Watch these beautiful drone displays welcome 2021

The ongoing pandemic means greatly reduced New Year’s celebrations around the world.

Hogmanay, the word used by Scots to describe their usually spirited year-end festivities, regularly involves dazzling fireworks displays in the major cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. This year, however, drones took to the Scottish skies instead, offering a fittingly serene end to a challenging year.

Three beautiful displays, which took place in the Scottish highlands, as well as over Edinburgh and the famous Forth Bridge, have been shared online (all three are embedded on this page) for everyone to enjoy.

Featuring an array of Scottish icons and famous places, the displays are accompanied by readings from local actor David Tennant, among others, offering messages of hope for 2021.

The drones were flown and filmed by British firm Celestial, which comprises a team of filmmakers, musicians, developers, and storytellers.

Each of the three shows used around 150 drones with LED lights powered by cutting-edge software on ground-based computers.

“Taking inspiration from Scotland’s land and air, the new work takes viewers on a breathtaking visual journey with the help of 150 individual drones from the Scottish Highlands to the capital city, Edinburgh — a journey that closes the year on 2020 and looks forward to a more hopeful year of 2021,” Celestial said, adding, “Despite the challenges of COVID, we are proud to have created an epic message of hope for Scotland and beyond.”

A growing number of companies are entering the drone display market as the technology that powers the performances becomes more advanced.

One of the leaders in the field is Intel, which recently partnered with U.S. retail giant Walmart for a dazzling display using nearly 1,000 drones.

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