The Fires of the Apostle filled with light the great night of Santiago de Compostela

July 29, 2014 | Shows

The City Council of Santiago de Compostela asked once again ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño to organize the night show for the Festivity of Santiago (St. James), which took place in the city’s main square (Obradoiro) on July 24th.

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño put on this show on several occasions in the past under its old name (General de Producciones y Diseño), so it had a wealth of expertise to take on this new edition of the event.Over the years, the company has filled the night sky with light on a night that is dear to the people of Santiago and pilgrims from all over the world as they celebrate St James’ Day.

The multimedia show put on by the company in 2011 won the the European Best Cultural Event Award in the European Events Awards (EuBEA) 2012, and the Grand Jury Award in the Eventoplus Awards 2012. The last show (in 2012) has received over half a million hits on the Internet from all over the world.

In a new feature this year, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño reintroduced –after a few years’ absence– a Neo-Gothic façade and palisade, a virtual décor that was traditionally used on this day. For the first time, mapping was projected on it (a technique that consists of creating images or videos on three-dimensional objects or architectural constructions).Another feature this year was that part of the Cathedral was covered with scaffolding, but ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño found a way to incorporate it into the show by making it part of a visual narrative through the use of lighting and a fireworks display.

To achieve this, ACCIONA worked again with RICASA, a company from Valencia that specialises in this kind of event, to design the pyrotechnics for the show.Indeed, the use of fireworks throughout the audio-visual projection is a new feature this year.The last part of the spectacle was a musical fireworks display in which the synchronisation of the music and the pyrotechnics delighted the crowds watching the 2014 edition of the Apostle’s Fireworks.

A series of visual metaphors allowed spectators to relive some aspects of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago, and the Cathedral turned into a variety of figures and elements that are part of its history.The show started, however, with a tribute to the people who lost their lives in the train crash at Angrois (just outside Santiago) in 2013.The showwas divided into a number of sequences:A remembrance of light, A source of energy; The early days of the Pilgrim’s Way and the transfer of St James to Santiago; The discovery of his tomb; Time running through time; St Francis of Assisi travelling the Pilgrim’s Way; Traditional symbols of the route; Pilgrimage traditions in Santiago, Galicia and the world; A fiesta featuring the Cathedral; The burning of the Neo-Gothic façade and a finale full of pyrotechnics, sound and light.

Technological advantages

The technique of mapping is normally used on flat façades or small buildings with little adornment.However, through new warping technology (i.e. adjusting the projection to the surface it is projected on to) ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño multiplied the realism effect by using the baroque façade of Obradoiro square.The visuals, thanks to the use of 9 BARCO projectors (22,000 lumens each) and 18 mobile LED spotlights, together with a sound system of more than 50,000 watts and the fireworks (4,200 to accompany the story) all made for a brilliant show.

Whatch video