Be warm, be safe and have fun at Edinburgh's Hogmanay

As the big night approaches, organisers of the world famous Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party are urging revellers to be warm, to stay safe and to enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer this Hogmanay.

The City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Borders Police, NHS Lothian, G4S Events and the Met Office today offered advice to help revellers bring in the New Year safely.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh, said:

"Revellers at the Street Party are bound to have a great time, provided they use their common sense and dress for the weather. We'd also encourage them to heed the advice from police and stewards, who will be working extremely hard on the night to make sure everyone enjoys themselves safely.

"Bring any New Year cheer in plastic containers, dress warmly, have fun but be sensible and remember to drink responsibly, look after yourself and your friends and help us bring in 2011 in spectacular fashion at the best New Year's celebrations in the world."

Jim Watson, Public Weather Service Advisor for Met Office Scotland, said:

"The forecast is looking good for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. It should stay predominantly dry but cloudy, with temperatures staying above zero and a light, easterly wind."

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party organisers are offering a few extra tips for revellers to bear in mind:

-Follow the instructions on the Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party tickets

-Dress for the weather

-Look after each other and arrange a meeting point

-Think about how to get home

-Police and stewards are on duty to look after everyone's safety - bags may be searched on entry

-Revellers are encouraged not to bring under-16s to Street Party (events on 30 Dec and 1-2 Jan are for all the family)

-People under the influence of too much alcohol may be refused entry

-No one will get in unless they have an Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party ticket

-Don't bring glass (including bottles) or cans into the arena. There will be four pay bars and numerous catering outlets within the Street Party Arena.

-Don't bring alcohol into the Keilidh or Concert in the Gardens.  There will be pay bars and catering outlets positioned within the Arenas.

Assistant Chief Constable Mike McCormick, from Lothian and Borders Police, said:

"We want to make sure that everyone enjoys a fun and safe evening this Hogmanay and we have been working with our partners to ensure this happens.

"Around 330 officers and 450 stewards will be on high visibility patrol in the event arena and surrounding area, to address and concerns or answer any queries from revellers.

"Public safety is paramount throughout the Hogmanay celebrations, and as such anyone coming to the street party will not be permitted to bring glass into the arena. Partygoers should also remember that once they have entered the arena, and their ticket has been checked and split, they will not be able to get back in if they choose to leave.

"Finally, we want it to be an evening to remember for all the right reasons and I would ask everyone to be mindful of their own personal safety, and the safety of those around them, so we can create a positive atmosphere for everyone."

David Farquharson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian said:

"The Hogmanay street party is Scotland's best New Year's celebration but it's wise to take a few sensible steps to keep yourself safe and make it a night to remember for all the right reasons.

"Before you set foot outside think carefully about what to wear. Given the recent snowy weather make sure you wear a hat, scarf and gloves, and watch your footing on icy ground.

"Be sensible about how much you drink and bear in mind that alcohol lowers your body temperature. So, pace yourself by having soft drinks as well.

"Finally don't let excessive alcohol result in a trip to A&E.  It is crucial that these services are available for those who really require them. If you suffer a minor injury on the night, you can be treated in the Minor Injuries Clinic at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital."

Eric Alexander, Chief Operating Officer, G4S Events said:

"G4S are delighted to be playing their part in ensuring that the world renowned celebrations of Edinburgh's Hogmanay continues to be a must attend event.  G4S will have more than 450 stewards and security staff on site during the Hogmanay festivities. We wish all revellers to celebrate the arrival of 2011 in a safe and secure environment."

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

"Scotland is the place to be for Hogmanay, with preparations well underway for fantastic celebrations in Edinburgh and around the country.

"We may be on course for the coldest December on record, but the world-famous Scottish welcome will be warmer than ever this New Year.

"If you are heading out, make sure you wrap up warm and check details with event organisers as well as weather and travel advice before setting off."

The four day Edinburgh's Hogmanay extravaganza begins in style with a brand new Opening Event alongside the annual Torchlight Procession and Son et Lumière on Thursday 30 December.

The biggest draw to the programme is undoubtedly Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party on 31 December. Now in its 18th year, the world famous Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party welcomes 80,000 revellers from around the world to the 'Home of Hogmanay'. With four live music stages featuring an unmissable mix of artists from The Coral, Newton Faulkner, the Treacherous Orchestra and Hog the Stage competition winners Kitty the Lion to DJ sets by Booka Shade, Kaiser Chiefs and Goldie Lookin Chain, there's something for everyone. Throw in one of the world's largest New Year fireworks displays and a host of surprises and you have the ultimate Edinburgh's Hogmanay experience.

On the same night, Concert in the Gardens headliners Biffy Clyro will be having their own party beneath Edinburgh castle and are joined by special guests The Charlatans and Billy Bragg for an Edinburgh's Hogmanay flagship music and fireworks spectacular. Tickets for Concert in the Gardens have sold out.

If you like a bit more birl with the bells, then The Keilidh is the place to be. Dance the night away on the outdoor ceilidh dance floor on Mound Precinct to the very best in traditional music with Heuch, Hugh MacDiarmids Haircut and Brechin City Rollers.  Tickets for the Keilidh have sold out.

Lothian Buses and First Buses will be running free services, supported by RBS, from various departure points around the City Centre to help revellers get home safely after the Street Party. Check details online or contact the bus companies for further details.   

Edinburgh's Hogmanay launches with a brand new Opening Event in Resolution Square (the newly named event space on Mound Precinct) alongside the popular Torchlight Procession and Son et Lumière on Thursday 30 December, with the Street Party, Keilidh and Concert in the Gardens leading to the spectacular Midnight Fireworks from the iconic Edinburgh Castle on Friday 31 December.

Also new for this year, an ambitious programme of events has been put together to celebrate One Day - the singular date of 1.1.11. One Day, supported by the Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, kicks off with a celebration of music, art, literature and creativity when a selection of Scotland's top singers, songwriters, musicians and performers will perform on-stage in a free and unticketed concert in 'Resolution Square'. This will be followed by a Resolution Concert featuring K T Tunstall together with King Creosote, Silver Columns and Kassidy, which will be held at the Ross Bandstand from 5pm on 1 January.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Official Box Office at the Hub is open today and tomorrow (Thursday 30 December) from 10.00am to 10.00pm and on Friday 31 December from 9.00am to 8.00pm.  Tickets for all events can be purchased in person from the Edinburgh's Hogmanay Box office, online or over the phone on 0844 894 2011.

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