Festival Fireworks to be seen by 250,000

AROUND a quarter of a million revellers will watch tonight’s fireworks finale as the summer festival season finishes with a bang.
The fireworks in figuresThe fireworks in figures
The fireworks in figures

More than 400,000 fireworks, choreographed to live orchestral music, will light up the sky against the backdrop of the Castle.

The event – the largest fireworks concert of its type in the world – is set to be enjoyed by party-goers at vantage points across the Capital.

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This year the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Garry Walker, will perform classic favourites with a dance theme, including Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances, and Strauss’ Thunder and Lightning Polka, accompanied by a display created by international fireworks wizard, Keith Webb of Pyrovision.

Keith Webb prepares for tonight's display. Picture:
 Neil HannaKeith Webb prepares for tonight's display. Picture:
 Neil Hanna
Keith Webb prepares for tonight's display. Picture: Neil Hanna

Seven-year-old Taylor Grillo will push the big red button to kick-start tonight’s display after winning a competition.

Mr Webb said: “There will be a few surprises for the audience. They have all seen the show before and know we can throw fireworks up into the air.

“But the degree of choreography is going to surpass anything else we have done before and it’s going to be a unique visual experience.

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“Last year the 1812 (overture) demanded a lot of big, loud fireworks, but this year there will be a lot more symmetry and clever firing in terms of angles and shapes with a much greater use of Roman candles.

He added: “We are trying to get across a feeling of dance. Imagine a group in a 1750s building dancing to music.”

The best place to see the extravaganza will be in Princes Street Gardens but people will also be able to watch the display from all over the city. Traditionally, spectators gather to watch the spectacle on Calton Hill and in Inverleith Park.

The show, which starts at 9.30pm, will feature more than four tonnes of explosives.

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This is the 33rd annual end of Festival Fireworks Concert. The first was held in 1982.

The event was the brain-child of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and then Edinburgh International Festival Director Sir John Drummond. The vision behind the event was to widen the appeal of the Festival to local audiences.

Around 12,000 people will watch the Fireworks Concert from Princes Street Gardens, in the Ross Bandstand and throughout the gardens themselves. Last year around 250,000 people gathered in Princes Street and around Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians, to share in the spectacle.

This morning city schools will take part in a concert in the Ross Theatre, with the Edinburgh Secondary Schools Orchestra and members of SCO VIBE, a fusion orchestra for 11 to 18-year-olds.

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Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said: “The Fireworks Concert is an incredibly popular event, which will once again provide an extraordinary finale to the city’s summer festival season. We are delighted with the addition this year of two new concerts for younger audiences – the Family Concert yesterday and the Edinburgh Schools Concert, taking place in Princes St Gardens on the morning of the Fireworks Concert.

“Over 2000 school children applied to take part. We’re thrilled that events like these give many more young people the opportunity to engage with the Fireworks Concert.”

Virgin Money has confirmed support for three firework concerts until 2017.