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River of Light promises an illuminating November

Liverpool’s annual River of Light event is taking on a different appearance this November.

The Bonfire Night extravaganza, which draws thousands of people to the River Mersey waterfront, included the usual giant firework display by Titanium Fireworks – this year on Sunday, November 3.

The 15-minute display was set off from two barges moored in the river, and to what is being described as “a dynamic soundtrack” featuring some of the year’s most popular artists and songs.

But the festivities is also being spread over the first nine days of November, with 10 new art commissions by leading international light experts taking over key city sites to create a rainbow of colour.

Details have now been revealed and here's what you can expect until November 9.

The artworks are:


If you suffer from arachnophobia - beware!

The waterfront side of the Cunard Building is getting an arachnid makeover as spider-shaped light sculptures run amok on the façade of the Mersey landmark, courtesy of French artists Groupe Laps.

Runs 5-10pm each night.


Located in the courtyard at Liverpool Parish Church, this immersive sound and light journey is made up of more than 200 luminous spheres.

It has been designed by critically acclaimed French arts company Collectif Coin.

Runs 5-10pm each night.


Australian artist Amanda Parer brings her trio of crowd-pleasing, large-scale glowing inflatable rabbits who will make Exchange Flags (behind Liverpool Town Hall) their new home over the next nine days.

Just remember what Lucien said - don't touch me rabbits!

Runs 5-10pm each night.

Run Beyond

A single figure will dominate the skyline of the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool as viewers can track their leap to freedom in a consecutive sequence spanning the bridge between the dock and neighbouring Salthouse Dock.

Created by Italian artist Angelo Bonello, he wants the artwork to represent the leaps we make at points in our lives.

Runs 5-10pm each night.


Taking over Mann Island Atrium, this large, immersive and responsive walkthrough experience uses thousands of individual points of suspended light to transform its environment.

It’s the brainchild of Squidsoup, one of the UK’s leading digital augmentation companies, and runs 5-10pm each night.


A new commission; three large-scale kaleidoscopic images will transform the inner quayside of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, responding to human movement and dance.

Local artist Sam Wiehl is responsible for the hypnotic artwork which runs 5-10pm each night.

Liverpool Jackpot

The Plaza Building on Old Hall Street will become the canvas for a set of neon lights which playfully comment on the city's history and resilience.

Originally commissioned in 2007, the piece has been brought back by Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool BID Company as a signal of Liverpool's future ambitions. Runs from 5-10pm each night.


River of Light will kick-start a brand new, illuminated chapter for the Royal Liver Building on the waterfront as they unveil Flight – a six-minute light show which will be a permanent installation once the festival has finished.

The show will take place every 30 minutes from 5-9.30pm.

Whole Hole

A light portal to another dimension will appear on the wall of Wapping Dock (near the M&S Arena and Convention Centre) created by Dutch artists Vendel & de Wolf. Runs 5-10pm each night.


Taking inspiration from the Cetus constellation, an underwater display in the Mann Island basin will see the area come alive with this multi-sensory artwork created by The Kazimier.

As the sun sets, the water will shimmer and pulsate mimicking the ancient Greek myth of the sea monster Cetus.

Runs 5-10pm each night.

Deputy Mayor and Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Last year we introduced a small number of light installations to the River of Light event, and were overwhelmed by the response.

“Liverpool is a city which loves to push the boundaries when it comes to events, and there is a real appetite for incredible art which makes you look at a space in a whole new light.

“Due to 2018’s success we’re increasing the length of the festival, bringing back the massively popular fireworks display which lights up both sides of the Mersey and introducing a jaw-dropping finale.”

River of Light is free.

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