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International Fireworks Competition in Herrenhausen

The Great Garden welcomes teams from Italy, Norway, Romania, Portugal and New Zealand in 2018

The teams will travel a total of more than 25,000 km to present their fireworks displays to the spectators in Herrenhausen Gardens.

The experts from New Zealand will cover a distance of around 19,000 km as the crow flies, making this the longest journey ever to the event since the launch of the International Fireworks Competition. This year’s event, the 28th International Fireworks Competition, will kick off on 26 May with the Scarpato Pirotecnica team from Italy.

The roughly 4-minute compulsory section for this year’s contest is an excerpt from “Danzón No. 2” by Arturo Márquez. After the teams have given their display to match this standard musical piece, they can give free rein to their creativity for the following 20-minute free section. The jury of 10 experts will announce the winner of this year’s competition after the final round on 15 September.

26 May: Benvenuto Italia - Scarpato Pirotecnica
This season will begin with a touch of Venetian carnival, when breathtaking figures on stilts entertain the guests with grandezza and gusto in the Great Garden. They are eagerly awaited there by gigolos who are out to win the ladies’ hearts. Brazzo Brazzone, the one and only Italian world groove brass band, will take to the stage in the garden theatre, while la dolce vita sets the mood on the rehearsal stage, where Ilaria Graziano’s hypnotic voice and Francesco Forni’s fascinating guitar sound combine to create a glittering musical performance. The Italian team, Scarpato Pirotecnica, will then paint the canvas in the skies above Herrenhausen Gardens. In Rimini, where the company is now based, Antonio Scarpato is the 6th generation to successfully uphold the family tradition and the founder’s values of quality, artistry, innovation and respect. Every year, this team demonstrates its skills at numerous international competitions. They have already performed highly successfully at important events, delivering extraordinary shows such as the “Pink Night” in 2011, in which 7 synchronised fireworks displays took place along a 15-km stretch of the Italian coastline.

9 June: Velkommen Norge - North Star Fireworks
Two charming elves from the Norwegian woods will entertain fireworks fans this evening. Spectators in the Great Garden will meet the Birch Fairy, whose dainty fingers are made of birch branches, and the Wood Elf who loves to get up to mischief. An amazing display of baroque equestrian skills performed by a group of historic knights headed by Richard Hinrichs can be admired in the Westlicher Halbmond area. The garden theatre offers Scandinavian folk from Huldrelokkk, with devilishly fast fiddles and voices in three-part harmony. On the rehearsal stage, The Trouble Notes will tell musical tales full of visions and energy, before the newcomers to this year’s competition begin their show. It was not until 2015 that the company was founded by Andreas Helle, Kenneth Hurlen, Lars Nøkleby and Kim Erik de Sousa. The four owners have already taken part in various major professional shows in Norway, for instance at Jean Michel Jarre concerts, Tall Ships’ Races, at New Year’s Eve events and on many other occasions. Storytelling is an important aspect of their design. Their aim is to make the magic of their shows a true experience for the spectators.

18 August: Bun venit România - Pyro Events Team
Guests will be met at the entrance by colourful folklore and Eastern European esprit. The friendly, all-devouring dragon Onil digests and recycles everything that people dare to hurl down its throat, while cheeky but charming Vampirella from the mysterious forests of Transylvania hands out a weird and wonderful elixir. Fanfare Ciocărlia, Romania’s best brass band, never fails to captivate audiences at the world’s leading concert venues, and today the musicians will appear at the garden theatre, accompanied by the dance ensemble Calaneya Tribal. On the rehearsal stage, Ayassa plays melancholy, romantic songs set to fiery Balkan tunes. Visitors can look forward to the Pyro Events Team show at 10 pm. This team is determined to fascinate the audience with its spectacular pyrotechnical creations. The Romanians welcome new challenges and stay true to their motto of kindling fascination for fireworks the world over.

1 September:  Bem vindo Portugal - Macedos Pirotecnia
The evening will begin with a sunburst of colourful aquatic creatures that rolls into Herrenhausen Gardens from the beautiful beaches of Portugal on an Atlantic wave. Needless to say, ships are a must when this seafaring nation is on the bill, and in this case, the vessels can even dance. On stage at the garden theatre, Trio Fado will transport the audience to the backstreets and miradores of Lisbon with songs full of yearning and melancholy. On the rehearsal stage, Marcia Bittencourt presents choro with highly expressive songs and pandeiro percussion. Pirate Mathjes will head straight for the children’s area on his beloved ship Jolante, armed with tall tales and amusing ditties. As twilight falls, Macedos Pirotecnia will take centre stage. This well-established company owes its success to the decades of expertise accumulated by the team at events all over the globe. Numerous wins and prizes at national and international competitions from Europe to Africa and from America to Asia are ample proof of the high quality.

15 September:  Welcome New Zealand - Firework Professionals
In the midst of the Great Garden, Ozeania – accompanied by a charming mermaid – sways in a shoal of fish as if floating in the waves of the South Pacific. They are keenly observed by Weiawaka Wakaikura and her progeny of protected species as they stroll through the greenery. Perhaps she will permit a glimpse of her shy kiwi? On the children’s meadow, Zirkus Salto and Zirkus Bunttropfen invite youngsters to enjoy a selection of circus acts featuring juggling, clowns, balancing acts and aerial silk. At the garden theatre, singer-songwriter Teresa Bergmann from Wellington delivers a refreshing performance that is both energetic and soulful. On the rehearsal stage, the one-man band Sonic Delusion presents amazing and apparently effortless looping – too funky for folk and too folky for funk! On the stage where the prizes will later be presented, Juliano Rossi’s unique voice and cool understatement show why he enjoys cult status. The final team, Firework Professionals from New Zealand, will then begin to cast their spell over the audience at Herrenhausen Gardens as from 9 pm. This team is particularly well known for the special effects it creates for the film, TV and concert industry. Fireworks Professionals have already supported AC/DC on international tours and Walt Disney in New Zealand.

Tickets and themed package
Tickets for the International Fireworks Competition can be purchased from our online shop at www.hannover.de/onlineshop and can be printed directly as e-tickets. Tickets for adults cost EUR 21, concessions EUR 18; admission is free for children aged up to 5.Hard tickets can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office, Ernst-August-Platz 8 and at all the usual advance booking offices.

Looking for a gift? The family ticket for two adults and two children costs EUR 54 and is available from the Tourist Information Office, Ernst-August-Platz 8.

Ticket hotline +49 (0) 511 / 12345-123.
HMTG has put together a special themed package for anyone who wishes to combine a visit to the International Fireworks Competition with an overnight stay in Hannover, or who is simply looking for the perfect gift. For further details of the "Hannover Explosiv" package, visit www.hannover.de/explosiv.

Further information about tickets and themed packages is available at www.hannover.de/feuerwerk.

Photos for use by journalists and additional press material are available at: www.hannover.de/feuerwerk-presse.

Dates of the fireworks in 2018:

Admission to the Great Garden begins at 6 pm.

26 May                10.00 pm      Italy, Scarpato Pirotecnica
9 June                 10.30 pm      Norway, North Star Fireworks
18 August            10.00 pm      Romania, Pyro Events Team
1 September         9.30 pm      Portugal, Macedos Pirotecnia
15 September        9.00 pm      New Zealand, Firework Professionals

Maike Scheunemann