Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations return for first time in three years

Around 30,000 revellers attended Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations as they returned for the first time in three years.

The event had been cancelled for the last two years as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

Organisers hailed the event as a major success, with all events in the capital sold out.

Celebrations kicked off on Friday evening with the Night Afore party, headlined by pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor with special guests Altered Images.

And, despite heavy rain and falling temperatures, tens of thousands of partygoers rang in the new year on Saturday at the city’s Street Party and concert in Princes Street Gardens, where they were treated to a headline performance from The Pet Shop Boys and DJ sets.

New Year 2023 celebrations
Hogmanay revellers dressed for the weather in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Fireworks were let off on the hour between 9pm and 11pm, counting down to the traditional midnight display.

City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said: “Once again, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have been the envy of cities across the globe.

“With one of the most impressive fireworks displays against the most stunning of backdrops, this was a fantastic way to ring in 2023.”

He added: “Tonight has truly been an international celebration of Scotland.”

Alan Thomson and Dani Rae, directors of UniqueAssembly who produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “”What a great night. Pet Shop Boys rocked the Concert in the Gardens, and revellers across the Street Party danced the night away with the fantastic wristbands, which really made everybody part of the party.”

New Year 2023 celebrations
Revellers gather in Princes Street for the Hogmanay celebrations (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Superintendent David Robertson, Police Scotland’s event policing lead for the Street Party policing operation, said: “Significant planning and preparation was undertaken ahead of the city’s first Street Party since 2019 and I am pleased to say that it has passed without serious incident.

“My thanks go out to all of the officers, stewarding staff and other key partners who worked diligently to ensure the Hogmanay celebrations were a success.”

As the clock struck midnight and 2023 began, the Met Office predicted temperatures of 1C, dropping to 0C by 3am.

Lothian Buses launched a special Hogmanay fare to get people home safely and Edinburgh Trams ran services until 5am, transporting some 4,000 people home.