11 July 2024

Albury's Aurora, Lost Astronaut light show shaping up to be best one yet

| Vanessa Hayden
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Albury Botanic Gardens is playing host to Aurora, The Lost Astronaut, a stellar light show that takes you on a journey through an ethereal landscape with an astronaut whose spaceship has malfunctioned and stranded him in an unreal world.

Albury Botanic Gardens is playing host to Aurora, the Lost Astronaut, a stellar light show that takes you on a journey through an ethereal landscape with an astronaut whose spaceship has malfunctioned and stranded him in an unreal world. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

Albury’s new luna light journey show ‘Aurora, the Lost Astronaut’ is shaping up to be the best one yet, according to Laservision, the creative talent behind the unique experience.

Now in its second week at the Albury Botanic Gardens, one of the region’s favourite winter traditions (running through to 21 July) is enjoying sold-out sessions and “overwhelming positive” feedback.

This is the third time AlburyCity Council has partnered with Laservision’s skilled creative and installation team to bring interactive projection, lasers, UV light displays, hanging light curtains, custom soundscapes and special effects together in a literally, stellar, show.

Laservision CEO Shannon Brooks said the one-of-a-kind experience had been two years in the making.

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He said the new theme was a massive hit so far.

“We are really happy with it. Last year was a good show but this year we’ve changed the theme quite significantly.

“We wanted to offer something that’s new and exciting; we don’t want to repeat what’s already been done so that’s why it’s a new theme this year.

“We’ve stepped up on the number of installations and there are new things that people have never seen before so it’s really resonating with the audience so far.

“It’s all about the lost astronaut. It’s more of a whimsical journey and it has a really strong narrative to it. You join a lost astronaut who embarks on rebuilding their ship to escape the enchanted, otherworldly planet they crash-landed in.”

The storyline follows the astronaut as he encounters a harrowing ordeal after the spacecraft malfunctions, stranding him on a remote planet. Determined to repair the damaged ship and continue his journey, he sets out to retrieve the scattered pieces of the vessel across the alien world.

Shannon said the early evening sessions were regularly selling out and the low sensory sessions at 5:45 pm were also filling fast each night.

“We limit the number of tickets at the low sensory session to 150. It’s been very popular with families with young children – a lot of parents don’t want to have the overwhelming darkness and then the bright lights, so 5:45 pm is a good time to go.

“They can do the hour to hour and a half walk around, still have time to go out for dinner in town and then get home at a reasonable time.”

He said he hoped the drizzly weather in Albury this week wouldn’t deter visitors from attending the experience.

“The weather plays a big part in it for sure, but it is another experience when it’s wet and drizzly.

“All the light and laser that is in the air picks up on all the droplets and we often hear people saying, ‘Wow, I was a bit skeptical in going out in the drizzle and rain, but it was magical’.

“It adds a whole different element to it.”

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Laservision has been operating for 40 years and aims at harnessing the power of light, water, fire, and other high-impact mediums to evoke the senses, connect audiences with their environments and create enduring memories.

The light show is one of Albury’s biggest events on the calendar and contributed significantly to a record $1.218 billion injection into the local economy in 2023.

A recent visitor economy trends report presented to AlburyCity and Wodonga councils said the 2023 figures represented a five per cent increase in the economic impact of tourism over the previous year.

Of the $1.218 billion, the report attributes about $658 million to the immediate increase in spending and jobs created by tourism, with the remaining $560 million encompassing the flow-on spending in the local economy.

The report points to the return of high-profile events such as the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup ($4.64 million) and Chryslers on the Murray ($2.49 million) as a significant factor in the post-pandemic recovery.

Of all the events in 2023 The Aurora Luna Light Journey attracted the biggest crowd with 62,000 visitors through the gates over its three-week duration ($4.09 million), followed by the Albury Gold Cup Carnival with 11,000 visitors ($4.07 million), the Big Bash Cricket with 10,147 attendees ($2.76 million) and the North East Food and Wine Festival with 7000 visitors ($2.83 million).

Aurora, Lost Astronaut is on until 21 July and opens nightly at 5:45 pm with the last session at 9 pm. Tickets are $14.50 for adults, $9.50 for a child or $38.50 for a family of four.

More details and tickets can be found via the AlburyCity website.

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