More than 80% of the world’s population lives under light-polluted skies; a barrier preventing us from experiencing the beauty of the universe. But there is a solution. “Everybody should have the right to see the stars through an unpolluted night sky. Looking at the stars makes you feel connected to each other, we are all part of the immense cosmos. This is the communal and universal heritage I strive for. SEEING STARS is an important step forward.” - Kathleen Ferrier, Chairperson of the Netherlands Commission for Unesco
"For one night, citizens in Leiden will restore natural darkness and reveal the stars overhead. SEEING STARS is just the beginning. At a time of energy crisis, climate crisis, and biodiversity loss, embracing dark skies through better quality lighting year-round is a simple step all cities must take." - Ruskin Hartley, Executive Director of the International Dark-Sky Association.
“Everyone is now in their own little bubble, disconnected from each other. I realised that every night, there is actually an amazing light performance hidden up high in our sky. SEEING STARS brings the stars back to your own street. The stars are one switch away.” - Daan Roosegaarde, artist
SEEING STARS creates a sense of connection, not only with our community, but also with our planet. SEEING STARS is a collaboration between the residents, government, and businesses of the city, Unesco Netherlands and Studio Roosegaarde to switch off all non-essential household lights, billboards, and street lights. By removing this light pollution on a city-wide scale, SEEING STARS enables everyone to reconnect with the universe and experience the magic of starlight again. Public safety is ensured in close collaboration with the local government. SEEING STARS began in Franeker and Leiden and aims to travel to cities such as Sydney, Venice, Stockholm, and Reykjavik.
“I am so proud to switch off all the lights in our city, to see the stars and feel connected with each other.” - Marga Waanders, mayor of Franeker
Unesco, Nacht van het Wad, Earth Hour, Nacht van de Nacht, and the International Dark-Sky Association have all previously advocated moments of darkness to increase human and animal well-being. SEEING STARS is part of this movement and acts as a radical premiere which is focussed on viewing the stars in your city. It contributes to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and reflects the rich astronomical history of the city of Franeker and Leiden.