Skip to Content

Sydney’s plan to be ‘the New Year’s Eve Capital of the World’


By Angus Watson, CNN

(CNN) — Dean Jacobowski stands atop the Sydney Opera House as the first glimmer of the day’s summer sun bounces from the famous white sails.

It’s early in the morning, three days before New Year’s Eve. The harbor is Jacobowski’s canvas. He plans to paint it with pyrotechnics.

“It’s the most recognized structure in the world, so just playing a small role in that is amazing,” Jacobowski tells CNN down below.

“There’s one billion people that tune in to be able to watch the fireworks, so yeah … no pressure to get the fireworks right,” he laughs.

Jakubowski’s team will rig the Sydney Opera House up with some of the 36,000 shooting effects, 13,000 aerial shells and more than 75,000 pyrotechnic effects that will explode over the harbor after midnight strikes.

Sydney’s local government, which calls its city the “New Year’s Eve Capital of the World” has also set 7,000 firework cues on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, wanting it to “dance with color.”

“It’s such a big tradition in our peak summer,” says John Hughes. He’s the CEO of Luna Park, an iconic Art Deco amusement park nestled under the bridge.

“All of the iconic landmarks are clustered together on this incredible harbor and it’s one of the first places in the world to ring in the new year.”

Luna Park is one of those landmarks: Sydney’s answer to Coney Island, the gaping grin of the Luna Park clown is unmistakable. This year the team will put on its 20th New Years Eve Harbour party.

While the official New Year’s Eve extravaganza focuses on the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Sydney’s big night is felt across the city, lighting up individual streets, homes and businesses with the atmosphere of the evening.

Its something that Sydneysiders are “immensely proud of” says Luna Park’s Hughes, excited himself about the number of tourists from Australia and across the world who will converge on Luna Park.

Across the water, the Sydney Opera House turned 50 in 2023. When it opened in 1973, architect Jorn Utzon not only gave Australia a symbol to proudly display on postage stamps – or launch fireworks from.

The House, as its lovingly known, has over its half-decade helped to evolve Australian culture. On New Year’s Eve Opera Australia will stage a performance of “La Traviata.”

Starring soprano Samantha Clarke says the fact that Sydney is identified by a cultural institution is important.

“For Australia … we’re such a young country and to have such an iconic place be an opera house, for that to be a landmark for us, is very special,” she says.

The modern nation of Australia may be young, but it is home to the oldest culture on earth. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the continent for over 60,000 years. This year, a referendum intended to recognize First Nations people in Australia in the country’s constitution was voted down after an acrimonious campaign won by conservative parties.

At 7:30pm an Indigenous smoking ceremony will “cleanse the harbor of negative spirits,” before Indigenous artists curate a fireworks display dubbed “Buried Country.”

Creative Director Nooky says the theme underscores that Australians, and visitors, are always on Indigenous land – even in big cities.

“We are calling to our old people for strength in this moment and to also celebrate their achievements and the knowledge they have passed down. I hope to create a memorable event for everyone to take part in. This platform allows us to share our truth, our stories, our voice with the world,” Nooky said.

The world will be watching.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: Entertainment

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content