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Jyväskylä’s City of Light event attracts record audience

 Virtual Dancer by Ocubo in JyväskyläThe City of Light event staged last week attracted a record audience in comparison to previous years. One of the main attractions of the event was Virtual Dancer by Ocubo.

– It’s absolutely clear that a total of almost 45 000 visitors in the course of the event communicates the fact that ”Light” is Jyväskylä’s own thing and has a tremendous significance for the city, states Jani Ruotsalainen, the event’s producer.

The previous record was set last year, when over 30 000 people took part.

Coordinated by the City of Jyväskylä, this year’s City of Light event comprised in total more than a dozen light installations or happenings which provided not only an opportunity to experience, but also to learn about light. The programme also included a number of happenings involving physical recreation.

The ”Valo Virtaa” [Light Flows] happening on the River Tourujoki, which enjoyed huge popularity, the ”Tourujoen Yö” [Tourujoki Night] happening and Kari Kola’s ”Lyhdyt” [Lanterns] light installation attracted in total more than 15 000 people calculated solely on attendance figures for Friday and Saturday.

Ocubo’s ”Virtuaalinen tanssija” [Virtual Dancer] video installation, which took over the facade of the Kolmikulma shopping centre, and Hane Aaltonen’s ”FFFaces kaupungin kasvot” [City Faces] video installation shown on the wall of Sokos department store tempted – according to conservative estimates – over 25 000 people to gather in the city centre in the course of the three-day event.

The University of Jyväskylä’s ”Hiukkasen valoa” [Particle of Light] happening also attracted an amazing 1 000+ people. Syysyön juoksu [Autumn Night Run], Valoajo [Lights On Cycle Ride] and guided walking tours of the Lutakko and Äijälänranta areas of the city attracted several hundred participants between them.

Support from partners made the event possible

In the view of City of Light coordinator Jani Ruotsalainen substantial numbers of participants in the various locations were to be expected, although the massive turnout did come as something of a surprise.

– It is really heart-warming to see how important this festival of light is to the people of Jyväskylä. For instance there were many families with small children involved throughout the event each evening. We also received an enormous amount of super-positive feedback via various channels during the event week.

The number of people participating was calculated in various ways, using gate counters, for instance, as well as a head-count of those present at different happenings taken by students. The large number of participants in turn was also boosted by the fact that Jyväskylä Region Transport laid on free Linkki bus rides for city residents from Thursday to Saturday from 6 pm to midnight. According to statistics the number of people using the city’s buses rose by approximately 140 per cent during the campaign.

The staging of the City of Light event was made possible by the financial support provided by 35 different companies, without which the event could not take place

– In close cooperation with various partners we’ve succeeded in putting together an event with a strong programme that has obvious audience appeal, Jani Ruotsalainen underlines.

Further information:

  • City of Light coordinator Jani Ruotsalainen, tel. +358 400 642 364, jani.ruotsalainen[at]jkl.fi
  • video of Ocubo’s ”Virtuaalinen tanssija” [Virtual Dancer] installation
  • photos of the event and new illuminated locations. All the photos were taken by Touho Häkkinen.
6.10.2014Satu Heikkinen

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