Nairobi News


Hennessy XO marks 150th anniversary with superb fireworks live from Cognac

By Thomas Matiko September 25th, 2020 2 min read

Hundreds of thousands of followers around the world tuned in via Livestream as Maison Hennessy hosted “A World Odyssey”, a unique global art spectacle presented on the Charente River in Cognac, France.

In Kenya, the event live-streamed across the globe on Hennessy website brought together top CEOs from the region to celebrate a century and a half of creating and mastering the perfect blend of Hennessy XO.

Conceived and executed by the renowned contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, the daytime fireworks event was launched from 150 oak barrels anchored on the Charente’s surface that echoed Hennessy XO’s 150th anniversary.

Like a theatrical performance, this artistic odyssey exploded with drama, poetry, colour, and emotion, with multi-coloured fireworks unfolding in three acts, through an acknowledgement of pain as an inevitable part of the cycle of life and nature, the fireworks paid tribute to perseverance, optimism and the triumph of resilience.

The event was yet another instance of the energy, persistence and hope demonstrated by Maison Hennessy this year to support its communities in Cognac and internationally.

“World Odyssey” carries a dual message from the illustrious cognac maker and the artist, one of consolation to those affected by the pandemic, and of confidence in the future that was live-streamed across digital platforms.

“Staging the event on the Charente as a metaphor for Hennessy’s history seems appropriate—the river was the channel through which its cognac travelled to the rest of the world,” said Laurent Boillot, chairman and CEO of Hennessy.

“Fireworks in the daytime alluded to another dimension of poetry, as the smoke created forms akin to wild cursive scripts written in the air. There’s a feeling of freedom and movement despite the unknown; of creating joy and persisting despite obstacles in an unpredictable context.”

“2020 will remain in all our memories for its uncertainty and difficulty. But for the Maison Hennessy, this is also the 150th anniversary year for an iconic cognac, Hennessy XO.”

“This exceptional performance is intended as a message of hope — and we feel that today it is practically our duty to be optimistic. Cai Guo-Qiang’s work has impalpable poetry, as does “Hennessy XO. It is our pleasure to host this fireworks event for the people of Cognac, and our friends all over the world.”

The “A World Odyssey” daytime fireworks event executed by Cai Guo-Qiang was staged using exclusively non-toxic, biodegradable, CE-certified pyrotechnic products.