family tree
press releases
mailing list
site map

stonehaven hogmanay festival



A small town with big ideas has signed up Scots rock giants Simple Minds to headline its Hogmanay party.

The chart toppers are to play in the New Year at Stonehaven's hugely-popular Open Air In The Square event on December 31st.

The Market Square party - which runs in tandem with Stonehaven's world famous Fireballs ceremony in the nearby Old Town - attracted 5,000 revellers from home and abroad last year when the Red Hot Chilli Pipers topped the bill.

This year it is hoped the stadium stars, boasting a career which spans more than three decades, will attract even more people to the Aberdeenshire seaside town that has a population of around 10,000.

A Simple Minds spokesman said the group were looking forward to celebrating New Year with their fans at the home of the unique Fireballs swinging festival.

Spokesman for Stonehaven Festivals and Events Committee, David Lawman, said: "This is simply a dream come true for us. We are thrilled and delighted these music legends have agreed to come to Stonehaven for our big Hogmanay party."

"Last year when we revealed our plans, they said it couldn't be done. But with a great deal of effort from our small but dedicated team of volunteers, we pulled it off in grand style, staging a Hogmanay party that was a complete sell-out and second only to Edinburgh."

"This year we will be bigger and better ... and once again help boost Stonehaven's economy. Already two of the town's hotels are fully booked and requests for tickets have been received from the USA and Europe and we hope to provide all age groups with a memorable night."

The event will cost more than 200,000 to stage and this year the organisers are looking for as much sponsorship as possible from local and national businesses, including the chance of company VIP packages.

From June 7th general release tickets will be available online at and from Celtic Chords music shop in Stonehaven's Barclay Street.

Adult tickets are 30 and under 12's are 15.

The organisers also intend having support acts to keep the party swinging until Simple Minds take the stage. This year the family festival will be spread over two days with a celidh on New Year's Day and other events. It is also hoped to lay on bus transport from various outlying areas from Aberdeen to Montrose.

Simple Minds are frontman Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie and Ged Grimes.

Best known for their 1985 number one hit Don't You (Forget About Me) from the film The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds evolved from a post-punk art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop group along the lines of U2.

The Glasgow band have achieved six No.1 albums in the UK as well hitting the top spot in countless other countries including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Boasting a career which spans more than three decades, they recently released Celebrate - Greatest Hits + which includes hit singles Alive and Kicking, Don't You (Forget About Me), Belfast Child, Waterfront and Promised You A Miracle.

A recent concert review said: "There are no flashy instrument changes, no self-indulgent solos, just hit after hit from a career spanning more than 35 years. Highlights for the fans came thick and fast. The tempo was relentless. It was a night to savour a band who can still deliver in magnificent style."

"This builds on the success of last year and the long standing spectacular tradition of the Hogmanay Fireballs."

William Munro, Aberdeenshire Council's Area Manager for Kincardine & Mearns said: "I commend Stonehaven Festival and Events organisers for their vision with such an ambitious high profile event, really putting their town on a national stage. We look forward to working together with the community on this and other projects."

Stonehaven Hogmanay Festival, Stonehaven, UK
31st December, 2013
Main Set (2013): Waterfront / I Travel / Broken Glass Park / Once Upon A Time / All The Things She Said
Main Set (2014): Let The Day Begin / Love Song / Someone Somewhere In Summertime / The American / See The Lights / Don't You (Forget About Me) / New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Encore: Sanctify Yourself / Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize / Alive And Kicking

The Promised You A Miracle - Glittering Prize medley was going to finish the first set but time ran out. Therefore the two songs were moved to the encore instead.

"This year is set to end just like it began, with Simple Minds playing live in Scotland."

"And after Edinburgh twelve months ago, followed by Stonehaven this year, playing live at Hogmanay in the country of our birth is starting to feel like a tradition of its own, and a pretty fine one at that."

"Personally, I kind of prefer to be "working" on the night that sees the entire world celebrate seeing out the old and ringing in the new. I can't say why in particular, it might be connected to some superstition or other, but I feel it is good to start the year by doing something positive, doing whatever it is you like doing best even. Somehow the idea of starting the year as you would like it to continue just feels good to me. Hence the appeal of sweating it out - as the bells ring it in. Or more appropriately perhaps, as the "fireballs" bring it in - in Stonehaven."

"(And er, it is "Stonehaven" please note, and not "Stonehenge" as a rather over excited French friend referred to it, while calling me to ask for tickets for this "Amazing concert at Stonehenge that Simple Minds will play on New Year's Eve!)"

"In any case, seeing out the old and ringing in the new, may well also describe my own hopes and expectations for Simple Minds next year. Given that the first few months will be spent touring much of Europe, and picking up where we left off in the London 02 arena a weeks ago. From then on, we look forward to releasing our first filmed in concert in decades, followed itself - at some point - by the release of our 17th studio album. (We are not quite finished recording yet, but I reckon we are not far from completion either.) Fingers crossed that all comes to fruition, and if so, it certainly looks set to be a memorable year for our little outfit."

"This passing year will be memorable in its own way of course, and mainly for the amount of wonderful shows that we experienced as we traveled further and wider than we have in a very long while. As for picking out any highlights? Well, the highlight is the same as ever, and it is a two part thing."

"The first part is the welcome we receive every time we walk on stage. You have no idea how much that means. How much encouragement it creates within our on-going desire to make every single concert as great as it can be."

"The second part, is the look of obvious pleasure evident on the faces that we see from stage, particularly at the end of a night where the band and audience have worked together to create the kind of experience that is unique to live music that is hopefully performed at its best."

"And it is with that image in mind that I thank everybody who has supported Simple Minds over the last year. Likewise we thank everybody who is planning to do so over the year that lies ahead."

"Music in whatever form, can be a most special thing. But it counts for nothing without people who are willing to listen."

"Thanks again to all of you for listening to Simple Minds' music. We wish you a happy and peaceful New Year, and we hope to see you you out there - somewhere!" - Jim, 26th December 2013

"Flood alerts? Gale Force Wind Alerts? Not here! Looks like quite a fine night to me. A night for blasting our music loud and clear. We want to hear you Stonehaven!" - Jim, 30th December 2013

"The Morning After The Night Before: We had a ball in Stonehaven last night. Thanks for letting us spend Hogmanay with you. Thanks to all who came to see us, including those who traveled from far and wide. Thanks also to those who worked hard for months on end to organise the event. It was our pleasure - Happy New Year!" - Jim, 1st January 2014

previous tour next tour