UK government unveils Lights Out event to commemorate WW1

The Department of Culture has revealed its plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, which will include a nationwide blackout in August.

14-18 NOW launch the Lights Out cultural campaign
14-18 NOW launch the Lights Out cultural campaign

Communities throughout the country will be encouraged to turn off their lights at 11pm on 4 August to memorialise the day war was officially declared. A candlelit vigil at Westminster Abbey will take place at the same time.

The four-year First World War cultural programme will be lead by 14-18 NOW, which will commission cultural remembrance projects across the UK. In conjunction with the Lights Out event, organisers are in talks with artists to produce digital light-works for people to download, as well as commissioning large-scale light displays at locations throughout the UK.

Other events already scheduled to take place include a themed late night prom, a full-length ballet from BalletBoyz and the opening of Owen Sheers’ new play Mametz, which will be staged at the National Theatre Wales.

Maria Miller, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said: "The First World War itself produced and inspired art, much of which lives on to this day. This newly commissioned work over the next four years will complement what has gone before and help all of us, old and especially young, to pause for a moment in remembrance of those four years a century ago."

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