Last year's winners Kitty the Lion

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2011/12 are delighted to announce today, the launch of ‘Hog the Street’, the new bands competition which will see Scotland’s best new acts busk it out for the chance to kick off the world’s greatest New Year party, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Opening the Concert in the Gardens – the music and fireworks spectacular – the winning band will be joining the bill alongside headliners Primal Scream and special guests Bombay Bicycle Club and Sons & Daughters.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay have joined forces with Leith Records to find the cream of the crop of unsigned Scottish music to kick start the world’s biggest New Year celebrations.  Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has long since championed new Scottish talent, each year presenting the very best up-and-coming acts and over the years has provided a starting platform for some of the country’s biggest artists including KT Tunstall and Franz Ferdinand. Last year’s competition winners ‘Kitty the Lion’ started the Street Party on the Waverley Stage in front of thousands alongside headliners The Coral.

Ten lucky finalists will be selected by judges to compete in a live busking final which will take place on Princes Street on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December 2011 for the coveted opening slot at the Concert in the Garden. The band who raise the most money during their busking set get the gig, with all money raised through the event going to charity.

Pete Irvine, Festival Director, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said:  “The line-up for the Street Party and Concert in the Gardens is world class this year, and we are delighted to be able to include a new, young, unsigned Scottish band amongst such acts as Primal Scream, The Vaccines, Friendly Fires and Bombay Bicycle Club.”

Jim Wolff, Co-Founder, Leith Records, said: ‘Band competitions can sometimes be a bit cheesy and stale, but with Hog The Street we’re giving new Scottish bands the chance to play one of the biggest gigs of the year, maybe even of their lives. ’

So, how does it all work… Any band from or based in Scotland can enter, but judges will be looking out for younger, up-and-coming bands in particular (participants must be aged 16 yrs or over to enter).  Bands will need to submit a short bio, track, video and picture at www.hogthestreet.com to make the shortlist. Deadline for entry is 6pm on Friday 25th November. Ten acts will then be selected to play at the special ‘Hog the Street’ busking event in Edinburgh city centre.

Anna Meldrum from 2010 Winners ‘Kitty the Lion, said: ‘We were totally thrilled to have the opportunity to play on the Waverley Stage, every surreal second of it felt like a really brilliant dream, but there was no blinking ourselves awake at the end! To be included amongst a line-up of such successful artists, at the best New Year celebration in the world, was incredibly special and we are very grateful to have been given the chance’.

Leith Records (http://www.leithrecords.com) is the latest project to come out of The Leith Agency, providing a stage for new music and home-grown artists across Scotland.  It has helped provide unique musical experiences for the Mountain Bike World Cup, the Leith Festival and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Tickets are already available for the city’s world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party; which features a world class line-up over 7 live music stages, with artists including Primal Scream, superstar DJ Mark Ronson, Festival favourites The Vaccines and Friendly Fires, Sons & Daughters, Wild Beasts and Kassidy.

Revellers can purchase tickets for the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, Concert in the Gardens and The Keilidh in one of three ways:
Online at www.edinburghshogmanay.com; by calling the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 894 2011 or by contacting Tickets Scotland, 127 Rose Street or  Ripping Records, 91 South Bridge, Edinburgh.

As well as the events taking place on the 31st December, a varied festival programme of events takes place over the four days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay which runs from Friday 30 December 2011 until Sunday 1 January 2012.  For further information, to purchase tickets and to register for online updates visit:www.edinburghshogmanay.com