Glasgow’s Millennium Hogmanay

Location: Glasgow
Venue: Glasgow Science Centre
Dates: 31 December 1999 to 01 January 2000 

For 2000, Glasgow City Council chose to extend their traditional Hogmanay celebrations beyond the perimeters of the city centre. The event was to take place early evening and was family-orientated. The chosen site was the new Glasgow Science Centre complex, adjacent to the River Clyde. The creative brief asked for an event to celebrate the vibrancy of the City and its people, a spectacle that would continue to contribute to positioning Glasgow as a key cultural City of international status and bring attention to the River’s regeneration, whilst providing an opportunity for maximum community participation. The festivities were also an occasion to launch The Glasgow Tower, Scotland’s tallest free standing tower and the world’s only 360o revolving structure. Although UZ had produced Glasgow’s Hogmanay since 1994, the geographic backdrop of Glasgow’s iconic skyline allowed for even greater artistic scope and took Glasgow’s Hogmanay to a new dimension embracing the exciting new developments on the River Clyde.

The event drew together participants from the Glasgow community with the creative imaginations of international artists led by UZ’s Neil Butler. Principal contributors were Julian Crouch and Graeme Gilmour, of award winning theatre company Improbable Theatre, Jon Linstrum, Lighting Designer to Kenneth Brannagh’s Renaissance Theatre, and Jim Muotune of Digital Music Design and Soma Music.

20,000 people enjoyed the spectacular firework performance specially choreographed by UZ Events and France’s Groupe F. A fantastic critical response was received from the Scottish national press with images of the firework display on the front page of The Sun and the Scotsman.

Pre-show entertainment began at 4pm on New Year’s Eve with the Clyde 1 stage hosted by DJs Tiger Tim Stevens and Suzie McGuire. The main show started with a captivating children’s lantern parade and stunning lighting installation projected across the Glasgow Science Centre. The images depicted Glasgow’s past, present and future alongside a specially commissioned soundscape, which used the latest music production techniques and Internet technology to provide a dramatic acoustic backdrop. The soundscape drew together some of Scotland’s premiere dance music artists from around the world to make a unique piece of music.

The event climaxed at 6pm in a breathtaking fireworks and pyrotechnic display focusing on the new Glasgow Tower, a Millennium landmark for the City. The Glasgow Tower is one of three amazing structures that form part of the Glasgow Science Centre on the South Bank of the River Clyde alongside the IMAX™ theatre and Science Mall.

The Riverside Spectacular’s programme of events once again ensured that Glasgow’s Hogmanay was one of the world’s best December 31 parties.

Glasgow City Council

Bank of Scotland
British Telecom
Evening Times

Party-goers defy weather to join Scotland’s Biggest Street Party “Thousands of Hogmanay revellers defied Arctic weather conditions last night, to take part in street parties across the country. Glasgow decided it could not wait for the bells to launch its pyrotechnics. About 30,000 people gathered at Pacific Quay to see fireworks explode around the new Millennium Tower at around 6pm…” (The Scotsman 1.1.01)

World Lights up the Sky with Hope “Fireworks and good cheer and optimism greeted 2001 in much of the world – and hope of a better future prevailed even in troubled countries… Earlier in the evening, Glasgow staged a ‘riverside spectacular’ with a massive fireworks display…” (The Herald, 1.1.01)

Fireworks Ward Off the Cold as Scots Celebrate “The coldest spell to hit Scotland for years last night failed to dampen the enthusiasm of New Year revellers across the country. Thousands of revellers were rewarded with a massive fireworks display in Glasgow -estimated to be one of the largest ever seen in Europe – and masterminded by the organisers of the millennium display held last year at the Eiffel Tower…” (Daily Express, 1.1.01)

Christophe Berthonneau, Artistic Director, Groupe F said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with all the artists involved in the Riverside Spectacular to create a fantastic show for Glasgow. People will witness, and come into contact with, pure energy when they see the exceptional landscape of light and pyrotechnics travel along the Clyde up to the Glasgow Tower. We have taken inspiration from the location of the Riverside Spectacular as the River Clyde links Glasgow’s shipbuilding past with the Science Centre’s technological future. It’s the perfect place for an exciting pyrotechnic design.”