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Posted: Jul 27, 2016 19:00:31   Edited by: Smoke

Please post here your personal choice and/or jury predictions for the winners of 2016 here! As always, some reasoning would be interesting to go along with your choices, but it is, of course, not necessary!

Trav.


Posted: Jul 28, 2016 01:48:00

My official 2016 ranking:

1. Spain
2. Switzerland
3. Sweden
4. USA
5. Chile
6. Canada

Almost all competitors presented a good display. However, I'd add Spain 2016 to my personal list of best and most memorable displays of all times.

Jury predication:

1. Spain
2. Sweden
3. Switzerland
(or the order of my personal ranking)


Posted: Jul 28, 2016 06:51:25   Edited by: fredbastien

The 32nd edition of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition already comes to a close.

Once again this year, all fireworks fans should tip their hats to the organizers of the competition, more specifically the technical director Paul Csukassy (as well as its local pyro crew), and the competition director Martyne Gagnon, who now has 20 years of service for La Ronde and the fireworks competition. A jury of 19 people were in charge to assess these displays and were supervised by Lynda Normand and Denis Lono who spent a lot of time to select, to manage and to supervise them, on top of there regular job assignments. We should also acknowledge the contestants for countless hours of hardwork spent to design and to setup these displays.

A long-term trend has continued this year, as the opening of the event has been pushed back to July 2nd, the latest beginning in the competition history. As I already wrote in another thread, here, I believe it should be considered to reschedule the event, beginning in late July up to the Labor Day weekend, or so. My rationale is that the “festival market” is less competitive in the second half of the summer, and early sunset would provide opportunity to schedule the fireworks at 9:30pm (or even 9:00pm), which may please to a larger audience.

Since about 15 years, media coverage of this event is almost nonexistent. I suspect that it is an issue which impacts the value of the sponsorship and which needs to be prioritized in forthcoming years. In the meantime, we are indebted to Paul Marriott and Mylène Salvas who have voluntarily devoted time to collect and to deliver relevant information for each display. Once again this year, it was a pleasure to share time, excitement and opinions with Paul, Mylène, STL and Ryguy2008, among others. Furthermore, many forum readers who can’t attend the shows enjoy Bob Burch’s famous videos of the displays. I don’t know him as well as those I just mentioned, but I am aware of his passion of fireworks photography and long-time attendance. Especially this year, I believe that we should really acknowledge his contribution.

It is my opinion that the “3S” – Switzerland, Spain and Sweden – did the best shows and shall be on the podium. I also believe that the Spanish and Swedish shows were superior given the complexity of their design and how these designers made the most of the location. I think that we had one outstanding extravaganza (Spain) due to the size of the show and the level of difficulty related to a performance relying on so many single-shot devices, as Paul explained in his report about Ricasa ; and two excellent displays (Sweden and Switzerland). Chile and United States offered very good performances, while I suspect the Canadian team didn’t achieve the show it hoped to do.

As I posted detailed comments on each display and a more detailed rationale, at the conclusion of my comment on the Swedish show, for ranking between Ricasa and GFF, I am not going to summarize them in this thread. My personal ranking is :

1. Ricasa (Spain) (very tight)
2. Göteborgs FyrverkeriFabrik (Sweden) (very tight)
3. Sugyp (Switzerland)
4. Western Enterprises (United States)
5. Pirotécnia SPA (Chile)
6. Big Bang Fireworks (Canada)

Usually, an important predictor of the official results is the position of each contestant in the competition schedule (see my last year post, here for statistics on this issue). Being among the last contestants is strongly correlated with a place on the podium. However, with only six contestants and what appears to my eyes as a significant gap between the “3S” (Switzerland, Spain, Sweden) and other entrants, I don’t believe the order of appearance is going to have a significant impact this year.

I heard diverse comments about the Spanish display and I assume that this diversity also exist among jury members. It didn't make a consensus and even the Swiss display may have been preferred. So the final result is difficult to predict. However, regarding some aspects, I found the GFF show more effective than the Ricasa’s one.

So my jury prediction is :

1. Göteborgs FyrverkeriFabrik (Sweden)
2. Ricasa (Spain)
3. Sugyp (Switzerland)

My preference and my prediction for the best soundtrack, which is awarded by the competition organizers as far as I know, is Pirotécnia SPA (Chile). It was, by far, the most sophisticated soundtrack of the competition this year. I can’t imagine how difficult it may be to mix almost 100 segments, as well as all the research to find multiple versions of the same songs or musics.



I cross my fingers every year with hope that we will get one more edition to enjoy. It is confirmed by officials that we will have a 33rd edition as part of the Montreal 375th anniversary (incidentally, it should allow me to attend my 200th show on-site!). We may hope that our favourite summer event benefits of special funding opportunities and goes back to a 10-show line-up. I also guess that the Jacques-Cartier bridge, a Montreal icon which is the backdrop of all fireworks displays, will join the celebration. The bridge will receive a sophisticated lighting package, designed to “live” with the city (click here for the video concept art). Who knows: the bridge may feature the national colours of each contestant and assist the Ferris Wheel (which would also benefit of a new lighting package) with the countdown.

It is also my wish that the Feux des étoiles 2017 will pay a tribute to a popular music group from the area, who has celebrated Montréal in his songs and whose popularity transcends generations. Beau Dommage looks to me as a natural choice. After all, the competition is held Du milieu du pont Jacques-Cartier!

Fred


Posted: Jul 28, 2016 09:06:01

Salut tout le monde

Sans tambours ni trompettes, voici mes prédictions

1- Suède
2-Espagne
3-Suisse
4- USA

Trame sonore: Chili

Pour les Jupiter je dois mettre un bémol car je n'ai pas vu la prestation de la firme Espagnole Ricasa en direct de la Ronde alors que j'y étais pour le formidable feu Suédois.La lutte sera serrée entre ces deux excellentes firmes.
Je suis toujours passionné part l'Art pyrotechnique. J'espère que l'an prochain l'organisation reviendra à 8 pays en compétition.
A l'instar de Fred , je déplore aussi l'absence quai totale des médias pour cet événement .
S'il se produisait un drame , un accident pendant un feu , tu les verrais s'amener j'en suis certain. C'est le malheur qui les fait vivre pas le bonheur de tous ces spectateurs qui par dizaine de milliers assister aux spectacles partout autour de Montréal. Eux réalisent bien que nous sommes vraiment choyés de retrouver ce festival à toutes les années.

Roger


Posted: Jul 28, 2016 13:51:33   Edited by: Enkil

Fred, regarding the scheduling of the fireworks, I know it would be beneficial for the average attendant if they start at, say, 9pm, but from a business perspective, I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for La Ronde. The month of July and fireworks days happen to attract the largest attendance. If I were running La Ronde, I would prefer if people stay longer in the park until the fireworks are launched. The more time they spend in the park, the better (more potential for profits I'm assuming).

Our home park is a bit unusual since we're probably the only Six Flags park that closes its rides at 11:30pm in July, even if it's not every day. The lineup for major attractions fill up quickly after the fireworks end, even though a lot of people are leaving the park (and getting stuck in traffic).

Starting at 10pm is personally not an issue, but I guess that's because public transit is so convenient for me, with the exception of the horrible traffic we have this year on the bus lane on Saint Helen's Island!


Posted: Jul 29, 2016 04:37:27   Edited by: Lars

I am very much in doubt whether I should post any predictions, since I only had Bobs videos to judge by. Though they are great it's never gives the same experience as being there

I think the most significant difference between GFF and Ricasa is the soundtracks which worked quite differently with me - it was really two different experiences. When GFF got the silver back in 2010 they did a mindblowing show but Fireworksspectaculars (who won the gold) had a quite different choice of music and I think that was probably one of the reasons for the outcome.

I have the greatest respect for both Martin and Ricard and believe they are raising the bar and making invaluable contributions to the competitions they participate in. And when anyone are writing anything but nice words can only be justified when measuring the show against the unique "montreal-scale" which is the highest in the world

I could easily be blaimed for not being sufficiently independent so I will not post my personal preferences this year...

However my jury predictions are:

1. Ricasa
2. GFF
3. Sugyp

It's really a shame Ricasa and GFF has to compete since they both deserve a Gold jupiter - in my opinion both shows are at least equal or above the same level as gold jupiter winners from the last few years


Posted: Jul 29, 2016 06:21:23

Was a great season for Montreal! All shows could have been in the top 3 in the past few seasons except for the Canadian show which I think had logistic problems. It's funny that they were supposed to have home court advantage As said, I had to stop giving my opinions on the shows because we ourselves are also competing with these teams in other festivals so its best i keep my opinions to myself However it's always fun to predict the winners.

Here's my personal choice:

1st - Spain - Ricasa
2nd - Sweden - GFF
3rd - Chile - Pirotecnia Spa

My Jury prediction:

1st - Spain - Ricasa
2nd - Sweden - GFF
3rd - Switzerland - Sugyp

Best Regards,
Vander


Posted: Jul 29, 2016 10:59:15

Mes prédictions pour les Jupiter sont:
1. Espagne
2. Suède
3. Suisse

Mais, j'ai l'impression que ça risque d'être serré entre la Suède et l'Espagne et que le jury penchera pour ce tableau:
1. Suède
2. Espagne
3. Suisse

Si l'Espagne gagne l'or, je serais super content, car leur performance était à couper le souffle! J'en ai encore des frissons rien qu'à regarder à nouveau le tableau du Concerto no 1 de Tchaikovsky!


Posted: Jul 29, 2016 17:12:39   Edited by: fireworksforum

My personal choices:

1- RICASA - Spain
2- GFF - Sweden
3- Sugyp - Switzerland
4- SPA - Chile
5- Western - USA
6- Big Bang - Canada

Soundtrack: SPA

Green award: none of them as far as I can see as they all used a lot of plastic one-shots

My Jury prediction:

Gold - RICASA
Silver - GFF
Bronze - Sugyp
Soundtrack - SPA

For sure it's very close between RICASA and GFF. For Martin's sake I hope I'm wrong and for Ricardo's sake, I hope I'm right! Both are well deserving of the top spot! Sugyp definitely deserves to be on the podium too, but the flames moved them down a notch in my mind.

Paul.


Posted: Jul 29, 2016 21:50:06   Edited by: ryguy2008

My personal ranking:
1. Switzerland
2. Sweden
3. Chile
4. Spain
5. Canada
<not seen>: USA

Bit of insight (since I didn't always have time to write comments):
- Switzerland, to me, had the best theme, most unique effects (ex: the happy face with one shots) and enjoyable display.
- Chile ranks very high due to the vibrant colours and outstanding soundtrack.


Jury Predictions:
Gold: Spain
Silver: Sweden
Bronze: Switzerland

Soundtrack: Chile

Hard to believe we're already at the end of the season. It definitely went by quickly. It is reassuring to know that the competition is already scheduled to return next year.

The first show that I ever saw at La Ronde was Melrose Pyrotechnic's "Reel Love" in 2009. That show has had me hooked ever since. So, I'm looking forward to a great show tomorrow to close the season.


Posted: Jul 30, 2016 01:08:57   Edited by: Smoke

Yet another fireworks season has come and gone, but, like in last year’s (2015) case, I believe it felt even faster due to the combination of the latest start date in the competition’s history (July 2nd), and a closing date that was even earlier, so the duration of the 2016 edition was very compressed, not even lasting over a full month (all displays confined to July). Interestingly, near-similar to 2015, the opening evening was somewhat less enjoyable due to the unseasonably cool and windy conditions present at the time. Ultimately, despite the short nature of the season, it turned out to be an interesting one under several respects.

Firstly, though, I would like to say that it has been much more difficult this year to travel to the area. Traveling from all the way from the SW West Island is already difficult, but because of the nature of this year’s construction activities, notably on the Turcot interchange, we were forced to take other venues to reach the same destination. Ultimately, returning home has been even worse because of the way traffic has been directed near Notre-Dame and Rene-Levesque Streets. This was an important delaying factor since 2015, as traffic became more often diverted away from the Ville-Marie tunnel, but since the construction projects of this year on the interchange, even if the tunnel was not inaccessible, we would not be able to make use of it, anyway. Furthermore, we discovered that our usual parking lot was closed off this year due to a planned installment of, presumably, a small office building or apartment of some sort. A similar project prevented us from parking in our previous parking lot six years ago, in 2010, and we were then forced to park where we used to, that is, up to the end of last year. Luckily, we found another parking lot not too far away, but I question how long that will last!

Just to say a few words about the weather. Although only eight fireworks nights, we managed to observe weather conditions that had a similar degree of variability to what was witnessed in 2015. The absolute coolest nights occurred during the opening and Canadian displays, but the opening felt purely the chilliest due to the lack of higher humidity, and because of breezy westerly winds taking place concurrently. At the other end of the spectrum, the warmest conditions occurred during Sweden’s show (much like they did for the final entrant of 2015 – France 2015), followed by Chile’s evening. The most pleasant conditions were present during the American display, with a sufficient balance of moisture, temperature and wind that satisfied most preferences held by many. The Spanish observed the highest humidity of all the displays. Unfortunately, two of the displays met with unsettled weather during actual presentation dates, including the Canadian display and Spanish display, with the Spanish facing particularly significant rainfall from strong to severe thunderstorms during the early-afternoon. Thunderstorms/convective rainfall did threaten the Swedish display, and distant lightning was observed nearly half an hour after the show, towards the East end. Rainfall never coincided with the 10:00-10:30 p.m. time frame for any display, however. Winds were also fairly frequently blowing toward the La Ronde audience this year, with smoke heading in that direction for four of the eight displays, with one of these four more partially (Sweden). On other nights, we saw the smoke move in other directions, including anomalously once moving nearly directly away from the audience (during Canada’s display), and once towards the bridge (Chile’s display). Strong winds never once threatened any show this year, but the breeziest conditions occurred during the opening. By contrast, Switzerland observed the weakest winds.

Although I have internally complained somewhat about the shortness of the season these last two years, seeing the big picture, I would like to express my thanks to the organizers for making this competition possible again for yet another year altogether. Indeed, we must always remember how fortunate we are to see such displays, so just knowing that competition continues to remain lively is good news in itself. Of course, I also thank Paul for keeping the forum alive and active, and for, yet again, taking the time to provide us with detailed inside information concerning each display! As stated previously, I similarly thank Mylene for all of her work in conducting interviews and bringing us additional information! My thanks to Bob Burch for kindly supplying video footage of the displays on-site for a seventh consecutive year! Additionally, I thank Fred for so kindly sharing with us his full-length videos of the Canadian and Spanish displays! Many thanks to all of our photographers (Bob, Rachel, and Mylene) for continuously sharing their spectacular photos this year! Finally, although it has most certainly been quite possibly the quietest year for montrealfireworks.com, I extend my thanks to all forum members for their continued participation on the forum and continuing to share all of their thoughts and insightful commentaries of each display (and in other discussions)!

Below are my summaries for each display, highlighting what I assessed as strong and weak aspects of the shows. Following this, you will find my personal predictions for the jury's decision, as well as my personal choices for the winners. Afterwards, for the fun of it, I have added subsequent sections for various criteria (such as best choice of music, best finales, best sequencing, etc.) and place those participants best suited for each in accordance with my personal tastes.

Participating country: Chile
Company: Pirotecnia SPA
Date of presentation: July 6th, 2016

Typical July-like weather made an appearance for Chile’s performance, with late-evening temperatures of 26-27 C (the second warmest fireworks evening), high humidity and light NNW to pure northerly winds. This meant that rapidly accumulating smoke would be blowing towards spectators on the bridge closest to the park, and eventually towards the Old Port. An isolated cluster of non-severe thunderstorms also took form by late-afternoon but remained largely North of the firing site, just over the East end.

This was a fantastic performance produced by the Chilean team, especially considering a first-time display in this competition! Indeed, while expectations were not overly high, this performance turned out to be really engaging, immersive and offered some very interesting sequences, at times. The color richness was, in my mind, the greatest of all competitors this year, often appearing in very delicate and beautiful mixtures. The quality of the materials used was superb. Synchronization was good, but it became more intricate into the second half of the display. This display offered the best finale of the year, as well, for me, in addition to the overall most enjoyable musical selection. The theme of “A Musical Ride”, however, was appeared to be a little too simple and sometimes vaguely highlighted, leading to a more general conceptual and pyromusical design. I also found that the segments, likely due to being extremely numerous, felt rushed from one to the other, and so transitions and emotional feelings were not always seamless, which, to me, affected the integrity of the show. The choreography also appeared highly variable, at times, from a basic music-fireworks connection to a more creative one, even within some individual segments.

Overall, a fantastic introductory display by Chile, but the lesser degree of complexity, relative to the higher standards we have observed later in the season, may prevent them from being awarded with a Jupiter. That said, I suspect the nature of the engaging musical selection could very well earn them the Soundtrack Award.

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 13.5/15
Pyromusical design = 24.5/30
Technical design = 23/30
Soundtrack = 14/15
Synchronization = 8.5/10

Total: 83.5/100

Participating country: Canada
Company: Big Bang Fireworks
Date of presentation: July 9th, 2016

Steady rainfall and embedded non-severe thunderstorms made an appearance during the early-afternoon period, keeping temperatures unseasonably cool (17-18 C during the evening), but the air was also nearly saturated, causing high humidity at those temperatures. The saturated air and high humidity meant that smoke from the Canadian display would be accumulating rapidly, but light ENE winds gently pushed the smoke virtually directly away from the La Ronde audience, but, consequently, towards those spectators on Notre-Dame Street nearest to the bridge.

Unfortunately, fairly significant technical problems occurred in this display, in part associated with earlier weather conditions. Indeed, there had been many sections where asymmetry became increasingly prevalent, notably visible with the low-level sequences. There were, nevertheless, sections of this display worth highlighting. In particular, those bright flames that emerged during “Ring of Fire” offered some of the most memorable moments of the season, and the sequence of girandolas that introduced the finale. I thought the theme, “The Wild West”, was well represented (I think the most tenacious theme of all competitors) and had the most overall relevant musical choice. Indeed, the display had a real western feel to it, and some of the songs were actually quite enjoyable. Product quality, based on what was seen, was very good. Although it is difficult to criticize the display due to the technical problems, one negative point that comes to mind is the overall monochromatic nature of the display.
It was a real pity that the show suffered with these technical problems, for it appeared that there was so much potential for representation of the selected theme! It is difficult to grade this display, but based on what was seen, my scoring looks like this:

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 11.5/15
Pyromusical design = 23.5/30
Technical design = 22/30
Soundtrack = 13/15
Synchronization = 7.5/10

Total: 77.5/100

Participating country: Switzerland
Company: Sugyp
Date of presentation: July 16th, 2016

Comparatively more July-like weather made an appearance for the return of the Swiss team. Evening temperatures of 22-23 C, along with borderline moderate to high humidity, had been present. However, winds were very weak but were blowing very gently toward the La Ronde audience. The extreme variability of wind direction that is common under very light to calm winds was exemplified with the local observations. For example, on Notre-Dame Street, winds appeared to be coming from the SSW, but at La Ronde, winds were evidently westerly. However, given the extensive periods of serenity in this display, overall pyrotechnical material, and combined with lower humidity levels than what was observed during Hong Kong/China 2015, for example, prevented excessive smoke build up, despite very light to occasionally calm winds and fairly high humidity.

This was one of the more highly-anticipated displays of the 2016 season. Although a very different pyromusical design than their 2012 entry, I thought that it was extremely well executed, even in the absence of key elements that comprised the 2012 display (such as the pyroplane). This display raised the level of complexity by this point in the competition, where we had seen many moments of elaborate choreography, and many of the soundtracks were well represented through the pyrotechnics. Some of the most important sequencing occurred along low-level, where we saw some spectacular firing patterns with angled mines, gerbs and flares, as well as one-shots. This was notably most exemplary in the “Beautiful Creatures” segment, which, I thought, demonstrated some of the best sequencing observed this season. The theme, “Switzerland e-motions”, was unique and was very well portrayed. Throughout the display, we would see an arrangement of colorful comets that would eventually form various facial expressions, which often stunned the audience! The thundering nautical shells were extremely memorable, and the “bunny rabbit shells” (or Mickey Mouse) also led to reactions of astonishment. The salutes-only segment was likely my absolute favorite segment of the season, as it was so frightfully noisy and so luminous! This really did simulate a late-evening thunderstorm with vigorous lightning! The soundtrack was well edited and allowed for the correct emotional feelings attempted to be conveyed in the display. Product quality was excellent, and there was a nice array of effects used. However, some of the songs used did not feel overly connected to the theme, and the overall color selection appeared reserved, including during the finale. I was also expecting a little more from the finale since it felt eclipsed by earlier segments. There had also been some repetition with some firing patterns, mostly with respect to the way the upper-level shells were appearing in several segments.

Overall, a strong contender for a Jupiter award this year.

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 13.5/15
Pyromusical design = 26/30
Technical design = 27/30
Soundtrack = 12/15
Synchronization = 9/10

Total: 87.5/100

Participating country: United States
Company: Western Enterprises
Date of presentation: July 20th, 2016

Under the influence of high pressure, the most pleasant and ideal weather conditions of the season made an appearance for the returning American team, who suffered with weather-related problems on July 17th, 2010, when severe thunderstorms (the most severe that year) were in the area through the afternoon period. Temperatures of 22-23 C and moderate humidity took place, along with light SW winds (11-14 km/h), helping mildly accumulating smoke to drift fairly quickly to the right of the La Ronde audience. Quite possibly the largest crowd of the season was present for this display.

This was a much stronger performance delivered by Western Enterprises, with a much more tenacious display. The display took on a very different approach than the one in 2010, and its design was clearly much more tenacious and influential. Indeed, we saw many more moments of tighter synchronization attempts and pronounced creativity. The transitions in rhythm and pace were more defined, as well, and I really appreciated the one-shots, especially during the introduction of “Reflection of Earth”. The theme favored a much more colorfully-rich performance, and we did, in fact, see one of the most vibrant color selections of the season, often formulating interesting mixtures (such as in “Fix My Eyes” and “Dance Into The Light”) while highlighting very good product quality. Whereas the thematic connection was evident, its nature seemed overly simplified and perhaps restricted a higher degree of complexity in the display. There were many moments of fantastic choreography, but at other times, representation felt like it was more lacking to highlight certain musical elements. In addition, there were no nautical devices used in this display, and I thought that they would eventually appear later in it since their presence would have been appropriate in a selected few segments as we approached the penultimate section. I also thought that the soundtrack, which was mostly enjoyable, would have benefitted more from additional editing to make the transitions appear more seamless. There were points where I felt that it was difficult to take in conveyed emotions accordingly before a sudden jump to another segment that was more filled with energy. It was also too bad that the technical problem prevented the finale from fully firing in the way it was intended.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and much more successful display than the 2010 performance, but I feel that the more simplified design, like Chile, may cause the American team to miss the podium this year.

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 13/15
Pyromusical design = 24/30
Technical design = 25/30
Soundtrack = 12.5/15
Synchronization = 8.5/10

Total: 83/100

Participating country: Spain
Company: Ricasa
Date of presentation: July 23rd, 2016

Isolated clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms developed ahead of a secondary cold front boundary and attendant shortwave trough, making the Spanish display being the second of the season to be affected by early-afternoon heavy rainfall, but this time more significantly. Isolated convective showers and thunderstorms also persisted until just a little before sunset, but skies cleared out further by mid-evening, leaving mostly clear conditions (a few isolated clusters of cumulus and cirrus). The thunderstorms, however, did cause humidity to increase to even higher levels for the remainder of the day, which, combined with somewhat light westerly/WNW winds, did have an effect on the Spanish display with respect to smoke accumulations.

This was a simply outstanding display put on by the Spanish, and I am very happy to see that the severe weather from earlier did not induce significant technical problems (as what more likely occurred with the Canadians). This display quickly showed evidence that it would very likely be technically complex, especially given the number of one-shots and cues specified in Paul’s reports previously! Yes, we did, in fact, see many dramatic moments in this display, highlighted by often highly sophisticated choreography and, thus, pyromusical design. Virtually every firing angle was considered, and the single-shots were extremely elaborate and were most exemplary during the “Number 1 Piano Concerto” segment, easily being the most coordinated segment of the season (and one of the most in the competition’s history). Many segments, including the opening, were extremely well structured and prepared for representation, often using the correct effects to highlight certain elements that comprised most soundtrack. Product quality was very good, and the arsenal of pyrotechnic material was quite diversified. The kamuro nautical shells were also great, but the smoke tended to drown them out quickly to have a more dramatic effect, and they were not nearly as dramatic as Switzerland’s! The musical choices were mostly enjoyable, with some having a real theatrical atmosphere to them, which highlighted the theme of “Cinemagia”. For me, however, some of the soundtrack seemed out of place with the theme, and while the theme appeared evident, its essence seemed more elusive, at times. The display was also more reserved with its overall color selection, which was a surprise for me since the theme allowed for a deeper exploration of larger ranges of color, including for the duration of the finale. The finale itself was powerful, but it needed to be a little more enduring, and, again, more color. It was easily my second favorite finale of the season, though, behind Chile’s! More significantly, I thought that some of the songs needed to be shortened (others lengthened), particularly the piano segment, to leave room for potentially other relevant songs. All that said, I am confident that the Spanish team will appear on the podium this year.

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 13/15
Pyromusical design = 26/30
Technical design = 28/30
Soundtrack = 13/15
Synchronization = 10/10

Total: 90/100

Participating country: Sweden
Company: Göteborgs FyrverkeriFabrik AB
Date of presentation: July 27th, 2016

Very warm conditions (the warmest of the season: 27-28 C during the evening) made an appearance for this highly anticipated display. Winds were typically coming out lightly from the SW (WSW just a little above the surface), causing smoke to push towards right-hand to sometimes central (smoke from higher-level shells) sections of the La Ronde audience. High humidity also meant that smoke would be accumulating rapidly. An isolated cluster of thunderstorms also formed nearly half an hour after the conclusion of the display, just over the tip of the East end.

This was a very successful display, as most predicted it would be. There was a great diversity of effects and quality products to represent each of the segments, and the degree of color richness was simply superb, among the best this season. The display featured some of the greatest complexity this year, often using interesting firing angles that enriched the conceptual design of the display. The sky ladder structure had been utilized very effectively and added an interesting dimension to the display by amplifying low-level sequences. We also saw some exquisite use of single-shot devices to highlight key components of most of the soundtrack. The soundtrack itself was largely appropriate, enjoyable and was, overall, one of the most consistent with a respective theme this year. Transitions were very effective and quite clean! I thought that, however, some of the soundtrack could have been shortened to allow for other additional songs to be integrated to the display for more thematic tenacity, as well as more opportunities to accordingly evoke more emotions. Later on in the performance, drooping effects (in the form of horsetails) started to become a little redundant, and I would have liked to see more consistency with the level of detail during the introduction of the “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” segment.

Overall, a great display by team Sweden, and, along with Spain, there is a strong chance that this will be the Gold Jupiter winner!

Quality of pyrotechnical pieces = 14/15
Pyromusical design = 28/30
Technical design = 26/30
Soundtrack = 13.5/15
Synchronization = 9.5/10

Total: 91/100

I really enjoyed and was moved by all displays in unique ways, and all had great product quality. The splash of vibrant colors from the Chilean and American displays were really dazzling to watch, and both were filled with plentiful energy, enjoyable creativity and sequences. Chile also had the strongest finale, in my mind, and the most enthralling overall musical selection. That said, the complexity of the Chilean and American displays was limited, and the soundtracks in both needed, in my humble opinion, to be more carefully refined, edited and balanced for effective transitions and, therefore, a more tenacious pyromusical design. The Canadian display, despite its technical problems and lack of diversified coloring schemes, had an enjoyable approach due to a very explorative and well-represented theme (largely through the soundtrack). Switzerland, and more notably Spain, also had less of an arrangement of color, but the displays featured many complex and creatively choreographed segments that encompassed the designated themes. The one-shots in both displays were very well executed, but they were especially vivid with Spain and very frequent throughout their display. Switzerland produced very creative moments, as well, particularly the manner in which multiple segments concluded with facial expressions constructed with colorful comets, and the musical selections were more balanced in the amount of time allotted to each song. The theme, in its entirety, was also a little more understood for me than it was with Spain, although, like Spain, it became vague, at times, with some of the music chosen. The character of Spain’s display was technically more intricate and offered many more sections with highly sophisticated coordination while not being overly monotonous. Though both Switzerland and Spain had some repetition (in different ways), it was a little more prevalent with Switzerland’s firing patterns, giving a sense of less complexity. Sweden had a more significant selection of color, as compared to both the Spanish and Swiss displays, and I felt that its pyromusical design was somewhat more superior, mostly because of more consistency and enjoyment with the overall musical selection relative to its theme. Although Spain had a high degree of precision within its choreography, Sweden still achieved great complexity and synchronization with its design, and the show felt more complete somehow, perhaps because it featured a greater arsenal of effects and coloring schemes, and perhaps due to the show feeling a little less redundant. It may also be that the clarity of the theme came across as being more flexibly conveyed with Sweden, as compared to that of the Spanish. I also felt increasingly excited with more of Sweden’s and Switzerland’s segments than with Spain’s, and Sweden’s ideas from one segment to another mostly kept the display fresh.

As a result, I am strongly considering Sweden, Spain and Switzerland for the Jupiter awards. Given my commentaries, this is what my predictions and personal choices look like:

Trav’s jury prediction:

1st: Sweden
2nd: Spain
3rd: Switzerland

Green Achievement Award: I honestly cannot say!

Trav’s personal choice:

1st: Sweden
2nd: Spain
3rd: Switzerland

Best choice of music:

1. Chile
2. Sweden
3. Spain
4. Canada

Most intriguing effects:

1. Sweden
2. Spain
3. Switzerland

Best quality products:

1. Sweden
2. Switzerland
3. Spain
4. Chile
5. United States

Highest color richness:

1. Chile
2. United States
3. Sweden

Best devised and represented theme:

1. Sweden
2. Switzerland
3. Spain

Best sequences:

1. Spain
2. Sweden
3. Switzerland
4. Chile
5. United States

Most powerful/energetic displays:

1. United States
2. Chile
3. Switzerland
4. Sweden

Best opening segment:

1. Sweden
2. Switzerland
3. Spain
4. Chile

Top conclusions:

1. Chile
2. Spain
3. Sweden

Trav.


Posted: Jul 30, 2016 11:32:44

I see that this year there seems to be a general consensus that it was a great year!!! Really looking forward to next year. I hope they bring back the stage though since it makes the intro look a little 'cheap'. The new lighting on the bridge will for sure enhance the experience!

My personal choices:

1) Spain
2) Sweden
3) Switzerland

My Jury prediction:

1) Sweden
2) Spain
3) Switzerland

- Dan
 

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