Belfast Telegraph

Nearly 180,000 at Lumiere festival

Almost 180,000 people attended the Lumiere festival in Londonderry, organisers have confirmed.

With 17 sculptures and installations, the light extravaganza was among the biggest outdoor events of Derry's year as UK City of Culture and attracted 45,000 visitors on its final night.

Helen Marriage, from organisers Artichoke, said the project had exceeded all expectations.

She said: "Producing an event with 17 separate art projects anywhere is an enormous challenge, and all the more so when no one quite knows what to expect. I think everyone has been surprised and delighted by the experience of rediscovering the city in this way."

The event had originally been planned to run for just three nights but was extended after Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin agreed to provide additional funding.

The Fire Garden by Compagnie Carabosse in the Waterside and Novak's animation Voyage at Austins Department Store in the Diamond were among the installations which drew the biggest crowds.

A Stitch in Time, the giant steel and LED light sculpture by Tim Etchells on the roof of the Rosemount Shirt Factory also proved popular.

Over the past 12 months Derry has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors this year hosting events such as the Turner Prize, the Return of Colmcille river pageant and the All-Ireland Fleadh.

Derry Mayor Martin Reilly described the light show as spectacular.

Culture Company executive programmer Graeme Farrow said Lumiere had provided the perfect finale.

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