Reaction Top Second Night at British Fireworks Championship (2014)

Reaction Fireworks were the best display at the second night of the British Fireworks Championship 2014 in Plymouth, but missed out to Blitz Fireworks, who were awarded overall first prize.

Although the second night of competition got off to a shakey start with PYRO 1 experiencing technical problems, Reaction soon got the huge audience on Plymouth Hoe cheering with some intricate ground-level candles and one-shots. A very controlled performance was finished with a high impact finale.

MLE Pyrotechnics also produced a fine display, and their finale possibly topped that of Reaction, but Reactions’ low level pyrotechnics clinched it for them.

PYRO 1 eventually resolved their technical issues and demonstrated a very interesting ‘tower’ set-piece, but they were always struugling to catch up with their competitors.

With over 90,000 on Plymouth Hoe watching the three displays, the British Fireworks Championship is Plymouth’s largest spectator event, demonstrating that, as with the World Fireworks Championship, fireworks are an enduring favourite with crowds and draw huge audiences.

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Attending the Plymouth Fireworks Championship (2014)

Plymouth City Council, host of the British Fireworks Championship,¬†have been kind enough to invite us to join them for the second night of the competition. Six teams are in competition over 2 days, each team giving a 10 – 15 minute display. It’s an exclusively British event, and prestigious for any company that wins. This year see the following competing.

Tuesday 12th August

Wednesday 13th August

With ex-hurricane Bertha having passed the UK, hopefully there will be calm nights for the competitors.

Although the competition is not a pyro-musical (fireworks set to music) one, like the World Fireworks Championship, it can attract crowds of up to 200,000, over the two nights, to historic Plymouth Hoe.

Our founder, Mark Wooding, a Plymothian himself, always cites the Plymouth Championship as one of his inspirations for establishing the World Fireworks Championship.

As they say… “May the best man (or woman) win!”.

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Pyragric (France) at Cannes Fireworks Festival

Here is the display from the French company Pyragric at the 2014 Cannes Fireworks Festival.

It looks like it was a very still night, or possibly slightly misty. There’s nothing a company can do about the weather, but it is always a frustration as it can mean fireworks get lost in the smoke or the mist. It looks like Pyragic may have suffered from this, a shame as it looked like there was some very nice detail in their finale which got somewhat lost. We did like the very gallic ‘Je ne regrette rien’.

As the organiser of the world’s biggest fireworks competition we know you want a little bit of wind – to keep the smoke moving – but not so much that the fireworks drift.

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Akariya (Japan) Win Vancouver Celebration of Light

The Japanese Team, Akariya Fireworks, ran out winners of 2014’s Vancouver Celebration of Light competition. The three competing displays were all very good, so it took something that extra bit special to win. Congratulations to Akariya!

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Akariya Fireworks (Japan) at Vancouver Celebration of Light

The third and final display at Vancouver’s Celebration of Light. A really lovely show from Akariya of Japan. Some wonderful pyrotechnic shells as we’d have expected from a Japanese company. So much to admire in this performance.

The choice of fireworks for the World Fireworks Championship is very important. The judges are looking , and award marks, for unusual and beautiful pyrotechnics.

CKNW News estimated the audience watching at English Bay at 350,000. A truly amazing number of people having a great night out.



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Pyrotecnico (USA) at Vancouver Celebration of Light

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, so there are a fair number of fireworks festivals taking place. Sure indicator that if you want to entertain a huge crowd fireworks are the number one choice. It’s said Vancouver’s Celebration of Light can attract 400,000 people on a night! We’ve been lucky enough to be invited to Vancouver and can attest that it is a great evening down on English Bay.

This display was the first of three at this year’s festival and was produced by Pyrotecnico of the USA. We particularly liked the sequence at around 08:30. A nicely balanced show, good use of the sky and a BIG bold finale – the way we like them.

The Celebration of Light is in it’s 24th year, which is a testament to how successful it is for the City of Vancouver. It is estimated that it contributes ‘$39 million in incremental tourism and hospitality spending each year’ – see this¬†. We can believe that. The World Fireworks Championship is estimated to deliver in excess of $60 million. So as well as being hugely popular with audiences, fireworks can make a very significant economic return for their host city.

Thanks to ‘Butch’ for his excellent video.

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Vaccaluzzo (Italy) at Cannes Fireworks Festival

Another of the 2014 displays from the Cannes Fireworks Festival. We very much liked the opening sequence from Vaccaluzzo.

The display as a whole is very well synchronised with a nicely chosen soundtrack, and the ‘one-shots’ and candles excellent, as we’d expect from an Italian company.

Selection of the soundtrack, synchronisation of the fireworks to the music and the attractiveness of the chosen pyrotechnic stock are all key judging criteria for the International panel of expert judges at the World Fireworks Championship. We think Vaccaluzzo would have scored some good points here.

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Up close to Commonwealth Games Fireworks

We’ve been keeping an eye out for videos of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony fireworks. This one made us smile. The camera work is a little bit shaky but it gives a great idea what it is like to be ‘up close’ to a really good display.

This video was shot on the Clyde, but the whole display was dispersed over a wide area. So we’ll keep looking for other good videos, but we think you’ll agree it looks like a lot of fun, exactly what the World Fireworks Championship will deliver for its own lucky audience.

Well done Sean Paul!

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Glasgow Commonwealth Games Opening

The opening ceremony for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is today, and we are promised a spectacular fireworks display. We are looking forward to it. It goes to show that any celebration of a major event just isn’t complete without some fabulous pyrotechnics. And of course they are likely to be the images carried worldwide on the TV news reports covering the opening of the games.

It also reminds us that Howard & Sons, one of our great competitors in the 2010 World Fireworks Championship, came hotfoot to Muscat from producing the fireworks at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

See images of Howard & Sons Commonwealth games display here.

Let’s hope for another great display tonight.

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Zaragozana (Spain) at Cannes Fireworks Festival

A nice pyro-musical performance, with a very strong narrative theme, a grandfather talking to his grandson about life’s ups and downs.

Zaragozana have a proud history dating back to 1860, and they bring the traditional Spanish skills to their display. A very nice finale set to ‘Hallelujah’.

As with competitive performances at the World Fireworks Championship, this display is set to music, and choosing and interpreting the music is what differentiates one display from another.

(Note the camera position is quite a long way back from the display. It shows the full display, which is good, but perhaps loses a bit of the impact the audience would have enjoyed on Cannes’ famous Croisette).

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