Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks livestreamed to 1 billion people on Facebook and YouTube

Billions of Facebook and YouTube users will be able to watch Sydney’s New Years Eve firework celebrations live from their mobile phones. Photo: Janie Barrett Crowds at Barangaroo park for last years New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Photo: Brook Mitchell

A billion Facebook and YouTube users will be able to watch Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations live on their mobile phones for the first time this year.

The Welcome to Country ceremony, kids’ 9pm fireworks and midnight fireworks will all be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube and the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve website.

The City of Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that organisers would be “breaking new ground” this year by streaming the “world’s most famous firework show” to an estimated audience of one billion people.

“By making the most of digital technology only available this year, we can put Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show in the palm of people’s hands around the world – right as it happens,” Cr Moore said.

Earlier this year, the “Songlines” visual artwork, which was projected onto the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid festival, was livestreamed on Facebook and was shared eight million times.

The director of the Welcome to Country ceremony, Rhoda Roberts, said the livestream of the fireworks could easily pass 10 million shares and that audiences will have a “pleasant surprise” during the Welcome to Country ceremony.

“Welcome to Country shows we are a continuously living culture … we are continuing an ancient tradition of protocol but we are doing it in a very relevant manner,” Ms Roberts said.

It has taken 15 months of planning and preparation for this year’s firework displays which will use seven tonnes of fireworks to create more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects accompanied by a digital light show.

The 9pm kids’ fireworks will begin with a green and gold umbrella which was inspired by the “Aussie Spirit” at this year’s Olympic Games.

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve is the biggest public event in Australia with up to a million people lining the Harbour last year with similar numbers expected this year.

In addition to broadcasting the ceremony on social media, ABC will have a pop-up digital radio station with audio descriptions of the fireworks for people with impaired vision. Sydney’s New Year’s Eve schedule:

6pm Pre-show entertainment featuring an aerial acrobatic display and tug boat water display.

8.38pm Welcome to Country ceremony with the theme “Walking on Country”.

9pm Family fireworks display.

9.15pm Harbour of Light parade featuring ships decorated with ropelights.

Midnight Fireworks display.

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