Hogmanay 2021 – Where To Go and How To Take Part.
Hogmanay is the Scottish name for New Year’s Eve or the final day of the year, and it is considered to be the most important Scottish celebration. The Hogmanay Festival in Edinburgh began in 1993 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest outdoor New Year’s Eve events.
Although Hogmanay is officially only one day, the celebrations in Edinburgh (and other parts of Scotland) stretch for around three days. The major festivities in a regular year include a torchlight parade and other entertainment on December 30th, a large outdoor street celebration, concerts, and fireworks on December 31st, and the Loony Dook (a morning dunk in a river) and smaller public entertainment alternatives on January 1st.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is returning to mark the end of 2021 and the start of a new year with a spectacular event for the entire city.
The revamped Party at the Bells on Princes Street and the restoration of the classic Edinburgh Castle fireworks show are among the highlights of this year’s Hogmanay programme.
Party at the Bells, the Torchlight Procession, and a wonderful Scottish music programme featuring Dougie McLean, Eddi Reader, and Breabach at Greyfriars Kirk go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 26 through Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website. Party at the Bells has 7,500 tickets available at a reduced price for residents of the EH postcode.
Hogmanay celebrations have been reinvented for 2021, and will include:
On Thursday, December 30, the Torchlight Procession will kick off Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. The Procession will begin on the Royal Mile between North Bridge and St Mary’s Street, with participants collecting their torches from three points across the city: Waverley Bridge, West Parliament Square, or Bristo Square. The procession will be spaced out between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., allowing locals and visitors alike to blaze through the Scottish capital in a joyful and safe setting, as opposed to prior years. The cost of a ticket with a torch is £15.
The parade will be illuminated by fire and light installations along the route. Underbelly is collaborating with Pyroceltica, a local Celtic Fire Theatre group that led the procession in 2019, as well as Double Take Projections. Participants will be requested to light a slow-burning candle and then leave at the conclusion of the Procession on Holyrood Park. Over the duration of the event, as more candles are lighted, an image will develop, which will be shot and live on edinburghshogmanay.com.
The Scottish Music Programme runs from Wednesday, December 29 to Friday, December 31 and will take place in Greyfriars Kirk. Tickets for the event start at £25. Breabach, one of Scotland’s most proficient and inventive modern folk performers, will perform on the 29th, as well as Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie Maclean OBE will perform on the 30th, and three-time BRIT Award winner Eddi Reader OBE will perform on the 31st.
Friday, December 31st, 10 pm-1 am Party at the Bells. A new spin on Edinburgh’s world-famous Hogmanay Street Party. This year’s event will have a smaller audience of 30,000 people who will be able to enjoy the countdown festivities, which will begin at 10 p.m.
Artists will be announced in the coming weeks and will perform on the Ross Bandstand to 3,500 people in the gardens under the Castle, and will be streamed onto a series of screens to the audience on Princes Street. The iconic midnight fireworks display will be back at Edinburgh Castle, cementing Scotland once again as the home of Hogmanay. One of the world’s greatest street theatre companies, Netherlands-based Close-Act Theatre will collaborate with a variety of Scottish performers to animate the street in spectacular style. The Party at the Bells street theatre programme is supported by the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council, and Creative Scotland’s PLACE fund.
Garden Access and Street Access tickets will be on sale from 10 am on Tuesday 26 October with 7,500 tickets available at a discounted price for those with an EH postcode. Street Access tickets are £25.50, with the EH discounted price being £17.50.
50p from every Party at the Bells ticket sold will be donated to the Brain Tumour Charity, an organisation Underbelly raises money for year-round. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer for children and adults under 40 and increased funding for research is desperately needed. Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed each year but diagnosis times for childhood brain tumours are longer in the UK than in many other countries.
Message from the Skies from 1 January 2022. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s emblematic project that fuses the work of Scottish writers, artists and musicians will return from 1 January 2022. Full details to be announced in due course.
Underbelly is painstakingly preparing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in the context of Covid-19, working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Government, and is determined to ensure a safe and entertaining atmosphere for the 2021 celebrations. Ticketholders aged 18 and up for the Torchlight Procession and the Party at the Bells must have a Covid-19 passport and display it to join the activities.