Red Bull gives photographers wings with Illume 

Follow the light to Marion Square

At this point in the year, the tents in Marion Square almost seem like permanent fixtures, with guests flocking inside for events like SEWE, Wine + Food, and, soon enough, Charleston Fashion Week. But for once, our attention is more focused on what’s going on outside than inside the tents.

On Friday night, the Red Bull team launched an innovative photography exhibit called Illume. Though they’re better known for giving us the shakes when we’re pulling an all-nighter, the energy drink company also has an eye for photography, and their competition highlights the best action and adventure photographers from around the world. The top 50 images have traveled from Ireland to Houston and now to Charleston, displayed on huge illuminated light boxes.

Skate punks, art aficionados, and curious passers-by made their way around the circle of glowing photographs depicting everything from a daredevil kayaking down a massive waterfall to a surfer trapped in a barrel to a BMX biker pulling a wild stunt. Off to the side, a small VIP reception welcomed photographers, media, and fans who enjoyed an open bar and a DJ.

The exhibit will be on view nightly through March 27, coinciding with Charleston Fashion Week. Soon enough, the tents will be pulsing with energy yet again, but we’re guessing this free, breathtaking exhibit will attract a steady stream of foot traffic on its own.

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