Hogmanay across Scotland

It’s quite possibly the biggest night of the year in Scotland. Here, our Arts team give a rundown of events that are taking place on December 31st this year


The capital’s New Year celebrations start tomorrow night at 6:30pm, when the traditional Torchlight Procession begins at Parliament Square on the Royal Mile, winds its way down to Princes Street and up on to Calton Hill, where the whole event climaxes with a firework display. You can buy torches in advance from £6, or on the night for £7 – it’s a good idea to collect them early to avoid the queues, which you can do from 2pm.

At time of writing there were still tickets on sale for Saturday night’s Street Party, featuring Friendly Fires, the Vaccines, Mark Ronson, Wild Beasts, Kassidy and lots more, although the separate Concert in the Gardens, headlined by Primal Scream (left), the Candlelit Concert in St Giles’ Cathedral, and the Keilidh are all sold out.

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The Loony Dook is also sold out, but if you’re not too hungover on 1 January head back to the city centre to join the New Year Games, an afternoon of fun team events at the Hub, St Giles’ Cathedral, Dance Base, the National Museum and the Grassmarket, featuring quirky performances by the likes of Edinburgh band and art collective FOUND.


There’s no big concert in George Square this year. Instead there’s a family day with music and ceilidh dancing, finishing at 10pm. The rest of the celebrations will be scattered across the city, from a burlesque night with Club Noir’s Hogmanay bash at the Classic Grand, to Optimo at the Glue Factory, and evenings like Pinup Nights at the Flying Duck, which has DJ sets by Aidan Moffat and the Twilight Sad.


Singer Shona Donaldson and fiddler Paul Anderson warm the crowds up for the bells at Aberdeen Music Hall, before the fireworks display from the roof of His Majesty’s Theatre. There are also parties at the Lemon Tree, the Forum and the Beach Ballroom.


The only Scottish city other than Edinburgh to stage a big outdoor concert, Stirling Castle this year has Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Eddi Reader (right) and the Heart of Scotland Choir. If that’s too cold for you, other options include a ceilidh concert at the Albert Halls.


There are parties wherever you look throughout Scotland, from Fergie McDonald’s Ceilidh Band at the Nevis Centre in Fort William, and Torridon at the Ironworks in Inverness, to a ceilidh dance at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews. And Stonehaven will, once again, be hosting its famous Fireball Festival, in which balls of fire are dramatically flung into the sea.