Longbridge Light Festival: 2014

Sci-Fi Cycle Ride / Window Display Competition

Sci-Fi Cycle Ride

Longbridge is connected to Birmingham city centre by the Rea Valley cycle route. Parts of this, such as the Selly Oak area of the route, are illuminated at night by coloured cats eyes, creating an alternative night-time route through south Birmingham. As part of the Longbridge Light Festival, the Northfield to Longbridge section of the River Rea route was temporarily illuminated in a lo-fi way and ‘dressed’ by local community groups and schools in response to the science fiction theme. In the wider context of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution and Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (and the fact that the new Longbridge town centre remains an area that priorities car usage) the temporarily illuminated route offered a ‘futuristic’ of experiencing Longbridge after dark.

Window Display Competition

The Window Display Competition continued our interest in everyday creativity initiated by the ‘Decorate Your House Competition: Surreal Theme’ we had organised as part of the Balsall Heath Biennale. Co-ordinated by cultural planner Jenny Peevers, the Longbridge Window Display Competition invited local community groups to create a window display – in a local town centre business window – in response to the festival context. In this sense, the competition was an attempt to inject a more anarchic creativity into what is a largely corporate defined space and to find ways in which the town centre’s highly branded shop windows might be temporarily ’made messy’.