Copenhagen launches first edition of CPH Light Festival


The City of Copenhagen has been a member of LUCI since 2014, when it held a « City under Microscope », jointly with the neighbouring City of Albertslund. On 2 February, the Danish capital launched its first large-scale light festival, Copenhagen Light Festival, which runs until 2 March 2018.


For a whole month, the city and its harbour will host some 40 installations. They have been specifically designed for the festival, mostly by Danish artists such as Martin Ersted or Hans E Madsen. The artworks vary in shape, size and duration (from two days to several weeks), but they will all try to shine a new light on the city.

Catja Thystrup, who manages the organisation of the festival, explains:

The idea is definitely not to flood the city in light but to create … new experiences with light through a sensitive interaction with the city spaces and the February darkness.

In a way, Copenhagen has a close relationship with darkness. Indeed, during most of the winter, the sun sets well before 5pm. Moreover, the Danish lighting tradition of « little but good » means that the city is lit with only 43800 light points (20000 of them having recently been replaced by LEDs).

These are the reasons why Anne Bay thinks Copenhagen is a very interesting backdrop for a light festival:

Together with the beautiful old buildings of downtown, darkness creates the ideal setting for experiments, art and experiences of light.

Anne Bay is the Director of the Dansk Center for Lys. A non-profit organisation founded in 1948, it brings together members of the lighting professional community of Denmark. The Center organises events and publishes a magazine, ‘LYS’. This winter, it also acts as the secretariat and main organiser of the Copenhagen Light Festival. Of course, “lys” means light.

The Festival will coincide with a flurry of events happening this season. They all aim to provide Copenhageners with new ways to experience their city in wintertime. Tourists can also enjoy the festival with guided walks and boat trips organised during the whole month.

So, bring your heavy coat and enjoy the light!


More information on the festival: www.copenhagenlightfestival.org and LUCI Light Festival Calendar.


Read for more information on Copenhagen’s lighting strategy: Issue #1 and Issue #5.




Credits: Smoke under Bridge, by Hans E Madsen © DCL
Rådhuspladsen © DCL
CPH Light Festival © DCL





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