Oh, this isn't still happening, is it? Tickets for the official London New Year's Eve fireworks are being sold on for massive profits on various ticket sites. After a big 'sold out' sign was (metaphorically) hung on the GLA website on Tuesday, it's been pointed out that a little black economy has sprung up around the tickets — originally on sale for £10, the first time the fireworks have been charged for.
Buyers have been attempting to profit from the fireworks since they went on sale and the fact it's still going is, we would argue, evidence that City Hall really didn't think this through. On one particular reselling website (we're not naming names, because we don't want to encourage this sort of behaviour), 129 tickets are currently available with prices ranging from £66.08 to £212.40 per ticket. For our fireworks, paid for by City Hall (since they failed to find a sponsor; the £10 charge will cover ticketing costs and checks). However, if you're feeling tempted — don't. Tickets aren't transferable and the lead ticket holder will be expected to have ID that matches the ticket. So please, please don't be tempted to get ripped off.
What if you don't have a ticket but still want to see the fireworks? Boris Johnson's suggestion at this week's Mayor's Question Time was:
"The best way to see them is going to be on TV."
So that's helpful. The thinly veiled message coming out of City Hall is that if you don't have a ticket, don't come into central London, saying "We are not able to provide information about other potential locations". Last year 500,000 people turned out to watch the fireworks and only 100,000 tickets have been allocated for this year's prime viewing spots. One of the reasons for introducing ticketing was emergency services' concerns about overcrowding and, with cordons in place around the ticketed areas, the embankments are going to be tricky to navigate.
The Southbank Centre's New Year's Eve party is always a good spot to see the fireworks, and while tickets cost £117.50 without food you still get the run of the building and several vintage themed party areas with live bands and DJs. Crack Comedy in County Hall brings you a night of stand up, DJs and a view of the fireworks for £60. City Cruises do several types of NYE Thames jaunts starting from £129, and there's always the option of going to one of the expensive-even-at-normal-times restaurants at the top of skyscrapers, like Duck and Waffle (from £175) or Aqua Shard (£395; £95 bar tickets are all gone).
Alternatively, take a look at our round up of parties and clubbing opportunities in London on New Year's Eve, or if that's not your thing, our guide to alternative things to do on 31 December covers everything from comedy to supperclubs.