Hogmanay in Scotland: A guide to the special events near you

Scotland has a range of events taking place at Hogmanay, but which one will you choose?
Scotland has a range of events taking place at Hogmanay, but which one will you choose?
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Scotland prides itself as the global capital of Hogmanay, and there’s no shortage of one-off events and unforgettable sights to see, from thousands of torchbearers to street theatre and ‘loony dookers’. Here we run through what’s on offer this year.


Get into the Hogmanay spirit this year and party like it's 2013 - because it is.

Get into the Hogmanay spirit this year and party like it's 2013 - because it is.

Hogmanay Carnival

Market Street

Thursday 27 December - Sunday 6 January

11am - 11pm

Prices vary

Now a permanent fixture during the Hogmanay celebrations in the capital, the carnival overlooking the city centre will keep the kids entertained/upside down/scared witless with its Dive Bomber, Sticky Wall and Haunted House.

Torchlight Procession

Sunday 30 December

Starting at Chambers Street

Free, unticketed / torch vouchers £7

The sight of 25,000 torch bearers snaking through the centre of Edinburgh is certainly something to behold. Starting on Chambers Street at 6.30pm, the procession goes down the Mound and all the way around to Calton Hill, where the torchbearers assemble and watch a spectacular fireworks display. One for the whole family, this free, unticketed event also features Shetland’s Up Helly Aa’ Vikings and the massed pipes and drums.

The Street Party

Monday 31 December

9pm - 1am

£15 + booking fee

A wildly popular way to celebrate the bells is by congregating on Princes Street - along with 80,000 other happy souls - at the Street Party. This year the music will be provided by The Macabees, Admiral Fallow and Reverend and the Makers, among others. Plus, relive your favourite musical era with The Rew1nd3r, a massive spin-the-wheel dancefloor event with the best party tunes from the last six decades.

Concert in the Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

Monday 31 December

9pm - 1am

Enclosure tickets sold out / Gardens ticket £37.50 + booking fee

The combination of live music, the castle backdrop and the legendary midnight fireworks have led to complete sell-outs for the Concert in the Gardens in recent years. If you buy a ticket to this time you’ll be treated to live music from 80s chart-toppers Simple Minds, Dundee indie group The View and Edinburgh’s own afro-pop kids Bwani Junction.

The Keilidh

Mound Precinct

Monday 31 December

9pm – 1am

£37 + booking fee

Whether you’re a regular ceilidh dancer or you’re completely new to the Dashing White Sergeant, all are welcome to join in at this major outdoor event that’s sure to set pulses racing on the big night. Birl, hoot and choose your partner at the Mound Precinct, which boasts a massive dancefloor, bar and food village, all with a great view of the fireworks.

Candlelit Concert in St Giles’ Cathedral

St Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile

Monday 31 December


£16 + booking fee (sold out)

If you were lucky enough to snap up a ticket for this festive concert in the candlelit confines of the beautiful St Giles Cathedral, you can look forward to Vivaldi’s Magnificat and Parts 1 and 3 of J.S.Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Listen out for the St Giles’ Cathedral Choir and the talented young soloists.

Your Lucky Day

Starting at National Museum of Scotland

Tuesday 1 January

12noon - 5pm


If you’re up in time on New Year’s Day and fancy a few surprises to start 2013, roll the dice and see where it takes you at this brand new afternoon event. Starting at the National Museum, the dice will dictate your trip around the old town to a series of unique venues and captivating performances.

Edinburgh’s Dogmanay

Holyrood Park

Tuesday 1 January

12noon – 3pm

Give your New Year’s Day some woof as the popular Dogmanay returns to the city’s New Year’s calendar. There are husky dog races, dog shows, dog awards and even the opportunity to snuggle a sled dog. Dog-tastic, in other words.

The Loony Dook

South Queensferry

Tuesday 1 January

Check-in opens at 11am, Dooker’s Parade begins at 1.30pm

£7 (includes donation to RNLI)

This annual event needs little introduction. Every year hundreds of brave (or foolish?) souls descend on the River Forth, under the famous bridge, to obliterate their hangovers by running, jumping and falling into the chilly waters - usually in fancy dress. Digni

New Year’s Day Triathlon

Commonwealth Pool and Holyrood Park

Tuesday 1 January

11.30pm (kids duathlon), 12.30pm (triathlon)

Prices vary

Sporty types can start 2013 as they mean to continue, with this triathlon taking place at the newly refurbished ‘Commie’ and Arthur’s Seat, offering great views of the capital. All you need to do is swim 400m in the pool, cycle three times around Arthur’s Seat and then run around the extinct volcano once. Easier said than done.

Street Theatre Spectacular - Big Bang

Destination 13, 13 Buccleuch Place

Tuesday 1 January

5.30pm – 6.30pm


International street theatre artists Plasticien Volants bring their spectacular interpretation of the creation of the universe to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, in a UK premiere.

Baby Loves Hogmanay Disco

Electric Circus, 36 Market Street

Sunday 30 December and Monday 31 December

£8 + booking fee

New mums and dads probably feel like they hardly ever get to go out any more. Now there’s a solution in the form of this child-friendly disco, complete with baby-friendly volume levels, a chill-out zone, private karaoke, facepainting, dressing-up box, kids drinks, snacks and sandwich platters and dancefloor games.


Glasgow Hogmanay Day

George Square

12pm - 10pm


Promising 10 hours of “free festive family fun”, Glasgow’s Hogmanay Day begins with a children’s storytelling session for children at noon, followed by pipe music from Drums’n’Roses. Other highlights include a traditional Ceilidh courtesy of Kilter later in the early evening. A host of other acts will also bring traditional Scottish music and dancing to George Square as the bells approach.

Fence Records at Mono

Mono, Kings Court



Venerable Scottish indie label Fence Records take over Mono record store as The Pictish Trail headlines proceedings, with support from Randolph’s Leap and a number of as-yet-unannounced special guests selected by the Fife collective.

Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival Hogmanay Gala

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall


£24.50 - £37.50

A feast of classical music presented by BBC Radio Scotland’s Jamie MacDougal as works from Mendelssohn, Ponchielli (whose aptly-titled Dance of the Hours will feature) and Tchaikovsky fill the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s main auditorium.

Ashton Lane Hogmanay Street Party

Ashton Lane

8pm - 1am


A host of live bands fill Ashton Lane for a night of music from Celtic-inspired headliners Sketch, plus a live piper, DJs, street performers and the customarily explosive firework display.

Hogmanay at Jongleurs

Mansion House, Glassford Street



Jongleurs host a formidable evening of stand-up from some of Scotland’s top comics, including Dougie Dunlop, Patrick Rolink, and Des Clarke. Former Scotsman columnist Janey Godley is also among the headliners.

Hogmanay Hootfest! at the Stand

The Stand

Woodlands Road



Another all star, all-Scottish line-up at the Stand, with Jo Caulfield, John Gillick, James Kirk and Raymond Mearns on joke duties for the evening.

PAWS at Broadcast


Sauchiehall Street

8pm - 1am


Glasgow noiseniks PAWS help gig-goers see in the New Year at newly minted venue Broadcast, with support from Adam Stafford (formerly of Y’all Is Fantasy Island) and Baby Strange.

Hairdresser’s Hogmanay

The Old Hairdressers

Renfield Lane

8pm - 2am


The Old Hairdressers goes all intergalactic on revellers as they host indie ensemble The Starlets, who have curated a special planetarium space to perform in. Support, fittingly, comes from Starry Eyes, as well as A DJ set from Bjorn of Wake The President.


Hogmanay Concert

Aberdeen Music Hall



The Aberdeen Music Hall hosts the Hogmanay Concert, which promises “laughter, music and song”. Robert Lovie will play MC for the evening, joined by fiddle master Paul Anderson and singer Shona Donaldson.

Rock N Roll Hogmanay

The Lemon Tree



Rock N Roll Hogmanay, with By Hook or By Krook. Covers band By Hook or By Krook play The Lemon Tree as they bring in the bells with thunder.

Fireworks Display

From the rooftop of His Majesty’s Theatre

Viewing areas at Union Terrace, Union Bridge and Schoolhill



Red Hot Highland Fling

Northern Meeting Park Arena



Big Country headline the Red Hot Highland Fling, supported by The Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore and the Whisky River Band.


The Proclaimers

Stirling Castle

£25 / £12.50


The Proclaimers will be performing at the Esplanade at Stirling Castle, with support by Bags of Rock, Miniature Dinosaurs, Beat That, Steve McKenna, and there will also be a fireworks show.