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A man-eating sculpture is coming to Enlighten 2018

Beatrice Smith

So you think you know Canberra’s premier festival? Think again.

Enlighten, our annual festival of light might be known for its kaleidoscopic projections on our national institutions, buzzing Night Noodle Markets and dazzling performances and public art. But in 2018, the Festival is taking things to the next level.

From 2-18 March there will be a host of never-seen-before performances, events, musical acts and projections illuminating the Canberra night, with something for all ages and tastes.

Enlighten (and the larger suite of events it will encompass this year) isn’t only one of the best ways for Canberrans to spend balmy Autumn evenings, it’s also a great excuse to encourage your friends and family from out of town to visit. Here’s why.


In addition to encompassing two new precincts—ANU and Canberra City—Enlighten 2018 will also incorporate some of March’s most popular events, including: the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, Hit 104.7 Skyfire, Symphony in the Park, Lights Canberra Action and Canberra Day.

This will mean a bigger, more cohesive event schedule for everyone—best clear your diary now!


Neon Circus. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services.

Aside from a host of brand new projections by some of Australia and the world’s coolest artists, Enlighten will see specially-commissioned inflated and illuminated installations pop up around the city, including a landscape of giant glowing musical cocoons, Angler Abyss—a grotesque creature from the deep which swallows humans whole.

There will also be new events and attractions this year, such as a Neon Circus at the National Gallery of Australia, Light and Dark Night Tours at the National Botanic Gardens and a very special Castle of Cards at the Museum of Australian Democracy.

Why not start your Enlighten experience on a high note (literally) at the Masquerade Party with a twist on the exclusive Members and Guests’ Terrace at Parliament House? It will not only be the perfect way to see the projections of Enlighten but is sure to be a night filled with fun, food and frivolity.


Returning in 2018 after three years of delicious popularity, the Night Noodle Markets will once again burst to life in Reconciliation Place with lanterns, food stalls and music from 2-11 March.

Look forward to dishes from What The Pho, Grill’d & Spice, Kusina, KorBQ, Hoy Pinoy, Mr Bao, Waffleland, Twitstto, Donburi Station, Thallot Thai, Sambal Kampung, Teppenyaki Noodles and many more… Our mouths are watering already.


Hot Potato Band

To complement Enlighten’s visual feast, there will also be performances from artists like Owen Campbell, The Advocates, Teischa, Exhibitionist, Betty Alto, Hard Cover, Nick Hill, Ric Rufio, 10 piece The Hot Potato Band and more.

See the full line up here.


Electric Fields

Performance art from across Australia and the world will bring the multi-coloured landscape to life with appearances from Electric Fields (which frequently feature group member Zaachariaha’s traditional language of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara people), the otherworldly The Sleep Keepers (you’ll know them when you see them), Elephantessence, all-female youth group Neon Caves and roving divers in What Lies Beneath.

Find the full line up here.

What Lies Beneath. Vivid Sydney 2017, Barangaroo preview. 23/5/2017
Photo James Horan/Destination NSW.


The Sleep Keepers

While many of the artworks, performances and events we’ve mentioned are free, some ticketed events have already sold out and others are going fast, so make sure you check the website for more details.

the essentials

What: Enlighten 2018
When: 2-18 March
The Enlighten Illuminations (projections & installation’s) run from 2-11 March
Where: Various locations around Canberra. Click here for more information.
More information: enlightencanberra.com

This is a sponsored editorial. For more information on sponsored editorials, click here


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author