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Hogmanay first as Edinburgh fireworks set to music

Edinburgh's famous Hogmanay fireworks will be set to music for the first time this year.

The five minute display will be accompanied with songs from four of "Scotland's biggest artists", but organisers are not saying who the performers will be.

The spectacle involves thousands of fireworks set off from 45 locations spread around Edinburgh Castle and West Princes Street Gardens. More than 20 tonnes of equipment and 7.5 miles of control cables and wires is used and work to set up the display has already started.

Pete Irvine, artistic director of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, said: "Every year we offer something new and exciting to our guests and I am thrilled that for the first time our spectacular midnight fireworks will be set to music. What a great way to welcome 2013."

The fireworks will be launched by an Italian couple who won a VisitScotland competition that had 9,000 entries.

Alice Zitella and Alessandro Bongiorni, from Rome, will start the countdown to midnight on stage at the Concert in the Gardens,

Alice said: "To visit Scotland has always been my dream. The land of fantastic writers, like Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has always fascinated me. Today thanks to VisitScotland, I can finally experience Scottish culture.

"I didn't expect to win the competition at all and the prize is even more special as we will arrive on the day of my birthday."

The Hogmanay celebrations start on Sunday with a torchlight procession led by Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland before the street party and concert on Monday featuring Simple Minds, The View and The Maccabees.

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