Rod McPhee: Light Night 2012 was a disappointment

2012 Light Night.

2012 Light Night.

I’M genuinely sorry to have to report that Light Night 2012 was a major disappointment.

In previous years I’ve always been a big supporter of Leeds’s bid to offer an evening of cultural events dotted around the city centre – and I’ll continue to support the concept so long as it improves in 2013.

But last week there was a notable dearth of eye-catching stuff to enjoy. Briggate, for example, is usually a hive of activity on Light Night, but this year it boasted just one solitary blue globe with projected animations flickering around it.

Outside Leeds Town Hall we went to see the “zombie aerobics” which we hoped would be something more than what it was: a group of children dressed as zombies, erm, doing aerobics. Meanwhile, the tour up the town hall’s clock tower had handed out all its first batch of tickets to ascend the landmark by 6pm and we were asked to come back at 8.30pm. Not good.

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Then we ventured down to Trinity Church on Boar Lane expecting to find the space filled with some sort of performance or installation, instead we were greeted by members of the Church of Abundant Life who tried to persuade us to stay for one of their services.

To be fair, the big cultural boys like the Howard Assembly Room and West Yorkshire Playhouse offered events of more intrigue and substance.

But, overall, if someone had come from another city to get a snapshot of our cultural offering I’m afraid I’d have felt nothing but embarrassment for Leeds.

We must do better next year.




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