75,000 pour into Durham city for Lumiere festival

AN estimated 75,000 people turned out for Durham's Lumiere festival of lights over the weekend - and there is talk of a repeat.

AN estimated 75,000 people turned out for Durham's Lumiere festival of lights over the weekend - and there is talk of a repeat.

The four-night free festival, which ran from Thursday to Sunday, featured the work of about 50 UK and international artists and seven new commissions.

The festival was produced by London-based arts group Artichoke on behalf of Durham County Council and cost about £500,000.

Related content

Council leader Simon Henig said: “Lumiere has been a spectacular success for Durham. We are delighted that Artichoke agreed to work with us and we are now talking to them about a biennial festival of light, one that would continue to forge links with artists and communities throughout the county up to and including 2013.”

This would mean another festival in 2011 and a third in 2013 when Durham, if successful in its bid, could be the first UK City of Culture.

Nicky Webb, Artichoke’s co-director, said: “We have been enormously moved by the warmth of the public response to Lumiere. Some 75,000 people have swarmed into Durham over the past few nights, filling trains and buses and every available car parking space.”

A spokesman for Durham Police said: “There weren’t any really pressing problems even though the event was far busier than people had anticipated.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer