Light Up the North National Conference 18 - 19th October

Hosted by the Lightpool Festival, the Light Up the North Network (LUTN) of leading northern light festivals presents its second national conference in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, 18-19th October 2018.

The conference aims to bring together funders, cultural businesses, artists and producers to explore and debate the creative economy, light art and festivals, alternative forms of finance in the sector and the social and environmental sustainability of our festivals and cities. Using light festivals as case studies, we will share expert insight as to their impact on audiences, local economy and cultural infrastructure development.

The conference will be a marketplace for artists and creative producers engaged with light to meet and share ideas. Through the Thursday and in the morning of the Friday we’ll be hosting structured networking sessions, to make the most out of the time we have together. We are also welcoming representatives from leading European light festivals.

With the Arts & Culture Finance Fair, you will develop an understanding of the possibilities for financing cultural activities beyond grant funding, learning how repayable finance can be used to drive forward creative and cultural ventures, creating ideas for new projects and collaborations.

Thursday 18 October (10am – 5pm)

10am: Registration

11am – 5pm: Conference and Arts & Culture Finance Fair 5pm: Networking reception 7pm: Light Odyssey presented by Lightpool Festival (discounted tickets will be available for participants of the conference)

Friday 19 October (10am – 12pm)

10am: facilitated networking for artists and creative producers interested in light art and festivals 12pm: conference ends

Light Odyssey presented by Lightpool Festival

Thursday 18 October @ 7pm

Following the Conference we would love you to stay with us for the launch event of the Lightpool Festival – Light Odyssey – a once-only performance with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and international teams of animators, bringing the Empress Ballroom to life in jaw-dropping 3D. Tickets for the Light Odyssey can be purchased from the Winter Gardens website (participants attending the conference will be offered reduced entry)

Light Up the North Network (LUTN)
The network is made of seven northern light festivals which have come together to share their collective expertise to support both the development of the partner festivals and the wider sector. Through regional, national and international networking and collaboration LUTN nurtures artistic ambition through artist and producer development, co-commissioning and joint fundraising. The capacity and depth of cultural practice within the network enables LUTN to support emerging artists, explore technical innovations and create aspirational work to deliver a compelling offer for audiences. Supported by Arts Council England.


Nesta is an innovation foundation based in the UK. The organisation acts through a combination of practical programmes, investment, policy and research, and the formation of partnerships to promote innovation across a broad range of sectors.