New Year is always full of loud bangs and explosions – but there’s far more than just that in Ischgl. As in other years, 2018 will begin with an enormous acoustic firework display. Organiser Helmut Lunner lets us in on as many secrets as he can in advance of the show.

You’re responsible for the big acoustics fireworks display in Ischgl. What makes a really good fireworks display?
A really good fireworks display doesn’t just mean shooting rockets into the air – it means following a dramatic storyline with an absolute highlight at the end of the display. The accompanying music is part of the production and the fireworks have to be coordinated with it. If the spectators watch fascinated from beginning to end and don’t get bored at all, then that’s a really good fireworks display.

What will be the theme of the fireworks display this year?
Angels. After the Blue Danube Waltz, the opening acoustic fireworks should get everyone going from the very first bar with an old Blues Brothers number, “Gimme some Lovin.” The second number, “Empire of Angels” by Thomas Bergersen, is much more emotional. After a moving beginning, the powerful passages alternate with calmer ones until the fireworks display reaches its huge, long finale.

Where do you have the best view of the fireworks from?
There are two launching sites. You could think of it as actually two firework displays taking place at the same time, which means there are lots of very good places in the town to watch from. I personally prefer the square near the cultural centre, not far from the church, or the Postwiese meadow. That’s where the directors are, by the way…

There are directors?
Yes, as well as lots of other specialists. The fireworks which we use, for example, can only be bought, transported, stored and set off by trained pyro-technicians. And the twelve different audio stations scattered throughout the town only work properly if they are the right size to fill the prescribed areas with sound, and if they can be controlled synchronously. Only experienced sound engineers can do that.

How long have you already been planning the fireworks display for?
Many of the operations have been kept the same over the years and become second nature to all the participants, which makes the process much easier. Good firework and sound technicians have to be engaged the summer beforehand, as New Year is their busiest season. Working with the authorities, getting consent agreements from the landowners, and detailed planning have to be tackled by October at the latest.

What’s your wish for 2018?
For us all to stay healthy and happy, and have enough time to spend on our families and important personal interests.

Helmut Lunner organises the enormous acoustic fireworks display