Ring in the new decade with Dick and Dom, Ronnie Scott, Idlewild and more at the world famous New Year's festival
As the bells ring out the old year, live events magnate Underbelly will encourage audiences to 'be together' at Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2019, marking the 27th edition of the city's iconic New Year party.
The festivities kick off on Mon 30 December with the annual Torchlight Procession, which will see a cast of thousands create a procession of blazing light, pipes and drums down to Holyrood Park, where they'll forge an outline of two people holding hands, symbolising the theme and intent of this year's festival. Afterwards, a line-up of local bands will perform for the crowd, before the evening is capped off with a fireworks display. Also on Monday, the stately McEwan Hall will house the return of Symphonic Ibiza, as DJ Andy Joyce leads the 20-piece Scottish Pops Orchestra through a stirring rendition of club anthems from the famous party island.
On New Year's Eve, Hogmanay's family-focused early evening event Bairns Afore will this year be headlined by much-beloved children's TV presenters Dick and Dom, who will be bringing a healthy dose of their trademark anarchy to their show DJ Battle, which will see Dick and Dom go head-to-head at the desks in a musical showdown unlike any other. After much revelry, families will then get to have their 'midnight moment' together with a fireworks display at 6pm, in time to get the little ones to bed.
A new addition to the programme sees Scotland join forces with Down Under in G'Day 2020, which coincides with Australia's New Year's celebrations as the first country to usher in the new decade. The great dome of McEwan Hall will reverberate with a lively programme of Aussie hits from soul singer Kylie Auldist, followed by Ronnie Scott's Big Band in Concert, featuring jazz vocalist Liane Carroll.
For those looking for a spot of elevated reflection amidst the merrymaking, the Candlelit Concert in St Giles' Cathedral will be performing a programme of magical Baroque works, including JS Bach's celebratory Christmas Oratorio and Antonio Vivaldi's moving Dixit Dominus. Meanwhile, ceilidh bands Sleekit Beasties, Skyte! and Cool Ceol Ceilidh Band will be setting up shop beneath the presence of Edinburgh Castle, for those looking for a traditional Hogmanay fling before the fireworks.
But of course, what remains at the heart of Hogmanay is the Street Party, which is once more sponsored by whisky purveyors Johnnie Walker, who will be providing all over-18 partygoers with a wee dram. This year's extensive music bill sees Edinburgh's the Mac Twins return as hosts and lead Hogmanay revellers, joined by the Great Calverto and Radio 1 DJ Arielle Free, on the Johnny Walker Stage.
Over at the Waverley Stage, the legendary Marc Almond shares a line-up with emerging singer-songwriter Keir Gibson, as well as Glasgow's glam rockers the Ninth Wave and ska band PorkPie. This year will also see the addition of the new High Street stage, which will be rocked by Scottish indie heroes Idlewild performing hits off their extensive catalogue, alongside West Lothian quartet the Snuts and 'acid croft' hitmakers Shooglenifty.
Symphonic Ibiza / credit: Roberto Ricciuti
The Street Party's 2019 theatre offering is a whirl of international colour and collaboration, which sees Scottish and European artistic companies pair up to create bright, bold new performances. Edinburgh's Circus Alba will join forces with France's Compagnie Remue-Ménage to stage an immersive performance for partygoers, while the Harbingers Drum Crew and German company Dundu will come together in an extravagant fusion of puppetry, sound and illumination to light up the night.
Other phenomenal artists taking part in this year's festivities include the distinctive 'i-Puppets' from the Netherland street theatre company Close-Act Theatre, inflatable creations from French company Picto Facto, hip-hop sensations Avant Garde Dance Company, and contemporary juggling sensations Gandini Juggling.
As previously announced, headlining the Concert in the Gardens will be US hitmaker Mark Ronson, who will be spinning tunes from his star-studded catalogue of earworms. Moreover, Ronson will also be creating a new soundtrack to accompany the iconic fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle, ushering in 2020 in truly spectacular fashion. And for those with fuel left in their tanks after the Street Party comes to a close, DJ Judge Jules will be heading up the first ever Edinburgh's Hogmanay Official Afterparty, keeping the party vibes going into the early hours of the new year.
When dawn breaks on 1 January, brush off the hangover cobwebs at the traditional Loony Dook, as people in their finest fancy dress plunge into the freezing waters of the Forth off the shores of South Queensferry for a good cause. Or bring the whole family along for a free whirl around McEwan Hall at the First Footers Family Ceilidh, and continue on the cultural celebrations with a programme hosted in conjunction with Celtic Connections, headed by the inimitable Eddi Reader.
Loony Dook / credit: Ian Georgeson
The magnificent streets and edificies of the city will also once more shine with inspiring words by five of Scotland's leading writers in Message in the Skies, co-presented with the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This year will see Charlotte Runcie, Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, Robin Robertson and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers explore Scotland's unique place as a coastal nation, reflecting upon 2020 as Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters.
With this eye to the future, Underbelly has also announced that – in a first for any Edinburgh festival – Hogmanay audiences will be invited to offset their journey to Edinburgh in accordance with the method and length of their travel. This donation will be made at the point of purchase when booking tickets on the Hogmanay website, and will contribute towards creating new Scottish woodlands in partnership with Forest Carbon. Other charities to receive monetary support from Edinburgh's Hogmanay include the OneCity Trust, the RNLI and the Brain Tumour Charity.
Councillor Donald Wilson, the Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, says of the festival: 'Edinburgh's Hogmanay truly remains the place to be to ring in the new year and this year's exciting programme is no exception. An internationally-acclaimed event, Hogmanay draws crowds from across the world but also remains uniquely ours. It brings new entertainment and attractions but also continues to honour our long-held traditions. So, whether you join the Torchlight Procession, spend your midnight moment as part of the biggest and best Street Party in the world, or if you begin the next decade with a brave Loony Dook. Make sure to be here, be part of it and be together.'
Edinburgh's world-famous Hogmanay celebration ushers the new year in with a bang. A Torchlight Procession winds through the historic Old Town and into Holyrood Park on 30 Dec, a massive street party with live music that culminates with Midnight Fireworks from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and 'Auld Lang Syne' on 31…