They call it ‘the planet’s hottest party’ and as we prepare to see out the old and ring in the new, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has something for everyone. Liam Rudden checks out the events set to keep the Capital partying over the next three days
This hugely popular event has been a complete sell-out for the last few years and is once again expected to attract more than 30,000 participants and 8,000 torchbearers. The procession will wind its way through the city centre from George IV Bridge to the finale at the Calton Hill as well as Waterloo Place where there will be additional entertainment.
This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family.
CONCERT IN THE GARDENS
The flagship gig this year kicks off with world renowned Australian ABBA impersonators Bjorn Again, followed by Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul, who will close their 25th anniversary world tour here in the Capital.
Headliner, bringing in The Bells this year is Lily Allen and while enclosure tickets have already sold out, some tickets for Princes Street Gardens are still available. Best of all the weather forecast is, so far, looking favourable.
The biggest ever Hot Dub Time Machine is set to take the 75,000 revellers at the Street Party back to 1954 before getting them to Moonwalk, Mashed Potato and Macarena their way through into 2015 with a banging song from each year relayed from the Rewinder Stage on the Mound.
Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, says, “The Street Party boasts the world’s biggest open air dance floor and this year we really are going to party, including at The Concert – we should say Party – in the Gardens. On the other stages we’ve got the perfect Scottish line-up.”
Of those other stages, the Waverley Stage boasts Twin Atlantic and the Capital’s Mercury Prize winning alternative hip hop group Young Fathers, as well as Indie champions The Twilight Sad.
On the Scottish Stage entertainment will come courtesy of singer-songwriter Eddi Reader with special guests Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Breabach. For those fancying a jig, the Keilidh on the Mound will feature The Smashers, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience.
All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am. Dress to keep warm.
NEW YEAR’S DAY
Work off the excess of the night before with a dip in the River Forth in the annual Queensferry Loony Dook. Starting with a Dookers Parade through South Queensferry featuring pipers and a host of entertainment the brave, or daft, Dookers will take the chilly plunge for charity under the world renowned Forth Bridge. For those not brave enough to get their feet wet, there are plenty of vantage points to watch the action and spectators are welcomed.
Hidden in 11 buildings and outdoor spaces in the city’s Old Town, Scot:Lands allows audiences to discover music, art and theatre for free. Building on the success of last year, pre-register free of charge for this year’s event at edinburghshogmanay.com.
Once allocated a time slot go to Home:Land at the National Museum of Scotland where you will be randomly selected to embark on a tour of the 11 entertainments which include: Heart:Land – Musician Roddy Hart, Withered Hand, Lonesome Fire and Admiral Fallow entertain; HebCelt:Land – with Rura, Iain Morrison and Malin; IS:Land - featuring Kenny Anderson, The Hannah Fisher Trio and Des Lawson.
Meanwhile, Neu:Land offers cabaret from arts collective Neu Reekie; Blether:Land presents a programme inspired by Sir Walter Scott and the poet Robert Fergusson; and School:Land offers a series of interactive street games, inspired by school playgrounds of the past. As well as music and spoken word, audiences will come upon a film by Virginia Heath at From Scot:Land shown in a closed-off Old Town street, and a unique screening at Tide:Land in a hidden location, accompanied by Joe McAlinden’s haunting score.
Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are available from www.edinburghshogmanay.com.