Popular 'Loony Dook' dropped as Hogmanay festival line-up announced

A festive line-up of music and events has been revealed however the annual 'loony dook' has been swapped out.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival line-up confirmed but ‘Loony Dook’ at South Queensferry dropped iStock

A full three-day line-up for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival has been announced, but the annual ‘Loony Dook’ has been dropped from the programme.

Festival favourites including the Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral, the family-friendly ‘Sprogmanay’ and live music performances from acts including Sophie Ellis-Bextor have all been confirmed.

However, the New Year’s Day ‘Loony Dook’ at South Queensferry has been replaced with free city centre activities.

Organisers UniqueAssembly confirmed the line-up on Monday and stated: “There is no official Loony Dook taking place as part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme this year, but locals and visitors can enjoy community dips and dooks taking place in surrounding areas.”

It comes after the torchlight procession which kicks off Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh was cancelled over increasing costs.

UniqueAssembly say they are shelving plans for the 2022 parade, blaming economic challenges and a “drop in available funding” for the decision.

The Loony Dook in 2020.

The partnership, which also took over running the Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations following a contract dispute with Angels Event Experience Limited, said they hoped the event would return next year.

Events confirmed include a New Year’s Day Triathlon at Holyrood Park and Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Viennese New Year Concert at the Usher Hall.

A community-organised Portobello Dook will take place for those still looking for a cold swim to kick-off the new year.

Elsewhere the programme includes First Footin’, a new free programme of live music performances across venues including the Old and New Towns on New Years Day.

Pubs including Cold Town House, Greyfriars Hall at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, Rose Theatre and The Auld Hundred in Rose Street, the Grassmarket’s Black Bull and The Huxley in the west end are taking part.

The performances include singer-songwriter Callum Beattie and Roseanne Reid.

Callum Beattie said: “I can’t wait to play in Edinburgh. We’ve had no shows there all year, and it’s just such an honour to be back in my home city. Myself and the band are all buzzing.”

Jamie Napier, general manager of Cold Town House, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of the programme as an event partner. Hogmanay in Edinburgh is unparalleled across the world so to be a part of the programme of events is great for us.

“We’re known for hosting fantastic parties and events throughout the year but this will be particularly special as we sit alongside some of the most creative and fun venues the city has to offer; we’re really looking forward to welcoming first footers through our doors!”

A Night Afore Disco Party with Sophie Ellis-Bextor will take place on December 30 followed by Concert in the Gardens with Pet Shop Boys and the world-famous Street Party and Midnight Moment on December 31.

On January 1, the Final Fling will be headlined by Tide Lines.

UniqueAssembly said “We are thrilled to announce further additions to the three-day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, providing a packed programme of free activities on New Year’s Day and the return of some much-loved events.

“It has been wonderful to collaborate with so many local organisations, venues and artists to create new experiences for audiences to enjoy and explore around the city on New Year’s Day.”

The full Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme includes a series of free events for families and children, including ‘Sprogmanay’ at the National Museum of Scotland.   

The free and unticketed afternoon activities are for children of all ages and include live music, comedy, magic and arts and crafts.

In addition, The Sprogmanay Family Ceilidh with the Edinburgh Ceilidh Club takes place a short walk from the museum at Assembly Roxy.

City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay truly remains the place to be to bring in the bells and this year will be no exception. Our internationally acclaimed Hogmanay celebrations feature a Festival of Ceilidhs, family-friendly events in Sprogmanay and a Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral.

“We’re also very excited to support First Footin’ where audiences can enjoy an afternoon of live music in unique venues across the city. So, whether you join the magic of the Night Afore Disco Party, spend your midnight moment at the world-famous Street Party or start the year enjoying some of the scores of Scottish musical talent in Final Fling or First Footin’– I hope you enjoy being part of it.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay three-day programme has something for everyone and coupled with the famous fireworks display, I’m sure this year’s celebrations will yet again entertain thousands of people and get 2023 off to a spectacular start.”

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