Lumify brilliantly replaces Luma

Lights, Camera, Lumify!

Queenstown came alive last night as floods of people descended on the CBD, for the opening of Lumify which showcased a series of impressive light installations and performances.

Bars and restaurants were brimming with people, rugged up against the cold, out for dinner and a show.

Fish take over Church Lane.
Fish take over Church Lane.
Phoebe Stephens (5) was out for fish and chips with dad, Dan Stevens, and was particularly awestruck by an aquarium scene in Skyline Arcade.

"It’s beautiful," she said.

When asked if she planned to explore all of the the lit-up areas, she said, "I can’t because I might be too late for bedtime", but dad said she could stay up "a little bit" later than usual.

Lumify replaces the annual Luma Light Festival this year, usually held in the Queenstown Gardens, drawing crowds of about 60,000-plus.

Phoebe Stephens stayed up past her bedtime to enjoy Lumify.
Phoebe Stephens stayed up past her bedtime to enjoy Lumify.
The cancellation of Luma came in March this year, due to uncertainty around preparing for and running the event, in terms of manpower, and ticket sales.

Instead, Luma organisers rallied Queenstown’s council and business owners to help put on this year’s smaller, more urban event.

"Really it was all about trying to do something and just sort of show what downtown can look ... and bringing people back into town," Luma charitable trust chairman Duncan Forsyth said.

The light installations which spanned across Cow Lane, Searle Lane, Church Lane, the waterfront and several other CBD nooks, showcased the work of about 35 different artists, from around the country.

Huge crowds turned out to the opening night.
Huge crowds turned out to the opening night.
Throughout three nights of Lumify were recurring performances by aerial artists, dancers and actors.

Each lane had a distinctly different feel — Church Lane was a family friendly, enchanted forest, Searle Lane was a futuristic, Tokyo-style activation with light projections, and Cow Lane was grungy and slightly more risque.

Action from the opening night of Lumify in Queenstown yesterday, where several performers...
Action from the opening night of Lumify in Queenstown yesterday, where several performers provided extra entertainment including belly dancer Booberella. PHOTOS: CASS MARRETT

Mr Forsyth hoped the event would encourage the community to appreciate the town they lived in and encourage some serious investment into the arts.

He said there was a more permanent place for these types of artworks — outside Luma weekend — if the local community, business community, funders and council were willing to come to the table.

A contortionist draws crowds in Cow Lane.
A contortionist draws crowds in Cow Lane.
"If you want this, then it costs, but you’ve got to actually say this is the direction we want to go.

"The laneways are fabrics of the town ... when all of beautification is done, do you really want to leave the things [as they are], Or do you want to have an active and vibrant town?," Mr Forsyth said.

Lumify runs all weekend until Monday, 10pm.



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