THOUSANDS of lights are to illuminate the city this year as the Festival of Light returns.

The event, now in its third year, is set on Westquay’s Esplanade, will be returning to Southampton following popular demand.

The historic city walls will provide a backdrop for a series of interactive light installations.

Westquay is set to shine a light on the city when it unveils the festival on February 15.

Andy Collyer, general manager at Westquay said: “We are thrilled to once again host the spectacular ‘Festival of Light’. Since its inaugural display in 2017, the festival is fast becoming a firm favourite in Westquay’s annual programme and highlights that the centre is not only a mecca for shoppers and diners but is also a dynamic space for cultural events.

"This year’s installations are truly mind-blowing, engaging all the senses and we can’t wait to unveil them to the people of Southampton.”

Following last year’s event that celebrated Southampton’s history and rich culture, the 2019 festival will see a diverse set of themed installations centred around some of the planet earth’s most spectacular natural phenomena.

Pieces will include; Wave, which consists of 500 individual suspended orbs to create a walkthrough immersive experience inspired by the ocean; Sunrise, an abstract sunrise made of 4000 points of light on strands; Planetarium, which was inspired by the ancient concept of Planetariums; and Control No Control that invites guests to use their hands and body to act on its sound and graphics.

There will also be an installation titled Lightbattle located along the vaults of a pathway.

This piece will consist of two sets of five bicycles facing each other, where the public will use pedal power to project beams of light to the opposite side in an attempt to defeat their opponents.

The festival is free to attend and will be running every night at 5pm to 10pm until February 24.