SOUTHPORT
CHAMPIONSHIPS
2010

Having visited Southport on many occasions to watch the British Musical Fireworks Championships and having designed, prepared and fired, enough pyro musicals to get a real taste for them, we decided to give ourselves a little challenge…

So, when we received the news of our selection to compete in the Championships this year (one of the UK’s most prestigious titles any professional firework company can ever think of competing for!) we were elated. To be in competition with some of the UK’s leading fireworks companies was, we have to admit, rather daunting at first but we thought: what better way to measure our own ability and see where we stack up against others? For us the music selection alone would be the very heart and soul of the display; it had to be familiar to all ages, emotive and powerful with highs and lows. The music has the role of providing suspense, elation and excitement and this is what we wanted to convey, through the fireworks, to the audience.

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"The music has the role of providing suspense, elation and excitement and this is what we wanted to convey, through the fireworks, to the audience."

The Setup

"We spent all hours re-designing the show and sourcing materials from other suppliers"

We wanted to provide the greatest performance and gain maximum impact from the fireworks we chose: the movement, colours, effects and noise were to play a large role within the display. To time them to the rise and fall of the tempo, to allow appreciation of the music, was our aim. To complement our chosen theme we had shells which would burst into large X’s in the sky and precisely timed strobing waterfalls to harmonise with sections of the music.

We spent many months preparing for the show. We listened to the tracks over and over; hours upon hours were taken choreographing specific fireworks to particular sections of the tracks. With only weeks to the competition we heard the news that our container would not arrive in time. This not only presented us with a logistical nightmare but left us wondering whether or not to pull out. After much deliberation we decided to push forward, pull resources and put on a show that was creative, effective and that would live up to our high expectations. We spent all hours re-designing the show and sourcing materials from other suppliers; this was no mean feat as stocks of single shot products were at an all time low and we also had to rely on product timings given to us – we had no time for testing. However, with days to spare, the show was finally finished. The Pyrotex crew rallied around and preparations began; we were back on track.

"All crew worked incredibly hard, battled through the weather conditions and kept keen and humorous spirits throughout."

The show we had designed required an extensive range of firing equipment and we were very grateful to others in the firework industry for lending us extra modules, enabling us to add those sequences which we really wanted to include. We arrived on site and set up camp on Thursday and, on Friday, we were joined by the crew members from Skyburst who had kindly offered their services. All crew worked incredibly hard, battled through the weather conditions and kept keen and humorous spirits throughout. The camaraderie of not only our crew but all the other competitor teams was amazing and made the weekend thoroughly enjoyable. Rodney Clarke joined us on the Saturday; we had decided to ask him on board to ease the pressure of any technical issues that may have arisen. Even up until the very last few minutes, before the show was fired at Southport, Rodney remained cool, calm and collected – and that undoubtedly kept the crew in the same mind frame.

"The show started and the fireworks began dancing through the skies in time with the music and the crowd began to cheer – this was our moment!"

When our name was announced and resounded around Southport’s promenade on the Saturday night our stomachs were in knots. The show started and the fireworks began dancing through the skies in time with the music and the crowd began to cheer – this was our moment! Winning was not something we had even considered; just to have been invited to the competition was for us a great achievement. But when we were announced the winners, the euphoria was amazing and something we will not forget. The competition allowed us to push ourselves to the limit; it allowed us to demonstrate and express our passion for fireworks.

It gave us the platform to prove what we could do. Winning the competition has given us the drive to push ourselves forward and reach for the success we have yet to dream about.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all involved who both worked with us to deliver the show and those responsible for putting on the event.

The Show