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Issued by: Make It York - Tuesday 11 October

Bunny Bingo adds fun challenge to illuminating York 2016

Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 October, 18:00 – 22:00

A new game is set to hit the streets during this year’s illuminating York festival. Families will be pounding the pavements playing Bunny Bingo, which challenges them to find some of the 50 decorated bunny lamps which will be on display in shop windows throughout the city.

The game is the idea of York’s bunnymaster general, Angus MacArthur of Gillygate-based design and homeware shop, Snowhome. Visitors to illuminating York can collect bingo cards from Visit York’s Information Centre on Museum Street, then, as they wander around the city exploring this year’s featured illuminated artworks, tick off numbers on their bingo card which correspond to the 50 ceramic bunny lamps – each of which have been individually designed by local artists and creatives – in shop windows.

“You only have to look at the success of Pokémon Go to see how these competitive -trails can get kids off the settee and exploring the city, but we’ve devised this trail so that you don’t even need a smartphone – just collect your bingo card and mark off the numbers on your card as you go,” says Angus.

There are nine different colour-coded bingo cards, enabling groups of up to nine to play at once, although with many people returning to enjoy different fringe events throughout the Festival, families can enjoy competing against each other for two or three nights without duplication.

“We will simplify things by offering a map showing all of the streets where visitors can find the bunny lamps, but they are all randomly numbered so that there’s no advantage to any of the players by starting their tour of York from one particular spot,” adds Angus.

The bunny trail, which first took place in 2015 with 30 bunny lamps, is a wonderful way of showcasing the artistic talents of many of York’s resident artists, creatives and designers. This year, students from Fulford and Archbishop Holgate schools have submitted designs too, with the best from each school set to feature in the expanded trail.

“Many of the key pieces of illuminating York are created by nationally and internationally-renowned artists – such as Jason Bruges Studio who lit the Shard at New Year and projection pioneers Heinrich & Palmer who want to showcase their brand new commissions, in large part thanks to the financial support of Arts Council England – but the bunny trail enables local artists to demonstrate their creative skills, too,” comments Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism for Make It York, which organises the festival each year. “The fact that we have businesses throughout the city clamouring to have the bunnies in their window shows how well supported illuminating York is by our retail sector, recognising that this brings thousands of new visitors to the city each year.”

Bunny Bingo will run each day of illuminating York, which takes place from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October, from 6.00pm to 10.00pm. Partner venues for this year’s festival include York Minster, National Railway Museum, Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate and York St John University’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus. Artworks will also be displayed in King’s Square and Shambles.

Transforming aspects of the city through the use of light is the promise from organisers of the eleventh illuminating York, supported by Arts Council England, which returns to the city from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October 2016. This year’s event features six newly commissioned artworks using light, a series of lighting designs by local schools and the Society of Light and Lighting, architectural lighting of Clifford’s Tower and Royal York Hotel by Lumenpulse and a host of ‘fringe’ events to create evenings to remember across York’s historic streets, as well as the popular Bunny Trail.

Once illuminating York has concluded, many of the bunnies in the trail will be auctioned off to raise funds for local charities. Anyone wishing to bid for a bunny will be able to do so on Ebay.

For more details, please visit Updates on this year’s festival will be displayed on Twitter @illuminateyork and the latest work-in-progress pictures of some of this year’s artworks on Instagram at illuminatingyork


Notes to editors:

• The festival gains over 50,000 ‘visits’ every year
• Over the past ten years the festival has commissioned over fifty artworks for the city
• illuminating York is a member of ‘Light Up the North’, a network of seven light festivals taking place in cities across the North of England
• illuminating York was named by The Guardian in its top ten European Lighting Festivals
• In 2015 the illuminating York Festival was nominated for a Dulux Colour Award
• illuminating York is managed by Make It York on behalf of a city-wide steering group, chaired by Liz Page, Historic Properties Director (North) - English Heritage
• The principal funder of the festival is Arts Council England, with additional funding from ticketing and private sponsors
• illuminating York is organised by Make It York supported by Arts Council England. This year’s partners include English Heritage, National Railway Museum, The Society of Lighting and Light, York Minster and York St John University.

Eight key highlights in this year’s illuminating York will be:

York Minster – Jason Bruges Studio
After a triumph lighting The Shard in London on New Year’s Eve, Jason Bruges Studio will become ‘light masons’ within the cavernous nave of York’s gothic cathedral. Using only white light and particulate suspended in the air, visitors will experience spectacular choreographed spaces carved out of light. This is the only paid-for commission, with standard admission prices of £8 for adults and £3.50 for children, which also includes admission to the East End exhibition and Chapter House. Each ticket is allocated a time slot and family ticket deals are available. Tickets are available from York Theatre Royal and York Minster box offices. Early bird discounts are also available until 9 October, priced at £6 and £3. Family tickets are also available.

York St John University – David Ogle’s ‘Lumen’
A new venue for illuminating York, the historic quad at York St John’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus will be occupied by a forest of light. Visitors can walk amongst skeletal coloured luminescent trees, to experience the unusual light and shade cast by their glowing branches, with further exhibitions and performances by York St John Students to discover around the campus. Free.

National Railway Museum (NRM) – Heinrich and Palmer
Pioneers of large-scale illuminated art, Heinrich and Palmer turn their attention to the Workshop at NRM, creating an experience that brings together projection, light drawings, film and sound in the working heart of the museum, where engines are maintained and restored. Visitors will also see the return of Locos in a Different Light, at the NRM, where the halls and locomotives are transformed with colour and light by theatre lighting design students. Free.

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate – Helen Maurer
Secrets in the stained glass inspire the displays inside this historic building as Helen Maurer creates a compelling installation using light, glass and mirrors to project shape and colour onto the walls and ceiling. Free.

Shambles – ‘Orbit’ by Studio PSK
Regularly voted one of Britain’s most picturesque streets, Studio PSK has designed ‘Orbit’ which will be installed along the entire length of the world-famous Shambles. Arcs of light will revolve above the heads of the visitors encircling views of the iconic street, prompting them to look up from the historic street. Free.

King’s Square – ‘Loopy Lou’ by Rémi Brun
“Loopy Lou” presents a skipping figure, whose movements are created by just a few LED lights. In daylight, Brun’s sculpture looks like an abstract wire construction, but after dark, the LED lights that dance around create a depiction of a skipping girl, based on the artist’s daughter playing. Remi Brun lives and works in Paris and this is the first time his work has been shown in a UK light festival. Free.

Society of Light & Lighting Projects – various locations
The Society of Light & Lighting– the top industry body for those working in the lighting sector – will be working with schools around York to create lighting schemes for three venues, including parts of the city walls and St Michael-le-Belfry. Free.

Bunny Light Trail – various locations between the major installations
Making a return after its debut last year will be the popular Bunny Light Trail, in collaboration with York contemporary design store Snow Home, where 50 bunny lights customised by artists and creatives will be placed in shop and business windows across the city centre.

Adding to the main programme will be a packed festival Fringe programme with venues across the city taking part, from candlelit tours of Fairfax House to Gregorian Latin Chant with ‘Illuminations by Visions of York’ in All Saints North Street Church.

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) – Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 23,300 jobs.

For further media information, interviews or photographs, please contact:
Jay Commins, Samantha Orange or Nicola Bexon

Pyper York Limited
On Behalf of Make It York:
Tel: 01904 500698
Email:, or