Mayor's New Year's Eve fireworks display with Unicef

28 December 2015

With four days to go until 2016, London is preparing for its most momentous New Year's Eve celebration yet. For the first time, the Mayor of London's spectacular fireworks display will be joining forces with Edinburgh's Hogmanay in support of Unicef's New Year's Resolution for Children.

In an unprecedented partnership, Unicef will bring together thousands of revellers at two of the world's most famous New Year's Eve celebrations for a unifying moment, aimed at raising awareness and helping children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria. Millions of people watching the displays from home will also have the opportunity to get involved.

Key landmarks across both cities will also be turning blue for Unicef in support of this major awareness and fundraising campaign. In London, Big Ben, BFI London IMAX (Waterloo), BT Tower, the Coca-Cola London Eye, County Hall, the Golden Jubilee Bridges, National Theatre, the Shard and the Shell building will be illuminated with the Unicef cyan blue. Lighting up in Edinburgh will be Edinburgh Castle, Queen Victoria on the roof of the National Galleries, Jenner's Department Store Princess Street, Balmoral Hotel and Camera Obscura. Both cities will hold a minute of blue fireworks.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'Our stunning fireworks display this year promises to be one of the greatest yet as we join forces with Edinburgh's Hogmanay through Unicef's New Year's Resolution for Children. Not only will it be a momentous occasion, uniting millions of people across the country and overseas, it will be an opportunity to make the world an even better place in 2016 and beyond by helping children affected by the Syrian crisis.'

The New Year's Resolution for Children is being backed by a campaign on television and across social media, which urges people to 'put your money where your mouth is'. Everyone who is participating will be encouraged to donate £3 to Unicef's campaign. All donations will be doubled by the UK Government, meaning that everyone's gift will go even further to help save more children's lives this winter. Donate to Unicef's New Year's Resolution at unicef.uk/nye.

Unicef's Deputy Executive Director Catherine Cottrell said: 'Unicef's New Year's Resolution for Children aims to bring people together to make a special promise to help keep children safe. Together we can make a resolution that we can all keep and help children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria. We are delighted that two of the world's greatest cities Edinburgh and London are uniting for Unicef's Resolution in what promises to be a very special and memorable New Year's Eve.'

Tickets for the Mayor of London's New Year's Eve fireworks with Unicef are sold out. If you haven't got a ticket there are hundreds of other opportunities to bring in 2016 in style at bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs across the capital. Revellers are reminded that New Year's Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year, particularly in central London and they are advised to plan ahead. People should plan their journeys in advance, with public transport being the best way to get around. There will be services through the night, including free travel on all buses, Tube, tram, DLR, TfL Rail and London Overground from 11:45pm on New Year's Eve and 4:30am on New Year's Day, provided by Transport for London and supported by KAYAK.co.uk. London Overground and some TfL Rail services may finish earlier.

For updates about the Mayor of London's New Year's Eve fireworks with Unicef go to www.london.gov.uk/nye. Members of the public can also contact the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100.

For the Mayor's New Year's Eve message go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO7xdMtR798

Unicef's Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is video can be found at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=woDuPUO43No

For live updates on the night follow #LondonNYE

TOP TIPS FOR ON THE NIGHT

We have put together a few tips to help you prepare for the event.

Dos

  • Remember – you must have a ticket to gain entry. Bring your ticket with you on the night (email confirmations etc will NOT be accepted). Your tickets are barcoded and personalised to you and will be scanned on entry, and you may be required to show photo ID at the entrance point which matches the booking name on the ticket

  • Expect very large crowds

  • Plan your journey to and from the fireworks. Remember you may need to take a different route home from the way that you arrived. Allow plenty of time for your journey home and consider walking part of it, as there'll be long queues to access nearby stations and diversionary walking routes in place

  • If planning to meet members of your group before the event, choose less busy locations away from the entrance gates

  • Report anything suspicious to police, stewards or Transport for London staff

  • Keep valuables well-hidden, pickpockets operate in crowds

  • Stay hydrated and drink responsibly

  • Dress for the weather

  • Be prepared to stand for long periods of time

  • For all medical needs please visit one of the first aid points in the event viewing areas

Donts

  • No glass will be allowed into the event viewing areas; alcohol will be permitted in small quantities in plastic bottles or cans (any alcohol you carry should be for your own personal consumption only, not for your group, or it may be confiscated)

  • Please do not bring any fireworks (including sparklers) into the event viewing areas

  • The event is not suitable for small children; please do not bring buggies or prams into the event viewing areas

  • The event is standing only; no chairs or tables will be permitted into the event viewing areas.

  • Please do not bring any pets with you (except assistance dogs)

For more information: www.london.gov.uk/nye

Notes to editors

As one of the biggest events in the capital's events calendar, the New Year's Eve fireworks display, which is organised by the Mayor of London and produced by Jack Morton Worldwide, is a major operation. The display, which in previous years has been acclaimed around the world, includes 5,500 fireworks cues, 2,000 lighting cues, 12,000 fireworks producing 50,000 projectiles, and 30 tonnes of equipment on the three fireworks barges situated on the river in front of the London Eye. Around 85 organisations are involved in planning the event, which began almost a year ago. A crew of over 300 will be working on the night to make the event a memorable reality, alongside almost 3,000 stewards, whose role is to assist members of the public both inside and outside the viewing areas. In addition, 120 Team London Ambassadors are being deployed to assist the public in the afternoon and early evening.

Since first being staged at the CocaCola London Eye on the South Bank in 2003, the numbers of people heading into central London for the acclaimed pyrotechnic and lighting display had mushroomed from an estimated 100,000 people in its first year to an estimated 500,000 in 2013. A large proportion of them were unable to see the display at all, leaving them disappointed and with nowhere to go at midnight. The sheer numbers threatened the emergency services ability to respond to a major incident effectively, and left many thousands of people cold, tired and unable to get anywhere near the event.

After extensive consultation with the Metropolitan Police, other emergency services, Transport for London, local authorities and other key partners it was decided that ticketing the event was the best way to ensure the safety of those attending and to help secure the long term future of what has become an iconic London event.

Following the introduction of ticketing, on 31 December 2014 crowds in central London were estimated to have been reduced significantly from 500,000 in 2013 to less than 350,000 – making the event more enjoyable for people and reducing the pressure placed on the emergency services.

Each ticket carries a £10 fee, which covers the costs of running the ticketing scheme. No profit is being made and every penny of the fee is being used to cover the costs associated with the scheme, including printing, distribution, on the ground ticket checks and extra infrastructure including additional fencing, stewards and toilets.

Aside from the fireworks London is one of the most exciting cities to be in on New Year's Eve with hundreds of events taking place in clubs, pubs and restaurants across the capital. There is a huge number of ways to ring in your New Year. To find out more go to: www.visitlondon.com/newyear.

Public transport is the best way to travel in London on New Year and TfL is advising people to plan their journeys in advance. To make sure everyone celebrating in London gets home safely, TfL are offering free travel across the network on New Year's Eve, supported by KAYAK.co.uk. Between 23:45 on 31 December and 04:30 on 1 January, travel on the bus, Tube, tram, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground is free. Some buses will be on diversion or finish early owing to road closures. Roads in central London will start closing to traffic from 14:00 to prepare for the New Year celebrations. All closures will be in place from 20:00 and run until around 06:00. People should check National Rail service arrangements. Planned works mean there will be some closures or reduced services, so people should plan their journeys in advance. Remember, the capital will be very busy, so plan your travel. www.tfl.gov.uk/nye

About Unicef

Unicef works for more children in more countries than any other organisation. Unicef ensures more of the world's children are fed, vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation. We have done more to influence laws, policies and customs to help protect children than anyone else in history. We get things done. And we're not going to stop until the world is a safe place for all our children.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow's children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit www.unicef.org.uk.

Unicef UK has produced a special New Year's Eve song. You can watch our New Year song and join thousands of others singing along and sharing. And you can put your money where your mouth is and support Unicef's New Year's Resolution by donating £3 to help keep Syria's children safe this winter. Download the video from our website http://resolution.unicef.org.uk  Download the song for free. Then simply hold your phone up to your mouth, press play and let the phone sing along to the song while you dance to the beat. Once you are happy with your mouth-tastic performance, just get a friend to film you, or film yourself and a bunch of friends (your mouth-mob) on your phone or web-cam. Next you can upload it on the social media channel of your choice, using the hashtag #HappyBlueYear and remember to tag Unicef UK in your posts. Make sure you nominate your friends and get them all to join in and donate to Unicef New Year's Resolution for Children.

Donations to Unicef UK's will be doubled by the UK Government, meaning that your gift will go even further to help save more children's lives this winter. Donate to Unicef's New Year's Resolution for Children at unicef.uk/nye.

For information about Unicef's Big Resolution for Children and the #HappyBlueYear campaign go to please contact: [email protected] or call 020 7100 7100.

 

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