Edinburgh's Hogmanay shows love for Europe

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Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has revealed its full programme for 2018/19, promising three days full of music, entertainment and partying, while celebrating of Scotland’s shared cultural, historic and social connections with Europe through its theme We Love You.

From world famous DJs to legends of the traditional music scene, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all set to welcome in the new year with more style and pizzazz and fun than ever. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect this winter:

New Year’s Eve

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The Concert in the Gardens (31 December)

As we covered a few weeks back, this year’s headline act for the main stage on New Year’s Eve will be Franz Ferdinand, with the Scottish indie legends very ably supported by Metronomy and Free Love. It should be a fantastic night.

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The Street Party hosted by Johnnie Walker (31 December)

Beyond Princes Street Gardens, partygoers will find lots of great options with live music across multiple stages and spectacular street performers, dancers and acrobats at every turn.

Superstar DJ Judge Jules will headline the Castle Street Stage as the midnight moment approaches, with local favourite Trendy Wendy building the vibe beforehand, and Street Party hosts The Mac Twins taking the crowd through into the wee hours.

Over on the Waverley Stage one of 2018’s festival stars, Gerry Cinnamon, will headline in a lineup that also features Edinburgh band, Vistas, and German Eurodance royalty, Snap!

And at the South St David Street Stage, fans will be entertained by indie folk foursome Elephant Sessions, psychedelic rock’n’rollers Miracle Glass Company and Hamburg’s live ‘drum-and-brass’ house and techno interpreters Meute.

Fans making their way from one stage to another as the evening goes on will also be treated to a unique combination of circus, popular, folk and classical music from French artistes Transe Express, a herd of huge glowing white horses from their compatriots Compagnie Des Quidams, the stirring sounds of the local all-female Diva and Districts Pipes and Drums band, plus choirs, pyro entertainers and more. 

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The Street Party Silent Disco (31 Dec)

New for this year, Market Street will play host to the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Silent Disco, giving you the chance to don your headphones, choose your tunes and get dancing with people who may not even be listening to the same music!

And at midnight, there’s a specially composed soundtrack created by Meute (see above) to perfectly accompany the fireworks as 2019 begins. 

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Ceilidh Under the Castle (31 Dec)

If traditional Scottish music is more your thing, then the Ceilidh Under the Castle is for you, as top ceilidh bands including The Jimmy Shandrix Experience, Hugh MacDairmid’s Haircut and Ceilidhdonia put on a show to help you dance the night away.

Set beneath the towering Castle Rock, the Ceilidh is a brilliant spot to catch the midnight fireworks and there’ll be plenty of local food and drink to savour as the party whirls and birls on.

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And there’s even more on 31 Dec

Not content with four live music stages, one silent disco and a cracking ceilidh, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has even more to offer.

  • Classical music isn’t forgotten, with the traditional Candlelit Concert featuring the wonderful music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • If you fancy a taste of the high life, head for Hogmanay HQ at the Hub, a very special VIP evening of dinner, music, access to the Street Party and a prime view of the midnight fireworks.
  • And little ones are well catered for too, with two events, the Baby Loves Disco Hogmanay Bash and Bairns Afore giving even the very youngest a chance to celebrate Hogmanay before it’s time for bed! 

But before all that…

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay doesn’t begin on 31 December as you might expect - the fun gets underway one day earlier, with three great events to get pulses racing in advance of the big day.

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Torchlight Procession (30 Dec)

The much-loved Torchlight Procession is at the heart of things, of course, with its world-famous river of fire through the streets of the Scottish capital, heading from the historic Royal Mile down past the Scottish Parliament and into Holyrood Park.

This year’s procession will end with torchbearers making up the outline of Scotland itself, while in the centre, 14 specially created wicker sculptures (representing each of Scotland’s 14 regions) will come together to form a heart shape which will then be set alight.

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Symphonic Ibiza (30 Dec)

New for Hogmanay 2018/19, Symphonic Ibiza will temporarily transform the beautiful and historic McEwan Hall into a home for the Balearic beats and bliss of the famous White Island.

DJ Andy Joyce (Cream, Eden, Ministry of Sound, Creamfields) will work with a live 15-piece orchestra to deliver a set of hands-in-the-air club classics with a classical twist.

Baby Loves Disco Hogmanay Bash (30 Dec)

As on Hogmanay itself, this is a chance for smaller children to get a taste of the Hogmanay celebrations, with a club setting and an afternoon full of pop floor fillers. There’s also a short family ceilidh to enjoy and a practice run at singing Auld Lang Syne, plus face-painting, bubbles, balloons and more.


And that’s still not all!

After the heady fun of New Year’s Eve itself, Tuesday 1 January will see Edinburgh’s Hogmanay continue the party into 2019 with a series of great events to enjoy.

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The Loony Dook (1 Jan)

A traditional way to see in the New Year, the Loony Dook sees hundreds of hardy dookers brave the cold, cold waters of the River Forth, in the shadow of its iconic bridges at South Queensferry. Some will be in costume, some will be in their regular clothes, and all will be helping raise money for charity.

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First Footers Family Ceilidh (1 Jan)

If ice-cold water isn’t your scene, then how about a chance to start the new year with an invigorating bit of Scottish dancing, at this family-friendly ceilidh in the McEwan Hall? Young and old alike can enjoy the traditional sounds and steps at this afternoon event.

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Capercaillie and Special Guests (1 Jan)

The same venue, later in the day, will see this new collaboration between Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Celtic Connections launched with a live performance from the legendary Capercaillie. With guest musicians from across Europe, this early evening gig will inspire and excite.

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Carlos Nunez and Special Guests (1 Jan)

And back at the McEwan Hall once more for another Celtic Connections crossover, Galacian folk star Carlos Nunez is joined by a host of Scottish musicians for an evening of great music and cultural exchange.

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Message from the Skies (1 Jan and until 25 Jan)

Finally bringing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to a close for another year (although not before extending this literary event for a further 24 days) is Message from the Skies, returning for another celebration of the written word.

Projected onto iconic buildings and landmarks in the capital, six specially written love letters will allow six Scottish writers to express their feelings for Europe. The writers, poets, journalists and playwrights penning the six letters are Billy Letford, Chitra Ramaswamy, Kapka Kassabova, Louise Welsh, Stef Smith and William Dalrymple.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay runs from 30 Dec 2018 to 1 Jan 2019 (Message from the Skies, 1-25 Jan) - find out more at edinburghshogmanay.com

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