Sydney Harbour will come to life on New Year’s Eve with a five-minute mini-movie animation inspired by the Aussie music anthem, ‘Great Southern Land’.
Created with award-winning Australian pop duo, Client Liaison, the new music moment at 11pm will see the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons illuminated with Australian beach scenes, the outback and a dramatic setting sun.
The original song ‘Great Southern Land’ was a huge early ’80s hit by rock group Icehouse, evoking the Australian landscape, heritage and identity.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore today announced the theme of New Year’s Eve 2018 – ‘the Pulse of Sydney’.
“Every New Year’s Eve, the world watches as Sydney becomes the first city to ring in the New Year,” the Lord Mayor said.
“No other night reflects the pulse of Sydney quite like New Year’s Eve – with more than one million people coming together around our beautiful Sydney Harbour and more than one billion people celebrating with us worldwide.
“Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti never fails to impress with bigger and brighter fireworks displays and Creative Director Rhoda Roberts has created a new ritual, ‘Calling Country,’ to welcome all to Gadigal land.”
As the animation plays on the bridge, Client Liaison will perform ‘Great Southern Land’ as part of the ABC New Year’s Eve concert, The Night Is Yours, at the Sydney Opera House. This will be broadcast on the ABC and live-streamed on sydneynewyearseve.com.
Client Liaison’s Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller described the Sydney New Year’s Eve collaboration as a creative dream.
“No city on earth does New Year’s Eve like Sydney. To be part of this amazing night as musicians is incredible. To have a creative role as artists is an absolute buzz,” said vocalist Monte Morgan.
“We had so much fun helping create the Australiana animation, and I can’t wait to see our concept beamed on the biggest and most beautiful canvas you could ever hope to have,” said keyboardist Harvey Miller.
Not to be outdone, the fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight will include never-before-seen fireworks effects, with more fireworks than ever before.
This year, more than 8.5 tonnes of fireworks will be used to create dramatic displays across Sydney Harbour – 500kg more than in 2017.
There will be 35,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than last year – and 13,000 shells lighting up the night with never-before-seen firework effects.
Fireworks director, Fortunato Foti, revealed there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, with 1,000 more effects shooting from the Harbour Bridge this year.
“Our ‘pulse of Sydney’ theme has inspired new fireworks effects. For the first time we’ve created pulsating fireworks that you’ll see in dramatic new star shapes,” said Mr Foti.
“We’re also introducing wave effect fireworks, where the colour moves across the display rather than the traditional explosion from the centre of the firework.
“And to celebrate summer, we’ve created fireworks featuring new lime and peach colours to brighten the show.”
An age-old Aboriginal tradition of Calling Country will see Sydney mark the International Year of Indigenous languages in 2019.
The Calling Country ritual will welcome all to Sydney and Gadigal land. The ceremony will be captured in a series of stunning animated projections, including water, birds, fish and plants beamed onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.
Sydney New Year’s Eve creative director, Rhoda Roberts AO, said the cultural protocol “has been updated for the 21st century”, with real significance for the new year.
“UNESCO has named 2019 the International Year of Indigenous languages, so I think it is fitting that we end our new-look welcome in words of the Gadigal we can all embrace,” Ms Roberts said.
The Sydney New Year’s Eve event is included in the scope of greenhouse gas emissions measured and offset by the City as part of its annual assessment.
Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks are manufactured from biodegradable paper and compounds that dissipate after use to minimise the environmental impact. We also draw on improved technology, energy saving LED and low wattage lighting.
The City of Sydney New Year’s Eve event times:
6pm – Air displays start above Sydney Harbour by flying ace Matt Hall and Scott Bretland
7pm – Fire tug presents its water display on Sydney Harbour
7.30pm – Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony on the Sydney Harbour by the Tribal Warrior Association
8pm – Air displays continue above Sydney Harbour
8.30pm – Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon and bridge effects start
9pm – Family fireworks (8 minutes) includes the ABC Design Your Own Firework competition firework display
9.08pm – Calling Country segment honouring Australia’s Indigenous heritage
9.15pm – Harbour of Light Parade starts
11pm – New music moment
12am – Midnight fireworks (12 minutes)
1am – Sydney Harbour Bridge lighting effects end
2am – Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections end
ABC is thrilled to announce that once again Charlie Pickering and Zan Rowe will be counting down to 2019 when they host ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage live from the Sydney Opera House, featuring a star-studded concert. Joining the musical line up will be talented all-rounder Tim Minchin, pop singer Christine Anu and the original Daddy Cool Ross Wilson.
They will star alongside internationally renowned singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Aussie rocker Daryl Braithwaite, Casey Donovan, Isabella Manfredi (Preatures), pop duo Client Liaison, Indigenous Hip Hop artist Baker Boy, soul singer Kaiit and drummer extraordinaire turned solo artist, G Flip.
As well as their favourite songs, our performers will be singing songs from a party playlist that’s been voted for by the Australian public.
With special guests appearing and the sensational midnight fireworks over Sydney Harbour, capping off the night, it’s going to be a night not to be missed.
But before the concert kicks off, Rove McManus is taking over hosting duties of New Year’s Eve: The Early Night Show. Rove will be joined by Hoot and Hootabelle, Jimmy Giggle, Grace Koh, Jemima, Big Ted and the Design Your Own Fireworks Competition winner as well as other special guests. With lots of music, including performances by Zindzi and Dami Im, and the Family Fireworks to look forward to, it promises to be a fun night for the whole family.
New Year’s Eve: The Early Night Show starts at 8.30pm
ABC New Year’s Eve…The Night is Yours coverage starts at 9.30pm
Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Now firstly, to be clear, not all the vantage points of Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) are sold out or reached capacity already.
Just mostly the good ones.
This year has seen an expansion of ticketed vantage points that now see some of the most iconic views of the event now sold out over a month before the event is held. These views include areas where you could choose a spot to sit on the morning of the event.
Some of these ticketed areas aren’t paid areas too. That is, it is free of charge but you can still book a ticket.
So, this Sydney NYE, where were you planning to watch the fireworks from?
Sorry, sold out on the 22nd of November. What about here?:
Sorry, that’s sold out too in early November. What about here?:
Yeah, same as that last one – sold out.
Wait!!!! So where can I watch the fireworks????
The remaining spots are either very far away, got poor views, got very limited space of good views or cost heaps for a ticket. This year, 2.5 of the 7 kilometres of Sydney Harbour foreshore that provides a perfect view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge will be non-ticketed.
The 2 remaining spots we can recommend as allowing you to have a fair chance of getting a good view include Mary Booth Lookout… (If you don’t know where that is, here is the view):
This location has a capacity of 4500 people and last year, reached capacity at 2pm. Given the lack of good vantage points, this could reach capacity earlier this year.
…and the Sydney Opera House, which has a capacity of 7000 people and last year, reached capacity at 1pm. Like with Mary Booth Lookout, we expect this area to reach capacity earlier this year. This one particularly due to East Circular Quay being sold out already.
So what’s wrong with the other vantage points?
Well, using the Sydney Opera House for starters, the only free sections are in a small corner on the north-western side of the Northern Forecourt and most of the Southern Forecourt.
Despite being a free vantage point, in the past decade, most of the Sydney Opera House has become ticketed.
Most of the Northern Forecourt is now home to a paid ticketed concert for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s broadcast of Sydney NYE. However, proceeds from ticketing go to charity.
The actual building is used for paid ticketed events.
The western side of the Sydney Opera House is mostly home to paid ticketed functions.
And obviously, if you are on the eastern side of the Sydney Opera House, you cannot see the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You will still see 3 barges of pyrotechnics, which whilst it is impressive, it isn’t what you went to the event for. You went for the Bridge.
Ok. So what about Mrs Macquaries Point?
That is mostly covered by trees or facing away from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Again, only a very small portion of that Point has a good view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and that is right on the tip of the point. The whole western side of the Point is now mostly paid ticketed functions & these aren’t covered by trees. Queuing up overnight outside the Art Gallery Of New South Wales (NSW) for this vantage point has happened for a long time but since the paid ticketed functions were introduced, getting a good view at Mrs Macquaries Point is more prized because only a few would get a good view.
Where else then?
Dawes Point – Sharp angle of Bridge & very crowded.
Hickson Road Reserve – Paid ticketed
Bradfield Park – Very sharp angle of Bridge & very crowded.
The Rocks – Buildings cover most of view & very crowded.
First Fleet Park – Crowded but you can’t see the Bridge at all.
Circular Quay Promenade – If you want to see a ferry terminal instead.
Cremorne Point – The lower half of the Bridge is blocked by the Kirribilli headland. If you want to see the iconic waterfall effect, don’t go here. From here, you will see most of the fireworks from the Bridge & from a couple of barges though.
Royal Botanic Gardens – (Paid) Ticketed and mostly good views. Good view of Bridge only if Sydney Opera House doesn’t block view.
What about the vantage points west of the Bridge?
The eastern side of the Bridge is the ‘show’ side of the Bridge. Most things happen on the eastern side of the Bridge so you’re very likely to miss a lot of entertainment on the western side of the Bridge. This doesn’t mean the fireworks won’t look spectacular – they just won’t be as good as compared to the eastern side.
Given Blues Point Reserve is now paid ticketed, vantage points in the town of East Balmain are now your best free option on the western side of the Bridge. However, they are not as iconic as Blues Point Reserve and have no view of the Sydney Opera House.
Are there more good vantage points on the east of the Bridge?
No…unless you are prepared to pay or want a distant view. The best location far away from the Bridge is Bradley’s Head but all that is paid ticketed. Strickland House has an iconic view (It is used in the television broadcasts). However, it is no longer an official vantage point & to watch the fireworks from there requires a paid ticket.
So, yeah, pretty much every good vantage point is gone. Only about 12,000 lucky people will get a good free vantage point on the day.
Ok. Well, I’m going to Mary Booth Lookout for NYE2019.
Hang on. Sorry, to break the bad news, but North Sydney Council is currently considering making all of it’s vantage points ticketed. So far, it is just Blues Point Reserve this year and that is just a trial. Also, Balls Head Reserve has been closed to the general public this year (NYE2018) due to environmental concerns. Anyway, Mary Booth Lookout is a North Sydney Council vantage point so there is a fair chance that will become ticketed for NYE2019 (and maybe further into the future).
Well, then Sydney Opera House.
Well, it does seem that the Sydney Opera House will be the sole good vantage point of Sydney NYE in the future that will be some what free of charge to enter. However, given the trend, it may seem likely that the Sydney Opera House will follow suit. And that will be that…
The Free Ticketed Vantage Points
However, firstly, remember earlier it was mentioned that some vantage points are ticketed but free of charge. Well, there are 3:
East Circular Quay
The latter 2 being 2 of the newly ticketed vantage points this year. Cahill Expressway has been free ticketed ever since it was first used as a vantage point in 2005. However, you need to be a NSW resident to enter the ballot for a ticket so there is a barrier to most of the general public but that is reasonable given nearly all NSW residents own the road (The NSW Government’s Roads & Maritime Services own the road). The ballot is also publicised very well every year.
The latter 2, whilst being open to everyone, weren’t publicised well. Despite a Property NSW (owner of those vantage points) spokesperson responding to our queries by saying they will “reach out to key publications for coverage”, their media release webpage shows no media releases publicising these tickets going on sale on the 6th of November, which would show their seriousness in promoting the newly ticketed vantage points. Simply contacting random publications, which could have happened based on that quote, wouldn’t be as serious. To compare, North Sydney Council who controls the now paid ticketed Blues Point Reserve, issued a media release that got reported in a few newspapers. No newspapers have reported East Circular Quay & Campbell’s Cove becoming ticketed.
The Property NSW spokesperson did say though that:
The ticketing will be promoted via the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve website. Property NSW will also promote the New Year’s Eve precincts via multiple consumer- facing channels, including The Rocks website, social media and electronic direct mail.
However, these would have reached only 2 major interest groups – tourists & people who have a great general interest in The Rocks and/or Campbell’s Cove and/or East Circular Quay. There is no effort to promote these vantage points becoming ticketed to Sydneysiders in general. You know, the people who are so accustomed to Sydney NYE being a non-ticketed event at East Circular Quay & Campbell’s Cove. At least North Sydney Council made an effort to let Sydneysiders know that Blues Point Reserve will become paid ticketed.
The tickets for Campbell’s Cove & East Circular Quay did sell out quickly and well before Sydneysiders even think about NYE, which is around early December. No doubt those tickets went to tourists due to the free pricing and brilliant views. There is no problem with that. However, Sydneysiders were left unaware of the ticketing. It leaves suspicion that maybe Property NSW might make those vantage points paid ticketing next year & into the future. A Property NSW spokesperson said in response to our queries:
A review of the ticketing system will be undertaken post NYE 2018. No decisions have been made regarding paid ticketing for future events.
The Property NSW spokesperson also said:
These areas have become ticketed to improve customer experience, manage crowd numbers and improve safety.
But that’s the thing. Ticketing doesn’t improve it. For many years, managed access (bag checks) have been done, capacity limits have been enforced and there isn’t anything different about the vantage points themselves on the day than what they will be like this year. All that is different now is that you need to book a ticket 2 months in advance. Why?
You can be the judge of that.
Other reasons that make it odd to add more ticketed areas include that the attendance of Sydney NYE has been declining by a million people in the last 5 years and the official organisers of the event, the City Of Sydney, actively try to reduce attendance due to the large crowds the event creates.
Given the trend, which has developed over the past decade, there is a possibility that these 3 vantage points could go from free to paid ticketing next year or sometime further into the future and then that will be that…
You might as well consider Sydney NYE fully ‘commercialised’ if that happens.
If that happened (the Sydney Opera House & those 3 free ticketed vantage points becoming fully paid ticketed vantage points), it will be impossible to get a good view without paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. And if you don’t have to do that, booking a ticket months in advance. And if you miss out on a ticket, expect poor views and/or a very far away vantage point and if you are close to the Harbour Bridge, ultra crowded locations – not just during the fireworks but all day – with limited views.
Can you imagine being squashed in like sardines in the middle of The Rocks all day?
It’s reasonable to expect then that if North Sydney becomes fully ticketed, the “flow-on effect” will go somewhere else. Highly likely, this could be East Balmain or Dawes Point (the latter of which could also “flow-on” to The Rocks).
Sydney New Year’s Eve, at it’s core, is a City Of Sydney event. An event run by a local government. And not just an event, a community event.
If Sydneysiders have to face a barrier to access an event they are already paying for, this could be the tip of the iceberg.
Sydneysiders may refuse to allow their rates to go towards this event. If the City Of Sydney refuse to pay for this iconic event, things will get problematic.
City Of Sydney holds the rights to the event & even some copyright. They may grant a license to another entity to use their rights for a given period to run the event. This would bring in some extra revenue for the local government.
The most likely entity to pursue the rights are the NSW Government. However, the same problem arises. Why should Australian taxpayers (NSW doesn’t collect taxes – they receive most of their income from the Australian Government, who receive that income as tax from Australian taxpayers) pay for an event that has a barrier to access the event for the people paying for the event?
The next likely entity is a commerical operator. Imagination, the current creative directors of Sydney NYE, could maybe end up organising the event themselves particularly after their work doing the International Fleet Review Spectacular in 2013.
However, the event will have to rely completely on sponsorship unlike currently, where governmental funds make up a fair portion. If sponsors can’t promote their brands to a large community audience, the sponsorship value of the event may plummet and there will be no Sydney NYE anymore.
Last year, we predicted Vivid Sydney will reach a peak this year and that came true with it’s 1st attendance decline ever. We’re now predicting the commercialisation of Sydney NYE will destroy the event in the next few years. ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ (not our blog) is at it’s peak so enjoy it while it lasts. It’s been an amazing 2 decades. The growth of the ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ reminds us of the Roaring Twenties. Maybe we are approaching October 1929?
‘Corporate Box’-Style Seating
If you thought that was a sad idea, then get ready for this: Earlier, we mentioned that North Sydney Council is thinking of implementing paid ticketing at it’s vantage points. As mentioned earlier in our article, Blues Point Reserve has become a paid ticketed vantage point as a trial. Originally, North Sydney Council staff recommended that the Blues Point Reserve ticket price be in order to make a profit (with the profit going to fund the other non-ticketed vantage points of theirs) but North Sydney Councillors (all Independents) said no, the ticket price must be in order to just break-even, which is the price that has been implemented. The Councillors did, though, accept the staff recommendation that Balls Head Reserve should be closed as a vantage point this year due to environmental concerns.
The North Sydney Councillors also resolved to get their staff to develop a community engagement strategy and a report outlining revenue generating opportunities & cost recovery strategies for NYE. This was back in late May this year.
2 months later, the report was received by the Councillors. One of the options outlined was this:
Option 2: Temporary land licensing to corporate organisations
Advantages: This option is suitable for some sites and transfers organisational responsibility to third parties. Under this option, some Council venues would be managed as third party sites following the same principles as other existing third party events such as Spring Cycle and the Sydney Running Festival.
Disadvantages: Council would receive less income than it would from individual ticketing and would have less control over the style and price of event offered. While some organisations may want to lease land to provide a special experience for their customers or staff, it is likely that most would want to run a high-cost ticketed event to cover the cost of land hire and event operations. Council staff would be need to coordinate any NYE third party event as they do for existing third-party events on Council land and the land area outside the venue.
Now, this isn’t the recommended option. That is just plain ticketing. The ticketing option has been taken to community engagement, which finished this month. The Community Engagement Strategy that was requested in May was also delivered with the report mentioned earlier and the community engagement tried to follow that Strategy.
However, what if the North Sydney community reject ticketing of their vantage points? The next preferred option, according to North Sydney staff, is sponsorship and the report doesn’t make it clear whether ‘sponsorship’ can be combined with the option detailed above – the ‘corporate box’ option.
We call it the ‘corporate box’ option because that’s essentially what it is: Vantage points essentially ‘given’ to corporate organisations “to provide a special experience to their…staff”.
Can you imagine Commonwealth Bank at Blues Point Reserve, Facebook at Mary Booth Reserve and Telstra at Bradfield Park?
Even if they don’t use the vantage points for their staff or customers, North Sydney staff believe “it is likely that most would want to run a high-cost ticketed event” instead.
They compare this option with Spring Cycle & the Sydney Running Festival but they are different. Those events are held on the land by the event’s organisers. Sydney NYE is held mostly on and above Sydney Harbour – not in the North Sydney Council vantage points and those vantage points are managed by North Sydney Council – not Sydney NYE’s organiser, the City Of Sydney.
An exception to this is North Sydney Council’s Bradfield Park & Mary Booth Lookout, which are home to the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projection towers for the northern pylons.
This option should only be implemented in those 2 vantage points mentioned above and applicable to only corporate organisations who are sponsoring the projections on the northern pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
We contacted North Sydney Council with a few queries about the ‘corporate box’-style vantage points and they just responded to all queries with:
Community feedback to the New Years Eve consultation is currently being collated. A report on the future of ticketing will be provided to Council in early 2019. The feedback will be included in the report.
So I guess we will have to wait & see.
Sydney NYE is, though, sadly become less of a public COMMUNITY event and more of a paid ticketed private CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL event.
It should be remembered that most of the Sydney Harbour foreshore has houses on it and they are very valuable, most likely owned by millionaires.
If you live in NSW and want Sydney NYE vantage points on public land or in publicly-owned venues around Sydney Harbour to remain free of charge, contact your local councillor (if your local government borders with Sydney Harbour) and/or your member of NSW parliament and/or the NSW Minister For Local Government and/or The Environment.
Did you mention Hickson Road Reserve earlier? Isn’t that the Sydney NYE Very Important Person (VIP) Viewing Area?
Yes and it was. Similar to last year’s cancellation of the Sydney NYE Lord Mayor’s Party, the City Of Sydney have decided to cancel the VIP Viewing Area for reasons unknown but highly likely because priorities lie elsewhere, like with the Lord Mayor’s Party cancellation. This leaves only the Lord Mayor’s Picnic of the Royal Botanic Gardens as the only original official event function left of Sydney NYE.
The owners of Hickson Road Reserve, Property NSW, have decided to replicate the VIP Viewing Area with 1 major difference – tickets are no longer free. You have to pay (though the pricing is just to break-even and not to make a profit).
This decision makes not much difference to Sydney NYE as Hickson Road Reserve has been an invitation-only ticketed area since 1996 and is one of the 1st few ticketed areas ever organised for the event. This ticketed area, since it was introduced to last year, was also different from all other ticketed vantage points – it was a ticketed vantage point of the official organiser of Sydney NYE, the City Of Sydney.
However, now it is paid ticketed, it adds to concerns about the commercialisation of Sydney NYE.
UPDATE – 3rd December 2018, 4:11pm AEDT:
The City Of Sydney, official organiser of Sydney New Year’s Eve, have tweeted this post today:
#SydNYE UPDATE: There are changes to Sydney CBD & Lower North Shore vantage points this year, with some precincts now ticketed and others with reduced capacities. Check out all available 2018 vantage points + plan ahead by visiting our New Year's website: https://t.co/7BKtO9Q1DZpic.twitter.com/paQkcRot0k
ABC, ABC ME & ABC News reached 3.7 million viewers in metro & regional markets across its Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder broadcast coverage from 8:34pm last night.
In addition, a total of 46,000 live streams were recorded via iView across the night & the coverage had a further 2.2 million views across social media platforms.
Audiences peaked at 11:59pm for the ABC’s Midnight Fireworks broadcast (combined metro & regional audience).
Television (TV) & iView Audiences
Last night, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was the leading network in the metro markets with a 5 city metro prime-time share of 23.2% (2016 result was 20.4%). The highest share was in Sydney with a prime-time share of 33.5%;
ABC TV’s Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’: Midnight Fireworks was the #1 program of the night. Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’: 9pm Family Fireworksranked #2;
Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’: 9pm Family Fireworks achieved an average audience of 1.2 million across ABC, ABC News & ABC ME (Combined metro & regional audience);
Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’: Midnight Fireworks achieved an average audience of 2.1 million across ABC & ABC News (Combined metro & regional audience);
ABC’s Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’ coverage was live streamed 46,000 times via ABC iView.
Sources: OzTAM & Regional TAM Preliminary Overnight Data; Webtrends
ABC’s Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’ coverage was live streamed directly to ABC TV’s Facebook page & YouTube channel. The Midnight Fireworks were also streamed on Periscope.
On Facebook, the live streams & highlights packages amassed a combined total of 1.7 million views across ABC TV & partner pages.
On YouTube, ABC TV’s live stream & highlights packages had 340,000 views. The live stream trended during the broadcast & remains trending at number 1 this morning.
The Midnight Fireworks live stream on Periscope had a further 152,000 views.
#NYEABC trended number 2 on Twitter during the broadcast. There were 5,300 #NYEABC tweets in the last 24 hours, reaching 8.9 million people.
Sources: Facebook Insights, Hashtracking, Periscope, YouTube. Numbers correct as at 9am the 1st of January.
David Anderson, ABC Director Of TV said: “The ABC is thrilled to once again have hosted the broadcast of the iconic Sydney New Year’s Eve event. It truly is a night of celebration & family friendly entertainment that brings the nation together. Across Australia, wherever you were, the ABC brought the fireworks to you live across TV, iView, YouTube & Facebook”
People from all over the world joined Zan Rowe & Charlie Pickering as they counted down the biggest night of the year with the Sydney NYE2017 – ‘Wonder’ broadcast, which included the Countdown Live Concert, on ABC TV, iView, YouTube & Facebook.
Presented from the Sydney Opera House, Charlie & Zan took us through an evening jam packed full of unmissable entertainment from an all-star line-up including Jimmy Barnes, Phil Jamieson, Marcia Hines, John Paul Young & Kate Ceberano with plenty of fun for all ages including the Family Fireworks at 9pm with it all culminating in the world-famous Midnight Fireworks.
At 9pm, the winner of ABC ME’s Design Your Own Firework competition, 10-year-old Lucia from Adelaide, set the Sydney sky alight with the Family Fireworks display featuring her own unique firework design.
Audiences watched the full broadcast in high definition on the ABC & live streamed celebrations on ABC iView. The Welcome To Country – A Day In The Life Of Country, the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks were also available on the ABC TV YouTube channel. The 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks were also streamed live on the ABC TV Facebook page.
Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sydney has once again earned its place as the New Year’s Eve (NYE) capital of the world with the biggest & most spectacular fireworks display to welcome in 2018.
A rainbow waterfall cascaded from the Harbour Bridge during the Midnight Fireworks for the 1st time while glittering fireworks designed by Hollywood superstar, Hugh Jackman, shot across the night sky.
“With more fireworks than ever before, the awe-inspiring Sydney NYE fireworks displays captivated Sydneysiders & audiences across the globe” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.
“More than 1 million people watched the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks from vantage points across the city with images & vision shared around the world on television & social media”
“Having a world-renowned Australian actor like Hugh Jackman join us in creating fireworks effects was fantastic for Sydney & for Australia, combined with the beautiful designs on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons by our Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder creative artist, Nadia Hernández”
Sydney’s biggest NYE celebration required a mammoth clean-up effort to get the city moving again once the festivities were over.
City Of Sydney staff worked through the night to collect around 43 tonnes of waste & ensured the City streets were clear of rubbish and thoroughly cleaned following last night’s celebrations.
The clean-up operation involved over 205 City Of Sydney workers along with 55 trucks, sweepers & compactors.
An additional 128 mobile rubbish bins were collected filled with recyclable plastic bottles, paper & food containers.
“City staff worked tirelessly to clear truckloads of rubbish & leave the City sparkling clean in time for sunrise on New Year’s Day” the Lord Mayor said.
“It was an enormous task requiring nearly 3 times the number of cleansing staff on duty on an average day. We thank each & every one of them for their incredible efforts”
All waste collected overnight was transported to the SUEZ Artarmon facility for processing.
Destination New South Wales estimates that the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder event contributes more than AUD$133 million to the local economy.
“It was the biggest & most spectacular fireworks displays yet with more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects & more than 8 tonnes of fireworks” the Lord Mayor said.
“The spectacular Midnight Fireworks featured a rainbow waterfall with red, yellow, purple, green & blue fireworks cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality & the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018”
Fireworks Director, ‘Forch’ (Fortunato) Foti, who has (co-)directed the fireworks for the past 20 years, spent more than 5,000 hours to create the remarkable Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder fireworks displays.
The effects were inspired by the work of Sydney-based artist, Nadia Hernández, who created eye-catching paper-cut designs with a bright colour palette.
Sydney-born superstar, Hugh Jackman, created unique fireworks for the Midnight Fireworks including a glittering gold brocade & waterfall shells that launched from barges on the Harbour & from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The stunning fireworks were set to the track, Wiyathul, by famed Indigenous artist, Dr G Yunupingu.
Australia’s First Peoples were recognised throughout the night with special pylon projections & the Welcome To Country – A Day In The Life Of Country which included lighting effects & the traditional smoking ceremony on the Harbour.
For the 1st time, fireworks in the shape of numbers have led the countdown to Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE)’s spectacular Midnight Fireworks.
As well as the traditional countdown on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons from 90 to 1, the numbers 10 to 1 lit up the night sky to the east of the Bridge this time.
At the stroke of Midnight, the word, ‘SYDNEY’, was emblazoned across the Harbour Bridge to mark the beginning of the biggest & best Midnight Fireworks ever that was enjoyed by 1 billion people across the globe.
City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said Sydney had shown once again that it is the best place in the world to celebrate NYE.
“More than a million people gathered around Sydney Harbour for tonight’s Sydney NYE celebrations & more than a billion watched from around the world” the Lord Mayor said.
“This truly spectacular start to the New Year is only possible because of the many thousands of hours of hard work by our City Of Sydney team & the Foti International Fireworks family. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many volunteers, event professionals, sponsors & partners who make this the biggest free public event in Australia”
“I hope you have time to relax with friends and family & return invigorated for the rest of the new year, 2018.”
Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Fireworks Director, Fortunato Foti, said his team has, this year, gone that little bit further to make the Sydney NYE show even more spectacular.
Apart from the 6 barges, Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House, the Midnight Fireworks were also fired from an array of individual pontoons instead of 1 Bridge barge allowing the display to reach a wider audience than ever before.
The 12-minute spectacular featured a rainbow waterfall of red, yellow, purple, green & blue to help celebrate Australia voting ‘Yes’ for marriage equality & to mark the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018.
Sydney-born superstar, Hugh Jackman, created unique fireworks for the Midnight Firewoks including glittering gold brocade & horsetail shells that launched from barges on the Harbour & from the Bridge.
The stunning fireworks were set to the track Wiyathul by famed Indigenous artist, Dr G Yunupingu.
There were 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
There were more than 3,000 individual lighting effects choreographed to the fireworks displays & music soundtrack – 1,000 more effects than last year.
New light-emitting diode technology also meant the City’s Sydney NYE lighting display was achieved using less power than ever before.
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder’s 9pm Family Fireworks display lit up the sky in an array of new, vibrant colours designed to excite revellers of all ages.
The fun-filled 8 minute display at 9pm followed 2 daring aerial shows above Sydney Harbour at 6pm & 8pm.
At 8:38pm. a stunning animation featuring a grandfather & grandson’s journey along the warerways of the Eora Nation was projected onto the pylons of the Harbour Bridge as part of the night’s Welcome To Country – A Day In The Life Of Country ceremony.
The Welcome To Country – A Day In The Life Of Country ceremony featured water flares & flares off the Bridge.
“Sydney New Year’s Eve is one of the largest and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world & it just gets better every year” City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.
“Our bright & colourful 9pm Family Fireworks display means that families with young children can come down to one of the many free vantage points around Sydney Harbour & beyond or tune in on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television/iView (ABC TV/iView) from home before tucking the kids into bed”
“It was a great way to kick off our always spectacular Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations & I am looking forward to ringing in the New Year in a few hours”
The winning entry from the ABC’s Design Your Own Firework competition featured in the 9pm Family Fireworks display. Competition winner, 7-year-old Lucia from South Australia, designed a multi-coloured umbrella with a palm cross.
From sunset, video projections of the popular designs by Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder Creative Artist, Nadia Hernández, were projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.
Central to her Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 artwork were the words ‘wonder’, ‘radiate’, ‘hope’, ‘dance’ & ‘together’.
“These are words that are celebratory but also capture the essence of Sydney” Miss Hernández says.
“There is a great sense of unity about New Year’s Eve & this is a message of hope for the future. It starts with everybody coming together to celebrate a new beginning with friends, family and complete strangers & wish each other a Happy New Year. It is very powerful & very special”
Nadia’s artwork also inspired a new colour palette for the 9pm Family Fireworks & light shows with bright orange, pink, lime green & light blue featuring for the 1st time.
The 9pm Family Fireworks featured shells off the barges that created a magnificent waterfall effect.
The 9pm Family Fireworks were synchronised to a soundtrack created by Alex Gooden which was simulcast on KIIS 106.5FM & broadcast on ABC TV/iView.
Sydney NYE has lots of announcements from the waterfall types and the fireworks soundtrack to special guests and fireworks designs. So much news that you may not have noticed some things sometimes. So here are some things you may have missed being announced before the big show begins at 6pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time…
The TV Broadcast Is Global
We’ve been trying to get clarification so apologies in advance if this one is wrong but we believe for the 1st time in Sydney NYE history, the whole television broadcast can be watched internationally. This is via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television’s YouTube & Facebook live streams. However, we are definitely uncertain still about whether the fireworks soundtracks on the Internet live streams will be copyright-free or not. So if you live internationally, spend 4 hours with the rest of Australia as we celebrate Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – ‘Wonder’. Australians frequently wake up in the middle of the night to watch major sporting events held in Europe/the Americas so now begin an Aussie tradition while it lasts & wake up to watch Sydney New Year’s Eve – the world’s greatest party!
Pontoons return to the Midnight Fireworks for the 1st time in 10 years. We believe they will be placed in a north-south direction in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They were last used in the finale of the Midnight Fireworks of Sydney NYE2007 – The Time Of Our Lives (skip to 12:56 to see them in action):
This year, 6 pontoons will feature and in the Midnight Fireworks, will at least appear during the 20-second segment set to Dr G Yunupingu’s Wiyathul co-designed by Fortunato Foti & actor, Hugh Jackman.
‘9 To 5’
The 9pm Family Fireworks expand to 5 barges this year. We believe this 5th barge will be located in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and will fire only occasionally (very similar to the barge in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Midnight Fireworks since 2010). However, this ‘5th barge’ could also be the 6 pontoons referred to earlier.
This will be the most spectacular 9pm Family Fireworks since 1998.
The Midnight Countdown
Apart from the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections, the 10 second countdown to Midnight will be done using pyrotechnics in the shape of numbers on the Bridge. At the stroke of Midnight, like last year, the word ‘Sydney’ will appear in pyrotechnic form too on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This should give an indication of what the numbers will look like on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in pyrotechnic form. If don’t remember seeing the word ‘Sydney’ in pyrotechnic form during the Midnight Fireworks last year, here is a photo to jog your memory:
Most Sydney Harbour Bridge Fireworks Ever
3000 more fireworks will fire off the Sydney Harbour Bridge this year. A record.
Hugh Jackman Fireworks At 12:08am
The City Of Sydney advised on Twitter that to see Hugh Jackman & Fortunato Foti’s co-designed display set to Dr G Yunupingu’s Wiyathul, tune in before 12:08am. This should mean it happens at 12:08am.
And that is it! Enjoy Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder & Happy New Year!
Dramatic lighting displays beaming from the Sydney Harbour Bridge in time with 8 tonnes of fireworks will be seen by the naked eye further across Sydney this New Year’s Eve than ever before.
3,000 individual lighting effects will be choreographed to the fireworks displays & music soundtrack – 1,000 more effects than last year.
Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the awe-inspiring event would reinforce Sydney’s position as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world.
“Sydney New Year’s Eve is renowned as one of the largest & most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world” the Lord Mayor said.
“This celebration will be enjoyed by more than 1 million people around the Sydney Harbour foreshore and a global audience of more than 1 billion & we are doing it responsibly, using new light-emitting diode (LED) lighting effects that will allow us create a phenomenal show using less power than ever before”
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder Lighting Director, Ziggy Ziegler, credits advances in computer technology & new LED lighting for being able to produce an even more eco-friendly show.
“We are using a quarter of the amount of power that we used 4 or 5 years ago & are still getting more light out of it” Mister (Mr) Ziegler said.
With more light beams on top of the Bridge this year, the lighting effects will also be seen by more Sydneysiders this year.
“Because they will be higher & more concentrated, more people will be able to enjoy the fantastic light show across Sydney than ever before” Mr Ziegler said.
Sydney-based Sydney New Year’s Eve 2017 – Wonder Creative Artist, Nadia Hernández, created eye-catching paper-cut designs with a bright colour palette that has inspired new fireworks effects, lighting designs & pylon projections.
“This year, the lighting displays have a warm, inviting feel based on Nadia’s bright designs. Her use of pastel colours creates an almost fluorescent effect, which have been great to work with from a lighting perspective” Mr Ziegler said.
For Fireworks Director, ‘Forch’ (Fortunato) Foti, the challenge was to create never-before-seen displays.
“With such a striking colour palette to work with & bigger and bolder lighting effects, we have created some great new effects that I am looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney & the world” Mr Foti said.
Not to be outdone, the fireworks displays this year will also be the biggest Sydney has ever seen.
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
The Midnight Fireworks will feature a spectacular gold & silver shooting fireworks display designed by Mr Foti & Sydney-born superstar, Hugh Jackman.
Mr Jackman approached the City Of Sydney to fulfil a lifelong dream to design a firework for his hometown’s world-famous Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations & the City was delighted to accept.
“Having a Hollywood star like Hugh Jackman offer his talents to help showcase Sydney New Year’s Eve to the world is a fantastic coup for Sydney & for Australia” the Lord Mayor said.
For the 1st time, the Midnight Fireworks will feature a rainbow waterfall of fireworks cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge in celebration of Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality & as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018.
Famous for star turns in The Boy From Oz, TheWolverine & his latest release, The Greatest Showman, home grown superstar, Hugh Jackman, is celebrating coming home to Sydney by unveiling a spectacular gold & silver shooting fireworks display he has designed for the Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder spectacular.
His glittering fireworks display will burst across Sydney Harbour & shoot from the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Midnight Fireworks.
“Having the opportunity to design New Year’s Eve fireworks with ‘Forch’ (Fortunato) Foti has been a boyhood dream come true” Mister (Mr) Jackman said.
“I am a Sydney boy. I grew up in Sydney so going to the fireworks with my father was always something I really enjoyed”
“For years, wherever I have been in the world, I have watched the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks with awe & a real sense of hometown pride as well as being a little homesick”
“Sydney New Year’s Eve is a reminder of how important my roots are to me & of growing up in Sydney”
“I am looking forward to spending this incredible night with family and friends & to also be able to share Sydney’s celebrations with the world”
Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, welcomed Hugh Jackman’s contribution with open arms.
“When Hugh came to us with the idea of designing fireworks for this year’s Sydney NYE, we thought it was a brilliant idea” the Lord Mayor said.
“Having a star like Hugh Jackman offer his talents to help showcase Sydney New Year’s Eve to the world is a fantastic coup for Sydney & for Australia”
“From growing up in Sydney to global stardom, Hugh’s remarkable career, warmth & generosity are part of Sydney’s story on the world stage”
“Hugh’s spectacular celebration of summer in Sydney will be seen by an audience of more than 1 million people around Sydney Harbour & more than 1 billion tuning in around the globe”
“The stunning fireworks Hugh has designed will be set to Dr G Yunupingu’s beautiful piece, Wiyathul. Dr G Yunupingu was a talented & humble artist who created powerful music that touched the hearts of so many people. We are honoured that his family have welcomed this tribute to a truly great Australian who sadly passed away this year”
Hugh Jackman’s unique fireworks were created in collaboration with the Sydney NYE Fireworks Director, Fortunato Foti of Foti International Fireworks. In a New Year’s Eve first for Mr Foti, the fireworks were designed via Skype calls, e-mails & long-distance phone calls.
“We started with footage of firework designs Hugh liked” Mr Foti said.
“I made a computer simulation of new fireworks featuring the look & feel Hugh wanted to capture. Hugh especially wanted the fireworks to appear with an Indigenous artist’s music track & we were lucky enough to have the Gurrumul album piece in the soundtrack”
“The display works really well with the music & I am pleased with what Hugh and I have created for this Sydney New Year’s Eve”
“Hugh’s design will feature glittering gold horsetail brocades and willow waterfall shells with flickers of silver & will be exploding in the sky for around 20 seconds”
“They will be launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, off 6 pontoons & another 6 barges around the Harbour”
“It was great to get to collaborate with someone of the calibre of Hugh & he was a pleasure to work with”
Mr Jackman said his inspiration for the fireworks came from a desire to create a reflective moment in the dramatic Midnight Fireworks.
“With all the celebrations, noise & music of Sydney New Year’s Eve, ‘Forch’ & I thought it would be nice to have a little moment of peace. This will be a chance to just pause & take everything in” Mr Jackman said.
“The fireworks are designed to be a moment of suspension, a moment of beauty & of taking a breath. Things go quiet for 20 seconds in a big & amazing Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Midnight Fireworks”
“Personally, I cannot wait to see it all come to life over the best harbour in the world in the greatest city on Earth!”