By Oliver Farrimond
THOUSANDS of revellers enjoyed a successful Hogmanay in Scotland’s capital with few arrests and little casualties.
A crowd of roughly 80,000 braved freezing temperatures to celebrate the arrival of 2010 with a breathtaking laser and fireworks show.
Police and medics have praised party-goers for their behaviour during a night described by organisers as “extraordinary”.
Around 350 Lothian and Borders Police officers kept watch on happy revelers, making only four arrests during the evening, all for breach of the peace.
And just five people were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Mike McCormick said: “We have been delighted with the behaviour and attitude of revellers in Edinburgh this Hogmanay.
“Only four arrests were made by our officers on scene, and we would like to thank the public for helping to create a fun and memorable event for all concerned.
“I would like to thank those who attended the street party for co-operating with police and stewards, and helping us to ensure that the event was safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.
“Together we are pleased to have played our part in ensuring that this year has been yet another great success for Edinburgh.”
Dr Charles Swainson, medical director for NHS Lothian, said: “I am delighted that the celebrations have gone well, and that most people have taken our advice by wrapping up warm, and drinking responsibly.
“Our plans to deal with any additional casualties worked well and in total we treated five patients who were brought in to Accident and Emergency from the street party over the course of the night.”
Madness, The Noisettes and Codeine Velvet Club headlined the musical acts in Princes Street gardens, while elsewhere the crowd partied to DJ sets by Snow Patrol, Belle and Sebastian and The Enemy.
Four-and-a-half tones of fireworks – as well as a unique laser display – lit up the sky as the sound of Auld Lang Syne filled the night air.
Pete Irvine, creative director for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “It has been an extraordinary night in Edinburgh.
“There was brilliant music, a magical fireworks display against a full moon sky and the dramatic Castle slopes dotted with snow, and a friendly and euphoric atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.”
Edinburgh’s Festival and Events Champion Councillor Steve Cardownie added: “Once again Edinburgh has shown the world how to party and bring in the New Year in style.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere at the Street Party and you could sense a real buzz of contagious excitement as the night went on.
“The performers were great and the crowds seemed to love every minute of it – I certainly did.
“Images of Edinburgh at its very best were beamed across the globe last night so I think we can all be proud of our city.”
Bigger and better
Organisers of this year’s festivities promised the events would be bigger and better than ever before with celebrations spread over a five-day period.
And the city is expected to bring in more than £30 million thanks to the world-renowned party.
The torchlight parade – led through the capital’s Old Town – kicked off the festival on Monday with dramatic outdoor performances within the grounds of the castle for The Night Afore: Light Night on Wednesday.
But yesterday (Friday) the daunting clean-up operation began as 50 dedicated street-cleaning staff collected roughly 30 tonnes of litter as Princes Street cleared.
They expect to have the clean up completed by 5.30pm on New Year’s Day.