NEWS

New Year 2015 Celebrated In London With World-Beating River Thames Firework Display

01/01/2015 00:24 | Updated 01 January 2015

Millions of revellers have seen in the new year with fireworks spectaculars in London and Edinburgh dazzling crowds. Thousands gathered along the Thames to see a dazzling display centring on the London Eye, accompanied by a electronic soundtrack and followed by Auld Lang Syne.

Tickets were introduced for the first time in London, with numbers kept to 100,000, down on the estimated 500,00 last year. Meanwhile, up to 75,000 people are expected to gather on the streets of Edinburgh for the world-famous event which will see Lily Allen headline the Concert In The Gardens.

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Happy New Year." Some of the replies were not so cordial. The London ticketing scheme was brought in following consultation with the Metropolitan Police, emergency services, and local authorities, to help manage crowd numbers which have been growing each year.

Since first being staged at the London Eye on the South Bank in 2003, the numbers heading to see the pyrotechnic and lighting display have increased from an estimated 100,000 people in its first year to around 500,000 last year, putting enormous strain on transport, infrastructure and the ability of the emergency services to move around.

Services braced themselves for a busy night, with London Ambulance Service expecting up to 600 calls an hour, operations director Jason Killens said on Twitter. He said: "Over 100 emergency calls in the first 15 minutes since midnight - its getting busy this London NYE."

In Edinburgh, thousands took part in the huge outdoor celebrations before the clock struck midnight, with singer Lily Allen headlining the Concert in the Gardens joined by special guests Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul. The world-famous street party also saw performances from Twin Atlantic, Twilight Sad, Eddi Reader and this year's Mercury Prize-winners, the Edinburgh-based act Young Fathers.

The traditional outdoor ceilidh also saw 3,000 people dancing through the midnight bells. Elsewhere, celebrations at Stirling Castle's esplanade were cancelled due to high winds.

  • Rob Stothard via Getty Images
    Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2015 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display.
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Fireworks explode around the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Fireworks explode above the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Fireworks explode above the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Fireworks explode above the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • BEN STANSALL via Getty Images
    Fireworks explode around the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fireworks explode over the clock known as 'Big Ben' housed in Elizabeth Tower, to celebrate the New Year in London, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fireworks explode over the clock known as 'Big Ben' housed in Elizabeth Tower, to celebrate the New Year in London, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.
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    People cheer during the New Year's Eve countdown event in front of Beijing's National Stadium, Known as the Bird's Nest in Beijing on January 1, 2015.
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    People look at fireworks during a New Year Celebration in Manila on January 1, 2015.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
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    People gather to celebrate the New Year at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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    People are gathered as fireworks explode over the Yokohama port during new year celebrations in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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    New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks show held at midnight on December 31, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Cameron Spencer via Getty Images
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Cameron Spencer via Getty Images
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Cameron Spencer via Getty Images
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Cameron Spencer via Getty Images
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 1: New Years Eve midnight fireworks over Sydney Harbour, January 1, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo Wolter Peeters/Fairfax Media)
  • Fairfax Media via Getty Images
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 1: New Years Eve midnight fireworks over Sydney Harbour, January 1, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo Wolter Peeters/Fairfax Media)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • PETER PARKS via Getty Images
    New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks show held at midnight on December 31, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • PETER PARKS via Getty Images
    New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks show held at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
    New Year's fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the traditional fireworks at midnight on January 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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