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501 drone light show showcases Everest colours

written by Jasmine Siljic | October 14, 2022

Drones from rival company Intel arrive in ‘pods’ containing six devices

Sydney welcomed yet another major drone light show on Tuesday to mark the $15 million Everest horse race barrier draw.

In one of Australia’s biggest-ever displays, 500 drones performed over the Harbour on Tuesday to reveal the colour of the horses and barriers – with one extra device shooting the display from above.

It came after the NSW capital held a drone light show created by Intel in early January to mark the city’s emergence from lockdown – before rival Celestial produced a separate show weeks later in Melbourne.

The new show was produced by Drone Sky Shows, an Australian drone light show service established in 2021 and based in Western Australia.

It was trialled in secret before the unveiled display pictured the colours of the thoroughbreds, the jockey’s silks and The Everest’s logo.


One hundred and eighty VIPs spectated the event from a $20 million super yacht with Peter V’landys, chief executive of Racing New South Wales.

“We’ve got the best harbour in the world and we’ve always said we’d showcase it. What better way than with this spectacular barrier draw. And one thing I’ve always said: we’ll never stop the boats,” he said in the lead up to the event.

Drone Sky Shows’ packages range from 50 to 1,000 drones, for birthday parties to large community events and firework replacement shows.

The business is now just one of the many emerging companies that are rapidly expanding the drone light show empire.

From Melbourne’s ‘Celestial’ show earlier this year, to Perth’s ‘City of Lights’ display and Sydney’s ‘Elevate’ Festival, drone technology is increasingly replacing traditional firework shows.

Larger events such as the U.S’ Fourth of July and Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are expected to turn towards drone displays in the future.

Fireworks’ ability to create a narrative in the sky and build emotional engagement arguably falls short when measured against its competitor.

Despite fireworks’ history dating back to the invention of gunpowder, its lack of environmental advantages and manoeuvrability won’t provide the industry with a foreseeable long-term future.

Fortune Business Insights recorded that the commercial drone market is worth USD $8.15 billion as of this year. The industry is expected to grow to USD $47.38 billion by 2029, a compound annual growth rate of 28.58 per cent.

The drone market still faces regulatory hurdles before it can completely lift off the ground – literally. Innovation will continue to develop as more and more businesses enter the field in coming years.

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