L-Acoustics Delivers Perfect Clarity for Puy du Fou’s International Fireworks Spectacular Set on the World’s Largest Stage L-Acoustics Delivers Perfect Clarity for Puy du Fou’s International Fireworks Sp...
Renowned French theme park revived ‘La Nuit des Feux Follets’, especially for the park’s 45th anniversary
Les Epesses, France – March 2023 – Marking the 45th anniversary of the opening of France’s famous Puy du Fou theme park, the spectacular La Nuit des Feux Follets firework festival was recently revived after a 15-year hiatus. Bringing together three world-renowned pyrotechnic design teams from China, Australia, and Portugal, the major international event selected the industry-standard K Series system from L-Acoustics to deliver excellent coverage and sonic quality. The sound needed to prevail over the noise from the fireworks themselves to the 14,000 spectators seated over the 23 hectares of La Cinéscénie stage, the most famous Puy du Fou show and the biggest night show in the world.
Ranked the second most popular theme park in Europe, Puy du Fou was opened in the late 1970s by entrepreneur Philippe de Villiers and his son Nicolas. The history-based park is spread over 500 hectares in the Pays de la Loire region of western France. To celebrate Puy du Fou’s 45th anniversary, La Nuit des Feux Follets was revived, with the world’s three top professional firework specialists each presenting a 15-minute musical show and pyrotechnic performance in front of a panel of celebrity judges, with a grand finale staged by the Park’s in-house pyrotechnics team.
“A year in the planning, the technical and logistical management of the event, from the 3D programming to the handling and installation of the three tons of fireworks, was immense,” explains Samuel Briand, sound designer at Puy du Fou. “At the center of the brief was the requirement to provide the highest quality sound, so we needed to configure a system that could not only cater to the high-capacity audience but also project the musical and spoken elements of the displays over the noise of the fireworks.”
Staged in the Parc’s Cinéscénie, a performance space set on a lake and boasting the world’s largest stage, shaped in a 100m wide arc, the fireworks are presented at 180 degrees, circling the audience seating area. Sporting state-of-the-art lighting and 3D video projection, the permanently installed audio system boasts top-of-the-range K1 loudspeakers from L-Acoustics. For La Nuit des Feux Follets, the house system was augmented with an additional six stacks of six K2, each with an adjacent stack of four SB28 subwoofers, positioned at the base of the seating stands facing the audience. Five stacks of three Kara, part of the permanent system, were deployed for the surround system. A P1 Milan AVB processor and M1 measurement platform were also employed to calibrate the system.
The audio for the fireworks display was pre-recorded playback comprising music and speech choreographed to the fireworks, with each team providing their own soundtrack. Additionally, there were live performances from guest artists during the celebration. The audio team installed three audio players—primary and two backups—to avoid technical mishaps.
“The aim was to provide even, clean, and intelligible coverage across the entire audience, counteracting the noise from the fireworks,” explains Briand. “It was an incredibly challenging project, but we have been hosting events on that stage for 45 years, so it is familiar terrain. The biggest challenge with this special event was managing the delay, but L-Acoustics’ P1 processor helped us ensure the audio distribution was time aligned and synchronized.”
The companies chosen to participate in the event are considered the best in the pyrotechnics field. Hunan Liuyang Fireworks from China designed the pyrotechnic display for the opening night of the Beijing Olympics, Australia’s Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics has been established for over a century, and Grupo Luso Pirotecnia from Portugal is involved in prestigious European events such as the Eurovision Song Contest and Lisbon’s Rock In Rio music festival. The celebrity panel, comprising TV and radio personalities, selected the Portuguese entry as the winner.
“The best of the genre was on show that evening, and it allowed us to analyze technological progress in pyrotechnics and to discover new creative ideas for our next shows,” concludes Briand. “We configured a world-class AV system that easily managed the challenging audience parameters and creative elements of the displays. The success of the evening was fundamentally down to L-Acoustics’ excellent distribution range and sonic clarity, which defined the audience experience.”