L’International des Feux Loto-Québec: A Tribute to Pink Floyd
Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Thursday, August 7th, 2014
This year marked the 30th anniversary of the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, an international fireworks competition held in Montreal each summer. The multi-day festival is a major draw for both tourists and locals alike, bringing in an estimated 3 million spectators to the Six Flags La Ronde theme park each year. An estimated 6,000 fireworks are launched during every show. Typically, eight or nine of the top pyrotechnics companies from around the world are invited to participate. They compete for the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec’s bronze, silver, and gold Jupiter Awards. A nineteen-person jury is responsible for rating the performances based on their theming, creativity, and style.
For the 30th anniversary of the event, sponsors and participating firms wanted to take things up a notch. They invited WECO Feuerwerk, a German firm that was the recipient of the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec’s only platinum Jupiter award to kick off the festival with a one-of-a-kind themed pyrotechnic art display that left spectators “feeling as though they’d stepped into a dream” due to the sheer range of color and sound effects. For last week’s closing event, the collaborators hosted a multi-faceted live show as a tribute to rock ‘n’ roll legends Pink Floyd. The iconic rock band has sold over 250 million records, making them one of the most successful and popular groups of all time.
L’International des Feux Loto-Québec’s tribute to Pink Floyd combined music and pyrotechnics to create one of the most stunning live show experiences in the 30 year history of the renowned international fireworks competition. Paul Csukassy, the technical director of the festival teamed up with Panzera S.A.S., an Italian pyrotechnics firm for this year’s grand finale. Panzera S.A.S. has participated in L’International des Feux Loto-Québec in previous years. In 2013, the firm was invited to design a pyrotechnic tribute to legendary rock band U2. They were also involved with the closing ceremonies for the festival in 2007, a themed event which celebrated 1960s rock n’ roll.
On August 2nd, fireworks lit up the sky in perfect harmony with some of Pink Floyd’s most well-known hits, including Comfortably Numb, Another Brick in the Wall, Learning To Fly, Is Anybody Out There, and Money. The soundtrack to the pyrotechnic display featured songs from the psychedelic rock band’s earliest days with Syd Barrett to the band’s later years with leaders Roger Waters and David Gilmour. The multi-faceted light and music show gave spectators a unique glimpse into the evolution of the iconic rock band, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
This year’s L’International des Feux Loto-Québec also included an impressive lineup of themed fireworks displays from countries around the world, including a tribute to Nelson Mandela and an event dedicated to Australian artist and film director Baz Luhrmann. Other shows in this summer’s month-long lineup focused on themes related to Halloween, history, science, and legends. The top global pyrotechnics firms from eight different countries participated in the 30th anniversary celebration of the popular international fireworks competition.
By blending music, pyrotechnics, and a sharp theming focus, L’International des Feux Loto-Québec pushes the envelope on live show designs featuring fireworks. Our most common perceptions of these events hearken back to childhood July 4th celebrations. This annual festival demonstrates how fireworks can be used for much more than celebratory, visual displays: they can be used to breathe new life into multi-layered topics from history to science to pop culture.
Images: L’International des Feux Loto-Québec