Dozens of families asked for refunds this evening after a fireworks display was delayed for more than 45 minutes.
The display, at the Nevill Playing Fields, off Nevill Avenue, Hove, attracted about 5,000 people.
But a technical hitch meant the crowd was kept waiting in the cold – although the hot food and drink concessions did a roaring trade.
Families with young children sought refunds and called out to late arrivals to try to deter them from going in.
The display, which was due to start at 6.30pm, got under way just after 7.15pm and finished just before 7.40pm.
One spectator said: “The announcer said that he hoped it was worth the wait.
“It was a good display but when you’ve got young children and it’s past their bedtime and they’re cold and tired it can be hard to decide whether to stay or go.
“Two of the mums we came with have gone off with their kids to get a refund.
“Any longer and I’d have done the same.
“It cost £20 for me and my partner and my two boys.
“I know the money goes to a good cause but the boys were getting really restless.
“I’m hoping my partner will put them to bed when we get in so I won’t miss too much of the X Factor.”
Mike Sansom, owner of Brighton Fireworks, which organised the event, said: “Two digital firing sytems failed. They cost £2,000 each and we had four of them and two of them worked fine.
“We try really hard to go off on time.
“So when they didn’t go off and we got all these error messages coming up it was the worst feeling in the world.
“But I’ve got a good team behind me and the guys really mucked in.
“The show must go on.”
And go on it did.