Created by Swiss environmental activist and artist, Dan Acher, this mesmerising installation brings the experience of the Northern Lights to cities the world over. BOREALIS is as much a work of art as it is a technological performance.  High-powered laser beams travel through particle clouds to create the illusion. Variations in movement, colour, and density, together with changing weather conditions, give infinite variations. A unique aurora is created each time. The original soundtrack by French composer Guillaume Desbois, supports the installation creating an ethereal immersive experience. BOREALIS has toured in Australia (Sydney, Adelaide, Perth), London, Switzerland and Japan. It premiered at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology November 2016 and is currently featuring at The Louvre in Paris.

Check out the Borealis website and book now.

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Who is running the event?

BOREALIS is co-produced by Gluttony, Andrew Kay and Associates and Option 2 Design and Management.

Gluttony is a landmark pop-up venue at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, showcasing the best of local food and drink and presenting hundreds of unique indoor and outdoor performances. It is a boutique festival destination for shows, family friendly activities and nights out. Gluttony owns the installation infrastructure and has previous experience in delivering BOREALIS.

The Andrew Kay Group of Companies (AKA) is led by Andrew Kay AM. For more than 30 years, AKA has created, produced, and presented attractions across all entertainment industry genres. Andrew was previously a senior executive for a government arts funding authority, General Manager of Melbourne Theatre Company for six years and CEO of one of Australia’s largest rock and roll promoters.

Option 2 Design and Management is led by Director, Richard Dinnen. Richard’s experience in production management and technical design and direction spans 30 years and has delivered large-scale events such as 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, and Dark Mofo.

Does the artwork create a lot of light pollution?

The installation is gentle and not overly bright. The effect relies on the surrounding area being dark, so light pollution is kept to a minimum, with low level lighting to guide the audience.

How loud is the installation?

The installation is a relaxing and contemplative experience. The soundtrack is a gentle, ethereal addition to the piece, not played at an excessive volume and directed only at the patrons in the viewing area. It is always kept well under EPA noise limits.

Are the lasers and hazers dangerous?

All lasers have a degree of risk attached if not handled correctly. Event organisers employ trained technicians to ensure public safety. Lasers are never pointed in any direction in which a person could look directly at them, nor are they allowed to present a risk to aircraft.

The haze machines used to create the particles use a water-based fluid which is harmless if inhaled, especially in concentrations present in the outdoor environment. The hazers are powered by submersible electrical cables, so there is no risk of fuel leak into the lake. For those with photosensitive epilepsy: the lighting effect is not designed to ‘flash’ but it does flicker. Patrons with concerns are advised to reference this short video clip of the effect to help determine if it is suitable for them.

Is the event accessible?

BOREALIS is a sensory experience that can be enjoyed by most people. Event organisers will ensure staff are briefed to facilitate best practice concerning accessibility. They will ensure accessible parking close to the event, accessible seating areas, accessible toilets, and pathways created with access in mind for wheelchairs and prams.

Is parking available? How do people access the event?

To minimise impact on local businesses and residents requiring the available public car parking nearby for their usual operations, planning is in place to have a separate parking area and run a shuttle bus service to the event. Further details will be provided soon.

Will there be an impact to the surrounding environment and biodiversity?

Before this event was approved, a Fauna Assessment was undertaken by an independent consultant to ensure that the event would not negatively impact the flora and fauna around the Lake. The assessment concluded that “staging of this event may have a few short-term and no lasting impacts on the native fauna of the lake or surrounds.”

How do you manage waste from the additional people?

Waste management to ensure negligible impact on the site, will include bringing in additional waste facilities such as rubbish bins, with crew emptying and removing at regular intervals, and hiring waste removal contractors.

Will there be food and drink available at the event?

A small food and beverage offering will be provided by way of one or two food truck pop-ups, including a pop-up licenced bar.

Does the event operate in all weather?

Yes, unless deemed dangerous by the Operations Manager. Light wind, rain and snow generally enhance the effect due to additional particles in the air.

Will the event restrict public access to the lake?

The event is being conducted in the area near the old stone changerooms/stone steps. While the event is on, there will be no non-ticketed public access to the installation site, however outside these hours (i.e during the day) the path will be open to the public.

Does the event add a risk of vandalism to the lake area?

The event area will have overnight security. During the day, a site manager or other staff member will be present to deter vandalism activity.

Do the organisers need a permit?

The organisers need a Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) permit to run the event. This is obtained through Council. This is required for events that need to temporarily occupy a public space. Event organisers must meet Council's checklist of requirements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people attending has been considered.

How will COVID safety be managed?

The organiser has extensive experience operating outdoor events under COVID-safe conditions, with highly detailed COVID management planning. The organiser will develop an appropriate plan for the event in consultation with local health authorities.