The River of Light 2016
Report by Madeleine Saghir, photographs by Patrick Trollope.
extravagant firework display was anticipated for bonfire night this year in
Liverpool, but on Saturday, 5 November 2016, many revellers who attended are
said to have left the event feeling disappointed. This was a very marmite
In the sky before the firework display
a dazzling display, with sparks spilled out of the planes' wing tips
against a dusk sky. This was a fantastic site that most people fully
enjoyed! Then came the bands before event took
to the water.
The event was put together by both Liverpool
City Council and Wirral Council, who had billed it as:- "The biggest Guy Fawkes display in the UK." The main
display was staged by champion
pyrotechnic experts Star
Fireworks, who currently hold
the title:- "British
Champions of Champions" after wining the National
Firework Competition this year.
Sadly, it seems that most of those attending
on the Liverpool City Centre side had funnelled into the Albert Dock, to watch
the fireworks, oblivious to other vantage points, that could see one our all of
the 3 different barges, used as the base for the displays, on the river Mersey.
The barges where evenly spread out mid river, with the 1st just off the
Woodside Ferry Terminal, 2nd near the Liverbuildings and the
3rd located just off the banks of Egremont, Wirral. In some locations a soundtrack was played in
conjunction with the fireworks, but some people, within those areas could not hear it and were upset
about this. The funnelling of the crowds lead meant places like the
Albert Dock became overcrowded, which meant a lot of people did not get a good view
of the fireworks. Some commented after that signs should have been clearer to
have avoided some of the issues they experienced and other seem to have expected
much, much more. However, before we start this was the 1st time ever such an event has been put on in
Liverpool and on the Wirral, so the Council's did not have a clear idea of how
many people would turn up.
What was amazing was the fact people from all over Merseyside,
and across the North West, had turned up to
watch the this free firework event. In fact numbers are estimated as being over the numbers who came for
the 3 Queens and probably just as high as the Giants! This in itself is a tremendous result.
The numbers of those who came from outside the area could be clearly
seen after, with long traffic jams and queues for trains and busses. Even the
shops, food and entertainment establishments, on both sides of the water, where
inundated with people wanting to get served. This in turn has given the leisure
and retail community a huge and much needed boost.
The fireworks at the event were spectacular, and a lack of space for a good view
might have meant they did not get as good a review as they should have got, but
the side entertainment did. There were other forms of
entertainment such as music from a band of drummers who were accompanied by fire
dancing dancers, performing throughout the night. The main group called:-
'Bring the Fire
Project,' who are a
collective of fire dancers, circus
skills teachers and flow arts promoters, differently stole the show.
We are told that they have been together for 1 year and 11 months, they put
on remarkable performance, combined. The performance was performed after just 3
rehearsals, which is extremely impressive.
A member from the band said:- "We formed to
express new musical styles including:- hip hop funk, soft reggae, and much more
influences. The band has added atmosphere to the event and has performed until a
couple of minutes before the fireworks were set off, which meant that there was
entertainment for spectators before the fireworks were launched."
To hear an interview with the performers, by
Madeleine Saghir, please click on the player above.
1 member of the crowd who had come from Southport to watch the fireworks said:-
"I feel like there has been too much of a build up
and I am not that impressed. I couldn't hear the music and did not get a good
view. The toilet facilities are bad."
However, another member of the crowd from
Hightown enjoyed the night and said:- "I've had a great evening, the
fireworks have been amazing and very special."
The responses to the event have been mixed, but all in all it has been a fairly
successful 1st attempt and they can learn from the mistakes made this year to
make it even bigger and better in 2017.
Considering the weather where far from the best conditions for the display, we
thought they did an amazing job.
This was a fantastic idea that needs to be
developed more. What do you think? Please email us your ideas and views about
this event, via:-
More photos will be in next weeks issue as
well, but for now, please enjoy these photographs in this weeks issue.
to see the full set of images...