First off… HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! I hope you all had an amazing time celebrating the arrival of 2012! I hope that you had as much fun as I did celebrating Christmas with your family and/or friends as well. Now, enough of the formalities. As I have mentioned earlier on, I was out of London for New Year’s Eve and as you might have guessed it from the title, I was indeed in Edinburgh! I will be posting pictures about my trip in general later on but at the moment I will recap on the most recent event!
The New Year’s celebrations in Edinburgh is called Hogmanay and spreads across 3 days surrounding New Year’s eve. On the 30th is the torchlight procession that starts from the Royal Mile and ends up at Calton Hill with a fireworks display, on the 31st is the Street Party in the city centre and on the 1st Jan is some sort of games and activity day. I only had the chance to take part in the Procession and the Street Party though but anyways, here’s my recap of the events!
PART 1: THE TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION
The procession started at 6:30 from the parliament square on the Royal Mile. Torches were on sale for £7 each and go towards a charity. They were sold out pretty fast so I didn’t get the chance to buy any :(. The procession was pretty cool, it had a sort of medieval feel to it with all the torches. There was a marching band at the front and there was also music pumping along the way as well! It was a bit scary at first though… I thought that someone would eventually burn my earmuffs by accident! There was a massive turnout… Apparently there was up to 30000 people on the streets of Edinburgh that day to check out the procession. This was by far one of the most amazing experiences EVER! Felt a bit like a sort of weird cult though, with all these people gathering on top of a hill, welding torches and epic music playing in the background hahaha. I’ve also never seen fireworks from so close… It also came from all around the hill and not only from one single place so that was pretty cool. Definitely worth standing in the rain and wind for the whole night!
I genuinely thought that nothing could rival the New Year’s eve fireworks in London but this was a truly incredible experience… and it wasn’t even on New Year’s eve yet!! I would definitely recommend everyone to come to Edinburgh for the Hogmanay celebrations at least once in their life. You’ll just have to be prepared to stand in the cold and rain though, but the experience is definitely worth all the hassle. Oh and I forgot to mention, this event is absolutely free!
PART 2: THE STREET PARTY
On New Year’s eve, Edinburgh’s city centre is closed down for a massive street party. The ticket costed £16.50 (15 + 1.50 admin fee) but you had access to a lot of performance stages. You could also purchase other types of tickets at a premium price that gave you access to the “Concert in The Gardens” and the “Keilidh”. The Keilidh is an area where traditional scottish music is played exclusively whereas the Cocent in the Gardens is a simply a larger performance arena. Last year KT Tunstall was playing there and this year they had Primal Scream.
That day, the weather was horrible, possibly the worse weather during my whole stay. It almost felt like a storm with all the rain and wind but at the end of the day, it was all worth it! I was at the Waverly Stage where William Douglas, Kassidy and… THE VACCINES were playing! AHHH. It’s pretty insane because before I actually went to Edinburgh, I had the Vaccine’s album playing on repeat in my playlist. I didn’t even know that they were going to perform at the Street Party until I actually got there so that was one AMAZING coincidence! That is why I decided to show up a bit earlier on and got a place in at the front. It wasn’t really crowded at the beginning but once the Vaccines got on stage by 11, people were going insane and crushing each other in order to reach the front. Can’t blame the crowd though, everyone was eagerly waiting for their performance (and to some extent, were less sober at that point). I went to check out Mark Ronson as well but at that point it was too crowded, couldn’t nudge in :(
The first act was William Douglas from William Douglas and the Wheel, followed by Kassidy. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never actually heard about this band until I saw them at the concert but apparently they are pretty big. What I’ve got to say is that… OMG, they are amazing!!!! Their live performance was really really good! After I got back home, I decided to give their album Hope St a listen and it’s been put on replay all day long ever since. I’m really glad to be introduced to this band. I love every single song in their album. They had a pretty nice style as well. One of them was wearing a proper suit on stage! Their videos have an awesome vintage-y / indie vibe going on. Overall, I like! And then the Vaccines came on stage!!! I LOVED their performance!! They were soooo good live! Screamed my lungs out, singing along hahahaha! Although it was a bit uncomfortable standing in the crowd with all the drunken people and people trying to push you out to reach the front, it was all worth it! The performances were definitely the highlight of my New Year’s Eve. Whilst the performances were going on, there were also firework displays every hours as well. Throughout the whole night, the entire road from the stage to Prices Street was PACKED! In fact it was even pretty difficult to get my way out…
It was a pretty impressive experience, definitely recommended! This was such a memorable experience that it deserved a pot on its own! I will make a separate one for the touristy things I did while visiting Edinburgh. Hope everyone had a great time celebrating NYE as well. This concludes my first post of 2012. Usually, I don’t make new year’s resolutions because I often end up by forgetting about them… I mean who doesn’t? But I will try to make some effort to update this blog more regularly. Now, bring it on 2012!