Dallas got Rickrolled by a floating QR code made of drones

A Texas drone company pranked Dallas on mass on April Fools Day, “Rickrolling” hundreds of people using a QR code made of drones.

If you were outside in Dallas last Friday, there’s a high chance you would’ve seen a 30-meter wide, 75-meter tall QR code floating in the sky, entirely made from drones.

We’re undecided as to whether “Rickrolling” is funny anymore. But 300 drones forming a QR code in the sky to Rickroll a bunch of people at once – that’s brilliant.

Dallas QR code Rick roll
Credit: Youtube/Rick Astley

If you’re unfamiliar with “Rickrolling,” first of all, how? And second, it’s a term coined to describe an internet fad where people sneakily force the song Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley upon an unsuspecting victim, with the tactics of auditory intrusion constantly increasing in creativity.

QR codes have to be pretty accurate, so like us, there’s a good chance that you’re wondering how on Earth the drones formed a QR code accurate enough to be scanned. To be perfectly honest, we don’t fully understand the logistics, but there’s definitely some GPSing involved.

The mind behind the Rickroll was marketing heavyweight, Jared Guynes, who is also the man behind the now-annual ‘Jared’s Epic Nerf Battle’ hosted by AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Guynes hit up the chief pilot and general counsel for Sky Elements Drone Shows, Preston Ward, pitching, “You will be the first company on Earth to ‘Rick roll’ someone with drones.” 

Ward loved the idea and got to work almost immediately once he realised he had the technical capability to create the QR code, and while it was active on April Fools Day, the company tracked “a couple of hundred” scans.

“I didn’t think that they would go for it because it really is like an entire day of setup and an incredible amount of logistics and trailers and putting all the little drones in the field but they actually agreed to it and the rest is history,” Guynes says.

“It’s literally history because nobody’s ever done it before.”

@thriceasnice Drone QR code in the Dallas, TX sky line! #aprilfools #rickroll #dallas #drone ♬ original sound – Cody Gohlke