River of Light makes explosive return

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River of Light Festival 2018 from Liverpool waterfront. Pic © Orlaith Clinton JMU Journalism

Tens of thousands of spectators visited Liverpool and the Wirral’s waterfront for an evening filled with fireworks, dance performances, water shows and music at the River of Light Festival.

The display, lasting 15 minutes, dazzled the crowd with its array of colours, shapes and rhythm, with many spectators seemingly thrilled with the show.

In 2016, the evening came under fire for its long queues, poor music quality and difficulty to see the explosions, but it restored its reputation somewhat with a successful event last year.

Liverpool City Council invited Titanium Fireworks, the firm responsible for The Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve display and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, back for a second time after their performance 12 months ago.

Darryl Fleming, the director responsible for the design and delivery of the show, told JMU Journalism: “Liverpool is a great city and of course we are absolutely delighted to be asked to come up here by Liverpool City Council to put on the River of Light show.

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“This is the second year that we are here and were really looking forward to delivering another fantastic display for the great people of this great city.

“After we had their briefing, we looked at the feasibility of delivering a large pyro firework show on the river and we gave them our recommendations.

River of Light Festival 2018 from Woodside, Birkenhead. Pic © Harry Leahey JMU Journalism

“We told them what they needed to do in order to deliver a spectacular show and, of course, they are relying on our expert professional opinion to deliver that.

“There was a lot of pressure to ensure that it worked, but we have been involved with some pretty large-scale events so we feel confident in our abilities.

“If we are asked to come back by Liverpool City Council we will be delighted.”

Paul Knapton, who was in the crowd last night, told JMU Journalism: “I absolutely loved the River of Light. It was amazing. It was yet another event which brings this great city together in a divided Brexit Britain.

“Thanks to the giants, my parents are falling in love with Liverpool and I think they will definitely be coming from Yorkshire next year to watch the fireworks.”

Twitter: Orlaith Clinton

Speaking about how the firm picked up the mantle after the poor display two years ago, Mr Fleming said: “It was a lot of pressure. We were asked to look at the show and the overall concept and to provide a feasibility for Liverpool City Council.

Twitter: Lisa Kernjak

Twitter: Harry Leahey

About Orlaith Clinton, JMU Journalism