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Video: Watch Celestial’s drone show light up the Melbourne Docklands

written by Hannah Dowling | February 9, 2022

A moving light display made up of over 350 drones has taken to the skies over Melbourne’s Docklands, encompassing First Nations artwork, Australian icons, spoken poetry, and a custom commissioned soundscape.

It marked the first time UK-based drone art company Celestial has performed a drone display in Australia.

The drone show, which was originally planned to take place on New Year’s Eve, was finally free to take place from the 25th to 30th of January after being initially cancelled by CASA over regulatory concerns.

CASA later said that it has worked closely with the chief remote pilot contracted by Celestial to “ensure safety risks were considered and mitigated”, before the show went ahead.


Chief remote pilot from the Institute for Drone Technology Jake Andrew said it usually takes about three months to prepare and practice for the eight-minute show.

“It takes a huge amount of work to ensure the display appears seamless on the night and all contingencies are carefully planned for and mitigated against,” he said.

“We use an animation system to choreograph the drones in the display and drone show software to ensure they don’t fly into each other, stay in formation throughout the display and land safely back on the ground.”

Watch a snippet of the show here:

Celestial says its drone light displays could soon surpass the world’s best firework displays for special events and New Years’ celebrations. The Somerset-based company highlights that drones are cheaper, manoeuvrable, and “can be used again and again”.

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