The Sydney Morning Herald has confirmed that the Sydney Harbour Bridge southern pylons will be used as a one-off on Tuesday night for the announcement of the result of the Barrier Draw for The Everest horse race.
It is expected a light show on the arch using the Vivid Sydney lights will occur as well as a one-off generic light show on the north-east pylon will occur too.
The projection show though will be held at 7pm, most likely at the south-east pylon only, with the barrier draw conducted in secret earlier after betting on the race is halted at 5pm for about 2 hours. After the barrier draw is done, the projections will be finalised for display. This happened last year, though in different circumstances.
Racing NSW Chief Executive Officer, Peter V’landys told the Sydney Morning Herald that the Barrier Draw reveal on the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be a one-off as it was on the Sydney Opera House a year ago.
This would be of comfort to some people, who were against last year’s projection show due to horse racing’s gambling & animal rights issues.
However, what is more surprising is his revealing of plans to rotate the projection show annually to new locations.
“There are so many great places in Sydney that would make a spectacular backdrop for The Everest barrier draw, we will move it again next year,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“This race is innovative and fresh and we want to keep it that way. It’s why we have done barrier draws at places that haven’t been used before”
“The draw will be memorable I’m sure on Tuesday night and go around the world again.”
Many places are used in Sydney for projections for various events, most notably for Vivid Sydney. This would mean the Barrier Draw projection show could become an annual event for another decade, assuming The Everest is still held.
This may concern some people who consider the projection show an “advertisement” as it will treat all possible Sydney landmarks useable for projections as a “billboard”. We believe this year’s projection show is not an advertisement though as it follows the history and nature of Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections.
Unless a new location is used, the most likely location for next year’s Barrier Draw would be the Museum Of Contemporary Art. It’s the next largest projection site in Sydney. Other possible locations in future years include:
- Customs House
- Cadman’s Cottage
- Australian National Maritime Museum
- Taronga Zoo’s Main Entrance
- MLC Centre in Martin Place
- The Concourse at Chatswood
- Carlton & United Brewery at Central Park
- Central Station Clock Tower
- Coney Island (Luna Park Sydney)
- St Mary’s Cathedral
- Sydney Town Hall
- Argyle Cut
We hope Racing NSW uses the Randwick Racecourse grandstand before any of the other locations due to the recent controversy. The Randwick Racecourse grandstand has never been used for projections as far as we are aware.
Unlike the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons and to an extent, the Sydney Opera House, most of the locations listed above have been used only for artistic purposes as part of Vivid Sydney and not for non-artistic events or promotions.
Exceptions include Customs House in 2013 featuring a one-night Doctor Who 50th Anniversary projection show, Argyle Cut this year featured a Pixar-themed projection show at Vivid Sydney, the Australian National Maritime Museum permanently has maritime-themed projections except on special occasions & St Mary’s Cathedral and Sydney Town Hall have been used for annual Christmas-themed projections.
Last year, when the Sydney Opera House refused permission for ‘The Everest’ to hold it’s barrier draw through projections on the iconic sails, mainly due to a clear advertisement at the projection show’s conclusion:
However, while the projection show was amended, it was preceded by a fiery media ‘interview’ between radio host Alan Jones and Sydney Opera House Trust CEO Louise Herron:
It concluded with Alan Jones saying “I will be speaking to Gladys Berejiklian in about 5, 3 minutes”. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier Of NSW, hastingly got the projection show to be approved 9 hours later through Ministerial discretion.
This, as well as the general content of the show, sparked massive protests and petitions and worldwide headlines.
Last month, it was revealed that the Sydney Harbour Bridge southern pylons were proposed to be used for a 2nd edition of the show. This, once again, draw an angry response though not on the scale of last year mainly because firstly, it wasn’t yet approved and secondly, the circumstances have been vastly different (no media-politics links & advertisements). While no clear advertisement is expected to feature in the show (while it does still have some sort of promotional value), there have been a couple of projections in recent weeks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons that are similar or are advertisements.
One was for the Rugby League World Cup 9’s, which was government-approved and one was for the re-release of Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire. The latter we can’t confirm if it was government-approved though we expect it was highly likely a form of guerrilla marketing (even though it was on the Bridge for a minimum of 26 minutes).
We expect Tuesday night at 7pm will have some sort of protest as it will no doubt draw the ire of some people though we expect it won’t be on the scale of last year. However, the news of making the projection show an annual feature rotating to a different landmark each year may ignite protests again.
We expect The Everest Barrier Draw will be broadcast live again this year on the Sky Racing Thoroughbred Central channel.
We also expect a function will be held simultaneous to the projection show at the nearby Overseas Passenger Terminal, which hosted last year’s barrier draw and the recent Dally M Awards, that were simultaneously projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge south-east pylon. It should be noted the Dally M Awards are the National Rugby League (NRL)’s award nights, the NRL is linked to the Australian Rugby League Commission, where Peter V’landys is also currently Chairman-elect.
Racing NSW had already been contacted for comment prior to this news breaking as part of our following of this story. They are yet to respond.
We have also asked most of the possible future projection sites for comment.
This post updates.