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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge light show at the Guildhall to run nightly from 14 to 27 February

14 February 2022

Flickering faces and fragments of life from the city’s past and present, along with iconic streetscapes, renowned cultural events and quirky details that sum up the essence of Cambridge, are all to be found on a specially commissioned 10-minute film to be projected onto the historic 1930s façade of the city centre Guildhall.

For two weeks each evening from Monday 14 – 27 February, Cambridge Light Show at the Guildhall will celebrate the Cambridge community, acknowledging some of the city’s history, industry, diversity, values and achievements.

A dazzling spectacle of colour, light and sound, this unique film mesmerises as it combines dynamic animation and archive imagery celebrating the evolution of the community through themes including: equality and inclusion; education; economy; creativity and culture and youth.

With an ambient soundtrack featuring sounds and music inspired by the city, the film content is being produced by Double Take Projections, specialists in projection mapping who’ve created spectacular projections for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and Royal Albert Docks.

This will be an opportunity to brighten the dark winter evenings for visitors to the Market Square.

Cllr Anna Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council and Executive Councillor for Communities, said: ‘Historically, culturally and socially, Cambridge is a uniquely vibrant city, blessed with plenty that’s worth celebrating. This specially commissioned film covers so many of these things that makes the city special; This is something that everyone can enjoy for free, including families on their Half Term Break. I’m delighted that the Guildhall, the administrative heart of the city, will be the backdrop for this fantastic show, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the film.’

The projections are funded by the Council from grant monies received from Government and the European Regional Development Fund to help the city get back on its feet following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Presented on a loop, running every evening from 6:30 pm – 9 pm, the film will feature imagery that resonates with local residents and also welcomes visitors. Viewers can expect to see archival images of the community from the near and distant past, as well as local sites, and animations representing activities the city is known for.

Cameron Gleave from Double Take Projections said: ‘Using a blend of archive imagery and 2D/3D animation, we produced the 10 minute film in collaboration with Cambridge City Council.

‘The animation takes us on a journey of evolution through Cambridge’s history to present day, illuminating the facade like never before. We wanted to celebrate the City’s diverse culture - exploring things like local art, architecture and most importantly the people that make up the community.

‘Many of the sequences stem directly from local influences using a mixture of old and contemporary archives to showcase events and festivals that are intrinsic to Cambridge. We’ve also taken artistic license to depict many of Cambridge’s galleries and museums and have reimagined some of the city’s iconic statues, bringing them to life.

‘Some scenes are also inspired by the Market Square in which the Guildhall proudly sits. As well as depicting the hustle and bustle of the market and its rich offerings, the facade will be Illuminated in colourful abstract patterns inspired by the market awnings that line the square.

‘It’s a great building to be projecting onto and we’re looking forward to seeing the animation in situ, scaled up to almost 50m wide!’

The project is being supported by the following partners: Cambridge City Council, HM Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cambridge BID (Business Improvement District) and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.