City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party

By edg - Posted on 27 October 2015

Edinburgh's Hogmanay on New Year's Eve
Event details
Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 9:00pm - Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00am
Edinburgh Castle
Castle Street
Telephone (box office): 
0844 573 8455

The Street Party (tickets, review) is perhaps the best-known event in the 3-day Edinburgh's Hogmanay Festival. The New Year street party is a ticketed event that takes place the length of Princes Street, with live bands and dancing in the street.

Following countdown fireworks at 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm, the street party climaxes with the bells of Big Ben at midnight, and a dramatic fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle and from Calton Hill to herald in the New Year. This is followed by a joining of hands as the crowd sings Auld Lang Syne, a kissathon, and more partying into the wee wee hours both on the street and around the city.

The festivities get going when the stages and screens go live at 9pm. Access is by street party ticket and booze is permitted so long as it is not in cans and glass containers. There are also some pay bars and food outlets within the street party arena which are open from 7pm. Ticket pass-outs are not permitted (leaving the arena and trying to gain re-entry) and there is also no entry after 11pm.

Tickets in 2015 are now £25.00 (including booking fee). There is a limited number of EH postcode tickets available at £19 (including booking fee).

The Concert In The Gardens and The Old Town Ceilidh (which replaces the The Keilidh on The Mound) takes place up the Mound at Parliament Square, although these require separate paid tickets to get into.

Bands have yet to be announced but the format is likely to be similar to previous years, with The Mound now available for the main street party.

2014-2015 Hogmanay Music

  1. Waverley Stage: Twin Atlantic, as well as the winners of this year's Mercury Prize, Edinburgh's own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers, and Indie champions The Twilight Sad.
  2. The Scottish Stage: Eddi Reader, Breabach and "the band" led by Scottish piping phenomenon Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson.
  3. Keilidh Stage: Another ticketed event (see here). The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid's Haircut and The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience
  4. Princes Street Gardens: Last but not least, the headline event in the 21st anniversary Hogmanay Street Party is the Concert in the Gardens (you need a paid ticket for this). The concert is headlined in Lily Allen, with Soul II Soul, and Björn Again.

The Hot Dub Time Machine, a mass sing-and-dance along, time-travelling party, plays across the whole arena. Music, going back to 1954, is relayed from the Rewinder Stage on the Mound across screens the length of Princes Street for everyone to join in. The Hot Dub Time Machine usually sees in New Year in Sydney.

Television coverage and Hogmanay livestreams

In the past Hogmanay has been broadcast live on television by Sky News and the BBC have webcast the celebrations.

In 2011/2012, there was a 1 hour live video stream starting at 11.30pm, with viewing limited to 20,000, on a first come/first served basis. The webcast was archived until Tuesday 2 January 2012, 11pm (GMT).

You can also try and catch the celebrations on Edinburgh webcams although the feeds are usually unable to handle the spike in Hogmanay traffic.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party History

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party has been scaled back over the years. When Unique Events started organising the Street Party in 1993 it was a free, non-ticketed event.

Then in 1999, huge crowds of around 300,000 crushed into the city centre and railings collapsed on Princes Street, with hundreds of revellers injured. Organisers responded by creating a gated area within the city centre for the 1997-1998 Hogmanay Street Party.

The event has since gone from around 180,000 revellers of the millennium Hogmanay party to around 80,000 within a smaller cordoned-off area. 

The Street Party was cancelled in 2003-2004 and in 2006-2007 due to bad weather conditions, in particular strong winds.

The event has been affected in the past by ongoing tram works.

Lothian Buses provides a free Hogmanay NightBus service from 00:20-04:00.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party Tickets, News & Info

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Reviews