Behind the Scenes with Rich MacDonald
Rich is Co-Producer at B4 Productions. He is responsible for the logistical coordination of the event including onsite set-up and break down. He also works closely with the public safety agencies and the fireworks crew to make our event safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Q: What are you doing the day before the event?
A: I’m focused on logistics, making sure that I follow up on all of the details and check on placement of equipment for the event.
Q: What are you doing the day of the event?
A: Managing the site. Also taking notes for the following year -- what works, what doesn’t – and working out last minute issues.
Q: How did you get involved with the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular?
A: I started a long time ago, this is my 30th year. I was once a volunteer on this event handing out trash bags. Every year I became more and more, and now am Co-Producer.
Q: What effect has working on the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular had on you?
A: It has been an amazing experience. I have made so many friends and have a deep appreciation for the people that work so hard on this event, from the private and public sector. Everyone that works on this has such pride in what this event means to the City, State, and all those who view it on site and around the country on TV.
Q: What are the three objects you can’t live without on the Fourth?
A: My phone, radio, and comfortable shoes.
Q: What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome to make the event possible?
A: One of my biggest challenges every year is finding barges for the fireworks; without barges there is no place for the fireworks and that is one of the most important elements in our event. Another challenge is placing all of the equipment needed and generating enough power into a location that was not made to handle this type of event.
Q: What are you thinking/feeling on the day of the show, after all of your preparation is done?
A: Pride in we all accomplished, and how we accomplished it as a team.
Q: What is your favorite 4th of July memory?
A: There was one year where I met with a person who was originally from Boston, but had since moved to Australia. For a long time I would communicate with this person every 4th of July and I would send T-shirts. Well one year he finally made it to the event and the look on his face was worth everything.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone attending the 4th on the Esplanade for the first time?
A: Enjoy it, not just the concert but the people that are there. This event is more than the music or fireworks, it is a celebration.
Q: The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular would not be complete without:
A: The crowd. They are so into the event and its great to see some of the same people come year after year, from all over the world. This has become one of those things that people have on their “bucket list.”