You’ve got to give Carnaby Street credit: they always find ways to up their Christmas lights game. Having delivered these impressive Bohemian Rhapsody lights in 2018, they went ahead and topped it in 2019 with a vivid Christmas lights display made from recycled materials that celebrated the world’s oceans. In 2020, the Carnaby Christmas lights spread a message of solidarity, hope and connection before a kaleidoscope of butterflies burst onto Carnaby’s streets and sky in 2021. Last year’s was also impressive, with a retrospective installation that explored all of the ‘best hits’ light displays from the past.
Fast forward to 2023, and another spectacular Christmas lights display has illuminated the night! The switch was flipped on November 8, and the streets are now lit up by another world-leading display.
Initially, the lights were due to glimmer overhead from November 2, but an extreme weather warning, with ‘Storm Ciarán’ set to hit the capital, saw the dates pushed back.
And naturally, a bit of celebration was in order, to commemorate the ocassion. Carnaby Street was taken over by a full-on shopping and dining party that will see over 100 venues offering up special events and promotions, with plenty of live music and entertainment to boot.
2023’s Carnaby Christmas lights theme
For 2023, Carnaby is taking its impressive Christmas installation to new, galactic, heights. This year, they welcome visitors to the Carnaby Universe as they celebrate their status as a globally renowned shopping, dining, and experiential destination. Neon colours and light waves will take over the walls and sky above, with a moving vortex all but sucking up the streets!
At the entrances to Carnaby Street, over on Beak Street and Great Marlborough Street, the famed arches are also due for a dazzling makeover. They’ll be taken over by shimmering discs and neon lights to make for a truly cosmic display.
The Christmas lights find Carnaby once again collaborating with the Choose Love charity, for the fourth year in a row. The charity works tirelessly to raise funds and much-needed amenities for refugees and displaced people across the globe.
As part of the collaboration, the charity runs a pop-up shop in Carnaby each year, selling limited edition products and refugee gifting packages. This year’s edition will be a new format – the Choose Love Boutique – and will launch concurrently with the new Carnaby Christmas display, at 57 Carnaby Street.
The pop-up will sell “donated fashion pieces from a host of celebrities across music and film alongside high-end brand contributions across fashion, beauty and home”. It’s basically the perfect early Christmas shopping destination. On November 22 the shop will revert back to its usual Choose Love pop-up, selling much-needed supplies and “life-saving interventions for refugees and displaced people around the world”.
If you’re looking for a way to give back, head on down and experience the Carnaby Universe, and change someone’s life with a Choose Love purchase.
Also published on Medium.