‘Floating Earth’ to remain deflated and temporarily closed at Salford Quays due to bad weather

"Due to unexpected weather conditions, we've had to remove power to Floating Earth and close it temporarily."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th December 2021

It’s been confirmed that the ‘Floating Earth’ art installation will remain closed temporarily at Salford Quays.

The art installation first arrived in Salford last Thursday evening following its stint at Pennington Flash Nature Reserve in Wigan and quickly began to drawn in visitors from far and wide – but shortly after its arrival, and after the classic Manchester bad weather took a turn for worse, eyewitnesses and festival-goers noticed that it started to deflate and sink into the canal.

Plenty of people took to Twitter to share pictures of the unfortunate event, and then Quays Culture – the organisers of the annual Lightwaves Festival – announced that the installation would be closed temporarily.

“Due to unexpected weather conditions here at The Quays, we’ve had to remove power to Floating Earth and close it temporarily,” Quays Culture said on Twitter at the time.

“We’re really sorry for any disappointment.”


A follow-up statement from the arts organisation later in the day on Saturday then revealed the decision to temporarily close the entire Lightwaves festival to the public, adding that: “The safety of our staff and visitors is paramount.

“We want you to have the best experience when you visit.”


Lightwaves 2021 eventually reopened yesterday, but Quays Culture confirmed that ‘Floating Earth’ would remain closed for the time being.

“Due to strong winds forecast in the coming days, we have no choice but to keep Floating Earth temporarily closed but we hope to reopen it later this week [so] check back for updates [and in the] meantime, come and enjoy all the other artworks.”

The temporary closure of ‘Floating Earth’ at Salford Quays comes after its stay at Pennington Flash was also cut short for the same reason. It was due to remain on the lake for 10 days, but Wigan Council confirmed that it has unfortunately been deflated three days early due to forecasted stormy weather.


If you’re not sure what ‘Floating Earth’ is, the captivating installation is the work of internationally-acclaimed artist Luke Jerram.

Measuring a whopping 10-metres in diameter and featuring high-tech NASA imagery, as well as a surround-sound musical track by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones, Floating Earth’s appearance at Lightwaves 2021 is designed to “question our relationship with our planet”.

Jerram says he has created this brand-new work to give visitors a “profound understanding of the interconnection of all life”, and a “renewed sense of responsibility” for taking care of the environment.

Lightwaves 2021 is featuring the event’s “most ambitious line-up to date”

Alongside ‘Floating Earth’, 11 other light installations will also be making appearances, including Cygnus by Loomaland – a mesmerising water ballet featuring 12 perfectly synchronised, glowing robot swans – and Sirens by Davy and Kristin McGuire – an installation that uses holographic projections to transform public waterways into mythical underwater worlds inhabited by supernatural sea creatures and mysterious mermaids.

Featured Image – The Manc Group