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!

26 May to 17 June 2017 – Vivid Sydney

Famous for their Sydney Opera House projection shows, the light-emitting diode 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.

18-19 October 2017 – Sydney Opera House Diwali Spectacular (To Be Confirmed)

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.

What if there is no ‘Spectacular’ on when I visit?

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.

Audiences Turn To ABC On Every Platform For NYE2016 Celebrations

In a truly cross-platform event, 3.6 million viewers tuned in to Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television (ABC TV), 66,000 watched on iview, 10.2 million were reached via Facebook, 4.3 million on Twitter & 200,000 on YouTube for last night’s spectacular celebrations from Sydney Harbour. Hosts Ella Hooper & Jeremy Fernandez celebrated the biggest night of the year with the ABC’s broadcast of New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2016. Available this year for the 1st time in high definition (HD) on ABC TV & live on ABC iview, the fireworks were also streamed on Facebook & YouTube allowing more people than ever before to be part of the magic.

Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of TV, said: “As the national broadcaster, it was deeply satisfying to bring the best-ever broadcast of Sydney NYE to audiences on so many platforms right around the world”

“In brilliant HD for the 1st time, ABC TV brought the energy of the fireworks into the homes of millions & the extended offering through ABC iview and our streams on Facebook and YouTube meant people everywhere could be part of the action”

Presented from outside the Sydney Opera House & inside the Lord Mayor’s Party at Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, Ella & Jeremy took audiences through an evening packed with entertainment, comedy & music including the Family Fireworks at 9pm & culminating in the world-famous Midnight Fireworks.

Broadcast Viewing

ABC, ABC ME & ABC News 24 reached 3.6 million broadcast television viewers in metro & regional markets with its NYE2016 coverage from 8:35pm last night. The Family Fireworks at 9pm was watched by an average of 1.1 million people & the Midnight Fireworks by an average of 1.8 million.

ABC was the leading channel with a 5 city prime-time share of 15.8%. The Midnight Fireworks was the number 1 program of the night with a 5 city average audience of 1.3 million & a total TV share of 49.3%. The Family Fireworks at 9pm achieved a 5 city average audience of 786,000 (26.2%) & ranked number 2.

In Sydney, ABC was the number 1 channel with a prime-time share of 23.2% (up on the 2015 result of 20.7%). ABC TV’s coverage reached 1.3 million Sydney viewers, equivalent to 25% of the city’s population.

Digital & Social Viewing

For the 1st time, (ABC) coverage was also streamed live on ABC iview, YouTube & Facebook to reach audiences across more platforms than ever before.

A total of 66,000 plays of ABC’s NYE2016 broadcast have been recorded via iview including 57,000 live & an additional 9,000 catch-up plays so far.

The ABC’s 9pm Family Fireworks & Midnight Fireworks coverage was live streamed to the ABC TV, ABC KIDS For Parents, Australia.com, Sydney.com & Destination New South Wales Facebook pages as well as ABC TV’s YouTube channel. There were 1.65 million unique viewers on Facebook & the streams reached a combined total of 10.2 million users. On YouTube, ABC TV’s Sydney NYE2016 – Welcome To SydNYE stream was the top trending video on the homepage & the stream has already had 200,000 video views.

#NYEABC trended on Twitter during the broadcast with 1,100 tweets using the hashtag reaching 4.3 million users.

Social Media Sources: Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics, Twitter & Hashtracking.

Broadcast TV Sources: OzTAM & RegionalTAM Preliminary Overnight Data & Webtrends.

Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sydney New Year’s Eve A Sweeping Success

The Sydney Harbour foreshore erupted into a kaleidoscope of colour last night as the City’s biggest-ever fireworks display welcomed in the new year.

More than 1 million people flocked to vantage points across the city to witness 20,000 fireworks launch from the coathanger of the Sydney Harbour Bridge & 800 pyrotechnic effects shoot high above the Sydney Opera House western sails.

For the 1st time ever, the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks were live streamed on Facebook, with viewers joining over 1 billion people tuning in on screens across the globe.

Destination New South Wales estimates the event contributes more than AUD$133 million to the city’s economy.

“This year’s spectacular fireworks displays have proven, yet again, that Sydney is the best New Year’s Eve destination in the world” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.

“Our celebrations have allowed us to showcase our fantastic city to the rest of the world, shining a light on our diverse community & sending a message of hope for the year to come”

The 9pm Family Fireworks display enthralled audiences with floral-themed fireworks blossoming across the summer sky before the harbour was doused in glittering violet droplets paying homage to music legend Prince.

The spectacular Midnight Fireworks display honoured David Bowie with a cluster of stars, quarter moons & Saturn-shaped shells inspired by Space Oddity.

Master pyrotechnician, Fortunato Foti, who directed the fireworks for the 19th year running, debuted never-before-seen candy coloured crackers in a tribute to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s Gene Wilder, who also passed away earlier in the year.

The Midnight Fireworks on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on January 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: City Of Sydney
The Midnight Fireworks on New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour on January 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.
Photograph: City Of Sydney

A AUD$290,000 event clean-up operation involved 6 teams of around 20 workers, along with 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors & approximately 100 additional temporary bins.

The Lord Mayor thanked City Of Sydney staff who worked through the night to ensure the City streets were sparkling clean this morning.

“As the crowds went home after a fantastic evening of celebrations, a dedicated team of 135 Cleansing & Waste Services staff collected about 60 tonnes of waste to return Sydney’s foreshore to mint condition” the Lord Mayor said.

Cleansing & Waste Services Team Leader, Sam Daddario, was on site with a crew that began a 9-hour shift minutes after the final fireworks erupted from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“Our staff get a great sense of achievement from seeing their turf transform into a clean space after the celebrations have finished & everyone has gone home” Mister Daddario, who has worked for the City Of Sydney for almost a decade, said.

“Nearly 3 times the number of cleansing staff required on a normal day are needed for the Sydney New Year’s Eve clean-up. We all love working together to make sure the City looks its best after the biggest night of the year”

All waste collected overnight has been transported to the SUEZ Artarmon facility where around 90% will be recycled.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Sydney Lights Up To Welcome In The New Year

At the stroke of midnight, one of the largest, most technologically advanced fireworks displays burst over Sydney Harbour.

For 12 mesmerising minutes, the City Of Sydney put on a dazzling New Year’s Eve display.

There were 120,000 fireworks set off from barges around the Harbour, 20,000 fireworks launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge & 800 pyrotechnic effects exploded above the Sydney Opera House.

The city skyline was painted with colours of lemon, peach, sky blue, violet & lime along with pops of orange & magenta as revellers watched in awe as never-before-seen fireworks effects rang in the New Year.

As the clock struck midnight, the word ‘SYDNEY’ exploded into the sky on the famed ‘coathanger’ arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Accompanied by a soundtrack celebrating some of the best music of 2016, a record number of fireworks danced through the sky in time with popular songs including tributes to fallen stars David Bowie & Gene Wilder.

Bowie was honoured with his song Space Oddity, which saw the Harbour transformed into a galaxy of fireworks featuring stars, quarter-moons, Saturn-shaped shells & a sparkling Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A touching tribute to Gene Wilder saw the night sky light up with the colours of the rainbow & the sounds of Pure Imagination, ensuring the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory star’s memory shone bright over Sydney.

Around the world, millions of people watched the fireworks as they happened with the 1st Facebook live stream of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks across Europe, America & Asia.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Purple Rains Over Sydney Harbour On New Year’s Eve

Sydney has kicked off its New Year’s Eve celebrations in spectacular style with the harbour sparkling with purple fireworks in a scene inspired by Prince’s Purple Rain.

A 1-minute tribute honoured the legendary artist, who passed away earlier this year. A purple waterfall cascaded from the Sydney Harbour Bridge & an explosion of gold and purple fireworks rained over the Harbour from 4 barges.

It was just part of the stunning 9pm Family Fireworks display which saw an 8-minute extravaganza of colour & light explode over Sydney Harbour.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Me’s Design Your Own Firework competition winner, 10-year-old Georgia from Western Australia, had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to push the start button that kicked off the 9pm display, which also featured her winning design – a gold glitter umbrella with green tips.

Inspired by the “Aussie spirit” at the Games Of The XXXIst Olympiad: Rio De Janeiro 2016, Georgia’s design lit up the sky to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling!.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Sydney Puts On Record Breaking New Year’s Eve Display

Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge will shine like never before as the City Of Sydney puts on its most dazzling New Year’s Eve (NYE) display.

After 15 months of planning & more than 10,000 hours of work, the final touches have been made on the biggest ever Sydney Harbour Bridge effects.

“Sydney will once again cement its position as the NYE capital of the world with this awe-inspiring event” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.

“We are shooting over 20,000 fireworks off the Sydney Harbour Bridge , an increase of 2,400 from last year & showcasing the world famous coat hanger arch with 175 lights – making 2016 the biggest display ever.

“Sydney NYE showcases some of the very best that Sydney has to offer & directly contributes AUD$133 million to the local economy through local, interstate & overseas visitors”

More than 1,000 accredited personnel & approximately 300 volunteers are working behind the scenes to bring Sydney’s most spectacular NYE display to life.

Sydney NYE Lighting Director, Ziggy Ziegler, said the Harbour Bridge itself is the focal point of this year’s display.

“The Harbour Bridge itself is the lighting feature. We are following the shape of the Bridge with light, taking advantage of the expanse and the shape & using that as part of the show” Mr Ziegler said.

“We are going to see a lot more bright colours – whites, light blues, even greens & more than 150 individual lighting effect patterns”

Red flares fired from the top of the Sydney Opera House & a golden sun blazing on the Harbour Bridge will mark the official opening of Sydney NYE2016 – Welcome To SydNYE celebrations & pay tribute to the world’s oldest living culture.

A kaleidoscope of cultural imagery will be projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons while a traditional smoking ceremony will be carried out on board 2 boats moving across the Harbour.

Australian fauna & flora from kangaroo paw & golden wattle to Tasmanian devils & emus will be showcased to the world with photos & videos projected on the 89 metre pylons.

Tourism Australia worked with the City Of Sydney, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust & Destination New South Wales to create the stunning fauna & flora display.

Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Ronson, said the visual display will highlight & celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

“We are very proud of this partnership & we are happy that millions around the world will be able to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the best NYE celebrations globally” Miss Ronson said.

The Sydney NYE2016 – Welcome To SydNYE spectacular will be live streamed on sydneynewyearseve.com, the 1-stop shop for planning your night on the harbour, at home or across the globe.

The celebrations will also be broadcast in high definition on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Television (TV) & ABC iview with the fireworks live streamed on the ABC TV Facebook page.

Sydney NYE2016 – Welcome To SydNYE highlights

  • 6pm & 8pm – Aerial displays above Sydney Harbour featuring flying ace Matt Hall
  • 8:30pm  Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Projections commence
  • 8:38pm  Welcome To Country – Always Walking On Aboriginal Country Ceremony
  • 9pm  Family Fireworks
  • 9:15pm  Harbour Of Light Parade
  • Midnight  Fireworks

Media Release: City Of Sydney

Music At The Heart Of Sydney New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Revellers are being encouraged to look up & listen for the full fireworks effects this New Year’s Eve as Sydney sees out 2016 with its biggest fireworks show yet set to a rocking soundtrack.

A soundtrack that includes songs from rock legends Prince & David Bowie, Australian artists Sia and Flume  & international stars Coldplay and Guns N’ Roses will take the fireworks to another level.

Sydneysiders can tune in to 104.1 2DayFM for the exclusive soundtrack at 9pm & Midnight.

“The music has inspired some wonderful firework effects this year & is a tribute to some of the stars we lost in 2016” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.

“We will see designs that will shower from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, rain from barges on the Harbour & explode as a constellation above the city”

“Whether they are enjoying the fireworks at home or watching the spectacular event from a vantage point overlooking the Harbour, people should bring along portable radios or tune in their phones to get the complete light & sound show”

Having spent the past 12 months staring into space & listening to music, Sydney New Year’s Eve soundtrack producer, Alex Gooden, is looking forward to seeing his playlist come to life on December 31.

“It has been a year of imagining what it would be like being on Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks going off around me. As a job, it does not get more fun than that” Mr Gooden said.

“I have spent more than 500 hours listening to Spotify, iTunes Charts, watching YouTube & listening to the radio at different times of the day”

“It is a long process that involves quite a bit of trial & error. It starts with a technical brief from the City Of Sydney & the fireworks director, Fortunato Foti, who supply a fireworks intensity map that peaks at ’11’ for the fireworks climax”

Surry Hills, Sydney - 9th September 2016. Alex Gooden has produced the music soundtrack for the 2016 NYE fireworks displays. (Model release: ER20160914-Bye Sound Track -00388.jpg)

“The brief is very broad because it has to appeal to just about everyone. The music has to be popular and relevant & include as many Australian acts as possible”

“My personal favourites from the fireworks soundtrack are David Bowie’s Space Oddity, Prince’s Purple Rain and Gene Wilder’s Pure Imagination. I can not wait to see how it looks & sounds on the night”

9pm Family Fireworks soundtrack list:

  1. Do You Bleed? – Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL (from the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
  2. Shelter – Porter Robinson & Madeon
  3. 1 Dance Drake
  4. Remind Me (Steve James remix) – Conrad Sewell
  5. Just Like FireP!NK (from the film Alice Through The Looking Glass)
  6. Purple RainPrince & The Revolution (from the film Purple Rain)
  7. Purple Rain (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra cover) – Prince & The Revolution
  8. Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake (from the film Trolls)
  9. Sorry – Justin Bieber
  10. Youth (Gryffin Remix) [featuring Gryffin] – Troye Sivan
  11. This Is What You Came For (featuring Rihanna) – Calvin Harris
  12. No MoneyGalantis

Midnight Fireworks soundtrack list:

  1. Strip Chase – John Powell & David Buckley (from the film Jason Bourne)
  2. Fall TogetherThe Temper Trap
  3. Cheap ThrillsSia
  4. Fast Car (Jonas Blue cover featuring Dakota) [Radio Edit] – Tracy Chapman.
  5. Roll UpFitz & The Tantrums
  6. Don’t Stop Believin’Journey
  7. Evie – Part 1 : Let Your Hair Hang DownThe Wrights
  8. Space Oddity (1999 remaster) – David Bowie
  9. Never Be Like You (featuring Kai) – Flume
  10. Don’t Let Me Down (featuring Daya) – The Chainsmokers
  11. Stepping Stone (featuring Mark Johns) – Lemaitre
  12. Faded – Alan Walker
  13. Pure Imagination – Gene Wilder (from the film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory)
  14. Carry Me (Featuring Julia Michaels) – Kygo
  15. Welcome To The Jungle Guns N’ Roses
  16. Breakin’ Outta HellAirbourne
  17. Still Falling For You – Ellie Goulding (from the film Bridget Jones’s Baby)
  18. Hymn For The Weekend (featuring Beyonce) – Coldplay
  19. Fantastical Symphony: An Episode In The Life Of An Artist In 5 Parts – Part 5: Dream Of The Night Of The Sabbath (Claudio Abbado & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra cover) – Hector Berlioz

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will broadcast live from 8:35pm AEDT. The event will be live streamed at sydneynewyearseve.com, ABC iView the ABC Television Facebook page.

The Midnight Fireworks will be live streamed globally at Australia.com & Sydney.com Facebook pages.

Media Release: City Of Sydney