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Skyfire
Skyfire Canberra logo.jpg
Genre Fireworks display
Date(s) March
Frequency Annually
Location(s) Canberra
Inaugurated 1989
Attendance More than 100,000 (2014)
Patron(s) FM 104.7 and other sponsors
Skyfire fireworks canberra
Skyfire 2005
Fm1047 Skyfire2
Skyfire 2006

Skyfire is an annual March fireworks show held over Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia since 1989. The event is funded by local radio station FM 104.7, and the display is synchronised to a soundtrack of music broadcast on the station.

History of the event

The first Skyfire was held on 18 March 1989, as FM 104.7's contribution to the Canberra Festival that year. Around 60,000 people attended the second Skyfire on 11 March 1990, which was put on at a cost of around $100,000.

On 10 March 1991, Skyfire III saw more than 2.5 tonnes of fireworks launched into the sky for Canberra's viewing pleasure. In 1992, Skyfire was held on 8 March. It featured three tonnes of pyrotechnics and lasted for 35 minutes.

Skyfire Mark V, on 7 March 1993, featured 436 separate shots, coordinated to music by artists including Madonna, Midnight Oil and Prince. The show used more than five tonnes of fireworks, launched from 10 pontoons floating in the middle of the lake. In 1994, Skyfire was held on 13 March and featured six tonnes of aerial and water fireworks worth almost $250,000.

Skyfire X, on 8 March 1998, attracted an estimated 120,000 visitors. Skyfire XI, held on 7 March 1999, had grown to attract an estimated 180,000 visitors.

The 2006 Skyfire was held on 4 March, and called "Skyfire 18" because it was the eighteenth year of the fireworks. The day has become a large event with other activities including a display by the Roulettes aerobatic squadron and a performance by Lee Harding. There were around 35,000 individual fireworks used, with approximately 6,000 shooting comets and almost 3,000 shells. More than 170,000 visitors turned out to see Skyfire 19 in 2007.

Skyfire 21 was held on 21 March 2009, with fireworks commencing at 8.33pm and lasting for 21 minutes. The firing zone was down the center basin of Lake Burley Griffin up to Anzac Parade and Parliament House down to Regatta Point. Fortunato Foti and a band of pyrotechnicians from Foti International Fireworks provided the show which was "at least 30 per cent bigger than the previous years," with "over 3,000 aerial fireworks, 15 to 20,000 shooting comets". One barge shot off a few more fireworks for 5–10 minutes after the show completed.

On 19 March 2011 around 80,000 people attended Skyfire. That year over 30 youths were taken into custody by police for underage drinking at the event. The following year, 130 police were employed to patrol Skyfire, and youth reception stations were set up at the event. The 2012 event featured more than 2500 aerial fireworks.

Skyfire 25 in 2013 featured displays by the Royal Australian Navy, the Federation Guard and the Snowy Hydro Rescue Helicopter.

Skyfire in 2014 utilised around 3000 individual cues and approximately eight kilometres of cabling.

Skyfire was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What's Happening This Year

Hit 104.7 Skyfire 2018 will feature 40,000 pyrotechnic effects, 2,500 shells and 25,000 shooting comets. The firework display will start at 8:30pm with events at Regatta Point starting at 6:00pm including music, federation guard displays and a RAAF fast jet handling display.

Attendance and pyrotechnics by year

Skyfire attendance and pyrotechnics
Date Attendance Details of pyrotechnics References
18 March 1989 70,000
11 March 1990 60,000
10 March 1991 More than 2.5 tonnes of fireworks
8 March 1992 3 tonnes of fireworks; display lasted 35 minutes
7 March 1993 Featured 436 separate shots
13 March 1994 Featured six tonnes of aerial and water fireworks worth almost $250,000
12 March 1995 Incorporated 4500 special effects
10 March 1996 More than 1.5 tonnes of fireworks
9 March 1997
8 March 1998 120,000
7 March 1999 180,000
12 March 2000 80,000
3 March 2001
9 March 2002
8 March 2003
6 March 2004 70,000 Two main barges and nine pontoons
8 March 2005
4 March 2006 35,000 individual fireworks used, with approximately 6,000 shooting comets and almost 3,000 shells
10 March 2007 More than 170,000
15 March 2008
21 March 2009 130,000
20 March 2010
19 March 2011 Around 80,000
17 March 2012 Over 100,000 Featured more than 2500 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and around 40,000 pyrotechnic effects
16 March 2013 Featured 40,000 individual pyrotechnics
15 March 2014 120,000 More than 2000 aerial fireworks and 10,000 shooting comets, display lasting 18 minutes
14 March 2015 More than 100,00 Featured more than 20 tonnes of equipment set up in 11 positions along 400 metres of the lake's central basin, and more than 2000 Kilograms of explosive content.
19 March 2016 Featured more than 2000 aerial fireworks and more than 10,000 ground-based crackers from 11 platforms in the lake's basin.

Sponsors

Skyfire is a FM 104.7 event, with sponsorship over the years also offered by Casino Canberra, ActewAGL, and Canberra Airport.

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