Lighting up Lancaster’s landmarks

The Lune Aqueduct
The Lune Aqueduct

The spotlight will be on Lancaster’s historic Lune Aqueduct for two evenings this month as artists take over the city landmark.

As part of the four day Light Up Lancaster festival, Light Up The Waterways will focus on the Aqueduct on October 29 and 30.

An aerial artist, wandering magicians, dancers, musicians and stiltwalkers will perform against the backdrop of the 18th century Grade 1 listed landmark three times each night.

Produced by The Dukes who presented last year’s Phoenix From The Ashes event on Lancaster Canal, Light Up The Waterways is a celebration of the Aqueduct’s recent restoration.

Performances at 7.15pm, 8pm and 8.45pm are free but places are limited and must be booked in advance by ringing 01524 598500 or

The event should be accessed from the city centre via the riverside cycle and pathway where the audience will be met by stewards and issued with tickets.

They will be directed to several performance areas near the Aqueduct featuring fire poi artists, acoustic musicians, magicians and a DJ. There will also be talks on the canal’s wildlife.

A wicker and willow canal barge created by local community groups will be illuminated and on display at the foot of the Aqueduct.

The culmination of the event will be the illumination of the Aqueduct by The Dukes technical team and a performance by a community company of a specially composed song inspired by the local charity Unique Kidz and Co. Anyone wishing to join the community company should contact Jay Walton on 01524 598522.

An aerial artist, suspended from the Aqueduct, will then perform the finale of the 45-minute event.

The Light Up Lancaster festival also includes Light Up The Streets on November 1 and culminates with Light Up The Skies on November 2.

Light Up The Streets, one of Lancaster Arts Partners First Friday events, will animate the city’s beautiful buildings and squares with music, dance, theatre and film events. This free event takes place at various city centre locations from 6pm-9.30pm.

Light Up The Skies is the free annual fireworks spectacular organised by Lancaster City Council when fireworks will be launched from the top of Lancaster Castle at 8pm.

Due to the popularity of the event, a free wristband system is in place again this year for the two official viewing areas at Quay Meadow and Giant Axe.

You can still register for up to six wristbands for one of the two venues at Alternatively, telephone 01524 582394. Deadline for registration is midnight on October 20 and they will be issued on a first come, first served basis by post.

Both sites will include refreshments and entertainment and BBC Radio Lancashire will be broadcasting live from Quay Meadow from 7pm with a special programme of co-ordinated music on 104.5FM.

Although the fireworks will be visible from almost anywhere in the city that can see the castle, there are three additional official viewing areas – Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Millennium Bridge, and Williamson Park – which do not require passes.

If you would like to be a volunteer steward for any of the Light Up Lancaster festival events, email Training will be given but previous experience of stewarding and/or a friendly, sensible attitude is sought.

Light Up Lancaster programmes are available online at or from Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres and town halls.