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Light Up Lancaster wows the crowds

John Freeman
The Bell Tower - one of many spectacular Light Up Lancaster events last Friday
Dem Bones exhibit
Amazing lanterns in Market Square stun onloookers
Ludus dancers in Sun Square
The Northern Lights OrchestraThere were many surprises to delight, amuse and amaze at the first ever Light Up Lancaster event on Friday, the second major event highlighting the Lancaster Arts City campaign.

As night fell, the city’s beautiful buildings and squares were illuminated and animated by music, film, dance and art.

The often overlooked Sun Square had its chance to shine and the events there were particularly impressive. Lancaster-based theatre company, imitating the dog, produced a specially commissioned film which saw the historic Music Room become ivyclad, attracting giant butterflys and the odd spider crawling up the wall.

Sun Square was also the setting for Against The Wall, as crowds watched Ludus Dance unveil the history of Lancaster through contemporary dance, haunting cello compositions performed live and film projections.

Meanwhile, in Market Square, Dem Bones featured art works from the Recuerdos De Mexico exhibition by Sue and Pete Flowers of Melling’s Green Close Studios apparently escaping through the windows of the City Museum while giant skeleton lanterns paraded outside and the Northern Lights Orchestra played.

Music of a more improvised kind could be heard in Dalton Square which hosted More Music’s illuminated instrumental Bell Tower accompanied by Flying Colours fire poi performers.

Elsewhere in the city centre, The Long Walk Chinese Orchestra lit by Chinese lanterns played in Marketgate, dance flashmobs strutted their stuff and some empty shop windows were transformed to recreate stories from Lancaster’s past.

Light Up Lancaster also complemented the Fireworks Spectacular which took place on Saturday in a bid to encourage visitors to plan a weekend stay in the city.

Light Up Lancaster was a First Friday event organised to promote Lancaster Arts City. Every First Friday of the month, Lancaster Arts Partners aim to offer a range of free events encouraging residents and visitors alike to see the area afresh and try out something new on the arts scene.

There’s also a new Lancaster Arts City free app which can be downloaded by registering at The app is simple to use and includes helpful search features and a map featuring all the participating venues such as Lancaster’s Grand Theatre and The Platform in Morecambe.

• For more information on Lancaster Arts City, First Fridays and the free app, visit