Category Archives: Fireworks Festival

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FIREWORK FESTIVAL

WHAT: CANNES INTERNATIONAL FIREWORK FESTIVAL 2016
WHY: INTERNATIONAL PYROMUSICAL FIREWORK COMPETITION
WHEN: 14TH JULY 2016 – 24TH AUGUST 2016
WHERE: THE CROISETTE, CANNES, FRANCE
COST: FREE

This is the 48th running of the magnificent pyrotechnic art festivals which began back in 1967.

Who amongst the international masters of firework art will lift the coveted Silver Vestal d’ Argent or the Prix du Public (Audience Vote) this year. The Silver Vestale is competed for annually and then there is a champion of champions’ events once every four years to compete for the Gold Vestale. The Vestale is named after Vesta, the goddess of fire and Zeus’ sister and a fire was kept alight at all times by six virgin princesses who were called the ‘Vestales’.

‘To paint or make war’ were the options said to be available to the makers of gunpowder/black powder. Fortunately, whilst very brave and talented people, pyro-heads love fireworks; the colours, sounds and effects so expect the exotic and the remarkable.

Each display team is charged with creating a display lasting a minimum of 25 minutes before the 200,000 spectators packing the 400m seafront promenade. There are a few rules and regulations in place which ensure that all competitors are given the same opportunity to reach the pinnacle of their game.

The pyro is fired at sea from 3 barges which are positioned around 400m offshore and 180m away from the next nearest competing team’s set up and all effects must be aerial/aquatic.

One of the areas regarding this event which stands out for me is the organizers attention to ensuring that the Bay is kept in its usual pristine condition at all times. Immediately after the displays have been fired, a special boat goes and collects all the floating detritus and the following day a specialist team clears the seabed of any remaining waste.

Teams competing, the dates and themes are as follows:

Thursday 14th July 2016 – Pirotecnia Reyes (Mexico)
Theme: Mexico through its history

The company was established in 1910 by Don Manuel Reyes Rodriguez and in 1911, Manuel Reyes Solano left school at the tender age of 12 to join the family firework business and the company has continued in the care of the same family, through the generations, for over a century.

Thursday 21st July 2016 – Pyroemotions (Italy)
Theme: Life is Beautiful

Life is a gift – let’s fully appreciate it and the Italians believe that a good pyromusical show has the ability to connect the hearts, minds and souls of the massively diverse audience. This team has lifted and incredible number of awards and accolades, including Silver in Monaco in 2015, Gold at Pyronale (Berlin) in 2014 and Gold in Montreal in 2013 to name just a few.

Friday 29th July 2016 – Joho Pyro (Finland)
Theme: Conquering the rough Northern seas

The business was established in 2004 by Johan Hollande on a little island just off the coast of Finland. The theme is largely about the power and influence of the Northern seas on the coastline of Finland and its life giving energy. The seas around Finland are mainly the North, Baltic and Bering Sea’s. 40% of the country’s industry relates to the sea with shipping, fishing etc at the top of the list. The people of Finland, like their Nordic ancestry would suggest are connected to the sea ‘by the brine in their veins.

Sunday 7th August 2016 – Arteventia (France)
Theme: Abracadabra The music

The team was established in 2013 and whilst the company is still relatively young, they continue to gain experience.

Magic is both fascinating and scary and this show will take the audience into the world of abracadabra magic; dynamic, emotional and set to engage the spectators, with beautiful colours and effects and of course a magical soundtrack to boot.

Monday 15th August 2016 – Howard & Sons (Australia)
Theme: Pyrophoric Symphony

The word ‘pyrophoric’ comes from the Greek word for fire-bearing. This display will take the audience along on a special journey through beautiful symphonic pieces with pyrotechnics to create the perfect combination. Howard & Sons are the suppliers of the pyrotechnics to Disneyland and Disneyworld.

Wednesday 24th August 2016 – Flash Barrandov (Czech Republic)
Theme: Straight to the Heart

The company was established in 1994, as an independent company, having worked for a number of years as part of the fast growing film industry for SFX, armoury for film, snow and atmospheric effects. This team have taken Europe by storm over the last 10 years in particular with wins at some of the biggest firework competition events in Europe including Herrenhausen, Szczecin and Cannes. The company today runs the Ignis Brunensis competition in the beautiful Czech Republic.

The theme is the bringing together of music and fire creating a joyful duet to this music which covers all the emotions from love and romance to eroticism and sensitivity. The team aim to capture the hearts of their visitors and take them on a journey of discovery.

Good luck to all the competitors and we look forward to bringing you the result in due course.

Fireworks Cannes

Forte Dei Marmi Fireworks Festival

WHAT: FORTE DAI MARMI INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL 2016
WHY: INTERNATIONAL FIREWORK COMPETITION
WHEN: 4TH AND 18TH JUNE AND 9TH AND 23RD JULY 2016
WHERE: THE PIER, FORT DEI MARNI, NORTHERN ITALY
COST: FREE

2016 marks the second edition of this fantastic new competition event of 4 nights entertainment which also brings together, pyro-technists from across the world in order to compete for the trophy but more importantly, the accolade of firing for the Town’s church fiesta.

The teams from England and South Africa have already enjoyed the Italian hospitality when they each fired before huge crowds on the 4th and 18th June. At the moment, it would appear that they are giving little away as to the possible winner but following on from this weekend’s event the professional judges, from the world of arts and culture, will have sufficient information to make an informed choice.

First to fire were SMart Pyrotechnics from Salisbury in the UK. This team was established in 2007 by Steve Martin and Anthony Foti (Austrian) and they are firmly placed at the top of their game. SMart lifted the First place in the British Musical Firework Championships in Southport in 2015 and they won the Audience Vote from Southport in 2014 as well as being worthy winners of the 1st place in Courcheval in France.

Next up, 18th June, ‘Fireworks for Africa’ with their team of professionals began back in 1996 under the guidance of Nick Mitri. Once they had honed their skills in their domestic market, they have certainly made a name for themselves as worthy opponents as they have taken the rest of the world by storm. They picked up the spectators award at Ignis Brunensis (Brno – Czech Republic) followed by a very close second place at Herrenhausen (not bad for the first ever African competitors) and they also have taken part in competition in Da Nang, Macao and Hannover.

This weekend finds the last of the three teams competing; FLASH ART GROUP which was established in 1987 and their display team have performed shows in Germany and across Europe with some success. In addition to competing, they have fired displays for all manner of events from the opening and closing of the Cricket Super League in February this year and of course, the finale fireworks for the F1 race in Abu Dhabi in 2015.

The final day is the 23rd of July when the votes are counted and the awards firstly for the Audience Vote will be allocated and then the technical jury will announce their champion before the display from Pyrotechnics Morsani gets underway for the entertainment of the spectators.

The winners will be responsible for the fireworks on Sunday 28th August 2016 for the traditional Fiesta of the Patron of St Hermes (aka Festa di Sant’ Ermete) which takes place over 3 days at the latter end of August annually. They will light up the picturesque church with light and effects.

The Northern Tuscan seaside town in Versilia is most certainly the holiday/short break destination for wealthy VIPS and celebrities.

It is certainly going to be a hard-fought last round but we will bring you news of the outcome as soon as we can as usual.

MALTA MECHANIZED GROUND FIREWORKS FESTIVAL

WHAT: MALTA MECHANIZED GROUND FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
WHEN: SATURDAY 9TH APRIL 2016 (SETUP OF THE DISPLAY ON FRIDAY 8TH APRIL 2016)
WHERE: THE GRANARIES, ST PUBLIUS SQUARE, MALTA
WHY: MECHANICAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
COST: FREE :)

The mechanized ground fireworks festival has been an important part of the Fiesta celebrations to be held in Malta.

The competition between the factories has always been fierce and it is a matter of intense pride to win the award for your own factory resulting in the competitors striving for excellence every time.

Nar ta' l-Art, Floriana.

The setting up of the Fest Ta Nar (fire festival) takes the majority of the day to complete as in addition to the usual set up of the fireworks there is a great deal more intricate and complicated parts to ensure are in working order and are connected to the relevant effect. The maximum dimension of the wheel must be no more than 30 feet across. They are a complex fusion of levels, gears, wheels, chains and links resulting in 3D movement with the ability to open and close, rotate and move forth and back too with added pyrotechnics.

The Firework factories included in this year’s event are as follows:

St Margaret’s Firework Association
15th August Fireworks Association
Our Lady of Nativity Fireworks Association
Fontana Fireworks Association
St Paul’s Fireworks Complex
St Josephs Firework Complex
22 February Fireworks Association
Mount Carmel Factory
St Catherine’s Pyrotechnic Association
St Bartholomew’s Fireworks Association
St Leonard’s Firework Factory
15th August Fireworks Factory

There are 30 firework companies on the Island and pyro remains at the very heart of the people of Malta and have been since the very early part of the 11th century when they were intrinsic to celebrations. For the most part there would have used cannon and musket fire and the sound of the explosion of crackers in quick succession as an expression of joy/celebration and over the years this grew into an event which now include the ‘Malta International Firework Festival‘, a competition which takes place each Saturday including 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th April 2016 in a number of locations across the Island.

Here is a taster of some of last year’s examples of engineering and pyrotechnics coming together to create beautiful effects.

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