From dusk till dawn, transforming Scotland’s Capital over three days of events, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is back. Crowds of locals, and those just visiting for the festival bustling through events within Princes Street Gardens to unite in the celebrations for one night to welcome the new year. Fun for all the family with a range of events, from Bairns Afore concert to Edinburgh’s greatly coveted street party – marking the 26th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in style. This year’s Street Party was hosted by Johnnie Walker, with Scotland’s very own Mac Twins putting the party first presenting events throughout the night!

Let there be light, with an innovative torchlight procession. Edinburgh was taken by storm on the 30th December. Princes Street was shut off for this event, much to the inconvenience of many locals who had difficulty in their usual routes getting home. The swarm of torchbearers dominated the streets, within high spirits to map-out Scotland in this world. This new edition to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay proved a hit, it allowed the heart of Scotland to be visible for the world to see. It was lit.

This year’s #ScotArt Young Champions who led this year’s project, each carried a banner emblazoned with their regional symbol joined by the young pipe and drum bands at the head of the Torchlight Procession down the Royal Mile into Holyrood Park with their Procession formed the distinctive outline of Scotland lit by thousands of torches. The #ScotArt sculptures then came together to form a heart shape at the centre of this outline of Scotland, creating a spectacular finale to the Year of Young People 2018 with an iconic visual moment shared with the world. It really was something different to see and really was massive success welcomed by thousands.

Festivities were continued with the help of a hosts Mac Twins who presented throughout night covering the entire festival from end to another on Princes Street Garden. Bringing their own music tastes and getting thousands gathered for Street Party, their hosting went down a treat with festival-goers. Even better there Midnight set over on Castle Street went down by a storm which welcomed 2019 in style.


We can’t see Edinburgh’s Hogmanay without taking a look at all of the live acts of course. The music sets the foundations for a lively atmosphere. The Concert in the Gardens was set to be a triumph. As always The Concert In The Gardens sold-out, The acts as follows were Free Love performing at nine, Metronomy at five past ten and closing with Scottish rockers ‘ FRANZ FERDINAND ‘ at half-past eleven.

Free Love, the Glasgow-based duo of Suzi Rodden and Lewis Cook formerly known as Happy Meals took to the stage first.

With their euphoric storm of hippified techno sounds, whipped up by a barefoot Rodden and a beret-clad Cook on an analogue electronic kit flanked by a mini backdrop of psychic signs and symbols suggests biblical weather wouldn’t be a problem.

Rodden revels in conjuring electronic zaps into the air in between singing in French or else breaking out into Lindsay Kemp style dance routines. She also has fun with flowers in a way that probably hasn’t been seen since early Smiths gigs.

Joseph Mount’s five-piece version of Metronomy follows with a propulsive show of squelchy dancefloor prog, with wiggy keyboards and high-pitched vocal lines underpinned by a percussive pulse that makes for a deliciously pretty experience.

Franz Ferdinand enters with the sort of showbiz swagger fourteen months on the road and an old school dance hall style backdrop brings with it.

With guitarist Dino Bardot and multi-instrumentalist whizz-kid Julian Corrie now fully integrated into the fold by way of last year’s Always Ascending album, vocalist Alex Kapranos and co sound triumphal on pretty much everything they do.

The opening Do You Want To sees Kapranos customise the Transmission party line to enable a Hogmanay reference while casting himself as a wilfully cheesy MC.

He high-kicks it up on The Dark of the Matinee and teases with libidinous intent on No You Girls.

At times he sounds pre-pop, even as bassist Bob Hardy and drummer Paul Thomson bounce out irresistible disco rhythms behind.

This is offset by the glorious three-guitar strut of Michael, only to be compounded by a game take on Auld Lang Syne following the turn of the year fireworks.

Take Me Out’s anthemic yearning is punctuated by what looks like co-ordinated jumps, while the German-language outro on Darts of Pleasure makes for an all too fitting song for Europe.

Corrie poses just as well as Kapranos, his piano line on Lazy Boy ushering in one of what sounds like several twenty-first-century show-tunes for jukebox musicals to come.

Edging towards the finale, Kapranos drops to one knee and goes into full Las Vegas showman routine.

A closing This Fire is extended to an epic level, ending with a coup de theatre full of as much knowing grandiosity as the ensemble bow that follows.

The art school dance that sired Franz Ferdinand, it seems, goes on.89


Also, other music across Event Arena in legendary Street Party took place with a  fantastic line up of bands across the three stages in the Street Party arena included… Stephaine Cheape, Vistas, Gerry Cinnamon and Snap! over on Waverley Stage. Miracle Glass Company, Meute and Elephant Sessions over on St Andrew Square stage and Trendy Wendy, Judge Jules and The Mac Twins over on Johnnie Walker Stage.

Finally, the big moment arrives… Bam, Bang, Boom… the fireworks are set off at midnight. Tradition dictates the perfect ending to a phenomenal night. The countdown ticking, partygoers all gathered round to get an idyllic view of the different colours and shapes exploding. Shades of emerald green to candy pink, the people of Edinburgh in awe. Undeniably making the annual event all the worthwhile. Many Edinburgh locals took to Arthur’s Seat, in order to enjoy the display even further. Those watching on from the street party were still luckily able to capture an invaluable view. A real community was built here tonight, and I can say I was there.

Cllr Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council said:

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has long been the envy of cities across the globe. With one of the best ever artist line-ups ever, tonight has been a truly fantastic event, bringing together 75,000 revellers from all over the world to bring in the bells in the heart of Scotland’s Capital with a fantastic fireworks finale. The events provide a massive injection into the city and the country’s economy and showcase Scottish culture to people all over the world.”

David Cutter, President of Global Supply and Procurement, Diageo said:

“As hosts of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party this year, it’s been a fantastic event for Johnnie Walker to be part of. 

“Welcoming visitors and locals of Edinburgh to one of the world’s biggest New Year celebrations, has been a brilliant way to close 2018 as we look to an exciting year ahead. 

“We hope all those that attended the event enjoyed their dram of Johnnie Walker at the festivities and have a happy new year for 2019.”

Tonight’s Street Party hosted by Johnnie Walker came hot the heels of the iconic Torchlight Procession on the 30th December and ahead of The Loony Dook and Message from the Skies on New Year’s Day, which runs through to Burns Night in a unique cross-artform collaboration with ten of Scotland’s best artists, designers and musicians, six Scottish or Scotland based writers will pen a love letter to Europe which will be projected on to buildings across the city.

For those attending the Loony Dook, the procession starts just after 12noon and we expect the dippers to be dooking by 12.30 pm in South Queensferry. Further information is available here https://www.edinburghshogmanay.com/whats-on/loony-dook

1 January also sees two concerts from spectacular folk talents Carlos Nunez and Capercaillie at the stunning McEwan Hall. Carlos has been described as the Jimmy Hendrix of folk music and is set on giving the audience a fantastic, fast-paced night of music-making. Capercaillie is one of Scotland’s most popular folk outfits with a global following. Both concerts will feature a line-up of special guests.

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