Hogmanay will be a Scream as Capital tempts party-goers east

Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie
Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie
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The Capital’s Hogmanay street party is to launch a major drive to attract revellers from Glasgow, backed by securing one of the city’s most famous bands.

Primal Scream will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed album Screamadelica by headlining the Concert In The Gardens event in Princes Street Gardens this Hogmanay, playing the anthemic CD in its entirety before the bells, followed by a greatest hits selection after midnight.

It is hoped that securing one of the west coast’s most successful musical exports, together with the cancellation of Glasgow’s Hogmanay street party, can lead to an influx of visitors from the west.

It is hoped that the drive to attract audiences from the west will mean that the recent gradual decline in the number of people attending the street party can be halted.

Last year’s party, headlined by Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, attracted 70,000 people – the lowest turnout since the event moved to Princes Street – and ran up an £81,000 loss.

Pete Irvine, director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said Glasgow audiences would be targeted more than usual. He said: “Many Edinburgh people hardly ever go to Glasgow except for things like the football, and “Weegies” hardly ever come here. But they [Primal Scream] have a big following in the west and that is a hugely influential album, so we think people will come from Glasgow and elsewhere.”

He said discussions are continuing with transport providers about late-night services in and out of Edinburgh, as well as regarding the possibility of the traditional free shuttle bus service within the city.

Screamadelica is widely regarded as one of the top UK albums of all time and has regularly made it into “greatest album” lists in the music press.

Tickets for the Concert In The Gardens, which cost £40 – the same price as last year – are to go on sale on Thursday at 9am. Briefs for the street party – which does not include entrance to the Primal Scream concert but will include a series of live bands that have not yet been confirmed – have also been pegged at £15, the same price as last year.

Sales are beginning much earlier than usual to try to attract people who are in Edinburgh for the summer festivals to return again for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Cllr Steve Cardownie, the city’s festivals and events champion, said: “Our event has been huge but there is room for more and we would be delighted if people from around Scotland come here.

“Our event has gone from strength to strength year after year, while others have started and failed.”

mblackley@edinburghnews.com

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