New Year’s Eve countdowns and celebrations have been cancelled or scaled down around the globe, in wake of the Covid-19 virus and its very communicable Omicron variant, but that didn’t stop crowds from welcoming 2022 with cheers and revelry, with or without fireworks.
The council, NE1 and BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle worked together to bring this dramatic laser light show that illuminated iconic landmark locations across the city heralding in the New Year. The interactive lasers positioned on the Tyne Bridge, Hadrian’s Tower, Civic Centre, Sage Gateshead, Baltic and Malmaison from 30 December to 1 January are visible from at least 10 miles all around. The public is able to take turns to control the colour and movement of the lasers from their smartphones via the Laser Light City website. With the fireworks displays cancelled due to COVID concerns, the laser light display went ahead.
The fireworks display around the London Eye was cancelled, along with a party in Trafalgar Square and Edinburgh’s anticipated Hogmanay festivities. Nightclubs were closed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but were still open in England.
Nightclubs were also closed in France. The Paris fireworks display on the Champs-Elysees was canceled, but there were no curfews imposed for people who still wanted to gravitate there.
Even when government authorities canceled official plans, people still showed up at accustomed landmarks to informally party.
Most high-profile mass events were judged too risky by organisers and, beginning next week, we will probably see a rise in the reports of Covid, as inevitable as a hangover after a night of excessive indulgence.
But people raised toasts to the New Year without fear of the consequences, tonight. Like Scarlett O’hara, they declared, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
Happy New Year!