Record numbers turned out for Durham’s Lumiere festival.
As the lights wereswitched off for another year, it is estimated that 200,000 visitors attended the fourth festival which ran from Thursday to Sunday – an increase on 2013’s 175,000 spectators.
Audiences braved the elements to see 29 extraordinary art installations spread across Durham’s city centre, including ghostly fog along the Wear, 250 locals storming the 50 metre-high arches of Durham Viaduct, and a giant Cloud at Framwellgate Waterside, powered by thousands of bulbs.
On Saturday, Lumiere’s organisers paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, lighting up Durham Cathedral in the Tricolore between shows of The World Machine, which was also projected onto the building.
Coun Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council which commissions the festival produced by Artichoke, said :“Lumiere and Durham have become synonymous – a breathtaking mix of art, science and entertainment – 2015 has been more spectacular than ever. We have seen partners, businesses, residents, visitors and volunteers celebrate together what is possible when light and art collide.
“Thank you to everyone for making Lumiere another huge success and for ignoring the elements.”
However, one installation didn’t manage to withstand the blustery and rainy weather.
Mysticète (the whale) by Top’là Design / Catherine Garret – which was a projection of a whale in the Wear – was pulled on the last night due to rising water levels.
Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke said: “I’m thrilled with the response to this year’s programme. Judging from the reaction of the public on the streets and on social media, people have loved it, and the rain did nothing to dampen spirits.
“I’ve been told of overheard conversations between people deeply engaged in debating art and its extraordinary power to make you think and feel differently.”
“This is why we do the things we do and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that we have succeeded.
“It was such a shame to have had to cancel Mysticète on the final night because of the weather, but I’m glad we managed to get through with just one cancellation.”