Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Should Cambridge’s fireworks display be replaced with drone show?

The Cambridge fireworks night should be replaced by a pet friendly drone and laser display, according to the city’s Green councillors.

Cllr Elliot Tong (Green, Abbey) had hoped to ask Cambridge City Council to consider the modern alternative to traditional fireworks for next year’s event in a bid to “protect pets, humans and planet” from noise and pollution at a full council meeting on Thursday (October 19).

A drone light show performance above Sydney Opera House
A drone light show performance above Sydney Opera House

And he explained that while the loud whizzes and bangs of fireworks can be “an ordeal” for many pets, the drones, which are silent or can be accompanied by music, cost around the same amount as the present option. However the meeting ran out of time before his question was heard and now the Greens will focus on persuading the organisers of the university’s May Balls to drop their fireworks displays instead.

Cllr Tong said: “Although I know many residents look forward to the firework season, for others it’s an ordeal for beloved pets and some humans.

“Displays based on lasers, drones and LEDs, with or without music, offer an exciting modern alternative to traditional fireworks displays but don’t have the same risks. Costs are comparable to conventional displays but are coming down as these displays become more common.”

The Cambridge Fireworks event 2022
The Cambridge Fireworks event 2022

He believes the city council should take action to protect pets, humans and planet from the adverse impact of noise, fire and pollution and investigate these options with a view to having an alternative Guy Fawkes display in 2024 that we can all enjoy”.

And he hopes university colleges will get on board too if the council works with 2024 May Ball committees to “explore this environmentally friendly option”.

Cllr Naomi Bennett (Green, Abbey) said: “We are disappointed that Cllr Tong didn’t get time to ask his question but we know from residents that swapping fireworks to drone displays is a popular idea. last year during the May Balls residents complained of being kept awake by the fireworks, which do go on all week. I don’t want to appear to be a killjoy but a drone display and looks just as good without upsetting pets and people with the loud noise.”

Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Midsummer Common on Saturday, November 4 for what is one of the largest free fireworks displays in the region.

Organised by Cambridge City Council and sponsored again this year by Illumina, it will start at 7pm and has been designed by multi award-winning company Pains Fireworks.

However, the city council has decided there will be no bonfire this year following debate about the impact on public health and whether a bonfire was appropriate in the light of the climate crisis.

A drone light show performance above Sydney Opera House
A drone light show performance above Sydney Opera House

Drone light shows are becoming more popular. One such display was used in place of fireworks at the opening ceremony of the Eurovision Song Contest this year featuring 624 drones flown by the company celestial. The show featured 100-foot wide White Stork, Ukraine’s national bird, and Liverpool’s emblem, the Liver Bird.

Drone light displays could also become part of the Blackpool Illuminations as the town’s council is considering lower-cost lighting options.

Cambridge City Council was approached for comment.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More