Concert promoters reveal plans for Botanics event in Edinburgh

A circular carpet of dancing flames will create a "fire garden" for the new Christmas at the Botanics event.
A circular carpet of dancing flames will create a "fire garden" for the new Christmas at the Botanics event.
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Organisers of spectacular Christmas lights events in London, Oxfordshire and Berlin have revealed plans for their first major outdoor event in Edinburgh.

Classical concert promoters Raymond Gubbay Ltd are pledging to bring work from around the world to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh over the festive season.

Promoters behind the new Christmas at the Botanics event have revealed their first images for the festive show.

Promoters behind the new Christmas at the Botanics event have revealed their first images for the festive show.

Singing conifers and trees “festooned with giant baubles” are promised for a mile-long illuminated light trail that is being created for the show.

Other special effects being planned for the event, which will run from 23 November to 30 December, will create a “crystal lawn”, a “fairytale avenue” and a “fire garden.”

The Christmas at the Botanics event is being planned following the success of similar festival sound and light events staged by Gubbay at Kew Gardens in London, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Berlin Botanic Gardens.

The London-based events company has previously worked with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Henry Mancini, Yehudi Menuhin, Bryn Terfel and Katherine Jenkins.

Gubbay is staging open-air concerts by Razorlight, All Saints and James at Kew Gardens this summer, as well as special celebrations of James Bond and Star Wars at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and a celebration of space at the Royal Albert Hall.

The company’s new event in Edinburgh replaces the popular Botanic Lights event, staged over the previous three autumns, which was axed by the historic Edinburgh attraction earlier this year in favour of a new Christmas show.

Botanic Lights, which was organised by Edinburgh-based Unique Events since its inception, was launched in the wake of the huge success of the Enchanted Forest event in Perthshire since its launch in 2002.

Botanic Lights attracted more than 42,000 visitors last year and was previously honoured at both the Scottish Event Awards and the Museum and Heritage Awards.

However the new event will run for almost two weeks longer than Botanic Lights and will also coincide with Edinburgh’s Christmas festival for the first time.

Adult tickets for the new event will cost between £14 and £18, compared to £15 for last year’s event, while a child’s ticket will cost up to £12 a ticket, compared to £7.50 last year.

Unique Events missed out on the right to run the event at the Botanics shortly before it lost a bid to run Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay events.

The new Christmas at the Botanics event is being planned despite controversy over the decision to close down the contemporary art gallery at the Botanic Garden after 30 years.

Heather Jackson, director of enterprise at the Royal Botanic Garden, said: “Christmas at the Botanics is shaping up to be one of our most exciting events yet. It will be a magical experience for everyone, and will really show off the splendour of the garden. We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors to Christmas at the Botanics and creating a new must-attend festive event for Edinburgh.”

Jonathan Marks, chief development officer of Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said: “For Christmas at the Botanics, we will bring to Edinburgh work which has wowed people all over the world, alongside new installations created for the occasion.

“The Royal Botanic Garden is extraordinarily beautiful, with a spectacular story to tell and unique elements that will make it all the more special to bring a Christmas trail to the Capital.

“Visitors can experience the joy of Christmas away from the hustle and bustle of the shops and the city centre.”