The countdown has begun for one of the world’s grandest and most memorable nights of the year – Sydney New Year’s Eve.
Marking the end of the year and heralding the start of 2024, the sky over Sydney Harbour will become a canvas for fireworks, pyrotechnics and synchronised music.
As one of the first cities to ring in the new year, Sydney sets the benchmark for New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world with 20 minutes of fireworks over two displays, a smoking ceremony, pylon projections and lighting display, illuminated vessels on the water and a surprise appearance from everybody’s favourite Heelers, Bluey and Bingo.
For the first time in the event’s history, AI technology will be used to create animated segments that will be projected onto the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge throughout the evening.
Fifteen months in the planning, Sydney New Year’s Eve is regarded as one of the largest and most technologically advanced fireworks displays in the world.
“New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour is objectively one of the most spectacular annual events on the planet,” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore AO said.
“The event highlights the best qualities of this city – our glorious harbour, relaxed lifestyle and penchant to party.
“The festivities bring together people of all ages from more than 200 cultures that make up our city, as well as thousands of interstate and international visitors.
“I encourage everyone keen to ring in the New Year in Sydney to plan ahead, get there early to avoid disappointment, and enjoy everything our wonderful city has to offer.”
At 7:30pm, a smoking ceremony will be conducted aboard the Tribal Warrior, Mari Nawi and Wirawi to cleanse the harbour of negative spirits in preparation for the new year. The sacred ceremony, produced by the Tribal Warrior Association, is a ritual of purity and unification using eucalyptus leaves that pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land, past and present, and welcomes visitors onto Gadigal land.
Projections and lighting effects
From 8:30pm, specially created images, visuals and lighting effects will illuminate the Sydney Harbour Bridge and its pylons. Inspired by the colours of the sun and moon, the bridge will light up in hues of white, peach, lime, silver, gold, violet, yellow, burnt orange, pink and blue.
There will be a tribute to the City of Sydney’s official charity partner, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, with a special pink moment and accompanying projections on the bridge.
In a finale of celebrations to mark this year’s 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House, images and visuals will be projected on to the pylons, followed by unexpected and surprising AI generated imagery including doughnuts, balloons and flowers.
Welcome to Country and 9pm fireworks
Created by Indigenous social enterprise, We Are Warriors, the show starts at 8:57pm with pylon projections that celebrate the past, present and future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
An Elder and child come together to deliver a Welcome to Country that ends with a symbolic Aboriginal message stick being presented to the Lord Mayor as a gift to the people, acknowledging Sydney for recognising the lands and the First Peoples of the city.
The family friendly show features an exclusive soundtrack by producer and singer 18YOMAN and producer and rapper Nooky and will sync with the live New Year’s Eve broadcast on ABC. Simultaneously, projections on the bridge will depict the story of Pemulwuy, one of the most famous Aboriginal resistance fighters in the colonial era.
Sydney Harbour Lights
From around 9:10pm, the iconic Sydney Harbour Lights, featuring tall ships, commercial craft and ferries, will make a majestic passage around the harbour. The vessels will add to the spectacle of the night and join hundreds of other boats before anchoring in designated viewing zones ahead of the midnight fireworks.
Midnight fireworks and soundtrack
For 27 years, Foti Fireworks has created Sydney’s globally renowned New Year’s Eve fireworks and will welcome 2024 with an exhilarating 12-minute spectacle.
The midnight fireworks will be launched from 6 water-based platforms, 5 city building rooftops, 4 pontoons, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
More than 8.5 tonnes of fireworks will be used in the display, fired from 18,000 cues across the locations. The bridge alone will have 7,000 cues fired from 184 different positions.
The display will feature 36,000 shooting effects including comets, mines and crossettes, 13,000 aerial shells including serpent, saturn ring and horse tail willow shells, and silver and gold pyrotechnics to commemorate the Opera House’s 50th anniversary.
“With more than one million spectators around the Sydney Harbour foreshore and many millions watching around the world, we are the custodians of the show, and our aim is to make it bigger and better each year,” Foti International Fireworks director, Fortunato Foti, said.
“We put everything into creating our work as we want to give people a reason to say, ‘that was the best fireworks show ever’.
“We’ve put more than 4,000 hours into designing, staging and launching this year’s display.
“We’ll be launching fireworks from five city rooftops, including Crown Sydney and the new Salesforce Tower, which are two of the most recognisable buildings in the city skyline.
“The beauty of fireworks is that they are accessible for people everywhere – whether from the east, west, north or south, as long as you can look up and see the sky, you’ll be able to have a front row seat for the show.
“If people leave the show with a smile on their face, excitement, and a renewed sense of optimism for the year ahead, then we consider our job done.”
The display will be timed to a bespoke soundtrack created by composer and producer, Peter Goodwin, also known as THE SWEATS, which will be live-streamed and presented on a synchronised simulcast on KIIS 1065.
Charity partner – National Breast Cancer Foundation
The Australian not-for-profit organisation is represented by the pink ribbon and raises money to fund world-class research towards its vision of zero deaths from breast cancer. Research that saves lives through a better understanding of how to prevent and detect breast cancer early, stop progression and recurrence of breast cancer and effectively treat hard-to-treat and metastatic breast cancers. Since its launch in 1994, more than $200 million has been raised, with funds being invested into more than 600 breast cancer research projects across Australia.
“The National Breast Cancer Foundation is thrilled to be the official charity partner of the City of Sydney’s 2023 Sydney New Year’s Eve,” CEO and associate professor Cleola Anderiesz said.
"We are excited to see Sydney light up pink to support the work of the foundation – funding world-class research towards our vision of zero deaths from breast cancer.
“We hope all Australians can join us to GLO PINK this New Year’s Eve to support the 57 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each and every day. It’s thanks to partnerships like this and the support of the Australian public that we can continue to fund research that will change the future for all those diagnosed with breast cancer.”
The City of Sydney is working with numerous government agencies including the NSW Police Force, Transport for NSW and Port Authority of NSW to ensure a safe New Year’s Eve celebration.
Event goers are encouraged to visit the sydneynewyearseve.com website to plan their night and find out about managed access areas, vantage points, transport and event details.
Home viewers can watch the ABC’s live broadcast from the Sydney Opera House, including the 9pm and midnight shows. KIIS FM will carry the synchronised fireworks soundtracks.
For full event details visit sydneynewyearseve.com
For media inquiries, contact Elaine Kelly. Phone mobile 0477 362 550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor, contact Zoe Delamare. Phone 0477 263 615 or email email@example.com