The Whole Hog: A Guide to Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Go the whole hog this New Year's Eve, with three days of celebrations courtesy of Edinburgh's Hogmanay
If you’re fed up of your annual tradition of paying a shit tonne of money to spend New Year’s Eve standing in a bar queue in a busy club, only for the ridiculously expensive drink you’ve just bought to be swiftly knocked out of your hand by some idiot – definitely not speaking from personal experience – then try something new this Hogmanay.
Year after year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party attracts revellers not just from Scotland, but from all over the world, who brave the capital’s often cold, wet and windy weather to ring in the New Year. This year’s Concert in the Gardens will be headlined by returning Scottish indie troupe Franz Ferdinand, with support from electronic four-piece Metronomy and rising Glasgow duo Free Love, while the Street Party will be hosted by Love Island’s Aftersun DJs The Mac Twins, with live music, DJs and entertainment across three stages.
Just one of the musical acts on the Street Party’s line-up is Scottish sensation Gerry Cinnamon who’s had a belter of a year, and he’s rounding it off with two sell-out shows at Glasgow’s Barrowlands this month before his final gig of the year at the Waverley Stage, alongside Snap! and Vistas. Miracle Glass Company, Meute and Elephant Sessions will all perform on the South St David Street Stage, with the Castle Street Stage a more electronic affair, featuring DJ sets from the aforementioned Mac Twins, Edinburgh DJ Trendy Wendy and the legendary Judge Jules.
If the live music doesn’t take your fancy though, stick on some headphones and have your own party at the brand new Silent Disco arena on Market Street instead, where you can spend the night dancing on your own; well, not really, you’ll be surrounded by people, but you can always pretend. There will also be an array of Street Theatre Artists performing throughout the night, including aerial and circus performers An Act Above and Celtic fire theatre act PyroCeltica, to name a few.
There’s no need to worry about booking a babysitter either, as Bairns Afore is back for a second year, this time with added Massaoke. The Edinburgh Fringe favourites will play through a variety of family-friendly tunes, including Disney classics and pop hits, with lyrics on screen for you and the kids to sing along. The event will conclude with a specially-curated fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle, so it will almost feel just like the real thing.
But your Hogmanay celebrations don’t have to be limited to actual New Year’s Eve. Limber up for the main event the night before at the UK premiere of Symphonic Ibiza at McEwan Hall, where a 20-piece live orchestra will recreate a selection of Ibiza club anthems from the last 20 years along with Ibiza regular DJ Andy Joyce. With past residencies at infamous Ibiza nightclubs Pacha, Amnesia, Eden and Café Mambo, Joyce knows a thing or two about how to get a dancefloor going, so you’re guaranteed to be in safe hands.
And if you’ve got any energy left, you can keep on going into New Year’s Day, at one of two – or both, if you’re feeling strong – of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s collaborative concerts with Celtic Connections, also taking place at McEwan Hall. Long-standing Oban folk group Capercaillie will kick off proceedings, and will be joined by some special guests for a big ol’ knees-up in typical Scottish fashion. Bringing things to a close, Galician multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez will be accompanied by some of Scotland’s best musicians in what’s sure to be an exciting and energetic start to the New Year.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay, 30 Dec 2018-1 Jan 2019