After one Festival of Lights reduced last year due to Covid, the capital of the Gauls is seeing big again with nearly 27 sites highlighted. The government has given its approval. An announcement greeted with relief by the people of Lyon who, for 20 years, have seen their city shine with a thousand lights each year with extraordinary sound and light shows. On the other hand, the wearing of the mask will be obligatory outside in the zones of the illuminations and the sanitary pass required in the closed places where the works are exposed.

With each edition, you have to find new ideas for illuminations so as not to fall into the “already seen” and thus surprise the public. This year, the ecological municipality which is organizing, in a way, its first real Festival of Lights wanted to stand out by not systematically offering videos projected on the facades. Creations are more static. On the hill of Fourvière, the fresco Visions offers a series of drawings. A phantasmagorical flora and fauna reminiscent of the great Symbolist works of the 19th century.

Objects designed with neon lights also have their place in this new edition. In the 2nd arrondissement, a dome 8 meters in diameter traversed by light flows faces the Célestins theater. A few streets away, 56 executives, also bright, dress the basin of the Place de la République. Still on the Presqu’Ile, place de la Bourse, Vortex-1 provides a physical experience of light that creates a force field, through rings that turn at different speeds. In Vieux Lyon, quai Romain Rolland, the public strolls under thin poles of light inserted at the base of the branches of the trees.

Environmentally friendly municipality obliges, nature is omnipresent during this Festival of Lights 2021. In the 1st arrondissement, place Louis Pradel, a neon phoenix awaits visitors. Its multiple bright and changing colors evoke the magnificent plumages of tropical birds. A sound environment composed of birdsong recorded in Guyana accompanies this installation. In the Parc de la Tête d’Or, three works pay homage to the elements. A mythical creature, Hydra, winds on the park lawn in the middle of a field of lotus flowers. On the surface of the lake, light waves and ricochet lines disturb the tranquility of the place. In the undergrowth, it is a Vegetal’lum which awaits the spectator: basketry objects make up a vegetal scenography where we meet phosphorescent plants, swarms, fireflies or even nocturnal butterflies.

Creation to see at the Parc de la Tête d'Or & nbsp;  (The creature of the lake / Nicolas Paolozzi)

May the fans of video mapping be reassured. The emblematic monuments of the city center are no exception to the traditional videos projected on the facades. Place des Terreaux, in the 1st arrondissement, presents a transposition of an Aztec tale, The rabbit in the moon. In Old Lyon, seven graphic paintings on the theme of the eye and light enhance the Cathedral of Saint-Jean.

Creation to see on the facade of Saint-Jean Cathedral & nbsp;  (Iris / TETRO + A)

As for Place Bellecour, the largest in the city, the organizers have chosen to wave a giant wave there. The work of 80 meters long and 20 meters high is composed of more than 350 kakemonos in spinnaker canvas. At nightfall, hundreds of scales rise, “undulating under the breath of a light breeze “. All you have to do then is let yourself be carried away by this “poetic parenthesis, gently rocked by the melodious sound of a flute…”

“Festival of lights”: Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 December from 7 pm to 11 pm; Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December from 8 p.m. to midnight


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