The New Year is rapidly approaching, and one of the highlights of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations has been cancelled. Melburnians won’t be able to see Australia’s largest ever drone display on New Year’s Eve, due to COVID-related freight and logistics challenges. Delays in shipping key equipment, and staff isolation periods, meant that drone company Celestial couldn’t carry out important training and test flights in time. As a result, the show this week will not go ahead.
We are very sorry to advise that the Docklands drone swarm will no longer be going ahead as planned on New Year’s Eve because of COVID-19 challenges.
The swarms scheduled to take to the skies twice a night from 3 January will also be delayed to a later date. 1/3
— City of Melbourne (@cityofmelbourne) December 29, 2021
New Year’s Eve Drone Cancellation
The City of Melbourne partnered with Celestial, a UK-based company that delivered both the 2020 New Year display for Edinburgh and a drone art creation for Amnesty International’s 60th anniversary.
“Despite the best efforts of the Celestial team, the rapidly changing environment has impacted their ability to deliver the show safely,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp, acknowledging that the situation was “disappointing”.
After the original performance on New Year’s Eve, the drones were slated to perform twice a night from January 3 to 30. These shows will now be pushed back to a later date.
All key equipment have now arrived in Australia, and Celestial staff members are also out of quarantine, so testing for January shows can begin. They are now working around the clock to deliver the January shows as early as possible.
“It’s disappointing that COVID-19 has disrupted yet another set of plans in 2021 and we won’t have the drones swarming in Docklands this New Year’s Eve, but I’m so excited to join tens of thousands of Melburnians in the city to see the back of 2021 and celebrate the start of a new and better year,” said the Lord Mayor.
What else is happening on New Year’s Eve?
In order to manage crowds and adhere to health and safety requirements, there will be four ticketed celebration zones to view the fireworks. These will be located in Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens, Alexandra Gardens and Treasury Gardens. There will also be family-friendly entertainment from 6pm and localised fireworks shows at 9:30pm and midnight.
Entertainers include comedy and circus acts, dance workshops, big bands, DJs, food trucks and a disco light installation.
However, all 42, 000 free tickets to these zones are sold out.
Thankfully, there are still tickets available for the New Year Street Feasts. In partnership with Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the city will come alive with delicious menus from the best restaurants around Melbourne. While you enjoy the New Year Street Feasts, there will also be live music to keep the good times rolling. Find the Street Feasts at:
- Fed Square
- Flinders Lane
- Little Bourke Street
- Little Collins Street
- Russell Place
Tickets to the New Year Street Feasts are on sale on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website.