Since they were launched in 1997 by the Event Services Association (TESA) , the British Firework Championships have become a signature event for the UK firework industry attracting media coverage from as far afield as Australia.

Created originally to bring the professional pyrotechnics industry together once a year, the Championships have grown exponentially and now considered one of the South West’s premier annual occasions. Not only is it popular locally, but draws in visitors from all around the UK, bringing welcome spending to city businesses.

As a venue, Plymouth has proved itself the natural amphitheatre, enabling many thousands to freely watch the spectacle from all around Plymouth Sound.

At the same time, it provides the firework industry with an opportunity to display their skills, while showcasing the latest pyrotechnics in a friendly but competitive atmosphere.

Every year, six professional firework companies compete over two nights for the title British Firework Champions. Each is required to provide a 10-minute display, which will be judged both by a panel of experts, as well as a lay panel representing the public view. This means their displays are rated both technically and for the big-bang wow factor that we all love.

Since their inception, the Championships have been run as a partnership between the organisers: The Event Services Association and Plymouth City Council

Despite some challenging years with the weather – and even a World War II bomb being discovered close to the firing site – the only time the event has not taken place was during the pandemic.  

Entertainment on the Hoe

As the Hoe is the focal point for watching the Championships, entertainment is provided here throughout both evenings with a fun fair, with thrill rides and live music. Catering facilities are provided on the Hoe and along Madeira Road from early evening on both nights.