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Behind the scenes

Pretty City Bang Bang

Behind the scenes at the Coca-Cola London Eye’s New Year’s Eve fireworks

For New York, it’s Times Square; in Sydney, it’s the Opera House; but in London, New Year’s Eve always centres on the London Eye and its spectacular fireworks display.

That’s no surprise, given that it uses up a whopping 50,000 projectiles from 12,000 different fireworks in just 12 minutes. It’s a jaw-dropping finale to 12 months of hard work – after one New Year’s Eve display is over, planning for the next begins straightaway. “We start by assessing the display we’ve just done and feed this into the design and planning for the next one,” says Sunny Jouhal, General Manager at the London Eye.

Why does it take so long? “This is a huge, city-wide event,” says Sunny; “To make it as significant and successful as we all expect takes some time.” It also takes lots of people: the emergency services, local councils and transport providers – and the London Eye, of course. Together, they organise 17km of barriers, 30km of cabling, 200 speakers and some high-tech microwave and laser links to ensure everything will sound perfect.

In the final few days before New Year’s Eve, you’ll find 3,000 staff working on site. “It gets incredibly busy,” says Sunny, “and then the whole display is over in 12 incredible minutes. That’s not long, but it’s more than enough to place London firmly on the map when it comes to iconic New Year’s Eve celebrations.” Pretty City Bang Bang, we love you.

February 2017

Merlin Entertainment