Those hoping to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London, United Kingdom, may be disappointed to hear that it is to be ticketed for the first time. The aim is to reduce the number of people crowding around the area, which led to around 500,000 people last year. However, the decision to ticket the event has been surrounded in controversy.
London Mayor Boris Johnson decided it was time to bring some extra safety to the event for New Year’s Eve this year. Only 100,000 people will be allowed to attend the event, and they must have a ticket to get in. The problem is that people will have to pay for these tickets for the first time ever. Johnson announced that it was “untenable” to keep it free for all.
The Metropolitan police is urging all those who do not have tickets to remain at home. It is best to watch the fireworks over the Thames on the television, rather than putting themselves at risk. They will not be allowed close to the event without a ticket, anyway. The event will be broadcast live on the television, and spectators will not miss out.
Research suggests that two thirds of Britons already stay home on New Year’s Eve. There are too many factors into the night, including ticket costs for most events, babysitting charges and transport issues. According to Post Office home insurance, which surveyed 2,000 people, six percent of people will throw some type of party at home, while 23 percent will stay with family and friends in the home. A quarter of people prefer to stay in with their partner for a quiet night.
The decision to make the London New Year’s Eve event ticketed for the first time has led to complaints. The main issue is that it will cost money for the 100,000 people wanting to get into the event. It has clearly not deterred too many people as the event is already sold out.
However, many complain that the London event is already paid for by the taxpayers. Really, the officials are gaining twice for the event and the cost of the tickets will raise at least £1 million (about $1.6 million). Authorities claim that the cost of the ticket will just cover the cost of the new ticketing system, which many are sceptical about how true that really is.
While many agree with the ticketing system, they believe the event should be free. The tickets should have been allocated on a lottery-based system to make it fair, or on a first-come-first-served system. There are worries that the cost of the tickets will increase considerably next year if London decides that this was a good idea.
The New Year’s Eve event has been extremely popular for a number of years, and the crowds keep growing. London Assembly Labour member Fiona Twycross predicted the atmosphere to be “explosive” between members of the public and the stewards at the event. It has been in the public’s best interest for safety to make the London New Year’s Eve event ticketed for the first time.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Simon and His Camera