Light Nelson is already being billed as an "overwhelming success" drawing huge crowds and great feedback since its launch on Friday.

The event looks increasingly likely to set a record number of people attending with 34,500 people through the gates already with two more days to go. 

Light Nelson Trust Chair Brian Riley said 7,000 people attended on Friday night, more than 12,000 on Saturday and 15,500 yesterday night. 

"This is based on the count at the main Hardy St gate into Queens Gardens with some allowance for those who only went to the NMIT site," he said.

Jon Baxter's big digital mapping of the old technical institute was hugely impressive and proved popular with crowds, helping to spread the load between the two venues.

Full Stuff Article - 11 July 2016

Light Nelson flicks the switch on its third festival on Friday night, promising a bigger, brighter and smoother visitor experience.

Everything from the resurrection of the giant moa, an alien pod landing in Nelson, and the fate of the world will be on show during the four-day festival that begins at 5.30pm tonight.

This year is the biggest to date, with 62 installations scattered through Queens Gardens and the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology campus.

To overcome the crowd problems of two years ago, the route through Queens Gardens will be one-way with entry from Hardy St and exit on to Bridge St. More installations this year have also been spread around NMIT.

Hardy St will be closed off between Harley St and Tasman St, and will become the hub for food, drink and information.

Among its many attractions Light Nelson will feature digital mapping installations by two invited artists.

Daniel Belton's two works Time Dance and Line Dances will screen on the west wall of the NMIT library. Line Dances is inspired by the paintings and drawings of Bahaus artist Paul Klee, but the programme, which has toured internationally, has been adapted for its Nelson site.

Belton's OneOne, using digital cinema projection and Maori instruments, screens in the NMIT Johnny Cash Theatre.

 Jon Baxter's A Trip Into a Nature Of Being is projected on the old technical institute building in Hardy St with digital imagery including Lord Rutherford at work in his laboratory.

In between there are a host of intriguing-sounding projects from local and visiting artists. 

Full Stuff Article - 8 July 2016

The darlings of the last Light Nelson are back for this year's luminary festival - this time with robots.

Electronica trio NEON, who wowed with six sold-out shows at Christ Church Cathedral in 2014, are preparing to take locals on a "philosophical journey" with upcoming performances of their new spectacular NEON ROBOT at Old St. John's.

Keyboardist Paul Hargreaves, an analogue devotee since the heyday of electro-pop pioneers Kraftwerk, says animation and imagination will guide audiences through an audio-visual spectacular of what technology means to mankind.

"With computers, there are boundless opportunities but it's easy to go on and not produce anything.

"It's great to actually see drumsticks flying. There's an element of the dramatic to it.

Full Stuff Article - 1 July 2016

Abut 7000 people streamed through Queens Gardens last night as Light Nelson switched on for its first showing.

The exhibition features 62 installations spread from the Hardy St entrance of the gardens to the end of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology's J Block.

This year the one-way route through the gardens made for hefty queue but the wait was worth it.

A loud morepork screech was heard as visitors walk onto the pitch-black NMIT campus.

Turning a corner, towards the noise, an explosion of bright light and loud sound confronted the senses. The much anticipated Brook Waimarama Sanctuary installation did not disappoint. 

Full Stuff article - 9 July 2016


Seventy one years seperates the youngest and oldest Light Nelson entrant, however, they have found common ground in water-based themes for their festival creations.

Jamie Foster, 13, is the youngest artist of this year's festival.

His entry, "Paddle Boat", is a remote controlled model based on the original 1902 Waimarie paddle steamer and will help light up the Queens Garden's pond.

First timer Christopher Vine, 84, is the oldest festival participant.

He enters the festival with his creation "Blue Bamboozle", featuring LEDs strung on bamboo poles up to 12 metres long that will be placed in the Queens Garden's pond.

Full Stuff Article - June 23