Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pictures of the London Eye New Year 2008 fireworks display

Started from Bond Street station. Most stores were closed by 5pm. Below is a deserted South Molton Street at 5pm:

So was Regent Street at 6:30pm. The Christmas lights were sponsored by Nokia in collaboration with Wieden & Kennedy ad agency. These lights titled 'Unity' were designed by United Visual Artists in anticipation to Nokia's soon to be new flagship store on 240 Regent Street. The lights are also interactive with pedestrians capable to manipulating them through the touchscreen display outside the Nokia store. This and South Molton Street were the best festival light displays in London this holiday season and easily beats past ugly efforts tied to overrated Pixar films and other tripe.

7:30pm at Trafalgar Square. Note that the fountains have been drained to prevent revellers from traditional New Year's soaking. No fun.

Images promoting the Olympics were beamed onto the Shell Centre on the South Bank. Again no fun. The crowd were entertained by BBC Radio 1. And when I meant entertained, I meant just Pete Tong mumbling a few "This is Pete Tong, and you are listening to Radio 1" and then playing his music of choice. Mind you Pete Tong has never been much of a talker, but the track list does seems uninspired last night.

Countdown finally began after four hours of painful standing:

A smoky Happy New Year fireworks display:

Heading back, the police were of no help at all shepherding us into Trafalgar Square where a huge crowd of party goers awaited us. Piss poor crowd control, the police spent more time stopping tired revellers from going home with fascist metal gates and chasing us back into the crowd, than preventing drunks from throwing beer bottles all over the place. Perhaps a review of your priorities next year.

Thankfully, got safely home at 3am.

Anyway the fireworks were fine, if a bit too clustered. They should have spaced them out as the smoke was awful even from the Embankment. Disappointed with part of the crowds who tried to stealth push their way through. Even more disappointed with the heavy handedness of the Met Police force who set up blockades after blockades and actually chasing, jumping, shouting and pushing revellers trying to get home.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, well after years of living in London and seeing the constant piss poor effort by the organisers of these celebrations and the attitude of revellers and police alike I headed to Syndey for my first taste of and Aussie NYE celebration.............and what a show they put on.

Simply the best set up for a major event I have ever encountered. The police are a lot more helpful, concentrating mainly on the stupid drunks, the majority of people here are polite and helpful and much more in the party spirit as it is meant to be.

Maybe the weather has something to do with it, but I think its the attitude of everyone that makes the night go with a "bang".

Great shots though, but pleased I wasnt there for the hassle.

Morgan (London resident in Sydney)

Jon said...

That's for the comment. Nice to know that somewhere out there, there are police forces who knows their priority.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I was actually really impressed with the police where I was. I witnessed them making way for an injured lady on a stretcher and the way they dealt with the crouds was remarkable considering the amount of people that were there. They were also very helpful when I asked them for directions. I'm not going to fall into the trap of being English and complaining about everything. I had a great night. On the other hand... i did feel quite nervous when it came to getting on the underground!!!!! haha

Some great shots you got there. Very impressed with your photography! Keep it up!