Festival-goers get ready to dock at Leeds digital festival

Crowds are set to flock to Leeds Dock in April when the city’s prime waterside destination hosts the very best in music, art and creative expression for the Leeds Digital Festival.

The six-day event from 25-30 April will see people from across the country celebrate digital culture in all its forms. The festival includes seven mind-bending interactive and immersive digital art installations from the internationally-renowned Lumen Prize Exhibition, accompanied by nights of music and visual performance, a ‘retro’ Sega versus Nintendo play-off and the opportunity to connect with leading industry players.

This year, for the first time ever, it also takes place in collaboration with the award-winning Live at Leeds music festival. Jess Glynne, We are Scientists and Clean Cut Kid are among a stellar line-up joining the ten-year anniversary celebrations.

Among the Lumen Prize exhibits is 2015 prize winner MAN – A, a unique piece of ‘camouflage art’ that sees life burst from seemingly flat geometric surfaces of distorted patterns and military dazzle by those using an augmented reality mobile app. Headline piece, Portee, is a project at the crossing of light, technology, architecture and music.

Luminous wires stretching down from towering concrete pillars, mysteriously linked to a solitary grand piano can be played like a giant harp creating an immersive layered soundscape as audience members interact with the piece.

Friday night will see a melting pot of music and art, with Leeds Dock housing a “Bring Your Own Beamer” night on 29 April – a creative free-for-all night of moving image, projection, participation and experimentation.

Digital artists nationwide are invited to showcase their work, alongside live performances from Released record label. Leeds College of Music will also be hosting their own night of music, showcasing the best in electronica alongside live visual sets from Leeds College of Art. The night will kick off at 6.30pm with a selection of up-and-coming street food traders, curated by the team behind the British Street Food Awards set up on Leeds Dock’s boulevard.

On Saturday Leeds Dock will welcome a creative coding club for children aged seven–12 take place from 10.30am. Hosted by Sky, four hour-long ‘Bug Clubs’ will be run by two digital artists and former Lumen Prize winners, Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup. Children will learn how to create their own interactive digital art by writing code to draw graphical objects, add dynamic text and colour and create simple interactions.

Leeds Dock’s emergence into a digital innovation hub is the subject of a film by The City Talking, “Digital in Leeds” that premieres at the festival on 25 April from 6.30pm. For those looking to be a part of the scene, Leeds Dock is holding a number of innovative talks and networking events including The Digital Ladder on Thursday 28 from 2pm,  the international Glug meet-up on 28 from 5pm and a “retro” Sega versus Nintendo play-off on 29 April from 10am-8pm.

Tim Gee from Leeds Dock said: “As headline sponsor of the city-wide Leeds Digital Festival, Leeds Dock wants to celebrate digital culture in all its forms. The programme of engaging events at Leeds Dock as part of the Festival showcases some of the very best in music, art and creative discussion around.”

Carla Rapoport, director and funder of Lumen Prize Exhibition said: “The Lumen Prize is delighted to be part of the Leeds Digital Festival this year and will be bringing a dazzling range of digital art from all over the world to this exciting event.

“Leeds is the latest stop on our current global tour, which has taken us to Vancouver, NYC, Shanghai and London. We’re excited to be in the North of England for the first time and look forward to encouraging local artists to enter the prize and be part of the tour for 2016/17.”

Leeds Dock sits in the heart of Leeds’ South Bank and is home to a growing number of global media companies, including Sky. Cutting-edge digital innovation sits alongside independent food and drink operators, yoga and fitness studios, contemporary workspace and The Royal Armouries Museum which itself attracts more than 235,000 visitors every year.

The Lumen Prize Exhibition will be on display across Leeds Dock from 25-30 April.


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