Changes to Barnsley Bright Nights

We’re really disappointed to say that all our Bright Nights events planned for Saturday 27 November won’t be going ahead. The Barnsley outdoor market is also cancelled on Saturday 27 November.

These cancellations are due to a Met Office yellow weather warning and the forecast of high winds, which may cause some damage, flying debris and travel disruption.

The events scheduled for Friday 26 November are continuing as planned.

Read more about the Bright Nights cancellations

Barnsley Bright Nights is back!

Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November, 5pm to 8.30pm

Two big nights of illuminating FREE events, installations and arts activities are taking place across Barnsley town centre.

Starting on Thursday 25 November at the Town Hall with a spectacular light show and festive party to switch-on the Christmas lights. Follow the Light Art Trail at venues across the town centre over all three nights of the winter festival.

Look out for a range of imaginative installations and projections and explore the latest exhibitions at the Cooper Gallery and The Civic, Barnsley.

Don’t miss the spectacular Mars, a stunning replica of the ‘red planet’ by UK artist Luke Jerram located at Barnsley College, or SURGE 360 - a stunningly visual and immersive new dance performance that takes place inside a digitally projected landscape.

Follow Love Barnsley town centre Facebook and Love Barnsley town centre Twitter for event updates.

Events, installations and activities

Christmas lights switch-on

Barnsley Town Hall - Thursday 25 November - 6pm

Join us as Barnsley Bright Nights kicks off with the traditional Christmas lights switch-on.

See the Snow Queen as she glides in front of the town hall in her magical living snow globe, before we press the button and the iconic building comes to life with a synchronised light show, accompanied by a special festive and cinematic soundtrack.

Look out too for the fun roller-skating Christmas presents and beautiful Corvus Angelicus angels before exploring the Lights Art Trail across the town centre.


The Lights of Christmas by Shaun Collins

Thursday 25 November - 6.15pm to 8.30pm
Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

Following the switch-on, the colourful Lights of Christmas installation will be shown at regular intervals at the Town Hall.

Get ready… a STORM is coming!

This event is now cancelled. Read more about the Bright Nights cancellations.

DMC01 to The Glass Works square

STORM, by Vision Mechanics, is a giant 10-metre-high mythical winter sea goddess and will be visiting Barnsley for her first ever appearance in England.

Made entirely of natural and recycled materials, STORM carries with her an important message - calling Barnsley to come together to care for our environment.

STORM will awaken by the DMC01 building on County Way at 5.30pm. From here she will journey through the town centre towards The Glass Works square - discovering and interacting with community groups along the way.

Look out for the amazing Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou – a choreographed performance with LED umbrellas – outside the Parkway Cinema on Eldon Street.

As STORM arrives at The Glass Works square, she will bless the new square and unveil her pledge for Barnsley to uphold and be serenaded with light and music in a stunning finale.


Mars by Luke Jerram

Barnsley College Old Mill Lane campus - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

Mars, a new touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, is a stunning replica of the ‘red planet’.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Martian surface, allowing us to imagine what it’s like to step foot on this incredible planet.

Co-commissioned by Kunsthal KAdE, Netherlands; UK Space Agency; Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK; and UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. With supporting partner University of Bristol.

Surge 360 by Tom Dale Company

The Civic, Barnsley, Hanson Street - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm

SURGE 360 is a stunningly visual and immersive new dance performance that takes place inside a digitally projected landscape. Presented in the round, audiences will get thrillingly close to the dancer in each spellbinding 20-minute performance.

Book free tickets through The Civic, Barnsley.

Luminous Birds by Kathy Hinde

Cooper Gallery Church Street - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

A flock of illuminated origami-style birds descend on the Cooper Gallery gardens. Synchronised lighting and music create the effect of birds flying overhead and moving forward in harmony.

Step inside the gallery and take part in origami family craft activities linked to the Pushing Paper exhibition.

Barnsley’s Fantastical Beasts by Night

Churchfield Peace Gardens - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

Nine giant willow beasts, all inspired by local legends, come together for the first time in Churchfield Peace Gardens. Bathed in lights these wonderful artworks are joined by a brand-new reindeer creation by renowned willow artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes.

Mirrored by thebefuddledmind

Barnsley Chronicle, Church Street - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

This illuminating new photographic exhibition of vivid Instagram kaleidoscopes showcases Barnsley as you’ve never seen it before.

Hope by Patrick Murphy

DMC 01 @ The Seam, Barnsley’s Digital Campus - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

This internal and external neon installation – featuring work by artist Patrick Murphy and accompanied by an atmospheric music soundtrack – explores the concept of hope and what it means to the people of Barnsley.

Sunset by Simon Armitage

Alley between Eldon Street and Mandela Gardens - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

See words about the fascinating history and heritage of Eldon Street from acclaimed poet laureate Simon Armitage, brought to life in neon. Accompanied by an illuminated canopy to help shine a light on this hidden corner of the town centre.

Singers at St. Mary’s with Barnsley Live

St. Mary’s Church St. Mary’s Gate - Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm

Talented singers and musicians – specially selected by Barnsley Live – perform a selection of festive favourites in the warm surroundings of St Mary’s Church.

SeedHeart and more at Library @ the Lightbox

SeedHeart by Indigo Moon Theatre

Library @ the Lightbox - Thursday 25 November - 5pm and 7pm

SeedHeart is a brand-new puppet show telling the important tale of human impact on the environment. Follow our hero Grey as the story unfolds, from a single suitcase, as he journeys to a better future with magical pop-ups and interactive scenes.

Find out more and book a place.

Library @ the Lightbox for Barnsley Bright Nights

There’s plenty more to see and do at Library @ the Lightbox over the Barnsley Bright Nights Festival, including:

  • Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November - 5pm to 8.30pm: Get creative with family arts and craft activities and enjoy special bedtime digital story time sessions.
  • Friday 26 November: Take to the dance floor with a silent disco.

Find out more and book a place.

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners

The Glass Works square - Thursday 25 November - 6.30pm and 7.45pm

New Orleans meets ‘90s club classics. Hot stepping out in illuminated uniform Mr Wilson’s Second Liners bash out jubilant brass versions of hacienda classics that are guaranteed to get you dancing.

Projector Bikes

The Glass Works square - Thursday 25 November - 7pm and 8pm, Friday 26 November - 6.15pm and 7.30pm

Look out for these incredible mobile cinemas tricycles as they roam The Glass Works square and surrounding streets. Created by Sound Intervention, these battery-powered tricycles will project all kinds of playful animations onto people, pavements, and buildings.

More information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

With events spread across ten venues, Barnsley Bright Nights has been designed to keep audiences, staff and artists safe.

We ask that all visitors take reasonable precautions while at the event, especially to avoid crowded spaces and to come back later or head to another venue if an activity is looking very busy. Please be aware that you'll need to abide by the coronavirus procedures at each venue, and that these could change at any time and may be different across venues.

Anyone who is currently self-isolating, has tested positive (PCR or lateral flow test), or is displaying symptoms of coronavirus should not attend Barnsley Bright Nights.

Whilst not mandatory, we encourage everyone to continue to wear a face covering wherever they feel comfortable to do so, particularly when using any indoor facilities.

Bright Nights partners

Barnsley Bright Nights is produced by Barnsley Arts and Events team and kindly supported by the following partners:

  • Arts Council England
  • Barnsley Council
  • The Glass Works
  • Historic England
  • Barnsley College
  • Superbowl UK
  • Barnsley Museums
  • Barnsley Museums Heritage Trust
  • The Civic Barnsley
  • Barnsley Libraries
  • Barnsley Live
  • The Seam
  • Barnsley Chronicle
  • Barnsley Markets
  • Love Barnsley Town Centre

Contact us 

If you want any more information about the events that are happening you can contact us using our event enquiries form


Corvus Angelicus (1)

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