Luna Fete 2018: New Orleans’ free annual festival of lights set for Dec. 6-9

Luna Fete, New Orleans’ free festival of light, art and technology, returns to celebrate the city’s Tricentennial, along with some new features. The interactive holiday lights event is set to dazzle downtown from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9.

luna fete
Photo courtesy: Bryce Ell Photography

The Tricentennial Signature Event is free and open to the public nightly in Lafayette Square and Lafayette Street and and the Piazza d’ Italia. This year, interactive and light-based art installations explore the theme “Through Time.” This is the Arts Council New Orleans’ fifth year producing LUNA Fête, the longest-running annual large-scale projection mapping festival in the nation.

This year, LUNA Fête highlights two recently renovated architectural assets of the city, Gallier Hall and the Piazza d’ Italia. In celebration of the Tricentennial renovation of Gallier Hall, this year LUNA Fête will transform the building’s façade with a retrospective of past artists work: La Maison Productions from France and AVA from Mexico, alongside for the first projection mapping by local artists.

luna fete
Photo courtesy: Bryce Ell Photography

Here are the new things to expect this year:

  • For the first time ever new Gallier Hall projections will be produced by local artists including Courtney Egan and Cristina Molina. Gallier Hall projections will also include work from current students and graduates of NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts). Carl Joe Williams and Andrew Wade Smith are working with Young Artist Movement youth interns to create a new Gallier Hall projection.
  • Another LUNA Fête projection premiere includes the Piazza d’ Italia, whose façade will be animated every half hour by Oedipus Max, a projection-mapped future retrospective rock opera produced by the Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave, New Orleans first virtual Mardi Gras Krewe.
  • This year, the Arts Council premieres LUNA Lounge, a VIP ticketed experience for attendees to experience a heated oasis within Lafayette Square featuring plush seating, an exclusive light installation, private restrooms, with craft cocktails and hospitality provided by LeBlanc + Smith. LUNA Lounge tickets are $50 for adults and $10 for kids and available on ArtsNewOrleans.org
  • Also new this year, LUNA Fête presents “Sound Collage” a satellite exhibition at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade). This special exhibition runs December 5th – 7th from 5:30 – 10:30 pm nightly with live music, projection mapping, an arts market, and illuminated installations for all to enjoy.
Photo courtesy: Photo courtesy: Bryce Ell Photography

See also: Audubon Zoo will debut a holiday lights attraction in November

“LUNA Fête showcases the architecture, music, film, and highlights the culture, which is what New Orleans is all about,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.

Created in 2014, as a way to connect New Orleans dynamic contemporary art, film, and technology industries, LUNA Fête was envisioned by Arts Council as a way to demonstrate the power of art to transform communities. Since then, more than 200 local artists have been trained throughout the course of the festival along with 50 youth.

“LUNA Fête not only brings the public together in celebration of New Orleans culture it provides more opportunities for illuminating the city, creating a brighter future for New Orleans,” Arts Council New Orleans Executive Director Heidi Schmalbach said. “We are positioning LUNA Fête artists to help create urban lighting solutions to beautify and improve New Orleanians quality of life.”

For more information about Luna Fete, visit the Art Council New Orleans’ website.