Mark Ronson says he only felt positivity at Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations
Edinburgh's Hogmanay headliner Mark Ronson has described the energy he felt during his performance on Tuesday night as "amazing" and far from any sense of "extraordinary negativity."
Posting on Instagram, London-born Ronson alluded to event organisers Underbelly being dismayed at levels of negativity around the event.
Ronson wrote: "The energy I felt @edhogmanay was so amazing. If there was "extraordinary negativity", it wasn't in the Princes Street Gardens."
Tens of thousands of revellers flooded into Edinburgh city centre to bring in 2020 as the 27th annual Hogmanay party was declared a sell-out success. The entire event was also live streamed for the first time in its history on Facebook, YouTube and the official Edinburgh's Hogmanay website.
But the ongoing Christmas and Hogmanay festivities have been dogged by controversies over a new wristband system for local residents, the impact of event infrastructure on the city centre, and the removal of a traditional Nativity scene and the city’s Norwegian Christmas tree to make way for a whisky sponsor’s branding.
Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey has also suggested a major rethink of the city's Hogmanay celebrations could see it scaled back from its global "bucket list" status amid the concerns.
Festival producers Underbelly issued a rallying cry in the run-up to the bells to urge stakeholders in the city to get behind the Hogmanay celebrations, warning that cities around the world were trying to emulate Edinburgh’s three-day festivities.
Hotel industry chiefs have also warned that complaints about the city’s Christmas and Hogmanay events are running the risk of Edinburgh being seen as an “anti-tourist” city around the world.
However Mr McVey said there there were “enormously diverging views” about the benefits of the events, which are said to be worth more than £150 million to the city.
Edinburgh’s leading heritage group has called for a focus on managing the impact of the tourism industry in the Capital as plans for the city’s tourism strategy take shape.
In its consultation response to Edinburgh City Council’s Tourism Strategy 2030, The Cockburn Association said continual tourism growth should not be the “overriding objective” for the council.
The association also called on the council to pay more attention to the “needs and perceptions” of Edinburgh’s residents and said events in the city centre were “out of sync with the character of the city”.