Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay invite revellers to ‘Release Your Party Animal’ and come to Edinburgh to enjoy the best New Year’s party on the planet. Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 1993, today announced the Street Party line-up and full details of the three-day festival which takes place from Wednesday 30 December 2015 to Friday 1 January 2016.
Edinburgh is the ‘Home of Hogmanay’, and organisers are expecting another sell-out event, welcoming 150,000 visitors to Scotland’s capital city over the three days, bringing an estimated economic benefit of over £40 million to the city (figures based on 2014/15 event). Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a key part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals celebrations.
The celebrations launch on Wednesday 30 December with the family-friendly Torchlight Procession as 10,000 torchbearers wind their way through the city streets lined with tens of thousands of spectators. The Procession, which is supported by EventScotland, will move from George IV Bridge towards the finale of the Son et Lumière display on Calton Hill which can be viewed from across the city and from the streets surrounding the hill. Access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. This year Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has partnered with UNICEF who will be raising funds at the Torchlight Procession and throughout the Festival to help children both in Scotland and abroad.
On Thursday 31 December, the musical line-up across the seven stages in the centre of the city promises to deliver an exhilarating party soundtrack for the anticipated 75,000 revellers. The flagship Concert in the Gardens (which sold out in a record 10 days) features headliners Biffy Clyro making their only UK appearance this year who are joined by very special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood for a very strong all-Scottish line-up.
There’s a new look to the world famous Street Party with an additional stage and screens, expanded entertainment zones and dedicated ‘Food & Drink Villages’. The Waverley Stage (Indie) will be headlined by Newcastle alt-rock band and Mercury Prize nominees Maxïmo Park, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their seminal debut album ‘A Certain Trigger’ with special guests, energetic punk duo Slaves and Glasgow funk outfit, the hotly tipped White.
The new Castle Stage (Scottish) features performances from leading Scottish Celtic crossover bands Rura, Peatbog Faeries and a special 25th anniversary performance from Shooglenifty.
The Frederick Stage (Party) provides the soundtrack to the whole Street Party with DJ sets from BBC 6 Music’s Craig Charles, who presents his ‘Funk n’ Soul Show’, alongside Edinburgh’s own Simon Hodge. VJ’s Buttercup and Pixels mix cutting-edge visuals to accompany the dance tunes which are relayed on seven screens along the length of Princes Street and throughout the Street Party arena. The Mound Stage (Cabaret), which alters position this year, features the Guilty Pleasures cabaret performers, fresh from their sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Guilty Pleasures offers a heart-thumping, show-stopping, disco-dancing, rollercoaster of a night’s entertainment featuring DJ’s, dancers, performers and audience participation.
The perfect ending to the event calendar for the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has signed up to Scotland’s Food Charter for Events. Organisers have created new refreshment and break-out areas around the Street Party arena including Market Street and the West End of Princes Street. The Mound Precinct leading into East Princes Street Gardens offers a food and drink experience, with retailers from the Edinburgh’s Christmas European Market on hand with a feast of cuisine beneath the exhilarating Star Flyer and Big Wheel attractions, offering revellers a sky-high view of the capital.
A new event for 2016 sees the annual sell-out ‘Keilidh’ move into its own exclusive outdoor arena on the Royal Mile to become ‘The Old Town Ceilidh’. The UK’s biggest outdoor ceilidh event becomes even bigger, with two live stages featuring the best in traditional Scottish music with performances from Cask Strength Ceilidh Band, Whisky Kiss, Ceilidhdonia and Sporran Again and ‘Ceilidh Makers’ will be on hand to make sure everyone knows the moves. Participants will also join together at 11.00pm to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Longest Strip the Willow’. (The current record for the world’s biggest outdoor dance is already held by the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.) Those wishing to participate in the record attempt should wear traditional dress – a kilt, tartan trews or a sash. The Old Town Ceilidh is expected to be a huge hit with the many overseas visitors to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and will feature its own Midnight Moment.
New Year revellers across Edinburgh and beyond will enjoy a feast of fireworks with countdown displays on the hour from 9.00pm, rising to the crescendo of the spectacular Midnight Moment as the fireworks lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill. (The Castle display is extended east this year for the Ceilidh revellers in the Royal Mile.) The fireworks are followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne as old friends and new join hands across the arena to sing Burns’ universal New Year anthem.
All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am but the party starts from 7.00pm throughout the Street Party arena.
Free Hogmanay NightBus Services will once again run throughout the capital for revellers supported by sponsors Diageo and Lothian Buses. A much welcome journey home at the end of the festivities is 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.
On Friday 1 January 2016 the ‘Stoats Loony Dook’ celebrates its 30th anniversary and sees 1,250 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year with a dip in the River Forth at South Queensferry. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges. This year the event is supported by Stoats, who’ll be there on the day, warming everyone up with free bowls of energising porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition. Registration for the event is now open at £10.00 (includes £1 booking fee and a 10% donation to the South Queensferry branch of the RNLI.).
On New Year’s Day, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands – incredible new worlds hidden in beautiful buildings and outdoor spaces in the city’s Old Town, where audiences can discover the very best in music, art and theatre, created and curated by Scotland’s most innovative artists, arts organisations and musicians: a festival in itself – all free. Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and the full programme will be in early November.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is an incredibly important occasion for Scotland, helping to promote our reputation as the perfect stage for events and Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city to a global audience. The festival continues to grow each year and the 2015/16 programme of events looks set to be the strongest yet, with more than 150,000 visitors expected to take to the streets of the capital over the course of three days. I can think of no better way to welcome in the New Year than what is sure to be a grand celebration of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage, supported by some of our finest performers and artists.”