Edinburgh's Hogmanay: Free New Year’s Day music festival to be to staged across 14 venues

Edinburgh is to stage a free New Year’s Day music trail festival across 14 venues after the Scottish Government agreed to fund the return of the city’s Hogmanay celebrations.

Historic venues across the Old and New Towns will play host to 25 different acts during the three-hour “First Footin’” event.

A host of Scotland’s rising singing stars will be taking to the stage in venues ranging from Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh University’s New College building and the Scottish National Gallery to pubs on the Grassmarket and Rose Street.

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The new Virgin hotel on Victoria Street and the Yotel on Queen Street are also taking part in the new event, which is being supported via the Government’s £2 million Festivals Expo Fund.

Edinburgh's new First Footin' event will feature 25 acts playing at 14 venues in the Old and New Towns.

First Footin’, which will run from 2-5pm, will take place before an all-ticket concert featuring trad stars Tide Lines, Elephant Sessions and Hamish Hawk in West Princes Street Gardens.

The inaugural First Footin’ line-up features singer-songwriter Katie Gregson-MacLeod, who was propelled to fame earlier this year after going viral on TikTok with a demo of a new song and landing a record deal while she was working in a coffee shop. The event also showcases Lanarkshire teenage sensation Conor Fyfe, who played Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival earlier this year at the age of just 15, and local musical hero Callum Beattie, who is best known for his Salamander Street anthem.

Other rising stars include Berta Kennedy, recently-crowned “Sound of Young Scotland” winner at the Scottish Album of the Year Awards, and Scottish-Nigerian performer AiiTee, whose fusion of afrobeat, soul, gospel and R&B saw her shortlisted for the main “SAY Award”.

Honeyblood singer Stina Marie Claire and hotly-rated Edinburgh quartet Swim School will appear at the Greyfriars Hall venue at the Virgin hotel, while its Eve bar will host Glasgow-based indie-pop performer Siobhan Wilson, Edinburgh rapper Billy Got Waves and local folk favourite Annie Booth.

Katie Gregson-MacLeod will be playing Edinburgh's new First Footin' festival on New Year's Day.

Leith singer-songwriter Roseanne Reid, the troubadour daughter of Proclaimers star Craig Reid, will be joining Gregson-MacLeod, indie-rock favourite Withered Hand and AiiTee at Greyfriars Kirk.

The Rainy Hall at New College will be playing to indie-rock Edinburgh band Waverley, The High Rolling Sessions trio will perform their brand of folk to the Black Bull in the Grassmarket, and harpist Dara Watson will be at the Scottish National Gallery cafe.

Other performances include Leith electronica star Shears, who will be at the Boozy Cow, on Frederick Street, Glaswegian neo-soul duo Lariats, who will be at Copper Blossom on George Street, and the Eve Simpson Trio, who will be at The Huxley on Rutland Street.

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Swim School said: “We’re so excited to be playing First Footin’. We always love playing in our home town and this is the perfect way to start a busy year for Swim School.”

Siobhan Wilson will be playing Edinburgh's new First Footin' festival on New Year's Day.

Beattie said “I can’t wait to play in Edinburgh. We’ve had no shows there all year, and it’s just such an honour to be back in my home city. Myself and the band are all buzzing.”

Unique Events director Penny Dougherty and Assembly founder William Burdett-Coutts said: "We’ve invited some of Scotland’s best emerging music acts to kick start 2023 and we welcome friends and strangers alike to come First Footin’ with us, to discover something new or different and explore the city – all for free.”

Withered Hand will be playing Edinburgh's new First Footin' festival on New Year's Day.

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