Lyon’s largest annual festival is back this weekend. The fête des lumières has returned for four nights, Friday through Monday.
There have been a few changes. Last year the festival started on Thursday night and ended on Sunday night. A shift of one day might make Sunday less hectic. Another change is the reduction of free public transport. Last year the TCL network buckled under the pressure. This year special tickets are available that cover an evening out with transport on Sunday evening remaining free.
Small changes in the organisation of people moving around seem to have helped. Men with giant elevated signs help direct people and show which streets are blocked. There are less barriers around. All small changes that help.
The projections I have seen so far, are more story focused and shorter. Both improvements. Last year the projections looped every twenty minutes; those I have seen this year tended to be ten minutes or less.
As always the exhibitions are stunning. Photos and footage can not do the event justice. The combination of cold, crowds, and spectacle is hard to beat.
The Place Bellecour exhibit is impressive but hard to follow. Knowing where to look is essential when special effects such as bursts of flame may only last a fraction of a second. The Place Bellecour exhibit screams French in style and content; a silent protagonist who is a discarded marionette struggling for self determination through mime. Fantastically French.