We’ve certainly had some epic NYE memories in Bondi over the years. From the halcyon days of The Bondi Lifesaver club, to Shore Thing on the beach showcasing the likes of Chemical Brothers and Fat Boy Slim. However nothing welcomes the new year in for Sydney better than the fireworks over the harbour, generating amazing images reaching out around the globe in minutes. And Bondi locals have been in on the secret for decades that the best vantage point for these fireworks is not in the middle of the crowds around the harbour, but kicking back with friends and family on the grass high up on the Bondi ridge line at Dudley Page Reserve, with a backing sound track from the best of Bondi Beach Radio DJ’s.
We caught up with local DJ and MC Caraz (Michael Christopher), who is more often than not seen and heard on the microphone and DJ decks at iconic events in the area including Bondi Beach Latin American Festival, Ocean Lovers Festival, City 2 Surf, Festival of the Winds, and any other community gathering in need of good time vibes. Caraz will be on the microphone this New Years Eve at Dudley Page, and bringing his track selection to the final hours in the countdown to midnight, supported by his fellow Bondi Beach Radio DJ’s.
BBR: Wow – it seems like such a long time ago we were on the grass at Dudley Page watching the fireworks, celebrating the end of 2019, and the start of what we all thought was going to be a great 2020! That was such a good night!
Caraz: It certainly was one of the great New Year Eves! Big up Waverley Council for continuing to support this terrific location to watch the fireworks, without the hassle and hustle of the city, and big up to the local residents who accommodate this event as well as the City 2 Surf during the year, both events which add a tremendous amount to the local community tapestry.
BBR: What are some of your special memories from the event?
Caraz: It is a pretty special place from start to finish really. Although the ticketing always closes well in advance of the day so people are secure in their ability to access the space, I always recommend getting there early and settling in for the sunset at the start. This is particularly appealing for families with young kids who often can’t stay awake past the 9pm fireworks, and our opening DJ’s program a sunset soundtrack to suit the vibes. Expect to hear some special soul, funk, disco, reggae, chilled electronica alongside the classics. The vista looking west from Dudley Page across the harbour on a clear day to the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and even the blue mountains on the horizon while the sun sets is as good as the fireworks!
BBR: One of our favourite times of day along with the sunrise on the otherside!
Caraz: Then we have a couple of emerging DJ’s from our BBR youth music mentoring program mix in from around 8pm to 10pm, which is also always a highlight for me. Their DJ talent is as good as any we have in Sydney, and it is one of the DJ highlights of their year! They work incredibly hard all year under our guidance on their track selection, mixing, beat matching, and ability to read a crowd, and it is fantastic to see all the effort come together on the night. This has been amplified by the incredibly challenging two years we have had in the live music industry with all the lockdowns impacting venues. I can tell you the young DJ’s we have lined up this year are jumping out of their skins to show what they can do and I am looking forward to the vibes. There is always so much space in the outdoors at Dudley Page for people to enjoy themselves which also makes it that much better
BBR: And then you will be MCing and DJing us to the final countdown?
Caraz: That is the plan! Sometimes I will mix tracks back to back in the booth with the BBR crew for a bit of fun. Billy and I did this in 2019, however this year he is in Perth working his musical magic westside. Expect some classic tracks, some remixes, and all the right vibes to put the challenges of 2021 behind us and welcome in 2022