Lumiere 2021

Cynthia Lawson

Durham’s Lumiere light festival only comes around every two years. Having been in Durham since 2018, I have finally had the chance to experience Lumiere from the first day it was on. So, if you didn’t get a chance to see Durham’s Lumiere light festival, don’t worry, I have you covered!

Scattered Light at St Mary’s College

A must see event

I was actually told about the Lumiere light festival being a ‘must see’ event by multiple people who had seen it in previous years and it did not disappoint. I have never seen anything like it!

Before arriving, I didn’t really know what to expect. My first guess, however, was that it would be lights displayed in some sort of canopy or marquee. But to my surprise, lights covered the city centre area (Market Place, Saddler Street, Silver Street, Palace Green, Prebends Bridge, and the Riverside). It was like the city centre had been completely transformed. As soon as you enter the Market Place there was a beautiful display of stick-figure men dancing in time to music and some can even be seen climbing the wall of the church just behind the main stage.

The Froggs – Durham Market Place

It’s free!

Though the display was free to watch, it was also a ticketed event and I had secured the last timed slotted ticket, meaning I didn’t have much time to walk around the whole city centre. There were also vendors selling goodies and street food along the way which was a nice treat. I had the chance to walk through College Green where there was a story being told through speakers which aligned with the display of lights called City of Light, City of Stories which was magical.

I also managed to see the cathedral which was what a lot of other students said was their personal favourite. There was a projection mapped to the front of the cathedral with some type of love story being told through shadows! The show on the cathedral replayed every three minutes so you could watch it as many times as you wanted. There was also a full moon that night which shined above the cathedral and that was like the icing on top of the cake for me… it looked like something out of a movie!

In Our Hearts Blind Hope – The Cathedral

I can confirm that Lumiere is not to be missed. It’s a great community event that you can experience with friends and family. As a student, it was also a nice break from all the revision and a chance to see Durham in a different way.

Chronos – Ogden Centre

Discover more

Find out more about Durham University’s involvement in Lumiere 2023 here

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Cynthia Lawson

Hi! My name is Cynthia. I graduated from Durham in 2021 with a degree in BA in Criminology and I am currently I post-graduate in the field of Social Research Methods. In Durham, each student is assigned a college, and I was assigned to unarguable the best college in Durham (with the best bar), Collingwood!

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