Light beam shining from Grace Cathedral perplexes SF residents
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Light beam shining from Grace Cathedral perplexes SF residents

Jun 06, 2023

San Francisco residents were left wondering what this beam of light shining from Grace Cathedral Tuesday night could be.

San Francisco residents were left perplexed after a bright blue beam of light was seen shining from Grace Cathedral Tuesday night, stretching across Huntington Park to the Fairmont Hotel.

Some Reddit users attributed the beam to Zhu, a San Francisco-based EDM producer who plans to record his highly anticipated next album inside the cathedral next week. But it was actually Illuminate, the arts nonprofit behind the now-dark Bay Bridge lights installation, that is responsible for the light beam, the organization confirmed to SFGATE Friday.

The light was a laser test for the nonprofit's upcoming "Summer of Awe" project, Illuminate CEO Ben Davis said. The end result will include a series of laser installations, similar to the rainbow beams of light called "Welcome" that Illuminate shone from the Ferry Building during last year's Pride weekend.

"We're taking that laser technology and applying it in different ways on San Francisco landmarks," Davis said. "Illuminate is still fully intending to do the Welcome project this year down on Market Street, and even doubling the number of lasers. However, we've got a vision for something we're calling the Summer of Awe, and we're exploring other locations to do some other uplifting, ephemeral installations across San Francisco."

Davis added that the nonprofit's relationship with Grace Cathedral was paved by its project "Grace Light," a large-scale light installation inside the cathedral.

"We can, on short notice, call them up and experiment, play with them, basically. They know they can trust us and that we would do great things," Davis said.

More information about the locations planned for Illuminate's Summer of Awe series will be available within the coming weeks, Davis said.

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