Darlington’s annual Firework Display is the Borough Council’s biggest event, with an estimated 40,000+ attending the free display in South Park. That’s a lot of people to entertain. 2009 was our first year working with Jeff, Marion, Phil, Mike and team at Darlington Borough Council, and it was an exciting and fun journey from pitching for the show to delivering the display.
We agreed early on to theme the firework display around the idea of Space, in part inspired by the 40th anniversary of the moon landings, but by chance the week of the display coincided with (the development of the American Aries Space program) so the Space concept was very much in the public consciousness (and the press) in the few days running up to the event.
The soundtrack duly evolved over a period of a couple of months, with input and comment from all parties until we settled on a definitive final version, featuring music as varied as The Prodigy, Audrey Hepburn, David Bowie, Lemon Jelly, Gustav Holst and John Williams – as well as a few familiar soundbites from Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 13. Local schools rallied round under the direction of the Council, and atop the bonfire was a space-suited guy complete with his own space shuttle!
On the day we used a combination of manual electronic firing systems and FireOne to add the split second moments of perfect synchronisation. The end result was, almost unanimously, the best firework display Darlington has ever seen, featuring glittering strobe shells, a lovely crackling sequence, and a full-on titanium willow and brocade crown finale.
“All the pre-planning that went into our event was realised with a display that was hailed by everyone as the best one ever seen in Darlington. It was fantastic to see Alchemy’s vision come to life on the night.” Jeff Dawson, Events Manager, Darlington Borough Council