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 Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2016 Display Reviews —› Closing - Melrose Pyrotechnics reviews
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Posted: Jul 30, 2016 18:30:42

Although it is off-competition, feel free to post your reviews of the closing display here!



Posted: Jul 31, 2016 12:10:07   Edited by: Smoke

My footage of the closing display:


I was hoping for a much lengthier finale, but it was powerful for the time it lasted, and I loved the salutes!


Posted: Jul 31, 2016 14:12:58   Edited by: Enkil

The results were fair, and the display was decent, overall. Finale came suddenly and ended quickly, though. A few observations:

It would be great if we could get a little more than "neutral" displays for the opening and closing shows. I was hoping that the departure of Panzera would break this habit, but I still find that the displays are "neutral" and ordinary. Others may disagree with me, however!

Another strange thing is how Finale des Étoiles manages to attract massive amount of people. Yesterday was probably the largest crowd, and if I'm not mistaken, for the first time, all the seats were sold out. I'm not a fan of the idea of dedicating closing displays to international artists at all (doesn't do much to improve the displays or bring much to the theme, in my opinion), but yet it never fails to attract large crowds (larger than competitive/better displays...), or is it because it happens to be the final display of the season? A "brilliant" concept that works so well with the general public, nonetheless!

Posted: Jul 31, 2016 15:27:23

I really think that the final display of the year attracts the largest crowd simply because it's at the very end of July. At this time of year, it's the construction holiday, people are taking their vacations and we had perfect weather. Every year, as the season progresses, the weekend shows get busier and busier.

I really enjoyed this display! I thought that the conception was well done. The quotes from Elton John (translated to French) made the transitions between songs seamless. Likewise, the show was colourful with great shells and filled the area well. I saw regular connections between the choice of shells and what the song lyrics.

It was definitely better than a lot of competition displays that I've seen over the years.

Above all else, it was an enjoyable way to end a (very short) fireworks seasons. Hard to believe it's already done. That said, as others have mentioned, next year's season is already confirmed.

Posted: Jul 31, 2016 22:14:24

For a second year in a row, the Montreal International Fireworks Competition ended with a non-Panzera off-competition display. The American team of Melrose Pyrotechnics, winner of the Gold Jupiter in 2006 and Bronze Jupiter in 2009, designed this tribute to Elton John as part of the “Finale des étoiles” series, inaugurated in 2010. As there was no mention of competition technical director Paul Csukassy involvement in the soundtrack design, I assume that it was crafted by Melrose itself, in constrast with previous closing displays.

I thought it was a very good show. For sure, that was the most intensive use of nautical products this season. While Paul reported about the use of a 5th ramp, which is typically located toward the centre of the lake, they were actually three platforms located next to the third ramp. Various nautical products were launched from this location, with additional ones from other positions on ramp 3. Most notably, during the song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, we saw an amazing 25-second barrage of white nautical mines which gently erupted from the lake. Several carpets of flares filled the lake and nautical shells toward the end of the display.

As explained by Paul and Mylène following their interview, we say as many as 50 shells of 12 inches. Indeed, there were a lot of large shells combining different effects and shapes. Candles of meteor-headed comets appropriately characterized the Candle in the Wind segment, as did several blue products for I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues. I especially liked the Circle of Life part, which began (and ended) with a carpet of green nautical flares, and also featured shells of green falling leaves, shells with double rings of farfalles and z-cakes of tourbillons. This part came to a close with a circular chase of green electric comets launched from the fourth ramp.

The tempo of this pyromusical performance didn’t feature many variation, maybe not as many as a design would like to have. I guess that it was not an easy order to craft an entire show on Elton John musics, as most songs we heard had similar rhythms. Nonetheless, the pace of the performance increased significantly during Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting with a crescendo of crackling and salutes. The finale, on Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, was also powerful.


I provide some details about the award ceremony, which occured before the closing display, in another thread ( click here ). For a 2nd year in a row, the interlude between the ceremony and the start of the display took a new form. Rather than the usual Vangelis’s musics, a DJ from the local radio station The Beat FM 92.5 (which has sponsored a post-fireworks dance party in Fort Edmonton through the season) entertained the audience from the concrete area where the old control room used to be, right in the centre of the grandstands. I prefer the most quiet Vangelis interlude before regular shows, as it creates to my eyes a more dramatic atmosphere well suited for a competition. However, for the closing night, this highly energetic and very entertaining concept sounds perfect !


A tribute to a popular singer, the peak of the vacation season, a last opportunity to see an extravaganza from the Montreal competition and perfect weather conditions : all ingredients were mixed for a large attendance, possibly the most crowded day of the year at La Ronde. And with another well-attended event on Ste. Hélène Island the same day and ending approximately at the same time than the fireworks (music festival Osheaga), the public transport authority has posted signs that the regular bus service would resume only once reopened the Jacques-Cartier bridge. I assume that the plan was to move all public transit users from La Ronde to the Papineau – instead of Jean-Drapeau – metro station. Since the park was crowded and that the bridge doesn’t reopen before 11:15pm or so, I can only imagine how chaotic it was to leave the area immediately after the show. I was fortunate to be invited to the aftershow closing party and to benefit of a lift from STL, so I avoided it. Nonetheless, when my pyrofriends and me left the Salon des artificiers around 2am, several cars were still exiting the island.

In the “old times” of the competition, all tickets for the fireworks competition shows were often sold out, at their full price. There was no discount for season pass holders at the time. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the attendance has decreased and during many years, tickets were still available for all shows. It was a shame to see the grandsstands sometimes half empty, or so. In the 2000s, La Ronde began to provide discounted tickets for season pass holders, which helped to fill the seating area. The 2009 tribute to Cirque du Soleil, a special 45-minute displays held as part of the 25th edition, was the first “sold out” show since a long time. Then, with the introduction in 2010 of the “Finale des étoiles”, an annual tribute to one famous music group or artist, the closing off-competition shows are held in front of a capacity audience. As reported by Enkil, yesterday wasn’t an exception.

That brings the 2016 season to a close.


Posted: Jul 31, 2016 23:18:11

There is a trick I learned over the years on how to almost avoid the chaotic crowd on closing display days and still get to the metro station in a decent amount of time. As you walk towards the metro, avoid the second station entrance (the one on the Biosphere side). Go to the first entrance located on the Osheaga side (west side of the island). Go all the way to the back of the crowd/lineup and then try to walk straight towards the stairs and pool. From there, wait in line to get in. It should take less than 15 minutes to get in. This always works for me, but it may work better if you leave La Ronde at around 11:30pm.

Posted: Aug 1, 2016 10:21:00   Edited by: Smoke

I was also very pleased that the wind speeds and direction were largely cooperative for this closing display. Although light, speeds were just enough to push the smoke at a fast enough pace, and though the smoke was moving towards Notre-Dame street, it was moving to far left-hand sections (our left) of the street, in the direction of the Olympic Stadium, as opposed to where most people tend to congregate to watch the fireworks (closer to the bridge). Combined with the lower humidity levels, the display, too, was usually not overly active, so this also played an important role.

****Edit: We also similarly had a great degree of difficulty finding parking space around De Lorimier. Indeed, to our surprise, as compared to previous displays, all space was completely filled, even though we arrived there just slightly later than normal. That said, the manner in which people parked also did not help, with many vehicles parked in such a way that they occupy two parking slots instead of just one. Other regulars exclaimed similar feelings. A couple of girls, each with their own vehicles, mentioned that this was the first time that they have seen the area in that state this year. Someone else that arrived previously also had frustratingly expressed that "this is a real mess".

Yesterday morning (July 31st), I received that usual sinking feeling in the stomach when realizing that there are no more fireworks displays. That last photo that Fred shared really sums it up!


Posted: Aug 1, 2016 16:11:31

Excellent display by Melrose that closed out a good season. We certainly had some top-class shows in competition this year - it's actually a shame RICASA had to go head-to-head with GFF as they were both worthy of Gold in a normal year. Another year with largely good weather, except for the wind directions and smoke accumulations, but we've certainly had worse. The audience sizes also seemed to be good, too. Maybe not the 33,000 on-site that we used to get in the late 1990s (when such data was available), but the park always felt busy (though this made for some very frustrating queues for rides that Six Flags seriously needs to address. If clients are stuck queuing for an hour (or, in my case, 2 1/2 hours for the VR-featured Goliath), they are not spending money in the park. I know the flash-pass system mitigates this to an extent, but I think a better solution needs to be found. The ride loading times were very slow for some rides and, in the case of Le Monstre, broken cars on the trains greatly reduced capacity, especially as only one train per track was in use (rather than the two that's usual during the busy times [technically the ride can take 3 simultaneous trains per track, but we've never seen that at La Ronde] ).

Good to hear the 2017 Season is already confirmed and I heard hints that it might be special due to the celebrations for the 375th Anniversary of Montreal and the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.


Posted: Aug 1, 2016 20:41:17

this made for some very frustrating queues for rides that Six Flags seriously needs to address

You are right. And the lack of live entertainment, which typically remove people from the queue rides, doesn't help.

One more issue needs to be fixed : Six Flags must increase the number of seats and tables next to food locations. Since the replacement of the food court - whose size had been lowered over the years to accommodate catering facilities - by the Maison Rouge (which turns to be a seasonal attraction), there's a dramatic lack of space for people who buy food. As a result, it is now standard to see people seating on the ground or on the stones which border the landscape areas with their meal on their knees.

It is sad but the reality is that La Ronde no longer has the infrastructure to deal with attendance success.


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