Macau Fireworks Competition – Alex’s Experience Part 2
Alex and Krystal were part of the Team that won the Peoples Choice award and 3rd place in Macau. This is his story about the experience he had.
A transfer arrived at the hotel at 7pm to take the shore members of each team to Macau’s prestigious Sky Tower. When we arrived, we were recognised by the doormen and brought out to a private viewing balcony, positioned perfectly to witness the extent our hard work. From our seats, we were able to see the dimly lit outlines of the three barges out in the harbour. Our section was only several metres away from what seemed to be at least 10 judges waiting to critique each show, and further down, shorefront dinner tables for people who had reserved front row viewing seats to the spectacle.
After what seemed like forever, it was almost time for the first show, Portugal. Video cameras set up and ready, we eagerly waited for the show to start. Without fail, the first shot was fired at 9pm on the dot. We leaned forward to appreciate the work of the other team as their barge lit up the sky. It was an impressive display, larger than I’d ever seen before, though I felt it wouldn’t be quite as large as our own. Once their display came to an end, we congratulated our Portuguese friend who had shared a bus with us to the venue. Next was our show, scheduled at 9:30pm, only minutes away after an 18 minute display and the sharing of compliments. Looking around, I could tell that I wasn’t the only one watching the clock tick over with anticipation.
Finally, right on time, the first spark was released along with the first note of music. A feeling of pride, joy and relief, swept over me as my senses took everything in. Every burst that filled the sky seemed to have perfect timing and positioning. Song after song, each section was a visual treat and matched the theme of the music almost seamlessly. Different combinations of emotions flowed through me as the display progressed in synchronicity with the soundtrack. As the music intensified, so did the explosions. When there were calm and heartfelt melodies, the effects were soft and shimmering. Even the recurring beat of the drum had a pop to go with it. The range of colours formed a fluent spectrum from red to purple during “Over the Rainbow” with layered bursts from sea level to the clouds. Gigantic explosions symbolised globes for “A Whole New World” and circularly spread stars represented rings during “All the Single Ladies”. Eventually, the final song began playing, setting the stage for a climactic ending. The display slowly became taller and wider as Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye” built up with its steady yet gradual crescendo. The alternating duet with the female vocalist allowed for softer pyrotechnics to litter the sky before the larger effects were added once their voices sang in unity. I was overcome with disbelief as the display grew bigger and bigger in the last 30 seconds until finally, the dark of the night seemed to have disappeared completely behind the overwhelming radiance of light.
The night became dim once again as my wife pried my fingers off her own, not realising I had been gripping her hand with happiness throughout the show. Congratulations were shared between the teams and the French display had begun before I knew it. My mind was buzzing with so much excitement that I barely took in much of France’s presentation.
Once the last show came to an end, our night progressed to a detour by the docks, though we were told not to wait for the barges as they wouldn’t return for several hours. Grateful for the extra time to sleep, we returned to our rooms at the hotel and set our alarms for the morning.
The next morning, the team assembled on the barges to deconstruct our display. By 11am, we had the containers packed to the roof with the racks we were returning back to Australia, and had left an empty palette for the next teams. One last gathering at the restaurant for lunch provided an opportunity to reminisce on what we had achieved before parting ways. Bags packed, we each said our goodbyes, with Max and Paul staying in Macau until the awards night, Krystal and I heading to Hong Kong for a week, and the others returning to Brisbane. Macau was an experience I will never forget and watching our hard work light up the sky will always be one of my greatest memories.
Editors Note: Skylighter Fireworks took home the Peoples Choice Award and Second Runner up in the Competition.