On the afternoon of January 1st, 2012, Edinburgh’s Old Town was filled with the sound of the New Year Games. Created by Hide&Seek and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the Games pit two teams – the Uppies and the Doonies – against one another.

12,000 people played, running and sneaking and folding and throwing and counting and hopping and more. There was outdoor play in the Grassmarket all afternoon, and four brand-new games developed by Scottish artists in four of Edinburgh’s most beautiful buildings. Players threw paper aeroplanes at an invisible band in the Hub, navigated a sonic maze in St. Giles’ Cathedral, played a game of blind geometric warfare in the National Museum of Scotland, and tried out a new type of hopscotch in Dance Base.

The two teams took their names from a traditional Scottish game played by a whole village, every player an Uppies or a Doonie depending on where they were born. The New Year Games drew on that tradition in its two teams, represented by the Red Stag of the Doonies, and the Silver Eagle of the Uppies.


Thanks to all our collaborators on this project: everyone at Unique Events; FOUND, Brian Hartley, Pippa Murphy, and spotov; Rosie Strang, Gary McNair, Eilidh MacAskill, Luke Whittaker, Oscar Pelaez, Sophie Sampson, Cassie Leedham and Felix Cohen; and all the volunteers and stewards working on the event.