Festival of Lights in Berlin

During the Festival of Lights, light art and video installations are projected onto the sights of Berlin.

When darkness falls, Berlin begins to light up: with some spectacular light art shows, the 12th Festival of Lights will be projecting video and 3D art onto the sights of Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate, TV tower, Humboldt-Universität, Potsdamer Platz, Nikolaiviertel and many other buildings will be used as projection surfaces every evening from 7 to 16 October 2016, putting them into different contexts.

The illusion of an Elbe wetlands scene

Berlin-based designer Guido Maria Kretschmer for example has created motifs that will be projected onto the Berlin Stadthaus (the Old City Hall), situated directly behind the Rotes Rathaus (the Red Town Hall). For the first time, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas’ Church) will be presented in a completely new light by the artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid. The facade of the Marstall (the royal stables) on the banks of the river Spree will also show a very special video projection: on it, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) will be creating the illusion of a genuine Elbe wetlands scene, complete with plants and animals.

The motto of this year’s festival is “Connecting Cultures”. “Our aim is to establish intercultural connections”, says festival director Birgit Zander. “With the general public, in the local districts of Berlin and between the various cultures themselves – with numerous intercultural and international projects.”

Interactive light installations

The “We love Berlin” project allows fans to become part of the festival themselves: photos and Berlin motifs that they send in will be projected onto the TV tower. Meanwhile, “Kiez im Licht” (i.e. local neighbourhood in light) will be staging installations in the districts of Lichtenberg (Lichtenberg Town Hall), Tempelhof (Berliner Union Film), Kreuzberg (electricity substation and German Patent and Trademark Office) and Reinickendorf. In Reinickendorf’s Märkisches Viertel area there will be large-screen projections, an interactive light carpet and a light installation that visitors can take part in – by painting glass slides that will then be projected onto the facade of a building.

The 2017 Reformation Summer will also feature at the Festival of Lights. A motif celebrating “Luther 2017 – 500 Years of Reformation” with images of pioneering reformers and flying doves will be shown on Berlin Cathedral. A dove heralded the end of the great flood in the story of Noah, and symbolises the spirit of God at the baptism of Jesus. Doves are also a symbol of peace around the world.

Festival of Lights from 7 to 16 October 2016 in Berlin