Huge multi-sensory pop-up coming to Bristol’s College Green this summer

Bristol Light Festival is bringing a huge multi-sensory installation to College Green this summer. Called Luminarium, the inflatable will be a family-friendly immersive experience and free to enter.

Luminarium will be a fully accessible pop-up on College Green from August 4-14. Visitors will be invited to enter a world of wonder when the world-famous inflatable domes filled with natural light and colour visit the city this summer.

Taking inspiration from natural forms, Islamic and Gothic cathedrals and modern architecture, the Luminarium is a sunlight-powered sensory experience featuring kaleidoscopic colours, domes, tunnels and pods.

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A luminarium is a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes where natural forms and light meld into an inspiring mix of design and engineering. Visitors walking through the paths will experience the beauty of light and colour in a whole new way.

An Instagrammer’s dream, this installation is truly designed for every member of the family and every age group. As a multi-sensory environment, it is also accessible for those with complex needs.

The free-to-enter and inflatable walk-in art experience, half the size of a football pitch, has travelled with other luminaria across 43 countries, hosting a total of more than 3 million visitors since being created by Alan Parkinson, designer and founder of Architects of Air, in 1992.

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Alan Parkinson said: “We grew Architects of Air from a theatre project for people with learning disabilities. Inclusivity has remained at the heart of the work we do with each exhibition of Luminarium. It embraces all ages, all abilities, all cultures and communities.

“The residency at College Green this summer will be the first time a Luminarium has visited Bristol in 21 years and we can’t wait to see how people interact with the experience – it’s a truly unique response from each visitor.”

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID, said: “The summer in Bristol is a wonderful time to be in the city centre and hosting the magical Luminarium will be a great boost for the businesses in the area. It will fill our city with colour and art and be a fantastic addition to the already bustling calendar of events and experiences for tourists and residents alike.

Visitors will be invited to enter a world of wonder when the world-famous inflatable domes visit the city this summer

“We’re also looking forward to programming the experience with sessions from Bristol creatives to include music, poetry and even some yoga. We will be outreaching to communities across Bristol to invite them to enjoy this unique free experience.”

Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Finance, Governance and Performance, said: “We’re delighted to see the Luminarium arriving in the city in August. Culture and events form a key part of our city’s offering to those who choose to live, work and study here.

“Supporting the recovery of the sector through the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal Programme and bringing people into the city is providing a much-needed boost to local businesses after a difficult few years. We look forward to seeing communities from across the city and all walks of life enjoy this free-to-access activity on College Green.”

The Luminarium is fully wheelchair accessible, set across one level, and schools and organisations for children and adults with accessibility needs are being invited to join in the experience with quieter sessions available.

Tickets are free for all and can be booked online in advance here, with walk-ups also available. It will open from 1pm-7pm daily from August 4-14.

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