Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden set for hi-tech light show

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie
The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie
Share this article
3
Have your say

STATE of the art technology will be deployed to allow visitors to summon up Scotland’s changing seasons when the nation’s latest night-time light show opens up tomorrow.

Ticket-holders will be able to banish thoughts of winter by creating scenes of spring and summer over the next month after dark at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

They will be able to transform the look of its buildings, trees and plants at the touch of a button on a tablet, via voice-activation censors and even using social media.

The event will encourage people to talk to the trees and plants in the Botanics, which cover 70 acres and date back to the 17th century.

Other displays created for the Botanic Lights using 3D projections and lasers will be inspired by natural elements like water, fire and ice.

Visitors will also be able to experience being struck by lightning, becoming a gust of wind and paint the colours of the trees.

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

More than 23,000 people flocked to the first Botanic Lights last year after the garden joined forces with Unique Events, the firm which has produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations for the last 22 years.

Lighting designer Grant Anderson and composer Claire McKenzie, both graduates of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow who have worked extensively in theatre, were commissioned to create this year’s show.

Anderson said: “In Scotland, it’s often said that you can experience four seasons in one day. Visitors to Botanics Lights will be able to experience four seasons in just one night.

“It makes perfect sense to me to combine nature and light with seasonal changes as the three are inextricably linked.

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

The light show at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Picture: Grant Ritchie

“If visitors are yearning for the colours and sounds of summer, or any other season, then it’s within their power to influence the light installations before them, and to experience a deeper connectivity with the natural surroundings.”

Themed around the elements and changing of the seasons, Botanic Lights is said to have been designed to “celebrate a year in Edinburgh through the eyes and ears of the Royal Botanic Garden’s plant life.”

The route of the show, which takes in familiar landmarks like Inverleith House, the Victorian palm house and the Botanics pond, has been expanded to include the Chinese hillside and the front of the glasshouses.

Heather Jackson, director of enterprise at the garden, said: “With a backdrop like the Botanics, an inspiring interpretation of nature’s seasons, and the opportunity to interact with light installations,

we are sure that visitors will be delighted with this year’s trail. The level of interactivity being introduced is very exciting and offers something completely different. We hope that our visitors, both new and returning, will be at one with the changing seasons.”

Pete Irvine, managing director of Unique Events, said: “We’ll be exploring the seasons in colour with an ambitious light and sound event featuring interactive experiences, show pieces and installation art.”

Botanic Lights runs from 5-10pm until 22 November.