Following last year’s ban on Hogmanay’s Midnight Moment Fireworks celebration on Calton Hill, the City of Edinburgh Council has reopened the hill to this year’s festivities.
The ban was set days before last year’s celebration, after the Council deemed the site to be a safety hazard, calling the hill “unlit and uneven under foot” in a statement released on their website. This year, however, the measure was found to be unnecessary.
A statement on the Council’s news blog said: “Operational arrangements for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are reviewed every year. In consultation with the agencies involved in the planning of the event, this year’s plans will not require the park to close.”
The statement further mentioned that only those who have purchased wristbands and are participating in the Torchlight Procession will be permitted access to the hill.
On the same blog, Councillor Richard Lewis, festivals and events champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “The Council will ensure Calton Hill remains open to the general public on Hogmanay night.
“A small area of the hill will be used as a fireworks site by the organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. This area will be stewarded.”
Under the old ban, Calton Hill was off-limits, beginning at 19:00 on 31 December. The hill had been a popular viewing site for the Festival’s Midnight Moment Fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, in addition to being one of the locations where fireworks were set off.
A spokesperson for Unique Events, the company that organises Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said in an email statement to The Student that the organisation has “made no changes” to Calton Hill’s fireworks display for the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration.
“Arrangements for the fireworks, the fireworks exclusion area and the stewarding of that exclusion area remain the same as last year and as in previous years”, the spokesperson continued.
The spokesperson also wished to remind attendees that the firing zone itself will be off-limits to the public.
In addition to the Calton Hill location, fireworks will also lift from Princes Street Gardens and the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.
Similar to past years, the city’s Hogmanay celebration will last three days, spanning from 30 December to 1 January.
Around 200,000 people are expected to attend the festivities, which will also include events such as the Street Party, Torchlight Procession, Old Town Ceilidh, and two nights of music from headliner Paolo Nutini.
Image: Steve McCaig