Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council for 23 years, advised revellers to buy and pick up their Street Party tickets today, and not to wait until Thursday 31st December. Tickets are already sold out for Concert in the Gardens, Candlelit Concert and the Old Town Ceilidh as well other events across the three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival. Tickets for the world famous Street Party are still available however this event sold out last year.
Cllr Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festival and Events Champion, said: “This year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all set to be a real cracker and with so many stages offering fantastic entertainment there really is something for everyone. And with three days of spectacular events including the Torchlight Procession and Loony Dook I would encourage everyone to come along and experience what Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is really about.”
Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 1993, said “With so many events already sold out for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this year, I would encourage you to get hold of your tickets for the world famous Street Party from our Box Office before Thursday – to guarantee that you can join us to celebrate this fabulous festival in the Home of Hogmanay. With a fantastic line-up across seven stages, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter music festival and an unmissable way to welcome 2016.”
The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival kicks off on Wednesday 30 December with the Torchlight Procession. 10,000 Torchbearers, led by 26 Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland and 6 pipe bands, and accompanied by an expected 20,000 friends and family, illuminate the streets of the City from George IV Bridge to the son et lumière and fireworks finale on Calton Hill. The Procession leaves George IV Bridge at 7.00pm and will be viewed by an estimated 30,000 spectators along the route. Access to Calton Hill is exclusively available to those on the procession and the fireworks finale can be viewed from surrounding streets as well as from the Hill.
Concert in the Gardens, which this year sold out in record time, is headlined by Biffy Clyro who will be joined by special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood in an all-Scottish line-up. The Street Party sees performances from Maxïmo Park, Slaves and White on the Waverley Stage while the new Scottish Stage on Castle Street welcomes Shooglenifty, Peatbog Faeries and Rura. BBC Radio 6 Music’s Craig Charles provides the soundtrack to the Street Party live from the Frederick Street Stage and broadcasts across screens along the length of Princes Street, and finally cabaret performers, Guilty Pleasures, take over the Mound Stage fresh from their sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.
The world’s largest outdoor ceilidh moves into its new home in Parliament Square and becomes the Old Town Ceilidh as 4000 revellers birl their way through the bells with four live ceilidh bands performing over two stages. Tickets are now SOLD OUT for this event. Revellers will be invited to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest Strip the Willow – with a target of 2016 participants. Dancers are advised to wear sturdy, flat footwear as the Ceilidh takes place in the historic Old Town and much of the arena has cobbled streets.
A free Hogmanay NightBus Service once again runs throughout the capital for revellers supported by sponsors Diageo and Lothian Buses with additional funding from Essential Edinburgh. This 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. The service starts at 00:20 and runs until 04:00. Stagecoach, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, will be operating free Hogmanay NightBuses from the city centre to South Queensferry. Details of times and routes can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com.
While all tickets for Concert in the Gardens, The Old Town Ceilidh and The Candlelit Concert are sold out, there are still Street Party wristbands 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 8.00pm on 31 December. Pre-Booked torch vouchers for the Torchlight Procession are also sold out as are places at the Queensferry Loony Dook on Friday 1st January although spectators are most welcome at both events.
Unicef, the leading children’s organisation, is the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay official charity this year and partygoers will be encouraged to support the Unicef New Year’s Resolution to help children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria. At 10.00pm, in the middle of the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, a one minute blue firework display will lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, which will also be lit up blue for the Unicef moment. Donations can be made to Unicef by texting MOUTH to 70444 to donate £3.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, from Police Scotland said “We want everyone who attends the celebrations to have a safe and enjoyable time. We'll have officers deployed throughout the city centre who will be working with stewards to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you're coming to the Street Party with friends, please look after one another and make sure you have plans for getting home safely. Enjoy the Hogmanay spirit but watch your alcohol intake and make sure you wrap up warm."
G4S Events Managing Director, Eric Alexander, said: “The annual Hogmanay celebration represents the best Edinburgh has to offer and G4S is honoured to once again help secure this event. Having coordinated the security at this event for so many years now, we know exactly what’s needed to ensure everyone has a great time. This includes everything from stewarding and security services to managing crowd movement and ensuring everyone gets home safely.
“The whole team looks forward to supporting the celebrations each year and 2016 looks set to be another great one. We’re looking forward to helping secure this highlight of the festive season for many more years to come.”
Senior Met Office Advisor, Graeme Forrester said, “After a wet and windy day on Wednesday we should see an improvement on Hogmanay. We could see a shower at any time right through to the bells – maybe a few heavy ones in the afternoon - but it should be mostly dry. It will be blustery though and chilly with temperatures around midnight down to about 3 or 4 degrees, so be sure to wrap up adequately.”
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will continue on Friday 1st January with a programme of free activities for all the family. The Stoats Loony Dook celebrates its 30th anniversary and sees 1,200 ‘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 at 2.30pm 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 bowls of energising porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition. South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all of which will be open on New Year’s Day.
An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Scot:Lands takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and offers a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining. With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up, multi-arts Festival offers one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations. Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.