Luma lights the way

'Honeycomb': Last year's light installation PICTURE: JORDAN MCINALLY

Queenstown’s spectacular Luma Light Festival might expand after a stellar opening year.

More than 10,000 people visited the illuminated art installation and sculpture trail in Queenstown Gardens last year.

The Luma Light Festival Trust had originally anticipated numbers would grow to 5000 per night by its fifth year.

But the popularity of the inaugural four-night event has forced it to revise its predictions and look to vary its resource consent.

It now predicts with good weather about 4000 people a night will pass through the art event each night in 2017, for a total of 16,000.

And attendance could grow by 2000 people per night, year on year.

Trust member Luke Baldock says: “Our focus is to firstly engage with the local and surrounding community.

“Then we’ll look to start marketing the event not only to the drive market but also key travel markets in New Zealand and Australia.

“The timing of our event means if people are travelling to Vivid Sydney light festival, it’s not too much of a stretch to come here too and continue their cultural experience.”

The second Luma will illuminate the Gardens after sundown on Queen’s Birthday weekend from June 2 to June 5, with pop-up events held around the town centre and an art walk on Marine Parade.

There will be a special exhibition to celebrate Queenstown Gardens’ 150th anniversary.

The full programme and participating artists will be announced in May.

Baldock says the aim is to have the same community and creative engagement as 2016.

“There’s a movement at the moment where quite a few figures are looking to establish Queenstown as a more cultural precinct and destination.

“Luma’s potentially the flagship for what Queenstown might have to offer in terms of arts and culture.”

The trust this month successfully applied to Queenstown’s council for a three-year ‘licence to occupy’ the Gardens for four days with set-up and pack-down days either side, with a two-year right of renewal if agreed by both parties.