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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

CASP Stories: Light Up the Night in Grenfell

Using CASP funding Weddin Shire Council have been able to add Indigenous Narratives to the Light Up the Night event Saturday 18 February 2023 in Grenfell.

Light Up the Night 2023 is a free twilight event  consisting of stalls, live music and culminate with a drone light show with 100 drones. The drone show runs for 18 minutes, featuring 7 symbols accompanied by music and 3 indigenous symbols accompanied by a dreamtime stories / narratives.

We caught up with Claire McCann from Weddin Shire Council about the project.


What is a drone lighting show and how does it work?

Drone light shows are performed by illuminated, synchronized, and choreographed pre-programmed groups of drones that arrange themselves into various aerial formations. Ours will be a magnificent 100 drone light show spectacular, a choreographed three-dimensional moving light show that will WOW the audience. They are the intersection of art, science, and technology—enabling us to tell a story in the sky.


What Wiradjuri images and stories are being included in the drone lighting show?

That’s top secret.  All will be revealed on the night – so make sure you get your FREE tickets now from 123tix to avoid missing out.


How were the stories gathered?

I brainstormed with Aunty Julie on what animations and dreamtime stories we might use. I also spoke with a young man from Cowra, Jared, who Aunty Julie suggested we contact as he was involved with the NAIDOC event in Grenfell in 2022. We had to take into consideration the events target audience of young children and families. And what animations could be achieved using the 100 drones.

And we have also started working with Steve Taylor from Dinawans Connection in Cowra. I wasn’t aware of Steve until just recently but I am really excited to work with him on this project and I hope it can lead to other collaborations in the future.


How are the stories narrated or shared as part of the event?

We will be pre-recoding the dreamtime stories and they will be played over the sound system in sync with the drone animations as they come to life in the sky.

Local, Gary Day, is managing the recordings, timings, music etc as he an absolute mastermind at all things music and sound. I am so excited to see it all come together.


How will music be integrated into event?

The event will begin at 4pm with market and food stalls, live local music featuring BC & the Foot Falcons. Clancy Pye will also take the stage during the afternoon with the main act Danny Phegan playing into the twilight ahead of the drone show spectacular.

Out of the 10 animations on the night, three will be symbols accompanied by dream time stories. The other seven animations will be accompanied by music.


Which local performers are involved?

At this stage there will be BC & the Foot Falcons and Belinda Day.


What are the outcomes you hope to see from the project?

This event is funded by the Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program. As such the aim is to promote economic and social recovery across regional NSW – to assist communities and businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures and cumulative natural disasters.

Reconnect communities by facilitating the delivery of events that promote greater social cohesion, bringing people together to create improved social outcomes.

The community event is designed to have broad appeal and to be easily accessible for all segments of the community. The event is designed to be family friendly, free entry and accessible meaning there are very few barriers for attendance.

This twilight event will be a major drawcard for Grenfell. And even though it is aimed at reconnecting our community we hope it will also provide an economic boost for the town, in what is normally a quieter time of the year.


A reminder that even though the event is free, it is ticketed – please make sure you secure your tickets from 123tix. Tickets are limited.


The NSW Government’s Country Arts Support Program (managed locally by Arts OutWest) has supported the indigenous storytelling element of Light Up The Night.