Sydney Lights Up The World

A brilliant light bulb illuminated Sydney Harbour last night as huge crowds gathered around the foreshore to welcome in 2015, while millions more watched around the world.

Celebrating the International Year of Light, the 12-storey-high Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect was the centrepiece of the Midnight Fireworks display – one of the largest and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - 9pm Family Fireworks Photograph: Jennifer Polixenni Brankin - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – 9pm Family Fireworks
Photograph: Jennifer Polixenni Brankin – First Light Photography

The light bulb design, which remained top-secret until midnight, followed an animated image of the New Holland Seahorse, which appeared on the Bridge during the 9PM Family Fireworks.

The New Holland Seahorse – commonly known as the Sydney Seahorse – is native to Sydney Harbour.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - 'New Holland Seahorse' Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect  Photograph: David Clare - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – ‘New Holland Seahorse’ Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect
Photograph: David Clare – First Light Photography

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney’s world-famous fireworks displays provided the perfect welcome to the New Year.

“Sydney is known as the New Year’s Eve Capital of the World and last night’s celebrations were no exception,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Spectacular images from the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays have already been shared around the world – on television, online and via social media – shining a spotlight on our magnificent harbour and inspiring audiences worldwide to visit Sydney.”

“Our New Year’s Eve celebrations have allowed us to showcase our fantastic city to the rest of the world, reinforcing that Sydney is and always will be a welcoming, inclusive, harmonious and multicultural community.”

Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Producer Aneurin Coffey, Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson and Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti discussing fireworks at White Bay. Photograph: City Of Sydney
Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Producer Aneurin Coffey, Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson and Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti discussing fireworks at White Bay.
Photograph: City Of Sydney

Master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti of Foti International Fireworks was responsible for the fireworks displays for the 14th consecutive year.

The displays used approximately 7 tonnes of fireworks, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - Midnight Fireworks Photograph: Karl Bayer - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – Midnight Fireworks
Photograph: Karl Bayer – First Light Photography

The Lord Mayor praised the City of Sydney crews who worked throughout the night to ensure Sydney was sparkling this morning.

“With huge crowds gathering around the harbour foreshore and at vantage points across Sydney, the clean-up of New Year’s Eve is an enormous task,” the Lord Mayor said.

“A fantastic team of 350 City staff worked tirelessly throughout the night, collecting between 48-50 tonnes of waste.”

“Within hours, our staff had transformed the City’s streets and parks, clearing truckloads of rubbish to reveal a pristine setting in time for sunrise.”

The $290,000 clean-up operation involved the use of 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors and 600 mobile garbage bins to support the City’s 720 street litter bins, which were filled with plastic bottles, food containers and food scraps.

90% of the waste collected will be recycled courtesy of SITA Australia.

Crowds at the Campbell's Cove Vantage Point for Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' Photograph: Yie Sandison - First Light Photography
Crowds at the Campbell’s Cove Vantage Point for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’
Photograph: Yie Sandison – First Light Photography

The Lord Mayor also thanked everyone who made the event possible, including the City’s Sydney New Year’s Eve team and Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson.

“After more than 15 months of planning, it was wonderful to see Sydney at its best last night, as the 1st major global city in the world to ring in 2015,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Thank you to everyone who worked throughout the year – and all those who dedicated their time last night – to ensure the celebrations ran smoothly.”

“Sydneysiders have gone through a period of trauma and mourning over the past weeks, and last night we all spared a thought for the families of the Martin Place siege victims.”

Crowds at the West Circular Quay Vantage Point for Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire'  Photograph: Yie Sandison - First Light Photography
Crowds at the West Circular Quay Vantage Point for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’
Photograph: Yie Sandison – First Light Photography

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ acknowledges the support of Leadership Partner – Telstra, Charity Partner – Engineers Without Borders Australia & NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Opera House Trust.

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