What a disappointment Ally Pally fireworks turned out to be

ticket entrance queues into the Bier Festival were horrendous. We arrived at 4.30. Once inside there was one, yes one "Bier bar" with around 4/5 actual front end servers!!!!

The queues to the bar were at least 25 line wide with 15 people deep. There was no way you could order drinks in under 45 mins and the ladies moving around the room, taking orders for jugs were simply overworked so they could have taken much more money with more coordinated bar staff.

The food stalls inside had extremely long winding snake type queues, as did the toilets. If there were more bars serving beer and more stands serving food, lots more people could have ordered and enjoyed their food and drink whilst sat on the floor as there were not enough tables or chairs!!

Ally pally missed massive retail opportunities by limiting beer and food stalls.. Think the tent ran out of beer around 6 ish.

5 security staff members I spoke to, did not know where we should leave the hall to watch the fireworks. Two had no clue, one thought doors would be opened to watch from terrace, yet another was not sure that the doors would be opened!!
In the end we left to walk along to the front of the palace to watch them. Thousands of people all stranded once the show had finished as the procession of people tried in minute steps to make their way home.

Best organised firework display I've attended was at sunshine garden centre and will certainly book that again. The groups of 10 people I went to ally pally will not attend another event there, even if they put it on free next year.

Overcrowding, hundreds of security people but lacked ability to offer people informed details ie where fireworks would be held, lack of beer lack of seating and lack of food must says it all! Will give a miss its not worth it.

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That's such a shame!   I agree, the Sunshine Garden Centre is a really amazing display.   Fortunately I could see the Ally Pally fireworks from my window, and they did look great.   But I didn't know it was so bad for those who were actually there.   What a missed opportunity!

I went along too, and was sorely disappointed.  I arrived at about 7pm and found the crowd mangement not too bad (apart from not allowing you access to the Ally Pally road from the station, forcing you to walk all the way round). 

They may have looked good from a distance, but in person, the fireworks were far too low.  Either they were poorly positioned, or of cheaper stock, but 80% of the explosions took place looking horizontally, and not above you. Some even 'popped' below horizon level down the hill.  I've never seen anything like it.  I'd wager that only a handful of them went as high as the Palace itself, meaning unless you were right at the front you missed a good number of them.


Also, they just were not imaginative, had poor sound for the music, and the laser show meant you had to crane you neck to look back at the building to see some of what was attempted.


For the last three years we've been to the Walker Cricket Ground, and although it is far shorter in duration, it was far superior to what I say on Saturday. Even the display at Scout Park has fireworks that go off above your head. 


Not sure I'll be back next year...

I agree entirely Doyougetme, fireworks were positioned in front of the palace down the hill! I thought they would be higher with louder music.  Walker Cricket Ground is an amazing display but will definitely stick with Sunshine Garden Centre as they just have it all going for them. 

I will certainly write to the organisers Lindsey so thanks for the link :)

Quite a few people shared your experience of queues and overcrowding, according to Twitter at least. Friends of Ally Park tweeted a link to give feedback to the organisers, if you wish to: http://www.alexandrapalace.com/news/alexandra-palace-fireworks-2013

Hi guys, my name is Rory and I live in the area. Sorry I am using my company Twitter account, don't be scared away! I'm doing a little article about this disappointing damp squib event. Is there anything else you'd like to say so I can perhaps quote it?



Feedback done. My parents came from SE London and were very disappointed.

If you ask me Ally Pally pocked half of the ticket money and spent the rest using a cheap promoter. The last free one a couple of years ago was funded by the council so I'm assuming they threw loads at it, before the local government cuts of course. 

Seems as though it was a shambles from start to finish, poor organisation, safety issues, poor staffing and a lot of misleading advertising.  You can see lots of feedback on the event on the Facebook page (link below)

Back with a Bang Facebook Page

Next year I'll go to the Wood Green Mall Car Park to watch it ;-)

Thanks guys. If you click this link, you can see my finished, published article about this very disappointing event.

It includes some of your comments on this forum, including Twitter and others.


Love the header Ed, ALLY PALLY FIREWORK DISMAY: Snap, crackle and flop! Very apt ))

Great article!  

Awesome. Glad you liked it! It's not fair on you guys so I wrote the article :)

Fireworks night is coming up again and both Ally Pally and the Sunshine Garden Centre have tickets on sale. Now a year has gone by, do you think you will risk Ally Pally after the disastrous fireworks last year or is it Sunshine all the way?


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