In the February edition of Access (online and in print later this week), we spoke to Bob Bone, founder and executive director of Destination Events – organisers of London New Year’s Day Parade & The Rome Parade…

How long has the event been going – and how popular is it?

London’s New Year’s Day Parade began on 1 January, 1987 after I despaired that London was a black hole of entertainment at the turn of the year and decided to do something about it – everything was shut. The event is now a much loved turn of year tradition – with more than 650,000 spectators on the streets and a thousand TV stations globally being fed our live programme.

What messaging and theming does the event have, and what is its purpose?

The theme changes every year – this year’s was London Welcomes The World and boy we did just that with 26 nations and 15 London boroughs represented – but the underlying message is that LNYDP is a free, family orientated celebration delivered (without using public money) to give the whole of London a lift on January 1st

What challenges are faced organising the event, and in its logistics?

Many and varied – being totally self-financing and enormous – we fly around half of our 8,000 performers from overseas (marching bands, cheerleaders, illusionists etc) and have to get them, and 100 tonnes of equipment, in to the country and clear of customs over Christmas which is no mean feat. The sheer size of the crowd and supplying live TV pictures around the World is a challenge that we embrace

Which suppliers do you use?

We use multiple trusted suppliers who all do an exceptional job. Telenet Global Logistic are one of those who juggle over 20 vans working 24 hour shifts between the 22nd December to the 5th January, whilst handling the huge 100 tonnes shipment mentioned above.

London Pullman Tours is another trusted supplier who operate in excess of 100 coaches over a 7 day period for our participants, which as you can imagine in London can be tricky!
It really is a huge logistical challenge and one that we embrace and try to evolve annually.

Other main suppliers:

1. Adi.TV; Big screen hire
2. Border Group; Grand stand hire
3. City Furniture; Furniture hire
4. Cloudbass; Outside Broadcast facilities
5. Commbus; Production & display bus hire
6. Confetti Magic; Confetti canons & effects
7. Crewsaders; Crew hire
8. CSP; Security & stewarding services
9. D&P; Toilets Temporary toilet hire
10. Entertee; Barrier supplier
11. Event Buggy Hire; Buggy hire
12. Event Equipment Hire; Grandstand hire
13. Grandstand Hire; Grandstand hire
14. GT Trax; Temporary structure supplier
15. Live; Barrier & grandstand hire
16. Midas; Generator & power distribution supplier
17. Roadphone; NRB Radio communications supplier
18. NSR; Communications Audio supplier for commentary & music playback
19. Race Arches; Inflatable arch
20. RefTech; Badging
21. Rocket; Large format printing & graphics supplier
22. RSETM; Traffic Management
23. SES; Security & stewarding services
24. St John Ambulance; First Aid
25. Steeldeck; Staging
26. Sygma Safety & Events; Health & Safety Advisers & Event Management
27. Ultimate Sound and Vision; TV Broadcast Equipment