The City of the Lights highlighted by the Glow Festival
Eindhoven, located in the province of North Brabant, is the fifth-largest city in the Netherlands with a population of approximately 224.000, only an hour and a half away from the center of Amsterdam by car. It has been known as a hotspot for design and innovation, and it is receiving more tourists every year due to the multiple cultural festivals that take place in the city. Despite not being the first destination that occurs to travelers who visit the country, it is making its own way to become one of the “must go” places through amazing events like The Glow Festival, one of the top light shows in the world.
The Industrial Revolution affected the course of Eindhoven’s economic growth and development. In the late nineteenth century, Gerard Philips opened the lightbulb company, which is today one of the most important electronic brands in the market. This moment is part of the city’s history, which increased its population and encouraged the creation of industries, turning Eindhoven into a technological hub with the appearance of modern high-tech companies and buildings. Nowadays, this dutch city is known as the “City of Lights”, not only because of Philip’s heritage, but also for the launch of the Light-S project that is investigating how light can create new urban experiences, by placing lights on neighborhoods to change the atmosphere and even warning drivers about pedestrians on the street. These new ways of using light and integrating them into daily life innovatively and artistically have caught the attention of travelers who want to explore other expressions of urban art.
The strong relationship that has distinguished Eindhoven with lights for the last century is well exposed in The Glow Festival that is held every year in November. It started in 2006 with 45,000 visitors, and currently, more than 700.000 people are attending this light show. Local and abroad artists use media technologies to present sound, light art, and design projects in order to give spectators a different perspective of the city and architecture, which makes possible the emergence of new spatial concepts. This year the theme was “Living Colors”, which completes the tryptic that started in 2017 with “The Source” and was followed by “Shadows and Light” in 2018. The purpose is to explore what happens when the light is separated from the source and how does people’s perception of colors, environment, and objects change when this happens.
Two of the main attractions were “Sunflowers for Van Gogh” and “Sea of Colors.” Eindhoven artist Hugo Vrijdag and the Chinese light expert Gu Yelling, along with the collaboration between Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam and Van Gogh Brabant, brought to life the flowers painted by Van Gogh -one of the most important Dutch painters that influenced western art history- during his time in France. This homage to Van Gogh was created by placing multiple lanterns shaped as sunflowers with the sounds of crickets and swallows, to give the idea of a field full of flowers waved by the wind. On the other hand, the german artist Daniel Margraf brighten Wilheminaplein with rainbow colors and figures, to establish a different connection between visitors and the city through lights that could submerge them in the same “Sea of Colors.” Both activities intentionally played with the assistant’s reality perception and sensations, to put them in contact with emotions that only art can stir up.
The Shake to Win team was part of the “Urban and Design Tour” in Brabant, where they had the opportunity to visit this festival and other cool places around the city. If you want to read more about this beautiful province and the fun tour we had, please visit the entry blog https://www.shaketowin.net/visti-brabant-urban-and-design-tour-and-glow-festival/.
Events like Glow are positive for many reasons, relates to architecture and art, and funnily enough also for the tourism industry. These events create interest in an uncommon touristic place. The more events that incentivize innovation and art places have a chance to create a point of interest in the area that would provide a sustainable way of tourism leading FIT’s to attractions that are not saturated by tourism bringing economic opportunities to other places and supporting the local and authentic business. To know more about how you can join the Shake to Win mission contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s strive for a sustainable way of travel and support local business and conserve culture while enjoying one of the best things in life, traveling.