Immersive Fire & Ice experience and giant Earth installation set to kick start Wakefied's Festival of the Earth celebrations

Three spectacular and immersive experiences are set to be launched this Friday as part of Wakefield Council’s Festival of the Earth celebrations.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:38 pm
Fire & Ice. Picture by ITHACA

Visit WX (Wakefield’s Former Market Hall) for a two week immersive and dramatic sound and light installation, called Fire and Ice designed by Ithaca.

It gives people the chance to experience the changes now happening to the Earth’s climate and the impact people's actions are now having on the planet.

The installation, which runs from Friday, August 20 to Sunday, September 5.

Gaia at Salisbury Cathedral, 2019

Also taking centre stage in Wakefield Cathedral will be a stunning 7-metre, illuminated replica of Earth. The touring artwork – Gaia – by artist Luke Jerram features detailed NASA imagery that will enable visitors to see our planet floating in three dimensions.

Gaia will illuminate Wakefield Cathedral, from Friday, August 20 to Monday, August 30. It is free to enter and aims to create a sense of wonder for visitors – seeing the planet from an astronaut’s perspective.

The cathedral will also be hosting a range of events through the eleven day period including concerts, family activities and ‘Pilates under the Planet.

To find out more and how to get involved visit the Cathedral website

The exhibition marks a return to Wakefield for artist Luke Jerram whose huge Museum of the Moon sculpture at Wakefield’s Festival of the Moon in 2019, was highly popular, drawing lots of people to enjoy the sight, and take part in activities.

The internally-lit Earth sculpture is expected to be just as popular. Each centimetre represents 18 kilometres of the planet’s surface and will be accompanied by a specially made surround-sound musical composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones.

The exhibitions will be launched during a three day event from Friday, August 20 when Wakefield's Cathedral Precinct will be host to various performance acts, street artists and entertainment, shows and workshops.

During this three day launch event for Festival of the Earth, the Bull ing will be host to an 18 metre inflatable whale. Audiences will be invited to gather in front of the whale to watch a show called Plastic Ocean.

And finally, an Earth Spectacular celebration event is taking place on Sunday, September 5 with street food, interactive workshops and live entertainment alongside an environmental themed parade.

The parade will celebrate the Festival of the Earth by including animals and creatures from across the world as inflatables, costumed performers and giant puppets. The parade will be 30 minutes long and will run at 3pm and again at 7pm.

Coun Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We are proud to host such creative, thought provoking and immersive exhibitions and experiences as part of our amazing Festival of the Earth celebrations.

“Climate change is a major issue affecting all our lives – and through creativity and culture – we want to be able to inspire people to make positive choices in their lives. And this festival is a fun and interactive way to do just that.

“These innovative and unique exhibitions not only celebrate the work of amazing local artists, but show the wonderful creative events we can bring to the district for visitors to enjoy as we bid to become City of Culture 2025.”

Festival of the Earth which started in July, has events continuing until October 2021 - and encourages local communities to work with the council to make positive environmental changes to their daily lives and help tackle climate change.

In 2019, Wakefield Council declared a climate emergency and have created an action plan to help the Council become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

Festival of the Earth features exhibitions, installations, workshops, performances and an eco-themed speciality market, with activities taking place across the district.

For more information about the festival, please visit

Residents are encouraged to look for and share their own experiences during the festival using #EarthFestWFD on social media.