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Bruges replaces New Year’s Eve fireworks with drone show

No other Belgian city has done this before us," said mayor Dirk De fauw. Credit: Flickr/ Roman Boed

It’s official – the city of Bruges will replace its annual fireworks show on New Year’s Eve with a light display by drones, with no intention of ever going back to traditional means.

The picturesque city has been granted approval for one hundred computer-controlled drones to be used to form figures, texts and images in the sky to celebrate the new year.

“No other Belgian city has done this before us,” said Mayor Dirk De fauw (CD&V). Using drones helps to prevent scaring animals, and is less harmful on the environment, but visitors should still expect a spectacular show, De fauw added.

The show will start shortly before midnight with drones forming a countdown timer above the Concertgebouw, while the spectacle will last about fifteen minutes. If successful, Bruges hopes to make the show a regular thing. “The conditions are set,” explained Francis Van den Dorpe of Pluzand, the trade association of ‘t Zand and initiator of the show.

While the show will not necessarily be performed by drones in future editions, Bruges has acknowledged the need to move on to a new way of celebrating. “What is certain, anyway, is that we won’t go back to classic fireworks,” Van den Dorpe added.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times