Category Archives: Southport Fireworks 2014

Spider Aerial Filming Fireworks

Anyone who recently watched the British Musical fireworks championships could not fail to be mesmerised by all the fireworks, but for Ben Sheppard (pictured above) and Mike Bishop (pictured below) it was just another day at the office.

Mike & Ben, who run Spider professional aerial filming, were approached by the BBC ‘One Show’ to film the British Musical fireworks championships; making the video the UK’s first ever professionally shot fireworks with a drone flying through the display.

Using state of the art equipment, costing up to £7000 for the camera alone, we definitely felt that tensions would have been running high when you take how close to some of those huge display shells the drone was flying.

Filming at a whopping 4000 pixels per inch giving a resolution of 3840 x 2160 or 25 frames per second at 200 megabits per second, you really feel part of the action.

Using a Vulcan Multi Frame Spider Super 8 Octo-Copter fitted with back up batteries, this is classified as a 7-20 kilo aircraft and with CAA permission these coaxial designed aircraft are the safest in the industry.

The list of works filmed by the Spider guys is impressive in itself; you will have seen them in action if you have watched premiership football in Scotland on BT Sport, the World Formula 2 Powerboat Racing or the Evian Ladies Masters’ Golf Tournament.

So if there is anyone out there who wants to capture a moment for prosperity from an unusual angle, contact them through the contact page on their website –

In the meantime enjoy the fireworks.


Southport British Musical Fireworks Championships 2014


Saturday 10th October 2014 saw three more companies battling it out in the skies over Southport as they entertained the tens of thousands gathered for the British Musical Fireworks Championships.

First up to fire were SmArt Pyrotechnics: Starting with the sounds of Michael Buble will always do it for me, but I have to say this is on another level to the displays enjoyed on Friday. Incredible, symmetrical (yeah baby) and an absolutely beautiful selection of effects, colours and the timing was absolutely spot on. On the change of pace, we moved onto the haunting strains of Enya and the display was utterly hypnotic with some wonderful lancework and the criss cross on the ground work was nothing short of amazing you could actually hear the explosion on the musical beat. Outstanding…. Crackling comet tails, sweeping fans of gold and green – the crowds clearly agreed as they burst into rapturous applause at the change of music.

A beautiful mixture of colour which lit up the whole of the firing area and the hearts and pinks for the Etta James section were amazing and the titanium flashes just added to the drama.

The finale was packed to the rafters with some staggeringly big shells and the daisy shells were especially lovely and the final burst of HUGE willow shells was utterly breathtaking – well done team SmArt!!

SMArt Pyrotechnics – Southport British Musical Fireworks Championship Winner from Pyro Productions on Vimeo.

Second to fire, Classic Fireworks stuck with a very British Theme with rousing music selections from the outset as the night filled with the sounds of the 633 Squadron theme tune followed by Zadok the Priest from the Handel.

There were some lovely bright purples which were gorgeous with some intricate firing in the midst of the display. The Sailors Hornpipe played whilst the team threw as much into the air as possible but some of the colour changing comets were beautiful but little symmetry. The sweeping fans were lovely and they finished off the display with crowd pleaser, Land of Hope and Glory which was accompanied by some absolutely beautiful shell work.

Last but not least, Gala Fireworks. The theme was a hark back to the 70’s & 80’s with sledgehammer, jitterbug boogie, another brick in the wall and the theme of the 80’s The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Gala Fireworks – Southport British Musical Fireworks Championship 2nd Place from Pyro Productions on Vimeo.

They started out as they meant to go on with some lovely tailed comets and some brilliant colour variations. There were some very loud parts and again plenty going up into the sky. Outstanding for me were the giant tipped crackling palm shell – the bronze to green change was lovely – the silver fish and pearls into crossettes and spiralling tails and ring shells.

The display was well paced and had a really good finale with lots of glitter and hearts but lovely.

All players, well done but in my opinion, at the end of Saturday I definitely had SmArt Pyrotechnics in front.


Southport British Musical Fireworks Championships 2014

Last night saw the first competitors fill the skies over Southport for the beginning of the Southport British Musical Fireworks championships 2014.

Over the weekend there will be 7 professional shows from some of the UK’s finest pyrotechnic display teams who will show off their craft to a selection of popular and classical music tracks.

The first competitor to fire was the team from Distant Thunder Fireworks with their theme ‘Apollo Space Flight’ was from the very start a well paced show with lots of colour and effects and some absolutely gorgeous slices. The music was rich and varied but carried the theme well with tracks from 2001 A Space Odyssey, Europe’s famous ‘Final Countdown’ and Spaceman from Babylon Zoo all the way to the Blue Danube by Strauss.

The theme was carried well throughout the display but for me the outstanding part of the display was the choreography to the Strauss with its beautiful strobing pieces including some stunning ghost shells before the change of pace once again with the Prodigy and some gorgeous bright yellow-tipped star breaks with huge dragon tails.

Personally, as a lover of symmetry, I do tend to find that whilst big shells are absolutely beautiful, if there is the odd one randomly popped in there, rather than adding to the display I feel it detracts instead.

Onto the second team to fire, previous winners from 2004 Allstar Fireworks were on another level. There was a beautiful start again with some amazing slices absolutely on the beat from the outset with loads of variety with changes of pace and there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation as the music changed to Adele’s ‘Set Fire To The Rain’. Some lovely use of colour and great use of the full expanse of space before lifting the musical pace again to the catchy tunes of ‘we speak no americano’, ‘What did the fox say?’, ‘Hey Baby’ and of course ‘Cha-Cha Slide’ as they fired to the beat and on the ‘criss-cross’ they had some brilliantly bright titanium salutes that were quite simply ‘On It’.

The pace goes back again as they lit up the sky over Southport to the strains of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ which again was well received by the audience and the falling leaves held the air for an age before the tempo increased again to Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance where they had some super fast-firing pieces in all manner of colours but keeping with the theme.

There were some exceptionally good spinners which clearly impressed the crowds with coloured strobing comets that were gorgeous but the false finale caught everyone on the hop. The Finale was a sky-full of beautiful pyro and in my opinion, was a fitting close to a wonderful display. Another thing I noted was that Allstar used a great deal more ground pyro with some brilliant variety.

I would say that whilst I think that Distant Thunder Fireworks Blue Danube section was amazing, the overall display from Allstar Firework took it for me last night but I am thoroughly looking forward to the offerings from Classic Fireworks, Smart Pyrotechnics and Gala Fireworks.