Enlighten Festival is a bit like Canberra’s version of Vivid. Running for it’s seventh year over 10 nights, Enlighten will see Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle transform into a hub of activity with national and international artists, architectural projections, live bands and the Night Noodle Markets.

“Enlighten is really good for all ages,” says Enlighten’s creative director Nicole Warren. “You can duck off and have a high-end, wonderfully immersive experience in iconic spaces, or you can just stroll through the Parliamentary Triangle, soak in the projections and be lured into something unusual.”

She shares some of her highlights for this year’s festival.

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Neon Night

Held at Canberra Glassworks, participants will join neon artists Harriet Schwarzrock and Steven Cole for a tour and neon-inspired games. Snacks will be provided as you explore the contemporary practice of neon art. “Neon Night is one of those events people get a real kick out of. The added experience where you can make your own light bulb to take home with you is really cool,” Warren says.

March 3, 6pm–8pm. $25 adult, $15 concession or $70 family

On The Wings of Freedom

This sight-specific artwork is visiting Australia for the first time. Compromising 180 LED butterflies, On the Wings of Freedom is an interactive artwork produced by UK art and design studio, Aether & Hemera. The work is representative of change and cultural evolution. Warren says, “there’s an app you can download that allows you to change the patterns of the butterflies as you get closer to them.”

March 3–12, 8pm–midnight. Free


Cloud, by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, is also in Australia for the first time. “It’s a work that you can either stand back and experience or get right up close and switch the light globes on and off. We’re actually asking if people could donate their burnt-out light globes and donate them to the work, so there’s a few ways you can get involved.” Compromising of 6000 repurposed light bulbs, visitors become puppeteers as they unintentionally engage in a wider conversation about wastage and the abundance of seemingly insignificant objects.

March 3–10, 8pm–midnight. Free

Pedaleando Hacia El Cielo by Theater Tol

“This is a big spectacle work. Theater Tol create beautiful, poetic, highly visual scenes that take place in the air. Their show is a bike parade through the street on the Friday, then on Saturday the same parade will happen 40 metres in the air. There’s pyro, music, opera, acrobatics. They really aim to connect their visuals to the place they’re in, so its not the same show every time they perform it,” Warren says. This performance will also be an Australian first.

March 10–11, 9pm. Free

Night Noodle Markets

Tuck into delights from Hoy Pinoy, What the Pho, Chur Burger, Bao Stop, Gelato Messina and BlackStar Pastry as you observe the roving performers and architectural projections.

March 3–12. Open daily from 5pm. Closing 10pm Sun–Thu, midnight Fri to Sat.

Other activities include a rooftop sunset party atop Parliament House, an electronic dance scene at the Royal Australian Mint and musical performances by Cleopold, The General Assembly and Maddy Jane and the Janes.