Lumiere Festival FAQs

Answers to all your Lumiere 2021 questions.

Festival Questions

  • Lumiere is the UK’s leading 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 18 – 21 November 2021. It will take place over four nights, from 16:30-23:00 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 including Durham University.

  • The full programme of artworks at Lumiere Durham was announced on Tuesday 12th October. Click here to explore the programme. 

  • 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.

  • Yes, the event will be completely free for the public to attend.

  • Covid-secure measures will be in place, including ticketed time slots throughout the event to manage audience numbers in the controlled central Lumiere zone and clear protocols for all working on the festival.

  • A timed ticketing system for the controlled central Lumiere zone  will be in place from 16:30-23:00 each night. Everyone will need a ticket to enter the controlled central zone. This is to help festival organisers manage crowds and provide a Covid-secure experience for visitors.

    Cathedral installations will be accessible during daytime only so that social distancing can be maintained.

  • There will be two controlled entrances to the central Lumiere zone at Claypath and Framwellgate  Bridge. Elvet Bridge will be exit-only.

  • A ticketing system for the controlled central Lumiere zone  will be in place from 16:30-23:00 each night. This is to help festival organizers manage crowds and provide a Covid-secure experience for visitors. Around two thirds of the installations will be outside of the controlled central area and will therefore be able to be viewed without a ticket.

  • Tickets will be available to people living in County Durham on Tuesday 19 October and on general release at 10am on Thursday 21 October.

    Tickets can be obtained online here on the Lumiere website. You are advised to sign up for an account via the Lumiere website ahead of tickets going live to enjoy a faster booking process. 

PROGRAMME QUESTIONS

  • Printed programmes will be for sale from Gala Theatre in November. The programme is also be viewable here. 

  • The Lumiere printed programme is available for a suggested donation of £2. All money received goes straight back into the event.

  • The programme is not available to download. From Tuesday 12th October you can explore the festival programme here on the Lumiere website.

TICKETS

  • Tickets will be available to people living in County Durham on Tuesday 19 October and on general release at 10am in Thursday 21 October.

    Tickets can be obtained online from lumiere-festival.com. You are advised to sign up for an account via the menu bar on the Lumiere website ahead of tickets going live to enjoy a faster booking process.

  • Tickets are only available to book via the Lumiere website and download onto your smartphone or tablet. If you need support booking your ticket please visit one of County Durham’s 39 public libraries where staff can help you access the internet to book a ticket.

  • If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, you can book your tickets on a computer with internet access via the Lumiere website: lumiere-festival.co.uk. You can then print off your PDF ticket at home or at one of Durham County Council’s 39 libraries across the County.

  • You can visit your local library to book and print-off your ticket on a public computer. Library staff will be able to help if you need a hand. You will also be able to ring the Lumiere hotline from October if you have any questions or need further assistance. 03000 264440

  • No, tickets are completely free and there is no additional booking charge.

  • 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.

  • No. Tickets will only be valid for an allocated time slot, which you will be able to choose when you book.

  • A maximum of six tickets per household are available.

PLANNING YOUR VISIT

  • Opening times: 16:30-23:00 each night.

    You will need a timed ticket to visit the controlled central zone of Lumiere. You must enter within your allocated time slot, but you can stay as long as you like.

    Controlled central zone ticketing times: 16:30, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00, 22:00.

  • There will be two controlled entrances to the central Lumiere zone: at Claypath and Framwellgate Bridge. Elvet Bridge will be exit-only this year.

  • A timed ticketing system for the controlled central Lumiere zone will be in place from 16:30-23:00 each night. Everyone will need a ticket to enter the controlled central zone. This is to help festival organisers manage crowds and provide a Covid-secure experience for visitors.

  • There will be two controlled entrances to the central Lumiere zone at Claypath and Framwellgate  Bridge. Elvet Bridge will be exit-only.

    Durham Cathedral will be open during the daytime only. Cathedral  installations will be accessible during daytime only so that social distancing can be maintained.

  • 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.

  • Chronos at The Ogden Building includes flashing lights. Please see the artwork page here for the full information: Chronos.

  • We strongly advise that you use public transport or one of Durham County Council’s many Park & Ride facilities. 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 a 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.

  • There are six installations across County Durham: Seaham Marina Car Park, Ushaw Historic House & Gardens, Raby Castle, Peterlee, Finchale Priory and the Penshaw Monument, viewable from Herrington County Park and across County Durham for up to 20 miles. Please view the Lumiere website for full details: lumiere-festival.com.

    Please note that you cannot visit the Finchale Priory installation by car. A free shuttle to Finchale Priory will operate from New College Park & Ride which can be booked via the Lumiere-festival.com website.

  • Penshaw Monument is recognised nationally as a North East landmark and it is visible for 20 miles across County Durham. Its unusual structure and prominent position in the landscape proved irresistible to artists Elaine Buckholtz and Ian Winters as the site for their major new commission.

  • No, there is no one-way system planned this year. 

    Please note the entrances to the controlled central Lumiere zone are via Claypath  and Framwellgate only.

    Please note that Elvet Bridge will be exit only. 

    Please see the website for further guidance on how to plan your visit to Lumiere.

  • This year’s edition of the UK’s leading light festival offers the chance to enjoy an extensive programme of exciting new commissions and work by international, national as well as emergent and local artists. The City Programme includes 32 installations and runs 4.30-11pm each evening. For the first time there will be a programme of six major installations outside Durham City, open  4.30pm-10pm.  Please see Lumiere-festival.com for further information.

    You will need a timed ticket to visit the controlled central zone  of the festival 4.30-11pm. These must be booked online at Lumiere-festival.com. Priority tickets are available to local residents from 19th October and go on general release from 21st October. Don’t worry if you don’t have a ticket.  Two thirds of the artworks are located outside the ticketed area and can be visited without a ticket.

  • Festival programmes, which include maps of the city and county installations, are available for a suggested donation of £2 from the Gala Theatre in Durham City from November. They will also be available from the Lumiere Visitor Hub when this opens. This is located in the Gala Theatre. See lumiere-festival.com for further information.

    There is also a Lumiere app available, which you’ll be able to download from 19 October. This will include details of all the installations and where to find them as well as an interactive map to help you navigate the festival.

  • There are accessible toilet facilities at the Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands Park & Ride sites. Public toilets can be found at Palace Green. 

    The toilets at the Gala Theatre and Durham Railway Station will also be open.

  • 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 into the Lumiere Visitor Hub at the Gala Theatre. If you have lost something email [email protected] or telephone: 03000 264440.

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

    From Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 November the phone line 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]

HEALTH & SAFETY

  • Yes. Lumiere will adhere to any and all Covid-19 regulations that may be in place at the time of the event.

    Lumiere is produced by leading arts charity Artichoke, who are experts in producing large-scale public events. Artichoke has worked closely with festival commissioners Durham County Council alongside Public Health England, our specialist audience safety management team and the emergency services for over a year in advance to produce Lumiere. Ensuring that the festival follows the latest Covid-19 guidelines is at the forefront of the planning process.

  • As well as following any and all government guidance in place at the time, Lumiere 2021 will ensure that robust mitigation measures are in place.

    Detailed planning has been undertaken over the last 12 months in close consultation with Public Health England, Durham County Council and all relevant authorities to ensure that Lumiere complies with all guidelines to minimise risk and enable the festival to take place in as COVID-secure way.

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 October. If you have not received this information please contact [email protected].

    Businesses can apply for Gold Passes to allow their staff to access the controlled central zone during festival hours. doitonline.durham.gov.uk/service/Lumiere_Gold_Passes

    Please note that the deadline for businesses applying for and collecting their Gold Passes is Wednesday 10 November.

    Each household can apply for up to six Gold Passes online at  doitonline.durham.gov.uk/service/Lumiere_Gold_Passes

  • Gold Passes will be issued to students through their college. Students can ask at reception where they will be available to pick up.

  • Restaurants and businesses that operate by appointment, and which are based in the central controlled zone of Lumiere, 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 controlled zone during the festival, 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.

    • Deliveroo uniforms and orders will be  recognised by staff at entry points. There will be access over Claypath and Kingsgate only during peak hours
    • Access at Kingsgate Bridge- lock up your bike in the immediate vicinity and walk in
    • Access at Claypath through the fast track lane- 
    • There will be temporary bike racks at the Providence Row end of Claypath- away from the queue lane entry point. 
    • Framwellgate- only off peak hours, if supervisors advise.
  • 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:

  • 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 festival times.

TRAVEL TO LUMIERE

  • We strongly advise you to use public transport or one of Durham County Council’s many Park & Ride facilities. 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 a 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.

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

  • £2.00 per person return

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

    Concessionary pass holders travel for free.

    PopCard users can use their cards at Belmont, Sniperley & Howlands. There is no machine at Annand House or New College so Pop card users would have to pay full fare at those sites.

  • 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 owner’s own risk.

PARKING IN THE CITY CENTRE - Wherever possible you should avoid parking in the city centre by using the Park & Ride.

  • All council and privately owned car parks are open. 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 car parks.

    •  Prince Bishops (Privately operated): 0191 3750416
    •  Riverside (Privately operated): 0191 3741570
    • 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.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

  • Information will be on DCC website at: www.durham.gov.uk/lumiere

TAXIS DROP OFF / PICK UP

  • 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 or Sutton Street.

COACH PARKING

  • If you are intending to bring a coach party to Lumiere, you must register your intended visit(s) with Durham County Council via Visit County Durham by 15th October. Contact [email protected] or Call  03000 26 26 26, Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm.

    There is a charge for using the coach park and shuttle bus service.

    Before organising a coach party to Lumiere there are a few things to consider.

    All visitors will need a timed ticket to visit the controlled central zone of Lumiere. You should ensure that your customers have booked timed tickets before they arrive.

    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 contacting Visit County Durham by 15th October. Email – [email protected] or  Call – 03000 26 26 26,  Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm

    This way we can keep you updated with all of the relevant information regarding drop off points, road closures and ticket availability.

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.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION

  • 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.

     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.

    Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

  • 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 car parks.

  • 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 following for further details including charges.

    •   Prince Bishops (Privately operated): 0191 3750416
    •   The Gates (Privately operated): 0191 386 9363

    ·   Walkergate (Privately operated): 0191 3845084

  • There will be Access support at the Visitor Hub, with advice including on which route to take, and anything else festival-related, and our volunteers will be briefed on providing access support to the audience. Please contact [email protected] if you have further questions.

  • There will be local assistance points along the route managed by volunteer festival makers to help wheelchair users and other audience members with mobility issues. In cases where audience members with mobility issues do not feel they can continue on the circuit, they will be guided against the flow to the nearest suitable location.

    Where the route is not suitable for wheelchair or buggy access, an alternative route will be suggested where possible.

    Riverside footpath route from Prebends Bridge to Framwellgate Bridge – No Wheelchair or buggy access. Alternative route via South Street.

    Saddler Street, Owengate & North and South Baileys are difficult for buggies and wheelchairs because of steep cobbled streets.

    Walkergate – requires the use of the slip road up onto Claypath as steps to Millennium Place. There is also a lift servicing the car park.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • 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].

  • Public safety is at the heart of preparing for Lumiere and Artichoke has worked extremely closely with the county council, the police, fire and rescue service, ambulance service and the Safety Advisory Group for many months to put a robust plan in place.

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

HOW CAN I HEAR FROM LUMIERE?

  • Follow @artichoketrust on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram

    Get the latest updates at #LumiereDurham

    For the latest traffic and travel information follow @DurhamCouncil

  • Join the Lumiere mailing list by visiting the Lumiere website homepage and clicking ‘sign up’. lumiere-festival.co.uk