Choreographed drone display lights up Scottish skies to ring in the new year

TORONTO — As part of the Scottish celebration of Hogmanay, the Scots word for the last day of the year, entertainment company Underbelly has shared its spectacular drone show online.

The three-part short film called “Fare Well,” produced by Underbelly and Edinburgh Hogmanay 2020, reflects on the past year using a swarm of drones to create colourful images in the skies above famous Scottish landscapes including the Highlands, the National Monument of Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle.

The film’s visuals are accompanied by the words of Scottish Makar (Scotland’s poet laureate) Jackie Kay, and read by Scottish performers including David Tennant of “Doctor Who” and “Broadchurch” fame, and music by Celtic-electronic band NiteWorks.

“At the end of a year no one could have imagined, it was important that we started our week of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations with a heartfelt thank you to those across the U.K. who have worked so tirelessly to keep us safe during 2020,” the event’s producers Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said in a statement.

In a statement in which she encouraged people to celebrate Hogmanay safely at home, Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said, “Scotland is the world-renowned home of Hogmanay and every year thousands of people, right across the globe, look forward to the spectacular of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to welcome in the new year.

“Although we’re not able to come together physically to (ring) in the bells this year, we can enjoy a fully digital programme that continues the tradition of celebrating Hogmanay with poetry, music and performance.”

The first two installments are available on the Edinburgh Hogmanay website, with the third and final installment airing Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. 

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