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Open Air Business January 2017

The UK's outdoor hospitality business magazine for function venues, glamping businesses and outdoor event organisers

FUNCTION VENUES COMMON

FUNCTION VENUES COMMON FIREWORK EFFECTS PHOTOS BY WHITELIGHTNING PYROTECHNICS contrary to what you might be told, this can often be more expensive for two reasons. Firstly, the fireworks need to follow the undulations of the music, which generally requires more fireworks than just firing them in an order. “We actually design all our displays with a special software to ensure there are no non-deliberate pauses so setting to music does not add to our work,” says Page. “The far bigger challenge for us is simple physics. Light and sound travel at greatly different speeds. Think about lightning and the thunder that comes afterwards - even if the storm is overhead,” he adds. The company recommends a linear PA system right in front of your guests (costs from about £500) in order that you can see the fireworks are actually synchronized to the music. “If you rely on a DJ using speakers through a window or back in a marquee you have fireworks drowning out some music in the background,” he warns. THE FINAL WORD While it is not unreasonable to pay a deposit, Page’s advice is not to part with more than 25% of an agreed amount until you have seen the end result. “I would also check the cancellation terms as sometimes the wind does blow in the ‘wrong direction’ at such a speed that it simply isn’t safe to fire a display,” he says. “That said, a proper firework company should be able to design a display for most locations that has a better than 90% chance of firing,” he continues. “We don’t actually charge any deposit but ask for payment after the event when you have confirmed you are entirely happy that what we have provided is what you were expecting.” As any reputable company will tell you, a consultation and site visit are vital to ensure everyone has the opportunity to express their needs and discuss ideas. Planning a display can be overwhelming, so to summarise, here are the key areas you should consider: the event; the neighbours; the time and date; the budget; and the number of firers. Of course, the one thing you can’t plan for is the weather. However, you don’t need to worry about that, as a professional display can still take place in all weather apart from the most extreme wind. The only thing the rain might dampen is the audience’s resolve. USEFUL LINKS Titanium Fireworks - 020 7183 9665 www.titaniumfireworks.com Whitelightning Pyrotechnics - 01945 463857 www.fireworksdisplayteam.co.uk › Bees - represents a cluster or swarm of light points, which move through the air under their own power before disappearing › Blinker (aka strobe) - a cluster of stars that move out in a strobing or blinking effect; they hang in the air longer than most other fireworks › Blossom - reminiscent of a flower, this colourful effect sparks and expands outwards, much like a blooming flower › Bombette - fired by a lifting charge, this effect is produced from within a candle or cake › Brocade - looks like an expanding sphere of stars, similar to a Peony but more persistent › Butterfly - created with two cones of effects that are fired in opposite directions in a symmetrical pattern › Comet - leaves a persistent, glittering trail, often in the form of a star › Crackle - an audio effect featuring little snaps and bangs › Crackling comet - a tail of crackling effects, as opposed to a silent glittery one › Crossette - an effect that spawns several other effects, e.g. an exploding coloured star that releases several other coloured stars › Double break - this could be a rocket that bursts twice with two separate effects or a shell/firework that releases two effects › Dragon’s egg - a gold/silver burst that concludes in strobes or crackles › Falling leaves - gives the impression of falling leaves, drifting downwards › Fish – with a swimming, wriggling appearance, the fish is often coloured and is easy on the ears › Heart - bursts into a heart shape › Hummer - makes a humming sound, generated by the way it burns and its housing structure. Low pitched hummers sound like bees, while high pitched ones create a screeching sound › Kamuro - this hanging effect looks quite like a willow, usually with a twinkling or strobing effect › Maroon - extremely loud bang created by a maroon shell/rocket › Palm tree effect - cascading effect reminiscent of a palm tree, usually gold and silver › Parachute - a tricky effect created by professionals, aimed at staying in the air for longer – often for flare/ hanging lantern effects › Peony - an expanding sphere of stars. › Pistil - an effect containing a peony as a key component › Rainbow - displaying various colours or changing colour › Report - what the professionals call a ‘bang’ › Ring effect - expanding 2D ring/circle generated using numerous stars › Salute - a loud bang similar to a maroon › Spinner - a rapidly spinning aerial effect, usually silver. May emit noise and release stars › Spiral - a spiral shaped effect › Star - star or flaming ball. Can be any colour. Low noise › Tail - the fading stream of light behind the firework › Titanium salute - huge bang accompanied by a bright flash › Turbillion - usually a star with an erratic flight path and a spiralling, glitter effect › Whistle - a whistling sound in a firework, made by the material being burned rather than the effect of flight › Willow effect - similar to a palm tree effect, but more like a willow tree’s weeping branches 20 WWW.OPENAIRBUSINESS.COM

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