Light City, the first large-scale festival of light, music and innovation in the United States, is set to make its stunning return to Baltimore April 14 to 21, 2018. Experience Baltimore's brilliance with illuminated sculptures, interactive technologies and performances by artists from around the globe, as well as concerts, food vendors, daytime innovation conferences and an immersive, neighborhood-focused artist-in-residence program.
All outdoor Light City activities, performances and installations are available to guests free of charge.
The BGE Light Art Walk, a 1.5-mile path along the Inner Harbor at the heart of Light City, will feature light displays and sculptures created by international and local artists, as well as interactive technologies, performances, concerts and a fun-filled family zone. Six of this year's 21 installations can be found on or near the National Aquarium campus. The Eighth Art by Baltimore artists Erinn Hagerty and Adam P. Savje is a 24-foot, translucent geodesic dome near Gunther Circle that guests can walk into to experience the kinetic, light-modulating sculpture that resides at the center.
In the canal between Piers 4 and 5, guests can enjoy two underwater displays. At the top of the canal, What Lies Beneath by Formstone Castle Collective includes an LED screen placed below the water's surface that illuminates a natural and unnatural ecosystem with a mix of animation and video, including footage filmed at the Aquarium. Animated underwater lights at the bottom of the canal suggest organisms that appear to be breathing, shifting and pulsating in Some Thing in the Water, created by Post Typography, PI.KL and Figure 53.
Across the water on Pier 1, Whale Ghost by the French artist studio Pitaya is a monumentally scaled kinetic sculpture that echoes marine mammal and fossil skeleton … and was directly inspired by the artists' visit to the Aquarium and the iconic fin whale skeleton! This is an exciting example of when art and science intersect to inspire reflection about the impact of mankind on our planet's biodiversity.
The illumination will extend beyond the harbor in Light City's Neighborhood Lights, an immersive artist-in-residence program that allows Baltimore-based artists to create a visual or performance art project in 14 neighborhoods.
From April 18 to 21, 2018, guests can challenge their perspectives in Labs@LightCity, a collection of daytime innovation conferences that bring changemakers across various industries together to explore the challenge of building more responsible and equitable cities.
Don't miss GreenLab@LightCity on Thursday, April 19, where National Aquarium Senior Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer Kris Hoellen will join a conversation about plastic pollution and a sustainable path for the future.
Attendees must register in advance for Labs@LightCity, but can choose their own admission price in this year's new pay-what-you-can ticketing model.
CHECK OUT THE CONFERENCES
The National Aquarium is proud to be at the heart of this only-in-Baltimore event with not only several light installations around our campus, but also a food and beverage station on Pier 3 that aligns with our focus on supporting sustainable seafood. Thanks to our partners Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Harbor Market Catering, guests can enjoy Chesapeake Bay-themed food and beverages in our "The Chesapeake" pop-up restaurant. Take a break from exploring the brilliance of Baltimore to enjoy a Dogfish SeaQuench Ale and items from our menu of sustainable seafood options!
Daytime guests visiting the Aquarium will enjoy special programming that sheds some light on energy conservation and simple ways they can help protect critical ocean environments. These family-friendly activities will be available for Aquarium guests to enjoy during regular operating hours, including Half-Price Friday Nights, presented by M&T Bank.
What are the festival dates and times?
Light City kicks off on Saturday, April 14, and continues through Saturday, April 21, 2018. Light installations will be on display from 7 pm to 11 pm on Monday through Thursday, and Sunday night. Friday and Saturday nights extend to midnight.
Does Light City cost money?
All light displays and performances are 100 percent free! This year, tickets for Labs@LightCity are available in a pay-what-you-can format. To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Light City website.
Does the Aquarium offer discounts?
Light City's outdoor festivities are free. Aquarium admission is always half price on Fridays after 5 pm—including on Friday, April 20, 2018—through Half-Price Friday Nights, presented by M&T Bank.
What musicians and bands will be performing and when?
Check out Light City's website for details on musical performances, lineups and show times.