River of light returns to Liverpool this autumn

Last March 120,000 people enjoyed the River of Light Trail in Liverpool and now the festival will make a comeback in October. Tony McDonough reports

River of Light
Around 120,000 enjoyed the River of Light Trail in Liverpool in March 2021


Liverpool is to see a return of the River of Light festival to the waterfront this autumn.

After the event’s success in March which saw around 120,000 people safely enjoy the River of Light Trail, demand has been high for this spectacular outdoor art gallery to return to the city.

From Friday, October 22, to Sunday, November 7, light installations with the theme Rhythm of the Light will take over the city centre. Each artwork will be inspired by Liverpool’s musical heritage, the majority of which will have an accompanying soundtrack.

Details of the artists who will be part of the 17-night free trail will be unveiled next month, but visitors can expect the usual awe-inspiring pieces similar to the scale of the stunning installations which transformed the waterfront earlier in the year.

Highlights included the iconic Rainbow Bridge by Josh Zubkoff and Srikanth Guttikonda, Neighbourhood by Sergey Kim – a beautiful illuminated washing line on Castle Street – and End Over End by Studio Vertigo which saw a giant slinky installed at Liverpool ONE.

The autumn route will be designed to allow people to maintain social distancing, but anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit the trail. And this year’s event will not see the return of the river fireworks display.

River of Light will be delivered by Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team and is supported by Arts Council England. Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Cllr Harry Doyle, said: “River of Light has become a firm favourite in the city.

“The response to the event in March was overwhelming – people’s appetite to be part of a cultural event after living through the dark times of a pandemic was evident. The reaction was massively positive and it was heart-warming to see people safely venture out and enjoy the incredible local, national and international artwork which was on their doorstep.”

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