The “Art Of Lights” opened in December at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre Park in Surrey, British Columbia. Plagued by delay after delay, it was an on-going joke that the light festival was set up just to take it back down. The idea was to give Canadians a taste of international culture by launching what was to be the biggest lantern festival in all of B.C. The festival eventually opened a couple of months late, on December 14th.
The lights there were nice to look at, but the overall festival lacked any “oomph” to really get it off the ground. When we went to wander the festival, there was only a handful of others wandering around with us. Besides the lights, there was nothing to keep our attention, or to keep us there for longer than, at most, one hour. There was one lone food truck, but it did not even look worth wandering over for.
The tickets were a little expensive ($22.95 for an adult) for what was offered. It was fun to get a little wanderlust, explore the dinosaurs and escape into a few moments of a fantasy world, but that is all it was. There was no fun atmosphere. There is a reason why festivals like GLOW have had such success. They have the lights, but they also have the atmosphere. Even if GLOW was outdoors, people would still show up because of the atmosphere. Without the atmosphere, people do not have a reason to go back or tell their friends it is a must-go-to event. Sadly for Art Of Lights, this has resulted in people not showing up.
As we walked past the tent that sold souvenirs, our kids were asked by a seller if they wanted light-up wands and because they are five and under, obviously said yes. The seller was handing them to the girls as he asked us for money. Not the appropriate way to sell at a festival either.
Regardless of where Art Of Lights was lacking, the lights were still enjoyable to see, especially for the Dinosaur lovers in us:
Hopefully, the “Art of Lights” can use this year to figure out where they went wrong and bring a fantastic festival next year.
Have you checked out “Art Of Lights”? What did you think?