Festival of Light in St. Petersburg

Festival of Light in St. Petersburg

By Nikolai Meinert
Photo credit: Ruslan Shamukov

Recently, Journalists from WTMG were invited as honored guests (which means access to a special balcony with the best view, hot drinks and snacks) for the spectacular outdoor light show in Saint Petersburg. Besides journalists, more than 400,000 spectators gathered to witness the two day Festival of Light.

A Multimedia 3-D mapping show and laser light extravaganza was projected on St. Isaac’s and Senate squares, one of the most popular places in the downtown area of the city. Magnificent St. Petersburg was the main character in this 3-D animated video and image display on the facades of St. Isaac’s square which depicted the people, history, legends, images, the soul and memory of this marvelous city.

On the facade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the audience witnessed a 12-story projection of the most interesting St. Petersburg characters. It included characters from the works of Dostoevsky and Gogol, the creation of the Russian Navy and the construction of the Cathedral, the Romanov Dynasty. The performance was successfully alternated with pictures of the season, and 3-D light paintings, transforming the Cathedral into a living building.

More than 200 units and 30 multimedia projectors with a capacity of 20,000 lumens were involved In creating the images on St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The focus of the video performance was a spiritual phenomenon of St. Petersburg: myths and episodes of living history, the memory of generations.

The facade of the Mariinsky Palace waltzed in a whirlwind of Grand balls and absorbed the dark element of the Neva flood of 1824. In the snowy glow of a full moon the show revived sphinxes and other mystical guardians of the city while the Palace shook and collapsed under the pressure of revolutionary forces; dissolved in the Golden glow of repentance of the angel on the spire of Peter and Paul; disappeared in the eerie darkness of the winter siege night, then came back to life in the spring in the Summer garden.

According to Jose Cristiani, one of creators of this show and Art Director of the art Bureau “Cosmo AV” (France), “participants of the Festival of Light made an effort to keep the facade safety and tried to bring every detail to stress, refresh and beautify.” Mr. Cristiani also participated in the work on the closing ceremony of the Olympic games and the opening of the Paralympic games in Sochi

The show also marked a historic record height for 3-D mapping: 101.5 meters (333-feet). The Festival is planned as an annual event and next year will significantly expand its geography.

The event was initiated by the Committee for Tourism Development of Saint Petersburg and supported by the St. Petersburg Government.