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Stage Pyrotechnics for Live Music Concerts and Festivals.

Andy Robertson

When stage pyrotechnics are used as part of any live show it will add a special wow factor adding to the experience and atmosphere for event goers. Incorporating any kind of pyrotechnics into a performance is not just simply using fireworks it’s a complex planning process that requires experience and technical ability. 

Not any contractor can supply and coordinate a pyrotechnics show, there are strict licensing and certification requirements. Event organisers should ensure they conduct due diligence when selecting a pyrotechnics contractor. In some instances, a well-known artist may have their preferred supplier, this is particularly true if they are on a tour and have a specific pyrotechnics element to their performance that has been pre-planned and choreographed in advance. For music festival organisers, in some cases, they will select their preferred pyrotechnics contractor because of previous work and reliability, they then recommend this contractor to artists as their preferred supplier or in some cases the artist may not be given any choice. 

They key to getting great results is coordination and planning between artists, stage managers and show producers to ensure the pyrotechnic element of any performance is timed correctly and the final result is as expected. When using the event organisers preferred supplier the artist that opts for pyrotechnics will need to feel comfortable that everything will be performed in a safe and professional manner. 

How should artists and event organisers select the right pyrotechnics supplier when there is so much choice? There are various licensing and certification requirements for potential suppliers that ensure safe handling, storage, transport and use of a specified range of theatrical pyrotechnic devices. Suppliers should also be able to provide a verification service to External Agencies including Local Authority Licensing Departments, Fire Service and Insurance Companies. The licensing and certification requirements to operate certain pyrotechnics can be difficult to assess but contractors should have a good record and be able to provide a comprehensive service including supply, installation and operation of any stage effects planned. 

The key for event organisers is to check the status of their own event insurance because any intention to use pyrotechnic effects must be notified to the insurance company to ensure full coverage. It is likely that the insurance company providing insurance will want to see evidence of supplier training and other related certification before providing cover. It is also likely that suppliers and contractors may have their own public liability insurance too so this may also be a key consideration. When selecting a supplier most music festivals for example will opt for a ‘one stop shop’ solution that includes the supply of effects, installation and operation working closely with the
on-site events team. 

For any event organiser planning their live music event or music festival using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their contractor logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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