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Aussies stunned as Christmas light show ends in $100,000 disaster

A Christmas celebration in Perth has ended in disaster after roughly $100,000 worth of drones fell into the Swan River.

Video footage taken by stunned spectators attending the city’s Summer Nights City of Lights event on Sunday night shows several colourful drones struggling to stay in the air while forming holiday-themed scenes.

It’s believed 50 of the 500 drones used in the festivities fell from the sky, with each of them costing about $2,000, Drone Sky Show managing director Joshua Van Ross told 9News on Monday.

The drones falling from the sky at the Perth christmas show.
It’s believed 50 of the 500 drones used in the festivities fell from the sky on Sunday. Source: 9News

“This technology is still evolving. I did cry a little bit last night, I am trying not to think about it. It was an expensive show for us,” he said.

The council has launched an investigation into what caused the malfunction, as divers enter the water to search for the missing electronics. Mr Van Ross says his team is looking into GPS interference as a possible cause.

“If there is any wind interference drones do hit each other, that does happen, propellers snap, there are things that go wrong ... two to three drones [falling] per show is actually normal ... last night was not normal,” he told WA Today.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has said similar lights shows hosted by the city have gone off without a hitch.

“Of course I accept that the drone show on Sunday night fell short of expectation, and that was, as I understand, because of technical issues ... things can go wrong with technology of this kind,” he said, adding that there was no risk to the public.

The drones falling from the themed shapes.
No one was injured in the disaster, officials have said. Source: TikTok

He confirmed taxpayers will not have to pay for the broken drones, and that all future planned shows will be paused until the review into the incident is complete.

Some witnesses have taken to social media to poke fun at the disaster, saying their kids kept asking “if they were supposed to fall into the water”. Others said it “would have been easier to have some fireworks” and said this is what the council gets for hosting a Christmas-themed event in November.

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