Celebrating UNESCO’s International Year of Light, Enlighten Manchester Festival of Light and Sound Art brings a stellar programme of world premieres, award-winning artworks and international choirs to the city.
In the heart of the German Christmas Market, local and international artists will light up Manchester Central Library and The Bridgewater Hall over three days in December, offering visitors a cultural respite from the festive hustle and bustle.

With more than 15 installations, performances and talks confirmed, the festival will be a vibrant celebration of light, sound and literature. 

Confirmed artists include award-winning headliner, light artist Paul Friedlander, internationally acclaimed audio visual artist Kathy Hinde, and internationally exhibited light and sound artist, Ulf Pedersen, all introducing world premieres. 

Headliners feature alongside more than 10 local artists including Scotsman Poet of the Year Adelle Stripe, graphic designer Trevor Johnson, light artist Elisa Artesero and photographer Andrew Brooks. Neon artist Richard William Wheater is working with Manchester-based youth leadership project RECLAIM sharing young people’s vision of what the city could look like in the future.

The festival launch features the world premiere of “The Bremen Town Musicians”, a music and live animation work inspired by bestselling author Philip Pullman’s new translation of the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales.

 The free concert at Manchester Central Library includes a specially commissioned score by celebrated film composer Enrica Sciandrone for local talent Psappha – the UK’s longest running New Music Ensemble. The performance is part of Moving Classics – European Network for New Music supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and by Arts Council England.
Following a successful pilot last year the festival will launch a new relationship with the extraordinary Manchester Central Library as the main venue to bring together exciting local and international talent, skills and energy with an ambitious programme after dark. 

Light works will also be on show at The Bridgewater Hall from leading audio visual artist Kathy Hinde and Liverpool contemporary composer Matthew Fairclough.
Andy Brydon, Curated Place and festival director said: “Being able to deliver the first full outing of a light festival in Manchester as part of the UNESCO International Year of Light with Central Library and The Bridgewater Hall is the best way we could launch a relationship with these brilliant venues. We’re all looking towards developing the light festival as an annual event to inject some high quality public arts into Manchester’s Christmas Celebrations. This year we have some of the UK’s leading sound and light artists collaborating at the boundaries of their disciplines helping us develop the festival from a pilot to a major family event. Next year we’re hoping for more”
Event Listing:

Enlighten Manchester will take place on the following dates:


Thursday 10th December: 4.30-8.00 pm (with launch performance from Psappha and Enrica Sciandrone from 6pm)

Friday 10th December: 5.30-8.00 pm

Saturday 10th December: 5.30-8.00 pm

 Location: Manchester Central Library, Bridgewater Hall

Price: Free-£5, booking required for Manchester Central Library


Works by Kathy Hinde and Matthew Fairclough



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