“Rys och Mys”, or as it could translate “Thrill and chill”, is a new recurrent outdoor light experience for kids and their families. It takes place in the city centre of Varberg in late October when darkness emerges. Varberg is a small tourist town on the Swedish west coast.

During the annual autumn school holidays, the town decided to turn the city into a playground of lights and intriguing tasks for kids, residents and visitors. This year´s theme was the legacy of the cat Trassel from the fortress of Varberg.

The inauguration of the festival consisted of a Rock n’ Roll horror show for kids, with the courageous message: “Dare to refuse to be afraid (of the dark)”, whereafter the festival area was lit: main buildings, squares, trees, parks, pavements and walls flooded with lights in various colours and different lighting technology to highlight special areas. The inauguration crowd was therefore guided towards The old fortress by the ocean by a group of torchbearers. The visitors then continued to discover more light experiences during their promenade in a historically illuminated environment.

No one is cocky alone in the city in the dark, but empowered with ultra violet flashlights, the kids and their families discovered hidden letters and clues in the shape of radiant paws, self glowing in the ground, in the quest of the cat mystery.
A ghost train with an obscure and mysterious shining glow travelled along the city board walk, giving the passengers a journey in the dark never to forget – surrounded by cats’ eyes in the night.

Did we make it? Yes we did:

– 10000 people were thrilled and chilled
– Hotel occupancy increased with 54%
– Local shops increased their sales
– Local Bars & restaurants were busier than ever

Light technique

Focus on recycled materials in light installations. Everything was well programmed to make sure that we only used a miniumum of electricity during the week. Several projectors were used to create interactivity with the visitors through both sound and movies, but also sometimes big cat eyes glowing and following you in the dark.

We were inspired by the old technique from 17th century, illuminations, when we created cats in the windows of the fortress. This technique was used in the big illumination 1853 in Stockholm.

”Rys och Mys” is new light festival in Sweden with the perspective of a child in the darkness, and is organized by multiple organisations and enabling partners, both public and private with a common goal: to create an attractive, safe and free of charge light experience for residents and visitors in the dark season of the year.

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