Photographer fined after narrowly missing Fatboy Slim with drone

Photographer fined after narrowly missing Fatboy Slim with drone

A photographer has been fined after losing control of a drone device at a Fatboy Slim show in 2022.

The incident took place at Norman Cook’s Big Beach Boutique 20th anniversary show on Brighton Beach, which saw over 8,500 fans attend and marked two decades since the DJ’s iconic first show on the beach.

About 15 minutes before the end of Cook’s 2022 performance, Giles Dalby, an amateur photographer and owner of the drone, reportedly flew his DJI Mavic Mini device onto the stage and narrowly missed both the DJ and members of the crowd. The aerial device had been switched to sport mode which increased the risk of danger to Cook and the audience.

He was fined £860 as a result of putting people in danger, though Dalby told Brighton Magistrates Court in a hearing earlier this month that there had been no malicious intent behind the incident. Instead, Dalby said, he had hoped to capture some unique shots from the show.

“I crashed trying to leave the area, looking to back out for an overview of the scene and finish with a wide view,” Dalby is quoted as saying. “It was an honest mistake that I will ensure will never repeat itself.”

He continued: “There was no malicious intent. I switched it into sport mode which deactivates the downward sensor so I could come quickly up and out, but I accidentally went forward and down.”

Prosecutor Megan Attree said: “At quarter to ten, the security were alerted that a drone had crashed into the stage, narrowly missing the crowd and the headline act.” She added that Dalby had ignored “multiple warnings” from the drone’s flight recorder data which showed that the device posed a danger to people at the event.

Dalby was ultimately found to be in breach of the Air Navigation Order 2016 and was therefore charged with “recklessly or negligently allowing an aircraft to put a person or property at risk”.

In 2022, Fatboy Slim marked the 20th anniversary of his original Big Beach Boutique show with the release of a deluxe edition box set.

Revisit DJ Mag’s recent 25th anniversary piece on Fatboy Slim’s album ‘You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby’ here.

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