Initial reports suggest that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party has been a major success and retained its prestigious, world-wide reputation as the home of Hogmanay. Tens of thousands of revellers celebrated the New Year at the Street Party, Concert in the Gardens and The Keilidh, and party-goers from far and wide enjoyed top class music and entertainment across four stages.
Biffy Clyro, The Charlatans and Billy Bragg wowed the crowds at the sell-out Concert in the Gardens. The Reporter was there and enjoyed the concert very much. Even the exit from the gardens up a slippery muddy slope was considered an adventure! But the drawback of the Biffy Clyro gig was however the presenter. Who was he?
Well, we told you about him in October in our earlier article – but we really thought he would be a classy presenter. Unfortunately in our view he was not. Vic Galloway has a day job with the BBC. We think he should therefore know the danger of using bad language on stage, even fleetingly. Also as a seasoned radio presenter he might have done well to have a script of sorts. His main vocabulary appeared to range from Biffy Clyro to Biffy Clyro. He appears to be their number one fan. One of the reasons perhaps that some people in the front row at the Ross Bandstand showered him in water at the end of the concert – when he simply did not know that the right words were ‘Good Night’. Instead he rambled on and on, seeking another Edinburgh acclamation for the venerable Kilmarnock group – yes you guessed it – Biffy Clyro! Please, please, please Unique Events – get someone who can string a couple of words together in the right order next year, and who knows when to call it a day – or a night.
Leading Scottish and international artists entertained revellers on four stages along the length of Princes Street. Among the highlights were The Coral, Newton Falconer, Treacherous Orchestra and DJ Sets from Booka Shade, Grum and Kaiser Chiefs.
The Keilidh saw around 2,500 revellers enjoying Scottish roots artists including Heuch, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and the Brechin City Rollers, as well as having fun on the Edinburgh Wheel and enjoying traditional Scottish food and drink.
At midnight, the Fireworks provided a breathtaking spectacle to welcome in 2011.
Partygoers also helped make the event good-natured and fun, waiting patiently as police and stewards checked their tickets and bags at the entrance gates.
Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, Councillor Steve Cardownie, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations are envied across the globe and yet again, our Inspiring Capital has really showed the world how to party.
“I think we’ve given 2011 the best possible welcome with our celebrations here tonight. The Street Party had a fantastic atmosphere, the entertainment went down a storm and the firework display at the bells was absolutely brilliant. Edinburgh has once again done Scotland proud.”
ACC Mike McCormick of Lothian and Borders Police, who was in charge of the Hogmanay police operation, said: “On behalf of all my officers and staff on duty this evening, I would like to thank those who attended the street party for co-operating with police and stewards, and helping us to ensure that the event was safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.
“I would also like to thank all of our partners – council, organisers, and the emergency services – for their assistance and co-operation this evening, and throughout the planning stages.
“Together we are pleased to have played our part in ensuring that this year has been yet another great success for Edinburgh. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone well for 2011, and we look forward to next year’s Hogmanay celebrations.”
Lothian and Borders Police reported that there was only one arrest, for minor disorder.
Pete Irvine, Director, Unique Events said: “Unquestionably one of the best Street Parties we’ve had – the weather was kind to us, we welcomed tens of thousands of good-natured revellers from around the world to celebrate in Edinburgh, the home of Hogmanay. Britain’s number one band of the moment, Biffy Clyro, were exactly right and the atmosphere leading up to the bells was electric.”
The big clean-up is set to begin at 2.30am, after the celebrations have ended. With around 45 Council staff tackling the job, most of the expected 60 to 75 tonnes of refuse will be collected by the middle of the morning. Most of the waste will be plastic bottles, with the remainder made up of food cartons, clothing and glass.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2009/10is reported to generate a net income of £24.1m for Edinburgh, representing a 1:17.5 return on investment, and a net income of £29.1m for Scotland. The Council’s contribution this year was £1.042m, towards the overall Hogmanay budget of £2.32m.
The feedback from the Edinburgh Hoteliers Association is that hotels are fully booked for Hogmanay and VisitScotland’s Information Centre on Princes Street has been exceptionally busy.
In terms of international visitors, information from VisitScotland suggests that Edinburgh welcomes the following split on average:
USA – 16 per cent of total number of international visitors
Germany – 11 per cent
Ireland – 10 per cent
France – 8 per cent
Spain – 7 per cent
Italy – 7 per cent
Australia – 5 per cent
Netherlands – 5 per cent
Canada – 4 per cent
Rest of the world – 28 per cent
Full details of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are available at www.edinburghshogmanay.com