• Lux Helsinki 2016 exceeds expectations despite sub-zero temperatures

    11 January 2016

    Arranged for the eighth time on 6–10 January 2016, Lux Helsinki filled the centre of Helsinki, Finland, with delighted visitors. Audience feedback highlighted the event's unique atmosphere, which combines a sense of community, crisp winter weather and spectacular light artworks. Part of the festival was held in temperatures of almost minus 25 degrees. The festival attracted over a half million visitors during a five-day period. Lux Helsinki is organised by the City of Helsinki and is free for visitors.

    The festival featured hits from European light festivals, as well as commissioned works by Finnish artists. Artists from Finland, Belgium, Canada and France created a total of 16 light artworks for the event. The works were arranged along a route including the Ateneum Art Museum, Senate Square, the Esplanade Park, the Old Church Park and Annankatu. 

    The most important aim for the 2016 festival was to develop its visitor experience. The festival route was simplified and more signposting was provided to make the works easier to find. In addition, the 2016 festival developed into a diverse city festival featuring street food and partner restaurants and cafés, as well as a side programme. The cafés and restaurants along the route were full over the weekend in particular, and regardless of the subzero temperatures, street food was popular.


    "Events play an important role in the City's strategy and are important to tourism. Lux Helsinki is our main winter attraction, and this year's record audience clearly indicates that it is important that the City organises events that are open to all and free of charge: they bring joy for local residents and offer a great programme for visitors,” says Tuulikki Becker, CEO of Visit Helsinki.

    "Light as an element is so attractive that even a hard frost can't keep the festival crowds away! Account has been taken of visitor feedback in making the festival work even better, and we have received a lot of positive feedback for this. People badly need light during the polar night," says the festival's Artistic Director, Ilkka Paloniemi. 

    "Lux Helsinki also attracts international visitors: this year, organisers of light festivals such as those held in Lyon, Mexico City, Prague, Tallinn and Hildesheim visited Helsinki. Perhaps we will see more Finnish light artworks on display in future international festivals," says Paloniemi.


    A video featuring highlights of the event will be released on Wednesday 13 January on the Lux Helsinki website and social media channels. The next festival will take place in early January 2017.

    Participate in a survey about Lux Helsinki 2016! You can take part until Friday 15 January 2016. A light-themed Helsinki bag will be drawn as prize among all participants!

    The photographs of Lux Helsinki 2016 can be found from the gallery.

  • Participate in a survey about the festival

    9 January 2016
    Participate in a survey about Lux Helsinki 2016! You can take part until Friday 15 January 2016. A light-themed Helsinki bag will be drawn as prize among all participants!

  • Light installations are created together with the partners

    2 January 2016

    Lux Helsinki’s partners in 2016 are Shader and Sun Effects. The festival is in collaboration with Bright Finland and Radio Helsinki.

    Animation studio Shader will implement installation Megamap in the bell tower of Helsinki Cathedral together with Lux Helsinki. With 3D modeling, the bell tower will acquire new dimensions. Like a number of similar video works exhibited abroad, this flamboyant, commissioned work is based on video mapping technology. Only a few works based on this technique have been seen in Finland.

    Sun Effects is a design and production collective from Helsinki specialising in light effects and visualisations. Sun Effects has been in charge of the programme, production and implementation of Lux Helsinki since 2012. The collective's other projects include the Flow Festival, the startup event Slush and the Linnanmäki carnival of light. For the 2016 festival, Sun Effects will create the installation Candy House at the Ateneum façade.

    Bright Finland is Finland's leading event technology expert that has been one of the technology providers for Lux Helsinki for several years. Bright Finland’s core competencies lie in the design of light, sound and image technology, as well as in technical solutions, equipment hire, importing and sales. In addition to corporate, sports and festival events, the company is involved in a range of theatre and television productions.

  • The side programme includes e.g. discussions, clubs and additional artworks

    16 December 2015

    With activities for people of all ages, the free-of-charge side programme includes e.g. clubs arranged in cooperation with Radio Helsinki, a light-themed panel discussion, workshops, supplementary works, and guided walking tours. Most side programme events will be held between 5 pm and 10 pm, unless otherwise announced.

    Aschan Café Jugend, which is located on Pohjoisesplanadi, will serve as the Lux Helsinki Café, where you can mingle with other festival visitors. Works by artist Ishmail Sandstroem will be on display at the café. In addition, a panel discussion on the theme of light and moderated by Radio Helsinki will be held there on Thursday 7 January at 7.30 pm.

    All festival-goers are welcome to continue the evening indoors in Radio Helsinki's DeLUXe clubs at Bar Loose and the 'Why join the navy when you can be a pirate' bar on Annankatu, where top DJs will entertain you on each day of the festival from 5 pm to 10 pm.

    Seven different workshops, performances or installations based on light-related themes will be held in the Valoleikkipuisto (Light Playground) at Annantalo. In Annantalo, you can recover from the winter blues, enjoy light painting, explore a light jungle and go all the way AR OU ND. From 7 pm to 10 m on Saturday 9 January you can dance to rhythms chosen by DJ Kristiina Männikkö at the Book Café.

    In the hall of the Ateneum Art Museum, you can watch light-themed, experimental Finnish short films from AV-arkki (the Distribution Centre for Finnish Media Art) from 5 pm to 6 pm on Saturday 9 January.

    As well as light installations, a number of complementary artworks can be found along the route. Beautifully illuminated snowballs will float above the Icepark. A light artwork exploring the potential of shop-front windows can be seen in the window of Taiga Colors Helsinki. The Mobile Home sculpture and the installation, Keisarin uudet vaatteet (The Emperor's New Clothes), can be seen at Annantalo. Kahvisalongin kuosikimara will feature fabrics by Finnish textile and surface designers, reflected in the window of Bulevardin Kahvisalonki and synchronised to music by Lau Nau. 

    Guided, free-of-charge walking tours will be held each day in Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian.

    Photo: Lux Helsinki 2015 / Jussi Ratilainen

  • The street food selection will take you on a trip to Belgium, Korea and Thailand

    16 December 2015

    In addition to displaying light installations, the festival is developing into a more diverse urban celebration: street food will be served on Senate Square and on Annankatu, which will become a pedestrian area. 19 restaurants and cafés located near the festival area will offer tailored refreshments to festival-goers. 

    Sam McCormick's Korean-style Kimchi Wagon; Bel Gaufres, which sells authentic Belgian waffles; and The Alexanders, a family business which aims to take street food to a new level, will provide street food on Senate Square. Thai Papaya, which offers culinary experiences based on authentic Thai cuisine, Soi Soi, which sells vegetarian fast food, Café Citikka, which serves hot drinks and Ylijyrkkiön tila, which provides lamb delicacies, will be located on Annankatu. The full list of caterers will be confirmed during December.
    The following restaurants providing special festival offers are located close to the festival area: Aschan Café Jugend, Bar Loose, Bryggeri Helsinki, Carte d'Or Gelateria, Ciao! Caffè & Winebar, Fransmanni, Grande Grill, Iguana/Keskuskatu, Iguana/Mannerheimintie, Jääpuiston Kahvila (Icepark Café), Latva, Memphis Hesari, Morrison’s Grill & Green, Robert’s Coffee Kluuvi, Santa Fe, Savotta, Sunn, Toscanini/Hotelli Klaus K and 'Why join the navy when you can be a pirate'. The special offers will be updated to the website later.
    Photo: Visit Helsinki / Heidi Kjellman