Colorful light festival will brighten up Lower Manhattan after dark this week

colorful light art display as part of a light festival in Lower Manhattan
A colorful light art festival is coming to Lower Manhattan this week.
Photo courtesy of IlluminationNYC

Lower Manhattan will stay bright after dark as a familiar — and free — light art festival returns to the NYC neighborhood this week.

IlluminationNYC is bringing back its popular light festival for Spring 2024 that will feature more than 15 colorful light-art displays at the World Trade Center campus and Battery Park City, from May 2-4. Light art is the centerpiece of the festival at both locations, but other elements include a giant stage, dancers and DJ music. 

Light festival at the World Trade Center

Illumination – PyramidPhoto courtesy of IlluminationNYC

At the World Trade Center campus there will be a giant light art projection on the gleaming, white metal-clad ribs and facade of the World Trade Center Oculus.

Visitors will be able to catch the show from the west side of the Oculus, facing Greenwich Street. The piece, titled Urban Flourish, was created by Robert Montengero, IlluminationNYC’s creative director. The displays will run every 10 minutes throughout the festival, May 2-4, from 8 to 11 p.m. each night.

Jolene Yeats, director of the World Trade Center Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is looking forward to having the festival on site. 

“The World Trade Center Oculus is more than a transportation hub, the building architecture itself showcases the vibrant and creative atmosphere that makes the World Trade Center campus a destination,” she said. “Being a location for the Illumination Light Art Festival not only invites the public to experience light art, but also adds to the diverse event programming that is happening in Lower Manhattan.”

Light festival at Battery Park City

Illumination – StiltsPhoto courtesy of IlluminationNYC

Visitors will enjoy a lively and fun atmosphere as light art created by local and international artists, DJ music and performances take center stage at Belvedere Plaza, located on the elevated northwest corner above North Cove Marina within the park. The festival will run May 2-4, starting at 7:30 p.m. each night.

Another highlight of the festival at Battery Park City includes a Star Wars-themed silent disco on May 4, where people will wear wireless glowing headphones while listening to music. 

“We can’t think of a better way to kick off Battery Park City’s summer programming season than with the Illumination Light Art Festival,” Battery Park City Authority president and CEO Raju Mann said. “I invite everyone to enjoy this three-night extravaganza that links Downtown in a celebration of art, creativity and community.”

The festival is free to attend at both locations, but RSVP is required. More information, including how to RSVP, is available online at illumination.nyc.