Home Of Hogmanay Sees In New Year

Tens of thousands of party-goers took to the streets of the city known as the home of Hogmanay to welcome in the new year.

Revellers took part in the huge outdoor celebrations before the clock struck midnight, with singer Lily Allen headlining the Concert in the Gardens joined by special guests Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul.

The world-famous street party also saw performances from Twin Atlantic, Twilight Sad, Eddi Reader and this year's Mercury Prize-winners, the Edinburgh-based act Young Fathers.

The traditional outdoor ceilidh also saw 3,000 people dancing through the midnight bells.

Elsewhere, celebrations at Stirling Castle's esplanade were cancelled due to high winds.

A live outdoor concert had been due to take place with music from The Waterboys, Skerryvore, JJ Gilmour and Model Aeroplanes, followed by a fireworks display to welcome in 2015.

In a statement on its website Stirling Council said the event had been cancelled on the grounds of public safety.

In Edinburgh, the five-minute midnight spectacular fireworks display was watched by people from more than 70 countries.

John Atkinson, 23, from Blackpool, said: ''I can't believe how busy it is, I never expected there to be this many people. I'm really glad we made the journey up for this, it's been brilliant.

Mel Reid, 24, from Vancouver, Canada, was in the capital with family and friends. She said: ''We don't have anything like this at home so we've just been soaking up the atmosphere.''

''The torch parade was fantastic and tonight was amazing - there was great music and fireworks. We loved it.''

Hogmanay was the busiest night of the year for the Scottish Ambulance Service, which dealt with 2,394 calls to its 999 centres across Scotland.

Call volumes were 2% lower than last year's total of 2,443, however the service said it experienced intense periods of high demand, managing over 250 calls per hour between midnight and 7am.

Pauline Howie, chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: ``As always, Hogmanay was our busiest night of the year and our teams dealt with a high volume of calls across the country.

``While there were slightly fewer calls overall than last year, the activity at times was intense, with 76% of the workload occurring between midnight and 7am.

''All of the teams in our control rooms and out on the streets demonstrated their professionalism and commitment, doing a fantastic job of delivering care to those in need.''

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