Party Starters: Hogmanay Nights Out in Scotland

We provide a snapshot of some of the nights out you could be having this festive season across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee

Feature by Tallah Brash | 23 Nov 2023
  • Ashton Lane

One of the best traditions around the holidays, of course, is getting together with friends and/or family for a party, or as it is often referred to in Scotland – a hooley or a hootenanny! While a lot of celebrations in Scotland revolve around the 31st, Hogmanay as a season is about so much more than that, and venues, bars, clubs and promoters across the country have loads in store for you.

In Glasgow, as soon as Christmas is done and dusted, Darkside Boxing Day return to the Classic Grand for their annual uptempo and hardcore extravaganza. So eat as much as you want on the big day, dance it all off the next. The following day brings the Missing Persons Club Xmas Party to The Berkeley Suite, while on the 29th, pick between Animal Farm’s 19th Birthday at Sub Club or Huey Morgan presents 50 Years of Hip Hop at Saint Luke’s. 

In Edinburgh, we’d be remiss to leave out Pleasure Christmas Cracker on the 23rd, featuring Theo Kottis on the decks all night long at Cabaret Voltaire, while those in-between days feature Club Signal at Sneaky Pete’s (28 Dec), FLY x EZ Street at Cab Vol (29 Dec), Pulse with Blawan at The Mash House (30 Dec) and Pleasure – The Night Afore with Gareth Somerville back at Cab Vol (30 Dec). That same night also brings a massive Nightvision event to Fat Sam’s in Dundee.

When it comes to the big night itself, across the country you’re spoiled for choice. In Dundee, choose between The Hogmanay Hoolie at Clarks on Lindsay Street, the Hogmanay Masquerade Ball at Club Tropicana, the Hogmanay Hootenanny at Duck Slattery’s or head for Kings, with details of their night TBC at time of writing.

A nightclub crowd, with the DJ booth on the right.
Sneaky Pete's. Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

In Glasgow, start your night ON! A! BOAT! at The Ferry’s Hogmanay Ceilidh. In the West End, Scottish stalwarts Big Country bring their Hogmanay Wonderland to Oran Mor, while around the corner you'll find much outdoor merriment at the annual Ashton Lane Hogmanay Street Party with live bands, DJs, street performers, indoor and outdoor bars, street food and more. There’s plenty going on in the city’s underground bars and nightclubs too. The Rum Shack welcomes back their live and improvised groove music night for a Glitch41 Hogmanay Special, FLY take over Platform for a huge New Year’s Eve party with Denis Sulta, Kilimanjaro, Big Miz, Wheelman and more, and there’s a full complex party going on at SWG3 from 9pm with DJ Seinfeld, Eliza Rose, Testpress and more.

In the capital, try your hand at some traditional dancing early on with a ceilidh – our top picks include the HotScotch Ceilidh Band at Assembly Roxy and the Haggis Ceilidh’s Hogmanay Party at The Counting House, while later you’ll find traditional and contemporary folk at Stramash courtesy of The Mad Ferret Band's Hogmanay Hoolie. Club nights in the capital are also plentiful, with a 5am late license in play. Some of our picks include Samedia Shebeen’s Hogmanay Tropical Soundclash at La Belle Angele, Headset’s whole venue takeover of The Mash House, Nightvision's full complex takeover of The Liquid Room, and Summerhall's Hogmanay "Off the Street" Party with The Soul Foundation.

Then of course there's the massive Hogmanay Street Party on Princes Street, with live music, DJs, street food, street performers, a funfair and more helping bring a carnival vibe to the city, while the flagship Concert In the Gardens event will see britpop legends Pulp welcome in the new year in West Princes Street Gardens, with a DJ set from Hot Chip. The following day, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Celebrations continue with First Footin’, a free programme of music and live events in venues across the city centre to help shake off those hangovers. Catch the likes of SAY Award winners Kathryn Joseph and Fergus McCreadie, as well as SAY Award nominees Cloth, Becky Sikasa and Bemz, who are all set to perform.