Edinburgh's Hogmanay announce full line up and programme of events for three day festival

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay invite revellers to travel to Scotland’s capital city 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 line-up for the UK’s largest outdoor winter music festival, and details of all the entertainment over three days from Friday 30 December 2016 to Sunday 1 January 2017.

Edinburgh is the ‘Home of Hogmanay’, and organisers are expecting another sell-out event, welcoming 150,000 visitors from over 80 countries 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 will not only kick-start 2017, but also launches a year of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh becoming the world’s leading festival city. The Festival is also a key part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals celebrations.

The celebrations begin on Friday 30 December with the family-friendly Torchlight Procession, which welcomes 30,000 participants (including 10,000 torchbearers) who wind their way through the city streets lined with tens of thousands of spectators.  The Procession, which is supported by EventScotland, will move from the Old Town towards the fireworks finale on Calton Hill which can be viewed from across the city and from the streets surrounding the hill.  This year participation in the Torchlight Procession and access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family with new event wristbands which must be purchased to participate in the procession. A donation from the sale of both torches and wristbands will be given to the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay charity UNICEF, which last year received over £50,000 from Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fundraising to help children affected by the war in Syria.

On Saturday 31 December, the musical line-up across the seven open air 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 features headliner Paolo Nutini in his only festival performance in 2016.  The Scottish singer, songwriter and musician from Paisley, creator of three multi-platinum albums, was described by the BBC as “arguably one of Scotland’s biggest musicians right now”. Paolo Nutini this year celebrates the 10th anniversary of his seminal debut album ‘These Streets’ and will be joined by a line-up of very special guests to be announced shortly.

Paolo said "When they offered us the gig, I was made up, as it was 10 years ago that we had shown up at the castle, lined up to play alongside the Pet Shop Boys and unfortunately it was a washout ... forcing the powers that be to cancel. We went back as a three piece in ‘08 to play a small set before legging it to Glasgow for George Square but this now gives us a chance to make up for lost gigs.   We had no plans for any shows this year after Wales but this was the only one that over the years I hoped that we would get another shot at.  Edinburgh is electric at that time of year and I'm glad we get a chance to be a part of it. Let's dance ladies and gentleman."

The Waverley Stage (Indie) will be headlined by music legends The Charlatans.  With a career spanning four decades, the band have provided the soundtrack to a generation with all of their twelve studio albums charting in the Top 40 in the UK, three of them being number ones. They have also achieved an incredible seventeen Top 30 singles and four Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart. Revellers at the Street Party can expect a hit-packed set to welcome the New Year.  The Charlatans will be joined by special guests to be announced shortly.

The Castle Stage (Scottish) features exhilarating performances from leading Scottish Celtic crossover bands Salsa Celtica , Manran and Ross Ainslie, Ali Hutton & Friends.

The Frederick Stage (Party) provides the soundtrack to the whole Street Party with a heart-thumping, show stopping, disco dancing set featuring DJ’s, dancers and performers from Guilty Pleasures, fresh from their hugely successful set at last year’s event.   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 (Jazz), programmed in collaboration with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, features James Brown is Annie, Brass Gumbo and Blues n Trouble.

The Candlelit Concert will take place in the magnificent setting of St Giles’ Cathedral and the record-breaking Old Town Ceilidh returns to Parliament Square with two live open air stages featuring the best in traditional Scottish music and a new sponsor in Belhaven Brewery, who will be providing revellers with the best in local food and drink.  The main Ceilidh Stage features performances from Kilter and HotScotch and ‘Ceilidh Makers’ will be on hand to make sure everyone knows the moves. The smaller stage features the very best in young Scottish musicians, including the award-winning Talisk, Top Floor Taivers and musicians from Feis Rois, for a more informal atmosphere. 

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. 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.

After the bells on the 31st December, free Hogmanay NightBus Services for revellers will once again run throughout the capital provided by Official Transport Provider Lothian Buses and supported by Diageo. A welcome journey home at the end of the celebrations, which last year helped over 18,000 revellers get home safely. 

On Sunday 1 January 2017 the ‘Stoats Loony Dook’ 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 once again 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.  The event is supported by Stoats, who’ll be there on the day, warming everyone up with bowls of tasty porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition.

On New Year’s Day, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands, an adventurous journey across Edinburgh’s Old Town with the very best in music, art and theatre created and curated by Scotland’s most innovative artists 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 announced in early November.

The Final Fling, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay closing ceilidh, will take place at 5.30pm at the National Museum of Scotland on Sunday 1 January.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay also introduces Sprogmanay - New Year fun for families with young children offering arts and crafts, storytelling, music and dancing over the three days of the Festival including a free family ceilidh and Wee Scot:Lands. Sprogmanay will be concentrated in and around the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is going to kick off 2017 as we mean to go on. Welcoming in the 70th anniversary year of Edinburgh, the Festival City, the three-day festival will see the return of the Torchlight Procession, on New Year’s Eve Edinburgh’s World Famous Street Party and the Loony Dook for those who dare. The musical line-up will be one of the strongest yet with a vibrant mix of traditional Scottish music, jazz, disco and DJs, plus Paolo Nutini showcasing his only festival performance of the year! Come on in to 2017 at the greatest street party on earth.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said, “Attracting over 150,000 visitors, and with many thousands more watching from home, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a key event within Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme. There is no better place to bring in the New Year than Scotland and once again we look forward to warmly welcoming people from near and far to the Hogmanay celebrations happening the length and breadth of the country”. 

Penny Dougherty, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s place alongside the New Year celebrations of the world’s leading cities proves that Edinburgh continues to punch above its weight and that Scotland is the Home of Hogmanay. As the world’s leading festival city and on the back of two sell-out years, we are looking forward to another exhilarating three days of Hogmanay celebrations. We are delighted to have Paolo Nutini headline our Festival and as we take to the streets with a diverse programme of events we offer a truly Scottish experience, proving once again that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is THE place to welcome 2017.”

Tickets for Concert in the Gardens, the world famous Street Party, The Old Town Ceilidh, pre-booked Torches and wristbands for the Torchlight Procession and registration for the Loony Dook, go on general sale on Friday 30 September through www.edinburghshogmanay.com, by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455 or by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh. Limited pre-sale Concert in the Gardens tickets will be on sale to edinburghshogmanay.com registered users from 10.00am on Thursday 22 September.

Street Party tickets are priced at £25.00 (including booking fee).  Early bird tickets for EH postcode residents priced at £20.00 (including booking fee) are available until 30 November. Old Town Ceilidh Tickets are priced at £47.50 (including Booking Fee).  Torches for the Torchlight Procession can be pre-booked (priced at £12.00), price includes a wristband for access to the Torchlight Procession, additional wristbands for accompanying friends and family can be purchased at £3.00.  Sale of Torches and Torchlight Procession wristbands include a donation to Unicef.  Registration for the Stoats Loony Dook is also open (£10.00 including booking fee and 10% donation to the South Queensferry branch of the RNLI).  Tickets for the Final Fling are priced at £6.50 (including Booking Fee) and £20.00 for a family ticket, (2 adults, 2 children) and for Candlelit Concert at £18.50 (including Booking Fee).

Limited Premium Three Day packages will be available for Concert in the Gardens and Old Town Ceilidh from Friday 30 September.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council by Unique Events, working with partners Underbelly who produce Edinburgh’s Christmas attractions and events. 

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