The Enlighten Festival is back for another year and this year it's even bigger and better! It will be held between 2nd and 18th March, in locations all around the city. This year the event has extended beyond the illuminations that are projected onto Canberra's iconic buildings and now also include the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, Canberra Day and Skyfire into their program. The illuminations have also been extended to the Australian National University campus and the City Renewal Authority will have some surprising "pop up" installations around the city to brighten up the city centre at night.
The two main highlights each year are the Illuminations and the highly popular Night Noodle Markets, which run over the same period. Arrive hungry and you won't be disappointed! There is also a HUGE list of other events, installations and artistic performances that will be held throughout the Parliamentary Triangle and around the city. This list below is a nightly guide, so just scroll through the list and see what's on. There is guaranteed to be A LOT!
Walk or drive around the Parliamentary Triangle to view the artistic illuminations. Image: Enlighten Facebook
See the Enlighten advertisement for 2018 below, courtesy of You Tube.
EVERY NIGHT Between 2nd - 11th March
Illuminations will be shone onto Parliament House, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Library of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), the National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Marvel at the range of designs, colours and effects, which can be seen from across the city. See here for details and times.
The Enlighten Night Noodle Markets will be held at Reconciliation Place, starting at 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends. This event will run every night between 2nd and 11th March, with delicious Asian street food on offer. Also expect to see roving performers, art installations and pop up theatre after dark. See here for details.
Metamorphosis is an art installation of giant, glowing, musical cocoons, that will be located within the Parliamentary Triangle. See here for details.
Vision is a octagonal art installation, proudly presented by PAK Lighting, which will be located on the East Lawns. See here for details.
Angler Abyss is an artistic installation of a deep sea creature - wander through the jaws of the giant inflatable sea creature if you dare! Look for it in the Parliamentary Triangle. See here for details.
A range of Asian street food cuisine at the Night Noodle Markets. Image: Enlighten Facebook
FRIDAY, 2nd March Switch On - watch the Illumination lights get officially turned on at the National Library of Australia at 7:45pm. Stay and be entertained by Canberra RnB Collective. See here for details.
Light and Dark Night Tours will be held at the Australian National Botanical Gardens, for visitors to enjoy the gardens by lantern light. This event will be held on the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th and 10th March. See here for details.
Masquerade Party with a Twist will be held at Parliament House, with a Black Tie dress code and a mask for some elusive mystery. Take this unique opportunity to have a party at the exclusive Members and Guests Terrace of Parliament House! This is for one night only. See here for details.
Get Groovy at the National Library is a celebration of 50 years since the building opened in 1968. On Friday nights there will be 60's music, dancing, kid's disco and art and craft stations. This family friendly event will be held on 2nd and 9th March (with live music on Saturdays 3rd and 10th March). See here for details.
The Sleep Keepers is a pop up, outdoor theatrical production, that will be in the Parliamentary Triangle on the 2nd and 3rd March. See here for details.
Neon Circus will be the theme at the National Gallery of Australia, with talented circus performers and giant projections of stunning artworks. Afterwards, move inside for a No Lights No Lycra dance party. This event will be held on 2nd and 3rd March. See here for details.
Stay Up Late With Moad, is a late night viewing of the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), which includes the Card Castle. This event will be held 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th March. See here for details.
Elephantessence will be roaming in the Parliamentary Triangle, on the 2nd and 3rd March. Look out for two pachyderms, bubbles and a whole lot of fun! See here for details.
Get Groovy at the National Library is a celebration of 50 years since the building opened in 1968. On Saturday nights there will be local musical talent Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Moaning Lisa, Tessa Devine, Jack Bilman, Massive Sherlock and East Row Rabble. This Saturday night event will be held on 3rd and 10th March (with a family friendly event on Fridays 2nd and 9th March). See here for details.
Twilight on the Savannah will be held at the National Zoo and Aquarium, with live classical music and viewing of the new savannah area. This event will be held on the 3rd and 10th March. See here for details.
Sunset Drinks at Questacon will be held on 3rd and 10th March. See here for details.
Unconformity is a geological tour at Parliament House, on 3rd and 4th March. See here for details.
Wide Brown Land at the National Arboretum is a guided scenic forest walk to the Wide Brown Land sculpture, to enjoy sunset views over the city. Return to the Visitor Centre by torchlight and get a special evening viewing of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, before enjoying a cool drink and delicious canapés out on terrace. This event is for one night only. See here for details.
WEDNESDAY, 7th March
Dinner Under The Stars will be held at the National Arboretum, with an outdoor dining area set up in the Canberra Discovery Garden. This is for one night only. See here for details.
Mint Master Class will be held at the Royal Australian Mint, where participants can enjoy an exclusive master class hosted by Royal Australian Mint coin designers. This event will be held 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th March. See here for details.
Mint Master Classes - book early to avoid disappointment. Image: Enlighten website
Dairy Farmers Hill Sunset at the National Arboretum is a scenic guided forest walk to watch the sunset from Dairy Farmers Hill, before returning to the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion for live music and canapés. This event is for one night only. See here for details.
Surreal Night will be held at the Canberra Glassworks, with demonstrations, exhibitions, installations and the chance to make your own piece of art. This event will be for one night only. See here for details.
ANU Enlighten Minds will be held at the ANU campus, with vibrant projections and a special Saturday night market. This event will be held on 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th March. See here for details.
What Lies Beneath? is a mystical, roving installation which will be roaming the Parliamentary Triangle on 9th and 10th March. See here for details.
Lights On Luminescence will be held at the National Portrait Gallery, with vocal performances from the Luminescence Chamber Singers. This event will be held on the 9th and 10th March. See here for details.
Symphony in the Park will be held at Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park. The Canberra Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Queen tribute band Killer Queen Experience, for a night to remember! See here for details.