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History of St. Petersburg Festival of Lights

The first spring Festival of Lights was held in St. Petersburg in April 2016 at the Ostrovsky Square.

The premiere presented itself as a grandiose show on façade of Alexandrinsky Theatre that celebrated its 260th anniversary. The architectural appearance of the oldest St. Petersburg Theatre, built on the project of Carlo Rossi, and other historical buildings, which form an ensemble of Ostrovsky Square, were involved in the magnificent play of light, music, and optical illusions with the use of 3D-mapping technologies. The artists of Alexandrinsky Theatre who voiced scenes from such plays as ‘The Government Inspector’ by Nikolai Gogol, ‘Masquerade’ by Mikhail Lermontov, ‘The Seagull’ by Anton Chekhov and others took part in creation of video series for the show. Plots from the same performances were reproduced on the porch and colonnade of the theatre. For the first time in the history of Russian video technologies, it was possible to involve two objects at once in the mapping visualization. These objects were the facade of the theatre and the monument to Catherine II. At the pick of the performance, the monument came to life and moved to the facade. The Empress proclaimed "Let there be light!", and it became the motto of the festival.

The first St. Petersburg Autumn Festival of Lights took place in November, 2016, in ensembles of St. Isaac Square and Senate Square. The worldwide famous architectural masterpieces, such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, a monument to Nicholas I, a monument to Peter I (the Bronze Horseman), as well as the building of the Senate and the Synod were the scenes for amazing light and laser performances. By incarnating together the best European festivals experience of light design and 3D mapping technologies the event became one of the new St. Petersburg symbols with recognizable style that have the accordance to city traditions and soul. Music, poetry, acting talent and the mastery of light artists created a truly unique atmosphere of a completely exclusive action. The festival gathered over 400 thousand visitors in 2 days.

In April 2017, the second spring Festival of Lights was held in St. Petersburg. This time, the chosen location was the Stadium “Saint Petersburg”, which was supposed to host matches of the FIFA World Cup in 2018. And it is not surprising that the main theme of the Festival was football, the history of its development in the world, and a special passion for it in the city on the Neva River. In addition to laser illumination, fireworks, musical performances and wide interactive programme were prepared for the Festival guests. More than 50 thousand people became witnesses of the show, created with help of current lighting technologies.

The second St. Petersburg Autumn Festival of Lights was held in November 2017. The event was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the revolution in Russia. More ambitious, more spectacular and richer than before, it covered three sites at once: the facades of the General Staff building, the Winter Palace and the Cruiser Aurora. The festival gathered about a million viewers.