‘Ready to shine’

The drones made out a cheery spaceman in honour of John Glenn’s orbital pass over the city. Photo courtesy City of Perth.

THE smooth running of Perth council’s City of Lights drone show on Saturday shows how close WA is to returning to a regular schedule of big events, says lord mayor Basil Zempilas.

After a last-minute location change due to high winds, the 15-minute show saw 300 lit-up drones forming spacey shapes above Elizabeth Quay, marking 60 years since John Glenn spotted Perth from space during his five-hour spaceflight mission on February 20, 1962.

Lord mayor Basil Zempilas, who’s been driving the campaign for Perth to take back the “City of Lights” mantle, dubbed the event a big success in his address to the February 22 council meeting.


“Preliminary figures on crowd attendance at Elizabeth Quay precinct were in excess of 7,200, but we know there were significantly more people in the wider area,” he said, with watching from the foreshore, bell tower and Kings Park.

“We operated that event safely and with common sense, and everything was framed around the premier’s health message or Health WA’s message and the framework they put in place for us,” Mr Zempilas said.  

“I think what it showed was people are capable of coming out, following the rules, doing it safely, enjoying themselves and everything that the West Australian lifestyle has to offer, and then going home and returning to their normal lives. And I think that sent a very strong message.

“And we know that lots of other events in our community have been cancelled as of late. This is not singling them out, there are lots of reasons why other events have had to be cancelled and we appreciate some of them have been financial considerations.

“But I’m super proud of the fact that the City of Perth ploughed on, we decided we could do it safely, and people turned out in great numbers, and it’s a great triumph for the City of Perth.”

The feedback’s been pretty good for an event in its first year, with the minor gripe that from some vantage points buildings obscured some of the drones so they seemed to spell out “PERT”.


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