EDINBURGH ANNOUNCES HOGMANAY FESTIVAL 2018

The home of Hogmanay and the place to celebrate New Year, Edinburgh today announces the programme for its 25thHogmanay festival.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 is better than ever before with new events, including the family friendly Bairns Afore and a new look ceilidh at the foot of the city’s iconic castle, an extended fireworks display which will rival any other city in the world this New Year, and a revamped and animated Street Party that keeps the celebration going all evening.

The three-day festival opens on 30 December 2017 with the stunning traditional Torchlight Procession which this year blazes a new path seeing the river of light weave its way through the historic heart of the city around Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament before culminating in a stunning visual moment in Holyrood Park: #ScotWord project.

Marking the start of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will celebrate Scotland’s young citizens at the Torchlight Procession and give them the limelight on a Scottish and global stage. A Scotland wide engagement campaign co-designed and led by young people will seek to reach their peers in Scotland between the ages of 8 and 26 over the autumn/winter period this year in a quest to find #ScotWord. This one word will form the fiery finale of the popular Torchlight Procession on 30 December sharing with the world the answer of Scotland’s young people to the question “What makes you most proud to live in Scotland?”. Underbelly is working with Young Scot, the Scottish Government and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate to realise the project. Young Scottish singer and songwriter Nina Nesbitt leads the engagement campaign. 

On 31 December, local and visiting families have the opportunity to celebrate New Year together in West Princes Street Gardens at Bairns Afore. The family friendly celebration includes an hour of entertainment and culminates in its very own ‘midnight’ fireworks moment… at 6pm, allowing families to take their children home to bed before the late night reveling gets underway.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay renews its partnership with One City Trust, donating 50 pence from every ticket sold for the Torchlight Procession to the Trust as the Torchlight Procession Charity Partner for 2017. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will also make 300 free tickets for Bairns Afore available to the Trust to maximize the opportunity for young people around Edinburgh to get involved and celebrate Hogmanay. One City Trust is dedicated to fighting inequality and exclusion in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh’s Street Party is the only night long celebration that makes that midnight moment last with a 6 hour street party bringing the spirit of carnival and animating the length and breadth of the Princes Street arena in a hugely revamped programme for one of the world’s great parties.

From the moment the doors open at 7pm, till after the midnight bells have fallen silent, bands and DJs on stages, street performers and dancers, acrobats, disco divas and fire eaters will all combine to make it the party of a lifetime. Every great party needs a host and we’re delighted that the 2018 Street Party will be hosted by Sanjeev Kohli (Still Game, BBC). Scotland’s own Struan Leslie joins the creative team as director of the Street Party bringing his extensive experience across TV and stage productions.

Ringing in the New Year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay sees the longest, biggest and best fireworks display for years – set to music and once again launched from Edinburgh Castle.

Underbelly is engaging an internationally renowned creative team of sound, light, audio visual and production designers to produce celebrations on the 31st December. The team is led by Martin Green, one of the UK’s leading live event producers, Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and currently the CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival doesn’t stop when the bells finish ringing. On Monday 1 January 2018, the brave, the foolhardy and the generous dive into the chilly Firth of Forth for the Loony Dook, raising money for a huge range of charities in the process.

As dusk falls on 1 January, Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, celebrates its rich literary heritage and that of Scotland with projections across buildings and landmarks across the city. In a nod to Robert Burns’s poem SketchNew Year’s DayMessage from the Skies sees literary star Val McDermid join with dramaturg, Philip Howard of Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based projection company Double Take Projections and some of Scotland’s best soundscape artists to create and write a new short story which will lead audiences on a trail around Edinburgh. Message from the Skies runs until 25 January 2018 in a celebration of the Bard’s day too. Message from the Skies is a joint commission by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival and is developed in partnership with Edinburgh City of Literature and is supported by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO fund.

Edinburgh is the world’s festival city with internationally renowned festivals year-round and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks them off at the beginning of every year.

Underbelly was awarded the contract by City of Edinburgh Council to produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this spring and 2018 will see the first event under its direction. Underbelly was born out of Edinburgh, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000, and is known in Edinburgh already for its purple cow shaped Fringe presence and a successful 4 years of Edinburgh’s Christmas. Underbelly produces major outdoor events across the world including West End Live and Pride in London, the 2nd largest annual event in London other than the Marathon and which sees over 1 million people create a massive party atmosphere in London.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 is supported by City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government through the Edinburgh Festival’s Expo Fund, EventScotland International Events Programme and Scotland’s Winter Festivals Fund and the Year of Young People 2018 Events fund, all working together to create a bold new Hogmanay for Scotland.

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