Millions share in London’s New Year’s Eve spectacular

31st January 2008

Around 700,000 people are estimated to have attended the New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London this year, while millions more watched the celebrations on BBC1, once again making this annual spectacular event a huge success.

This year’s celebration, introduced the year of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games and of the handover to London as the next host city. The event reflected this theme and, combined monumental photographic projections of ‘An Olympic Year’ with spectacular fireworks.

While the crowds gathered along the Thames, BBC Radio 1’s DJs Rob da Bank and Gilles Peterson created a pre-recorded soundtrack featuring exclusive mixes played along the Embankment culminating in a countdown to midnight, which also featured a London river tug boat rigged with 20 flame generators.

“This has been another very successful event for London,” confirmed the capital’s mayor Ken Livingstone.

Live marketing agency Jack Morton worked closely with internationally renowned pyrotechnician Christophe Berthonneau and lighting designer Durham Marenghi to create the spectacular display. This was the fourth such New Year’s spectacle that Jack Morton has produced for the Mayor of London in conjunction with Visit London.

Another repeat performer was PRG Europe which supplied the lighting for Marenghi. PRG Europe project manager John McEvoy says: “We placed 100 VL5s arc luminaires on the pontoon which extends into the Thames at the base of the Eye, and the 10 10kw Syncrolites on the bank behind and in a line perpendicular to the wheel to create aerial fans and a massive 100,000 watt vertical beam!”

Associate lighting director Paul Cook continued: “We wanted to do a bigger flood effect than we’ve had previously, so we used a wider ‘chase’ from the searchlights through the wheel’s spokes. The aim was to get an attractive and anticipatory focus before the show, in conjunction with the music from BBC Radio 1. We used the atomic clock at Rugby to ensure the lighting was in sync with the
fireworks and Big Ben at midnight.”

The event also required a secure temporary electrical supply, which was provided by Power Logistics, along with nearly 5,000 litres of locally sourced 100% bio diesel manufactured to EN14214 standard. “We are known for having the expertise and the capability to supply the right equipment, so the client had confidence in our ability to work with the bio fuel,” says Power Logistics’ Project Manager, Rich Rayner. “We believe that this is a service more and more event organisers will be demanding in the future.”

Commenting on the event, Jack Morton’s president international, said: “We are delighted to have entertained London once again with this wonderful display that is now so much part of the capital’s celebrations. It is an honour to be a part of this truly iconic event at such an exciting time for the capital and the country.”