After the success of the first event in 2020, Light Up Leicester returned in March 2022 with a spectacular programme of public artworks. Presented by BID Leicester, Leicester City Council, and ArtReach supported by Arts Council England, the event offered an accessible trail of 9 installations across the city centre.

The festival showcased art from some of the world’s leading ‘light’ artists. These included giant, glowing human figures in the showstopping piece ‘Fantastic Planet’ by Amanda Parer, and a pulsing tunnel of synchronised light and sound in ‘Pulse’ by This is Loop. Installations were also showcased by local artists, and the public had the opportunity to participate through a varied programme of workshops and events.

Free e- bike tours were available, including rickshaw rides for those with additional access requirements. Boosting public engagement with the city-centre, Light Up Leicester generated a huge public response with a recorded footfall of over 100,000 across four evenings. The Saturday showed the second highest recorded city- centre footfall, an incredible achievement for Leicester as it emerged out of the pandemic.

Out of 300 people surveyed, 99% agreed that the festival encouraged community participation, 97% agreed it was good for area’s image, and 90% agreed that it enhanced a sense of local community. Light Up Leicester also made a significant impact on the local economy. Highcross shopping centre reported a 112% increase in visitor numbers in comparison to the 2020 festival. Of 40 businesses surveyed, 100% agreed that the festival made a positive impact on the city centre, and 70% saw their takings increase over the weekend as a result.

The return of this incredibly popular festival has created an inspiring and unforgettable experience for visitors, putting Leicester on the map as an arts and culture destination and lighting the way for Leicester’s future cultural events diary.