Light Up Poole festival of digital light art shines again this month as three nights of extraordinary spectacles transform the town's High Street, Quay and Old Town after dark.

More than 40,000 visitors experienced last year’s displays and for 2020 organisers are extending the light-up time and expanding the programme with supporting talks and even a family rave at Lighthouse.

Funded by Arts Council England and main sponsor Poole BID, with contributions from BCP Council and private businesses, Light Up Poole runs from February 20 to 22, showcasing the work of local and international artists with a series of installations and projections as well as creative participation events.

“It’s about breaking down the barriers between art and science,” says Libby Battaglia of festival directors Audacious. “Many of our visitors are young people and their families so by fusing art, technology and innovation Light Up Poole triggers curiosity about how art is presented and shows there are careers to be made in this field.”

Highlights include an installation, video and trail at Poole Museum created by new partners Mathmos, inventors of the lava lamp and based in Poole since 1963; while Poole-based Siemens Mobility is to theme its 2019/20 STEM engagement activities around the theme of Spectrum to align with the event.

Working with conservation charity Birds of Poole Harbour, artist Michael Condron has created a sculpture of an osprey to be bathed in light on Poole Quay and the charity is exhibiting poetry by local primary school children.

Veteran fire artists Ben Rigby and Mandy Dike, collectively And Now: will create a contemplative fire garden in St James’s Gardens while Wild Strawberry, whose Weather Machine was a highlight last year, return with a giant 60s-influenced overhead extravaganza called Psychedeli-tron above Poole High Street.

The talks programme includes TV historian Dr Janina Ramirez; Professor Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor at the European Space Agency; and researchers from Oxford University’s Diseases of Modern Life Group whose Sex and Drugs and Overload presentation compares how the Victorians coped with the impact of new technology with how we deal with it today. Their talk is accompanied by a new piece made by The Projection Studio whose Horizon and Zenith lit up St James’s Church so memorably last year.