Edinburgh's Hogmanay party declared a sell-out as 75,000 revellers celebrate start of 2020
Tens of thousands of revellers flooded into Edinburgh city centre to bring in 2020 as the 27th annual Hogmanay party was declared a sell-out success.
Organisers said a crowd of 75,000 attended the celebrations, which were headlined by Oscar-winning musician, songwriter and DJ Mark Ronson, who performed below Edinburgh Castle.
The crowds who flocked to an expanded street party arena, which included part of the Royal Mile and Parliament Square for the first time in 20 years, enjoyed dry and calm conditions throughout more than five hours of official festivities.
The entire event was also live streamed for the first time in its history on Facebook, YouTube and the official Edinburgh's Hogmanay website.
Organisers used their own 16-camera crew to capture highlights from the event to allow people on the other side of the world to experience it for the first time.
Street performers in striking costumes drawn from France, Germany, the Netherlands and across the UK mingled with the crowds on Princes Street, where Love Island stars The Mac Twins were hosting the festivities on the giant screens.
Marc Almond, Idlewild, Shooglenifty, The Snuts, Keir Gibson and The Snuts were among the acts appearing on stages around the street party arena, which was thronged with revellers from early evening. Organisers declared the street party was a sell-out at 10pm, an hour and a half after the last tickets for Mark Ronson's Hogmanay in the Gardens event were snapped up.
Speaking before taking to the stage for his show in West Princes Street Gardens, London-born Ronson, who was headlining the event for the first time, said he had performed in Abu Dhabi, New York, London and Miami in recent years, but none of them had an event on the scale of Edinburgh's.
He said: “I have been working on new year’s eve probably 90 per cent of my adult life. Edinburgh is right up there, party-wise, and in terms of the whole city coming together and the spirit of the event.
“My mother’s mother is from Edinburgh so I’ve always known what a big deal Hogmanay is in Scotland. New year’s eve anywhere is a party, but it’s especially so in Edinburgh.
“Usually, I’m playing new year’s eve in a small nightclub, but with this thing I am right in the middle of a giant party taking over the whole city.“New York has its ball drop in Times Square on new year’s eve but it’s not the same as thing as Edinburgh has, which is a like a carnival where the whole city turns into a party.”
Lorraine Troskie, 44, from South Africa, said: "I am living in London at the moment and we did a road trip through Scotland last week. We loved it so much we decided to extend our trip to stay in Edinburgh for Hogmanay. I have relatives who had been before who told me that it was magical. I thought I would come and see it for myself.
"Edinburgh is just absolutely beautiful. It's a bit like being in a fairytale because the city is so magical. Everyone has been so helpful and friendly. It's been great to see how much preparation has gone into the event."
Seungjun Lee, 23, from South Korea, said: "I was studying in the United States and decided to come to the UK for a graduation trip. This is my first ever time in Edinburgh. I didn't know anything about the Hogmanay party at all until I was in London for a couple of days and my friends were asking if I was coming here.
"Everyone has been recommending Edinburgh for a visit. I feel like I'm really catching it at the right time. It's very lively at the party but during the day it was pretty slow and everyone was really nice. You just don't get that in London or New York, where everybody is always so busy. People have been holding doors open for me here. I wish I could retire here."
Barry Cardy, 71, from Hampshire, said: "The event has really been on our bucket list. We always come to the Christmas market in early December. Every year we go home and think: 'We should have stayed for Hogmanay.' The first time I came to Edinburgh I just fell in love with it.
"There's so much to see and do in the city. The people are so friendly - you can just sit on the bus and start a conversation with someone. I've been very impressed with the organisation, especially given the number of people that are here."
Abby Liu, 21, from China, an accountancy student in Bolton, said: "I really wanted to come to the event as it is very famous in China. I've heard that so many people have come here for Hogmanay and that it is a very happy event. I think the city is gorgeous and the people have been so warm and friendly."
The Hogmanay festival was launched on Monday night with a spectacular fire parade from the Old Town to Holyrood Park, which attracted an estimated attendance of 40,000.
Further events are being staged on New Year's Day, including the annual Loony Dook into the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry, and the unveiling of Message From The Skies, a project which will see work from five leading Scottish writers, including Irvine Welsh and Kathleen Jamie, projected onto landmarks around the city every night until Burns Night.