Edinburgh’s Christmas 2018 organised by Underbelly for The City of Edinburgh Council attracted 31% more locals than ever before, raised £44,000 for charities and gave away 28,000 free tickets.

Silent Night was a new introduction this year. This was a silent disco at the western end of George Street where thousands danced to music from headphones under 60,000 lights. Silent Adventures collaborated with Underbelly on the newest attraction which has been deemed a great hit.

  • 186,799 tickets sold with a 20% discount to EH postcode holders
  • 28,000 free tickets given away to charities including Aid and Abet who work with those leaving prison, Edinburgh Young Carers, North Edinburgh Childcare and Barnardo’s Edinburgh
  • £1,000 raised for The Trussell Trust food banks and 12,000 free tickets given to users
  • £12,044 raised for NSPCC
  • 771,074 tickets sold for Edinburgh’s Christmas 2018

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors of Underbelly and Edinburgh’s Christmas said: “We are immensely proud of Edinburgh’s Christmas events raising a whopping £44,000 to support Edinburgh and Scotland-wide charities and we would like to thank all those who made this happen, if you popped a pound in one of the charity buckets, added a donation when you bought a ticket or came and bopped along to Silent Light – it really adds up to a huge difference to the charities. In our sixth year of producing Edinburgh’s Christmas we are also delighted to see almost one-third increase in tickets bought with the 20% discount for EH postcode holders which clearly shows Edinburgh residents enjoy the city’s Christmas celebrations.

“We can’t wait to share Edinburgh’s Christmas 2019 programme with you later this year!”

The Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “Every year, Edinburgh’s Christmas is enjoyed by thousands of citizens and visitors alike but never has the event proved to be as inclusive as it has been this winter.

“Underbelly’s donation of 28,000 free tickets to almost 40 charities at Christmas has allowed as many residents as possible in Edinburgh and the Lothians to take part in our celebrations. This collaboration also provided much-needed support for the Capital’s official charity, the OneCity Trust.

“The amounts raised are incredible and the generous donation of £20,000 towards the Trust will help to fight inequality and exclusion throughout the city. By supporting the OneCity Trust, fans of Edinburgh’s Christmas are giving back to those in our communities who need our support. Thank you.”

John Donnelly, Chief Executive at Marketing Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas is continuously raising the bar when it comes to our world leading winter celebrations: not just with the introduction of exciting new attractions, but in its ongoing support for the community and charities across the country. 

It’s particularly encouraging that this year’s 20% resident discount has been well utilised, with a 31% increase on uptake. It’s always important to strike the balance between visitors and residents, but it’s clear to see that Edinburgh’s Christmas is here to be enjoyed by all.”

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive at Essential Edinburgh, said: “We were delighted to support Silent Light, and it helped attract tens of thousands to the west end of the city centre, helping drive footfall at a key time of year. 

“Edinburgh’s Christmas is a major boost to our winter economy, adding to the city’s international reputation as the festival capital of the world. The numbers show how valuable it is to our hospitality and retail sectors.

“It’s also good to see that so many local people took part in the events and activities.”

Paul Cockram, NSPCC Scotland Head of Fundraising, said: “We are so grateful for the amazing generosity of the public in raising this money which will go towards preventing abuse and helping children in Scotland who need this vital support.

“It has been a fantastic experience to continue our relationship with Underbelly and Edinburgh’s Christmas. This support enables us to continue our work to ensure that we can support more children and families.”