Light City is the largest festival of light, music and innovation in North America. This free event, returning to Baltimore for its third year in 2018, is meant to capture the essence of Charm City’s vibrant spirit. Light City is fully accessible, free and open to all. This year, Light City expands to three weekends beginning Saturday, April 6 and ending Saturday, April 21.
A central feature of the event is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which transforms the brick-lined promenade into an interactive playground complete with illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a fun-filled family zone.
There will be a special opening night parade and closing night fireworks finale. All of the 21 light installations on display this year are brand new to Light City, created by distinguished artists from around the world. Ten of these artists are from Baltimore. Here are some of the highlights:
This community artist-in-residence program kicks of Light City. Each of fourteen neighborhoods are featuring an illuminated visual or performance art project created by a resident artist.
- Where: Fourteen neighborhoods: Baybrook/Curtis Bay, Belair-Edison, Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District, Darley Park, Federal Hill, Hamilton-Lauraville, Highlandtown, Hollins Roundhouse/Southwest Baltimore, Little Italy, Locust Point, Patterson Park, Pigtown/Washington Village, Remington and Waverly.
- When: April 6-8
The waterfront festival encompasses the area from the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, with the BGE Light Art Walk being the central feature.
- Where: Inner Harbor to Harbor East
- When: April 14-21
- Hours: 7pm-11pm Sunday through Thursday / 7pm to midnight Fridays and Saturdays
At each daytime innovation conference, emerging voices and established thinkers explore the innovations and practices that build stronger, more equitable cities. Each Lab explores the future of society and every attendee will have the opportunity to learn, network and be heard.
- Where: The IMET Columbus Center, 700 E. Pratt Street, Pier 5, Inner Harbor
- When: April 18-21
- Hours: Check here for the times for each lab and to pre-register
Music is a major attraction at Light City. The festival features a full schedule of free concerts on two stages: Light Up the Night Concert State at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and the Club Light City stage in Kaufman Pavilion by Rash Field. The performing artists includ local, regional and renowned DJs, bands and musicians across every genre. You can see the schedule of performances here.
About Light City
In 2016, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) joined forces with partners throughout our great city and launched a transformational event for Baltimore. Light City, America’s first large-scale festival of art, music and innovation, is where Baltimore comes together and where the world comes to Baltimore.
Light City reimagines the waterfront into a premier cultural destination: fully accessible, free and open to all. Located along the Inner Harbor’s brick-lined promenade, the BGE Light Art Walk features awe-inspiring art installations, performances, concerts, a fun-filled family zone and special moments including an Opening Night Parade and a Closing Night fireworks finale. The festival’s food and beverage offerings are proudly 100% local, reflecting Baltimore’s burgeoning cuisine scene.
Additionally, Light City touches dozens of Baltimore neighborhoods through BOPA’s Neighborhood Lights, Brilliant Baltimore and Eye on Charlie initiatives. Labs@LightCity, the festival’s social innovation conference, generates a glowing ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – before the lights and live entertainment make Baltimore shine at night.
In just its second year, Light City 2017 attracted more than 470,000 nighttime visitors, generated $44 million in economic impact and created one billion media impressions for Baltimore. And the Light City effect continues to multiply; BOPA has awarded funds back to local Baltimore artists since the festival’s inception.
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