Hugh Jackman’s Fireworks To Star On New Year’s Eve

Famous for star turns in The Boy From Oz, The Wolverine & his latest release, The Greatest Showman, home grown superstar, Hugh Jackman, is celebrating coming home to Sydney by unveiling a spectacular gold & silver shooting fireworks display he has designed for the Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder spectacular.

His glittering fireworks display will burst across Sydney Harbour & shoot from the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Midnight Fireworks.

“Having the opportunity to design New Year’s Eve fireworks with ‘Forch’ (Fortunato) Foti has been a boyhood dream come true” Mister (Mr) Jackman said.

“I am a Sydney boy. I grew up in Sydney so going to the fireworks with my father was always something I really enjoyed”

“For years, wherever I have been in the world, I have watched the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks with awe & a real sense of hometown pride as well as being a little homesick”

“Sydney New Year’s Eve is a reminder of how important my roots are to me & of growing up in Sydney”

“I am looking forward to spending this incredible night with family and friends & to also be able to share Sydney’s celebrations with the world”

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, welcomed Hugh Jackman’s contribution with open arms.

“When Hugh came to us with the idea of designing fireworks for this year’s Sydney NYE, we thought it was a brilliant idea” the Lord Mayor said.

“Having a star like Hugh Jackman offer his talents to help showcase Sydney New Year’s Eve to the world is a fantastic coup for Sydney & for Australia”

“From growing up in Sydney to global stardom, Hugh’s remarkable career, warmth & generosity are part of Sydney’s story on the world stage”

“Hugh’s spectacular celebration of summer in Sydney will be seen by an audience of more than 1 million people around Sydney Harbour & more than 1 billion tuning in around the globe”

“The stunning fireworks Hugh has designed will be set to Dr G Yunupingu’s beautiful piece, Wiyathul. Dr G Yunupingu was a talented & humble artist who created powerful music that touched the hearts of so many people. We are honoured that his family have welcomed this tribute to a truly great Australian who sadly passed away this year”

Hugh Jackman’s unique fireworks were created in collaboration with the Sydney NYE Fireworks Director, Fortunato Foti of Foti International Fireworks. In a New Year’s Eve first for Mr Foti, the fireworks were designed via Skype calls, e-mails & long-distance phone calls.

“We started with footage of firework designs Hugh liked” Mr Foti said.

“I made a computer simulation of new fireworks featuring the look & feel Hugh wanted to capture. Hugh especially wanted the fireworks to appear with an Indigenous artist’s music track & we were lucky enough to have the Gurrumul album piece in the soundtrack”

“The display works really well with the music & I am pleased with what Hugh and I have created for this Sydney New Year’s Eve”

“Hugh’s design will feature glittering gold horsetail brocades and willow waterfall shells with flickers of silver & will be exploding in the sky for around 20 seconds”

“They will be launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, off 6 pontoons & another 6 barges around the Harbour”

“It was great to get to collaborate with someone of the calibre of Hugh & he was a pleasure to work with”

Mr Jackman said his inspiration for the fireworks came from a desire to create a reflective moment in the dramatic Midnight Fireworks.

“With all the celebrations, noise & music of Sydney New Year’s Eve, ‘Forch’ & I thought it would be nice to have a little moment of peace. This will be a chance to just pause & take everything in” Mr Jackman said.

“The fireworks are designed to be a moment of suspension, a moment of beauty & of taking a breath. Things go quiet for 20 seconds in a big & amazing Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder Midnight Fireworks”

“Personally, I cannot wait to see it all come to life over the best harbour in the world in the greatest city on Earth!”

Visit for detailed information on the event.

Media Release: City Of Sydney


Love Is In The Air This New Year’s Eve

Love & acceptance will take centre stage this New Year’s Eve (NYE) as the Pet Shop Boys help Sydney celebrate marriage equality & next year’s 40th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The City Of Sydney’s Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder fireworks soundtrack will feature the Pet Shop Boys hit Go West alongside classic rock anthems & current hits from Led Zeppelin to Sia.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the music had inspired some magical moments for the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.

“This soundtrack will build the excitement as fireworks erupt across Sydney’s skyline” the Lord Mayor said.

“Already one of the world’s biggest annual celebrations, this year, the music & fireworks displays have come together to create a show unlike anything we have seen before”

“Whether you are taking in the spectacle from a vantage point overlooking the Harbour or watching from home, tune into the soundtrack on your phone or radio for the full light & sound experience”

Sydney NYE soundtrack producer, Alex Gooden, has once again created the soundtrack for the spectacular fireworks shows. He says love was his inspiration this year.

“I wanted to acknowledge how topical love has been, with marriage equality being voted into law. This inspired me to look for songs that spoke about acceptance” Mister (Mr) Gooden said.

“I chose the Pet Shop Boys cover of the Village People song, Go West, for the special moment when the rainbow waterfall tumbles from the Bridge because it is fun & celebratory. This moment is sure to make your hair stand on end”


Mr Gooden has spent 5 months listening to hundreds of songs to create the soundtrack for the 8 minute 9pm Family Fireworks & the 12 minute Midnight Fireworks.

“It is like creating an artwork – you start off with just an idea & then you slowly start filling it in bit by bit” he said.

From the 9pm Family Fireworks soundtrack, Mr Gooden is especially excited about seeing young people’s reactions to the song How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara.

“It is from the movie Moana, which was such a popular movie with kids & has a strong message of empowerment and cultural understanding” he said.

“The music plays a massive part on the night with the fireworks & soundtrack perfectly in sync. I want people to feel the fireworks, to be moved by the whole experience”

Sydneysiders can tune into Sydney NYE radio broadcaster, KISS 106.5, for the exclusive soundtracks at 9pm & Midnight. The soundtrack will accompany the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Television broadcast that starts at 8:35pm & a live audio description will be broadcast on ABC Extra.

9pm Family Fireworks soundtrack list: 

  1. DNA – Hans Zimmer
  2. RideTwenty One Pilots
  3. Pay The ManFoster The People
  4. Shape Of You – Ed Sheeran
  5. Feel It StillPortugal. The Man
  6. Sugar – Robin Shultz
  7. Good Times Bad TimesLed Zeppelin
  8. How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara
  9. Chained To The Rhthym – Katy Perry
  10. Whatever It TakesImagine Dragons
  11. SymphonyClean Bandit Featuring Zara Larsson
  12. Move Your Body – Sia

Midnight Fireworks soundtrack list:

  1. Racer Snakes Vs Iguana – Jacob Shea & Jasha Klebe
  2. EpicFaith No More
  3. FeelsCalvin Harris
  4. ShineAsta
  5. Calypso BeachNortheast Party House
  6. Need You Now – Dean Lewis
  7. ChameleonPNAU
  8. What You NeedINXS
  9. Big Picture London Grammar
  10. Go West (Pet Shop Boys cover) – Village People
  11. Be The OneDua Lipa
  12. All NightThe Vamps/MATOMA
  13. That’s What I LikeBruno Mars
  14. Wiyathul – Dr G Yunupingu
  15. The Way You Used To Do Queens Of The Stone Age
  16. Lights OutRoyal Blood
  17. FlashThe Belligerents
  18. Green LightLorde
  19. Stranger Peking Duk
  20. Dark Empire – X-Ray Dog

Visit for detailed information on the event.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

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.