EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY CELEBRATES 25th ANNIVERSARY WITH A BUMPER NEW STREET PARTY SET TO WOW CROWDS –
RAG’N’BONE MAN TO LEAD PARTY GOERS IN POST MIDNIGHT AULD LANG SYNE
EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY SET TO WELCOME 150,000 TO SOLD OUT EVENTS
75,000 people across all areas of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay from the Ceilidh under the Castle with Edinburgh Gin to Hogmanay HQ and all corners of the Street Party will be led in Auld Lang Syne after the midnight fireworks by Rag’n’Bone Man. The internal TV broadcast hosted by Sanjeev Kohli will transmit three Rag’n’Bone Man songs on big screens to party-goers across the city centre celebrations.
Underbelly, the new producers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, advised revellers to buy and pick up their Street Party tickets today or tomorrow, and not to wait until Sunday 31 December.
Tickets are already sold out for Concert in the Gardens, Candlelit Concert, Hogmanay HQ and Baby Loves Disco as well Monday morning’s Loony Dook. The only way people can still join the party on the 31st is to sign up to the world famous Street Party which this year sees a massive revamp to animate the arena with over 100 extra performers and Hogmanay Host Sanjeev Kohli throughout the 6 hours from 7pm to 1am. Tickets must be bought in advance online or from the box office at 109 George Street and picked up by 6pm on 31st December. Those without tickets will not be able to enter the arena.
There are also still a limited number of torches and wristbands for the Torchlight Procession available, however these are expected to be snapped up.
Organisers are advising people to attend events without bags if possible to gain faster access to the event arenas where a two queue entrance system for those with and without bags will be in place to accommodate bag searches.
The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival kicks off tomorrow (Saturday 30 December) with the family-favourite Torchlight Procession. 17,000 torchbearers, accompanied by friends and family and led by 30 Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland, some aged just 5 and up, alongside youth pipe bands, brass bands and samba bands full of talented young performers will create a river of light through Edinburgh’s Old Town in a new route past Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament. The procession finishes in Holyrood Park where the first 2,000 will be choreographed by Gina and Rocky (awesome chartists) to reveal one word - #ScotWord. This word, unveiled for the first time, was chosen by the young people of Scotland to answer the question ‘What makes you proud to live in Scotland?’ and will herald the start of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
The Procession leaves three points in Edinburgh’s Old Town at 7.00pm and will be viewed by an estimated 20,000 spectators along the route. All accompanying friends and family must have wristbands to join the procession, and a donation from the sale of every torch and wristband will be made to the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay charity One City Trust. The fireworks finale will lift off from Calton Hill when the word has been completed, and can be viewed from surrounding streets as well as from Holyrood Park.
#ScotWord is the culmination of many months engaging with Scotland’s young people. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay throughout this year’s three-day festival includes and celebrates young people offering them new opportunities to get involved, from the many talented young performers entertaining the crowds at Torchlight or processing with their families, to events on 31st December for people of all ages with Baby Loves Disco in the afternoon, and the early fireworks event for families Bairns Afore at 5pm. On 1st January the family fun continues at the Loony Dook where 1,100 people not dressed for the cold dash into the River Forth in the shadow of the iconic Forth Railway Bridge to raise money for their preferred charities. A parade of fancy dressed dippers sets off through South Queensferry at 11am.
On Sunday 31 December, the world famous Street Party gets a face lift from some of the best international events creatives in the world. Joining Martin Green (Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and currently the CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017) as Executive Producer are Dan Jones (Sound Design), Durham Marenghi (Lighting Designer), Struan Leslie (Street Party Director), James O’Brien (Edinburgh’s Hogmanay TV Director) and Ala Lloyd (Designer), to bring the whole event arena to life. A fantastic line up of bands across the three stages in the Street Party arena includes Sacred Paws, Niteworks and Human League on the Waverley Stage, Barns Courtney, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Treacherous Orchestra on the East End Stage, the Mac Twins and Huey Morgan on the Castle Street Stage. Sanjeev Kohli, the Hogmanay Host will keep the party going as revellers are entertained by aerialists, flash mobs, bands, choirs, and many other surprise pop-up entertainment moments on podium stages throughout the arena.
At the sold-out Concert in the Gardens Edinburgh’s own Nina Nesbitt brings her instantly recognisable voice and cool electronic sound to kick off the night. Declan McKenna fresh from winning BBC Introducing Artist of the Year this month follows and sets the ground for one of the UK’s biggest music acts Rag’n’Bone Man.
Countdown firework displays on the hour from 9.00pm will culminate in the world-renowned Midnight Moment firework display lifting from Edinburgh Castle. This year the Midnight Moment will, for the first time, be choreographed to a specially commissioned soundscape created by Skye band Niteworks and award winning sound designer and film composer Dan Jones in collaboration with Titanium and runs for the extended time of nine minutes.
Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This year Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrates its 25th birthday so it’s fitting that it will be the biggest party ever staged in Scotland’s great capital city. The fireworks display is being extended with new events like Bairns Afore and Message from the Skies plus favourites such as the Torchlight Procession and Loony Dook. There will be something for everyone not just to see but to take part in. Come along and experience what Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is really about!”
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council said: “After months of planning we are ecstatic that tomorrow Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will open. And what a start, with the Torchlight Procession taking a new path winding down Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, past Scotland’s Parliament and Her Majesty’s Holyrood Palace and into Holyrood Park for an epic flaming finale when #ScotWord will be revealed. #ScotWord is a message to the world from Scotland’s young people and we can’t wait to share that image and message – it’s going to be very special.
“Of course, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is famous for its Street Party and this year is undoubtedly going to be the best one yet – with a complete revamp and re-animation bringing entertainment to revellers from 7pm right through ‘til 1am, and an incredible longer than ever before fireworks display choreographed to a unique score from Niteworks and Dan Jones. Not forgetting the incredible line up of music – from Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 to Scared Paws, Huey Morgan and The Human League – the street party is going jump all night long.
“At the sold-out Concert in the Gardens, revellers are in for an absolute treat as Nina Nesbitt, Declan McKenna and man and voice of the year Rag’n’Bone Man play us into 2018.
“The three days are topped off with a brisk dip in the Firth of Forth, with over 1,000 Loony Dookers taking a quick refreshing dip, and we’ll be amongst them!
“Finally, in a celebration of Edinburgh literary pedigree, Message from the Skies will open at dusk on 01.01.18, featuring a brand new short story by Val McDermid projected across some of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings nightly until Burns Night on 25.01.18.”
The Candlelit Concert will take place in the historic and atmospheric setting of St Giles’ Cathedral. At 7.30pm on 31 December the Candlelit Concert will open with JS Bach’s captivating Lutheran Mass in F, perfectly bringing to a close the Reformation’s 500th anniversary year. Heralding the start of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the concert will feature an array of dazzling young soloists all trained in Scotland.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay renews its partnership with One City Trust, donating 50 pence from every ticket sold for the Torchlight Procession to the Trust as the Torchlight Procession Charity Partner for 2017. One City Trust also becomes the charity partner across all other Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events and partygoers will be encouraged to support One City Trust by making a donation on the website or by text. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has also made 300 free tickets for Bairns Afore available to the Trust to maximize the opportunity for young people around Edinburgh to get involved and celebrate Hogmanay. One City Trust is dedicated to fighting inequality and exclusion in Edinburgh.
A free Hogmanay NightBus Service once again runs throughout the capital for revellers supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and provided by Lothian Buses. The service starts at 00:20 and runs until 04:00 and will help around 20,000 people get home safely. Edinburgh Trams are once again offering free Hogmanay Tram Services to ensure revellers can leave the city centre after the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations. Free trams will run from midnight until 05:00 every 20 minutes. Details of times and routes can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com.
While all tickets for Concert in the Gardens, Hogmanay HQ and the Candlelit Concert are sold out, there are still Street Party wristbands available (£26 incl booking fee). These can be booked on-line at www.edinburghshogmanay.com or on the phone on 0844 573 8455 but must be collected from the Box Office at 109 George Street, Edinburgh before 8pm on 31 December. Limited pre-booked torch vouchers and wristbands for the Torchlight Procession are also available through the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office. Places at the New Year’s Day dip Loony Dook are SOLD OUT.
Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: "The Torchlight Procession is a great precursor to the Hogmanay celebrations, with thousands of people heading to the city centre to take part in this unique event.
"While the route of this year's procession is different, our approach to keeping the public safe remains the same and we will have appropriate resources in place throughout to offer reassurance to those in attendance and deal with any issues, which may arise.
"We would encourage anyone requiring assistance, or who witnesses any suspicious activity, at any point to approach one of or our officers, who will respond accordingly.
"During both the Torchlight Procession and Hogmanay we will be utilising a range of local and specialist resources aimed at preserving public safety and detering criminal activity. This will include armed officers. Please do not be alarmed by the presence of these professional and highly-trained officers. They are being deployed purely as a precaution. I would again reiterate that there is no specific intelligence relating to a potential threat for either event.
“In addition to the police officers and stewards present on the evening a range of barriers and bollards will also be utilised, which prevent vehicles accessing the event arena. Again, this is purely a precautionary measure.
"The planning process for these events has been underway for several months, with Police Scotland in regular discussion with the City of Edinburgh Council and event organisers, Underbelly. All of the security measures taken on both evenings have been done so to ensure the iconic celebrations are delivered as safely as possible.
"For those coming along to Torchlight, or indeed, the Street Party please ensure you plan your journeys in advance. Know how you are getting to your destination and more important, how you're getting home. Dress for the conditions and remember that December in Edinburgh can be extremely cold so wrap up warm.
“To make sure you get entry to the arena as quickly as possible, revellers are advised not to bring bags with them, or if you do need to bring one, please ensure it is no bigger than A4 size. Before getting in you will be subject to a search, so time your arrival accordingly.
"Please also remember to look after family and friends you are out with. Stay together and don't venture off anywhere alone, or leave anyone on their own.
"While the Torchlight procession is a family event, the Street Party is a more lively occasion and we expect people to be drinking while they enjoy the festivities. Please do so responsibly and don't let your evening be ruined by the over-consumption of alcohol.
"On behalf of Edinburgh Division, I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Hogmanay and New Year."
G4S Regional Events Manager, Chris Burr, said: “The annual Hogmanay celebration represents the best Edinburgh has to offer and G4S is honoured to once again help secure this event. Having coordinated the security at this event for so many years now, we know exactly what’s needed to ensure everyone has a great time. This includes everything from stewarding and security services to managing crowd movement and ensuring everyone gets home safely.
“The whole team looks forward to supporting the celebrations each year and 2017 looks set to be another great one. We’re looking forward to helping secure this highlight of the festive season for many more years to come.”
Gregory Wolverson FRMetS, Met Office Advisor to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said: “In true Scottish tradition we are likely to see some changeable weather over the course of the Hogmanay celebrations and it is always best to be prepared. It is set to be a cold couple of days so it is advised to wrap up warm if you are planning to spend time outdoors, particularly with the chilly breeze. On Saturday there will be some light rain or snow during the day before a drier and clearer evening for the Torchlight Procession. On Hogmanay itself some rain is likely during the morning and early afternoon before a mixture of clear spells and occasional blustery showers through the evening and towards the bells. The first morning of the new year will be cold with some sunny spells, although some rain is possible during the afternoon.”
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival doesn’t stop when the bells finish ringing. On Monday 1 January 2018, the brave, the foolhardy and the generous dive into the chilly Firth of Forth for the Loony Dook, raising money for a huge range of charities in the process.
The New Year’s Day dip sees 1,100 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year by running into the River Forth at South Queensferry. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town from 9am before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges. South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all of which will be open on New Year’s Day.
As dusk falls on 1 January, Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, celebrates its rich literary heritage and that of Scotland with projections across buildings and landmarks across the city. In a nod to Robert Burns’s poem Sketch New Year’s Day, Message from the Skies sees literary star Val McDermid join with dramaturg, Philip Howard of Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based projection company Double Take Projections and some of Scotland’s best soundscape artists to create and write a new short story which will lead audiences on a trail around Edinburgh. Message from the Skies runs until 25 January 2018 in a celebration of the Bard’s day too. Message from the Skies is a joint commission by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival and is developed in partnership with Edinburgh City of Literature and is supported by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO fund.
What you need to know:
Everyone wishing to participate in the Torchlight Procession must purchase a wristband (a donation to One City Trust is made for every torch and wristband sold).
We recommend you purchase and pick up your Street Party tickets early – the Box Office at 109 George Street will be open till 8.00pm on 31 December but can get very busy.
Gates open for the Street Party at 7.00pm. There will be activity from the moment it opens so party-goers are advised to get there early this year. All Street Party Stages live at 9.00pm. Concert in the Gardens stage live at 8.30pm.
Make sure you’re in the Street Party, Ceilidh under the Castle with Edinburgh Gin, and Concert in the Gardens before 10.30pm – no entry after that time.
You can hop on a free NightBus or free Tram home after midnight on 31 December – check www.edinburghshogmanay.com for details
Donations to One City Trust, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay official charity partner, will help fight inequality and exclusion in the city of Edinburgh.
Places at the Loony Dook in South Queensferry on 1 January are sold out – but spectators are welcome. Dookers gather for the Parade at 10.30am and the dip kicks off just after 11.00am.
SOLD OUT events – Hogmanay HQ, Concert in the Gardens, Baby Loves Disco, Loony Dook
Tickets currently available for: Torchlight Procession, Bairns Afore, Ceilidh under the Castle with Edinburgh Gin and Street Party.