City of Edinburgh Council and Underbelly have released details of Edinburgh Hogmanay 2018, the 25th edition of the famous New Year celebrations.

A new look ceilidh will take place at the foot of the city’s iconic castle, an extended fireworks display will ring in the New Year and a revamped and animated Street Party will keep the celebrations going all evening.

The three-day festival opens on December 30, 2017 with the traditional Torchlight Procession which will blaze a new path through the heart of the city around Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament before culminating in a visual moment in Holyrood Park.

On December 31, 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 Street Party is the only night-long celebration that makes that midnight moment last with a six-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.

Ringing in the New Year, fireworks, set to music, will once again be launched from Edinburgh Castle.

Underbelly is engaging an internationally renowned creative team of sound, light, audio visual and production designers to produce celebrations on December 31. 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.

This spring, Underbelly was awarded the contract by City of Edinburgh Council to produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and 2018 will see the first event under its direction.

Charlie Wood, director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said:We are humbled and thrilled to be delivering a new programme for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in 2018. Edinburgh can claim to be the home of New Year festivals and we will work hard to ensure that the programme delivers something fresh and exciting every year to keep residents, UK visitors and international tourists flocking to this world famous Festival City through the winter months.

“From the new culmination of the Torchlight Procession with Scotland’s young people’s chosen word being created in blazing torches to the extended midnight fireworks, the new Bairns Afore for families, the re-booted Street Party carnival and the almost month long project Message from the Skies illuminating the city’s dark January nights, we are confident that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 will offer lots of ways for people to enjoy this ‘must do’ globally famous event.” 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “One of the annual highlights of Edinburgh’s event calendar and one which enhances Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events, this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will herald the start of Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People and showcase a variety of brand new elements designed to appeal to a range of audiences.”

“We are delighted to be supporting Underbelly with their exciting and ambitious plans for Edinburgh’s 25th Hogmanay celebrations. There are many places in the world to spend New Year, but few can match the uniquely authentic cultural experience which Scotland offers to thousands of visitors and locals alike each year.”

Image: Chris Watt