Sydney’s NYE: “A World First” - Hope 103.2

Sydney’s NYE: “A World First”

For the first time, Sydney’s fireworks show will use Artificial Intelligence technology as part of the 5-hour event.

By Mike CrooksWednesday 27 Dec 2023EntertainmentReading Time: 3 minutes

Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve fireworks event will begin a little differently this year.

Before the massive show kicks-off over the harbour at midnight, there will be AI-generated images projected on to the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.

The projections will be on the eastern side of the pylons to “dazzle the harbour foreshore”, according to organisers.

Then, at the time of the main event, which is managed by Foti International Fireworks, the images will be synced to the show in a “world first for a production of this scale,” the event’s art director Joseph Pole said.

Foti’s director Fortunato Foti said that with more than one million spectators expected at the harbour foreshore, and many millions watching around the world, “our aim is to make it bigger and better each year.”

AI show

This year’s Sydney NYE theme is “One Night: Many Ways to Celebrate”, with a main focus on celebrating First Nations voices.

The 5½-hour event begins with a Smoking Ceremony at 7.30pm. This will involve three vessels traveling from Barangaroo to Campbells Cove at The Rocks.

This will be followed by the pylon projections at 8.30pm. The pylons will feature images of beloved Indigenous Australians, including Cathy Freeman, Patty Mills and Adam Goodes.

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Bluey and Bingo, from the ABC’s much-loved children’s TV show Bluey, will also make an appearance on the structures.

“This year’s talented artists have created music, visual art and performances that both champion Indigenous culture and story-telling,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said at Sydney’s NYE launch on December 4.

“And highlight the challenges and resilience of both young and old First Nations peoples.”

For the kids

Just before 9pm, there will be a Welcome to Country ceremony on the foreshore, before the first fireworks of the evening are launched above the harbour for the younger ones.

The Calling Country fireworks will be a “celebration of sky, land and sea country.”

The 9-minute show is presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists through music, dance and illustration.

“Moving into a new year”

Next up at 9.15pm is the harbour light show, where boats adorned with lights “create a visual spectacle as they glide across the harbour,” read a Sydney NYE statement.

Then, at midnight, the sky show begins.

Organisers say it will be a 12-minute display with 58,000 individual fireworks (that’s 8.5 tonnes of pyrotechnics).

The fireworks will be launched from platforms on the water, five city building rooftops, four pontoons, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“The beauty of fireworks is that they are accessible for people everywhere – whether from the east, west, north or south,” Mr Foti said. “As long as you can look up and see the sky, you’ll be able to have a front-row seat for the show.”

For the best harbour vantage points, visit here.

More family friendly events

Elsewhere in wider Sydney, there are plenty of other family friendly NYE events.

Parramatta Park is hosting a NYE celebration, with fireworks and a free concert headlined by ARIA award-winning band Sneaky Sound System. The entertainment begins at 5pm culminating in a firework display at the kid-friendly time slot of 9pm.

In the east, Coogee Beach is hosting its annual Coogee Sparkles, with a fireworks show over the bay at 9pm.

In Campbelltown, Koshigaya Park is having a night of “non-stop entertainment” from 7pm. It includes both 9pm and midnight fireworks, carnival rides, free facepainting, showbags and music acts.

And on the Northern Beaches, there are multiple fireworks events, including at Manly and Dee Why beaches, and Frenchs Forrest. For more information visit the Northern Beaches Council’s website.

Celebrate at home

But of course, you don’t need to go out to enjoy NYE.

As usual, the ABC is televising a harbourside concert that will culminate in the city’s fireworks.

ABC NYE 2023 begins on New Year’s Eve at 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

“I hope the festivities mark the start of a safe and peaceful 2024 after a pretty appalling year for everyone, particularly internationally,” said councillor Moore.

“We’re moving into a new year and hopefully wars in certain places will end and we will be able to cope much better.”

For more information on Sydney’s New Year’s Eve visit here.

Feature image: Sydney fireworks, Photo by Tom Hill on Unsplash