If you’re in Melbourne and looking for things to do, then from Saturday 15th, until the 24th of January, you’ll be able to watch as 350 drones light up the night sky over Docklands. Two 8 minute shows at 9.30pm and 10.30pm will run over the Victoria Harbour each night which will combine with music and sound.
The aerial display was developed by drone art company, Celestial. The company has many great examples of previous works, which are seriously impressive and also provide a blog post for anyone wondering how these drone light shows are actually built. If you’re in that camp, then please check out Behind the scenes of how a drone light show works.
While many of us are quite familiar with flying an individual drone, coordinating a fleet of them is something different entirely. Even once you have selected the hardware, you then need to program the software to arrange the drones in a 3-dimensional space, while also coordinating with music, so over the 4th dimension – time.
For this challenge Celestial actually develop their own proprietary software to manage this. As you can imagine, the logistics around this are challenging as well. 350 of anything takes a fair amount of space, so transporting the drones is a big job. Each drone is individually labelled, battery charged, tested and confirmed ready for flight. Then there’s always the unpredictability of an outdoors event, so you need to account for the weather (these things aren’t waterproof).
Once you master that and you could build a light show that creates anything, how do you choose what to create and in this event, they are bringing to life ‘Melbourne, Feel the Sound’, a poem about emerging into our lives again and rediscovering Melbourne, by local artist Ren Alessandra, winner of the National Poetry Slam 2020.
The story of ‘How The Platypus (Dulai Wurrung) Was Made’ will come to life, told and illustrated by Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung artist Mandy Nicholson.
Summer Nights Drone Show is presented by City of Melbourne with support from the Victorian Government and Development Victoria and will be absolutely free to attend.
If you go watch the display, make sure you share the photos or video on social media and tag in techAU so we see it.