Nightfall 2022 - "Brighten Our Northern Sky"
(AD) We were lucky enough to be among the first to attend this year's Nightfall event in Middlesbrough, last night and it's safe to say that we were not disappointed!
Nightfall, which is organised by Billingham based Stellar Projects, is an amazing light trail around the beautiful Stewart Park in Middlesbrough. I say light trail, but it is more of a sensory experience. As you follow the trail around the park, there are so many different light installations to take in, as well as various beaks along the route for some family friendly entertainment, including, story telling sessions, live music and craft sessions. You can even interact with one of the installations, making music by touching different parts of it. The boys really enjoyed this one!
The event takes on a different theme each year. This year, the theme is "Brighten Our Northern Sky" and it certainly does that! Some of the installations give a beautiful glow in the sky, while one particular area gives the effect of having the Northern Lights, within touching distance. This is spectacular and I could have stayed here all night!
I noticed that each installation had a sign with a QR code, which you can scan to find out more about it and the artists involved. You do need to keep an eye out for them as some of the areas are quite dark.
It is recommended that you spend approximately 60-90 minutes, following the trail and taking everything in, though there is a short cut, should you need it. The trail took us just over an hour, though we didn't stay for food, which would have easily taken us over the 90 minutes. Speaking of food, there is a great range of food vans at the end of the trail, all of which will take cash or card payments, as well as licensed bars. We did notice some queues, but nothing major. Once you have your food and drink, you can enjoy this while watching the live band on stage. If you prefer to get the kids away from, the hustle and bustle, there are craft sessions, just opposite this area, along with another light installation, made from water containers. There are also toilets in this area.
Another great thing that I noticed was that the storytelling and other entertainment featured BSL interpreters, which is something you don't often see at events like this, so well done to the organisers for thinking of that!
If you already have tickets for any of the remaining evenings, you are in for a treat!
A couple of tips for anyone heading along...
Leave plenty of time for your journey. The official guidance tells you not to arrive more than 10 minutes early or late, but we did struggle with traffic on the roads around the park.
Sturdy footwear is a must! The trail follows surfaced paths, which were mostly fine, but some of them were a little muddy and we did end up taking to the grass in some of the busier areas.
I would say that the whole trail is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, with a ramp installed where there are steps, though those with limited mobility might want to consider the well signposted short cut.
If you don't already have tickets for this year, the you are out of luck, as the event has completely sold out, but you can sign up to the organiser's mailing list, to receive alerts about 2023 and find out more about their other fab sounding events, HERE