Pyrotechnic fantasia

Twelve spectacular fireworks shows will light up the night skies over Macau 

2019 is a special year for Macau as it not only celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region but the 30th edition of the Macao International Fireworks Display Contest (‘the Contest’). 

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has invited twelve extraordinary world-class pyrotechnic teams to present twelve spectacular fireworks displays themed ‘Duo Celebrations for Macao’ on September 7, 13, 21, 28 and October 1 – China’s National Day – and October 5. For the first time in the history of the event, the Contest will fought over six fireworks nights. 

Fireworks were once one of the main industries of Macau. The first edition of the Contest, in 1989, showcased the displays of five international teams, since when the skies over Macau have been illuminated with spectacular pyrotechnic displays every Autumn. Over the years more than 100 professional international display teams have participated in this amazing competition. 

Spectators can witness the expertise and artistry of leading fireworks teams comprising this year of competitors from Malaysia, the Philippines, Portugal, Korea, the United Kingdom, Romania, South Africa, Canada, France, China, Japan and Australia. The twelve pyrotechnic teams will choreograph their 18-minute fireworks shows to the top-prize-winning song ‘Light your Fire’ as one of their background music scores, while the top entry of the last Trophy Design Contest has been chosen as the design of the actual trophies to be awarded to the winners of the 30th Fireworks Display Contest. 

Erupting on September 7, the Philippines takes on Malaysia. New competitor Blastmaster Sdn Bhd is a large provider of pyrotechnics in Malaysia, whose impressive portfolio includes the creation of the sounds and fireworks display at the KLCC and several other spots nationwide. Malaysia’s performance will be followed by two-time third-placed winner Philippines Platinum Fireworks Inc. competing this year in their sixth stunning performance. 

During Mid-Autumn Festival, Portugal and Korea will present a sparkling celebration over the water. As a traditional powerhouse, Portugal has figured in the top three on ten occasions. Right after Portugal comes another frequent contender in the Contest: Korean Daehan Fireworks Co. returns to Macau with an array of large-scale displays. 

European contestants the United Kingdom and Romania go head to head on the third week. It will be the third time that MLE Pyrotechnics Limited, representing the United Kingdom, has participated in the Contest. MLE Pyrotechnics Limited representative Ben Johnson told Macau Business that the company considers the Contest one of the most prestigious fireworks competitions in the world and that they love Chinese culture and spending time in this beautiful city.  

To echo the theme, the team will use single shots, slices and shells to pick out beats in the music. “We realise the importance of the lotus flower in Chinese culture and have picked music tracks around key elements that the lotus flower needs to survive,” he says. “We feel this approach is not often used in Macau because of the nature of the firing site and we feel by doing this it will give us an edge.” 

For the result, said Johnson, they will approach the competition with calm composure as “our hope is to execute our display safely and as planned. Whatever happens after that is a bonus!” 

Second-placed winner of 2016 – Romania Pyro-Technic Transilvania Srl. – returns to the city for the second time, having built up a brilliant portfolio of large-scale displays in Europe.  

Fireworks for Africa from South Africa and Canadian Feu d’Artifice Orion will assuredly thrill spectators with their amazing shows on September 28. The team from South Africa promises an array of rare colours, emotive moments and a huge finale in Macau. 

“We have done music that lifts you up, makes you want to dance and a fireworks design that embraces the music and makes you happy and want to celebrate this momentous occasion,” said a representative from Fireworks for Africa. 

The Canadian team will return with a pyro show titled ‘Dream travellers’.  

“We will cradle the crowd in the world of dreams accompanied by epic music where explosions of colour will fill the sky of Macau,” says Patrick Chandonnet of Feu d’Artifice Orion. “Let yourself be carried away by our most spectacular pyrotechnic effects. Like dreams, they are sometimes soft, sometimes intense. Come with us – and let’s go travel in the world of dreams!”   

One of the most anticipated shows will be staged on October 1, when two former champion teams from China and France will showcase a beautiful competition to celebrate China’s National Day. Last year’s champion Chinese team – Liuyang New Year Fireworks Trading Co., Ltd. – is all set to wow spectators again with an unprecedented performance to celebrate the 70th birthday of its motherland.   

“It’s truly an honour for us to represent China to join this special celebration,” says Mr. Tang of Liuyang New Year Fireworks Trading Co., Ltd. “Our performance comprises four parts. We will showcase an array of new elements such as lotus, number 20 and 30 in this performance.”   

French powerhouse SAS BREZAC, also Artifices, is a family-run business which has organised shows for many major events including the 50th anniversary of the independence of Indonesia. The team has won three first-place awards.  

On the night of the grand finale Japan and newbies Australia will together offer a sumptuous visual feast. It will be the fourth time that Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks has participated in the Contest. In order to create a better performance, the company insist quality is more important than quantity, says Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks’ spokesperson Kohei Ogatsu, who reveals that “the first song segments have lotus flower fireworks that we made [especially] for this contest.”  

Making their debut in Macau this year is Cardile International Fireworks from Australia, who carefully selected each firework and pyrotechnic item to complement its soundtrack.  

“Our soundtrack features a mixture of popular well-known tracks, and some beautiful orchestral pieces, reflecting the diverse and different pyrotechnic effects we are planning for the display,” says Jimmy Cardile of Cardile Fireworks. “Overall we’re delighted to put together a soundtrack and an exciting pyrotechnic performance that we feel will appeal to young and old. In light of this year’s celebrations, patterns, designs and colours resembling the lotus flower, the national flower of China, will feature in our display.”  

Adding even more fun and colour to the fireworks evenings, MGTO and the General Union of Neighbours Association of Macau will again jointly present the Fireworks Carnival next to Macau Tower from 5:00 pm. to 11:00 pm. 

Spectators are also encouraged to join workshops at Anim’Arte NAM VAN and on the Waterfront Promenade of One Central Macau and Wynn Macau. 

The 30th edition promises thrills and excitement like never before – join us as the city celebrates its rich history and prosperous future with a bang!