2022 New Year’s Eve Celebrations

The 2022 New Year’s Eve celebrations in London marked the biggest ever fireworks display in the capital. Organised on behalf of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, over 12,000 fireworks were blasted into the night sky on the stroke of midnight. More than 100,000 tickets were sold for the celebration along the bank of the River Thames with millions more watching it online and on TV. 

Project and Location
London, England
Christmas and New Year period 2022
Products (Inc Quantity)

Multiple products and services including Traffic Management, Variable Messaging Signs (VMS), Plant, Powered Access Equipment and Fencing and Barriers

  • 4,250 Police Barriers
  • 1,870 Mesh Fence Panels
  • 1,454 Crowd Control Barriers
  • 150 x Hoarding Panels
  • 31 x VMS
  • 7 x Plant & Powered Access Equipment

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first event of its kind since 2020. Identity worked in close collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to develop the ‘With Love from London’ theme. The iconic London Eye was at the heart of the show as the events unfolded along the Embankment. The event highlighted the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory, 50 years of London’s Pride and showed solidarity with Ukraine.

The Challenge 

This was a landmark event and first and foremost, it was imperative that a safe public experience was delivered. Due to the many thousands of people attending the event, extensive barriers and fencing were needed to safely manage the site and crowds. Plant and powered access equipment were also needed to build the vital infrastructure for the event.

Leading up to and during the celebrations, a significant amount of the London transport network was affected with several roads blocked, but it was crucial that disruption was minimised as much as possible. A large amount of traffic management equipment was needed, including VMS to ensure the safety of pedestrian traffic, and vital public awareness messages to manage the flow of people safely in, around and out of the event site. The VMS boards were also used to direct people to the correct entry and exit point. Once the event had finished, it was crucial that all equipment was rapidly collected and de-installed to allow the transport network to return to normal.

Due to the time of year over the festive period and the event being held into the early hours, there were challenges with transportation. Sunbelt Rentals needed to have a large labour supply in place to fulfil the contract and our crews worked throughout the night.

As would be expected with a project of this scale, there were short notice changes such as variations to ingress and egress routes and train stations being opened or closed. Leading up to the celebrations, the Sunbelt Rentals team carried out multiple site visits and attended regular customer meetings to understand the requirements and to make sure we were as prepared as we possibly could be.

Sunbelt Rentals' Involvement in the New Year's Eve Celebrations

Due to our size and track record of successfully helping deliver huge public events such as the COP26 Conference and the G7 Summit, we provided a fully managed solution, supplying a huge range of equipment and services for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, including:

Traffic Management 

We supplied 31 VMS signs for display at strategic locations across central London, plus barriers to protect the signage. These signs communicated vital information for people in London and the messaging needed to be quickly amended to reflect changes happening on the night. A total of 16 members of our Traffic Management team were deployed to place and move the signs, de-install and collect them, and a dedicated Project Manager within the Event control centre managed the VMS messaging remotely. Once the event had finished, all the VMS signs were removed by 5am on New Year’s Day to ensure disruption was minimised. 

Plant and Powered Access Equipment 

To assist with the build of the infrastructure, we supplied several items of plant machinery and powered access equipment, including a 7m telehandler, forklift trucks and boom lifts. Our Regional Operations Centre in Barking delivered the equipment between Christmas and New Year, and collected it soon after the event. 

Fencing and Barriers

We supplied large quantities of fencing and barriers which were installed by our Barriers and Fencing team. Such were the demands for fencing and barriers that we supplied almost 40 lorry loads of equipment on our own vehicles. The equipment included 1,870 mesh fence panels, 4,250 police barriers, 1,454 crowd control barriers, over 150 hoarding panels, turf protection for pedestrian access, ground protection mats and gates.

Our crew members delivered and installed all equipment between 27th December - 31st December and recovered it following the event. On the evening of the event, we had multiple crew members with vans on standby to lock down and unlock requested sections as required from 5pm until 6am on New Year's Day.   


The Result ​

The celebrations were a spectacular showcase, and we are very proud of the part Sunbelt Rentals played in assisting Identity and other partners in the smooth delivery of London’s biggest New Year’s Eve event yet. We provided equipment and expertise for this event for several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we were able to use this experience to manage the large crowds, direct the traffic and respond to inevitable last-minute changes.

Sunbelt Rentals’ contribution to this event was immense and the scope and reach of the organisation really made a difficult job look easy. The Sunbelt Rentals team shared their experience of working on this event throughout the planning process to ensure the overall success of the event, and I felt fully supported along the way
Trevor Smith, Technical Director Site Infrastructure, Identity
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