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
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.