Incredible light display in Harrogate puts Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival in spotlight

Literature has been brought to life in lights in Harrogate in a fantastic new public installation commissioned by Harrogate International Festivals.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 16th October 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 2:02 pm
Bright idea - The light installation at Raworths’ Harrogate office ahead of next week's sparkling online literature festival packed with famous names.
Bright idea - The light installation at Raworths’ Harrogate office ahead of next week's sparkling online literature festival packed with famous names.

To celebrate the power of the arts, and the forthcoming digital Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, Harrogate International Festivals lit-up the offices of the festival’s title sponsor, Raworths Solicitors, with a selection of quotes from popular books.

Quotes were carefully chosen for their poignant meaning in this dark time, illustrating the light that the arts and reading can bring.

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These included:

‘Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise’ Victor Hugo

‘Books, are a uniquely portable magic’ Stephen King

‘In the end, we’ll all become stories’ Margaret Atwood

Books, they let you travel without moving your feet.’ Jhumpa Lahiri.

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, now in its 12th year, is being presented online for the first time due to the current social distancing measures and restrictions in place on live festival events.

But there are as many famous writers lined up as ever.

Zoe Robinson, Raworths Managing Partner, said: “The content and delivery may have gone digital, but the inspiration that literature brings will continue to shine through.”

For the arts charity Harrogate International Festivals, who usually create nearly 300 live events a year but saw their entire programmed of live events decimated by the pandemic, this pop-up installation was the first opportunity to bring the arts into the community in person in many months.

Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “While the coronavirus pandemic may have cast a dark shadow over the world and forced the cancellation and re-invention of our entire 2020 calendar of events, this installation is a beaming example of the light that literature and the arts can bring in the darkness.

"There is no denying that this is a hugely challenging time for the Festival, and for artists, but, through this installation and our exciting digital weekend of Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival events, we support authors, creators and suppliers with much needed work, and bring them together with audiences as community in a celebration of literature.

“For we have never needed stories that explore what it means to be human, more than we do now.”

The installation was created by Yorkshire lighting expert James Bawn, from Element 3 Design, who is renowned for bringing Emley Mast, the Shard and Harrogate1571 to light.

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival runs from October 23-25 and will stream on HIF Player on the Harrogate International Festivals website.

Special guests include: Bernard Cornwell; The Reacher Guy: Lee Child and Heather Martin; Ken Follett; Natalie Haynes; Luan Goldie, academic and activist Elif Shafak; Hugo Vickers, Alexandra Shulman; Ariana Newmann; Jeremy Vine, Simon Mayo, Loyd Grossman; Rory Bremner, British Labour Party Politicians David Lammy MP and Jess Phillips MP; and the mother of Britain’s most musical family: Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason.

Further information about this year’s Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival can be found at

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