Call for Illuminated Artworks

Light Up Leicester is an ambitious spectacle event that animates the public realm with illuminated, engaging and playful light-based artworks led by Leicester City Council’s Festivals & Events Department, BID Leicester and creative producer ArtReach. The Light Up Leicester team are seeking proposals from artists for up to 3 adaptations or new works to feature in the 2022 programme.


Festival Dates: 3rd – 6th March 2022.

Installation Dates: 28th February – 3rd March 2022.

Number of Commissions: up to 3.

Fee: £5,000 – £7,500 including all materials and all other costs.

Deadline: Sunday 19th December 2021, midnight.


Over four days, Light Up Leicester will illuminate the city centre with a trail of stunning and playful artworks. We are looking for artists to join our after dark trail, and are looking for proposals for new work or adaptations of existing work that responds to one or more of these themes:

  • Environment: Climate Emergency and Environmental Issues.
  • Leicester: Local culture, places and/or people- a piece which reflects our city.
  • Open call: We are looking for something which will engage our family audiences, and offer a unique way of using light for our event.

We have one commissioning opportunity per theme.

Commission applications will need to demonstrate:

  • The artwork is illuminated or lit in an interesting, unusual or unique way.
  • The artwork is connected with one of the above themes in a meaningful way.
  • The artwork is of sufficient scale and impact to attract passers-by and members of the public who are not necessarily there to seek it out.
  • The artwork is new, or is an adaptation of an existing work that responds to Leicester and our event.
  • All artworks will need to be suitable for family audiences and on display for the duration of the festival.
  • The artwork is suitable for outdoor presentation.

We also invites artists to think about:

  • Location: All artwork will be exhibited outdoors in the city centre, and we would like you to think about where your piece will be best suited. Possible artwork locations in Leicester City Centre include: Jubilee Square, Market Square, Clock Tower, the Lanes, Town Hall Square, Cathedral Gardens, Orton Square, St Martin’s Square, Green Dragon Square. In addition to high profile locations, the festival also wants to animate some less travelled areas of the city, for example alleyways, archways and shop fronts.
  • Materials: Artists should think about the impact their work will have on the environment. Low energy artworks are encouraged. Artwork will be presented outdoors, so you will need to consider this when choosing materials. Fabrication processes should be thoroughly considered and detailed in the application.
  • Time of year: The festival takes place in March and runs from 5.30pm – 10.30pm each night, please be aware of light levels at this time of year within your proposal.

Artist Fees and additional support

As part of your proposal please include a budget. Proposals should cover all aspects of the artwork, including but not limited to concept design, artwork development and fabrication, materials, transportation, insurance, any technical requirements and travel and accommodation.

We are welcoming individual proposals of between £5,000+VAT and £7,500+VAT.

Light up Leicester will cover the following costs:

  • Security
  • Access to power
  • Basic install / de-rig

Artists of all disciplines and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

We also welcome applications from multiple artists and collectives wishing to collaborate. We are committed to working with diverse artists and enabling access for all to improve equity and representation irrespective of background, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics. All applications will be considered fairly based on their proposals. Artists do not need to be established, we welcome applications from emerging artists, however, you must be able to demonstrate your ideas clearly and show that the concept has been well thought out.


How to apply

The deadline for applications is Sunday 19th December, midnight.

Please send the following to with a subject line of ‘LUL commission proposal’.

  1. Your Artist CV.
  2. A description of the artwork with accompanying images or drawings.
  3. An outline technical specification: dimensions & footprint, power requirements, build process & requirements (a detailed specification will need to be provided if selected).
  4. A budget breakdown.


Application deadline: Sunday 19th December 2021, midnight

Commissions awarded: Thursday 23rd December 2021

Site visits: 10th – 21st January 2022

Detailed tech spec provided: 4th February 2022

Artist bio, work description, etc for marketing purposes: 30th January 2022

Installation: 28th February – 3rd March 2022

Launch Event: 3rd March 2022

Light up Leicester: 3rd – 6th March 2022

De-rig: 7th – 8th March 2022


For enquires related to Light up Leicester commissions contact  


*Images 1-3 by Chris Patrick Photography 4 and 5 by Bijash Chauhan Photography.