Crowdguard secures the festive spirit of Hogmanay

As Edinburgh hosted the city’s globally famous Hogmanay celebrations to see in 2024, Crowdguard was once again instrumental in ensuring the sellout crowd of 50,000 revellers could enjoy the festivities securely with a HVM deployment to protect the crowds.

Continuing our long-standing relationship with Edinburgh City Council and working with event organisers, UniqueAssembly, we secured multiple locations with our Highway Care RB50 and Claw HVM systems, along with the ATG SurfaceGuard system.

A  varied event

Hogmanay is a huge event taking place over four days in Edinburgh and this year included a concert in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle on the 31st of December, headlined by indie band ‘Pulp’, a family-friendly Bairns New Years Revels event, and a Torchlight Parade, which saw 20,000 people bringing a river of light through Edinburgh’s historic old town. Having protected Edinburgh’s festive events programme and Hogmanay celebrations in 2022, we understood the need to install HVM protection  across the city that would protect revellers, while enabling the crowds to move around freely and ensuring road closures could be reversed as quickly as possible once the events were over.

A tailored approach

At Waverley Bridge, we installed the ATG SurfaceGuard system and the drop-and-go Claw HVM barrier from the end of November, in a deployment that remained in place throughout the festive events period. SurfaceGuard is pedestrian permeable, enabling crowd flows to keep moving unhindered, while the claw provides a static barrier to vehicles, which can be moved aside as required to enable emergency vehicles through.

As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, Edinburgh not only sparkled with over three tonnes of fireworks, but also with 27 metres of SurfaceGuard and 25 stillages of RB50, all strategically positioned to enhance security.

Crowdguard teams were on hand to ensure that the protection was in place ready for the start of the New Year’s Eve events, and, once the revellers had welcomed in 2024 and headed home, our teams were there to de-rig the installation, working through the night to enable all roads to reopen by 6am.

Adapting to the beat

The Crowdguard teams weren’t just present for the deployment of the HVM systems – they remained on the ground throughout the festivities, orchestrating real-time adjustments where necessary. This dynamic approach ensured the security measures stayed in tune with the evolving event landscape. The deployment throughout the event was seamless and trouble-free, contributing to the success of the weekend and protecting all who attended.

Nik Whybrew, Operations Director at Assembly Festival commented: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations are not just a highlight of the events calendar for those who live in the city, they are also an important part of our tourism economy, so we have to ensure that every aspect of the planning and implementation is en pointe.

“Crowdguard has worked extensively in Edinburgh, not only for the festive events programme, but also for the Edinburgh Festival, the Fringe and various Murrayfield fixtures and events. They fully understand the need to protect people as they enjoy all the city has to offer, while enabling the city to function and get back to normal as soon as the fun is over. Once again, a great job seamlessly delivered by the Crowdguard team.”