River of Light returns to Liverpool and will be ‘bigger and better than ever’

Nine-day festival will feature 10 art commissions by a number of international light artists as well as spectacular fireworks display controlled from two barges in the Mersey. Tony McDonough reports

River of Light
River of Light festival is returning to Liverpool in autumn 2019. Picture by Liverpool City Council

 

Liverpool’s River of Light festival is returning this autumn and the city council is promising it will be “bigger and better than ever”.

From Friday, November 1, to Saturday, November 9, Liverpool waterfront will be transformed with light, colour and sound as 10 art commissions by a number of international light artists will be on display in iconic locations across the city.

And, as part of the longer, new-look festival, the River of Light fireworks will return for one night only on Sunday, November 3, as once again the River Mersey becomes a stage for Titanium Fireworks – one of the world’s leading pyrotechnic companies.

Two simultaneous displays, from the Waterfront in Liverpool and as part of Wirral’s Borough of Culture year in New Brighton, will start at 6.30pm with a soundtrack featuring artists and songs which have been big in the city this year.

Details of the art commissions are being kept under wraps, but more details will be revealed online in the forthcoming weeks and the council is promising the waterfront will become the “must-visit selfie-spot”.

Deputy Mayor and Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Cllr Wendy Simon, said: “Last year we introduced a small number of light installations to the River of Light event, and were overwhelmed by the response – you couldn’t look at social media without the triangle gates on The Strand appearing in your timeline.

Liverpool is a city which loves to push the boundaries when it comes to events, and there is a real appetite for incredible art which makes you look at a space in a whole new light. Due to 2018’s success we’re increasing the length of the festival.”

Director of Titanium Fireworks, Darryl Fleming, added: “The display will be fired from two barges on the Mersey bristling to the brim with fireworks and gunpowder, to deliver a spectacular 15-minute display for the thousands of people who come to watch.

We hope to build on the success of previous years with a bigger and more intense show than ever before synchronised to a dynamic soundtrack. We are extremely excited about returning to this fantastic city.”

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