The Street Party (tickets, review, map), or "Party at the Bells" as it is being called in 2021/2022, is perhaps the best-known event in the 4-day Edinburgh's Hogmanay Festival. The New Year street party is a ticketed event that each New Year's Eve runs across the length of Princes Street, with live bands, a carnival atmosphere and dancing in the street.
With Covid-19 still a concern, Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party returns in 2021/2022 with capacity scaled back, compared to pre-pandemic years, to 30,000 people. The street party's maximum capacity before Covid-19 struck was 80,000 people, with 75,000 estimated to have attended the Street Party in 2019.
The event also officially starts at a slight later time - 10pm. The festivities in previous years would see multiple music stages, with screens going live at 9pm.
The Party at the Bells 2021/2022 main highlight are DJ sets by Basement Jaxx supported by BBC Radio 1 DJ, Arielle Free, beamed onto the street through a series of screens. Also lined up is street theatre from Close-Act Theatre, and Midnight Fireworks from Edinburgh Castle.
Covid-19 health protocols in 2021/2022 will mean that celebrations are more muted than in pre-pandemic years.
Traditionally, the fireworks are followed by a joining of hands as the crowd sings Auld Lang Syne, a kissathon, and more partying into the wee wee hours both on the street and around the city.
There are two levels of pass for Party at the Bells: Garden Access which gives you access to the Street Party and Princes Street Garden (£110) and Street Access (£25.50), which gives you access to the Princes Street party area.
7,500 tickets are available to EH residents for £17.50.
Free Trams, Hogmanay Buses
There are usually free trams from every 20 minutes from midnight on December 31 to 5am on January 1 between the West End in Edinburgh and Edinburgh Airport.
Lothian buses has a Hogmanay £5 ticket deal with unlimited travel on its buses from 6pm on 31st December and all Hogmanay buses after midnight. Lothiancountry has a similar deal for either £5 or £10 depending on journey length. More on Hogmanay bus services.
In 2019, Edinburgh's Hogmanay introduced a livestream on YouTube and on Facebook Live of the street party, which was viewable around the world for the first time. It featured The Street Party, Concert In the Gardens, and Ceilidh Under the Castle.
The live cast was hosted by the Mac Twins and featured music acts and street theatre from around the Hogmanay arena and the fireworks at midnight. The 16-camera live stream cost a reported £200,000 and ran from 7.30pm on 31st December 2019 until 1am, 1st January 2020.
The livecast was not archived for later viewing.
In the past Hogmanay has been broadcast live on television by Sky News and the BBC have webcast the celebrations.
In 2011/2012, there was a 1 hour live video stream starting at 11.30pm, with viewing limited to 20,000, on a first come/first served basis. The webcast was archived until Tuesday 2 January 2012, 11pm (GMT).
You can also try and catch the celebrations on Edinburgh webcams although the feeds are usually unable to handle the spike in Hogmanay traffic.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party has been scaled back over the years. When Unique Events started organising the Street Party in 1993 it was a free, non-ticketed event.
Then in 1999, huge crowds of around 300,000 crushed into the city centre and railings collapsed on Princes Street, with hundreds of revellers injured. Organisers responded by creating a gated area within the city centre for the 1997-1998 Hogmanay Street Party.
The event has since gone from around 180,000 revellers of the millennium Hogmanay party to around 75,000 to 80,000 within a smaller cordoned-off area.
The Street Party was cancelled in 2003-2004 and in 2006-2007 due to bad weather conditions, in particular strong winds.
The event has been affected in the past by tram works.
The 2020-2021 Hogmanay Street Party and all Hogmanay live events were called off due to Covid-19 restrictions. Hogmanay "moments" were streamed online in its place.
In 2021-2022, Hogmanay organisers Underbelly rebranded a scaled-back street party event as "Party at the Bells" with a capacity of 30,000 and a later official start time.
In previous years, there were multiple stages and countdown fireworks at 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm, leading to the bells at the "Midnight Moment", and a fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle and from Calton Hill to herald in the New Year.
- Edinburgh's Hogmanay info
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Edinburgh's Hogmanay Reviews