In 2020, Celestial was approached by Frome Mayor, Andy Wrintmore, to put on a live drone show for the community instead of the usual firework displays.
This request could not have been a more welcome one.
Celestial was established in Frome, using the huge amount of local Frome talent to form the backbone of our team. So we wanted to design a large-scale light display, bespoke to Frome, to give back to the local community as a special ‘thank you’.
Collaborating with an array of local collaborators, Celestial created an ethereal drone display, ‘glow in the park’, to mark Frome’s traditional Apple Day Celebrations.
The show was built around the theme of apples, harvest, fertility and Somerset folklore. The drone show also marked the beginning of COP26 and so also centred around a love for the environment. It was the first time Celestial had flown a show in front of a significant crowd and we had some stage fright.
The end result was a huge success, drawing in one of Frome’s best-attended Apple Day festivals, with around 7000 people making up the audience. In addition, thanks to the generosity of attendees, Celestial was able to raise £5000 for local charities.
The first challenge in the process was how to go about funding a local show so that it could be enjoyed by the entire Frome community.
Celestial was granted the necessary funding from the Arts Council to green-light the project. This was on the condition that Celestial collaborate with as many local people as possible to create the project, which was enthusiastically agreed to, enabling the Frome drone show to go ahead.
Following this came a two-three month process of working closely with Frome town council to determine when the show would take place and the concept behind it.
Once we decided to celebrate the environment and Apple Day, local poet Laura Hales wrote a beautiful piece of verse that was voiced by several schoolchildren from different schools around the town. The imagery, from cosmic apples, to a celtic Rune, to the Green Man face, took inspiration from local traditions.
Once we had tested the show at our base we realised it was one of our best creations. As the large crowd gathered on a wintery night, there was lots of anticipation alongside added pressure to deliver on time, adapt to the logistic and ensure it was marshalled and filmed well.
PoemLaura Hales ‘Frome Together’
Huge gratitude goes to Frome and The Art Council for supporting us on this groundbreaking project.
Final thoughts and thanks
We’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Frome council for approaching us, the Arts Council for funding such a special project and, of course, a big thank you to the community who came out to support us in such huge numbers – we hope you enjoyed the show!
For those who missed out on this year’s Frome drone show, watch this space; there’s much more to come!