Stage Lighting grows in to the Ceremonies – from Sun to LED’s. On Feb 7, 2014, top athletes from nations around the world will take part in the opening ceremonies of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. While the details of the Opening Ceremony are kept secret in the weeks ahead of the event, one thing is certain if the trend continues, it will be bigger and more extravagant and likely even more well lit than the previous Olympic ceremony!
The first Winter Olympic games were held in Chamonix, France where there were approximately10,000 spectators throughout the 11 day event. The opening ceremony featured athletes holding their flag and standing in a circle reciting the Olympic pledge.
The Squaw Valley, CA games were the first to be televised and probably the first to set the bar for dazzle. Walt Disney headed up the committee responsible for the Opening Ceremony which featured 3,000 performers, fireworks and the release of thousands of homing pigeons representing doves of peace.
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Grenoble, France Innsbruck, Austria Calgary, Canada
During the years after the first televised Olympics, attendance for rose dramatically as did the broadcast viewership, but the opening ceremonies were generally held outdoors, lit primarily by the sun!
Albertville’s 1992 Winter Olympic was the last to be held in the same year as the Summer Olympics, but it appears to be the first to utilize the lighting technology to add visibility to a night event.
Only two years later at the 1994 Olympics, lighting was used even more dramatically, elevating the opening ceremony to a new level of artistic display.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Modern trussing and lighting for pure visual elements began to become the norm.
Turin, Italy’s Winter Olympic events didn’t disappoint the nearly 2 billion people watching world wide on high-def TV! The lighting system from Space Cannon used over 24,000 channels of DMX Control.
Fireworks and stage lighting become partners in visual elements.
Production Design has become a full partner in the ceremonies by this point.
Although we’ve been talking about the Winter Olympics, the spectacle that was London’s 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony needed a nod when you look at the following figures:
• 15,000 sq. meters of staging • 12,956 props which a 100 times more props than you would find in a broadway musical • A million watt PA system using more than 500 speakers and 50 tons of associated sound gear • Lighting which was made up of 1,100 automated lams, 1,000 conventional lamps, 500 LED fixtures and 32 follow spots!
We can’t wait to see what the 22nd Winter Olympic Games has to bring!