What is Copenhagen Light Festival?

About Copenhagen Light Festival

The Copenhagen Light Festival takes place in February in Copenhagen city centre and is mostly free to attend.

The city is quiet, but around the next corner you can hear a crowd talking, wondering, pointing, cheering. You follow the flow through the city to the next square, buy a hot cup of coffee, and the light shows the way.

Light art is extremely expressive, but quiet, leaving a room for meditative experience and common contemplation. Those who have visited a light festival know that light presents the winter night cityscape in surprising ways, exposing and experimenting with
colors, movements, and occasionally in conjunction with sound experiences.

The Copenhagen Light Festival is based on a flourishing and competent light art & design environment with strong traditions, providing space for growth and creating activities that increase the enthusiasm for the city’s space. The festival creates and collects light experiences in urban spaces and unconventional places for a large and wide audience – with an eye for upcoming talents and surprises and at an internationally high level.

The experiences, which are concentrated in the inner city and the harbour, are unique and relevant for culturally interested people as well as children families. Reaching out to both novices and connoisseurs, to citizens and tourists. The festival aims to present the city’s many special places such as parks, squares, facades and yet hidden places new works and installations from both established and upcoming artists. The realization of these visions is ensured through an artistic strategy that highlights international quality and displays the strong Danish lighting culture. Copenhagen Light Festival, a is spacious umbrella that
embraces and accentuates concurrent cultural February events.

What you can experience

The festival exhibits temporary light works and experiences while at the same time paying tribute to the permanent works in Copenhagen.

The festival program can contain: 

      • Beautiful, captivating temporary sculptural elements or staging of urban spaces, historic buildings and the cultural district with lights and colours
      • Artistic lighting experiences
      • Multisensory experiences with light as a main element
      • Dynamic light experiences such as film, moving heads, time pixel mapping
      • Listed activities such as light walks, city cycling or night-running with lights
      • Interactive light experiences where citizens and tourists are involved, staging or managing / contributing themselves
      • The city’s existing light experiences are included and highlighted

Sustainability, Green Mobility, Equality and Diversity are important elements in creative / artistic interaction with the strong Danish traditions and competencies in light (and darkness).

Our creative platform

The passionate and detailed appreciation of light itself In Denmark is strongly influenced by the qualities and shortcomings of Nordic daylight – e.g. the low sun angles, the intense winter darkness and the variations in both daylight colour and magnitude. Especially winter light makes Nordic people remarkably sensitive to getting sufficient light (artificial light as well as daylight), light with a good quality, and light that creates atmosphere.

We want the Copenhagen Light Festival to be based on the traditions of Nordic Lighting Design and art:

      • Respect of and in balance with the darkness
      • Installations that improves life through interaction with human needs, architecture and spaces
      • Optimal balance between function, aesthetics and sustainability
      • Examples of minimalistic beauty and functionality to honour the Scandinavian Design traditions
      • Examples of festive and expressive installations, to the take advantage of a temporary element

Vision and mission

Copenhagen Light Festival exhibits the city in a new way in the quiet and dark winter months in the form of a light festival with both international and local appeal to people of all ages. The Copenhagen Light Festival in founded within Danish qualifications within art, sustainability and lighting culture. The Copenhagen Light Festival brings together all the great forces – light artists and designers, students, organizations and commercial players – around a large non-profit project, that includes and enhances other February events as well.