Project Overview

Celestial’s launch commission has been a ground-breaking event for Edinburgh New Year Hogmanay 2020. Inspired by the verse of Scottish Poet Laureate Jackie Kay, Celestial designed and filmed three spectacular drone shows in the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh.

After multiple meetings with Edinburgh council, the Civil Aviation Authority and Scottish Police we finally got the green light, working under strict Covid restrictions and a compromised project plan: to film our drones in the highlands and then composite them into shots we had filmed around Edinburgh.

99.9% approval rating

10M+ views in 3 weeks

Global reach of 2 billion people

10M+ views in 3 weeks

Global reach of 2 billion people

650+ international press reports

Go behind the scenes with Celestial

The Process

To deliver this epic New Year drone show for Edinburgh Hogmanay, Celestial’s creatives worked alongside production partners Underbelly, visual artist Gary Wilson and cult band Niteworks to take our audience on a magical journey across Scotland.

Animation and testing began once the scripting process was complete. And after a successful shoot amongst Edinburgh’s iconic landmarks, it was mid December by the time we arrived in the Scottish highlands. All the while living on edge that we would be shut down by increasingly heightened lockdown regulations.


Celestial’s creatives worked alongside Underbelly to take our audience on a magical journey across Scotland.

Edinburgh New Year Hogmanay 2020 at Drone Show
deer looks to drone formation of deer in the night sky at Drone Show

The launch base had been expertly constructed by Underbelly in a remote bog, miles from electricity, facilities and surrounded by graceful stags. Using 150 drones, our technical team delivered multiple light displays under pressure and in extreme locations.

Ice, rain and wind were incessant but we finally got our opportunities to fly our drone show above the beautiful loch at Achnaccary. Our ground and aerial camera teams valiantly captured the dazzling artwork with real cinematic flair.

An intense post production phase ensued as we polished the films in time for release on the 29th December. David Tenant, Siobhan Redmond and a host of others voiced Jackie Kay’s evocative poems to provide extra production value, alongside the powerful musical score.

Concept Art by Gary Wilson

Edinburgh New Year Hogmanay 2020 at Drone Show
Drones form image in night sky against Edinburgh backdrop at Drone Show

Final thoughts and thanks

Despite the challenges of Covid, we are proud to have created an epic message of hope for Scotland and beyond.

Wow, the positive reaction to our drone display has been beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you to everyone involved in creating the Edinburgh New Year Hogmany drone show. Those who worked so hard, in such difficult conditions, to make this project so special, for so many people.

A memory of the past, reflection of the present and a hopeful gaze into the future.


Edinburgh New Year Hogmanay 2020 at Drone Show
Edinburgh New Year Hogmanay 2020 at Drone Show

In a divided world where people look down at their phones, we encourage audiences to look up again.

Reach out
If you have any questions or want to enquire about our drone displays then you can leave a message and our team will get in touch. Alternatively do get in touch with the team on +44 (0)1225 292122.
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