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Illuminating Salt Lake drone show combines art, light and technology

Attendees watch 150 drones perform above them at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City on Friday. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s sixth annual Festival of Light Art and Creative Technology lit up the skies and wowed attendees Friday night in Salt Lake City’s first-ever public drone show.

About 150 synchronized drones flew 400 feet in the air above the Salt Lake City County Building, moving through various choreographed aerial formations.

Attendees watch 150 drones perform above them at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Attendees watch 150 drones perform above them at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City on Friday. (Photo: Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

The Utah Arts Alliance’s ILLUMINATE Festival kicked off Friday night with live music, food and drink, art booths, light art installations and technology exhibits.

The festival continues Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Liberty Square, 400 South and 200 East, in Salt Lake City, with some indoor activities available at the Leonardo. Entrance to the festival is free and all ages are welcome.

“ILLUMINATE continues to push the boundaries of the intersection of art, light, and technology,” said Derek Dyer, executive director of the Utah Arts Alliance, in a press release. “Our mission is to bring creative technology to all members of the community, inspire young and seasoned creators to explore possibilities, and put Utah on the map as a cultural hub of innovators.”

One hundred and fifty drones perform Friday at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City.
One hundred and fifty drones perform Friday at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

According to a press release, drone light shows combine art and technology to provide a “wow factor” without causing air or noise pollution like fireworks do. Creative technological solutions such as drone shows are becoming increasingly popular around the world as people look for alternatives to fireworks, the statement said.

The festival’s artistic theme was “Mother Nature in Light”, according to festival director Kim Angeli.

Attendees watch 150 drones perform above the City-County Building at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Attendees watch 150 drones perform above the City-County Building at ILLUMINATE: Light Art + Creative Tech Fest in Salt Lake City on Friday. (Photo: Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

“As the world evolves from a period of collective darkness, now is the time to focus on healing – of ourselves, our communities and the natural world that sustains our existence,” Angeli said in A press release.

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Cassidy Wixom covers communities in Utah County and is the breaking news reporter for KSL.com.

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