Organisers of this year’s Lumiere Festival have issued a visitor guide to the spectacular.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the event, which will light up Durham City from November 12-15.
With so many people coming into the city, organisers Artichoke say it’s important that the flow of visitors is carefully managed so everyone has an enjoyable experience.
The 2015 Lumiere visitor plan will continue the crowd management system in the centre of the city, successfully introduced in 2013.
This year’s festival footprint spreads the artworks and the crowds.
More than half the 26 artworks, including some of the most spectacular installations, will be located outside the city centre area, and can be visited without a ticket at any time between 4.30pm and 11pm.
Highlights will include Novak’s projected story, Fool’s Paradise, which will best be viewed from outside the central area and Janet Echelman’s aerial sculpture, 1.26 Durham, which will float over the River Wear.
Ian Bone, Artichoke’s head of production for Lumiere said: “Artichoke has been working closely with Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary to develop this festival plan, based on the success of the measures we put in place in 2013.
“As always, the top priority is the need to manage large numbers safely in the centre of this small city. We are confident that the 2015 plan takes account of the needs of festival visitors, local businesses and residents within this context”.
Terry Collins, corporate director of Neighbourhood Services at Durham County Council, said: “Lumiere is phenomenally popular event and we are proud to be hosting it for the fourth time. Understandably, with tens of thousands of people expected again, a vast amount of planning is undertaken over a long period of time. As a result next month’s festival looks set to be the best yet and every effort has been made to try to ensure everyone has a fantastic festival experience.”
There will be a free ticketing system for the busiest times of the festival for the city centre area only, between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.
Tickets will be available from Thursday and numbers will be limited to six festival tickets per household.
They will be free when collected in person from Gala Theatre and from the Durham County Council Customer Access Points in Chester-le-Street and Seaham.
Tickets are also bookable in advance, online and by phone, through Ticketmaster (£1 booking charge per ticket plus postage. See www.ticketmaster.co.uk/lumiere)
While tickets won’t be needed to enter the central area after 7.30pm, you may still need to queue, as numbers in the central area will still need to be closely controlled.
Residents, businesses and university personnel
If you live or work in the central area, or have to come in to go to lectures and seminars, you will be able to request a Gold Pass so that you can come and go freely. Artichoke is contacting residents and businesses about these arrangements.
Every effort is being made to keep residents and businesses informed about how the festival will affect them and how they can make the most of the event. Further information about road closures and traffic diversions will be sent out to those affected by October 23.
A full list of road closures will be available at www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere closer to the time.
The Park & Ride facilities worked really well in previous events and this year Durham County Council will be extending the existing Park and Ride bus service, and there will be extra Park and Stride facilities. If you can, use these facilities, or take advantage of the additional public transport to get to the festival and leave your car at home. Check up-to-date information at www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere and for real time traffic and travel information follow #lumieredurham on Twitter and Facebook up to and during the event.
For full details of visitor information visit www.lumiere-festival.com.