Rag’n’Bone Man sees in 2018 with Auld Lang Syne
75,000 people across all areas of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay from the Ceilidh under the Castle with Edinburgh Gin to Hogmanay HQ and all corners of the Street Party were led in a moving rendition of Auld Lang Syne after the midnight fireworks by Rag’n’Bone Man.
Underbelly, the new producers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, confirmed that the arena had sold out and a capacity crowd had enjoyed ‘the best street party ever’ with more performers and entertainment throughout the evening.
The all female Divas and Districts Pipes and Bands and LED drumming sensation Spark! made an early move to claim the evening’s best moment in an incredible drum-off with spectacular energy and light raising the crowd’s energy early in the evening on Princes Street.
The world famous Street Party got a face lift for its 25th Anniversary from some of the best international events creatives in the world and dazzled party goers with a huge range of entertainment popping up, from parkour runners on the new ribboned stages to aerialists dancing on the sides of buildings down Edinburgh’s famous main street.
A fantastic line up of bands across the three stages in the Street Party arena included Sacred Paws, a lively dance set from Niteworks and Human League who drew a bumper crowd to the Waverley Stage, Barns Courtney, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Treacherous Orchestra on the East End Stage, the Mac Twins and Huey Morgan who got the crowd jumping at the fantastic new Castle Street DJ pod.
In a special pre-midnight moment Edinburgh’s Hogmanay played The KLF’s What Time is Love across the Street Party arena, the first time in over 20 years it has been heard and played thanks to special permission from The KLF themselves.
Sanjeev Kohli, the Hogmanay Host, kept the party going as revellers were entertained by aerialists, flash mobs, bands, choirs, and many other surprise moments on podium stages and walls throughout the arena. Sanjeev led the countdown in the crowd collecting New Year’s resolution.
This year’s spectacular Midnight Moment was, for the first time, choreographed to a specially commissioned soundscape created by Skye band Niteworks and award winning sound designer and film composer Dan Jones in collaboration with fireworks experts Titanium. Brand new fireworks called planets stunned the audience with their fizzy sherbet middles and a drum solo in the middle saw showers of pink and gold arrows ricocheting into the night sky.
At the sold-out Concert in the Gardens, Edinburgh’s own Nina Nesbitt kicked off the night sharing stories with the capacity crowd in Princes Street Gardens. The audience of 10,000 in the gardens lit up for Rag’n’Bone Man’s powerful anthemic set with the crowd going mad for Hell Yeah and his finisher Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council said: “The day started with a storm and ended with a bang – without a doubt this was the BEST PARTY EVER. Our 9 minutes fireworks choreographed to Niteworks’ and Dan Jones’ score was truly spectacular and who will forget Rag’n’Bone man leading 75,000 in Auld Lang Syne? What a special way to ring in 2018.
“We’re particularly proud of the first Bairns Afore event – it was quite magical to see families looking up and enjoying their very own midnight moment together and at 6pm in the evening!
“Our specially built DJ booth had crowds dancing in the street and under the Mac Twins and Huey Morgan right through to the wee small hours.
“It’s been spectacular and we’d like to thank all those who came and made the party such a great night for Edinburgh and Scotland.
“We’re tired and happy but tomorrow morning we will be flinging ourselves into the River Forth for the Loony Dook. It’s going to be braw!”
Free Hogmanay NightBus Services ran throughout the capital once again, supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and provided by Lothian Buses. And Edinburgh Trams again ran free services helping many partygoers get home safely.
Chief Superintendent Kenny Macdonald, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: “Edinburgh has once again shown why it’s one of the greatest cities in the world, welcoming in the New Year in tremendous fashion. I would like to thank all of my officers and staff and the stewards for their outstanding work in helping us deliver another fantastic event.
“Extensive planning and discussions between ourselves, City of Edinburgh Council and Underbelly took place over several months, allowing us to deploy appropriate resources within the Street Party arena and ensure we kept the public safe.
“In addition to uniformed officers, specialist resources, including armed officers were present on the evening. This was purely as a precaution, but I think it provided the public with a sense of reassurance while they enjoyed the festivities.
“It is very pleasing to note that the Street Party passed with no major incidents and only 4 arrests were made for minor disorder offences.
“A comprehensive analysis of our arrest figures will be compiled as the day continues.”
Councillor Ian Campbell, Vice Convener of the Culture and Communities Committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Yet again, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have been the envy of cities across the globe. This has been another record-breaking year for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, with over 75,000 revellers from all over the world bringing in the bells with us at the Concert in the Gardens, Street Party and Ceilidh in the Gardens. What an extraordinary send-off for the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Festivals, and a fantastic way to kick-start 2018. This was my first experience of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations and they did not disappoint. It’s true – Edinburgh really is the best place in the world to celebrate New Year.”
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival doesn’t stop when the bells finish ringing. On Monday 1 January 2018, the brave, the foolhardy and the generous dive into the chilly Firth of Forth for the Loony Dook, raising money for a huge range of charities in the process.
The New Year’s Day dip sees 1,100 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year by running into the River Forth at South Queensferry. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town from 9am before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges. South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all of which will be open on New Year’s Day.
As dusk falls on 1 January, Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, celebrates its rich literary heritage and that of Scotland with projections across buildings and landmarks across the city. In a nod to Robert Burns’s poem Sketch New Year’s Day, Message from the Skies sees literary star Val McDermid join with dramaturg, Philip Howard of Pearlfisher, Edinburgh based projection company Double Take Projections and some of Scotland’s best soundscape artists to create and write a new short story which will lead audiences on a trail around Edinburgh. Message from the Skies runs until 25 January 2018 in a celebration of the Bard’s day too. Message from the Skies is a joint commission by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival and is developed in partnership with Edinburgh City of Literature and is supported by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO fund.