The Space Needle’s New Year’s Light Show Is a Sci-Fi Spectacle

Many of us rang in the new year from the comfort and safety of our own homes. It’s not what everyone wanted, we know. But that wasn’t such a bad thing for residents of Washington state. Because while they may have started 2021 in the same spot they spent most of 2020, being stuck inside provided the only view for a unique visual celebration. Seattle’s Space Needle put on a surreal New Year’s Eve virtual light show.

And it was like kicking things off with the world’s greatest sci-fi extravaganza.

KING 5 Evening aired a ten-minute digital light show (which we first heard about at Boing Boing) for residents celebrating New Year’s Eve from their couches. T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle combined sky-mapping technology and real video footage to create a “display of digital effects” that provided an “immersive, digital artistic expressions to create an illusion of color and wonder.”

This was the first time the landmark has ever been involved in a show like this, a classic case of necessity being the mother of invention. Like many other locales, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Space Needle was not hosting any in-person events. And with so many staying home entirely, this was a way to provide something special for people counting down to midnight in their bathrobes.

Seattle's Space Needle Put On an Amazing Virtual Light Show_1KING 5

Anyone standing near the Space Needle would not have seen this show with their own eyes. And that’s definitely a good thing, even if this show was genuinely incredible. Imagine if you witnessed this happening in person? How would you know this was a fun, engrossing, dynamic light show and not an actual alien invasion? Especially if you had a couple drinks like some are wont to do on New Year’s Eve.

Of course, an alien invasion would have been the “perfect” ending to 2020. So, uh, are we sure this was just a digital show and not something else? Maybe just one person can go to the Space Needle and check.

The Space Needle's New Year's Light Show Is a Sci-Fi Spectacle_1


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