Council will 'listen to critical feedback' about Illuminating York

York Press: A scene from this year’s Illuminating York A scene from this year’s Illuminating York

FUTURE plans to illuminate York will take into account feedback from visitors to this year’s spectacle, according to one of York’s culture chiefs.

The pledge follows the four-day event in Museum Gardens which ended last Saturday and triggered a number of complaints about the £5 admission charge and criticism of the Wonderland-themed show created by comic Vic Reeves.

Among the comments, disappointed visitors described this year’s Illuminating York as “a damp squib”, while Reeves’ art works, which were projected on to the side of the Yorkshire Museum, were said to be “puerile and boring”.

Charlie Croft, City of York Council’s assistant director of communities, culture and public realm, said: “Illuminating York is brought together by many partners across the city and undertaking to transform York Museum Gardens this year would simply not have been possible without the charge for admission.

“This decision was not taken lightly and ticket prices were kept as low as possible to cover the cost of the installations and restoring the Museum Gardens afterwards.

“Any surplus will be ploughed back into future events.

‘‘The scale and spectacle of this year’s show was amazing, but tastes differ and if some people have been disappointed they can be assured that, as with every year, we will carry out an evaluation with the artistic and technical directors before considering what will feature in next year’s Illuminating York.”

In a number of letters sent to The Press and in comments on our website, visitors said the 2012 event lacked the spectacle of the previous two years.

Sue Lobb, who made a 250-mile trip from Hampshire with her family, said: “It was meant to be Illuminating York for goodness sake – most of the time we couldn’t even see where we were walking due to the lack of decent lighting.

“As for the projection on the museum building, it appeared to be a set of random images which bore absolutely no connection to the building whatsoever, unlike last year’s which was meticulously designed for the building and must have been a long time in the planning.”

Meanwhile, one reader of The Press said: “Why this year they decided to put in half the effort and start charging for it is a mystery to me. I can’t believe they have the cheek to rip off York residents like that.”

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