‘Sydney Spectaculars’ To End

It is the blog this time.

This blog had to end sometime. We also want to leave on a high.

Over the past 18 months, we have published articles speculating the end of the 2 main ‘Sydney Spectaculars’: Vivid Sydney & Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE).

We also made a Facebook post questioning the creativity of Sydney New Year’s Eve nowadays.

And who can forget this?

All of these combined make us believe this is the ‘peak’ of Sydney Spectaculars – the 2017 editions of Vivid Sydney & Sydney New Year’s Eve.

Our Vivid Sydney article came true this year with the 1st ever drop of attendance in Vivid’s history. It was less of a drop than we predicted (prediction – about 1,000,000; actual – about 20,000) but nevertheless, it was the first ever attendance drop for Vivid Sydney.

Sydney NYE has also had it’s attendance drop by a million since 2013. However, we believe that was due to reasons not related to the popularity of the event.

As we wrote in our article, with the rapid ticketing of the event this year and the potential ‘full’ ‘commercialisation’ of the event possibly into the next few years, Australian taxpayers & Sydney ratepayers though may question their funding of the event leaving the future of the event in the balance as these people will likely want to be able to enter an event they are funding for.

The media launch of Sydney NYE2018 – The Pulse Of Sydney a few days ago also revealed a massive budget decline for the event. Last year was AUD$7 million, now it is AUD$6 million – a drop of about a million Australian dollars.

Some of that drop can be attributed to the cancellation of the Very Important Person Viewing Area at Hickson Road Reserve this year.

Whilst what we published in our article is concerning for the event’s future, there is a possibility that most Sydneysiders won’t realise what we detailed in the article until the morning of the event prompting anger from Sydneysiders who thought that access to most of the good vantage points were still mostly based on who arrived at the location first – not who reserved tickets first. They might then realise that there are not really any good vantage points left to access (even though there are still vantage points left to access) further accelerating that anger especially since they planned a day of looking a good view.

Some might even just give up and go home and watch it on television or the Internet.

And that anger might mar this year’s event.

In the end, it depends on how many Sydneysiders attend the event on the day and how aware they are of the newly ticketed vantage points.

Regardless of what happens, we do not want to write articles about the slow decline of these 2 major events.

We provided warnings in the form of our 2 articles and it’s up to the City Of Sydney & Destination New South Wales to respond accordingly.

In 2016, we were in the midst of writing a warning about the potential of a crowd crush disaster at Vivid Sydney, when that exact thing occurred. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. So our warnings should be heeded. We don’t want to write an article every few months stating ‘Vivid & Sydney NYE have problems. Fix them before it’s too late. Don’t know how? Here is our advice’.

Most of all, we don’t want to have to write an article saying ‘The party is cancelled…permanently…again’ or ‘The lights are off…permanently’. That would be a sad day.

But a good reason to stop writing articles is that it frees up room to upload more historical footage of these events.

Viewing historical footage of these events is what most visitors do our blog so we’ve decided to turn our site more into a ‘museum’ of the ‘Sydney Spectaculars’.  For starters, we will slowly move the videos on our YouTube channel (which eventually we will remove) to this website & of course, add this to this website videos of this and future year’s Sydney NYE, Vivid Sydney & other ‘Sydney Spectaculars’. We will update each event edition’s page with new information when it is available instead of posting the media releases in full from now. So, for this year’s Sydney NYE only, we will provide updates on that event edition’s fireworks soundtrack page as well as by posting on Facebook a direct link to the media releases as they arrive. Every other edition of a ‘Sydney Spectacular’ will have updates on their event edition’s page only.

Also, here is some information about this year’s Sydney NYE that you probably missed due to our lack of posts this year:

  • There is a chance there will only be 2 pyrotechnic displays in Sydney NYE for the 1st time since 2007 as fireworks are not mentioned in the descriptions for the Welcome To Country/Indigenous Smoking Ceremony at 7:30pm or the new Calling Country immediately after the 9pm Family Fireworks.
  • There is a high chance the 10 year Royal Australian Mint partnership with Sydney NYE to produce a yearly Sydney NYE coin has ended after 5 years. The coins are usually revealed in early November (except in the 1st year when it was revealed at the event’s media launch). If the coin isn’t revealed on December 31st, that pretty much guarantees these coins have ceased being minted.

There may be more information (which if there is, we will publish here) but we are pretty confident the rest was covered in the media launch a few days ago.

And, for the record, no information about the fireworks soundtracks has been revealed yet.

In the future, we will also still answer all questions that you send to us.

Again, apologies to all our Sydney Spectaculars followers for not posting any stories and responding to queries received over the past 9 months. We will respond to the queries received over the past 9 months shortly.

Lastly, we want to thank all our followers. It is nice to know there is an audience out there who consider Sydney NYE as more than ‘just a fireworks display’. The blog wouldn’t have been worth writing without you all. From 2011, when we began as a YouTube channel display historic footage of Sydney NYE, your requests for information about the next year’s theme, fireworks soundtracks and more led to the creation of this full blog, which coincided with the addition of Vivid Sydney and an expansion of the meaning of what can be considered as a ‘Sydney Spectacular’. This made the blog an all-year exercise. Whilst we know you are all still enthusiastic about the events, we believe the events are about to begin a decline and that’s why we believe it’s a good time to finish blogging. We don’t want to write, over many years, the decline of these events.

If the ‘Sydney Spectaculars’ are on the way up again, the blog may resume in the future…maybe. So we are still hoping things will improve.

To conclude, we hope you all have a happy new year!

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So What Music Do You Think Will Be Played When The Rainbow Waterfall Drops?

Here are your answers!

A pyrotechnic rainbow waterfall will fall off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during this year’s Midnight Fireworks as part of Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder and the ‘heralding of a new dawn for equality’.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said it celebrates Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality:

“The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it is a reminder of how far we have come & how far we have left to achieve true equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex (LGBTI) community. It is a wonderful way to ring in the new year & celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras

The rainbow waterfall replaces the golden waterfall this year in the Midnight Fireworks. It is a break in tradition but it is not without precedence. The golden waterfall has been replaced in:

    • Sydney NYE2000 – 100 Years As A Nation, Millions Of Years As A Land: Silver To Gold Waterfall
    • Sydney NYE2002 – The World’s Celebration In Union: Green & White Strobing Angelic Waterfall
    • Sydney NYE2005 –  Heart Of The Harbour: Red To White Strobing Angelic Waterfall
    • Sydney NYE2006 – A Diamond Night In Emerald City: – Green Strobing Angelic Waterfall

The golden waterfall is the iconic moment of the Sydney NYE event and consequently, the Midnight Fireworks. All editions of Sydney NYE have had the golden waterfall drop in the major closing Bridge sequence because of the emotional impact it delivers as part of the finale particularly when heard with the official soundtrack. The soundtrack of the waterfall, thus, has to be one of major emotional impact. Previous golden waterfall drops have featured these music pieces to give an idea of the type of music that usually accompanies it:

  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Sunrise – Richard Strauss
  • The Ring Of The Nibelung: The Valkyrie: Ride Of The Valkyries – Richard Wagner
  • Marche Slave Op.31 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Swan Lake – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  •  The Man From Snowy River (Olympic Version) – Bruce Rowland
  •  Pines Of Rome: The Pines of the Appian Way – Ottorino Respighi
  • Advance Australia Fair/Waltzing Matilda (Hylton Mowday Remix) – Peter Dodds McCormick & Banjo Paterson
  • Organ Concerto: Third Movement – Saint Saens
  • Slavsia, Slavsia – Mikhail Glinka/Symphony Of A Thousand – Gustav Mahler
  • Firebird Suite: Lullaby – Igor Stravinsky
  • Vincero: Nessun Dorma – Giacorno Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini
  • Sydney NYE Finale 2012 – Michael Yezerski vs. s:amplify
  • On A Night Like This – Kylie Minogue
  • OblivionM83 featuring Susanne Sundfør
  • Chandelier – Sia
  • Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  • Hymn For The Weekend (featuring Beyonce) – Coldplay

See videos of previous displays to see how the music & waterfall is timed for emotional impact.

As you can see, most are instrumental music pieces from the classical or soundtrack genres. This was the case pre-NYE2013 with the exception of NYE2004. Since NYE2013, vocal songs from either the pop or soundtrack genres have featured.

But this year’s rainbow waterfall has extra meaning (see above) so there is a possibility that the music has been chosen with this in mind. However, it is not guaranteed: the fireworks soundtrack is finalised in September & if it has been done purely for the proclamation of Schedule 1, Parts 1-3 & 5 of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, there was no guarantee back in September that the bill would even be introduced in Parliament. Back then, the Marriage Law Postal Survey had only just started.

Either way, it was guaranteed that 2018 celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras. It could have been chosen with that in mind.

It could also just have been chosen to represent the City Of Sydney’s support for LGBTI people. However, it would have been a slightly risky move particularly had the Marriage Law Postal Survey returned a ‘No’ result. Whilst it is the City Of Sydney’s event, to the general public it is Australia’s event. The City Of Sydney treated it as a national event pre-NYE2013 but since then have portrayed it as Sydney’s event. If the rainbow waterfall wasn’t planned to be subtle, it could have been a controversial choice. Good thing a ‘Yes’ result was returned (particularly in the City Of Sydney)!

A rainbow waterfall might also have been coincidentally added due to this year’s colourful artwork as well as the fact that rainbows regularly feature in Sydney NYE fireworks displays recently. If this was the case, any music piece could be a potential candidate.

What You Think

Everyone had a different opinion so there was no stand out choice. These were your suggestions:

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Sunrise – Richard Strauss:

What We Think

People’s suggestions were either of the following:

  • Too controversial
  • Used before in Sydney NYE
  • Not emotional enough
  • Lyrics unrelated to the extra meaning behind the rainbow waterfall

The song Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay would be a good candidate though to appear at any point of the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.

The most likeliest of all the suggestions to drop the rainbow waterfall we think would be I Will Survive – Diana Ross due to the song considered by some as a gay anthem. However, unlike the original version of the song by Gloria Gaynor, there is no good ‘drop point’ for the rainbow waterfall in this version. The original version though has a suitable ‘drop point’ at 01:11 in the music video:

We are guessing though that it will be the song Finally by CeCe Peniston. It was used in the Australian movie, The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert as well as in a segment of the Closing Ceremony of The Games Of The XXVIIth Olympiad: Sydney 2000 dedicated to that same movie. The song is about the wait to begin a relationship ending. It was a hit in the 1990’s and popular in clubs as it is a dance song.

If the Midnight Fireworks soundtrack abruptly changes to this song at 00:57 in the music video, when the rainbow waterfall drops, accompanied by a glittering light display off the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it could be the emotional impact that is desired to deliver the message the City Of Sydney is sending to the world. After all, Australia has been debating changes to the Marriage Act 1961 since 2004. It was a long, tiring debate particularly for LGBTI people & the debate and wait is finally over.

So that’s what we think. We might be wrong. We might be right. You all might be wrong. One of you might be right.  The fireworks soundtracks are released tomorrow. We’ll find out then. Maybe.

There is one extra thing about the rainbow waterfall that is unique this year. Who knows? Maybe it will be revealed tomorrow too. However, if it isn’t, don’t expect us to reveal it. We are waiting until the City Of Sydney do if they ever do. If they don’t, we’re leaving it as a surprise to maximise the emotional impact of the Midnight Fireworks for you all.