SKYMAGIC Drone Show Illuminates Northern Sky

Leeds-based creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE marked the beginning of its joint venture with Singaporean company SKYMAGIC by delivering the UK’s first largescale drone performance, capping the Great Exhibition of the North’s Opening Spectacular.

The event, which drew on talent from across the North of England’s creative industries, attracted huge crowds to Newcastle’s Quayside.

“With roots in the north of England, we are very proud to be part of the Great Exhibition of the North,” said Creative Director Patrick O’Mahony. “As one of only a few companies in the world with the resource, expertise and vision to deliver performance drones, we are delighted to have the opportunity to perform on home turf. Autonomously flown, swarm drone performances add a unique element to events, leaving audiences amazed, inspired and with lasting memories.”

The mesmerising show, which featured 100 SKYMAGIC performance drones – each equipped with colour-changing LEDs – was developed around a track written and produced by electronic duo Darkstar. It explored the notion of home and what we perceive as home. SKYMAGIC’s choreography was designed to spark a sense of pride by drawing on the region’s rich heritage and celebrating its exciting future.

The North Star – a beacon that guides us home but also leads people on their own journeys into the future – was a key motif within a series of large tableaux. Through this metaphor, the show honoured the past, celebrated the present and shined a light on the dawn of a new generation that is proud to call the North East their home.

NEWSUBSTANCE and SKYMAGIC have come together in an exciting joint venture to deliver performance drone shows around the world. Over the last five years, both companies have been at the vanguard of drone-based light shows. By joining forces as one company with offices in Europe and Asia, SKYMAGIC is positioned to truly push the boundaries of artistic performance, harnessing the latest cutting-edge drone technologies to deliver spectacular entertainment solutions around the globe – in both outdoor and indoor environments.

O’Mahony commented: “Our business is live events and creative design – we understand the vision behind a project and bring fresh ideas to the table. Speaking the same creative language has long been a key part of our ability to deliver truly spectacular elements within larger shows and events.

Drone technology is now an established field and in recent years its use in creating aerial displays at largescale ceremonies and live events has become more prevalent. While many of these performances have, on some level, been designed as a showcase or platform for tech giants, the work of SKYMAGIC is different.

With a strong background in developing imaginative event solutions for the creative industry, the company is able to deliver shows that push boundaries to create something that is artistically innovative.

“The Great Exhibition of the North supports pioneering spirit and innovation – two pillars that are at the core of what we do. We are very proud to have played our part in such an important initiative and look forward to creating more unforgettable performance drone shows in the future.”

Carol Bell, Executive Director of Great Exhibition of the North, commented: “Friday 22 June marked the start of Great Exhibition of the North’s 80-day programme, with all the hubs, venues and trails opening to the public for the first time. As part of the Opening Event that evening, we worked closely with SKYMAGIC to create a spectacular drone show – a UK premiere – which filled the sky with a mesmerising performance. It created a grand finale like no other and we were thrilled with the response from the crowds.”

SKYMAGIC collaborated with the GREAT Britain campaign, which showcases the best of what the UK has to offer, with the aim of inspiring the world and encouraging people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. It is the Government’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever.

Hosted in Newcastle Gateshead, on behalf of Northern England, Great Exhibition of the North is the biggest event in England this year. It is free to attend and tells the inspiring story of the North of England and how its innovators, businesses, artists and designers have shaped our present and are inspiring our future. Visitors will begin their journey at one of three iconic venues – Great North Museum, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art or Sage Gateshead – before joining three trails through world-class venues and public spaces.