Every year we get to the end of August with a little sadness. After a month of fun the festivals have all but come to and end. But on the other hand, the finale is well worth the wait. The final show piece event of the Edinburgh International Festival – the Fireworks Concert. A forty-five minute firework show launched from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle and set to the classical tones of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing live in Princes Street Gardens below. Spectacular doesn’t quite cover it.
This year we were asked if we would like to get a bit of a sneak peak behind the scenes in the build up to the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert and see what it takes for such an awesome show. Obviously we said yes.
Thousands of pyrotechnics, miles upon miles of cabling and impressive looking ignition boxes, the sheer volume of firepower sitting on the battlements is a sight to be seen. And all the more impressive when you realise that it is launched manually.
Not in a taper and fuse way, obviously, but because the SCO is playing live the ignition buttons need to be pressed manually – there are two pyrotechicians (the show is split into two sections, each of the two areas controlled by hand) and someone from the SCO with the score cuing them. It’s hard to believe, but as the conductor can change speed at any second there really is no other alternative with a live performance.
This year’s show takes place this evening – Sunday 31st August – at 9pm and you can watch it from most vantage points in the city. If you’re not in Princes Street Gardens to hear the music tune your radio in to Forth One, who will be broadcasting the whole performance live.