feature international  artworks at this annual event and 2022 sees 3DSense from Czechoslovakia making their UK debut with a projection artwork entitled The People of Lancaster.

This large-scale interactive collage of stories of people from Lancaster’s past, including ‘Dinosaur man’, Sir Richard Owen, who was born in the city, will be projected on to Palatine Hall and adjacent buildings in Dalton Square.

Meanwhile, across town, a  monumental lantern sculpture of a soldier – Waiting for a Message from Home – will light up the portico of Lancaster City Museum to connect with its current exhibition, Hinge of Fate focusing on 1942 at home and abroad.

Local artists, Shane Johnstone and Anna Read will work with the community to create bird lanterns which will ‘fly’ into Market Square during multiple performances of the piece.

Lantern-making workshops take place at Kanteena on October 10,11,17 and 18 from 6-8pm and on October 24 and 25 from 6-9pm.

Anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Those interested in producing the birds and being involved with the festival should contact Light Up Lancaster producer, George Harris at

Volunteers are also required to join a choir which will perform at Lancaster Castle during the 100 Stories High projection piece. Two workshop rehearsals take place at the Gregson Centre in Lancaster  on October 26 and November 2.  Age guidance is 11 plus and anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information, visit:

The festival provides a rare opportunity to see inside one of Lancaster’s most historic churches too as dozens of illuminated butterflies flutter within when St John’s opens its doors to Light Up Lancaster for the first time.

The many light art installations culminate with the Fireworks Spectacular near Lancaster Castle, weather permitting, on November 5 at 8pm.

Whilst wristbands are need to watch the display from the official viewing areas (Giant Axe and Quay Meadow) the display can also be enjoyed from various vantage points across the city - if you can see the castle, you can see the fireworks!  For any queries about the festival, please contact Lancaster Visitor Information Centre: 01524 582394, Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm.

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

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