Human League and Huey Morgan headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Philip Oakey of The Human League
Philip Oakey of The Human League
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Eighties chart-toppers The Human League and Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan have been unveiled as headliners for Edinburgh’s revamped Hogmanay celebrations.

They will take revellers through the bells at the climax of a new open-air carnival which will see the festivities run for an extra two hours.

Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin' Criminals

Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin' Criminals

Scottish Album of the Year winners Sacred Paws and the Skye-based electronica outfit Niteworks, who are appearing with Danny MacAskill at the Hydro in Glasgow during its Celtic Connections festival, will be supporting The Human League at the Waverley Stage.

Another leading trad music outfit, The Treacherous Orchestra, will be returning to the street party to headline a stage at the east end of Princes Sreet, where the festival favourites Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 will also be performing.

Rising English teenage star Declan Mckenna, one of the BBC’s Sound of 2017 contenders, will be supporting the headliner of the flagship “Concert in the Gardens” beneath Edinburgh Castle, soul star Rag’n’Bone Man, while Edinburgh-born Nina Nesbitt will be returning to appear four years after her debut performance.

Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli has already been unveiled as the host of the “rebooted” Hogmanay street party and is expected to make regular appearances on giant screens inside the arena.

It emerged in July that the Hogmanay party, which is being staged for the 25th time, would be starting at 7pm instead of 9pm for the first time.

Street performers, dancers, acrobats and fire-eaters are being introduced to the event for the first time under a major shake-up ordered by Underbelly as part of a bid to step up competition with rival events in the likes of Sydney, Hong Kong and New York.

A series of surprise “communal moments” are also planned to unite the 60,0000 revellers on Princes Street, which a new team of sound, light, audio-visual and production designers is working on to create spectacular new effects.

Underbelly has drafted in the head of ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics to help advise on a complete “reboot” of the street party aimed at “creating distance” between Edinburgh and its overseas competitors.

The company has hired Martin Green, who is currently overseeing Hull’s UK City of Culture programme and masterminded the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire, as executive producer for the next three years.

Underbelly directors Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “We’re thrilled to announce the full music line-up for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which we’re immensely proud of.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the UK’s, if not the world’s, best new year celebration and this diverse line up of up and coming talent, current superstars like Rag’n’Bone Man and pop legends The Human League really demonstrates that.

“We’re also delighted to have Scottish acts showcased on every stage at Scotland’s new year festival.”

Nesbitt said: “I can’t wait to return to one of the best new near celebrations in the world. It’ll be so nice to be back in my home city bringing in 2018 with my friends and family.” 

Donald Wilson, culture leader at the city council, said: “Providing a stellar send off for the city’s special 70th anniversary Festival year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will see the return of the torchlight procession, our world-famous street party and the Loony Dook for those who dare.

“The musical line-up will be one of the most wide-ranging yet with a vibrant mix of traditional Scottish folk and ceilidh music and the sound of Scotland’s own Nina Nesbitt, Treacherous Orchestra, Sacred Paws and The Mac Twins.

“The Human League will inject the street party with their infectious pop music while stages in all corners of the arena will feature a mixture of musical sounds and styles to suit every taste.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is brought to you on behalf of the council, for the enjoyment of residents and visitors from everywhere. Join us as we kick off 2018 as we mean to go on.”