Hogmanay celebrations a success in the capital



Hogmanay Fireworks lasted six minutes this year

Thousands of revellers partied the night away in the rainy capital last night for an historical Hogmanay streetparty.

Over 80,000 party goers counted down the clock at midnight and were treated to a six minute long firework display- the longest display ever held since the event began 19 years ago.

Event organisers of the world-famous street party have heralded the event as a success as 75,000 tickets were sold for “the home of Hogmanay” street party.

Crowds gathered from far and wide with some coming from as far as Australiaand Colombia.

The festivities kicked off at nine o’ clock sharp as fireworks flooded the skies and opened the ceremony.

Edinburgh based Folk band Matt Noris and the Moon kick started the festivities shortly before the brief display as crowds poured in from every angle to get the celebrations underway.

Keith Mcpherson, 23, a civil engineer from East Lothian said: “I’ve been away for work in Pakistan for the last six months and it was so nice to be able to come home and have a bit of fun.

”It was a brilliant start and you knew straight away that it was going to be a good one with the firework display. I’d been looking forward to it for months and it was so worth coming home for.”

But the crowds were far from local as tourists from as far as Mumbai travelled to see what all the fuss was about.

Abhi Joh, a 25-year-old safety worker from Mumbai said he knew he was in for a good time once he saw the crowds forming.

”I was in london visiting and came all the way from there on a megabus to be here. I travelled with eight friends and we got the bus to Glasgow and then came to Edinburgh.
As soon as we heard the first band, I knew we’d made the right decision to come.

”it was well worth the 11 hours on a bus.”

24-year-old teacher Ciara Donnelly from Co. Monaghan, Ireland said she was given a surprise trip to edinburgh for the Newyear as a Christmas present.

She said: “I couldn’t believe my friends bought me a ticket for christmas to come over.

”I’d been to Edinburgh before but never for Hogmanay. It was such an experience, I was blown away by the preparations and the decorations. I’ve had the best newyears ever this year.”

More than 20 bands appeared over seven different stages throughout the night starting from nine o clock.

Crowds enjoyed indie rock bandBombay Bicycle Club and punk band Friendly Fires to Cuban soul band Cuban Brothers.

But it wasn’t just about the music as party goers enjoyed local cuisine food stands and theEdinburghwheel among other attractions.

One teenager, 17-year-old Lauren Anderson fromFifesaid she and her friends just came to soak up the party atmosphere.

“We had such a good time just walking around and eating. We didn’t even stop to see the bands- it was enough to just hear them in the background.

“We went into the fair ground and we on the wheel. The views were amazing, it was so cool to see the crowds pouring in for a party. I wish it would happen more than just once a year,” she added.

But the real fun began when hit nineties band Primal Scream took to the stage at 11.25pm, as thousands of fans gathered to get ready for the count down.

As revellers cheered and shouted the count-down, an explosion of fireworks covered the skies which lasted for a recod six minutes- the longest ever firework display since the street party began 19 years ago.

And despite the rain, partygoers enjoyed every minute of the festivities.

Friends Sophie Stanistreet and Charlotte Cundell, 16, from Ireland and Northampshire said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We loved the dancing and Primal Scream were unbelievably good. We didnt mind the rain, we just had such a fantastic time.”

A chinese student Yang Yang, 24, studying marketing said the fireworks were worth the rainy weather.

“They were wonderful. We had great fireworks in China this morning and now were celebrating it again tonight for Scotland. It was so great to see such a beautiful display.”

But one colombian tourist was much less forgiving of the typical Scottish weather.

Serio Enrique, a 26-year-old student from Colombia said: “It was fantastic but the only complaint has to be about the weather. I wore a three piece suit but I had to cover it over with an ugly raincoat. But other than that, I had a brilliant time. I will definitely come back next year, if it’s dry.”

The big clean-up began at around 3am, after the celebrations ended and the crowds dissappeared.

An estimated 60-75 tonnes of refuse will be collected today by Council and Services for Communities staff.

Pete Irvine, Director, Unique Events said: “What a great night.  It’s certainly been one of the best Hogmanay events ever – world class bands, spectacular fireworks and a brilliant atmosphere on the Street.  We have certainly launched 2012 in style.”