around the world will be at the heart of the capital's millennium eve
event. Minister for London Nick Raynsford, chairman of the steering
group, revealed today the range of activities planned and emphasised
Nick Raynsford said:
'London's millennium night will be an exciting mixture of spectacular
effects and on-going entertainment and fun throughout the day and
night. At the core will be a global village celebrating the arrival
of the millennium at different times around the world with our own
communities. On the day when the global spotlight will be on London,
I hope the enormous talent in our different communities will come
forward and join in. We are setting up the framework and the stage
but people bring it to life. This is an event for all Londoners and
there will be something for everyone to enjoy in safety.
'The global village will be north and south of the river between
Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges. On the Thames itself there will
be a spectacular River of Fire at the Millennium Moment, from Tower
Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge. An amazing pyrotechnic display just after
midnight will also make this a night to remember.
'Fun for all the family will be on offer at fairground sites in the
area. There will be a wide variety of rides ranging from modern
high-tech to traditional including steam-driven carousels and Big
Wheels. The fairground sites will be open all millennium weekend for
this one special occasion.
'This is only the start - we will be announcing more events in the
autumn. But I want to make it clear that in planning this event
safety has been our prime concern. This is the reason we are holding
the event - so that people have a choice of celebrating this unique
occasion over a much wider area than the traditional new year's eve
gathering places where there is very limited space. I am particularly
grateful for the hard work that the Metropolitan Police and the other
emergency services, transport operators, the boroughs near the river
and the many other London organisations concerned with different
aspects of London life have put into helping with this event. I am
confident it will be a success and that, without doubt, London - the
world's millennium city - will be the place to be on 31 December
Assistant commissioner Ian Johnston of the Metropolitan Police said:
'The emergency services in London have unique experience in managing
large scale events. A major contribution to this success is the
meticulous planning that is carried out beforehand. We have subjected
all our procedures to tests to ensure that they will be effective in
the context of the millennium challenge. We are working in close co-
operation with the minister and his team, the event organisers, and
many other organisations which will have a key role to play on the
night. We have great confidence that we can provide a safe and secure
environment where the public can enjoy themselves at this exciting
1 The proposed timetable for the core event is:
Fairgrounds in various spots north and south of the river
Activities in the global village
At different times, celebration of millennium reaching various parts
of the world starting with Australasia and ending, in the early hours
of 1 January with the Americas. Appropriate events for the millennium
moment in each global area will be planned.
British Airways' London Eye starts turning with laser and pyrotechnic
Lighting effects on the eight bridges from Tower Bridge to Vauxhall
the Dome has been officially opened, Big Ben is lit up, starts
striking, and pyrotechnics begin at Greenwich
12am plus 18 seconds (the time it takes for the millennium to
reach Tower Bridge) The 'River of Fire' is lit starting at Tower
Bridge and ending at Vauxhall Bridge. The whole river will be lit
up. Followed by ...
A pause before a spectacular 15-minute firework display from barges
in the Thames.
Activities in the Global Village and fairgrounds continue as people
gradually disperse and go home after a thoroughly enjoyable night.
2 The Millennium River Event - known as Big Time - is the official
London celebration, partially funded by a grant from the millennium
commission, with the New Millennium Experience Company holding a
watching brief, and Pacesetter the appointed production house. The
management group is chaired by Michael Lockett with Harvey Goldsmith
as a key advisor. Tim Spencer of Pacesetter is responsible for
delivery of the event.
3 Core funding is provided by a grant of£1.8m from the Millennium
Commission through the Millennium Festival Fund Fund - London is one
of 22 cities in the UK receiving this funding. Other funding is
currently being sought, or is under negotiation, from a variety of
private and public sector sources.
4 Minister for London Nick Raynsford chairs a steering committee
for the event to co-ordinate the involvement of all interested
parties, including emergency services, local authorities, transport
organisations, broadcasters and other key London bodies.