November Season Doubts

Discussion in 'Fireworks Forum Chat And Discussion' started by Firestormpyrotechnics, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    My thoughts exactly. We’ve also noticed clients spends going up, especially with the bigger spending private clients who have huge displays for just their friends and families - some of them have doubled their budgets in the space of three years. Now I think we could be - as you say - seeing a ‘reset’ - back to people wanting to try and get £500 wedding shows, etc - and that’s just not viable.

    That said, I think displays for organisations like schools, clubs etc, could be in danger too, with social distancing making the events unjustifiable - I’m quite worried just how much of an effect this will have on the pro side of the industry to be honest. :(
  2. Arthur

    Arthur Pro Firer/Crew

    The two things that the industry needs for the season are stock and customers. If the Chinese don't get stock here in time we are left with last year's left overs. The public are generally breaking out of lockdown already, and I think they are ready to party, but overdo it now and there will be more fatalities in the autumn.

    The virus needs a human host to live, there are plenty in the world. Herd immunity relies on 70+% of the populus being immune and breaking most transmission routes. Without immunity from infection or vaccination the whole population remains at risk and only physical separation is moderating the rate of infection. Immunity from infection still causes a high number of deaths especially among the frail so the vaccine is still the only real answer.

    Once the national borders are opened there will be too little to prevent people from other hotspot countries from coming into the country causing regular outbreaks.
    drummer73 likes this.
  3. Southport cancelled
  4. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    Well, that'll keep at least one company I know of happy :)
    dogsbody and gareth71 like this.
  5. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    Let them (whoever they may be) have it I say - there’s no way that you can put on a financially viable show and still give a good display for that kind of money nowadays. Either they’re making a loss, their crew are working for peanuts (or less!!) or the content is laughable...
    Pyro Ed likes this.
  6. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    A combination of points 2 and 3, I suspect, if personal experience is anything to go by!
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    Pyromania likes this.
  7. RocketRev

    RocketRev Moderator Supports UKFR

    I can understand that. So many people would be having to do work on the event now, so many contracts placed now.... by Southport's Local Authority and the display companies.... I can understand people not wanting to make financial or working time commitments on the scale needed for such an event until there's some certainty that it won't all unravel expensively later on. And it's one of those events that can't easily be organised and run at short notice. So putting the decision off for a while isn't a viable option, I suppose. Now is the critical decision point. I wonder how many other Autumn events (firework and non-firework alike) are in the same sort of situation right now.
    Pyromania likes this.
  8. Pyro Ed

    Pyro Ed Pro Firer/Crew

    Did some market research on this. Had companies willing to travel silly distances for £500 show. I worked it out and it was a complete and utter shameful joke.
    Pyromania likes this.
  9. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    Yep, I can quite easily believe that, I just don’t get it. How can you travel 2-3 hours each way for such a small show? Someone’s losing out in that chain, be it the company, their staff, or the client.

    Oneupmanship is all well and good, but it doesn’t pay the bills! I wouldn’t want to be doing a £500 show on my doorstep, never mind 100’s of miles away - there’s no enjoyment in firing a display that you’re unhappy with - be it the lack of profit or the embarrassingly pants display that it would be.
    Pyro Ed and elmo like this.
  10. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    I can tell you from experience in the distant past, it's almost certainly the staff and the client.

    Small (and occasionally not-so-small!!) display companies desperately trying to undercut everyone else, just to get the gig. Result? Crew getting paid a pittance which barely equates to NMW for the time that they're on site, never mind travel time and expenses; and people booking a show which has been sold to them as 'amazing' and 'spectacular', and for which they've paid several hundred pounds, which consists of a few small cakes and a handful of Chinese shells at the end (probably hand-fired, or at best with a very cheap Chinese 12-channel system).

    "Good, cheap, safe" - pick any two.
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    Pyromania likes this.
  11. surely they should get 100 shells for a fraction of that price
  12. paul s

    paul s Supports UKFR

    I know of one horror story involving a long established and ‘reputable’ company that did a £500 wedding display. Two firers turned up and lit a single, large sib (one of the 3 minute, cat 3 units). I don’t know what the customer thought of it, but I doubt the company lost any cash on the night. Maybe the customer was forewarned and quite happy with a simple 3 minute display...?
  13. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    Nice... a really good advert for their ‘long established and reputable company’...:rolleyes: The way I see every display is that it’s an advert for another potential job - you’ve got a captive audience, and if someone really wants fireworks for their own event they’ll either come and find you after the show or they’ll speak with the event organiser (be it a wedding, school bonfire night, corporate event - whatever) and get your details if they’re impressed.

    Quite possibly - but would they know what to do with them?? Or have the equipment to fire them with, or even the relevant documentation to have obtained them in the first place? Because I’m quite sure that no sensible company would be turning up to fire a £500 show with 100 shells, not to mention any other pieces they might want to add to the show on top of that to actually give it some degree of artistic design. o_O
    Pyro Ed likes this.
  14. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    The thing is, a lot of the time you could get away with that. The majority of people aren't as 'pyro savvy' as the audience for Firework Champs, Catton Hall or Southport, and as long as it goes bang and looks pretty they'll think it's the "best firework display they've ever seen" (because they really haven't seen many beyond maybe their local scouts setting off a few cat3 bits for bonfire night, or similar).

    Sadly there are 'firework companies' - a small minority, and I'm sure none of them will be reading this! - who will exploit that, and will do as you said. Send out a couple of 'crew' (which, let's be honest, are probably the 'company director' and his mate from the pub who's getting paid in cans of lager), drag a 3-minute SIB (or a carton of mixed 25-shot cakes if they're really pushing the boat out), make a bit of noise for three minutes, leave all the debris lying around, and bugger off again with an envelope of cash from the best man. Luckily, there are also those of us (everyone who's reading this, I'm sure!) who have a bit of pride in what we do!
  15. maxywell

    maxywell Supports UKFR

    Must admit that I have some sympathy for those who will do cheaper shows.I work in a furniture shop (one that sells decent furniture) and you'd be surprised at the amount of people who walk in, have a look at something, ask how much it is then quickly walk out when it's obviously 3 or 4 times what they're planning to pay.Pyro as with most things is similar in that you get what you pay for, i'm guessing the pros on here have had a lot of similar phone calls over the years.If you don't do the cheap ones then you must lose out on a fair few customers...
  16. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    I think you are alone with your sympathy. Those that do £500 shows, for example, are undercutting the rest of us by some margin and making what is out full time career a challenge.

    It's not that we are reluctant to do "lesser" displays. There is simply too little profit in it if you do it by the books. Especially when you factor the risk of killing yourself or someone in the audience every time you fire a show.

    For that £500 you have to:

    1) Dick about for ages with the client bringing it back up from his expected £300 as that would buy " a shit load of fireworks from costco"
    2) Fight to get the money of them as they are tight already.
    3) design the show (or not, if you are doing £500 displays)
    4) Go to your container and pull it.
    5) Go to your fusing location and fuse it.
    6) pay your insurance (min of around £140 a month - and it's going up a lot , fast)
    7) pay your storage license
    8) pay for the container
    9) pay for the land rent for the container
    10 ) pay for your racks and tubes
    11) pay for your firing system, and for a lot of us, the software.
    12) pay two crew around £80 each for the night. Lets say one, as you will go along.
    13) turn up , set up, quite possibly in the rain, wait hours on end in a van, fire show.
    14) clear up
    15) next morning unload all the dead pyro, put all firing kit and racks away.

    That is all after spending, lets say, for the super tight, £200 on fireworks. Trade.
    And I forgot van purchase, insurance, or rental.

    The reality is it gets pulled, fused, fired by one guy on his own with one module. He has a beer, and a nice time. Goes home. Next day does his regular job for a proper salary.

    The other scenario is a larger company that has salaried staff and needs them to do at least something with their time.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us in the trade, when quoting £1000 for a 6 min display , are met with "but the other guy will do 8 mins for £500!?"
    maxywell, Pyromania, elmo and 2 others like this.
  17. blackbat

    blackbat Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    And most likely have to pay to dispose of it.
    elmo likes this.
  18. Arthur

    Arthur Pro Firer/Crew

    One simple fact to remember is that the "after covid, new normal" will apply for a year or so. Some people will want to push the boat out for a wedding or BFN, BUT no-one wants to catch covid from "someone in a crowd" Wearing a mask in public places may well become the norm for a while.
  19. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    Indeed it is - and you definitely get what you pay for. As the old adage goes, you pay peanuts...

    Yep, plenty of calls/emails/late night social media messages expecting you to deliver a mind blowing show for half the price of what they’ve paid for a cake that nobody ends up eating anyway...:rolleyes:

    To be honest, I’d rather lose out on that kind of custom and take on the sensible clients that appreciate what we do, and why it costs what it does. And yes, by my own admission, fireworks are an eye-wateringly expensive form of entertainment when looked at on a time basis - an amazing 5 minute display could easily set you back anything from £800-£3000+, depending on just how ‘WOW’ or ostentatious you want to be - however there’s nothing that compares to them either.

    Generally, and from bitter experience, people that want to haggle down to the last scrap of meat on the bone are a pain in the **** to work for, so I let them find their own alternatives.
    I want nourishment, not punishment!
    GTRpyro likes this.
  20. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew

    But what they don’t realise is that the first 90 seconds of their 8 minute ‘spectacular’ will be taken up with one, maybe two 1kg conics, leading into a pair of 56s candle bundles, (two minutes down, just another six to fill...) single cakes firing from one position on a ‘pop........pop.........pop........’ basis, eventually culminating in a small handful of shells, fired vertically with no care for design or symmetry to just about bring the audience round from falling into a boredom induced coma...

    Not that I’m feeling in a facetious mood at the moment or anything...;)