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London's 2023 New Year's Eve Fireworks Debacle Still No Clearer

London's 2023 New Year's Eve Fireworks Debacle Still No Clearer

As you will have no doubt seen, London's much-anticipated New Year's Eve fireworks display ended in disappointment for many as crowd management issues and gate crushes plagued the event.

Despite tickets selling out, a significant number of attendees missed out on the celebration due to disruptions said to be caused by fake tickets and poor crowd control.

Criticism of the event started early, with ticket prices soaring by 33 per cent to £20, drawing ire from the public. Reports emerged of chaotic scenes at the gates, with disappointed ticket holders deeming the event 'unsafe' and 'disorganised'. Many who had queued for hours found themselves turned away, while others experienced crushing, theft, and assaults.

City Hall, the event organiser, issued an apology, attributing the chaos to a large number of attendees arriving with counterfeit tickets. However, despite inquiries under Freedom of Information laws, the Greater London Authority (GLA) have declined to disclose the exact number of fake ticket refusals and have said they don't have this information.



Rumours circulated that the event had been oversold, with some ticketholders reporting being told by event management staff that overselling was the reason for their denial of entry. But MyLondon's Freedom of Information request confirmed that 106,696 tickets were sold, matching the event's total capacity. 

Calls for refunds were made, with some describing the event as chaotic and disorganised. Despite City Hall's assurance that the event was not oversold, real ticketholders echoed demands for refunds, citing unsafe conditions, poor crowd management and being turned away despite having genuine tickets.

As tens of thousands gathered along the River Thames to usher in the new year, complaints persisted about long queues, inadequate signage, and overcrowding. Despite the event's unity-themed display and tributes to significant milestones, including the 75th anniversary of the NHS and 10 years of gay marriage in the UK, many ticketholders were left disillusioned.

Moving forward, City Hall has pledged to review its crowd management protocols and collaborate closely with ticket providers to prevent future disruptions. However, this year's event serves as a stark reminder of the challenges involved in organising large-scale public celebrations, and the need to prioritise the safety and satisfaction of all attendees. 

Want to Avoid the Crowds & See The Fireworks For Free This Year?

If the debacle of the 2023 event has put you off going to see London's display at the offiical viewing areas, don't worry, there are still lots of great places around the city to ring in the new year. 

Explore our article 
Where to Watch London's New Years Eve Fireworks Display for Free and get ready to welcome the new year in style without the ticket price or the crowds - well maybe just without the ticket price, it is London after all!



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