Strictly Come Dancing star and local resident, Neil Jones, launched Wembley Park’s Winterfest programme last night as he switched on London’s tallest LED Christmas tree and lights around North London’s world-famous district.
Over 3,000 people attended the thrilling open-air launch show, which featured the first-ever live performance of the ‘Olympic Step’, a dance especially created by Neil Jones for Wembley Park. Other live acts on the night included musicians, aerial and fire performers, stilt walkers and roller skaters.
Winterfest, Wembley Park’s innovative winter lights programme, will run until 4 January 2022, and features a 25-metre high tree with 100,000 kinetic LED lights. This year’s tree is decorated with a new digital artwork, ‘City Lights’, produced by Brent-based artist Yoni Alter. The artwork pulses to different rhythms to evoke the vibrancy and buzz experienced in Wembley Park, immersing visitors in a 360° spectacle of lights, as they walk through the giant tree.
Neil Jones’ ‘Olympic Step’ dance was inspired by Wembley Park’s recently unveiled Olympic Steps, which earlier in the summer replaced the pedway ramps that led to Wembley Stadium in a symbolic moment in the transformation of world-famous Olympic Way.
Neil Jones, Strictly Come Dancing star, said: “As a local resident, Wembley Park is very special to me. I’ve watched the area progress and transform into an exciting and lively neighbourhood, and I was thrilled to be included in this local festive celebration by switching on this year’s Winterfest lights, it is well worth a look.”
The Winterfest programme includes a new outdoor photography exhibition, titled ‘United in Light’, featuring 12 UK-based photographers, ranging from recent graduates to award-winning artists, including former winner of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize David Stewart. The images are displayed across 16 light boxes, specially designed by Toy and Robin, to create uplifting scenes of togetherness, tenderness, and intimacy.
Opening later in the Winterfest programme, on Thursday 9th December, ‘Reflections of the Future’ will be a large-scale installation, covering half the length of Olympic Way at 100m long, with the iconic National Stadium arch as a backdrop. ‘Reflections of the Future’ is a newly commissioned light installation by Lucid Creates, which uses optical illusion, light and sound through a mirrored walkway to immerse guests in light, images and sound.
These new commissions will add to the existing collection of public art currently on display on the Wembley Park Art Trail, including permanent light installations such as ‘Shadow Wall’ by renowned multi-disciplinary artist Jason Bruges, and on Bobby Moore Bridge, revamped by Dixon Jones Architects with lighting design by Spiers & Major and Light Lab.