BLUE PORT HAMBURG 2014 The magic of colour, the enchantment of the port

From 28 July to 3 August 2014, the magic of blue will once again enchant the Hanseatic city of Hamburg for the fourth time: before and during this year’s Hamburg Cruise Days, light artist Michael Batz will once again stage his BLUE PORT HAMBURG project, bathing the harbour and Hamburg's most beautiful sights in magical blue light for a full week. The official light-up ceremony will take place on 28 July.

Blue is the colour of the sky and the sea and the unfathomable depths of the ocean – but it is also the colour of vastness and infinity. Again in 2014, BLUE PORT HAMBURG will be transforming the face of the port – a silent spectacle that opens our eyes to the beauty of Hamburg’s port and its architecture, and the changes that have taken place over time.

BLUE PORT HAMBURG was created by the internationally renowned light artist Michael Batz, whose award-winning light projects and concepts have been displayed in São Paulo, Shanghai, Salzburg, Florence, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Berlin. Michael Batz gained fame for his city-wide “Blue Goals” light installation during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. On the occasion of the first Hamburg Cruise Days in 2008, he first implemented his concept of BLUE PORT HAMBURG – creating unique views of the bustling seaport while using Hamburg’s port as a stage for a spectacular art project.

Following more than one year of preparation, Michael Batz will, on 28 July, press the symbolic button during the light-up ceremony at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, thereby illuminating Hamburg’s port in magical blue light. He will be joined by Hamburg celebrities from politics, culture and business. For an entire week, 120 terminals, buildings, bridges and objects on the waterfront will be jointly forming an unforgettable work of art, which will also lead into the first week of August, when the Hamburg Cruise Days will be held in parallel.

“I am narrating the story of the port through light,” Michael Batz says in explaining this year’s concept – thereby visualising the changes the maritime world is undergoing. This year, Michael Batz will also paint traditional navigational aids into the nocturnal port landscape: cones, buoys and towers have served as points of reference for seamen throughout the centuries. Today, such navigational aids are increasingly being replaced by modern technology. “In today’s world, navigation takes on a different form; everything is based on GPS,” says Michael Batz. “Yet, when walking through the port and the shipyards, you can still sense the archaic power of the old world. It is important to understand change by displaying the changes.”

“Blue Port Hamburg and the Hamburg Cruise Days play an important role for Hamburg as a port city and cruise location,” explains Thorsten Kausch, managing director of the Hamburg Convention Bureau, the main municipal partner for both events. “Hamburg’s maritime identity and the fascinating world of cruise liners can be experienced first-hand, which also contributes to further strengthening Hamburg’s positive image abroad.”

BLUE PORT HAMBURG: a spectacular event with high international visibility for the city of Hamburg, and a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors to the port.


The magic of blue: figures on BLUE PORT HAMBURG

1 year of preparation

40 helping hands

120 construction sites (buildings, stretches of quay, cranes, jetties, pontoons, barges, port ferries, tugboats, docks, port vehicles, trees, bridges, etc.)

Showtime: each night from 9:30pm to 1:00am

12,000 lights

15,000 metres of cable ties

40 km of cable

900 sockets

Project stretch in the port (on both sides of the River Elbe):  8.5 km

Tallest installation: NDR transmitter mast in Moorfleet, with a height of 304 metres

Building site with the most lights: Köhlbrandbrücke (900)