Once a year, Amsterdam is literally placed in the spotlight during the Amsterdam Light Festival. This is a local, relatively new tradition that you should try not miss. You will realise why once you have seen it! The Amsterdam Light Festival 2018 is the sixth edition of the winter light festival, and is perfect for all ages.
The historic city centre of Amsterdam is the backdrop for a light and water festival lasting no less than 53 days. The Amsterdam Light Festival 2018 takes place from November 30, 2017 to January 21, 2018. This year, the festival will once again be the setting for a number of special surprises.
Over 40 light sculptures and works of art based upon a specific theme are constructed along and on the beautiful Amsterdam canals. All of these incredible creations have been brought into being by national and international artists, designers and architects. This year’s theme is ‘Existential’; exhibiting artists have studied what brings people together, and the role light plays within the creation of different communities.
Call for Concepts, Amsterdam Light Festival
Every year, the Amsterdam Light Festival organises a worldwide ‘Call for Concepts’. This is an invitation to designers and artists from all over the world to submit their imaginative proposals for the following year’s theme.
This year had no less than 800 entries, of which an international jury has chosen more than 40 artistic concepts. These will all be on glorious show during the Amsterdam Light Festival 2018.
Every festival is unique!
What many people do not realise is that all light art installations are specifically made for each edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival, and are designed to fit in with certain city locations. Every show is unique!
Examples of the artwork on show in 2018 are light installations created by artists this past year which will be mounted onto the masts of the Dutch East India Company ship, De Amsterdam (located at the Scheepvaartmuseum), and on an exquisite light art installation stretched across the Herengracht canal.
Amsterdam Light Festival tour
There are two ways to make the most of your visit to the Amsterdam Light Festival 2018.
The first option, and in my opinion the best, is with an Amsterdam Light Festival cruise which floats along the canals between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The lights of these one-off modern masterpieces illuminate the city waterways and transform Amsterdam into a glittering winter wonderland. If you have already considered enjoying an evening cruise through Amsterdam, this is definitely the best time to do it!
The boat route known as ‘Watercolours’ takes you past each work of art from the Amsterdam canals to the Amstel river. The duration of the cruise is approximately 75 minutes. You can also listen to an audio guide as you bob your way along the water, admiring these fluorescent, breathtaking creations.