A blast of colour and sound as Ed­in­burgh cel­e­brates New Year

● Threat of Storm Dy­lan fails to scare off hordes of party go­ers ● Fire­works count­down for Hog­manay in build-up to mid­night

The Scotsman - - Front Page - By JONATHAN RIM­MER

Fire­works, con­certs and ceilidh danc­ing were all part of the fun for thou­sands of rev­ellers in the city cen­tre last night as the cap­i­tal marked the turn of the year. Weather fears proved un­founded as Storm Dy­lan passed over ear­lier in the day, leav­ing the main Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions to go on as planned

Fears for one of the world’s big­gest street par­ties proved un­founded as tens of thou­sands of rev­ellers braved the wind and rain to at­tend Ed­in­burgh’s Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions last night.

Or­gan­is­ers had promised fes­tiv­i­ties would go ahead in full de­spite the loom­ing threat of Storm Dy­lan af­ter pro­duc­ers Un­der­belly had promised the “best party ever”.

And the winds that swept into the Cap­i­tal ear­lier yes­ter­day barely reg­is­tered for an es­ti­mated 75,000 rev­ellers, who trav­elled from around the world to em­brace the world fa­mous street event.

Record num­bers of armed po­lice on the streets, ex­tra anti-ter­ror­ism bar­ri­ers and a no-fly zone over the city cen­tre did not dampen the mood.

Par­ty­go­ers joined in with the ceilidhs on Princes Street, danc­ing the Gay Gor­dons and Dash­ing White Sergeant.

Rig Yun and his friend Sarah Ding, both 22, from China but cur­rently study­ing in Coventry, were among the dancers.

Mr Yun said: “We came to Scot­land for new year be­cause it is a very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

It’s much more ex­cit­ing for us. In China, we don’t cel­e­brate with danc­ing like this.”

Amer­i­can Shel­ley Romein, 39, had pre­vi­ously cel­e­brated in New York, but said she pre­ferred the vibe in Ed­in­burgh. “Ed­in­burgh is a great place for Hog­manay,” she said.

“I’ve lived here since 2011 now, so I’ve done the street party thing be­fore and it’s a re­ally good vibe. Amer­i­cans can be quite in­su­lar about the whole thing, so I’m not sure how many peo­ple are aware of how good it is here.”

For oth­ers, the party did not fully live up to the hype. Gona and Gail Goven­der, both 47, had trav­elled from Dur­ban, South Africa, to see fam­ily.

“It’s a bit qui­eter than New York where we had new year be­fore,” Mr Goven­der said. “There’s fewer celebri­ties in Ed­in­burgh and it’s re­ally chilly, but it’s still fun.”

Rag’n’bone Man was the headline act at the Con­cert in the Gar­dens, with Declan Mckenna and Nina Nes­bitt as sup­port.

They were the ic­ing on the cake to a street party that fea­tured dancers, ac­ro­bats, fire-eaters and neon-lit drum­mers.

Fire­works were launched from Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm in a count­down to mid­night.

A sound­scaped fire­works dis­play then lit up the sky for the first nine min­utes of 2018.

Un­der­belly com­mis­sioned Nite­works, a band from Skye, and film and the­atre com­poser Dan Jones to cre­ate the “sound­scape” for the mid­night fire­works show for the first time.

The stun­ning start to 2018 was the mid­dle act to three days of cel­e­bra­tions.

Hun­dreds will brave the cold this morn­ing by plung­ing into the icy wa­ters of the Firth of Forth at the an­nual Loony Dook in South Queens­ferry.

Those else­where in Scot­land did not miss out.

In Aberdeen, a street party at School­hill fea­tured live mu­sic from The Mersey Bea­tles and The Banjo Lounge 4 be­fore a spectacular fire­works dis­play from His Majesty’s The­atre rooftop at mid­night.

Stir­ling hosted its “big­gest-ever” mid­night fire­works dis­play fo­cused around the his­toric cas­tle.

A cer­e­mony in Stone­haven, Aberdeen­shire, was among the most dra­matic as peo­ple pa­raded up and down the High Street swing­ing flam­ing balls around their heads.

Fire­works in Lon­don were matched to a sound­track dom­i­nated by fe­male artists to mark the cen­te­nary of women be­ing granted the vote.

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