Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Sky Song

Sky Song is more than a show – this drone-spectacular of illustrated First Nations stories, poetry and song is an experience.


Presented by Gluttony & Adelaide Fringe

Reviewed 11 March 2020

In a collaboration with First Nations artists and drone art specialists Celestial, hundreds of small aerial vehicles have landed in McLaren Vale to light up the festival-season sky. Sky Song brings together the likes of icons Archie Roach and Kev Carmody, poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, and storytellers Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner and Jack Buckskin to share Indigenous story through poetry, language and song, in the world’s first feature-length drone show. Imagine Ngurunderi standing in a canoe, spear in hand, creating the River Murray, creating the Milky Way, through 3-D multi-coloured illustrations above you. Accompanied by three large, animated screens, smoke haze and epic spotlights, the drones illustrate the stories of the oldest continuing culture on the planet. Warriors morph into animals, into flags, into songlines and Country, the word ‘listen’ flashing across the sky. You’ve never seen anything like it before.

Due to aviation restrictions on the drones in city airspace, this sophisticated thirty-minute show swapped its Adelaide Showgrounds venue for Leconfield and Richard Hamilton Wines in McLaren Vale, which means driving to and from the show will take twice as long for most people as the viewing will. To avoid any feelings of letdown, get there when the gates open and give yourself a couple hours to spread out and enjoy a packed picnic, or buy something from a food van, grab some wine, listen to a ‘surprise’ Fringe warm-up act (though where, exactly, that act was performing I couldn’t tell). Gather the whole family – the young and the old – and make a night of it. Get some First Nations culture into you through a performance of truth-telling that you’ll never forget.

Reviewed by Heather Taylor Johnson
Twitter: @htaylorjohnson

Venue:  Leconfield and Richard Hamilton Wines
Season:  until 20 March 2022
Duration:  30 minutes
Tickets:  $ 35 full price / $25 concession

Rating out of 5: 4.5

#Adelaide #ADLFringe @CelestialDrones

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