Tickets for the Forth Road Bridge 50th Birthday Party and Torchlight Procession will go on general sale at 10:00am on Friday 15 August, it was announced today.
This unique and spectacular event will see fireworks and thousands of torches light up the Forth Road Bridge on the evening of Saturday 13 September, celebrating 50 years since the bridge opened and forming the finale to the Forth Bridges Festival as well as a signature event in the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
2,014 torch-bearers will form a kilometre-long river of fire across the bridge to Fife before returning to a giant ‘Bridge Party’ in South Queensferry. Party-goers will enjoy a range of first-class food, drink and entertainment, including an exciting programme of live music headlined by legendary Scottish rockers Big Country and special guests Bwani Junction, who last year famously performed at the top of one of the bridge’s 156m towers.
A highlight of the Bridge Party will be the spectacular fireworks finale, launched from the Forth Road Bridge at precisely 10:06pm in recognition of the structure’s 1,006-metre main span. This statistic made the Forth Road Bridge the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest outside the USA when it first opened in 1964.
The fireworks display will be set to music, with Bridge Party ticket-holders enjoying the very best experience of this one-off spectacle with a magnificent view of the bridge and the soundtrack amplified throughout the party arena.
The event will conclude with a giant outdoor ceilidh – the “Forth Fling” – before party-goers are transported back to Fife and Lothian by free shuttle bus.
Only 2,014 tickets, priced £23 plus booking fee, are available to take part in both the Torchlight Procession and the Bridge Party. Additional tickets are also available for the Bridge Party only, priced £13.50 plus booking fee.
No local parking will be available at the event or in the surrounding area, so free shuttle buses are being provided for all ticket-holders from a choice of locations both north and south of the Forth.
Temporary traffic restrictions and tow-away zones will be in force in both North and South Queensferry in order to minimise disruption and ensure public safety.
For safety during the fireworks display, the bridge will close to all traffic in both directions at 10 p.m. for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, Convener of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, said: “The Forth Road Bridge was a huge engineering achievement for Scotland when it opened in 1964, and in the 50 years since it has provided fantastic service, carrying over double the weight and volume of traffic envisaged by the engineers who designed it. The bridge has transformed the economy of the east of Scotland and the lives of millions who now take crossing the Forth for granted.
“With the new Queensferry Crossing set to open in 2016, this is a pivotal moment in the history of the bridge. The torchlight procession and Bridge Party on 13 September offers members of the public a chance to take part in what is sure to be remembered as a unique and historic event.
“We are grateful to EventScotland, City of Edinburgh Council and Fife Council for their support in making this celebration possible. We look forward to bringing both sides of the Forth together for a spectacular and memorable occasion.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “As a signature event of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Forth Bridges Festival is set to be a spectacular celebration of these iconic landmarks. Homecoming Scotland boasts nearly 1,000 events up and down the country, each one offering a distinct slice of Scottish culture. Taking part in the Forth Bridges Festival is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I, for one, would not miss this party for the world!”
The Forth Road Bridge Birthday Party and Torchlight Procession is being produced by Edinburgh-based Unique Events, Scotland’s leading independent events company, best known for the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations along with firework partners Titanium, the team behind the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks and London 2012 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.
Funding for the event has been provided by Homecoming Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and Fife Council.