Groupe Novelty Wows Millions at Latest Festival of Lights

Groupe Novelty transformed the festival’s most iconic site like never before during the latest Festival of Lights.
Groupe Novelty Wows Millions at Latest Festival of Lights

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A version of this article exists on rAVe [PUBS] written by Tucker Adkins

With 32 sites and 2.3 million visitors, the 2023 Lyon Festival of Lights once again lived up to its global reputation as the most sought-after canvas for international lighting designers and artists. Groupe Novelty, Europe’s leading provider of technical solutions for the live events industry, transformed the festival’s most iconic site like never before during the latest Festival of Lights last December.

Drawing on its vast stock of AV equipment – the largest inventory in Europe – and more than 50 years of event production experience (including over a decade for the Festival of Lights), Groupe Novelty provided the technical backbone for the festival’s top location, using the City Hall and 17th-century Museum of Fine Arts that surround the Place des Terreaux as the canvas for a projection-mapped audiovisual spectacular, paying tribute to Lyon’s cinematic heritage.

Created by digital artist Bruno Ribeiro, with a soundtrack by French electronic music producer Rone, CELLULO/D (pronounced “Celluloid”) celebrated the works of the inventors of cinema, the Lumière brothers. Ribeiro used modern AI technology to reimagine and reinterpret some of the brothers’ earliest motion pictures, such as giving a Wild Western and cartoon makeover to 1895’s Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat.

A Festival of Lights regular since 2009, local Groupe Novelty’s subsidiary Novelty AURA has forged a reputation in the city of lights over the years, producing several milestone projects, including the illumination of the Fourvière hill and its Basilica, which overlooks Lyon. Its relationship with Ribeiro, however, is considerably younger, the two parties having first met at Aura Invalides, a projection-mapping show in Paris last September, explains Arnaud Douchet, director of Novelty AURA.

“We decided to apply together for the Place des Terreaux, one of the most coveted sites in the whole festival,” recalls Douchet. “This was exciting for both of us, as Bruno had never created any work for the Festival of Lights and we [Novelty] had never worked on this iconic site.”

Celebrated around the 8th of December each year, the Lyon Festival of Lights commemorates the inauguration of the golden statue of the Virgin Mary in 1852. On that day, after a violent storm cancelled the festivities, the people of Lyon spontaneously lit candles on their window sills at nightfall to thank the Virgin – a tradition that lives on 170 years later in the form of the modern four-day Fête des Lumières, which transforms the city’s buildings, squares, bridges and rivers into a riot of lights and colours.

Novelty AURA started by creating a 3D scan of the square and its buildings, to map the area with extreme precision and ensure maximum impact for the projection. The company’s mission, explains Douchet, was to translate Ribeiro’s artistic requirements into a technical reality. “The mapping needed to be impactful, immersive and have even coverage,” he says. “Bruno knew that he could leave the technical aspect to us to focus on creating the content – he would only have to bring his USB stick and plug it in during rehearsals and everything would magically work.”

To learn more, read the full article on rAVe [PUBS].

Photo credit: rAVe [PUBS]

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