Master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti is preparing to inspire Sydneysiders and visitors with his most colourful fireworks displays yet this Sydney New Year’s Eve.
Fortunato – a seventh-generation pyrotechnician whose family has been making fireworks since 1793 – has created a series of stunning new colours and shapes for this year’s displays, including silver and gold palm trees.
To mark his 15th year involved in the event, multicoloured fireworks and a special red glitter effect will also feature in the displays, which are recognised as one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.
A pyrotechnic crew of 45 will launch seven tonnes of fireworks throughout the night – including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and over 100,000 individual effects.
A third mini-fireworks display, known as the ‘Inspire moment’, will also feature at 10.40pm to keep crowds entertained during the countdown to midnight.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said 1.6 million people were expected to gather around the harbour on Wednesday night to enjoy Sydney’s world-famous fireworks displays.
“For 15 years now, Fortunato Foti and his crew at Foti Fireworks have made Sydney New Year’s Eve a night to remember with their imaginative, innovative fireworks displays,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This year’s celebration promises to be just as spectacular, with new colours, shapes and a special 90-second show at 10.40pm that will build anticipation before the main event at midnight.”
Over the years, Fortunato and his crew have created dozens of original fireworks for Sydney New Year’s Eve, including shells in the shape of hands, musical notes, koalas, bees and birds.
Fortunato said his lifelong passion for fireworks means he is not daunted by the challenge of creating something exciting and new each year.
“We started working on Sydney New Year’s Eve back in 2000, and we quickly learnt what works best – and what doesn’t work so well – for a show of this size and scale,” Fortunato said.
“We’ve reached a point now where each year we walk away thinking ‘that was the best show we’ve ever done’ – and that just spurs us on to do even better the following year.
“This year we’ve focused on making the displays as colourful as possible – you’ll see a lot of metallics, as well as bright reds, greens, blues and purples – and some fun new shapes, including palm trees with shimmering centres and multicoloured ends.
“The displays will also have a lot of variety – because they’re synchronised to a specially curated soundtrack, the fireworks change as frequently as the music does, keeping audiences entertained and surprised.
“For us, fireworks are truly inspirational, so we hope that the displays reflect our love and passion, and that they inspire everyone watching – both around the harbour and across Australia and worldwide.”