City Buildings Return For Sydney NYE2022 In Diversity-Themed Midnight Fireworks

4 city buildings will feature during the fireworks displays of Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2022 – their 1st appearance in a decade.

This was anticipated by Sydney Spectaculars, who was expecting the return of city buildings as the Sydney Opera House’s ‘decade of renewal’ comes to an end next year. The ‘decade of renewal’ was the reason the Sydney Opera House was returned as a fireworks location from NYE2013 – the first time since its inaugural appearance at the turn of the millennium.

At the media launch, the official reason for the addition of the 4 city buildings after a decade was to “expand the footprint” and because “it would be a good time to (re)introduce them”, according to Sydney NYE2022 Fireworks Director, Fortunato Foti.

The 4 buildings are:

  • Overseas Passenger Terminal
  • Quay Quarter Tower (the new version of the former AMP Centre, opened early 2022)
  • Grosvenor Place
  • Crown Sydney (2nd tallest structure in Sydney, opened 28 December 2020)

The latter building being the 2nd time a casino has featured as part of the fireworks since Star City Casino featured in Sydney NYE1997 to celebrate it’s opening.

The 4 city buildings used for Sydney NYE2022
Photograph: Transport For NSW/Google Maps

Also, the Midnight Fireworks soundtrack is a world premiering dance track called Follow The Lights by platinum-selling, Australian Recording Industry Award-nominated music producer, disc jockey & vocalist Stace Cadet featuring vocal powerhouse KLP.

Stace Cadet was very honoured at being chosen:

The Sydney fireworks are so iconic and I am thrilled to be a part of this momentous occasion. I wanted to complement the light display with a cinematic journey purposely designed to articulate the joy that surrounds ushering in the new year and celebrating the last. I’m beyond grateful to have the insanely talented KLP and her amazing vocals featured.

Stace Cadet

Sydney NYE2022’s Midnight Fireworks will also be themed to diversity, beginning with a rainbow being formed on the Sydney Harbour Bridge BEFORE the countdown, which will be started by pyrotechnic “infinity pods” on the Bridge bringing Sydney together, shooting mines & comets. A rainbow waterfall will feature during the display, most likely during the opening sequence.

From 184 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 7000 pyrotechnic effects will fire during the Midnight Fireworks. The Sydney Opera House’s 4 sails will have 2000 pyrotechnic effects fire off them as well.

Out of 16,000 individual firework cues, the Midnight Fireworks will feature the colours of aquamarine, lemon & magenta as well as waterfall shells in silver and willow shells that crackle with gold & glitter in green and yellow.

With so many people finally able to come and watch the fireworks in person, we really wanted to make sure they were in for something special as we all come together to share this amazing experience

This year we’re launching fireworks from four city rooftops as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This will let us create a ‘Panorama of Pyro’ which will be sure to wow crowds. 

As with every year the soundtrack and pyrotechnics work hand in hand to create the phenomenal experience that is Sydney New Year’s Eve.

The fireworks are ultimately the performers and the night sky their stage, what we do is give them the freedom to dance.

If we can bring everyone together in celebration and get them looking forward to the New Year ahead with renewed optimism and joy, then we see that as a job well done.

Foti International Fireworks director, Fortunato Foti

The 2 fireworks displays of the night, Calling Country & The Midnight Fireworks, will contain 8 tonnes of fireworks including 35,000 shooting ground-based effects (such as comets, mines and crossettes), over 13,000 aerial shells & over 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects, from all firing locations including 7 water-based platforms such as the 6 barges – the first time the full set of barges has appeared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will take 18 shipping containers, more than 5000 crew hours, 16 computers and 35 kilometres of data link to put on the fireworks displays.

First Nations storytellers will celebrate local histories and contemporary experiences through art, song, sound and dance.

While we honour the histories of our First Peoples of this Country, we recognise the strength and resilience that also exists in our First Nations youth, who lead us into the future.

Re-Right Collective Artist, Dennis Golding

As revealed earlier this week, Calling Country is being creatively consulted by The Re-Right Collective. What we did not know was that the creative consultation was being done in collaboration with Gadigal artist Nadeena Dixon, who has helped design the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections for Calling Country. Her pylon projections highlight the story of Gadigal fisherwomen with illustrations of land, water, marine life & figures of her ancestors.

The Re-Right Collective
Photo by Renee Nowytarger/City Of Sydney 30/11/22

As hinted in our previous article, the Calling Country pylon projections designed by The Re-Right Collective will honour Aboriginal women’s knowledge and resilience & to celebrate Indigenous peoples who care for Country, kangaroos draped with superhero capes will feature. The latter is Dennis Golding’s creation (He dreamt becoming a superhero). The kangaroos celebrate this land’s First Peoples who have always cared for Country while the superhero capes recognises Aboriginal cultural identity’s strength. More than 100 young First Nations artists from schools across Sydney have also designed superhero capes & animators have brought to life some of their artworks’ elements for the pylon projections. In addition, they have each written a story in their Indigenous language, with each being translated for projection onto the pylons. Carmen Glynn-Braun’s pylon projections feature the moon as a symbol of connection to Country indicating time, seasons, fertility & new beginnings.

The Calling Country fireworks will feature peonies and umbrella aerial shells, both in sky blue, and pastel peonies in red, orange & lemon to symbolise the sky & sunburnt country respectively. Fireworks will also represent twinkling stars, sunburnt florals and ocean creatures. There will also be strobing & ghost shells as well as a waterfall off the Sydney Harbour Bridge (most likely not a golden waterfall, which is expected to appear exclusively during the Midnight Fireworks)

All of this will be set to a unique soundtrack from sound artist Salllvage (Rowan Savage) featuring Nadeena Dixon as vocalist. It uses recordings of animals & water collected on Gadigal Country alongside a song in language about fisherwomen who lived and gathered food on Sydney Harbour. After the soundtrack, there will be a debut live performance from the Brolga Dance Academy (as hinted in our last article), Gadigal singer-songwriter, Akala Newman and hip-hop artist/rapper, Kobie Dee, which highlights the strength and resilience of First Nations peoples & explores connections of their own to Country. It will conclude with the presentation of a specially created message stick to City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.

The overall theme for Calling Country this year is Sky, Land & Sea and tells of a journey from sunrise to sunset.

City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the City Of Sydney is committed to celebrating First Nations stories in the public domain:

This year’s talented artists have created music, visual art and performances that celebrate Sydney’s rich First Nations identity and people, and the glorious land and ocean that surrounds us.

The City is committed to increasing recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage in the public domain, and New Year’s Eve provides the opportunity to do so loudly and proudly in front a global audience.

City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore

A smoking ceremony from the Tribal Warrior will open the event at 7:30pm while before Calling Country at 8:57pm, 2 Elders from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council will welcome visitors to Gadigal Country as part of the Welcome To Country.

The 11pm WorldPride 2023 Sydney Harbour Bridge light & pylon projection show, revealed in our last article, will last 3 minutes and may feature a synchronised light show on the Sydney Harbour Lights boats as well. It is also officially called the WorldPride 2023 Moment and will feature the Progress Pride colours. Hosted by Jeremy Fernandez, a wider surrounding televisual segment will feature performances by Electric Fields, Courtney Act & Casey Donavan, most likely from the televised concert (which is mentioned in more detail below).

The lighting designer is once again Ziggy Zeigler of 32 Hundred Lighting, returning for his 6th edition and the pylon projections are being produced by Vandal for the 2nd year in a row.

The City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, is also expecting a crowd of 1 million people to return for the 1st time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sydney’s iconic fireworks are the best in the world and kick off global celebrations with a spectacular bang.

As we go over the final plans and get ready for the countdown, we are hopeful this will be our best New Year’s Eve yet!

After the challenges of the past few years, we’re excited to welcome international and interstate visitors back to Sydney to mark the beginning of what we hope will be a safe, peaceful and fabulous 2023.

Sydney is one of the first cities in the world to ring in the New Year and we set the benchmark with a spectacle that showcases the best of what our city has to offer as a stunning and safe, inclusive and buzzing destination.

This year’s fireworks displays include a special celebration of the original custodians of our land and, as we ready to host WorldPride 2023, projections, coloured comets and pyrotechnic showers will turn the iconic Harbour Bridge into a spectacular rainbow.

We are not out of the woods of the pandemic yet and its impacts are still being keenly felt throughout the community. We’re hopeful this celebration provides some relief from the challenges faced over the past few years and an opportunity to look with hope to the new year.

Our service, hospitality and tourism industries have particularly struggled through the pandemic but are now making the most of strong, pent-up demand and starting to bounce back. I encourage everyone in the community come join us this New Year’s Eve and make a night of it. Make a reservation at a restaurant or bar to start your evening, stay overnight at a hotel and support our terrific Sydney businesses.

City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore

The City of Sydney is working with NSW Health & Ambulance to ensure a COVID-19-safe event, this year costing $5.88 million to put on. The event currently contributes $280 million to the Sydney economy. Like last year, most of the Sydney Harbour foreshore is ticketed as a COVID-19 precaution. The City Of Sydney provides 6 of the many vantage points. However, unlike most of the vantage points, their vantage points are free of charge and for 4 of them, ticketed. Facing questions from journalists at the media launch, Lord Mayor of the City Of Sydney, Clover Moore, agreed that the other vantage points, which are run by either local governments or the NSW Government and require a fee, should consider lower the current price of their fees to encourage event visitation.

It should be kept in mind, particularly for international visitors, that New South Wales is currently in its 4th COVID-19 wave. It is not yet of sufficient concern to affect the event but businesses are still recovering from the pandemic so Sydney NYE spectators are encouraged to support local businesses on the night before heading to a vantage point to watch Calling Country and/or the Midnight Fireworks.

There is a chance the 4th COVID-19 wave will be of sufficient concern to affect the event by the 3rd December, at which point Sydney Spectaculars will once again cease to post updates on our site until the public health of New South Wales once again can be guaranteed. NSW Health officials have stated they expect this wave to be short and peak a lot earlier than previous waves.

If you cannot attend the event. the official radio broadcaster is KIIS 106.5 FM (from 6pm AEDT) and the official television broadcaster is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (from 8:30pm AEDT). For the vision impaired, ABC will audio describe Calling Country and The Midnight Fireworks on the ABC Listen app.

Hosted by Charlie Pickering (the new ‘Richard Wilkins’), the ABC broadcast will begin, simulcast on ABC ME, with The Early Night Show, which itself is hosted by Rhys Nicholson, Casey Donovan, Gemma Driscoll along with surprise guests. After Calling Country, at the start of Sydney Harbour Lights, is Zan Rowe, returning as concert co-host to guide you through performances by Tones and I, Ball Park Music, Vika and Linda, Dami Im, Morgan Evans & Tasman Keith.

The concert will also be aired on the entire ABC network including social media, local ABC radio (so if you’re down on the Harbour, tune in on 702AM from 9:15pm) as well as ABC International for global audiences.

We’re thrilled to be ringing in another new year with our partners City of Sydney to deliver yet another unforgettable NYE celebration. We hope that Australians at home and around the world join the ABC in celebrating what we expect to be a magical night

ABC Director of Regional & Local, Judith Whelan

At the media launch, journalists inquired whether drones have been discussed or imagined to be added or to replace the fireworks. The Lord Of Mayor of the City Of Sydney, Clover Moore, confirmed drones will be used during Sydney NYE2022 though Sydney NYE2022 Fireworks Director, Fortunato Foti, confirmed they will not be used for fireworks. This indicates drones will most likely be used as part of the ABC broadcast. However, Fortunato Foti conceded drones being added for fireworks as “probably inevitable and a matter of how and when we do it”. He also acknowledged that they already have someone to collaborate with for drones. In fact, drones have already been used for fireworks at the conclusion of the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

The official charity partner of Sydney NYE2022 is The Smith Family, who help disadvantaged children get the most out of their education through long-term support and evidence-based programs.

As part of Sydney NYE2022, The Smith Family is holding a raffle. You can buy up to 20 tickets at a time, with funds going to The Smith Family’s Learning For Life program, which provides long-term support for the participation of young Australians in education.

3rd prize is 2 premium tickets to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Sydney Lyric Theatre with chocolate & drinks (Valued at $320.00); 2nd prize is 2 nights accommodation at Pullman Melbourne On Swanston, 2 premium seats to Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap and a Webjet voucher (Valued at $2,120.00) while 1st prize is a return trip to London for 2 people thanks to Singapore Airlines including 2 nights stay in the centre of London (Valued at $10,674.36).

You can enter here with entries closing 11:59pm, Sunday the 8th of January 2023 AEDT.

The Smith Family has supported children and young people for 100 years, and today we are helping more children than ever to achieve their potential through the transformational power of education.

We are so proud to mark the end of our centenary year as the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve official charity partner, and with the generous support of the community, we can help even more children experiencing disadvantage to create better futures for themselves.

Chief Executive Officer Of The Smith Family, Doug Taylor

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