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Everything you need to know about River of Light 2023

8 months ago

Everything you need to know about River of Light 2023

One of Liverpool’s favourite outdoor events is coming back at the end of this month when the River of Light illuminated artwork trail returns to the waterfront.

This year’s River of Light has the theme United By Light which has been inspired by the United By Music strapline used when we hosted Eurovision back in May.

Last year around 250,000 visitors came into the city centre to follow the route and see the installations so it’s definitely going to be a busy one. 

If you’re planning to visit River of Light 2023, here’s everything you need to know …

River of Light

When is it on?

This year’s River of Light runs from Friday October 27 to Sunday November 5. Because they look best after dark, the artworks will be lit every night between 5pm and 9pm. 

Is it suitable for all ages?

Yes, River of Light is very family friendly and inclusive. Not only that, because the trail is all outdoors, you can bring your dog too.

Do you need to book tickets?

No, as with previous years, River of Light is absolutely free so there’s no need to buy tickets or come at a set time – that means if you don’t want to do the whole trail in one go, you can come back and see a few installations at a time.

Is it accessible?

Plans are in place to make River of Light 2023 the most accessible instalment to date.

With a track record of attracting around 250,000 visitors to the stunning illuminated trail, Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team – responsible for curating and staging the annual event – has put in place plans to make the twelve installations as accessible as possible for all visitors.

For the first time, the event will play host to two quiet hour sessions which will enable those with additional sensory needs to explore the twelve installations during less crowded times.

Each artwork will run with either no soundscape or at a very low volume and, where possible, lighting will be altered making it a gentler, more accessible environment for people with sensory differences.

These hour-long sessions will take place from 4-5pm on Sunday 29 October and Wednesday 1 November.

As in previous years the official River of Light website has dedicated accessibility pages which detail each installation, providing descriptive information for those who are visually or hearing impaired. There are also key pointers relating to access, seating availability as well as accommodation that provides accessible options.

River of Light

How many artworks are there?

There are 11 artworks which have been created by local, national and international artists spread across a 2k loop which includes the Royal Albert Dock where there are two, Mann Island and by the Three Graces.

Here’s a guide to what you’ll be able to see and where:

Lampshades Bouquet – on the Strand opposite Canning Place – French studio TILT have created 7metre high giant bouquets in the style of traditional lampshades, lit up in a variety of colours.

Emergence – by the Martin Luther King Jr building, Albert Dock – Visitors can walk through This Is Loop’s pavilion of mirrors and more than 10,000 LED lights, which is accompanied by a soundtrack.

Ukrainian Dreams – exterior of the Maritime Museum, Albert Dock – Ukrainian artists return with an audio-visual projection of fantastic beasts and colourful landscapes, sharing a message of peace.

Glow – by the Museum of Liverpool – Amigo & Amigo have created illuminated lamp posts showing the moon’s different phases around the Earth, with over 40 different music soundtracks.

River of Light

Night Whisper – by the Museum of Liverpool – Amigo & Amigo’s second installation is a giant luminescent light bulb with lit-up moths suspended inside that people are invited to climb inside. 

Florescentia – Mann Island – Sydney-based Atelier Sisu’s piece comes from the Latin for blossoming, featuring illuminated plants seemingly coming to life which visitors can move around and below.

United by Music – by the Royal Liver Building – United By Music is a bright pink 12-metre round, multi-purpose performance space that pays tribute to the music of Eurovision 2023.

Nova – St Nicholas Church courtyard – The dazzling Nova is like watching a new star be born, with thousands of laser lights forming swirling galaxy patterns and a projection on the ground.

Elysian and Elysian Arcs – Exchange Flags – Atelier Sisu have a giant inflatable artwork to walk around and through, with a soundscape by Liverpool-based award-winning composer John McHugh.

Our Beating Heart – outside the Town Hall – Our Beating Heart by Studio Vertigo takes a classic disco glitter ball and transforms it into a huge heart which slowly rotates in a sparkling light show.

Labyrinth – Derby Square – Labyrinth is a playground made up of different translucent coloured PVC fabric which, alongside a soundscape, lets visitors be completely immersed in layers of colour.

Find out more about River of Light with Visit Liverpool and to download a map HERE.

Get our latest for Liverpool HERE.



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