• Illuminate 2021

    A spectacular light-based festival in Plymouth

Illuminate Plymouth

A spectacular light-based festival that is free to attend


Illuminate Plymouth is a spectacular light-based festival that opened Mayflower 400 celebrations in November 2019. Held in the maritime city's historic waterfront, a series of dazzling installations and projections will make Plymouth shine. It is being held between 18-21st February 2021, which are new dates after it was postponed in November 2020.

The historic yard and surrounding areas will come alive with stunning projection mapping, interactive pieces and playful light art installations. Created by local and international artists, tech designers and students the festival promises to deliver an inspiring immersive experience which will delight visitors of all ages.

Illuminate is free to attend. Families are welcome and there are plenty of interactive and playful workshops for everyone to get involved in, both during and in the lead-up to the festival.

When does it take place?

From 5.30pm each evening from 18th-21st February 2021, the free festival promises immersive visual art, spectacular projections and interactive installations set out across the festival centre, Royal William Yard. Added in 2019 were additional installations at the Barbican and Mount Edgcumbe Country Park.

Who are the artists illuminating Plymouth?

The 2021 arts have not been confirmed.

In 2019, Illuminate is welcomed back Spanish artist Xavi Bové, who headlined the 2019 festival with his piece ‘Tree of Memory’. The installation transformed the front of Mills Bakery through beautifully poignant projection mapping, into the centrepiece of the Yard. Also returning to the festival was creative explorer Thomas Voillaume, with a spectacular humanoid installation ‘DIVA’.

Other artists creating installations included ARCAAN Collective, Alison Pym, The Media Workshop, Mike Cobb from Highly Interactive, Illumaphonium ltd, BLAST ART, Ace Delos Santos, Ada Krzoska, Dan Sumner, Eliza Newman, Maisie Newman and Rowan Evans.

Who is the event for?

In 2018 and 2019, the free event attracted people of all ages, with visitors in their early years joining those in their 90s, to watch, wonder, to create their own digital art through dancing, and some even found gold at the end of the Rainbow in the Dark.

Illuminate Travel Information

You can find full information about how to get to the event, including getting there by bus or by boat, and where to park here.

Mayflower 400 celebrations

The Mayflower 400 commemoration year will officially launch with the stunning Illuminate festival taking place at Mayflower destinations across the globe. A breathtaking series of events will take place at locations across the UK, Holland and the US, marking the first Thanksgiving that took place between the Mayflower Pilgrims and the native American people in 1621.

Dazzling light shows and cultural extravaganzas will wow crowds on both sides of the Atlantic, taking their inspiration from the words of Governor William Bradford of the original 'Plimoth Plantation': "Just as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many."

More information here

Stay at Future Inn Plymouth

Royal William Yard is a 21-minute drive from Future Inn Plymouth.  Alternatively, it would take around 40-minutes on public transport or 29-minutes by bike.  It would take approximately 1 hour and 32 minutes to walk from the hotel.  

Future Inn Plymouth is an ideal base for the night offering various sized rooms including rooms that can sleep up to four adults or a family.  Perks include free car parking, free wifi and a complimentary robe and slippers. Book direct for the best available rates on our website or by contacting the Reservations Team on 01752 701000 or reservations.plymouth@futureinns.co.uk.

Fishbone Restaurant is ideal to fuel up before or after the event. Every day the team serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening a-la-carte or traditional roasts on Sunday.  A large selection of drinks is also available including cocktails all of which are £7. Under 5's eat for free with a paying adult, and the offer is extended to under 12's during the school holidays. Bookings can be made on 01752 701000 or fishbone@futureinns.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can book online:


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