Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a three day party with events for all the family, but in the words of Chief Superintendent Mark Williams who heads up Police Scotland in Edinburgh the street party is not a place for small children. As well as leaving your children at home you should also leave any glass at home too as you will not be allowed into the cordoned off city centre with any glass containers. But this does not mean you can’t have a tipple as you are allowed to bring alcohol with you, but it must be in a plastic container.
You will need a wristband to gain access anywhere near Princes Street or the gardens, but remember you can also see the fireworks at midnight from Inverleith Park and Calton Hill.
Pete Irvine of Unique Events who is in charge of all the Hogmanay celebrations said there is one change this year: “On 30 December the fireworks after the torchlight procession will be higher than ever as the launch site has been changed and they will pitch further into the night sky. We have seen a simulation of the main display for Hogmanay and it looks very special indeed.”
Now is the time to look out your Tupperware and your thermals, although we are told the weather is set to be fair. Graeme Forrester, Senior Met Office Advisor, said: “It won’t be as cold as it has been the last couple of nights and current forecasts show it will be quite blustery with some patchy rain around through the afternoon and evening.”
Concert in the Gardens is headlined by Lily Allen, who will be joined by special guests Björn Again and Soul II Soul. Enclosure tickets for the Concert are sold out, but there are still limited Gardens tickets available. The Waverley Stage at the Street Party will see performances from Twin Atlantic, Young Fathers and Twilight Sad while the Scottish Stage on Frederick Street will welcome Eddi Reader, Breabach and the Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson band.
Free Hogmanay NightBus services will run throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for revellers at the Street Party and throughout the City Centre, supported by Johnnie Walker and courtesy of Lothian Buses (Stagecoach are providing the services to Ratho and South Queensferry). The services start at approximately 00:20 and run until 04:00 – details of times and routes can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. These safe rides home are part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.
While all tickets for The Candlelit Concert, The Enclosure at Concert in the Gardens and the Keilidh on the Mound sold out, there are still Street Party wristbands and Gardens tickets for Concert in the Gardens available – 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 180 High Street, Edinburgh before 9.00pm on 31 December. Pre-Booked torch vouchers for the Torchlight Procession are also sold out as are places at the Queensferry Loony Dook on Thursday 1st January although spectators are most welcome at both events.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will continue on Wednesday 1st January with a programme of free activities for all the family. For the hardy, the sold out Loony Dook – the annual New Year’s Day dip in the River Forth – will start off with a Dookers Parade through South Queensferry featuring pipers and a host of entertainment at 1.20pm followed by the brave (or daft) Loony Dookers. For those not quite brave enough to take the plunge, there are plenty of vantage points to watch the action and spectators are welcomed.
Revellers are also invited to come and enjoy some of the very best of art and culture from across Scotland, brought to Edinburgh’s Old Town at Scot:Lands. Visitors can take a journey around ten atmospheric venues in the Old Town, each curated and customised by notable artists and arts organisations from all over the country. This cultural feast, supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund starts from midday. Participants are invited to pre-register at www.edinburghshogmanay.com to be allocated a departure point at one of the two Home:Lands destinations