Downtown San Francisco’s #LetsGlowSF Holiday Projection Mapping Event

Downtown San Francisco is spreading holiday cheer—and not in the way you might expect. 

To help stimulate a strong economic recovery and welcome thousands of city-goers to the streets of downtown San Francisco, the city recently hosted its inaugural holiday projection mapping event titled “Lets Glow SF.”

Billed as the largest projection mapping event in the United States, the ten-day event captivated all those who attended as well as millions more across social media. With a series of five minute videos and animated clips expertly projected onto the side of four iconic downtown buildings, the event was designed to help boost business throughout the city. The images featured the work of a number of artists, including Louie Schwartzberg, Amandalynn, Ian Ross, Val Margolin, and many others. 

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how A3 Visual helped orchestrate this city-wide activation. 

Stimulating Economic Recovery in Downtown San Francisco: One Bush Plaza, the Pacific Stock Exchange, 345 Montgomery Street, and the Hyatt Regency

The goal for the city’s #LetsGlowSF event was clear from the very beginning: to showcase the beauty of Downtown San Francisco. The multi-night festival was hosted at four of the city’s most well-known buildings, including One Bush Plaza, the Pacific Stock Exchange, 345 Montgomery Street, and the Hyatt Regency.

With the area’s local tourism taking a hit during the pandemic, officials are now focusing more on rebuilding and strengthening the businesses that make up the city San Francisco. From restaurants to hotels, shopping centers, and more, the hope is that events like #LetsGlowSF will serve as an in-person attraction for people to come together from all across the country—even the world—while simultaneously supporting the economic infrastructure of the city. 

“We want people to fly into San Francisco, or drive, or take public transportation,” says Downtown SF’s Executive Director Robbie Silver, “Book hotel room nights, just for this type of event.”

Over the course of ten days, the event welcomed thousands of shoppers to the streets of San Francisco and supported local businesses, restaurants, hotels, and more. 

The Largest Projection Mapping Activation in the US

Covering multiple city blocks and tens of thousands of square feet of surface area, #LetsGlowSF shattered records as one of the country’s largest projection mapping installations. A total of (18) Panasonic 4k laser projectors, each delivering 30,000 vivid and vibrant lumens,  were installed specifically for the event. All projectors were carefully calibrated to deliver a highly realistic and show-stopping experience for those who came together to celebrate the holiday season. 

Starting nightly at 5:30pm and running until 10:00pm, the ten-day activation showcased an incredible variety of talent from artists all across the country, as well as several San Francisco locals. 

A3 Visual Projection Mapping Capabilities

In preparation for the event, A3 Visual worked closely with parent-company AAA Flag & Banner  to ensure all buildings and surface areas could effectively showcase the projected artwork. In many cases, this included an initial decal installation to cover windows and other reflective surfaces with a white “base” that would better illuminate the images coming from the projectors. After each of the four event locations were turned into a projection-ready blank canvas, our team got to work organizing the technical equipment to ensure a seamless video stream. 

“Coming out of a time where I think we could all use some inspiration and all use a little bit of beauty in our lives, I think that’s what we’d really like to see people experience,” says A3 Visual Chief Technology Officer Sean Mason.

View more highlights from our activation below and learn about our projection mapping capabilities at https://a3visual.com/portfolio/.

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