Watch: Revellers from 87 countries help sell out Edinburgh's 'best ever' Hogmanay party as tickets go on sale for 2020-21 event

International travellers from 87 countries were in the sold-out 75,000 strong audience as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay - as organisers announced that tickets are already on sale for the next street party.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 2:26 pm
Revellers from 87 countries were said to have travelled to Edinburgh for its 27th annual Hogmanay festival.

They revealed that revellers had travelled to the celebrations, which are worth around £40 million to the city's economy, from as Nepal, Vietnam, Peru, Argentina, India, Mexico, Bermuda and Singapore.Producers Underbelly declared the event the “best ever” in the festival’s 27-year history - despite controversy over its impact on local residents and the city centre.

Police chiefs revealed they did not have to make a single arrest inside the Hogmanay street party arena, which was expanded to include the Royal Mile and Parliament Square for the first time in 20 years.

Around 3.3 tonnes of fireworks were fired above Edinburgh Castle for an eight-minute display after the bells, which was set to a soundtrack masterminded by the festival's headliner, Oscar-winning musician and DJ Mark Ronson, who performed a sell-out show in West Princes Street Gardens.

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Street theatre groups from France, Germany and the Netherlands mingled with the crowds on Princes Street, while Marc Almond, The Snuts, Idlewild and Shooglenifty were among the musical acts who performed at the street party, which was hosted by Love Island stars The Mac Twins.

In the early hours of the morning Underbelly revealed that revellers can already secure their place at the event which will herald the start of 2021, with 10,000 "early bird" tickets put up for grabs.

An official announcement said: "There's a reason why our street party is world-renowned... it's THE place to be on New Year's Eve.

"Party under the stars with an international selection of bands, DJs and street performers and prepare to be entertained from the moment the doors are thrown open at 7.30pm ‘til far into the night as you welcome 2021 in unforgettable fashion.

"As midnight falls, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display illuminating the sky over Edinburgh Castle."

Underbelly said it expected the overall attendance at the three-day event, which got underway with a torchlight procession down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park to top 180,000 and will end with the unveiling of Message From The Skies, a project which will see a string of landmarks across the city lit up by images of work created by five of the nation's leading writers, including Irvine Welsh and Kathleen Jamie.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly, said: "Edinburgh overwhelmingly celebrated a togetherness of Edinburgh people and visitors from 87 different countries, showing to the world the true spirit of Scotland’s and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

“We thank the many people who worked together to make the best ever Hogmanay."

The eight-minute fireworks display after the bells was set to a soundtrack created by superstar DJ Mark Ronson, the event's headliner.

Donald Wilson, the city council's culture chief, said: "Edinburgh’s Hogmanay truly remains the place to be to bring in the bells and this year was no exception.

“With one of the best artist line-ups ever, tonight has been a truly fantastic event, with tens of thousands of residents and visitors bringing in the bells and enjoying an outstanding fireworks finale."

Polilce Scotland chief superintendent Alan Waddell , the officer in charge of the event, said: “I am delighted to report that there were been no major incidents to report within the arena and no arrests have been made."

The Hogmanay festivities in the city centre got underway with a late-afternoon family-friendly Bairns Afore event which attracted several thousand revellers Princes Street Gardens.

French street theatre company Picto Factor were among the entertainers brought to Edinburgh for the festivities.

Thousands of revellers poured into Princes Street for the main event, which ran for five and a half hours from 7.30pm.

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.

The street party saw an estimated 75,000 people flock into the city centre for five and a half hours of festivities.

"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."

Soft Cell star Marc Almond performed a headline slot at the street party's Waverley Stage.
Waverley Bridge was filled with revellers for the 27th annual street party.
Thousands of revellers danced their way into 2020 at a ceilidh beneath Edinburgh Castle.
Mark Ronson headlined Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations for the first time months after winning an Oscar.