The extended holidays and sunny weather on the opening weekend helped this year’s Lux Helsinki light festival set a new record for visitor numbers. According to estimates, over 600,000 people visited the festival over the five days of the event.
“The popularity of the festival exceeded all expectations, and the large number of visitors during the first days even caused some congestion. Next year, the potential crowds will be better taken into account when planning the event. It’s hard to imagine that this festival originally started with just a single installation!” says Event Producer Susa Nokelainen.
She is pleased with the way that light art really moves people, also quite literally.
“Visitors to Lux Helsinki walked a total of 1.5 million kilometres along the official route over the five days. That’s 37 times around the globe!”
Broader and more international festival than ever before
Each year, Lux Helsinki presents light art by leading artists from Finland and abroad. This year’s artists represented a total of eight different countries: Turkey, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria.
The team of curators also had international members for the first time this year. Lux Helsinki 2020 was curated by Ilkka Paloniemi together with Christina Dvinge from Denmark and Martin Pošta from the Czech Republic. Christina Dvinge also curated the Reflektor Copenhagen light festival in 2016-2017, while Martin Pošta is curator and festival director of the Signals light art festival in the Czech Republic.
“An international dimension is increasingly important for this growing festival. Dialogue between professionals who organise light festivals and create light art enriches and broadens our understanding of the entire field of light art. This year’s Lux Helsinki hosted guests from ten different European light festivals,” Nokelainen comments.
The festival’s offerings were further expanded by the addition of satellite installations for the second year in a row, extending the festival in terms of both geography and time. This year’s satellite installations were presented at the Cultural Centre Stoa in Itäkeskus, Helsinki Zoo on the island of Korkeasaari, the Torikorttelit historic quarter and Marski by Scandic hotel in the city centre, the administrative buildings in Hakaniemi and Hanaholmen, the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre in Espoo.
“Lux Helsinki these days has much more layers than just the spectacular main route. I am particularly satisfied with how audiences discovered and enjoyed all the satellite installations this year,” says Curator Ilkka Paloniemi.
The Lux Korkeasaari satellite installations at Helsinki Zoo opened on Christmas Day and attracted an estimated 25,000 visitors, raising approximately 15,000 euros towards the protection of snow leopards. The Lux Hanaholmen satellite installations in Espoo continue all the way until 29 February.
Lux Helsinki in facts and figures:
- 1.5 million kilometres walked along the official route
- 24 installations
- 1 000 light sources
- 60 speakers
- 9 video projectors
- 50 tonnes of concrete
- 50 people on the organising team
- 36 wind fans
- 132 cans of spray paint
- 3 trampoline frames (FYR)
- 200 hurricane lamps (FYR)
- 60 km of red string (The Bridge)
- 2 000 litres of Finnish biodiesel refined from roast ham fat
- 1 000 waffles sold
- 8 500 Instagram photos from Lux Helsinki 2020 using the #luxhelsinki hashtag
Main partner: Sun Effects
Partners: SATO, Hanaholmen – Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, Helsinki Zoo, Granlund, Cultural Centre Stoa, YLVA, UNICEF Finland, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Torikorttelit, Bright
Network partners: City, Johan & Nyström, Local Crew, Marski by Scandic, Kaslink Aito
Lux Helsinki is organised by the Helsinki Events Foundation and produced by Susa Nokelainen. Sun Effects Oy is responsible for the event’s artistic and technical design, production and implementation. The festival is curated by Ilkka Paloniemi together with Christina Dvinge (DK) and Martin Pošta (CZ).