Press Release - Ghent Light Festival

Five days of Wonder at the Ghent Light Festival 31 January - 4 January 2018

Ghent Light Festival looks set the illuminate the city from Wednesday 31 January to Sunday 4 February 2018. This year's festival will last one day longer than before and will also create adifferent route featuring various light sculptures, spectacular projections and intimate installations by local, national and international artists. The festival also offers a platform for emerging talent.

One day longer, different starting time
In 2015, the Light Festival attracted no less than 640,000 visitors to the city centre, compared to the 500,000 that were seen in the 2012 Festival. The 2018 version of the festival will last one day longer accommodate its increasing popularity.Furthermore, its starting time has also been changed: the Light Festival will now start at 7 pm (instead of 6
pm) to ensure that local residents are able to get home easily and without difficulty. It is hoped that this will also make the festival more accessible to visitors. The Light Festival will only start at 6 pm on the Sunday,to ensure a more family friendly audience.

A new, longer route
The new route will create a path through the arts quarter with its many university buildings and via the beautiful architecture of the city's historic centre .The route will also include a route which highlights Ghent's industrial past, so the route will run  via Sint-Pietersplein to the MIAT and the Zonder-Naampark. There is no start or end point, enabling visitors to start or finish anywhere. However, walking in the suggested direction will definately ensure a smoother flow.

Sculptures, projections and installations
The city will feature various light sculptures, spectacular projections and installations by contemporary national and international light artists. Small, intimate works alternate with large, dazzling light sculptures and projections. There will also be a focus on technological and scientific aspects of light. Ghent University is creating an interactive route with hands-on light installations there. Along the walking route, light artists will be pulling out all the  stops to enchant the public with their light creations. 

Culture, Tourism and Events, Alderwoman, Annelies Storms says  “Once again, this year's Light Festival promises to be a dazzling event  In the darkest days of the year, the Light Festival brings huge numbers of people out onto the streets to enjoy both large, spectacular works and small, intimate creations by local and international light artists.The aim of the Light Festival is to astonish and touch people through art.” 

The free festival offers an unforgettable light show including 39 pieces of light art. The festival provides a platform for local talent: 22 artists come from Belgium, with no less than 17 from Ghent itself. It also features 15 international artists. Our neighbouring countries are well represented: 5 artists come from France, 3 from the Netherlands, 2 from Germany and another 2 from the UK. In addition, the US, Estonia and Hungary have each contributed one light artist.

Prepare for imaginative light installations, astonishing projections and surprising discoveries.

Lighting Plan

The city of Ghent also has a lighting plan. The lighting plan enhances the appearance of Ghent by night, reducing light pollution and simultaneously decreasing the amount of energy consumed by the city's public lighting (by at least 20% by the year 2020). The illuminated buildings, monuments and streets can also be admired during the light festival. The walking tour  shows off the city's lighting plan on any day of the year. 


The City of Ghent has organisied the  Light Festival Ghent with its official partners Ghent Port Authority, Ghent University and Eandis.

Practical details

From 7 pm until midnight, from Wednesday 31 January 2017 until Saturday 3 February 2018,
and from 6 pm until midnight on Sunday 4 February 2018.
The Light Festival route runs through the city centre, from the Baudelohof to Sint-Pietersplein. The route is 6.6 km long. There is no start or end point however, it is advisable to walk in the right direction. There are four
information points along the route to pick up a map.

All the artworks can be visited free of charge.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: For handy route planners, visit or
BICYCLE: Plan the easiest route on Plenty of bicycle parking
spaces are available.
CAR: Choose one of the many park-and-rides.

During the Light Festival, Gentinfo will be open from 8 am until midnight.
09 210 10 10 -

City of Ghent - Events, Festivals, Markets and Fairs Department, Department of Culture, Sport and Leisure

Ms Annelies Storms
Alderwoman for Culture, Tourism and Events
Tel. 09 266 51 45

Mr Daniël Termont
Tel. 09 266 50 00, fax 09 266 50 19

Mr Filip Watteeuw
Alderman for Mobility and Public Works
Tel. 09 266 50 97
Stadhuis, Botermarkt 1, 9000 Gent

For more press information, interviews or image material
Sandra Plasschaert – Cats Communication – 0479/35 10 39 –