A most incredible art event for 2019 | Lille3000 is weird, whacky and wonderful

Written by on January 11, 2019 in Art and Artists

Colourful statues of imaginary animals line a street under a starry sky

In 2015 I went to the Lille for the opening parade of Lille3000. I had no idea what to expect. I’d heard from friends that it was a quirky and incredible art “event” but nothing prepared me for the reality.

Held every few years, Lille3000 is a huge event with what seems like a strange name – but there’s a good reason! In 2004 the city was elected European Capital of Culture. They put on a grand show, in fact transformed the streets, opened art galleries and museums. When their year of culture was over, the citizens of Lille decided actually, it wasn’t! They wanted to keep the cultural vibe going to the year 3000. So Lille3000 was born.

It’s a festival of art like no other in the world. The streets are transformed, huge events take place and many locals participate. To call this city an arty party feast is an understatement. And if you ever needed a reason to visit, this is it. Go see the opening parade, visit the art installations and discover one of the richest artistic collections in France.

Lille3000 2019 | Eldorado

Giant inflatable dinosaur in a parade

It all kicks off on April 27 when the opening parade takes place. This year’s theme is Eldorado and the organisers of Lille3000 are bringing Mexico to the city! Inspired by the great Mexican festivals such as El Dia de los Muertos or the Puebla parade, it’s going to be colourful and vibrant. Expect more than 1000 costumed dancers, singers and performers. There will be a major sound and light show and a spectacular night out.

But it doesn’t end there as there are months to follow of performances, events and exhibitions. This art festival runs from 27 April until 1 December 2019.

Amazing street art for Lille3000

On leaving the central Lille Flandres Station, visitors face the Rambla, leading into the heart of the city. Over the years this famous thoroughfare has been become used to being transformed for each festival. Hosting the elephants of Nitin Desai, during the theme of Bombaysers, the arches of Jean Claude Mezière, and even a street in Beijing. This year, it is popular art figures who are taking over the Avenue Faidherbe. For Eldorado, it will be decorated with Alebrijes: 10 monumental sculptures created by the Museum of Popular Art in Mexico City. Giant statues made of wood or papier-mâché, representing wild and domestic animals plus fantastic creatures created from hybrid and imaginary elements.

Giant inflatable moon suspended over a building

At Lille Flandres station, visitors will be welcomed by a giant, 10m-wide, moon. It’s the work of British artist Luke Jerram. ‘Museum of the Moon’ is an inflatable installation based on images of the moon provided by NASA, accompanied by a soundtrack.

Mirrors in the shape of the sun with gold metal rays suspended over a courtyard of an ancient building

Lille3000 events

At the end of the Rambla, is the 17th century Old Stock Exchange, in front of the Opera House. It’s inner courtyard hosts a popular second hand book market. Chess players compete with booksellers for visitors’ attention. In 2019 it will be enhanced, for the festival, with Golden Sun Mirrors.

Dozens of exhibitions will take place in venues throughout the inner city of Lille and its suburbs .

At St So Station cultural venue, a Garden of Eden, inspired by the Pozas in Xilitla, a 32-hectare tropical forest known for its waterfalls and lakes, and home to huge surrealist concrete sculptures will be created. British poet Edward James will be the star here.

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art, Outside Art of Lille,  exhibits works by Modigliani, Picasso, Miro and Bernard Buffet all year round. In 2019, for the Eldorado festival, the Lam will hold a major retrospective on Alberto Giacometti.

Former hospital, Hospice Comtesse founded in 1237 by Jeanne de Flandre (Countess of Flanders) is now a museum. It will be exhibiting works of Mexican art, paintings and sculptures by such artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Rosa Rolando, selected by the Museum of Modern Art of Mexico.

And there’s much much more. Check out the Lille3000 website for details: eldorado-lille3000.com; Lille Tourism

More on Lille

Arty Party Lille3000 2015 – want to know what to expect, check out the last time this amazing event took place.
Ten things to do in Lille
Roubaix – La Piscine, a most extraordinary art deco swimming pool which turned into a museum (see The Good Life France Free ezine Winter 2018)
Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille
Ten places to eat out in Lille
Lille – charm and culture by the bucket load

Related Articles

Carrieres de Lumieres, sound and light shows Paris and Provence

 What do an abandoned quarry and an old iron foundry have in common? They both house magical sound-and-light shows that must be seen to be believed. The Carrières de Lumières (“Quarries of Light”) has been operating for decades near the mountaintop fortress of Les Baux-de-Provence, and is one of the most popular tourist sites in […]

Continue Reading

In the footsteps of the Impressionists on the Alabaster Coast of France

Claude Monet’s paintings of the Alabaster coast in Normandy, and in particular Etretat, are hung on the walls of the most prestigious art museums throughout the world. (Above: Etretat painted by Monet in 1885, now hangs in the Musee des Beaux Arts, Dijon). Monet spent time in the Etretat fishing village in February of 1883. […]

Continue Reading

In the footsteps of the post-Impressionists in Provence

In the 1870’s the Impressionists and post-impressionists were centralized in the Parisian capital. Here they would discuss art and their next exhibitions in the cafés and nightclubs of Montmartre. However, towards the end of the 19th century, many became fed up with the capital and scattered to go their separate ways. A fascination with light […]

Continue Reading

Espace Dalí Museum Paris

Salvador Dalí loved Paris but few realize the Catalan artist resided for a time, at 7 rue Becquerel in Montmartre. Today close to his former home, there is a museum-gallery which contains hundreds of his works. Espace Dalí museum-gallery The Espace Dalí museum-gallery is located in the heart of the hilltop artists’ village in Montmartre. It contains the […]

Continue Reading

Robert Tatin museum Mayenne | Weird whacky and wonderful

Robert Tatin was an extraordinary French artist whose home in the lush department of Mayenne, Pays de la Loire in north west France, became a museum. You may never have heard of him but once you see his house and art, you’re unlikely to forget it. Robert Tatin Robert Tatin was born in 1902 in […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top