Future Sydney NYE Fireworks Producer To Be Decided As Iconic Party Is Cancelled

The pyrotechnic company who will produce the fireworks displays for Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) for at least the next 2 years will be decided in the next week.

Sydney NYE pyrotechnic displays have only ever been done by 2 companies – Syd Howard Fireworks (1976-1999) & Foti International Fireworks (since 1997).

3 companies have put their names forward for the iconic role. They include:

  • Fireworks Australia Importers Proprietary Limited (Pty Ltd)
  • Foti International Fireworks Pty Ltd
  • Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics

The companies are required to provide a 5 year strategic plan for the Sydney NYE fireworks displays demonstrating creative, technological, operational & environmental innovation to ensure the sustainability of Sydney NYE. They also have to demonstrate to the City Of Sydney that they have experience providing fireworks displays at major world recognized events or iconic locations.

As the name suggests, Fireworks Australia Importers Pty Ltd focuses on the purchasing of fireworks from overseas but they occasionally produce full-scale fireworks displays. Whilst a showreel couldn’t be found, it seems their most frequently produced fireworks display to date is the Australia Day fireworks in Canberra:

Out of the 3 bidders, Foti International and Howard & Sons are the ones to watch though:

Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics

Foti International Fireworks Pty Ltd

Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics will be Foti International’s biggest rival in the tender process but if the pattern of the last 17 years suggests anything, Foti International would win the tender. If Howard & Sons wins the tender, it would likely see a clear change in the choreography of the Sydney NYE fireworks in a more spectacular direction. It would be a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, Foti International still produce spectacular fireworks displays & easily have the ability to match Howard & Sons if the latter won the tender and made the Sydney NYE fireworks even more spectacular.

City Of Sydney staff have recommended, to the City Of Sydney’s Corporate, Finance, Properties & Tenders Committee, which met today, a tender offer to be accepted & for the City Of Sydney’s Chief Executive Officer to negotiate, execute & administer the resulting contract between the City Of Sydney & the winning fireworks producer.

If the recommendation was accepted today by the Corporate, Finance, Properties & Tenders Committee, the City Of Sydney Council will then also have to approve the recommendation next week after which it will be implemented.

The contracts must be signed by the end of this month to ensure there is enough time to design & produce the fireworks displays. After 2018, the contract can be extended for another 3 years until 2021 if they choose to exercise that option.

The looming decision on the Sydney NYE fireworks producer comes after the City Of Sydney also decided for the event to cancel it’s iconic Lord Mayor’s Party.

Reported by Central Sydney (of The Daily Telegraph), the annual cost of the Lord Mayor’s Party, which is AUD$760,000, will be redirected to initiatives under the City Of Sydney’s 2016-2021 Environmental Action Strategy.

In recent years, the Lord Mayor’s Party has been criticized by fellow City Of Sydney Councillors as a waste of ratepayers money due to it’s cost & exclusivity.

That combined with future building works around the Northern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, where the Lord Mayor’s Party was held, would result in a newly negotiated arrangement by the City Of Sydney with the Sydney Opera House for the use of the venue on NYE. This was the catalyst for the sudden cancellation as it “…would be costly — and we are not going to do that” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“[The NYE party has] become quite sophisticated and iconic & that’s been fantastic & I think everyone has really appreciated it but I think now we have got to look very carefully about how we do all these things we want to do & I think it is just what we have to do” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

The annual Lord Mayor’s Picnic (held at the Royal Botanic Gardens) and Very Important Person (VIP) Viewing Area (held at Hickson Road Reserve) will still be held though but with the latter, it seems it will be downsized as Central Sydney reports that “the large scale catering and entertainment will not be a part of the (VIP Viewing Area) plan”.

The Lord Mayor’s Party was created in 1996 & formed the stage for the annual television (TV) broadcast of Sydney NYE every year until 2015, which is when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation moved the TV broadcast to the Southern Forecourt, a free public vantage point.

The TV broadcast base will be relocated as a result of the Lord Mayor’s Party cancellation. If this refers to the place where the hosts (e.g. Richard Wilkins etc.) are located, the most likeliest place for a new TV broadcast base is at the VIP Viewing Area at Hickson Road Reserve on Dawes Point (near the south-east pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge), which was the base for Telstra’s YouTube broadcasts of the event in 2013 & 2014.

If it instead refers to the technical side of broadcasting, it could be relocated to the Southern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House where the hosts currently broadcast from or high up in a top secret location in one of Sydney’s skyscrapers where an event command centre exists. Another event command centre, which was based at the Lord Mayor’s Party, will also be relocated, probably merged with the remaining event command centre that we just mentioned.

As for the now empty Northern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on NYE, the question turns to whether the Sydney Opera House makes it a free or ticketed vantage point once the building works are complete?

In previous years, the Sydney Opera House has been a combined free/ticketed vantage point with all but the Southern Forecourt and a small portion of the Northern Forecourt free.

The Northern Forecourt has an iconic view & while during the building works it will probably be a free vantage point, once the building works are complete, it will probably become a ticketed vantage point just like most of the Sydney Opera House is already on NYE.

Update (24/05/2017): The Sydney Opera House responded: “Confirming the Northern Broadwalk was not available to the Lord Mayor for New Year’s Eve 2017 due to building works underway at the Opera House. We’re currently assessing how we can best utilise this space for the 2017 NYE celebrations”

Australian Radio Network Announces Partnership With The City Of Sydney

AUSTRALIAN RADIO NETWORK (ARN) ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE 3-YEAR MEDIA PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF SYDNEY

ARN today announces a new partnership with the City Of Sydney, kicking off a huge year of events, celebrations & experiences that celebrate the best of Sydney.

As the exclusive frequency modulation (FM) commercial radio partner, ARN’s KIIS 106.5 FM, Western Suburbs (WS) 101.7 FM & The Edge 96.1 FM/Digital Radio Station will play key roles in supporting major events on Sydney’s calendar including the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival, Sydney Christmas & Sydney’s première global event, Sydney New Year’s Eve, which will be presented exclusively with KIIS 106.5 FM.

It all starts with Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival from January the 27th with a 2 week celebration for the Lunar New Year & the Year Of The Rooster.

Over the past 20 years, the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of the Lunar New Year outside of Asia & 2017 will be no exception.

The Sydney Chinese New Year Festival program is packed with a diverse range of events. ARN activations will include KIIS 106.5 FM Lucky Lunar Lanterns while WS 101.7 FM’s Jonesy & Amanda (Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones & Amanda Keller) will be hitting the water as part of the celebrity Dragon Boat Racing event & taking the stage to sing one of their karaoke favourites at Massaoke.

ARN Chief Executive Officer, Tony Kendall, said “ARN are extremely proud to be partnering with the City Of Sydney & contributing to a calendar of great events across the year. KIIS 106.5 FM, WS 101.7 FM & The Edge 96.1 FM/Digital Radio Station are made for Sydney – we love the city’s diversity, spirit of adventure & culture”

“The program of events is the epitome of ‘So Sydney’ & the energy that is our #1 station, KIIS 106.5 FM, in particular. From the vibrant celebrations of the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival and of course, Sydney Christmas & Sydney New Year’s Eve, ARN is excited to partner with the City to create memorable experiences for the whole of Sydney & its community”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the partnership with ARN would open up more opportunities to promote some of Australia’s biggest events: “We are delighted to join with ARN for the next 3 years. This partnership will capitalise on ARN’s capacity to reach large audiences across the nation through their top-rating programs to promote our fantastic city & brilliant events”

ARN will also play a part in helping Sydney transform into a magical summer playground during the festive season with Christmas & New Year activations & experiences including KIIS 106.5 FM broadcasting live on New Year’s Eve making sure listeners don’t miss a minute of the action of Sydney’s ultimate celebration of the city.

For more details on the City Of Sydney, their events & programs, go to cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au.

Media Release: Australian Radio Network

Sydney Spectaculars – Season 2017!

Want to see Sydney in all it’s glory? Check out our 2017 season of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’! Here is what is happening so far this year:

26 January 2017 – Australia Day In Sydney

A day to celebrate the cultures of the Australian continent with many events throughout the day from indigenous ceremonies and cruise ship appearances to concerts and wheelchair races – this is the day Sydney shines. This year will feature 2 pyrotechnic displays – one at Darling Harbour & the other at Circular Quay –  as well as possibly the lighting of the Sydney Opera House & the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons in green & gold for the 1st time in the event’s history! If you’re not in Sydney, you can watch ‘Australia Day 2017 – Live At Sydney Opera House’ (which will feature the Circular Quay fireworks) live on Channel Ten/WIN from 7:30pm AEDT* on Australia Day!

27 January–12 February 2017 – Chinese New Year Festival 

Projections on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons & the Australian National Maritime Museum will be a new feature for this year’s Chinese New Year Festival while the Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House as well as many other local landmarks will continue to be illuminated in red during the first 3 days of the Festival similar to last year. A fireworks display on the 27th of January in Farm Cove will coincide with the switching on of the red lighting of the iconic Sydney structures to welcome in the Year Of The Rooster!

25 March 2017 – Earth Hour

Created in Sydney a decade ago, Earth Hour now occurs around the world. This ‘spectacular’ sees the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Sydney Opera House turn off for 1 hour to convey a practical message on the environment. Head down to the Sydney Harbour foreshore & have a candle-lit picnic or attend one of the organised Earth Hour events around Sydney! If you’re not in Sydney, participate at home by turning your lights off for 1 hour at 8:30pm!

24 March to 23 April 2017 – Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour: Carmen

A temporary open air opera theatre on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour with the iconic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Sydney Opera House in the background. With dazzling sets, a performance worthy of a standing ovation & a spectacular fireworks display to top it off, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone but spaces are limited so book your tickets now!

7 to 13 May 2017 – United Nations World Road Safety Week

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is lit up with yellow light emitting diodes (LED) for United Nations World Road Safety Week!

26 May to 17 June 2017 – Vivid Sydney

Famous for their Sydney Opera House projection shows, the LED show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the many projection shows and light displays on the Light Walk, Vivid Sydney is now just as big as Sydney NYE.  Also featuring live music & creative industry events, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

18-19 October 2017 – Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular (To Be Confirmed)

Watch the Sydney Opera House light up in yellow/orange/golden colours to celebrate Diwali!

11 November 2017 – Remembrance Day

See the Sydney Opera House be covered in poppies (To Be Confirmed) as New South Wales remembers their Australian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

25 November 2017 to 25 December 2017 – Sydney Christmas

Featuring projections on St Mary’s Cathedral & lighting on the Sydney Town Hall & other various city structures, Sydney Christmas brings the spirit of Christmas to Sydney in truly spectacular style. Check out the lighting ceremony of the massive interactive Christmas Tree in Martin Place, which features fireworks, for a truly magical night! Maybe Santa Claus will turn up?

31 December 2017/1 January 2018 – Sydney New Year’s Eve

The grand finale of ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ – the original, biggest & best – Sydney New Year’s Eve, the world’s biggest annual & most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world! Without a doubt, this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone from outside of Sydney.

That is all?

No! Many other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ may occur throughout the year such as more Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge pylon projection shows but these other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ are usually announced with short notice so keep an eye out on our blog if one gets announced unexpectedly.

What if there is no ‘Spectacular’ on when I visit?

Pyrotechnic displays frequently occur on Sydney Harbour so check our countdowns on the side of our blog to check when the next one is & where the most iconic view of the display is!

*Check your local guides for broadcast times outside of New South Wales.

Audiences Turn To ABC On Every Platform For NYE2016 Celebrations

In a truly cross-platform event, 3.6 million viewers tuned in to Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television (ABC TV), 66,000 watched on iview, 10.2 million were reached via Facebook, 4.3 million on Twitter & 200,000 on YouTube for last night’s spectacular celebrations from Sydney Harbour. Hosts Ella Hooper & Jeremy Fernandez celebrated the biggest night of the year with the ABC’s broadcast of New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2016. Available this year for the 1st time in high definition (HD) on ABC TV & live on ABC iview, the fireworks were also streamed on Facebook & YouTube allowing more people than ever before to be part of the magic.

Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of TV, said: “As the national broadcaster, it was deeply satisfying to bring the best-ever broadcast of Sydney NYE to audiences on so many platforms right around the world”

“In brilliant HD for the 1st time, ABC TV brought the energy of the fireworks into the homes of millions & the extended offering through ABC iview and our streams on Facebook and YouTube meant people everywhere could be part of the action”

Presented from outside the Sydney Opera House & inside the Lord Mayor’s Party at Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, Ella & Jeremy took audiences through an evening packed with entertainment, comedy & music including the Family Fireworks at 9pm & culminating in the world-famous Midnight Fireworks.

Broadcast Viewing

ABC, ABC ME & ABC News 24 reached 3.6 million broadcast television viewers in metro & regional markets with its NYE2016 coverage from 8:35pm last night. The Family Fireworks at 9pm was watched by an average of 1.1 million people & the Midnight Fireworks by an average of 1.8 million.

ABC was the leading channel with a 5 city prime-time share of 15.8%. The Midnight Fireworks was the number 1 program of the night with a 5 city average audience of 1.3 million & a total TV share of 49.3%. The Family Fireworks at 9pm achieved a 5 city average audience of 786,000 (26.2%) & ranked number 2.

In Sydney, ABC was the number 1 channel with a prime-time share of 23.2% (up on the 2015 result of 20.7%). ABC TV’s coverage reached 1.3 million Sydney viewers, equivalent to 25% of the city’s population.

Digital & Social Viewing

For the 1st time, (ABC) coverage was also streamed live on ABC iview, YouTube & Facebook to reach audiences across more platforms than ever before.

A total of 66,000 plays of ABC’s NYE2016 broadcast have been recorded via iview including 57,000 live & an additional 9,000 catch-up plays so far.

The ABC’s 9pm Family Fireworks & Midnight Fireworks coverage was live streamed to the ABC TV, ABC KIDS For Parents, Australia.com, Sydney.com & Destination New South Wales Facebook pages as well as ABC TV’s YouTube channel. There were 1.65 million unique viewers on Facebook & the streams reached a combined total of 10.2 million users. On YouTube, ABC TV’s Sydney NYE2016 – Welcome To SydNYE stream was the top trending video on the homepage & the stream has already had 200,000 video views.

#NYEABC trended on Twitter during the broadcast with 1,100 tweets using the hashtag reaching 4.3 million users.

Social Media Sources: Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics, Twitter & Hashtracking.

Broadcast TV Sources: OzTAM & RegionalTAM Preliminary Overnight Data & Webtrends.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sydney New Year’s Eve A Sweeping Success

The Sydney Harbour foreshore erupted into a kaleidoscope of colour last night as the City’s biggest-ever fireworks display welcomed in the new year.

More than 1 million people flocked to vantage points across the city to witness 20,000 fireworks launch from the coathanger of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & 800 pyrotechnic effects shoot high above the Sydney Opera House western sails.

For the 1st time ever, the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks were live streamed on Facebook, with viewers joining over 1 billion people tuning in on screens across the globe.

Destination New South Wales estimates the event contributes more than AUD$133 million to the city’s economy.

“This year’s spectacular fireworks displays have proven, yet again, that Sydney is the best New Year’s Eve destination in the world” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.

“Our celebrations have allowed us to showcase our fantastic city to the rest of the world, shining a light on our diverse community & sending a message of hope for the year to come”

The 9pm Family Fireworks display enthralled audiences with floral-themed fireworks blossoming across the summer sky before the harbour was doused in glittering violet droplets paying homage to music legend Prince.

The spectacular Midnight Fireworks display honoured David Bowie with a cluster of stars, quarter moons & Saturn-shaped shells inspired by Space Oddity.

Master pyrotechnician, Fortunato Foti, who directed the fireworks for the 19th year running, debuted never-before-seen candy coloured crackers in a tribute to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder, who also passed away earlier in the year.

The Midnight Fireworks on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on January 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: City Of Sydney
The Midnight Fireworks on New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour on January 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.
Photograph: City Of Sydney

A AUD$290,000 event clean-up operation involved 6 teams of around 20 workers, along with 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors & approximately 100 additional temporary bins.

The Lord Mayor thanked City Of Sydney staff who worked through the night to ensure the City streets were sparkling clean this morning.

“As the crowds went home after a fantastic evening of celebrations, a dedicated team of 135 Cleansing & Waste Services staff collected about 60 tonnes of waste to return Sydney’s foreshore to mint condition” the Lord Mayor said.

Cleansing & Waste Services Team Leader, Sam Daddario, was on site with a crew that began a 9-hour shift minutes after the final fireworks erupted from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“Our staff get a great sense of achievement from seeing their turf transform into a clean space after the celebrations have finished & everyone has gone home” Mister Daddario, who has worked for the City Of Sydney for almost a decade, said.

“Nearly 3 times the number of cleansing staff required on a normal day are needed for the Sydney New Year’s Eve clean-up. We all love working together to make sure the City looks its best after the biggest night of the year”

All waste collected overnight has been transported to the SUEZ Artarmon facility where around 90% will be recycled.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Sydney Lights Up To Welcome In The New Year

At the stroke of midnight, one of the largest, most technologically advanced fireworks displays burst over Sydney Harbour.

For 12 mesmerising minutes, the City Of Sydney put on a dazzling New Year’s Eve display.

There were 120,000 fireworks set off from barges around the Harbour, 20,000 fireworks launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge & 800 pyrotechnic effects exploded above the Sydney Opera House.

The city skyline was painted with colours of lemon, peach, sky blue, violet & lime along with pops of orange & magenta as revellers watched in awe as never-before-seen fireworks effects rang in the New Year.

As the clock struck midnight, the word ‘SYDNEY’ exploded into the sky on the famed ‘coathanger’ arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Accompanied by a soundtrack celebrating some of the best music of 2016, a record number of fireworks danced through the sky in time with popular songs including tributes to fallen stars David Bowie & Gene Wilder.

Bowie was honoured with his song Space Oddity, which saw the Harbour transformed into a galaxy of fireworks featuring stars, quarter-moons, Saturn-shaped shells & a sparkling Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A touching tribute to Gene Wilder saw the night sky light up with the colours of the rainbow & the sounds of Pure Imagination, ensuring the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory star’s memory shone bright over Sydney.

Around the world, millions of people watched the fireworks as they happened with the 1st Facebook live stream of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks across Europe, America & Asia.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Purple Rains Over Sydney Harbour On New Year’s Eve

Sydney has kicked off its New Year’s Eve celebrations in spectacular style with the harbour sparkling with purple fireworks in a scene inspired by Prince’s Purple Rain.

A 1-minute tribute honoured the legendary artist, who passed away earlier this year. A purple waterfall cascaded from the Sydney Harbour Bridge & an explosion of gold and purple fireworks rained over the Harbour from 4 barges.

It was just part of the stunning 9pm Family Fireworks display which saw an 8-minute extravaganza of colour & light explode over Sydney Harbour.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Me’s Design Your Own Firework competition winner, 10-year-old Georgia from Western Australia, had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to push the start button that kicked off the 9pm display, which also featured her winning design – a gold glitter umbrella with green tips.

Inspired by the “Aussie spirit” at the Games Of The XXXIst Olympiad: Rio De Janeiro 2016, Georgia’s design lit up the sky to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling!.

Media Release: City Of Sydney