Edinburgh World Heritage

Assembly Rooms - In the Midnight Hour

The Assembly Rooms have long been a place of celebration, and this includes the annual Hogmanay parties.

The parties would be spread over the whole of the Rooms, with each room taking on a different theme. These would include a range of entertainments, from Scottish ceilidhs to Beatles tribute bands, and one year even involved ‘Castelliers’, 9 or 10 people-tall human towers from Catalonia, forming outside the entrance of the building, which are said to have been rising above those watching from the ballroom.

The event offered people a way to celebrate the New Year in the dry, warmth of indoors without having the brave the harsh Scottish winter, however it has been said that the big countdown to midnight would be strange affair, as the Rooms would empty with the guests pouring outside to watch the fireworks on the Mound.

One of the event organisers, Al Thomson from Unique Events, remembers; "Bands would still be onstage playing and people would just leave. You would be sat in a room, just two of you upstairs in the whole building because everyone had left to go and see the midnight fireworks. But then people would pour back in again, full of post-midnight jubilation and excitement, eager to spend the remaining hours of the night partying in the building."

‹ Return to List