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Sutton gets ready for first Light Night

Posted onPosted on 8th Feb

Final preparations are under way for the first ever Light Night Ashfield this Friday and Saturday, 11 February and 12 February, in Sutton town centre.

This free two-night event, presented by local arts charity First Art, will welcome performances, artworks, street theatre and more from international, national and local artists.

ABOVE: Invisible Man 2021 photo by Electric Egg

Walking the streets on Friday night will be Dundu, a five-metre tall illuminated puppet all the way from Stuttgart.

Friday night also welcomes Spark!, the troupe of luminescent high-impact drummers, creating a storm with their walkabout performances.

Saturday night sees these two larger-than-life acts come together in a special performance titled Sense of Unity, a 50-minute walkabout show that will light-up the landscape of the town centre. Expect playful puppets, high-energy music and a visual spectacle as the show parades through Sutton town centre. The gentle giant Dundu will be joined by baby Dundu and supported by the rhythms and sounds from Worldbeaters’ Spark!.

On both nights, other walkabout spectacles will include the mesmerising Invisible Man, and The Light Cycle from Mansfield-based Urban Projections, which will be beaming on to streets and buildings artworks from last year’s Ashfield Arts Festival along with Dawn Chorus, a short piece commissioned by First Art from Urban Projections and Fabric Lenny in 2020.

Performances will start from different locations each night including the main stage in Sutton Market North Car Park, Idlewells Shopping Centre, Portland Square and Low Street. Full details are available in the event guide.

Idlewells Shopping Centre will play host on both nights to several artworks inside and out, including The Nectary – six giant flower heads that you place your head inside to hear recordings of insects, the encouraging neon Signs of Hope, All You Need Is Love – a huge neon declaration, and Big Knitting by Victoria MacLeod – a massive piece of luminous knitting on jumbo knitting needles suspended on the building outside. On Low Street you can also see Benjamin Kay’s CMYRGB installation With Many Hands, For Many People.

The eight-metre illuminated robotic inflatable snail, Luma, will be waiting for visitors at Sutton Community Academy both Friday and Saturday. The venue will also be where Light Night visitors can have a go at Glow-in-the-dark Doodling with Dizzy Ink, and dance like nobody’s watching at the illuminated Silent Disco by Silent Noize

On Saturday night, The Regency Dance Centre will become the Neon Ballroom featuring performances from professional dancers as well as a specially commissioned piece where local dancers and children literally light up the ballroom.

Karl Greenwood, First Art director, said: “We’re really chuffed to be able to bring such a wide range of acts and artists to Sutton-in-Ashfield. The purpose of this event is to be ambitious and to bring the people of Ashfield together to experience something completely different, offering a sense of hope after what has been such a tough time. We hope this will not only be the first of many Light Nights to come but also the beginnings of many more cultural experiences and opportunities for local people and partners to take part and work with us.”

First Art thanked Ashfield District Council, Idlewells Shopping Centre, Regency Dance Centre and Sutton Community Academy, all of whom have enabled this event to take place.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said: “We are thrilled that First Art are bringing such a fantastic event to Sutton and we are proud to be able to support it. The council is committed to bringing excellent free cultural experiences and events to Ashfield, and Light Night looks set to be an amazing evening for the whole family.”

Idlewells is also supporting the event by offering free parking from 5pm on both nights, along with its own range of activities and giveaways, including an interactive brain-teasing Neuron Race game and an Air Hockey table, together with free goodie bags containing a range of luminous items.

Chloe O’Donnell, centre manager, added: “Light Night promises to be a memorable event for Sutton and for Idlewells. This two-day showpiece occasion presents a special opportunity for the local community to celebrate the way light shapes and transforms our lives. We’re excited to be a part of it and to be able to bring the local community together in partnership with the creative team at First Art.”

There will be a Light Night Info Point in Sutton Market North Car Park, where the Main Stage is located. Toilets will also be situated here as well as at Idlewells and Sutton Community Academy.  A range of food and beverages will be available to buy from vendors in the town centre.

Full details of all the performances, artworks and activities, together with other useful information such as getting to the event, can be found at

The Event Guide can be downloaded from the website or viewed at Paper copies are available to pick up ahead of the event from Idlewells and other businesses in the town centre, Sutton Library and the Lammas Leisure Centre. Copies will also be available at the event from the Light Night Info Point and stewards.