Lumiere Festival FAQs

Answers to all your Lumiere questions.

Festival Questions

  • Lumiere is the UK’s largest light festival. Since the first Lumiere in 2009, it has transformed the historic city of Durham every other year with a programme of light installations created by local and international artists who reimagine buildings and public spaces.

  • Lumiere returns to Durham from the 14th-17th November 2019 for a special 10th year anniversary edition. It will take place over four nights, from 4.30-11pm each night.

  • Lumiere is produced by Artichoke, a registered charity and the UK’s largest artistic production company producing work in the public realm. In Durham Lumiere is commissioned by Durham County Council and supported by Arts Council England and a raft of other sponsors and supporters.

  • Lumiere has taken place in Durham every two years since 2009 and has become a biennial highlight in the cultural calendar of the North East, with audiences and artworks growing in number each year.

  • Yes, the event will be completely free for the public to attend. The central Peninsula area will be ticketed between 4.30 and 7.30pm each night. Free tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served basis from Monday 28th October online on Lumiere-festival.com  and in person from 11 venues across Durham County.

  • A dynamic crowd management system is in place in the central Peninsula, which is based on the monitoring density and flow of people. There will be a one-way system operating when audience flow requires it, and at peak times.

    Please follow steward directions at all times. This is for your own safety.

    Please note that because of the one-way system, you will have to visit the installations in this area in a specific order. If you wish to start with the installations in Market Place, you should use the Claypath or Framwellgate Bridge entrances to the central Peninsula area. #lumieredurham

    Please note, we expect this area to be very popular and there may be longer queuing times into the central Peninsula area from the Claypath and Framwellgate entrance.

    If you enter the central Peninsula area via the Elvet Bridge entrance, please note that there will be no right turn from Elvet Bridge. You will need to turn left towards the Cathedral and follow this festival route through the Peninsula area, across Prebends Bridge and either exit via South Road or continue along the riverside to Framwelgate Bridge.

  • A dynamic crowd management system is in place in the central Peninsula, which is based on the monitoring density and flow of people. There will be a one-way system operating when audience flow requires it, and at peak times.

    Please follow steward directions at all times. This is for your own safety.

    Please note that because of the one-way system, you will have to visit the installations in this area in a specific order. If you wish to start with the installations in Market Place, you should use the Claypath or Framwellgate Bridge entrances to the central Peninsula area.

  • If you are unable to follow the one-way route from the Cathedral across Prebends Bridge and along the Riverside, you can exit the central festival area via Kingsgate Bridge or the accessible lane on Elvet Bridge.

    Wherever we can we will provide dedicated staff to help those with mobility issues. Please speak to stewards if you need any help. Please follow steward directions at all times. This is for your own safety.

    Please note that the Kingsgate Bridge exit is not step-free and not suitable for wheelchairs.

    You can also exit the central Peninsula area by going straight across Prebends Bridge and continuing up the slope rather than turning right onto River Walk.

    You will not be able to return to Market Place from the Cathedral. To return to Market Place you will need to exit the central Peninsula area and re-enter via the entrances at Claypath or Framwellgate.

How to stay in touch with Lumiere

  • Follow:

    @artichoketrust on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

    Get the latest updates at #LumiereDurham

    For the latest traffic and travel information follow @DurhamCouncil

  • Join our Lumiere mailing list by visiting the Lumiere website homepage and clicking ‘sign up’.

Programme Questions

  • The programme is live now on the ‘PROGRAMME’ section of the website.

     

  • Printed programmes will be available for sale from Gala Theatre and 10 Library and Leisure Centres around County Durham from midday on Thursday 17thOctober.

    • The Gala Theatre & Cinema
    • Chester-Le-Street Library
    • Stanley Library
    • Consett Library
    • Seaham Library
    • Peterlee Library
    • Spennymoor Leisure Centre
    • Crook Library
    • Woodhouse Close Leisure Centre
    • Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre
    • Barnard Castle Library

    The Lumiere 10th anniversary printed programme costs £2. All money received goes straight back into the event.

     

  • The programme is not available to download. You can explore the festival programme on the Lumiere website, download the Lumiere app or pick up a copy of the printed anniversary programme for £2 at a variety of locations in the city and county.

Ticketing Questions

  • You don’t need a ticket to attend Lumiere.

    As in previous years, a free peak-time ticketing system will be in operation for access into the central peninsula area of the city between 4.30pm and 7.30pm each evening to allow visitors to have a comfortable experience.

    Remember you don’t need a ticket to visit Lumiere. 26 of the 37 artwork are located outside the ticketed area and no-one needs a ticket to visit any area of the festival after 7.30pm.

     

  • Tickets will be available from 10.00am on Monday 28th October.

    Tickets are not available by telephone. They can be obtained online from Lumiere-festival.com or in person from one of the 11 ticketing sites around the County. These are:

    • The Gala Theatre & Cinema
    • Chester-Le-Street Library
    • Stanley Library
    • Consett Library
    • Seaham Library
    • Peterlee Library
    • Spennymoor Leisure Centre
    • Crook Library
    • Woodhouse Close Leisure Centre
    • Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre
    • Barnard Castle Library

    Tickets collected in person incur no charge.

    Each venue will have a set allocation of tickets to distribute. Tickets will be available at each of these venues until the allocation runs out.

    The Gala Theatre & Cinema will be open each day from 10.00am – 8.30pm

    All other ticketing sites will be open from 10.00am – 7.00pm on Monday 28 October and Tuesday 29 October.

    From 30 October, each ticketing site will be open for their normal operating hours. Please see www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere for opening times.

     

  • Ticketing online incurs £2 transaction charge (regardless of how many tickets booked).

    An additional £1 charge is payable for tickets to be posted out.

     

  • If your child is carried in a baby carrier / sling then they won’t need a ticket.

    All other children do. Please don’t bring a pram or buggy if you can as it will be hard to get around and some access routes will be closed.

  • Yes but you will need to re-enter the crowd management queue and have your ticket checked again.

    A maximum of six tickets per household are available.

PLANNING YOUR VISIT

  • Opening times: 4.30pm-11pm each night

    Central peninsula ticketing times: 4.30pm-7.30pm each night

    Botanic Gardens: Last entry 10pm

    Cathedral entry times: 5.30pm-10pm each night

    Remember, you will only be able to enter Durham Cathedral from 5.30pm during festival days. Last entry is 10pm but if the Cathedral reaches capacity before this time it will close earlier. It’s likely to be very popular so come prepared and consider visiting later on in the evening.

  • Visit the Lumiere Hub next to Gala Theatre in Millennium Place and chat to one of our friendly volunteer Festival Makers to find out more.

    LUMIERE HUB OPENING TIMES

    Saturday 9th November – Wednesday 13th November 11am – 4pm

    Thursday 14th November – Sunday 17th November 12noon – 11pm

  • Guide dogs are welcome at Lumiere but due to the number of people expected to attend it is unsuitable for family pets. In the interests of everyone’s comfort and experience we ask that only assistance dogs are brought to the festival.

    Please note, only guide dogs are permitted into the Botanic Gardens.

  • None of the installations will use strobe lighting or flashing imagery, however, some will include projections and bright lights, please check the full programme for more information.

  • We strongly advise you use public transport or one of Durham County Council’s many Park and Ride facilities, sponsored during the festival this year by Motorpoint. The Park & Ride means that you don’t have to worry about where to park your car and are less likely to get stuck in traffic jams. There will also be extra bus services and the train station is short walk from the city centre.

    To get all the latest information on traffic and travel visit www.durham.gov.uk/Lumiere and follow  #LumiereDurham on Twitter in the lead up to and during the event.

  • This year’s 10th anniversary edition of the UK’s largest light festival offers the chance to re-live some of the wonderful installations from past editions of the festival. The festival will also feature exciting new works, completely new to Lumiere. 26 of the 37 artworks are located outside the ticketed area.

  • Durham City has an outstanding selection of cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from, including riverside establishments with beautiful views. 

    For full information about Lumiere food and drink visit thisisdurham.com/lumiere

  • It’s November, it’s outdoors and it’s dark so make sure you wrap up warm, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes and bring a waterproof. We also recommend bringing a small torch, your mobile phone and / or a camera.

  • In most cases, the festival will take place whatever the weather. Check the website and social media for up-to-date information. We recommend you wrap up warm and bring a waterproof coat. Lumiere is worth a visit, even in the rain!

  • For your safety and security, bag checks and body searches will be in operation at entry points into the central peninsula area each night. To minimise queuing times, please think carefully about what you bring with you and leave large bags and rucksacks at home.

  • Please hand any lost property in to the Lumiere Visitor Hub at the Gala Theatre. If you have lost something email [email protected] or telephone: 03000 264440.

     

  • To celebrate Lumiere’s 10th anniversary we have produced a special set of postcards, which will be on sale ahead of and during the festival.

  • If you have a query about visiting the festival, or access to the festival area, that is not answered here please email: [email protected] or telephone: 03000 264440 between 10.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    From Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 November the phoneline will be open from 12pm – 11pm

    If you have a query about staying in the county e.g accommodation please contact Visit County Durham on 3000 262626 or email: [email protected]

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Durham is famed for its cobbled, steep and winding streets. This means getting around some of the installations can be challenging for some people. If it rains the cobbles can get slippery. Lumiere is a festival that takes place outside at night and the streets will be very busy at times. Thursday and Sunday nights are usually quieter times to visit.

    Basic details to help you plan your visit to Lumiere will be provided in the run-up to the festival. There will be guidance information on accessibility for each installation on the website. Everyone has different needs so factual information is provided with no suggestions given about suitability.

     

  • All the Park and Ride car parks have Blue Badge parking bays which are available on a first-come-first-served-basis. All buses have accessible facilities and our sites at Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands have accessible toilet facilities. Disabled bus pass holders can travel for free. See durham.gov.uk/Lumiere for further details on what’s available.

    We do not recommend parking in the city as the peninsula area will be closed to traffic from 2pm each day and there will be additional road closures and parking suspensions. However, if you still choose to do so, there is disabled parking available in the multi-storey carparks

  • Blue badge holders can use available on street pay & display bays free of charge and without time limit when they display their blue badge.

    Dedicated blue badge bays are available in many off street car parks.

    Please check with private operators of the following for further details including charges.

    • Prince Bishops (Privately operated): 0191 3750416
    • Riverside (Privately operated): 0191 3741570
    • The Gates (Privately operated): 0191 386 9363
    • Walkergate (Privately operated): 0191 3845084
  • Wherever we can we will provide dedicated staff to help those with mobility issues. Please speak to stewards if you need any help. Please follow steward directions at all times. This is for your own safety.

    If you are unable to follow the one-way route from the Cathedral across Prebends Bridge and along the Riverside, you can exit the central festival area via Kingsgate Bridge or the accessible lane on Elvet Bridge.

    Please note that the Kingsgate Bridge exit is not step-free and not suitable for wheelchairs.

    You can also exit the central Peninsula area by going straight across Prebends Bridge and continuing up the slope rather than turning right onto River Walk.

    Please note you will not be able to return to Market Place from the Cathedral and Palace Green. To return to Market Place you will need to exit the central Peninsula area and re-enter via the entrances at Claypath or Framlwelgate.

  • Wherever we can we will provide dedicated staff to help those with mobility issues. Please speak to stewards if you need any help. Please follow steward directions at all times. This is for your own safety.

    There will be accessible help points in place to support access on steep route to Palace Green.

  • This year we are trailing ‘sunflower lanyards’ at Lumiere. The lanyards indicate to people that your experience of the festival may be challenging due to a hidden disability. A limited number of lanyards will be available at the Lumiere hub in Millennium Place during the festival.

    https://www.hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/products-19/products.html

    While Lumiere is a very popular festival and large numbers are expected to attend, some evenings and areas are quieter than others. Thursdays and Sundays tend to be quieter so you might consider visiting on these days. More than half the installations are located outside the busy central peninsula area and you may prefer to visit these instead.

    Please contact [email protected] if you have further questions.

GETTING TO LUMIERE

  • We strongly advise you use public transport or one of Durham County Council’s many Park & Ride facilities, sponsored during the festival this year by Motorpoint. The Park & Ride meansthat you don’t have to worry about where to park your car and are less likely to get stuck in traffic jams. There will also be extra bus services and the train station is short walk from the city centre.

    To get all the latest information on traffic and travel visit www.durham.gov.uk/Lumiere and follow  #LumiereDurham on Twitter in the lead up to and during the event.

  • Durham County Council’s Park & Ride will be operating an enhanced service right through the festival supported by Motorpoint with up to 6000 Park & Ride spaces at any one time.

    BELMONT DH1 1SR (600 spaces)

    HOWLANDS FARM South Road DH1 3TQ (488 spaces)

    MERRYOAKS Darlington Road DH1 3QF (2000 spaces — weather dependent)

    ANNAND HOUSE Meadowfield DH1 5UL (2000 spaces — weather dependent)

    NEW COLLEGE Dryburn Road DH1 5ES (933 spaces)

    SNIPERLEY DH1 5RA (300 spaces)

  • £2.00 per person return.

    Under 16s are free if they’re accompanied by an adult over 21.

    Concessionary pass holders travel for free.

  • Approx 11.30pm

  • None of the sites will be locked during the festival. If festival-goers return late by taxi they will still be able to retrieve their cars.

  • No security after 12 midnight. Cars are left overnight at owners own risk.

PARKING IN THE CITY CENTRE

  • Wherever possible you should avoid parking in city centre by using the Park & Ride.

    Which car parks (ours and private) are open in Durham City?

    Check council operated car parks at: http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/3486/Durham-City-car-parks

    Customers should check with private operators regarding opening hours and parking charges for following carparks.

    • Prince Bishops (Privately operated): 0191 3750416
    • Riverwalk 1 and 2 (Privately operated): 0191 3869363
    • Walkergate (Privately operated): 0191 3845084
  • Check the website for parking suspensions and road closures. Where bays are suspended or roads closed, existing parking permit holders will be permitted to park in any other available parking zone within the city.

TAXI INFORMATION

  • Anywhere legal and safe to do so.

  • From 2pm all taxi ranks in the city centre will be suspended. Instead you’ll be able to get a taxi from Old Elvet, Milburngate or Sutton Street.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • There will be road closures in place as part of the arrangements for the festival. Residents and businesses affected by the closures are being contacted with details of how they will be impacted.

COACHES

  • If you are intending to bring a coach party to Lumiere, you must register your intended visit(s) with Durham County Council.  Please request a booking form by emailing [email protected]  There is a charge for using the coach park and shuttle bus service – details are on the booking form.

    Before organising a coach party to Lumiere there are a few things to consider. Durham will be extremely busy during the festival: the event draws huge crowds, and many road closures and diversions will be in place. Coaches will not be permitted access to certain parts of the city centre.  If any coaches attempt to drop off or pick-up in unallocated areas they will be moved on by the police.  It won’t be possible to have a short stop to experience the festival, a minimum of three hours is needed and we recommend staying overnight nearby to make the most of it.  

    Coach parking for the festival must be pre-booked. If you are intending to bring a coach party to Lumiere, you must register your intended visit(s) with Durham County Council by emailing [email protected]. This way we can keep you updated with all of the relevant information regarding drop off points, road closures and ticket availability.

BUSINESS & CITY RESIDENT INFO

  • Special arrangements are in place to allow access to people living or working in the central peninsula area. More information on these will be sent to the affected addresses and businesses within the city area in early October. If you have not received this information please contact [email protected].

    • Residents: please email your details to [email protected]
    • Businesses: please email your details to [email protected].
    • Please note that the deadline for businesses applying for and collecting their Gold Passes is 31st October).

    Each household can apply for up to six Gold Passes using the application form enclosed with the letter. Photographic ID and proof of residence is needed.

  • Restaurants and businesses, that operate by appointment, and which are based in the central peninsula area, will be able to issue access passes to customers who have bookings during peak hour festival times.

    If you have a restaurant booking or an appointment within the central peninsula area between 4pm and 7.30pm, please ensure you give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination. Please note that, for your safety and security, bag checks and searches will be in operation at entry points into the central peninsula area each night. Please think carefully about what you bring with you and leave large bags and rucksacks at home.

    There is a fast track lane in place at the ticketing barriers where vouchers will be checked. If customers do not have a voucher we cannot guarantee that they will be allowed through.

  • Businesses and residents who may be affected will be contacted directly. Letters with details of the impact of the festival are being distributed in October. If you have not received this information please contact [email protected]

  • There is no vehicular access during the festival. If a customer has an issue they need to contact:

ACCOMODATION

  • Durham’s Visitor Contact Centre can put you in touch with hotel and other accommodation providers in the county. They do fill up very quickly around the festival, so we recommend booking accommodation as early as possible.

    Call the Visitor Contact Centre or Contact them on 03000 26 26 26 or email [email protected].

FILMING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MEDIA

  • Yes, there will be official photography and filming taking place throughout the festival footprint.

  • Accreditation for Lumiere Durham 2019 is compulsory.

    The accredited press will be given fast-track access to the festival’s central peninsula area, which is ticketed.
    To request accreditation please send the following information to [email protected]:
    • Full name, publication & contact details
    • Requested date of attendance at Lumiere Durham
    • Whether you would like to take photography or video for your publication

    Interviews can be arranged with spokespeople from Artichoke, Durham County Council and participating artists on request. Please send interview requests to [email protected].