The Human League, Colonel Mustard and Sacred Paws are among the acts who are being called to withdraw from Edinburgh’s Hogmanay event.
The end-of-year celebrations have been called into question following the revelation that the organisers, Underbelly, are planning on using volunteer labour for the money-spinning extravaganza.
300 volunteers are being sought to work 12-hour shifts, unpaid. However, the event is worth £800,000 over the next three years to its London-based organisers, despite the fact that living wage payments for the workers would only amount to around £30,000 – a fraction of the overall budget.
Underbelly who took over the running of the event when Edinburgh City Council awarded them the contract, ahead of Unique events, who had built Edinburgh’s celebration of the New Year into the word-wide brans that it is over the past 23 years.
The scheme has come under attack from Better Than Zero, an action group dedicated to tackling exploitation in the hospitality industry,
And there is now speculation that the whole event could be canceled after the event’s headliners, The Human League, were urged to pull out after being made aware of the situation.
Former Hogmanay supremo Pete Irvine has already spoken out about the new organisers, accusing them of not having ploughed any of their profits into the event despite it have gone from a non-profit event to being a “very commercial exercise”.