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Designing a Championship Show

Life of a Pyrotechnical

Designing a Championship Show

We had the delightful news last week of being drawn for the 2015 Plymouth Councils, British Firework Championship Event in August this year.

The competition has been running since 1997 and has been a big date in the industry Calendar from the moment it began. Its often seen as the most prestigious firework event in the UK, and 1st Galaxy have been proud to take part several times.

On each occasion in the normal competition the crew from 1st Galaxy Fireworks have been delighted to have been awarded 2nd and 3rd prize, and to have also taken part in the 2013 ‘Champion of Champions’ Event, where the best of the best from the previous 6 years were invited back to show off their pyrotechnical skills.

Plymouth 2013

The site itself is ideal for a large scale display, and the audience spectating area commands excellent views from all around the main harbour location, and regularly attracts many hundreds of thousands of people.

The site layout and rules are very strict, and the teams are ‘marked’ from the outset on their whole approach, delivery and execution of the actual display on ‘launch day’. Each competitor has to adhere to strict weight limits which control the total amount of explosives that can be used. This in essence ensures that there is a level playing field and that each firm doesn’t go completely overboard..on the basis that the biggest is the best.

Plymouth Champs 4

Each competitor is given a rectangular site on the ‘Mount Batten Breakwater’ which measures approx. 30m wide and around 8m deep. In this space the competitors squeeze in what is normally the best part of £45,000 worth of fireworks.

Plymouth Champs

Each display must last precisely 10 minutes, if its a second longer then points start to be deducted, and continue to be for every second the display goes over the prescribed firing time. The displays are started with three signal maroons, and are also concluded with 3 signal maroons to.

Its always a fascinating event, seeing how the various companies tackle both the technical challenge, the design aspect and of course the weather, which is often quite unreliable and ‘changeable’ down on the seafront.

Plymouth Champs Setup


This year our own plans are to build on the strengths and weaknesses that we’ve experienced in our previous displays at the site. Looking back at those shows we have seen some ares to improve upon, and also seen some sequences that worked well and also got tremendous crowd reactions.

Plymouth Champs 1

You can see our displays from past events on our YouTube Channel here –

2007 –

2010 –

2013 –

You can also see the draw for this years event here –

So the design process is soon to start..we’ll be taking the previous scripts and keeping what worked and tweaking what didn’t quite work, and returning to the ‘drawing board’ on a few sequences that didn’t inspire in the way we wanted them to..

Plymouth 030


Also in 2015 we have a whole host of new product coming in, and we’ll perhaps be having our widest variety of material to date that we’ve ever included in a single show..

More Blogs to come as the show details unravel..

Designing a Championship Show

Plymouth Champs Team

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