BLINK® festival’s footprint in The Cov to be bigger

Among the places illuminated during the BLINK festival in 2019 was the building at 501 Madison and the London Police mural at Fourth Street and Scott Boulevard.

1.3MM attended colorful regional light, art show in ‘19

COVINGTON, Ky. – When the massive and wildly popular BLINK® Art, Light & Culture Festival returns to Covington on Oct. 13-16, organizers say its footprint in Northern Kentucky’s largest city will be even bigger than it was in 2019.

While the Cincinnati-based festival isn’t yet ready to release a map showing exact locations of light features and art installations here, Executive Director Justin Brookhart said plans are to move further east and west of downtown Covington than three years ago, stretching from Roebling Point to the edge of MainStrasse Village.

“In working with the BLINK partners to plan the event this year, we’re really thinking about how we create space for people and leave a little bit more room for each other when they’re standing side by side,” Brookhart said. “So what you’re going to see on the BLINK map … is that we’re expanding our footprint a little bit.”

Among the goals: setting aside larger viewing areas where crowds can gather to eye the displays and creating some large-scale projection mapping where possible that’s big enough to be seen from farther away (including on the Covington Plaza riverfront space), while continuing to play with new technology to creatively highlight historical buildings, architecture and murals.

The festival’s primary presence will be in Cincinnati, but crossing the Ohio River into Covington is critical to its success, Brookhart said. He and others spoke at a press conference today in Covington officially confirming the city’s inclusion in the four-day festival, illuminated by the organization ArtsWave.

“It’s so important for us to cross that bridge physically and metaphorically,” Brookhart said. “In 2019, moving into Northern Kentucky was an experiment, and that experiment worked.”

It’s estimated that 1.3 million people attended the 2019 festival in Cincinnati and Covington, taking in animated light displays on the sides of buildings, newly painted murals, interactive art installations, music, art performers and food and drink.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, who also spoke at the press conference, said the City was thrilled to welcome back the festival and was happy to join the cities of Independence, Fort Mitchell, and Crestview Hills in contributing $1 per resident, as requested, toward its costs. Covington is also committing staff time and logistical support from its public safety and Public Works departments, among others.

“Events like this raise the image of the entire region, including every city within our region, and provide … an opportunity for residents throughout the region regardless of political boundaries to share in a really extraordinary experience,” Meyer said. “It’s a special event, and we can’t wait for the festival of flashing lights to occur here in 2022, and Love The Cov.”

Brad Mason, digital marketing manager for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, said details of participating artists, the exact locations of light installations, and a map of the festival will be released later this summer and fall.

More about the festival can be seen at BLINK Cincinnati.

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