The Newcastle skyline will look a little dimmer than usual this December 31 with council, on Friday, announcing that the planned New Year’s Eve fireworks and concert at Newcastle Foreshore would not be going ahead.
The decision to cancel the event which, last year, brought an estimated 30,000 people to the Foreshore, was due to ongoing risks associated with mass gatherings and COVID-19.
However, there are plans afoot for City of Newcastle to host smaller alternative NYE gatherings throughout the city.
“Through liaison with key stakeholders including NSW Police, the City has determined that the transport of thousands of people into and out of the Foreshore precinct would almost certainly lead to pinch points constituting a mass gathering where social distancing is impossible to maintain,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“We look forward to announcing a different way to come together as a community and welcome 2021 with a variety of activations throughout the city and suburbs.
“This revised program will allow us to plan safer opportunities for the community to celebrate together with more space and smaller crowd numbers.”
With a large volume of COVID-safe business operating on New Year’s Eve the cancellation means that the city’s transport network will be freed up for people wanting to see in 2021 in smaller, controlled groups.
“We hope people come together to enjoy themselves at restaurants and bars as well as at smaller home gatherings on New Year’s Eve,” Cr Nelmes said.
Details of City of Newcastle’s revised NYE plans will be announced soon.