New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve in London, a New Year’s Eve firework display, is celebrated along the Victoria Embankment and South Bank areas of the River Thames where the London Eye and Big Ben are situated. The countdown is accompanied by the chimes of Big Ben, and a digital countdown timer projected onto the Shell Centre. The fireworks are launched off the London Eye and from barges in the River Thames at midnight. The display is organised by Jack Morton Worldwide, with Titanium Fireworks responsible for the pyrotechnics.
New Year’s Day in London Eye 2020 – Fireworks History:
The first major New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London was planned in December 1999 to celebrate the year 2000. It was estimated by the BBC that about 3 million people turned up around the Thames to watch the fireworks display. A „river of fire” was planned to accompany the fireworks display, but failed to make an impact. A fireworks display was planned during 2000 to celebrate 2001, but was cancelled in November due to a dispute between then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the London Underground. Similar disputes also occurred, causing displays to be cancelled for both the 2001–02 and 2002–03 celebrations, although approximately 80,000 revellers gathered around Trafalgar Square to celebrate the New Year, as had been a tradition for many years.
After a short three-year hiatus, for the 2003–04 event, there were fireworks though only for three minutes. For the 2004–05 event, in the run-up to midnight, an image of candles was projected onto the Shell Centre as a tribute to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Also, at midnight, fireworks were launched from the wheel itself for the first time.
For the 2011–12 extravaganza, fireworks were fired in a one-off event from Elizabeth Tower, launching from the top of the building outwards above the many spectators and well wishers below, welcoming in the year in which London went on to host the Olympic Games.
Fireworks were launched in the shape and colour of the Olympic flag, in a display that lasted approximately eleven minutes compared to being reduced to eight minutes in 2010.
The 2012–13 display was based on both the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics. The Queen’s Christmas speech was used in the firework display for the first time.
The theme of the 2013–14 fireworks was ‚Firsts’ a projection prior to the fireworks featured Mayor of London Boris Johnson talking about the many ‚firsts’ that have come from the United Kingdom and London itself. He then went on to explain the 2013–14 fireworks would the „world first” multi-sensory fireworks display with fruit flavoured sweets and radio controlled LED bracelets which had previously been used during Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto Tour and the London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony being handed out to revellers when entering the viewing areas. These sweets were as stated in the information leaflet to be eaten prior to the display to „prepare” spectators with the flavours that they were going to experience during the evening. Scented mists and edible flavoured foam were also sprayed throughout the performance.
For the 2014–15 display, the designer of the display stated that the fireworks would focus on London being a world-class city and how it can continue its repetition on being one. It was also focused on how the New Year’s event in London was special to the public. The 2014–15 display was the subject of controversy as a £10 charge was introduced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for tickets to the official viewing areas.
For the 2015–16 display, the Mayor of London announced a partnership with UNICEF to raise money for the charity from the profits made during the evening. The Elizabeth Tower clock face, London Eye and the surrounding areas were lit in blue to support the cause.
The 2016–17 display focused on the reflections of the past year with themes focusing on Team GB’s greatest ever success at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The display also paid homage to Prince, David Bowie and Ronnie Corbett who all died in 2016.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced a partnership with the BBC to film the fireworks in a 360° view.
The 2017–18 firework display featured a soundtrack dominated by female artists such as Ariana Grande, Little Mix, Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch which was played to mark the centenary
The theme for the 2019–20 display will be ‚British New Decade’ and will celebrate the last 10 years in the United Kingdom, as well as looking ahead to 2020 with UEFA Euro 2020 to feature.
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