With the festive season fast approaching, LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), in collaboration with the renowned Barcelona-based creative studio Onionlab, is set to captivate the city with a magical Christmas projection on the iconic Queens Hotel in Leeds. This awe-inspiring event will be the first of its kind in the UK for Onionlab, and will take place from December 15th-December 23rd, 2023.
The landmark installation, entitled Magical Night at The Queens, will showcase the arrival of Christmas at The Queens, taking spectators on a tour around the iconic hotel with the help of one very special guest - The Gingerbread Man. Unique and innovative, the extravaganza will showcase festive themes and stunning visuals using the elegant architecture of the hotel as a canvas, giving audiences a tantalising glimpse through the doors of The Queens at Christmas. Through state of the art technology combined with world class design, passers-by will witness the true magic of Christmas take over Leeds.
To further enhance the experience, Hollywood actress Celia Imrie CBE is set to narrate the story of the visual piece. The Olivier-award winning actress is best known for her roles in Bridget Jones, Nanny McPhee and Calendar Girls.
“Hats off to The Queens Hotel in Leeds – I have very happy memories of staying there during the filming of The Darling Buds of May,” Celia said. “I was always impressed by its welcoming recepion, and I am excited to be working alongside them this Christmas. I love how the ravishing art deco designs have been so lovingly preserved and can’t wait to see what LeedsBID do to enhance these further. I am delighted to be revisiting this entirely unique hotel and the wonderful city it’s in,” she said.
LeedsBID is delighted to be working with the digital art powerhouse Onionlab on this one of a kind project. Onionlab is celebrated for their expertise in designing installations, audiovisuals, and interactive experiences, tailored for institutions that aspire to bridge technology, design and art. Their groundbreaking work has garnered acclaim worldwide, and this collaboration with LeedsBID marks their UK debut in the field of projection mapping.
Andrew Cooper, chief executive, LeedsBID said: “We are thrilled to be working with Barcelona agency Onionlab in what will be a first for Leeds and the UK. They’ll take us on a journey through the magic of Christmas – leaning into the art deco characteristics of the iconic Queens Hotel – transforming it into a large-scale gingerbread house. Narrating the show will be a very special guest who is no stranger to icing! Christmas, as for all places, is a key trading period but also a time for community, so over these nine nights we hope to bring some festive cheer to all.”
Alistair Campbell, general manager, The Queens Hotel, said: “We are delighted and filled with joy at The Queens to announce our collaboration with LeedsBID during this festive season. It brings us immense happiness to join hands with the city’s business improvement district to showcase an enchanting festive projection onto our iconic hotel, creating a magical spectacle for the entire city of Leeds to enjoy. The projection, created by Barcelona design house Onionlab, brings to life key aspects of The Queens, including our iconic red lift and famous ballroom. It’ll without a doubt spread festive cheer and contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of our community. We look forward to sharing this joyous experience with everyone and making this festive season truly special for the city of Leeds."
As the festive season approaches, LeedsBID and Onionlab's Christmas projection promises to be a visual spectacle like no other, adding a touch of magic and wonder to the heart of Leeds. Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to come and witness this enchanting display and share in the joy of the holiday season at The Queens Hotel from December 15th-December 23rd.
Also brought to the city this Christmas by LeedsBID are a number of festive lights sprinkled across the city centre including the return of the elegant drape lighting adorning the historic Trinity Church and festive lights tree at St Peter’s Square.
New Winter Decorations are to be hung over Briggate - a series of dynamic suspended light sculptures bringing warmth, colour and movement with a contemporary, innovative light show to help illuminate the winter months.
Its Welcome Hosts can also be found out and about in the city every day, in Leeds Station and in key retail locations, on hand to help visitors discover the delights of Christmas to be found in Leeds city centre.
Magical Night at The Queens
Dates: 15th December - 23rd December 2023
Times: 4:30 - 8:30pm - every 30 minutes (film lasts 10 minutes)