Fireworks by Grucci's Double World Record Attempt
FIREWORKS BY GRUCCI’S DOUBLE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT
THE 2018 NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORK DISPLAY AT RAS AL KHAIMAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, WAS BOOSTED BY AMERICAN SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPANY, FIREWORKS BY GRUCCI, BREAKING NOT ONLY ONE, BUT TWO GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS FOR THE ‘LONGEST CHAIN OF FIREWORKS’ AND THE ‘LONGEST STRAIGHT LINE OF FIREWORKS’.
Still riding high on post-project adrenaline, TPMEA spoke CEO Phil Grucci about the event and to learn a little more about what it takes to attempt such a feat.
Taking place on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, and produced by property management firm, Marjan, Fireworks by Grucci’s special effects team captivated the thousands of visitors with a display that lasted over 13 minutes and featured both the longest chain and the longest straight line of fireworks ever attempted.
But breaking world records has become somewhat of a family tradition for Fireworks by Grucci. This six-generation family business based in the United States has broken nine records over the years including its latest double triumph, achieved in the closing minutes of 2018.
“The first ever record that Grucci broke was by my father in 1979 for ‘the largest shell to ever be shot into the air,’” he began. “Since then, we have had to defend our titles numerous times and win back the records from other companies.”
It was actually in Ras Al Khaimah, the previous New Year, when the CEO had won back his father’s record which had been broken in Japan in 1988. “I wanted to get that one back in his honour which saw us create a shell that was 5-ft in diameter and 2,200lbs. This would have only been possible in the location provided to us by Marjan.”
For the most recent project, the display covered an impressive longest straight line of 13km with the longest chain of fireworks coming
in a 4.6km displaying 11,284 devices. For each effect, Grucci had to make metallic fixture to hold each of the products. During the show, several effects were created and achieved including a palm tree look in the sky as well as utilising SKYMAGIC’s squadron of drones to pay homage to the largest mountain in the UAE, Jebel Jais.
“For this NYE event, we had staff on the ground, prepping the site in the first week of December,” recalled Grucci. “We needed this long run up time due to the marine elements of the project as we were moving vessels eight miles out into sea as well as the assembly of 14 custom 600mm aerial shells. Then, for the actual performance, our crew numbers went up to 80, to make the final prep for the show. It’s become somewhat of a tradition in recent years for the extended Grucci family to celebrate the holidays in the UAE due to the demand for our services during that time of the year.”
This New Year’s event marked the third time the company put on a show in the northern region of the UAE. Grucci recalled when he first visited the Al Marjan Island and immediately saw the opportunity it presented. “It’s the perfect stage for a firework display! Up until being shown the area, we didn’t know the man-made island existed. I remember my first trip there, and as I saw the spiralling landmass, I was reminded of the project we did at the opening of the Palm
back in 2008. It was just a playground for these large-scale events.”
Grucci went on to state how each year its New Year Eve performances have become more elaborate. “After the first project in 2016, Marjan came to us and put down the challenge to make the next event bigger,” Grucci explained how this wiliness to give his team time to work on the project - as opposed to a more last-minute request - was greatly appreciated. “I’m sure there are many readers of TPMEA that would appreciate a message going out to the wider community that being given enough planning time gives the performance companies suppliers the ability to be creative and think outside the box, and ultimately put on a more creative and unique show. At Grucci, we manufacture a lot of our effects in America so having a longer run-up time to the project was incredibly helpful.”
On the topic of freighting, Grucci was quick to complement the work of EFM, which has provided shipping needs over the years. “We also have collaborated with Delta Sound numerous times, including on this latest project,” he added, giving his respects to the audio specialist. Delta’s team last year was headed up by Technical Manager Liam McGrath, with support from Jude Menezes, one of Delta’s up-and-coming communications engineers, and Mark Gesmundo,
the in-house Radio Technician. “‘We deployed the FM transmission of show audio to the surrounding area, for use in hotels and localised event areas to receive the main show content. We also supplied the wireless firework timecode distribution across 11km as well as site-wide radios, and radio coverage for the show and during the build period,” stated McGrath. “There is nothing quite in the same league as being involved in such spectacular shows such as these, and it is an absolute privilege to be able to work alongside a team such as Grucci, putting together what turned out to be two new Guinness World Records!”
With yet another record to the company’s name, there was inevitably a question TPMEA had to ask – does it have any more record attempts in its sights? “There are some very exciting projects on the horizon,” he commented. “But one thing I have been very clear about is not to lose the integrity of a World Record. You can get silly with it and turn it into a bit of a farce. In my mind you should keep the records for those projects that really push engineering and creativity.”
So, we’ll keep our ear to the ground – and eyes to the sky – to see what Grucci has in store for its next project. Photos: Fireworks by Grucci. www.grucci.com www.deltalive.com