Sydney skies to light up thrice in spectacular NYE fireworks display


The master pyrotechnician behind Australia’s biggest fireworks display is promising this year’s show will be the most colourful yet.

Seven tonnes of fireworks – including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and over 100,000 individual effects will light up Sydney’s skies to send off 2014 with a bang.

As many as 1.6 million people are expected to line Sydney’s foreshore to watch the show, making it one of the biggest events in the world.

The year will feature multi-coloured fireworks and a special red glitter effect, as well as shapes including silver and gold palm trees.

As well as the 9pm family fireworks and the midnight show, this year will also feature a third mini-fireworks display, called the ‘Inspire moment’ at 10:40pm, to keep crowds entertained during the countdown to midnight.

As per tradition, the show’s hero moment – a special effect on the Harbour Bridge, will remain top secret until it is revealed on the night. Past bridge effects have included a peace symbol and dove, a heart, an hourglass and an all-seeing eye.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “inspire”. The man behind the fireworks is Fortunato Foti, a seventh-generation pyrotechnican whose family has been making fireworks since 1793.

It’s Mr Foti’s 15th year designing fireworks for the Sydney event. Scattered showers are forecast for Sydney on New Years Eve, but Mr Foti says the show will go on regardless.

“The only way they wouldn’t go ahead is if there were very high winds. But they’d have to be very high. Rain is not too bad for us (because) everything is covered. It’s probably just more uncomfortable for the punters.”

The budget for Sydney’s New Year celebration is $7.2 million, with 750,000 going on fireworks. Mr Foti says its money well spent.

“Even at $7.2 million, that works out to about $4 per person who comes and watches, which is a pretty cheap form of entertainment really.”

“Fireworks is one of those mediums that can be viewed by anyone anywhere, and they’ve all got front-row seats.”


  • The NYE fireworks are expected to draw 1.6 million people to the harbour. 
  • There will be 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects in the fireworks.
  • 12 computers will manage the fireworks display and sync music in time with the show.
  • More than 60km of wires and cables link the launch computers.
  • Fireworks will be launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, barges and buildings, with 130 firing points on the coathanger alone.
  • 9pm family fireworks will be launched from four harbour barges.
  • Midnight fireworks will be launched from seven barges, jet-skis, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations cost $7.2 million, with $750,000 going on fireworks.


Adelaide - Partly cloudy, 27C

Brisbane - Shower or two, 33C

Canberra - Partly cloudy, 28C

Darwin - Shower or two, possible storm, 33C

Hobart - Partly cloudy, 21C

Melbourne - Mostly sunny, 24C

Perth - Cloud clearing, 30C

Sydney - Shower or two, 24C

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch