LUMEN, Crewe’s hugely-successful festive lights display, is postponed for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, town councillors have announced today.
The month-long attraction will make a big come back in 2021 featuring the creative flair of the team behind Blackpool’s world-famous illuminations and talented local artists participating in a new Lumen LightLab project.
Over the past two years Lumen has drawn massive crowds from across South Cheshire and beyond to a switch-on event on Municipal Square and Crewe town councillors say it is with a ‘heavy heart’ they need to cancel the major launch they were planning for November 27.
Crewe Town Council has been widely applauded by townspeople and visitors alike on social media for stage-managing an event of such huge scale.
In previous years more than 10,000 people have crowded into the town centre to enjoy an action-packed night of entertainment and the countdown to a projected illumination lighting up Municipal Buildings.
Earlier this year the council announced it was enlisting Blackpool Council’s illuminations team to devise more breath-taking displays in the run up to Christmas 2020. As the pandemic took hold, plans changed to a town trail avoiding the need for large crowds to gather in one place.
With a second lockdown now in force, the council has postponed to next year following in the footsteps of so many events up and down the country, including Blackpool lights now suspended until further notice.
Cllr Joe Cosby, who chairs the Crewe Town Council’s marketing and events committee, said: “Lumen has been a huge hit for Crewe and has quickly become a much-loved event on the calendar for families from far and wide.
“It is with a heavy heart and great disappointment we announce Lumen will not take place this year but the safety of our townspeople and visitors is our top priority.
“We look forward to making a big come-back with Lumen in 2021, when local artists will have an opportunity to be part of this great success story for Crewe.”
The move to involve more homespun talent follows on comments from local artists expressing how much they would like to take part.
Lumen LightLab, fully funded by Arts Council England and Cheshire East Council, is now up and running targeting emerging and mid-career local artists who have a desire to develop light-art work and become part of future Lumen events.
The project is anchored in Crewe and prioritises artists from the area who can add extra shine to Christmas in the town with stunning installations.
Masterclasses with experts in the light festival field have already taken place during a trip to Blackpool by 10 artists and the best three designs will be unveiled during Lumen 2021.
Cllr Cosby added: “No one could have predicted how the pandemic would change our lives and how it continues to deprive us of events and social gatherings we once took for granted.
“We know many people were looking forward to Lumen and we hope they will understand our need to prioritise safety. We hope to come back bigger and brighter next year. In the meantime let’s stay safe.
“Christmas is likely to look a little different for us all but we can appreciate the meaning and do what we can to support others.”