Friday night, February 28, 2003, it was the regretful duty of the performers and staff of Fyrae to inform our fans that we would not be performing at Club Freedom in Tempe. In the wake of the fire in Rhode Island, the staff of Freedom contacted the Fire Marshall for advice and Freedom was told that a fire show would not be cleared. We sincerely apologize to and thank everyone who came to Freedom to see us and wish to express special gratitude to those who had to make special travel arrangements for the show.

The performers and staff of Fyrae would like to express our heartfelt sympathies to the families, friends and community of the victims of the horrific fire in Rhode Island last week. It pains us so much to know that although fire can be used responsibly in a performance, the artists involved chose to not exercise basic caution and that so many people died as a result. We are shocked, saddened and angry.

We know that the recent tragedies at Rhode Island and Chicago nightclubs will frighten people away from fire performing. For this, we would like to express the following:

Safety is always the first goal of our troupe. If we feel that any aspect of the show is unsafe, we will not hesitate to scale back or even cancel the show. We always have at least two "spotters" whose job it is to manage the safety of the audience, performers, equipment and fuel. We spend hours in rehearsal going over planning of the stage locations of personnel, equipment, extinguishers, extinguishing cloths, and water. We keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand.

We are compelled to illustrate the divergence between the fire performing that we do and the pyrotechnic displays that caused the disaster in Rhode Island. The first and most important distinction is our purpose. The manipulation of fire is the trade of Fyrae. We do not use fire as an accent to music or dance: The music and dance is secondary to the fire performance and we treat it as such. As such, we are completely dedicated to the safe and efficient management of the flame. We also use no explosive charges or devices that spray fire. All the fire in our performances is directly under the control of a fire artist. We are liquid fuel manipulators, not a pyrotechnics show.

Once again, we grieve for the lives that were lost in the regretfully avoidable fire in Rhode Island. We also ask the public and fire officials everywhere to please try and understand our Art, and not persecute us out of hand for the thoughtlessness of others.

Extraordinary Fire Arts
Tempe, Arizona