Hogmanay fireworks to be set to music for the first time

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THE Capital’s Hogmanay fireworks are to be set to music for the first time this year.

The five-minute display will be accompanied by songs from four of “Scotland’s biggest artists”, but organisers are not saying who the performers will be.

The spectacle involves thousands of fireworks set off from 45 locations spread around the Castle and West Princes Street Gardens.

More than 20 tonnes of equipment and 7.5 miles of control cables and wires are used and work to set up the display has already started.

Pete Irvine, artistic director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “Every year we offer something new and exciting to our guests and I am thrilled that for the first time our spectacular midnight fireworks will be set to music. What a great way to welcome 2013.”

The fireworks will be launched by an Italian couple who won a VisitScotland competition that had 9000 entries. Alice Zitella and Alessandro Bongiorni, from Rome, will start the countdown to midnight on stage at the Concert in the Gardens.

Alice said: “To visit Scotland has always been my dream. The land of fantastic writers, like Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has always fascinated me. Today, I can finally experience Scottish culture.”

The celebrations start on Sunday with a torchlit procession led by Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland before the street party and concert on Monday featuring Simple Minds, The View and The Maccabees.