Durham's Lumiere expecting one millionth visitor in 10th anniversary year

Picture c/o Durham County CouncilPicture c/o Durham County Council
Picture c/o Durham County Council
Durham is expected to host its one millionth visitor to the Lumiere festival when it returns to the city in November.

The four-night event is gearing up to celebrate 10 years since it first appeared, with a host of blasts from the past expected to feature.

It will mark the sixth time the attraction has set up on the world heritage site’s streets and will include works from artists based in Canada, Japan and New Zealand, as well as home-grown talent.

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“This year’s programme was unveiled last week and it’s the biggest yet, with 37 installations, including 10 favourites from previous years as well as a programme of new artworks,” said Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council.

“I also want to stress the importance of Lumiere for the county.

“Over the years it has established a reputation and images of Durham are beamed across the world to people who might not have heard of us – people literally see Durham in a new light.

“And it has helped put us on the map as a culturally vibrant place to live and work.

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“Over the last 10 years there has been over 840,000 visitors to Lumiere and in 2019 we look forward to welcoming our millionth visitor.”

Coun Henig was speaking at a meeting of the county council and he added more than 10,000 people had benefited from community projects associated with Lumiere.

The 10th anniversary of Lumiere coincides with the council’s ‘Year of Culture’, which has included the 28th edition of the Durham Book Festival and is expected to see the long-awaited reopening of Auckland Castle in November.

Although the event will be free to enter, as in previous years tickets will be needed to enter parts of the city during the event.

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Coun Henig said this was ‘to ensure everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable visit’.

Of the 37 installations, 26 will accessible without a ticket at all times, tickets, which are free to book, will only be needed at peak times.