Monday, 29 December 2014

New Years Eve 25 Years Ago:1989

Last week, I gave you an insight into how Sydneysiders marked Christmas in 1989. Now we ask how Sydney said farewell to the 1980's and welcomed in the 1990's.

1989 is the year where the origins of current New Year's Celebrations in Sydney originate from. Year by Year it would build up to shape what is now regarded as the biggest celebration of the start of the New Year anywhere in the world.

After two years, it was decided to bring back the New Years Eve fireworks display on Sydney Harbour. The Bicentenary in 1988 along with police concerns about rowdy behaviour on city streets led to a decision for no fireworks shows to welcome in 1988 and 1989.

A 30-minute fireworks display was held at 9 pm along Sydney Harbour to launch the 1990 Festival of Sydney. Those attending were asked to bring along a radio to listen to a complication of music that was programmed in sync with the fireworks. 2DAY FM would do the broadcast. Why 9pm? To allow people to enjoy a night out and be home in time for midnight or go to a party with friends.

Popular vantage points included: Mrs Macquaries Chair, Dawes Point and Bradleys Head.

The Fireworks were directed by Syd Howard with 6000 shells launched into the sky.

Source: 2-Day FM. 1989. "Skyshow: The Concert in the Sky (Advertisement). " The Sunday Telegraph, December 31: 29.

At least 400 000 people were reported to have watched the show; either on land or on a boat moored on the harbour. Compare it with the crowds of up to two million that attended New Year's Eve celebrations last year.

The 9pm fireworks show would be an annual feature each New Year's Eve until 1997. In 1998 as a lead up to Millennium celebrations, the 9pm show was shortened to ten minutes and is now promoted as a family fireworks show to allow children to at least engage in part of the evening's celebrations. The thirty-minute show was moved to midnight. From 2000, the show gradually decreased from thirty minutes to twelve minutes.

As for transport, there were plenty of buses, trains and ferries to keep you moving throughout the night. Below is an advertisement listing details of bus and ferry services operated by the State Transit Authority.

Source: State Transit. 1989. "New Year's Eve Buses & Ferries (Advertisement). " The Daily Telegraph, December 29: 21.

Unfortunately, I could not find an advertisement outlining rail services, but if I do find something, I'll add it in.

And finally, Tina Turner was out on the town as she was in town to film the 1990 promotional advertisement for the NSWRL Competition.

I wish you all a very happy new year.

Updated November 2018

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