Colourful Sydney NYE2017 Website Revealed

The Sydney NYE2017 website was revealed last week with less than 4 months to go. It is slightly different in design to last year’s website but it incorporates this year’s artwork for the event & includes new webpages plus an addition to the menu, different spacing & other small changes. The event’s logo was already revealed in July when ABC announced their ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ competition in conjunction with the City Of Sydney.

The updated website does not confirm the event’s theme. In fact, it gives no signal to a theme at all. Given there are no more Bridge Effects, there is a chance they could decide to stop doing themes and make the event ‘just a fireworks display’. They are, though, still trying to give the event some sort of creative touch as we’ve seen through the release of the logo in July.

For now, there is no reason to worry about the event’s theme as most years the theme isn’t confirmed until early December. It is usually just small clues revealed until then.

And the release of the logo in July did have one possible clue – 5 words placed within the logo, ‘Dance!, Radiate!, Wonder!, Hope! & Together!’. These words seem to capture the pondering of what the upcoming year will gives us when we celebrate NYE at a party in Sydney’s summer, which has been the general narrative of the event’s creatives in recent years. This interpretation of those 5 words may be incorrect – we will just have to wait & see.

But The Daily Telegraph last month revealed a small clue to this year’s theme by revealing this year’s theme to the Dawes Point Very Important Person (VIP) Viewing Area as Sunset. That event is also being styled to a beach-house. Previous years of that event have featured lanterns, deckchairs & give-away thongs so this beach-house ‘style’ could be nothing new particularly when Central Sydney implied back in May that that event will be downsized as “the large scale catering and entertainment will not be a part of the (VIP Viewing Area) plan”.

The website also confirms the event program, which is identical to last year’s, with the Sydney Opera House still a part of the Midnight Fireworks. It’s been 5 years since they re-introduced it in 2013 as part of the Sydney Opera House’s ‘decade of renewal’ so it’s likely now it will remain in the Midnight Fireworks for another 5 years at least.

A light show is confirmed to be on the Sydney Harbour Bridge again at least during the Welcome To Country but it is highly likely it will feature during the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks too. But what will this light show look like? Again, we’ll have to wait & see.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections are returning but so far, with no new changes – even no sign of the theme being projected onto them in different languages (though messages will still be shown in different languages).

There is also a new Ticketed Events webpage on the website for those wanting to get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of Sydney NYE they have always imagined.

Sydney NYE is also trialling new accessibility orientation sessions in the 4 days before the event. These sessions, led by an information booth volunteer, will guide individuals/groups along preferred routes from public transport to vantage points & back. This will allow for familarisation of the route by guests with the volunteer pointing out any event day-only changes. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited. Click here for more information.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) television coverage will be on ABC1, starting at 8:35pm and will feature closed captions, while internet streaming will be done via ABC iView, the ABC TV Facebook page, the ABC Australia YouTube channel  & Sydney NYE’s website. The latter, will be global, so no need to worry about geoblocking this year.

Apart from ABC iView, all internet streams will be of the Welcome To Country, 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks only.

Let’s hope organisers have solved copyright issues so the non-Australian audience can listen to the proper fireworks soundtracks live again. The displays are not the same without them.


Sydney NYE Logo Revealed As ABC Returns For 5th Consecutive Broadcast

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has been awarded the TV broadcast rights for this year’s Sydney NYE event.

This, along with this year’s Sydney NYE logo & possible theme, were confirmed following the release of details for the ABC ME ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition:

ABC is well-known for their 2 controversial broadcasts of the event in 2013 and 2014. Their 2015 & 2016 broadcasts were a huge but not perfect improvement. The 2016 broadcast saw the full Sydney NYE broadcast on terrestrial television in high definition in Australia for the 1st time since the late 2000’s. The 2017 broadcast is expected to be roughly the same but again, we do hope for a little more enhancement of the broadcast.

Details and duration of the Sydney NYE2017 TV broadcast have not been revealed as yet but the 9pm Family Fireworks & the ABC ME ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition winner have been confirmed as features of the broadcast. The Midnight Fireworks, whilst not confirmed, are all but guaranteed.

The logo of this year’s Sydney NYE event (at top of article) was also revealed as part of the competition. The theme has not been confirmed but the logo does provide a clue, which possibly could be the theme – 5 words placed within the logo, ‘Dance!, Radiate!, Wonder!, Hope! & Together!’. These words seem to capture the pondering of what the upcoming year will gives us when we celebrate NYE at a party in Sydney’s summer, which has been the general narrative of the event’s creatives in recent years.

The main part of the logo also seems to represent a painting of Sydney NYE as you can see representations of the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge, a ferry, a cockatoo, partygoers, music, the beach, water, fauna, fireworks, a fork & lots of eyes. The latter presumably to represent the attention Sydney receives on NYE. The orange background presumably represents the summer climate.

This interpretation of those 5 words & the logo as a whole may be incorrect – we will just have to wait & see.

The Bridge Effect is highly unlikely to make a reappearance this year with another generic light show expected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. How can they improve on last year’s? (See the video below for last year’s) Last year’s was done to perfection! That light show was pretty much a Bridge Effect of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! (Compared to NYE2015 when that’s what they tried to do and well, didn’t – they just put searchlights on the roadway)

There is a possibility the event may become more generic in the future as a result of having no more Bridge Effects. This year’s event may give us a more clearer idea of the direction the City Of Sydney are taking with the event in the future. Hopefully, the really creative, unique and constantly-changing themes of the past shall return. And more importantly, hopefully the traditional Bridge Effect returns too!

Here are the other things that have already been announced about Sydney NYE2017:

But anyway, all that is left to be announced is the Creative Ambassador & a confirmation of the theme plus any special details about this year’s event such as the type of light show. Can you guess who/what it will be? We’ll just have to wait & see – expect theme confirmation in September when the Sydney NYE website should be updated for this year’s event.

Kids To Get Cracking on New Year’s Eve Firework Design

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ME and the City Of Sydney are encouraging Australian children to let their imaginations explode as the ‘Design Your Own Firework’ competition returns for the 6th year running.

1 lucky child will see their design come to life over Sydney Harbour during the spectacular 9pm Family Fireworks, which is watched by millions of people around Australia. The lucky youngster will also be part of ABC’s Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) broadcast, pushing the ‘start button’ on the 9pm Family Fireworks display.

The ‘Design Your Own Firework’ competition is open to Aussie children aged 16 years & under. ABC ME’s Behind The News (BTN) officially opened the competition this morning during their 10am broadcast. To launch this competition, BTN investigated how fireworks are created with a special interview with the mastermind behind the Sydney NYE fireworks, Fortunato Foti.

City Of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said it was an unique opportunity for a budding young artist to be part of Sydney’s world renowned NYE celebrations.

“This is Australia’s night of the year, enjoyed by millions around the world & for a child to be part of this wonderful evening is a once in a lifetime opportunity” the Lord Mayor said.

“I can not wait to see the winning entry light up the sky on NYE”

ABC Director Of Television, David Anderson, said: “The Sydney NYE fireworks displays is a highly anticipated event & one of the best in the world. The ABC is thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity once again. With such a sought after prize, the challenge is on for Aussie kids to send in some amazing & unique designs”

To enter, kids are invited to put their imaginations to the test & draw an unique firework design. The design demonstrating the most creativity, effort & potential to be reproduced as a firework within the display will be announced as the winner.

ABC ME’s News To Me program will announce the winner on Sunday the 17th of September 2017.

The winner will receive a trip to Sydney for a family of 4 that includes tickets to the Sydney NYE official VIP (Very important person) viewing area at Dawes Point & the chance to be part of the live ABC Sydney NYE broadcast at 9pm.

The winning design will be brought to life by Foti International Fireworks, the company that has helped deliver Sydney’s spectacular NYE fireworks displays since 1997. Master pyrotechnician, Fortunato Foti, says bringing a child’s firework design to life is an exciting challenge.

His advice to budding designers is to look at the world around you for inspiration. “Design comes from imagination. Sometimes it is just about looking at the environment such as a simple flower & seeing if it can be turned into a firework” Mister Foti said.

“I love seeing what kids’ imaginations come up with. I can not wait to see what designs they come up with this year” Mr Foti said.

How To Enter:

  • Put your grand idea down on paper
  • Add colour to your design to bring it to life
  • Upload your entry by 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)) Monday the 21st of August
  • Check out our easy step-by-step guide & upload your entry at

Entries open today, Tuesday the 25th of July 2017 & close 5pm (AEST) Monday the 21st of August 2017. You must be under 16 years of age to enter.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Charity Partners Benefit From Sydney’s Biggest Events

The City Of Sydney will partner with 3 major charities for its biggest annual events to help raise funds to improve the lives of children with special needs and disabilities, advocate for children’s rights & provide services for the vision impaired.

The official charity partners are: Variety, The Children’s Charity for Sydney Christmas; United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Australia for Sydney New Year’s Eve & Guide Dogs New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) for Chinese New Year.

The partnerships will provide the charities with opportunities to promote their causes through activities such as media exposure, donation collections, event activations, speaking opportunities & social media.

For the past 14 years, the City’s events have supported dozens of charities & helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of causes including fighting children’s cancer, music education for children, treating people with visual impairment, helping children with disability, state emergency services, animal protection, alleviating global poverty & boosting humanitarian aid.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the enormous publicity generated for 3 of Australia’s biggest events would help communicate the great work of this year’s chosen charities to audiences worldwide.

“We are delighted to partner with these charities & support the incredible work they do for those less fortunate” the Lord Mayor said.

“More than 3 million people attend these major events & more than a billion people see or read about them across the world”

“By partnering with us on some of Australia’s largest events, these charities will have excellent opportunities to promote their cause on the national & international stage”

Variety, The Children’s Charity will partner with the City for its Sydney Christmas 2017 program. The national charity provides funding & support to individuals, organisations & hospitals to improve the lives of children with disabilities & special needs. Variety will coordinate a program of child-friendly activities that will feature as part of the City’s 6 outdoor concerts, choir program & associated Christmas events.

One of the world’s leading advocates for children’s rights, UNICEF Australia, will partner with the City for Sydney New Year’s Eve. UNICEF Australia campaigns for Australian children’s rights & supports UNICEF’s global mission to improve the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged & excluded children. The partnership will provide the charity with a platform to promote its cause to more than a billion people around the world.

The City’s Chinese New Year partner, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, aims to enhance the quality of life & mobility of the blind or vision impaired. The charity helps more than 4,000 people each year & provides all of its services free of charge.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

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 (17/05/2017): Foti International Fireworks won the pyrotechnics tender. It lasts until NYE2018 but they have the option to provide the pyrotechnics until NYE2021.

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”

Update (04/08/2017): The VIP Viewing Area at Dawes Point will still have catering as the City Of Sydney have issued a tender for the area’s catering services though the possibility of the catering being on a smaller scale still exists.

Australian Radio Network Announces 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

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.

From 28 June 2017 – Badu Gili

A new experience that will light the Sydney Opera House’s famous sails every evening in celebration of the rich history & contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s 1st Nations culture.

You can download the official Badu Gili soundtrack by clicking here.

17 October 2017 – Diwali

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.

I cannot visit Sydney to see a ‘Spectacular’ fireworks display. Can I see a non-‘Spectacular’ fireworks display on Sydney Harbour on another day?

Yes! 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.