Following the change in Scottish Government guidance and restrictions announced on 21 December, Underbelly regrettably confirms the cancellation of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme for 2021.
The decision has been taken in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, following the First Minister’s announcement, with the safety of all ticketholders, event staff and the wider city of Edinburgh being our foremost priority.
The Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office team will contact all ticketholders in early January to arrange refund options.
A full summary of the Hogmanay celebrations cancelled are:
Working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Government from the outset, Underbelly has meticulously planned Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in the context of the pandemic, making Covid-19 passports or proof of negative lateral flow testing mandatory for collection of all tickets to Party at the Bells and the Torchlight Procession, as well as more recently proactively introducing the requirement for all ticket holders to all events within the Hogmanay programme to be able to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test from the day of the event they are attending. Unfortunately, due to the latest restrictions brought in by the Scottish Government, the full Edinburgh’s Hogmanay line up cannot be delivered.
“Underbelly Co-Directors, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, said: “We are incredibly sad to announce the cancellation of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme for 2021 following new restrictions announced by Scottish Government today. After such a tough year for so many people, we were looking forward to helping bring people back together safely at Edinburgh’s iconic Hogmanay celebrations.
“We know this news will be disappointing for so many people, but we also know that Edinburgh is a wonderfully innovative and resilient city, and we know it will recover from these difficult times and return to the forefront of the world’s new year celebrations in the future”.
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “Our first and foremost priority must always be to protect the health and wellbeing of the public, our staff and the city as a whole. I know it will be hugely disappointing for people, particularly young people who were planning to attend these events.
“Given the spread of this variant, reflected in the rising infection numbers, we need to avoid any additional burden on our health and emergency services. I’m grateful to the Scottish Government, Public Health, NHS and Police for their engagement with our teams to keep the City as safe as possible as we grapple with these challenges through the festive period.
“I would encourage everyone to continue following the guidance and to please celebrate Hogmanay safely and responsibly.”
Depute Leader Cammy Day said: “A huge amount of work has gone into the planning of this year’s events and I would like to thank Council staff, Underbelly and our other event partners for all their efforts in what have been difficult and ever-evolving circumstances.
“I know many people will be disappointed but I’m sure they will understand the reasons behind the decision. We can look forward to Edinburgh returning to its rightful place as the home of Hogmanay next year.”
Chief Superintendent Phil Davison, Gold Commander for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay policing operation, said: “As a result of the continued rise in COVID cases, linked to the Omicron Variant, the Torchlight Procession, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Party at the Bells, and the Loony Dook cancellations are an appropriate response in order to help stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.
“This decision was not taken by Police Scotland, but we fully support the actions taken by the event organisers and the local authority.
“We would ask that those who had been planning to attend these events do not make their way to the city centre and instead celebrate the New Year in line with the existing guidelines.”