What is Ignis Brunensis?
Ignis Brunensis is a cultural festival that takes place for two to three weeks every year, covering the end of May and early June. The festival marks the beginning of Brno’s tourist season, and while it is a cultural festival covering a wide array of activities and events, the name Ignis Brunensis is inspired purely by the fireworks element of the festival, as it is Latin for ‘Fire of Brno.’
History of Ignis Brunensis
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the name, Ignis Brunensis began its existence as a fireworks show. In its early days the event alternated between being a Czech national fireworks competition and a non-competitive, but still very exciting, fireworks exhibition.
The inaugural event, in 1998, along with the events in 2000 and 2002, were national competitions, while 1999 and 2001 took the form of exhibitions. From 2003 onwards the fireworks element of Ignis Brunensis has been a popular and widely acclaimed international competition, routinely attracting four or five competing fireworks companies from around the world.
Awards presented to competing fireworks companies include the Main Prize, prizes from Czech television and Czech radio, a special Mayor of Brno’s prize, and a People’s Choice Award. Often fireworks companies will win multiple awards, but to date none have ever completed a clean sweep of the awards.
Fireworks at Ignis Brunensis 2016
This year there is due to be four competing fireworks displays, along with fireworks exhibitions to mark the opening and closing of the event.
All of the competing fireworks displays take place at the Brno Dam, at 10:30pm local time. Displays typically last around 22 minutes, and are set to music which is played by Czech radio. In 2016, all the music will be from the Brno Philharmonic, which is marking its 60th year.
Ignis Brunensis Firework Team
This team is a joint venture between the Czech hosts and Germany. The Ignis Brunensis Firework Team will provide the first competitive display on Saturday June 4th, and are the first joint venture team to attend the event.
Privatex Pyro, from Slovakia, are the next entrants, with their display taking place on Wednesday June 8th.
FOCS d’artifice EUROPLY
FOCS d’artifice EUROPLY is the entry of Spain, and are afforded a special privilege as this display is the 100th in the history of Ignis Brunensis.
This display takes place on Saturday June 11th.
The final entry into the fireworks competition, on Wednesday June 15th, is Macedos Pirotecnia. This is likely to be the most anticipated of the competition entries, as Macedos previously won the main prize in both 2006 and 2007 while also picking up another two awards at each event. Can Macedos make it a hat-trick nine years after their last prize?
The video below shows the winning effort from 2007.
Ignis Brunensis 2016
If you happen to be in Brno when Ignis Brunensis is taking place, we recommend getting yourself involved whether you’re there for the fireworks displays or anything else that is taking place during your trip. The whole event is a wonderful celebration of what is a great city, and a great way to immerse yourself in some incredible cultural experiences.