• Organiser/Event Creative Director: Stephen Hall & 104.1 2DayFM (for the Festival Of Sydney 1990)
  • Event Director: Gary Suprain
  • Fireworks Provider: Syd Howard Fireworks
  • Fireworks Soundtrack Producer: Syd Howard Fireworks
  • Radio Broadcaster: 104.1 2DayFM
  • Sponsors: Coca-Cola & Kodak Film
  • Attendance: ~<1,000,000 (200,000 in The Rocks)

Festival Of Sydney 1991 – Syd’s Party

You can read the entire month-long program of the Festival Of Sydney 1991 – Syd’s Party (including Australia Day In Sydney 1990 events) here:

Stereo Skyshow

A wall chart was made especially for the event, which featured in the December 29 1990 issue of The Daily Telegraph Mirror:

Stereo Skyshow 1990 Wall Chart
Wall Chart: The Daily Telegraphn Mirror


  • Sydney Port Authority
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Authority
  • New South Wales Fire Brigade
  • Ambulance Services
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Maritime Services Board
  • Road & Traffic Authority
  • New South Wales Police
  • Royal Volunteer Coast Patrol
  • Surf Lifesaving Association
  • Sydney City Council
  • Sydney Cove Authority
  • Steve Donnelly Hire
  • ??????????????????? (It’s the 2nd last event partner in bottom-right corner of wall chart)

Vantage Points

There were 24 official vantage points:

  • Bradleys Head
  • Robertsons Point
  • Kurraba Point
  • Dawes Point
  • Bennelong Point
  • Farm Cove
  • Neutral Bay
  • Shell Cove
  • Athol Bay
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Kirrbilli
  • Wooloomooloo Bay
  • The Rocks
  • Potts Point
  • Double Bay
  • Kings Cross
  • Milsons Point
  • Little Sirius Cove
  • Point Piper
  • Vaucluse
  • Hunter’s Hill
  • Rose Bay
  • Balmain
  • Clifton Gardens

Crowd Management

Suburban (around Sydney) train services were increased. There were concerns over the number of intercity (out of Sydney) trains, which were limited after Midnight. There was 1 to Newcastle & 2 to Wollongong (the latter having 1 special service). According to CityRail, extra trains were not put on the intercity lines as those destinations already had celebrations. Remember, even with it’s prestige, the editions of the early 1990’s were more of a local nature rather than the global phenomenon it has become.

There were 400 police on duty but it was one of the quietest NYE’s in recent years. There were only 11 arrests before Midnight including 3 charged with ecstasy possession (200 tablets) at Wooloomooloo at around 7:30pm, the 1st arrests of the night. They also were in possession of $6000, which was confiscated by the police. Detectives interviewed all 3. It was alleged all 3 were planning to sell the ecstasy tablets to New Year’s Eve revellers.

Sydney’s Executive Chief Superintendent, Alf Peate, told The Daily Telegraph Mirror:

There are less people in the city compared to previous years therefore there has been less trouble. The action hotted up towards midnight but it was nothing like we have become used to but most of the people arrested have been charged with more serious offenses than usual. There isn’t your same amount of drunkenness & hooliganism this year. The charges ranged from drug possession and serious assualt to demanding money

The Rocks, even with 200,000 people, apparently was very quiet.

Several people had to be pulled out of Sydney Harbour including 8 in 1 go due to all 8 were washed off their small boat.

There were thousands of boats in Sydney Harbour resulting in many small boats blocking designated ferry channels.

Fireworks Soundtrack

It was held at 9pm and lasted 30 minutes.

There were 4 giant Skytracker lights which put out 9 kilometre beams of light.

In total, there were 5 lighting installations – 3 on the Harbour Bridge (one on either end and one in the middle) as well as 2 on either end of the barges.

To control marine traffic better, 4 barges were used together in a 100 metre row (similar to the pontoons in front of the Sydney Opera House on NYE2018).

11,000 shells & special effects were fired including 1 pyrotechnic set piece in front of the barges & facing the Sydney Opera House. More fireworks larger in size than in 1989 were used.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was used for the 1st time on New Year’s Eve most likely as the finale after a barge finale. The upper arch & catwalk were used at a minimum.

Stereo Skyshow 1990 Sydney Harbour Bridge Sequence
Photograph: Chris Pavlich

New fireworks include catacus, rings & palm trees.

Gold, blue, red, purple and silver fireworks were used.

The show was designed to be viewed 200 metres away or more and was viewed as far away as Hornsby (20 kilometres away) & Blacktown (30 kilometres away).


  1. Calypso: Part 2  – Jean Michel Jarre
  2. Puls(t)ar – Ben Liebrand
  3. Black Cat – Janet Jackson
  4. InfinityGuru Josh
  5. Suicide BlondeINXS
  6. Black BettyRam Jam
  7. Unskinny BopPoison
  8. Blue Sky Mine (special 12 inch limited edition version or Food On The Table Mix or are they the same?)Midnight Oil
  9. House of the Blue Danube – Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra featuring Bootsy Collins & Jeff Beck
  10. Opposites Attract – Paula Abdul
  11. Another Brick In The Wall: Part 3Pink Floyd
  12. The Nutcracker: Waltz Of The Flowers (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Cover) –  Pyotr Tchaikovsky*Probable Golden Waterfall Drop* *Probable 1st Bridge NYE Sequence*
  13. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Cover)  – Richard Strauss *Probable Barge + Bridge Finale*

The soundtrack also featured, at some point, specially composed music called ‘The Home Mix’.


According to The Daily Telegraph Mirror, a German tourist who watched the display at Mrs Macquarie’s Point said: “I want to become an Australian…this is beautiful”.

Economic Impact

Publicans reported their stocks were up 300%.