Newcastle to farewell 2017 with neon NYE

22 Dec 2017

An explosion of colour will light up the night sky over Newcastle on New Year's Eve as the biggest 9pm fireworks ever to be launched in the city mark the end of a landmark year.

The pyrotechnics spectacular will be the centrepiece of an evening of neon-themed festivities, stretching along the entire Newcastle Foreshore.

Some of the neon-themed performers that will feature on New Year's Eve.

Launching the event today, Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said brightly illuminated performers would populate the event precinct, with 80s rock icons Mental As Anything headlining a free concert in the Queens Wharf car park.

"2017 has been an extraordinary year for Newcastle and the city deserves to celebrate everything we've achieved, and everything we're looking forward to in 2018," the Lord Mayor said.

"We want everyone to turn up in their best fluoro outfits - clothes, hats, face-paint, glow-sticks and anything else that will create a sea of colour. It would be incredible to see thousands of revellers adding their own colour to the night."

For the first time ever, the 9pm fireworks display will be themed to reflect the colours displayed in Council's iconic "Newcastle" branding.

Pyrotechnician Chris Solomou, who has overseen Council's NYE fireworks for 15 of the past 18 years, said this year's show would include giant shells that soared more than 200m into the air before bursting in a shower of colour more than 330m across.

About 400kg of gunpowder will be used during the 14-minute display.

"We're going to be using bigger shells than normal - larger diameter, higher velocity and a lot more colour," Mr Solomou said.

This year's fireworks will be launched from Griffiths Park in Stockton to provide the best viewing for spectators across the harbour on the Foreshore.

Newcastle City Council will spend almost $200,000 on the night, with the budget covering everything from the fireworks and live music to portaloos and road closure crews.

Adding to the colourful vibe, lantern parades will take place through the Foreshore at 7.45pm and 8.45pm and an illuminated labyrinth will be set up on the Market St Lawn, together with a giant "resolution tree" where people can hang their New Year's resolutions.

Cr Nelmes said Council had commissioned local artist Zackari Watt to create a menagerie of neon animals that would feature across the event precinct.

"This is a night designed to be welcoming and inclusive for everyone," she said.

"There will be a wide range of entertainment for all ages and for the first time ever, we've planned a VIP sensory area specifically to help people with a disability enjoy the evening."

Council's NEW Crew volunteers will be stationed at key areas and roving throughout the event precinct to welcome guests, provide directions and assist with any queries.


NYE Beats Concert Stage, in the car park east of Queens Wharf

5.45pm Throw Me to the Wolves

6.20pm The Venom Lips

7.00pm Floyd Vincent and the Temple Dogs

8.00pm Mental As Anything

Revitalising Newcastle Family Fun Zone, Market Street Lawn

Journey through our illuminated labyrinth and add your New Year's resolution to our Resolution Tree to make your 2018 dreams come true.

Food Alley, Market Street Lawn and along Wharf Road

Discover a range of delicious tastes from around the world in the Neon New Year food alley.

You'll find food vans with delicacies including burgers, dumplings, paella, pizza and burritos,

plus sweet treats including lollies, fairy floss, snow cones and ice cream.

VIP Sensory Area, west of Queens Wharf

A special VIP Sensory Area created by local artist Bliss Cavanagh and designed to help make the event accessible, safe and fun for people with disabilities will be piloted for the first time.

Sit Back and Relax, all along the Foreshore

Find your place along the Foreshore anywhere from Honeysuckle to Foreshore Park to sit back, relax and get ready to cap off the night with an awesome fireworks display!


Free Park and Ride service

Take the hassle out of your NYE transport: park, ride, relax! A free Park and Ride service will be available 4.30pm-10.30pm between McDonald Jones Stadium at Broadmeadow and Scott Street (the old Newcastle Train Station). Express buses will run on a continuous loop throughout the event, with no other stops along the route.

The park and ride service is generously provided by Revitalising Newcastle.


Free parking will be available at the Mall Parking Station (92 King St) until 10.30pm and there will be a $3 flat fee parking at Civic Park West and Bolton St Carparks from 5pm on NYE to 8am 1 January 2018.

Ride your Bike

A bike valet service will be available 5pm-10pm next to Lynch's Hub. Pre-book a spot online at Places are limited. Pre-order a picnic hamper via the booking page which will be ready to pick-up when you drop your bike off.

Access, road closures and parking for cars and bikes

The following streets will be closed 6am-11pm on Sunday 31 December.

  • Wharf Road from Watt Street to Argyle Street
  • Wharf Road from Merewether Street to Argyle Street
  • Honeysuckle Drive from Worth Place roundabout to Merewether Street

For more information, visit Council's website:

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Event hashtags: #NeonNewYear #NewyNYE

Fore more information, visit our NYE page on our website