The World Tunes In for Edinburgh's Hogmanay

More than 3.1 million people tuned in to watch the specially-created three-part drone film created for Edinburgh's Hogmanay.

Created as a reflection of the year that’s gone and a hope for the future, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay brought to life an exciting new piece of writing by award-winning poet and Scots Makar, Jackie Kay. Taking inspiration from Scotland’s land and air, the new work, titled Fare Well, took viewers on a breath-taking visual journey with the help of 150 individual drones, creating Scotland’s first ever large-scale drone show and the largest drone show ever seen in the UK. Featuring stunning Scottish scenery, the story started in the Highlands (near Spean Bridge) before moving to the iconic Forth Bridges with the finale in the home of Hogmanay – Edinburgh. From majestic snow-capped mountains to the historic Old Town of Edinburgh, this was a beautiful ode to Scotland not to be missed. The programme was delivered in three parts from 29-31 December at 7pm [GMT] each night - with the full edited c15 minute programme released on New Year's Day.

The three original parts of the programme were conceived as follows:

Part One 

Fare Well, Part One, The Past, which opens in the Scottish Highlands and closes above the Forth Rail Bridge, takes inspiration from what we've been able to do and not do during 2020: the funerals and weddings cancelled and our collective griefs and despairs. Jackie writes about the way that the air carries music, chants, hymns and the virus; but, despite the trauma of the months gone by, we can and must still hope:  hope for the future, hope for a new year and hope for each other.  

Part Two

Fare Well, Part Two, The Present, turns to look at us today and to give thanks for the many acts of community and kindness displayed by so many across the country. Jackie reflects on the goodness of the human spirit and our  sense of togetherness that has emerged in 2020. Part Two includes images of “WE” in the skies above Edinburgh – a message from Scotland of universality and commonality – with “WE” translated into many languages including French, Gaelic, Arabic, Greek, Korean, Mandarin and Thai.

Part Three

The final instalment of Fare Well sends a message of hope for 2021! After Parts One and Two of Fare Well, Part Three, The Future, looks to 2021 with optimism. Taking inspiration from a poem by Robert Burns (Sketch New Year's Day), Jackie echoes Burns’ question about the night of Hogmanay and asks what did ‘yesternight deliver’ and like Burns, finds that there is hope and that it is found in nature: we need only look up at the skies and we find hope. Joining David Tennant, Siobhan Redmond and Lorne MacFadyen to voice Part Three, are Miren (aged 9 from Glasgow) and Heather (aged 18 from Glasgow).

Reaction to the programme from the pubic was widely enthusiastic:

  • Liz Gray: Just stunning! I cried. The music - the poetry - the hope for the future.- beautifully done.
  • June Sewart: Well done to everyone on the production of this amazing project. It has to be regarded as one of the most poignant and innovative New Year message that resonates around the globe. Simply stunning !
  • Renato Ammann: They are genixs, it's magic. Good vibes, from Patagonia Argentina
  • Kasey T: I just loved this! Happy New Year from Texas. Thank you for sharing. This was amazing.
  • Worcestershire Disability FC: Without doubt the most creative and poignant Hogmanay message ever!!! I think I have something in my eye. The whole world is Scottish on Hogmanay and even more so after this wonderful piece. Thank You All!
  • Lee Williams: What a wonderful collaboration, and a lovely way to end the year. I watched from Melbourne, Australia where it has been 30 degrees Celsius today.
  • CP Wilson: Admiration of this incredible "show" = absolutely stunning! Magical. ~ shared by friends in Canada
  • Danny Hoelzl: B E A U T I F U !!!! We´ll keep a light on for you in the EU! Greetings from Austria and all the best!
  • Guido Braghieri: sensazionale - magnifico - complimenti sinceri
  • And astronaut Tim Peake sent Twitter in to overdrive with his comment:

Hog - TimPeakeTwitter

To find out more about the making of Fare Well, just watch the film below

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