Edinburgh's Hogmanay launches 70th anniversary of the world's leading festival city

To celebrate the start of 2017, and to launch the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh’s birth as the world’s leading festival city, it was today announced that the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Midnight Moment will showcase the drama of Edinburgh's historic cityscape to the world with a spectacular laser and light show supported by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The laser and light show from Edinburgh Castle will be part of a unique Midnight Moment to welcome 2017 and year-long celebrations of Edinburgh as a festival city. In addition to the world-renowned Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks display that lifts from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens and Calton Hill, Unique Events - who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council - are working with Scotland’s leading lighting designer Grant Anderson, Edinburgh-based lighting specialists Black Light and Funktioncreep as well as renowned pyrotechnicians Titanium Fireworks, to create a truly memorable moment. The show will be enjoyed by the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who fill the streets and spaces of Edinburgh at midnight, will be visible in the skies for up to 30 miles around the capital and will be broadcast to 200 countries and territories around the world.

This unique Midnight Moment will usher in 2017 as the 70th anniversary of the very first Edinburgh Festivals. The Festivals began in 1947 as an initiative for humanity, at a time when inhumanity had done its worst through the extended global conflict of WWII. A beacon of enlightenment and creativity was lit, based on a profound belief in the power of culture to build international trust and understanding. From those beginnings, Edinburgh has now grown into a year-round festival city with twelve major festivals attracting attendances of 4.5 million each year from around the world: attendances on a par with the FIFA World Cup and second only to the Olympic Games.

Through the Festivals, Scotland’s capital has become an unparalleled platform for cultural excellence and international exchange. And in addition to the Midnight Moment, Edinburgh’s Festivals are coming together over Edinburgh’s Hogmanay three day programme to participate in events and activities to mark the start of what will be a remarkable festival year in Edinburgh and a centrepiece of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

All of the leading Edinburgh Festivals will be participating in the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. As part of the Sprogmanay activities, families with young children are invited to decorate a giant cardboard Dazzle Ship with the Edinburgh Art Festival at the National Museum of Scotland from Friday 30 December to Sunday 1 January. Scottish storytellers from the International Storytelling Festival will be found throughout the Museum over the three days and the science buskers from the Edinburgh International Science Festival will be dropping in with mind-boggling experiments and dazzling science demonstrations. Andy Cannon and the Imaginate Festival present performances of Tales of a Grandson, a time-travelling adventure through Scotland’s past accompanied by composer and musician Wendy Weatherby.

The Tattoo Dance Company and an accompanying Piper from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s Pipers Trail will entertain premium package guests at the start of the Torchlight Procession on 30 December in The Hub, the home of the Edinburgh International Festival and, in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess will be in conversation with Vic Galloway on their shared passion for music, vinyl and playing live at Festivals on 31 December.

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival has worked with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to programme the Mound Stage at the World Famous Street Party on 31 December, presenting James Brown is Annie, Brass Gumbo & Blues n Trouble; Edinburgh International Film Festival offers classic films at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema on New Year’s Day and a long-term collaboration with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society sees the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay box office hosted by the edfringe shop on the Royal Mile.

Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said “Scotland is the home of Hogmanay and people come from all over the world to experience Edinburgh’s packed three-day programme of events. It’s fitting as we head into Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology that the arrival of Edinburgh’s 70th anniversary as a world leading festival city will be celebrated during Edinburgh Hogmanay’s Midnight Moment. This will add both a memorable and spectacular element to the Hogmanay celebrations, as well as playing a valuable role in promoting Scotland as the perfect stage for events.” 

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