Dazzling display at River of Light festival

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Liverpool River of Light fireworks display 2017. Pic © Jasper Hunt JMU Journalism

Organisers of the River of Light festival have received widespread praise after a huge improvement on last year’s event was witnessed at the Albert Dock.

An estimated 50,000 visited the huge spectacle served up by Culture Liverpool down by the waterfront on Sunday, with the problems and complaints after the 2016 version put to rest.

The inaugural free show 12 months ago replaced some of the other regular public Bonfire Night displays on Merseyside, such as at Newsham Park and Sefton Park. It was condemned by many over the queues, and people not being able to hear the music or even see the fireworks.

Culture Liverpool and the city council were determined to avoid a repeat this time, bringing in Titanium Fireworks Co, the same company which put on the London New Year’s Eve display.

A booming sound system and spectacular display, featuring a pre-show by Spark and the Katumba drumming band, with fire jugglers, was greeted with great enthusiasm on both sides of the Mersey, as spectators also lined the Wirral bank of the river to watch.

Local Julia Robbins, 23, told JMU Journalism: “It was good, I could actually see the fireworks this year and the music was really loud, plus there was a load more space. It was much better than last year.”

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Leeds resident Natalia Woods, 27, visited from Yorkshire. She told JMU Journalism: “The drummers were exciting and the fire dancing too. That was awesome to watch. I would love to see them again, actually. The fireworks were so much better than last year. I am glad I came all the way down and it was worth it.”

Liverpudlian, Jonathon Kelly, 26, enjoyed the finale, saying: “The fireworks were crazy, and Live and Let Die was a good choice of song.”

Liverpool Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “What an incredible show. The images from tonight will go around the world and will once again show off the city to millions. This has been a stellar year for events and gives audiences a taste of what to expect in 2018.”

Additional reporting by Tom Swift & Marcello Dotolo

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About Jasper Hunt, JMU Journalism