Free First Footin’ Music and Culture Trail Announced For New Year’s Day 2024

Submitted by edg on Thu, 9 Nov '23 8.35am
Lau silhouette

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival has announced its live music and events programme which will take place on the afternoon of the first day of 2024.

First Footin’ takes the form of a trail, with music in different venues across the capital’s Old and New Towns ranging from rap, indie to classical.  

For families, Sprogmanay will also return on New Year’s Day,

The afternoon of performance and guest collaborations will include award-winning artists Lau, Fergus McCreadie, Kathryn Joseph, Hot Chip (DJ set), Bemz, Cloth, and Sean Shibe.  

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay collaborated with Edinburgh-based musician and composer Aidan O’Rourke, who is one third of the pioneering folk trio Lau, to curate the First Footin’ programme.

“The first day of the new year,” said O’Rourke. “Normal rules don’t apply. Emotions are big and wobbly. Hopes are high. The light seems different. Resolutions are … pending. We might feel refreshed but also (possibly) heftily hungover. A special sensitivity! A perfect day for listening, resetting, turning off the phones and sitting still for a moment or several.

“It’s been a joy to curate these free concerts: incredible musicians playing in up-close, low-key and immersive settings.”

First Footin’ takes place at venues throughout the city from 2pm – 8pm on New Year’s Day. Act highlights are below with a full line-up of artists and venues along with First Footin’ trail map due to be released in early December.

It’s made possible by funding from the Scottish government.

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “I’m delighted to support this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and New Year’s Day celebrations with £130,000 from our Festival Expo Fund.

"The free events programme is at the heart of the Capital’s winter festivities and provides a high-profile platform for talented performers based in Scotland.”

Sprogmanay 2024

Meanwhile, the National Museum of Scotland will be hosting free, family New Year’s Day entertainment with Sprogmanay. Music performances vary from Unicorn Dance Party and Sprog Rock, arts and crafts, and the ‘Resolution Tree’, where children are invited to write their hopes and ambitions for 2024 on a star.  

The Sprogmanay Family Ceilidh will also be returning for the day at Assembly Roxy with an afternoon of classic Scottish dance where kids can drop in and out of sessions to catch their breath.

First Footin’ 2024 Highlights

  • O’Rourke’s own group Lau will be joined by singer-songwriter Kathryn Joseph for a New Year’s Day party “like no other” at St Giles’ Cathedral, greeting their first-footers with songs and a warm welcome.
  • A special day time club event at Virgin Hotel with very special guests Hot Chip (DJ Set) and guest DJs
  • An afternoon of award-winning jazz from Fergus McCreadie Trio and special guests Juliette Lemoine & Chris Amer at Greyfriars Kirk
  • Edinburgh born guitarist and recipient of the 2022 Leonard Bernstein Award Sean Shibe and special guest violinist Mira Benjamin at the Fruitmarket Gallery
  • Live music score performed by the Graeme Stephen Trio to classic silent movies, at the new St Andrew Square Spiegeltent
  • An afternoon of ceilidh dancing with Mull’s Hannah Fisher Ceilidh Band at the Assembly Rooms Ballroom
  • Plus an evening of revelry at the First Footin’ Sessions with Cold Town Beer taking place in Edinburgh’s best city centre pubs and bars
  • Colloborating with The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award and partners Stirling Council, First Footin’ will this year welcome a selection of 2023’s Shortlisted artists to the live music trail, with nominees Becky Sikasa, Bemz, Cloth, and this year’s Sound of Young Scotland winner No Windows performing at the Assembly Rooms Music Hall. 

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