Macao Travel News

Light up Macao Drone Gala will dazzle in December

The “Light up Macao Drone Gala” takes place at Nam Van Lake and Anim’Arte NAM VAN from 4 to 25 December (File photo)

A new event organised by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) will dazzle the city in December – the “Light up Macao Drone Gala”. This visual art extravaganza takes place upon the canopy of the night sky. It is a symphony of drone technology, integrating 2D and 3D design, light and sound.

There are 10 sessions scheduled at Nam Van Lake at 7 p.m. and 9.45 p.m. on 4, 11, 18, 20 and 25 December. Each of the five evenings has a theme, with the same themed show staged on both sessions.

Spectators are welcomed to the area around Nam Van Lake and Anim’Arte NAM VAN to enjoy the view. Each show lasts for 10 to 15 minutes and is comprised of 300 drones.

The “Light up Macao Drone Gala” will run alongside the Macao Light Festival 2021, expanding “tourism +” cross-sector integration.

Deepening “tourism +”

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected travel and seen the introduction of preventive measures that limited the arrival of pyrotechnic teams for the annual Macao International Fireworks Display Contest. The fireworks contest was beyond reach this year, and the MGTO created a new project, “Light up Macao Drone Gala”.

With the Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao SAR and Christmas on the way, the drone shows have corresponding themes, helping fill the festive season with sparkling delight. The drone gala will be a unique night-time entertainment experience that deepens integration across sectors of “tourism +”.

Professional performances

Drone shows have become a popular form of performance and professional teams from Mainland China demonstrate high standards of artistry. Five teams from Shenzhen, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Beijing have been invited to fill Macao’s night sky with drone formations.

The invited teams have staged drone shows at major occasions including performances to celebrate the Yangshipin app, the countdown to Asian Games and CCTV Spring Festival Gala. Three of the teams set world records for the longest drone flight time and for most drones flying simultaneously.

Five themes with cultural hues

The shows of the “Light up Macao Drone Gala” will merge technology, humanities and arts. “Drone Gala‧Macao Light Festival”, “Charm of Macao”, “Embrace your Journey in Macao”, “Macao Lotus in Full Bloom” and “Christmas in Macao” are the themes of each performing evening, to reveal the city as a safe and quality destination that integrates tourism, culture, festivals and sports. The shows also intend to embody the friendship and exchange between Macao and other Mainland cities.

Each performance will be choreographed in sync with music and narration, broadcast on radio and television, and played from loudspeakers along Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Nam Van in an audience area from Anim’Arte NAM VAN to the vicinity of the great white canopy.

Admission to the audience area (from Anim’Arte NAM VAN to the vicinity of the great white canopy in the area) requires spectators to present a green Health Code and undergo temperature checks, maintain social distancing and wear a mask.

As each show will be staged twice per night, residents and visitors can enjoy the shows at their preferred time slots, enabling staggered admission to minimise overcrowding.

Members of the public can also choose to watch the live broadcast of the displays via television. The shows will be broadcast on TDM – Macao TV Channel (9.45 p.m. on show nights) and TDM Entertainment TV Channel (7 p.m. and 9.45 p.m. on show nights). The soundtrack will be broadcast on TDM – Radio Macao’s Chinese Channel (FM100.7) each show night.

Vehicles will be restricted from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on event days along Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Nam Van (lanes by the lakeside) between Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre and the Legislative Assembly Building. Pedestrians will be prohibited from accessing the Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge during the shows.

Because wind and rain can interfere with drones, MGTO will consider the weather forecast of the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau and assess the situation frequently. If events must be postponed or cancelled, the Office will seek to make an announcement two hours before the show, if possible.

World record-holding professional teams with rich experience

The five invited professional teams from Mainland China, with each team using its own, independently developed drones for the shows.

The first team to perform comes from Shenzhen, presenting a show with the theme “Drone Gala‧Macao Light Festival” on 4 December. In February this year, the company held a performance on the Yangshipin App, and in October 2020 it held exhibitions in 14 provinces and cities in Mainland China. The team holds a Guinness world record for piloting the most remote-controlled drones airborne simultaneously in May 2021.

The second team, hailing from Tianjin, will present on 11 December a show under the theme “Charm of Macao”. In December last year, the company set a Guinness world record for the longest animation performed by drones, with a time of 26:19 minutes. In October 2020, it held an exhibition in Haikou in celebration of the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and in January 2020 it put up a display to mark the day of the People’s Police of China.

On 18 December, another team from Shenzhen will present the show “Embrace Your Journey in Macao”. The company holds a Guinness world record set in September 2020 for the most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles airborne simultaneously. In January 2020, it held a performance as part of CCTV’s Chinese New Year Gala, and in February 2019 it created a display for the Kumbh Mela festival in India.

A team from Guangzhou will make its debut on 20 December, with a display themed “Macao Lotus in Full Bloom”, to mark the Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao SAR. In January this year, the company held a show at the Canton Tower. It also performed in December 2019 at the 1,000-day countdown to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, and in August 2019 it created a display of the national flag of the People’s Republic of China for CCTV.

The fifth team originates from Beijing, and will present a show on 25 December themed “Christmas in Macao”. The company held performances at CCTV’s Chinese New Year Gala in, respectively, 2017 and 2018, and took part in shows on Hunan TV and Broadway.