No Edinburgh Hogmanay torchlight procession this year, organisers say

The torchlight procession which normally kicks off Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will not take place this year due to funding pressures, organisers have announced.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival is returning next month after the Covid pandemic resulted in the famous street party and other associated events being cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.

In previous years crowds gathered to watch a torchlight procession through the Old Town to mark the start of festivities, however, that will not happen this year.

Organisers said that due to the “current economic climate and the drop in available funding” they are unable to go ahead with the procession, though they hope it will return next year.

Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations
The Celtic Fire Theatre company PyroCeltica leading a previous torchlight procession (Jane Barlow/PA)

In a statement, organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said: “We have been trying hard to find a way to bring the torchlight procession into Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations this year, however, we are very disappointed to confirm that due to the current economic climate, and the drop in available funding, we are unable to go ahead with this event in 2022.

“Our full programme of events, including activities for families and children, will be announced later this week.

“We very much hope to bring back the torchlight procession to the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme in 2023.”

While there will be no torchlight procession, event producers Unique Assembly have announced that the world famous Hogmanay street party will take place again this year on December 31, while the Pet Shop Boys will headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens.

City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day said: “Whilst I share the disappointment with many that we won’t see the return of the torchlight procession this year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will still be the best place to welcome 2023.

“So far Unique Assembly have announced an exciting Night Afore Disco Party with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the return of the best street party in the world with Pet Shop Boys headlining the Party in the Gardens and have topped it off with an inaugural New Year’s Day Final Fling showcase.

“Next week will see the full programme packed with events and activities for all the family announced.

“This is a new chapter for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration as we continue to build back following the pandemic.

“Whilst I’m sure many will be disappointed that the torchlight procession hasn’t returned straightaway we look forward to seeing it back next year, better than ever.”