Sydney Lights Up The World

A brilliant light bulb illuminated Sydney Harbour last night as huge crowds gathered around the foreshore to welcome in 2015, while millions more watched around the world.

Celebrating the International Year of Light, the 12-storey-high Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect was the centrepiece of the Midnight Fireworks display – one of the largest and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - 9pm Family Fireworks Photograph: Jennifer Polixenni Brankin - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – 9pm Family Fireworks
Photograph: Jennifer Polixenni Brankin – First Light Photography

The light bulb design, which remained top-secret until midnight, followed an animated image of the New Holland Seahorse, which appeared on the Bridge during the 9PM Family Fireworks.

The New Holland Seahorse – commonly known as the Sydney Seahorse – is native to Sydney Harbour.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - 'New Holland Seahorse' Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect  Photograph: David Clare - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – ‘New Holland Seahorse’ Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect
Photograph: David Clare – First Light Photography

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Sydney’s world-famous fireworks displays provided the perfect welcome to the New Year.

“Sydney is known as the New Year’s Eve Capital of the World and last night’s celebrations were no exception,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Spectacular images from the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays have already been shared around the world – on television, online and via social media – shining a spotlight on our magnificent harbour and inspiring audiences worldwide to visit Sydney.”

“Our New Year’s Eve celebrations have allowed us to showcase our fantastic city to the rest of the world, reinforcing that Sydney is and always will be a welcoming, inclusive, harmonious and multicultural community.”

Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Producer Aneurin Coffey, Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson and Sydney NYE2014 - 'Inspire' Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti discussing fireworks at White Bay. Photograph: City Of Sydney
Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Producer Aneurin Coffey, Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson and Sydney NYE2014 – ‘Inspire’ Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti discussing fireworks at White Bay.
Photograph: City Of Sydney

Master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti of Foti International Fireworks was responsible for the fireworks displays for the 14th consecutive year.

The displays used approximately 7 tonnes of fireworks, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' - Midnight Fireworks Photograph: Karl Bayer - First Light Photography
Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ – Midnight Fireworks
Photograph: Karl Bayer – First Light Photography

The Lord Mayor praised the City of Sydney crews who worked throughout the night to ensure Sydney was sparkling this morning.

“With huge crowds gathering around the harbour foreshore and at vantage points across Sydney, the clean-up of New Year’s Eve is an enormous task,” the Lord Mayor said.

“A fantastic team of 350 City staff worked tirelessly throughout the night, collecting between 48-50 tonnes of waste.”

“Within hours, our staff had transformed the City’s streets and parks, clearing truckloads of rubbish to reveal a pristine setting in time for sunrise.”

The $290,000 clean-up operation involved the use of 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors and 600 mobile garbage bins to support the City’s 720 street litter bins, which were filled with plastic bottles, food containers and food scraps.

90% of the waste collected will be recycled courtesy of SITA Australia.

Crowds at the Campbell's Cove Vantage Point for Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire' Photograph: Yie Sandison - First Light Photography
Crowds at the Campbell’s Cove Vantage Point for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’
Photograph: Yie Sandison – First Light Photography

The Lord Mayor also thanked everyone who made the event possible, including the City’s Sydney New Year’s Eve team and Creative Ambassador Jack Thompson.

“After more than 15 months of planning, it was wonderful to see Sydney at its best last night, as the 1st major global city in the world to ring in 2015,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Thank you to everyone who worked throughout the year – and all those who dedicated their time last night – to ensure the celebrations ran smoothly.”

“Sydneysiders have gone through a period of trauma and mourning over the past weeks, and last night we all spared a thought for the families of the Martin Place siege victims.”

Crowds at the West Circular Quay Vantage Point for Sydney New Year's Eve 2014 - 'Inspire'  Photograph: Yie Sandison - First Light Photography
Crowds at the West Circular Quay Vantage Point for Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’
Photograph: Yie Sandison – First Light Photography

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ acknowledges the support of Leadership Partner – Telstra, Charity Partner – Engineers Without Borders Australia & NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Opera House Trust.

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Sydney Counts Down To An Inspirational 2015

Spectacular aerial footage from inside tonight’s Midnight Fireworks display will be captured by drones and broadcast live for the 1st time anywhere in the world.

The drones will fly up to 1,000 feet above Sydney Harbour, recording high-resolution footage of the fireworks as they launch from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and barges on the water.

Live footage from 2 drones will feature in the ABC’s TV broadcast and Sydney NYE Telstra YouTube Show.

A 3rd specially-built drone equipped with six cameras will capture amazing 360-degree views of the fireworks that audiences can view after the event via the Sydney NYE Telstra App.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the celebrations to welcome in 2015 were shaping up to be Sydney’s best yet.

“Our Sydney New Year’s Eve team and pyrotechnic experts are busy putting the finishing touches on tonight’s displays, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’re expecting large crowds tonight, so if you’re coming into the city, make sure you arrive early to secure a good spot and download the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire‘ app to receive live updates about the event.”

“If you’re staying at home, tune in to our fantastic broadcasts, which will include never-before-seen drone footage of the fireworks – giving you the chance to be part of the event without having to leave the house.”

“Wherever you are, and however you celebrate, there’s no doubt that Sydney will be at its best tonight as we countdown to the dawning of the New Year.”

The 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays will feature 7 tonnes of fireworks, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

More than 1.6 million people are expected to line the harbour foreshore to view the displays, which are recognised as one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.

The centrepiece of tonight’s displays will be the Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect – the top-secret, 12 storey high LED design that will be revealed at midnight.

The Bridge Effect ties into this year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve theme, Inspire. After debuting tonight, it will continue to shine brightly above the harbour from 8pm to midnight on Thursday and Friday night.

Pre-Show Entertainment will begin at 6pm when former fighter pilot Matt Hall performs daring aerial displays above the harbour. At 7pm, tug boats will blast tonnes of water into the sky from Millers Point to Fort Denison and back again.

Following the 9PM Family Fireworks, the Harbour of Light Parade will see more than 50 illuminated boats carry over 8,000 people on a majestic passage around Sydney Harbour.

A 3rd mini-fireworks display, known as the ‘Inspire moment’, will also feature at 10:40pm to keep crowds entertained during the countdown to midnight.

Audiences around the harbour and at home are being encouraged to become part of the celebration by using the hashtag #SydNYE to tweet messages about how Sydney will inspire them in the New Year.

The tweets will appear live on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons throughout the night, and will be seen by millions of people across Australia and more than a billion worldwide.

For up-to-the-minute information on tonight’s celebrations, follow the hashtag #SydNYE and @cityofsydney on Twitter.

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014: ‘Inspire’ – Program Of Events

6pm & 8pm Air Displays above Sydney Harbour

Flying ace Matt Hall performs flyovers with aerial displays

7pm Fire Tug Water Display on Sydney Harbour 

Tug boats blast tonnes of water into the sky from Millers Point to Fort Denison and back again.

8:30pm Pylon Projections on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Projections will come to life on the pylon’s surfaces after sunset and huge images will be projected throughout the night.

8:40pm Acknowledgement of Country Ceremony on Sydney Harbour

A ceremony that reflects a respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and honours the relationship between traditional custodians and the land.

8:45pm Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect

The Sydney Harbour Bridge lights up in a design that features over 13 kilometres of spectacular LED rope lighting.

9pm 9PM Family Fireworks display

An 8-minute fireworks display at a family-friendly time, complete with a soundtrack appealing to young children.

9:15pm Harbour of Light Parade®

Features more than 50 illuminated boats that carry over 8,000 people on a majestic passage within and around Sydney Harbour.

10:40pm The Inspire Moment

An inspirational mini-fireworks display to keep crowds entertained during the countdown to midnight.

Midnight Midnight Fireworks Display

A show-stopping grand finale display on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, barges along the harbour and city buildings.

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com

Fireworks Soundtracks To ‘Inspire’ This Sydney New Year’s Eve

One of Australia’s most popular DJ’s, Nina Las Vegas, is serving as musical director for the Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ fireworks displays.

Nina, who currently hosts triple j’s Mix Up Exclusives, has created 2 spectacular soundtracks that will be synchronised to the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays.

The 9pm Family Fireworks soundtrack will feature a family-friendly mix of pop songs and tracks from recent children’s films, while the Midnight Fireworks display includes some of Nina’s favourite dance tunes from the past year, along with pop hits and well-known rock anthems.

The soundtracks will be broadcast live on 104.1 2DayFM at 9pm and Midnight.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Sydney New Year’s Eve soundtracks play a special role in bringing the celebrations to life.

“Sydney Harbour provides a stunning backdrop for the world’s most famous fireworks displays and each year, the fireworks soundtracks makes the celebration even more exciting,” the Lord Mayor said.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the mixes Nina has put together to accompany our spectacular fireworks displays as we welcome in the New Year.”

Nina Las Vegas is known across Australia for her encyclopaedic knowledge of dance music and strong support for the local music scene.

Nina has worked in Australian radio for over a decade, along the way establishing herself as one of Australia’s premier dance music DJ’s.

She has appeared at music festivals including Splendour in the Grass and Stereosonic, and played shows with Pharrell Williams, MIA and Baauer.

“Sydney New Year’s Eve is such an iconic event, so I was thrilled to be asked to be involved. It’s one of those rare moments when the whole city comes together and the eyes of the world are on Sydney,” Nina said.

“In coming up with the fireworks soundtracks, my goal was to find the middle ground between my musical passion – which is to showcase the best local and international dance talent – with what works well with fireworks, and what will appeal to the public at large.”

“The music for the 9PM Family Fireworks will be something that young children and their parents will enjoy equally, and for the Midnight Fireworks, the music is powerful and optimistic.”

“I can’t wait for people to be surprised on the night as they watch the fireworks and hear the fireworks soundtracks I’ve created.”

The fireworks soundtracks include 45 songs by a diverse range of local and international artists, including:

  • ARIA award-winning electropop artist Sia’s Chandelier, which has been nominated for 4 Grammy Awards;
  • Sydney producer Flume’s remix of New Zealand singer Lorde’s Tennis Court, which reached number 12 in this year’s triple j’s Hottest 100;
  • UK dance star Calvin Harris’s Summer, the 2nd single from his international number 1 album Motion;
  • US sensation Katy Perry’s Roar, which spent 2 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and went 10 times platinum in Australia; and
  • Sydney-born boy band 5 Seconds of Summer’s Amnesia, which went platinum on the ARIA charts this year.

12 computers are used to synchronise the fireworks to the fireworks soundtracks and ensure the displays go off together seamlessly.

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com.

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ acknowledges the support of Leadership Partner – Telstra, Charity Partner – Engineers Without Borders Australia, & NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Opera House Trust.

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’: Fireworks Facts

  • The City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is recognised as one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.
  • The 9pm Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays are watched by 1.6 million people on Sydney Harbour, millions across Australia and more than a billion worldwide.
  • Sydney’s celebrations draw larger crowds than New York City (1 million), Berlin (1 million), London (700,000) and Paris (100,000).
  • The fireworks are designed by Foti International Fireworks, led by Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti, and require a pyrotechnic crew of 45 people. This is the 17th consecutive year the company has been involved in Sydney New Year’s Eve.
  • Approximately 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects will be used in the display, which is made up of 7 tonnes of fireworks.
  • 14 shipping containers of equipment, weighing 120 tonnes, are needed for both the 9pm Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays.
  • 12 computers will digitally launch the fireworks from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, barges and buildings, shooting 10,000 cues. The computers will be used to fire the show and will ensure the fireworks are synchronised to the music.
  • More than 60 kilometres of wire and cables link the launch computers, and there are 130 firing points on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • The 9pm Family Fireworks will go off from 4 fireworks barges, while the Midnight Fireworks will launch from 7 barges, jet-skis, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
  • Each year the top-secret Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect is a highly anticipated part of the night and is only revealed at the end of the Midnight Fireworks display. The Effect has been a highlight since the mid-1990’s when a smiley face appeared on the Bridge.
  • This year, the Bridge Effect will be made from more than 13 kilometres of LED ropelight, and measure 12 storeys high.
  • Previous Bridge Effects have included the word ‘PEACE’ and a dove (2002), 3 concentric hearts (2005), a mandala (2007) and an all-seeing eye (2013).
  • The Harbour of Light Parade® features more than 50 illuminated boats, which make a majestic passage within and around the Sydney Harbour Exclusion Zone after the 9pm Family Fireworks, building up excitement before the countdown to midnight.
  • The boats carry over 8,000 people and join more than 3,000 other vessels celebrating New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour.

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com.

Sydney Skies To Light Up 3 Times In 1 Great Night

Master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti is preparing to inspire Sydneysiders and visitors with his most colourful fireworks displays yet this Sydney New Year’s Eve.

Fortunato – a 7th-generation pyrotechnician whose family has been making fireworks since 1793 – has created a series of stunning new colours and shapes for this year’s displays, including silver and gold palm trees.

To mark his 15th year involved in the event, multicoloured fireworks and a special red glitter effect will also feature in the displays, which are recognised as one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.

A pyrotechnic crew of 45 will launch 7 tonnes of fireworks throughout the night – including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and over 100,000 individual effects.

A 3rd mini-fireworks display, known as the ‘Inspire Moment’, will also feature at 10:40pm to keep crowds entertained during the countdown to midnight.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said 1.6 million people were expected to gather around the Harbour on Wednesday night to enjoy Sydney’s world-famous fireworks displays.

“For 15 years now, Fortunato Foti and his crew at Foti Fireworks have made Sydney New Year’s Eve a night to remember with their imaginative, innovative fireworks displays,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This year’s celebration promises to be just as spectacular, with new colours, shapes and a special 90-second show at 10:40pm that will build anticipation before the main event at midnight.”

Over the years, Fortunato and his crew have created dozens of original fireworks for Sydney New Year’s Eve, including shells in the shape of hands, musical notes, koalas, bees and birds.

Fortunato said his lifelong passion for fireworks means he is not daunted by the challenge of creating something exciting and new each year.

“We started working on Sydney New Year’s Eve back in 1999, and we quickly learnt what works best – and what doesn’t work so well – for a show of this size and scale,” Fortunato said.

“We’ve reached a point now where each year we walk away thinking ‘that was the best show we’ve ever done’ – and that just spurs us on to do even better the following year.”

“This year we’ve focused on making the displays as colourful as possible – you’ll see a lot of metallics, as well as bright reds, greens, blues and purples – and some fun new shapes, including palm trees with shimmering centres and multicoloured ends.”

“The displays will also have a lot of variety – because they’re synchronised to a specially curated soundtrack, the fireworks change as frequently as the music does, keeping audiences entertained and surprised.”

“For us, fireworks are truly inspirational, so we hope that the displays reflect our love and passion, and that they inspire everyone watching – both around the Harbour and across Australia and worldwide.”

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com.

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ acknowledges the support of Leadership Partner – Telstra, Charity Partner – Engineers Without Borders Australia, & NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Opera House Trust.

Accessibility Initiatives Mean Everyone Can Be Inspired This Sydney New Year’s Eve

A range of City Of Sydney accessibility initiatives will make this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations safer and more inclusive for all.

This year’s event will feature a live audio description broadcast, designated accessible viewing areas and projections of giant hands spelling out Auslan messages on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons.

A dedicated page on the official Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire‘ website will provide accessible transport information and an interactive vantage point map highlighting accessible facilities around the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was committed to ensuring everyone can take part in Australia’s largest public event.

“Sydney New Year’s Eve is an event for everyone, so we want to make sure the many Sydneysiders and visitors living with a disability have a safe and enjoyable night,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our accessible route maps and designated accessible viewing areas will make getting to the event easier, so audiences can focus on relaxing with family and friends and welcoming in the New Year.”

A live audio description will be broadcast on radio station 2RPH from 7:45pm on 1224AM, 100.5FM, 2RPH digital and online at 2rph.org.au.

Professional audio describers Emma Bedford and Daryl Colquhoun will bring the full Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire‘ program to life, including the 9PM Family Fireworks, Harbour Of Light Parade and Midnight Fireworks display.

There will be designated accessible viewing areas at the Sydney Opera House, Mrs Macquarie’s Point, the Cahill Expressway & Pirrama Park and Ballarat Park in Pyrmont.

People interested in visiting these areas should check the Sydney New Year’s Eve website for more details.

The website also features maps showing the most accessible routes to some vantage points, accessible public toilets, information booths, transport hubs and other points of interest.

Throughout the night, welcome messages will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons in Auslan, the sign language of Australia’s deaf community, as well as the languages of Sydney’s 16 top migrant populations and tourist nationalities.

And for those staying at home, live closed captions will be available for the ABC’s TV broadcast of the celebrations and Telstra’s YouTube Show, while the soundtracks of the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks displays will be simulcast on 104.1 2DayFM.

For more information, visit sydneynewyearseve.com.

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 – ‘Inspire’ acknowledges the support of Leadership Partner – Telstra, Charity Partner – Engineers Without Borders Australia, & NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Opera House Trust.