Hammerson Logo

Festival of Light demonstrates bright appeal of experiential events


  • Festival of Light 2019 toured Westquay (Southampton), Bullring & Grand Central (Birmingham), and Dundrum (Dublin)
  • Over 125,000 visitors estimated to have attended the events
  • Drove +9.8% increase in year-on-year footfall at Bullring
  • Month-on-month increases in footfall at Westquay and Dundrum
  • Total reach of around 1.5m on social media

Festival of Light 2019

Hammerson announced today that Festival of Light 2019, the immersive event which toured three of its flagship destinations, drove significant increases in footfall and attracted new consumers to its centres. Over 125,000 people are estimated to have flocked to the installations, driving significant increases in footfall at all three destinations.

Festival of Light used experiential and interactive light displays to excite and engage, and it not only led to increased footfall, it also attracted new consumers to Hammerson’s flagship destinations. During the event at Bullring & Grand Central, 31% of visitors to the centre were new, and the number of consumers coming from beyond the destination’s core catchment area rose by 5%.

Along with benefiting from the increased footfall, a number of brands including Handmade Burger Co, Skechers, Siam Thai, GymPlus and Tortilla also offered exclusive discounts and deals during the event.

Unique installations

Festival of Light centred on a series of themed installations, and the final production at each destination was tailored to suit the local environment. The installations not only made an impression with visitors, they also had an impact online – at Westquay, where the event was running for the third consecutive year, the event’s social media content reached over 1.1m people, and it also led to increased usage of the destination’s app and website.

This year’s installations included:

  • Planetarium: viewers were taken on a journey through an immersive universe with lights depicting planets, moonlight, beautiful starry skies and a sensational eclipse
  • Sunrise: involved 4,000 points of lights to visualise an abstract sunrise
  • Lightbattle: made up of a pathway with two sets of five bicycles facing each other; consumers used pedal power to project beams of light to the opposite side in an attempt to defeat their opponents

Kathryn Malloch, Head of Customer Experience, said: “Consumers are increasingly looking for unique and memorable experiences when they visit our flagship destinations, and that is what Festival of Light 2019 was all about. Events like this not only drive footfall, they also lead to increased sales for the brands in our destinations, and attract new shoppers who might not be frequent visitors. Festival of Light is just one part of the £2m experiential events programme we have planned for 2019. Exciting upcoming events include The Maze at Westquay, a 400m extravaganza with a hidden surprise at its centre.”