MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL
A festival of light and Chinese culture
ABOUT MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL
Magical Lantern Festival was the first, large-scale event in London to celebrate the Chinese tradition of lanterns, made from silk stretched over a metal 'skeleton' and lit from within.
The beautiful, colourful displays were made in China and shipped over to the UK and honoured a mixture of both Chinese and British iconography.
Held at Chiswick House & Gardens for the first time over 29 days in February 2016, Magical Lantern Festival featured over 50 giant, hand-sculpted lanterns leading to a majestic, 66-metre long dragon along the banks of Chiswick House's lake.
It heralded a new trend of serene, incredible light shows in the capital and its success in London would lead to events in Birmingham and Manchester.
Our brief for Magical Lantern Festival needed a two-pronged approach. Firstly, we would need to sell the festival on its merits as a standalone, entertainment event. Secondly, we would need to educate the British audience about the origins and importance of lantern festivals in China.
We placed key, picture-led articles using images sent from the Chinese workshop where the lanterns were being made, and also educational videos showing the process.
As the press began to roll in and interest in the festival grew, our events team were working on the launch party that would finally see our lanterns photographed on site.
We arranged for the ITV outside broadcast team to visit early on launch day to present the weather in front of our huge dragon, and led a photocall at dusk to ensure we could secure brilliant, nighttime images for the morning papers showing the lanterns in all their glory.
Our client appeared alongside the lanterns on Blue Peter, we achieved coverage on The One Show and local BBC news featured a segment on the festival.
Our guestlist for the evening featured Jonathan Ross and family, Spice Girl Mel C, Sam Fox, Lawrence Lewelyn-Bowen, Imogen Thomas, Sara Cox and local Chiswick celebrities, Ant & Dec.
The mixture of eye-catching, colourful lantern photographs and a smattering of good celebrities helped us achieve blanket coverage the following morning and began a month where Magical Lantern barely went a day without coverage.