Pet Shop Boys to headline Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will be headlined by one of Britain’s most iconic pop outfits, the Pet Shop Boys, when they are staged for the first time in three years.

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe will stage their “Dreamworld” greatest hits show in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle months after a headline performance at Glastonbury.

The Pet Shop Boys, the most successful duo in UK music history, will round off their year in Scotland after an American tour with New Order taking in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York.

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More than 40 years after Tennant and Lowe formed the synth-pop outfit, they will top the bill at Scotland’s biggest new year celebration. Tickets for the 10,000-capacity Concert in the Gardens will go on sale on Friday, priced £85 for the enclosure and £70 for the gardens.

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It will be the second time the Pet Shop Boys have headlined the event following a previous appearance at the 2013-14 event, although it is the third time they have been booked after their 2006 show fell victim to bad weather when all of the city’s celebrations were called off.

Previous headliners include Blondie, Madness, UB40 and Culture Club, along with Scottish favourites including Runrig, The Proclaimers, Paolo Nutini, Biffy Clyro and Texas.

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The Pet Shop Boys, who have sold more than 50 million records to date, will headline Hogmanay months after a sell-out gig at the OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow and ahead of a show at the P&J Live in Aberdeen in June.

They said: “2022 has been an incredible year, when we have loved being able to perform again after the restrictions arising from the pandemic.

"We can’t think of a better way to round off this year than by celebrating the start of 2023 in Edinburgh.”

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It emerged earlier this month that the Hogmanay street party would be returning for the first time since 2019. Unique Events, the company which first staged the festival in 1993, has joined forces with Fringe venue operator Assembly after they won a £4 million council contract to produce the festival for up to five years.

Last week it was revealed that Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Altered Images would stage a “Night Afore Disco Party” in the gardens on 30 December as part of the three-day Hogmanay festival.

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The new announcement stated: “Scotland’s capital is the undisputed ‘Home of Hogmanay’ and the Pet Shop Boys return to this hugely prestigious show nine years after they played the sold-out event in 2013.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival is set to return for the first time in three years. Picture: Keith Valentine

“They’ve toured extensively this year and have seen their music embraced by new generations of music fans around the world. Their Glastonbury headline slot received rave reviews everywhere.

“Performing beneath the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle amidst one of the world’s greatest new year firework displays, they will once again help make Edinburgh the best year party on the planet.”

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Unique director Penny Dougherty and Assembly founder William Burdett-Coutts said: “As we celebrate the return of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, we’re delighted to welcome back one of the greatest pop duos of all time and one of the festival’s most successful headliners – the Pet Shop Boys.

"Who better to help us kick-start Scotland’s premier new year festival, bringing Hogmanay back home?”

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Pet Shop Boys star Neil Tennant performing at Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations in 2013-14.
Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant have sold more than 50 million records since forming the Pet Shop Boys in 1981.
Pet Shop Boys have been on tour with their Dreamworld greatest hits show this year. Picture: Liam Rudden
The Pet Shop Boys will be headlining Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival for the second time in a decade. Picture: Roberto Finizio/NurPhoto/Shutterstock
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Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe formed the Pet Shop Boys in 1981. Picture: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
The Pet Shop Boys will be headlining Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations when they return this year.

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