The UK’s Largest And London’s First Ever Large-scale Drone Light Show As The Capital Welcomes The New Year

London welcomed in 2021 with the Mayor of London’s innovative firework, lighting and drone show - a spectacular city-wide display, sending a message of thanks and hope to the nation and the world. SKYMAGIC, the world’s leading drone light show specialists, worked with Jack Morton, the global brand experience agency who worked in partnership with the Mayor of London’s office to develop the original concept and create the extraordinary experience with a dedicated team of experts.

The 10-minute show, designed for home-viewing and created in collaboration with the BBC, was broadcast live on BBC1 and watched by a global viewing audience of millions.

SKYMAGIC used a staggering fleet of 300 drones — the UK’s largest and London’s first ever large-scale drone show — to vividly depict some of the most iconic and important themes and moments of 2020. The performance over London’s River Thames featured a series of key design motifs including: The Nightingale, Captain Sir Tom Moore and Sir David Attenborough’s turtle, as well as a humorous nod to the all-too-common phrase from a year of video-calling, “you’re on mute”.

To create London’s New Year’s celebration, the drones appeared alongside pyrotechnics from Titanium Fireworks and lighting design from Durham Marenghi, all set to music production by On the Sly.

SKYMAGIC have delivered some of the most spectacular choreographed drone shows across the world and has become the first company to deliver drone shows in the UK, Japan, Switzerland and the UAE.

Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director of SKYMAGIC commented, “It is an honour and privilege to play a part in this most special of New Year’s Eve shows. It has been a long-held ambition to bring our drone light show to London and working with such a great team at Jack Morton to deliver this has been an absolute pleasure. I am very proud of everyone at SKYMAGIC who have worked tirelessly to get us here and to bring something new to the capital’s skyline.”

Jim Donald, Production Director, Jack Morton added, “This spectacular and moving experience was only made possible by the outstanding collaboration and dedication of the entire extended team. I am delighted that we were able to work with SKYMAGIC who have demonstrated why they are one of the world’s leading drone light show companies. Their design and execution added a further dimension to the overall piece, delivering in the process the UK’s largest ever drone light show. It has been a pleasure working with them and we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate again soon.”

The display across London’s skyline was a poignant message of remembrance, hope and optimism, both for the coming year and for the future of our planet.  Some of the main design motifs of the performance included:


Representing the amazing efforts and remarkable resourcefulness of the NHS that continues to be demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, a three-dimensional formation of a symbolic nightingale bird takes flight and soars over The O2. Illuminating the sky with twinkling blue light, this image was used to instil a feeling of pride in what was achieved and acknowledge a sense of collective hope.


In a heart-warming nod to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who fundraised more than £32m for the NHS, last night’s performance aimed to celebrate his status as "A beacon of light through the fog of Coronavirus”. A spotlight shines and vibrant colours pepper the sky before Captain Sir Tom Moore himself is revealed in 300 shining drones.


The final section of the show features a narrated piece by Sir David Attenborough that imparts his message of sustainability for the future. The intent was to embody his message in a celebratory and captivating drone arrangement. Here, a charismatic golden turtle twinkles into formation; he swims high above the O2, leaving trails of sparkling bubbles behind him. As the turtle turns in the sky his shell resolves to unveil the continents of the world glowing within his back.