The start of July saw us back in Surrey and back at the Hampton Court Flower Show for a spectacular firework display for the RHS’s Exclusive Preview Evening. The display was choreographed to a custom old school rock and roll mix, featuring classic retro hits from the 1950’s and 1960’s including Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson and Elvis Presley.
The punchy, staccato feel of some of the music itself to intricate split-second choreography with the fireworks, and (as our long-suffering team of expert pyrotechnicians had feared) it was something of a festival of single-shots and wiring in. The cue count was up in the high hundreds but as you’ll see from the video – it was worth it. But it does make you wonder what we did before digital firing systems like FireOne and Pyrodigital came along.
As Hampton Court is a sensitive venue for fireworks we were careful to design the display “from the ground upwards” so that even if the wind was strong (and in the wrong direction) there would still be a continuous low-mid level show that could be fired in most conditions. As it happened – or perhaps because of this sensible approach to risk management – it was one of the most calm and sunny days of the summer, and we were able to fire the whole display without any fallout ever being likely to travel beyond the agreed drop-zone.
As always though, it’s not about whether we think a display is good, it’s about what our client (and their paying guests) think. We knew that it would be tough to beat the feedback we received for our show here in 2010, when 78.1% of guests thought our display was “good or excellent”. That was already a massive 15.5% improvement on the company that produced the display in 2009, and 11.1% improvement on another company that produced the display in 2008. So went we met our client for a de-brief lunch it was with some trepidation that we awaited the stats for 2011 – we really shouldn’t have set the bar so high in 2010 😉 ! We need not have feared though. Huge credit must go to Alchemy Fireworks display designer Glenn Plume and all the team that prepared and worked on the display, because the feedback for Alchemy Fireworks was up yet again, with a whopping 79% of the RHS’s discerning guests rating the display as good or excellent. We’d better start thinking about how we’re going to beat it with the 2012 display!