Details of London's official New Year's Eve celebrations have been revealed, and include a live TV broadcast and a special event in Trafalgar Square organised by the Mayor of London's office.
We already know that the usual 31 December fireworks display on the Thames isn't going ahead for the second year in a row, due to the Covid situation. Planning and financing the display usually begins in the first quarter of the year, and given the uncertainty of the pandemic in early 2021, it's no surprise that plans weren't made.
Instead, a live broadcast will take place on BBC One and iPlayer, which will look back at 2021's highlights, and look forward to 2022, featuring a live choir, and previews of events such as London hosting the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 tournament.
As for that event in Trafalgar Square, details are thin on the ground at the moment, but it will consist of live music and performances on a stage in the square, food stalls, and a large screen showing the BBC broadcast. It'll be a ticketed event, though details of when, where and how tickets will be available, and how much they will cost, haven't yet been announced.
Crucially, focus is on the fact that it will be ticketed, and the event will not be accessible or visible to anyone outside of Trafalgar Square without a ticket, presumably to prevent unmanageable crowds gathering. Instead, the Mayor of London is encouraging people to book ahead for celebrations in London's bars, restaurants and clubs, to support the hospitality industry as it recovers from lockdown.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
This year, as well as a brand-new celebration event in Trafalgar Square, we can look forward to a live broadcast spectacular which will showcase our magnificent city on BBC One.
For those heading out, our top-class attractions, theatres, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues are the envy of the world and are ready to welcome you with open arms. They are the perfect setting to ring in the new year in style alongside family and friends while supporting our hospitality, entertainment and night-time sectors which have been hit so hard by the pandemic.
Here's our guide to the best parties and events to see in 2022 in London. We'd recommend booking soon, as they're likely to sell out several weeks ahead of New Year's Eve. We'll keep you updated when ticketing details for the Trafalgar Square event are announced.
No word yet on whether TfL is offering free transport on New Year's Eve this year as it has done previously.