Help Scotland send 2003 out with a (very big) bang

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Winter Wonderland

Princes Street Gardens, 10am-6pm

BOASTING one of the largest open air ice rinks in Europe, Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland has been a massive success over the last five years, inspiring more than 50,000 people to don skates. Next to the rink you’ll find fairground rides for children, as well as a cafe.

The Edinburgh Wheel

Princes Street Gardens, 10am-10pm

The best way to appreciate the Capital’s spectacular skyline short of hiring a helicopter.

Candlelit Concert in the Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral, 7.30pm

THE singers of St Giles’s Cathedral Choir join forces with brass players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The programme includes music by Handel and Gabrieli.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Adios ‘03

Usher Hall, 8pm-11.30pm

IT’S new line-ups all round as two of Edinburgh’s finest bands rock in 2004. Salsa Celtica have recently sprouted bagpipes, trumpets, timbales and bongos, and acquired the services of Cuban singer Oswaldo Chacon. And The Shoogles now boast an antipodean mandolin player, Tasmanian expat Luke Plumb.

• Tel: 0131-228 1155

The Big Splash

Ocean Terminal, 9pm-3am

CLUB night with DJ Spiller, Trendy Wendy, Jon Pleased, Tokyo Blue DJS, Betty Ford, Sally Findlay, live percussion and dancers. This year there’s a deep sea dress theme, with prizes. Buses are running from Ocean Terminal to the City Centre from 2am.

• Tel: 0131-553 8070

New Year Revels Hogmanay Ball

Assembly Rooms, 9.30pm-3.30am

THE tickets for this year’s New Year Revels sold out within one hour of going on sale. The lucky few will be treated to a ceilidh to remember from Bella McNab’s Ceilidh Band and Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut, as well as Cuban sounds from La Sonera Calaveras, Latin Beats from DJ Jorge and Blondie tribute band Once More into the Bleach.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

The 80QS House Band

Eighty Queen Street, 10pm-2am

AN EVENING of Jazz from Eighty Queen Street’s resident five-piece.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Disco Inferno

Club Ego, 10pm-late

AFTER 13 years of bringing you the biggest and best sounds of the 1970s, the Inferno crew are retiring - this will be their last event before MC Otis and company hang up their flares forever.

• Tel: 0131-220 3234

Vegas: The Grand Hogmanay Ball 2003-2004

The Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, 10pm-late

A GLITTERING night of a thousand stars featuring roulette, romance, moonlight, martinis, bossa nova, blackjack, showgirls and swing with a fabulous view of the fireworks.

• Tel: 0131-220 3234

Colours NYE 2003

City, Market Street, 10pm-5am

THREE different stages packed with a veritable constellation of DJ talent. In the main room, funky house, disco and club classics from Paul Wilkins, Matt Colins, Jon Mancini, Lisa Littlewood and Gav Houston; in Room 2, R’n’B, Hip Hop and Street Soul from Paul N’Jie, Yogi Haughton, DJ Cutz and DJ Spectrum and in Room 3, a selection of Edinburgh’s finest - Smokey & The Bandit, Marco Smith, Euan McKenzie, Neil Crookston and Scot McKenzie.

• Tel: 01786 406787

Concert in the Gardens

West Princes Street Gardens, 10pm

AS ERASURE, Vince Clark and Andy Bell have chalked up five number one albums and a quarter century of top 20 singles in the last 18 years, so they won’t exactly be short of material for their headline slot in Princes Street Gardens. Support comes courtesy of The Coral and noisy young upstarts Franz Ferdinand.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Royal Bank Street Party

City Centre, 10pm-1am

THIS year there will be two main stages - the new Pyramid Stage at the east end of Princes Street will play host to DJs from Edinburgh’s clubs Tackno, Disco Inferno and Going Places as well as the Canadian Blues, Rock, Soul and Funk outfit The Soul Kings, while the Celtic Stage outside Waverley Station will see performances from all-girl supergroup Dchas as well as the Jim McRae Band and Croft No. Five. And don’t forget to sing Auld Lang Syne at three minutes past midnight, in what organisers hope could be the biggest rendition of the song in the world ... ever! Entry only with a Royal Bank of Scotland Street Party pass.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000


Oxygen Bar, 11pm-2am

HIP HOP and soul. Free but ticketed.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Seven Hills Fireworks

Throughout the city, midnight

LIKE Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills. At the bells, thousands of fireworks will be launched simultaneously from Corstorphine Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Castle Hill, Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat and Craigmillar Hill to mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Please note: do not approach firework launching sites - they’re cordoned off for a reason.


The Edinburgh Wheel

Princes Street Gardens, 10am-10pm

AS above.

Winter Wonderland

Princes Street Gardens, 11am-10pm

AS above. And if you’re not feeling energetic enough, you could always just watch.

Parklife: Iron Kids Duathlon

Holyrood Park, 11.30am

RUNNING and cycling for 8-15 year-olds.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Parklife: Come and Try

Holyrood Park, noon-3.30pm

A CHANCE to have a go at salsa dancing, climbing, aerobics, skateboarding, orienteering, massage and more.

The Loony Dook

Boat House Steps, High Street, South Queensferry, noon

PEOPLE with ultra-thick skin immerse themselves in the chilly waters of the Forth in an attempt to get rid of their hangovers.

• Tel: 0131-331 4346

Parklife: Fantastic Flying Fox

Holyrood Park, noon-3.30pm

GET harnessed to a steel cable and fly 200 metres in four seconds.

Parklife: Family Five-a-Side

Holyrood Park, sign up at noon, kick off at 12.30pm

FAMILY tournament - teams and individual players welcome. For ages 12+.

Parklife: Edinburgh Bicycle Triathlon

Holyrood Park, 12.30pm

A SPOT of friendly New Year’s competition, brought to you by the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative.

Parklife: One O’Clock Run

Royal Mile, 12.30pm (check-in at 11am)

A GENTLE jog from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace - watch out for slippery cobbles.

Fruitmarket Gallery: Music

Fruitmarket Gallery, 1pm-5pm

CLASSICAL Indian music for New Year’s Day, featuring Gouri Roy Chowdhury and Hardeep Dheere.

• Tel: 0131-225 2383

Fruitmarket Gallery: Art

Fruitmarket Gallery, 1pm-5pm

EXHIBITION of spectacular, large scale photographs of the Swiss Alps by the renowned landscape photographer Balthasar Burkhard. And when we say large scale we mean large scale - some of the images on display are three metres in length. Try asking for an enlargement like that at your local Supa Snaps.

• Tel: 0131-225 2383

City Art Centre: Music

City Art Centre, 1pm-5pm

TRADITIONAL Gaelic music from Dochas.

• Tel: 0131-529 3993

City Art Centre: Art

City Art Centre, 1pm-5pm

EXHIBITIONS include Editions Alecto, An Leabhar Mor and Monumental Edinburgh.

• Tel: 0131-529 3993

Parklife: The Huskies Go To Holyrood

Holyrood Park, 1.30pm-3.30pm

WATCH 100 sled dogs pulling a load of lazy humans around Holyrood Park.

Turning Point: A Meditation for New Year’s Day

St John’s Church, Princes Street, 3pm

A CHANCE to contemplate the year ahead.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

A New Year’s Conversation

Reid Hall, 4pm

ALEXANDER McCall Smith, the author of best-selling novel The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, appears alongside William Dalrymple and Sheena McDonald to discuss the year gone by and the year to come.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000


St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, 5pm-9pm

TAKE time to focus on the year ahead by walking the Labyrinth at St Mary’s - and bring a spare pair of socks.

Street Theatre Spectacular: Runga Rung

Hunter Square, 5.15pm

BOLLYWOOD spectacular to close the celebrations.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Usher Hall, 7pm

NICHOLAS Kraemer conducts soprano Elizabeth Cragg and the SCO in a Viennese Concert for New Year’s Day - programme includes waltzes, polkas and marches by Strauss, Mozart, Lehar and Tchaikovsky.

• Tel: 0131-228 1155

Bill Kyle, SHJQ

Oxygen Bar, 11pm-2am

JAZZ. And in case you were wondering, SHJQ stands for ‘S***t Hot Jazz Quartet.

• Tel: 0131-473 2000

Edinburgh essential info

IF YOU’RE planning to see in the new year at the Royal Bank Street Party in Princes Street tonight, make sure you’re prepared.


Come early - entry cannot be guaranteed after 11pm.

Dress for a Scottish winter night and wear strong footwear for warmth and protection. (Ladies please note: It’ll be dark, so nobody will be able to see your new stilettos.)

Look after your friends and arrange a meeting point in case you become separated. (Your friends may mock you for this, but deep down they’ll be touched.)

Think carefully about how you will get home - there is limited public transport available. Being in Princes Street at midnight on Hogmanay is cool; being in Princes Street at 7am on New Year’s Day is not cool.

Take note of any public safety messages on the PA system or displayed on the large video screens at either end of Princes Street.

Follow any instructions given by police officers and stewards on duty. (Within reason, obviously - if a policeman tells you to stand on one leg and bark like a dog he’s probably just having a laugh at your expense.)

Carry some form of ID - the emergency services recommend it, and they know what they’re talking about.

Follow the instructions on your Royal Bank Street Party pass. (Note: this pass does not guarantee access to any given area).


Bring your New Year cheer in glass bottles - broken glass can cause injury and hip flasks are classier. To avoid the disappointment of being refused entry, drop glass bottles into the bottle banks provided at the entry gates.

Get too drunk. Event organisers warn that "people under the influence of excessive alcohol may be refused entry". We think they mean "people who are deemed excessively drunk won’t be allowed in", but if anyone knows what excessive alcohol is or where we can get hold of some, please get in touch.

Try to get in if you don’t have a Royal Bank Street Party Pass. For safety reasons, there is a limit to the number of people who will be allowed in, so it’s a case of no pass, no entry. All children will need a pass, although the event is not recommended for children under 12 years old.


Taxis may be pretty scarce tonight, but there will be free buses to take revellers home. Services start at 12:15am and continue until 3:20am (last buses to Dunbar and North Berwick); 4am (last Lothian bus); and 4:15am (last First Edinburgh bus), departing from Clifton Terrace, Hallmarked Station, West Maitland Street, London Road, Elm Row, York Place, Lothian Road and Potterrow. From Clifton Terrace: 43N South Queensferry / Kirkliston / Ratho Station. From Haymarket Station: N26 Corstorphine / Clerwood N31 Corstorphine / East Craigs. From West Maitland Street: N22 Balgreen / Edinburgh Park N25 Sighthill / Riccarton N30 Balgreen / Wester Hailes N37 Crewe Toll / Silverknowes N44 Slateford / Currie / Balerno. From London Road: 2N Haddington / Dunbar 3N Longniddry / North Berwick N26 Portobello / Musselburgh / Prestonpans N44 Willowbrae / Musselburgh / Wallyford / Tranent. From Elm Row: N22 Leith Walk / Ocean Terminal N49 Leith Walk / Lochend / Craigentinny. From York Place: N8 Goldenacre / Pilton / Silverknowes. From Lothian Road: N16 Bruntsfield / Torphin N27 Polwarth / Fairmilehead From Potterrow: N7 Gracemount / Ferniehill N33 Cameron Toll / Ferniehill N30 Prestonfield / Niddrie / Fort Kinnaird.

• Further information on this special bus timetable is available by telephoning National Traveline Service on 0870 608 2608. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm daily (except 1 January). Limited bus service runs throughout New Year’s Day starting at around 11am.


There is also parking for disabled badge-holders at Charlotte Street. As this is limited, it is allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Edinburgh taxis: 0131-225 9000; 0131-228 1211; 0131-228 2555; 0131-229 2468


08457 484950


0131-333 1000

Events around Scotland


Hogmanay Street Party

Union Street, tonight, 9.30pm-1am

LAST year Aberdeen City Council went down with a case of the bah humbugs and decided not to bother with the traditional Union Street bash; they appear to have seen the error of their ways, however, because this year the street party’s back. The celebrations will be led by The Waterboys, who, along with the Peatbog Faeries and Union Avenue, will appear on the main stage at the Castlegate. Meanwhile, crowds at the Langstane stage, sited at the junction of Bon Accord Street and Union Street, will be treated to music from drum-and-bass outfit London Elektricity Live, rapper Ty and local group The Needles. The acts on the Castlegate Stage will perform from 9.30pm until 12.45am; those at the Langstane Stage will be on from 10pm until 1am. Entry to the event is free.

• Tel: 01224 522208


The Biggar Bonfire

High Street, tonight, from 9.20pm

FOR as long as anyone can remember, the people of Biggar have seen in the New Year by lighting a bonfire as big as several double-decker buses in the town centre. After it’s been lit by the town’s oldest inhabitant, a pipe band plays and the locals dance the night away. The people of Biggar take their fire very seriously - on more than one occasion they have foiled attempts by the local fire brigade to have it banned, and during the blackouts of the Second World War the tradition was kept alive by a group who burned a candle at the bonfire site every year - in a tin, naturally, to avoid attracting the attention of enemy bombers.


The Land, The Light, The Locals

Various venues throughout the Borders, until 2 January

NOW in its sixth year, the festival known as The Land, The Light, The Locals brings together musicians and performers from near and far for six days of concerts and ceilidhs. Tonight there will be a ceilidh at the Tait Hall in Kelso starting at 8pm. Full listings:


Flambeaux Procession

Town Centre, tonight, 11.30pm

EVERY Hogmanay the residents of Comrie doll up in fancy dress and set off on a torchlight procession accompanied by the Comrie Pipe Band. After marching to the four points of the compass to ward off evil spirits, they use their torches to light a bonfire in the town centre and dancing and merrymaking ensue.

• Tel: 01764 652578


Street Party

The Square, Dornoch, tonight, 10:30pm-1am

THIS year the town of Dornoch, north of Invernesss, will celebrate Hogmanay with a street party in the historic setting of the Square, with the floodlit Castle on one side and the 756-year-old Cathedral on the other. Jimmy Macdonald’s Red Reel Ceilidh Band will play traditional music and there will be bagpipers and demonstration dancers. Hot food and drinks will be available, and fireworks will be set off from the Cathedral Tower at the bells. The street party starts at 10.30pm and ends at 1.30am.

• Tel: 01862 811505


Hogmanay Party with Boogalusa

Dundee Contemporary Arts, tonight, 9pm-1am

DUNDEE City Council may not be putting on any special Hogmanay events this year, but DCA are stepping into the breach with this evening of lively Cajun/Zydeco-influenced music from local favourites Boogalusa.

• Tel: 01382 909900


Glasgow’s Hogmanay

George Square, tonight, 9pm-1.30am

THE main event. Some 25,000 revellers are expected to descend on George Square for Glasgow’s New Year celebrations. Headline act The Proclaimers will be joined by Glasgow rockers Speedway and violin vocalist Simone Welsh.

• Tel: 0870 013 4030


Barfly, 8pm

HEARTS-ON-SLEEVES rockers blast their way through the last few hours of 2003, followed by Deathkill 4000 - a club night with a bit of a difference, featuring a selection of garage, electro and good old-fashioned rock.

• Tel: 0870 907 0999

End of the Year Club

The 13th Note, 9pm

THE End of the Month Club celebrates the end of the year with music from homegrown dub/funk outfit Bozilla and electropop duo Cnut.

• Tel: 0141-553 1638

Back to the Future Archaos, 8pm-4am

SEVEN rooms on five different levels offering dancefloor delights for all. In Room One: Back to the Future Old Skool with N:Joi, Ultrasonic, Q.F.X. and DJs Tom Wilson, Trevor Reilly, George Bowie, Technotrance, Obsession, MC Madman and MC XXX; in Room Two: Full On Trance with William Daniel, Andy King, Stewart Green, Leon Watson and Dave Kelly; and in Room Three: Full On Funky with Giovanni Ferri, Neil Davidson, Fraser Neilson, Ralf Turner and friends.

• Tel: 0141-204 5151

Inside Out

The Arches, 9pm-4am

EXPERIENCE tomorrow’s DJs today with this Future Heroes Masterclass. Residents are joined by Petrae Foy, John Askew, Adam Sheridan and Richard Tulip.

• Tel: 0141-565 1023


Glasgow School of Art, 10pm-5am

EPIC evening of festive fun hosted by Optimo, featuring live music from Midnight Mike and the Bug. Guest slots from local DJs Sister Motivator and Mingo-go.

• Tel: 0141-332 0691

Subculture NYE 03-04

The Sub Club, 11pm-4am

A LAST chance to savour the most popular sounds of 2003, with a special guest promised to help see in 2004.

• Tel: 0141-248 4600

Hogmanay Gala

Royal Concert Hall, 7.30pm

AN Evening of popular classics with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Una McLean, culminating in a tear-jerking rendition of Flower of Scotland by a lone piper.

• Tel: 0141-353 8000


Fireworks Display

Inverness Castle, tonight, 5.30pm

THE highlight of Inverness’s Hogmanay will be a firework display above the castle. Also, we recommend you look out for the lighting up of the Riverlights along the River Ness when it gets dark - an event the organisers describe as like "thousands of stars falling from clear skies".

• Tel: 01463 724262


The Orkney Ba’ Game

Mercat Cross, tomorrow, 1pm

BEST described as Rugby without the rules, the Ba’ begins at 1pm at the Mercat Cross on Broad Street, when a former Ba’ winner or local dignitary throws a custom-made ball into the air above the heads of as many as 200 waiting players. From here, one team, the Doonies, try to get the Ba’ into the sea at Kirkwall Bay while the Uppies fight to carry it safely round Mackinson’s corner at the junction of Main Street and New Scapa Road. Injuries - broken ribs and the like - are common. A junior version of the game is played in the morning.

• Tel: 01856 872856


Castle Party

Stirling Castle Esplanade, tonight, 10.30pm-12.30am

THE Hogmanay party at Stirling Castle Esplanade kicks off at 10.30pm and continues through the bells with Big Brother winner Cameron Stout as compere and performances from Deacon Blue, Fiddlers Bid and the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band. There will be a dramatic build-up to the bells (Cameron learned all about drama on Big Brother, so he’s an expert now) followed by a stunning firework display.

• Tel: 01786 274000


The Stonehaven Fireball Festival

High Street, Stonehaven, tonight, midnight

ANOTHER dream party for pyromaniacs - every Hogmanay, at the bells, around 60 local men and women parade through the streets of Stonehaven, swinging 20lb balls of fire above their heads on 5ft metal wires until they reach the harbour, where the balls are hurled into the sea. It may sound dangerous, but there hasn’t been a serious fireball-related injury since the turn of the last century. Last year a rather impressive 12,000 people turned out to watch the revelries, and this year’s event could be even bigger. Especially if you go.

• Tel: 01569 764647

Nothing planned?

• 1 Watch a fireworks display Somehow Hogmanay just doesn’t feel like Hogmanay without a bout of pyrotechnics at the bells. If you live in Edinburgh there’s really no excuse for missing the Seven Hills Fireworks, which will be visible from all over the city at midnight (see listings). Similarly, if you live in Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness or anywhere else where fireworks are going to be part of the New Year’s celebrations this year, it should be easy enough to find a good vantage point from which to enjoy the show. However, if there isn’t going to be a fireworks display anywhere near you, don’t despair - there’s nothing to stop you buying a few rockets and letting them off in your back garden. And if the shops have shut by the time you read this, there are several websites which allow you to launch electronic fireworks from the safety of your PC. Try and

• 2 Rent a New Year video When Harry Met Sally is the obvious choice, but there are plenty of other movies set on Hogmanay. Try Ocean’s Eleven (the 1960 original) in which the Rat Pack knock off Las Vegas while everybody’s singing Auld Lang Syne, or Holiday Inn, in which legendary hoofer Fred Astaire gets drunk and dances with Marjorie Reynolds on New Year’s Eve.

• 3 Surf the net You’ll get a much quicker connection than at any other time of year because everyone else will be out partying.

• 4 Phone customer care lines Bring some joy to the poor souls who have to man the phones on nights like this - give one or two of them a call and wish them a happy new year.

• 5 Make New Year’s resolutions Resolution number one? Plan next year’s Hogmanay celebrations early.

• 6 Go traditional Why not visit one of the many Scottish towns which boast ancient New Year’s Eve traditions? In Biggar, for example, the residents dance the night away around a bonfire of truly epic proportions, while in Comrie there’s a torchlight procession to ward off evil spirits. In Stonehaven, people line the streets to watch the local fireball swingers risking life and limb for entertainment, and even greater risks are taken by the participants in the annual Orkney Ba’ Game on New Year’s Day.

• 7 Watch TV Emmerdale being levelled by a hurricane at 7pm on ITV should be a laugh. They’re calling the event Emmergale and promise "cattle running amok" and the like. Other than that, you could opt to join Jackie Bird and Hamish Clark (of Monarch of the Glen semi-fame) for BBC1’s Hogmanay Live 2003 at 11:50pm, which will include coverage of the drunken multitude in Princes Street singing Auld Lang Syne as the bells go wild with excitement. Or spend some quality time with Jools Holland and guests, for Jools’s 11th Annual Hootenanny at 11:05pm on BBC2 or try the Chewin’ the Fat Hogmanay Special 2003 at 11:05pm on BBC1.

• 8 Fly to a different time zone Want to get one up on your mates? Then why not celebrate Hogmanay an hour or two before they do? Simply book a last-minute ticket to anywhere that lies a time zone or two ahead of GMT, and then give them a call and tell them what a great time you’re having already.

• 9 Go for a drive Most of Scotland’s roads will be empty tonight, so you’ll be able to pretend you’re the guy in the Lexus ad who drives his impossibly silent car around deserted streets listening to Martin Grech singing in a weird falsetto. When you go back to work and tell people what you did for Hogmanay there’s a chance that they’ll think you’re all dark and mysterious, although there’s also a chance that they’ll think you’re a bit odd.

• 10 Get an early night There’s no law stating that everyone must celebrate Hogmanay so, if you have nothing planned, why not just go to bed, get a good night’s sleep and wake up in 2004 smug in the knowledge that you’re feeling healthier than 99 per cent of the country?