This year the Festival of Lights returned to its original 4-night format. 1 million 800 thousand visitors from all corners of the globe flocked to the city, admiring the light installations stretching from Fourvière Hill to place Antonin Poncet. The crowds were already out in force on the Thursday and the city stayed busy for the next three days. Thanks to seamless security and extra signage, the spectators were able to admire the 2017 light installations in a calm and orderly fashion.
“The 2017 edition of the Festival of Lights proved a popular success with visitors who saw our city sights in a whole new light thanks to bold, original creations, illuminating Lyon’s hidden treasures or famous places such as place Bellecour, the Antiquaille or the Fourvière Roman theatres. This fantastic event was the result of hard work on the part of the organising teams both in terms of the cultural curation and security,” declared Lyon City Mayor Georges Képénékian. Spectators enthusiastically followed the adventures of Enoha on the place des Terreaux directed by Nathanaelle Picot who treated them to a nostalgia trip through some movie greats from James Bond to E.T. not forgetting West Side Story.
The perimeter was extended this year to include the Antiquaille which proved a popular destination home to experimental works from students and an installation on the façade of the collège Jean Moulin. Several thousand visitors to the Fourvière Roman theatres marvelled at the equestrian legend of Balāha illustrated by Damien Fontaine.
Place Bellecour, Europe’s biggest pedestrian square, was converted into a giant garden of light by TILT attracting crowds of visitors on all four evenings who took the opportunity to take the weight off their feet beneath the giant peonies, stroll past the butterfly tree and visit the formal gardens laid out at the foot of the statue of Louis XIV in this peaceful, poetic setting. Some installations such as the light feature at the Tony Bertrand swimming pool designed by Lyon’s public lighting department unfortunately suffered from the weather with the rain and wind preventing it operating as planned during the festival.
4 EVENINGS OF GIVING
More than 250 volunteers took it in turns to man the site of the Odeon in the Roman theatres where 70,000 candles burned bright to support the Laurette Fugain leukaemia charity.
►Until December 29, Laurent Langlois & Daniel Knipper’s installation Rayonnement will continue to embellish the façade of the Hôtel-Dieu.
►Wisps, the urban lighting along the rue de la République and rue du Président Carnot created by Pitaya will remain on show until the end of December.