• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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London welcomes 2024 with Mayor’s biggest ever fireworks, lights, and drone show

The illuminations this year, conveyed a global message of unity and inclusivity, emphasising London’s universal appeal

Queen Elizabeth Tower, commonly known as Big Ben, is seen as fireworks erupt from the London Eye on January 01, 2024, in London, England (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

London’s skyline was lit up as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 2024, with the grandest fireworks, lights, and drone spectacle ever seen over the River Thames.

With over 100,000 attendees and millions watching worldwide, London commenced the year with a stunning exhibition of fireworks, lights, and drones, a testament to unity, inclusion, and celebration, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, organised the capital’s most significant event to date. For the first time, ticket holders witnessed a harmonious fusion of fireworks, lights, and drones alongside each other in one place, around the lastminute.com London Eye.

A grand display featuring over 12,000 fireworks, 600 drones, 430 lights, and an eclectic soundtrack of songs featuring renowned voices like Dame Helen Mirren, Bella Ramsey, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, George the Poet and Baroness Floella Benjamin heralded the arrival of the New Year.

The event, broadcasted globally on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, and other platforms, confirmed London’s stature as a leading global destination for tourism and culture.

The illuminations this year, conveyed a global message of unity and inclusivity, emphasising London’s universal appeal.

Designed to unite residents and foster communal harmony, the showcase celebrated the city’s diversity, fostering mutual respect while commemorating significant milestones from the preceding year.

The show highlighted significant moments from 2023, including His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation, 75 years of the NHS, the arrival of Empire Windrush 75 years ago, and a decade since the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

For the very first time, a drone exhibition directly engaged with the fireworks, initiating a countdown synchronised with Big Ben’s midnight chime. It portrayed a dandelion shedding its petals, symbolising the need to safeguard our natural environment.

Additionally, a child blowing bubbles conveyed a message of hope and happiness, followed by a sequence where the fireworks seemingly popped the bubbles, a first-of-its-kind visual spectacle in the UK.

The diverse soundtrack included an array of contemporary chart-toppers and timeless classics from various global genres, featuring bhangra, K-pop, reggaeton, as well as celebrated British and international pop tracks.

The musical lineup included renowned artists such as the Spice Girls, Calvin Harris featuring Tom Grennan, Rema & Selena Gomez, Lulu, Beyoncé, Louis Armstrong, Fifty Fifty, Jasmine Sandlas, Dua Lipa, The Kinks, and Gala.

Throughout the event, messages were conveyed by notable figures including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Dame Helen Mirren, Bella Ramsey, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, George the Poet, and Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Baroness Benjamin also recited a poem authored by the late Benjamin Zephaniah.

Sadiq Khan, expressed his elation, emphasising the grand celebration’s unity and global appeal.

He said, “I am delighted to welcome in 2024 with our best and biggest ever celebration. Our unique combination of fireworks, drones, lighting and music have put on a fabulous show for the millions watching around the globe, sending a message of unity and showing why London is the greatest city in the world. 2023 was filled with so many special moments and as we move into 2024 I feel more inspired than ever to continue our work towards building a better, greener and more prosperous city for everyone.”

Imran Tauqir, General Manager of The lastminute.com London Eye, echoed the joyous sentiments, extending New Year’s wishes to all participants.

Hannah Clark, Identity’s Project Director, applauded the collaborative effort, celebrating the successful delivery of the New Year’s extravaganza. She said the event involved meticulous planning and coordination with the GLA and various authorities to ensure a safe and “dazzling spectacle.”

The Greater London Authority collaborated with BBC Studios Events and the lastminute.com London Eye, alongside numerous authorities, and agencies, such as The Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, City of London Police, Westminster City Council, The City of London Corporation, Lambeth and Southwark Councils, Transport for London, The Port of London Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Identity spearheaded the production of the show and event, partnering with Titanium Fireworks, SkyMagic, On The Sly, Kojo Samuel, Tim Routledge, Neg Earth Lights, and Delta Live.

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