The Festival

This winter, Amsterdam will light up once again up during Amsterdam Light Festival. This is the third edition of the winter light festival for young and old. For more than fifty days, the historical center of Amsterdam will be the unique d├ęcor for this international festival.

Boat and Walking Route
The city will be complemented by light sculptures, projections and installations by contemporary (inter)national artists. The boat route, Water Colors, will take visitors past artworks along Amsterdam’s canals and the Amstel. The walking route, Illuminade, winds through the city center. During the festival, light will play a central role in the city as museums and institutions organize light-related activities, introducing visitors to innovations in light art. 

The theme for this year’s festival, ‘A Bright City’, challenges artists to create a tribute to life the city. The resulting artworks present a unique take on the modern city of Amsterdam.

Dates
The third edition of the festival will take place from 27 November 2014 to 18 January 2015. The boat route, Water Colors, will take place from 27 November 2014 to 18 January 2015, and the walking route, Illuminade, from 11 December 2014 to 4 January 2015.

The Amsterdam Light Festival is the result of a joint venture between the cultural institutions, the municipality, knowledge institutes and businesses in Amsterdam.  It is unprecedented that so many parties of all sorts have made such a huge joint effort to make this festival happen and to reinforce the qualities of Amsterdam. The festival was established thanks to a unique funding. Many parties have sponsored the Amsterdam Light Festival (which has been granted the ANBI status) through funds or in kind. Crowd funding has also played a significant role, hotels and restaurants donate a portion of their income! Partners from all kinds of industries have put the focus on Light through their winter program. Many, many volunteers work selflessly and with great enthusiasm on the first edition of the festival.

Thanks to the festival, the city of Amsterdam is enriched and illuminated with art that changes public space during the darkest time of the year, art to which the spectator will have a surprised, enthusiastic or playful response.

History
When Henk Jan Buchel and Vincent Horbach organized the first canal parade, Christmas Eve 2009, they knew that light could be a fairytale in the wintery scene of Amsterdam.

In 2010, Felix Guttmann continued to build in this initiative, together with them. In 2010, Felix Guttmann continued to build in this initiative, together with them He chose a light image that would enrich the city for a longer period of time, without causing nuisance, and that would to optimal justice to the cultural heritage of Amsterdam. Therefore, he asked Rogier van der Heiden, internationally famous light designer and chief design officer at Philips Lighting, to put the Magere Brug in a special light for a couple of weeks, as an icon. That year, Wim Dröge signed on as producer for the second Parade, named Winter Magic Amsterdam. The play of light and water is so enchanting, that it was nothing but logical to allow the light at to grow. And that is why in 2012, the first Amsterdam Light Festival is organized, a light spectacle for the people of Amsterdam and visitors. The historic city center is the cozy décor for a light festival for a period of 40 winter days, a festival that demonstrates the grandeur, charm, vitality and humanity of the city, with light and water as connecting elements.

Light festivals are flourishing, not just in Amsterdam, but everywhere around the world. They add more meaning to the public area, demonstrate culture and the beauty of simplicity and they bring people together. Whether it is in Singapore, Lyon, Eindhoven or Sydney: the light festivals turn the public area into a true event, and inspire residents, tourists, professionals and those interested in viewing and discussing light art together.

The festival is also extremely aware of sustainability. Light design is high-tech, interactive and SMART. The lighting industry is undergoing a radical LED revolution, in which countless innovations and dramatic energy savings will be realized in the years to come. Dutch companies are leading in this revolution. Amsterdam Light Festival makes these changes visible.

Experience and Enjoy! The Amsterdam Light Festival wishes everyone an Illuminated Amsterdam!

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