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Organisers warn NYE vantage points could close due to growing COVID-19 cases

Organisers of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations have warned ticketed vantage points overlooking the harbour could close due to growing COVID-19 cases.

Stephen Gilby, executive producer of New Year’s Eve celebrations, said organisers are prepared to adapt the plans for the celebrations if the state’s public health restrictions change.

“We will react to any changes in the public health order and amend our plans as we need to ensure people stay safe,” Mr Gilby said.

REFILE HIGH RES. The New Years Eve Fireworks in Sydney Harbour as seen from Mrs Macquaries Point in Sydney on January 1, 2021. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
Vantage points could close if public health orders change in NSW ahead of New Year’s Eve. (Dominic Lorrimer)

“We will be operating under the public health orders NSW Health has issued and every different vantage point or function or event that is happening will also be operating under those health orders.”

The ticketed vantage points will be abiding by current restrictions for hospitality venues in NSW.

“We have six vantage points that are all in outdoor parks, but we are operating those on a one person per two square metres basis,” Mr Gilby said.

City of Sydney Program Manager, Stephen Gilby speaks at the media event for the 2021 NYE Fireworks display at Glebe Island in Sydney, on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Photo by Cole Bennetts.
Stephen Gilby speaks at the media event for the 2021 NYE Fireworks display at Glebe Island in Sydney. (Cole Bennetts)

People attending the vantage points for the fireworks are urged to be fully vaccinated, wear a mask, and social distance.

If you are feeling unwell, organisers have encouraged you to stay at home.

Tickets are essential for most vantage points around the harbour.

“You can’t just turn up on the night, you have to pre-book but there are still tickets available,” Mr Gilby said.

“So before you come in, you need to make sure you have booked your ticket.”

Foti International Fireworks workers ready a barge filled with fireworks for the 2021 NYE fireworks display at Glebe Island in Sydney on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Photo by Cole Bennetts.
Foti International Fireworks workers ready a barge filled with fireworks for the 2021 NYE display. (Cole Bennetts)

The fireworks displays at both 9pm and midnight will go ahead, and are expected to be a “dynamite spectacular” this year.

“Both the 9pm and midnight displays have been meticulously planned to ensure the fireworks are perfectly synchronised with each show’s specially created soundtrack,” fireworks director Fortunato Foti said.

Preparations are currently underway for the displays, with more than 60 tonnes of equipment deployed to make sure the weather doesn’t disrupt the fireworks.

This year’s theme, “see Sydney shine”, will feature surprise shapes, new pastel and neon colours, and more than 80,000 pyrotechnic effects.

“Whales, cubes, sunflower shells, whirlwinds and colour-changing fireworks are some of the surprises in store for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve 2021,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

Fortunato Foti, Director of Foti International Fireworks speaks at the media event for the 2021 NYE fireworks display at Glebe Island in Sydney, on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Photo by Cole Bennetts.
“Both the 9pm and midnight displays have been meticulously planned,” fireworks director Fortunato Foti said. (Cole Bennetts)

The midnight show will feature neon, pastel-coloured fireworks, white strobe effects, colour-changing shells and silver spinning fireworks.

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge, which has 175 firing points across the bridge, as well as the Sydney Opera House, which will feature 1600 individual fireworks which is double what we would normally do,” Mr Foti said.

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“There will basically be 25,000 shooting comets from the Sydney Harbour Bridge alone and in excess of 9000 aerial fireworks.”

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