The first edition of GLOW Eindhoven took place in 2006. Eindhoven wasn’t selected as the host city on a whim. In 1891, Dutch engineer Gerard Philips and his father Frederik purchased an empty factory building in Eindhoven and began to produce carbon-filament lamps. Over the years, their business has become one of the largest electronic companies in the world. Although the company’s headquarters were moved from Eindhoven to Amsterdam in 1997, Philips still plays an important role in the city’s economy.
Due to the light bulb production, Eindhoven has always had something to do with light. That’s why GLOW Eindhoven was launched. The festival is an outdoor exhibition of light art that transforms the entire city, Every year, notable buildings and monuments in Eindhoven are lit up with artificial lights. Dozens of artists decorate its streets with light installations, sculptures, projections, and shows. The festival opens with a spectacular light show which is free to attend. The opening show is typically attended by the city mayor and a number of Dutch celebrities.
GLOW Eindhoven offers several major attractions. Its main installations (GLOW Specials) are concentrated in the city center. Attendees also can walk the GLOW Route across the city center and the Eindhoven University of Technology area. There’s also an exhibition entitled GLOW NEXT which showcases new experimental products which can be visited free of charge.
In 2015, the team of GLOW Eindhoven presented a unique project to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary in collaboration with ProRail and a group of young artists from Hyperspace Collective. Some cars of Eindhoven-bound trains were decorated with light installations, and the VirtualRealityMaster technology helped passengers feel the atmosphere of GLOW Eindhoven before even arriving at the festival.