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River of Light 2023 Details & Map

River of Light 2023 will bring Liverpool’s waterfront to life once again with a trail of 11 spectacular illuminated artworks.

From Friday 27 October to Sunday 5 November, the the city and waterfront will transform into a mesmerising outdoor art gallery, illuminating the streets from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Under the theme ‘United By Light,’ this year’s festival pays tribute to the spirit of unity invoked during the Eurovision Song Contest with its ‘United By Music’ slogan.

River of Light will serve as a special homage to this year’s Eurovision show. Among the featured artists, Julio Himede, the acclaimed 2023 stage designer, will unveil a world-premiere artwork. Joining him are the talented Ukrainian creatives, Tais Poda and RocknLight, who promise to introduce groundbreaking projections to the festival, marking a truly exceptional celebration of art, music, and unity.

River of Light 2023 Map

River of Light 2023 Map
Map courtesy of

River of Light 2023 Installations

You can follow the River of Light trail any way that you like, but below we have listed the installations in route order.

1. Lampshades Bouquet by TILT

The Bouquet d’abat-jours (Lampshades bouquet) is a set of lights dusting off the traditional lamps of our living room that have been transposed in a gigantic outdoor version and have become a full piece of urban furniture with the bench that surround their base. At the end of their gracefully curved stems blossom white lampshades that will reveal the surprising magic of their colours at nightfall.

Like the loose and colourful fragments of a kaleidoscope, the lampshades of the Bouquet liven in an endless variety of images, playing with the alternation of beautiful colours and revealing an oneiric and modern universe.

Lampshades Bouquet is a 7 m high and 4 m wide gigantic outdoor version of a traditional lamp from many living rooms. It is surrounded by a bench at the base. The 9 lampshades of every bouquet light up in different colours.

Location: Salthouse Dock, Strand opposite Royal Albert Dock.

2. Labyrinth by Atelier Sisu

Labyrinth is a modular colourful Art-chitecture and a temporary playground. The labyrinthine form is driven by an exploration of the golden ratio and its connection to the Fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci sequence is one of the most famous formulas in mathematics. It is commonly referred to as “nature’s universal rule.” It is said to govern the dimensions of everything from the Great Pyramid of Giza to the iconic seashell.

Location: Derby Square

3. Our Beating Heart by Studio Vertigo

An unexpected sight to behold outside of a nightclub venue or disco, ‘Our Beating Heart’ brings the mirror ball principle to a grand scale. As the sculpture slowly rotates, urban spaces come alive. Dapples of light dance and shift, transforming buildings and streets, making each surrounding surface appear to blend into the other.

Location: Liverpool Town Hall Balcony, High St, Liverpool L2 3SW (View from Castle Street)

River of Light 2023 - Our Beating Heart Installation
Our Beating Heart Installation

4. Elysian and Elysian Arcs by Atelier Sisu

The Elysian Arcs are a series of three arced modules in the space aesthetic style. Arranged around and in the negative space around Elysian, they create a complete and comprehensive space for the audience to move through. The ribbed surface texture of the artwork allows the iridescent materiality to reflect and refract both natural and artificial light in a unique and eye-catching way. Internal illumination bring the sculpture to life at night. A choreographed light display is accompanied by a unique soundscape, making the space a fully immersive experience for the audience. Elysian is inflatable in nature, making the artwork efficient and adaptable to its surroundings.

Liverpool-based award-winning composer John McHugh has been chosen by Atelier Sisu to produce a brand new soundscape for both of the Elysian artworks.

Location: Exchange Flags Square, L2 3PF

5. NOVA by Studio Vertigo

A Nova is a transient astronomical event which causes a star to quickly increase the strength of the light it emits. This dramatic process takes place when a star reignites after lying dormant for many years. As a spectator, you will feel like you are experiencing a nova, or ‘new’ star – mighty and dazzling. The artwork is a bold sculptural form, a visually complex lantern that also comes to life with smoke effects. It has over 56,000 laser profiled apertures which allow the internal light source to shine through its reflective metal surface, creating swirling galaxy patterns on the star and projecting light onto the ground.

Location: Liverpool Parish Church Courtyard, L2 8TZ

6. United By Music by Yellow Studio

United By Music stands as a 12-meter round, multi-purpose performance space that pays tribute to the music of Eurovision 2023 which took place in Liverpool. Its radiant pink exterior captures the eye by day and transforms into a captivating light-up art installation at night. This unique space fosters community, inviting people to gather, dance, and sing, nurturing a spirit of togetherness and celebration. Its debut at River of Light promises an artistic first appearance, offering a one-of-a-kind experience for all who attend.

Location: Pier Head, North End, L3 1HT

7. Florescentia by Atelier Sisu

Photosynthesis Ballet: Florescentia. Florescentia, from the Latin word for ‘blossoming’, is inspired by the phenomenal natural transformations found in the natural biology of plant life. Incorporating both movement, sound and light, the work explores the ephemerality of life in an ever and rapidly changing state.

Location: Mann Island Atrium, L3 9SJ

8. Night Whisper by Amigo & Amigo

Night Whisper: Inspired by the the dynamic movement of Moths around light. Night Whisper features a giant luminescent light bulb that people are invited to climb inside. Multiple moths are suspended in the light bulb animating with warm light appearing as if they were circling inside the globe.

Location: Pier Head, South End, L3 1DG

River of Light 2023 - Night Whisper Installation
Night Whisper Installation

9. GLOW by Amigo & Amigo

Glow is a giant interactive light installation inspired by the cycles of the moon. The artists were inspired by the moon as the original night time light source and how the presence of the full moon draws people in. The lamp posts are designed in a circular pattern showing the moon’s different phases around the Earth. With over 40 different music sounds and interactive lighting animations the audience are invited to move throughout and play. Every 5 minutes the artwork illuminates and animates to a unique lighting composition and performance track.

Location: Mann Island, Museum of Liverpool, L3 1DG

10. Emergence by This Is Loop

The structure consists of 75 large mirror nodes covered on all surfaces with a mirror finish arranged into a cylindrical pavilion style structure with three entrances in a ‘Y’ formation, making entry and exit an easy flowing process, these entrances are all wheelchair accessible. The installation also contains a hearing loop to ensure the hard of hearing can tune in to the mesmerising soundtrack. Approx 10000 pixels are visible from inside and outside the installation and display a constantly evolving and mesmerising program of highly complex light patterns choreographed to the accompanying audio track which was created by the incredible ‘NYX: Electronic Drone Choir’.

An audio description of the piece is available for those with impaired vision. There is an Audio Loop installed in the piece so the hearing impaired can tune into the sound track. All doors into the structure have been designed to be wheel chair accessible.

Location: Outside Martin Luther King Jr Building, Royal Albert Dock, L3 4AA

11. Ukrainian Dreams by Tais Poda

FESTIVAL.ORG presents Ukrainian Dreams Created by Tais Poda & RocknLight Studio The vivid and wildly imaginative works of Ukraine’s best loved artist will be brought to life in this audio-visual spectacle expressing the hope and pride of a nation. Fantastic beasts, multicoloured landscapes of rural Ukraine, white patterned birds longing for peace.

The weird and wonderful world of Maria Prymachenko has become a symbol of Ukraine’s collective spirit and artistic soul. At a time when Prymachenko’s life’s work is at unprecedented risk of being lost in the destruction of the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukrainian Dreams animates Prymachenko’s enduring masterpieces for the first time using innovative projection mapping animated to an original Ukrainian folk score to tell a timely story of peaceful harmony and nature, war and resistance.

Location: Royal Albert Dock, viewed from inner quayside. L3 4AD

For further information about River of Light 2023 visit


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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