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Bristol to launch new Light Festival in 2020

25th July 2019

Categories: Latest News

Katherine Jewkes & Vashti Waite appointed as Co-Directors of Bristol Light Festival

Bristol to launch new Light Festival in 2020. Credit Max McClure

Bristol's famous festival calendar is about to see a new addition, with the launch of a new Light Festival in the city, starting next year.

Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) is behind this exciting new initiative. The City Centre BID has built a partnership including Bristol City Council and the University of the West of England (UWE)'s Digital Cultures Research Centre to bring this to life and to evaluate the benefit of introducing some light and fun into the city in winter.

Launching in February 2020, Bristol Light Festival will be a celebration of local and international talent, bringing colour, light and play to Bristol city centre's public spaces at a traditionally quiet and dark time of the year; making the city centre a more welcoming home for its residents, attracting visitors and further boosting the city's already prominent profile, tourism and urban economy.

Two internationally-experienced, Bristol-based creative directors have been appointed, and will shortly begin planning for the Festival's first year. 

Newly appointed creative co-directors; Katherine Jewkes and Vashti Waite have a combined four decades' experience creating award-winning work around the globe. They are pleased to be collaborating together in their home city again; they last worked  together in Bristol for Watershed in 2014 to stage The Rooms; which took over the old Fire Station, Police Station and Magistrates Courts in the city centre with a series of immersive installations designed to showcase local talent and playfully inspire local audiences.

Over the next three years, Katherine and Vashti plan to build the Light Festival into an internationally recognised event with broader partnerships outside of the city. Building on Bristol's reputation and thought leadership around green energy and new technologies, they are particularly interested in exploring sustainable light art and interactive playful environments.

Co-director Katherine Jewkes said: "We are thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside the rich and varied talents of Bristol's unique cultural sector and city centre businesses to create a new Light Festival for the people of Bristol and beyond."

Co-director Vashti Waite added: "Bristol has a rich history of bold, creative endeavours and we are delighted to be appointed co-directors to build Bristol Light Festival over the next three years into a celebration worthy of this world-renowned festival city."

Keith Rundle, Operations Director at Bristol City Centre BID said: "January and February can be dark and difficult months of the year for many of us, and indeed for cities, their communities, businesses and retailers. So we're hugely excited to be working together to inject some light and fun into the city centre and spread a little wonder beyond Christmas and into the New Year.

"Both Katherine and Vashti are incredibly well-established festival and event curators, with exciting connections to an international network of artists and collaborators. It is fantastic to be have them both working together in Bristol to deliver an innovative, contemporary and completely new event for the city."

More information about how to get involved with Bristol Light Festival will made available shortly. In the meantime, artists with an interest in creating and showing work are asked to email Keith Rundle Operations Director of the City Centre BID -

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