Remember When: Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Sir Elton John performs at the landmark in 2000. Picture: TSPL
Sir Elton John performs at the landmark in 2000. Picture: TSPL
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Pete Irvine, the figurehead of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations since their inception more than 20 years ago, revealed this week that he is to leave the role.

He is also stepping down as managing director of Unique Events, the long-time producer of the festival, after agreeing to hand control of the company over to two colleagues.

Bryan Ferry at Edinburgh Castle in 2011. Picture: Greg Macvean

Bryan Ferry at Edinburgh Castle in 2011. Picture: Greg Macvean

The veteran impresario, the creative director of the festivities, said he had spent three years planning the move after deciding he had taken the Hogmanay celebrations as far as he could.

Mr Irvine, co-founder of Scotland’s first concert promoter, Regular Music, has been one of the most influential figures in the tourism and events industry in Scotland for the last 30 years.

The festival, which has survived two cancellations of the centrepiece street party due to bad weather, is now worth more than £40 million to the country’s economy.

But as our pictures show, Mr Irvine had far more to offer than just our New Year celebrations.

Mudge Ure, Bob Geldof and Bono at Murrayfield in 2005. Picture: TSPL

Mudge Ure, Bob Geldof and Bono at Murrayfield in 2005. Picture: TSPL

He brought us the Christmas festival, which had Santa swooping on Festival Square in his sleigh in 2001.

Crowds lined the Royal Mile on July 1, 1999 as the Queen arrived in the Capital to officially declare the Scottish Parliament open for business.

Mr Irvine also brought big-name music stars to the city, including Elton John, Bryan Ferry and Tom Jones to the Castle Esplanade.

And he was the man behind the Live 8 concert at Murrayfield in 2005, which saw Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and Bono unite on stage.

The Royal procession travels up the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, today (thurs) on the official opening of the Scottish Parliament.

The Royal procession travels up the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, today (thurs) on the official opening of the Scottish Parliament.