A spectacular two-day light extravaganza, with a 12-storey-high interactive installation, is set to illuminate Medway’s naval town of Chatham.
Drawing on the success of the first Medway Light Nights, which attracted more than 60,000 people to historic Rochester in 2022, the free festival will return to Medway’s Chatham city centre in February 2023 and is anticipated to be an even bigger, better and brighter light display.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to save the date in their diaries as a reminder not to miss out on seeing a number of creative displays which will illuminate Chatham High Street on Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February 2023.
At one end of Chatham High Street, overlooking the River Medway, is Mountbatten House. The former office block, which towers above the town centre with an iconic wall of windows, will be transformed into a video screen creating an animation using inclusive symbols with an accompanying soundtrack. The commission, Pixels by Lucid Creates, is anticipated to wow the crowds as part of the finale of a lantern procession transforming the major landmark in Medway’s city centre.
At the other end of Chatham High Street to Mountbatten House, visitors will be taken on a journey through Medway and will be able to explore the enchanted river that made Chatham great. The Magical Medway at Nucleus Arts is an immersive experience of lights, sounds, theatre and surprise as visitors walk through the gardens of Nucleus Arts, transformed into magical playground of nautical fun.
Each display follows the theme Love Chatham and will be playful and accessible installations celebrating the landscape and local stories. Chatham has a strong, growing creative community and Medway Light Nights 2023 will highlight the town’s historical and current relationship with artists. The commissions will reflect the area’s rich history, diverse culture and ambitious future of Chatham.
Other confirmed commissions at this time include:
• Impossible Arts, with Lightweight
• Dream Safari, title to be announced
• Circadian, Heart Beats
• Howard Griffin, Moving the Immovable: Electric Chatham
• Colour Foundry, Patchwork Habitats
• Circo Rum Baba, Light Ship
• Bureau of Silly Ideas presenting a SuperFiction
• Emergency Exit Arts, Fire Laboratory
More information on the unique light displays will be released in the lead-up to Medway Light Nights 2023.
Medway Light Nights, a Medway Council event produced by Emergency Exit Arts and supported by Arts Council England. This fantastic family-friendly two-day spectacular event builds on Medway’s aspiration to provide even more child-friendly opportunities for children and young people, and will provide an opportunity for that perfect Instagram moment.
Chatham is easily accessible with its own railway station with high-speed connections into London, bus station and is close to major motorways.
Paul Cowell, Head of Culture and Libraries for Medway Council, said: “Medway Light Nights is a true celebration of Medway’s superb, diverse and innovative creatives. We are working with Emergency Exit Arts to deliver an even bigger and brighter festival.
“Medway Light Nights also supports Medway’s cultural strategy, delivered by Creative Medway, and aims for the area to be internationally recognised for its creativity and culture by 2030. The inaugural Medway Light Nights received glowing feedback and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to Medway’s city centre in February for another spectacular event.”
Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Emergency Exit Arts, said: “Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) can't wait to bring Medway Light Nights to Chatham. We have spent the last six months working out which fantastic commissions will work in which places in Chatham. We've got some amazing, playful pieces which we're sure residents and visitors will love. Please pop the dates in your diary; invite friends and family to come experience an amazing free light festival that will transform Chatham this February.”
Lantern procession to launch Medway Light Nights
The event will be launched on the Friday with a lantern procession, organised by Ideas Test, Cohesion Plus and Intra Arts, with hundreds of school children further lighting up Chatham town centre.
To find out more, visit: visitmedway.org/lightnights
Or look out for #MedwayLightNights and #LoveChatham on social media.