New Year Gala Concert | All You Need To Know

New Year Gala 2018/19 Banner

Are you looking for things to do on New Year’s Day? What's on in Edinburgh? Look no further!

Welcome 2019 in sparkling style with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s New Year’s Day Gala Concert - the perfect live music event to celebrate the New Year.


Tickets can be purchased from the Usher Hall Box Office online, in person over the counter, or over the phone (0131 228 1155).

When and where is the concert?

Concert starts at 3.00pm. Approximate finish time of 5.00pm

It takes place at the magnificent and historic setting of Edinburgh’s largest concert hall:
Usher Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2EA 

We recommend arriving around 2.30pm to find your seats and get settled in good time. There will be an interval of 20 minutes where you can get a refreshment at the bar and stretch your legs.

What is the concert?

Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle's protégé, Duncan Ward, the internationally-renowned Scottish Chamber Orchestra will whisk you away to the glittering world of Vienna.

The concert is inspired by the famous New Year’s Day concert in Vienna, known as the most important classical concert worldwide and watched by an estimated audience of 1 billion viewers around the world. 

Above all, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's annual New Year Gala Concert is about having fun, enjoying the live orchestra and soloists, and celebrating the New Year with people from across the City of Edinburgh and beyond!

What music will be played?

A New Year’s Day concert always features the popular waltzes and polkas by the Viennese Strauss family - you’ll probably recognise Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz!

This year, our concert has a Bohemian twist with folk-inspired music from Smetana’s sparkling comic opera The Bartered Bride and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances you’ll find it hard to stay seated as the excitement of the music takes hold!

The concert will also feature an inspiring solo performance of Ravel's Tzigane by one of the UK’s most talented violinists, Stephanie Gonley.

You may not know the name of the piece or the composer, but chances are you will recognise some of the music. But, if not, that’s okay… just enjoy hearing something totally new to you.

How much do tickets cost and where can I buy them? 

Tickets range from £11.50 to £35

A range of concession are available, including £2 off for Senior Citizens and £6 tickets for 18 and Under.

Tickets can be purchased from the Usher Hall Box Office online, in person over the counter, or over the phone (0131 228 1155).


Are there any age restrictions?

Everyone is welcome to attend! There are no age restrictions.

Is seating reserved and can I choose my seats?

All seating is reserved for this concert and you can choose specific seats when booking.

For more information about each area of the concert hall - stalls, grand circle and upper circle - please visit the Usher Hall's Guide to Seating.

What should I wear to concert? 

There’s absolutely no rules as to what to wear. Wear whatever makes you comfortable!

Contrary to what many people think, formal attire is not required at orchestral concerts. However, as it is a special celebration of New Year’s Day, you’ll no doubt see concert goers dressed to the nines!

When should I clap? 

Generally, people at orchestral concerts wait till the end of the music being performed, before they show their appreciation with clapping. 

Still not sure? You can always wait for the rest of the audience to clap before applauding. Another good sign is when the conductor either turns around or steps off the podium.

It's my first time! What should I expect at an orchestral concert?

You should expect to hear music that you have heard before but may not know the name of - perhaps from a TV advert! You should also expect to hear some music for the first time. Experiencing live music is very different than listening to Spotify. You get to hear and see almost 40 of the world’s most talented musicians in action. You can feel the music throughout your body - every beat of the drum, every note from the horns. It’s a full experience that you can’t get anywhere else!

Is there access for wheelchair and disabled patrons?

Wheelchair accessible spaces are available in the auditorium. There are 12 wheelchair accessible spaces (Stalls x 10, Grand Circle x 2). Please advise the Box Office at the time of booking if you require one of these. Assistance dogs are welcome.

The Stalls are fully accessible with accommodation for up to 10 wheelchairs. The Grand Circle foyer is accessible for wheelchair users, with accommodation for 2 wheelchairs. The stalls bar area is not fully accessible, however staff are available to assist with drinks orders. The Upper Circle foyer is wheelchair accessible, however there is no accommodation for wheelchairs in the auditorium at this level. The Upper Circle is not suitable for those with walking difficulties or vertigo.

There is also a loop system in the hall.  Switch your aid to the 'T position access this facility. 

Where should I park my car?

Good news - Parking across the City of Edinburgh is FREE on New Year's Day. You can park free of charge in public parking bays and on single yellow lines on these dates.

Alternatively, a NCP car park is located on Castle Terrace. SCO ticket holders can park here for a flat fee of £7. Simply scan your parking token at the Box Office to receive this discount. Customers must park after 5pm and leave before midnight (Monday -Friday).

For disabled patrons who hold a valid blue badge can park for free and spaces are located across from the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Grindlay Street and in Cambridge Street outside the Traverse Theatre. Blue badge holders can also park in pay and display with no time limit and can also park on single and double yellow lines (subject to some constraints).

If you are arriving by taxi or being dropped off at the venue, we recommend you use Grindlay Street, which is adjacent to the level access podium.​

Can I take a bagpack or briefcase into the venue?

Only small handbags, small backpacks and briefcases will be permitted, and must be kept with you at all times. Random bag searches will be carried out so please assist venue staff by complying as requested.


Tickets can be purchased from the Usher Hall Box Office online, in person over the counter, or over the phone (0131 228 1155).