Wednesday, 27 December 2017

New Years Eve 25 Years Ago: 1992

On Sunday night, Sydneysiders will gather by the millions to celebrate the start of 2018. We have been promised a big night of celebrations.

Twenty-five years ago, we were promised what was at the time a big night of celebrations.

The annual skyshow was now in its 4th year and was now evolving into a separate event in its own right, even though this was the launch for the 1993 Festival of Sydney.

Unlike today, the main show was at 9pm with no midnight display. It ran for thirty minutes compared to twelve minutes in more recent times. 

Below is the liftout that was published The Daily Telegraph Mirror on December 29, 1992, providing all the details you needed about the show.

Fireworks were to be launched from three barges and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Note that there were no barges to the west of the Harbour Bridge. For 2017, two of the barges are in similar locations to 1992. The one off Bennelong Point has since been moved further east; nearer to Clark Island.

Syd Howard had the job of bringing the show together. In a first for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, fireworks would be launched from the pylons.

Those attending were told to take public transport. Lots of extra services would operate through the night.

Crowds were estimated at 500 000 for the 30 minute display. The display was not televised but the music was simulcast on 2DAY FM. People were encouraged to bring along their radio to tune into the soundtrack created.

Thousands watched the display in their cars while stuck in snarls on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Cahill Expressway. Congestion on city streets, was to become a problem for part of the decade until organisers closed off the Harbour Bridge and the Cahill Expressway.

At least for a while, one could enjoy the fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself.

Below is coverage from the January 1, 1993 edition of The Daily Telegraph Mirror. I will include a short summary of some of the details.

  • 500 000 watched the skyshow.
  • 200 000 gathered at Darling Harbour.
  • The fireworks cost $250 000 compared with $7 million to welcome 2017. 
  • Boating traffic on the harbour was "the busiest in years". I think it would have been nothing compared to the Bicentenary just five years before!!!
  • People staked their place at vantage points from 4pm. No rush needed!!! If you want a prime spot on Sunday night, camping out from Friday might be a good idea. 
  • 2000 attended the Bachelors and Spinsters Ball at the Bondi Pavilion. 

Finally, I wish you all a very happy new year. Tune in each Monday during January when I bring back the Remember This series, which was quite popular last summer.