IT’S the biggest party night of the year and, though we may be blowing our own trumpet, the only place to celebrate Hogmanay is right here in the Capital. After all, 80,000 revellers from all corners of the globe can’t be wrong.
Throw in some of the biggest bands, DJs, street entertainers, giant screens, outdoor bars and several tonnes of breathtaking fireworks and you’re guaranteed to start the new year with a bang.
A total of 8500 people are expected to watch Concert In The Gardens, where Pet Shop Boys will perform a career-spanning greatest hits set along with the best bits from their twelfth album, Electric.
The legendary duo, whose songs include West End Girls, It’s A Sin and Always On My Mind, were due to headline the cancelled Hogmanay celebrations in 2006-07, so it’s a long overdue return for Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.
“We’ve always felt we’ve had some unfinished Hogmanay business in Edinburgh after the weather put a stop to the 2006 show,” says Tennant.
The elder statesmen of the discotheque will be joined at Concert In The Gardens by Manchester art-pop quartet The 1975, Edinburgh-born singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt and fast-rising local band 10:04s.
The 1975 have enjoyed a fantastic year as one of 2013’s biggest breakthrough bands. They recently embarked on a support slot across Europe with Two Door Cinema Club, played a clutch of triumphant shows at SXSW and, just last week, their single Chocolate beat the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Muse to be named as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record of 2013.
Former Balerno High pupil turned pop princess Nesbitt, who hit the top 30 with Stay Out this year and also recorded a version of Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop for a John Lewis advert, performs her winning brand of acoustic pop, while 10:04s, who have supported the likes of The Proclaimers, Razorlight and The View, are one of the most exciting young bands in Scotland.
The Capital’s famous Street Party is celebrating its 21st anniversary in style this year, and is again the centrepiece of a wide array of events and festivities which have helped ensure that Edinburgh is the place to be for the bells.
On the Waverley Stage are Scottish electro-pop group Chvrches, who have come out of nowhere in the last year to storm the charts with infectious hits like The Mother We Share and Lies.
The Lauren Mayberry-fronted trio have landed on countless ‘best-of’ lists for their excellent debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, and they are sure to put on a great show.
Also performing on the Waverley Stage are Mercury Prize nominees Django Django and local pop-punk legends The Rezillos.
Formed a few years back at Edinburgh College of Art, the Djangos’ quirky, clever and infectious pop never fails to be met with roars of approval from packed-out crowds.
The Rezillos’ Hogmanay set will see them perform a Wham-Bam selection of their classic material and will be the only appearance of the band prior to embarking on a UK and US tour to promote their new album in 2014.
Over on the Scottish Stage will be Fiddlers’ Bid, King Creosote and Treacherous Orchestra, while the Mound Stage features DJ Swiss and VJs Buttercup and Pixels.
For those who like their Hogmanay a little more traditional there’s the Keilidh Stage, where The Black Rose Ceilidh Band can be seen doing their thing.
As ever, the event ends with midnight fireworks as Edinburgh waves goodbye to the old and toasts the year ahead in its own unique style.
And the party doesn’t end there, with a full programme of events and activities on New Year’s Day suitable for those who want to ease gently into 2014 or keep the party going.
• Log on to www.edinburghshogmanay.com for full details
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events are remarkably safe. There are stewards and medical officers at all events, but remember you can also do your bit to make sure we all have a happy and safe New Year.
DO Arrive before 11.00pm – no entry to the Event Arena for Street Party, Keilidh or Concert in the Gardens after 11.00pm
DO Dress for the weather. It’s December, it’s Edinburgh.
DO Look after your friends
DO Arrange meeting points in case you become separated
DO Think about how you will get home. There are free buses supported by Lothian Buses and Diageo – details on www.edinburghshogmanay.com
DO listen out for announcements. In the event of an emergency, you may need to evacuate the arena.
DO get to know where the emergency services are stationed (see event map)
DON’T arrive after 11.00pm – NO ENTRY after 11.00pm
DON’T bring glass (including bottles) into any of the event arenas. There are bars in all event arenas. While alcohol can be brought into the Street Party arena, alcohol cannot be brought into the Concert in the Gardens or Keilidh Arenas.
DON’T expect entry if you’ve had too much to drink – you’ll be refused
DON’T bring children under 16 to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party (events on 30 December and 1stJanuary are for all the family).
DON’T forget your tickets and wristbands – you won’t get into the ticketed arenas without them.