Kick off the new decade with indie rock and butterflies

10 Dec 2019

City of Newcastle has announced Australian indie-rock legends You am I will headline this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration at Newcastle Foreshore.

New Year’s Eve 2020 will feature a record-fireworks display and inclusive activities for the whole family with colourful butterfly theming.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the foreshore will transform into an event precinct for one of the city’s favourite gatherings, which last year attracted 35,000 people.

“With multi-Aria Award winning band You Am I headlining this year’s concert plus our largest ever fireworks display, we’re expecting locals and visitors to head to the Foreshore in droves.

“The event will be ‘butterfly’ themed, with colour and light throughout the family friendly precinct including interactive craft activities, art installations including a 7-metre butterfly dome and illuminated fibre optic trees sure to capture everyone’s imagination.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the wide array of entertainment and inclusive activities planned to ring in 2020 are designed to be enjoyed by everyone in our community.

“2019 has been an incredible year of achievement for Newcastle and the city deserves to celebrate all that we love about our home, and everything we're looking forward to in 2020.”

Headline act You Am I will be supported by popular local talents Jets Play Jets and reggae rock outfit Rum Jungle. UK electronic act Antony & Cleopatra will join the line up to provide a great range of musical entertainment at a free concert at Foreshore Park.

The crescendo of the New Year’s Eve celebration will be the 15-minute fireworks display, a traditional showstopper over the City’s iconic harbour.

“We are fortunate to have a beautiful harbour and foreshore location for our fireworks display and my favourite part of the evening is seeing the awe and wonder on children's faces as the spectacular colours and sparkling lights fill the sky,” Cr Carol Duncan said.

The kids zone features inflatable slides and jumping castles, while local artist Bliss Cavanagh of Happy Senses will create a safe and magical sensory experience harbour side for people with disabilities and their families.

“Back by popular demand this year is the sensory zone which provides a safe base from where registered participants can explore the whole event or simply relax and enjoy the music and fireworks,” Cr Duncan said.

City of Newcastle is facilitating fundraising for those affected by bushfires and drought, including at the New Year’s Eve event by collecting cash donations for the Red Cross. No savings could be made from cancelling the fireworks display as contracts were signed several months ago and display materials have already been purchased.

Event information

Entertainment kicks off at 5pm with festivities to conclude following the 9pm firework display. For more information, visit or follow the City of Newcastle on social media.

5.00 – 5.40pm: RUM JUNGLE
6.00 – 6.40pm: ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
7.00 – 7.40pm: JETSPLAYJETS
8.00 – 9.00pm: YOU AM I

Family Fun Zone, Market Street Lawn
Work off some energy on the safe and accessible inflatable slides and jumping castles and enjoy the free family-friendly entertainment. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the butterfly dome and admire the fibreoptic trees.

Food Alley, Market Street Lawn and along Wharf Road
Discover the range of mouth-watering treats on offer from a wide range of food vans, located in the New Year’s Eve food alley at either end of the event precinct. From burgers to desserts and everything in between, the vendors will have something to suit every taste.

VIP Sensory Area, west of Queens Wharf
Back by popular demand, Local artist Bliss Cavanagh will once again create a very special VIP Sensory Area to help make the event more accessible, safe and fun for people with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity, as spaces are limited! Register now via our online form at Registrations close by Friday 27th December 2019.

Picture caption: Councillor Carol Duncan, Grant Walmsley and Richard Lara from Jets Play Jets, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Josh Giles and Frazer McDonald from Rum Jungle announced the NYE entertainment today surrounded by giant butterflies created by local artist Bliss Cavanagh.