Drones To Get A Stadium Gig This Fall

From military deployment as remote surveillance and killing machines, to hobbyist toys, future delivery bots and now, coming later this year, stadium rockers… Drones have quite the application trajectory.

The latest height to which flying robots are set to soar is around 75 meters. Aka the height of the Amsterdam Arena, in the Netherlands, where a drone entertainment show called Air is being planned for this fall.

The show has been announced in the teaser video (above), and will apparently involve lasers, projections and other special effects, along with plenty of fancy flying maneuvers.

In this high energy and explosive show, drones will take centre stage to bring a collaboration and fusion of music, video, projections and special effects. AIR allows you to experience a variety of ballet and battles, races and lasers, circus, illusions and most of all magic from hundreds of drones.

The Guardian reports the event has been developed in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Air Force. So this sounds like a way to shrink a full on airshow to fit a stadium — and sell a truck load of tickets in the process. (The Amsterdam Arena has a capacity of around 50,000 when used as a concert venue.)

Further details are scant at this point, despite Air’s organizers touting that tickets will go on sale “soon”. Evidently they’re hoping their sci-fi video will do most of the talking.

Safety will be an interesting issue here. Given that flying scores of drones in complex sequences over thousands of people’s upturned faces does rather invite a few ocular concerns. Ticket buyers will presumably be asked to sign away health & safety concerns. And/or not be directly buzzed by the drones — perhaps by keeping the show’s action to the middle of the arena and the seating to the edges.

(Related in drone regulations, but not directly applicable to this European entertainment show, the U.S. FAA’s proposed rules for commercial drone use in open skies stipulates that flights over people are prohibited.)

The larger question here is of course whether “a show without artists” will prove to be all that entertaining. Flying drones yourself can be fun. Watching a bunch of drones being chased by lasers in pre-set sequences to music might be rather less scintillating, unless you’re a big fan of large scale firework displays.

Perhaps drones will be able to add ‘edging out public firework displays and soulless stadium rock’ to their list of future achievements.