Tag Archives: London


Three barges, the iconic Big Ben and the incredible London Eye were all packed with pyrotechnics as midnight struck on 31st December, welcoming in the new decade in traditional style.

On what was probably one of the clearest night skies since September (we all recall how dreadful the weather was over the Bonfire Night season and beyond) it was set to be an outstanding night of pyrotechnics across the UK. However, despite the clear night, there had been a little shower earlier and it was very windy which added to the smoke issues.

They used the same ‘London is Open’ as for the Olympic 2012 event to welcome in the forthcoming EURO 2020 which the UK will be hosting. They even had some single shots spelling out the same. The finale was absolutely gorgeous.

Whilst it was lovely, you should check out the event at the Champs Elysee:

The use of lasers, coloured lighting and pyrotechnics were gorgeous and given the bad press about pollution, particularly following the Aussie PM’s decision to go ahead with the display in spite of a huge number of calls to cancel it. They decided that it should proceed thanks to the amount of investment and planning which had already taken place.

Well done to all the professional teams around the world who helped to ring in the New Decade.





Make a note in your diaries as London’s biggest and best firework festival explodes onto the scene this November, at the beautiful Alexandra Palace. With plenty to see and do at the festival and the surrounding areas, there will be no shortage of things to keep the little (and big!) kids entertained for the full weekend.

Tickets for the event, taking advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer start from £9.50 per adult £7.50 child 11-15yrs and 10+ and under £1.50. Tickets for the German Bier festival (over 18’s only), the Luna Cinema and Ice-Skating rink have separate charges and must be bought in advance with the purchase of the fireworks festival tickets.

Things to do

Bier Festival – Held in the great hall for both evenings the largest ally pally bier festival this side of the Munich gets underway. Take your seat and get your beer delivered to your table, sit back and enjoy the music from tribute acts The Killerz on Friday and a tribute to Elton John on Saturday. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance; it is advised to arrive early to grab a good spot.

Luna Cinema – settle in and have a movie night in the recently restored Victorian theatre, hosting great movies on both nights. Friday – Harry Potter and the philosophers stone – begins at 18:45pm/ silence of the lambs – begins at 21:50. Saturday – toy story 4 – begins at 17:45pm / V for Vendetta – begins at 20:50pm. The doors for all performances open 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.

Ice Skating – the rink will be open during the festival and will be offering public sessions and disco. Get your groove on as you skate around on the ice listening to pop and fun music. This is an additional add on ticket and must be purchased in advance of your fireworks tickets. Times open

Friday- doors open at 17:00pm

17:30pm – 18:45pm – Public session

19:30pm – 20:45pm – Public session

21:30pm – 23:00pm – Disco

Saturday – doors open at 16:00pm

16:30pm – 17:45pm – Public session

18:30pm – 19:45pm – Public session

20:30pm – 22:30pm – Disco

Prices – £9 public / £10 Disco

 StrEATlife – Street food & Craft Beer – With the biggest names in street food make sure that you pay a visit to one of London’s best street food festivals. Fill your face and get your jig on as this year’s live music is from the curator of this year’s soundtrack the legendary DJs Rob Da Bank (Friday) and Jazzie B (Saturday).

Family Area food and drink – If you have the little ones in tow or even have big kids in the family then make sure you visit the family area. Choose from numerous food and drink options with kid friendly portions, music, cabaret, a funfair for the thrill-seekers.

Other Food & Drink – As well as the designated areas there will be plenty of stalls and traders dotted all around the site, with food and drink options to suit every taste even those fussy ones.

Bonfire – To start the proceedings and a new spectacle to the festival is the lighting of the bonfire. Be mesmerised as the fire performers bring the spectacular theatrics just before the official lighting of the bonfire that will dwarf all others that you have seen. A 30-foot effigy will burn at the very top of the bonfire designed by local young people as part of an Alexandra Palace learning project working with local artists.

Fireworks – this is our favourite part. The ally pally is renowned for its spectacular fireworks display and will be lighting up the London skyline once again this year as it has done for the last 150 years. The pyro musical will be to a special soundtrack put together by Radio1 and BBC6 radio presenter Rob De Bank the person behind bestival and camp bestival.

Times of opening for all areas

Friday 1st November – entry to the park is permitted from 6pm and the site will be open until 11pm. The German Bier festival and Street food village will also be open from pm the Bonfire will be lit at 7:30pm. Fireworks will begin at 9pm on the dot so you are advised to turn up well before then to grab a good spot and not miss any of the show.

Saturday 2nd November – Entry to the park is permitted from 4pm and the site is open until 10:30pm. The German Bier festival and street food village will also open at 4pm. The bonfire will be lit at 6:30pm. Fireworks will begin at 8:pm on the dot so you are advised to turn up well before then to grab a good spot and not miss any of the show.



COST: £10.00

In 2014 a decision was taken to start charging for entry (thanks very much Boris!) to see the fireworks display and this stance remains unpopular with London tax payers. The main complaint to this day is that although the residents of the area fund the venture, they receive absolutely no concessions or preferential treatment when it to the allocation of tickets and moreover they still have to contend with the massive 100,000 attendees and the chaos a large number of revellers will undoubtedly cause, irrespective of the policing and stewarding of such an event.

Ticket prices are £10 per person with a strict limit of four per order; not good if there are five in your family who wish to attend (looks like granny is staying at home again!).

Although the organisers will allow small bags into the viewing area, they would prefer you not to take a bag at all where possible to alleviate some of the pressure on the security teams. Furthermore, all bags will be searched causing delays in entry to the enclosure and any item the security staff deem dangerous could result in your party been refused entry. The restrictions include any form of glass including flasks, sharp objects, back packs and suitcases will be excluded along with buggies – the organisers state on their website the event is not suitable for children; so you won’t need these anyway.

Alcohol will be on sale and you will be allowed to take your own but be careful, the stewards and security team will assess whether the amount you are carrying is deemed for personal use to prevent re-sale inside the barriers; again if you break the rules you will risk being refused entry. Anyone whom the officials feel has imbibed a little too enthusiastically, again these people will be excluded as will anyone using a drone.

Take photo ID along with you as security staff will check the name on the ticket matches the ID supplied, this is to prevent ticket touts selling tickets at overinflated prices as the council prefer to keep the monopoly on this one.

Be prepared to wait as the information for most areas advise spectators to arrive between 8 and 10:30pm although the information also goes on to say “Please allow plenty of time to get to your viewing area. Please aim to arrive before 9pm and bring only a small bag for essential items or preferably NO bag at all.”

As there are no options to leave and later return to the enclosure ensure you have everything you will require for the duration we would suggest among the obvious warm clothing, food and drink (in small quantities), spare batteries for camera etc, a ground sheet as there is no seating in any of the areas except the designated areas for less able spectators, also be aware there are no covered areas in case of rain and an umbrella which has a sharp end could be confiscated so poncho’s at the ready.

Toilets will be supplied but queues can be quite lengthy at times, so think about timing, you wouldn’t want to wait four hours then miss the main event standing in queue.

There are many viewing areas available and travel to these is best by tube as there will be vehicle movement restrictions with many road closures in place, as you can envisage getting 100,000 spectators to and from a specific area has its own potential problems so plan well ahead especially the journey home after the show.

The best stations to use are:

Blue 1 use Victoria Station

Blue 2 use Green Park Station

Pink 3 Holborn Station

Red 4 also Holborn Station

Red 5 Black Friars Station

Pink 6 Waterloo

Green 7 Southwark

White 8 Westminster

The accessible viewing area is also Waterloo.

Traditionally the countdown to the New Year is to the chimes of Big Ben. However, there is some speculation as the hands of the clock were removed in April as part of the ongoing repair and restoration of the clock and Elizabeth Tower and are not expected to be replaced until repairs conclude in 2021. So, who knows what will happen! We suspect a recording will be substituted to go along with possibly a digital projection.

Personally, I will be watching the repeat on the BBC a little later in the day as I, like many of our customers will be busy lighting my own offerings to welcome the New Year.

If you are having your own New Year celebrations, why not bring it in with a bang!  We have a huge range of single ignition barrages which start from the tiny ones at under a fiver to the huge multi shot compound cakes which are the size of a large suitcase at £249.96. Check em out.