The year of 2014 is quickly drawing to a close and the busy time of holiday parties and events is in full swing. With an overwhelming amount of family gatherings and other festive commitments on the agenda, it struck us by surprise when we realized that New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and we don’t have any formal plans lined up! Naturally, this got us thinking about what our readers in other parts of the world might be up to on December 31st…
The London Eye New Year’s Eve Fireworks is an event that has recently received a fair bit of attention in the press and social media. This event originally began in 2003 and has been free since its inception…but that’s all changing this year. On September 17, 2014 London Mayor Boris Johnson announced that this year’s event would be a ticketed event at a nominal fee.
“London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are phenomenally popular, not just in the capital, but across the world and we want to ensure it continues to be a safe, enjoyable and sustainable event for the long-term.” – Mayor Boris Johnson
Johnson cited the ever-increasing crowd size, lack of available space and the strain on public transport and safety as major reasons to rethink this event. In 2013, the event drew in more than 500,000 people. This year, only 100,000 tickets will be sold. Of course, it will also be broadcast live on TV, so this might be a better option for those that wish to skip the ticket fee (or downtown crowds) and watch from the comfort of their own home.
The pricing for tickets was set at £10 and, according to officials, the revenue generated from ticket sales is going directly towards the cost of processing the tickets and paying for the increased staffing and infrastructure needed. While purchasing conditions of the tickets officially state that tickets are for the use of the purchaser only and that reselling the tickets would be in breach of terms of sale, there was further controversy regarding this matter. In late September, it was revealed that £10 tickets were being sold on viagogo.com for over £600 a piece! Naturally, Johnson’s ticketing policies came under intense scrutiny, as there was no system in place to stop third parties from profiting on the event.
Of course tickets for this event are now long gone. A quick look at the official ticket site revealed that there were no tickets left, and a more in-depth search on sites such as viagogo.com revealed that even the controversial third-party ticket sales were no longer available! Now only time will tell as to whether or not this ticketing initiative is successful and well received by the general public.
What do you think about this change to online ticketing for the London Eye NYE’s fireworks? Will it help or hurt the city of London and Mayor Boris Johnson in his quest to make the event more enjoyable and manageable? Sound off in the comments below!