Essen Light Festival 2017

Essen Light Festival, kick-off event for the Essen light weeks


Essen Light Festival, kick-off event for the Essen light weeks

Follow the WAZ-Route through the city centre of Essen

Sunday, 29 October 2017 to Saturday, 11 November 2017, from 18:00 to 22:00 daily

Free of charge

Programme (german) location plan (german)

The second Essen Light Festival is the kick-off event for the Essen light weeks. From 29 October to 11 November you can follow a 2,5 km trail through the city centre of Essen to see opulent light shows, colourful video mappings and fantastic light installations on and in prominent buildings near the WAZ-Route. The 15 venues can be easily explored by foot in around 2 hours. All venues are open from 18:00 to 22:00 – shows are looped. The entrance is free of charge.


Curtain of Light, Willy-Brandt-Platz

An impressive 16x6m LED curtain floats at a lofty height above Willy-Brandt-Platz – one of a kind in Germany. Be inspired by exciting images and animations surrounding the themes “European Green Capital – Essen 2017”, Essen Light Weeks, the international Christmas market in Essen and Essen Light Festival’s modern and graphic elements. The curtain has been programmed by the Essen agency V2A.Net which specialises in the programming of LED walls and has supported many national and international projects in the past. 

Dach des Lichts (Ceiling of lights), Kettwiger Tor

A sky of lights shines over the heads of visitors at the entrance to Kettwiger Straße. This effect is produced by hundreds of powerful LED sticks. The changing rain, snow and wave effects are sure to impress. The spectacular 3D light installation was created by Richard Röhrhoff.


Tree of light, Grillo-Theater

Already last year it proved to be a popular photo and selfie motif: The tree of light; festively set in front of the impressive facade of the Grillo-Theater. The tree was designed by MK Illumination, the company which is also responsible for all of the Christmas lighting throughout the city centre. The company, which operates worldwide, has many years of experience with the atmospheric illumination of public spaces and shopping centres.

Lichtrad (Wheel of light), Burgplatz

Passengers are close to the heavens when riding the wheel of light by the entertainment company “Wilhelm+Söhne” on Burgplatz. The big wheel carries riders an entire 45 metres up into the sky and lets them float above the rooftops of the illuminated city. But not just the city is illuminated. The spokes and gondolas of the wheel of light shine via centrally controlled lighting of all colours which can be programmed into a unique light show.

Prices & Opening hours


Dome to heaven, Domhof

“Dome To Heaven” is a spectacular 3D video mapping which literally “shines a new light” on the side wing of the Essen Cathedral. Visitors can expect musically synchronised imagery which depict the Cathedral’s interior on the outside, create new architectural elements and transform the sacred building into a futuristic spaceship. The spaceship takes the audience on a journey through the clouds, the heavens and the never-ending world of outer space. This is a collaborative project with our partner festival “GLOW” Eindhoven.

Supported by the Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kultursekretariat Wuppertal und Kulturbüro Essen.

Wolkenklang (Cloud sounds), Marktkirche

The Marktkirche, Essen’s first protestant church, is artistically illuminated – which fits well with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Essen’s Daniel Kurniczak brings Heaven into the church with his light and sound installation. He lets clouds float in the sound, accompanied by a dreamy play of colour.

Brunnenbrücke (Fountain bridge), Fontänengasse

The new and permanent light production of the fountain in Fontänengasse creates a welcoming and open door to the Kreativquartier City Nord.Essen.  A play of lights takes up the element of water and accompanies it in a high arch over the street.

Lichtwendel (Light spiral), Kopstadtplatz

A completely new and permanent light production will decorate Kopstadtplatz starting from 29 October and create an even more radiant “entrance” to the Kreativquartier City Nord.Essen. Light and object artist Dr Lars Meeß-Olsohn beat out the competition in an artistic contest with his installation, “Lichtwendel”.

Supported by the Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Opening ceremony to be led by Mayor Thomas Kufen on Sunday, 29/10 at 18:45

„Lightroof / Büro-Büro“, Kastanienhöfe

With a creative play of light, Essen’s Daniel Kurniczak creates a production on the facade of the new Allbau AG headquarters. In the approximately 8-minute production, the artist playfully bridges the gap between daily work and the enjoyment of the Light Festival. In addition, extremely strong, movable spotlights create a “lightroof” between the Kastanienhöfe and the GOP Varieté-Theater, including a mulled wine bar.

Lumi Seeds, Kastanienallee

“Lumi Seeds” hang in select trees along the Kastanienallee all the way down to the University quarter, creating a cosy atmosphere between the venues Kastanienhöfe and Green Centre Essen. The luminous seeds were designed by the Argentinian-Austrian artist, Leo Bettinelli.

Schattenspiele (Shadow play), Universitätsviertel / Grüne Mitte

Become an actor and light artist here. Let your fantasy run wild at the various stations in the University quarter.

Angels of Freedom, Berliner Platz / Funke Media Office

Whether as a selfie motif or simply something beautiful to look at – the three “Angels of Freedom” make up the wonderful “social light installation” by Gaston Zahr and Merav Eitan from the Israel Station in Essen who have already been exhibitors at many other light festivals around the world. The collaborative project with the “Lights of Jerusalem” festival brings the concept of freedom in front of the new Funke Media Office.

Hikarinoki, Limbecker Platz

The tree “Hikarinoki” in the Limbecker Platz shopping centre is beautiful and a guaranteed eye-catcher, presented by the internationally renowned French light artist, Philippe Morvan. The artificial tree made from buckets, plastic bowls and even a pot illuminates in the Rotunde Rom and invites visitors to marvel at its 8-minute light and colour show.

Urban Light Garden, Salzmarkt

The Austrian light artist, Markus Anders, transforms the Salzmarkt into a courtyard of flowers. Fitting with the title “European Green Capital – Essen 2017”, the space between Kennedyplatz and III. Hagen can be experienced as a flower garden, even in winter. The oversized sculptures by Anders invite you to linger and are integrated perfectly into the scene of the existing large, old trees which have likewise been appropriately illuminated.

Baum der Wünsche (Wish tree), Am Waldthausenpark

The “Baum der Wünsche” is an interactive “social light installation” by festival producer, Richard Röhrhoff. This is how it works: Simply download the “EssenOn” app from the App Store and wish for a “moment”. The tree will give away one of four “moments” every three minutes. Let yourself be surprised!


Förderer / Institutions