Fremantle Biennale’s iconic drone light show First Lights takes flight across regional Western Australia

First-Lights-Moombaki-2021Following the success of Fremantle Biennale’s First Lights: Moombaki (2021) and First Lights: Balarr Inyiny (2022), the spectacle of light and sound that illuminated the night sky will take flight across regional Western Australia this year to share ancient stories of place.

From May – July, the choreographed drone light show First Lights will travel across the state, illuminating the skies over a number of regional locations.

Commissioned by the Fremantle Biennale, the large-scale contemporary artform involves choreographing a fleet of nearly 200 drones with powerful LED lights through specialist 3D animation techniques.

Multiple shows will be presented to share ancient knowledge, living stories and history of place specific to each location, led by Traditional Owners and Aboriginal artists.

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Fremantle Biennale, Tom Muller, said First Lights creates and connects diverse audiences to an arts experience of significant depth and scale.

First Lights creates a meaningful opportunity to centre local stories within a major contemporary art event. The narratives connect to significant events in each region, sharing little-known knowledge, story and histories that aim to inspire celebration and unite the community,” he said.

With the ability to create more than four billion colour combinations, the innovative technology used to deliver the First Lights shows has a greater range of effects than fireworks and a light ecological footprint. Each show is accompanied by a cinematic soundscape to create an immersive experience, free and accessible for all.

Director of Minderoo’s Arts & Culture initiative, Ella McNeill, said it was exciting to see the project reach a wider audience after the extraordinary success of Moombaki.

“Minderoo is proud to be supporting the Fremantle Biennale team to take the extraordinary First Lights project to communities in regional WA. I’m thrilled that regional communities will soon experience First Nations stories of place lighting up their night skies,” she said.


First Lights: Boodja Dwordak Wirn
Event: 12 – 13 May 2023 – Esperance Foreshore
Artists: Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation – Co-presented with Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation

First Lights: Cowaramup
Event: Saturday 20 May – Cowaramup Bay, Gracetown
Artists: Mitchella Hutchins and Viv Brockman Webb – Co-presented with The Farm Margaret River

First Lights: East Pilbara
Event: 7 – 9 July 2023 – Location to be announced
Co-presented with Martumili Artists and the Shire of East Pilbara

For more information about First Lights, visit: for details.

Image: First Lights: Moombaki, 2021 (supplied)