diamond geezer

 Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Year fireworks at the EyeLondon's New Year fireworks are world famous. The London Eye explodes in a riot of sound and colour. A quarter of a million spectators, two-thirds of whom live outside London, turn up along the Embankment to enjoy the spectacle. Everything's broadcast live on BBC1, complete with a fawning inane commentary. And images from the event are flashed to broadcasters worldwide, which does the capital's media profile no harm at all.

So you'd think that the Greater London Authority would be promoting their New Year fireworks with everything they've got. You'd think wrong.

New Year's Eve in London is so important, it has its own website. That's http://www.london.gov.uk/newyearseve, where every year the Mayor tells the world what to expect at midnight on December 31st. How to plan your night, where to view the fireworks, and a whole bunch of frequently asked questions answered. This is important stuff, especially if you're thinking of trekking into London from elsewhere in the UK, or even flying in from abroad. But not this year, not yet. With less than two weeks to go until the New Year turns, Boris's NYE webpage is still information-less.
"Preparations are underway for London's New Year's Eve celebrations and a formal announcement will be made by the Mayor in the coming weeks. Details will be available in due course on this website and in the media. Detailed information and tips for visitors in respect of viewing the fireworks and travel information post event will be available on this site from early December."
I think we can agree that "early December" has passed, and yet still no detailed information is forthcoming. What's proving so difficult? It's not as if this website's tough to create, because all of 2009's detailed information is still lurking out of sight behind the scenes. But nobody at Team Boris, or whichever agency he's hired to put this stuff together, has quite got round to updating or revealing anything.

Boris did put out a press release last month, announcing that British-made fireworks will be used for the first time and that the display will be accompanied by music mixed by a Radio 1 DJ. He also blustered something about how firework displays are "exhilarating and primal", but nothing of any practical use for spectators. Meanwhile detailed travel plans for NYE services are already available in a thick TfL leaflet, but these haven't made it as far as the official NYE website. Nothing has, not yet.
If you are a visitor to London and wish to plan your trip and pre-book accommodation, visitor information is available at www.visitlondon.com.
And this lack of publicity matters, because these fireworks cost. Boris is spending £1.8m on the event this year (10% more than in 2009) - a budgetary spend which only makes sense if tourist numbers can be maximised. As things stand, potential national and international visitors lured in by Visit London's New Year's Eve webpage are duly directed to Boris's dead end, which so far tells them nothing. Surely something will materialise in the next 12 days, but that'll be far too late to entice any long distance travellers.

I went to Edinburgh for Hogmanay last year, and one of the crucial factors in persuading me to go was the council's very detailed event website. I knew in advance how much there was to see, so I knew it was worth spending cash to get there. Alas London's New Year celebrations present no such coordinated face to the world, and that's a lot of money up in smoke.

Update: NYE website finally launched on the afternoon of 22nd December.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream