Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.
Every three years, for five days, the city turns into the scene for local and international light artists. They turn windows into displays and walls into screens for enchanting projections. They decorate the sights and monuments of Ghent and construct a new look for the city.
From 7 p.m. until midnight, Ghent changes its appearance. Up to 50 different installations, sculptures, and performances based on light are scattered around the city. You would need to walk 5 km through the centre to pass by all the installations. Don't miss the parks and sights such as St. Peter’s Square, Saint James’ Church, Portus Ganda and the Baudelohof. It is also possible to take a guided tour, in order not to miss anything stunning.
Ghent is an excellent backdrop for this event. The first edition of the festival was organised in 2011 and was focused only on the historical parts of the city. Every new edition shows that the event has evolved. As of today, the festival has expanded further and covers not only the city centre but also the industrial districts.
The festival is not unique in the world. Similar events can be observed in Berlin, Amsterdam, Istanbul, and many other cities worldwide. Nevertheless, Ghent keeps on attracting more and more visitors. In comparison to the first edition that attracted around 200,000 spectators, the attendance grew to over 600,000 people in 2015. The event is not annual, so it is important to keep an eye on the schedule.