Skip to main content

Category: Featured

Sonic Fireworks – British Champions!

Sonic Fireworks has won the 2022 British Firework Championships in Plymouth.

It’s the first time we have competed and we are the first local company to win the championships in the event’s 25 year history.

Mike & Michelle Glover receiving their winners prize money in the form of an oversized cheque.
Mike & Michelle Glover receiving their winners prize money

On a wet and windy second night our crew worked hard from 8am in the morning to rig a very complex and technical display. Their hard work paid off at 9:50pm when we lit up Plymouth with a sound and light spectacular to rapturous applause from the crowds.

Your display was Joyous from start to finish.

Plymouth Lord Mayor, Sue Dann

Husband and wife owners, Mike and Michelle Glover have run Sonic Fireworks for over 20 years in Mid Devon. They always travelled to Plymouth over the years to watch the Championships, vowing one-day to compete and 2022 was their opportunity.

To compete in the British Firework Championships is no minor undertaking, hundreds of hours of preparation goes into the display before even turning up on site. We turned up with 1 tonne of fireworks, over 2 tonnes of equipment and a crew of ten people.

Sonic Fireworks crew rigging fireworks
The crew rigging the fireworks on Mount Batten breakwater

The display consisted of 1242 fireworks fired over 10 minutes that were connected to our firing system with 2.6KM of cable.

All the displays this year contain a sequence of fireworks celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Our tribute consisted of a 35 metre wide by 30 metre high St George’s flag in fireworks with firework projections creating ‘E II R’ over the water we then ending with a thunderous red, white and blue aerial finale.

Fireworks make letters E and R followed by Roman numerals II part of the Jubilee sequence
Firework Projection – E II R

Sonic Fireworks were runners-up at the British Musical Fireworks Championships last year in Southport and as Mike says; 

“we kind of got bitten by the competition bug, we put our name forward for Plymouth and amazingly got drawn to compete and, well the rest is history!”

You’ll be able to watch many public displays by Sonic over the Bonfire Night season this year all across Devon & Cornwall. One of the biggest will be the Exeter Round Table’s display at Westpoint on November 5th.

A few thank you’s from Mike & Michelle

Firstly, our fantastic crew who worked their socks-off in pretty miserable weather to complete what was a very complex show on-time. All the fireworks fired, there were no malfunctions and no damaged equipment – in that weather it just goes to show how good they are.

(There was a small post-display fire in a couple of cakes – nothing out of the ordinary in that wind – it was dealt with quickly and professionally.)

Sonic Fireworks crew picture on the breakwater
Our crew of 7 guys and 3 girls all from Devon & Cornwall

A massive thank you goes to Mike’s Dad who has tirelessly supported the business and has been a rock behind the whole Sonic family. He’s 80 next year and still fitter than nearly all of us – a true legend!

The organiser’s, other competitors and support staff have been so nice and friendly it really has been a pleasure to be at this competition. A special mention goes to our next-door competition neighbours Fully Fused Fireworks and their boss Cliff Stonestreet who has been a friend and mentor to Mike over the last 20 years. They fired an awesome show and came third (they’ve come second and third before as well).

And finally, we have been overwhelmed with the notes on social media, email and messages from our customers, friends, business partners and just general supporters – it means the world to us that you love what we do. In these ‘woke’ days the anti-firework brigade have become a powerful and threatening force in our lives, it really does help us to know that there are not just haters out there – so thank you again to our wonderful supporters.

The British Firework Championships 2022 in the media

Tiverton Gazette featured Sonic Fireworks on their front page.
Featured in our local press on Front Page.

Watch our Winning Display

Here is our winning display, we fired on Night 2 Display 2.

Rewatch the live stream from Night 1 – Wednesday 17th August 2022

Rewatch the live stream from Night 2 – Thursday 18th August 2022

2021 runners-up at The British Musical Fireworks Championships

In our first ever professional fireworks competition, we came second!

The British Musical Fireworks Championship held in Southport is a prestigious UK competition for professional fireworks companies. Over the years, many of the UK’s top professional companies have competed, with some going on to compete in Global Fireworks Competitions.

Five competitors came together to compete over the 24th to 26th September in Victoria Park, Southport. Each company had to submit a musical theme and a show design before the event then five judges would mark the displays over the three-night competition.

The official rankings;
1st place, Dragon Fireworks from Kent
2nd place, Sonic Fireworks from Devon
3rd place, Star Fireworks from Berkshire

We took a team of ten up to Merseyside in 3 vans and a minibus. Our show was prepped on Saturday and rigged all day Sunday next door to Star Fireworks. They fired first, followed by our display on Sunday evening.

Rigging the fireworks – with our mascot, Magnus

“It was a fantastic experience. We learned a lot and had a great time meeting other pyrotechnicians from across the UK.” Mike Glover said. “Of course, it was stressful at times, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team. To come away with second place in our first competition is amazing.”

The British Musical Fireworks Championship is one of the two major competitions in the UK, with the other being The British Fireworks Championships in Plymouth. The difference between them is that the Southport event has its fireworks displays set to music, known in the trade as a pyro-musical display.

Designed on the computer with the audio track and fired wirelessly by sophisticated firing systems. Our display had a James Bond theme with a mix of old and new Bond songs also a few famous clips from the Bond actors.

The five judges watching our display

Across the competition, competitors use an estimated two tonnes of explosives with a total weight of fireworks used that exceeds 10 tonnes. Each show requires around five kilometres of wire to connect the electrical circuits and 10-15 technicians working for over 12 hours to set up the display.

Spectator Michael Paice said of Sonic’s display, “Not one of but THE best display I have EVER seen, and I’m not saying that just because I’m Bond aficionado.”

Will we compete in the Plymouth Championships? At the moment we don’t know but based on our experience in Southport the crew are raring to compete some more, so watch this space!

The full display filmed from behind the judges

Fireworks at your Wedding – Advice

Sonic Fireworks has fired displays for many hundreds of Weddings over the past 20 years. Here are some of our top tips for fireworks at your Wedding.

Talk to the Venue first

Most venues do not allow fireworks and, those that do might have some restrictions on noise level and firing time. Sometimes the Venue may be uncertain about having them and will need some professional advice. Talk to them early on in your planning to avoid any disappointment. We have curated a list of some favourite venues we’ve worked at over the years see, our Venue Finder online.

Firing Time

Your fireworks display must end by 11 pm – it’s the Law. Around the Summer equinox (June – July), it will only be twilight at this time. The weather conditions and the aspect of the display will make a difference in how dark it is.

Some venues may put an earlier deadline such as 10 pm to appease neighbours. During June and July, the sky will be light. The fireworks will still look good but will look different than they would in a dark sky.

Don’t leave the firing time too late because guests may leave the Wedding before the display starts, especially if the fireworks are a surprise. The perfect time is during the evening entertainment break. It will allow the venue staff to reset the room or bring out a buffet while everyone is outside watching the fireworks. It also allows those with children to end their evening in style while the hardened party-goers can go back in for the late session.

Fireworks at Deer Park, Devon
Fireworks at Deer Park, Devon

Surprise Fireworks

More than anything else, surprise fireworks tend to cause us grief! Mainly because people forget to tell us and sometimes because it is impossible to be incognito at the Venue.

Tell us right from the get-go if you are planning a surprise and for who. We can then ensure we don’t spoil the surprise by sending an email or phone call to the wrong person.

We recommend that you tell the person early-on on the Wedding day that you have a surprise fireworks display. Then if they or guests see us setting up the fireworks, they won’t have the surprise spoilt. At some venues, our firing site is in full view of the guests all day. 

Please note that it is now our policy for staff to be in uniform whenever they are working so that the Venue, farmers and authorities know who we are and what we are doing.

Bonfire Night & New Year’s Eve

If your Wedding is on or near Bonfire Night or New Year’s Eve, you will likely be thinking of fireworks. However, most firework companies are busy at this time of year doing fundraisers’ and public events.

There might be an option of booking a crew for a follow-on gig. A booked fireworks crew for a big public show can sometimes do a small private display before or after the main show. Bonfire Night displays are usually around 7 pm a later, private booking could happen for 11 pm. Likewise, New Year’s Eve displays are at midnight an earlier private booking could happen at 7 pm. All of this depends on the logistics our best advice is to speak to us early.

(The firework curfew is lifted to Midnight for November 5th and 1 am on New Year’s Eve.)

Music makes the difference

We specialise in pyromusical fireworks displays and, they do elevate the experience to another level. When choosing the music, think about how appropriate it might be for fireworks. Rhythm changes and crescendos in the track are ideal for synchronising the fireworks too.

Wedding Couple watch fireworks at Deer Park, Devon
Wedding Couple watch fireworks at Deer Park, Devon

Capture the moment

Tell your photographer or videographer about the fireworks. We are always happy to advise them about where the fireworks will appear and how to get the best shots. Also, ask someone to film the audience reactions while watching the display makes for a good memory!

We work with the Venue as well as for you

Please be aware that the Venue has neighbours and a local reputation to maintain so that if they restrict the display style or firing time, they are doing so for a good reason.

Sonic Fireworks offers a style of display called Whisper Displays that are gaining popularity. These displays are reduced height and noise fireworks for sensitive venues. We spend a great deal of time and effort to ensure we can create spectacular displays with these fireworks. They are even better when set to music.

Wedding Couple hold coloured flares just as the turn to silver sparks
Wedding Flares – Coloured Flare to Sparks

Smokes, Sparkles and Flares

We have a wide range of Smokes, Sparklers and Flares that are ideal for dramatic photographs. Sparklers are great fun for the guests to wave when watching the fireworks. These items are available from our shop.

Home Weddings

Weddings at home with a marquee in the garden, the fireworks will probably need to be in a local farmers field unless you have a large garden or estate. We will need the landowner’s permission to work.

We strongly advise letting the local farmers and livestock owners know about your fireworks display and what time it’s firing. Let the neighbours know (they might organise a party to watch the fireworks!)

As long as we have the landowner’s permission, we fire before 11 pm – then nothing is stopping you from having fireworks.

Magical Memories

We describe fireworks as the cherry on top of the icing, on top of the cake! In other words, very few Weddings have them. However, those that do have fireworks will create something that your family and friends will be talking about for years!

DIY Fireworks

Looking to buy DIY Fireworks? Visit our sister site.

Sign-up to our 'No Spam' Newsletter

Sonic Fireworks
Unit J1, Langlands Business Park
Uffculme, Devon EX15 3DA

Main Office (01884) 849 222

© Sonic Fireworks 1995-2024

Terms & Conditions
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Photo Credits