Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events on behalf of the Festival’s principle funding partner, City of Edinburgh Council, launched three days of celebrations tonight with a spectacular Torchlight Procession through the centre of the historic city. In perfect weather conditions a crowd estimated at an amazing 35,000, including a sell-out 8,500 torch carriers, were led by 32 Up Helly Aa’ Vikings from Shetland and massed pipe bands with over 100 pipers to the bonfire and a spectacular Son et Lumière display on Calton Hill.
The event experienced record pre-sales of torches this year, and 8,500 torches were all sold out before the start of the procession.
Pete Irvine, Festival Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said “It’s great to start the three days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with such a fantastic crowd for the Torchlight Procession. We like to think that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay puts Scotland once again at the centre of the world map, and that the experiences that you will enjoy here are because you are in a beautiful city and in the best possible company – the famously friendly Scots. We look forward to welcoming 2015 by linking celebrations taking place across Scotland.”
The RT Hon Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: “Every year, I am immensely proud that so many people choose to share their New Year with us, and for me the Torchlight Procession blazes the way for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. This year’s Procession has supported Erskine, a charity that has been caring for Scotland’s servicemen and women since 1916. As we wave goodbye to 2014, the 100th year since the First World War, this seems to me a very fitting charity partner.”
Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland said “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has once again started New Year celebrations around the world with the spectacular Torchlight Procession. EventScotland are proud to support the event which this year welcomes visitors from over 70 countries. A fitting close to an incredible 2014 which has seen a step change in how Scotland delivers major events.
Celebrations continue tomorrow with the world famous Street Party. Limited tickets are still available to join the Street Party and also Concert in the Gardens (Gardens tickets only). Organisers advise revellers to get tickets early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available from the official box office, The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh from 10.00am tomorrow. Tickets for the Concert in the Gardens Enclosure, The Keilidh, The Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral and registration for the New Year’s Day Scot:Lands event are all sold out. The Loony Dook on Thursday 1st January at South Queensferry is also sold out, but spectators are welcome.