Edinburgh City Council is polling residents on how Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations should be delivered from 2022 onwards.

The council has contracted Progressive, a market research company, to undertake a 12-week consultation to garner views on mass gatherings, street parties, live music events and fireworks.

The findings will determine the fate of Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals programme, including the concentration of events and the geographic spread of events across the city centre. And rather worryingly, the outcome could see events dropped entirely despite the fact that Edinburgh’s Christmas shows an impact of £113.2 million for the city and Hogmanay generates £39.2 million.

The poll was originally planned for spring 2020 but the delivery of the consultation was delayed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of all public consultations.

Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities convener for City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We want to hear from the people of Edinburgh both on how our Winter Festivals should be delivered and indeed what should be delivered. Their feedback to our consultation will shape the future direction of our celebrations from 2022 onwards, when the current arrangements come to an end. This is a good time to take stock and look at what people think and what people want.”

He continued: “Our Winter Festivals have grown in size and renown both at home and throughout the world. Their cultural and economic importance is well documented and through this consultation we will establish a balanced knowledge of how Edinburgh citizens regard these celebrations, both positive and negative. It is therefore important that as many people as possible make their views heard and I would urge everyone, whatever their views, to spend the small amount of time needed to complete the survey and have their say.”

The consultation is asking residents for their experiences of Christmas and Hogmanay, as well as the activities that they would like to see included in the planning and operation of the festivals in the future. For example, the public is being asked to vote on priorities and preferences: Should Edinburgh music, literature, art and culture be given more prominence?

The consultation will close on May 19 and the outcomes will be presented to both the Festivals and Events All Party Oversight Group and to the Culture and Communities Committee later this year.

Image: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay/Underbelly