The Lightwaves festival is returning for 10 days to Salford Quays this December.

The free, interactive light festival will showcase a variety of digital installations from local, national and international artists from 7th December to 16th December.


The iconic Squirrel sculpture will come to life as the sun sets by using projection mapping technology, creating a beautiful visual display.

The sculpture will be one of 19 light displays and art installations to discover around the Quays and MediaCityUK.

A free mobile phone app will be available on Android and IOS for this year’s event to help visitors navigate their way around the attractions, created by the makers of the Bee in the City app.

Alongside The Squirrel will be Spectrum, made by HUB Studio – an interactive installation that is activated by audience voices to illuminate the chain of circular lights.

Organisers of the festival, Quays Culture, are working with Blackpool Illuminations again to display the much-loved seaside lights. They will feature the popular Daleks and Tardis from Doctor Who and an interactive surfboard.


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As part of this year’s #Lightwaves2018 we cannot wait to see the return of @illuminations2016 – The Daleks and Tardis!!

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The Youth Culture art display will also appear this year, which is commisioned by Quays Culture for 2018.

It is created by internationally-renowned London artist Stanza – a towering hooded youth sculpture made up of LED lights, ultrasound sensors and small screens that react and illuminate as people approach it.

Artworks are exhibited daily from 4PM – 10:30PM and there will be free public tours of the artwork running from the Lowry Plaza on:

  • Saturday 8th December at 4PM
  • Sunday 9th December at 4PM
  • Saturday 15th December at 4PM
  • Sunday 16th December at 4PM

The celebratory launch weekend will feature a public performance by Manchester Survivors Choir at 7pm on Friday 7th December. There will also be interactive workshops and talks throughout the opening weekend.

For more details visit Quays Culture or download the Lightwaves free leaflet and map.

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