Liverpool’s River of Light

Liverpool’s River of Light

On a wet early November evening, my niece and I braved the rain and the wind coming off the Mersey to take in the delights of the River of Light – an outdoor illuminated gallery on Liverpool’s Waterfront.

River of Light is an annual event. This year it ran from 21st October to 6th November 2022 (5pm – 9pm). The trail featured ten illuminated artworks across a 2km loop by local, national and international artists. Unfortunately, we missed a few of the illuminations and, due to predicted high winds, one was taken down that evening.

Evanescent by Atelier Sisu - part of Liverpool's River of Light.
Evanescent by Atelier Sisu.

The first of the illuminations we came across was Evanescent by Atelier Sisu. Situated on Exchange Flags Square, Evanescent is an 8-metre tall, larger-than-life bubble artwork. Visitors could walk between the bubbles.

Walking down the hill to the Waterfront, we spotted the Kinetic Perspective illumination by Juan A. Fuentes Muñoz. We watched it in motion as we waited to cross The Strand, but we didn’t go over for a closer look (and I forgot to get photos/video!).

Electric Dandelions by Abram Santa - part of the River of Light trail at Liverpool.
Electric Dandelions by Abram Santa Part of the River of Light Trail in Liverpool. #liverpool #riveroflightsliverpool #riveroflighttrail #2022 #lights ♬ A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay

We found the Electric Dandelions by Abram Santa Cruz down at Pier Head. They are designed to look like dandelions during the day and endless fireworks at night. We spent quite a bit of time watching them.

The Electric Dandelions outside of the The Royal Liver Building.
The Electric Dandelions outside of the The Royal Liver Building.
The Royal Liver Building.
The Royal Liver Building.

Just across from the Electric Dandelions was the Light Looper by The Kazimier. With rings and spirals, the Light Looper is interactive and invites up to four people to send particles of light zooming around it, building up speed until it shoots up to the very top. I completely forgot to get any photos or videos of the Light Looper as I was watching my niece send the lights around it.

Continuum by Illumaphonium
Continuum by Illumaphonium

Just down the Waterfront from the Light Looper was Continuum by Illumaphonium. Continuum is made up of 20 mirrored monoliths each standing 2.5m tall and they made up a geometric maze pattern visitors could walk through.

We somehow missed the Dancing Ribbons by Yinka Ilori, and BEAM by Lucid Creates had been taken down due to the forecasted weather. We also missed Turn The Lights On, It’s Dark In Here because we were shielding our faces from the wind and rain and accidentally passed it by.

Rainbow Accordion by Amigo & Amigo
Rainbow Accordion by Amigo & Amigo

Rainbow Accordion by Amigo & Amigo was my favourite. It sat between the Hilton hotel and the entrance to Liverpool One. The Accordion was made from six colourful archways with interactive pads for people to step/jump on, creative waves of light, colour and music.

We also missed Affinity as we carried on through Liverpool One to shelter from the wind and rain.

Despite the weather and missing some of the illuminations, my niece and I enjoyed following Liverpool’s River of Light. I think it was worth getting wet for! It’s a great trail, free to visit and suitable for all of the family. I’ll definitely think about visiting the trail again if it’s on next year.


  1. Friko says:

    A brilliant night time display. Although I possibly live not far from you on the English side of the border I have never felt the need to go to Liverpool. How very remiss of me.

    • Nikki says:

      This was my third trip to Liverpool this year (the other two were for the theatre show and a concert). Yes, I believe you’re just over the hills from me!

  2. Kris P says:

    Now that’s my kind of light show! It’s too bad the weather interfered a bit with your enjoyment of the show but there’s always next year. Do the displays vary from one year to another?

  3. Beverley says:

    I studied in Liverpool during my late teens and early 20’s so will always have a soft spot for the city. The illuminations and artwork are wonderful. My favourite are the electric dandelions.

  4. Vix says:

    Nikki, your photos are absolutely stunning, you make me want to go up to Liverpool right away and see those incredible light installations for myself. The weather may have been dreary but you certainly can’t tell. xxx

  5. hb says:

    That’s a wonderful event for a city. Enjoyed your description and the excellent photos. The “accordion” sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    Here some of the botanical gardens will do light “events” for some holidays and events in summer, but a cityscape is larger and more dramatic.

  6. DeniseinVA says:

    Nikki, this is a fabulous post and I loved the lights and views around the city. Thank you so much! I noticed your avatar and had to look real close but that is John Barrowman you are with right? I am a big fan of his, have the Torchwood series (several of them) and also enjoyed every episode of Dr. Who he was in. Such a fun and great actor.

    p.s. I have been a Dr. Who fan since the first Dr. Who way back when 🙂

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