The Festival of Fireworks held in the grounds of the stunning Catton Hall in Derbyshire is an annual event. Four teams are invited to take part to provide a display, choreographed to music and with a duration of 10 minutes. The event is a little different to other fireworks festivals because this one isn’t a competition as such – although everyone goes there with the full intent of putting on the best display they can on the night! There’s a great atmosphere and lots of camaraderie between the teams and it’s always very interesting (for us at least) to see how other pro companies approach a big display like this.
We had last taken part at the Festival in 2011 and were chomping at the bit to go back again! The Alchemy Team was pretty large with everyone wanting to be a part of what promised to be a special display. We arrived at around midday on the Friday with the displays all due to take place on the Saturday evening. With poor weather forecast for the Saturday daytime we were keen to get as much done as possible on the Friday whilst the weather was fine and dry. And with full credit to the team, apart from a few electrics and bits that we didn’t want to be left out overnight, we were done and dusted by around 8pm that evening! It was a good job really because, as forecast, the rain came early on the Saturday morning and stayed around for the majority of the day! Thankfully, by the time the audience began to arrive it stopped raining and the skies began to clear.
At around 7pm whilst it was still daylight the audience were treated to a daylight fireworks display consisting of beautiful coloured smoke trails and a myriad of noise effects. The majority of the public probably aren’t aware that fireworks can be just as impressive in the day but our previous shows at Leeds Castle and for Middlesbrough Mela show that they really are!
As darkness fell, the first company fired their display and then it was our turn. We had been testing all afternoon so were confident of a flawless performance and boy did we deliver! Nearly 1300 cues in 10 minutes lit up the skies over Catton Hall as the audience were treated to a pyrotechnics masterclass. Using a full array of material from China, the UK and Spain we used some brand new effects called ‘Ultra Fast Comets’ which were just ideal for hitting some of the faster sections of the music. Our show was extremely well received by both the public and pro companies alike. Some of the feedback on one of the forums can be seen here:
We had two videos produced on the night to showcase the level of choreography accuracy that we work towards. You can view those here: