Convergence Collective Plans World-First Burning Man Drone Event

Burning Man has always been about experimentation and new ideas, and this year the temporary community in the desert has the chance to participate in something groundbreaking. Convergence Collective is fundraising to create two firsts: The world's first crowdfunded drone show, and the first large-scale drone display that puts the audience in the middle of the action, rather than underneath it. 

This year's Burning Man begins on August 28 and both drone fans and Burners have the opportunity to support an event on the playa that will continue to benefit Burning Man for many more years to come. The Indiegogo fundraiser to support the immersive experience will be used to create custom net structures for watchers and solar panels to power the drones, panels which will then be donated to the organizers for other Burning Man events.

The idea is the brain child of Convergence Collective (@convergencecollective), in particular Nils Thorjussen, Verge Aero CEO (LDI2022 booth 710) and drone pioneer, and creative director and lighting designer Cory Fitzgerald, who has designed for some of the most exciting live artists including Beyoncé, JayZ, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Gwen Stefani. Other Convergence members are Mason Hayes, Renegade Burn drone pilot; Daniel Zeese and Cameron Chateauneuf, who will design the structures; Greg Pliska, composer; and Tom Kramer, Camp Random Pants co-founder.

Thorjussen says, "Burning Man is an amazing explosion of creativity that happens annually in the desert. The amount of effort people spend to create spectacular, illuminated art is mind-boggling. For me, it’s an opportunity to push the envelope and innovate using new technologies and concepts while giving the Burning Man community a beautiful gift."

Fans can see a preview of how the show will work by watching Verge Aero's winning drone show on America's Got Talent, see below, where judge Terry Crews watched the immersive show from inside a batting cage.

The wire structures that will enclose Burners are custom made shapes, including a space craft and cube allowing watchers to be safely immersed in the show. Convergence is accepting ideas for drone choreography, from thematic suggestions to detailed 3D art, and once the ideas are accepted, the Burning Man community will evaluate them and devise the choreography based on previz videos.