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Skyfire 21 review… or how to waste most of the day to watch and listen to a bunch of crap…

grunge_hippy 22 March 2009 68

Don’t get me wrong, the fireworks itself were not that bad.  But they weren’t spectacular… there has been better ones over the years… 

The thing that let the whole thing down was the soundtrack. 

For something that is advertised as fireworks to music (which is how I remember it being when it started 21 years ago) the music chosen was out of sync for one, and for another claimed to be going through the 21 years of skyfire. 

Last time I checked Smoke on the Water was not in the last 21 years.   They could have very easily have made a kick arse soundtrack to go over the last 21 years of music.

What did everyone else think?

[Ed – Photograph kindly courtesy of Anthony Caffery]


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68 Responses to Skyfire 21 review… or how to waste most of the day to watch and listen to a bunch of crap…
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knowitall knowitall 1:21 am 26 Mar 09

I think you’ll find that they dropped thee ‘FM’ a few years ago and are just 104.7 – can’t remember the last time they said ‘FM’ 104.7 on air. The event is a station event and would hazard a guess and suggest that they would pay for everything from the provision of the toilets to the clean up…most likely the ACT Government doesn’t give them any special favours.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:11 pm 23 Mar 09

p1 said :

Fair enough that different people like different people. However it has nothing to do with new-fangled music. They don’t play new releases unless it is pushed by a major record label, which means invariably that it is an established “artist”, or has already proved to be popular.

Or it could just be that they play shit music. The cliched DJs and tired “FM” formula don’t do much to attract this listener either.

p1 p1 10:06 pm 23 Mar 09

uuummmmm…….

Fair enough that different people like different people.

Second people should read “music”. Although that is true too.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that any specific radio station is any better, and I am definatly not suggesting that “popular” means music is good.

p1 p1 10:04 pm 23 Mar 09

A soundtrack supplied by FM104.7 contains crap music and people are surprised! What next it’s hot in hell?

Almost as likely as some old fella not liking the new-fangled music that all these youngsters listen to these days..

Fair enough that different people like different people. However it has nothing to do with new-fangled music. They don’t play new releases unless it is pushed by a major record label, which means invariably that it is an established “artist”, or has already proved to be popular.

bd84 bd84 9:36 pm 23 Mar 09

Holden Caulfield said :

A soundtrack supplied by FM104.7 contains crap music and people are surprised! What next it’s hot in hell?

Almost as likely as some old fella not liking the new-fangled music that all these youngsters listen to these days..

AngryHenry said :

I’d say the government may have footed the bill for the people out there on the Sunday cleaning up the aftermath. Would not suprise me if the same goes for the loos.

104.7 pays the government for the cleanup. People are grubs nothing unusual there, it occurs at every major event where most people are too lazy to walk 50m to a bin.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 4:20 pm 23 Mar 09

I’d say the government may have footed the bill for the people out there on the Sunday cleaning up the aftermath. Would not suprise me if the same goes for the loos.

Danman Danman 3:53 pm 23 Mar 09

At the Australia Day concert between OPH and NPH, they had cordened off areas for temporary toilet areas.

This was the first time I have ever seen mobile outdoor troughs for the gentlemen as well as tardis’s for those game enough. There seemed to be ample facilities for both sexes, without the need to queue.

Given that skyfire was a private sector funded event, then perhaps that is why amenities were lacking. Hopefully the gubment does not foot the bill… I dunno.. anyone wish to correct me ?

AngryHenry AngryHenry 3:02 pm 23 Mar 09

sepi said :

Surely if they provide lots of those big hessian bins people will at least make some efforts to put their stuff near the bin?

You would think, a hundred odd thousand dollars woth of fireworks, maybe they could forgo the last few minutes or so and spend some money on facilities, like bins and toilets.

lisapom68 lisapom68 2:48 pm 23 Mar 09

I guess if we’re going to complain about something, shouldn’t it be about the lack of toilet amenities!!!!!!!!
I was sitting where the library is, and I couldn’t believe the line up for the loo’s.
Surely, they need to put in more toilets to accomodate people. That whole side had 4 loo’s for females and 4 for males. Females were lining up to go to the mens, which I found quite revolting.

sepi sepi 2:01 pm 23 Mar 09

Surely if they provide lots of those big hessian bins people will at least make some efforts to put their stuff near the bin?

AngryHenry AngryHenry 1:19 pm 23 Mar 09

I agree with you about the littering. That comes with a lot of events like this and I fail to understand why people can’t be responsible with their rubbish. It sucked riding round the lake on Sunday seeing all the rubbish.

I don’t think it’s 100% free to all though, they get sponsors, sponsors dip into their profits to pay for the event and we the consumers contribute to the profits.

It’s the cirlce of life, hakuna-matada.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:16 pm 23 Mar 09

Went to Skyfire a couple of years ago at Regatta Point and learnt that it’s a place to stay away from.

Kids and I rocked up to the ANZAC Pde end at 8pm. Watched satellites buzz over for 30 mins, then saw a great show. Have been to Riverfire in Brisbane and that was better, but this show was the best I can recall seeing over the last 3-4 years here in Canberra. I think it was all over this NYD and Oz Day.

Not using the bridges as launch points probably opened up two other key viewing areas, plus reduced the after traffic jams somewhat. The 11 pontoons made for a great multilayered show, the 3D wireframe cubes blew me away, and the finale was just incredible – flabbergasting even.

Could hear music from nearby people and it didn’t seem to synch but would have preferred to not have that blaring out anyway.

Then it was grab the blanket and kids and bolt for the car. 15 minutes later tucking them into bed.

However a couple of police to control pedestrians getting across Parkes Way would be smart – someone is going to get squashed there one year.

excession excession 12:53 pm 23 Mar 09

There is no pleasing some people.

Lets poke sticks into the ant-nests:

(*) Its SUCH a lot of MONEY

Yeah, how much did you pay directly? FM104.7 might be paying a squillion dollars from their advertising budget, but they certainly get a -lot- of ‘captive audience’ for a couple of hours. They don’t do it out of altruistic ‘we luv Canberra’, they do it because there is profit in it for them — from the advertisers. If you’re going to complain about the cost of goods BECAUSE of the cost of advertisements, well I guess you have no idea how economies work. Figures.

(*) I don’t go, so shut up.

Um, right. Next.

(*) They played crappy out-of-sync musak.

So what? They -try- to synchronise it to a particular location. Those pontoons on the lake stretched a few hundred metres. What looked perfectly synchronised from the bridge, sounded ‘somewhat out of sequence’ because the sound had to travel so much farther from the farthest pontoon, relative to Commonwealth Avenue. People in ‘front’ of the barges (on regatta point) would have had a more ‘all at once’ cohesive sound, but it would only sync with the music from one specific area around Regatta Point. That’s a physical constraint of sound propagation, nothing the organisers can do about the ‘laws of physics’. As for the actual music — tastes change, what’s new is old, and old is new, and classic is ‘boring’ to some. That argument never dies, because something is ALWAYS new and the vast music library of the past is ALWAYS old. I don’t go for the sound component, it’s always drowned out by the oohs, ahs, and the incessant Mobile Phone conversations

“HELLO? HELLO? IT’S REALLY LOUD, THERE ARE SOME FIREWORKS GOING OFF, WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU, WE’RE ON THE BRIDGE …” and they move on, oblivious to the fireworks, and wholly concerned with their social networking.

(*) Rubbish.

It made third page on the Canberra Times, but it was REALLY OBVIOUS this year that people were ‘into’ Littering in a big way. From our perch on Commonwealth avenue bridge, we saw many bottles and cans sail over the edge into the unpleasant looking lake water. People dropped cigarette butts, hurled bottles, dropped cardboard containers, they were completely unashamed about it too. I certainly -felt- like asking the bloke next to me if he felt like following his bottle over the edge, but of course, in polite society one turns the other cheek and ignores it. Bloody idiots. Back in the 70’s there was a concerted effort across Australia to make littering a socially unacceptable thing, and (mostly) it worked. Nowadays, kids just think that litter ‘magically disappears’ if you just chuck stuff on the ground. They don’t understand, and won’t understand unless some kind of Advertising Bomb goes off and interrupts ‘So You Think You Can Prance’ or ‘Survivor XII – revenge of the crabs’, or whatever ‘popular’ TV show they’re glued to.

My experience at this years Skyfire was only marginally different from the many other times I’ve attended. The crowding was much more obvious, and the people incredibly much louder than usual, with an overwhelming predominance of teenagers yakking on their phone, or SCREAMING at each other trying to make the loudest noise they could, on a constant basis. The aforementioned Rubbish Increase was staggeringly inappropriate. The fireworks display itself was excellent. Seeing evidence here that people are jaded and ‘bored’ with such pyrotechnics, saddens me a little, but I enjoyed the heck out of it — that last section where things went insanely ‘bang bang bang’ for what seemed like an eternity, was just jaw-droppingly great. Sound you could feel in your chest.

Afterwards we walked back to our car parked at the rear of the Albert Hall, and got home within 20 minutes, unlike those poor saps parked on the grass on the parliamentary side of Commonwealth Avenue, who had at least 30-50 minutes wait just to get their car onto a free stretch of road.

Bottom line — if you don’t like it, don’t go. If you do go, don’t litter. Above all, don’t preen about the up-front ‘cost’ of such exercises, when it’s free to all.

Ex

Qbn Gal Qbn Gal 12:43 pm 23 Mar 09

I think fireworks are all about enjoyment for kids, and the 2 eight year olds I took along had a wonderful time. We had a picnic tea, and they had a great time dancing, light-sabre fighting and then watching the sun go down before the fireworks began. It’s wonderful watching the awe on childrens faces when those fireworks light up the sky. It’s great family entertainment.

The only negative comment I would make is directed at the idiots who ( often along with children in tow) just step out in front of cars and expect to cross the road safely. Good role models….NOT!

AngryHenry AngryHenry 12:31 pm 23 Mar 09

Die Lefty Scum said :

I went to Skyfire II and proudly haven’t been back since. FM104.7 is what’s wrong with this city. Lowest common-denomenator stuff for the mindless Gungahlin-living herds.

That’s a bit harsh. I’m sure there was some mindless southside-living livestock there too. Even if that’s what you think of them aren’t they entitled to their fun too? I mean it was hardly Summernats by the lake was it?

I’ve been to too many of them to count but not recently, it seems like it used to be much better on the Sunday night, and was a lot better as part of the Canberra Festival, but troublemakers still turned up then just not in as high a concentration. I think the ego of the radio station has led them to turn it into a more standalone event. You need something a bit more than fireworks though to drag me out into the elements and share space with that many people.

If they put on a huge concert and then let off the fireworks maybe I’d be more interested, but a live broadcast by the lake prior to a ‘you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’ cracker display doesn’t have that much allure to me.

I stayed home and watched the finale of Battlestar Galactica and it was really good(thanks WMC!).

ant ant 11:09 am 23 Mar 09

It is when they trot it out every year for a radio station cracker night! Actually, from memory, INXS was on it too, need you tonight or something.

justbands justbands 10:56 am 23 Mar 09

> obligatory Midnight Oil stuff… boring.

*ahem* Midnight Oil is never boring!

Die Lefty Scum Die Lefty Scum 10:54 am 23 Mar 09

I went to Skyfire II and proudly haven’t been back since. FM104.7 is what’s wrong with this city. Lowest common-denomenator stuff for the mindless Gungahlin-living herds.

ant ant 10:41 am 23 Mar 09

We went to a beaut one a long time ago, 90s or even earlier. We were at east basin (parked at Duntroon and walked around), and I’m not sure why but the crackers were bursting right above us, and quite low, so the bits and sparks were hitting all around. It was excellent. Being directly under them is the way to go.

Music was poop though. “In the Air Tonight” (oh please) and the obligatory Midnight Oil stuff… boring.

deye deye 10:02 am 23 Mar 09

fnaah said :

I’ve been to a fair few Skyfires over the last 21 years, although not too many recently. I think the last one I went to was the one with the F-111 dump-n-burn opening (which was awesome) – was that last year, or earlier?.

2007.

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