City of Sydney & We Are Warriors are bringing a mammoth celebration of First Nations culture to NYE

Millions set to gather at Sydney Harbour, for NYE with cultural festivities, a star-studded concert, and groundbreaking AI

A crowd of over one million people are expected to descend upon Sydney Harbour this NYE, swarming various vantage points in anticipation of the night’s spectacular 58,000-firework display.

As one of the first major cities to receive the new year, Sydney’s harbourfront festivities are among the world’s grandest and most viewed. 

nye 2023

The night of preemptive celebration will be officially sparked at 7:30pm, when a traditional smoking ceremony will be observed to cleanse the harbour waterways and impending twelve months. Organised by Tribal Warrior, the ceremony will begin in Campbell’s Cove and culminate in Bangaroo, skirting the between peninsula on a fleet of three boats. 

Ahead of the family fireworks at 9:00pm, harbourside spectators will be treated to a “mammoth celebration of First Nations culture” entitled Calling Country. The showcase of dance, stories, and pylon projections will realise a vision of rapper and Triple J host Nooky, who founded the social enterprise We Are Warriors and pitched the presentation to event organisers. 

We Are Warriors strives to empower indigenous youth and magnify the voices of – and excellence within – indigenous communities. On NYE, the enterprise will be going “all out” in Nooky’s words, “projecting images onto the Harbour Bridge, putting Blak excellence on full display for the world to see.”


As the final sunrays of 2023 straggle into the festive night, the definitive live music event of the holiday – at least, domestically – will be taking shape on Bennelong Point. From 8:30pm into 2024, numerous modern Australian stars will be taking on the Sydney Opera House for its annual open-air NYE concert. 

Jessica Mauboy, Genesis Owusu, King Stingray, Confidence Man, Mark Seymour, Angie McMahon, Grentperez, and – of course – Casey Donovan comprise the event’s line-up. For several of these acts, 2023 has brought them their greatest success thus far. 

Genesis Owusu’s sophomore LP The Struggler was named Album of the Year at last month’s ARIA awards, and other musicians such as King Stingray and Grentperez seem on the very precipice of commercial breakthrough. 

The harbourside concert will be hosted and distributed by the ABC for an eleventh consecutive new year, and proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

As for the other architectural icon of the city, the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are set to be blazing night-long on New Year’s Eve with a four-hour stream of AI-generated projections – ringing in the new year as only 2024 could be rung.

The images will move synchronistically with the fireworks and music in what creative consultant Joseph Pole has touted as a “world first for a production of this scale.”

For further information on NYE events, visit the official Sydney New Year’s Eve website here

By Harrison Jones