New Year's Eve in London

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London's New Year's Eve
New Years 2014 Fireworks - London Eye.jpg
Fireworks over London Eye as part of the New Year's 2013-2014 multi-sensory display
Genre New Year's Eve event
Date(s) 31 December
Begins 20:30 (GMT)
Ends 00:30 (GMT)
Frequency Annually
Location(s) Victoria Embankment, South Bank and River Thames
Inaugurated 2000
Attendance 107,000 (2015–2016)
Budget £313,000

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 at midnight.



The first major New Year's Eve fireworks display in London was 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.[1] The same dispute also occurred for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 celebrations,[2] although approximately 80,000 revellers gathered around Trafalgar Square to celebrate the New Year.[3]

After a hiatus of no fireworks on New Year's Eve, 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[5]


The 2012-13 display was based on both the diamond jubilee and the Olympics. The Queen's Christmas speech was used in the firework display for the first time.[6]


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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9][10]


For the 2014–15 display, the designer of the display stated that the fireworks would focus on London being an 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.[11] 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.[12]


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. [13]


New Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated the 2016–17 display will be the "most exciting New Year fireworks yet for the city".[citation needed] Khan announced a partnership with the BBC to film the fireworks in 360 degrees. The firework display paid homage to Prince, David Bowie and Ronnie Corbett who died in 2016. [14]


Since 2010–11, musical soundtracks have been played during the fireworks. BBC Radio 1 provided the soundtrack to the 2010–11, 2011-12 and 2014-15 firework displays.[15] In 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2016-17, Bounce, a music editing company based in London, provided the soundtrack to the displays.[16]

During the 2010–11 fireworks display, songs that were played included Queen's We Will Rock You, The Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Blur's Song 2.[17] During the 2011–12 display, songs that were played included Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name", The Kinks "You Really Got Me", and Labrinth's "Earthquake".[18] John Newman's "Love Me Again" opened the 2013–14 playlist, and he was featured in Calvin Harris' "Blame" which ended the 2014–15 display.[19][20]


Fireworks Soundtracks

No. Song Artist
1. Club Foot Kasabian
2. 20th Century Boy T.Rex
3. We Will Rock You Queen
4. Pass Out Tinie Tempah
5. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds The Beatles
6. West End Girls Pet Shop Boys
7. You Got the Love Florence and the Machine
8. London Calling The Clash
9. Don't Stop 'Til You Get to Bollywood Michael Jackson vs Usha Ulthup
10. All Time Low The Wanted
11. Song 2 Blur
12. Holiday (Instrumental) Dizzee Rascal


Fireworks Soundtracks

No. Song Artist
1. Chariots of Fire Vangelis
2. Labrinth Labrinth
3. D'banj D'banj
4. Viva la Vida Coldplay
5. Alright Supergrass (with Martin Solveig "Hello" sample)
6. You Really Got Me The Kinks
7. Tainted Love Soft Cell
8. Diamonds Are Forever Shirley Bassey
9. Rolling in the Deep Adele
10. Mundyia De Dil Hilgaye Kais ft. DSI
11. Monster The Automatic
12. Firestarter The Prodigy (with Queen sample)
13. Heaven Emeli Sandé
14. Insomnia Faithless


Fireworks Soundtracks

No. Song Artist
1. Me and You Nero
2. Yeah Yeah Willy Moon
3. Another One Bites the Dust Queen
4. London Calling The Clash
5. Mr Blue Sky Electric Light Orchestra
6. Shine Take That
7. Paradise / Wide Awake Coldplay and Katy Perry
8. Harder Than You Think Public Enemy
9. Something 2 Dance 2 NWA
10. Bom Bom Sam & The Womp
11. Gangnam Style Psy
12. Spectrum (Say My Name) (Calvin Harris Remix) Florence and the Machine
13. We Will Rock You Queen
14. Sing (Gary Barlow song) Gary Barlow
15. Anything Could Happen Ellie Goulding
16. Won't Get Fooled Again The Who
17. Bonkers Dizzie Rascal
18. Should I Stay Or Should I Go The Clash
19. Live While We're Young One Direction
20. Miami 2 Ibiza Swedish House Mafia ft. Tinie Tempah


Fireworks Soundtracks[21]

No. Song Artist
1. Love Me Again John Newman
2. Hiding All The Stars Chicane
3. Another One Bites the Dust Queen
4. Blurred Lines Robin Thicke
5. Let's Dance David Bowie
6. Onetwothree Flux Pavillon
7. Bassline Junkie Dizzie Rascal
8. Waiting All Night Rudimental
9. The Mother We Share Chvrches
10. Down With the Trumpets Rizzle Kicks
11. Let's Get Ready To Rhumble PJ & Duncan
12. Skip to the Good Bit Rizzle Kicks
13. You Should Be Dancin' Bee Gees
14. Breathe in the Air Pink Floyd
15. Burn Ellie Goulding
16. I Could Be The One Avicci vs. Nicky Romero
17. Louder DJ Fresh ft. Sian Evans


Fireworks Soundtracks [22]

No. Song Artist
1. No Place Like London Sweeney Todd
2. Tsunami (Jump) DVBBS & Borgeou ft. Tinie Tempah
3. Boom Clap Charli XCX
4. Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
5. Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner Flanagan and Allen
6. Original Nuttah Shy FX
7. Nobody to Love Sigma
8. Busy Earnin Jungle
9. Glow Ella Henderson
10. Keep The Home Fires Burning Katie Melua
11. Last Train to London Electric Light Orchestra
12. Shine a Little Love Electric Light Orchestra
13. Bang Bang Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
14. Wow Kate Bush
15. Doctor? Oribital
16. Hideaway Kiesza
17. Sing Ed Sheeran
18. Gecko (Overdrive) Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill
19. #Selfie The Chainsmokers
20. Blame Calvin Harris ft. John Newman


Fireworks Soundtracks [23]

No. Song Artist
1. Pompeii (Audien Remix) Bastille
2. Peanut Butter Jelly Galantis
3. Billericky Dicky Ian Dury
4. Soul Makossa Yolanda Be Cool
5. Rebel Rebel David Bowie
6. Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae) Silento
7. Blue Monkey New Order
8. Slap & Tickle Squeeze
9. Are You Gonna Go My Way Lenny Kravitz
10. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Ella Eyre
11. I Luv U Dizzie Rascal
12. Stop the Rock Apollo 440
13. Can You Feel It? The Jacksons
14. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough Michael Jackson
15. Need You Tonight INXS
16. I Can't Feel My Face The Weeknd
17. Rio Netsky
18. Blind Faith Chase & Status
19. Something Tells Me Cilla Black
20. Live While We're Young One Direction
21. Pjanoo Eric Prydz
22. Runaway (U & I) Galantis


Fireworks Soundtracks

No. Song Artist
1. 1999 Prince
2. Let’s Go Crazy Prince
3. Alphabet St. Prince
4. Kiss Prince
5. Give Me Your Love Sigala (feat. John Newman & Nile Rodgers)
6. Shut Up and Dance Walk the Moon
7. Video Killed The Radio Star Buggles
8. Crosstown Traffic Jimi Hendrix
9. It Takes Scoop Fatman Scoop (ft. DJ Kool)
10. Chime Orbital
11. Run Boy Run Woodkid
12. Relax Frankie Goes to Hollywood
13. This Girl Kungs vs. Cookin' on 3 Burners
14. Higher Ground TNGHT
15. Incredible M Beat feat. General Levvy
16. Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr (ft. Beardyman)
17. London is the Place for Me Edmundo Ros
18. A Sky Full of Stars (Hardwell Remix) Coldplay
19. Fame David Bowie
20. Space Oddity David Bowie
21. Suffragette City David Bowie
22. Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
23. Jealous (Dillon Francis Remix) Chromeo
24. Don't You Worry Child Swedish House Mafia (feat. John Martin)

TV coverage[edit]

The fireworks are broadcast on BBC One on a show entitled New Year's Eve Fireworks.[24][25] Sky News, ITV News and CNN News also provide coverage on the fireworks.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "London New Year's party cancelled". BBC News Online. 20 November 2000. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee" (PDF). London Assembly. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "A damp squib: the Mayor's plans for New Year's Eve" (PDF). London Assembly. 1 December 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2014. Report of the Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee - December 2002 
  4. ^ Rubenfeld, Vik (1 January 2005). "Happy New Year!". The Big Picture. Retrieved 17 January 2014. New Year's Eve, London—An Image of Candles is Projected onto the Shell Building (left) as a Tribute to the Victims of the Asian Tsunami (REUTERS/Matt Dunham) 
  5. ^ a b "London gets ready for New Year's Eve's firework display". BBC News Online. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "London enjoys new year fireworks display". BBC News Online. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Vodafone joins forces with Mayor for world's first multi-sensory fireworks display". Greater London Authority. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Vodafone Announces 'Vodafone Firsts' New Global Own-Brand Engagement Strategy". Vodafone UK. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Multisensory Fireworks". Bompas & Parr. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Victoria Cavaliere; Eric M. Johnson (1 January 2014). "Revellers usher in 2014 with fireworks and fruit mist". Reuters. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Designing London's New Year's Eve fireworks - Design Week". 19 December 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  12. ^ Ben Quinn (31 December 2014). "New Year's Eve revellers without tickets warned away from London fireworks". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Mayor's New Year's Eve fireworks display with Unicef". 
  14. ^ "London New Year's Eve Fireworks 2016". 
  15. ^ "New Year 2011 fireworks at London Eye to have musical soundtrack". London SE1. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Clients". Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "London Eye fireworks mark new year 2011". BBC News Online. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Camber, Rebecca (2 January 2012). "Eleven magical minutes that dazzled the world: Spectacular London fireworks display ushers in 2012". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "London New Year's Eve 2013/14 - Fireworks Soundtrack". SoundCloud.  (Speaker Icon.svg Page will play audio when loaded)
  20. ^ "Here's the tracklist to London's New Year's Eve firework display". Gigwise. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "2013/2014, New Year's Eve Fireworks - BBC One". Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  22. ^ "2014/2015, New Year's Eve Fireworks - BBC One". Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  23. ^ "2015/2016, New Year's Eve Fireworks - BBC One". Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  24. ^ "New Year Live". New Year Live. London. 31 December 2008 – 31 December 2012. BBC. BBC One. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "New Year Live". New Year Live. London. 31 December 2013 – 31 December 2014. BBC. BBC One. Retrieved 4 February 2014.