Winners of Edinburgh's Hogmanay 'Hog the Stage' competition revealed

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today revealed the two winners of the Hog the Stage competition to be Paisley indie rockers Lemonhaze and Glasgow rock band Crystal.

The competition, run in partnership with Forth 1 and The List, was established to find two of Scotland’s best new bands to open Paolo’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay performances.

Over 400 submissions were received from bands from across the country and a shortlist of eight bands, selected by a panel of judges including festival headliner Paolo Nutini, were put to a public vote. Over 10,000 votes were cast by the public to select the competition’s winners.

Crystal will open the Night Afore Concert on 30 December with The Vegan Leather, Frightened Rabbit and Paolo Nutini, while Lemonhaze will open Concert in the Gardens on 31 December with The Vegan Leather, Lightning Seeds and Paolo Nutini.

Lemonhaze said: “We are sincerely grateful for all those votes we received and to be selected to perform at such a prestigious event alongside Paolo - another Paisley lad. We also want to wish the other bands who made the final eight well, they are all excellent and to make that list alongside them was an achievement. We thank everyone who voted to make this happen and we can now look forward to playing the event.”

Crystal said: "We are ecstatic and overwhelmed to be able to support Paolo. It was amazing even to be shortlisted among such a talented group of musicians. We haven't been a band for a very long time so this is a huge milestone for us. Looking forward to it massively."

The other shortlisted acts were electro pop outfit BooHooHoo (Glasgow), singer/songwriter Lizabett Russo (Edinburgh), rock trio Miracle Glass Company (Edinburgh), brotherly duo Saint PHNX (Wishaw), modern folk band Sinderins (Dundee), and folk and blues band Will & The Wild Horse (Ayrshire).

Penny Dougherty, Director of Unique Events, who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, said “We’re delighted to reveal Lemonhaze and Crystal as our Hog the Stage competition winners. We had a huge number of entries to the competition with over 400 bands sending us their music from across the country. We’d like to thank all the bands that entered, they are a testament to the health and diversity of the Scottish music scene. The public have chosen two very worthy winners who will now take the next big step in their career with each of them opening one of Paolo Nutini’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay performances.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Lemonhaze and Crystal to join the stage as we count down to the greatest New Year’s party on earth. Both the Concert in the Gardens and the Night Afore Concert will be watched by thousands of people from Scotland and across the world, providing these up and coming Scottish bands with great exposure. I am sure they will both enjoy ‘Hogging the Stage’ at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.”

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