Artist Development

Shine 2024

Shine 2021 - Light Up The North

SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2024

Light Up the North (LUTN) is a network of light festivals across the North of England.   Six of these festivals are working together through SHINE to commission up to two artists or collectives in 2024.

The SHINE programme aims to nurture and develop new talent and is open to anyone (aged 18 or over) with an idea for a shining light artwork, and the skills to realise that idea.  The chosen artworks will be exhibited at three of the following LUTN festivals:

  • Lightpool Festival in Blackpool,
  • Light Night Leeds,
  • Light Up Lancaster,
  • Barnsley Bright Nights,
  • Lightwaves at Salford Quays,
  • Illuminate Oldham

The commission awards between £9,500 and £15,000 to realise ambitious new artworks.

Your Proposal

The artwork(s) will need to be:

    • SUITABLE for exhibition at outdoor winter light festivals in the UK
    • ARTISTICALLY challenging, interesting and of high quality
    • STRUCTURALLY resilient enough to withstand the winter weather at multiple festivals between October 2024 and February 2025, and to withstand transportation across the festival network

For 2024, the successful commissions will also need to:

    • FOCUS on environmental sustainability in their design and use sustainability best practice in their delivery.
    • DESIGN artworks for reuse – consider the materials and equipment as well as what happens at the end of the exhibition. 
    • CREATE artwork of mid / large scale – we are encouraging ambitious proposals
    • DELIVER an experience for audiences to enjoy, be inspired by and engage with

As well as financial support, each artist will also receive a full induction to the programme, training and mentoring from across the LUTN network. We will work directly with commissioned artists to support their development, with guidance in areas such as marketing, finance, production, risk assessments method statements (RAMS) and fundraising. 

To be eligible to apply to the SHINE programme you must be UK-based and perceived as an emerging talent (aged 18 or over) with the ability to realise ideas to a high quality. Please read the full information and FAQs before submitting your application.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 29 April 2024, 9:00.

SHINE Emerging Artist Programme 2021 Audio

Useful Information

What can you create?

We are specifically looking for artists with ambitious, captivating ideas.  Proposals must be based on the creative use of light, possibly utilising digital technology.  The artwork needs to be weather-proof, able to withstand strong winds, be structurally sound (if applicable) and must be suitable for presenting outdoors at our varied locations and timescales.  We are interested in work which can cater for large audiences, especially projects with the potential for engagement in either the making or operation of the piece, and activities or events which are accessible to families.

The LUTN festivals where you may be exhibiting:

Lightpool Festival, Blackpool : 18–26 October 2024

Light Night Leeds: 24–25 October 2024

Light Up Lancaster : 7–9 November 2024

Barnsley Bright Nights: 22-23 November 2024

Lightwaves (Quays Culture at Salford Quays): 5 – 8 December 2024

Illuminate Oldham: 21-22 February 2025

The festival programmes vary and themes for 2024 are broad.  You will not be expected to specifically address them. The locations of the festivals are also varied with urban, parkland, industrial and city settings.  You should consider the ideal type of location for your artwork.

Our festival activities generally take place in the evenings, for the dates/periods listed above. You must produce an artwork that can exhibit for this period of time and tour to some of the commissioning light festivals.  You will also need to consider your install / de-rig schedule.

Each festival will provide standard infrastructure support for your arriving artwork; however, all artists fees and artwork production costs must be factored into your commission award.

How we assess your application

A panel of LUTN partners involved with curating SHINE 2024 will assess all applications.  We aim to ensure the selected commissions will be high-quality work and afford the best experience for artists, audience members and locations.  They will assess the applications based on 5 areas:

  • Artistic quality – the strength & quality of the idea and the artist’s previous work (if applicable).
  • Public experience who it is aimed at and how will the public engage with it?
  • Financial viability – can all elements of the activity be delivered effectively within budget?
  • Project management – can the piece be created within the time available?  Is the work durable enough for the festival dates? What materials are you using when considering the environmental impact and outdoor display?
  • Environmental sustainability – has this been considered in the design and proposed delivery of the artwork?  Is there a plan for what happens after SHINE?

When will you find out?

The deadline for submissions is Monday 29 April 2024, 9:00.  We will shortlist in the 2 weeks following, with provisional interview dates during w/c Monday 6 May 2024.

Things to consider when completing your application:

  • Be clear about your project aims and the artistic idea behind the work.  How can you demonstrate quality through examples of your previous work?
  • Be specific about who your work is aimed at.  Can the public engage with your work in an interesting way? What do you want the audience to get out of your work, and what impact will it have?
  • Demonstrate how your project can be realised for the budget available. If you require match or additional finance for your project let us know which funding schemes or sponsorship you plan to apply for.  (Please bear in mind that the festivals are partly funded through Arts Council England, and you therefore may not be eligible for additional funding through any of their schemes.)
  • Give a clear indication of how your project will be managed from start to finish including the type of location(s) you would like to use and how work will be delivered on the night.


N.B. Each festival is currently in the planning phase for their 2025 events so we are also interested to hear about exciting, distinctive proposals from light artists that are likely to require a longer development period or might exceed the available budget for SHINE 2024. Should your proposal fall into this category contact us via our contact page.


The SHINE commission will include all artist fees and materials, including technical, installation, operational and material costs.  Reasonable travel and transportation costs will be considered separately.  If needed, you can apply for match funding from other sources, but ensure you have planned for and are prepared to do this.  Funding will be given to artists based on the quality of their idea.  Accommodation can be provided by the host festivals if required. Other costs such as meals and general overheads must be factored into the commission.  The successful proposals will be supported with agreed additional fees towards the costs of site visits.

Terms and Conditions

By applying to be a SHINE artist you agree:

  • Your project / activity will be ready for exhibition at our 2024/25 festivals – (Note: if you have a brilliant idea / concept that cannot be achieved for SHINE 2024 we welcome proposals that may meet festival dates in subsequent SHINE programmes)
  • Your work is deliverable within the timescale of the programme and will be delivered on budget.
  • To attend an initial induction, production meetings and site visits where reasonably required.
  • You must have relevant Public Liability Insurance for your activity, to a minimum £10 million cover.
  • To supply, in advance, copy and images for marketing purposes as and when required
  • To provide evaluation feedback on completion of the commissioning fund, in line with the framework provided


We can offer successful applicants:

  • Production advice and practical support, including technical and producing support
  • Training and mentoring
  • On-site production support including security, event staff and volunteer stewards
  • Profiling through festival PR and marketing campaigns

Key Project Dates

Wednesday 10 April online Q&A sessions for applicants 1pm and 6.30pmRegister 1pmRegister 6.30pm
Monday 29 AprilDeadline for submissions  
w/c Monday 6 May Interviews (Online) for shortlisted artist(s)  
w/c Monday 13 May SHINE induction day – potentially via Zoom  
June – SeptemberDevelopment period for commission(s)  
18-26 October Lightpool, Blackpool  
24–25 OctoberLight Night Leeds  
7-9 NovemberLight Up Lancaster  
22–23 November Barnsley Bright Nights  
5-8 DecemberLightwaves, Salford Quays  
20-21 February 2025Illuminate, Oldham  
Dec 2024 – March 2025Evaluation  

NB: SHINE commission(s) are subject to some festivals receiving Arts Council England funding

Shine 2024 Application

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Please attach your budget
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