Drone festival points to future of major events

The ELEVATE Sydney festival held at the beginning of this month unveiled the largest drone display in the Southern Hemisphere, lighting up Sydney Harbour for the first time with 500 drones.

AGB Events was commissioned by Destination NSW to create and produce ELEVATE Sydney, with creative director Anthony Bastic, First Nations Advisor Rhoda Roberts and senior producer Olivia Bradley leading the creative team.

To bring the vision to life above Sydney Harbour, AGB Events collaborated with Australian drone consulting company Mirragin and drone experts from Intel who were responsible for the spectacular display at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

“The innovation and technology offered by Drones is really exciting – they are environmentally friendly with zero emissions, you can create a narrative and tell a story, and the possibilities are endless – they really are the future of major events,” said Bastic.

“The collaboration created a first for Sydney resulted in something special. The coupling of technologies and applying them to outdoor public events greatly enhances the audience experience and will certainly set a benchmark for future Australian events.”

Mandylights was brought in to enhance the Sydney night skies with light projections, programming sixty mBeam searchlights from multiple locations around the Harbour.

As a further enhancement, AGB engaged international augmented reality artist Charles Clapshaw of Future of Art to overlay an augmented reality experience to the drone show. Visitors scanned the QR codes on site and enjoyed added visual elements, further enhancing their live experience.

“We’re very grateful for the support and efforts of the many agencies who have worked with us to realise this project,” Bastic said.

“This is an industry we really want to nurture and promote, the Intel Pilots travelling to Australia and sharing their knowledge is an amazing opportunity to grow the expertise of local drone operators.”