Lighting the Louvre for David Guetta’s NYE 2021 Performance

(Guille GS)

French DJ superstar David Guetta launched his “United At Home” charity livestream series of concerts in May to fundraise for COVID-19 relief. For the third installation, held New Year’s Eve at the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, show director Romain Pissenem, founder and creative director of High Scream, created an inverted matrix of nearly 500 lighting fixtures symmetrically scattered across the ground. Read about the production design here.

Lighting designer Ian Tomlinson and lighting programmer/operator James Betts-Gray of High Scream created an inventive array of exciting lighting looks to keep the at-home audience engaged.

Photo by Guille GS

“We wanted to make the design fit with the surrounding architecture without masking any of the original features of the Louvre,” notes Tomlinson. “We kept all the production at floor level, allowing the Louvre Pyramid to be the centerpiece of the show. The lighting looks needed to be complementary to the architecture but also powerful enough to create dynamic impact for David’s live show. The venue is a big space, so we needed to make sure the lighting looks did not get lost.”

The drones and cameras positioned around the Louvre captured a 360° view, so it was essential that the iconic monument was well-lit. “This did not mean it was always static lighting,” explains Betts-Gray. “Throughout the set, the lighting would react and follow the melody of the music, bringing the Louvre to life.”

Photo by Guille GS

Exposed to the elements during winter in Paris, the team planned the lighting with unpredictable weather in mind. “We used all weatherproof equipment so we could still do the show whatever happens weather wise,” states Tomlinson. Their cautions were not wasted as the NYE performance featured rain and sleet that created watery reflections within the light beams.

The main show lighting featured a matrix of Robe iPintes, Martin VDO Sceptrons, and Elation Professional Proteus Hybrid fixtures. “They provided the foreground of eye candy effects in front of the Pyramid and around David,” says Betts-Gray. “Positions and effects were used on these lights to complement the lines and the shapes of the Louvre. For example, ground effects with the beams followed the lattice effect on the floor.” WYSWIYG was used for previsualization, and an MA Lighting grandMA3 full-size console, running in Mode 2, controlled the lighting and Sceptron.

Photo by Guille GS

“The [Martin] P3 System controller meant we had the flexibility to either use video content triggered in Resolume or DMX,” declares Betts-Gray. “This hybrid mode within the P3 made using the Sceptron more versatile during the show. “

The opening song boasted one of their favorite looks: The camera cut to a wide shot that displayed the breathtaking scale of the venue for the first time. “David stood alone in the Louvre, with the large Pyramid lit in cyan, framed with a thin white border. It was static moments like this that perfectly juxtaposed the moments of high energy within the set,” concludes Betts-Gray.

Gear

Total number of lights: 436

  • 116 Robe iPointe (Show lighting - Triangular Matrix around David)
  • 25 Robe Spiider (Architectural Interior lighting - large pyramid) 
  • 63 Elation Professional Proteus Maximus (Architectural lighting - Wall lighting, exterior large pyramid lighting and key light)
  • 42 Elation Professional Proteus Hybrid (Show lighting - Positioned between Sceptron and around the base of the large pyramid)
  • 44 Elation Professional Proteus Rayzor 760 (Architectural lighting - Fountain pool Lighting)
  • 52 Starway StrongLite HD (Architectural lighting - Small Pyramid exterior lighting)
  • 92 Martin VDO Sceptron 10 1000 (Show lighting)
  • 2 Felix Fresnel (Key light)

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