Liverpool’s Lantern Company have today announced their decision to change the date and location of this season’s annual Lantern Carnival.
The event, which is usually staged on Halloween in Sefton Park and attracts audiences of over 15,000 people, will move in a new direction for its 11th year.
The carnival stands out as a great family arts festival, a result of unique support from the local community and continued support and funding from Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool and Arts Council England.
The Lantern Festival is set to expand into a three night event held over the February half term 2016 (18th, 19th and 20th). The new location will be announced in the near future.
Jo Pocock, artistic director of the Lantern Company, said:
“Every year presents new artistic challenges and as the audience has increased year on year we feel the time is right to make some changes, in order to stay true to the spirit of the event and retain the intimacy and magic of the Lantern Festival for our family-based audience.
“The challenge is that as the event and audience grows, it requires added infrastructure to keep it running safely.
“This year we have so far been unable to raise the wider funding needed via sponsorship, so we are making a little more time for some new sponsors to step forward.
“We are also launching a crowd funding campaign, and although the event needs to be ticketed there will be a free entry to our community participants.
“We have spent many months planning and believe the changes will allow our audiences the chance to experience something brand new, exciting and unknown.”
The festival will feature a strong environmental theme and on each of the three nights our audience will experience a luminous, otherworldly journey through a secret woodland and waterway route, revealing pockets of illuminated magic, giant insects, live music and other astonishing sights.
Jackie Swanson, project director added:
“The popular lantern-making workshops will remain at the heart of the event, taking place throughout February and during the spring half term.
“Community lantern participants will then become a part of the visual spectacle as they carry their hand held lanterns, to light their path at the event.
“We really hope to keep all the community participants and performance partners on board with us, to take part in just as big a way as in previous years’ Lantern Festivals.
“It is our intention to build on this event and bring Halloween Lantern Carnival back to its usual October date next year. In fact, we would like to see this extend to a week long activity across locations in the Liverpool City region in 2016.”
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:
“We were disappointed when we were first informed about Liverpool Lantern Company’s difficult decision for the event not to go ahead this year, but we support their creative vision.
“The prospect of a three-night event opens up new artistic possibilities, and we look forward to finding out more about the look and feel of the 2016 festival.”