When winter comes and days become shorter, darker and colder, a little bit of light on the streets can make a huge difference, bringing more color, joy and smiles to people’s lives. That is why our team loves Amsterdam Light Festival so much! And we’re sure we aren’t alone in this.
Let’s talk about the new, fifth, edition of the festival and find out what this year has to offer.
Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual art and light festival that’s held in the Dutch capital for a couple of weeks in winter.
The event originated from the idea to offer both Amsterdammers and city guests more positivity during wintertime, as well as provide modern light artists with a unique and spacious open-air stage for creativity.
Due to a collaboration between the municipality, multiple cultural organizations and various businesses, the idea came to life in 2012. The festival won people’s love immediately and has been held ever since, with the number of guests increasing year after year.
In 2013, Amsterdam Light Festival attracted about 375,000 visitors. In 2014, the number grew up to 570,000. Last year, it reached the point of 870,000 guests.
The artworks for the festival are selected from a huge number of concepts offered by artists from around the world. After the Call for Concepts determines artists to contribute to the festival, those are invited to Amsterdam where a proficient technical team helps in bringing their concepts to life.
This year, more than 1800 artists representing 93 countries showed interest in the festival.
The artworks are going to be displayed all over the old part of the city, forming two different routes to follow: Water Colors and Illuminade.
Water Colors is the part that uses Amsterdam canals as a stage to get the most out of light art. Mirrored in the water, the artworks become even brighter, more colorful and vivid. Together with the Christmas decorations, they create such a magic atmosphere that it’s impossible not to fall in love with the city!
The best way to explore Water Colors is from the water, of course. Various companies offer their boat tours to cover the Water Colors route. Those include Amsterdam’s Canal Company, Gray Line, Lovers, Blue Boat and some others. Most of the tours depart from the Central Station.
The second route, Illuminade, provides a possibility to enjoy the festival on foot and starts at Amstel 3, which is a twenty-minute walk from Amsterdam’s Central Station. Visit the official website of Amsterdam Light Festival to find out how to get there.
Each year, Amsterdam Light Festival has a unique theme that every artwork should represent. For the fifth edition of the festival, two themes have been selected.
The first one is A View on Amsterdam, and it’s been approved for the festival’s boat route. Interpreting the theme in their own ways, artists will present unique and fresh views on the city, its architecture, history, culture and role in the world.
The second theme, selected for the Illumination route, is Biomimicry. The walking part of the festival will be dedicated to nature-inspired solution created for solving complex human problems. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? We are looking forward to seeing what artists can create!
The fifth edition of Amsterdam Light Festival is planned for December 1, 2016 – January 22, 2017.
Note that each of the festival’s routes is going to have different opening days and times:
The artworks can be found in various locations around the city. Stay tuned with the festival’s official website as they are going to share the list and map of specific locations very soon!
Experience the Light Festival yourself and enjoy a 75 minute cruise with audio guide. Get your tickets here.