To celebrate the summer solstice, Nottingham will host its first-ever Lightest Night on Friday 21 June.
Making the most of an expected 17 hours of daylight and building on the success and popularity of February’s long-running Light Night, the city will come to life from 5pm; offering all kinds of family-friendly entertainment as well as special, later opening times at some of the city’s favourite venues. The majority of these events and activities are free.
Visitors will be able to sample tasty treats from across the continent at the European Market in Old Market Square (until 10.30pm) and enjoy a few summery songs from the Nottingham City Tuneless Choir on the Council House steps (7pm).
There will also be performances from Circo Rum Ba Ba (at 6pm and 8pm) as a couple of eccentric, moustachioed waiters bring their Bicycle Bistro to the Square and Smithy Row, winding up the gramophone and causing café circus chaos.
Also on Smithy Row, from 6 till 9.30pm, will be the LIFE BOAT: an interactive art installation and the slowest ride on Earth. Throughout the evening, Can Samba will be doing their thing across the city centre in a colourful carnival of tropical rhythms, or why not enjoy by DJ Steve Cutz in Trinity Square.
In the heart of the Lace Market, St Mary’s Church will be holding a summer garden party with the Creative Quarter including food, drink and musical entertainment, while Sneinton Market Avenues will host Nottingham Street Food Club and the Avenues’ resident independents will be open for business.
Not far from the city centre, Nottingham Arboretum will host a magical evening of outdoor performances, including the playful circus, puppetry and theatre of Look Up by Hikapee (5.15pm and 7.15pm) and a large-scale willow puppet coming to life in Awakening Titania (5 till 9pm). There will also be RTO Sound System on the decks (until 10pm), a bar and live music at 6pm and 8pm.
Elsewhere, as well as venues across the city opening their doors for a little longer than usual; there will be homemade pizza available at Green’s Windmill (until 8pm). On the other side of the city, Nottingham Playhouse will be the place for a drink in the plaza and One Night in Miami… with 60s icons Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Cassius Clay (show from 7.30pm).
This family-friendly event is supported by Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) and over 20 fantastic community groups and venues in the city and is being organised by Nottingham City Council in partnership with the Creative Quarter.
Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture, and IT at Nottingham City Council, said: “Following another fantastic Light Night this year, Nottingham City Council is proud to bring a brand-new summer event to our residents and visitors alike. Lightest Night is a brilliant opportunity for families to explore the city centre on what promises to be a fun, safe and – with a bit of luck – sunny evening!”
“It’s great that we are celebrating the longest day with this diverse programme of entertainment and activities to attract people to the city centre and we are pleased to be supporting this initiative through our brand, It’s in Nottingham,” said Jeff Allen, chairman of Nottingham BID.
“Nottingham does such a great job of attracting families into the city centre for Light Night on what can be a cold evening in February, imagine what could be possible in June. From small acorns grow mighty oak trees and in time Lightest Night could become just as popular – and just as much fun – as Light Night” Stephen Barker, CEO Nottingham Creative Quarter
For more information about late-night openings and the full entertainment programme, visit whatsonnottingham.com/lightest-night.