Sydney event NYE In The Park will not set off fireworks at midnight as part of its celebrations this year. The Victoria Park festival’s announcement came yesterday amidst fervent debate about the Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve fireworks display and whether it should be cancelled.
NYE In The Park broke the news on Facebook earlier today (December 31), announcing that the decision to cancel the fireworks display was made after consultation with ticketholders via a poll and the event’s stakeholders.
The festival also said it would pledge the financial resources from the cancellation to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service “in support of their continued heroic efforts in keeping us all safe”, and encouraged ticketholders to donate to them as well. See their full post below:
The people have spoken!Along with other positive pioneering initiatives at the festival around Harm Minimisation and…
Meanwhile, the midnight fireworks display at Sydney Harbour will go ahead – with a fire ban exemption from the NSW Rural Fire Service – despite calls for it to be cancelled, as the Guardian reports. More than 280,000 people have signed a petition calling for the display to be scrapped, with money channeled towards farmers and firefighters.
Yesterday on Twitter, NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said cancelling the fireworks display should be a “very easy decision”. He added, “The risk is too high and we must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers. If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens. We’re all in this crisis together.”
A few politicians have also spoken in favour of keeping the fireworks display, as the Guardian reported. City of Sydney spokeswoman Tanya Goldberg said such a move would hurt Sydney businesses and mayor Clover Moore said on Twitter that “using the event to encourage more donations to the bushfire appeal will [have practical benefit]”, as the ABC broadcast of the New Year’s Eve concert and fireworks will also function as a telethon to fundraise for the Red Cross’ disaster and recovery program.
Per the Guardian, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has conceded “mixed feelings” about the New Year’s Eve celebrations in light of the bushfire crisis and the death of volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul on Sunday.
She told reporters yesterday, “Many of us have mixed feelings about this evening but the important thing we take out of this is that we’re resilient as a state. We’re a state that’s optimistic about the future and I don’t want to take a second away from the deep sense of loss and tragedy many people are feeling. You can’t think about more difficult circumstances than that.”
“But as a state, we always need to think about the future, and given the RFS has said it’s safe for the state to proceed or for the City of Sydney Council to proceed with those activities tonight, that’s what will happen.”
In other news, drug amnesty bins will be on-site at NYE In The Park, the first NSW music festival to test the measure.