Lux Helsinki light festival takes place from Saturday 5 to Wednesday 9 January 2019. The light installations will be displayed non-stop along the route between 5pm and 10pm. Here you can find important information on the festival and frequently asked questions.
Lux Helsinki 2019
Lux Helsinki light festival takes place from Saturday 5 to Wednesday 9 January 2019. The light installations will be displayed non-stop along the route between 5pm and 10pm.
The forthcoming Lux Helsinki light festival leads festival-goers from the Kansalaistori square in the city centre to the pretty district of Etu-Töölö. Satellite installations will spread the festival wider than ever before. Taking place from Saturday 5 January to Wednesday 9 January 2019, Lux Helsinki will once again present a brilliant range of light art that includes both international favourites and unique commissioned works, while also showing some of Finland’s most iconic monuments in a new light.
The official Lux Helsinki route stretches from the Kansalaistori square via Finlandia Hall and Kunsthalle Helsinki to the National Museum of Finland and has been designed as a dramaturgical series that should be seen in numerical order from start to finish.
Lux Helsinki 2019 is a truly diverse light festival that presents both new and old Helsinki: it celebrates our amazing new central library while at the same time recalling the revolutionary history of the Old Student House. Huge media screens will be transformed into tools for art that explores some of the biggest issues facing us in the future.
In addition to the twelve installations along the official route, Lux Helsinki will also present satellite installations that extend the festival for the first time across the city’s borders all the way to Hanasaari in the neighbouring municipality of Espoo. Satellite installations can be seen at the Old Student House, the Annantalo Arts Centre, the Kaapelitehdas Cultural Centre, and the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre Hanaholmen at Hanasaari. Altogether, Lux Helsinki 2019 presents around 30 works of light art.
Special traffic arrangements will be in place throughout the festival for public transport, private cars and cyclists. Traffic in the area will be guided by signposts and traffic controllers. Read more about special traffic arrangements here.
The event is free of charge to people of all ages, and it is accessible for persons with reduced mobility.
Is the route accessible for persons with reduced mobility?
All of the light installations along the route are fully accessible, but weather conditions should be taken into consideration. If there is snow, the route will be ploughed daily before the lights are turned on. The programme has detailed information about accessibility for indoor events.
What safety precautions are being taken for visitors?
Safety is always a priority for Lux Helsinki. The route has been planned together with Local Crew, which is responsible for safety arrangements, and local authorities.
Potential congestion areas have been taken into consideration when planning the route. In anticipation of the large number of visitors, some streets will be closed to traffic. There will also be a sufficient number of trained security stewards along the route. Please note, however, that occasional congestion is always possible during major public events.
Are dogs allowed along the route?
Due to the large numbers of people, we do not recommend bringing dogs with to the festival. In congested areas they can easily be trampled underfoot, and the special effects used in the installations – such as flashing lights and loud noises – may be frightening to dogs. If you do decide to bring your dog with for an evening walk along the route, we recommend doing so when fewer crowds can be expected.
Can I take photos or videos of the installations?
Yes, taking photos or videos of the festival and its installations for non-commercial purposes is permitted and even encouraged. You can share your images and videos on social media using the hashtag #luxhelsinki. The names and authors of the installations can be found in the programme. You can also find images from the festival in the image bank.
The centre of Helsinki is a no-fly zone, so using drones without a permit is prohibited. The festival’s security stewards are instructed to enforce this restriction. More information is available online here.
Is there free WiFi?
Yes, you can use Helsinki City Open WLAN. The signal is strongest at City Hall.
How can I submit feedback?
You can send feedback by e-mail to helsinki.marketing(at)hel.fi. We welcome all comments, positive and negative.
Why is the festival held around Epiphany at the beginning of January?
Helsinki is a diverse city with events all year round. The festival is organised during the post-Christmas holiday period to attract local residents, visitors from other parts of Finland and tourists visiting Helsinki at the start of the year.
Why does the festival last for just five days?
Lux Helsinki promotes a festival-like and communal atmosphere that is created by the people who attend the event. Lux Helsinki is not an exhibition. Restricting the festival to five days allows the organisers to obtain around 10 light installations a year while limiting the cost of security for the art work on public display.
How do you calculate the number of visitors to Lux Helsinki each year?
The same method has been used to calculate the number of visitors to the festival since 2013, and it is comparable to the method used for other international city events. Each evening throughout the festival the stewards estimate the number of people visiting each installation on an hourly basis, and the overall number of visitors is calculated accordingly. The stewards use hand-held tally counters to estimate the number of visitors, but since it’s a free-of-charge event that takes place outside in the city, it’s impossible to provide exact visitor numbers.
What is Lux Helsinki?
Lux Helsinki is a five-day light festival in the centre of Helsinki that is organised annually at the beginning of January. The festival presents a diverse range of light art along a new route each year that covers a few kilometres. In addition to the most famous buildings in Helsinki, the route also highlights lesser known courtyards and façades. The programme features specially commissioned new works and popular installations for international light festivals. The curators of the festival are artistic directors Ilkka Paloniemi and Matti Jykylä.
Over half a million visitors come each year to admire the festival, which transforms familiar buildings and spaces into unique works of urban art. The unforgettable experience created by the power and beauty of light attracts people to enjoy this winter festival during the darkest time of the year, even on the coldest nights. Throughout the festival, Helsinki will be brightened up with various light-themed events and the restaurant happening Lux Helsinki Eat.
Lux Helsinki is organised by the City of Helsinki. In 2017 the Helsinki Tourism Foundation presented the festival with the Helsinki Travel Award. which is presented annually to distinguished parties or events that have had a positive impact on the tourism industry, its reputation and customer satisfaction.