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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

BD is LIT 2023: Bradford’s illuminating Festival of Light set to return to dazzle the city

Bradford’s festival of light, the bi-annual BD is lit has announced its return to the city in October and November.

The bi-annual light programme, will see a festive weekend in the City Centre on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November 2023. Apart from this 10 new light commissions will premier this year with the full programme revealed in October.

BD is Lit festival
Image: Bradford Council

For this year’s event, Bradford Council, Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture, The Leap and Science and Media Museum have come together to commission a range of local and national artists to create new, joyous and striking light art works that will illuminate Bradford.

Ten new commissions will premier this year, shining a light on topics such as sustainability and celebrating local heritage. The full programme will be revealed in October.

Here’s what you can expect during the festive month of October in Bradford

  • Local artist Letty McHugh creates Joy in Unexpected Places in Keighley, bringing beautifully designed and crafted neon installations to often overlooked and unexpected buildings across Keighley.
  • The Bekun by Fayakunu will pop up in the mirror pool over the weekend of 3 November 2023, as artist Kasim Tariq works with a range of local artisans to create a reconstruction of the Lister Mills Chimney.
  • Summat Creatives Speed of Light pulls together a team of inclusive artists and cyclists to bring to life an empty shop unit in Shipley that’s pulls power from your energy pledges for a sustainable future.
  • The return of South Square Arts Centre annual Winter Windows programme will bring festive joy to windows across Thornton throughout November.
  • Walk this way is a light and music installation created as a site-specific piece over Shipley Market, led by Dr Rob Eagle.
  • Window Vipers is a unique installation that will turn the windows of a city centre building into the Nokia classic game SNAKE, for audience to play over the weekend of 3 November.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby. Image Braford City Council

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for People and Places said: ‘We’re delighted that BD is LIT is back for its second iteration. It’s such a good alternative to Bonfire Night and with its multi-sensory offering – it is an opportunity to bring people together across the district, celebrate our spaces and shine a light on some of our unexpected places.”

Over the coming weeks, BD is LIT will be revealing the City Centre Festival programme for Friday 3 and Saturday 4 November and announcing further details on the district wide programme dates and timings. They are promising another extravaganza of light, joy and family fun, offering a perfect alternative to Bonfire Night.

This year’s BD is LIT programme is the first since Bradford won UK City of Culture 2025, with the Bradford 2025 team collaborating on the event.

Shanaz Gulzar, Creative Director at Bradford 2025 said: “With autumn nights bringing darker evenings, BD is LIT allows us to explore our city and district in a new light. There are some incredibly exciting commissions this year that seek to surprise and delight residents while recognising the diversity and history of our city. It’s time to put the dates in your diary and start thinking about how you can experience all the great things that will appear across the district.”

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