Tens of thousands of people will welcome in the new year at one of the world’s biggest street parties in Edinburgh tonight, while revellers simultaneously celebrate with fireworks 400 miles away in London.
Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said this year’s events – with a budget of £3.7million, including £1.25million from taxpayers – celebrate the ties between Scotland and Europe as the UK prepares to leave the EU in 2019.
Bands, DJs, street performers, dancers, acrobats and fire eaters from Scotland and mainland Europe will be performing at the street party, which starts at 7.30pm.
Competitors in fancy dress run across the Pennine tops near Haworth, West Yorkshire, in the Auld Lang Syne Fell race today
People take part in the annual Auld Lang Syne Fell race in Yorkshire today, which attracts hundreds of runners every year
Competitors run up one of the Pennine tops near Haworth today as they take part in the annual Auld Lang Syne Fell race
There will be music across three stages, with Gerry Cinnamon headlining the Waverley stage, Judge Jules headlining the DJ stage in Castle Street and Elephant Sessions on stage in South St David Street.
Franz Ferdinand will headline the Concert in the Gardens at the foot of Castle Rock, supported by Metronomy and Free Love, while some of the country’s top ceilidh bands will play at Ceilidh under the Castle.
The three-day festival opened on Sunday with the traditional torchlight procession, culminating in Holyrood Park where the outline of Scotland was lit up.
On New Year’s Day, buildings across the Scottish capital will be illuminated by ‘love letters to Europe’ by writers including Chitra Ramaswamy and Emma Pollock.
Event directors Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: ‘This year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has a fantastic line-up of events for young and old under the banner We Love You, a celebration of Scotland’s long-standing cultural ties with Europe.
‘From our Concert in the Gardens headliner Franz Ferdinand to Carlos Nunez at the McEwan Hall, Massaoke at Bairns Afore to Gerry Cinnamon and Snap! at the Street Party, and the Loony Dook to our six writers creating love letters to Europe in Message from the Skies across the city, the programme is diverse, exciting and fresh. We look forward to welcoming you all.’
Traffic building up at lunchtime on New Year’s Eve today on the A14 near Cambridge as people head home for the celebrations
The weather is predicted to be unsettled but not as dramatic as previous years when storms affected the festivities
Scotland Yard issued this map showing which parts of London would be closed to traffic and from when this evening
The weather is predicted to be unsettled but not as dramatic as previous years when storms affected the festivities.
Met Office forecaster Matt Box said: ‘It should stay quite dry during the day and it could be quite breezy through Monday.
‘But we could see some rain in the evening, light in nature, and it will stay fairly breezy into the evening.
‘We could see some gusts up to about 35mph, so it’s looking a bit unsettled for any new year celebrations. There could be light rain or drizzle.’
Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan has said London’s sold-out New Year’s Eve fireworks show will be a celebration of the capital’s relationship with Europe.
As part of the mayor’s London Is Open campaign, his office said the event will send a message of support to the more than one million European citizens living in the capital.
Mr Khan has previously expressed his backing for a People’s Vote and has voiced his concerns over the effects of a no-deal Brexit on the capital.
People take part in a torchlight procession along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh during Hogmanay celebrations yesterday
People smile as they take part in a torchlight procession during Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations yesterday
The display will bring together more than 100,000 spectators to watch the largest annual firework display in Europe, including eight tonnes of fireworks.
Big Ben will return to action to start the countdown after remaining silent for the year during renovation works.
The Metropolitan Police advised ticket-holders to pack lightly and only bring essentials, as no backpacks or suitcases will be allowed into the event.
Mr Khan, said: ‘Every year our capital puts on the greatest fireworks show in the world with the spectacular images of our skyline shared all around the globe.
‘I’m proud that this year the millions watching around the world will see us send a message of support to more than one million EU citizens who call London their home.
‘By paying tribute to our close relationship with Europe as we welcome in the New Year, we will once again will show the world that London will always be open.’
The event will be broadcast on BBC One for those who were unable to buy a ticket.