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Bowie, Prince inspire Sydney NYE fireworks

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Anna Hitchings

Expect it to rain purple at this year's New Year's Eve as tributes to Prince, David Bowie and Gene Wilder take centre stage at the Sydney fireworks display.

The three great legends of music and film, who died in 2016, will be honoured in the pyrotechnics display on the Harbour Bridge and barges, and above the city at midnight.

Fireworks director Fortunato Forti made the announcement on Thursday, saying the New Year's Eve soundtrack would be inspired by Prince and Bowie, with fireworks to match.

"The fireworks are going to reflect the soundtrack and the people that have died ... and we are hoping to make it rain purple this year for the first time, not only off the barges, but also off the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well," Mr Forti said.

A Space Odyssey tribute to Bowie will include a constellation of pyrotechnics, including Saturn, moon and star-shaped fireworks.

There will also be a "Willy Wonka moment to delight children and adult fans of Wilder's most iconic role", fireworks co-producer Catherine Flanagan said.

"This year, sadly, we saw the loss of many music and entertainment legends around the world, so celebrating their music as part of Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks displays is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been," she said.

An estimated seven tonnes of fireworks will be let loose over Sydney Harbour on Saturday night, comprising 12,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

They will be launched digitally by more than a dozen computers throughout the night, accompanied by a painstakingly selected soundtrack.

"Creating the fireworks displays starts with producing the music soundtracks," Ms Flanagan said.

"It is a great opportunity to further showcase Sydney and our spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations to the world, as we bring the harbour to life like never before."

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