The place to be at Hogmanay is definitely Edinburgh. The launch of the 21st year of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festivities this morning got off to a rousing start with music from the Rezillos and Lau. The council as main sponsor spends £1m on the event but the return on its investment is almost 30 times that figure, and there are many other big companies and government bodies involved too.
Get your tickets from today – you would apparently be mad to miss it!
Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today invited revellers to join the 21st birthday celebrations of the World Famous Street Party and Concert in the Gardens when they announced the full programme of events for this year. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will run from Monday 30 December to Wednesday 1 January 2014, and is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.
The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, produced on behalf of The City of Edinburgh Council, will kick off with the popular Torchlight Procession on Monday 30 December which is supported by EventScotland. With a new start time of 7.00pm, and a new start location on George IV Bridge, this event is expected to attract over 7,500 torchbearers and 20,000 participants who will join the procession winding through the city centre to the finale. During the Son et Lumière finale Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will launch ‘Scotland’s Hogmanay’ – the celebration of 2014, Scotland’s Big Year – with the viewing preview of the ‘2014 Moment’ which will be seen around Scotland at 8.14pm on Hogmanay night. This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family.
The flagship Concert in the Gardens on Tuesday 31 December will be headlined by Pet Shop Boys with special guests The 1975 and Edinburgh’s own Nina Nesbitt. and will be opened by The 10:04’s. Tickets for The Enclosure have already sold out; there are limited tickets available for The Gardens. The world famous Street Party offers an uniquely Scottish line up across three stages with performances from Django Django, Chvrches, The Rezillos and William Douglas on the Waverley Stage; King Creosote, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid on the Scottish Stage in Frederick Street.
Following its success last year, REWINDER returns playing from the Mound Stage. In an ambitious development it will showcase Scotland’s impact on the modern world in an exclusive multimedia mix of irresistible floor filling tunes. Revellers along the length of Princes Street will dance to the same beat in the world’s largest outdoor nightclub as DJ Swiss and VJs Buttercup and Pixels bring the face of Scotland to life and the music from the last 50 years to the eight screens along the length of the Street Party.
The Keilidh, the UK’s largest New Year outdoor dance event, once again presents the best in traditional Scottish music from Hugh McDiarmid’s Haircut, The Black Rose Ceilidh Band and Box Fizz in Mound Precinct.
The spectacular midnight fireworks rising from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill will be set to music and, together with the displays in Stirling and Inverness, will contain the 2014 bespoke sequence to celebrate Scotland’s Hogmanay and Homecoming Scotland. Free bus transport home throughout the city will be available for revellers at the Street Party, supported by Lothian Buses and Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company. Countdown fireworks will lift from Edinburgh Castle at 9.00pm, 10.00pm and 11.00pm.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Scotland’s Capital has forged a much-envied reputation as the best place to see in the New Year since our famous Hogmanay Street Party celebrations began 21 years ago.
“From the magical Torchlight Procession on 30th December to the incredible Loony Dook on New Year’s Day, the festival has evolved into a fun-filled three-day event for people of all ages and nationalities to enjoy.”
Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, who have created, produced and managed Edinburgh’s Hogmanay since its inception said “Scotland’s big year starts here! As anticipation and excitement builds for the biggest event year that Scotland has ever seen, we’re ready to start it off. With Pet Shop Boys playing the last, and a UK exclusive, date on their world tour and a really strong Scottish line up for the Street Party, we’ve already got the fastest selling tickets for years. The Rewinder will remind us how Scotland has always and truly rocked the planet.”
NEW YEAR”S DAY
On Wednesday 1 January Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands – a journey around nine atmospheric venues – both well-known and less discovered – in Edinburgh’s Old Town, each curated and customised by notable artists and arts organisations from all over Scotland. A cultural feast of free events on the first day of 2014, Scot:Lands is supported by The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and seeks to bring Scotland to the Capital City on the first day of the big year in a way that has both a geographical and metaphorical resonance. Each venue will have a distinctive and bespoke atmosphere that relates to the artists and their work and the places that have inspired them.
Starting from midday at Home:Lands at the National Museum of Scotland, visitors collect their first postcard which directs them to their first landfall somewhere in the Old Town: it could be Lau:Land with a programme created and presented by Scotland’s award winning, internationally touring contemporary folk band, Lau. If today’s performance is anything to go by you will be tapping your feet before you get in the door.
Lobster:Land where Kenny Anderson is joined by well-known friends and collaborators to trace the shoreline of his musical homeland – the mystical East Neuk of Fife; High:Land programmed by the legendary Ceilidh Place in Ullapool or Heid:Landwith the Pathhead Music Collective who will recreate the wee town of Pathhead itself – a ceilidh in the village hall, a session in the pub and even tasty pies.
Shet:Land will bring Mareel, Scotland’s farthest-flung arts venue and the home of Shetland Arts, to Edinburgh with a rich island offering of music, film and food; Shadow:Land showcases Cora Bissett’s collaboration of writers, musicians and artists in a re-imagined, bespoke production of her award-winning Whatever Gets You Through The Night. Within this, self-contained pieces from some of Scotland’s best song writing and playwriting talent will be interwoven into vignettes of story, song and physical theatre.
In NewFOUND:Land visitors can experience a candle-lit musical performance which treats ‘sound and silence as equals’; they will be transported to a languorous and dreamlike place in the company of the Edinburgh collective FOUND, who have assembled some of Scotland’s most enigmatic musicians; with Wander:Land Dundee’s innovative, independent, contemporary dance company, Smallpetitklein, will create their most adventurous dance performance to date to live music by Philip Glass and Widor; and finally Nether:Land where visitors will receive “a very Edinburgh welcome” as they descend into a land of custom, ritual and reflection as tales are told – in Old Edinburgh where there is always another threshold to cross.
At the end of the afternoon, and their journey, audiences will be invited back to Home:Land to find out whether they’ve won the real Journey of a Lifetime round Scotland in 2014. The prize will include Michelin Restaurants, luxury hotels, trips to islands, VIP access to festivals – and their own driver – bespoke and personalised to the value of £2014.00.
NEW YEAR’S DAY EVENING
Afterwards from 6pm, visitors will be welcome to join us and many of the participating artists in the Grassmarket for One for the Road. Marking the end of the three day festival there will be free live music, craic and a dram or two into the evening. Venues will include Biddy Mulligans, Black Bull, Beehive Inn and The Fiddlers Arms.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said “Hogmanay is a time for us all to reflect on the year gone by and to look forward to new beginnings, and this is especially relevant as we stand on the threshold of such a momentous year for Scotland. This year’s Hogmanay celebration marks the start of Scotland’s second Year of Homecoming, a year-long, co-ordinated programme of events designed to welcome the world and extend the benefits and opportunities offered by the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.
“The ’Scot:Lands’ event will also give people an opportunity to start 2014 as they mean to go on, exploring a feast of Scottish culture in Edinburgh, the best place in the world to celebrate New Year.
“This year’s Winter Festivals show just how much Scotland has to offer, with the help of the continued support the Scottish Government provides through the Scottish Winter Festival Fund and Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, which totals £2.55 million, including £200,000 to ‘Scot-Lands’.”
Also on New Year’s Day revellers can work off the excess of the night afore with a dip in the River Forth in the annual Homecoming Scotland Loony Dook. Starting with a Dookers Parade through South Queensferry featuring pipers and a host of entertainment the brave, or daft, Loony Dookers will take the chilly plunge for charity under the world renowned Forth Bridge. For those not brave enough to get their feet wet, there are plenty of vantage points to watch the action and spectators are welcomed. The Loony Dook is funded by Homecoming Scotland and supported by Scotmid.
The award winning #Blogmanay was conceived in 2012 as a means of using travel bloggers and a high-impact social media campaign to showcase the unique experience of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, whilst using the festival as a gateway to explore and discover the delights of visiting Scotland, the ‘Home of Hogmanay’ in winter. This year #Blogmanay is back and even bigger encouraging locals, visitors and attractions across the city from 22 November to 5 January to create a huge bank of live digital content – blogs, reviews, videos, photographs and tweets, highlighting Edinburgh & Scotland as a premier winter destination.
#Blogmanay ‘Photo Frames’ will be placed in key locations around the city, encouraging people to post images and win spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay prizes.Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will once again bring travel bloggers from across the globe to experience the city’s Hogmanay celebrations and New Year in Scotland. Last year #Blogmanay content reached 3.8m people and organisers are looking to increase this even further.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:- “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay showcases Scotland on the international stage every year; appearing on global news channels, and capturing the imagination of the world at the midnight moment. Once again we are supporting the spectacular Torchlight Procession on December 30th, which signals the start of three days of celebrations.
“This year Hogmanay will be the event that signals the start of Homecoming Scotland, and there couldn’t be a more fitting way to kick off a year where Scotland will welcome the world. With the Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and a packed programme throughout Homecoming, Scotland really is the place to be next year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the home of Hogmanay, which makes this event in the capital so special every year.”
This year there is a new partnership between Unique Events and Underbelly to produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, which already seems to have put more energy into the arrangements than in previous years.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said:- “Underbelly are delighted to be working with Unique Events on Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay and helping bring Edinburgh’s winter festivals to life. Christmas is the advent to Hogmanay but both events are about involving all of Edinburgh’s community. We’re particularly excited about Light Night on 24 November 2013 which will see 60 local groups perform on George Street.”
Revellers can purchase tickets for all the events in one of three ways: by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455; online at www.edinburghshogmanay.com; or by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.