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NVA's Speed of Light

Press Release   •   Feb 11, 2013 14:58 GMT

NVA’s Speed of Light, an extraordinary public art performance, combining mass movement, light and music will bring Greater Manchester's historic waterfront to life between 8pm – 9pm on Thursday 21, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 March 2013.

Commissioned by Quays Culture, the event will see hundreds of runners wearing specially designed light suits, flowing over bridges and around The Quays, including The Lowry, IWM North (part of Imperial War Museums) and MediaCityUK - home of the University of Salford and BBC North - moving in choreographed patterns set to a specially commissioned audio accompaniment.

Created by public arts charity NVA, Speed of Light uses cutting edge technology to turn runners into human fireflies, attaching a series of LEDs to the joints, limbs and heads of moving bodies to create a beautiful and memorable experience for both participants and onlookers. 

Anyone capable of running 5km by March are invited to register to play their part as one of the runners, coming together in a celebration of culture and sport, with registration open from Thursday 17 January 2013. Runners are advised to register for the event as early as possible, with demand from Greater Manchester and around the UK expected to be high.

A free event for a watching audience, with no advance booking required, thousands are expected to take to the quaysides and plazas of The Quays to experience the remarkable fusion of culture and sport first hand. NVA’s Speed of Light is suitable for all ages and promises the experience of a stunning performance, both monumental in scale and beautifully subtle in vision.

A huge hit at Edinburgh International Festival and Smart Illumination Yokomaha 2012, NVA’s Speed of Light has gained critical acclaim globally. It is one of the most enjoyable experiences a runner can have and - for the thousands of runners who have taken part so far – a real once in a lifetime opportunity.

“A memorably mad, fun and rewarding experience.” Speed of Light Edinburgh runner

“An incredible experience; very lucky to have been part of it. Any runner who gets the chance, grab it with both hands!” Speed of Light Edinburgh runner

“A fantastic experience” Speed of Light Yokohama runner

Runners will not only need to be able to run 5km, they will need to be comfortable staying active for an hour. Registration can be secured, on a first come, first served basis for a fee of £10. Runners will receive a technical T-shirt and a goody bag. Volunteers are also being sought to assist with the event, with a whole host of opportunities available including supporting roles in teams ranging from registration, wardrobe, technical maintenance and stewarding amongst others.

To register or for information visit