It has been announced by #FatCatBoris, AKA Boris Johnson, Mayor of London that this year, tickets for this spectacular will cost £10 per person.
With just 100,000 tickets available will this mean that some regulars will have the choice of losing out or simply not attending. At these costs, an average family would be forking out £50+ when you take into consideration travel, food and other incurred sundries, not a small cost in this time of austerity.
With an average crowd of over half a million this year’s London New Year’s Eve display may fall a little short of expectations as the reaction to the news is very mixed as some feel that the main reason, safety, should be paramount but some of the general public feel very much that it is more about the money-maker that is London Borough.
It would appear that ticket holders would have to arrive early for the show to ensure a good viewing area, meaning they could be waiting for a long time in cramped conditions with somewhat inclement weather. Alarm bells may already be ringing for anyone with children as they can easily get bored waiting for exceptionally long periods of time for the chimes of Big Ben and the start of the festivities.
The event, first staged by the London Eye in 2003, has steadily grown in popularity to a stage where viewing areas are now full to capacity by early evening. The London New Year’s eve display is not just a national event but world-wide spectacle, viewing figures from the BBC for the 2013 display topped 13.3 Million viewers, with millions more watching on their local T.V stations.
Will the change to the way the event is funded increase this figure? Will most stay at home and watch on T.V in the comfort of their own home? or will the cost outweigh the atmosphere provided at this stunningly popular event?
It has been suggested by those in the know that the introduction of tickets had to be done to ensure the safety and continuation of this icon event. Ed Lister, Deputy Mayor has insisted this is a non-profit exercise, as all the funds received will go towards the costs incurred from the extravaganza; this includes the tickets themselves the actual pyro, fencing, stewards, police and ambulance cover, transport subsidies, etc.
The cost of the fireworks alone for the 2103 New Year’s Eve was £200,00 at £10 per person this means potential recouping £1 Million toward the event. However, these figures are contradictory as the same offices press release last year confirmed that the amount of money brought in by the event ran into the £300 million mark so this begs the question whether or not this is really such a great idea after all.
Simon Bray the Metropolitan police commander has welcome the move as they feel this will help towards the policing of the event and ensure a safe and crime free area for all ticket holders.
Being from “up North” and not au-fait with the ways of the Capital, I expect the tickets available on the night from the ticket touts will double if not triple in cost as there always seems that there is someone who just happens to have a couple of tickets spare for a cost, example: tickets for Red Bull X fighters 2012 online £21.00 cost of similar ticket from guy stood by gate £65.00. Time will tell if this becomes the norm for years to come, experience has told us that once an event becomes ticketed it very rarely becomes a free event again.
Hopefully this change to the festivities will increase the budget for the actual Pyro and not take anything away from the spectacle that is in a sense a show a nation is proud of and become a corporate entity filled with adverts from the major brand manufacturers or even worse a pay-per-view.
Tickets will be available from 12 noon on September 26th by visiting www.london.gov.uk/nye