Starring Role For Sydney’s ‘Grand Old Dame’

Sydney Harbour Bridge will be the star of the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ celebrations with new lighting, fireworks & technology placing it at the heart of this year’s fireworks spectacular.

Special lighting effects will bring the Bridge to life, projections will illuminate both sides of its pylons for the 1st time & 2,400 extra fireworks will erupt from above, below and through the world-famous coat-hanger structure.

Meanwhile, the sails of the Sydney Opera House will blaze with new pyrotechnic effects, turning the whole harbour into a kaleidoscope of colour.

“Sydney is a ‘City Of Colour’ and this Sydney New Year’s Eve will be a celebration of what makes us such a vibrant, diverse & beautiful city,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Sydney has some of the world’s most recognisable architecture & a stunning natural harbour teeming with wildlife. It’s also home to some of the world’s most exciting creative talent. This year we’ve combined all 3 to showcase Sydney to the rest of the world.”

“All eyes will be on the Sydney Harbour Bridge this year as it plays a bigger role than ever before as the centrepiece of our celebrations.”

The creative vision for this year’s celebration comes from both established & emerging Sydney artists including Rhoda Roberts, up-and-coming design studio Province, maverick fashion designers Romance Was Born & the City Of Sydney’s creative consultants, Imagination Australia.

Both Province & Romance Was Born are graduates of the City Of Sydney’s Creative Spaces program that provides affordable studios for creative businesses in the city centre.

This year’s 9pm Family Fireworks will also celebrate the anniversaries of some of Sydney’s best loved attractions, featuring special flora & fauna fireworks in tribute to the 200th year of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens & 100 years of Taronga Zoo.

The pylon projections will also feature special creative content celebrating the 2 Sydney institutions.

Cameron Kerr, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taronga Conservation Society Australia said Taronga was very excited to have the Zoo’s centennial anniversary honoured in the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ celebrations.

“We’re delighted to be part of Sydney New Year’s Eve & to have our conservation achievements over the last 100 years celebrated as part of the city’s biggest night of the year,” Mr Kerr said.

“We’re lucky enough to have a great view of the Bridge from the Zoo & everyone who works here is looking forward to watching the special fireworks and projections & to celebrate our 100th year of protecting wildlife all over the world.”

Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti said it was always a challenge to ensure the fireworks display kept on getting better every year.

“It’s been our most complicated brief yet to produce a fireworks display that synchronises with all these other new special effects, but I think the crowds will be impressed with the results on the night,” Mr Foti said.

“It’s tough to keep making each Sydney New Year’s Eve display better than the last but we’ve got a lot of new fireworks this year & with more fireworks than ever before on the Bridge itself, I don’t think people will walk away disappointed.”

Sydney New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world, attracting 1 million spectators along the Sydney Harbour foreshore & a global audience of 1 billion.

People coming into the city on New Year’s Eve have a range of tools to help them plan a safe & enjoyable night. These include the Sydney NYE Telstra app & the City’s official Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ website featuring an interactive vantage point map, accessibility & live transport and road closure information.

The City also produces a printed event guide, available at Sydney Airport, major transport hubs throughout the city, hotels, tourism information kiosks & the City’s libraries and community centres.

Those who want to party at home can tune into Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Television’s broadcast, listen to 104.1 2DayFM’s live fireworks soundtracks or watch the live stream on Telstra’s YouTube channel.

This year’s official Sydney New Year’s Eve charity partner is Habitat For Humanity, a non-profit organisation that builds homes, communities & hope around the world and here in Australia.

“New Year’s Eve is a time of hope for people all over the world but many people in the Asia-Pacific region – including here in Australia – are just hoping that next year will bring a safe, permanent home for them & their children,” Martin Thomas, CEO of Habitat For Humanity said.

“Habitat For Humanity is all about building hope for the future & we’re looking forward to being part of Australia’s biggest public event & spreading that message of hope worldwide.”

For more information, visit

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ is proudly supported by the ABC, Telstra, Production Resource Group, The Electric Canvas, Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney, Coca-Cola Amatil, Crown Lager, De Bortoli Wines, El Jimador, Interface, McWilliam’s Wines, The Menzies Sydney, The P.A. People, 2DayFM, APN Outdoor, the Royal Australian Mint & New South Wales Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority & the Sydney Opera House Trust.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

LIVE BLOG: Sydney NYE2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Media Launch

10:45am AEDT – That concludes our relatively small live blog. Stay tuned for a formal post at approximately 2pm.

10:20am AEDT – Media Launch finished after more speeches from numerous people. Big news out of this – The hangers of the Sydney Harbour Bridge return to the Midnight Fireworks after 12 years and this year’s Bridge Effect is the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself through the use of a light show featuring powerful searchlights!

10:00am AEDT – Now beginning. Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, now speaking.

9:45am AEDT – Media Launch about to commence.

0:00am AEDT: Join us here from 9:45am AEDT, Monday the 14th of December 2015 as the Sydney NYE2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Media Launch takes place!

“The greatest lighting mystery since the Millennium” will start to be solved as we prepare for the revealing of what we think could be the most iconic edition of the event sinchie the Millennium.

Will there be a Bridge Effect? If not, how will the Bridge be lit up instead? Are there any more surprises in store? These questions about the “Sydney Harbour Bridge effects” as well as more announcements about the fireworks and creative content will be answered and revealed on the stroke of 10am Sydney time.

A formal post will be posted at approximately 2pm AEDT.

Note: Pending internet reception

ABC’s Sydney NYE Broadcasts Starting To Show Signs Of Improvement

After 2 consecutive controversial broadcasts, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has revealed new details of the Australian TV broadcast of Sydney NYE, which may show signs of a significant improvement on previous years even if it is not a total improvement.

One of the new details is the inclusion of an “amazing line-up of music coming from The Falls Festivals”. “The Falls Festivals”, referring to the ‘The Falls Music & Arts Festivals’, is held over 3 days focusing around New Year’s Eve but is not held in Sydney. It is held over 3 locations around eastern Australia – Byron Bay, Lorne and Marion Bay. Major acts this year include Paul Kelly, Rufus, Peking Duk and Hilltop Hoods. The Festival is supported by Triple J, an ABC youth radio station.

The last time a separate music concert was broadcast as part of a Sydney NYE broadcast was in 2011, when a ‘NYE Revolution’ concert was held at Glebe Island on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. Artists that were broadcast included Pet Shop Boys & Jamiroquai.

Assuming the music acts are shown live, these acts have potential to be on TV:

  • TORO Y MOI (30 minutes maximum)  – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • PAUL KELLY & THE MERRI SOUL SESSIONS (30 minutes maximum) – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • PEKING DUK (32 minutes maximum) – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • ELLIPHANT (42 minutes maximum)  – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (42 minutes maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • DJ YODA (48 minutes maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • FOALS (1 hour maximum)  – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • BLOC PARTY (1 hour maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • WAX MOTIF (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • THE AVENER (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • GENERIK (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • THE WOMBATS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • HILLTOP HOODS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • RÜFÜS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely

Conflicting events include the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks, the ABC3-dedicated half-hour between 8:30pm & 9pm as well as outside of broadcast times.

The above acts as well as the unlisted acts that are held earlier do have potential to be on TV if the broadcast of them is delayed, which was what Channel Nine did in 2011, when they had the Sydney NYE Australian TV broadcast rights.

The only disappointing aspect of this is that the ABC currently seem to still not be showing the official Sydney NYE music acts live from the VIP Viewing Area at Dawes Point on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. In previous years, these acts are shown on the Telstra YouTube live stream (probably due to exclusivity rights which is likely to be the same this year) and included headliners such as Empire Of The Sun, Art Vs Science & The Temper Trap.

Either way, with live music acts on TV the broadcast should be much more engaging for a ‘NYE’ audience than in previous years – it now all depends on ABC’s choice of acts and scheduling. If the acts aren’t well known around Australia (even if they are well known to a Triple J audience), the acts may be not worth tuning in for some people causing some minor outrage. In regards to scheduling, if ‘The 2015 Pub Quiz’ is shown largely between 9:08pm and 10:30pm, viewers may tune out and not return until Midnight and thus missing out on the music acts broadcast after 10:30pm. This is just one possible scheduling scenario – the one just mentioned being the worst possible schedule.

More details including precise timings of musical performances are expected to be released by the ABC in the coming weeks.

Adding to this news, the already announced stand alone host of Eddie Perfect & a dedicated ABC3/family-friendly start to the broadcast until the conclusion of the 9pm Family Fireworks should see the broadcast being more family-friendly and removed of the risk of poor chemistry/dynamics between hosts. It could also see the addition of potentially more comedy throughout the broadcast due to Eddie Perfect being the sole host.

ABC though will have to remember that Sydney NYE’s Midnight Fireworks is an event that is universally acclaimed, meaning that children may stay up for the Midnight Fireworks so the ABC has to ensure the whole broadcast is family-friendly regardless of the time slots. Another disappointing aspect is that with an ABC3-dedicated start to the broadcast, there is a slim chance that Sydney NYE’s ‘Welcome To Country’ ceremony will be shown in full again.

In the end, this is just small details of the broadcast. Once the major release of broadcast details occurs, we’ll get a better view of the broadcast but it all comes down to the ABC’s final directing of the broadcast.

Whilst it does not ‘improve’ the ABC’s NYE broadcast regardless, the other new details that the ABC announced include that:

  • The broadcast will be filmed on the Sydney Opera House forecourt & at the Lord Mayor’s Party.
  • The ‘2015 Pub Quiz’ segments of the broadcast will be hosted by Lawrence Mooney with panellists including Alan Brough, Michala Banas, Emma Alberici, Nazeem Hussain, Luke McGregor and Tom Ballard.
  • The broadcast will be available later to watch on iView.

And lastly, remember that currently the only parts of this year’s ABC NYE broadcast that will be seen overseas are of the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.

Join The World’s Biggest And Most Spectacular New Year’s Eve Party In Sydney

Vantage spots and parties to celebrate the New Year in Sydney

With Sydney set to throw the world’s most exciting New Year’s Eve party featuring outstanding fireworks displays, Destination NSW reveals some of the city’s best vantage points and parties for revellers to ring in the New Year.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said, “Sydney is the first major city in the world to ring in the New Year. All eyes are on our beautiful Harbour as it comes alive with the biggest New Year’s Eve show in the world.

“Sydney boasts the highest number of spectators to any New Year’s Eve celebration in the world. In 2014/15, an astonishing 1.6 million people lined the shores of Sydney Harbour to view the city’s world famous New Year’s Eve fireworks. In comparison, New York received one million spectators; London received 700,000 and Paris received 100,000[1],” Mr Ayres said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations attract visitors from across the country and the globe – all keen to celebrate on Sydney’s beautiful Harbour on a warm summer night. The world’s largest New Year’s Eve spectator celebration is a great way to begin or end a memorable holiday in NSW.”

For those visitors planning their trip to Sydney’s world-renowned New Year’s Eve fireworks, Destination NSW suggests they catch the festivities from one of the following hotspots:

Walsh Bay

Watch the spectacular New Year’s Eve festivities from The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf as the sun sets over the glittering waters of Sydney one last time in 2015. Looking at the western façade of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf has one of the best vantage points of the fireworks and will play host to a fabulous party serving delicious food, great cocktails and live entertainment. Tickets start at $245 and include gourmet canapés and a glass of sparkling served at midnight.

Barangaroo Reserve

This year, celebrate New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s sensational new harbour headland park, Barangaroo Reserve. The Reserve will offer superb value for a prime view of the iconic Sydney Harbour fireworks and this year’s new illuminations on the western façade of the Harbour Bridge. Gates open at 6.00pm and the site will feature light entertainment, picnic spaces and family-friendly alcohol-free zones, as well as licenced areas. Tickets are priced at $14.50 for children and $29.50 for adults (children aged three and under are free).

The Rocks

Campbell’s Cove, located on Hickson Road north of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, offers front row views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.  Revellers are advised to arrive early as the area usually closes to new arrivals at around 4.00pm. Admission: Free; Opening times: 8am 31 December to 2am 1 January.

Sydney CBD

Sitting 47 floors above the city and offering 360 degree views from the deck of a revolving restaurant, O Bar and Dining is one of the most exclusive places in Sydney to see in the New Year. Choose to dine in the relaxed tapas lounge or take in Sydney from all angles in the unique circular dining room. The cuisine is based on chef and owner Michael Moore’s healthy eating philosophy and complements an extensive wine list and innovative cocktail menu of modern, classic and vintage drinks. Tickets start at$395.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant will host an exquisite garden party this New Year’s Eve with open-air dining and an exclusive vantage point to watch the fireworks. Guests can enjoy French champagne and canapés on arrival, followed by a seven-course degustation menu. Live music will be played all night and a private lawn will provide the perfect spot to witness the harbour fireworks in all their glory. Tickets are priced at $500 per person (18 years+ only).

Mrs Macquaries Point is one of the most popular viewing spots for New Year’s Eve due to the location’s fantastic views of the fireworks displays. This vantage point also offers catering and bar services for purchase. Admission: Free; Opening times: 10am 31 December to 12.30am
1 January.

Sydney Harbour Islands

A new event in 2015, Shark Island will be transformed into an island paradise this New Year’s Eve. Guests will be treated to a South American-inspired party with fabulous food, live music and some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. Dance all night to the sounds of Aussie electronica act Juggernaut DJs (Midnight Juggernauts) and Sydney’s Recess DJs and enjoy a Mexican feast of mouth-watering tacos and burritos at the pop-up taqueira. Tickets start at $160.

Sydney’s four other islands – Fort Denison, Cockatoo Island, Goat Island and Clark Island – offer a range of exciting New Year’s Eve events. For a luxurious evening head to the black-tie event on Fort Denisonfor $1,000 per person or for a more lively celebration book a ticket to enjoy a three-course meal and Garden Party on Clark Island with tickets priced at $375 for adults and $225 for children. Children under five are free.

On the water

For a ‘ferry good view’ of the fireworks jump aboard an iconic Sydney Harbour Ferry for a front row seat of all the fireworks action. This year, the Lady Northcott Ferry will be part of the official Harbour of Lights Parade, the centrepiece of Sydney’s New Year celebrations in which a select group of vessels, adorned in brilliant lights, cruise up and down the centre of the harbour. Guests on the Lady Northcott can pack a picnic to enjoy onboard with tickets starting from $350 for adults and $299 for concession. Alternatively, revellers can stay close to shore and catch the fireworks from the back of a Ferry at Circular Quay. Tickets start at $250 for adults.

A dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve is the ultimate way to welcome in 2016. Enjoy an amazing view of the fireworks from within the Sydney Harbour exclusion zone on a Captain Cook Cruise. Tickets range from $165 per person for the NYE Manly 9pm Fireworks cruise to $995 per person for the first-class NYE Show Deck Dinner.

McMahons Point

Blues Point Reserve is a fantastic location to catch all the New Year’s Eve action. Head to this location early in the day to grab a spot to see the western façade of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the skies above light up. Admission: Free; Opening times: 12pm 31 December to 1am 1 January.

Circular Quay

Welcome in 2016 at a summer beach party in the middle of the city at Opera Bar. With the Harbour Bridge directly in front, the Opera House to one side and the city skyline above, Opera Bar is one of the best spots in Sydney to watch the world-famous fireworks display. Come dressed in beach attire and dance the night away amidst palm trees and harbour views at this inner-city beach party. Kicking off at 6pm, tickets start at $394 and include express VIP entry to the Sydney Opera House, live entertainment and a 5-hour canapé package.

To nab a spot on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House it’s best to arrive as early as possible as this iconic spot reaches capacity early in the day. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite.Admission: Free; Opening times: 7.30am 31 December to 2am 1 January.

Milsons Point

Bradfield Park is a popular site for families offering views from the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s one of the best views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.Admission: Free; Opening times: 12pm 31 December to 12.15am 1 January.

Darling Harbour

Viewing spots around Cockle Bay are prized locations and this year will be no exception. With a free program of live music and flame-jet shows, as well as the famous 9pm and Midnight fireworks, Cockle Bay is set to be one of the most exciting, free locations to celebrate the end of 2015. Admission: Free;Opening times: 7am 31 December to 4am 1 January.

While demand is high, revellers can still book a hotel room in the city to ring in the New Year. Accor Hotels reports availability across the group’s portfolio of hotels, including Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Pullman Hyde Park and Mercure Sydney. But travellers are advised to book fast as hotels will be at 100 per cent capacity on 31 December.

For a full list of Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points visit

For more information on Sydney, visit

[1] City of Sydney, “2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve – fireworks facts,”, (December 29, 2014).

Media Release: Destination NSW

Building Hope 2016

As the official charity partner of Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’, Habitat For Humanity Australia are excited to announce their new campaign, Building Hope 2016.

From December 7 – 11, Habitat For Humanity Australia will be in 3 locations around the Sydney Central Business District asking members of the public to fold an origami home and share their hopes for 2016 for those without access to safe and decent housing.

By participating, you will also go into the draw to win an all expenses paid Global Village overseas volunteering experience or 1 of 4 family passes to an invitation-only viewing spot for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’.

You can also enter online by visiting

Join Habitat For Humanity Australia and help build hope for those in need.

Sydney locations and timings

Monday 7th December – Friday 11th December

  • Customs House:  8:30am – 12:30pm
  • Wynyard Park: 1:30pm – 5:30pm
  • Hyde Park North: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Building Hope 2016 is part of Solid Ground, Habitat For Humanity Australia’s global advocacy campaign, created to address this fundamental issue of access to land for shelter.

Media Release: Habitat For Humanity Australia

The End Of An Era Or The Welcoming Of A New Addition?


Could we have seen the last of Sydney New Year’s Eve’s iconic Bridge Effect?

Well Sydney Spectaculars has reason to believe that, for at least this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve event, a Bridge Effect will not feature.


The Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect was first introduced in 1997 by designer Peter England after event producer Ric Birch asked him to come up with something that will visually compete with the fireworks. The first Bridge Effect was an inanimate smiley face & it struck a chord with the crowd immediately.

  • 1997 – Smiley Face

In fact, the Bridge Effect was first thought of back in 1924 when John Bradfield was designing the Bridge. He realised the potential an arch bridge could have on Sydney Harbour celebrations & proposed the use of ‘illuminations’. His artist impression of a Bridge Effect was of the Third Rising Sun Badge. His idea has never been realised.

The Bridge Effect did not feature in 1998 as they trialled new elements for the Millennium (1999) event. Due to it’s successful test in 1997, it returned in 1999 with the iconic animated smiley face (now with eyelashes & pupils) & the word ‘Eternity’ – pyrotechnics were added to the Bridge Effect for the 1st time that year.

  • 1999 –  Smiley Face & ‘Eternity’

The ‘mystery’ of what the Bridge Effect would be each year was born & saw the beginning of a media tradition to try and get exclusive shots of the Bridge Effect being tested prior to the event (sometimes rather awkwardly timed & interpreted completely wrong). Another tradition born was the long TV camera shot of the Bridge Effect unveiling at the conclusion of the Midnight Fireworks – it made the conclusion of the fireworks more emotional as well as confirmed whether our guesses were right.

  • 2000 – Olympic Rings
  • 2000 – Rainbow Serpent & Federation Star
  • 2001 – Uluru, Southern Cross & Dove
  • 2002 – Dove & ‘PEACE’

In 2003, they tried to make the Bridge Effect ‘3D’. The idea was to have a 3D artwork known as ‘Fanfare’ hang from the Bridge. The media dubbed it ‘the disco ball’. But before it was announced it was postponed to 2004 due to budget & weather concerns. With the Rugby Ball Bridge Effect still on the Bridge in late November 2003  from the Rugby World Cup, there was little time to prepare another ‘2D’ Bridge Effect even though the contracted company ensured extra labour would compensate for that. The media found out there would be no Bridge Effect in early November 2003 & the disappointment was evident:

Hey, who switched out the light? This year’s spectacular New Year’s Eve illuminated bridge motif will be . . . well, nothing.

And convivial Sydneysiders could be waiting an eternity for another one, given a perception among the event’s organisers that the use of an emblem on the eastern expanse of the Bridge is ‘tired’.

Sydney Morning Herald (05/11/2003)

To replace the Bridge Effect, they borrowed the theme of a Sydney Festival 2004 element known as ‘City Of Light’ & linked the 2 events through the elements’ month-long city building light shows. The replacement Bridge Effect was to be an additional light show but on the Sydney Harbour Bridge – and was it spectacular!

  • 2003 – Rugby Ball
  • 2003 – Light Show

‘Fanfare’ appeared in 2004 but did not work as planned on the night. It did work though the whole week after. Traditional ‘2D’ Bridge Effects returned in 2005 but began to be unveiled before Midnight & they became incredibly complex in programming with the introduction of ‘combinations’ – the traditional stationary image but smaller individual parts lit up gradually to reveal extra images or patterns/sequences. These ‘extra hidden’ images usually are not counted as official Bridge Effects.

In 2006, new TV broadcaster, Network 10, stopped the traditional long shot of the final Bridge Effect unveiling at the end of the Midnight Fireworks (probably because portions of it can now be seen earlier in the night). No broadcaster has since revived it & they usually now immediately go to the credits once the fireworks conclude. This combined with the ‘combinations’ & earlier ‘reveals’ led to a lower profile for the Bridge Effect overall as the audience became confused with what the final image was & lost interest in guessing it.

  • 2004 – ‘Fanfare’
  • 2005 – Hearts
  • 2006 – Diamond & Coathanger
  • 2007 – APEC Sydney 2007 Logo
  • 2007 – Mandala

2008 saw the next big event Sydney was to hold since APEC & the Rugby World Cup – World Youth Day. Expectations were of a religious symbol to be the Bridge Effect on this occasion but instead, this event saw one of the first events to incorporate Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections – which have increasingly became popular since then especially with the introduction of Vivid Sydney & Sydney Opera House projections in 2009 – a year which saw the Bridge Effect become ‘multi-layered’ – that is, 2 layers of final Bridge Effect images, one on top of the other.

  • 2008 – Sun
  • 2009 – Yin-Yang, Ring Of Fire & Blue Moon
  • 2010 – Handprint, Spot & ‘X’
  • 2011 – Endless Rainbow & Thought Bubble
  • 2012 – Butterflies & Kylie Minogue’s Lips

2013 saw the Bridge Effect begin the transition from incandescent ropelight to LED ropelight, which saw amazing moving colour-changing patterns & sequences take place on the outline of 2013’s ‘eye’. LED ropelight was included in the 2014 Bridge Effect but was barely noticeable. This year should have seen the completion of the transition to LED ropelight.

  • 2013 – Eye
  • 2014 – Light Bulb & Sydney Seahorses


It is now late 2015. NYE preparations are truly underway & people around the world are preparing to travel to Sydney to tick off their bucket list the Midnight Fireworks & the Bridge Effect. Given the Bridge Effect is such a tradition & increasingly getting more technologically advanced, why do we think this year might not feature it?

  • Theme

The theme, ‘City Of Colour’, can be widely interpreted to be anything as the Bridge Effect especially after you look at it’s logo, which is a unique collage of Sydney icons. The theme is also similar to the 2003 theme ‘City Of Light’, which saw a light show put in place instead of a Bridge Effect (see background above) but the reason why that happened is unlikely to have occurred again.

  • Support Structures

Usually, the support structures that hold up the Bridge Effect start to be put into place in mid-October/early-November but have been known to appear as late as early December. It is mid-December & not 1 piece of structure is yet to be seen.

  • Website & Media Releases

The Bridge Effect is not mentioned once on the recently updated Sydney New Year’s Eve website. It always used to be on the website. So far, not 1 media release has mentioned the Bridge Effect while the fireworks have been mentioned briefly.

  • Tender

The most recent Bridge Effect contract expired early this year after the 2014 event but the City Of Sydney have not seemed to have issued a new tender request. There is a slight possibility of internal negotiations happening anyway.

  • Budget & Projections

Recent events such as the International Fleet Review Spectacular & 100 Years Of ANZAC – The Spirit Lives: 2014-2018 have seen 3D-mapped projections put in place instead of a Bridge Effect due to the cheaper cost as well as the lower weather risks. With the expansion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections to include the western pylons this NYE, there is a chance the extra money from excluding a Bridge Effect has partially been allocated to that too. LED ropelight is also more expensive.

  • Tender Company

One of the companies that has supplied the Bridge Effect since 2000 went insolvent in April this year, which would explain the sale of the Olympic Rings Bridge Effect in May this year as it used to sit in that company’s site. We’re unsure but the other company may still be operating.

  • Sydney’s Summer Aquatic Events: A Boating Guide

On December 1st 2015, Roads & Maritime Services released the 2015/2016 edition of their ‘Sydney’s Summer Aquatic Events: A Boating Guide’ publication. The publication is always very detailed providing precise details of the scheduled events for Sydney NYE. This year, one sentence reads “The design of the fireworks and Sydney Harbour Bridge effects are a well-kept secret until the stroke of midnight.” Note that it says ‘effects’ – plural (meaning more than 1) and also that the ‘E’ in ‘effects’ is not capitalised. When writing about the Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect, the ‘E’ is always capitalised.

  • Less Pyrotechnic Displays

Since 2008, Sydney NYE has featured ‘firings’ or ‘mini displays’ between 9:08pm & Midnight. On December 1st 2015, Roads & Maritime Services released the 2015/2016 edition of their ‘Sydney’s Summer Aquatic Events: A Boating Guide’ publication. This publication indicated no pyrotechnics being fired from the barges during the ‘Welcome To Country’ & between 9:08pm and Midnight as has been the case since 2008. In the video of the Sydney NYE2003 – ‘City Of Light’ Midnight Fireworks above, the pyrotechnic finale featured fireworks coming off the ‘hangers’ of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (the bit between the lower arch and the roadway) – during a rare year when no Bridge Effect could block pyrotechnic use from that Bridge section. That was the only time it had featured ever…until now maybe? With no Bridge Effect still in sight, small cranes being used near the hangers in recent nights and less pyrotechnic displays this year, maybe they are bringing that dazzling pyrotechnic effect back? The pyrotechnics would be, in this case, relocated from the barges to the Bridge hangers and the small cranes being used to install the pyrotechnics in the location where the Bridge Effect once stood. But those small cranes could have been installing anything – but in November/December, it usually is to install NYE equipment.


We can confirm that something is happening on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for NYE2015 & it is involving lights but we just do not know what it is – probably the greatest lighting mystery since the Millennium. A lighting director has been appointed & testing has been conducted on the Bridge.

We asked the City Of Sydney if a Bridge Effect is happening this year & the response was rather cryptic as it did not confirm or deny it: “The 2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve will feature an exciting new fireworks display and new bridge lighting effects”.

“New bridge lighting effects” could mean anything – from a new replacement light show to the Bridge Effect but fully LED for the 1st time. “New fireworks display”? Well again, open to interpretation – it could mean the usual new programming of the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks or the re-introduction of pyrotechnics from the Sydney Harbour Bridge hangers?

With the ‘City of Colour’ theme, we’re taking a wild guess to predict that a multi-coloured LED light show covering the whole Sydney Harbour Bridge & maybe other Sydney icons such as the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens & Taronga Zoo (the latter 2 because a tribute to their 200th & 100th anniversaries respectively are being included in the 9pm Family Fireworks) will take place. Maybe the projections will play a part too?

In 1986, the Royal Australian Navy revolutionised Sydney pyrotechnic displays by introducing the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the fireworks which became mainstream 2 years later in 1988. In 2013, the Royal Australian Navy put on the International Fleet Review Spectacular – a show featuring pyrotechnics, projections, lights, music, aerial flyovers & live action sequences all in 1 show. It was a display we expected to revolutionise Sydney pyrotechnic displays once again. It’s now 2015 – 2 years later – maybe the revolution will become mainstream now? But is the Bridge Effect a casualty of that? Remember, the International Fleet Review Spectacular featured no Bridge Effect – the first major pyrotechnic display to do so since 1998. In the end, if the revolution is happening, we only expected projections to be added to the pyrotechnic displays, which have always contained music/lights & the rare aerial flyover.

If there is no Bridge Effect this year, we hope it is a one-off. If not, hopefully the new lighting display is something even more iconic, mysterious & spectacular. But in the end, we hope we are wrong about the Bridge Effect possibly seeing it’s end. We’ll find out when the media launch is held in early December…

Sydney NYE2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ On ABC TV

Eddie Perfect will help bring in the New Year when he hosts SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE 2015 – ‘CITY OF COLOUR’ in a special 4-hour entertainment bonanza.

The team who brought you the Saturday Night Crack Up now brings you Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television (ABC TV)’s Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ broadcast spectacular. Counting us down to the sensational fireworks on Sydney Harbour, Eddie Perfect will guide us through the biggest night of the year.

SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE 2015 – ‘CITY OF COLOUR’ will again be a 4-hour live show from the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on Bennelong Point, Sydney Harbour. The program will feature some of ABC TV’s key network talent as well as live musical, theatrical & comedic performances.

ABC KIDS/ABC3 will kick off the celebration with 30 minutes packed with family friendly content from 8:30pm leading us into the 9pm Family Fireworks, launched by the winner of the ABC3 ‘Design Your Own Firework’ competition.

This 4-hour entertainment bonanza will feature a range of family friendly entertainment with the Pub Quiz, ‘Year In Review’, live crosses & musical performances leading up to the Midnight Fireworks.

While the Harbour is showered with fireworks, home viewers will be dazzled by a night of comedy, music & more celebrities than you can shake a sparkler at.

SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE 2015 – ‘CITY OF COLOUR’: 240 minutes duration – Thursday 31 December 2015 from 8:30pm

***Please note: Dates and times are a guide only and subject to change, please check TV listings nearer the time to confirm.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television

Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2015 At Barangaroo Reserve

Tickets to one of the best value events on Sydney Harbour go on sale this week

You are invited to share in Sydney’s brand new view of one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks displays.

The Barangaroo Delivery Authority, on behalf of the New South Wales (NSW) Government, will release 10,000 tickets this week for Sydneysiders & visitors to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s sensational new harbour headland park, Barangaroo Reserve.

The theme of this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks is City Of Colour. The Reserve will offer superb value for a prime view of the iconic harbour fireworks. A selection of locations in the Reserve will also give visitors views of this year’s new projections on the western pylons of the Harbour Bridge for the world-famous 12-minute Midnight Fireworks display.

Gates on Hickson Road will open at 6pm on Thursday, 31 December 2015 with picnic spaces on the Walumil & Stargazer lawns. The site will feature light entertainment, family-friendly alcohol-free zones & licenced areas.

Food & beverages will be available for purchase onsite and ticketholders have the option to pre-order a gourmet picnic hamper. Guests will be welcome to bring their own picnics, however BYO alcohol will not be permitted.

The event is for all ages & entry is strictly by ticket only. Ticket prices are: AUD$14.50 (Child 3-15, Concession); AUD$29.50 (Adult 16+); Family AUD$79 (2 adults & 2 children). A total of 10 tickets can be purchased in 1 transaction.

Craig Van Der Laan, Chief Executive Officer of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer the public one of the most affordable & best value-for-money New Year’s Eve tickets in Sydney. The Authority has run ticketed New Year’s Eve viewing in previous years while Barangaroo Reserve was still under construction. These were a tremendous success. This year will be so much better with Barangaroo Reserve now complete. Guests will be able to sit on the lawns, buy food & beverages & enjoy one of the most spectacular new views of Sydney in comfort”.

“We are ticketing the event & limiting the numbers to 10,000 so we can ensure the comfort & safety of guests while minimising disturbance to our neighbours,’’ he said.

Pre-sale tickets will be available to Barangaroo e-Newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 at 9am. General ticket sales will open on Thursday, 12 November 2015 at 9am. All tickets can be purchased through Moshtix at

For more information about New Year’s Eve 2015 At Barangaroo Reserve & to register for the Barangaroo e-Newsletter for the chance to purchase pre-sale tickets, visit

Event Details

  • Event: New Year’s Eve 2015 At Barangaroo Reserve
  • Where: Barangaroo Reserve, Hickson Road, Barangaroo, NSW 2000
  • Date/Time: Thursday, 31 December 2015, 6pm to 12:30am
  • Tickets: Via Moshtix at Adult aged 16+ – AUD$29.50, Child aged 3-15 – AUD$14.50, Child aged under 3 – Free, Family – AUD$79 (2 adults + 2 children), Concession – AUD$14.50 (Full time student, concession card holder), Ticket limit – 10 tickets in 1 transaction.

Discover a new view of the City Of Colour this #SydNYE at #Barangaroo

Important Note

For all the latest information, you need to plan your trip into the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) on New Year’s Eve – & for details of other great vantage points on the night – go to Sydney New Year’s Eve’s website:

Media Release: Barangaroo Delivery Authority

Beware The Mystery Party Misery

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe today issued a warning to the public about the risks associated with mystery parties, particularly on New Year’s Eve.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading received numerous complaints early this year about a failed mystery New Year’s Eve party in 2014 that failed to deliver on promises and was eventually closed down by authorities.

“While a mystery party may sound spontaneous and exclusive, consumers should be very wary of buying tickets to mystery events where the promoter’s details and event locations cannot be readily identified,” he said.

Tips for interested party-goers include:

  • Purchase event tickets from reputable ticket outlets only – avoid buying tickets through social media
  • Pay for tickets using a credit card where possible – financial institutions may be able to arrange a credit ‘charge back’ if you don’t get what you paid for
  • If you decide to attend a mystery party, make sure you let a loved one know where you will be
  • Be aware that if the mystery party does not deliver what it promises, you may not be able to recover the money paid for tickets, food, drinks etc.

“It is an offence under the Australian Consumer Law to accept payment for goods and services if those goods and services are not supplied,” Mr Stowe said.

“However, it can be very difficult for consumers to obtain a refund and regulators to pursue rogue traders in these cases as those traders are often unable to be identified or located.”

In November 2014 a promoter advertised a mystery New Year’s Eve Mansion Party through his social media page on Facebook. The promotional materials included a short video showing a mansion on the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

Consumers bought tickets ranging in price from $99 to $199 covering entry to the venue only. Vouchers for alcoholic drinks were sold on the night at an additional cost of $10 per drink with a minimum spend of $50.

On 31 December 2014, ticket holders were e-mailed advice about the location of the party, a property in Rose Bay, as well as instructions on how to get public transport to the event.

On the night it was evident the promoter had oversold the event with approximately 700 ticket holders attending the location, resulting in insufficient seating, toilet facilities and security.

Consumers complained the venue was not the same venue promoted on social media, the venue had an obstructed view of the harbour and people were unable to redeem pre-paid drink vouchers. The pool had been partially covered with a dance floor leaving the uncovered area presenting a health and safety risk.

“The promoter subsequently closed his business and reportedly moved overseas,” Mr Stowe said.

Media Release: NSW Government – Finance, Services & Innovation: Fair Trading

Celebrate New Year’s Eve In Sydney Harbour National Park

Sydney Harbour National Park is set to go off with a bang this New Year’s Eve as tickets go on sale today for a number of unique harbour-side locations including Clark Island, Shark Island, Bradleys Head and Nielsen Park.

Deputy Chief Executive, New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service, Mark Peacock said these venues, set amongst Sydney’s bushland and heritage sites, are special places to ring in the new year.

“Celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Harbour captures the very essence of Sydney and this year we’re hosting a range of events to attract visitors into our waterfront parks,” Mr Peacock said.

“Tickets to the National Parks & Wildlife Service premier event, The Garden Party, at Clark Island have been made more affordable for visitors wanting a once-in-a-lifetime experience with uninterrupted views of the Harbour and fireworks displays.”

“This year, Shark Island will be transformed into a fiesta-style celebration where guests will be treated to a fun, themed event with South American-inspired food, live music and DJs.”

“Those attending the ever-popular Bradleys Head can look forward to a change in entertainment and facilities so families can enjoy a safe, child-friendly and alcohol-free evening.”

“The price of 1,500 tickets to the Bradleys Head Mast Precinct have been reduced this year, offering a more affordable option for those wanting to spend New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour.”

“Tickets to the Bradleys Head Amphitheatre are also available, offering what’s probably the best view of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city skyline from within a bushland setting.”

“Many Sydney Harbour National Park venues have improved accessibility and for the first time, wheelchair accessible viewing areas are offered at Goat Island, Bradleys Head (Mast Precinct) and Nielsen Park.”

“Ticketing for sites will keep crowd numbers within comfortable and safe limits as well as provide a range of options for people looking for different experiences.”

“If you’re thinking of heading to 1 of the spectacular harbour-side spaces or islands of Sydney Harbour National Park this New Year’s Eve, we encourage you to book your tickets as early as possible to avoid disappointment” Mr Peacock said.

Tickets are available by booking online through Moshtix. For more information about the events, visit the National Parks & Wildlife Service website.

Media Release: NSW Government – Office Of Environment & Heritage