Outdoor and Spectacle
Our Outdoor Work has transformed and reimagined some of Harrogate’s most recognisable public spaces into a treat for the senses with spectacular installations and captivating street art by national and international artists.
Our outdoor work not only adds to the town for those who live here, redefining the town’s sense of self, but also showcases Harrogate, attracting new visitors and audiences into the town and vastly increasing the wider cultural offering.
We focus on bringing speculator installations to the people of Harrogate and Yorkshire programming the perfect work in the perfect location. As with all our events we heavily subsidise the tickets for our Outdoor Works, absorbing as much of the cost as we can to make the ticket prices as low as possible. This ensures that as many people can attend the event as would like to, taking away a barrier of arts attendance.
Our most recent largescale Outdoor Projects have included:
A sensational night-time Fire and Light Experience saw Harrogate’s Valley Gardens transformed in March 2022 into a magical feast for the senses.
Delivered by Harrogate International Festivals, the town centre park came alive for three nights with a series of dazzling displays and trails which celebrated the elements of fire and water.
For its 2022 curtain raiser, HIF teamed up Culture Creative, who specialise in creating spectacular shows in heritage and landscape settings, and whose clients include Kew Gardens, Blenheim Palace, The National Trust and English Heritage.
The Fire and Light Experience – a trail of blaze and brilliance through the Valley Gardens – was staged from dusk until 10pm on the nights of Thursday, March 24 through to Saturday, March 26, and was part funded by Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate BID.
In 2019 over 5,000 people witnessed the Harrogate 1571 installation as part of the UCI celebrations and Harrogate Welcomes The World. Working with artist James Bawn HIF created a series of lighting installations that lit up the sky across Harrogate celebrating Harrogate’s spa heritage.
The 36 wells within the Bogs Field area of the Valley Gardens were lit using ever changing beacons of light to create a 3-dimensional map of the 36 wells. To complement the work the iconic Harrogate landmark situated at Harrogate’s highest point – the Harlow Hill water tower – was also lit.
The project also involved the installation of a sculptural lighting installation featuring many of the wells and properties found in the waters in Harrogate. This was brought to life by Cult-ore and Harrogate Steel.
The area we lit within the Valley Gardens is a wonder of the natural world, where a greater number of unique mineral springs come to the surface than at any other known place on earth!
Among the 2018 programme highlights was the Pentalum Luminarium by Architects of Air where 5,000 people immersed themselves over four days in a world of colour in an inflatable sculpture on the iconic Harrogate Stray.
Carefully positioned on the West Park Stray, this iconic structure became the centrepiece of our outdoor programming in July, drawing audiences of all ages into the town. The visual outside of the structure belayed the inside, making this a double artistic experience with the luminarium an intriguing shape, with interiors that are brilliantly iridescent and a maze of dazzling and unexpected spaces. The structure introduced audiences of all ages and abilities to the arts in radiant colour. Through labyrinthine tunnels and cavernous domes, visitors moved (walked, rolled, crawled) or just sat and soaked in the atmosphere and space, in a medium of saturated and subtle hues, accompanied by a gentle sensory soundscape enjoying a programme that mixed a family-friendly interactive installation with stylish and impactful artistic design.
In 2016 over 25,000 people experienced the iconic Valley Gardens over three nights when we transformed the garden into a fire garden in a magical feast for the senses with the Cie Carabosse Fire Garden.
The beautiful park and gardens played host to a fiery spectacle of sculptures and installations on a grand scale designed by the minds of Cie Carabosse. Visitors were invited to explore this space they knew so well, in a completely different way.
Using flaming flower-pots, wax, coal and whistling cast-iron contraptions, with music resonating throughout the night, we transformed this familiar space into an otherworldly fire-gardens. We invited audiences to follow the paths and roam through blazing landscapes, pass by hand-made metallic inventions and be warmed by red-hot charcoal as these musicians, dreamers, metal-workers, storytellers and old soul fire-brands created a fairground of fire where deepest imaginings could be set free.