Fake Moon was a perplexing apparition in the night sky of an English landscape. In its first manifestation at the Big Chill music festival, it slowly rose behind the branches of the tree-lined horizon, an intense, diffuse ball of light that illuminated the sky, casting long shadows across the grass. At first, the apparition seems to be a familiar planet, but its movement through the sky seems halting – the planet wobbling and jolting along its path.
Although the light was as bright, if not brighter, than the real moon it became clear that a rather deficient subterfuge is in process. The light, in fact, emanated from powerful film-making lights housed in a 3m diameter helium balloon. Over the course of 3 hours the apparition gradually moved through the sky – the carefully mapped out path mimicking the arc of a true celestial body as it moves across the heavens.
Later the Fake Moon reappeared in Preston town centre over a weekend in 2010 and again in Bristol city centre over a weekend in 2013.