The first Light Up Festival is coming to Poole, and will show the town in a completely new light. After dark on Thursday, February 15 until Saturday, February 17, Poole will be transformed using light art.

Light Up Poole will take place across the town centre which will be divided into 11 zones, including the High Street, Falkland Square and Town Quay, to showcase a series of light and digital art installations designed to inspire, delight and enchant locals and visitors alike. International and local artists, many working in collaboration with Dorset schools and arts organisations, will be exhibiting their work in a celebration of Poole’s cultural diversity, heritage and stunning location.

Libby Battaglia, creative director of Audacious, commented: “We’ve chosen the theme of identity and challenged digital artists, architects and lighting designers to consider the town as their main inspiration.

“Light Up Poole will show how something as simple as light can completely transform a place you think you know. It’s a great opportunity for the people of Poole to really celebrate our growing reputation as a destination for artistic excellence, cultural learning and innovative collaborations between business and the arts.”

The Squirrel, installation by Sober Industries - photo credit Joel Fildes

The Squirrel, installation by Sober Industries – photo credit Joel Fildes

A key element of the event is the emphasis on creating new learning opportunities and workshops. Highlights of the programme include:

:: Submergence – an immersive, responsive, walk-through experience created by Squidsoup, the international group of artists, researchers, technologists and designers. It uses more than 50,000 individual points of controlled light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.

:: The Squirrel – a digital art installation by Sober Industries to highlight the extinction plight of Brownsea Island’s famous resident colony of red squirrels. The piece was commissioned by Quays Culture as a part of the Unnatural Borders art event exploring the interaction between mankind and the animal world.

:: Sounds of Poole – SoundStorm, Bournemouth and Poole’s music education hub, will work with pupils from Poole schools to record sounds of the town to be incorporated into a soundscape album, which will be played at the Fish Shambles, Town Quay, during the festival.

:: Poets and filmmakers are invited to enter the Film Poetry competition, first prize is £500 and all shortlisted films will be projected on the wall of Poole Museum.

The festival will also provide Poole with a look at different art forms such as projection mapping and bombing. Bournemouth University alumnus Ashley Wilkie employs spatial augmented reality technology to turn buildings, objects and landscapes into display surfaces for digital art.

This is the first in a number of events planned for 2018 to celebrate the 40th birthday of The Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts.

Light Up Poole is presented by community interest company Audacious with the support of lead partners and sponsors Poole BID and Arts Council England, and in partnership with The Lighthouse and Bournemouth University, as well as Poole Borough Council, SoundStorm and ArtfulScribe.

For further information about the Light Up Poole event and to see a full list of entertainment visit: or follow Poole BID on social media for updates.