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Will drone light shows gradually replace fireworks at public events?

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Drones are capable of producing more complex patterns than fireworks

There are some pretty bloody cool fireworks displays out there. Having existed for thousands of years, there are all sorts of incredible ways of exploding gun powder in the sky.

The annual New Year’s Day fireworks display in Sydney, Australia. Maybe it really is worth the 5 million + USD price tag?

That being said, new technology tends to come along and completely revolutionise the way we do things. Drones might not move as fast as fireworks but they can create all sorts of incredible patterns in the sky that fireworks are simply not capable of. Drones displays be synched with music, spell out words or create moving three-dimensional images in the sky (check out the clip from Coachella below).

Advantages fireworks have over drones

Drones don’t yet create the kind of atmosphere than fireworks can

I’m not sure about you but there’s something about the smell of gunpowder and the boom that reverberate as fireworks reach their apex and explode into a cacophony of colors that is hard to beat. Drone light shows, while cool, aren’t quite at the point where they will put fireworks down for good.

Unfortunately for drones – the sound of hundreds if not thousands of them in flight at the same time is pretty annoying. That’s part of the reason organizers of large public events will want to turn the volume of the music up extra loud so the crowd doesn’t collectively feel like they’re surrounded by bees.

Can’t we all just get along?

Few people have proposed that drone light show replace public fireworks displays entirely. If anything, this piece has simply pointed out some of the advantages drones have over the older technology. Fireworks are so deeply rooted in public ceremonies around the world (particularly in China) that they are likely here to stay for many decades to come. That being said – drones are playing an increasing role in public spectacle and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the night sky.

We’ve written previous stories about drone light shows such as this write up of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

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