Edinburgh's Hogmanay gets an Underbelly makeover

Edinburgh's Hogmanay gets an Underbelly makeover

credit: Chris Watt

One of the biggest New Year parties in the world gets a major reboot under new producers

Edinburgh's Hogmanay is coming, and the 2018 celebrations are set for exciting changes under new producers Underbelly and London 2012's head of ceremonies, Martin Green.

Fresh off winning the contract to direct the event from City of Edinburgh Council, Underbelly – famous as one of the so-called 'Big Four' Edinburgh Fringe venues – has assembled an ambitious creative team with big ideas to reinvigorate the most famous New Year party in the world.

These include a re-booted Street Party promising a carnival on Princes Street, hosted by Sanjeev Kohli; Bairns Afore, a new event for families and young people to celebrate early on Princes Street Gardens; a new route for the Torchlight Procession climaxing in a 'spectacular visual moment' that will kick of the Year of Young People; an extended fireworks display; and Message from the Skies showcasing Edinburgh and Scotland's literature heritage.

In a statement, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, had this to say: 'We are humbled and thrilled to be delivering a new programme for Edinburgh's Hogmanay in 2018. Edinburgh can claim to be the home of New Year festivals and we will work hard to ensure that the programme delivers something fresh and exciting every year to keep residents, UK visitors and international tourists flocking to this world famous Festival City through the winter months.'

There's a lot to breakdown but the big takeaways are this does sound like a breath of fresh air. Bairns Afore, complete with 6pm 'midnight' fireworks is a wonderful initiative for anyone with kids and who had long since foregone participation in the main event, while a 'new look ceilidh' at the foot of Edinburgh Castle is long called for.

Plans for the revamped Street Party include DJs, street performers, dancers, acrobats, disco divas and fire eaters, as well as Still Game's Kohli hosting, and talk of 'bringing the spirit of carnival and animating the length and breadth of the Princes Street arena' are a welcome injection of energy.

And what of the fireworks you ask? Launched from Edinburgh Castle as usual, they will be longer and set to music. With Martin Green's involvement and a world class sound, light and audio visual creative team, watch out for something a bit special.

Tickets for a number of Edinburgh Hogmanay event on sale now.