Edinburgh City Council

Hogmanay Street Party

Hogmanay Street Party

100,000 people crowd the centre of Edinburgh for Hogmanay every New Year. It is one of the world’s largest street parties, and as a result it presents huge challenges to the organisers, including the regular appearance of very cold weather, security concerns and large amounts of alcohol. MRL provides contingency planning for the event on behalf of Edinburgh City Council, working closely with the police to ensure that the event passes off safely for all concerned.

The event has complex demands: a multi-area evacuation plan, crowd communication, traffic management, and the challenges of responding in a densely populated area.


Keeping Hogmanay Revellers Safe

The MRL team worked for weeks to ensure that more than 80,000 party-goers woke up with nothing worse than a hangover after New Year celebrations in Edinburgh, the home of Hogmanay.

MRL Safety Ltd had been co-ordinating with Unique Events, Edinburgh City Council, police, fire and ambulance services and security staff, carrying out risk assessments and preparing a safety plan for the massive Edinburgh Hogmanay Festival. A giant New Year’s Eve street party in Princes Street alone was licensed for 80,000 people and featured top rock group, The Enemy, along with DJ Mylo.

Keeping Hogmanay Revellers Safe

There were three performance stages and giant screens for the event, which was televised worldwide. There was a support event for 9,000 people in Princes Street Gardens, featuring big-name group Madness. But the festival also included a huge torchlight procession through the city with massed pipers, a bonfire and fireworks display on December 29; as well as LightNight, a new event featuring street fire sculptures and theatrical events in Edinburgh Castle.

The company’s role has involved planning all aspects of the health, safety and emergency procedures connected with the Hogmanay events. Judy Jackson, MRL Safety Ltd’s Managing Director, said: “When people gather in large numbers, the risk of serious illness and injury is never far away. No-one celebrates the New Year like the Scottish and our task is to ensure everyone enjoys it without mishap. Keeping them secure is a huge job. All aspects of safety have to be carefully planned, checked and implemented. Nothing can be left to chance. Procedures have to be meticulous – but that’s what we do.” said Judy.

MRL Safety’s experience in the live event industry ensures they are able to respond positively in fast -moving situations and remain solution focused whether the job is large or small.

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