River of Light Festival – Liverpool

Vicky Andrews
River of Light Festival – Liverpool
River of Light

River of Light Festival – Liverpool at The Cunard Building, Waterfront, 22 October–7 November 2021, free entry - Visit now

A giant rainbow will light up Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront this month as part of River of Light 2021, an illuminated outdoor art exhibition. Bringing together 11 stunning audio and visual installations, the River of Light trail will run for 14 nights from 22 October.

Rainbow Bridge is a 100 foot long, 30 foot high, 4 foot deep walkable sculpture, that will be located in Canning Dock Quayside, next to the Royal Albert Dock. After debuting at Burning Man in 2018, Rainbow Bridge has visited Art Basel Miami (2018), EDC Las Vegas (2019), and Blink Cincinnati (2019). In a major coup for Liverpool, it’s the first time that this installation has been seen outside of America.

Rainbow Bridge, Looking Up Arts Foundation


At night, Rainbow Bridge sparkles with over 25,000 LEDs which display sound-activated animations, so the experience is constantly changing. The arch serves as a cheerful landmark by day and a stunning light show by night and will be used as a platform to deliver messages of reflection on the last year.

River of Light will also feature an installation from Liverpool’s own The Lantern Company. All in the Balance will create an illuminated kinetic artwork of a gigantic butterfly mobile surrounded by wild grasses and flowers, celebrating nature and the arrival of spring.

Other highlights of the 2km walking trail include 20 illuminated, two-metre-high dandelions floating over the canal on the Pier Head, and an illuminated washing line with illuminated laundry on Castle Street. The dazzling clothing of Neighbourhood represents communities from across the city and will celebrate people of different backgrounds living together harmoniously. Open Eye Gallery will run a photography project alongside this which will engage participants in response to the artwork to form part of an online exhibition.

Partners across Liverpool have come together to stage the spectacle, which residents can experience with covid-safe measures in place.

River of Light Festival – Liverpool at The Cunard Building, Waterfront

22 October–7 November 2021
Free entry