Push to hold scaled down Sydney NYE fireworks

A scaled down version of Sydney’s New Years Eve fireworks display are set to go ahead this year as daily coronavirus number continue to fall across the state.

“It won’t be the same as every other year, most of us, the vast majority of us, will be watching from home,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.

It is believed the 9pm fireworks will be ditched with just a shorter midnight show, which could be seen in person at ticketed vantage points.

“We’re working through those issues but we are keen for the fireworks to go ahead in one form or another,” Berejiklian said.

“We have to be very careful … but we are keen to make sure there are some activities, some fireworks.”

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres will meet with Lord Mayor Clover Moore today to try and convince her of the event’s feasibility.

Moore had previously said “it will be too difficult” to hold the event in the current Covid environment and did not want to send the city into another lockdown.

Meanwhile, Sydney Festival has announced it will go ahead in January in a much smaller form with a local flavour.

The festival will be downsized by two-thirds and will feature local artists almost exclusively.

“It will be smaller by necessity because it will cost more but we have also pivoted to make sure there will be a lot more free and outdoor activities through the city,” festival director Wesley Enoch told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The COVID-safe environment we are creating means sometimes only a quarter or a third of the seats [in a given venue] can be on sale.”

Enoch said the international border closures would allow the three-week festival to support the local arts industry.

“The Australian arts industry needs us to support them at the moment,” he said. “Sure, we could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more on bringing in internationals and quarantining them for two weeks but I believe the Australian arts industry needs us more. In fact, some of our best artists are here at the moment and they are not touring, so let’s connect up with them.”