THIS year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a jam-packed programme full of events. Last year, the festival generated over £48.5 million for Scotland’s economy and over 85,000 people are expected to attend this year.

Here some of the performers share their highlights of the old year and what they hope from 2024.

Björn Again
1. Do you have any Hogmanay/New Year traditions you could share?
Australians, like the Swedes, have a tradition of enjoying public firework displays for New Year’s Eve and there’s always a big singalong of Auld Lang Syne even if most of the lyrics get messed up or mispronounced.
However, seeing a massive throng of people honouring their heritage with a heartfelt rendition of Flower Of Scotland gets our vote as the most awe-inspiring thing ever witnessed.

Björn Again had been rehearsing the song as a band for weeks for a Hogmanay show back in the early 1990s with a view to hopefully persuading the crowd to join in and sing along with us.

On the night Benny played the opening piano chord and hit the first few notes of the melody, the crowd of more than 15,000 people simply just took over. On stage, we didn’t play or sing another note. We couldn’t. The crowd completely took the lead and sang extra lyrics we had not even heard before.

All we could do was stand there and admire this spectacle, not knowing whether to laugh or cry (we had spent so much time rehearsing, trying to get this bloody song right!). We couldn’t help thinking though that these people are just as genuinely and openly proud to be Scottish as we are proud to be Australian. That was over 30 years ago and still a very vivid memory.

2. Highlight of 2023
Björn Again played a concert to 10,000 people in August at the Audley End stately home in Essex with The Real Thing, Boney M and Miss Disco for GCE Heritage Live. Looking out at the crowd, there was a seemingly endless sea of faces of all ages young and old enjoying the non-stop stream of hit songs from all the acts. The show reinforced how much of an impact that such a live music spectacle has.

3 What are you looking forward to in 2024?
In March, Björn Again is playing two shows in Dubai. So this will be a case of sitting by the pool during the day and no doubt some late-night shopping thrown in as well.

Hannah Fisher of the Hannah Fisher Ceilidh Band
1. Do you have any Hogmanay/New Year traditions you could share?
There is always a good ceilidh to be had in the Hebrides on Hogmanay and like many areas in the Highlands and Islands we still celebrate the Auld New Year, or the Gaelic New Year, on January 12.

READ MORE: Review of the year 2023: What’s happened in Scottish politics

An excuse for another party and if you’re lucky, a  dark-haired man will be the first of the first footers and this will bring you good luck. 

If not good luck, at the very  least, he should bring a dram, shortbread, cheese and a lump of coal for the fire.

2. Highlight of 2023
A highlight of 2023 was being a small part of the new King Creosote Album, I Des, and seeing it receive such great reviews. Nothing beats playing incredible songs with a 
bunch of brilliant musicians that you call great pals. Check it out if you haven’t already!

3. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
We’re looking forward to a new music project in 2024 that we’ve been sitting on for a while now.

Hannah Fisher Ceilidh Band plays Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party tonight in Edinburgh City Centre.

Tam Dean Burn
1. Do you have any Hogmanay traditions you could share?
I’m delighted to be involved in the Edinburgh New Year celebrations because they meant so much to me growing up. I was always proud that in Scotland we celebrated New Year more than Christmas. Especially when I discovered the tradition of gathering outside the Tron Church 
on the High Street before heading back to Clermiston for first footing. To now have the idea that folk will come first footing to me in St Giles’ Cathedral is wild!

2. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
2023 has been amazing for me in so many ways that I look forward to continuing in 2024 – singing with the post-punk band The Scars, working with the great artist Bill Drummond (right now today I’m recording the plays we’ve been working on over recent years where I often play him) and I pray that I’ll perform again in Revelations Of Rab McVie with 
Maria Rud and the band Filthy Tongues. It’s one of the very best and important shows I’ve ever been in, so fingers crossed it finds new life. So aye, 2024, bring it on!

Tam Dean Burn plays First Footin’ tomorrow, at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Alasdair Taylor of Elephant Sessions
1. Do you have any Hogmanay/New Year traditions you could share?
We usually have a gig on Hogmanay so I’m usually away from home but I guess the closest tradition would be first footing my parents, often on January 1.

2. Highlight of 2023
Highlight of 2023 has definitely been our most recent show at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. It’s something we’ve been working on for many months and with the help of Gary Ebdy and Greg Smart from our team, we went bigger on production than we’ve ever gone before. It was an absolute career high for us.

3. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
We have just announced that we’re putting on our own festival in September 2024 just north of Inverness. It’s called Black Isle Calling, it’s going to be a party and tickets are on sale now!

Elephant Sessions plays Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party in the Tartan Zone tonight, Edinburgh city centre.

Becky Sikasa
1. Do you have any Hogmanay traditions you could share?
Probably having lots of anxiety about the world and worrying that nothing’s good enough – but I’ve been working on replacing that with some better vibes. If you have any tips for fun traditions, my inbox is open haha. Maybe playing a show for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay should become a new one?

2. Highlight of 2023
I think my personal highlight of 2023 hasn’t been one specific moment and rather that feeling of continuously working on this project with my people and seeing it grow and 
evolve and connect with more and more people. 
Like for example I wrote a song Wait Up that involves a choir and doing that live for the first time recently with lots of gorgeous singers was EMOTIONAL.

3. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
One of my favourite parts about making music is that I get to do it with all my best pals, musicians, photographers, or visual creatives. I’m looking forward to just doing more of exactly that in 2024. Having fun experimenting with it all, shooting more videos and most importantly playing live – buzzing for my biggest headline shows yet. Putting together something really special with some lovely surprises for the St Luke’s show in Glasgow on January 28.

Becky Sikasa plays First Footin’ tomorrow at the Assembly Rooms.

Fergus McCreadie
1. Do you have any Hogmanay/New Year traditions you could share?
Usually on Hogmanay I try and do something different each year, so not much in the way of traditions – but when I was younger, I always used to watch Jackie Bird which is my earliest memory of the bells.

2. Highlight of 2023
In 2023, I was lucky to get to do a lot of touring and travelling but I would say in particular a highlight was playing at the North Sea Jazz 
Festival in July – seeing the massive amount of gigs there was a pretty unique experience.

3. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
I’m releasing a new album, which has been sitting on my computer since January 2023 so will be great to get that out! I’m also returning to The Queen’s Hall which is always such a great venue to play.

Fergus McCreadie plays First Footin’ tomorrow at Greyfriars Kirk.

The National:

1. Do you have any Hogmanay traditions you could share?
To be very honest, I’m usually asleep for the bells. Age catching up.

2. Highlight of 2023?
Everything. I am grateful for all the opportunities I had this year and all the people I got to meet/events I got to play and awards that I won.

3. What are you looking forward to in 2024?
Being a better version of myself, producing a body of work and shows.

Bemz plays First Footin’ tomorrow at the Assembly Rooms.

Further information and tickets for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 30th anniversary celebrations 
are available now from