23 Sep

ARTIS turns off the lights


On September 23, ARTIS will participate in the first edition of the Amsterdam Dark Festival. Festival initiator Marjolijn van Heemstra opens the evening and there is a walk through the pitch-dark ARTIS Park.

Light pollution is increasingly a major challenge in cities like Amsterdam. Artificial light disrupts the healthy biorhythms of animals, plants and people. Since 2019, ARTIS has been actively committed to turning off the lights as much as possible.

During the Amsterdam Dark Festival, attention will be paid to the beauty of darkness in various places in the city for a weekend. In ARTIS Park, visitors will consciously experience the fall of darkness on September 23 under the guidance of Marjolijn van Heemstra. She is the initiator of the new festival and will open the evening in a poetic way by ushering in the darkness.

Visitors then look at light pollution from space in the ARTIS Planetarium and it becomes pitch dark, bringing the Milky Way back into view. Prof. Dr. Joke Meijer from the Bioclock Consortium explains why darkness is so important for biodiversity and everyone’s health.

Finally, there is a walk through ARTIS Park – one of the few places in the city where the lights actually go out at night.

Week of darkness: Can the lights be turned off?
On October 21, ARTIS also organizes the start of the Week of the Dark. Samuelle van Deutekom, ranger for Staatsbosbeheer, talks about the importance of darkness for biodiversity. There is also a night walk in ARTIS Park that evening to experience the real darkness.

ARTIS unlit, September 23, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40