For four days this weekend, from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th January, the centre of London was taken over by magical light installations in the King’s Cross, Piccadilly and Oxford Circus areas.
Londoners and tourists in their thousands flocked to see this artistic spectacle while it lasted, thus creating the biggest problem of the event: overcrowding! It was insanely busy, especially in King’s Cross where people were effectively funnelled from the station to Granary Square.
It spoiled the magic a bit, especially at the small low-down installations which people crushed around, but there’s still plenty of cool stuff around from 30 different artists in total.
The other problem is it was basically impossible to get to it all in one night so you had to choose wisely to see the best bits if you only wanted to make one trip…
The actual installations were generally pretty visually amazing: highlights for me were the flying fish over Piccadilly, the Circus of Light show on the Granary Building and the Garden of Light in Leicester Square.
I also liked the symbolism behind Pacific Islands which had plastic bottles taking centre stage in the Trafalgar Square fountain to comment on the alarming rate rubbish is accumulating in the Pacific Ocean.
And the way the lights often integrated into the architecture of London, such as the 3D elephant walking out from between two arches in Regents Street, made it feel like it could not happen anywhere else.
Most importantly, the light festival was a fabulous excuse to wander around central London with good company.
Thank you to Jenny Sancho for letting me use some of her photos, which she bravely battled the crowds for! (The pictures below are a mixture of mine and hers- enjoy).