Edinburgh’s world-famous Hogmanay street party and midnight fireworks display will be live-streamed around the world for the first time in the history of the event.
A specially-created five and a half hour TV programme will be broadcast from the event via Facebook, YouTube and the official Hogmanay website.
Organisers will be using their own 16-strong camera crew to capture highlights from the 70,000-capacity arena on and around Princes Street. They hope the new venture will help persuade people from around the world to experience the Hogmanay festivities for themselves after getting a taste from the TV footage.
Viewers will be able to see street theatre acts drawn from across Europe, as well as acts like Mark Ronson, Marc Almond, Rudimental and Idlewild, heralding the first time any extended coverage of the event will have been available outwith the UK.
Love Island stars The Mac Twins, the DJs and presenters who have hosted the Hogmanay coverage on the giant screens at the event, will be at the helm of the broadcast, which runs from 7.30pm-1am. They will be introduce acts, interviewing artists and rub shoulders with revellers at the event, which has only previously featured on TV news bulletins around the world.
Producers Underbelly have vowed to step up the event’s global profile after creating a TV production for the giant screen inside the main arena when they took it over in 2017.
The streaming plans have been unveiled after BBC and STV announced they would be pre-recording Hogmanay programmes to be broadcast over the bells. The BBC, which has lined up Susan Calman to take over from Jackie Bird as the face of its coverage, will be featuring live excerpts from Edinburgh, including the midnight fireworks above the castle.
First staged in 1993-4, the official Hogmanay festivities in Edinburgh now include an open-air concert and ceilidh in Princes Street Gardens, as well as three stages for bands and DJs. Street theatre acts include Dutch company Close-Act Theatre, who will bring their “i-puppets” to the event, Dundu, who are described as “Germany’s giants of light,” French company Picto Facto, which is best known for its giant inflatables, and London-based dance and hip hop stars Avant Garde Dance.
Underbelly director Charlie Wood said: “The big changes we made to to the event when we took it over was to have a lot more happening on the street and to use cameras around the event to film the event to allow people to see everything regardless of where they are.
“What we’re going to be doing is taking that content that people have to be able to see on the screens at the event and allow people to see it wherever they are in the the world. Most of what we show will be from the street party, but all artists have agreed to take part in this.
“We’re spending around £200,000 on the filming and live streaming, but it’s a lot easier for us to do it because we’re already filming the event. It would cost a lot more for an outside broadcaster to do this.
“Our priority has always been to make a great show in the event space. We now want as many people around the world to see what an amazing event is happening here.
“We know the Scottish diaspora around the world really love watching the news footage. Now they will be able to watch the whole event.
“There will still be nothing to beat the live experience and this will help sell that to people who have maybe never been before.”