A spectacular laser show planned as part of New Year’s celebrations in Newcastle has been postponed due to rising Covid-19 cases.
The Laser Light City installation was due to light the sky at three locations from December 30 to January 1 – but has now been delayed as the council tries to discourage gatherings in the city centre.
Five planned firework displays will still go ahead at 6pm on New Year’s Eve -but their locations will remain a secret to avoid crowds gathering.
There will be no displays in the city centre.
Laser Light City was being funded and organised by district improvement company NE1 Ltd working alongside the city council and Bafta award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle.
The high-powered lasers were to be installed at three key Newcastle locations – the new Hadrian’s Tower; the Civic Centre and the Quayside and were designed to be visible within a 10-mile radius of the city centre.
Newcastle City Council ‘s Cabinet member for Employment and Culture, Coun Ged Bell, said: “We have a proud tradition of welcoming in the New Year, but the pandemic has made this an extremely challenging year.
“Unfortunately, the laser show has had to be postponed as we don’t want to encourage gatherings in the city centre.
“I appreciate this will be hugely disappointing to some. However, the fireworks will go ahead at secret locations so people will see them from their homes.
“Quite simply we don’t want to encourage people to come together as our number one priority has to remain containing the spread of Covid-19, made more urgent by the more transmittable variant.
“I will be standing on my doorstep clapping with my neighbours at 6pm on New Year’s Eve, and I encourage everyone else to do the same, and please remember hands, face, space as we continue to fight the virus.”
Stephen Patterson, director of communications at NE1 Ltd, who worked with the city council to organise the New Year festivities, said: “Due to the pandemic we are having to celebrate New Year differently this year.
“We are postponing the laser light show as we don’t want people gathering near the three proposed sites, however we hope to do it later next year when it is safe to do so. I’m pleased to say the fireworks will go ahead.
“Stay home, stay safe and let us bring the fireworks to you. All we ask is that you join us on your doorstep at 6pm on New Year’s Eve to watch the display and to join in a doorstep clap for the city and to herald in the New Year 2021.”