Hog­manay to be ‘cel­e­bra­tion of to­geth­er­ness’

The Scotsman - - FRONT PAGE - By BRIAN FER­GU­SON

Ed­in­burgh’s three-day Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions will be staged un­der the ban­ner of a “Be To­gether” theme just two months af­ter Bri­tain is due to leave the Eu­ro­pean Union.

Or­gan­is­ers re­vealed the pro­gramme will in­clude 1980s pop icon Marc Al­mond, su­per­star DJ Judge Jules, au­thor Irvine Welsh, singer-song­writer Eddi Reader and chil­dren’s TV pre­sen­ters Dick and Dom.

The fes­ti­val will launch with the third an­nual fire pa­rade from the Royal Mile to Holy­rood Park.

Ed­in­burgh’s Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions are to ex­pand to start at 11:30am and run un­til 4am as part of a pro­gramme which will in­clude 1980s pop icon Marc Al­mond, su­per­star DJ Judge Jules, au­thor Irvine Welsh, singer-song­writer Eddi Reader and chil­dren’s TV pre­sen­ters Dick and Dom.

The three-day fes­ti­val will be staged un­der the ban­ner of a “Be To­gether” theme just two months af­ter Bri­tain is due to leave the Eu­ro­pean Union.

Or­gan­is­ers have re­vealed the 70,000 street party arena will be ex­pand­ing to the Royal Mile for the first time in 20 years, with lo­cal in­die favourites Idlewild head­lin­ing a new stage on Par­lia­ment Square.

The fes­ti­val, which is billed as “a cel­e­bra­tion of to­geth­er­ness,”will launch with the third an­nual fire pa­rade from the heart of the Royal Mile to Holy­rood Park, where thou­sands of torch­bear­ers will form the sym­bol of two peo­ple join­ing hands.

Ed Bartlam, co-di­rec­tor of fes­ti­val pro­duc­ers Un­der­belly, said: “Hog­manay and its tra­di­tions have al­ways been about to­geth­er­ness, more so than any other cel­e­bra­tion in the world. It’s the ul­ti­mate com­mu­nal and com­mu­nity fes­ti­val. It must be about an in­clu­sive cel­e­bra­tion hosted by a pro­gres­sive and in­ter­na­tion­ally-fac­ing coun­try, which is open­ing its doors and ask­ing its friends, guests and neigh­bours to join in.”

Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity’s his­toric Mce­wan Hall will host three ex­tra events in the space of 24 hours, with an event “for those who are keen to get the party started early” timed to co­in­cide with the start of the new year cel­e­bra­tions in Aus­tralia at noon UK time.

The £30-a-head cur­tain-raiser will fea­ture Aus­tralian funk and soul singer Kylie Auld­ist.

It has been added to the lineup two years af­ter the ad­di­tion of an early-even­ing “Bairns Afore” event in Princes Street Gar­dens, which Dick and Dom will ap­pear at this year.

Judge Jules will be ap­pear­ing at the Mce­wan Hall in an “of­fi­cial af­ter-party” for the fes­tiv­i­ties, which are be­ing held for the 27th time, and will be head­lined by DJ and pro­ducer Mark Ron­son, who will be cre­at­ing a sound­track for the mid­night fire­works as well as head­lin­ing the an­nual “con­cert in the gar­dens.”

Street the­atre artists and ac­ro­bats from France, Ger­many, the Nether­lands and across the UK will be per­form­ing at the main fes­tiv­i­ties on and around Princes Street.

Soft Cell star Marc Al­mond, who will be head­lin­ing the Waver­ley Stage, where Fort Wil­liam singer Keir Gib­son and Glas­gow glam-rock­ers The Ninth Wave will also be per­form­ing. Celtic fu­sion pi­o­neers Shooglenif­ty and West Loth­ian in­die out­fit The Snuts will be ap­pear­ing along­side Idlewild on the High Street Stage in Par­lia­ment Square.

Irvine Welsh and Young Fa­thers star Kayus Bankole will both be cre­at­ing new “love let­ters to Scot­land” for the re­turn of the Mes­sage From The Skies event. Char­lotte Run­cie, Kath­leen Jamie and Robin Robert­son will also be tak­ing part in the project, which will see spe­cially-cre­ated pro­jec­tions light­ing up build­ings, streets and mon­u­ments from New Year’s Day till Burns Night.

Or­gan­is­ers are urg­ing rev­ellers trav­el­ling from around the world to make a do­na­tion which will help off­set the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the event by sup­port­ing the cre­ation of new wood­lands in Scot­land.

Un­der­belly co-di­rec­tor Char­lie Wood said: “In­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals like Ed­in­burgh’s Hog­manay have an obli­ga­tion to at­tract in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, but it is right and proper that the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the event is off­set.”

0 Ed­in­burgh’s Hog­manay fes­ti­val is to run for three days with 80s pop icon Marc Al­mond and Scot­tish singer-song­writer Ed­die Reader head­lin­ing events

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