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River of Light success shines bright

THE fourth outing of Liverpool’s River of Light event has been hailed the most successful ever with around 150,000 people enjoying the free, outdoor trail over 17 nights.

Each evening saw thousands of people take in the 12 large-scale, stunning illuminated artworks which spanned a 2km route.

Celebrating the theme ‘Rhythm of the Light’, each work was inspired by the relationship between the city, music and light, and included commissions such as Dance Together – a huge tribute to legendary nightclub Chibuku and Light Piano – an all-in-one instrument and a light display in the Mann Island atrium.  

The popularity saw a boost in footfall in the city centre, with many restaurants and shops reporting high demand.

Liverpool BID Company recorded their highest footfall rates since the start of the pandemic, with 1.5 million people visiting the retail area during the October half term – and compared to the fortnight before, there was around a 20 per cent increase in footfall from 6pm each night.

Liverpool ONE also benefitted, with 15 per cent more diners at their restaurants, compared to the same period in 2019. And there was also a retail boost with a 44 per cent increase in sales – particularly in shops that sold toys, games and athletics/leisure wear. Similar to the BID area, visitor numbers in the evening escalated by 21 percent compared to 2019.

Following this year’s success, the Culture Liverpool Team has announced River of Light will return around the same time next year. The theme is being kept under wraps but it will be a nod to the World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 which will be taking place in the city from Saturday 29 October to Sunday 6 November.

Full details of the trail will be announced next year.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle: “It now officially feels like Liverpool is back! From the moment these artworks were switched on, residents and visitors flocked to the waterfront to experience what River of Light had to offer and social media was flooded with the most fantastic images of the city literally shining.”

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