The Knokke-Heist Firework festival is the oldest firework festival in Europe and one of the most prestigious awards available. The event ran from the 17th August to the 25th August and featured professional firing teams from Italy, Philippines, Croatia and of course the UK.
First up, Lieto from Italy; The track selection for the initial part of the display was Italian Opera which suited the firework effects perfectly before changing to the haunting track Only Time by Enya which added a hypnotic melody with some absolutely perfectly shells and glittering gold horse tails. Then the track went onto an upbeat Volare which suited the remaining pyro beautifully.
Not as clean and precise as we have come to expect from Italy but there was absolutely no doubting the quality of the perfectly spherical blue peony shells. Good effort.
Next to fire, Platinum Fireworks from the Philippines. The track selections were random by any stretch of the imagination from In the Flesh from Pink Floyd to I’ve got the music in me from Kiki Dee but the opening sequence to Robbie William’s Let Me Entertain You was awesome. There were some beautiful crossing rainbow comets and nice butterfly and jellyfish shells but they appeared a little out of time with the track. Really nice but not in my opinion strong enough to beat the mighty Mirnovec or Pyrotex but we would have to wait a little longer to see the outcome.
Penultimate competitors from Croatia were the pro team from Mirnovec Pirotehnika. Their opening track was the Grease Megamix which was really entertaining but there was a tube on the left which was clearly firing the wrong way and after that section, there appeared to be an incredibly long delay to the second track. However, once the ABBA section got under way with the track SOS, it was delightful to see the S O S being spelt out in blue. The fast firing rainbow coloured crossing comets was lovely too. The finale; a sky full of huge willow breaks brought an end to a brilliant show which was clearly well supported by the crowd.
Final competitors; Pyrotex Fireworx from the UK; Now they are having a brilliant couple of years and are in the process of filling up their trophy cabinet in earnest. They have already lifted the first place in the Italian Dancing Fireworks Festival and of course, the mega win at the PIPC this year so they were already on a high.
Another absolutely outstanding display from Pyrotex with a really clever track list; the display truly was a lesson in precision with some of the tightest firing I have ever seen. The pyro and the music took the audience through an emotional journey and it was mesmerising with a symmetry second to none. The whole of the show was astonishing and brought me close to tears it was so good. Their groundwork is on another level and every conceivable shape was precise and timed to perfection and I particularly liked the rainbow coloured section with the rainbow peony bursts above. Beautiful throughout.
The finale display was put on by organisers H C Pyrotechnics who again had a lovely variety of colours and effects and they were really clean. The shape shells were gorgeous but some of the latter products in the display looked a little washed out.
THE WINNERS – PYROTEX FIREWORX – GB
1. Pyrotex Fireworx (U.K.)
2. Mirnovec Pirotehnika (Croatia)
3. Platinum Fireworks (Philippines)
4. Lieto Fireworks (Italy)