Skip to content

Bradford lights up with spectacular town hall festival

By Rebecca Marano

A SPECTACULAR LIGHT SHOW projected on to City Hall has retold the story of Bradford.

The colourful video display was part of the three-day Illuminate Festival which ran from Friday (October 13) to Sunday in City Park.

The series of images showcased Bradford’s vibrant history. It featured the city’s industrial roots and its modern achievements in arts, culture and sport.

A major feature of the show was the celebration of Bradford’s status as the first UNESCO City of Film.

It gave a nod to much-loved Bradford based films Billy Liar, The Railway Children and Rita, Sue and Bob too.

The Bronte sisters and local artist David Hockney were also celebrated.

Alongside the light show there was other spectacular outdoor entertainment, including dancers, acrobats, multimedia shows and collaborations with local art groups.

Bradford-based Cecil Green Arts collaborated with Handmade Parade to create 16 beautiful lantern sculptures.

Commissioned by Bradford Council, the show was created by production specialists The Colour Project. They have previously created light shows in Moscow, Liverpool and Bristol.

The show was projected onto the structure of the newly refurbished town hall with 270,000 lumens of light in ultra-high definition.

Harry Kingham, a founder of Cecil Green Arts, said: “I think events like this give the city a sense of identity. In creating a city centre-based space where you can hold events, it gives the city the place to celebrate. It gives it a heart, which for years it didn’t have.

“When we create events, lantern parades and workshops we give the sense that something exciting is going on, a sense of drama and all that is really important to people’s lives.”

Shannan Larkin, 23, SEN teaching assistant from Bradford went to watch the show.

She said: “I didn’t have high expectations but it looks absolutely amazing.

People always say that Bradford council waste loads of money but everyone here is so happy and it’s beautiful so I think it’s worth it”

Coun Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for environment, sport and culture said: “I went on the Friday evening and thought it was spectacular.

“It was the full story of Bradford projected onto the hall. In the crowd you could hear people gasping and recognising the story. The way it was illuminated and projected upon brought a beautiful building into its own. It was so colourful and beautiful.

“It was a fantastic event and very well attended over the three evenings. The city centre was alive and it had such atmosphere and warmth. Children were mesmerised. People came away with such a glow.”

What do you think?