Light Up The Night: Fireworks at Your Event

January 29, 2021

If there’s one thing people will always say when planning their event, it’s that they want it to be truly unforgettable.

One way to make a grand statement is to host your very own unique firework display. We spoke with Sonning Fireworks about choosing a firework display to light up the night at your event.

Sonning Fireworks specialise in high end celebration and pyromusical fireworks displays.  All Sonning Fireworks shows are fired electrically using their computer system to give a seamless and impressive show every time, and they can also provide other options than a display, such as an exit route lined with fireworks fountains which fire as guests depart.

We spoke with Chris Clarke, Technical Director at Sonning Fireworks and gained some invaluable information about all things fireworks.

How long should a fireworks display be?

The rule of thumb is the shorter the show is for a given budget the more impressive it is, this is because we use the same number of fireworks but fire more at once giving a more impressive show.  We recommend for celebration shows to keep them to 3-5 minutes for the lower budgets.  The aim for a fireworks display is for it to be impressive, having a long drawn out show will not be impressive.  We can adjust the length of the show and the size, quality and number of fireworks as you wish to suite your event.

How do you know how many fireworks to use? 

Experience!  We have been firing fireworks displays for over 20 years, we know what works.  There are so many variables to consider when designing a show, the size, quality and number of fireworks firing at once for example.  We try to use the firing location as much as possible, so if its wide we use the width, if there are trees we design the show around those.

Are there any restrictions on where you can hold a fireworks display?

We need a minimum of 60m to any people, cars, buildings, rivers or roads apart from that we can fire in most locations.

Are there any standard rules/regulations which must be followed when having fireworks at your event? 

Fireworks displays (except on certain exception nights like New Years Eve) have to be finished by 11pm.  Apart from that we will deal with all the legalities of firing the show.

Do you provide staff at the event?

We bring enough crew to ensure the safe firing of the show, however for larger events it is the clients responsibility to ensure the safety of the audience from a crowd management point of view.

What are the most popular fireworks you provide?

I can’t say there are any particular fireworks which are most popular, but its our creativity and show design which is what people keep coming back to use for.  Until you’ve seen the fireworks dance to the music with a custom sound track you will not truly understand how amazing fireworks displays can be!

What type of budget would you be looking at? 

The sky is the limit!  We have fired shows for the UKs richest for £15-45k, however we fire a number of traditional show from £595 and pyromusical shows from £1500.  Our minimum price is based on you getting a quality show you wont be disappointed with.  The expenditure is purely down to how much impression you wish to make.  The best thing is to speak to us and we can advise.

Can you explain what a pyromusical is?

A pyromusical show is one which is perfectly synchronised to the music.  This is something we have pioneered over the 20 years the company has been in operation and something we have won awards for.  We can expertly edit the music to suite the event and the fireworks and pin point where in the music we wish the fireworks to fire.  We use high quality PA systems to ensure the sound is the best quality it can be ensuring everything is spot on for the event.

We have all seen images of people spelling out words or drawing hearts in the air with sparklers, making a great photo opportunity. Do you recommend sparklers, and if so are there different styles?

Sparklers can make for a great photo opportunity but make sure you get ones that last long enough – there’s nothing worse than them all running out before the photographer gets his first shot!

Also buy one of those chefs or plumbers blow torches as you can light multiple sparklers at once and it speeds up the process no end.

As usual you will need to ensure children are supervised, sparklers can be incredibly hot even when they have stopped functioning.

What types of weather would prevent a fire display from going ahead?

We can fire in most weather conditions, we are used to firing in the worst weather that UK has to offer, however a strong wind directly towards the crowd will stop us firing.  If we think this might be the case we will assess alternative firing locations during the risk assessment of the site, its often better to move the audience around to another location rather than cancelling the show.

Anything else important to consider? 

Fireworks displays are not priced per minute as such, if you are trying to compare multiple companies don’t get fooled into thinking one company offering a £1,000 for 10 minutes is offering better value for money than a company offering a £1,000 show for five minutes.  The aim of the game is to provide the most impressive show, and spreading the fireworks out over a longer period of time is not the way to do this.

While they’re sure to make your big day go off with a bang, always make sure to do your research when selecting a company to assist with fireworks for your event. If you have any questions for us, we’re always on hand and happy to help!

For more information about Sonning Fireworks, check out their website here.

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