Figures released by the Mayor of London’s office reveal that just 27,476 of 100,000 tickets sold for last year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks went to Londoners.
Tickets costing £10 each were introduced in 2014, after up to 500,000 visitors crowded into central London to watch the previous year. City Hall said the 100,000 limit would reduce the strain on emergency services and public transport, as well as paying for crowd control.
As is the way of these things, tickets quickly started appearing on reselling sites for as much as £200 each. City Hall issued reminders that tickets weren’t transferable and ID would need to be presented (basically, if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in), but it didn’t prevent touts trying to flog the tickets anyway.
With early release tickets due to go on sale for this year’s display on Friday 19 June, London Assembly Labour are calling for at least half of the tickets to be made available just to Londoners. After all, we’re paying for the event — 2014’s display failed to find a sponsor, and City Hall are still looking for one for this year’s. London Assembly Labour economic spokesperson Fiona Twycross said:
“It’s ridiculous that only a quarter of tickets went to Londoners last year despite them footing the bill for the fireworks.
“Boris Johnson’s new system has meant thousands of Londoners missing out on the iconic NYE celebrations. What we need for this year is for at least half the tickets to be reserved for Londoners.”
At a cost of £1.8m for 11 minutes of whizzbangs, London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks ain’t cheap, but think yourselves lucky you’re not footing the bill for Australia’s display (A$7.2m or£3.79m) or Dubai’s ($6m or £3.86m), according to the Guardian.
The main batch of tickets will be available in September. Get ticket alerts here.