London New Year’s Eve Fireworks 2019: FAQs

December 23, 2019 3:59 pm

All you need to know about the London New Year’s Eve Fireworks 2019, including…

– Where to watch it if you don’t have a ticket

– What to do if you do

– What to expect from the event

– And much, much more

Is there a main London New Year’s Eve fireworks display?

Yes there is. It’s held every year on Victoria Embankment and the South Bank areas of the River Thames. It’s the main London New Year’s Eve fireworks display, because it involves the London Eye and Big Ben in proceedings…and 100,000 people are turning up for it.

Do I need a ticket?

To be permitted to the fireworks watching areas, yes you do. These went on sale in September and are now sold out. They cost £10. Previously, they didn’t cost a thing. But then you had something like 3 million people all trying to get a prime bit of oooooh ahhhhh real estate by the Thames.

If you bought a ticket, you’ll get some info through the post telling you where to go and when. If you missed out this year, there are plenty of other ways of seeing the official London New Year’s Eve fireworks.

london new year's eve fireworks

london.gov.uk

Such as?

Well, first off, it’s good to point out that organisers ask that those without tickets stay away from the main viewing areas, so as to avoid congestion and overcrowding. That is good advice. Jostling with such a number of people, only to have an inferior view of the event…it’s not worth it. Particularly when there are other places to see the display, unimpeded and uncrowded. Other places to see the display, unimpeded and uncrowded, like the following…

A New Year’s Eve Thames Cruise

One of the best ways of seeing the riverside fireworks is to get out onto the river itself. There are plenty of different cruise options to choose from as well. From the three courses and live band option, to the champagne, canapés and house DJs one. City Cruises have a wide variety of cruise options to choose from, including deluxe experiences where you’ll be tucking into luxury hampers and champagne, as well as thrilling Thamesjet rides that get you a grandstand view of the pyrotechnics. Thames Rockets are running speedboat, champagne and fireworks experiences for those wishing to start the New Year with the wind in their hair.

A Bar or Restaurant or Some Other Building Overlooking the Event

You can go big or small with this option. Going big could see you heading to Royal Festival Hall  for their New Year’s Eve Spectacular, offering five floors of themed rooms, live orchestras (!), DJs, dance lessons and photo studios. And, of course, unbeatable views of Big Ben and the big bangs. If you go a little smaller, you might find yourself somewhere like Pergola Olympia. Its NYE Black and Gold dress code will add a touch of class and splendour to proceedings, but a ticket won’t get you in debt the minute the clock strikes 2020. Their rooftop will have great views of the fireworks.

From a Free Vantage Point Somewhere in the City

You’ll get all the thrills of the fireworks and the warm, fuzzy feeling of money well saved if you find somewhere free and high up to watch the London New Year’s Eve fireworks from. Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath is a good option. Primrose Hill is another. Both will be busy, but if you get there early enough, they’re two of the best spots in the city. If you’ve got a mate who lives somewhere high up, it could be the perfect time to get in touch and arrange an impromptu housewarming bash. Make sure you do a recce beforehand to make sure the London New Year’s Eve fireworks will actually be visible from their place.

On TV

The London New Year’s Eve fireworks will be broadcast on BBC One from 23.55 on New Year’s Eve. Those watching from the comfort of their own home or hotel will witness the whole shebang. So ditch the crowds, pour yourself a drink (home measures, of course) and enjoy the show. You can see last year’s show below…

 

What are the London New Year’s Eve fireworks all about?

The whole thing, as with many celebratory traditions, kicked off in 1999. Thus the template for partying was set. We are now forever destined to party like it’s 1999.

But the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display has changed somewhat over the years. As previously mentioned, it used to be absolutely free. And it used to only go on for three minutes or so. 2012 was a big year for the tradition, with the feel good factor from London’s hosting of the Olympics spilling out into longer and bigger and bolder NYE celebrations than ever before. The next year was billed as the world’s first multi-sensory fireworks display, with viewers given fruit flavoured sweets and radio controlled LED bracelets upon arrival at the event. The sweets were flavoured so as to prepare the audience for the tastes and scents they’d experience throughout the evening.

The 2017 show featured a soundtrack rich in female pop talent, marking 100 years since women were allowed to vote in the UK. Ariana Grande’s One Last Time was played as 22 red fireworks flew up into the night, paying tribute to the 22 people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack in May of that year. The 2018 event made reference to Brexit and London’s place in the future of Europe. It proclaimed ‘London is open’ as its key phrase, spoken in multiple languages as the fireworks began.

The theme for this year is the decade just gone and the decade ahead. The spectacle will reference events that affected the lives of Londoners and Britons over the last 10 years, and look forward to all the awaits in the decade to come. Who knows what songs they’ll pick out for that theme. Things Can Only Get Better? This is the End? Who knows.

Any advice for those with tickets for the London New Year’s Eve fireworks?

First off, travel light. No backpacks or suitcases will be allowed into the event. Next up, bring photo ID with you. It might not be required, but with secondary ticketing banned for the event, it’s good to have some proof of ID with you.

You’ll be getting your tickets and entry details through in the post. They will tell you which arrival gate to go to, the nearest tube station and your entry time. Stick to these things, don’t just go to the arrival gate that is closest to the pub you’ve spent the afternoon in. You won’t get in and you’ll have been queuing for ages.

Speaking of logistics, make sure you plan your journey to and from the venue. It will be busy, busy, busy. But a little forward planning is all that’s needed to make sure you get there in time to enjoy the whole show.

Right, that’s the whole thing, laid out in some easy to digest FAQs. Whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re doing it with, wherever you’re doing it – stay safe, have a blast and all the best for 2020.

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