Ho hum. I suppose nothing compares to Sydney’s fireworks on New Year’s Eve, or Brisbane’s Riverfire. The London Eye makes a few appearances but the whole thing seemed less choreographed than events in Australia and there were no public speakers to blast out a music sound track for the event. Plus from where I was on Waterloo Bridge, the fireworks themselves became so enshrouded in their own smoke, that much of the display was partially obscured. At one stage Big Ben just disappeared.
Then on exit I’d have to say London has *no* idea of what to do about crowd control. Interesting. I think the cricket-going crowd and police handling of events at the MCG and Tennis Centre would be good training for London bobbies. Not only did they close roads without prior notice, but where they closed the road was a little way in, so the crowd would surge to a point and could go no further but didn’t know why. There were insufficient announcements, and police and transport staff were offering contradictory advice. It was actually pretty poor.
Sydney handle over a million people in the city over New Years Eve. London only had 700,000. But London’s handling of how to deal with crowds was so poor that it was as if 2-3 million were in town. I know Sydney is physically a bigger place, so you can direct people over a larger land space, but London could *very easily* do much better in these kinds of public events. And they will need to learn *before* the Olympics in 2012.
Come on Aussies! We better teach these folk a lesson about how to put on a show and get people in and out of events!
(Oh and BTW there are FAR too many Aussies in London. There were shouts of ‘AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE! OI OI OI!’ all night, and crowds of people singing ‘I Am, You Are, We Are Australian’. There were more Aussie chants than British renditions of ‘Sweet Chariot’.)