Spectacular multimedia show for World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2022 in RiyadhAt-Turaif, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
AO Multimedia partners Fireworks by Grucci for spectacular multimedia show celebrating World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2022 in Riyadh
More than 3,000 travel executives, tourism officials and media attended the largest World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit to date in 2022, with international representatives including Hollywood actor Edward Norton, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
To celebrate the occasion, the Diriyah Gate Development Authority commissioned a multi-discipline show with world-class pyrotechnics, lasers, searchlights and fireworks. A 1,600-strong fleet of AO drones lit up the desert sky in Riyadh, and one thousand of them were AO’s robust, supercharged LED drones, supplemented by 600 AO pyro drones, which are able to eject a ‘waterfall’ of glitter-sparks into the night sky. They were programmed to showcase World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit-related imagery, nodding to the historic setting of the display in the symbolic birthplace of Saudi Arabia, Diriyah, and its UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Turaif.
There were multiple challenges to realising the project. The drone launch pad was within a UNESCO World Heritage site where archaeological digs are live, and adjacent to the Royal Palace. Moreover, the area is sandy and brimming with beautiful palm trees, making safe launch, operation and return of pyrotechnic drones a tricky feat.
“We conducted numerous site visits and worked closely with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority to ensure our operations would be permitted and respectful of the surroundings, and they were incredibly supportive,” says Niedermeier. “We had a lot of technical permissions to go through with the Royal Guard, with aviation authorities, and the police. We were in regular communication with them and were ready to halt test flights when there was a helicopter flying in or out of the palace. I am thrilled that we delivered a highly professional execution of the job, taking into account the special conditions for set up and security and observance of the guidelines.”
AO Multimedia & Drones constructed a specially designed launchpad for the drones using scaffolding to ensure it was raised from the ground, so as not to disturb the site or interfere with the palm trees. They also put into place protections to ensure no damage was done to excavation areas. For power, the team laid dozens of kilometres of cables, distributing power from 6 generators that were brought to site. The searchlights required specially built scaffolding towers, which were placed along the path of the Salwa Palace.
Testing was key, and much of this was done on-site in collaboration with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, Royal Guard and security services. AO geofenced the drones’ flight area and showed the authorities pre-visualizations which clearly depicted their movement and ringfencing.
In the planning stages, the teams worked closely to ensure the drones, lasers, searchlights and fireworks would be choreographed in perfect unison with each other and the accompanying show soundtrack. The drone designs were programmed in AO’s drone software, and Niedermeier powered by AO’s fleet of robust drones that uniquely have extra charge and longer flying time capacity.
Designed & produced by Creative Director Phil Grucci of Fireworks by Grucci
Producer: Marco Niedermeier, AO Multimedia & Drones
Show Production Designer: Jerry P. Appelt
AO Multimedia & Drones, Daniel Brune
At-Turaif, Diriyah, KSA