Projection mapping is growing as a medium for artists and designers around the world. As a result, more festivals and events showcase projection mapping to tell stories, teach history and delight viewers of all ages.

If you're in the projection mapping industry, experiencing these events can help you network with other professionals while inspiring your work. From historical sites to sleepy beach towns, here's where to find the best light and art festivals around the world.

LUMA, Binghamton, New York

Upstate New York might not be considered a technological powerhouse, but when it comes to Binghamton, the minds in this town might surprise you. LUMA is known as America's leading projection arts festival, which features local artists and designers as well as those from other states and countries.

Projection mapping is the core technology used in the LUMA arts festival, but many events also incorporate immersive and interactive elements to engage the audience even more deeply. Whether its a parking garage or a five-story building, LUMA events can appear on any surface, in any form, throughout the city.

Toronto Light Festival, Toronto, Canada

While the Toronto Light Festival has only been going for a few years, its light shows boast an impressive range of creativity and skill. Hosted in the distillery historic district, The Toronto Light Festival offers a visual journey to warm hearts and lift spirits in the middle of winter.

By focusing on color, light, music and storytelling, the Toronto Music Festival creates magic in an urban environment during a time of year when many people struggle from cold days and long nights. The shops in the distillery district also participate in the fun, hosting events, sales and specials to keep people warm during the light festival.

Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada

Burning Man is an iconic festival known for its radical rejection of societal norms. Art is what unites this community, and projection mapping continues to grow as a prevalent medium for many makers, designers and artists that present.

In 2014, artists sculpted a giant skull and projection mapped colors and images all around it. Named Shogyo Mujo, this provided a 360 degree experience that used 8 projectors and 4 towers. In 2018, an interactive installation combining projection mapping with Indonesian shadow puppets helped spectators immerse themselves into the stories and culture of Jakarta. Future Burning Man festivals will feature creative interpretations of projection mapping technology.

Berlin Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany

One of the most renowned light festivals in the world, Berlin Festival of Lights has been dazzling hundreds of thousands of people since 2010. This celebration highlights the history and world influence of Berlin, illuminating its historical landmarks, squares, neighborhoods and parks. The festival is intended to unite people from different backgrounds and cultures through the enjoyment of art.

Projection mapping shows are equal parts expressive, emotional, amusing, surprising and unexpected, according to the official website. Delve into the history of Berlin and celebrate the modern world with this enchanting installation featuring artists and ideas from around the globe.


Borealis Festival of Light, Seattle, Washington

Hosted in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, Borealis transforms the Museum of History and Industry. Light, color and illusion guide viewers through the neighborhood, which is filled with installations from local and international artists.

This festival is unique because it showcases an international video projection mapping competition, which features some of the best and brightest designers in the industry. The primary focus of the festival is projection mapping, but it also draws inspiration from lighting art across cinema, photography, theater, sculpture and lighting design.

Digital Graffiti, Alys Beach, Florida

Digital Graffiti is a projection mapping and art festival located in the luxury vacation destination of Alys Beach. The town, which is comprised mainly of whitewashed stone buildings, provides an excellent canvas for laser arts. 2019 marked the 12th annual occurrence of this festival, which challenges artists to make their creations from the latest digital technologies on the market.

Digital Graffiti is aimed at bringing underground artists together to highlight and share their unique work. This event also features a contest, which is judged by world renowned artists and jurors and is accompanied by an elaborate awards ceremony.

Vivid Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Touted as the largest festival for lights, music and ideas in the southern hemisphere, Vivid Sydney is one event not to miss. Spanning multiple weeks in May and June, Vivid Sydney has light events that include illuminated buildings, artistic sculptures, interactive experiences and massive projection mapping shows.

Music plays a major supporting role in this festival, too. Attendees can expect to enjoy everything from massive outdoor concerts to intimate, poetic singer-songwriter performances. Hands-on workshops, meet-and-greet talks and fireside chats are just a few of the inspiring ways this festival shares ideas and creativity.


The Circle of Light Festival, Moscow, Russia

The Circle of Light Festival unites international lighting designers and audiovisual artists from around the country. This festival employs projection mapping, LED lighting displays, lasers, fireworks and other visual imagery in combination with music and sound. This free festival isn't just about entertaining, though.

The educational component of the The Circle of Light festival provides workshops, presentations and demonstrations by artists and influencers involved in the event. Technicians and designers in the projection mapping field can greatly benefit from attending, as these free educational talks can bring new and inspiring ideas to the world of projection mapping.

Fête des Lumières, Lyon, France

The Fête des Lumières is a four-night event illuminating the French city of Lyon. Over 40 light installations are established throughout the city for residents and visitors to enjoy. The roots of this international festival can be traced back to 1852.

That year, people throughout the city lit candles in solidarity as a response to a new statue, which was implemented due to social unrest, natural disasters and radical urban change. The festival pays homage to this history while also celebrating the city in its modern state. Representative of the city's identity, the Fête des Lumières showcases Lyon's architecture, community and spirit.

Zsolnay Light Festival, Zsolnay, Hungary

As Hungary's first and only major light and projection mapping event, Zsolnay Light Festival is revolutionary in itself. The event features the projection art of Hungarian artists and those from other countries. It has been held for four years in the town of Pécs, an ancient city in the country's south known for its architecture and history. The festival pays homage to the area's rich past, illuminating the city's courtyards, church faces and cozy streets.

Green spaces, parks and buildings old and new are all adorned with the images and color projected by artisans from around the world. This event is an excellent example of how to get creative with projection mapping surfaces. It also shows how this technology can be used for storytelling, especially stories that relate to the city where the show is taking place.

Images by: Sarawuth Wantha/©, esmehelit /©, Jean-Philippe Menard/©