Photo of the week: Happy New Year


New Year’s Eve traditional fireworks display at Atomium drew 60,000 visitors on Tuesday

18-minute spectacle

Between 50,000 to 60,000 visitors showed up to one of Brussels’ most iconic attractions to watch the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks, according to estimates from the local police.

The fireworks were organised at the foot of the Atomium at the Heizel site for the first time in 2017, when the event drew 40,000 vistors. Before that, the spectacle had always taken place, at Grote Markt in the heart of the city.

The tentative visitor figures are based on police estimates, said Mariana Bresciani, a spokesperson for Brussels Major Events, the organisation behind the beloved fireworks spectacle. The definitive figures will be announced January 10, she added.

The New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Atomium started at Palace 5 at 21:00 with a live DJ set with light animations by DJ Simon LeSaint, who spinned songs that dominated airwaves in 2019 as well as more timeless classics. This was followed by “Pedaleando Hacia El Cielo”, a poetic air spectacle performed by the theatre company Theater Tol and a countdown to midnight that began at 11:40. At midnight sharp, the 18-minute firework and music spectacle began.

Throughout the evening, there were also performances by stilt walker companies like Girafes and Co’ and “Cirque Indigo”.

The firework spectacle was organised by the non-profit Brussels Major Events, which puts on mostly free events in public places, both for the City of Brussels and other public sector organisations. Brussel mayor Philippe Close was among the thousands of visitors who attended the event.

Strict security measures were in place during the event. Visitors with backpacks or other large objects, as well as glass bottles or firecrackers were refused access to the Heizel site.

No incidents were reported during the fireworks spectacle.

Photo: Belga/ Nicolas Maeterlinck