SKYMAGIC were commissioned by BBC Studios to design and deliver a one-of-a-kind drone show for Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert. Taking place over Buckingham Palace, our fleet of 400 custom-developed RTK drones flew for the Royal Family, accompanying dignitaries and the millions of people watching both live and across the world.

With the ambition to instigate pride and instil joy for local, national and international audiences, through a national event, it was important to craft a narrative of British identity and celebrate the life of the Queen using recognisable and relatable stories, within a short 8 minute window. We worked closely with the Executive Producer’s Creative Team and the Royal Household to design and execute playful and poignant choreography with 400 drones. Some of the most memorable scenes of the show include the characteristically cheeky Corgi, a glowing teapot pouring, the iconic Union Jack, and the heartfelt message ‘Thank You Ma’am’. The event attracted a peak of more than 13 million viewers tuned into the BBC, and the drone show went viral globally on social media – with hundreds of proud shares. Images of the drone show were also shared by many celebrities and influencers, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who wrote on Instagram, “What. A. Show…Tonight’s #PlatinumJubilee Party was a fitting and fabulous tribute to Her Majesty.”.

The drone show was designed in conjunction with the event’s projection mapping on Buckingham Palace, thus enabling seamless blending of show visuals from the palace up to the sky, extending the performance area beyond the physical canvas of the building. Equally, the drone technology was able to visually amplify live performances on the stage below, creatively choregraphed in tandem with live act, Ella Eyre.

Flying high above the palace, the drone technology also hugely enhanced attendee experience. – The formations in the sky significantly extended the event’s in-person audience reach, enabling the tens of thousands of people filling Buckingham Palace Mall to view the impressive show, whilst also reaching spectators miles away across London.

SKYMAGIC has an in-house system that has been developed to control mass drone flight formations for both indoor and outdoor shows. This allows for the simultaneous control of thousands of performance drones from a single ground control system. The system utilises a suite of programming environments used to generate smooth and collision-free trajectories, simulate flight data, safety limit analysis and creative lighting programming. Our newly developed RTK technology enhances the accuracy of each individual drone to achieve 3cm positional accuracy, meaning that we can create shapes with higher resolution, higher density and sharper transitions. The technology enables dynamic, innovative and unique stories to be told, using individual light pixels moving in 3D space.

We are proud to have not only told a story of British pride at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert, but to have equally showcased the sustainable benefits of drone technology to a global audience. Drone light shows can illustrate incredible lighting visuals in the sky without the health and environmental risks of Pyrotechnics, including noise pollution and leaving smoke or debris behind. The drones are also fully re-usable for future shows.

It was a complete honour for the SKYMAGIC team to create a drone show as part of a landmark occasion which will go down in history.

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