British Firework Champions 2009
A West Kent company, Phoenix Fireworks Ltd, has won the British Firework Championships in Plymouth. This event is one of the two major firework events within the UK, the other being the British Musical Firework Championships. Phoenix Fireworks are now one of only three companies to have won both titles.
Martin Coffin, director, said “It is wonderful to have won this event. As well as members of the public there are professional judges on the panel. To be voted top by both the lay judges and our peers is a great feeling.” The winners of the British Championships are invited to compete against some of the worlds finest artists at the San Sebastian International competition in Northern Spain.
Alex Selby who designed the winning show said “I am very grateful to all the staff at Phoenix for their hard work in creating this show, we all worked very hard on the day and it was a great team effort.”One of the judges said that she chose Phoenix as the show gave the best “Wow factor” of all.
Phoenix Fireworks is based in Wrotham having moved there from Dartford a few years ago. The company started about thirty six years ago when Ian Craig took over the business from Well Fireworks. At Ian’s retirement Martin Coffin acquired the company and has since invested much time and money ensuring that Phoenix has literally risen to become one of the best fireworks companies in England.
British Musical Firework Champions 2007
Phoenix Fireworks are the winners of the British Musical Firework Championships for 2007/8. The contestants were drawn from over 20 British fireworks companies, ending up with the final 6 companies battling it out at Southport.
This winning show is now available as an entertainment in its own right. It is a world class fireworks show that is synchronised to 6 different pieces of popular music and lasts 17 minutes. The finale is truly memorable, as one of the judges form the championships said, “I cried with emotion.” A truly inspiring pyro-musical event! To give a taste of what to expect, a summary of the programme is shown below.
The Musical Programme:
- The Chain – Fleetwood Mac – A high energy track that sets the tempo, one that everybody knows and associates with the F1 Grand Prix. Three fan cakes send up fans of comets that break at their zeniths, with an exciting shell sequence over the top.
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor – The music has a very dynamic and punchy start that is mirrored with purple mines with high level vertical sprays. The first verse is completemented with silver stars crisscrossing in time to the music with gold fan sprays at the end.
- Toccata – Sky – After the slow start, the music breaks into a complex musical run that is synchronised to 210 individually fired comets in a fan that sweeps into many different configurations and patterns. The main verse speeds off at a highly energetic pace supported by a frenetic display of large fans that cover the display area, some beautiful cake barrages and sky shells blasting in time to the music from on high.
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen – There is a strong contrast as Queen starts their very quiet introduction. The fireworks are silenced after the previous high energy track and a very gentle approach is used. Only parts of the introduction are set to fireworks whilst a silver curtain cascades like a mountain waterfall, with animation of the verse with “Little High, Little Low” with high and low shells. The phrase “thunderbolts and lightning” gets a huge shell blast and then the momentum is increased with more shells, crackling bombettes and tracer bullet effects sweeping across the sky in a windscreen wiper effect that leads up to the “Waynes World” head banging section that is punctuated with a wall of screaming banshees.
- Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood – A strong dance track with equally strong firework designs. Starting with fleur-de-leys flaming comets that stretch across the display area, with sky-shells synchronised to burst on key musical phrases.
- Carmina Burana – This track is also used in the soundtrack of “The Omen” and can only be described as a stately barrage of gothic and demonic music that crescendos to a spine tingling finale. From the outset there is a build-up of a barrage of golden snow from a huge number of bombettes and kamuro cakes. The main verse repeat is hit with high calibre shells of cascading golden snow. The dramatic effect of the section complements the music by simply getting larger and larger. The number of golden shells bursting per minute increases until the end when it seems that thousands of shells are being fired per minute, creating a huge barrage of sound and a beautiful dramatic sky of shimmering gold. A truly emotional final