Melbourne on New Year's Eve will come alive with live music and performances, a massive lighting and projections program and, of course, fireworks. To herald the new year, the City of Melbourne is presenting two dazzling fireworks displays. The popular family precinct at Yarra Park surrounding the MCG returns from 6pm - 10pm. Waterfront City entertainment kicks off at 7pm and runs until 1am. Waterfront City is an ideal vantage point for the fireworks displays on Victoria Harbour at 9.30pm and midnight.
Family Fireworks at 9.30pm, fireworks will launch into the sky above Yarra Park surrounding the MCG, and at Victoria Harbour in Docklands. Midnight Fireworks Melbourne’s midnight fireworks display will be launched from city rooftops and at Victoria Harbour, Docklands. Since the mid-1990s, Melbourne has maintained significant population and employment growth. There has been substantial international investment in the city's industries and property market. Major inner-city urban renewal has occurred in areas such as Southbank, Port Melbourne, Melbourne Docklands and more recently, South Wharf. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Melbourne sustained the highest population increase and economic growth rate of any Australian capital city in the three years ended June 2004. These factors have led to population growth and further suburban expansion through the 2000s.
Melbourne is an international cultural centre, with cultural endeavours spanning major events and festivals, drama, musicals, comedy, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television. It was the second city after Edinburgh to be named a UNESCO City of Literature and has thrice shared top position in a survey by The Economist of the world's most liveable cities on the basis of a number of attributes which include its broad cultural offerings.
The city celebrates a wide variety of annual cultural events and festivals of all types, including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Australian Ballet is based in Melbourne, as is the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Melbourne is the second home of Opera Australia after it merged with "Victoria State Opera" in 1996. The Victorian Opera had its inaugural season in 2006 and operates out of various venues in Melbourne.