Thousands of people came to take part in Worcester’s first ever Light Night last night, far exceeding the expectations of the Festival organiser Severn Arts. 

For one-night Worcester’s High Street and Cathedral Square were transformed into a magical, illuminated stage set brought to life with the procession and performances by Cirque Bijou’s Umbrella Project and Spark! Worldbeaters LED drummers, the stunning selection of interactive light installations and walk about artists - Lampshade Ladies (Kitsch n Sync) and TV Heads.

Added to this, responsive work by recent graduate Thomas Brown and University of Worcester Creative Media students were on show in Crowngate and the University’s Art House. 

Amongst the crowds were lots of locals as well as visitors from further afield, all taking in the Festival and making the most of the evening filling up the many bars and restaurants available as well. The see-saws recorded an amazing 34,455 cycles (each cycle is 1 up and 1 down bounce)!

David Edmunds, Festival Director, Severn Arts said: “I am so thrilled with the response and particularly with the number of people interacting and engaging with the Festival.  Everyone has worked so hard to pull it together and it’s brilliant to see the appetite from the public for this kind of event. I’m excited for what we have to come.  I think the fantastic local reaction is a real endorsement for our Festivals going forward.” 

Festival visitor and Worcester resident Jo Oxholm said: “It was fantastic to see the centre of Worcester buzzing with activity and anticipation on a dark January evening. We loved visiting the different installations and really enjoyed the ambient sounds and mellow feel of Halo before the carnival atmosphere of the Spark! Drummers and the beautiful umbrellas lit up the High Street. A great way to start 2020.” 

Business owner Michelle Rasdall, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe said: “It’s been manic. We are so glad we brought extra staff in. There’s been a real buzz with everyone talking about the Festival in the shop. We will stay open as long as people are here.” 

John de la Cour, Chair of Severn Arts Board of Trustees said: “This is the first of the nine festivals Severn Arts is committed to delivering over the course of The Arches - Worcester project. We are delighted with the success of the evening and very proud of the team’s efforts in making it a night to remember. I am confident the next three festivals in 2020 will be equally, if not more ambitious and provide the people of Worcestershire with access to wonderful arts experiences over the course of the year.”  

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: “This an exciting and transformative time for Worcester, as the Cultural Development fund enables The Arches project to get underway.  

“As the first of four new festivals in the city this year, Light Night Worcester was a wonderful example of how culture and creativity can bring visitors, residents and communities together, and we’re proud to support this series of colourful and exciting projects.” 

Light Night Worcester is the first of four new festivals taking place in Worcester’s city centre in 2020.  Atmosphere is the second, taking place on Saturday 25 April, Disrupting the Norm the third, taking place from 6 – 11 July and Worcester’s International Story Festival is the fourth, which will take place in October. For more information visit