Tonight the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert 2015 drew to a stunning close with the sky filled with giant walls of silver and golden crackle effect fireworks bursting 225 metres above Edinburgh Castle to the closing bars of the Thunder and Lightening Polka by Johann Strauss II.
Around 250,000 spectators watched the event across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, with visitors to the Scottish capital joining residents to fill Princes Street Gardens, the surrounding streets and Inverleith Park, to enjoy the annual finale to the Edinburgh International Festival, the closing event of Edinburgh’s summer festival season.
More than 400,000 fireworks were launched during the 45 minute concert in a display designed by fireworks wizard Keith Webb of Pyrovision, synchronised perfectly to music performed live by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Garry Walker. Alongside the Thunder and Lightening Polka, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra played a selection of dance inspired pieces including Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, Mozart’s Contradances and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances.
The traditional ‘Waterfall’ drew gasps of amazement from the audience as it descended over 130 feet down the Castle Rock, five minutes into Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances at 22.09 and lasting for around 1 minute.
The most spectacular effects of all were saved for last, with the huge climax of the Thunder and Lightening Polka accompanied by enormous silver and gold fireworks bursting above the Edinburgh skyline, including crackling croisettes, crackle mines and gold flash mines. In total four tonnes of explosives were used and the display, which took months to plan and 16 pyro-technicians eight days to set the fireworks out, was over for another year.
On the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle Keith Webb said, ‘We’re over the moon at another hugely successful Fireworks Concert. All the hard work and dedication the team has put in was well worth it. And after all our efforts, it’s still as thrilling an experience as ever to see it come together!’
In Princes Street Gardens where he enjoyed the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert with friends and colleagues, Fergus Linehan, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival said, ‘This year’s Virgin Money Fireworks Concert was absolutely amongst the best displays of its kind anywhere in the world. I would like to thank Virgin Money for their continued support of this incredible community event, and for their additional support which this year made possible two new events over our closing weekend – the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Family Concert at the Queen’s Hall and the fantastic Edinburgh Schools concert which took place this morning in Princes Street Gardens. The Fireworks Concert is always an amazing way to end the Edinburgh International Festival and to bring the city’s bumper summer festivals season to a close.’
Joining Fergus in Princes Street Gardens was Virgin Money’s Head of Sponsorship Andrew Nicholson, who said, “Virgin Money is extremely proud to be the official sponsor of the Fireworks Concert – it is such a wonderful event. The concert this evening has brought together so many people who have all enjoyed the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s wonderful performance and the mesmerising pyrotechnic extravaganza. The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is a fantastic conclusion to what has been another magnificent Edinburgh International Festival and Virgin Money is delighted to be continuing its sponsorship of the event until 2017”.
Also enjoying the Concert from Princes St Gardens, Roy McEwan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, said, “We are delighted as ever to play our part in this fantastic Edinburgh institution, as producing partner in the enormous collaboration that makes this event happen. The management and front of house teams have been brilliant and we’re very grateful to the Pyrovision crew for their wonderful fireworks. Our thanks also go to all out technical partners, health and safety partners, City of Edinburgh Council, Forth 1, the Edinburgh International Festival for all their fantastic work on this event, and our sponsor Virgin Money.”.