Rainbow Waterfall Heralds New Dawn For Equality

A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve (Sydney NYE) celebrations.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the dramatic ‘technicolour’ fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world again & celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that 4 out of 5 Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality” the Lord Mayor said.

“The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it is a reminder of how far we have come & how far we have left to achieve true equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex community. It is a wonderful way to ring in the new year & celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras

“With more fireworks than ever before, this year’s Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest & best in the world”

Sydney New Year’s Eve contributes an estimated AUD$133 million to the local economy & puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level”

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti & the crew from Sydney family company, Foti Fireworks International, more than 5,000 hours to create the Sydney NYE display.

“The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this, we have created some great effects that I am looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney & the world” Mister (Mr) Foti said.

“This waterfall effect is a first for the Bridge & we have chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple & silver”

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event’s 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks with:

  • 8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
  • 13,000 shells – 1,000 more than in 2016
  • 30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than in 2016

Inner-Sydney artist, Nadia Hernández, is the creative artist for this Sydney NYE and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired a vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year, the 9pm Family and Midnight Fireworks & the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades including bright orange, pink, lime green & light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words including ‘wonder’, ‘harmony’, ‘hope’ & ‘together’, which will feature in the animations projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons on the night.

“I included these words in the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney & send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year” Miss (Ms) Hernández said.

“The words & colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family & with friends – and that sums up NYE in Sydney too”

“It is such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder. This project really has been a dream come true for me”


This year, the Welcome To Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening’s Welcome To Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant, Rhoda Roberts (Order Of Australia), said the message marked a close connection between the 2 cities’ First Peoples.

“There is a lovely connection between Sydney & San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography & both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture” Ms Roberts said.

“There is a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these 2 great cities. The language, the stories & the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here & in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured & are still strong today”

At the close of the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Welcome To Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: “Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!”, which translates to English as: “We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area”.

San Francisco Mayor, Edwin M. Lee, said the city was proud to be included in Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our sister city friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation & partnership across the Pacific” he said.

“In January, our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city & joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship & to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy”

The Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder program highlights include (times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time): 

6pm                 Pre-Show Entertainment

8:38pm           Welcome To Country

9pm                 Family Fireworks

9:15pm           Harbour Of Light Parade

Midnight         Fireworks

Getting in & out of the city centre is different on NYE. There will be road closures, on-street fencing & diversions to help people get around safely & move crowds to transport. Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information.

Media Release: City Of Sydney