Medieval warriors, families, clans and history fans will be standing shoulder to shoulder this time next year at the National Trust for Scotland’s Bannockburn Live event.
Taking place over Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Monday 30 June 2014 as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations, the event will commemorate the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, and mark the opening of the new state-of-the-art visitor centre at the heritage site.
A year ahead of this historic event, the Trust has unveiled an outline of the 3-day programme, and tickets are now on sale.
As a signature event of the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, the scope of Bannockburn Live has been extended as a result of almost £400,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and Creative Scotland.
Bannockburn Live will conjure the events and people of the past out from the history books and into real life. Alongside the largest ever re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn, an array of themed villages will showcase the sights, sounds and atmosphere of medieval and modern Scotland.
700 years on from the battle that changed the course of history, 45,000 people will have a unique opportunity to come to Bannockburn and feast their senses on the spoils of war and the fruits of peace. They will have the chance to experience medieval life like never before – to see, taste, smell, hear and discover historical encampments, and watch two brave Kings lead their armies to battle in full armour.
The National Trust for Scotland has selected Scotland’s leading events and festival creation company, Unique Events, to produce Bannockburn Live. A specially created festival arena will feature a programme packed with music, Scottish food and drink, crafts, literature and outdoor activities all set in the memorial park where people have commemorated the Battle of Bannockburn for centuries.
There will be three opportunities to watch the re-enactment each day so that all visitors will have the chance to see and enjoy all of the performance stages and theatre tents. The bespoke arena will include: a main contemporary music stage; Scottish literature and traditional music in “Storyville”; tastings and food demonstrations featuring quality Scottish produce and real ales in the “Land of Food and Drink”; hands-on bushcraft, wildlife and outdoor activities in a “Natural World Village”; a children’s programme; the chance to participate in sports like archery and highland games; and an opportunity to trace your Scottish roots with Clan Societies returning to Scotland for the event from around the world.
David McAllister, Director of the Battle of Bannockburn Project said: “The 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is a significant milestone and deserves to be marked with a major event. Bannockburn Live will breathe life into the past like never before, providing visitors with a unique chance to experience medieval Scotland, to commemorate this historic event and to celebrate contemporary Scotland too.
“Working with Unique Events and our event partners, we are determined to ensure that Bannockburn Live is a fitting addition to the Homecoming programme for 2014, when Scotland welcomes the world.”
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Bannockburn Live is set to be a key event in the Year of Homecoming calendar. During the Year of Homecoming we will welcome visitors to Scotland from around the world, with events such as Bannockburn Live set to contribute towards £44 million in additional economic benefit to our country.
“I will be purchasing a family ticket to the event today, and encourage others to come along and celebrate this feast of Scottish history, music and food.
“Homecoming is an opportunity for Scotland’s communities to celebrate all that is great about our country as well as position our country on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation with a rich history.”
Pete Irvine, Managing Director at Unique Events said: “Unique Events are looking forward to working with the National Trust for Scotland and welcome the opportunity to create an event that puts history at the heart of a contemporary festival experience. This will be the first time in the UK that this rich mix of heritage and culture will be presented in one arena.”
Tickets for the event are now on sale and costs per day are as follows: Adult - £20; Concession/Child - £12.50; Family - 2 adults and 2 children (under 14 years old) - £55 (plus booking fees). There is also the option to purchase “The King’s Ticket” for £75 per day, a bespoke ticket which will enhance the visitor experience and features the following: exclusive entry to the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre; designated seating at the re-enactments; a souvenir gift bag and a buffet Scottish Afternoon Tea.
For more information including how to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.bannockburnlive.com/ and register to keep up to date with full programme announcements.