Nottingham celebrated Robin Hood Energy Light Night on Friday 5 February, and it proved to be hugely popular with over 50,000 people turning out – 10,000 more than last year.
Nottingham city centre was buzzing, with a party-like carnival atmosphere as families enjoyed the free festivities.
Footfall in the city was 51,514, as more people came out to celebrate Light Night than ever before in the event’s nine year history. The figure is up over 10,000 versus Light Night 2015 (41,163) and more than double a normal Friday night in winter (23,802).
Over 18,000 people visited Nottingham Castle and Brewhouse Yard alone, double the 9,000 who visited in 2015.
A record 2,500 people visited Nottingham Tourism Centre during the evening (up from 908 in 2015), and the Galleries of Justice saw sold-out walking tours and crowds of around 10,000.
Thousands also enjoyed a food and drink market at the Galleries of Justice, a community parade in Sneinton, and installations and market at St Mary’s Church, plus free walking tours of the Lace Market while in the Old Market Square, over 400 people took part in free tennis activities, with light up basketball, football and archery also on offer.
Football fans experienced a huge amount of Nottingham Forest related fun at Nottingham Contemporary with a City of Miracles themed event. Fans posed with the European Cup and met players and City of Miracles director Johnny Owen.
There were also over 50 other free events on offer including lantern lit processions, a silent disco, spaceship building, face-painting, light sabre fighting, and live music performances around the city.
Nottingham City Council has announced that Light Night 2017 will take place on 10 February 2017, and planning has already begun for the tenth Light Night.
Visitors can give their feedback on Light Night 2016 by taking part in an online survey at https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=145347442591.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “Light Night is one of the most important events we hold, opening up the city centre on a winter Friday night to people of all ages, especially families with young children. Free events and a friendly atmosphere attract thousands of extra visitors into the city and reflect our Purple Flag status. Light Night continues to grow in popularity and visitor numbers every year, and we want to encourage everyone to start planning for a fantastic tenth Light Night event now.
“Thank you to Nottingham City Council’s arts team for doing a fantastic job coordinating Light Night, and to partners, community organisations and businesses around the city for getting involved. Thanks also to our sponsor Robin Hood Energy.”
Chair of Robin Hood Energy, Cllr Alan Clark said, “Robin Hood Energy was delighted to be the sponsor for this year’s Light Night and what a great evening it was. Despite the gusty winds, those we spoke to seemed to be having a great time. A big thank you from Robin Hood Energy to all those people who visited our marquee – the face painting and the glow sticks seemed to go down a treat!”
David Wallace, interim Chief Executive at Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “Light Night 2016 was gaining national attention in the lead-up, and with thousands of people attending it was a great success for the visitor economy across the city. It brings in new audiences to see Nottingham’s attractions in a new light, and to enjoy dining and drinking in city centre establishments.”
James Dolan, general manager of Fothergills, said: “From a business point of view Light Night was excellent for us. We were really busy in the restaurant as well as in the bar and there was such a buzz. Events like this are great for the city and for businesses like ours, as they are a great way of attracting people to Nottingham in the evening.”
Craig Chettle, Chair of the Creative Quarter said: “It was an amazing night, from the Night Market on High Pavement, right through to events and the Unity Lantern Procession in Sneinton Market Square, with thousands of people flowing through the Creative Quarter. We commissioned a range of special one-off events and exhibits from a number of independent artists and organisations, designed to showcase the wealth of talent in the area, as well as independent businesses, cultural organisations and fantastic destinations like St Mary’s Church, Cobden Chambers and the Galleries of Justice.
“Light Night brought everyone together and drew more people than ever before into the Creative Quarter, which is great news for businesses and organisations based here and Nottingham as a whole. The city really does have so much to offer and Light Night 2016 well and truly shone a light on that.”
Nicola Burley Executive Director, Galleries of Justice Museum, said: “Light Night at the Galleries of Justice Museum was a great success. We had a tremendous amount of footfall on High Pavement and thousands of people enjoyed the market in the Shire Hall and the live music in our courtyard. Our ghost tours and Lace Market tours were also a hugely popular and the feedback that we had on the night was wonderful. It was fantastic to see so many families in Nottingham enjoying our magnificent venue and we’re looking forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary of Light Night next year.”