SU Fireworks: starting the year off with a bang

Guy Fawkes Night was another hit event at the University of Essex, here’s our summary of the night.

It’s the biggest free event of the year and it came back bigger than ever for 2019. The Students’ Union annual fireworks night brought excitement, excellent food and great music to the University.  

The popular event, open to both university staff and students as well as the general public, brought in over 5,000 visitors last year. It was even busier this time. Wivenhoe Park was packed with people travelling from various locations despite the cold weather. 

Wivenhoe Park was packed with crowds this year with an estimated number of over 6,000 attendees.

The event was to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Firework Night or Bonfire Night). This is a UK tradition that takes place every year on the 5th of November to mark the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. On the same night in 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested for his involvement in the plot which attempted to blow up the House of Lords. Since then, the failure has been celebrated through bonfires and firework displays across the country. 

The night started at 6.00pm and ended at 8.00pm. Rebel Media hosted the stage with Elisavet Fasianou presenting to the thousands of people who showed up. “I loved presenting and hopefully I will be more involved in other projects. There is nothing better than entertaining and making people smile! The whole event was fantastic,” she said. 

Elisavet Fasianou (second from right) took the stage and presented for Rebel.

The crowd were then treated to a performance from Essex band Mura who perform covers of greatest hits from various decades. These included tunes from an assortment of artists of different genres including Redbone, Bruno Mars and Jet. 

Mura are a four piece band consisting of Charlie Fisher, Adam Churchill, AJ Kemp and Wayne Thompson.

Other societies and sports clubs were also present in square 5 for fundraising and raising awareness for their work. Two soap-covered representatives from the Essex Blades Kickboxing Club were encouraging passers-by to throw three sponges at them for £1 and, by the looks of it, there had already been several accurate throws that night. Visitors could have their picture taken with props in exchange for a £1 donation to Unicef and the Human Rights Society were selling cakes to support their ‘Raise the Roof’ campus event happening on 23rd November in Square 3 which will raise money for the Colchester Emergency Night Shelter.  

The Juggling, Fire and Magic society put on a fiery performance which wowed onlookers with their intense fire juggling.

The night ended with the much-anticipated professional fireworks display put on by Electrify Pyrotechnics from Derby. This year’s theme was ‘space’ to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. To represent this the show included tracks such as ‘Rocketman’ by Elton John and scores from space-related films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Interstellar. The Prodigy were also played in tribute to Essex vocalist Keith Flint who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

Johnny Marriott, Project Manager at the Students’ Union, praised the staff and students who had volunteered to help run the event. “The night was incredible, and we were so pleased with the turnout and friendly atmosphere throughout. As always, there’s so many people working behind the scenes to make it happen and especially reacting to unforeseen challenges,” he said. 

The professional fireworks display offered a blast from the past of space-themed songs and film scores.
Here is our video of the night.

Photos by Georgios Koutroulis

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