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Big bucks to get your bang

| 11.12,11. 01:33 AM |


Big bucks to get your bang

 

December 11, 2011.


WOULD you pay $299 for two drinks and live music, even if it comes with a free fireworks display? Or $495 for unlimited drinks and a light seafood buffet? Or $1000 for a five-course dinner, drinks and a live band on an island?

Sydneysiders are paying for increasingly pricey tickets to guarantee a prime viewing position for the city's famous pyrotechnics.

One of the most indulgent parties of the evening is at Fort Denison, where tickets are going for $1000 for 140 ''glamour guests''.

Advertisement: Story continues below ''It is the most expensive but we give the most,'' said Liz Taylor, the owner of the company that runs the island, TE Catering. ''It's the best seat in the house and the prime position in the Sydney Harbour.''

Over at the Sydney Opera House is the Luminale supper club - a ''1920s Gatsby''-inspired spectacular where guests are instructed to ''dress to impress''. With a $990 price tag, organisers say the inaugural event is designed for guests who want a ''beguiling experience'' with a ''ringside seat at the centre of the universe'' while enjoying canapes designed by the celebrity chef Matt Moran and soulful tunes by Marcia Hines at the stroke of midnight.

Music is a key selling point for Glebe Island's Sydney Resolution concert. With VIP packages costing up to $495, lovers of 1980s music will by entertained by the bands Culture Club and Pet Shop Boys while nibbling on a continuous buffet, which includes ''light seafood'' and antipasto - although they get unlimited beer, wine and champagne.

At Luna Park's Harbour Party, the alcohol will not be poured so freely. Ticket prices come in four tiers, with increments of luxury bestowed upon those who wish to spend that extra $50 per level of extravagance. The priciest option, the $299 Diamond VIP, secures ''express entry'', exclusive access to the VIP room and the Crystal Ballroom deck plus two drinks - one on arrival and one at midnight. Entertainment includes the likes of Wynter Gordon, the Potbelleez and Zoe Badwi.

For those not requiring harbour views, the ''Jacksons NYE Fiesta'' at Jacksons on George offers a $130 VIP pass that includes ''drinks all night''. General entry is $55.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is also cashing in on the ''night of nights''. At the once-free vantage point of Bradleys Head at Mosman, which has a capacity of 5000 people, access will only be allowed to those with prepaid tickets, which are $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 5 to 15. And there will be no chance for a quiet glass of semillon as alcohol is banned at the ''family-focused'' celebration.

At Nielsen Park, the service is charging $15 per adult and $10 per child. The site has already sold out.

Commercialisation began in 1997 when the state government opened Fort Denison, Goat Island, Shark and Clark islands to the public. Tickets cost $25 to $55 in 1997 but have increased to $175 for adults. Goat and Clark islands have already sold out. For a view without a price tag, there is Nielsen Park's Hermitage Foreshore, Watsons Bay, South Head, Middle Head and Manly's North Head.

SMH



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