London welcomed in 2021 with a spectacular city-wide display, sending a message of thanks and hope to the nation and the world. Jack Morton, the global brand experience agency, helped to develop the concept for the Mayor of London and worked in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and a dedicated team of experts to create the extraordinary experience. The 10-minute show, designed for home-viewing and created in collaboration with the BBC, was broadcast live on BBC1 and watched by a global viewing audience of millions.
For the first time ever, the event was designed purely for a remote audience and connected multiple landmark sites across the city, taking viewers on a journey across the Shard, London Bridge, The O2, Wembley Stadium and Tower Bridge. It also included the largest drone lighting show ever seen in the UK. The event was kept under wraps until Big Ben rang in the New Year, ensuring it remained a home-audience only event, maintaining the safety and security of Londoners during the pandemic.
Inspired by the incredible work and dedication of NHS staff, carers and key workers, the innovative display also recognised some of the extraordinary people and movements of 2020 including Captain Sir Tom Moore, the poet Tomos Roberts and Black Lives Matter. The show ended with Sir David Attenborough giving a call to action and message of hope for a sustainable future.
Jim Donald, Production Director, Jack Morton said: “This spectacular and moving experience was only made possible by the outstanding collaboration and dedication of the entire extended team. Its success is testament to the team’s incredible efforts to go the extra mile in a very restricted timeframe. We are all very proud to be a part of it.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m proud that the eyes of the world turned to our capital to see a unique drone, lighting and firework show that reflected on the defining moments of this year, paid tribute to our NHS heroes and the way that Londoners continue to stand together, and showed why our city is the greatest in the world. We showed how our capital and the UK have made huge sacrifices to support one another through these difficult times, and how they will continue to do so as the vaccine is rolled out.”
Jack Morton worked in conjunction with multiple organisations across the capital to deliver the experience in addition to the Greater London Authority and the BBC. These included: The Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, Westminster City Council, The City of London Corporation, Transport for London, The Port of London Authority, Civil Aviation Authority and many more from city operations. Jack Morton’s creative show team worked in collaboration with On the Sly for the music production, Titanium Fireworks for the pyrotechnics design, Durham Marenghi Lighting Design for the lighting design and SKYMAGIC for the swarm drone sequences.