Each year, Southport hosts the incredible British Musical Fireworks Championship in Victoria Park.
I have been involved in this event for 16 years and I am always surprised by the sheer volume of everything when I am on site. I am also fascinated with the experts on site and the things they tell me,.
So here I am, bringing you the most insane facts about the event!
- The event has had three homes. It began its life in King's Gardens, it had a one year visit to the beach before returning to King's Gardens but has now found its forever home in Victoria Park.
- The judging panel includes over 200 years of pyrotechnic experience, with past judges receiving both an OBE and MVO from the Queen for their services to the industry.
- Although the event takes a full 12 months to plan, to set up the site it takes two days, and to the clear the site one day - a lot of planning by a lot of people!
- The event site includes 600 metres of barriers and one mile of fencing.
- To set up each display, around fifteen technicians work for 12 hours. And that doesn't include the clear up!
- Each team submits a track list for their show in confidence at the beginning of the year. There must be no duplications, songs must be family friendly and they have a limit of 10 songs. The judges only hear the music on the night of the displays to give them a fair chance to mark.
- All firework fans will be familiar with the announcement 'Southport are you ready for some Fireworks?', this is famously coined by our wonderful compere Simon Smithies - without him there is no event. Simon is currently starring in Coronation Street as the dodgy solicitor Jim McDonald is using to con Liz!
- During the competition, over two tonnes of explosive material are used with the total weight of fireworks used in excess of 10 tonnes! Each show required around five kilometres of wire to connect up the electrical circuits and around 15 technicians working for over 12 hours to set up the display.
- All fireworks are still handmade because machine may produce sparks and no body wants a spark around fireworks!
- Some of the bigger fireworks will reach a height of 500 metres (that’s five football pitches)