Metallica’s WorldWired Tour Debuts the World’s First Indoor Autonomous Drone Swarm for a Major Touring Act

Dan Braun Directs Another ‘First’ for the Concert Touring Industry

Since their first gig in 1982, Metallica has actively toured their entire music catalog, along with their epic stage setups across the globe. With over three decades of concert performances, these rock legends delivered once again with WorldWired Tour. Celebrating their 10th studio album, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct,” the WorldWired Tour pushes technological boundaries by debuting the world’s first autonomous indoor drone swarm in a major touring act and revealing a new, in-the-round stage design, custom-built by TAIT.

The fresh set and stage design, designed by Show Director David Braun, gives concert-goers an immersive concert experience with a 44 ft. by 44 ft. square mainstage equipped with several prop lifts located in the center of the arena.

This in-the-round experience incorporates 52 LED video cubes which ascend and descend while displaying colorful, vivid and flashy video content. The LED video cubes hang from 52 BT290 winches housed in a 60 ft. by 60 ft. mother grid rigging system above stage. Each 4 ft. LED video cube moves 4 ft. per second and has 40 ft. of vertical travel space.

TAIT Navigator, an entertainment automation platform, serves as the primary show control system for the entire show.

For the world’s first autonomous indoor drone performance for a major touring act, TAIT partnered with Verity Studios to introduce the latest drone technology to the bands Production Manager, John “Lug” Zajonc and Show Director, Dan Braun.

Metallica performs their new single, “Moth into Flame,” as 100 drones emerge from the prop lifts built into the TAIT stage. As the music builds, the drones swarm into several formations and above the band.

The Lucie micro drones from Verity measure 6” x 6” x 1.4” and are equipped with on-board LEDs. They are extremely lightweight, their sound levels are negligible in a stage setting. They can be made invisible to the audience by turning off their lights and by flying in complete darkness. The motions and light effects of each Lucie can be designed into a precise choreography that is synchronized using show control.

With safety at the forefront, as explained by Verity, the combination of a reliable indoor positioning system with intelligent autonomous drones and a superior operator interface allows Metallica’s show operators to simultaneously control the coordinated movements of the drones.

With the amount of tech in this show, TAIT presents an interactive look book to explain and visualize the assets provided for Metallica’s WorldWired Tour. Additionally, TAIT met up with Dan Braun to discuss his role as Show Director and the design concepts that inspired the show. Dan’s feature on TAIT Talks is set to launch on October 10th, 2017.


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