Having arrived back from a truly amazing time in
Szczecin Poland taking part in Pyromagic where
we won both the Jury and Public awards, which
was something that has never been done before,
especially as we were the first UK company to
take part in the event so this made the win even
The planning and preparation for this show started
early 2018 where the design phase of the show
started, the music choices were carefully selected
around the local charts from Poland and eastern
Europe from the last few years and after much
deliberation the five song choices we selected and
meticulously stitched together to make the soundtrack
for the basis of the show design. After a few weeks of
designing the show, an email landed from the
organisers, who decided that all three teams must
use the obligatory piece of music that they had just
sent to start the display with. Back to the drawing
board we went to add this piece of music in and
make it work with the design we had already started. After many months designing and perfecting the show, we could finally place the order for the product that we didn’t have in stock. After booking the flights, ferry crossings, courier, hotels for the lads driving over with the equipment and submitting the show design to Surex – Firma Rodzinna, the product was next to be prepared.
The whole show was prepared and cue stickered up over the course of 4 weekends (a big thank you to those who took the time to come over and help with the preparations) the only problem was the weekends clashed with the world cup games which was a major headache for us so we would start earlier in the morning, pack up around 1pm, wash, change and go down to the local to watch the games. Safe to say the days after the match, we were a lot slower at preparing than the day before.
After A few weeks of normality, the courier arrived to ship the product to Szczecin. 12 full pallets of product, lengths of timber and arch arrays were loaded onto the truck, even a few pallets of product for Pyro2000 who kindly asked a few weeks before if they could “Piggy Back” onto our shipment as they were firing in Lithuania a few weeks after Pyromagic. A Week later the two lads driving over with the equipment set off from Pyrotex HQ with a long drive ahead of them, just under 1000 miles to travel and crossing 6 countries in the process. The journey wasn’t the most pleasant experience for them who were subject to temperatures in the 40’s while traveling through Antwerp in rush hour traffic, in a black van with no Air Con!! Other than that, the journey was a safe one and the crew arrived in good time.
Once we arrived in Szczecin we were warmly welcomed by Surex who took us to our log cabins for the duration of our stay. Once unpacked and showered we went straight out to view the site. After the site visit we then went to our cabins and then to our local bar for a few beers and to discuss the plan of action for the week. This was followed by a fantastic meal provided by Surex. The following day we went to site and started preparing the show. The fronts were marked out along with the mortar positions and the special effect towers. Once this was done two of us started loading the shells while the others prepared the candles and Single Shot Arch arrays. That evening was the welcoming party that Surex hosted in a big tepee with plenty of beer on tap and a stunning BBQ. This was eventually washed down with some Polish Vodka that retailed around £100 per bottle. Safe to say most of us were well on our way.
The following day on site the other shell positions and the fronts were set out along with the special effects towers. During set up the weather was in the mid to late 30’s throughout which was quite tough, especially when you’re nursing a Polish Hangover from too much vodka the night before.
On show day the nerves and tension were high, and the crowd were sceptical on what we could pull off after two fantastic shows the night before from Pyroemotions and Platinum Fireworks who both got great reactions from the crowd.
Our show fired beautifully and was executed to perfection. The False finale threw most of the crowd off guard as they were all cheering like it was the end of the show but it wasn’t, there was nothing happening apart from the flash pots on the towers hitting the key notes while the fallout from the Brocades was fading away until the ground lit up and the finale kicked in for the second time with just the sound from the mortars being launched before the soundtrack kicking in again. Over 800 shells alone were used in the second finale which was unbelievable to witness first hand followed by some ground maroons and salute shells for the extra punch. Once the second finale finished the crowd went berserk and we got a standing ovation from the judges. All three teams congratulated each other for the performances while we all nervously awaited for the results. We were then pulled on stage in front of the crowd and the city mayor along with the judging panel, the trophies were handed out and we are delighted to say we came in first place. We were also awarded the public award which made it more worthwhile. After a long drive back to the digs we had a closing ceremony / party where they put on another BBQ and beer for us all and let’s just say plenty of beer was drank that night.
We would like to thank Surex – Firma Rodzinna for their hard work on putting on such a magnificent event and we would like to thank the platinum crew on site for all their help. I would also like to personally thank my crew who I couldn’t have achieved this without.
Article Written By Scott Machin