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Light City is Back!

Electrifying Festival Illuminates Inner Harbor Through April 21

Ursula V. Battle | 4/13/2018, 6 a.m.
Light City, the nation’s first large-scale light, music and innovation festival returns for its third year with the theme “More ...
Three of the light installations which will be on display during Light City 2018, created by artists from Belgium, China, Canada, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Virginia, Illinois and Maryland. (Top) Harbor Memory by XXS Group, rendering by Moya Sun (Above left) The Herd, concept rendering by Kelley Bell (Above right) The Eighth Art Rendering by Erinn E. Hagerty and Adam P. Savje. Courtesy Photo/Light City 2018

Light City, the nation’s first large-scale light, music and innovation festival returns for its third year with the theme “More Love, More Lights!” This year’s festival indeed lives up to its 2018 theme, as it expanded to three weekends.

Neighborhood Lights ran April 6, 2018 through April 8, 2018. The Light City art and music festival runs April 14-21, 2018, while the Labs@LightCity social innovation conference will take place April 18, 2018 through April 21, 2018.

The “enlightening” festival is presented by The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), and is being held at Baltimore’s waterfront (from the Inner Harbor to Harbor East).

BOPA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, events agency, and film office. By producing large-scale events such as Light City, Artscape and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city. Light City is free and open to the public.

All of the 21 light installations on display are brand new to Light City, with distinguished artists hailing from Belgium, China, Canada, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Virginia and Illinois. Ten of the distinguished artists are from Baltimore.

According to BOPA, many of the artworks have overarching themes related to topics such as sustainability, marine life, Baltimore history, social justice, healthy waterways, transformation and relationships.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Light City has spread to touch even more Baltimore neighborhoods through expanded Neighborhood Lights and Brilliant Baltimore programs and a new “Eye on Charlie” initiative. Presented by WJZ-TV, “Eye on Charlie” is an original light art piece from 2016 that was created by Tim Scofield, Kyle Mille, Steve Dalnekoff and Will Cocks.

Beginning on April 9, 2018, “Charlie the Peacock” began traveling throughout the city, popping up in different surprise locations. The Peacock is an automated kinetic sculpture measuring 40 feet wide by 20 feet tall and is lighted with 15,000 LED lights.

Clues are given out on WJZ-TV and Light City’s social media channels daily to hint to Charlie’s whereabouts that night. The initiative concludes April 21, 2018. On the final night of Light City, “Charlie the Peacock” will join the festival at the Inner Harbor for closing fireworks.

Labs@LightCity, the festival’s social innovation conference, generates a glowing ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day, before the bright lights and live entertainment make Baltimore shine at night. The festival also offers a variety of family fun entertainment and local food and beverage offerings.

Light City’s BGE Light Art Walk, transforms the harbor’s brick-lined promenade to an interactive playground with awe-inspiring light art installations, performances, concerts, a fun-filled family zone and special moments including an opening night parade and a closing night fireworks finale.

Entertainment along the BGE Light Art Walk includes interactive, illuminated strolling and pop-up performances and a full schedule of live concerts and DJ sets on two stages. On the Light Up the Night! Concert Stage at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, headlining acts include Grand Master Flash on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 10 p.m.; G. Love & Special Sauce Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:30 p.m.; and Kimbra Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10:30 p.m.

On the new Club Light City Stage presented by Morgan State University, runs the duration of the festival, and features house, dance and hip hop DJs, along with local talent such as TrillNatured, Mighty Mark and DJ LoveGoddess.

Festival hours are from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 p.m.- midnight on Friday and Saturdays.

For a complete listing of light art and activities found at Light City 2018, visit Light City’s website: www.lightcity.org.

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum will hold “A Light City Celebration Food- Fun-Games- Light Show,” featuring a surprise Light City guest on Friday April 20, 2018 from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum Lot located at 1601 E. North Avenue in Baltimore. Event admission is free, while museum admission is half-off. For more information call 410-563-3404.