Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations to return this year with reduced capacity

The annual new year's eve celebrations were cancelled in 2020, but are set to be reinstated this year with the famous street party, fireworks display, and open-air concert. 

Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations to return this year with reduced capacity

The biggest Hogmanay party in the world occurs every 31 December in the nation's capital with tens of thousands lining the streets to usher in a new year. The event is beloved by many but bemoaned by locals, who were relieved to get some peace and quiet during last year's online iteration of the event. 

This year however, the celebrations will return in full swing, sporting a full roster of in-person events including all the usual classics like the Princes Street Party and the Edinburgh Castle firework display. 

Certain Covid-inspired policies will be in place, such as a reduction in the usual crowd capacity, which will now be 30,000 as opposed to the 75,000 participants of 2019’s Street Party. There will also be a requirement for those aged 18 and over to present vaccine passports before entering any of the large events. 

The event will be organised by both The City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish entertainment company Underbelly. 

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, co-directors of Underbelly, have stated: “The 2021 Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have been reimagined to offer a safe and a fantastic experience for Edinburgh and beyond – telling the world that ‘we are back together’.

“Through the Torchlight Procession, Party at the Bells, and the iconic fireworks, this year’s Hogmanay event has been designed to deliver a celebration for the people of Edinburgh and our visitors, and to place Scotland at the forefront of the world’s New Year events.

We can’t wait to help bring everyone back together again.”

Events will begin on 29 December, with a series of concerts taking place at the Greyfriars Kirkyard, with popular Scottish musicians like singer-songwriters Eddi Reader and Dougie Maclean. Traditional folk group Breabach, who have previously performed at the 2014/15 celebrations, will also be playing. 

There will also be a torchlight procession, in which participants will be given lighted torches and directed down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park. 

Deputy council leader Cammy Day welcomes the return, saying:

"Edinburgh is the home of Hogmanay and it’s fantastic that this year we see the return of in-person events and that celebrations will return to the streets. There is an unmissable programme this year, which will support economic recovery, safely bring people back together and welcome in the new year with a renewed sense of optimism.”

Header Image Credit: "Edinburgh Hogmanay New Year Fireworks 2013" by Martin Robertson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Hamish Gray

Hamish Gray Kickstart

Hamish Gray is a recent English Literature and Creative Writing graduate with a deep passion for anything that grabs him, be it literature, film, video games or world culture. He is always looking to learn something new and tackles each experience with the unshakeable belief that good art can come from anywhere.

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