Tag Archives: firework competition


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.


1. Pyrotex Fireworx (U.K.)
2. Mirnovec Pirotehnika (Croatia)
3. Platinum Fireworks (Philippines)
4. Lieto Fireworks (Italy)

Knokke-Heist 2016 : Closing Fireworks


WHEN: 14TH JULY 2016 – 24TH AUGUST 2016

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


COST: $50 – $65

The annual Montreal Fireworks festival is the largest pyrotechnic competition of its kind in the World. Established in 1985, the pyro-stage has witnessed some of the finest exponents of pyrotechnic art filling the skies over the stunning St Lawrence River doing their stuff. Referred to locally in this predominantly French-speaking region as L’International des Feux Loto-Quebec, it has entertained crowds of up to 3 million for more than 30 years now and it continues to grow in popularity year on year.

Over in Canada, the regulations are quite tight and as such they are only permitted ground fireworks like roman candles, sparklers, fountains, wheels, volcanoes, mines and snakes and the cakes/barrages we are used to being able to use are only available to professional firers.

The 2015 event was won by the brilliant pro team from GB’s Jubilee Fireworks who lifted the Gold Jupiter award. Their show was choreographed beautifully to the music and they used a huge array of colours and effects. Not too shabby for their first time at the event!!! It took the team 3 days to set up the 30 minute display in which more than 6000 firework items were used connected by over 5000 electrical circuits.

This is the 32nd edition of the competition featuring eight of the World’s best pyro-technicians all ready to perform their showcase displays for the gathered crowds.

The teams, Country they represent and the ‘theme’ of their displays are as follows:

2nd July 2016  – Quebec –  Feux d’artifice Apogeé – Our Heroes – Out Of Competition

6th July 2016  – Chile –  Pirotecnia Spa – A Musical Ride

9th July 2016  – Canada – Big Bang Fireworks – The Wild West

16th July 2016Switzerland – Sugyp – E-Motions

20th July 2016USA – Western Enterprises Inc – Dance to the colours of Light

23rd July 2016Spain – Ricardo Caballer Ricasa – Cinemagia

27th July 2016Sweden – Goteborgs Fyrverkeri Fabrik – The Joy of Life

30th July 2016La Ronde – Melrose Pyrotechnics – Tribute to Elton John

There will also be a display called ‘Our Heroes’ on Saturday 2nd July to start off proceedings. The musicians from the Royal 22nd regiment of the Canadian armed forces will play all the greats from the world of superheroes. The pyro-musical display will take the crowd on a journey with characters from Batman, Superman and Star Wars to name just a few.

The competition gets under way on 6th July 2016 when the first team representing Chile take to the world stage. Events will be taking place every Saturday and Wednesdays throughout July.

The final event will be an exhibition show on Saturday 30th July by Melrose Pyrotechnics and the theme, A Tribute to Elton John.

La Ronde of course is a theme park and as such will have lots to see and do before the event gets under way.

The winner of the competition will be announced on 31st July 2016 and we will be sure to let you have a report on the displays and the final results shortly thereafter.

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