Listen: Fireworks expert Fortunato ‘Forch’ Foti is responsible for lighting the fuse and chatted to 96five’s Arthur Muhl
After being cancelled last year, one of Australia’s largest and most popular pyrotechnic displays returns as the spectacular finale to the Brisbane Festival.
Space maybe at premium this weekend as people safely vie for the best view of the city skyline.
From 6.45pm on Saturday, more than two tonnes of fireworks will be launched from five river barges, eight rooftops and two bridges.
Fireworks expert Fortunato ‘Forch’ Foti is responsible for lighting the fuse. He told 96five’s Arthur Muhl that even though he’s been doing the Brisbane Festival fireworks for the past 16 years, he still gets nervous before the first skyrocket takes off.
“It’s obviously nerve-racking since we rely on computers and we all know what computers can do when we don’t want them to do. We’ve got backups at each of the locations where the fireworks are launched.”
Riverfire is taking place under Queensland Health’s COVID safe events framework and complies with all health authority directions.
Spectators in controlled sites will be expected to use the Check-in Qld App, carry a mask at all times and where it if unable to socially distance.
The best controlled outdoor viewing sites include:
- South Bank Parklands
- River Terrace, Kangaroo Point
- Service Road, below Kangaroo Point Cliffs
- Captain Bourke Park, Kangaroo Point
- Wilsons Outlook, Fortitude Valley
For the less adventurous, Riverfire will be televised ‘live’ on Channel 9 from 6.45pm.
With 35 years of ‘legal’ fireworks experience under his belt and having entertained a ‘live’ audience of one hundred million people through his various pyrotechnic displays, the spark still burns as bright as the first cracker that Forch lit decades ago.
“Our reward is seeing people enjoy the fireworks, whether they’re young or old. It appeals to all the senses. If for those 20 minutes we can make people forget about everything else happening around them and they go home happy, we like to think we’ve helped them in their mental health.”
For more details about Riverfire, visit the website https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on/2021/sunsuper-riverfire and listen to the interview above with Fortunato ‘Forch’ Foti and 96five’s Arthur Muhl.