DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE BRITISH MUSICAL FIREWORK CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018
Last weekend saw the national British Musical Firework Championships take place but sadly, there were issues, resulting in the cancellation of the remainder of the competition on Sunday due to high winds which were carrying the debris into the gathered spectators.
Fortunately, there was time on the Friday and Saturday to get a couple of displays in, some of which were the stuff of legends.
First to fire Kimbolton Fireworks who very kindly stepped in at the last minute (bearing in mind that usually competitors have more than 6 months to plan the pyrotechnics and the music) to offer up a beautiful display. Unfortunately, as a result of the lateness of the call to fire, they had to call upon a previously created display which included a track being used by one of the other teams so they decided that they would not be included in the competition. It was a lovely display with lots of colour and effect and they will be competing next season when they have had more chance to plan.
Next up; Phenomenal Fireworks – their theme was opened with ‘Lets get ready to rumble’ and followed the ‘boxing’ theme. The multi-directional pieces looked a little haphazard but the ghost shells with blinking stars were lovely. In the middle of the Eye of the Tiger track, they had 2 minutes of dark sky due to a rare technical issue, but they quickly got back on track and the gear was absolute quality – when the fish came straight at the crowds I was holding my breath! A terrible shame as historically Phenomenal are usually exactly that – Phenomenal!
Then onto Saturday Night before a packed crowd of spectators – first to fire Blitz Fireworks. Their display had a very beautiful WW theme. It was much less smoky than the display from Phenomenal too but the windy conditions could clearly be seen and felt.
The theme was particularly poignant as this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. The first few musical tracks used were ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up your Troubles in your Old Kit Bag’, The White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’, The Great Escape and of course, The Dambusters; there were even air raid sirens and searchlights! There were some HUGE shell breaks and the timing of the flying fish was amazing and to the split second.
The whistle for the all clear followed by the Last Post was very heart-rending and quite rightly, the display received a very well-deserved round of applause from the huge crowds at Southport. The second half of the display was much for upbeat with modern musical accompaniment including Sweet Lullaby from Paloma Faith, For You from Rita Ora and Liam Payne and In My Blood by Shawn Mendes – just brilliant and the crackling mines on the beat sounded like clapping. The finale was a sky full of red and gold. A beautiful, poignant and packed show – congratulations Blitz Fireworks.
Second to step up to the plate was the team from Firework Effects. Now here is a bone of contention as despite having the same funding as the other competitors, it would appear they had offered up a much smaller scale display which simply didn’t measure up. It was very centralised and with no width to the display, it was wholly disappointing. Had it been for a wedding/anniversary event, perhaps it would have hit the mark but sadly, not for competition. I dare say that having watched the show, it had a huge dark sky period and the effects could easily have been fully covered by one of our DIY display packs – with more effects! I understand that everyone has to take their piece, but if you do not plan to commit to competing, why agree to take part?
Last to fire on Saturday were the much-anticipated Illusion Fireworks.
I have to say, firstly there was a great deal more pyro than in some of the other displays, but it was all used to brilliant effect. It wasn’t perfect as there were a few odd little shots which appeared to be incorrect as they were the wrong colour/effect but that could not take anything away as it and it was an exceptional display full of drama, packed with colour and the sweeping mine effects were awesome.
The remaining competitors, unfortunately, were unable to complete their displays and as such, it was scored on the people who were able to display (apart from Kimbolton).
The results were:
- 1st ILLUSION FIREWORKS
- BLITZ FIREWORKS
- PHENOMENAL FIREWORKS
Very well done everyone.