Revellers set to light up Edinburgh as Hogmanay street party returns for first time in three years

Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party is set to make a spectacular comeback after a three-year absence - with thousands of revellers lighting up the city with the help of high-tech wristbands.

Festivalgoers will create a show of their own on and around Princes Street thanks to lighting effects used by the likes of Coldplay, Jay-Z, Sir Elton John and Celine Dion.

The collaboration with “wearable tech” company Xylobands will see the LED wristbands issued to ticket-holders creating patterns to coincide with music played by the event’s DJs.

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Organisers have promised ”one of the world's best new year fireworks displays” will unfold above Edinburgh Castle to herald 2023.

Thousands of revellers wearing LED wristbands are expected to light up Princes Street during Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.

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    Although the street party, which will run from 9pm-12.30am, will be focused on the western half of Princes Street, ticketholders will be able to access bars and attractions in East Princes Street Gardens, as well as The Mound.

    To reduce possible crowd congestion, the street party will have a reduced capacity of 30,000, half of what it was pre-pandemic, with tickets on sale from 10am on Tuesday.

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    A further 10,000 tickets go on sale for the “Concert in the Gardens” in West Princes Street Gardens for this month. The line-up is still under wraps for the gig, previously headlined by Primal Scream, The Proclaimers, Biffy Clyro, Simple Minds, Paolo Nutini, the Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall and Blondie.

    Efforts to revive the event last year were abandoned before Christmas in the face of growing concerns about a new Covid variant.

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    Princes Street will be transfored for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations for the first time in three years in December. Picture: Chris Watt

    Festival founders Unique Events have joined forces with another Fringe company, Assembly, to work on the festival.

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    They said wanted to reclaim Edinburgh’s crown as the home of “one of the greatest new year celebrations on the planet.”

    Unique Events director Penny Dougherty and Assembly founder William Burdett-Coutts said: “We can’t wait to welcome people back to celebrate in Edinburgh at the ‘Home of Hogmanay.’

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    “Our new LED wristbands will ensure that all revellers are part of the show and the spectacular ‘midnight moment.’”

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival is planned to go ahead for the first time in three years this December. Picture: Keith Valentine
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    Ticket prices will cost £27.50, although 5000 discounted tickets for EH postcode holders will cost £22.50.

    Tickets for the last street party to go ahead, in 2019-20, cost £31.50 each, although the offer for local residents was £21.50. Tickets for last year's abandoned street party cost £25.50 plus booking fee, with the EH discounted price £17.50 plus booking feee.

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    Unique Events director Al Thomson said: “We’ve tried to keep tickets as affordable as possible and in line with recent years.“The introduction of new technologies and entertainment obviously come at a cost, and with general event costs increasing significantly in the current climate, a small increase was necessary to ensure we continue to deliver a world-class event experience.”

    Val Walker, council culture convener, said: “Edinburgh is truly the home of Hogmanay and we’re very much looking forward to the return of the world-renowned street party.

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    Thousands of revellers wearing LED wristbands are expected to light up Princes Street during Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.

    "Revellers can expect an unforgettable firework and light show, and a new level of involvement with the addition of the personal LED wristbands. I can’t wait to see it.

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    “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay remains the place to be to bring in the bells and this year will be no exception."

    Jason Reigler, technology and innovation director at Xylobands, said: “New Year in Edinburgh is legendary, and we’ll bring in 2023 with a fun filled illumination of light, giving participants the wow factor.”

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    Thousands of revellers wearing LED wristbands are expected to light up Princes Street during Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.
    Edinburgh's Hogmanay fireworks. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA