MORE than 7,000 people went along to Longbridge’s first ever Light Festival at the weekend.
The event on Saturday (October 25) saw 28 world-renowned artists from all over Europe, participate, undertaking specially commissioned work and giving talks to celebrate the £1billion redevelopment of the 468-acre former car factory site.
The festival had a ‘Back to the Future’ theme, developed by Birmingham-based artists Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman.
As well as the light and art, there was a full programme of hands-on activities done in partnership with Longbridge community groups, businesses, schools and churches. They included costume making, a dress your window competition, lantern creation and a light-up cycle workshop, where visitors were invited to customise their two wheels before travelling along an illuminated science fiction cycle route.
Claire Farrell, director of WERK which organised the event, said: “The atmosphere was wonderful, and the response to this first festival has been incredible – both from local community groups coming together to be part the event, as well as the thousands who came on Saturday to enjoy the events and installations.”
She also thanked everyone who made the event such a success – from partners Bournville College, Birmingham City Council and St Modwen to artists, project partners, visitors and volunteers who made it all possible.
Bournville College Principal Norman Cave said: “It was a fantastic event and achieved just what it set out to do – bring people together in this new public space to celebrate, participate and enjoy the free activities and events.
“We look forward to next year being even bigger and better.”
Coun Andy Cartwright, the chair of the Longbridge Ward, said: “It’s great to see so many of the locals enjoying the light festival – the next steps, following the community network meetings I have set up with businesses and voluntary third sector groups, is to move forward to becoming a sustainable community with a vision led by residents to support the local needs to create a lasting impact.”
Visit www.longbridgelightfestival.co.uk for more information on the festival or www.lpap.co.uk on the Longbridge Public Art Project.