River of Light is a magical, brilliant, exhibition. It was maybe a bit too eager to get out of the traps. And that was a mistake.
We’re all gagging to get out. Fuck knows, we could all do with a trip out and something to see. Especially on 23 March – the one year since Boris Johnson told us we must all stay at home.
And River of Light appeared to be the perfect way to ease us back into the groove. Outdoors, spread out, a nice and easy gentle wander around Pier Head, The Strand and Liverpool One.
We were fully on board and wrote a piece for Double Negative that was full of praise for the endeavour. It seemed we were getting back on track. It was the one year anniversary of the full lockdown. What better way to mark it than a really cool selection of light installations, spread out around a 2km trail?
What could possibly go wrong?
Erm. It was too good and too popular.
The lights were switched off at the weekend, with the organisers citing heavy winds. Nice try fellas, but we know there are other forces at play here. It wasn’t that windy and the exhibits are not that sensitive.
We’re on your side, we love public art. But, but, but …. Do you not think you should have waited a couple of weeks?
We suppose, in hindsight, it was inevitable. When we went to see the show, it wasn’t that busy, but the weekend was looking like a very different mood, hence something had to give.
Liverpool does these kinds of events so well and, maybe, that’s the issue. If you build it, then they will come. And, so they did.