The details of the huge outdoor light show in Greater Manchester have been revealed as Lightwaves Festival prepares for its ninth year.
Installations this winter will include a huge, glowing slinky tumbling off the landmarks in Salford Quays, as well as fire sculptures, a giant heart-shaped glitterball, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
Lightwaves will take place across MediaCity and Salford Quays, transforming the waterways and spaces with dramatic light artworks.
The completely free event will take place this week and showcase both local and national artists.
The headline installation is audio-visual Navvies by Matthew Rosier, presented on the actual water and accompanied by an orchestral composition.
Visitors will also be able to ‘walk’ through the waters of a digital river that will flow over the bridge, created by Manchester studio idontloveyouanymore, with the virtual water reacting to the movement of people.
The giant neon slinky (called End Over End) comes from Studio Vertigo, who will also create Our Beating Heart, a heart-shaped mirror ball made with more than 11,000 tiles that will slowly rotate.
Garden of the Deep, by Diane Watson, will turn single-use plastic bottles into 1000 flowers, made with the help of local schools and community groups.
Local legends Walk the Plank will be back again with Roost, creating nature-based fire sculptures in the MediaCity garden.
Lightstream by Flora Litchfield is going to use sound and colour to draw focus to water’s energy, and MicroCosmic by Paul Miller (a collaboration with the University of Salford) is an installation of video, sound and projection-mapped sculpture.
Anne Bennett’s Butter Cluster will create a flock (or technically, a kaleidoscope) of butterflies in the night sky above your heads.
There’ll be retro-futuristic design with Normal, an ‘interactive light and sound installation with attitude’ by Monomatic.
And now, the city has been praised for the inspiration it has to offer.
We all know the UK is a melting pot of culture, and is a country brimming with creativity, arts, and innovation, but have you ever stopped to think about which UK cities would be considered as the most inspiring for creatives?
Well, the team over at printing experts Aura Print were pretty intrigued by it, and so decided to do a bit of research in a bid to come up with a top 10 list.
They considered a wide range of factors in the process that has seen Manchester come out on top – with some of the factors including the number and density of art galleries and museums, theatres, comedy clubs, right through to the street art scene, the availability of creative job opportunities, and the number of art and design universities.
Based on all of these factors, each city was given an ‘inspirational score’ out of 10 to help create the final rankings.
Top 10 Most Inspiring Cities in the UK
Manchester – 8.33/10
Brighton and Hove – 7.69/10
Bristol – 7/10
London – 6.94/10
Edinburgh – 6.60/10
Leeds – 6.55/10
Liverpool – 6.45/10
Glasgow – 5.71/10
Newcastle – 5.57/10
Belfast – 5.52/10
Manchester earned an impressive 8.33/10 for its inspirational score, thanks to having the highest number of comedy clubs outside London, a bustling street art scene, over 13 billion admiring the city on TikTok, and even being called a “must-visit for theatre aficionados” due to being home to the UK’s biggest theatre in the round in the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Brighton and Hove takes the second spot on the list just behind Manchester, with Bristol, London, and Edinburgh all following close behind to round out the top five.
Other fellow northern cities on the list include Leeds in sixth place, as well as Liverpool in seventh, and Newcastle in ninth.
Featured Image – Marketing Manchester
Art & Culture
Disney’s smash-hit musical Aladdin is coming to Manchester on its first UK tour
Disney’s smash-hit musical Aladdin is heading out on its first UK tour later this year, and the magic carpet will be landing here in Manchester.
Based on the beloved 1992 animated film of the same name, and following several critically-acclaimed and sold-out runs on both Broadway and in London’s West End since it first debuted back in 2011, it’s now been announced that Disney’s Tony and Olivier Award-nominated musical, Aladdin, is to tour the UK and Ireland for the first time ever.
The massive musical will take to the stage at some of the country’s best-loved theatres – with the tour set to kick off in Edinburgh in just a few weeks time.
Liverpool, Bradford, and Sunderland are just a handful of the other Northern locations the show will be stopping off at in 2024, as well as here in Manchester, while Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham, and Bristol are also set to see the magic live on stage – with several other major UK cities named on the lineup too.
Aladdin will be taking over Manchester’s Palace Theatre for an extended run from Wednesday 22 May to Sunday 7 July 2024.
The UK and Ireland tour of Disney’s Aladdin will star Yeukayi Ushe as Genie, and introduce Gavin Adams as Aladdin, while Desmonda Cathabel will play Jasmine when the show opens in Edinburgh – with casting for the role in future venues to be announced soon.
They’ll be joined by Adam Strong as Jafar, Jo Servi as Sultan, Angelo Paragoso as Iago, Nay-Nay as Babkak, Adam Taylor as Omar, and Nelson Bettencourt as Kassim.
The show features all the timeless songs we know and love from the film.
It also features new music by Tony, Olivier, Grammy, and eight-time Acadamy Award winner Alan Menken, and lyrics by the equally-decorated trio of Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin, while the production and is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw.
Tickets to Disney’s Aladdin at Manchester Palace Theatre are set to go on general sale on Friday 27 October, with prices ranging from £20 up to £150 and expected to be snapped up fast.