London Tech Week to host UK's first professional drone race

Alexandra Palace will host the UK's first professional drone race in June 2017 as part of London Tech Week.

Alexandra Palace to host UK's first professional drone race
Alexandra Palace to host UK's first professional drone race

The Drone Racing League (DRL) will bring the race to London as a culmination of the 2017 series.

The event will include a Sky Sports Mix broadcast that will allow viewers across Ireland, Italy and the UK to tune in to view the eight competing pilots race in first person view (FPV) around London's historic Alexandra Palace. 

The race will be the headline event at London Tech Week 2017, and forms part of the Tech Week's new-look. London Tech Week relaunched earlier this year and announced a partnership with KNect365, and was backed by Tech Week founding partners London & Partners and Tech London Advocates.

Nick Horbaczewski, CEO and founder of the DRL, said: "People are very interested and excited about drone racing, but the opportunity to see it live is completely unique. The audience gets to wear the goggles that the pilots wear, so they can see what the pilot sees - it's a really incredible experience."

Martin Keane, head of marketing and communications at Alexandra Palace, said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for the venue. It's a good mix of being able to take a historical venue, and bring something really modern to the Palace. We're known for events like the darts and the Red Bull soap box racing, so this is another quirky event to really showcase the flexibility of the venue." 

Tracy Halliwell, director of Business tourism and major events for London at London & Partners, said: "The exciting thing about London Tech Week is that it's a journey we've been taking. We're now coming up to year four, and it's been a very exciting B2B event. We've always had an aspiration to grow it into a much more consumer-driven [event] alongside the B2B, and we believe that technology and all the fun exciting things around it will appeal to a consumer audience."

The 2016 DRL race season is currently being aired on the newly announced Sky Sports Mix channel. 

London & Partners, Tech London Advocates and KNect365 aim to attract more than 100,000 visitors to the Tech Week within the next three years, making it one of the most globally successful technology festivals.

The event to announce the news last night was held at Shoreditch's Christ Church and was produced by creative agency Smyle 

In August, London & Partners announced the partnership with KNect365. Last month, Diesel opened a new flagship store in London which featured a virtual reality experience. 

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