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Sydney ready to ignite NYE spectacular

City of Sydney 3 mins read

Link to NYE highlights reel, images and fact sheets:

The team behind one of the world’s largest and most technically advanced fireworks displays is putting the final touches on the Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, ready to entertain hundreds of millions of people around the foreshore and globe.


It takes a pyrotechnic team of 60 people from Foti Fireworks International 12 days on-site to set up 18 shipping containers of equipment and fireworks on barges, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and 5 city building rooftops.


Linked to 15 computers and more than 25km of wiring and cables, over 8.5 tonnes of fireworks will be launched across two displays, at 9pm and midnight.


“We’ve been working with Foti International to create another spectacular show this year using pyrotechnic effects that will amaze and delight crowds,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said.


“While everyone is enjoying the festive season, the crew behind NYE is busy loading barges, buildings and the Harbour Bridge with thousands of fireworks and pyrotechnics.


“They are working tirelessly for a night to remember with their incredible and innovative fireworks displays.”


Fortunato Foti is a 7th generation pyrotechnician whose family has been making fireworks since 1793. Fortunato is joined by 15 family members to help create the fireworks for this year’s displays, including his 3 children, nieces, nephews, brothers and cousins, as well as staff who are among the most experienced in the industry.


Now his 27th Sydney New Year’s Eve, such is Fortunato’s passion about his work, he said he is undaunted by the challenge of creating something exciting and new each year.


“We started working on Sydney New Year’s Eve back in 1997, and we quickly learnt what works best for a show of this size and scale,” Fortunato said.


“We’ve reached a point where each year we walk away thinking ‘that was the best show we’ve ever done’ – and really, that just spurs us on to do even better the following year.


“This year the displays will feature bright white, peach, lime, silver, gold, violet, yellow, burnt orange, pink and blue fireworks, as well as the crowd favourite colour-changing fireworks and some other surprises.”


Fortunato said music is also a critical component in the creation of fireworks displays of this scale.


“We design the show to flow with the mood of the music, in essence aiming to make the fireworks appear like they’re dancing to the music,” Fortunato said.


“We’ve meticulously planned the 9pm and midnight fireworks to perfectly synchronise with each show’s specially created soundtrack.”


Among the pyrotechnic effects in this year’s displays will be:


  • fireworks with surprise shapes, and new pastel and neon colours
  • fireworks launched from 184 firing locations on the Sydney Harbour Bridge including its top, façade and sides
  • 6 water-based firing platforms spread across 6km of the harbour, 4 pontoons, 4 sails of the Sydney Opera House and 5 city rooftops
  • more than 80,000 pyrotechnic effects fired from 18,000 cues across the locations
  • 36,000 shooting ground-based effects including comets, mines and crossettes
  • 13,000 aerial shells including serpents, saturn rings and horse tail willow shells which burst and drip slowly down across the sky – also referred to as a glittering waterfall.


The 9pm Calling Country display will be set to an original soundtrack produced by Nooky and Aria Award winner and Grammy nominee,18YOMAN – an anthemic hip hop sound with elements of traditional First Nations audio weaved throughout.


The midnight display will be timed to a bespoke 3-part soundtrack created by THE SWEATS that ranges from driving beats and contemporary electronica, through to elegant and lush choral moments.


Event goers are encouraged to visit to plan their night and find out about managed access areas, vantage points, transport and event details.


For those planning to stay at home, you can see Sydney shine on TV or online. ABC TV will broadcast live from Sydney Harbour at 8.30pm. The 9pm and midnight fireworks will also be live streamed on the official website and on ABC iview.


You can also listen to the exclusive soundtracks at 9pm and midnight on KIIS 1065.


For full event details visit


For media inquiries, contact Elaine Kelly.

Phone mobile 0477 362 550 or email


For interviews with Lord Mayor, contact Zoe Delamare.

Phone 0477 263 615 or email





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