Immerse yourself in the ocean of lights!
Pécs is going to become the capital of light of the world for four days once again, as the 6th Zsolnay Light Festival is coming soon to shine between July 7–10! The country’s first and only light festival is expected to attract 100,000 visitors and the organizers are expected to present some 120 peculiarities. World-renowned light artists will bring their most exciting pieces of work to visitors, who can also try such curiosities as playing tennis with light, making light graffities and diving into the ocean of light – all for free! You won't believe your eyes this year again!
The city center of Pécs will turn into fantasyland, with dazzling sights in a total of 20 locations, forming the Route of Light:
After touring the world's largest light festivals in recent years, the huge, immersive work of the English Squidsoup team, Submergence, is arriving at the Árkád Pécs Shopping Center. The audience can walk into the work while being completely surrounded by the dynamic light installation. With more than 5,000 light spots, the work evokes an illusion of immersing in the ocean.
On the 25th anniversary of his death, two works will pay tribute to the oeuvre of Victor Vasarely, the world-famous artist born in Pécs. Contemplating Vasarely's visual world, students of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs "weave a carpet of light" in Janus Pannonius Street. The other work will be a Vasarely-inspired interactive mapping creation opposite the Csontváry Museum.
The reputable Zsolnay family built a tennis court in the Barbican Trench at the beginning of the 20th century, and this year it will come to life again, where visitors can play tennis matches by means of light.
Waterlight Graffiti, an interactive work by Antonin Fourneau from France, is arriving in Kossuth Square. Here, on an eight-meter-wide LED wall, visitors will be able to create light graffitis using water.
Mapping works are going to shine on the iconic squares and buildings of Pécs, such as the big Mosque on the main square, Jókai Square or the National Theatre of Pécs, but new venues such as the new Pécs Market Hall or the playground of Árkád Park are also going to get clad in a light robe shining in UV colours.
If you want even more experience at the free festival, the Route of Light Extra is awaiting you, whose special venues and exclusive programs can be visited by purchasing a HUF 1,500 wristband. They will include, for example, one of the most special light installations, the work of the international light artist collective Tundra entitled Row at the Pécs Gallery. During the holographic, audio-visual experience, objects of light zigzag around you as if some magic would have come to life in a Harry Potter movie.
The Mosque of Hassan Jakovali reopened just a couple of weeks ago, and now visitors having an extra wristband can admire the mappings on the inner dome and walls of the building, as is the House of NGO Communities, where the audience can see the works by two Hungarian light artists, Gáspár Battha and Erik Mátrai.
The prestige of the festival is enhanced by an international, cash-prize light painting competition. During the Zsolnay Light Art Mapping Competition, the monumental façade of the Cathedral will be brought to life by the best light artists in the world by means of three-dimensional, moving mapping works. The theme of this year's competition is balance. The selection is over; the shortlisting jury has selected the 5 finalists to be seen at the festival. Entries came from all over the world, including works by a Hungarian, a French, a Spanish, a German and a Thai artist.
A special feature of Zsolnay Light Festival is that it offers experiences not only after dark, but also during the day, when visitors are entertained by charming international street-theatre shows. The program features an idiosyncratic street clown from Chile, incredibly skilled acrobats and a magician juggler from Argentina, a bubble circus from Italy and a contemporary-circus performance from France, but you can also admire a show by a Hungarain fire juggler troupe.
At Széchenyi Square, a Swiss ensemble, Panorama Kino Theatre, involving actors from Pécs and Budapest, will build a special cinema rotating 360 degrees, where the „technicolor” background scenery will be made up of the street and the film stars will be the visitors of the festival themselves. You can also see the show of mixed genre by artists from Pécs, and you are of adventurous spirit, you can test your skills in the circus school.
A peculiarity of the music programs is that at the festival, visitors can only encounter musical experiences which also include visual effects playing a dominant role. Spectacular concerts and DJ sets offer night entertainment, including Decolonize Your Mind Society, Freakin ’Disco Chamber Electronics, Zagar, Siblicity, Polish audiovisual artist Ari Dykier, Dj dork and Zsiga Bernathy.
Additional events offer a lot of excitement as well. In the Workshop of Light (Fénybütykölde), everyone can create glowing jewellery and memorabilia themselves.
Every year “ambassadors of light” come to the festival; this year we are hosting Poland. In this context, Polish lighting and audio-visual concerts are going to enrich the program, while professional discussions are also going to be held with representatives of Polish light art.
This year, the festival goes beyond the city centre: the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter awaits visitors with light attractions at daytime.
Pécs is going to be the highlight of summer again this year!