Following the success of Winterfest in 2019, Wembley Park’s free winter lights event will return to Wembley Park from Thursday 25th November 2021, kicking off with the official lights switch-on of London’s tallest LED tree on Wembley Park Boulevard.
The family-friendly and open-air light trail will be open to the public seven days a week, from 10am to 10pm, until 4th January 2022 and will be themed ‘Reunited in Light’. Following a challenging year, Winterfest at Wembley Park, London’s globally renowned entertainment district and 365-day neighbourhood, will aim to bring a sense of unity and joy to Londoners through a range of newly commissioned light and art installations. Just in time for the festive season, the event will be a wonderful opportunity to treat family and friends alike to an interactive and Instagrammable experience.
Visitors to Winterfest 2021 will be able to see the tallest LED Christmas tree in London, adorned with brand-new digital artwork by Brent artist Yoni Alter. ‘City Lights’, made up of 100,000 kinetic lights which pulse to different rhythms and evoke the vibrancy and pace of a cityscape, will be on display on the 25-metre-high walk-through tree, located outside London Designer Outlet. Bespoke light commissions will also be dotted throughout Wembley Park across trees, digital totems, light banners, lampposts, and other infrastructure across the area, immersing the visitor into the festive atmosphere.
Celebrating the joy of coming together again after months of social isolation, Winterfest will also be the first ever opportunity to admire ‘Reunion’, a unique light installation from Kumquat Lab, which will be unveiled in Market Square as a world exclusive. The installation features a series of light arches which form a circular space where visitors are invited to meet. Each ‘tunnel’ has a different shape representing the range of our individual experiences during the pandemic months. At the exit, a common space will encourage visitors to interact and will bring the installation to life.
In another exclusive, a new permanent outdoor gallery will open on the iconic Olympic Way with a ‘Reunited in Light’ photography exhibition, running from 25th November 2021 to 27th February 2022. This debut exhibition will feature 12 UK-based photographers, ranging from recent graduates to award-winning artists, such as Tami Aftab and Sophie Harris-Taylor. The chosen shots will be displayed across 16 light boxes, specially designed by Toy and Robin. The photographs will remind visitors of the power of people pulling together and will display uplifting and vibrant scenes of togetherness, tenderness, and intimacy.
Opening later in the Winterfest programme, on Thursday 9th December, ‘Reflections of the Future’ will be the centrepiece of this year’s event. Covering half the length of Olympic Way with the National Stadium arch as a background, Reflections is a newly commissioned light installation by Lucid Creates, designed specifically for the occasion to transport visitors through an uplifting, multisensory journey. Using optical illusion, light and sound, this mirrored audio-visual walkway is an immersive spectacle guaranteed to surprise and brighten the spirits.
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.
Josh McNorton, Cultural Director at Wembley Park, says: “We are delighted to bring back Winterfest after its 2020 hiatus, due to the pandemic. After such a challenging time for many, we have commissioned our ‘Reunion’ and ‘Reflections of the Future’ installations to bring hope and joy to our community and visitors this winter. Wembley Park’s transformed Olympic Way has become a promenade of art and celebration, and we are excited for these new spectacular immersive installations to be a part of that for the festive period. We hope that this year’s dynamic installations, located around our wide, open spaces, will bring some cheer to all as they celebrate together, Reunited in Lights.”