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  • 27 November 2014

    Final details of St Andrew's Day Celebrations in St Andrews Announced

     

    Final details of 30th November 
    St Andrews  celebrations announced
    The historic town of St Andrews is almost ready for a weekend of colourful celebrations, culminating in major St Andrew's Day events this Sunday (30th November).
    Organisers have now revealed the finalised line-up and timings for the outdoor street party on St Andrew's Day. The town centre occasion forms part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals - a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
    Sunday afternoon's festivities – which can be attended free of charge, with no tickets required – will be held on the town's South Street, part of which will be closed to traffic for the day.
    Beginning at 1.30pm, the afternoon will be compèred by well-known Scottish comedians Gus Lymburn and Derek Johnstone.
    1335 Edinburgh Banghra Crew – an energetic performance of Indian music and dance
    1405 Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe – a show by talented members of the Edinburgh-based Irish Dance Academy
    1435 Edinburgh Banghra Crew return to the stage
    1450 Street theatre featuring a 40-strong troupe from Byre Youth Theatre under the direction of Conflux
    1505 Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe return to the stage
    1545 Anderson McGinty Webster Fisher – this top folk-rock band from Dundee are attracting large crowds wherever they perform across the country.
    1615 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre
    1700 The day's headline act: EDDI READER AND BAND One of Scotland’s most thrilling and affecting performers, Eddi Reader was first brought into the limelight as front woman for Fairground Attraction - whose #1 single, Perfect, topped the British charts. She has just released her 10th solo album.
    1745 Festive Lights Switch on – sponsored by Rufflets Country House Hotel
    1745 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre
    1800 Madras College Pipe Band parades along South Street
    1820“Dancing Feet” ceilidh band take the stage to lead a mass-participation street ceilidh, organised by the Fellowship of St Andrews. No dancing experience is required and all are welcome to take part. The Ceilidh will conclude at 7.30pm.
    The St Andrew's Day performances will mark the climax of a three-day long festival in the town which takes its name from Scotland's patron saint. Other aspects of the weekend include numerous food tastings, demonstrations  and special menus(part of the concurrent St Andrews Food and Drink Festival), a sold-out “St Andrews v Rest of the World” golf match, local landmarks opening free of charge, history talks and book signings, and a “do it yourself” performance of Handel's “Messiah” in Holy Trinity Church.
    The Celebration events are being co-ordinated by local charity, St Andrews Partnership. Jim McArthur, the Partnership's Chairman said, “Numerous organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to plan this fantastic programme of events. We hope that their efforts will be rewarded by large attendances throughout the weekend, especially on Sunday afternoon, which promises to be a great occasion.”
    Information about all the weekend's events can be viewed at www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com
     

    The historic town of St Andrews is almost ready for a weekend of colourful celebrations, culminating in major St Andrew's Day events this Sunday (30th November).

    Organisers have now revealed the finalised line-up and timings for the outdoor street party on St Andrew's Day. The town centre occasion forms part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals - a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.

    Sunday afternoon's festivities – which can be attended free of charge, with no tickets required – will be held on the town's South Street, part of which will be closed to traffic for the day.

    Beginning at 1.30pm, the afternoon will be compèred by well-known Scottish comedians Gus Lymburn and Derek Johnstone.

    1335 Edinburgh Banghra Crew – an energetic performance of Indian music and dance

    1405 Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe – a show by talented members of the Edinburgh-based Irish Dance Academy

    1435 Edinburgh Banghra Crew return to the stage

    1450 Street theatre featuring a 40-strong troupe from Byre Youth Theatre under the direction of Conflux

    1505 Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe return to the stage

    1545 Anderson McGinty Webster Fisher – this top folk-rock band from Dundee are attracting large crowds wherever they perform across the country.

    1615 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre

    1700 The day's headline act: EDDI READER AND BAND One of Scotland’s most thrilling and affecting performers, Eddi Reader was first brought into the limelight as front woman for Fairground Attraction - whose #1 single, Perfect, topped the British charts. She has just released her 10th solo album.

    1745 Festive Lights Switch on – sponsored by Rufflets Country House Hotel

    1745 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre

    1800 Madras College Pipe Band parades along South Street

    1820 “Dancing Feet” ceilidh band take the stage to lead a mass-participation street ceilidh, organised by the Fellowship of St Andrews. No dancing experience is required and all are welcome to take part. The Ceilidh will conclude at 7.30pm.

    The St Andrew's Day performances will mark the climax of a three-day long festival in the town which takes its name from Scotland's patron saint. Other aspects of the weekend include numerous food tastings, demonstrations  and special menus(part of the concurrent St Andrews Food and Drink Festival), a sold-out “St Andrews v Rest of the World” golf match, local landmarks opening free of charge, history talks and book signings, and a “do it yourself” performance of Handel's “Messiah” in Holy Trinity Church.

    The Celebration events are being co-ordinated by local charity, St Andrews Partnership. Jim McArthur, the Partnership's Chairman said, “Numerous organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to plan this fantastic programme of events. We hope that their efforts will be rewarded by large attendances throughout the weekend, especially on Sunday afternoon, which promises to be a great occasion.”

    Information about all the weekend's events can be viewed at www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 25 November 2014

    FARAH RETURNING TO GREAT EDINBURGH XCOUNTRY IN JANUARY

    Double OIympic champion Mo Farah will return to his roots when he opens his 2015 racing schedule at the international Great Edinburgh XCountry at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh on Saturday 10 January.

    Farah, who forged his distance running reputation as a winter mudlark and the reigning World, Olympic and European 5,000m and 10,000m champion will be contesting his first cross country race for four years when he lines up in the televised new year event in the Scottish capital, part of the prestigious IAAF Cross Country Permit series.

    As a 15-year-old, Farah made his name on the national scene as a runaway winner of the intermediate boys’ race at the 1999 English Schools’ Cross Country Championships in Luton. Seven years later, in 2006, he claimed his first international title when he won the senior men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships at San Giorgio su Lugano in Italy.

    Now, as he prepares for a 2015 summer track season in which he intends to defend his World Championship 5,000m and 10,000m crowns in Beijing, the 31-year-old home hero of London 2012 will be laying the groundwork with his first cross country race since he triumphed in the 8k Great Edinburgh International race in January 2011.

    “Next year will be an important year for me and I’m looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season. For many years I ran cross country to build my base for the summer track season and it will be nice to return to Edinburgh and try to repeat my winning run of 2011 there.” said Farah.

    Farah’s US coach Alberto Salazar was best known as a marathon man – a three time winner of the New York City Marathon – but he was a firm believer in the benefits of cross country during his own trailblazing distance running career. He won the US title three times and finished runner-up to Mohammed Kedir of Ethiopia in the 1982 World Cross Country Championships in Rome, relegating Kiwi Rod Dixon to third place.

    Salazar played a key role in guiding Farah through a testing time this year, helping him back to international prominence. After finishing eighth on his testing marathon debut in London in April and then missing the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because of illness, Farah won the 5,000m and 10,000m at the European Chamionships in Zurich in August, adding to the double golds he achieved at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships.

    He then broke Steve Ovett’s 36-year-old British two miles best time in Birmingham before ending his racing schedule for the year on a high, becoming the first British man to win the Great North Run since Steve Kenyon back in the mists of 1985.

    “It was a fantastic feeling winning the Great North Run in front of a home crowd in September and I’m sure there will be plenty of support in Edinburgh for my first event in 2015.” said Farah.

    The Great Edinburgh XCountry, televised live on BBC, is part of a new year festival for runners of all abilities, based at Holyood Park, next to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

    The popular Great Winter Run, held on a scenic 5k course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, provides the public with a perfect opportunity to dust off the New Year cobwebs before watching the world’s best test themselves in the international cross country races.

    For entry to the Great Winter Run visit www.greatrun.org/winter

    Category: International Events

  • 25 November 2014

    Glasgow Celebrates St Andrew’s Day with City Centre Light Show and Free Family Entertainment

     

    Glasgow Celebrates St Andrew’s Day with City Centre Light Show and Free Family Entertainment
    Glasgow will celebrate Scotland’s patron saint with a day of celebration in the heart of the city on St Andrew’s Day.
    George Square will be packed with a day full of fabulous entertainment and music for everyone to enjoy on Sunday 30th November. 
    Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day is part of the Year of Homecoming and Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
    A fantastic light show projected onto Glasgow City Chambers will portray a snapshot of Scotland on St Andrew’s Day, showing St Andrew’s Day being celebrated across the country and demonstrating Scotland’s worldwide cultural influence, rich heritage and diverse cultural traditions. 
    The Light show will run twice an hour from 4.30pm into the evening.
    From 12pm family friendly activities with a St Andrew’s Day theme will be on offer inside the Christmas Workshop including; live piping from Glasgow-based Williamwood Pipe Band, street theatre, puppet show Looking for Nessie and storytelling led by Robert the Bruce. 
    The evening will feature live music from one of the best Ceilidh bands in Scotland, Gunna Sound, whose combination of music, song and good west coast craic will be sure to entertain. 
    All of the St Andrew’s Day entertainment will be free. 
    Traditional, Scottish food and drink will be available to buy in the Alpine Bar and the al fresco café. 
    Glasgow Loves Christmas activities will also continue throughout St Andrew’s Day with the ice rink, big wheel, fairground attractions and food and drink stalls open as normal.
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “As we have seen throughout the year of the best ever Commonwealth Games, no-one knows how to celebrate like Glasgow and the St Andrew’s Day events in George Square will allow all the family to take part. We have something for everyone available in the heart of the city from the very traditional through to more modern representations of Scottish culture. It will be a St Andrew’s Day to remember for all the family.”
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 
    “That’s why, once again, we are encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day, which has an exciting line-up of St Andrew’s Day themed activities.” 

    Glasgow will celebrate Scotland’s patron saint with a day of celebration in the heart of the city on St Andrew’s Day.

    George Square will be packed with a day full of fabulous entertainment and music for everyone to enjoy on Sunday 30th November. 

    Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day is part of the Year of Homecoming and Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.

    A fantastic light show projected onto Glasgow City Chambers will portray a snapshot of Scotland on St Andrew’s Day, showing St Andrew’s Day being celebrated across the country and demonstrating Scotland’s worldwide cultural influence, rich heritage and diverse cultural traditions. The Light show will run twice an hour from 4.30pm into the evening.

    From 12pm family friendly activities with a St Andrew’s Day theme will be on offer inside the Christmas Workshop including; live piping from Glasgow-based Williamwood Pipe Band, street theatre, puppet show Looking for Nessie and storytelling led by Robert the Bruce. 

    The evening will feature live music from one of the best Ceilidh bands in Scotland, Gunna Sound, whose combination of music, song and good west coast craic will be sure to entertain. 

    All of the St Andrew’s Day entertainment will be free. 

    Traditional, Scottish food and drink will be available to buy in the Alpine Bar and the al fresco café. 

    Glasgow Loves Christmas activities will also continue throughout St Andrew’s Day with the ice rink, big wheel, fairground attractions and food and drink stalls open as normal.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “As we have seen throughout the year of the best ever Commonwealth Games, no-one knows how to celebrate like Glasgow and the St Andrew’s Day events in George Square will allow all the family to take part. We have something for everyone available in the heart of the city from the very traditional through to more modern representations of Scottish culture. It will be a St Andrew’s Day to remember for all the family.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 

    “That’s why, once again, we are encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day, which has an exciting line-up of St Andrew’s Day themed activities.” 

    Go here for more information >> www.glasgowloveschristmas.com/glasgow-loves-standrews-day 

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 20 November 2014

    St Andrew’s Weekend at the Storytelling Centre

     

    St Andrew’s Weekend at the Storytelling Centre 
    Showcase & celebrate Scotland’s traditional arts and the characters that have enriched the traditional scene.  
    Following on from fantastic activities last year, a special weekend of events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre will mark Scotland’s national day. 
    Events marking St Andrew’s Day at the Centre are part of the Year of Homecoming and are supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 
    The events will celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture through the Centre’s stellar line-up of storytelling, song, music, dance and food for all the family, ensuring residents and visitors to the Capital alike can enjoy genuine, top quality Scottish entertainment at an affordable price to fully enjoy St Andrew’s Day Weekend.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: 
    ‘St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 
    ‘That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland– including at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, where an exciting and imaginative line-up of activities is planned.’
    Scots and Scots-at-heart can be swept away on An Orkney Tapestry on Friday 28 November at 7.30pm as storyteller David Campbell and folk music duo The Wrigley Sisters celebrate poet George Mackay Brown, whose transcendent poetic visions transformed the familiar Orkney scene into something timeless and universal.  
    On Saturday 29 November, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook returns after a sell-out last year to showcase Scotland’s fantastic food. Showcasing Scotland’s natural larder with its wealth of local produce tales are served up along with the Queen’s own recipe for ‘Balmoral Drop Scones’. And while the kids are cooking up a treat, the Centre comes alive with two interactive workshops, as Rachel Newton and Grace Banks unwrap the mutual influence between tale and tune in Song and Story: Between the Worlds, while a host of traditional dancers and musicians come together for a demonstration day in the Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Story.
    Showcasing quadrilles, hornpipes, flings and introductory sessions to step dance for youngsters, this will be an action-packed day to become immersed in the magic of movement as Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland Coordinator, Michelle Kelly explains: 
    ‘With so many dance teachers coming from across Scotland this is going to be a lively day and a great opportunity to explore Scotland's dance traditions. 
    ‘We're looking forward to welcoming adults and young beginners as well as more experienced dancers. This really is a day for everyone to get involved.’
    Then we round off Saturday with an evening of storytelling special memories as Jess Smith celebrates the life, music and influence of Belle Stewart B.E.M in Jess Remembers Belle at 7.30pm.
    With special guest Sheila Stewart MBE (daughter and biographer of Belle) be taken on a journey of discovery as Belle’s life is celebrated from beginnings in Caputh through to an enormous influencing power in the travelling community, as Jess Smith explains:
    ‘Belle Stewart was one of Scotland's finest folk singers but to me she was much more. Every summer, the highlight of my life was the “berry picking” at Blairgowrie. This was a summer of saturated tales, songs and fun. My family were never away from Belle's house in Rattray, it was part of my “growing up.”
    ‘I gained so much from the atmosphere generated from Belle's home. Indirectly my writings were inspired by this grand lady and this is why I want to remember her “Traveller” style.’ 
    Fri 28 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £12 (£10) 
    An Orkney Tapestry: A Celebration of George Mackay Brown in Music, Story and Poem
    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30-11.30am | £5 per child | Age 4+
    Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook
    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members)
    Song and Story: Between the Worlds
    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £15 (£12) | Age 8+
    Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Store 
    Sat 29 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £8 (£6)
    Jess Remembers Belle

    Following on from fantastic activities last year, a special weekend of events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre will mark Scotland’s national day. 

    Events marking St Andrew’s Day at the Centre are part of the Year of Homecoming and are supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 

    The events will celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture through the Centre’s stellar line-up of storytelling, song, music, dance and food for all the family, ensuring residents and visitors to the Capital alike can enjoy genuine, top quality Scottish entertainment at an affordable price to fully enjoy St Andrew’s Day Weekend.

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: ‘St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 

    ‘That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, where an exciting and imaginative line-up of activities is planned.’

    Scots and Scots-at-heart can be swept away on An Orkney Tapestry on Friday 28 November at 7.30pm as storyteller David Campbell and folk music duo The Wrigley Sisters celebrate poet George Mackay Brown, whose transcendent poetic visions transformed the familiar Orkney scene into something timeless and universal.  

    On Saturday 29 November, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook returns after a sell-out last year to showcase Scotland’s fantastic food. Showcasing Scotland’s natural larder with its wealth of local produce tales are served up along with the Queen’s own recipe for ‘Balmoral Drop Scones’.

    And while the kids are cooking up a treat, the Centre comes alive with two interactive workshops, as Rachel Newton and Grace Banks unwrap the mutual influence between tale and tune in Song and Story: Between the Worlds, while a host of traditional dancers and musicians come together for a demonstration day in the Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Story. Showcasing quadrilles, hornpipes, flings and introductory sessions to step dance for youngsters, this will be an action-packed day to become immersed in the magic of movement as Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland Coordinator, Michelle Kelly explains: ‘With so many dance teachers coming from across Scotland this is going to be a lively day and a great opportunity to explore Scotland's dance traditions. 

    ‘We're looking forward to welcoming adults and young beginners as well as more experienced dancers. This really is a day for everyone to get involved.’

    Then we round off Saturday with an evening of storytelling special memories as Jess Smith celebrates the life, music and influence of Belle Stewart B.E.M in Jess Remembers Belle at 7.30pm.

    With special guest Sheila Stewart MBE (daughter and biographer of Belle) be taken on a journey of discovery as Belle’s life is celebrated from beginnings in Caputh through to an enormous influencing power in the travelling community, as Jess Smith explains: ‘Belle Stewart was one of Scotland's finest folk singers but to me she was much more. Every summer, the highlight of my life was the “berry picking” at Blairgowrie. This was a summer of saturated tales, songs and fun. My family were never away from Belle's house in Rattray, it was part of my “growing up.”
    ‘I gained so much from the atmosphere generated from Belle's home. Indirectly my writings were inspired by this grand lady and this is why I want to remember her “Traveller” style.’ 

    Fri 28 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £12 (£10) An Orkney Tapestry: A Celebration of George Mackay Brown in Music, Story and Poem

    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30-11.30am | £5 per child | Age 4+ Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook

    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members) Song and Story: Between the Worlds

    Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £15 (£12) | Age 8+ Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Store 

    Sat 29 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £8 (£6) Jess Remembers Belle

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 19 November 2014

    Nina Nesbitt and the Peatbog Faeries Complete Big Burns Supper Line-up

     

    Burlesque performers and Burns Night carnival characters launch nine-day Dumfries festival in Edinburgh
    Big Burns Supper headed to Leith to launch its full 2015 programme with the news that Scottish singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt and folk group the Peatbog Faeries will be part of the line-up.
    Burlesque dancers and colourfully costumed carnival characters launched the programme in front of the Burns statue in Leith’s Constitution Street  – the statue itself was specially decked in tartan for the event.
    The annual Dumfries event, which is expanding from three days to nine – 23-31 January – is a mix of famous names and emerging artists and includes rock, pop, folk, jazz and traditional music alongside cabaret, comedy, performance art and a huge street carnival.
    It is increasingly popular among visitors from Edinburgh and all across the Central Belt. It also attracts growing numbers from elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and overseas.
    Organisers offered a first glimpse of some of the beautiful costumes that are being created for the impressive Burns Night Carnival – which is expected to pull thousands of people onto the streets of the town on Sunday, 25 January.
    Graham Main, Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper 2015 will be Europe’s largest winter fringe festival. It’s becoming a major event in the Scottish calendar and we’re inviting even more people from across Scotland and beyond to join us for nine days of fabulous entertainment. 
    “The programme we’ve unveiled today is a rich mix of music and performance that combines popular and celebrated artists with some emerging talent from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK.
    “The festival will be a chance to see rising stars like Nina Nesbitt alongside acts like the Peatbog Faeries, plus others we have already announced like Hue and Cry and the Undertones. Our whole aim is to celebrate the best of Scottish and international culture with shows that will appeal to every taste and age, from the youngest of children upwards.
    “The carnival is also going to be even bigger and more spectacular than last year – a real centrepiece of the festival – huge amounts of work are going into creating the costumes and the floats. It’s excellent to be able to give people a sneak preview of what we’ve got in store.”
    Nina Nesbitt had a hit with Stay Out in 2013 and released her first album Peroxide was released this year. Nina said: “I’ve always admired Robert Burns, not just for his poetry but for his whole amazing passion for life. It’s going to be great to play at a festival that’s such a huge celebration of Scottish life and culture and is all about bringing people of every age group together to share a really great time.”
    Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
    The lantern-lit carnival, with seven large interactive floats plus bands and dancers, will include hundreds of children and adults in a multitude of costumes including sea creatures such as porpoises and a giant octopus, through to angels, Tattie-bogles (scarecrows) and even giant vegetables. It is closely linked to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light and the Scottish Year of Food and Drink. 
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Once again, we are encouraging Scots, and Scots at heart, from around the world to join us in marking the life and works of our National Bard, Robert Burns, at one of the many Scotland’s Winter Festival events taking place across the country, including the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries.
    “It is fantastic to see the vibrant Big Burns Supper treble from three days to nine. Its great range and selection of performances and events, from renowned musicians to the lively street carnival, will light up Dumfries.”
    Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
    BBS has proven appeal to audiences of all tastes and ages – attracting visitors from across Scotland and increasingly from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. 
    The carnival is supported by Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.
    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme and is part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
    A sample from the full programme
    You can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com. It includes around 140 events at 17 venues, and which are a mix of paid or and free to view.
    Among what’s on offer is:
    Nina Nesbitt, in the Spiegeltent, Friday January 23 at 6.00pm  (£22.50). Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second. Born in 1994, her music is often about the lessons she's learnt since she first picked up a guitar aged 15. Nina may be an experienced songwriter, a festival veteran and a regular on Radio 1, but she still writes from the point of view of a typical teenager. She has already spent two years putting out EPs, touring the country and steadily building her fan base - her video views stand at more than 20 million and over 130,000 follow her on Twitter.
    Peatbog Faeries, in the Spiegeltent, Friday January 30, at 9.30pm (£22.50). Based on the Isle of Skye, the Peatbog Faeries are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. They've taken their own brand of Scottish tunes to audiences around the world, from European festivals, to Asia, Africa, America, Canada and Australia. The Peatbogs have recorded six studio albums, they made their first live release in April 2009 and their latest CD, "Dust", was released on the 8th of August of 2011.
    Hector Bizerk. This live show is something of a cultural phenomenon combining front-man Louie's razor sharp poetry with the incredible tribal rhythms of Audrey Tait and grooving funk bass lines of Fraser Sneddon to create a crescendo of thought-provoking music.
    Scottish Dance Theatre  (Scotland). Innocence. An exciting opportunity for 0-4 year olds (and their adults) to enter a realm of mystery, fun and adventure. Innocence is a unique performance playroom where the audience explore William Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Innocence invites children to dance on an interactive journey of theatre, story and live music. A beautiful, captivating dance experience.
    Hamish the Haggis’s Mini Burns Supper. Even children get to modernise Burns Suppers in their own special way at the Big Burns Supper with their own high energy foot-tapping show, Hamish the Haggis’s Mini Burns Supper, in one of the most interactive children’s theatre shows anywhere. 
    New York Brass Band. New Orleans inspired Brass Band. Hailing from the ancient streets of York, the band are part of a funky brass revolution that is sweeping the UK. Inspired by Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Hot 8, Youngblood and Brassroots, NYBB pack a powerful punch of relentless drums, rumbling tuba and wailing horns… nothing kicks a party into gear like the sound of a smokin’ New Orleans Mardi Gras Jazz Band.
    Emerging talent
    Isabel Sharman (London). Performance Art. Explores the complicated relationship that women have with their bodies by looking at the way we talk about them - from body hair groups and anti-feminist tumblrs.
    Impulse Collective (East Midlands). Theatre. Canterbury Tales. Following their smash hit Exposed at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, young East Midlands based company Impulse Collective present their anarchic new take on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
    Fiona Soe Paing (Aberdeenshire). Performance Art. Alien Lullabies. A live multi-media hailstorm: off-world electronica, surreal animation and live vocals combine to create a unique and compelling fusion of cinema and a live gig. 
    Stoirm Òg (Edinburgh). Theatre. The Idiot at The Wall. September, 1919. A Hebridean island. Sorcha has returned to her family home, disturbing a prophecy which has long lain dormant.
    Caroline Smith (London). Performance art. Birdwatchers Wives. Features Rita Grebe, a seven foot woman who thinks she’s a bird: a Great Crest who wants to nest.
    Countermeasure (Toronto) and InChorus (Peebles). Music. Transatlantic Songbook. Double bill exclusively presented at Big Burns Supper Festival. Countermeasure is the new sound in vocal music, known for upbeat blend, sophisticated harmonies, and infectious energy. Led by award-winning composer/arranger Aaron Jensen, featuring 14 of Canada’s top young vocal talents. InChorus is a large contemporary community choir from Peebles. Founded in 2008, they have filled Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and Festival Theatre twice.
    All this plus traditional singer Robyn Stapleton, who is BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, and The Gallovidians, a small local traditional music group consisting of mainly fiddles and accordions. 

    Burlesque performers and Burns Night carnival characters launch nine-day Dumfries festival in Edinburgh

    Big Burns Supper headed to Leith to launch its full 2015 programme with the news that Scottish singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt and folk group the Peatbog Faeries will be part of the line-up.

    Burlesque dancers and colourfully costumed carnival characters launched the programme in front of the Burns statue in Leith’s Constitution Street  – the statue itself was specially decked in tartan for the event.

    The annual Dumfries event, which is expanding from three days to nine – 23-31 January – is a mix of famous names and emerging artists and includes rock, pop, folk, jazz and traditional music alongside cabaret, comedy, performance art and a huge street carnival.

    It is increasingly popular among visitors from Edinburgh and all across the Central Belt. It also attracts growing numbers from elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and overseas.

    Organisers offered a first glimpse of some of the beautiful costumes that are being created for the impressive Burns Night Carnival – which is expected to pull thousands of people onto the streets of the town on Sunday, 25 January.

    Graham Main, Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper 2015 will be Europe’s largest winter fringe festival. It’s becoming a major event in the Scottish calendar and we’re inviting even more people from across Scotland and beyond to join us for nine days of fabulous entertainment. 

    “The programme we’ve unveiled today is a rich mix of music and performance that combines popular and celebrated artists with some emerging talent from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    “The festival will be a chance to see rising stars like Nina Nesbitt alongside acts like the Peatbog Faeries, plus others we have already announced like Hue and Cry and the Undertones. Our whole aim is to celebrate the best of Scottish and international culture with shows that will appeal to every taste and age, from the youngest of children upwards.

    “The carnival is also going to be even bigger and more spectacular than last year – a real centrepiece of the festival – huge amounts of work are going into creating the costumes and the floats. It’s excellent to be able to give people a sneak preview of what we’ve got in store.”

    Nina Nesbitt had a hit with Stay Out in 2013 and released her first album Peroxide was released this year. Nina said: “I’ve always admired Robert Burns, not just for his poetry but for his whole amazing passion for life. It’s going to be great to play at a festival that’s such a huge celebration of Scottish life and culture and is all about bringing people of every age group together to share a really great time.”

    Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).

    The lantern-lit carnival, with seven large interactive floats plus bands and dancers, will include hundreds of children and adults in a multitude of costumes including sea creatures such as porpoises and a giant octopus, through to angels, Tattie-bogles (scarecrows) and even giant vegetables. It is closely linked to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light and the Scottish Year of Food and Drink. 

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Once again, we are encouraging Scots, and Scots at heart, from around the world to join us in marking the life and works of our National Bard, Robert Burns, at one of the many Scotland’s Winter Festival events taking place across the country, including the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries.

    “It is fantastic to see the vibrant Big Burns Supper treble from three days to nine. Its great range and selection of performances and events, from renowned musicians to the lively street carnival, will light up Dumfries.”

    Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.

    BBS has proven appeal to audiences of all tastes and ages – attracting visitors from across Scotland and increasingly from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. 

    The carnival is supported by Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme and is part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
    A sample from the full programmeYou can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com. It includes around 140 events at 17 venues, which are a mix of paid and free to view.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 19 November 2014

    Glasgow Film Festival: 2015 dates and new programming strands are announced

    Glasgow Film Festival organisers today announced their 2015 dates, as well as a slew of new programme strands for the upcoming festival. This year the festival stretches out over a wider geographic area than in previous years, making use of even more cinemas and venues across Glasgow, while paying special tribute to the city itself.

     Supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland, BFI and EventScotland, the festival, which in 2014 logged over 40,000 admissions, will return from 18 February to 1 March 2015 – a day longer than previous festivals. Glasgow Youth Film Festival has been rebranded as a sleeker, weekend-long festival focusing tightly on cinema for teenagers and young adults, from 6-8 February, and Glasgow Short Film Festival moves away from the others for the first time, standing by itself from 11-15 March.

     Amongst the new programme strands this year are Nerdvana, bringing together the festival’s previous ‘geek-friendly’ events with a focus on cult cinema, gaming and comic book culture; Pioneer, which consolidates the festival’s growing reputation as the place to have a first encounter with the great directors of the future; and CineMasters, offering a sneak peak at new work from internationally renowned auteurs. And Glasgow Youth Film Festival’s sharpened focus on teenagers allows GFF to welcome in children (and their parents) with the Modern Families strand. 

     The festival runs an annual strand focusing on new cinema from a particular country, as well as a retrospective looking back over the career of a particular era or star. Following Glasgow’s passing of the Commonwealth Games baton over to the Gold Coast, our new strand Strewth! showcases the best new (and classic) Australian cinema, while Here’s Looking At You, Kid pays homage to Ingrid Bergman’s life and work.

     These strands will run alongside and in conjunction with GFF’s signature pop-up cinema events, which make imaginative, unusual use of some of the city’s unique venues. However, this year the festival will take its celebration of the city a step further. Taking its name from the four-year local history project run by Glasgow Film, the Cinema City strand is about Glasgow’s love affair with the movies: screenings of classic Glasgow-set films will sit alongside an exhibition showcasing memorabilia and oral histories of cinema-going in the city. 

     Due to a major refurbishment at regular festival venue Cineworld on Renfrew Street, GFF will be using alternative venues across the city this year. While this will result in slightly fewer films in the programme, the festival's extension for an extra day immediately opens up new and exciting opportunities. More of the festival will be based out of the CCA, where new DCP equipment will be installed, and screenings will also take place in the West End at the Grosvenor Cinema for the first time since 2011. Additional venues across the south and east of the city will be announced closer to the launch date.

     Festival Co-Director Allison Gardner said: “We’re using this opportunity to take the festival out beyond the city centre and bring it to new audiences.  We have always been an audience-focused festival, and our new strands like Pioneer and Nerdvana are the result of listening to feedback and picking up on elements of the festival our audience responds to. We’re also excited to engage with younger cinema-going audiences; so our Modern Families strand will show some really extraordinary and imaginative films about childhood. And I’m delighted that the culmination of our Cinema City project will result in a real celebration of what the movies mean to Glasgow – it’s like a little extra gift to our audiences.”

    The full GFF programme will be announced on Wednesday 21 January 2015 and available to browse on www.glasgowfilm/festival from Thursday 22 January. 

     

    Category: International Events

  • 18 November 2014

    Win a place on the Executive Certificate in Event Management (ECEM) in Edinburgh, the Festival City

    This is a three day intensive programme designed to capitalise on the expertise and provide the key skills and knowledge associated with the design and delivery of corporate, private and public events. Delivered by the Edinburgh Institute: Festivals, Events and Tourism, the programme outlines industry best practice in the marketing, planning, conduct and evaluation of events.

    Who is it for?

    The programme is designed to enhance the professional skill and knowledge base of those already with or looking to join the industry.

    Programme structure and dates

    3 day intensive programme from 16 – 18 February 2015 at Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus.

    The content

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation

    Project Management

    Risk Management, safety and security

    Marketing, PR and sponsorship

    Greening of Events

    Managing people

    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

    To WIN a place on this programme worth £975, please write a 300 word piece on why you should be chosen and how you would apply the learning for this programme back at your workplace. Send your entry to Peter Skellett. The deadline for entries is the 1st December 2014, with the winner notified by 12th December 2014.

    To find out more information about the ECEM please contact Peter Skellett on 0131 455 4642 or p.skellett@napier.ac.uk.

    Please note that if you are not successful in winning the free place, but are still keen to do the course, you may be eligible to reimbursement of 50% of this programme through Skills Development Scotland (http://www.ourskillsforce.co.uk/develop/flexible-training-opportunities/

    Category: Industry News

  • 17 November 2014

    PODIUM Programme events for Legacy 2014 participants

     

    Young Scot and the Scottish Government are bringing further free opportunities this month for those invovlved.
     
    The free events will be held around Scotland in November and will celebrate and document the work of Legacy 2014 participants and help them explore new, immediate opportunties and build on their experiences from the Games. 
     
    The programme intends to give young people the opportunity to really take action on their hopes for the future and legacy, it's a fantastic way for pupils to take action on their "Vision for a Better World" that they described in their posters for Inspire>Aspire

    Young Scot and Legacy 2014 are working together to offer young people involved in the Legacy programmes and projects further opportunities to shape their communities. 

    The partnership is delivering a short programme to engage young Legacy 2014 volunteers and participants to celebrate and document the work that has been done, gather ideas to build upon the legacy even further and make connections to immediate opportunities.

     PODIUM workshop events are open to those that participated (aged 14-26) and volunteered in Legacy 2014 programmes and initiatives and programme/project leads/workers.

     There are 4 events being held across Scotland later this month. For more information click here >>

     

     

  • 17 November 2014

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay announces glittering programme

     

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today invited revellers to join the planet’s hottest party when they announced the glittering programme of events for this year. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will run from Tuesday 30 December to Thursday 1 January 2015, and is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, will kick off with the hugely popular Torchlight Procession on Tuesday 30 December which is supported by EventScotland. A complete sell-out for the last few years, this event is expected to attract over 30,000 participants and 8,000 torchbearers in the procession which winds through the city centre from George IV Bridge to the finale which can be viewed from Calton Hill as well as Waterloo Place where there will be additional entertainment. This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. In this centenary year of the start of World War I, a contribution from the sale of torches will be donated to Erskine.The flagship Concert in the Gardens on Wednesday 31 December will turn West Princes Street Gardens into THE party with Björn Again, the world renowned Australian ABBA Show kicking off the evening, followed by Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul closing their worldwide 25th anniversary tour and headliner Lily Allen who, on the last date of her international tour, will ensure the audience is partying through the bells at midnight. Enclosure tickets have already sold out.Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents the biggest ever Hot Dub Time Machine at the World Famous Street Party. The time-travelling dance party which usually sees in New Year in Sydney, returns to Edinburgh to celebrate New Year for the first time in the Home of Hogmanay. 75,000 revellers across the arena will travel back to 1954 and then Moonwalk, Mashed Potato and Macarena their way through the bells and into 2015 with a banging song from each year relayed from the Rewinder Stage on the Mound across screens the length of Princes Street. This is a full-on alternative interactive experience, the crowd enjoying a mass sing-and-dance along.This year the Street Party welcomes a stellar Scottish line-up with a headline performance on the Waverley Stage from UK festival-favourites Twin Atlantic, joined by the winners of this year’s Mercury Prize, Edinburgh’s own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers, and Indie champions The Twilight Sad.At the Keilidh on the Mound revellers will be birling through the bells to The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience.Revellers will enjoy countdown firework displays at 9.00pm, 10.00pm and 11.00pm rising to the crescendo of the spectacular Midnight Moment as the fireworks lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill. Followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne as old friends and new join hands across the arena to sing Burn’s anthem.All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am but the party starts from 7.00pm throughout the Street Party arena with bars, rides and attractions.Free NightBus services will run throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for revellers at the Street Party and throughout the City Centre, supported by Lothian Buses and Johnnie Walker. These safe rides home are part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are on sale – full details can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. The early bird ticket offer for Edinburgh Residents will close on Friday 28 November. Until then, anyone living in an EH postcode can buy their Street Party ticket for the reduced price of £16 plus booking fee.Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas are produced by Unique Events and Underbelly on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council.
    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today invited revellers to join the planet’s hottest party when they announced the glittering programme of events for this year. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will run from Tuesday 30 December to Thursday 1 January 2015, and is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.
    The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, will kick off with the hugely popular Torchlight Procession on Tuesday 30 December which is supported by EventScotland. A complete sell-out for the last few years, this event is expected to attract over 30,000 participants and 8,000 torchbearers in the procession which winds through the city centre from George IV Bridge to the finale which can be viewed from Calton Hill as well as Waterloo Place where there will be additional entertainment. This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. In this centenary year of the start of World War I, a contribution from the sale of torches will be donated to Erskine.The flagship Concert in the Gardens on Wednesday 31 December will turn West Princes Street Gardens into THE party with Björn Again, the world renowned Australian ABBA Show kicking off the evening, followed by Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul closing their worldwide 25th anniversary tour and headliner Lily Allen who, on the last date of her international tour, will ensure the audience is partying through the bells at midnight. Enclosure tickets have already sold out.
    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents the biggest ever Hot Dub Time Machine at the World Famous Street Party. The time-travelling dance party which usually sees in New Year in Sydney, returns to Edinburgh to celebrate New Year for the first time in the Home of Hogmanay. 75,000 revellers across the arena will travel back to 1954 and then Moonwalk, Mashed Potato and Macarena their way through the bells and into 2015 with a banging song from each year relayed from the Rewinder Stage on the Mound across screens the length of Princes Street. This is a full-on alternative interactive experience, the crowd enjoying a mass sing-and-dance along.This year the Street Party welcomes a stellar Scottish line-up with a headline performance on the Waverley Stage from UK festival-favourites Twin Atlantic, joined by the winners of this year’s Mercury Prize, Edinburgh’s own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers, and Indie champions The Twilight Sad.
    At the Keilidh on the Mound revellers will be birling through the bells to The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience.Revellers will enjoy countdown firework displays at 9.00pm, 10.00pm and 11.00pm rising to the crescendo of the spectacular Midnight Moment as the fireworks lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill. Followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne as old friends and new join hands across the arena to sing Burn’s anthem.
    All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am but the party starts from 7.00pm throughout the Street Party arena with bars, rides and attractions.
    Free NightBus services will run throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for revellers at the Street Party and throughout the City Centre, supported by Lothian Buses and Johnnie Walker. These safe rides home are part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.
    Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are on sale – full details can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. The early bird ticket offer for Edinburgh Residents will close on Friday 28 November. Until then, anyone living in an EH postcode can buy their Street Party ticket for the reduced price of £16 plus booking fee.
    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas are produced by Unique Events and Underbelly on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council.

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today invited revellers to join the planet’s hottest party when they announced the glittering programme of events for this year.

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will run from Tuesday 30 December to Thursday 1 January 2015, and is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.

    The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, will kick off with the hugely popular Torchlight Procession on Tuesday 30 December which is supported by EventScotland.

    A complete sell-out for the last few years, this event is expected to attract over 30,000 participants and 8,000 torchbearers in the procession which winds through the city centre from George IV Bridge to the finale which can be viewed from Calton Hill as well as Waterloo Place where there will be additional entertainment.

    This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. In this centenary year of the start of World War I, a contribution from the sale of torches will be donated to Erskine.

    The flagship Concert in the Gardens on Wednesday 31 December will turn West Princes Street Gardens into THE party with Björn Again, the world renowned Australian ABBA Show kicking off the evening, followed by Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul closing their worldwide 25th anniversary tour and headliner Lily Allen who, on the last date of her international tour, will ensure the audience is partying through the bells at midnight. Enclosure tickets have already sold out.

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents the biggest ever Hot Dub Time Machine at the World Famous Street Party. The time-travelling dance party which usually sees in New Year in Sydney, returns to Edinburgh to celebrate New Year for the first time in the Home of Hogmanay. 75,000 revellers across the arena will travel back to 1954 and then Moonwalk, Mashed Potato and Macarena their way through the bells and into 2015 with a banging song from each year relayed from the Rewinder Stage on the Mound across screens the length of Princes Street. This is a full-on alternative interactive experience, the crowd enjoying a mass sing-and-dance along.

    This year the Street Party welcomes a stellar Scottish line-up with a headline performance on the Waverley Stage from UK festival-favourites Twin Atlantic, joined by the winners of this year’s Mercury Prize, Edinburgh’s own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers, and Indie champions The Twilight Sad.

    At the Keilidh on the Mound revellers will be birling through the bells to The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience.

    Revellers will enjoy countdown firework displays at 9.00pm, 10.00pm and 11.00pm rising to the crescendo of the spectacular Midnight Moment as the fireworks lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill. Followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne as old friends and new join hands across the arena to sing Burn’s anthem.

    All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am but the party starts from 7.00pm throughout the Street Party arena with bars, rides and attractions.Free NightBus services will run throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians for revellers at the Street Party and throughout the City Centre, supported by Lothian Buses and Johnnie Walker. These safe rides home are part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.

    Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are on sale – full details can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. The early bird ticket offer for Edinburgh Residents will close on Friday 28 November. Until then, anyone living in an EH postcode can buy their Street Party ticket for the reduced price of £16 plus booking fee.

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas are produced by Unique Events and Underbelly on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 November 2014

    GLASGOW TO HOST THE WORLDS FOR A FURTHER SIX YEARS

     

    GLASGOW TO HOST THE WORLDS FOR A FURTHER SIX YEARS 
    Glasgow has won the right to host the World Pipe Band Championships until 2021 continuing a relationship which has stretched back almost seven decades. The championships, which are affectionately known as The Worlds, attract more than 200 bands and thousands of spectators each year to Glasgow Green generating millions of pounds for the economy. 
    The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s board awarded the right to host The Worlds to Glasgow for a further 6 years at a meeting on Saturday November 15. Glasgow’s winning bid fought off stiff competition from Belfast to retain The Worlds. The event is organised on behalf of the RSPBA by Glasgow Life and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Event Scotland.
    The competition features bands from all over the world playing in eight different grades with the ultimate winners being declared after two days of competition. The current World Champions are Northern Ireland’s Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band which has won for the last four years. 
    As well as being the premier Pipe Band competition, The Worlds is also host to Highland Dancing, a Highland Games and a specialist food village which combine to make a visit to the event unforgettable. 
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: “We are delighted to have won the coveted World Pipe Band Championships for a further six years. Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and this uniquely Scottish event is one of the cornerstones of the city’s events calendar. We are looking forward to welcoming pipers, drummers, band supporters and spectators from across the world every bit as much as they are looking forward to coming here and to showing them everything Glasgow has to offer.” 
    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the RSPBA said: “We were delighted to have received an outstanding bid from Glasgow to be host city for the World Pipe Band Championships once again. Our partnership with Glasgow stretches back decades and the event has grown and developed as a result of that relationship. There is nothing quite like the sights and sounds on Glasgow Green during The Worlds and we look forward to welcoming bands there for the foreseeable future.” 
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we have consistently proven that Glasgow is the natural home for the World Pipe Band Championships. The event continues to develop and grow, while attracting thousands of visitors every year. As an event the World Pipe Band Championships celebrates and showcases Scotland’s creative culture and heritage, while delivering a significant economic impact through event tourism.” 
    For more information about The Worlds, please go to www.theworlds.co.uk 
    Ends

     Glasgow has won the right to host the World Pipe Band Championships until 2021 continuing a relationship which has stretched back almost seven decades. The championships, which are affectionately known as The Worlds, attract more than 200 bands and thousands of spectators each year to Glasgow Green generating millions of pounds for the economy. 

    The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s board awarded the right to host The Worlds to Glasgow for a further 6 years at a meeting on Saturday November 15. Glasgow’s winning bid fought off stiff competition from Belfast to retain The Worlds. The event is organised on behalf of the RSPBA by Glasgow Life and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Event Scotland.

    The competition features bands from all over the world playing in eight different grades with the ultimate winners being declared after two days of competition. The current World Champions are Northern Ireland’s Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band which has won for the last four years. 

    As well as being the premier Pipe Band competition, The Worlds is also host to Highland Dancing, a Highland Games and a specialist food village which combine to make a visit to the event unforgettable. 

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: “We are delighted to have won the coveted World Pipe Band Championships for a further six years. Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and this uniquely Scottish event is one of the cornerstones of the city’s events calendar. We are looking forward to welcoming pipers, drummers, band supporters and spectators from across the world every bit as much as they are looking forward to coming here and to showing them everything Glasgow has to offer.” 

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the RSPBA said: “We were delighted to have received an outstanding bid from Glasgow to be host city for the World Pipe Band Championships once again. Our partnership with Glasgow stretches back decades and the event has grown and developed as a result of that relationship. There is nothing quite like the sights and sounds on Glasgow Green during The Worlds and we look forward to welcoming bands there for the foreseeable future.” 

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we have consistently proven that Glasgow is the natural home for the World Pipe Band Championships. The event continues to develop and grow, while attracting thousands of visitors every year. As an event the World Pipe Band Championships celebrates and showcases Scotland’s creative culture and heritage, while delivering a significant economic impact through event tourism.” 

    For more information about The Worlds, please go to www.theworlds.co.uk 

     

    Category: International Events

  • 14 November 2014

    Scotland to host 2017 World Badminton Championship

    The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has today confirmed that the 2017 World Championships will take place at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

    A Scottish partnership involving BADMINTONscotland, Glasgow Life and EventScotland was awarded the event at the BWF Council meeting in the Peruvian capital of Lima earlier today.

    The most prestigious tournament in badminton, the World Championships is the latest major event to be secured for Scotland as a legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and will provide a major platform for the ongoing development of the sport in the coming years.

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said "The return of the World Championships to Scotland is a major coup for BADMINTONscotland and our partners, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland.

    “We had put together a superb bid for the Sudirman Cup and our presentation was extremely well received, even though we narrowly lost out to Australia. There is little doubt that the quality of our bid played a significant part in the decision to award these Championships to us.

    “There is a very pleasing symmetry to this announcement, when one recalls that we staged both the Sudirman Cup and the Individual Championships in 1997 and the Sudirman Cup again in 2007. Having the Individual Championships in 2017 will complete another ten year cycle of bringing the most prestigious badminton events to Scotland.

    “The BWF is well aware of the strength of our partnership with Glasgow City Council and with EventScotland and they know from our track record that we will provide a world class setting and world class organisation for the world's top players.

    “Securing this event will also provide a huge incentive for our fantastic volunteer team, many of whom were involved in this summer's Commonwealth Games and will be on duty again next week at the Emirates Arena for the Scottish Open Grand Prix."

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Glasgow. Hosting the World Individual Badminton Championships is a brilliant opportunity to reaffirm our position as one of the top sporting cities in the world. It also provides the perfect platform to build on the success of what has been an outstanding summer of sport for Glasgow following the best ever Commonwealth Games.

    “Alongside its ever growing portfolio of major events and its world-class sporting facilities, such as the Emirates Arena, Glasgow also offers a wide range of fantastic hotels and restaurants to suit the needs of the visiting players and the many fans who will inevitably follow. We can’t wait to welcome them to our friendly city during the summer of 2017.”

    Commonwealth Games and Sport Secretary Shona Robison said: “The Badminton World Championships is the most prestigious title in badminton and now joins a host of world class sporting events being held in Glasgow 2014 venues in the coming years, building on the Games sporting legacy. This is the latest event secured by EventScotland and its partners, which highlights the capacity, capability and credibility Scotland has as an events destination.

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events thanks to world class facilities and the uniquely warm welcome we can offer and badminton fans can look forward to a great tournament.”

    The news couldn’t be more timely with just five days to go to the Scottish Open Grand Prix at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and Ms Smillie added: “Of course, the players have another chance to impress next week with the Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena just five days away. It will give our players and all the tournament volunteers who work so hard at our events a real boost."

    Category: International Events

  • 12 November 2014

    Come dine with us! Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 launched

     

    d’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £2.5 million[i] per day to the economy, it has been revealed today (12 Nov).
    Speaking at the launch of the Year of Food and Drink, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead revealed that the year-long celebration of Scotland’s natural larder is set to build upon momentum generated in 2014, increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
    The year is being supported with activity by VisitScotland including; a new TV advert which will be shown across the UK throughout 2015, a bespoke logo, an event fund, a dedicated Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund, social media activity, industry engagement and international marketing, which will focus on connecting ‘plate to place’ - linking the country’s food and drink with brilliant moments around Scotland.
    The new advert will feature iconic images of Scotland such as the Isle of Rum, Eilean Donan Castle and the Ring of Brodgar, as well as berry picking in Perthshire, seafood from North Berwick and entertainment from the Speyside Whisky Festival.
    Over 200 tourism and food and drink businesses will attend today’s launch at the BT Murrayfield Stadium to hear more on how they can make the most of the opportunity 2015 presents. While this weekend Scotland welcomes the nation’s newest distillery as the first cask is filled with single malt Scotch whisky again produced at Annandale Distillery following a 95 year old sleep in the south west of Scotland.
    Starting on the January 1 and running until the end of December 2015, there will be ample to whet the appetite of visitors including a packed programme of food-focused events, and a series of monthly themes for industry highlighting key food and drink sectors such as seafood, whisky and soft fruits.
    Worth almost £14bn, the food and drink industry in Scotland employs 360,000 people. The Year of Food and Drink will raise awareness of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels, food and drink producers, B&Bs, cafes and visitor attractions.
    With eating traditional dishes and local produce listed as the second top activity undertaken by visitors to Scotland, promoting food and drink has the potential to provide significant growth for tourism. Indeed, visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin.
    Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said
    “Scotland’s food and drink is world-renowned for its exceptional quality and unrivalled provenance, and so it comes as no surprise that it is already a big draw for visitors. My ambition for Scotland as a Good Food Nation is for us all to make the most of our outstanding natural larder, which has a turnover of almost £14 billion. The Year of Food and Drink is a fantastic opportunity to show off at home and abroad the delicious local produce we have right on our doorstep and to build on the already phenomenal success of our food and drink sector.”
    Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, said:
    “The Year of Food and Drink will build upon the momentum generated during the Year of Homecoming 2014, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a first-class visitor destination. Food is an integral part of the tourism experience, with visitors spending on average 21 per cent of their holiday budget on food. This year will showcase Scotland’s quality produce as well as raising the awareness of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added:
    “2014 showed the world that Scotland was the perfect place to visit with warm welcoming people, a fantastic atmosphere and unmissable events. The Year of Food and Drink will see visitors far and wide come and sample our enticing natural larder and Scots enjoying the delicious cuisine that is right on their doorstep.
    “Visitors spend a fifth of their holiday budget on eating and drinking so promoting our natural larder is a recipe for success! Today’s launch is aimed at providing the tourism industry with plenty of food for thought so they can create appetizing, engaging, fun and authentic dining experiences. After the major events of 2014 interest in Scotland is high but we can’t rest on our laurels we must continue taking Scotland to the world, showcasing our strengths and positioning Scotland as the perfect place to visit and do business.”
    Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive, James Withers commented:
    "Food and drink is now one of the nation's greatest success stories and the Year of Food and Drink couldn’t come at a better time. Scotland’s reputation for world class produce is advancing across the globe as well as at home and we can now keep the momentum up through 2015, following all the efforts to showcase it this year.
    “We are blessed with a fantastic, diverse larder with food and drink businesses that are over a century old working alongside a new generation of start-ups. Collectively they are what make us a Land of Food and Drink and what have driven our sector to being the top performer in Scotland’s economy over recent years. But, critically, success for the food and drink sector means success for our tourism businesses too. Next year is the perfect platform for both these sectors to work together and make fresh strides forward.”ScotlSc

    Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £2.5 million[i] per day to the economy, it has been revealed today (12 Nov).

    Speaking at the launch of the Year of Food and Drink, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead revealed that the year-long celebration of Scotland’s natural larder is set to build upon momentum generated in 2014, increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

     The year is being supported with activity by VisitScotland including; a new TV advert which will be shown across the UK throughout 2015, a bespoke logo, an event fund, a dedicated Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund, social media activity, industry engagement and international marketing, which will focus on connecting ‘plate to place’ - linking the country’s food and drink with brilliant moments around Scotland.

     The new advert will feature iconic images of Scotland such as the Isle of Rum, Eilean Donan Castle and the Ring of Brodgar, as well as berry picking in Perthshire, seafood from North Berwick and entertainment from the Speyside Whisky Festival.

     Over 200 tourism and food and drink businesses will attend today’s launch at the BT Murrayfield Stadium to hear more on how they can make the most of the opportunity 2015 presents. While this weekend Scotland welcomes the nation’s newest distillery as the first cask is filled with single malt Scotch whisky again produced at Annandale Distillery following a 95 year old sleep in the south west of Scotland.

     Starting on the January 1 and running until the end of December 2015, there will be ample to whet the appetite of visitors including a packed programme of food-focused events, and a series of monthly themes for industry highlighting key food and drink sectors such as seafood, whisky and soft fruits.

     Worth almost £14bn, the food and drink industry in Scotland employs 360,000 people. The Year of Food and Drink will raise awareness of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels, food and drink producers, B&Bs, cafes and visitor attractions.

     With eating traditional dishes and local produce listed as the second top activity undertaken by visitors to Scotland, promoting food and drink has the potential to provide significant growth for tourism. Indeed, visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin.

     Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said “Scotland’s food and drink is world-renowned for its exceptional quality and unrivalled provenance, and so it comes as no surprise that it is already a big draw for visitors. My ambition for Scotland as a Good Food Nation is for us all to make the most of our outstanding natural larder, which has a turnover of almost £14 billion. The Year of Food and Drink is a fantastic opportunity to show off at home and abroad the delicious local produce we have right on our doorstep and to build on the already phenomenal success of our food and drink sector.”

     Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, said: “The Year of Food and Drink will build upon the momentum generated during the Year of Homecoming 2014, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a first-class visitor destination. Food is an integral part of the tourism experience, with visitors spending on average 21 per cent of their holiday budget on food. This year will showcase Scotland’s quality produce as well as raising the awareness of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: “2014 showed the world that Scotland was the perfect place to visit with warm welcoming people, a fantastic atmosphere and unmissable events. The Year of Food and Drink will see visitors far and wide come and sample our enticing natural larder and Scots enjoying the delicious cuisine that is right on their doorstep.

     “Visitors spend a fifth of their holiday budget on eating and drinking so promoting our natural larder is a recipe for success! Today’s launch is aimed at providing the tourism industry with plenty of food for thought so they can create appetizing, engaging, fun and authentic dining experiences. After the major events of 2014 interest in Scotland is high but we can’t rest on our laurels we must continue taking Scotland to the world, showcasing our strengths and positioning Scotland as the perfect place to visit and do business.”

     Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive, James Withers commented: "Food and drink is now one of the nation's greatest success stories and the Year of Food and Drink couldn’t come at a better time. Scotland’s reputation for world class produce is advancing across the globe as well as at home and we can now keep the momentum up through 2015, following all the efforts to showcase it this year.

    “We are blessed with a fantastic, diverse larder with food and drink businesses that are over a century old working alongside a new generation of start-ups. Collectively they are what make us a Land of Food and Drink and what have driven our sector to being the top performer in Scotland’s economy over recent years. But, critically, success for the food and drink sector means success for our tourism businesses too. Next year is the perfect platform for both these sectors to work together and make fresh strides forward.”

    For more information go to visitscotland.com

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 November 2014

    Month long programme of Homecoming finale events set to take place across unusual locations in Scotland

     

    Pop-up theatre, fire sculptures, music, poetry, song and dance, and the best of Scotland’s food and drink will be on offer during November and December as part of  finale events celebrating the Year of Homecoming.
    ‘Tales of Home’ will bring to life the Homecoming themes of creativity, ancestry, nature, food and drink and the outdoors through a number of brand new events taking place in a variety of exciting and unusual locations across Scotland during November and December 2014.
    Homecoming: Station Stories by Sven Werner
    Commuters and festive shoppers will be the first to grab a chance to escape everyday reality with ‘Homecoming Station Stories’ - a magical and exciting pop-up theatre experience at Aberdeen Train Station (Wednesday 3 – 6 December), Edinburgh Waverley Station (Wednesday 10 – 13 December) and also in Glasgow.
    Created by Glasgow based artist and filmmaker Sven Werner, ‘Station Stories’ will build on Werner’s successful ‘Tales of Magic Realism’ which premiered at Sonica 2012 and the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival.  Leaving the hectic modern concourse behind them, 21st century travellers in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will find themselves transported to a series of cinematic worlds in miniature.  By donning headphones and peering into striking Victorian inspired peepshow viewers, individual audience members will embark on a journey in a gramophone-powered train carriage whizzing through the countryside and huddle in an atmospheric waiting-room looking out onto a snowy winter. Artist Sven,  who will painstakingly handcraft each work, will also be on-site at each location, dressed in vintage costume and supported by a team of Victoriana assistants who could be characters from the miniature worlds themselves.
    Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire
    Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire in Ayrshire is set to transform a winter’s night into a magical evening of poetry and song in celebration of Scotland’s poet Robert Burns and the Year of Homecoming.
    Taking place on the evening of Monday 29 December, audiences will enter Burns Museum and Monument Gardens in Alloway, Ayrshire to a world of beautiful fiery installations that form a glowing garden landscape. Flame lined paths, copper breathing flowers and scorching sculptural trees will combine to create an unforgettable trail of light devised by outdoor art experts, Walk the Plank.  
    Visitors and locals attending the event will also be treated to a number of site specific performances from both local and nationally recognised artists including Ayrshire Opera and imaginative performers Mischief La Bas celebrating the words and music of The Bard.
    The Home Strait
    Eleven, the company best known for the award-winning programme of work at Edinburgh’s Summerhall, will present a series of theatre, music and poetry performances across Scotland. These will include Return to the Voice, the new piece commissioned from the internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning Polish theatre company, Song of the Goat, by Eleven and Summerhall.   
    Inspired by ancient Gaelic and Scottish musical traditions including laments for death and love, working songs, story-telling songs, psalms, wedding songs, and songs of exile, Return to the Voice was a sell-out success at its première at this year’s Edinburgh festival.  
    The Home Strait also includes a further series of music and poetry performances in locations across Scotland, presented by Eleven in conjunction with Rally & Broad. The programme features such leading poets as Carol Ann Duffy and Don Paterson as well as ‘pop-up’ performances in surprise locations, including borders, crossing places, or other significant points on a journey ‘home’. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
    “Homecoming Scotland 2014 has been a great success to date, with its funded events attracting over 1 million visitors from near and far and many more enjoying the hundreds of partner events taking place, in a celebration of Scotland’s unique culture, heritage and other world renowned attractions.
    “I am delighted that the momentum of this special year shows no signs of slowing down, with the announcement of these fantastic ‘Tales of Home’ finale events which I believe will really fire the imagination of locals and visitors alike.
    “Homecoming is the opportunity for Scotland’s communities  to celebrate all that’s great about our country and place the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons. With over 60 events in the Homecoming programme still to take place in November and December, I encourage people to explore the programme and to get involved.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said,
    “Homecoming Scotland 2014 has been an outstanding success. A broad range of fantastic events have been taking place the length and breadth of the country, with many of them enjoying record-breaking attendances. This exciting finale programme is the perfect way to bring down the curtain on a truly unforgettable year in which Scotland has also welcomed the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and the MTV Europe Music Awards, and sets us up nicely for 2015 – the Year of Food and Drink.”
    David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Special Projects, Creative Scotland, said, 
    “This month-long programme of Homecoming finale events across the country will draw to a close what has been a remarkable year. From pop-up theatre, fire sculptures, music, poetry, song and dance audiences will be able to engage in unusual places with reflections on what it means to be Scottish, and human.”
    In addition to the ‘Tales of Home’ events, December will also see a number of events in the Homecoming programme including the Kingussie Christmas Festival (7 Dec), Medieval Merriment at Stirling Castle (7 Dec) and the world famous Land’s End to John O'Groats classic car Reliability Trial and Tour (7 – 10 Dec). Throughout December, Jelly and Gin will also offer the opportunity to experience a selection of films in a completely different way with their new multi-sensory cinema experience, Watch and Wolf.
    The Year of Homecoming will draw to a close on 31 December with Hogmanay celebrations including The Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness, Hogmanay celebrations in Stirling, Aberdeen, Oban, Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun and a Ceilidh Festival at An Lanntair in Stornoway.

    Pop-up theatre, fire sculptures, music, poetry, song and dance, and the best of Scotland’s food and drink will be on offer during November and December as part of  finale events celebrating the Year of Homecoming.

    ‘Tales of Home’ will bring to life the Homecoming themes of creativity, ancestry, nature, food and drink and the outdoors through a number of brand new events taking place in a variety of exciting and unusual locations across Scotland during November and December 2014.

    Homecoming: Station Stories by Sven Werner

    Commuters and festive shoppers will be the first to grab a chance to escape everyday reality with ‘Homecoming Station Stories’ - a magical and exciting pop-up theatre experience at Aberdeen Train Station (Wednesday 3 – 6 December), Edinburgh Waverley Station (Wednesday 10 – 13 December) and also in Glasgow.

    Created by Glasgow based artist and filmmaker Sven Werner, ‘Station Stories’ will build on Werner’s successful ‘Tales of Magic Realism’ which premiered at Sonica 2012 and the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival.  Leaving the hectic modern concourse behind them, 21st century travellers in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will find themselves transported to a series of cinematic worlds in miniature.  By donning headphones and peering into striking Victorian inspired peepshow viewers, individual audience members will embark on a journey in a gramophone-powered train carriage whizzing through the countryside and huddle in an atmospheric waiting-room looking out onto a snowy winter. Artist Sven,  who will painstakingly handcraft each work, will also be on-site at each location, dressed in vintage costume and supported by a team of Victoriana assistants who could be characters from the miniature worlds themselves.

    Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire

    Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire in Ayrshire is set to transform a winter’s night into a magical evening of poetry and song in celebration of Scotland’s poet Robert Burns and the Year of Homecoming.

    Taking place on the evening of Monday 29 December, audiences will enter Burns Museum and Monument Gardens in Alloway, Ayrshire to a world of beautiful fiery installations that form a glowing garden landscape. Flame lined paths, copper breathing flowers and scorching sculptural trees will combine to create an unforgettable trail of light devised by outdoor art experts, Walk the Plank.  

    Visitors and locals attending the event will also be treated to a number of site specific performances from both local and nationally recognised artists including Ayrshire Opera and imaginative performers Mischief La Bas celebrating the words and music of The Bard.

    The Home Strait

    Eleven, the company best known for the award-winning programme of work at Edinburgh’s Summerhall, will present a series of theatre, music and poetry performances across Scotland. These will include Return to the Voice, the new piece commissioned from the internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning Polish theatre company, Song of the Goat, by Eleven and Summerhall.  

     Inspired by ancient Gaelic and Scottish musical traditions including laments for death and love, working songs, story-telling songs, psalms, wedding songs, and songs of exile, Return to the Voice was a sell-out success at its première at this year’s Edinburgh festival.

     The Home Strait also includes a further series of music and poetry performances in locations across Scotland, presented by Eleven in conjunction with Rally & Broad. The programme features such leading poets as Carol Ann Duffy and Don Paterson as well as ‘pop-up’ performances in surprise locations, including borders, crossing places, or other significant points on a journey ‘home’. 

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:“Homecoming Scotland 2014 has been a great success to date, with its funded events attracting over 1 million visitors from near and far and many more enjoying the hundreds of partner events taking place, in a celebration of Scotland’s unique culture, heritage and other world renowned attractions.

    “I am delighted that the momentum of this special year shows no signs of slowing down, with the announcement of these fantastic ‘Tales of Home’ finale events which I believe will really fire the imagination of locals and visitors alike.“Homecoming is the opportunity for Scotland’s communities  to celebrate all that’s great about our country and place the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons. With over 60 events in the Homecoming programme still to take place in November and December, I encourage people to explore the programme and to get involved.

    ”Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said,“Homecoming Scotland 2014 has been an outstanding success. A broad range of fantastic events have been taking place the length and breadth of the country, with many of them enjoying record-breaking attendances. This exciting finale programme is the perfect way to bring down the curtain on a truly unforgettable year in which Scotland has also welcomed the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and the MTV Europe Music Awards, and sets us up nicely for 2015 – the Year of Food and Drink.”David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Special Projects, Creative Scotland, said, “This month-long programme of Homecoming finale events across the country will draw to a close what has been a remarkable year. From pop-up theatre, fire sculptures, music, poetry, song and dance audiences will be able to engage in unusual places with reflections on what it means to be Scottish, and human.

    ”In addition to the ‘Tales of Home’ events, December will also see a number of events in the Homecoming programme including the Kingussie Christmas Festival (7 Dec), Medieval Merriment at Stirling Castle (7 Dec) and the world famous Land’s End to John O'Groats classic car Reliability Trial and Tour (7 – 10 Dec). Throughout December, Jelly and Gin will also offer the opportunity to experience a selection of films in a completely different way with their new multi-sensory cinema experience, Watch and Wolf.

    The Year of Homecoming will draw to a close on 31 December with Hogmanay celebrations including The Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness, Hogmanay celebrations in Stirling, Aberdeen, Oban, Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun and a Ceilidh Festival at An Lanntair in Stornoway.

     

  • 11 November 2014

    St Andrews vs The Rest of the World! Special golf match to mark St Andrew's Day on 30 Nov

     

    Golfers from far and wide, as well as local players, have been registering for the first-ever match between the St Andrews Community and The Rest of the World, which is being organised to mark St Andrew's Day.In a friendly occasion that’s open to all golfers, players who live in St Andrews will be challenging all-comers from anywhere else in the world, with the event being played over the town's famous New Course on Sunday 30 November.The match, which is being organised by St Andrews Partnership with the generous support of St Andrews Links Trust, forms part of the town's St Andrew’s Day Celebrations. The Partnership's Chairman Jim McArthur said this week, “This will be a great chance to play at the Home of Golf in an informal, fun event - and all for a bargain entry fee! We would encourage both locals and visiting players to sign up without delay, because the 23 November closing date is fast approaching.”He added, “Our event is designed to bring together the local golfing community with the many visitors who will be in St Andrews to enjoy the St Andrew's Day Celebrations being held from 27-30 November. We believe that St Andrews is ideally placed to become the leading venue for St Andrew's Day events around the world, which is why this new golf event purposely has an international outlook.”The match will be played in a fourball, full handicap format (shotgun start) with a variety of prizes on offer. Single players or teams of two can enter. Entry forms and further information can be obtained from www.visitstandrews.com/plan/golf or by e-mailing match@standrews.co.uk.
    Golfers from far and wide, as well as local players, have been registering for the first-ever match between the St Andrews Community and The Rest of the World, which is being organised to mark St Andrew's Day.
    In a friendly occasion that’s open to all golfers, players who live in St Andrews will be challenging all-comers from anywhere else in the world, with the event being played over the town's famous New Course on Sunday 30 November.
     The match, which is being organised by St Andrews Partnership with the generous support of St Andrews Links Trust, forms part of the town's St Andrew’s Day Celebrations.
    St Andrews will host a weekend packed with celebrations from 27 -30 November as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals - a programme of events supprted by EventScotland. For more information about the weekend visit www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com. 
     The Partnership's Chairman Jim McArthur said this week, “This will be a great chance to play at the Home of Golf in an informal, fun event - and all for a bargain entry fee! We would encourage both locals and visiting players to sign up without delay, because the 23 November closing date is fast approaching.”
     He added, “Our event is designed to bring together the local golfing community with the many visitors who will be in St Andrews to enjoy the St Andrew's Day Celebrations being held from 27-30 November. We believe that St Andrews is ideally placed to become the leading venue for St Andrew's Day events around the world, which is why this new golf event purposely has an international outlook.”
     The match will be played in a fourball, full handicap format (shotgun start) with a variety of prizes on offer. Single players or teams of two can enter. Entry forms and further information can be obtained from www.visitstandrews.com/plan/golf or by e-mailing match@standrews.co.uk.

    Golfers from far and wide, as well as local players, have been registering for the first-ever match between the St Andrews Community and The Rest of the World, which is being organised to mark St Andrew's Day.

    In a friendly occasion that’s open to all golfers, players who live in St Andrews will be challenging all-comers from anywhere else in the world, with the event being played over the town's famous New Course on Sunday 30 November.

    The match, which is being organised by St Andrews Partnership with the generous support of St Andrews Links Trust, forms part of the town's St Andrew’s Day Celebrations.

    St Andrews will host a weekend packed with celebrations from 27 -30 November as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals - a programme of events supprted by EventScotland. For more information about the weekend visit www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com.

    The Partnership's Chairman Jim McArthur said this week, “This will be a great chance to play at the Home of Golf in an informal, fun event - and all for a bargain entry fee! We would encourage both locals and visiting players to sign up without delay, because the 23 November closing date is fast approaching.”

    He added, “Our event is designed to bring together the local golfing community with the many visitors who will be in St Andrews to enjoy the St Andrew's Day Celebrations being held from 27-30 November. We believe that St Andrews is ideally placed to become the leading venue for St Andrew's Day events around the world, which is why this new golf event purposely has an international outlook.”

    The match will be played in a fourball, full handicap format (shotgun start) with a variety of prizes on offer. Single players or teams of two can enter.

    Entry forms and further information can be obtained from www.visitstandrews.com/plan/golf or by e-mailing match@standrews.co.uk.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 10 November 2014

    Oban Winter Festival to host 1st 'Haggisfest' to celebrate St Andrew's Day!

     

    OBAN WINTER FESTIVAL TO HOST SPECIAL ST ANDREW’S DAY ACTIVITIES 
    Haggisfest, Tartan Dash and Grand Ceilidh all part of the celebrations 
    Following the success of the last three years, once again the picturesque town of Oban is extending a warm welcome to visitors from near and far this winter with events for all the family across 10 days of festivities from 21 to 30 November as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festival programme.
    At the heart of this year’s festival will be a series of special St Andrew’s Day themed activities on Saturday 29 November. 
    Local butchers Mark Grant from Grants the Butchers of Taynuilt and James Paterson from Jackson Butchers in Oban were at Oban Distillery today going head to head ahead of Haggisfest, a unique celebration of the great Scottish staple which will see seven butchers and haggis-makers from Argyll all cooking up a storm with a chance to win the coveted ‘Golden Haggis Award’. 
    Haggisfest will open to the public on Saturday 29 November at midday and will be judged by local chef and restaurant owner Alex Needham and chef and manager of the Manor House Hotel, Gregor MacKinnon. The public will have the chance to taste all the entries and vote for a ‘People’s Choice’ award whilst enjoying a free tipple. Alongside Haggisfest, visitors can browse the Scottish Food and Craft Market in the Old Distillery cask room at Oban Distillery and watch the Tartan Dash as the race makes its way through the town. 
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: 
     
    “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 
     
    “That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at the Oban Winter Festival, which has an exciting line-up of St Andrew’s Day themed activities.”  
    The Oban Winter Festival is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events supported by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
    The 2014 festival will encompass parades, ceilidhs, live music, art exhibitions, markets and more at venues throughout the town. Locals and visitors are invited to take part in a celebration that is certain to light up dark winter days and evenings.
    Atlantis Leisure Centre football pitch will be the venue for an all new Haggis Hurling event, followed by the Family Science and Circus Show.
    At 8pm the St Andrew’s Day Grand Ceilidh will open. Oban Pipe Band will welcome visitors to the Argyllshire Gathering for a night of top class entertainment featuring traditional music, song and dance to celebrate Scotland’s national day in style – an event not to be missed! 
    Also new for 2014 - the Ghost Walk will be led by Three Wee Crows, one of Scotland’s most innovative theatre companies. Employing their passionate, moving and entertaining style, Three Wee Crows will lead groups on a spooky walk around the grounds of Dunollie House.
    Further announcements for this year:
    The Family Competition returns – a chance for mums and dads to show off their craft skills! Make a ‘Tartan Scene in a Shoe-box’ and your box will be displayed in venues across Oban. Entries should be submitted to the Corran Halls by 16 November.
    The Festival Finale on the evening of Sunday 20 November will feature circus skills from Circus Alba; the Lantern Parade led by Oban High School Pipe Band with performances by the newly formed Youth Samba Band; performances by local choirs, a ceilidh band and the spectacular Finale Fireworks. Local children will help build the Big Lanterns for the Lantern Parade this year and the theme will be ‘The Salmon, The Stag, The Wool and The Water’. 
    For more information and full listings for the Festival go to www.obanwinterfestival.com or pick up a programme from the local Visitor Information Centre; North Pier, Oban PA34 51D

    Following the success of the last three years, once again the picturesque town of Oban is extending a warm welcome to visitors from near and far this winter with events for all the family across 10 days of festivities from 21 to 30 November as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festival programme.

    At the heart of this year’s festival will be a series of special St Andrew’s Day themed activities on Saturday 29 November. 

    Local butchers Mark Grant from Grants the Butchers of Taynuilt and James Paterson from Jackson Butchers in Oban were at Oban Distillery today going head to head ahead of Haggisfest, a unique celebration of the great Scottish staple which will see seven butchers and haggis-makers from Argyll all cooking up a storm with a chance to win the coveted ‘Golden Haggis Award’. 

    Haggisfest will open to the public on Saturday 29 November at midday and will be judged by local chef and restaurant owner Alex Needham and chef and manager of the Manor House Hotel, Gregor MacKinnon. The public will have the chance to taste all the entries and vote for a ‘People’s Choice’ award whilst enjoying a free tipple. Alongside Haggisfest, visitors can browse the Scottish Food and Craft Market in the Old Distillery cask room at Oban Distillery and watch the Tartan Dash as the race makes its way through the town. 

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:  “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome.  “That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at the Oban Winter Festival, which has an exciting line-up of St Andrew’s Day themed activities.”  

    The Oban Winter Festival is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events supported by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.

    The 2014 festival will encompass parades, ceilidhs, live music, art exhibitions, markets and more at venues throughout the town. Locals and visitors are invited to take part in a celebration that is certain to light up dark winter days and evenings.

    Atlantis Leisure Centre football pitch will be the venue for an all new Haggis Hurling event, followed by the Family Science and Circus Show.

    At 8pm the St Andrew’s Day Grand Ceilidh will open. Oban Pipe Band will welcome visitors to the Argyllshire Gathering for a night of top class entertainment featuring traditional music, song and dance to celebrate Scotland’s national day in style – an event not to be missed! 

    Also new for 2014 - the Ghost Walk will be led by Three Wee Crows, one of Scotland’s most innovative theatre companies. Employing their passionate, moving and entertaining style, Three Wee Crows will lead groups on a spooky walk around the grounds of Dunollie House.

    Further announcements for this year: The Family Competition returns – a chance for mums and dads to show off their craft skills! Make a ‘Tartan Scene in a Shoe-box’ and your box will be displayed in venues across Oban. Entries should be submitted to the Corran Halls by 16 November.

    The Festival Finale on the evening of Sunday 20 November will feature circus skills from Circus Alba; the Lantern Parade led by Oban High School Pipe Band with performances by the newly formed Youth Samba Band; performances by local choirs, a ceilidh band and the spectacular Finale Fireworks. Local children will help build the Big Lanterns for the Lantern Parade this year and the theme will be ‘The Salmon, The Stag, The Wool and The Water’. 

    For more information and full listings for the Festival go to www.obanwinterfestival.com or pick up a programme from the local Visitor Information Centre; North Pier, Oban PA34 51D

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 07 November 2014

    The volunteer application process for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships is now open!

    The volunteer application process for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, taking place between 13-19 July at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Great Britain, is now open.

     Recruitment is through an online application process at www.paralympic.org/glasgow-2015/volunteer. The final deadline for applications is 30th January 2015.

     A range of roles are available, including transport, meet and greet, media operations and accreditation, as well as some more sport-specific roles.

     Natasha Cuthbert, Glasgow 2015 Project Manager, said: “Volunteers will play a central role in the delivery of the Championships, welcoming the world to Glasgow. The Games Makers at London 2012, and more recently the Clyde-Siders at the Commonwealth Games, have really changed the face of sports volunteering in the UK. This is another great opportunity to be involved in a major global championship event, helping us to provide the athletes and fans with a fantastic experience in 2015.”

     The World Championships are expected to see more than 650 athletes from more than 60 countries compete for medals and coveted qualification sports for Rio 2016.

    The competition forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, a £27 million National Lottery funded initiative which aims to bring up to 70 world class sporting events to the UK by 2019. The event is also supported by EventScotland, the events directorate of national tourism organisation VisitScotland.

     The venue will be the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the same pool that hosted the hugely successful and popular swimming competitions at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in July and the 2013 Duel in the Pool between the USA and the European Allstars.

    Category: International Events

  • 07 November 2014

    Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open secured through to 2020

    Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open secured through to 2020

     

    VisitScotland will continue its support for the Scottish Open through to 2020 after a deal was reached between the European Tour, the Scottish Government and Aberdeen Asset Management to extend title sponsorship of the event for an additional three years.

     

    The agreement, supported by the Scottish Government, provides a significant addition to the world-class golf events already secured for Scotland as it looks to build on the successful hosting of The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

     

    There are already six Major Championships confirmed to take place in Scotland post 2014 across the men’s and ladies professional games, beginning with The Open Championship at St Andrews and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry in 2015. The extension of support for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open now means that at least one European Tour event is guaranteed to take place in Scotland every year through to 2020.

     

    Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted with Scotland’s extension of support for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and look forward to continuing the staging and promotion of top-class golf events through to at least 2020.

     

    “Hosting world-class golf events not only reaffirms Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf, but delivers significant economic impact as well as substantial marketing opportunities to promote Scotland to worldwide audiences as a leading golf and tourism destination.”

    To find out more about golf in Scotland visit www.visitscotland.com/golf

    Category: Golf

  • 06 November 2014

    Join the Army of Volunteers who will Make Big Burns Supper 2015 Rock

    A small army of 110 volunteers is being recruited to be at the heart of January’s nine day Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries.

    It’s a great opportunity to be part of a team which does everything from supporting famous rock bands and marshalling the huge Burns’ Night carnival to making costumes and running venues, including the splendid Spiegeltent.

    For 2015 there are more opportunities than ever as the festival (which is supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) is expanding from three to nine days.

    Orla Stairmand, who has just taken on the role of Lantern Project Manager, says: “Being a volunteer with the Big Burns Supper has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.  There is never a dull moment and your involvement starts the moment you sign up. 

    “This will be my third year being part of the BBS family and I have done everything from gluing costumes, face painting, helping with the local schools, bag packing and generally being one of the many ambassadors for this great community event. I have been lucky enough to be part of the Spiegeltent team over the years, greeting the audiences and am looking forward to greeting many more. 

    “Being a marshal at the 2014 Carnival was very special and it was an honour to be a part of such an amazing spectacle. I would encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to sign up and join in the fun."   

    The work is already underway and anyone who wishes to get involved in Europe’s largest winter fringe festival just needs to fill in a simple form on the Big Burns Supper website at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com/about-us/volunteer-with-us.php

    Around 70 people are needed to marshal the carnival – giving them a chance to be part of one of the biggest and most colourful events Dumfries has ever seen. Another 10 are wanted to staff the Spiegeltent, the mirrored tent where many of the biggest acts like Hue and Cry and the Undertones will appear, with more to run the festival control room and to act as a rapid response team to be on hand wherever they are needed.

    Moira Priestley, Big Burns Supper Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “The volunteers are the lynchpin of the whole festival – without them it simply wouldn’t be possible. And the work is starting right now, so it’s a great moment to get involved.

    “Volunteers really get a lot out of being part of the team and get really passionate about the festival. And best of all is the sense of pride you feel when the carnival takes place, or a show goes on, and you helped make it happen.”

    There are opportunities for people of all abilities and also for those with lots or limited amounts of time to offer.

    Being a volunteer can also provide valuable work experience for those wanting to build up their CVs.

    Some volunteers are eligible for free tickets to selected shows.

    Next year Big Burns Supper will celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 and the UNESCO Year of Light through the Burns Night Carnival which is supported by Holywood Trust and Awards for All.

    Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 06 November 2014

    SEFA Glasgow Event: The Impacts and Legacy of the Commonwealth Games

    SEFA Glasgow Event: The Impacts and Legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

    Scottish Events and Festivals Association

    Wednesday 19th November from 18:00 - 21:00

     Following the success of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth games, SEFA is bringing together some of the key people involved in the delivery of the games to discuss the game’s legacy and impact on Glasgow and the wider Scottish event industry.

    Presentations and a panel discussion will allow attendees the opportunity to gain further insight into the long term impacts (economic, social, cultural and environmental) that hosting the games can have on the city and if, and how, the event industry can benefit.

    The Speakers

    Scott Taylor, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

    Stuart Turner, Events Director, EventScotland

    Paul Zealey, Head of Engagement and Legacy at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

    Ian Hooper, Director of Sport and Special Projects, Glasgow Life

     
    Dont forget: SEFA members go free!
    For more infomation on SEFA and membership enquiries, please visit our website: http://sefa.org.uk/  
    To book your ticket visit the eventbite page

    Category: Industry News

  • 05 November 2014

    Emirates Arena to host Davis Cup

     

    The upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group tie between Great Britain and the United States will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. The first round encounter will take place from 6-8 March 2015, with the winners set to face either France or Germany in the quarter-finals. 
    This is Great Britain’s second straight year in the World Group after the team maintained their position within the world’s elite by making the quarter-finals in 2014. Great Britain upset the Americans in San Diego with a 3-1 victory in this year’s first round and will be hoping to replicate that performance on home soil. 
    Leon Smith, Captain of the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team, said: “We’ve had absolutely brilliant experiences of playing in Glasgow during recent ties and the crowd always creates an unbelievable atmosphere. It’s going to be a huge deal with Andy heading back to play in Scotland for the first time since he won Wimbledon last year. It will no doubt be an emotional experience for all of us, just like it was when Andy came back to Glasgow and played against Luxembourg in 2011. You could see how much the crowd were desperate to see him play and we’re delighted to now be in a position to bring a World Group tie to a city that has given us so much support over the years.” 
    World No.6 Andy Murray added: “I’m really excited about coming to Glasgow to play in a World Group tie. It’s going to be a huge week for our team and I’m looking forward to be able to play in front of a home crowd. I did play Davis Cup in Glasgow a few years ago where we received incredible support, but this is a World Group tie so it’s a massive deal and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win.” 
    The Emirates Arena will see a temporary tennis court built with a 7,100 capacity and the teams will be announced no later than ten days before the start of the tie. The Great Britain versus United States rivalry is the oldest in Davis Cup history, dating back to the very first competition which took place in 1900. 
    The two nations last played each other on British soil in the 1999 World Group first round, and the USA lead the current head to head by 11-8. James Ward who enjoyed an unforgettable five sets victory over Sam Querrey in the Great Britain versus USA tie this year said: “It’s great news that we’ve got a World Group tie at home. Our two ties in 2014 have both been away and I know the whole team is really excited to be going back to Glasgow. We’ve always had great support there when we’ve played, and we’re hoping that given this is one of the biggest ties we’ve played in our country in many years, that the crowds will come out in force and support us.” 
    Michael Downey, LTA Chief Executive added: “We have an incredible venue in a city with fantastic sporting pedigree, and a history between the two nations that will ensure this tie will be epic. It’s about time Great Britain got a World Group home tie – this is the first since 2008. The stakes are high and we are all looking forward to getting behind our team to get the job done.” 
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Welcoming the Davis Cup back to Glasgow underlines Scotland’s reputation as a major events destination and adds to our world-class portfolio for 2015, which already includes three World and two European Championships. The Davis Cup is one of the cornerstones of the sport’s annual calendar, and with Great Britain set to go up against the USA fans are guaranteed to see tennis of the very highest quality. The Emirates Arena continues to prove its credentials as a major event venue, and will certainly provide the perfect stage for the action.” 
    David Macmillan, Chief Marketing Officer at Aegon UK said: “It’s great that one of the leading events in world tennis is coming to Scotland. The Aegon GB Davis Cup Team will be looking to build on their recent victory over the USA and the home crowd could make all the difference. For tennis fans this looks set to be one of the highlights for the first half of the year and thousands of spectators will get to see the British team in action.” 
    Tickets will go on general sale from Tuesday 25 November. A variety of price points will be offered across all three days including within designated family sections. Hospitality is also available to purchase.  

    The upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group tie between Great Britain and the United States will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. The first round encounter will take place from 6-8 March 2015, with the winners set to face either France or Germany in the quarter-finals. 

    This is Great Britain’s second straight year in the World Group after the team maintained their position within the world’s elite by making the quarter-finals in 2014. Great Britain upset the Americans in San Diego with a 3-1 victory in this year’s first round and will be hoping to replicate that performance on home soil. 

    Leon Smith, Captain of the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team, said: “We’ve had absolutely brilliant experiences of playing in Glasgow during recent ties and the crowd always creates an unbelievable atmosphere. It’s going to be a huge deal with Andy heading back to play in Scotland for the first time since he won Wimbledon last year. It will no doubt be an emotional experience for all of us, just like it was when Andy came back to Glasgow and played against Luxembourg in 2011. You could see how much the crowd were desperate to see him play and we’re delighted to now be in a position to bring a World Group tie to a city that has given us so much support over the years.” 

    World No.6 Andy Murray added: “I’m really excited about coming to Glasgow to play in a World Group tie. It’s going to be a huge week for our team and I’m looking forward to be able to play in front of a home crowd. I did play Davis Cup in Glasgow a few years ago where we received incredible support, but this is a World Group tie so it’s a massive deal and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the win.” 

    The Emirates Arena will see a temporary tennis court built with a 7,100 capacity and the teams will be announced no later than ten days before the start of the tie. The Great Britain versus United States rivalry is the oldest in Davis Cup history, dating back to the very first competition which took place in 1900. The two nations last played each other on British soil in the 1999 World Group first round, and the USA lead the current head to head by 11-8.

    James Ward who enjoyed an unforgettable five sets victory over Sam Querrey in the Great Britain versus USA tie this year said: “It’s great news that we’ve got a World Group tie at home. Our two ties in 2014 have both been away and I know the whole team is really excited to be going back to Glasgow. We’ve always had great support there when we’ve played, and we’re hoping that given this is one of the biggest ties we’ve played in our country in many years, that the crowds will come out in force and support us.” 

    Michael Downey, LTA Chief Executive added: “We have an incredible venue in a city with fantastic sporting pedigree, and a history between the two nations that will ensure this tie will be epic. It’s about time Great Britain got a World Group home tie – this is the first since 2008. The stakes are high and we are all looking forward to getting behind our team to get the job done.” 

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Welcoming the Davis Cup back to Glasgow underlines Scotland’s reputation as a major events destination and adds to our world-class portfolio for 2015, which already includes three World and two European Championships. The Davis Cup is one of the cornerstones of the sport’s annual calendar, and with Great Britain set to go up against the USA fans are guaranteed to see tennis of the very highest quality. The Emirates Arena continues to prove its credentials as a major event venue, and will certainly provide the perfect stage for the action.” 

    David Macmillan, Chief Marketing Officer at Aegon UK said: “It’s great that one of the leading events in world tennis is coming to Scotland. The Aegon GB Davis Cup Team will be looking to build on their recent victory over the USA and the home crowd could make all the difference. For tennis fans this looks set to be one of the highlights for the first half of the year and thousands of spectators will get to see the British team in action.” 

    Tickets will go on general sale from Tuesday 25 November. A variety of price points will be offered across all three days including within designated family sections. Hospitality is also available to purchase.  

     

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    Glasgow School of Art students unveil giant MTV logos

    MTV in collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art, is today unveiling six giant logos that will pop up across the city as part of the build up to the 2014 MTV EMA, which will be broadcast from The SSE Hydro, Glasgow at 9pm on Sunday 9 November 2014.

    Fans can find the six 8ft x 6ft logos in Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch Centre, Princes Square, The Garage Nightclub, Merchant Square and The Lighthouse. Once they’ve found the statue they need to upload a selfie to Instagram with #iwantmyEMAtix for a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets. The more statues they find and upload, the better chance they have of winning. One person will be selected at random and notified after 4pm on Saturday 8 November.

    The logos have been created by six groups of communication design students from The Glasgow School of Art, who were given free reign to make the statues stand out as much as possible. The striking designs range from multi coloured plasticine and neon orange fur to giant raindrops and a fish tank.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “The MTV EMA will showcase Glasgow to a global audience of more than half a billion households – this is one of the world’s greatest music events and it’s the hottest ticket in town.

    “Glasgow School of Art’s reputation as a centre for creative excellence is world renowned and the students’ work unveiled today strongly reinforces those credentials. The statues will really help to build excitement ahead of the show and I’m sure hundreds of music fans will be eagerly hunting for them across the city in the coming days.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and there can be no mistaking that MTV is in town this week, with these spectacular statues contributing to the buzz around the country ahead of the EMA. The show will deliver significant economic impacts for Scotland and this project will further enhance the global reach of the event.

    “Glasgow embodies Scotland’s creative and cultural industries and this fantastic partnership with the Glasgow School of Art will celebrate one of Scotland’s most iconic creative hubs alongside the world’s biggest youth entertainment brand.”

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR 2015 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

    Tickets have gone on sale for The 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews as a new brand identity for the world’s oldest golf championship was unveiled.

    The 144th Open Championship will be played from 12-19 July 2015 over the Old Course and world number one Rory McIlroy will return to St Andrews as defending Champion after his two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler at Royal Liverpool in July.

    The Open will be played at St Andrews for the 29th time and the list of champions at the Home of Golf includes some of the greatest players in the sport’s history such as Bobby Jones, Peter Thomson, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Louis Oosthuizen, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2010.

    Earlier this year, The R&A, which organises The Open, announced an extension to the exemption of five-time Open Champion Tom Watson which will enable him to make his 40th anniversary appearance in The Open at St Andrews next year.

    Ticket prices are being kept the same in 2015 for concessions and accompanied children aged under-16 will continue to enjoy free entry to the Championship.

    After being frozen for this year’s Open, the price of an adult daily ticket will go up by £5 to £70, if purchased before 31 May, and £80 thereafter. If a ticket is purchased before 31 May, the £70 price represents a £10 increase on the 2010 daily ticket price.

    Weekly tickets, valid from Sunday 12 to Sunday 19 July inclusive, are available for £240, a saving of £125 on the daily ticket prices for the full week.

    Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “We are very much looking forward to the return of The Open to St Andrews next year. There is always a special atmosphere at St Andrews and we will be working hard to deliver an outstanding experience for spectators once again. With Rory McIlroy defending the Claret Jug and Tom Watson making what is likely to be his final appearance in The Open, there will be no shortage of drama and emotion for the galleries. It promises to be a fantastic week of world class golf.”

    The release of tickets comes as The R&A unveil a new brand identity for The Open, described as a consolidation of The Open's rich heritage and values and delivers a new look for golf’s oldest championship.

    Designed to capture all the defining attributes of The Open and to communicate the Championship's unique heritage to golf fans the world over, the new brand identity was delivered by two London agencies, teamup and Designwerk, who have created brand identities for some of the world's leading sporting properties.

    A short film celebrating the unique story of The Open has been released to coincide with the launch. The film entitled, The One, The Open, can be viewed at http://bit.ly/theonetheopen

    The enduring symbol of The Open, the Claret Jug, forms the centrepiece of the new logo, locked within the “O” of Open. The logo is the foundation of the new branding and will be presented alongside distinctive graphic elements, reflecting the unique landscape of links golf, and evocative photography.

    Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We know that fans of The Open share a tremendously strong connection with the Championship.  The new branding celebrates the values long associated with The Open, the inspiration provided by great champions, the authentic and unrelenting challenge of links golf and the openness of our unique championship.

    “The Open has enjoyed great success for more than 150 years and strengthening its brand will help to ensure its appeal continues to grow over the decades ahead.  We believe the new branding will reflect an enhanced experience for the millions of golf fans who support The Open.”

    Tickets for The Open go on sale from Tuesday 4 November 2014. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.TheOpen.com

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    Scotland’s Golf Coast launches inaugural ‘Saltire Trophy’

    Scotland’s Golf Coast is delighted to announce the launch of its inaugural ‘Saltire Trophy’.  Open to all amateur golfers, this 72 hole Stableford tournament will be played over four inspiring links courses offering players the opportunity to extend their golf into the Autumn months in one of the finest golfing destinations in the world. Commencing on Monday 24th November, the week starts off with a stiff challenge at Gullane No. 1, home of the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open; followed by a visit to Dunbar Golf Club, an Open Championship Qualifying Course; before tackling Londniddry Golf Club’s mix of links & woodland; and concluding at the exclusive Renaissance Club on Friday the 28th November 2015.

    This exciting event will test competitors on some of East Lothian’s finest courses, along a 30-mile stretch of stunning coastline. East Lothian is known as the sunniest and driest area in Scotland, making it the perfect place for Autumn golf.  With opportunities to stay in East Lothian for the duration of the week, competitors can immerse themselves in Scotland’s Golf Coast, with opportunities to play all of East Lothian’s courses, experience fantastic hospitality and sample the area’s finest locally-sourced food. This is the perfect opportunity to not only compete, but to experience golfing excellence.

    With the chance to play some of the world’s finest links course, all for only £295, we recommend you reserve your place early to avoid disappointment. This includes Wecome Drinks on the first evening and the Prize-Giving Dinner at The Renaissance Club on the final evening.

    Scotland’s Golf Coast - The Saltire Trophy

    24th – 28th November 2014

    www.golfeastlothian.com

    Monday 24th November

    10.30 onwards   Gullane No.1

    Steeped in golfing history, this stunning links is playable all-year round and will host the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The golf course snakes across Gullane Hill from where you can enjoy some of the best views in the world of golf. This course will present one of the best challenges in Scotland for Saltire Trophy competitors.

    19.00   Welcome reception at Duck’s, Aberlady. Enjoy a warm and friendly welcome to Scotland’s Golf Coast. Rest and unwind at the end of the first day of the competition. Refuel with some of the best local food and drink; and relax with ‘bar putting games’ or a fine Cuban cigar.

     Tuesday 25th November

    09.30 onwards  Dunbar Golf Club

    With a proud history stretching back to 1856, Dunbar presents a challenging test for players of all levels. A Classic Scottish Links Course, which hugs the coastline along a narrow strip of land within yards of the waves crashing onto the rocky shore. Stunning scenery and a welcoming Clubhouse will complete a memorable experience on Day two of the competition.

    Wednesday 26th November - Rest Day

    Wednesday is the time for all our golfers to take stock and prepare for the final two days of the competition. There will be no competitive golf, so it is the opportunity to enjoy all East Lothian has to offer, from the fantastic attractions, delicious local food and drink, or one of the 22 must-play golf courses.  Alternatively players can enjoy some of the other events taking place during the Saltire Festival, to celebrate East Lothian as the home of Scotland’s Flag and Scotland’s patron saint St. Andrew. A full list of events can be found at – www.visiteastlothian.org/saltire2014.

    There is also an exclusive opportunity to join the Saltire Trophy TPEGS Coaching Experience at Archerfield Links at the world’s first Nike Performance Fitting Centre for an exclusive coaching experience. Led by Ryder Cup player and Sky Sports analyst Andrew Coltart and European Tour Coach Gary Nicol, the TPEGS Team offer highly entertaining world-class golf experiences. With state of the art coaching and fitting, they use the latest technology to provide the very best in-depth analysis for golfers of all abilities. Please note places are limited so book early to avoid missing out on this fantastic experience. 11am - 1pm. Price - £50 per person. www.tpegs.com

    Thursday 27th November

    09.30 onwards  Longniddry Golf Club

    This Harry S Colt designed course offers a traditional test of golf over its unique combination of links and woodland, many holes having spectacular views to the city centre, beyond to the Forth Bridges and across the Firth of Forth to Fife. 6260 yards may not seem long, but with no par 5’s and eight 400 plus yard par 4’s, this is a stiff challenge, particularly in a west wind.

     Friday 28th November

    09.30 onwards  The Renaissance Club

    The week comes to a close at The Renaissance Club, which will provide both a challenging and memorable final day. Named ‘Best New Course in Great Britain and Ireland’ by Golf Monthly, it is one of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs, and has been lauded by critics and golfing professionals as one of the most exquisite golfing venues in the world. This is the final chance to secure the Saltire Trophy and experience a world-class haven for golfers.

     18.30    Prize-Giving Dinner, The Renaissance Club

    Settle down amongst one of the world’s most exclusive clubhouses, experience a vibrant atmosphere and enjoy some fantastic food and drink, prepared by chefs trained in Michelin-starred restaurants. This wonderful celebration brings the tournament to a close and allows us to present the first ever winner with the Saltire Trophy.

    Scotland’s Golf Coast has a diverse offering of accommodation to offer Saltire Trophy competitors, providing the perfect opportunity to rest, relax and unwind before enjoying another round of golf. It is a dream for visiting golfers, with all accommodation providing easy access to golf courses. Competitors will be spoiled for choice with 5-star luxury hotels, family-run bed and breakfasts, self-catering apartments or even centuries-old stately homes all on offer. No matter where you choose to stay you are guaranteed a very warm welcome and an authentic experience. To find suitable hotels for your trip to the Saltire Trophy, visit – www.golfeastlothian.com/accomodation.

    The Saltire Trophy will be sponsored by local company Royal and Awesome, whose clothing is making a massive impact in the golfing world. Based in Gullane, they are the perfect partner for this event: they are all about fun, but serious about quality. Royal and Awesome clothing is the best way to make an impact for the pars and the bars.

    To enter the Saltire Trophy, click on http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scotlands-golf-coast-saltire-trophy-tickets-13752134003?aff=eorg or for further information, please contact Jonathan Brown on 01620 827178 or email jbrown@eastlothian.gov.uk.

    www.golfeastlothian.com

    Category: National Events

  • 03 November 2014

    Glasgow 2014 medal stars top seeds at the Scottish Open Grand Prix

    ROBERT BLAIR and Imogen Bankier were today named as mixed doubles top seeds as they look to retain their Scottish Open Grand Prix title at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena later this month.

    The Commonwealth bronze medallists, who won the same Scottish Open title in 2007, fill top spot in the seedings ahead of Germany pair Max Schwenger and Carla Nelte and Peter Kaesbauer and Isabel Herttrich.

    Blair, who is the oldest member of the Scotland squad at 33, will be bidding for his fifth mixed doubles title having also won in 2001 and 2002. He also won the men’s doubles in 2007.

    Scotland also fill the top seeding in the women’s singles where Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour is aiming to go one better than last November when she finished runner-up to Spain’s new world champion Carolina Marin.

    Gilmour, who is 21, may have to overcome another Spanish star if she is to lift the singles title as Beatriz Corrales is the No. 2 seed. However, Gilmour defeated her in last year’s semi-finals, having defeated this year’s third seed Linda Zetchiri of Bulgaria in the quarters.

    Gilmour will have to wait till the draw later this week to learn whether Zetchiri is in her half or whether it is fourth seed Karin Schnasse, the German who knocked her out of the Word Championships in August.

    But Gilmour is also seeded in the women’s doubles with Bankier. They are third seeds behind recent Swiss International winners Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria and German pair Nelte and Johanna Goliszewski.

    In the men’s singles Kieran Merrilees again carries Scotland’s hopes but the three-times National champion has missed out on a seeding in a strong entry. Dutchman Eric Pang, who has yet to lift the men’s singles title, is top seed with Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen seeded second after reaching the final last year.

    Germany’s Dieter Domke is third seed while Ville Lang, Finland’s 2006 winner, is fourth seed and India’s Anand Pawar, the 2010 and 2012 winner, is at No.7.

    In the men’s doubles Blair will partner Scottish Under 19 triple champion Adam Hall while Paul Van Rietvelde teams up with England’s Chris Coles. Both pairs are unseeded but Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh are unlucky to miss out on a seeding.

    The top seeds are Baptiste Careme and Ronan Labar and the French pair are aiming to take a second Scottish Open title home to France following the success last year of men’s singles winner Brice Leverdez. Their biggest rivals will be Belgian second seeds Matijs Dierickx and Freek Golinski but Germany will be title challengers with three pairs seeded.

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said today: “We have attracted another strong line-up and it is a credit to our top players that we have managed to achieve two top seedings.

     “What we want now is for Scotland fans to get behind our players like they did at the Commonwealth Games so we can live up to those seedings and reward the fans with two more titles.

    “We are delighted to be showcasing another top-class badminton event at the Emirates Arena but we couldn’t have done it without the strong support of Glasgow City Council, Event Scotland and Yonex.”

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “It is fantastic that Imogen and Robert have been positioned as the mixed doubles top seeds and Kirsty the women’s singles top seed for the upcoming Scottish Open Grand Prix – which once again offers a very strong line-up.

    “After what has been an incredible summer for sport in Glasgow the Grand Prix promises to be one of the next top sporting events for Scotland. The five day competition will be a fantastic opportunity to watch the three Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games medallists, Imogen, Robert and Kirsty, in the very same facility - Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.”

    Tickets are still available for the Scottish Open Grand Prix which stars on Wednesday, November 19 with qualifying in men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and mixed doubles with the men’s singles first round taking place in the evening session. Play continues daily through to the finals on Sunday, November 23 (two finals in the morning and three in the afternoon).

    Go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk and click on Scottish Open Grand Prix to book tickets and view schedules and any other information about the Championships.

     

    THE SEEDINGS FOR THE 2014 SCOTTISH OPEN GRAND PRIX

     

    Men’s Singles

    1      Eric Pang (Ned)
    2      Henri Hurskainen (Swe)
    3      Dieter Domke (Ger)
    4      Ville Lang (Fin)
    5      Andre Kurniawan Tedjono (Ina)
    6      Rasmus Fladberg (Den)
    7      Anand Pawar (Ind)
    8      Joachim Persson (Den)
    9      Emil Holst (Den)
    10    Wang Tzu Wei (Tpe)
    11    Dmytro Zavadsky (Ukr)
    12    Lucas Corvee (Fra)
    13    Petr Koukal (Cze)
    14    Thomas Rouxel (Fra)
    15    Raul Must (Est)
    16    Jan Frohlich (Cze)

     

    Women’s Singles

    1 Kirsty Gilmour (Sco)

    2 Beatriz Corrales (Spa)

     3 Linda Zetchiri (Bul)

     4 Karin Schnasse (Ger)

     5 Kaori Imabeppu (Jpn)

     6 Sashina Vignes Waran (Fra)

     7 Natalia Perminova (Rus)

     8 Anna Thea Madsen (Den)

     

    Men’s Doubles

    1 Ronan Labar & Baptiste Careme (Fra)
    2 Freek Golinski & Matijs Dierickx (Bel)
    3 Max Schwenger & Josche Zurwonne (Ger)
    4 Raphael Beck & Andreas Heinz (Ger)
    5 Adrian Liu & Derrick Ng (Can)
    6 Mathias Christiansen & David Daugard (Den)
    7 Laurent Constantin & Mathieu Lo Ying Ping (Fra)
    8 Mark Lamsfuss & Fabian Holzer (Ger)

     

    Women’s Doubles

    1 Stefani & Gabriela Stoeva (Bul)

    2 Carla Nelte & Johanna Goliszewski (Ger)

    3 Imogen Bankier & Kirsty Gilmour (Sco)

    4 Phyllis Chan & Alex Bruce (Can)

     

    Mixed Doubles

    1 Robert Blair & Imogen Bankier (Sco)

    2 Max Schwenger & Carla Nelte (Ger)

    3 Peter Kaesbauer & Isabel Herttrich (Ger)

    4 Niclas Nohr & Sara Thygesen (Den)

    5 Toby Ng & Alex Bruce (Can)

    6 Jonathan Nordh & Emelie Fabbeke (Swe)

    7 Ronan Labar & Emilie Lefel (Fra)

    8 Gaetan Mittelheisser & Audrey Fontaine (Fra)

    Category: International Events

  • 03 November 2014

    The Brunton is the place to be ... for family Hogmanay!

     

    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun 2014
    The Brunton is the place to be ... for a family Hogmanay
    Following the success of our Hogmanay celebrations in 2012 and 2013 we are delighted to announce Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun 2014.
    On Wednesday 31 December 2014 The Brunton in Musselburgh will host a day packed with fantastic, family-friendly activities to celebrate Hogmanay. 
    There will be lots of fun activities and performances throughout the day from 11am – 5pm and the evening celebrations will begin at 6.30pm as people gather at The Brunton for the Lantern Parade which will set off at 7pm, led by the Edinburgh Samba Band and walk-about characters, leading to Fisherrow Links for a spectacular fireworks display from 7.30 – 8pm. 
    There will also be a number of ticketed events. For more information go to http://www.thebrunton.co.uk/events/start/31-12-2014/end/31-12-2014  
    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun are supported by East Lothian Council and through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 
    Highlights include:
    Family Ceilidh – watch the dance display then join in! Lively daytime fun for all the family with pipers, a ceilidh band and Scottish Country dancers. 
    Lantern making, craft and fact painting – come and make your lantern for the parade! Workshops throughout the day
    Edinburgh Samba School drumming workshops – 1 hour workshops throughout the day. 
    Storytelling and song from Sonsie Music – the much loved Scots counting book A Moose in the Hoose set to music for bassoon, clarinet and – audience!
    Yugen Puppet Company present Little Princess Goldtree – shows at 2pm and 4pm. A wicked stepmother, a beautiful princess and an all-knowing, all-seeing magical trout – just the ingredients needed for a fairy tale!
    Jack and the Beanstalk – The Brunton specialises in producing fun and interactive, traditional panto that is suitable for all the family, from 4 to 104! Every day from 25 Nov – 3 Jan. 
    Councillor Tim Day, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing at East Lothian Council said: “I’m delighted that East Lothian is to be part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals again. With such an exciting line up of events all rounded off with a free parade and fireworks display, there really is something for all the family to enjoy. Musselburgh is an ideal location and easy to access for people coming from East Lothian, Edinburgh and beyond. The perfect way to welcome in 2015!”
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception.
    “Scotland’s winter festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. 
    “So once again we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events, including of course, at what promises to be a fun-packed programme of family events in the Honest Toun.” 
    Our Family Ceilidh and Lantern Making workshops are hugely popular so book early to avoid disappointment.
    For more information and to book visit http://www.thebrunton.co.uk/events/start/31-12-2014/end/31-12-2014 or call The Brunton Box Office on: 0131 665 2240
    There will be free face painting and craft activities running all day available for those with tickets to other events and food will also be available all day at The Bistro and upstairs bar.

    Following the success of their Hogmanay celebrations in 2012 and 2013, East Lothian are delighted to announce Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun 2014.

    On Wednesday 31 December 2014 The Brunton in Musselburgh will host a day packed with fantastic, family-friendly activities to celebrate Hogmanay. 

    There will be lots of fun activities and performances throughout the day from 11am – 5pm and the evening celebrations will begin at 6.30pm as people gather at The Brunton for the Lantern Parade which will set off at 7pm, led by the Edinburgh Samba Band and walk-about characters, leading to Fisherrow Links for a spectacular fireworks display from 7.30 – 8pm. 

    There will also be a number of ticketed events. For more information go to http://www.thebrunton.co.uk/events/start/31-12-2014/end/31-12-2014  

    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun are supported by East Lothian Council and through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 

    Highlights include:

    Family Ceilidh – watch the dance display then join in! Lively daytime fun for all the family with pipers, a ceilidh band and Scottish Country dancers. 

    Lantern making, craft and fact painting – come and make your lantern for the parade! Workshops throughout the day.

    Edinburgh Samba School drumming workshops – 1 hour workshops throughout the day. 

    Storytelling and song from Sonsie Music – the much loved Scots counting book A Moose in the Hoose set to music for bassoon, clarinet and – audience!

    Yugen Puppet Company present Little Princess Goldtree – shows at 2pm and 4pm. A wicked stepmother, a beautiful princess and an all-knowing, all-seeing magical trout – just the ingredients needed for a fairy tale!

    Jack and the Beanstalk – The Brunton specialises in producing fun and interactive, traditional panto that is suitable for all the family, from 4 to 104! Every day from 25 Nov – 3 Jan. 

    Councillor Tim Day, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing at East Lothian Council said: “I’m delighted that East Lothian is to be part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals again. With such an exciting line up of events all rounded off with a free parade and fireworks display, there really is something for all the family to enjoy. Musselburgh is an ideal location and easy to access for people coming from East Lothian, Edinburgh and beyond. The perfect way to welcome in 2015!”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception.

    “Scotland’s winter festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. 

    “So once again we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events, including of course, at what promises to be a fun-packed programme of family events in the Honest Toun.” 

    Our Family Ceilidh and Lantern Making workshops are hugely popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

    For more information and to book visit http://www.thebrunton.co.uk/events/start/31-12-2014/end/31-12-2014 or call The Brunton Box Office on: 0131 665 2240

    There will be free face painting and craft activities running all day available for those with tickets to other events and food will also be available all day at The Bistro and upstairs bar.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 03 November 2014

    FEI European Eventing Championships: ELEGANCE, ADRENALIN, FUN AND LAUGHTER ALL WRAPPED UP IN ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT

    Scotland's sporting hearts will be beating in the Scottish Highlands next September when the FEI European Eventing Championships come to Atholl Estates. The estate’s fairytale Blair Castle, situated between Perth and Inverness, is preparing to welcome Europe's best event riders to Scotland where they will battle for medal glory on its magnificent estate.

    With the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup still fresh in the public imagination, there can be no doubting the Scottish love of top level sport, and three day eventing is the most challenging of all equestrian sports. The riders at Blair Castle next September will be among the best in the world.

    The FEI European Eventing Championships form part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded Gold Event Series, an ambitious programme to bring up to 70 world class sporting events to the UK by 2019. The Championships is also supported by EventScotland, who have a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    Eventing combines the elegance and precision of the dressage with the thrill and excitement of the adrenalin-charged cross country jumping, where horse and rider gallop over imposing fences, up and down the side of Blair's infamous hillside, and where trust, courage and bravery are paramount; and finally the show jumping, where the tiniest rub of a hoof on a rail can dash dreams in an instant.

    Christmas is just around the corner, and tickets to the Blair Castle 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships are a must have for all equestrian and sporting enthusiasts. Truly an opportunity not to be missed.

    The Bruadar Country Fair will provide non-horsey visitors with plenty of entertainment while the shopping village, housing over 200 trade stands, will offer a plethora of goodies including a fabulous food hall full of deliciousness. Then in the evenings the air will be filled with sounds of the Ceilidh and live bands.

    Visitors to this prestigious event will also have the opportunity to experience the enchanting Blair Castle. Dating back to 1269, the castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, the last remaining private army in Europe.  Blair houses countless fascinating historical artefacts detailing 700 years of Scottish history and is the perfect place to start a tour of as-yet-undiscovered parts of the country.

    The Championships run from 10-13 September 2015. Germany is the current European Champion nation but Great Britain is sure to pull out all the stops on home soil to regain the team title that she held through a remarkable eight consecutive championships, from 1995-2009. So come to Blair Castle next September, immerse yourself in this extraordinary country, and watch world class sport in a truly enchanting setting. Tickets are selling fast – don't be the ones to miss out.

    Tickets can be bought or online through the dedicated website, www.blair2015.com

    Category: International Events

  • 30 October 2014

    FULL LINE-UP FOR EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY ANNOUNCED INCLUDES 2014 MERCURY WINNERS YOUNG FATHERS

     

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today announced a top line-up for the greatest New Year party on the planet – the world famous Street Party, the Concert in the Gardens and the Keilidh. Now in its 22nd year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events for the benefit of the City of Edinburgh Council, welcomes revellers from all over the world to the capital city for three days over the Hogmanay period.
    The Waverley Stage at the Street Party sees a strong, all-Scottish line-up this year with a headline performance from Scotland’s festival-favourites Twin Atlantic who have just released their second album, Great Divide. They will be joined by the winners of this year’s Mercury Prize, Edinburgh’s own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers and Indie Rock band The Twilight Sad, who have also just released their new album to critical acclaim.
    Sam McTrusty from Twin Atlantic said “Very excited and honoured to be partying with the people of Edinburgh and the thousands who travel from all over to celebrate another year of survival of mankind on our beautiful planet earth. It will be one hell of a way to bring in the New Year. Music, good people and a lifetime long memorable setting. See you there party people. “
    Alloysious Massaquoi from Young Fathers said “If there's any time to play Edinburgh, then this is the best time - at the climax of the year, when emotions are high... and so are the people.”
    James Graham for The Twilight Sad added “I've been to the Edinburgh Hogmanay party twice before to see my friends’ bands play the street party and I've always had a great time. So to be asked to play this year was amazing. It's been a big year for us, we can't think of a better way to see in the New Year and to play one last time in 2014 in Scotland.’
    Audiences at the Scottish Stage will enjoy performances from Scotland’s chanteuse extraordinaire singer-songwriter Eddi Reader with special guests the internationally touring, Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Breabach and the Scottish piping phenomenon Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson. At the
    ever-popular Keilidh Stage revellers will be birling through the bells to The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Jimi Shandrix Experience.
    Breabach said "After spending Hogmanay 2014 on the other side of the world at the Woodford Folk Festival, Australia, it feels amazing to be taking in 2015 back on home soil. We've always wanted to play a part of Edinburgh's legendary New Year celebrations and we can guarantee that once the double pipes and step dance get going we'll help the night go off with a blast!"
    Joining headliner Lily Allen on the Concert in the Gardens stage will be special guests, 5 x Brit nominated, Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul, who celebrate 25 years of chart topping success this year, and to get the party started internationally acclaimed Björn Again the Australian ABBA show.
    Lily Allen comes to Edinburgh on the back of high profile dates in the USA before embarking on the UK leg of her world tour, which closes with the special Edinburgh’s Hogmanay show. Lily Allen said ‘I’ve always wanted to spend Hogmanay in Scotland so the fact that I get to do it this year but performing onstage in front of a whole load of people up for the best time makes it extra special.”
    Fresh from a summer playing Festivals around the country, including Parklife Weekender, LoveBox and T in the Park, Jazzie B from Soul II Soul commented “Looking forward to celebrating Hogmanay and seeing in 2015 in Edinburgh!”
    With five live stages and countdown fireworks at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay once again offers an exhilarating and eclectic mix of live entertainment which will climax with the singing of the world’s largest Auld Lang Syne and the spectacular Midnight Fireworks from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.
    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festival and Events Champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh is the greatest place on earth to bring in the bells, and this year’s line-up has something for everyone. It is especially great that so many Scottish acts will take to the stage, including Edinburgh’s own Young Fathers. Local residents planning to celebrate New Year on their doorstep can snap up an early bird discount on tickets, but be quick – the discount will only apply until 28 November.”
    Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “Scotland has been central stage this year and we’re going to see it out with the best party on the planet. With a stellar Scottish line-up at the Street Party and the best party line-up at the Concert in the Gardens we’ve had in years.”
    Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are on sale – full details can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. The early bird ticket offer for Edinburgh Residents will close on Friday 28 November. Until then, anyone living in an EH postcode can buy their Street Party ticket for the
    reduced price of £16 plus booking fee. The full programme for all three days of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival will be announced in November.

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today announced a top line-up for the greatest New Year party on the planet – the world famous Street Party, the Concert in the Gardens and the Keilidh. Now in its 22nd year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events for the benefit of the City of Edinburgh Council, welcomes revellers from all over the world to the capital city for three days over the Hogmanay period.

    The Waverley Stage at the Street Party sees a strong, all-Scottish line-up this year with a headline performance from Scotland’s festival-favourites Twin Atlantic who have just released their second album, Great Divide. They will be joined by the winners of this year’s Mercury Prize, Edinburgh’s own alternative hip hop group Young Fathers and Indie Rock band The Twilight Sad, who have also just released their new album to critical acclaim.

    Sam McTrusty from Twin Atlantic said “Very excited and honoured to be partying with the people of Edinburgh and the thousands who travel from all over to celebrate another year of survival of mankind on our beautiful planet earth. It will be one hell of a way to bring in the New Year. Music, good people and a lifetime long memorable setting. See you there party people.

    “Alloysious Massaquoi from Young Fathers said “If there's any time to play Edinburgh, then this is the best time - at the climax of the year, when emotions are high... and so are the people.”

    James Graham for The Twilight Sad added “I've been to the Edinburgh Hogmanay party twice before to see my friends’ bands play the street party and I've always had a great time. So to be asked to play this year was amazing. It's been a big year for us, we can't think of a better way to see in the New Year and to play one last time in 2014 in Scotland.

    ’Audiences at the Scottish Stage will enjoy performances from Scotland’s chanteuse extraordinaire singer-songwriter Eddi Reader with special guests the internationally touring, Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Breabach and the Scottish piping phenomenon Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson. At theever-popular Keilidh Stage revellers will be birling through the bells to The Smashers (featuring members of Rura), Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Jimi Shandrix Experience.

    Breabach said "After spending Hogmanay 2014 on the other side of the world at the Woodford Folk Festival, Australia, it feels amazing to be taking in 2015 back on home soil. We've always wanted to play a part of Edinburgh's legendary New Year celebrations and we can guarantee that once the double pipes and step dance get going we'll help the night go off with a blast!"

    Joining headliner Lily Allen on the Concert in the Gardens stage will be special guests, 5 x Brit nominated, Grammy award winning dance/R&B superstars Soul II Soul, who celebrate 25 years of chart topping success this year, and to get the party started internationally acclaimed Björn Again the Australian ABBA show.

    Lily Allen comes to Edinburgh on the back of high profile dates in the USA before embarking on the UK leg of her world tour, which closes with the special Edinburgh’s Hogmanay show.

    Lily Allen said ‘I’ve always wanted to spend Hogmanay in Scotland so the fact that I get to do it this year but performing onstage in front of a whole load of people up for the best time makes it extra special.”Fresh from a summer playing Festivals around the country, including Parklife Weekender, LoveBox and T in the Park, Jazzie B from Soul II Soul commented “Looking forward to celebrating Hogmanay and seeing in 2015 in Edinburgh!”

    With five live stages and countdown fireworks at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay once again offers an exhilarating and eclectic mix of live entertainment which will climax with the singing of the world’s largest Auld Lang Syne and the spectacular Midnight Fireworks from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festival and Events Champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh is the greatest place on earth to bring in the bells, and this year’s line-up has something for everyone. It is especially great that so many Scottish acts will take to the stage, including Edinburgh’s own Young Fathers. Local residents planning to celebrate New Year on their doorstep can snap up an early bird discount on tickets, but be quick – the discount will only apply until 28 November.

    ”Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “Scotland has been central stage this year and we’re going to see it out with the best party on the planet. With a stellar Scottish line-up at the Street Party and the best party line-up at the Concert in the Gardens we’ve had in years.”

    Tickets for all events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are on sale – full details can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com. The early bird ticket offer for Edinburgh Residents will close on Friday 28 November. Until then, anyone living in an EH postcode can buy their Street Party ticket for thereduced price of £16 plus booking fee. The full programme for all three days of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival will be announced in November.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 30 October 2014

    Ticket details announced for star-studded BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 in Glasgow

    Tickets for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 will go on sale on Friday 31 October at 9am. The star-studded event, now in its 61st year, will take place in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro on Sunday 14 December, following a memorable Commonwealth Games in the city in the summer. This hugely anticipated evening features almost three hours of celebration in the arena, looking back at the incredible year of sport and the athletes who made the events so special.

    2014 has been another fantastic sporting year, with Scotland at the heart of both the outstanding Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, where Europe’s golfers excelled in their win over the USA. Golf was also in the limelight at The Open in Hoylake which kept fans on the edge of their seats. Huge sporting moments came during a spectacular Winter Olympics in Sochi and a brilliant World Cup in Brazil full of stunning goals. The Women’s Rugby World Cup in France saw England win the tournament for the first time in 20 years. There has been a nail-biting battle for the Drivers’ Championship in Formula 1, while Wimbledon once again delivered epic drama and rugby union’s Six Nations was decided on the final weekend in dramatic fashion.

    Hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC One HD.

    Gary Lineker said: “We had such a fantastic time in Glasgow over the summer at the Commonwealth Games and can’t wait to be back to celebrate, not only the Games, but also the many other sporting achievements that have taken place over the year. It’s the perfect way to end what has been an outstanding year in sport and we know that Scotland can certainly host a great celebration.” 

    The event will include seven awards, which will be presented and received by some of the biggest names in sport, both past and present. There will also be live music from internationally renowned acts before and during the live broadcast. These acts will be announced at a later date.

    Tickets are priced at £45, £55 and £60 and will be subject to a 10% service charge with a limit of four per person. Children under 16 (minimum age 10 years) must be accompanied by an adult.

    Tickets can be purchased online at www.thessehydro.com, by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 395 4000 or in person from the main box office in the SECC. The ticket office is open Monday to Saturday 9am–6pm.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Today’s announcement that tickets to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 are about to go on sale shows that the countdown to the city’s hosting of this prestigious awards ceremony is really gathering pace. The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 is a fitting finale to what has been a phenomenal year for Glasgow following the city’s delivery of the best ever Commonwealth Games. Glasgow’s global profile has never been greater and the people of Glasgow have been at the heart of that success.”

    Last year, the coveted trophy was won by Andy Murray following his historic Wimbledon triumph. This year’s winner will join a long list of sporting greats who have claimed the trophy before, including; Bobby Moore, Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Daley Thompson, Dame Mary Peters, Torvill and Dean, Liz McColgan, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Jackie Stewart, David Beckham, Dame Kelly Homes, Andrew Flintoff, Sir Chris Hoy, Jonathan Edwards, Paula Radcliffe, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ian Black, Zara Phillips and the first winner, Sir Christopher Chataway in 1954.

    Full information is available at bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality.

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2014

    Nine Days of Wonder – Headline Acts Revealed for Big Burns Supper 2015

    From The Undertones, Hue and Cry and Skerryvore to the monster devilry of Red Bastard – Big Burns Supper 2015 will be a riot of entertainment wrapped round the Bard’s birthday.

    Next year the festival grows from three days to nine – 23-31 January - and the organisers have just unveiled the first of their headline acts – more announcements will follow.

    Big Burns Supper 2015 – part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government), will also welcome fabulous music from Hue and Cry, The Vaselines and Skerryvore plus comedy from Craig Hill.

    The distinctive Scottish flavour of BBS will be complimented by a strong international line up, extending from music to physical theatre there will be, Living Room with Manu Delago to Red Bastard from the USA.

    Once again the Spiegeltent – a fabulous mirrored tent – will be one of the main venues and among those performing there will be Angela Darcy in Peter Arnott and Corra Bisset’s celebrated show Janis Joplin: Full Tilt.

    Graham Main, Festival Director, said: “We are taking Big Burns Supper to a whole new level in 2015 with nine days of entertainment – 100 shows and around 50 venues – plus a huge Burns Night Carnival through the streets of Dumfries.

    “The headline acts we are announcing today show just how diverse the festival is becoming with music, performance and comedy from celebrated Scottish and international acts.

    “As ever our programme reflects the spirit of Rabbie Burns and his zest for life and for arts and entertainments of just about every kind.”

    Hue and Cry’s Pat Kane said: “No Scottish musician worth their salt, no matter the genre, can be anything other than a huge fan of Robert Burns. He combined huge artistry as a lyricist and poet, with an interest in both love and politics, that would shame the most out-there rock’n’roller.

    “We are humbled and proud to be part of the Big Burns Supper - and with our full band on stage, we’ll be pulling out all the stops in our performance. As the bard himself would say, our gig will be a place 'where wit may sparkle all its rays, uncurst with caution’s fears - and pleasure, basking in the blaze, rejoice for endless years’. And that’ll be BEFORE the encore!”

    Undertones singer Paul McLoone said: "The band  are looking forward to the show at the  Big Burns Supper in January. The festival has become quite a prestigious and admired event on the international arts calendar. The Speigeltent is a magical venue, we'll have to put on an even better show than usual to keep the audience focused on the stage and not the beautiful venue that will surround them.”

    Big Burns Supper is designed to offer audiences a mix of highly regarded and well-known performers with emerging artists and shows created by the Dumfries and Galloway community.

    It also has proven appeal to audiences of all tastes and ages – attracting visitors from across Scotland and increasingly from elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

    Next year Big Burns Supper will celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 and the UNESCO Year of Light through the Burns Night Carnival which is supported by Holywood Trust and Awards for All.

    Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme and is part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

    Category: National Events

  • 28 October 2014

    Celebrate St Andrew's Day in St Andrews - 2014 programme revealed

     

    The ancient town of St Andrews in Fife is gearing up to celebrate the day of Scotland's patron saint with a 4 day weekend of festivities next month.
    The St Andrew’s Day Celebrations, which will run from 27 - 30 November, are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals - a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 
    A new website has been launched with all the information you’ll need for the weekend at www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com 
    Ideal for families, students, and everyone in between, the St Andrews Day Celebrations will be a weekend of unforgettable festivity, all in recognition of Scotland’s cultural history and the people who continue to make it. 
    Highlights of the long weekend will include an open-air ceilidh and the town’s annual Festive Lights Switch-On. Notably the celebrations will encompass the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival.
    New for this year – a St Andrews v the Rest of the World golf match will be played on the famous New Course. 
    Additionally, the celebrations will feature the final few days of ‘Previously…Scotland’s History Festival’, as the festival decamps from Edinburgh to St Andrews for the weekend.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s winter festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 
    “That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant free events and attractions taking place across Scotland from 28-30 November – including, of course, in St Andrews itself, where an excellent four-day programme of events is planned.”
    The climax of the festivities will be the events on St Andrew’s Day itself – an afternoon of free, open-air activities will take place in Andrews’ historic town centre on 30 November. Headline act Eddi Reader and her band will feature – one of Scotland’s best-loved performers, renowned for her emotive and passionate renditions of modern and traditional songs. 
    Supporting acts will include – top folk-rock band Anderson McGinty Webster Fish; the Edinburgh Banghra Crew and Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe and street theatre – paying tribute not just to traditional Scotland but also to contemporary, multicultural Scottish society.
    As darkness falls, the St Andrews Festive Lights will be switched on and the event will transition into a traditional open-air ceilidh – 2000 party-goers, young and old, are expected to join in.
    Several local organisations are helping to plan and deliver this year's celebrations under the coordination of local charities the St Andrews Partnership and The Fellowship of St Andrews.  
    Further events and exact timings will be announced over the coming month – for all the latest details, please visit www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com.

    The ancient town of St Andrews in Fife is gearing up to celebrate the day of Scotland's patron saint with a 4 day weekend of festivities next month.

    The St Andrew’s Day Celebrations, which will run from 27 - 30 November, are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals - a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 

    A new website has been launched with all the information you’ll need for the weekend at www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com 

    Ideal for families, students, and everyone in between, the St Andrews Day Celebrations will be a weekend of unforgettable festivity, all in recognition of Scotland’s cultural history and the people who continue to make it. 

    Highlights of the long weekend will include an open-air ceilidh and the town’s annual Festive Lights Switch-On. Notably the celebrations will encompass the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival.

    New for this year – a St Andrews v the Rest of the World golf match will be played on the famous New Course. 

    Additionally, the celebrations will feature the final few days of ‘Previously…Scotland’s History Festival’, as the festival decamps from Edinburgh to St Andrews for the weekend.

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s winter festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 

    “That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant free events and attractions taking place across Scotland from 28-30 November – including, of course, in St Andrews itself, where an excellent four-day programme of events is planned.”

    The climax of the festivities will be the events on St Andrew’s Day itself – an afternoon of free, open-air activities will take place in Andrews’ historic town centre on 30 November.

    Headline act Eddi Reader and her band will feature – one of Scotland’s best-loved performers, renowned for her emotive and passionate renditions of modern and traditional songs. Supporting acts will include – top folk-rock band Anderson McGinty Webster Fish; the Edinburgh Banghra Crew and Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe and street theatre – paying tribute not just to traditional Scotland but also to contemporary, multicultural Scottish society.

    As darkness falls, the St Andrews Festive Lights will be switched on and the event will transition into a traditional open-air ceilidh – 2000 party-goers, young and old, are expected to join in.

    Several local organisations are helping to plan and deliver this year's celebrations under the coordination of local charities the St Andrews Partnership and The Fellowship of St Andrews.  

    Further events and exact timings will be announced over the coming month – for all the latest details, please visit www.standrewsdaycelebrations.com

    Category: Winter Festivals

  • 24 October 2014

    Scotland’s first ever Caledonian Vampyre Ball set to bite Stirling

    As ‘dark tourism’ grips the country in the run up to Halloween, Stirling is preparing its historic city streets for the biggest paranormal festival in the UK.

    From 30 October – 2 November, hundreds of scare-seeking visitors will descend on the city for the Scottish Paranormal Festival.

    Supported by VisitScotland and the first of its kind, the four day event will bring together experts in everything from ghosts to UFOs; monsters to poltergeists - for talks, films, music, comedy and entertainment.

    One of the highlights of the week will be when 880 fangs come together for Scotland’s first ever Vampyre Ball in the Albert Halls in Stirling. 

    Set to attract over 400 bloodthirsty revelers from across the country, the event on Halloween (31 October), from 8.30pm – 1.00am is strictly for over 18yrs only and will include music, food and special prizes donated by one of the original Ghostbusters - Dan Aykroyd. 

    Festival Director Peter Broughan said:

    “Fearsome fiends that feed on the blood of others are not a new concept in Scotland as traditional Scottish mythology tells of the Baobhan Sith – a beautiful womanly creature who seduced young men to drink their blood. Let’s hope there aren’t too many of them at the ball or there will be no males to dance with!

    “The Scottish Paranormal Festival came from my passion for the unexplained.  Whether it’s pondering the existence of poltergeists or understanding UFOS, we’ve been able to bring an exciting number of experts, writers and investigators from across the world to this event in Stirling and it is set to be an awe-inspiring few days.  The Vampyre Ball of course will be a true highlight and I would ask people to get their tickets now for what will be a “bloody” good night!”

    The Scottish Paranormal Festival will bring together comedy, music, film, talks and entertainment in a special weekend of events in various venues around Stirling. Other highlights include:

    ·         Sex, lies and Poltergeists! - Talk by Geoff Holder (31 October)

    ·         UFOs and the Media. - Talk by James Fox (1 November)

    ·         What if E.T. phones our home? - Discussion by Nick Pope (1 November)

    ·         Native American X Files. - Talk by The Navajo Rangers (2 November)

    ·         ‘Haunting’ – Music and storytelling with Christina Stewart (1 November)

    ·         Stand-up comedy with Ian D. Montfort, the world’s worst medium (2 November)

    ·         Special screenings of The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, Under the Skin, Shadow of a Vampire, Nosferatu and more.

    ‘Dark tourism’ is a phenomenon coined by academic expert and researcher John Lennon from Glasgow Caledonian University.  Defined as ‘tourism involving travel to sites historically associated with death and tragedy’; the main draw to dark locations is their historical value rather than their direct associations with loss and suffering.

    The appetite for dark tourism is strong with visitors flocking to notably ‘spooky’ attractions in Scotland to discover the ‘things that go bump in the night’.  In 2013, domestic visitors who visited historic houses as part of a trip to Scotland generated 563,000 trips, and spent £233m, and those who visited historic castles generated a staggering 1,030,000 trips, and spend of around £423m.

     VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said:

     The Scottish Paranormal Festival is set to be a very mystifying and intriguing few days.  From ghosts to aliens, UFOs to vampires, coming alive through comedy, theatre, talks and music, it will be a chance to discover the fact behind the fiction and see if the truth really is out there! I would urge everyone to make the trip to Stirling to discover not only this amazing festival, but also this historic and magnificent city’s fascinating past.”

    Supported by VisitScotland, the Scottish Paranormal Festival takes place in Stirling from 30 October to 2 November. As part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 partnership programme, the festival is set to draw visitors across Scotland and beyond. The Scottish Paranormal Festival has received funding from VisitScotland’s events directorate, EventScotland. 

    For more information or tickets, visit www.paranormalscotland.com

     

    Category: National Events

  • 23 October 2014

    One Year to Go | World Gymnastics Championships, Glasgow

    Secure your seat at the world's greatest gymnastics event! With 500 gymnasts from over 80 nations and 10 days of competition, the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships are going to be spectacular. Glasgow will welcome nations from across the globe as gymnasts compete for World titles and qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    Category: International Events

  • 21 October 2014

    Casting opportunity for the MTV EMA

    MTV has announced today that it will be launching a search for more than 2,000 of Scotland’s most enthusiastic music fans to be cast as part of the 2014 MTV EMA, which will be broadcast from The SSE Hydro, Glasgow at 9pm on Sunday 9 November 2014.

    From 10:00 – 20:00 on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 November, the MTV EMA team will be at The SSE Hydro and will be looking for fans aged 16+ that love music and want to be on-camera and part of the show!

    To be in with a chance of being selected for this once in a life-time experience – which will involve being part of the glittering MTV EMA Red Carpet, in addition to to having close up views of performances by some of the biggest artists in the world including Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, Charlie XCX, Royal Blood and Kiesza (with many more names to be announced) - contestants simply have to prove to a panel of judges – in 60 seconds – why they should be cast.

    Taking inspiration from the 2014 MTV EMA show theme ‘Time-Machine’, participants (or groups of friends or family up to a maximum of 10), will have lots of scope to be as creative as they like to impress the judges, who will also be looking for positivity, personality and imagination. 

    Joining the MTV EMA casting team on the panel will be Capital Radio DJ Garry Spence.

    To be in with a chance of being selected, entrants must:

    Attend the MTV EMA casting (either on Saturday 1 November or Sunday 2 November from 10:00 –20:00 CET)
    Be over 16 and able to show photo ID (e.g. driver’s licence or passport).
    Be dynamic, confident and effervescent - with a clear love of a wide variety of music
    Be happy to follow clear instructions
    Be happy to be filmed by MTV

    … and that’s not the only way music lovers can experience the 2014 MTV EMA…

    MTV recently made seated off-camera MTV EMA tickets available to purchase via a public ballot organised in conjunction with Ticketmaster – with more seated tickets to be released in the coming weeks.  

    MTV is also soon to announce an additional live music event that will take place simultaneous to the MTV EMA; as well as details of MTV Music Week – a series of music events that will be held in Glasgow during the week of the MTV EMA – the first event will be revealed later this week.

    Official media partners for the “2014 MTV EMA” (including Capital Radio and STV) are hosting exclusive competitions offering hundreds of fans the chance to win free tickets to watch the show from the ‘Hyperspace’ an exclusive standing location inside The SSE Hydro.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 October 2014

    Watch Tiree Wave Classic 2014 Highlights

     

    The pro competition at this years wave classic saw a new and unique knockout format - THE QUICKENING!
    Check out some of the best action we have seen here in many years!
    Tiree Wave Classic 2014 is funded by Argyll &Bute Council and supported by EventScotland the BWA, Puravida Boardriders, Wild Diamond, Tiree Lodge Hotel, Calmac Ferries and the community of Tiree

    The pro competition at this years wave classic saw a new and unique knockout format - THE QUICKENING!

    Check out some of the best action Tiree Wave Classic has seen here in many years.

    Tiree Wave Classic 2014 is funded by Argyll &Bute Council and supported by EventScotland the BWA, Puravida Boardriders, Wild Diamond, Tiree Lodge Hotel, Calmac Ferries and the community of Tiree.

    Watch now >>

     

    Category: International Events

  • 17 October 2014

    Enchanted Forest Surpasses All Box Office Expectations

    Organisers of The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event and Scotland’s multi-award winning sound and light show and recently crowned Scotland’s Best Cultural Event, confirmed today that ticket sales for their thirteenth show have already surpassed last year’s record breaking box office figures and that they are now on target to extend a warm Highland welcome to more than 45,000 visitors this year.

    The event attracted a record breaking 40,000 visitors last year and this year the Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company that organises the event extended capacity, adding on an extra night to help accommodate the growing demand.

     Organisers are now encouraging members of the public, specifically those planning to attend in the final week of the show, that there are only several hundred tickets remaining for this year’s show and they should buy their tickets now or they risk having to wait until 2015 to see the event. 

     Graham Brown, chairman of the Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company which runs The Enchanted Forest, commented:

     “The demand for tickets at box office this year has been unprecedented. Sales are up significantly on the previous year, and the speed at which they have been selling has really taken everyone by surprise. Our box office team have been working day and night to fulfil demand which has been at levels three times higher than we would normally expect. We are fast running out of available tickets so, to avoid disappointment, we’d advise anyone who has left it to the very last minute to book not to take it for granted and to book now.

     “Every year we have a lot of people who travel significant distances to attend the event without purchasing their tickets in advance, and we’re keen to ensure that everyone has a positive trip to Pitlochry and that they get to see the show.”

     The event attracts visitors from all over the UK and, indeed, the world and the positive economic benefit to the local area this year is estimated to exceed £2million for the first time in the show’s history. Just last week, the event won a trio of trophies at the Scottish Event Awards, taking home the title of Best Cultural Event for an impressive third time. It has also been recently shostlisted for a covered Scottish Thistle Award for Best Event and Best Outdoor Experience, although will have to wait until November to find out its fate.

     The 2014 show elemental has been designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan including Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, and specially composed and recorded music, and sound effects by RJ McConnell and Jon Beales. Together they have created a dazzling and engaging show which celebrates the stunning woodland setting of the event and appropriately marks the Year of Homecoming Scotland.

    The event runs until Sunday 26th October. For further information about the Enchanted Forest visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk  

    Category: National Events

  • 16 October 2014

    Stirling announces line up for Hogmanay 2014 Celebrations

     

    Organisers of Stirling’s award-winning Hogmanay celebrations announce the line-up for this year’s event
    Stirling’s Hogmanay – 31 December – will be headlined by iconic band the Waterboys.
    The line-up also features celtic rockers Skerryvore, singer/songwriter JJ Gilmour and his band, and the Dundee band Model Aeroplanes.
    Stirling’s Hogmanay is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
    Scotland boasts a wide variety of Hogmanay celebrations, from large scale events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which attracts over 80,000 international visitors each year, to smaller, regional gatherings such as Stirling’s Hogmanay. 
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception.
    “Scotland’s winter festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. 
    “So once again we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events – including, of course, at the iconic Stirling Castle.” 
    Stirling’s Hogmanay was named ‘Best Large Event’ at the 2013 Scottish Event Awards and was a finalist again in 2014. The event has risen in stature over the past few years, establishing itself as one of Scotland’s ‘must visit’ events.  
    Taking place on Stirling Castle’s Esplanade, revellers get to ring in the New Year in the shadow of the iconic castle with one of the UK’s biggest midnight fireworks displays.  
    Stirling’s Hogmanay will be the Waterboys only UK live date in 2014 and comes just ahead of their new album ‘Modern Blues’, which is being released in January 2015. 
    Tickets are on sale now via the website www.stirlinghogmanay.com and at venues across Stirling.
    The event will be hosted by Steve McKenna formerly of Real Radio and Heart Radio Scotland.  
    Mark Pauley of Zisys Events said: “We have put together a very strong line-up this year which should appeal to the whole family.  We’re really looking forward to a fantastic night of live music, dancing, fireworks and celebration.”
    Headline band the Waterboys were formed 30 years ago by Mike Scott and became famous for their powerful live performances and majestic albums including A Pagan Place and This Is The Sea, which included their biggest hit The Whole Of The Moon.  After the recruitment of Irish fiddle maestro Steve Wickham, the band created their million-selling Fisherman’s Blues album, on which Scott’s original and unusual song-writing was merged with older music – country, trad, blues and gospel – to electrifying effect.  
    Also on the bill is internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter JJ Gilmour who will be appearing with his band.  JJ made his recording debut in 1989 with The Silencers, one of Scotland’s top bands who enjoyed huge success throughout Europe.  After his time with The Silencers came to an end, JJ went on to have a successful solo career launched by his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sunnyside P.A.L.’.
    The award-winning Skerryvore return to Stirling’s Hogmanay on the back of the release of their fifth album ‘Chasing the Sun’.  
    Since then, he has released a further two albums and is working on a fourth.
    Stirling’s Provost Mike Robbins said: “2014 has been a fabulous and unforgettable year which has seen Stirling stage some of the country’s largest events and celebrations.  We look forward to once again welcoming revellers from across the country and beyond to celebrate the New Year in our fair city.”
    Tickets are on sale now priced at £27.50 for an adult and £10 for children (15 years and under) and are available online or at venues across Stirling.
    Stirling’s Hogmanay is also sponsored by restaurant Frankie & Bennies.
    For more information and announcements visit www.stirlinghogmanay.com

    Stirling’s Hogmanay – 31 December – will be headlined by iconic band the Waterboys.

    The line-up also features celtic rockers Skerryvore, singer/songwriter JJ Gilmour and his band, and the Dundee band Model Aeroplanes.

    Stirling’s Hogmanay is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.Scotland boasts a wide variety of Hogmanay celebrations, from large scale events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which attracts over 80,000 international visitors each year, to smaller, regional gatherings such as Stirling’s Hogmanay. 

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception.

    “Scotland’s winter festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. 

    “So once again we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events – including, of course, at the iconic Stirling Castle.” 

    Stirling’s Hogmanay was named ‘Best Large Event’ at the 2013 Scottish Event Awards and was a finalist again in 2014. The event has risen in stature over the past few years, establishing itself as one of Scotland’s ‘must visit’ events.  

    Taking place on Stirling Castle’s Esplanade, revellers get to ring in the New Year in the shadow of the iconic castle with one of the UK’s biggest midnight fireworks displays.  

    Stirling’s Hogmanay will be the Waterboys' only UK live date in 2014 and comes just ahead of their new album ‘Modern Blues’, which is being released in January 2015. 

    Tickets are on sale now via the website www.stirlinghogmanay.com and at venues across Stirling.

    The event will be hosted by Steve McKenna formerly of Real Radio and Heart Radio Scotland.  

    Mark Pauley of Zisys Events said: “We have put together a very strong line-up this year which should appeal to the whole family.  We’re really looking forward to a fantastic night of live music, dancing, fireworks and celebration.”

    Headline band the Waterboys were formed 30 years ago by Mike Scott and became famous for their powerful live performances and majestic albums including A Pagan Place and This Is The Sea, which included their biggest hit The Whole Of The Moon. After the recruitment of Irish fiddle maestro Steve Wickham, the band created their million-selling Fisherman’s Blues album, on which Scott’s original and unusual song-writing was merged with older music – country, trad, blues and gospel – to electrifying effect. Also on the bill is internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter JJ Gilmour who will be appearing with his band.  JJ made his recording debut in 1989 with The Silencers, one of Scotland’s top bands who enjoyed huge success throughout Europe.  After his time with The Silencers came to an end, JJ went on to have a successful solo career launched by his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sunnyside P.A.L.’.

    The award-winning Skerryvore return to Stirling’s Hogmanay on the back of the release of their fifth album ‘Chasing the Sun’. Since then, he has released a further two albums and is working on a fourth.Stirling’s Provost Mike Robbins said: “2014 has been a fabulous and unforgettable year which has seen Stirling stage some of the country’s largest events and celebrations.  We look forward to once again welcoming revellers from across the country and beyond to celebrate the New Year in our fair city.”

    Tickets are on sale now priced at £27.50 for an adult and £10 for children (15 years and under) and are available online or at venues across Stirling.

    Stirling’s Hogmanay is also sponsored by restaurant Frankie & Bennies.For more information and announcements visit www.stirlinghogmanay.com

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 15 October 2014

    Expert Access Officer to present at the International mountain biking conference

    Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) today confirmed Falkirk Councils Outdoor Access Team Leader Angus Duncan, will present at the international mountain biking conference being held in the Borders in November. Angus will present on their innovative approach on using mountain biking to increase health & well-being.

    Falkirk Council have been leading a strategic and partnership approach to development of off-road biking involving community engagement, developing the schools provision and working with private estates over the last 10 years.

    Angus Duncan explains the approach “It is an exciting time for off-road and mountain biking in the Falkirk area. We recognised in 2004 that cycling and mountain biking were growing activities that achieved many of the aims which we have as a local authority such as improving health and well-being, achieving sporting success, providing diversionary activities and generating income to the local community through tourism. We felt a strategic approach, combined with community engagement, was the best way to maximise the impact of biking.”

    “We are delighted that we can now offer a great entry-level trail centre, provided by Callendar Estate, which is developing its offering to include a café and bike shop and has very recently been successful in securing funding through Active Places Legacy fund for a new skills area and pump track. This centre doesn’t sit in isolation though and is linked into our extensive access network which means you can ride from trail centre to the Falkirk Wheel and to the Kelpies all off-road. Combine this with our community led projects at Larbert High and, hopefully, Kinneill Woods near Boness, we have a great joined up vision for off-road and mountain biking.”

    Graeme McLean, project manager of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), the organisers of the conference, explains that the role of Local Authorities is vital to developing the activity “Local Authorities across Scotland play a vital role in increasing participation, developing sporting stars and developing and promoting tourism across Scotland. It will be great to hear this example of good practice from Falkirk Council and delegates will learn from his presentation and with the benefit of international speakers, such as Chris Foggin from New Zealand, it is a great opportunity for other Local Authorities to continue to improve their mountain biking offering.”

    The conference will take place from 11 – 13 November at Peebles Hydro 

    For more information on Angus Duncan and the conference visit www.DMBinS.com/developing/conference

    Category: Industry News

  • 13 October 2014

    Cultural Hat Trick for The Enchanted Forest

    The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, was crowned Best Cultural Event in Scotland at the Scottish Event Awards in Glasgow – a title it has now claimed three times in the last four years.

    Beating off stiff competition on the night from the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, the event stormed to the top of the category for a third time, with judges citing its positive impact on the local community as a key factor in its continued success. Later in the evening it also collected a Commendation for Best Large Event and its marketing agency, Volpa, claimed the Award for Best Marketing Strategy.

     Record breaking visitor numbers have continued to fuel the success of The Enchanted Forest which is now firmly recognised as a major driver of tourism for Scotland. The event’s international profile has catapulted the Victorian town of Pitlochry onto an international stage and press coverage around the globe attracts visitors from around the world to the sound and light spectacle which humbly has its roots firmly planted in the nearby forest of Faskally Wood.

    Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest commented:

    “We can’t even begin to say how delighted we are to have won this Award for the third time. The Enchanted Forest goes from strength to strength we continually push the creative boundaries of the event. It’s always a challenge to take it to the next level and awards like this are recognition that you really have succeeded.”

    The 2014 show, elemental, is currently running and ticket sales are already up by around 41% on the previous year, suggesting that organisers are looking at yet another record breaking year.

    For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 13 October 2014

    BRITISH ROCK LEGEND TO RECEIVE THE GLOBAL ICON AWARD AT THE MTV EMA ON 9 NOVEMBER

    MTV is to honour the musical legacy of British rock legend Ozzy Osbourne at the 2014 MTV EMA, one of the biggest global music events of the year that celebrates the hottest artists from around the world. The veteran hard rock singer-songwriter and pop culture phenomenon will receive the Global Icon Award at the 2014 MTV EMA which will broadcast live to MTV channels around the world from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday, 9 November at 9:00pm. Osbourne revealed the news to fans today via his Facebook page.

    Ozzy Osbourne is a multi-platinum recording artist, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a three-time Grammy® winning singer and songwriter, who has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide. Osbourne's career has spanned more than four decades (as both a successful solo artist and as the lead singer of Black Sabbath) and his music is as relevant today as ever, still being heard daily on TV, in movies, on radio and at stadium sports events. This week saw the release of Osbourne’s Memoirs of a Madman. The two collections highlight Ozzy’s career: the Memoirs of a Madman CD includes all 17 of his greatest hits compiled in one place for the first time; the two-disc DVD set is a definitive visual collection which includes classic music videos, along with unreleased and out-of-print live performances, plus interviews from his solo career. Osbourne won legions of new fans when he and his family participated in legendary MTV reality series, The Osbournes (2002-5).

    “Ozzy’s impact on music and pop culture has been tremendous. For over four decades (and counting!) he’s entertained, influenced, inspired and sometimes shocked legions of die-hard fans around the globe. We’re thrilled and honoured to announce that this year’s MTV Global Icon will be Ozzy Osbourne!” – Bruce Gillmer, Executive Vice President of Talent and Music Programming / Events, Viacom International Media Networks.

    Former recipients of the MTV Global Icon Award include Eminem (2013), Whitney Houston (2012), Queen (2011) and Bon Jovi (2010).

    Global hip hop superstar Nicki Minaj is set to host the 2014 MTV EMA.

    Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Nicki Minaj have been previously confirmed to perform at the 2014 MTV EMA.

    • Fans can vote now for their favourite artists across all 2014 MTV EMA categories at mtvema.com. Voting will close on 8 November 2014 at 11:59pm CEST.

    Category: International Events

  • 13 October 2014

    Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Events Strategic Fund - open for applications

    The Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Events Strategic Fund is open for applications between October 1 – November 14.

    This Fund is for the eligible major events of Dumfries and Galloway that take place between April 1 2015 and March 31 2016. The eligibility criteria is listed on Major Festivals and Events Strategy Executive Summary, which can be found here. 

    To request an application form for this Fund, please email EFU@dumgal.gov.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 09 October 2014

    Scottish Paranormal Festival - A scarily good way to enjoy Halloween

     

    A scarily good way to enjoy Halloween – we’ll be expecting you!
    Though Scotland boasts many venues that are reputedly haunted, take a trip to Stirling this Halloween and you might just increase your chances of getting in touch with those from the other side ….. or indeed other worlds!
    From the evening of 30 October to 2 November, Stirling plays hosts to the first ever Scottish Paranormal Festival taking place in various venues across the city and there are some frighteningly good sessions included in the programme. Ghosts, ghouls, aliens, UFOS - all these and much, much more await you as part of three spine-tingling days of investigation and interrogation into the unknown. And with tickets to most events priced at just £5, it’s also horrendously good value! 
    The event kicks off on Thursday evening with an audience with ‘Most Haunted’ presenter Gordon Smith who has been acclaimed as one of the UK’s most accurate mediums. 
    On Hallowe’en itself you can hear such fascinating speakers as real-life ghost buster Stephen Mera who has been contracted by councils, businesses and even the police to investigate paranormal occurrences, and Hayley Stevens who gives an entertaining guide to ghost hunting as a sceptic. As darkness falls, the most ghostly night of the year  is rounded off by the Caledonian Vampire Ball where you’re invited to dress as a vampire, a witch a ghost ……. whatever you like, and enjoy the  some paranormal rock, a demonic DJ and even ……. ceilidh dancing!
    On Saturday 1 November Dave Hodrien discusses the links between UFO and the pop and rock music industry – how the subject is addressed within song lyrics and even musicians who claim to have had actual experiences themselves. Nick Pope who previously headed up the British government’s  UFO project talks about what would happen if ET really phones  our home. James Fox, a real life Fox Mulder  whose latest film was described by director Steven Spielberg as ‘compelling’, talks about UFOs and the media, while Christina Stewart, together with her ensemble of singers, musicians and storytellers presents ‘Haunting’ – an evening of spirits, second sight, stories and song in Gaelic, Scots and English. 
    Sunday 2 November sees Navajo rangers Lt Jon Dover and Sgt Stanley Milford Jr give a fascinating insight into cases they’ve investigated against the iconic backdrop of the Native American territories in the south-western United States, Malcolm Robinson recounts fascinating tales of UFO sightings in Scotland and comedians Ian D Montfort and Paul Gannon present a hilarious double bill of paranormal stand up laughs.  
     A fascinating film festival offers horror film fans to enjoy frights galore at the city’s macrobert centre and other venues throughout the city. Films being screened include Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining featuring a stunning performance from Jack Nicolson and the first UK showing of a new Polish film based on Scots writer James Hogg’s celebrated novel ‘The Private Memoirs & Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. Most intriguing of all is a unique chance to see 1922 black and white horror classic Nosferatu (an unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula) regarded as a cinematic masterpiece. with live musical accompaniment, narration and sound effects from David Allison.
    Youngsters also have the chance to experience Hallowe’en fun as Tapsalteerie Theatre come to Cowane’s Hospital for some spooky storytelling, dressing up, singing dancing and howling. They might meet the witches from Tam O’Shanter or investigate that howling noise in the woods! The film festival has some spooky kids’ favourites too, including Disney’s Frankenweenie from director Tim Burton. 
    Other events include a UFO skywatch, ghost hunters workshops and vigils, ghost walks and the chance to go behind the scenes at the museum after hours in the company of the grumpy night watchman!
    Tickets and further information are available now at http://www.paranormalscotland.com
    Book now to make sure you don’t miss out on this ‘out of this world’ weekend!
    PICTURED: Scene from Roman Polanski’s ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ (1967)

    Though Scotland boasts many venues that are reputedly haunted, take a trip to Stirling this Halloween and you might just increase your chances of getting in touch with those from the other side ….. or indeed other worlds!

    From the evening of 30 October to 2 November, Stirling plays hosts to the first ever Scottish Paranormal Festival taking place in various venues across the city and there are some frighteningly good sessions included in the programme. Ghosts, ghouls, aliens, UFOS - all these and much, much more await you as part of three spine-tingling days of investigation and interrogation into the unknown. And with tickets to most events priced at just £5, it’s also horrendously good value! The event kicks off on Thursday evening with an audience with ‘Most Haunted’ presenter Gordon Smith who has been acclaimed as one of the UK’s most accurate mediums. 

    On Hallowe’en itself you can hear such fascinating speakers as real-life ghost buster Stephen Mera who has been contracted by councils, businesses and even the police to investigate paranormal occurrences, and Hayley Stevens who gives an entertaining guide to ghost hunting as a sceptic. As darkness falls, the most ghostly night of the year  is rounded off by the Caledonian Vampire Ball where you’re invited to dress as a vampire, a witch a ghost ……. whatever you like, and enjoy the  some paranormal rock, a demonic DJ and even ……. ceilidh dancing!

    On Saturday 1 November Dave Hodrien discusses the links between UFO and the pop and rock music industry – how the subject is addressed within song lyrics and even musicians who claim to have had actual experiences themselves. Nick Pope who previously headed up the British government’s  UFO project talks about what would happen if ET really phones  our home. James Fox, a real life Fox Mulder  whose latest film was described by director Steven Spielberg as ‘compelling’, talks about UFOs and the media, while Christina Stewart, together with her ensemble of singers, musicians and storytellers presents ‘Haunting’ – an evening of spirits, second sight, stories and song in Gaelic, Scots and English. 

    Sunday 2 November sees Navajo rangers Lt Jon Dover and Sgt Stanley Milford Jr give a fascinating insight into cases they’ve investigated against the iconic backdrop of the Native American territories in the south-western United States, Malcolm Robinson recounts fascinating tales of UFO sightings in Scotland and comedians Ian D Montfort and Paul Gannon present a hilarious double bill of paranormal stand up laughs.  A fascinating film festival offers horror film fans to enjoy frights galore at the city’s macrobert centre and other venues throughout the city. Films being screened include Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining featuring a stunning performance from Jack Nicolson and the first UK showing of a new Polish film based on Scots writer James Hogg’s celebrated novel ‘The Private Memoirs & Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. Most intriguing of all is a unique chance to see 1922 black and white horror classic Nosferatu (an unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula) regarded as a cinematic masterpiece. with live musical accompaniment, narration and sound effects from David Allison.Youngsters also have the chance to experience Hallowe’en fun as Tapsalteerie Theatre come to Cowane’s Hospital for some spooky storytelling, dressing up, singing dancing and howling. They might meet the witches from Tam O’Shanter or investigate that howling noise in the woods! The film festival has some spooky kids’ favourites too, including Disney’s Frankenweenie from director Tim Burton. 

    Other events include a UFO skywatch, ghost hunters workshops and vigils, ghost walks and the chance to go behind the scenes at the museum after hours in the company of the grumpy night watchman!

    Tickets and further information are available now at http://www.paranormalscotland.com

    Book now to make sure you don’t miss out on this ‘out of this world’ weekend!

     PICTURED: Scene from Roman Polanski’s ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ (1967)

    Category: National Events

  • 08 October 2014

    MTV EMA SEATED TICKETS TO GO ON SALE VIA PUBLIC BALLOT

     

    Glasgow/London– Wednesday 8 October 2014: Hot on the heels of the news that hip-hop superstar Nicki Minaj will host the MTV EMA and Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande are to perform (with many more names to be announced), MTV has revealed how fans can be part of the highly anticipated show, which will be broadcast at 9pm (UK) on Sunday 9 November from the SSE Hydro, Glasgow. 
    The network will be making seated tickets available to purchase via a public ballot (created in conjunction with Ticketmaster) that went live from 1200 UK today, Wednesday 8 October until 1200 UK, Monday 13 October 2014. 
    o Fans should register via the ballot which can be found at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/MTVEMA?c
    o The ballot will be live for 5 days, at which point the system will randomly select from those that applied. Those selected will be sent an email on Friday 17 October with a link to Ticketmaster and a personal password to purchase tickets to the MTV EMA.  
    o A maximum of 4 tickets can be bought by any one person and tickets will be priced as follows:
    Seated, off-camera, unrestricted view of the show: £65
    Seated, off-camera, restricted view of the show: £40
    Ticketholders under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
    o MTV EMA seated tickets are only available from Ticketmaster, and only via the MTV EMA public ballot.
    o The network urges fans not buy tickets from illegal sources as they will not be valid for the 2014 MTV EMA.  
      
    In addition, thousands more standing tickets will be made available for fans via a public casting for enthusiastic music lovers to be in on-camera positions as part of the show itself.   The 2014 MTV EMA Casting will take place on 1 & 2 November in Glasgow with full details to be revealed in the coming weeks.   
    Competitions to win standing tickets to watch the live show from an exclusive area at the MTV EMA – the ‘Hyperspace’ - are also running across a variety of media outlets locally and internationally. 
    Commented EVP, Music/Talent Programming & Events and Executive Producer of the MTV EMA, Bruce Gillmer:  “We really appreciate our warm welcome from the people of Glasgow and we want as many local fans as possible to be part of our flagship international event.    The incredible energy of Glasgow ‘s music fans will be a key driver for the MTV EMA… we want the artists and fans around the world to truly FEEL IT!”

    Hot on the heels of the news that hip-hop superstar Nicki Minaj will host the MTV EMA and Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande are to perform (with many more names to be announced), MTV has revealed how fans can be part of the highly anticipated show, which will be broadcast at 9pm (UK) on Sunday 9 November from the SSE Hydro, Glasgow.

     The network will be making seated tickets available to purchase via a public ballot (created in conjunction with Ticketmaster) that went live from 1200 UK today, Wednesday 8 October until 1200 UK, Monday 13 October 2014. 

    Fans should register via the ballot which can be found here.The ballot will be live for 5 days, at which point the system will randomly select from those that applied. Those selected will be sent an email on Friday 17 October with a link to Ticketmaster and a personal password to purchase tickets to the MTV EMA.

     A maximum of 4 tickets can be bought by any one person and tickets will be priced as follows:

    Seated, off-camera, unrestricted view of the show: £65

    Seated, off-camera, restricted view of the show: £40

    Ticketholders under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

     MTV EMA seated tickets are only available from Ticketmaster, and only via the MTV EMA public ballot.

     The network urges fans not buy tickets from illegal sources as they will not be valid for the 2014 MTV EMA. 

     In addition, thousands more standing tickets will be made available for fans via a public casting for enthusiastic music lovers to be in on-camera positions as part of the show itself.   The 2014 MTV EMA Casting will take place on 1 & 2 November in Glasgow with full details to be revealed in the coming weeks.   

     Competitions to win standing tickets to watch the live show from an exclusive area at the MTV EMA – the ‘Hyperspace’ - are also running across a variety of media outlets locally and internationally.

    Category: International Events

  • 08 October 2014

    World Solo 24 Hour MTB Championships 2014

     

    Scotland, the perfect stage!  This year has been a standout year for sporting events in Scotland, which has included the Commonwealth Games, the UCI World Cup DH (also at Nevis Range), the Ryder Cup just 2 weeks ago and now WEMBO, when the eyes of the mountain bike world will focus on the Outdoor Capital of the UK once again.  We are very happy to have been on the same programme as these events thanks to Homecoming Scotland 2014.  Homecoming Scotland 2014 offers a year-long programme of events celebrating the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our fantastic active and natural resources as well as our creativity, culture and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation.
    There will be 170 competitors from 22 countries competing to be the 2014 World Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Champion. The event, which will be based at Scotland’s home of mountain biking, Nevis Range, is the third World Championship event hosted by WEMBO (World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation). 

    Scotland, the perfect stage!  This year has been a standout year for sporting events in Scotland, which has included the Commonwealth Games, the UCI World Cup DH (also at Nevis Range), the Ryder Cup just 2 weeks ago and now WEMBO, when the eyes of the mountain bike world will focus on the Outdoor Capital of the UK once again.  We are very happy to have been on the same programme as these events thanks to Homecoming Scotland 2014.  Homecoming Scotland 2014 offers a year-long programme of events celebrating the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our fantastic active and natural resources as well as our creativity, culture and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation.

    There will be 170 competitors from 22 countries competing to be the 2014 World Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Champion. The event, which will be based at Scotland’s home of mountain biking, Nevis Range, is the third World Championship event hosted by WEMBO (World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation). 

    The race starts at midday on Saturday the 11th of October.  Frazer Coupland from No Fuss said “ This is an amazing opportunity, a World Championship on our doorstep, with no admission fee for spectators. We are hoping that locals and mountain bike enthusiasts from across Scotland and the UK will come along and support these riders as they compete for the crown in what can only be described as one of the toughest endurance events in the world.”

    Watch a teaser trailer here.

    Category: Industry News

  • 07 October 2014

    MTV Celebrates the 20 Greatest Moments in MTV EMA History!

    In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the MTV EMA, MTV is giving fans the chance to pick the greatest moment in the 20-year history of the MTV EMA, one of the biggest global music events of the year that celebrates the hottest artists from around the world. Last night MTV revealed the 20 best moments in an on air special, MTV’s Top 20 Greatest EMA Moments, which aired across its network of international channels. Now fans are being asked to choose their favourite moment at top20.mtvema.com, with the greatest MTV EMA moment of all time to be revealed in a countdown special, Your Top 20 Greatest EMA Moments, to air on Thursday, 6 November at 7pm on MTV.

    The Top 20 Greatest EMA Moments feature antics and performances from the biggest names in music, 

    • Visit top20.mtvema.com to pick your favourite MTV EMA moment of all time!
    • including:
      Beyoncé
      Katy Perry
      Lady Gaga
      U2
      Kanye West
      Taylor Swift
      Robbie Williams
      Madonna
      Miley Cyrus
      Justin Bieber
      Amy Winehouse
      Snoop Dogg
      The Spice Girls
      … and more.
      including:
    • Beyoncé
    • Katy Perry
    • Lady Gaga
    • U2
    • Kanye West
    • Taylor Swift
    • Robbie Williams
    • Madonna
    • Miley Cyrus
    • Justin Bieber
    • Amy Winehouse
    • Snoop Dogg
    • The Spice Girls… 
    • and more.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Badminton Scottish Open Early Bird Tickets

     

    JUST two months after an incredible Commonwealth Games, BADMINTONscotland are all geared up to stage another glittering event at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
    The Scottish Open Grand Prix, a leading event on the Badminton World Federation’s Grand Prix circuit, is back at the Emirates Arena - and YOU can be there to see Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier defend their mixed doubles title and Kirsty Gilmour try to go one better than last year’s runners-up spot in the women’s singles.
    All Scotland’s Commonwealth Games stars are expected to enter the third oldest Open tournament in world badminton from November 19-23 and it promises to be too good to miss as players from all over the world will converge on the city for six days of top-class competition.

    JUST two months after an incredible Commonwealth Games, BADMINTONscotland are all geared up to stage another glittering event at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.  It's time to take advantage of the early bird ticket offer which will end on 19 October.

    The Scottish Open Grand Prix, a leading event on the Badminton World Federation’s Grand Prix circuit, is back at the Emirates Arena - and YOU can be there to see Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier defend their mixed doubles title and Kirsty Gilmour try to go one better than last year’s runners-up spot in the women’s singles.

    All Scotland’s Commonwealth Games stars are expected to enter the third oldest Open tournament in world badminton from November 19-23 and it promises to be too good to miss as players from all over the world will converge on the city for six days of top-class competition.

    Read more here.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Scotland Amongst "Global Elite" Event Destinations

    2014 has seen a “step-change” in Scotland’s capacity, capability and credibility within the major events industry following the hugely successful delivery of The 2014 Ryder Cup, according to VisitScotland’s events directorate EventScotland. 

    With 250,000 spectators and a broadcast reach of over half a billion homes, The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest events in world sport, and has provided Scotland with yet another opportunity to demonstrate its credentials. Veteran of nine Ryder Cups, American Butch Harmon described Gleneagles as the “best organised” event he’d ever been to on Sky Sports – a fantastic endorsement for Scotland.

    Scotland has welcomed the world this year with a portfolio of major events that includes the Commonwealth Games, MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) and the IAAF Diamond League. These events are all secured for Scotland, in direct competition with major countries and cities around the world, and through hosting they generate a significant economic impact for the country through event tourism. 

    The last European Ryder Cup in Wales in 2010 generated over £82million and it is thought that the 2014 match could reach £100million in the event-week alone. When MTV roll into Glasgow in November, the EMA is expected to deliver around £10million for the Scottish economy, as well as showcase the country to the world through a global network of channels. 

    A 2008 showed the value of the Scottish events industry to be £1.5billion, but following six years of strong growth in major events, the current value is thought to be considerably more.

    Business events and conferences also continue to drive significant economic benefit with visitor spend nearly twice that of leisure tourists. Business tourism is already worth £878million per annum – 20% of visitor spend - and is on course to become a £1billion industry in its own right. 

    Momentum is growing, with Scotland set to host three World and two European Championships next year, alongside the first ever presentation of the Turner Prize and the return of both The Open Championship and the Women’s British Open.

    The World Gymnastics Championships, taking place at the SSE Hydro in October, was secured against stiff competition from Orlando and Paris. Scotland has also recently been named by UEFA as a host for four matches during EURO 2020, which followed the week after Tollcross in Glasgow was chosen as the venue for the 2018 European Swimming Championships.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “There has been a step-change in how we are perceived around the world in terms of major events and we are now most certainly amongst the global elite. Over the past decade our reputation has grown rapidly and we have shown that we are now in a select group of established major event destinations, with international federations and property owners seeing the benefit in bringing their events to Scotland.

    “What is important is that we are now renowned for our experience and expertise in event delivery; which is complimented by our fantastic built and natural environments, our rich culture and heritage, and our people. Bidding for events is a highly competitive process, but we have developed an innovative structure and approach to major events, which has proven to be very successful. Our model has been replicated around the world, which is a clear sign of what we have achieved.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “Major events play a key role in Scotland’s tourism offering and our world-leading approach has put us at the forefront of this global industry. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are in the enviable position of having some truly world-renowned properties, which are supported by major one-off events and Championships.

    “The impact on wider industries is significant, and it truly puts tourism at the heart of the Scottish economy. 2014 has seen us host some of the biggest events in the world, and we are using the year as a launchpad into 2015, where we will welcome even more major events to Scotland.” 

  • 06 October 2014

    Golden Glasgow Success for Sally Conway as Japan tops Glasgow European Open Medal Table

    Japan won three gold medals as they beat Great Britain to top spot in the medal table at the 2014 Glasgow European Open for Women.

    Over 2000 judo fans flocked to the Emirates Arena in Scotland’s second city to see some of Europe’s best female athletes battle for the title of Glasgow European Open Champion.

    The arena played host to 78 competitors from 16 different nations and the strongest showings came from Japan with three gold, one silver and three bronze medals and Great Britain two gold medals and two bronze.

    But there was to be no repeat of the success enjoyed by the home nation’s Commonwealth champions on their first competitive return to the city since July’s Games, with none reaching the final in their respective weight categories.

    Determined to make up for her disappointment at SECC in July, it was home fighter Sally Conway who led the way for the home crowd taking gold in the -70kg category. Conway had reached the final in typically strong fashion holding Japan’s Huruka Yasumatsu after earlier taking a narrow win on shidos over Alena Eiglova of Czech Republic. The final saw her up against Jenifer Pitzanti and she comfortably beat her Italian opponent, throwing for waza-ari and picking up yuko on the ground to seal the win. 19 year-old British athlete Ebony Drysdale-Daley took fifth place as she picked up hansoku-make against Japanese athlete Haruka Yasumatsu in the bronze medal contest. Also in the category, Commonwealth Games Champion Megan Fletcher fell to a first round defeat to Yasumatsu whilst Germany’s multiple IJF world tour medallist Iljana Marzock could only take bronze, beating Lucie Perrot of France with a waza-ari and yuko in her medal contest.

    After her contest Conway said: "In the final I had the same opponent that I had in the World Championships. The last time that we met I was only on the mat for 15/20 seconds, so obviously I wanted to put in a good performance today.

    “I’m delighted with this medal. It is great to be back in Glasgow performing. I heard my dad in the audience today and with everyone cheering your name and it is a really nice feeling to overcome the nerves I may have felt in the past.

    “I'm off to Brazil on Wednesday for an 11 day training camp and then I fly out to Abu Dhabi for the Grand Slam."

    Gemma Howell continued her good form on her return from injury with the gold medal in the -63kg category. After taking bronze at the recent Grand Prix event in Croatia, she first dispatched Nozomi Hirai of Japan before beating fellow GB athlete Jodie Mullen by ippon to reach the final. There she faced Sweden’s Emma Barkeling with only a single shido separated the pair after four minutes, giving Howell the gold. Amy Livesey and Mullen of GB both lost out in the bronze medal contest after being held by Hirai and thrown for waza-ari by Nadya Bazynski respectively.

    Commenting on her gold, Howell said: "It has been really nice to win in front of a home crowd. I am back from injury and I hope to keep the momentum.

    “With the Europeans in 2015 being here it’s good to see what the venue is like.

    “I would like to thank everyone for putting up with me while I've been injured and it is great to be back!"

    Scotland’s Connie Ramsay won bronze at-57kg with a golden score shido win over Italy’s Anna Righetti. Megumi Ishikawi took gold after going a yuko up against Johanna Mueller then throwing her for ippon. Nekoda Davis could only get seventh as she lost by waza-ari to former world bronze medallist Sanne Verhagen of the Netherlands who went on to take bronze.

    Sarah Adlington also of Scotland had to settle for bronze in the +78kg category. A semi-final defeat by a yuko to eventual silver medallist Rebecca Ramanich put paid to her hopes of gold but a win by waza-ari against Italian athlete Elisa Marchio gave her the bronze medal. In the final, Ramanich was thrown for ippon by Carolin Weiss of German. Fellow GB star Jodie Myers could only take fifth place as she was held down for ippon in the bronze medal contest by Nodoka Shiraishi from Japan.

    Commonwealth champion Natalie Powell lost to Japanese opposition in the shape of eventual Gold medallist Shori Hamada in the -78kg category. The Welsh athlete recovered to take a narrow shido win over Germany’s Julia Tillmanns before losing on shidos to former Olympic Silver medallist Kirsten Theille, also of Germany, in the bronze medal contest for fifth. The final saw Hamada throw Geraldine Mentouopou of France then held her down for ippon to take gold. The other bronze medal went to another German athlete, Marie Branser with a shido win over France’s Marjorie Ulrich.

    London 2012 Olympian Kelly Edwards had to settle for fifth at -52kg. She eliminated Ireland’s Lisa Kearney in the repechage with a waza-ari throw separating the pair and then went on to lose by hansoku-make against German athlete Maria Ertl in the bronze medal contest. The final saw Lucile Duport of France defeat Japanese rival Miki Watanabe, scoring an ippon whilst already a waza-ari up. The other bronze medal went to French athlete Delphine Delsalle in a close fought contest.

    At -48kg it was gold for Japan as Miri Toda beat Melanie Clemant of France scoring a waza-ari throw followed by two Yukos. Bronze medals both went to France with Scarlet Gabrielli and Aurore Climence taking ippon wins.

    Commenting on the event, British Judo Chairman Kerrith Brown said: “It has been a fantastic day of judo action and another showcase of top level judo for the Scottish public, off the back of a hugely successful Commonwealth Games.

    “I’d like to thank everybody from the EJU family, referees, officials, volunteers, staff and fans, along with our partners EventScotland and Glasgow Life for making the event such a success.

    “Next time we step into the arena for judo competition it will be the opening day of the 2015 European Championships and I for one cannot wait!”

    The next judo action taking place in the arena will be the 2015 European Judo Championships for Seniors and Teams on 9-12 April 2015. More information and tickets are available from www.eurojudo2015.com

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Nominations open for Robert Burns Humanitarian Awards 2015

     

    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA)  – one of the most globally respected humanitarian accolades – is again open for nominations for 2015.
     
    Supported by South Ayrshire Council and EventScotland, through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – the RBHA is bestowed annually on a group or individual who has shown selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others through the protection and promotion of human rights and work to deliver social reform.
     
    Named in honour of Scotland’s son Robert Burns, this much sought after humanitarian award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration, often in desperate situations, and help change lives for the better.
     
    Nominations to find the person (or group) that emulates Scotland’s national Bard through the desire, dedication and will to make a difference and effect social change, can be made up to 4pm on  Friday 7 November 2014.
     
    Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.
     
    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2015 judging panel, said: “We’re looking for a person, or a group of people, who follow in Rabbie’s footsteps and devote themselves to others and push the boundaries for social change. 
     
    “Humanitarians come in all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the earth, and find themselves dealing with many different and difficult situations. But they all have something in common – the desire, dedication and will to make a difference.
     
    “Each former recipient of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award has demonstrated compassion for humankind, strength of character, fortitude and a sheer determination to improve life – whether it is ending poverty, caring for the victims of war zones, or developing environmental and land management projects.”
     
    Nominees must demonstrate – either through a particular achievement or a series of efforts – one of more of the following: 
     
    A courageous deed involving personal self-sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty in the name of humanity. 
    A commitment to serving others and making a difference through humanitarian acts of selfless service. 
    A generosity of spirit and dedication helping improve the quality of life for people in need through the provision of shelter, food, clothing, education or meaningful employment. 
    Direct ‘hands-on’ participation in humanitarian works that directly benefit an individual/groups of individuals/community. 
    Outstanding involvement and dedication that makes a significant contribution to volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and society as a whole. 
    An act of kindness done without expectation of reward that has resulted in recognition by members of a community/organisation. 
     
    The 2014 winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award was Blanche Nicholson, from the charity Hansel, for her efforts to continue the work that her parents started 50 years ago, offering services and support to people living with learning disabilities.
     
    Councillor McIntosh continued: “We all know – or have heard of – someone who continually puts themselves out for the benefit of others, who has dedicated their work to changing life for the better, or bringing an end to suffering.
     
    “We want to champion those individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty, helping those who cannot help themselves in every corner of the globe, exemplifying tolerance, friendship and humanity.
     
    “I’m certain Burns would be delighted his name was synonymous with the promotion of human rights and social reform – areas he was also deeply concerned with.”
     
    The RBHA is part of the popular Alloway 1759 Festival,www.alloway1759.com, a unique commemoration of the birthplace and life of Robert Burns: 
     
    Nominees can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender. Nominations can be made online at www.robertburnsaward.com until 4pm on  Friday 7 November 2014.
     
    The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway in January 2015, which will coincide with the 256th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.
     
     
    Previous winners of the RBHA include:
     
    2013: Khalil Dale MBE: British Red Cross aid worker who was abducted and killed in Pakistan in 2012. 
     
    2012: Karen Spencer: A Scottish nurse working within the Oil Clinic in Tripoli, Libya who cared for patients – with little regard for her own personal safety – during the Libyan civil war conflict.
     
    2011: Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors; 
     

    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA)  – one of the most globally respected humanitarian accolades – is again open for nominations for 2015. 

    Supported by South Ayrshire Council and EventScotland, through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – the RBHA is bestowed annually on a group or individual who has shown selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others through the protection and promotion of human rights and work to deliver social reform. 

    Named in honour of Scotland’s son Robert Burns, this much sought after humanitarian award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration, often in desperate situations, and help change lives for the better. 

    Nominations to find the person (or group) that emulates Scotland’s national Bard through the desire, dedication and will to make a difference and effect social change, can be made up to 4pm on  Friday 7 November 2014. Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland. 

    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2015 judging panel, said: “We’re looking for a person, or a group of people, who follow in Rabbie’s footsteps and devote themselves to others and push the boundaries for social change.  

    “Humanitarians come in all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the earth, and find themselves dealing with many different and difficult situations. But they all have something in common – the desire, dedication and will to make a difference. 

    “Each former recipient of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award has demonstrated compassion for humankind, strength of character, fortitude and a sheer determination to improve life – whether it is ending poverty, caring for the victims of war zones, or developing environmental and land management projects.” 

    Nominees must demonstrate – either through a particular achievement or a series of efforts – one of more of the following:

      • A courageous deed involving personal self-sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty in the name of humanity.

     • A commitment to serving others and making a difference through humanitarian acts of selfless service.

     • A generosity of spirit and dedication helping improve the quality of life for people in need through the provision of shelter, food, clothing, education or meaningful employment.

     • Direct ‘hands-on’ participation in humanitarian works that directly benefit an individual/groups of individuals/community.

     • Outstanding involvement and dedication that makes a significant contribution to volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and society as a whole.

     • An act of kindness done without expectation of reward that has resulted in recognition by members of a community/organisation.  

    The 2014 winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award was Blanche Nicholson, from the charity Hansel, for her efforts to continue the work that her parents started 50 years ago, offering services and support to people living with learning disabilities. 

    Councillor McIntosh continued: “We all know – or have heard of – someone who continually puts themselves out for the benefit of others, who has dedicated their work to changing life for the better, or bringing an end to suffering. 

    “We want to champion those individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty, helping those who cannot help themselves in every corner of the globe, exemplifying tolerance, friendship and humanity. 

    “I’m certain Burns would be delighted his name was synonymous with the promotion of human rights and social reform – areas he was also deeply concerned with.” 

    The RBHA is part of the popular Alloway 1759 Festival www.alloway1759.com, a unique commemoration of the birthplace and life of Robert Burns:  Nominees can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender.

    Nominations can be made online at www.robertburnsaward.com until 4pm on  Friday 7 November 2014. 

    The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway in January 2015, which will coincide with the 256th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.  

    Previous winners of the RBHA include: 

    2013: Khalil Dale MBE: British Red Cross aid worker who was abducted and killed in Pakistan in 2012.  

    2012: Karen Spencer: A Scottish nurse working within the Oil Clinic in Tripoli, Libya who cared for patients – with little regard for her own personal safety – during the Libyan civil war conflict. 

    2011: Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors.  

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 02 October 2014

    Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran to Rock MTV EMA

    MTV has revealed today that best-selling UK male artist Ed Sheeran and pop superstar Ariana Grande are to perform at the 2014 MTV EMA, one of the biggest global music events of the year that celebrates the hottest artists from around the world. Sheeran was first to break the news this morning in a Facebook video to fans saying, “I’m going to be performing this year at the EMAs in Glasgow! I hear there’s another female artist performing… She’s got a few ‘problems’ and hangs out with rappers that might be a bit ‘fancy’…” Grande then confirmed her participation on Facebook. The 2014 MTV EMA will broadcast live from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday, 9 November at 9:00pm.

    “I’ve never been successful enough in Europe to be part of it, and finally I am, so… yay!  Make sure you tune in on November 9th, it’s going to be pretty spectacular, and it’s in Glasgow… GLASGOW!” – Ed Sheeran

    “I’m so thrilled to be performing at the MTV EMA in Glasgow this year! I had such a blast hosting the EMA digital backstage show last year, so I’m definitely looking forward to being part of the party on stage this year. And of course, I can’t wait to see Nicki Minaj kill it on stage as host!” Ariana Grande

    Since dominating the 2014 MTV VMA stage last month, Ariana Grande has been nominated in six MTV EMA categories, including Best Song, Best Pop, Best Female, Best New, Best Push and Biggest Fans.

    Ed Sheeran has been nominated for Best Male and Best UK & Ireland Act. 

    The 2014 MTV EMA sponsored by essence, Europe's No.1 cosmetics brand** and Someone Like Me, a global sex education campaign partnership between Durex and MTV Staying Alive Foundation, will air across MTV’s global network of more than 60 channels reaching nearly 700 million households around the world as well as through syndication. In addition, its convergent programming and content will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV’s more than 200 digital media properties around the world. The 2014 MTV EMA will broadcast on Sunday, November 9th at 9:00pm from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

    The MTV EMA – one of the biggest global music events of the year – recognises artists from around the world and across genres, and brings together music fans everywhere for a one-of-a-kind experience in the weeks leading up to and at the show. Bruce Gillmer and Richard Godfrey are Executive Producers for the 2014 MTV EMA. The 2014 MTV EMA marks the first time that the show will be held in Glasgow, Scotland and has received support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Follow @MTVEMA and check #MTVEMA on Twitter and find us on Instagram or Facebook

    Category: International Events

  • 02 October 2014

    Elemental Enchanted Forest Exceeds Expectations

    The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event and Scotland’s premier sound and light show, launched last night in an array of dazzling colours to a select audience of press and VIPs at Forestry Commission Scotland’s Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.

    The thirteenth event in the series is on course to smash all previous box office records, with organisers predicting that 45,000 visitors will flock to the Highland Perthshire town of Pitlochry this year to see the event.

     The 2014 show elemental has been designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan including Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, and specially composed and recorded music, and sound effects by RJ McConnell and Jon Beales. Together they have created a dazzling and engaging show which celebrates the stunning woodland setting of the event and appropriately marks the Year of Homecoming Scotland.

    Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest 2014, commented:

    “We have worked especially hard this year to ensure we deliver a show that is both creative and visually stunning. Every year the remarkable natural woodland of Faskally Wood provides our canvas and inspiration and we really hope our audience members enjoy their visit this year.

    “Thanks to funding from EventScotland we have been able to develop the show to include live performers whose acrobatics, we anticipate, will both wow and delight the crowds. This has been an especially fun show to work on as we combine lighting effects, with musical composition with the movement of live performance. I can’t wait to see the audience reaction.”

    Pete Wishart, Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire, formally opened the show on Wednesday night, commenting:

    “This is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s finest cultural events which just continues to go from strength to strength. Last year it attracted over 40,000 visitors to Highland Perthshire. It is an essential boost to the local economy, as well as an ambassador for the natural beauty of Scotland right across the globe. It’s an absolute must-see event for both Scots and visitors to Scotland.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:

    “We are delighted to support The Enchanted Forest once again during the Year of Homecoming 2014.  The Enchanted Forest is a stunning celebration of Scotland’s artistic and natural assets and by adding this element of live performance to one of the country’s most loved Autumn events will undoubtedly show that Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

    The event runs from Friday 3rd October – Sunday 26th October. Although a special performance is also being promoted for Thursday 2nd October, with all proceeds from that night’s sales being split equally between two charities: CHAS and Scottish Autism.

    For further information about the Enchanted Forest and to book tickets, visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 30 September 2014

    Funding to support festive events through Scotland's Winter Festivals announced

     

    The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop has announced on Friday an award of £315,000 to be granted to events across Scotland as part of the 2014/15 Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme. 
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals events run across St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night in a celebration of Scottish culture and creativity, spread across the country.
    The funding will be awarded to 16 events in total, comprising seven St Andrew’s Day events, five regional Hogmanay events and four Burns celebrations.
    Across the country, these events will welcome locals and tourists to celebrate with them this winter – from the Highlands to Dumfries and Galloway.
    St Andrew’s Day will kick-start this winter’s festive season with major city centre events in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as regional celebrations in East Lothian, Oban, St Andrews and Perth.  Storytelling, music and traditional Scottish food and drink, at festivities across the country, this St Andrew’s Day has something for everyone to enjoy.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland’s Winter Festivals comprise a dynamic events programme, spanning the significant national dates of St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night.
    “The Scottish Government is delighted to deliver this funding which enables EventScotland to showcase the best of Scottish music, arts, food and drink, innovation and entertainment to a wide audience.
    “We are a country renowned for our warm hospitality and in 2013 alone, almost 15 million overnight stays were spent in Scotland. St Andrew's Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night offer great opportunities for visitors and residents alike to celebrate our rich culture and distinctive heritage here, while our special dates are also marked around the world.”

    The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop has announced on Friday an award of £315,000 to be granted to events across Scotland as part of the 2014/15 Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme. 

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals events run across St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night in a celebration of Scottish culture and creativity, spread across the country.

    The funding will be awarded to 16 events in total, comprising seven St Andrew’s Day events, five regional Hogmanay events and four Burns celebrations.Across the country, these events will welcome locals and tourists to celebrate with them this winter – from the Highlands to Dumfries and Galloway. St Andrew’s Day will kick-start this winter’s festive season with major city centre events in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as regional celebrations in East Lothian, Oban, St Andrews and Perth.  

    Storytelling, music and traditional Scottish food and drink, at festivities across the country, this St Andrew’s Day has something for everyone to enjoy.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland’s Winter Festivals comprise a dynamic events programme, spanning the significant national dates of St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night.
    “The Scottish Government is delighted to deliver this funding which enables EventScotland to showcase the best of Scottish music, arts, food and drink, innovation and entertainment to a wide audience.
    “We are a country renowned for our warm hospitality and in 2013 alone, almost 15 million overnight stays were spent in Scotland. St Andrew's Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night offer great opportunities for visitors and residents alike to celebrate our rich culture and distinctive heritage here, while our special dates are also marked around the world.”

    EventScotland will be supporting the following events through funding received from the Scottish Government: 

    Oban Winter Festival, 21 - 30 November 2014 

    Ballet, markets, reindeer, music and fairgrounds! With a new focus around St Andrew’s Day, Oban will celebrate with a ‘Tartan Day’ in town. New for 2014, Haggisfest will feature seven butchers and haggis makers from across Argyll going head to head – try haggis hurling and join the Tartan Dash! The festival will also feature a Scottish food and craft market in the old distillery. 

     

    The Saltire, East Lothian, 26 – 30 November 2014 

    East Lothian presents a 6 day festival of exciting events celebrating its place as Home of the Flag. Events will include; ‘Feast ‘n’ Folk’, great music and the best of Scottish food and drink in some of the area’s top bars and restaurants; concerts from leading Scottish artists, a foodies paradise at Haddington Farmers’ Market; a special themed race day at Musselburgh Racecourse and The Saltire concert with performances of traditional and modern music and literature.

     

    St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrews, 28 – 30 November 2014 

    Where better to celebrate Scotland's patron saint than in the town that bears his name? This year historic St Andrews will be hosting three days of events including music, dance, book readings, fine food and drink, lectures and much more. The celebrations will culminate on St Andrew's Day itself with a street concert featuring top Scottish and international artists, followed by an open-air ceilidh for all the family. This year’s event will be produced in association with Previously…Scotland's History Festival and the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival.

     

    Scottish Storytelling Centre St Andrew’s Day Celebration and Burnsfest, Edinburgh, 29 November 2014 – 26 January 2015 

    St Andrew’s Day events will include; an enchanting event celebrating Orcadian writer George Mackay Brown in music, song and poetry, ranging over Nordic myths to sagas of the Northmen; Mrs Mash telling the story of Scottish food; and a celebration of the life and music of Belle Stewart. The popular Burnsfest programme features family sessions with fun, new takes on Burns stories, poems and songs.

     

    St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in Perth, 30 November 2014 

    Traditional celebrations in Perth city centre will celebrate our patron Saint; showcasing Perth as a creative city by featuring traditional music, crafts and entertainment over the weekend alongside fabulous local, Scottish produce. 

     

    Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2014

    Dance a jig on St Andrew’s Day as part of Glasgow city centre’s spectacular evening celebrations featuring music, dance and a dazzling lighting display.  

     

    St Andrew’s Day in Edinburgh, 30 November 2014 

    Part of Edinburgh’s Christmas, St Andrew’s Day celebrations in Edinburgh will fittingly take place in St Andrew’s Square. Ceilidh dancing, magical storytelling, curling and skating demonstrations along with live music from a selection of Scotland’s finest musical talents will provide a full day of exciting activities for all the family.

     

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, 30 December 2014 – 1 January 2015 

    The world’s only New Year Festival returns offering a unique programme of events over three days; from the Torchlight Procession led by the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings to the very best in traditional Scottish music at The Keilidh on the Mound Precinct and a concert from Lily Allen at the Concert in the Gardens – just some of the events on offer in Scotland’s capital. New Year’s Day features even more to do including a journey through Edinburgh’s Old Town in the magical world of SCOT:LANDS, presenting the best in music, art and theatre.

     

    Stirling’s Hogmanay, 31 December 2014 

    One of Scotland’s biggest Hogmanay events, Stirling’s Hogmanay features the best of Scottish music and a spectacular fireworks display at Stirling Castle to welcome in the New Year.

     

    Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness, 31 December 2014 

    Join The Red Hot Chilli Pipers; award winning traditional and contemporary band Manran, and the Julie Fowlis Band and host Craig Hill to welcome in the New Year in the Highland capital this year. The family-friendly outdoor concert on the banks of the River Ness is preceded by The Wee Hot Highland Fling Family Festival earlier in the day for the younger members of the family!

     

    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, 31 December 2014 

    Hogmanay in the Honest Toun is the place to be for family Hogmanay, offering an exciting programme of family focused activities including storytelling, a Samba drumming workshop, traditional dancing and lantern making, leading up to a celebratory lantern parade and fireworks display in the early evening.

     

    Ceilidh Festival, An Lanntair, Stornoway, 31 December 2014 – 2 January 2015 

    An Lanntair’s Hogmanay Festival will once again feature a special event celebrating and showcasing local artists, featuring a family ceilidh with popular Scottish band Manran. Throughout December, An Lanntair will also be undertaking a series of ceilidh dance workshops in the communities of Lewis and Harris to support the main event.  

     

    Big Burns Supper,  23 – 31 January 2015 

    A contemporary Burns Night celebration, this unique festival – extended to take place over nine days this year – features multi-disciplinary and grass roots theatre, comedy and arts projects throughout Dumfries as well as interactive and children’s events. The Burns Night Carnival will return to Dumfries in 2015, working with groups to create lanterns that will light up the streets in this dazzling community parade.

     

    Burns Unbound, National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride, 24 – 25 January 2015 

    Release your inner bard at the National Museum of Rural Life. Everyone is welcome to join this celebration and exploration of all things Burns with music, dancing, food, storytelling and mice! A packed programme for all the family.

     

    Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, 24 January 2015

    This prestigious award - presented annually to an individual or group who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society through personal self-sacrifice, volunteer work or other acts – is handed out at a ceremony to celebrate the top three nominees. Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas, a sum signifying the year of the Bard’s birth.

     

    Haggis Beasts and Tatties, Eden Court, Inverness 25 January 2015 

    Eden Court CREATIVE present a Burns’ Night extravaganza ‘Haggis, Beasts and Tatties!’. The Haggis Hoedown, led by scores of dancing haggis and a pipe band, will take place in Falcon Square followed by the procession to Eden Court Theatre for a building full of bite-size performances inspired by the Beasts of Burns’ poetry. The night will close with the Tattie Band at Eden Court’s Grand Burns’ Ceilidh!

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 30 September 2014

    Major Events Go From Strength to Strength in Dumfries and Galloway as £200,000 of Funding is Announced By The Council

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is to make available more than £200,000 of funding for major festivals and events in the region in 2015.

    The funding forms part of the regional Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017, which aims to promote Dumfries and Galloway to international audiences via superb signature events such as Wigtown Book Festival, the Wickerman, Spring Fling, the Big Burns Supper and many more.

    Events organisations have until 14 November to submit their application to the Major Events Strategic Fund managed by the Council.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “I am really pleased to confirm that the Council has ring-fenced £200,000 of funding for the Strategic Fund for 2015. We have a unique Events Strategy in Dumfries and Galloway, which is worth its weight in gold for supporting the development of major events in our part of the World. In the  Strategy’s first year we have seen Spring Fling record a massive 42% increase in its economic impacts, the Wigtown Book Festival launch a superb Festival Programme and developed new partnerships with the Merrick Stages and Galloway Hills Rallies.

    We have funded the Absolute Classics Festival and worked with VisitScotland to attract new visitors to the region via a marketing campaign with the Wickerman. We also expect great things in the next three years from Big Burns Supper, our Beacon Event for growth in this period, and next March’s Women’s World Championship Ice Hockey championship in Dumfries.”

    The Council works in partnership with VisitScotland, EventScotland, the Chambers of Commerce, the Holywood Trust and Third Sector First to deliver the Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017, which is the only Strategy of its kind in Scotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and our national industry continues to go from strength to strength. This significant investment from Dumfries and Galloway Council will ensure the region continues to see the economic and tourism benefits from its superb portfolio of events. As a directorate of VisitScotland, we are proud to work in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway and we look forward to 2015 and continued success for the area.”

    The Council has also been buoyed by the success of the World Curling Federation’s World Curling Championships held in Dumfries in April 2014, when more than thirty nations participated and sent competing teams, and will announce the results of the economic impacts that arose from the event shortly.

    Events organisations that wish to apply to the Major Events Strategic Fund should email EFU@dumgal.gov.uk for an application form or call 01387 273894.

    Category: Industry News

  • 30 September 2014

    Nicki Minaj to host MTV EMA

    MTV has today unveiled hip hop superstar Nicki Minaj as the host of the 2014 MTV EMA. Just two weeks before she releases her highly anticipated third studio album The PinkPrint, Minaj will be hosting the world’s annual music awards show that celebrates the year’s hottest artists from around the globe. Announced to fans via Twitter, the Anaconda singer confirmed she is “so excited”, saying “I will not only perform, but I have the honorable task of HOSTING this year's #MTVEMA!!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! ” The 2014 MTV EMA will broadcast live from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday, 9th November at 9:00pm.

    Nicki Minaj will also perform at the 2014 MTV EMA, bringing her signature style and a no holds barred performance to the 20th anniversary MTV EMA.

    Minaj has been nominated in four MTV EMA categories, including Best Female, Best Hip Hop, Biggest Fans and Best Look.

    Voting in all categories for the 2014 MTV EMA is now open at mtvema.com and will close on 8 November 2014 at 11:59pm CET.

    The 2014 MTV EMA sponsored by essence and Someone Like Me, a global sex education campaign partnership between Durex and MTV Staying Alive Foundation, will air across MTV’s global network of more than 60 channels reaching nearly 700 million households around the world as well as through syndication. In addition, its convergent programming and content will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV’s more than 200 digital media properties around the world. The 2014 MTV EMA will broadcast on Sunday, 9th November at 9:00PM from the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

    The MTV EMA – MTV’s global celebration of the hottest stars in music – recognizes artists from around the world and across genres, and brings together music fans everywhere for a one-of-a-kind experience in the weeks leading up to and at the show. Bruce Gillmer and Richard Godfrey are Executive Producers for the 2014 MTV EMA. The 2014 MTV EMA marks the first time that the show will be held in Glasgow, Scotland and has received support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Follow @MTVEMA and check #MTVEMA on Twitter and find us on Instagram or Facebook. For MTV EMA news, updates and press materials please visit press.mtvema.com or follow us @VIMN_PR

    Category: International Events

  • 26 September 2014

    Don't miss - industry seminar at Hampden Park 8 October - working with volunteers and the Glasgow 2014 Volunteer Data Transfer

    Our next industry seminar will be held at Hampden Park, Glasgow on 8 October, the confirmed host venue for Euro 2020 and scene of the Glasgow 2012 Athletics competition. 

    In association with Volunteer Scotland, the seminar will focus on the implications of the Data Transfer Initiative, and how the events industry can better engage with the skilled volunteer workforce from Glasgow 2012 who have opted to become part of this database.

    During the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014 was responsible for recruiting and training Games volutneers including the Games-time volunteers known as Clyde-siders.

    Over 90% of volunteers, around 43,000 people, opted-in to have their data transferred to Volunteer Scotland as part of the Volunteer Data Transfer initiative. Volunteer Scotland is now the holder of this invaluable database of volunteers skilled in major events and contactable for future event volunteering opportunities.

    Speakers include Neil Campion, General Manager of Volunteer Recruitment at Glasgow 2014, George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland and Mark Stewart, Senior Events Manager at EventScotland, manager of the Euro 2020 bid who has worked closely with Volunteer Scotland over a number of years.

    There will be the opportunity for questions and discussion through a group session. To encourage joint working between Volunteer Scotland and event organisers delegates are being encouraged to bring their ideas to the table and discuss their experiences of working with volunteers. 

    Took book up to 2 free places for your organisation please go here >>>

    Category: Industry News

  • 25 September 2014

    Nominations open today for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2014

    Nominations open today for 2014 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

    Awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson, nominations are made to the BBC and by sports governing bodies via the Youth Sport Trust. A panel will decide a winner from the shortlisted nominees.

    The winner of the Young Sports Personality of the Year award will be announced during this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which will come live from the SSE Hydro, Glasgow on Sunday 14 December.

    Nominees have to be 17 and under on the 1 January 2014. For full terms and conditions and to nominate a young sportsperson go to bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality. Nominations close on Monday 3 November 2014.

    Previous winners include Tom Daley, Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney, Eleanor Simmonds and Lauren Taylor. Last year’s winner was shooter Amber Hill who at 16 became the youngest winner of a senior World Cup in skeet shooting.

    New for 2014, BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year has joined forces with Blue Peter to offer one young viewer the chance to join the panel – working with some of our leading sports stars to decide this year’s shortlist. The lucky viewer will be selected from those who have applied for a Blue Peter Sport Badge. Applications for a Sport Badge are still open via www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/articles/blue-peter-sport-badge-2014. The panel for this year’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year will be announced at a later date.

    Phil Chamberlain, Director of Policy and Communications at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “Every year we see a wealth of hugely talented young sportsmen and women in the mix for BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year and I’m sure this year will be no different.

    It’s always so inspiring to hear about the amazing achievements of our future UK stars, so awarding one athlete with this prestigious accolade will be no easy feat.”

    Nomination forms and full terms & conditions are available at bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality

    Category: International Events

  • 22 September 2014

    Forthcoming GENERATION Events

     

    GENERATION – 25 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN SCOTLAND 
    Over the summer months GENERATION has seen thousands of visitors explore the work of more than 100 of Scotland’s most celebrated contemporary visual artists at more than 60 venues across the nation.  
    In the year in which Scotland has taken centre stage with the Year of Homecoming and hosts two of the sporting world’s most significant events, GENERATION has showcased Scotland’s position as global leader in the field of contemporary visual art. Here are just some of the exhibitions to be enjoyed in the coming weeks:  
    Douglas Gordon at Caithness Horizons, Thurso (until 11 October)
    Urban/Suburban at City Art Centre, Edinburgh (until 19 October)
    Scotland + Venice, Duncan Campbell, Common Guild, Glasgow (20 September to 25 October)
    Refractory and Refrigeration, John Shankie, Park Gallery, Falkirk (until 26 October)
    The Singing of Swans, Kenny Hunter, Paxton House, Berwick upon Tweed (until 31 October)
    Stare, Moyna Flannigan at GoMA, Glasgow (until 2 November)
    Black Sea, White Sea, Louise Hopkins, Lithlithgow Burgh Halls (until 2 November)
    Work of various artists including Stephen Campbell, Martin Boyce and Christine Borland at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (until 2 November)
    Photo on ES.org homepage

    Over the summer months GENERATION has seen thousands of visitors explore the work of more than 100 of Scotland’s most celebrated contemporary visual artists at more than 60 venues across the nation.  In the year in which Scotland has taken centre stage with the Year of Homecoming and hosts two of the sporting world’s most significant events, GENERATION has showcased Scotland’s position as global leader in the field of contemporary visual art. Here are just some of the exhibitions to be enjoyed in the coming weeks:  

    Douglas Gordon at Caithness Horizons, Thurso (until 11 October)

    Urban/Suburban at City Art Centre, Edinburgh (until 19 October)

    Scotland + Venice, Duncan Campbell, Common Guild, Glasgow (20 September to 25 October)

    Refractory and Refrigeration, John Shankie, Park Gallery, Falkirk (until 26 October)

    The Singing of Swans, Kenny Hunter, Paxton House, Berwick upon Tweed (until 31 October)

    Stare, Moyna Flannigan at GoMA, Glasgow (until 2 November)

    Black Sea, White Sea, Louise Hopkins, Lithlithgow Burgh Halls (until 2 November)

    Work of various artists including Stephen Campbell, Martin Boyce and Christine Borland at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (until 2 November)

    Photo on homepage L’Homme Double (1997), Christine Borland © The Artist

    Category: National Events

  • 22 September 2014

    Golden girl Myers secures European title

    Jodie Myers secured a gold medal for Great Britain at the Junior European Judo Championships in Bucharest writes Aaron Fowler.


     The Commonwealth Games silver medallist was in fine form defeating Milica Sabic of Serbia, Yelyzaveta Kalanina of Ukraine and Anna Zalecna of Poland on her way to the final of the +78kg category.

    The 19 year-old celebrated with a little dance as she left the mat after beating Michelle Goschin of Germany in the final by a yuko to become European Champion.

     

    After her victory, Myers originally from Moreton, the Wirrall, who now lives and trains at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, said: "I went in there with the mentality that this was just another European Cup and I didn't want to put myself under any pressure.

    "I was relaxed and I feel that the last few weeks of training hard and digging down have really pulled off. I was so pleased I have won."

     

    Her home club is S.K.K in Merseyside.

     

    GB junior coach, Jamie Johnson said: "It is brilliant to see Jodie become Junior European Champion, we have not had a Junior European Champion for many years so it is great for British Judo.

    "She has really come a long way in the last 7 weeks of training at The Centre of Excellence. Her fitness has improved massively and she didn't break under pressure.

    "She knows that she is up there with the best and she has the Junior European Open in Glasgow next and then she will go on to the Junior Worlds."

     

    Elsewhere Ebony Drysdale-Daley secured fifth place in the -70kg category after losing on penalties to Aleksandra Samardzic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the fight for the Bronze medal. The 19-year-old who is a good friend of Jodie Myers also trains at the Centre of Excellence. She also put in some impressive performances beating Alina Lengweiler of Switzerland and Patricija Brolih of Slovenia before being knocked out of the competition.

     

    In the same category, fellow Brit Jemima Duxberry was eliminated early after she lost to Brolih by ippon. Lucy Renshall also secured fifth place after losing by waza-ari against Diana Dzhigaros of Russia in the Bronze medal match in the -63kg class.

     

    After the tournament Renshall said: "I am really upset narrowly missing out on a medal here all from a little mistake in my game plan I made but I'm happy to take a placing.

    "Now in the five weeks lead to Junior Worlds I will work on what I did wrong today and hopefully the medal will come there."

     

    Commonwealth bronze medallist Katie Jemima Yeats-Brown defeated Sabina Merklova of Czech Republic, with a waza-ari followed by a 15-second hold down for ippon. Yeats-Brown was then eliminated from the -63kg weight division after being defeated by Elisavet Teltsidou of Greece by ippon.

     

    Britain's only male competitor of the day, George Smith was eliminated early after losing by ippon to Firudin Dadashov of Azerbaijan in the -90kg category.

     

    Meanwhile on Friday in Bucharest, Britain's Bekky Livesey secured fifth place after she lost by ippon to Dewy Karthaus of the Netherlands in a fight for bronze in the -57kg category. Scotsman Neil Macdonald also achieved a respectable position on Friday, finishing seventh in the men's -60kg category after losing by Waza-ari to Daniel Ben David of Israel.

     

    Fellow Brit Sam Hall, who was competing in the same category, was knocked out of the competition after being defeated by waza-ari by Ivane Javakhishvili of Georgia.

     

    Youngster Eric Ham put in a good performance to beat Rok Plesnik of Slovenia by one shido before being eliminated from the men's -66kg category after losing by ippon to Portugal's Joao Crisostomo.

     

    The young squad spent the 10 weeks leading up to the competition training at the British Judo centre of excellence in Walsall. The training has involved the use of video analysis and the young judoka's appear to be benefitting from the use of the outstanding training facilities.

     

    Johnson was delighted with the squad's performance and said: "I am proud of all the players, it is great that Lucy Renshall, Ebony Drysdale-Daley and Neil MacDonald who also placed.

    "It was a shame that Bekky got injured, she would have medalled otherwise. I would like to say a big well done to everyone."

    Category: International Events

  • 19 September 2014

    Glasgow's Hampden Park will be a host venue for EURO 2020

    The Scottish FA and the entire Glasgow UEFA Euro 2020 bid team are delighted that Hampden Park has been selected as a host city for the European Championships’ 60th anniversary.

    The UEFA Executive Committee convened in Geneva, Switzerland, today and awarded Glasgow and Hampden Park a Standard Package of three group-stage matches and one knockout phase match.

    It means the city of Glasgow and the national stadium will be one of 13 host city venues for the showpiece event, selected by the UEFA ExCo from 19 submissions from across Europe.

    The bid was collaborative effort involving the Scottish FA, Scottish Government, EventScotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Hampden Park Ltd.

    Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive, believes the host city status will help realise the Association’s strategic plan, Scotland United: A2020 Vision.

    “It is wonderful news and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved from the outset of what has been a fantastic bid. I believe Glasgow and Hampden Park will throw a fitting birthday party for the European Championships and I know the whole country will make it an occasion to remember.

    “We have worked hard to establish our strategic plan and today’s announcement gives us a perfect platform on which to realise our ambitions. It would be great if Scotland can qualify for Euro 2020, playing in front of a full house at Hampden Park with a successful national team represented by graduates from our Performance Schools.

    “On the back of a hugely successful Commonwealth Games, and ahead of what will be a memorable Ryder Cup, I am delighted Scotland, Glasgow and Hampden Park will again look forward to being the focus of worldwide attention for Euro 2020.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “Having delivered the best ever Commonwealth Games this summer, I am delighted that Glasgow has been selected as a host city for the UEFA European Championships in 2020.

    “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe. We recognise the value of football and major sporting events and we have a fantastic track record in attracting and delivering some of the biggest global sporting championships; including the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals. We’re also ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.

    “Given the experience and expertise of our bid team – comprising the Scottish FA, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Hampden Park Ltd – and the cross-party political support received from the UK Government, we were confident that our bid was a strong one. Now we’re ready to show that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to UEFA’s milestone 60th anniversary Euro celebration.

    "The city’s global profile has never been greater and today’s announcement provides the perfect platform to build on the sporting legacy created by the Commonwealth Games. It is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the local economy while showcasing the city to a huge global audience.”

    Welcoming the decision, Cabinet Secretary for Sport Shona Robison said: “EURO 2020 coming to Glasgow will be brilliant for football and for Scotland. Fans from across Europe will want to come here to soak up an amazing party atmosphere, while we’ll hear the ‘Hampden Roar’ just as loud in many different languages. Whichever teams make it, hundreds of thousands of fans will receive a great Scottish welcome.

    “I am sure this will give an added boost, if any were needed, to Scotland’s efforts to qualify for the tournament. Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and hosting four matches in Glasgow will also provide substantial economic benefits. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish FA and Glasgow City Council to help put on a spectacular football tournament.”

    Category: International Events

  • 18 September 2014

    Regan confident Hampden Park will be perfect venue for EURO 2020

    Stewart Regan believes the city of Glasgow has combined to produce an “excellent” bid to become a host city for UEFA Euro 2020; a celebration of the European Championships’ 60th anniversary.

    The Scottish FA Chief Executive flew out to Geneva, Switzerland, alongside the President, Campbell Ogilvie, ahead of Friday’s announcement by the UEFA Executive Committee.

    Nineteen National Associations have submitted a bid, with 13 host cities designated for either the Finals Package or Standard Package, which includes a quarter-final or round of 16 fixture.

    The Scottish FA’s bid for a Standard Package has been a multi-agency venture involving the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Hampden Park Ltd.

    The Chief Executive believes a mixture of Hampden Park’s rich history of European competition and the stadium’s recent successful hosting of the best-ever Commonwealth Games makes Glasgow and Scotland a reliable and rousing option for Euro 2020.

    “Firstly, we have every reason to be positive ahead of Friday’s announcement,” said Regan. “Hampden Park is synonymous with great moments in European football: from arguably the greatest game ever, between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt, in the 1960 European Championships, to arguably the greatest goal ever scored in the Champions League, by Zinedine Zidane for Real against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

    “On top of that, the stadium, the city and the country have vast experience in putting on world-class entertainment. The Commonwealth Games at Hampden have been hailed as the best ever and Scotland will shortly be hosting the Ryder Cup before a huge global television audience.

    “I am certain that the city of Glasgow and the National Stadium would provide an ideal venue for the European Championships’ 60th birthday party and I would like to thank everyone involved in putting this excellent bid together.”  

    Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Sport: “Best of luck to everyone in Switzerland as they look to secure Scotland’s place in the 60th anniversary of the Euro Championship. Scotland is a natural home for big events and Hampden is a special stadium with a long history in major footballing events.

    “Thanks to a strong collaborative effort between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland, and the Scottish FA we have a strong bid that has an excellent chance of being successful. Only a short time ago we saw how working together brought the best Commonwealth Games ever to Scotland. Next week, as a country, we will be delivering a spectacular Ryder Cup. We will be using the same knowhow and passion to welcome fans from across Europe as part of EURO 2020.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe.

    “As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events. We have a fantastic track record in attracting and delivering some of the biggest global sporting championships – from the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals to the best ever Commonwealth Games – and we’re ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.

    “In partnership with the Scottish FA and Scottish Government we’re ready to show that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary EURO celebration. This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top footballing stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we have the capacity, capability and credibility to host the biggest properties in world sport. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games demonstrated Scotland's credentials on the international stage and we are set to welcome the world once more to the Ryder Cup in a little over one weeks' time.

    "Major brands understand the value of hosting events in Scotland, and we have a strong track record of successful activation through sponsorship and stand-alone events. Our venue infrastructure is complimented by our world-class accommodation, hospitality and leisure industries, which ensure we can offer the very best VIP and spectator experience. Football is at the heart of Scotland and Glasgow, as an iconic European city, would be a perfect host for UEFA Euro 2020."

    Category: International Events

  • 17 September 2014

    Four Scottish Clubs Win Ryder Cup ‘Ultimate Venue’ Status

    Four Scottish Golf Clubs have been rewarded for their efforts in building a legacy from The 2014 Ryder Cup by being awarded the title of Sky Sports ‘Ultimate Venues’.

    St Fillans in Perthshire, Lothians club Pumpherston, Sandyhills in Glasgow and North East club Inverurie have been selected from the country’s near 600 golf clubs thanks to going the extra mile to stage Ryder Cup activity and develop the game at local level.

    With Ryder Cup fever sweeping the nation ahead of next week’s contest at Gleneagles, clubs across Scotland are hosting numerous events, with the four clubs named ‘Ultimate Venues’ in conjunction with Sky Sports, the competition’s official broadcaster.

    Each winning club is to receive a state-of-the-art 3D TV for their clubhouse, ensuring their club is the alternative place to be for those not attending at Gleneagles in person.

    The Ryder Cup will also visit the four clubs, offering members and visitors the rare chance to have their photograph with the iconic trophy and attract more golfers to their club for the day.

    Earlier this year, the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) and ClubGolf, in association with tourism agency VisitScotland, revealed that Scotland’s golf clubs would be given the opportunity to receive at least two tickets for The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, as well as the chance to be named an ‘Ultimate Venue’.

    The ‘Ryder Cup Ready’ toolkit provided clubs and ClubGolf facilities with a guide featuring ideas on how to maximise the countdown to Scotland’s first Ryder Cup in 41 years, including building junior membership, retaining members, generating more clubhouse revenue, attracting new golfers and increasing visitor numbers.

    Clubs were invited to apply for the tickets, which have been awarded by The Scottish Government as part of Scotland’s host nation allocation, based on running Ryder Cup-themed activity.

    St Fillans, a picturesque 9-hole club situated in Perthshire, grasped the initiative last year, hosting an inter-club Ryder Cup-style competition with near neighbours Comrie. The match was again held this season and has cemented relationships between the clubs and driven media coverage for the club.

    “We’re in Ryder Cup ‘county’, 20 miles from Gleneagles,” said Gordon Hibbert, Club Manager. “For us, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we’ve sought to get into the Ryder Cup spirit as much as we can. It’s been good fun for both clubs, created excitement and a little bit of rivalry.”

    In the East of the country, Pumpherston are hosting a series of Ryder Cup events, rounding off a successful season which has seen 131 new members join the West Lothian club, aided by their work with the SGU & SLGA on Business Planning.

    “Last Saturday we held an informal Ryder Cup match with a local whisky company, 16-a-side, and then on the Sunday of The Ryder Cup we have a 50-a-side shotgun start, with Pumpherston Europe dressed in blue and Pumpherston America in red,” explains Richard Fyvie, General Manager.

    “Our caterers are then doing European and American menus, with a raffle draw every 30 minutes for Ryder Cup memorabilia. For the tickets the club received for The Ryder Cup through our work, we held a prize draw with £150 of the money raised going to The Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which for us was a nice Ryder Cup link too.”

    Over in the West, Sandyhills are hosting a Ryder Cup event for the third year in-a-row. A progressive club who have moved away from traditional methods, the day also involves two teams of 50, including men, women and juniors.

    At Inverurie, a club who have staged ClubGolf junior coaching since 2007, there is also a real Ryder Cup buzz. As well as an eagerly-awaited team match on the Sunday of The Ryder Cup, the club will be showing the live action from Sky Sports in the clubhouse, with special European and American menus for the week of the event.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said: “I’m delighted to see these four golf clubs, as well as many more throughout Scotland, participating in fantastic activity to celebrate and welcome The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    “It is vital that we use The Ryder Cup to build a strong and positive legacy of participation in the game and this kind of activity will help drive new interest in golf and hopefully translate into more members at clubs up and down the country.”

    Hamish Grey, Chief Executive of the Scottish Golf Union, added: “The SGU and SLGA would like to thank the golf clubs all across the country who have participated in Ryder Cup activity, capturing the spirit of the event during a wonderful time for Scottish golf.

    “We hope members and visitors alike have enjoyed taking part in events at local club level, helping leave a legacy of the Ryder Cup across Scotland. Well done to the four club winners, St Fillans, Pumpherston, Sandyhills and Inverurie.”

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    FESTIVAL ARTISTS GATHER FOR ONE BIG PICTURE

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 16 SEPTEMBER 2014
    FESTIVAL ARTISTS GATHER FOR ONE BIG PICTURE
    Many of the artists taking part in Scotland’s newest arts festival gathered together on Findhorn
    beach to raise a glass to celebrate the countdown to the inaugural event.
    The 1st Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, kicking off in a week’s time, be a spectacular celebration of
    arts and culture taking place at the heart of Moray between 24-28 September, showcasing
    artists of national and international renown, many of whom are local to the Findhorn Bay area
    or have close links to it.
    Taking place as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014, the Festival welcomes home to Moray many
    celebrated musicians including Hopeman-raised Charlie McKerron, of Gaelic super-group Capercaillie,
    Garmouth-raised Calum Stewart, previously of award-winning band, Mànran (along with his musical
    partner Heikki Bourgault), plus Forres-raised Quee MacArthur and his band Shooglenifty, one of
    Scotland’s most unique musical exports. One-time Findhorn girl Jess Abrams and Forres-based
    Andrea Turner will be enchanting listeners with a sizzling evening of traditional and contemporary
    Jazz, whilst spellbinding songstress and harpist Iona Leigh returns home to Moray to perform an
    intimate Sunday afternoon concert.
    A number of visual artists hailing from Moray will be exhibiting their work as part of the Festival,
    including landscape painter Maggie New, one of Scotland’s most successful fine artists, Elizabeth
    Strath, award-winning landscape photographer Ian Cameron, plus sculptor, Mary Bourne, who will be
    exhibiting two perspex and stone sculptures, which were commissioned by the Royal Scottish
    Academy. Renowned artist and illustrator, Owen Normand, winner of the Young Artist Prize at the BP
    Portrait Awards 2013, will also return home to Forres from his current home in Berlin, where he works
    as a figurative painter and illustrator.
    Findhorn-based Michael and Maria Start, world famous Automata restorers who worked on Martin
    Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, will be taking center stage at the festival with full a programme of
    Automata events, including a Gothic Horror Night, Flying Starts Flea Circus and It’s Alive, a more high
    brow event concentrating on the technical side of Automata. Maria said “We’re working flat out at the
    moment getting brand new exhibits ready for the Festival, so it’s great to take a break and get together
    with so many of the other artistes to feel the buzz of excitement in the run up to the event.”
    Festival Director, Kresanna Aigner, said “This is a Festival with people and place at it’s heart, drawing
    inspiration from and celebrating the many traditions that still shape the lives of our coastal
    communities.” With this ethos in mind, well-known Moray poet and storyteller, Margot Henderson, in
    collaboration with Findhorn Village Heritage, will be hosting “Time and Tide”, an interactive story walk
    around Findhorn, discovering the history, myths and legends hidden away in the nooks and crannies
    of this beautiful seaside village.
    Findhorn Bay Arts, the organisation behind the Festival, is committed to promoting creativity in Moray
    and this is demonstrated in the Festival’s involvement of young musicians and local bands, such as
    The Haar and Wasted Jazz, along with clubs and groups, such as DKM Martial Arts. The Festival’s
    unique production of Macbeth the Remix, a spectacular modern rework of Shakespeare’s Macbeth,
    also features a strong community involvement, including a choir of over 50 local singers, plus a
    parkourist troupe and drama students from Elgin, all supported by a strong cast of local professional
    actors.
    For more information about the Festival visit www.findhornbayartsfestival.com
    The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:
    Homecoming Scotland 2014, EventScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland,
    Moray Towns Partnership, Moray Council, National Trust for Scotland and MarrKerr Communications.Many of the artists taking part in Scotland’s newest arts festival gathered together on Findhornbeach to raise a glass to celebrate the countdown to the inaugural event.

    The 1st Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, kicking off in a week’s time, be a spectacular celebration of arts and culture taking place at the heart of Moray between 24-28 September, showcasing artists of national and international renown, many of whom are local to the Findhorn Bay areaor have close links to it.

     Taking place as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014, the Festival welcomes home to Moray many celebrated musicians including Hopeman-raised Charlie McKerron, of Gaelic super-group Capercaillie,Garmouth-raised Calum Stewart, previously of award-winning band, Mànran (along with his musicalpartner Heikki Bourgault), plus Forres-raised Quee MacArthur and his band Shooglenifty, one of Scotland’s most unique musical exports.

     One-time Findhorn girl Jess Abrams and Forres-based Andrea Turner will be enchanting listeners with a sizzling evening of traditional and contemporary Jazz, whilst spellbinding songstress and harpist Iona Leigh returns home to Moray to perform anintimate Sunday afternoon concert.

     A number of visual artists hailing from Moray will be exhibiting their work as part of the Festival,including landscape painter Maggie New, one of Scotland’s most successful fine artists, Elizabeth Strath, award-winning landscape photographer Ian Cameron, plus sculptor, Mary Bourne, who will be exhibiting two perspex and stone sculptures, which were commissioned by the Royal Scottish Academy. Renowned artist and illustrator, Owen Normand, winner of the Young Artist Prize at the BP Portrait Awards 2013, will also return home to Forres from his current home in Berlin, where he worksas a figurative painter and illustrator.

     Findhorn-based Michael and Maria Start, world famous Automata restorers who worked on Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, will be taking center stage at the festival with full a programme of Automata events, including a Gothic Horror Night, Flying Starts Flea Circus and It’s Alive, a more highbrow event concentrating on the technical side of Automata. Maria said "We’re working flat out at the moment getting brand new exhibits ready for the Festival, so it’s great to take a break and get together with so many of the other artistes to feel the buzz of excitement in the run up to the event.

    ”Festival Director, Kresanna Aigner, said “This is a Festival with people and place at it’s heart, drawing inspiration from and celebrating the many traditions that still shape the lives of our coastal communities.”

    With this ethos in mind, well-known Moray poet and storyteller, Margot Henderson, incollaboration with Findhorn Village Heritage, will be hosting “Time and Tide”, an interactive story walkaround Findhorn, discovering the history, myths and legends hidden away in the nooks and crannies of this beautiful seaside village.

    Findhorn Bay Arts, the organisation behind the Festival, is committed to promoting creativity in Moray and this is demonstrated in the Festival’s involvement of young musicians and local bands, such as The Haar and Wasted Jazz, along with clubs and groups, such as DKM Martial Arts. The Festival’s unique production of Macbeth the Remix, a spectacular modern rework of Shakespeare’s Macbeth,also features a strong community involvement, including a choir of over 50 local singers, plus aparkourist troupe and drama students from Elgin, all supported by a strong cast of local professional actors. For more information about the Festival visit www.findhornbayartsfestival.com

    The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:Homecoming Scotland 2014, EventScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland,Moray Towns Partnership, Moray Council, National Trust for Scotland and MarrKerr Communications.

    Category: National Events

  • 16 September 2014

    The 2014 MTV EMA Nominees are in!

    MTV today revealed the nominees for the 2014 MTV EMA, the world’s annual music awards show that celebrates the year’s hottest artists from around the globe, which will see some of the biggest names in music battle it out.

    Aussie exports 5 Seconds of Summer are up against British heroes One Direction in the Best Pop category, and their tribes will face-off Twitter-style in the Biggest Fans category. The rivalry continues between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, as they go head-to-head for Best Female and Best Look.

    The queens of hip hop Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea will show down in two categories: Best Hip Hop and Best Look. The 2014 MTV EMA will broadcast live from The Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday, 9 November.

    Katy Perry leads the race with nominations in seven categories, while Ariana Grande follows closely with nods in six categories. Pharrell Williams and 5 Seconds of Summer are each up for five awards. One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Eminem, Sam Smith and Kiesza all received four MTV EMA nominations each. To view nominees in all award categories please visit mtvema.com.

    Nominees in the Biggest Fans category were also announced today. Fan groups have been given the power to vote for their favourite artists via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #EMABiggestFans along with the artists’ names. Here are the official hashtags:

    #EMABiggestFans1D
    #EMABiggestFans5SOS
    #EMABiggestFansJustinBieber
    #EMABiggestFansNickiMinaj
    #EMABiggestFansArianaGrande

    2014 MTV EMA voting is now open for all categories at mtvema.com, including local award categories around the world, for which wild card nominees have been chosen via fan vote. The wild card fan vote saw a staggering 19 million votes flood in from around the world. More digital activations are set to follow throughout the 2014 MTV EMA campaign. 

    Voting will close on 8 November 2014 at 11:59pm CEST.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Sir Alex Ferguson Backs EURO 2020 Bid

    Sir Alex Ferguson believes Hampden Park’s rich history and heritage makes it a perfect choice of host city venue for UEFA’s 60th anniversary celebrations of the European Championships.

    In an exclusive interview with the Scottish FA, the two-time Champions League winner and former manager of Manchester United, Aberdeen and Scotland reckons that the stadium’s proud record or major finals will stand the stadium and the city of Glasgow in good stead on Friday, when the UEFA Executive Committee make their decision on 13 host city venues for UEFA Euro 2020.

    The national stadium has hosted arguably the greatest game in European competition, Real Madrid’s historic 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, and was the scene of what is widely regarded as the greatest goal, Zinedine Zidane’s for Real against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. 

    One of the greatest and most successful coaches of all time recounted his own fond memories of those magical Hampden occasions.

    “Everyone who is involved in the decision making of this only has to look back at the six finals for a start, and each time the clubs who represented their countries in these particular games will have fond memories of it, whether it be Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, Sevilla, St Etienne or Bayern Munich,” said Sir Alex. “All these teams who have been there will have memories in their own special way, and I think they’ll all be good ones. 

    “I go back as a young lad to the first final at Hampden Park between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. I went along there thinking that Eintracht Frankfurt were gods. They beat Rangers in the semi-final 6-3 at Ibrox Park, which was unthinkable, but Real Madrid splattered them 7-3.  The atmosphere was unbelievable, with 133,000 people there.”

    That match 54 years ago left a profound mark on the man who was to deliver success all over the continent, first with Aberdeen in 1983 with the European Cup Winner’s Cup and secondly with Manchester United, with whom he won the UEFA Champions League in 1999 and 2008. Yet he was not the only one to be inspired by the famous “Hampden Roar” that evening.

    “There was a documentary recently on (Alfredo) Di Stefano where he spoke about his five finals, and he made a special reference to the people in Glasgow and the atmosphere in the stadium.  The great point he made was two players scored seven goals – he scored a hat-trick and Ferenc Puskas scored four. He makes special reference to that night. That’s a great basis for thinking about how special Hampden Park is for a final.” 

    The city of Glasgow is one which Ferguson, born and raised in the Govan area of the city, believes is a naturally friendly and welcoming environment.

    “I’ve always felt that when I return is that there’s an eternal friendship in Glasgow. It doesn’t change. What we were talking about in 1960 remains to this very day. They have the great ability to communicate with people and make them feel welcome.”

    This summer’s successful Commonwealth Games, including the sold-out athletic events at Hampden Park, demonstrates to Ferguson that Glasgow is a city that has a love not just for football, but for all sports.

    “They have this fantastic affection for the game. Scotland is a football nation, no question about that.

    “If anyone watched the Commonwealth Games, it was a perfect example of why Glasgow still has this wonderful atmosphere, and also the friendship. There was a great slogan attached to the Commonwealth Games that said that, ‘People Make Glasgow’ which is absolutely correct. All the athletics events at Hampden Park were absolutely outstanding, it was fantastic.” 

    For Sir Alex Ferguson Glasgow, with a rich football history and a capability of hosting modern, high-profile sporting spectacles, is the perfect host city for EURO 2020. 

    “Along with this great history of six finals and with that special occasion against Real Madrid in everyone’s mind,” Ferguson concluded, “I think that Glasgow can create that again.” 

    Watch the interview in full here

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Japan joins long list for Glasgow European Open

    Japan has entered a team of seven competitors for the 2014 Glasgow European Open on October 4th. The women only event, which has already attracted entries from 14 different countries, will see competitors fighting for medals in Glasgow for the first time since the Commonwealth Games. France will also be sending a large team of 18, with only Great Britain sending a larger team for the home event of 23.

    Japan joins a long list of teams from across three continents that will be looking to take medals and gain valuable world ranking points for Rio 2016. Great Britain has announced a strong team of 23 women who will compete at the event, including Commonwealth medallists, Kelly Edwards, Louise Renicks, Nekoda Davis, Connie Ramsay, Steph Inglis, Jemima Yeats-Brown, Sally Conway, Megan Fletcher, Natalie Powell, Sarah Adlington and Jodie Myers.

    Jemima Yeats-Brown, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, said “I think it would be great to fight against a Japanese fighter and see how I do against them. Obviously, you fight a lot of European players with all the European Cups going on, so to fight someone from Japan would be a great experience. When I was at the Commonwealth Games the crowd was amazing, it will be great to have their support for the GB team at the European Open.”

    Ahead of the competition Lead Women’s Coach, Kate Howey, said: “I'm really looking forward to seeing many of our best women fighting in Glasgow. There is a mix of younger and more established players all trying to gain those valuable world ranking points for Rio and gain experience for Tokyo 2020, which seems far away but will come round quickly. As it's in Glasgow I'm sure it will be another great event.”

    Commonwealth Games gold medallist Megan Fletcher, can’t wait to return to Glasgow. “It is amazing how positively judo was received by the home crowd both during and following the Games. We had such a warm welcome by Glaswegians and it will be a fantastic opportunity to compete in front of the Glasgow crowd, especially since judo has been embraced in such a positive way since the Games. I can’t wait to go back to that welcoming crowd.”

    All event and ticket information can be found at www.glasgowopenjudo.com. Tickets start from £5, and concessions are available to children aged 15 and under, senior citizens and disabled spectators. For further information please contact events@britishjudo.org.uk or please call 01509 631695.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Funding Sees Forest First for Tree Top Performers

    The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light show, has today announced that, thanks to the generosity of a grant secured from EventScotland, tree top performances by aerial artists will play a key feature in this year’s show, elemental, which opens on Friday 3rd October.

    The funding, which has been granted under EventScotland’s Beacon Events Programme, is there to support uniquely Scottish events, which generate tourism benefits, contribute significantly to the Scotland the Perfect Stage impact areas and act as examples of best practice.

    The funding will be specifically used by event organisers to extend the appeal of The Enchanted Forest, a traditional son et lumiere show, by introducing aerial performance artists who will use the forest as their natural backdrop, and the trees as their stage.

    Derek Allan, Producer of The Enchanted Forest said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from EventScotland to bring this unique, and very exciting addition to the show - pushing the boundaries of this very popular event even further than in previous years. Having such a mesmerising live performance element, combined with stunning lighting effects, is something which feels like the next natural step to take and the creative team are working hard to ensure our audience continue to be wowed.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “We are delighted to support The Enchanted Forest once again during the Year of Homecoming 2014. The Enchanted Forest is a stunning celebration of Scotland’s artistic and natural assets and by adding this element of live performance to one of the country’s most loved Autumn events will undoubtedly show that Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

    The Enchanted Forest is organised by Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company under the Perthshire Big Tree Country brand. Founded in 2002 with just 3000 visitors attending in its first year, the event now attracts more than ten times that number of visitors with over 40,000 visiting the show last year. The 2014 show, elemental, has been designed by Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes and with music by RJ McConnell and Jon Beales.

    Next month the event will also compete for the titles of Scotland’s Best Cultural Event and Best Large Event at the Scottish Event Awards, firmly cementing the show’s position as one of Scotland’s top events.

    For further information about The Enchanted Forest and to purchase tickets, visit The Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk  

    Category: International Events

  • 15 September 2014

    Crowd Science in Action Seminar

     

    uses a scenario based approach combined with case studies and practical exercises.
    You can register here for the 2-day course taking place on 8 & 9 October at Scottish Police College, Tulliallan.  

    A two-day course which will take place on 8 & 9 October at Scottish Police College, Tulliallan. 

     

    The course is provided by the Scottish Events and Festivals Association in association with Edinburgh Napier University, The Scottish Police College and Mind over Matter Consultancy. The programme is taken by experts in the events, festival and crowded spaces field and uses a scenario based approach combined with case studies and practical exercises. You can register here.

    Category: Industry News

  • 11 September 2014

    GEBRSELASSIE RETURNS TO DEFEND BANK OF SCOTLAND GREAT SCOTTISH RUN CROWN

    Haile Gebrselassie, the greatest distance runner of all-time, is to return to the event in which he made a record-breaking debut last year - the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run in Glasgow on Sunday 5 October.

    The 41-year-old Ethiopian won last year’s race in 61 minutes 9 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded in Scotland for the 13.1 mile half marathon distance and also a world age-group record.  “I have fantastic memories of my first race in Scotland and I am delighted to be coming back to race in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run for a second time,” said Gebrselassie. “It’s a great race with a great atmosphere and the organisation is superb.”

     The 5ft 4in East African phenomenon known as ‘the Little Emperor’ has broken an incredible 27 world records, at distances ranging from two miles to the 26.2 miles of the full marathon during the course of a trailblazing career in which he has also won two Olympic titles and four World Championship gold medals at 10,000m.

     Asked whether he might be able to improve his Scottish all-comers’ half marathon record in Glasgow on 5 October, Gebrselassie replied: “Who knows? The weather was not bad last year but there was a little bit of rain towards the end and it was a little bit windy in another part.

     “So maybe, with better weather this year, I can run faster. What was important last year was not the time but to win the race. It was my first ever race in Scotland and I wanted to win it. This year, we will see. I cannot indicate at this stage what time I am going to run.

     

    “I had a problem earlier this year - I had a small surgery to my knee – but that is gone now.  My training is going well. When you are an older athlete you have to be serious in your training and in how you take your rest and how you are preparing, but I am still doing well at 41.”

    That is the age that Jo Pavey will be when she lines up for the women’s race in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run – returning to the city where she won a 5,000m bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games as a 40-year-old mother of two.

    “Age does not matter,” insisted Gebrselassie. “It is just a number. Jo Pavey showed that when she won her bronze medal in Glasgow and then won the European 10,000m title in Zurich. If you ask her, she will say it was not her feet or her legs that won her those medals; it was her heart.

    “I think what Jo has done this summer is amazing.  Some athletes complain at the age of 30 or 31 that they are getting tired. Jo is a good example of what you can do when you get older – and maybe myself too.

    “Running is more than just competing. It is more than just winning. It is a passion. That is why I like running in races like the Great Scottish Run and the other Great Run races around the world – the Great North Run in Newcastle, the Great Manchester Run, the Great Ethiopian Run and so on.

    “The organisation is perfect and the races are full of many people who have that passion for running. Running every day, or most days, helps them with their lives. It is the same for me.”

    Alasdair Gardner, Regional Managing Director Scotland, Commercial Banking, Bank of Scotland: “We are proud to again support the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and the runners who take part. It is an honour to welcome Haile Gebrselassie back to Glasgow for the second time. Attracting such a high profile athlete is testament to the ever growing calibre of the event and we hope Haile will help inspire the next generation of runners in Scotland. We wish Haile all the best for his race and look forward to seeing if he can better last year’s performance and break his own Scottish record!”

    The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is still open for entry via the website www.greatscottishrun.org

    You can follow the event on twitter @GreatScotRun using #greatscottishrun

    Category: International Events

  • 10 September 2014

    One Year to Go | FEI European Eventing Championships

     

    This time, next year, Europe’s best event riders will compete for medal glory at the FEI European Eventing Championships, Blair Castle, Perthshire.  Tickets are now on sale for this high-profile event, which will be held on Scottish turf for the first time ever.  
    A critical qualification event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio means that the stakes are high. While Germany has been successful in recent years, Britain will be pulling out all the stops on home soil.  A team silver medal at last month's FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will have fired a warning shot across the German bows, and a place on the home squad is the next hot ticket that all top British riders will be gunning for.  Blair Castle will provide an ideal backdrop to this action whilst further demonstrating Scotland as the perfect stage for events. 
    Alongside the Eventing competition there will be showing classes, show jumping and mounted games. The Bruadar Country Fair will offer visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of weird and wonderful demonstrations each day, plus there is a shopping village which will host 200+ stands.  
    Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to witness world class sport in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations!

    This time, next year, Europe’s best event riders will compete for medal glory at the FEI European Eventing Championships, Blair Castle, Perthshire.  Tickets are now on sale for this high-profile event, which will be held on Scottish turf for the first time ever.  

    A critical qualification event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio means that the stakes are high. While Germany has been successful in recent years, Britain will be pulling out all the stops on home soil.  A team silver medal at last month's FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will have fired a warning shot across the German bows, and a place on the home squad is the next hot ticket that all top British riders will be gunning for.  Blair Castle will provide an ideal backdrop to this action whilst further demonstrating Scotland as the perfect stage for events. Alongside the Eventing competition there will be showing classes, show jumping and mounted games.

    The Bruadar Country Fair will offer visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of weird and wonderful demonstrations each day, plus there is a shopping village which will host 200+ stands.  Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to witness world class sport in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations!

    Visit here.

    Category: International Events

  • 09 September 2014

    First Nominees Announced for the 2014 MTV EMA in Glasgow

    MTV EMA season is underway!  MTV has revealed the first four nominees for the Best UK & Ireland Act: Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and One Direction.  And for the first time ever, MTV is putting an EMA nomination in the hands of the fans via social media – music lovers everywhere will have the power to help select the fifth nominee for Best UK & Ireland Act. 

    Fans can tweet and vote from the following list of artists to earn the fifth nominee spot. Remember everyone has to tweet #MTVEMA + one of the below hashtags to vote:

    #NominateArcticMonkeys

    #NominateRitaOra

    #NominateTheVamps

    #NominateCheryl

    #NominateColdplay

    #NominateCleanBandit

    The wild card Twitter vote is open until 14 September 2014 @ 10:59 BST. All “2014 MTV EMA” nominees will be announced and voting will open on 16 September 2014 at 11:00 BST.

    The “2014 MTV EMA” will broadcast on MTV channels around the world Sunday, November 9th at 9:00PM CET* from The Hydro in Glasgow.  The MTV EMA – MTV’s global celebration of the hottest stars in music – recognizes artists from around the world and across genres, and brings together music fans everywhere for a one-of-a-kind experience in the weeks leading up to and at the show. 

    The 2014 MTV EMA marks the first time that the show will be held in Glasgow, Scotland and has received support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Further details for the show, including ticketing and performers will be announced by MTV in the coming months. 

    Category: International Events

  • 09 September 2014

    The Big Music Project Live in Glasgow Next Weekend

    The BPI is one of the partners delivering a unique music industry day at The Arches in Glasgow on Sunday 21st of September. It’s part of The Big Music Project using the UK’s biggest music and entertainment brands in an ambitious programme that aims to transform the lives of young people in Scotland and around the UK.

    Funded by The Big Lottery Fund, the project launched in April and has created 100 youth club Hubs and 1,000 young Big Music Project Champions who have received accredited training and professional support and will go on to create music projects for their local communities. Later in the year there is a national music competition, culminating in a final as part of BRITs Week 2015 and with prizes including sessions at the iconic Abbey Road studios.

    More immediately though is the forthcoming day on the 21st. This offers a journey from the glamour of the BRIT’s red carpet to a backstage marketplace that includes a range of interactive stalls from all parts of the Scottish music industry and beyond. There’s also a programme of panels and have-a-go sessions and a main stage line-up that includes emerging talent, great Scottish artists and special guests. Amongst the latter are appearances from Plan B and a DJ set from Chase & Status, with more artists to be announced in the next few days.

    The aim is to not only give young people a brilliant day out, but also to give them a better view of all the different parts that make up the music industries and point them to the training, education and jobs that are available.

    For details of the project overall and the day in particular, there’s much more information at www.thebigmusicproject.co.uk

    The day is aimed at 14-25 years olds, admission is free and it gets underway at 11.30. Tickets can booked at the website www.thebigmusicproject.co.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 September 2014

    Clash of the Clans at Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

    It’s a spectacle not seen in the Scottish Highlands for hundreds of years, but the hills will once again be filled with clansmen leading a passionate charge through the countryside on September 28. Almost 2,000 runners from the length and breadth of Britain – and further afield – will pledge their allegiance to their clans in an effort to lift the title in the Clan Challenge at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running.

    Runners in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and River Ness 10K and 5K and Corporate Challenge 10K  have been encouraged to align themselves with their family clan, or one they have a connection with, in an effort to discover which clan can gather the largest number of competitors.

    Runners from all across the UK have accepted the challenge to join their clansmen on the shores of Loch Ness, and international runners have also grabbed themselves a piece of the action.

     Three runners from Brazil are set to take up the Clan Challenge, travelling across the Atlantic to run the Baxters River Ness 10K. The trio of runners will represent the MacDuffs, historically one of the oldest clans in the Highlands, in the hope that their effort will clinch their clan the hotly contested top prize.

    There are also international foot soldiers from Australia, North America, Europe and Hong Kong all taking up arms to represent clans as diverse as Douglas, Sutherland and MacDonald.

    Runners taking part in the Baxters Festival of Running are encouraged to wear a touch of tartan as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 as they run through some of Scotland’s most glorious scenery.

     Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “There has been a fantastic response to the Clan Challenge, and we are delighted that so many runners have chosen to declare their loyalty to their clans. Around a quarter of all the runners who have signed up to take part in the various events are Clan Challenge participants.

    “It is brilliant to see people from around the world connecting with their Scottish roots, and coming together to celebrate their heritage in one of the most spectacular locations in Scotland.

     “This year’s Festival of Running is set to be the best yet and we look forward to welcoming seasoned runners and newcomers alike to take part in the races that are taking place throughout the day.

    “Those who don’t want to run but still want to join in the fun are more than welcome to visit the Event Village in Bught Park, Inverness where they will be able to cheer on the participants as well as seeing live music, the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre, a sports expo and lots of activities for children.”

    The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running takes place on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and entries are open until Monday, September 8.Find out more about the day at www.lochnessmarathon.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon

    Category: International Events

  • 08 September 2014

    Nominations open for the Get Inspired Unsung Hero award ahead of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    Nominations for the 2014 Get Inspired Unsung Hero award are now open. The award is a highlight of BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which takes place this year on Sunday 14 December at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow.

    Now in its 12th year, the award recognises those who have gone above and beyond in contributing to sport in their local community. They don’t have to play sport either – they could be the coach, volunteer, kit person, the cheer leader, the grounds man – they just have to be a person you think deserves praise for their efforts as part of your team or sporting activity.

    There will be 15 regional winners of a Get Inspired Unsung Hero award from across the UK, with the overall winner announced and presented with their trophy live on stage at this year’s highly-anticipated BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

    The award is being supported by the BBC’s Get Inspired initiative; launched online following the 2012 Olympic Games the website works with sports bodies to encourage audiences to find out more about sports and activities participation or becoming a volunteer www.bbc.co.uk/getinspired.

    The nomination period is open from Monday 8 September – Monday 20th October. Further information and nomination forms can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero.

    BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater said: “The Get Inspired Unsung Hero award is one of the highlights of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. It’s a great opportunity, particularly in such a busy sporting summer, to celebrate those who don’t make the headlines but whose contribution deserves to be recognised.

    “BBC Sport’s initiative Get Inspired is a natural supporter of this award – an initiative which promotes sport and activities across the UK and how people can get involved. The website had over one million unique visitors in July and the ‘Things to Do’ page received more than 275,000 views during the Commonwealth Games alone. This is testament to the enthusiasm of our audience to seek out sporting opportunities on their doorstep.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 08 September 2014

    CAPITAL SCOTLAND BREAKFAST SHOW STARS BATTLE IT OUT FOR JUDO HONOURS

    Capital Scotland Breakfast Show presenters Des and Jennie have been getting ready for the Glasgow European Judo Open at the Emirates Arena on October 4 with lessons from some Team Scotland Commonwealth Games Gold medallists. The presenters were put through their paces by Kimberley and Louise Renicks who will be competing at the event and by Euan Burton.

    Des and Jennie visited Judo Scotland’s headquarters at Ratho near Edinburgh where they learned what to expect from a judo match before being taught everything from how to tie their belts to throws and holds they needed before taking on the Renicks sisters. You can hear how they got on during the Capital Scotland Breakfast Show on Monday 8 September.

    5 Glasgow 2014 Gold Medal winners, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze Medallists will be part of the 26 strong Great Britain team which will compete at the Championships on Saturday October 4. Teams from all over the world will be in Glasgow for the biggest Judo only event in the UK in 2014.

    All event and ticket information can be found at www.glasgowopenjudo.com. Tickets start from £5, and concessions are available to children aged 15 and under, senior citizens and disabled spectators. For further information please contact events@britishjudo.org.uk or please call 01509 631695.

    Des said: “I was terrified when we were told we’d be facing Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists in a Judo match but we got some amazing hints and tips from some of the best Judoka in the world. I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to be amongst Judo’s elite and will be cheering on the Renick sisters and the whole British team on October 4.”

    The European Open Judo is a partnership between Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and EventScotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2014

    Forth Bridges Festival attendees have an appetite for a party as Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch sells out

    The tables are set, the menu selected and the drinks ready to be poured as over 650 attendees who snapped up tickets to be part of the ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’ event get ready to party. Taking place this Saturday 6 September, the spectacular ‘sold-out’ culinary event which is a key part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations and the Forth Bridges Festival will take place against the panoramic backdrop of the Forth Bridges in South Queensferry. 

    Lunch guests will enjoy a picnic-style menu designed by celebrity chef Nick Nairn as well as an exciting line-up of live entertainment featuring street entertainers  and ceilidh bands.  The party amosphere can also be enjoyed by non-lunch ticket holders also at the Forth Bridges Festival Food and Drink Market taking place on South Queensferry High Street on both Saturday 6 September (11am-7pm) and Sunday 7 September (11am-5pm) as part of the ‘Flotilla on the Forth’ celebrations.  The Flotilla will see over 150 vessels of all different shapes and sizes travel along the Firth of Forth in front of North and South Queensferry.

     Over 30 exhibitors will offer locals and visitors to South Queensferry the chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and tasty smells of a variety of high quality products at the Food and Drink Market. Exhibitors over the two days include:

    Babu Bombay Street Kitchen -  offering a variety of homestyle curries to enjoy throughout the day

    Chocolate Waffle Company – delicious Belgian style waffles

    Equis Ice Cream - the fourth generation of the Equi family carries on the tradition of fabulous ice cream

    Hubertus Game - wild venison and seasonal small game sourced from highland estates

    Manna House Bakery – artisan and craft bakery at its best

    Mutley Crepes – offering a wide range of sweet and savoury crepes

    Smoak Limited - Texan-style, slow-smoked BBQ brisket and pulled pork

    Perthshire based Strathearn Distillery will also be sampling their selection of high-quality gins, including their specially commissioned ‘Homecoming Scotland 2014’ gin infused with Scottish thistle and heather to capture the spirit of Scotland during this special year.  Border Tablet will also be showcasing their specially branded ‘Year of Homecoming’ tablet over the weekend. 

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is a wonderful, mouth-watering way to celebrate the 50th birthday of a true Scottish icon. I am delighted that so many people, including myself, will be on the Forth to take part in this historic Homecoming event, enjoying delicious Scottish produce in the most spectacular of settings.”

    Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is just one of the events taking place to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Forth Road Bridge which is taking place from 4 – 13 September.  Both the lunch event and the Food and Drink Market are also part of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight taking place between 6 – 21 September.  Visitors to the once in a lifetime finale event on Saturday 13 September will enjoy a spectacular firework and Torchlight Procession lighting up the Forth Road Bridge in style.  The event will see fireworks and thousands of torches light up the Forth Road Bridge celebrating 50 years since the bridge opened. 

    Tickets are being snapped up to become one of the 2,014 torch-bearers forming a river of fire across the bridge to Fife before returning to a giant ‘Bridge Party’ in South Queensferry.  Party-goers will enjoy 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 range of first-class food and drink will be available to buy within the arena.

    A highlight for those taking part in the Torchlight Procession and those attending 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. The fireworks display will be set to music, with Bridge Party & Torchlight Procession 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.

    For more information and tickets for the finale event please visit www.forthbridgesfestival.com

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2014

    How to Create an Effective and Successful Blog for your Event

    The School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Edinburgh Napier University, is hosting a workshop on the use and effectiveness of blogs in the Scottish Festival and Events Industry.

    The increased use of blogs has not only affected communication channels but also the way that festivals and events are promoted and consumed. To date, there has been little research into the effectiveness of the use of blogs within events, despite the fact that with decreasing funding and increased competition for sponsorship more events are looking to the use of digital media as a way of engaging customers and communicating to a wider audience.

    This workshop aims to share best practice on the usage of blogs in the Scottish Festival and Events Industry from both a management as well as a blogging practice perspective. The workshop will also offer insights and advice on how to develop and capitalise on blogging for events.

    Event details

    Monday 29 September 2014
    10am - 1pm
    Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University

    This is a free event but spaces are limited. If you would like to attend, please register here. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 September 2014

    New Scottish Paranormal Festival launched

    The first ever Scottish Paranormal Festival is to be held in Stirling, and will be 'the biggest, the most ecclectic and the most significant' paranormal festival in the UK. 

    The inaugral event will take place  at venues across the city from 30 October to 2 November, ncluding the Scottish Paranormal Film Festival at the Tolbooth. The four-day festival will feature events about ghosts, UFOs and aliens, and speakers including academics, enthusiasts and declared sceptics.

    Among the special guests lined up for the event are Native American federal officers and real-life X-files operatives, the Navajo Rangers and UFO filmmaker, James Fox.

    The main festival will take place in the Albert Halls, the Tolbooth, The Smith Art Gallery & Museum, and Cowane's Hospital. Visitors can also venture out on the famous Ghost Tours conducted by the 'Happy Hangman' through the graveyards and streets of Scotland's former capital. 

    For more information visit: www.paranormalscotland.com

    Category: National Events

  • 02 September 2014

    World Sheepdog Trials in Tain kick of Highland Homecoming celebrations

    The population of one of Scotland’s oldest Royal Burghs could almost double over the next four days as the Highland village of Tain prepares to host the country’s first ever World Sheepdog Trials.

    From 3-6 September, an estimated 3200 people will visit Fearn Farm to watch 240 competitors from 25 nations herd up to 700 sheep, in the battle to be named top dog.

    Part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 funded events programme, the annual global competition, which is held every three years, is billed as “the Olympics of the sheepdog world”, with competitors coming from all across Europe as well as the USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and Japan.

    As well as attracting a number of international supporters, the event is also expected to draw visitors from across the country, providing a significant boost to the local economy.

    Organised by Scottish members of the International Sheep Dog Society, the event will begin with an Opening Parade and Civic Reception in Tain this evening (2 September). As well as the official contest, which concludes on Saturday, spectators will also be treated to trial demonstrations, vintage farming displays and trade and craft stalls.

    The 2014 World Sheepdog Trials in Tain marks the beginning of Highland Homecoming, a two-month celebration of the very best in heritage, culture and sport in North Scotland.

    Supported by a Homecoming fund of £170,000, the packed programme of events includes:

    Blas Festival (5-13 September)

    Highland Military Tattoo (5-7 September)

    Inverness Highland Meeting which includes the world’s biggest Highland Games event – the Masters World

    Championship (12-14 September)

    Camanachd Cup Final, where two of the country’s top Shinty teams battle it out to take home one of

    Scotland’s oldest sporting trophies (13 September)

    Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running ( 27 -28 September)

    Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival – Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), returns to Inverness for the first time since 1997 (10-18 October)

    The world-class downhill tracks at Fort William’s Nevis Range, hosted by WEMBO World Solo 24Hr MTB

    Championship (11-12 October)

    Inverness Street Theatre Festival (16-18 October)

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “What is fantastic about Highland Homecoming is that it showcases the very best in Scottish tradition and culture against the breath-taking backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to welcoming the world over the next two months and I am sure this packed programme will offer something to suit all tastes.

    “2014 has been a unique year for Scottish tourism, we’ve had Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and later this month we welcome the Ryder Cup to Gleneagles but I guarantee the passion, pride and sportsmanship will be just as enthralling in Tain this week. Events such as the 2014 World Sheepdog Trials, highlight the value of our tourism industry by boosting the local economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.”

    For full details on Highland Homecoming visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/highlandhomecoming

    Category: International Events

  • 01 September 2014

    Final Festival Finale

     

    The 2014 Edinburgh International Festival comes to a close tonight with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, marking the final event of Sir Jonathan Mills’s eight year tenure as Festival Director.
    2014 has been acclaimed as an outstanding year for the International Festival, with critical and popular successes across the board, including The James Plays by Rona Munro, Inala featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pina Bausch’s Sweet Mambo, Back to Back’s Ganesh versus the Third Reich and a much lauded Usher Hall concert series, playing to an 80% capacity overall. 
    Audiences have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the Festival taking more than £3.15 million in ticket sales income, passing the £3million mark for the first time.   
    Jonathan Mills said “The true measure of success is the audience’s experience and we’ve received so much great feedback. There has been a fantastic atmosphere at shows across the Festival. I’m really delighted that the James Plays have been such a hit, and wish the National Theatres of Scotland and Great Britain, and the other shows now transferring from the Festival to London and around the world, the very best of luck. 
    “Our audiences from Scotland, the UK and 75 other nations around the world have greeted our artists with huge warmth, with so many of those artists telling me how exciting it is to play to such enthusiastic and knowledgeable audiences, and enjoying their visit to Edinburgh immensely. 
    “Once again we’ve been treated to the world’s finest artists sharing their creativity and their work, which has ranged from the epic to the intimate, from east to west and everywhere in between. I am thrilled that we are able to offer a wide range of ticket prices to our Festival goers for such wonderful experiences, and make it something everyone can get involved and immersed in.
    “I am also delighted with our work this year on extending the Festival’s reach, making us even more accessible both to those already here and further afield through media and digital partnerships. We created over 50 podcasts and films with Sinfini Music, offering people exploring our music programme the richest possible information, which has attracted  over 8,000 listens from over 50 countries. We also streamed beautiful intimate rehearsal moments with Patricia Kopatchinaskaja, Kronos Quartet, Michael Houstoun, and Collegium Vocal Gent in association with the Guardian; while BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from The Queen’s Hall each weekday morning and will also broadcast a week of concerts recorded during this Festival from 15 September.”

    The 2014 Edinburgh International Festival came to a close on Sunday with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, marking the final event of Sir Jonathan Mills’s eight year tenure as Festival Director.

    2014 has been acclaimed as an outstanding year for the International Festival, with critical and popular successes across the board, including The James Plays by Rona Munro, Inala featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pina Bausch’s Sweet Mambo, Back to Back’s Ganesh versus the Third Reich and a much lauded Usher Hall concert series, playing to an 80% capacity overall. 

    Audiences have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the Festival taking more than £3.15 million in ticket sales income, passing the £3million mark for the first time.   

    Jonathan Mills said “The true measure of success is the audience’s experience and we’ve received so much great feedback. There has been a fantastic atmosphere at shows across the Festival. I’m really delighted that the James Plays have been such a hit, and wish the National Theatres of Scotland and Great Britain, and the other shows now transferring from the Festival to London and around the world, the very best of luck. 

    “Our audiences from Scotland, the UK and 75 other nations around the world have greeted our artists with huge warmth, with so many of those artists telling me how exciting it is to play to such enthusiastic and knowledgeable audiences, and enjoying their visit to Edinburgh immensely. 

    “Once again we’ve been treated to the world’s finest artists sharing their creativity and their work, which has ranged from the epic to the intimate, from east to west and everywhere in between. I am thrilled that we are able to offer a wide range of ticket prices to our Festival goers for such wonderful experiences, and make it something everyone can get involved and immersed in.

    “I am also delighted with our work this year on extending the Festival’s reach, making us even more accessible both to those already here and further afield through media and digital partnerships. We created over 50 podcasts and films with Sinfini Music, offering people exploring our music programme the richest possible information, which has attracted  over 8,000 listens from over 50 countries. We also streamed beautiful intimate rehearsal moments with Patricia Kopatchinaskaja, Kronos Quartet, Michael Houstoun, and Collegium Vocal Gent in association with the Guardian; while BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from The Queen’s Hall each weekday morning and will also broadcast a week of concerts recorded during this Festival from 15 September.”

    http://www.eif.co.uk/

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Midge Ure to play at Ryder Cup Gala Concert

    Midge Ure has just been annouced to perform at The Ryder Cup Gala Concert. The Ultravox front man will perform the 80s classic Vienna at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on 24 September.

    The Concert will unite contemporary music talent including Nina Nesbitt, Jake Bugg, Twin Atlantic, Amy MacDonald, Danny Wilson, Texas and Nile Rodgers on the same stage with Scotland’s leading arts agencies – the Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, National Theatre of Scotland and RSNO, who will share a stage for the first time. 

     The “Brits Meets the Proms” concept developed by Kim Gavin was an inspired decision to ensure the performances were as memorable and of high calibre as the golfing event itself and on Wednesday 24 September, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow will play host to an awe-inspiring fsion of vibrant colour, stunning lighting and spectacular performances for the one-off Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

     

    Tickets for the concert are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    MTV Breaks in search for young talent

    Have you got talent, but need a break to prove it? Well, this is your year! MTV is throwing open its doors to give you the chance to show the world what you've got. MTV wants to give you your first break – on a global scale at the EMA in Glasgow this November.

    There are four roles available:

    A budding photographer to work the red carpet - we’ll kit you out with exclusive access and you’ll also get to cover a Music Week gig, and see your photos in our MTV coverage.

    An awesome camera person to shoot on the red carpet and film a package that will go out on MTV around the world.

    A skilled costume designer to work backstage with our design team and create their own costume to feature in the EMA.

    A savvy social media correspondent to take over the MTV Music Twitter account. They’ll keep the UK up to speed on the EMA action through their live Twitter commentary.

    These really are breaks into an industry so as well as seeing your work on MTV, you’ll work alongside an industry mentor, who will mentor you after the EMA. MTV will handle your travel and accommodation costs. To top it all off they’ll film your talent in action and air it on MTV around the world.

    Read more at the MTV EMA website, and before you enter, check out the full terms and conditions here

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Iconic Ryder Cup Trophy to visit “four corners of Scotland”

    The Ryder Cup Trophy is to visit ‘the four corners of Scotland’ on an Official Trophy Tour which begins next week. Teeing off at Edinburgh’s OMNI Centre from 10am to 7pm, this Thursday, 4th September, members of the public will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most recognisable sporting trophies.

    The Ryder Cup Trophy will then travel by helicopter over the following few days making stops in the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Argyll, Isle of Harris, Shetland and Aberdeenshire, before arriving at Gleneagles, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    The week-long tour, in partnership with VisitScotland, will take in the nation’s spectacular scenery at the most Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western courses participating in the ClubGolf programme. The wider legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup is also important with participating courses also being chosen for their tourism and environmental connections.

    At each location, members of the public will have the opportunity to see and have their picture taken next to, The Ryder Cup Trophy. The experience can be shared online with the hashtag #rydercuptrophytour. The tour will conclude with the arrival of The Ryder Cup Trophy at The Gleneagles Hotel, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup, on Wednesday 10th September.

    The launch event at Edinburgh’s OMNI Centre will also incorporate the unveiling of a large-scale installation welcoming The Ryder Cup back to Scotland, the Home of Golf. The striking image of one of Scotland’s ‘Big Five’ – a Golden Eagle – carrying the iconic Ryder Cup trophy ‘back to Scotland’, will adorn the exterior of The OMNI Centre in Edinburgh until the end of September and is sure to become a real talking point within the city, and beyond with visitors being encouraged to share pictures of the installation across social media.

    Richard Hill’s Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said:

    “The Trophy Tour is about sharing the magic of The Ryder Cup and bringing one of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies to the doorsteps of fans and members of the public across the country. It also highlights just how wide reaching the legacy effects of the event will be. One of the foundations of this has been the ClubGolf programme and we are delighted that some many young Scots now have the chance to take part in a sport that offers a lifetime of exercise and camaraderie.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “As we prepare to host The 2014 Ryder Cup, the legacy and economic benefits are set to be felt right across Scotland, not just in the accommodation sector but also travel and transport, Scottish food and drink suppliers, attractions and a wide range of businesses throughout the industry. This amazing and ambitious Trophy Tour will see this historic golfing prize travel to four magnificent corners of the country, taking in some of the most spectacular and geographically remote golf courses in the world, while also representing the various legacy benefits associated with hosting The Ryder Cup in Scotland, including junior golf, golf tourism, golf events and Green Drive.

    “From St Medan Golf Club in Dumfries & Galloway to Whalsay Golf Club in Shetland, the instantly recognisable Ryder Cup Trophy brings with it a real sense of excitement, drama and prestige. Beginning the tour by unveiling a striking image of a Golden Eagle on the side of the Omni Centre is also apt and will provide a fitting start to the trophy’s journey around Scotland. I would encourage everyone get out there to see this iconic trophy and to find out why Scotland is the Home of Golf!”

    The Ryder Cup Trophy will visit the following locations:

    4th September, Edinburgh Omni Centre, 10am to 7pm

    7th September, Roxburghe Golf Club, Scottish Borders, the location of the first legacy events for The 2014

    Ryder Cup, the Scottish Seniors Open in 2003, 10am to 12pm

    7th September, St Medan Golf Club, Dumfries & Galloway, the most Southerly ClubGolf participant, 12.40pm to 4pm

    8th September, Machrihanish Dunes, Argyll, Golf Environment Certified and extremely proactive in promoting Scottish tourism, 9.30am to 11:30am

    8th September, Isle of Harris Golf Club, first ClubGolf programme in The Western Isles, 1pm to 4pm

    9th September, Whalsay Golf Club, Shetland, Most Northerly and Easterly ClubGolf programme in Scotland,

    10am to 11.30pm

    9th September, Braemar Golf Club, Aberdeenshire, the highest golf club in the UK, 1.30pm to 4pm

    10th September, Gleneagles Hotel, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup

    For more information on the event and to keep track of the Official Trophy Tour follow @rydercup or like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RyderCupEuropeanTeam

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Largest ever Mòd Fringe announced!

    Almost 70 events will take place in and around Inverness next month as The Royal National Mòd  brings its biggest fringe in the event’s 122 year history to the Highland Capital.

    Taking place in Inverness from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October alongside the competition based events, the Mod’s own fringe programme begins with a torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court on the Friday.

    Over the next week there will be concerts by artists including Skipinnish, Cruinn and Skerryvore, street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, a children’s disco, come and try sessions and a ceilidh.

    Highlights include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden Court Theatre.

    Hosted in association with Blazin’ in Beauly and under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles, the concert will feature over 100 fiddlers, including stars of the fiddle world, plus local groups, adding up to what organisers believe will be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.

    A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I will take place on Wednesday 15th October, with musician Erik Spence creating a piece of music to accompany the poem Bantrach Cogaidh, written by the late Rev. John Macleod. Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will also contribute.

    Other highlights include musical performances at Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, while the Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part on the Saturday morning.

    Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd itself will feature more than 200 competitions in Highland dancing, Gaelic music and song, sport, literature and drama, bringing thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland and the UK and overseas competitors from the USA, Australia and Canada.

    John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said that the variety of venues available in Inverness had made it possible to host the Mod’s biggest ever fringe.

    "It’s a great way to celebrate being in the city for the first time since 1997," he continued.

    "Having a fringe event keeps the atmosphere going all week and allows Gaels and non-Gaels to experience the fun of the Mod."

    Inverness Provost, Councillor Alex Graham, said the combination of the formal Royal National Mòd competitions and the fringe would give Inverness the world’s premier Gaelic festival.

    "I am delighted that the fringe programme includes both traditional and contemporary events in venues and places of historic interest," he added.

    "All these have Gaelic at their core and are aimed at attracting residents, competitors and visitors.

    "The Mod fringe events will complement the increasing use of Gaelic in the area, create a unique atmosphere, and generate an economic boost to the City and inner Moray Firth area in the middle of October during this special Year of Homecoming Scotland."

    The Royal National Mòd is supported by Highland Council, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

    Paul Bush, chief operating officer for EventScotland said: "The Royal National Mòd is a key part of our annual cultural events portfolio and in 2014 is one of the centrepieces of the Highland Homecoming programme.

    "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the extensive fringe programme at this year’s Mòd will showcase our rich Gaelic heritage through the week of the event."

    For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Tickets now available for Judo European Open

    One of the most prominent venues of the Commonwealth Games has fully reopened to the public and is already getting ready for its next big event. The Emirates Arena is already planning to welcome back some of the stars of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when it hosts the European Open Judo Championships in early October.

    5 Glasgow 2014 Gold Medal winners, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze Medallists will be part of the 26 strong Great Britain team which will compete at the Championships on Saturday October 4. It will be the biggest Judo only event in the UK in 2014.

    All event and ticket information can be found at www.glasgowopenjudo.com. Tickets start from £5, and concessions are available to children aged 15 and under, senior citizens, and disabled spectators. For further information please contact events@britishjudo.org.uk or please call 01509 631695.

    The Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome hosted the track cycling and badminton events during the Glasgow 2014 commonwealth Games making it one of the most used venues of the Games. The Velodrome, Gym and Spa reopened to the public last week with the arena opening to the public today (Monday August 25).

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said:

    “These world class venues have performed brilliantly in front of a global audience during the Commonwealth Games but are now being used again by the people of Glasgow. Some of the very best international athletes are once again making plans to compete in Glasgow and the European Open Judo Championships will be another great opportunity to see Commonwealth Games athletes in action.”

    The European Open Judo is a partnership between Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and EventScotland. 

  • 28 August 2014

    Glasgow Welcomes The 2014 Ryder Cup

    An official Ryder Cup fan zone is to be set up in the city’s Merchant Square next month to encourage golf fans to make the most of the event as Glasgow extends a special warm welcome to its visitors.

    One of the most anticipated events in the sporting calendar, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland this year for the first time in more than 40 years, and Glasgow plays host to the Gala Concert as a curtain raiser for the week.

    Thousands of ticket holders have already booked to stay in the city during the week of the tournament, which takes place at Gleneagles from September 23-28. 

    Nearly 7,000 hotel room nights have been booked in the city during the event, which Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) believes will inject more than £1 million into the city’s economy; providing a welcome boost to the city’s hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.

    GCMB, in partnership with Ryder Cup Europe and VisitScotland, will host the official fan zone event in Merchant Square from Friday to Sunday, September 26-28. A city guide is being produced to be handed out to ticket holders highlighting what’s on offer in Glasgow.

    The official fan zone will feature live coverage of the tournament shown on a big screen and an interactive golf zone. The fan-zone will be family focused during the day with golfers, and beginners of all ages able to test their skills in the Gleneagles golf simulator, get tips from the on-site golf professional and practice putting on the green. There will also be a photo booth for fans to take pictures and share on social media their support for Team Europe or Team USA.

    In the evening bars and restaurants will provide a fun and welcoming party atmosphere for golf fans returning from Gleneagles. Visitors and residents can soak up evening entertainment from DJs and live music performances in Merchant Square from Federation of the Disco Pimp, One Night Wonders and The Reel Time Ceilidh Band over the three nights.

    Glasgow will host the star-studded 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, which will be held on Wednesday, September 24, at the SSE Hydro.

    The Gala Concert celebrates the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup with a concert that brings together a flavor of The Brits with The Proms. Top names in golf, music and the arts will unite for one evening as the European and USA teams are introduced to the audience live on stage for the first time.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau will today (Thursday, August 28) address Glasgow businesses to discuss ways in which they can maximise the commercial opportunities of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, said: “Building on the success of the best-ever Commonwealth Games, The 2014 Ryder Cup gives the city another opportunity to showcase globally the fantastic welcome that it extends to its visitors.

    “Glasgow will once again be in the spotlight as the city gears up to welcome an influx of golf fans attending this, the biggest tournament in golf. Visitors will be looking for more than just golf during their trip and we want them to make the most of their time in the city and experience all that it has to offer. Our official fan zone in Merchant Square will provide a focal point for visiting golf fans and Glasgow residents to watch live coverage of the tournament, try out the interactive golf zone and enjoy welcoming evening entertainment. The 18th hole may be at Gleneagles, but the 19th hole will be in Glasgow.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency delivering Scotland’s Ryder Cup commitments, said: “Following the success of the XX Commonwealth Games Live Zones in Glasgow, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people, the official Ryder Cup fan zone in Merchant Square will be the place to be in Glasgow.

    “Thousands of ticket holders and media will be staying in Glasgow during the week, and the fan zone will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome. From live coverage of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to photo booths, putting greens and a golf simulator, the buzz of the fan zone will reflect the excitement felt right across Scotland as we prepare to host the best ever Ryder Cup!

    “With The Ryder Cup Gala Concert set to take place on Wednesday September 24 at The SSE Hydro, it’s certainly shaping up to be a very exciting week for Scotland.”

    Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup promises to be a magnificent festival of sporting excellence. It attracts a huge TV audience around the world who will all see the delights Scotland has to offer. It is great that golf fans, youngsters and families will be able to get caught up in the magic of The Ryder Cup through the Glasgow fan zone.”

    Jennifer Morrison, Operations Manager for Merchant Square, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming visiting golf fans to Merchant Square for the official fan zone for the Ryder Cup in Glasgow. We’re anticipating a real buzz in the Square as our visitors, and also residents enjoy the great atmosphere.”

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Wigtown provides the perfect stage

    High-octane motorsport and the literary arts do not necessarily go hand in hand but next month Wigtown will play host to the GWF Merrick Stages Rally and the renowned Wigtown Book Festival.

    Both are supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council under its Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017. 

     Despite tough financial conditions, the local authority has prioritised investment in major events to generate economic benefits and to bring cultural and sporting drama to the region.

    On Saturday, September 6th, drivers and co-drivers from across the country will battle for honours on the sixth round of the 2014 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

    The Merrick Stages will again be based at the former county buildings, which provide the perfect backdrop for the Friday night scrutineering, and the start/finish the following day.

    The rally route will comprise seven classic stages in the Galloway Forest Park, including those at Drumjohn, Auchinleck, Balloch and Arroch Hill.

    From September 26th, Scotland's National Book Town will host a world-class line-up of writers and broadcasters, including Clare Balding, Kate Adie, Margaret Drabble, Jonathan Miller and Kirsty Wark.

    The award-winning festival, which runs until October 5th, has become one of the UK's best-loved literary events, with music, theatre, food and visual arts all added to the mix.

    The book festival and the rally have been warmly welcomed by the local community, and have become mainstays of the area’s diverse economy, attracting thousands of visitors.

    At a launch ceremony in the town today (Tuesday, August 26th), Councillor Colin Smyth, chair of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, and the region's Events Champion, said:

    “We are committed to a sustained and ongoing programme of support to help grow major cultural and sporting events in Dumfries and Galloway. We value hugely the work of events organisers and events organisations to create fantastic cultural festivals and sporting drama. Wigtown is a gem of a town, regenerated through its Book Town status, and provides the perfect backdrop for both the Rally and the Literary Festival.”

    Said Merrick Stages Clerk of the Course, Graham Bisset: "We are delighted to have secured additional backing from Dumfries and Galloway Council, which recognises the rally’s significance and contribution as a major event within the region. We look forward to increasing collaboration to develop the event and motorsport within the region in conjunction with the Council and the people of Galloway".

    He went on: "The warm welcome we get every year from Wigtown adds to the spirit of the rally. We've also got the benefit of the beautiful setting of the restored county buildings, the bowling green opposite, and the town square, all of which help characterise the event".

    Category: National Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Dumfries and Galloway Council ‘Proud to Fund Stimulating, Thoughtful and Irreverent Book Festival’

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is to make a grant of £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Company for the 2014 Book Festival.

    The Festival’s 2014 Programme features authors such as Margaret Drabble, Sarah Maitland and Damian Barr and broadcasters including Clare Balding, Penny Junor, Kate Adie and Kirsty Wark. The ten day Festival features more than 200 events, and is choc a bloc with children’s author readings, film and music events too.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “I am delighted that the Council is awarding £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Trust to help deliver the 2014 Book Festival. The event is a magnificent promotion of Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, and is always stimulating, thoughtful and irreverent. There is a terrific line up of talent for the 2014 Festival, with something for everyone, and that will encourage thousands of visitors to flock to Wigtownshire.”

    “The Council is proud to contribute £37,000 of funding to the Festival, because we are so aware of its benefits, including the direct economic impact of £2million it generates for the regional economy. Our Major Festivals and Events Strategy is really important in building successful, sustainable, memorable festivals in our region, which is safeguarding the cultural vitality of Dumfries and Galloway, and developing year on year our stock of international events.”

    A 2013 Economic Impact study commissioned by the Wigtown Festival Company established that the Festival is responsible for stimulating an extra £2m for the regional economy each year. There were more than 7500 unique visitors to the 2013 Festival, and the majority of these – 57%, came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway. The Book Festival has now, together with the Wickerman, reached the milestone of being worth more than £2m for the local economy.

    Category: National Events

  • 22 August 2014

    Extension discussion boost for Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

    First Minister Alex Salmond has opened discussions with Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) and the European Tour to extend AAM’s sponsorship of the Scottish Open until 2020.

    The tournament, one of the European Tour’s flagship events, has gone from strength to strength with spectator numbers up by a quarter since 2011, and a Memorandum of Understanding to enter talks was signed today.

    The negotiations seek to extend AAM’s sponsorship beyond the current 2017 contract and continue to build on the already strong reputation of the Scottish Open.

    The First Minister made the announcement at North Berwick Golf Club which will host next year’s inaugural Scottish Open pre-qualifying tournament. The 54-hole qualifying tournament will take place the week before the Scottish Open, being staged at Gullane, and will offer six Championship places to Scottish golfers.

    The First Minister said:

    “Scotland is the Home of Golf; the historical origins of the game, our magnificent courses and stunning scenery all cement that reputation to fans across the globe. And with The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles just weeks away, the eyes of the golfing world are falling on Scotland.

    “The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open has gone from strength to strength and is one of the most anticipated competitions on the Tour by players and fans alike.

    “Aberdeen Asset Management’s tremendous support has had a huge hand in the tournament’s growth and the opening of these negotiations will hopefully see that fruitful partnership continue.”

    George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said:

    “Naturally, we welcome the opportunity to further develop our sponsorship agreements with our Title Sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and The Scottish Government – our longest partner in Scotland – for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

    “Following the initial agreement, announced at Edinburgh Castle in March 2012, our partners have gained outstanding value from their association with the Scottish Open and The European Tour. As we strive towards our agreed vision for the 2020 Scottish Open, I have no doubt that the continued commitment, drive and vision of Aberdeen and the Government, working in partnership with The European Tour, will continue to enhance this superb Championship each year.

    “On behalf of The European Tour, I would also like to thank North Berwick Golf Club for agreeing to host the pre-qualifying tournament for the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open – North Berwick is a fitting links test to begin our inaugural Qualifying tournament and I am sure it will produce six worthy winners of a place in Scotland’s National Open.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland and EventScotland, which manages Scotland’s investment in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, said:

    “As the lead agency delivering Scotland’s commitments around The 2014 Ryder Cup, VisitScotland has supported more than 50 Scottish golf events since 2003 and the announcement to open discussions on extending sponsorship of the Scottish Open until 2020 is testament to this. Hosting incredible events like the AAM Scottish Open not only generates millions for the economy, but they also continue to strengthen Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf.”

    Category: International Events

  • 22 August 2014

    Date and venue change gives Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open a boost

    First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland will be rescheduled and take a prime spot in the Ladies European Tour calendar from next year.

    Staged at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, it will immediately precede the Women’s British Open from 2015, mirroring the current set up on The Men’s European Tour. The unique agreement, brokered by tournament promoters WSM Communications, has created a successful strategy for the development of the championship and will result in an increased prize fund to €500,000 in a three year deal, to 2017.

    The tournament has grown in stature since it was established in 2007 thanks to funding from Aberdeen Asset Management and EventScotland, which signalled the start of a strong partnership in support of golf events in Scotland.

    The First Minister said:

    “The Scottish Open now attracts the world’s top players as the challenge of the links game is viewed as the perfect preparation for the following week’s Open Championship. In fact, we can now claim that the past four winners, including Rory McIlory this year, have all taken part in the Scottish Open the week before – Scotland is the key to Open glory!

    “The movement of the Ladies Scottish Open will place the tournament in a similar position and raises the profile of the women’s game, which is currently flourishing in Scotland. Catriona Matthew, the defending Ladies’ Scottish Open champion, continues to act as a wonderful ambassador for our game, Kylie Walker is the leading Scot in Europe, and Carly Booth, Vikki Laing and Pamela Pretswell continue to light up the game.

    “I am confident that the test of Dundonald Links will prove to be a huge draw for more top female golfers to come to Scotland and hone their links game.”

    Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of The Ladies European Tour said:

    "The Ladies European Tour is delighted to secure the renewed commitment for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland, which now establishes itself as one of the main events on our International schedule, through to 2017. It is a testament to the strength of the partnership we have developed with Aberdeen Asset Management, EventScotland and WSM Communications and the commitment to the development of women's golf in general."

     Kylie Walker, two-time LET winner this season, who was present at the announcement made today finished:

    “The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open’s unique format is enjoyed by all the players so I am delighted with today’s announcement. To be able to play at Dundonald just a week ahead of the Women’s British Open is the perfect links preparation for all the players. The tournament is continuing to grow in stature so I can’t wait to play my part in the future of the event that is a permanent fixture on my schedule.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland and EventScotland, which manages Scotland’s investment in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, said: “VisitScotland and Aberdeen Asset Management have developed a strong partnership in support of Scottish golf events  and were both at the heart of establishing the Ladies Scottish Open in 2007. The exciting announcement that the event will be moving to a prime spot in the Ladies European Tour calendar and a new venue will help take the event to the next level.”

    Category: International Events

  • 22 August 2014

    Glasgow to host the 2018 European Championships

    The LEN Bureau voted in favour of Glasgow as the host of the 2018 European Swimming Championships.

    Tollcross in Glasgow will host the swimming competition, while Strathclyde Park will welcome open-water and Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth Pool will stage diving and synchronised swimming.

    Glasgow emerged as the winner of the bidding procedure for the 2018 European Championships. President Paolo Barelli announced the result after the LEN Bureau meeting held in Berlin during the 32nd Europeans. The continental showcase will visit Scotland for the very first time in its history.

    “The new policy of LEN is to choose major European cities in order to ensure the best possible conditions to the continent’s elite swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and open water swimmers and to all representatives of our national federations” Paolo Barelli said. “The LEN Bureau acted in this sense while choosing Glasgow. Everyone had the chance to watch the outstanding success of the Commonwealth Games, recently held in the city. Organising that event at such a high level is a kind of guarantee for us for 2018.”

    The LEN President added: “We are very much looking forward to see our European Championships being hosted in wonderful venues in 2018 and our great athletes of the four disciplines enjoying the warm hospitality of the people of Scotland.”

    Paolo Barelli also noted that by taking this decision here in Berlin, four years before the start, “LEN is envisioning the need to allocate our most important events well in advance in order to secure enough time to our hosts to prepare everything the best possible way and be ready to stage a wonderful show, worthy of a worldwide attention and success.”

    Members of the Glasgow bidding delegation were delighted after learning the LEN Bureau decision.

    Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: "I am delighted that Glasgow has been chosen as the host of the 2018 European Swimming Championships.  This is a hugely important event, won through a strategic partnership including EventScotland, Glasgow City Council and British Swimming, which will give us the opportunity for us to further the profile of swimming in Scotland.

    "Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and we have already demonstrated that we have the world-class professional facilities needed for an event such as this with the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Strathclyde Country Park and Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool as part of the Commonwealth Games.

    "All the participants and spectators can expect a warm welcome from the people of Scotland who have demonstrated superbly their hospitality and passion for culture and sport."

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The decision by LEN to choose Glasgow as the host for the championships in 2018 is a direct legacy from hosting the Commonwealth Games where the swimming events were among the highlights with capacity crowds and incredible performances contributing to what have been declared the best ever Games.

    “I was delighted to welcome LEN President Paolo Barelli to Tollcross during the Games to discuss bringing this event to our world-class venue and to showcase our capacity to deliver excellent, innovative and exciting sporting events. The Commonwealth Games was a game-changer for Glasgow but we are not resting on our laurels and this fantastic championships adds to our roster which include both the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross and the Gymnastics World Championships at the Hydro in 2015.

    “We look forward to continuing our sporting journey with this prestigious event as we work hard to develop job and investment opportunities for the citizens of Glasgow in one of the world’s top ten sporting cities.”

    Category: International Events

  • 22 August 2014

    KINGSBARNS TO HOST FIRST MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP

    Kingsbarns Golf Links will host its first Major Championship as it was announced today as the venue for the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017.

    Host to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship since 2001, the 2010 Open Final Qualifying and the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open Final Qualifying, Kingsbarns has been widely acclaimed by players and media alike since opening 14 years ago and has fitted seamlessly into the famous golfing landscape of St Andrews.

    Kingsbarns joins a stellar list of courses on the Championship rota and is universally thought to be one of the World’s best modern courses, ranked Number One in GolfWeek’s Top 100 modern courses within the UK and ranked 18th on Golf Digest’s Top 100 Best Courses Outside the United States.

    Art Dunkley, Director of Kingsbarns Golf Links said, “People have said many flattering things about our course and facilities since we opened in 2000 but being selected to host our first Major Championship is the greatest accolade of all.” 

    Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO commented, “We believe Kingsbarns will be a wonderful addition to the Women’s Open rota. Their excitement at hosting their first Major will make the 2017 edition very special and we look forward to a long relationship with them.”

    Simon Sasaki, Corporate Executive Vice President, Ricoh Company Ltd. said, “We have been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007 and one of the many attractions of this historic tournament is bringing the players, fans and our clients to the many wonderful venues that the LGU and IMG have secured to watch world-class golf. We think adding Kingsbarns Golf Links to the roster with its world-class  course and facilities is an exciting and refreshing addition which will further enhance this great tournament.”

    Paul Bush, from EventScotland added, “Bringing Major Championships to Scotland, the Home of Golf, outlines our ambition to host the biggest events in world golf and the addition of the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017 at Kingsbarns further strengthens our envied portfolio of golf tournaments in 2014 and beyond. This is also a great compliment to Kingsbarns Golf Links and shows just how established the venue has become on the global golf map.”

    Turnberry’s famous Ailsa course is the venue for the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open, welcoming the Ricoh Women’s British Open for only the second time in the Championship’s history and Woburn will be the venue in 2016 hosting it’s 10th Ricoh Women’s British Open. 

    The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company, since 1984. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.

    Ricoh is a global technology company specialising in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.

    For further information please visit www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com

    Category: International Events

  • 21 August 2014

    Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2014

    We are delighted to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards. 

    sportscotland wants the coaching system in Scotland to be World Class. We want coaches in Scotland to be appreciated and valued by more people throughout the country  and are fully committed to recognising and rewarding our coaches hard work, dedication and success.
    The sportscotland Awards cover 9 categories across Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering:
    Coaching (paid or unpaid)
    Young persons coach of the year
    Community coach of the year
    Development coach of the year
    Performance coach of the year
    Young coach of the year
    Disability coach of the year
    Officiating
    Technical official of the year
     Volunteer (in a non-coaching capacity)
    Volunteer of the year
    Young volunteer of the year
    2014 promises to be one of Scotland’s biggest years for sport and to recognise the thousands that will be volunteering at events across the year we are delighted to announce that we have added a new category to our awards:
    Event volunteer of the year

    Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards. 


    sportscotland wants the coaching system in Scotland to be World Class. We want coaches in Scotland to be appreciated and valued by more people throughout the country  and are fully committed to recognising and rewarding our coaches hard work, dedication and success.

    The sportscotland Awards cover 9 categories across Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering:

    Coaching (paid or unpaid)

    Young persons coach of the year

    Community coach of the yearDevelopment coach of the year

    Performance coach of the year

    Young coach of the year

    Disability coach of the year

    Officiating
    Technical official of the year 

    Volunteer (in a non-coaching capacity)
    Volunteer of the year

    Young volunteer of the year

    2014 promises to be one of Scotland’s biggest years for sport and to recognise the thousands that will be volunteering at events across the year we are delighted to announce that we have added a new category to our awards:

    Event volunteer of the year

     

    For more information and to apply, click here

    Category: Industry News

  • 21 August 2014

    COUNTING DOWN TO THE 2015 FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS BLAIR CASTLE

    COUNTING DOWN TO THE 2015 FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS BLAIR CASTLE

    With this year's Blair Castle International Horse Trials now underway, tickets have gone on sale for the 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships, which will run at Blair Castle from 10–13 September next year.

    Be one of the first to secure your tickets to what will be Scotland's biggest and most prestigious sporting event of 2015. Tickets can be bought this weekend, at the Blair Castle International Horse Trials, or online through a new, dedicated website, www.blair2015.com.

    The 2015 FEI European Eventing Championship forms part of UK Sport’s prestigious Gold Event Series aiming to bring up to 70 World Class Events to home soil by 2019.

    A Membership pass has to be the best way to enjoy the European Championships, with benefits including forward car parking, access to the ringside Members Marquee and garden, and CCTV coverage so you can keep up with the action while enjoying the offerings of the bar and restaurant facilities. You can even bring your well behaved dog into the Marquee.

    Grandstand tickets are also available and worth booking early if you want seats under cover, or any seat overlooking the Main Arena for the final show jumping phase and medal presentations on the Sunday. There are 2000 seats available but they are sure to sell out well ahead of the event.

    As usual, camping pitches can be booked by those who really want to make the most of every minute, and enjoy the evening entertainment too. To step it up a notch, Blair 2015 is also offering the ultimate camping experience courtesy of Black Dog Tipis. Both regular tipis and yurts, and the more stylish 'Super Luxury' tipis and yurts – complete with real sheepskins, airbeds and bedding, lanterns and fairy lights – can now be reserved. Full details are available on the 2015 website.

    It's not often that a European Championships comes to Scotland. Germany might be the current Championship title holder, but Great Britain is sure to pull out all the stops on home soil to regain the team title that had been held through a remarkable eight consecutive championships, from 1995-2009. As the recent Commonwealth Games has demonstrated, Scotland can put on a fabulous show, and the fairytale Blair Castle is perfectly placed to welcome Europe's best event riders to this breathtaking location to bid for medal glory.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as we look forward to another fantastic year of sport in 2015, the European Eventing Championships will undoubtedly be one of the highlights as we welcome some of the world’s top equestrian talent to Perthshire. Blair Castle is renowned as a world class host for eventing and the spectacular estate will provide the ideal backdrop to the action.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 21 August 2014

    NICKY CAMPBELL TO APPEAR AT WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? LIVE SCOTLAND

    Award-winning TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell is set to share his family history story later this month at Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland, which will kick off at Glasgow’s SECC on 29 August 2014.

    Appearing on the opening day of the show, the Long Lost Family presenter will reflect on his experiences of filming his episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, an adoption special, which saw him trace the roots of his adoptive family in Scotland and Australia rather than his biological forebears.

    Andy Healy, Show Director, commented: “We are thrilled to have confirmed Nicky Campbell as our celebrity guest for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland. With just two weeks to go, we’re putting the finishing touches to the show and are looking forward to welcoming Nicky and family historians of all levels to this exciting genealogy event.”

    Sponsored by Ancestry.co.uk and supported by Homecoming Scotland, the two-day show will give visitors access to specialist workshops, leading genealogists, archives and museums, major online subscription sites and one of the largest collections of family history organisations.

    Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland is based on the popular television programme, produced by Wall to Wall (a Warner Bros. Television Productions UK company), which recently returned to BBC One. Celebrating both 10 years on our screens and its 100th episode, the new series will see celebrities including Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Mary Berry, Brian Blessed and Twiggy trace their family trees to uncover the stories of their ancestors.

    Kathryn Taylor, Series Producer of Who Do You Think You Are?, said: “It’s great that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Scotland. The event will hopefully be a big draw for existing viewers and fans of the show – as well as those new to Who Do You Think You Are? It will be a fantastic forum for sharing questions, finding answers and expertise and discovering more about how to go about doing the type of research that viewers see on the TV shows! I hope it will enthuse even more people to start exploring their own family histories and encourage viewers to take the plunge themselves.”

    Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland are available now online at whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/ or by calling 0844 8737330. Advanced single tickets are priced £14 for adults and £24 for a two-day ticket, while children under 16 go free.

    Category: International Events

  • 21 August 2014

    Hungry to know the science behind the food you eat? It’s on the menu at Dundee Flower and Food Festival!

    Visitors to the forthcoming Dundee Flower and Food Festival (5-7 September) are in for a treat, thanks to a boost of £4,000 from the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund.

    The popular festival is one of a number of Homecoming events awarded money from the Homecoming Scotland Food and Drink fund dedicated to promoting Scottish food and drink in 2014, announced by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead.

    The additional funding will be used towards a brand new Food Discovery Marquee – a collaboration with Dundee Science Centre.  The marquee, seating up to 100 visitors will be hosted by staff from Dundee’s Science Centre and will provide a free three-day interactive programme showcasing the story of Scottish food and drink, as well as cookery demonstrations and an understanding of the science behind many of our favourite foods.  This new activity will also enable a wider range of producers to take part in the Festival this year.

    Highlights this year also include top chefs Nick Nairn and Paul Rankin, and gardening fans will be treated to displays by Beechgrove stars Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Jim McColl. The World Jampionships will also make another appearance at the festival with prizes awarded on the Saturday.

    The Homecoming Food and Drink funding will be used for a number of different elements across the seven events that have received money including Blas Festival (£10k), City of Elgin Food & Drink Festival (£3,845), Dundee Flower and Food Festival (£4k), Living Food at Cawdor Castle (£4k), Best of the West (£3.5k), Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival (£3,900) and the World Pipe Band Championships (£12k).

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “Scotland’s reputation for exceptional. quality food and drink is growing and it is very exciting to see.  With new restaurants, products, food festivals and events popping up all over the country, visitors from home and abroad are enjoying discovering all sorts of fresh local produce from delicious seafood to delightful artisan Scottish gin. 

    “Food and drink is a key element of our Homecoming year and this fund has helped develop and support that theme to great success.  In 2015, we welcome the Year of Food and Drink and we look forward to continuing to showcase Scotland’s outstanding natural larder to the world.”

    Blas Festival (5-13 September) will celebrate its 10th anniversary by mixing the best of Gaelic culture, music, art and spoken word with a number of food tastings at many of their events.  Highlights include an open-tasting session at Wick Assembly Rooms on the 6 September as part of the sold-out Red Hot Chilli Pipers concert, and pop-up food tastings and musical showcases at Inverness Airport.

    The 9th annual Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival (6 & 7 September) will showcase Scottish cookery demonstrations including a World War Two Cookery team.  There will also be a cookery demonstrations area which will use food from the stalls of the local producers attending the event and include back to basics tutorials on how to get the most out of Scotland’s larder.

    The Best of the West Festival (13 & 14 September) returns to the stunning grounds of Scotland’s iconic Inveraray Castle with a two day celebration of traditional music, family fun and the pick of Argyll’s bountiful larder. For this first time, the event will have a professional demonstration kitchen for the weekend where Ross Stovold, Isle of Eriska Head Chef (former head chef at Michelin-starred Alimentum in Cambridge) will showcase three of his signature dishes alongside a number of locally based chefs.

    The City of Elgin Food and Drink Festival (20 September) which will have more than 70 exhibitors this year will be offering ‘Tasty Tours’ –short guided tours mixing food and drink themes with the wonderful local heritage including a visit to Gordon & MacPhail.  The Festival will also host a ‘Children's Fruit Kebab & Biscuit Bar’ encouraging children to try different fruits, both those produced locally and those that can be purchased locally.

    Living Food at Cawdor Castle (20 September) will have additional stalls to showcase the Slow Food ‘Ark of Taste’ products from Scotland. The Ark of Taste, which started in 1996, is a catalogue of traditional food products from all over the world that are in danger of disappearing. There are 10 unique and very traditional Scottish products on the list and including Musselburgh leeks, Shetland Cabbage, Shetland Black potatoes, North Ronaldsay and Shetland lamb, Shetland beef and traditional food processes.

    The World Pipe Band Championships served up a food and drink festival like no other last weekend. Titled ‘Albannach Food and Drink Festival – a contemporary Flavour of Scotland’, visitors were treated to the finest fare and a full day of Scottish food and drink celebrations.

    Food and drink is a key theme for Homecoming Scotland 2014 and builds on the success of the Year of Food and Drink celebrations in 2010.  The investment will help increase the number of food and drink producers involved in events and promote the distinct role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland's cultural identity and heritage ahead of the dedicated Year of Food and Drink in 2015.

    A number of the events including Best of the West, City of Elgin Food & Drink Festival, Dundee Flower and Food Festival, Living Food at Cawdor Castle and Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival will also form part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 2014 taking place between the 6th and the 21st of September.

    The funding is in addition to the events which were announced earlier this year which included the Forth Bridges Festival Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch event (£25k), Whisky Month (£45k), John Muir Festival (£10k), Bannockburn Live (£50k), Ryder Cup Opening Concert (£20k), Highland Homecoming (£30k), and the Edinburgh International Science Festival (£20k).

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 20 August 2014

    GYMNASTICS GOLDEN BOY LOUIS SMITH ANNOUNCED AS AMBASSADOR FOR 2015 WORLD GYMNASTICS

    Fresh from his medal winning performance at the best ever Commonwealth Games, Louis Smith is back in Glasgow to announce his role as official ambassador for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

    Glasgow has done itself proud this summer and is now looking forward to hosting one of the world’s largest single sporting events in the city next year. More than 500 gymnasts from over 80 nations will compete to become world champion and secure their place among the legends of the sport. As a qualification event for Rio 2016 Olympic Games the gymnasts will be ensuring they are at the peak of their abilities to keep their medal hopes alive.

     However, 2015 will not be purely all about the sport. After the success of Festival 2014 - the cultural programme which ran alongside the Games and the three live zones at Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Bandstand and Merchant City Festival - it has been decided that next year’s World Gymnastics Championships will have a cultural element to it too.

     Louis stopped by Merchant Square, which will be the fan zone for the event, to see what to expect next year.

     “It will be great to have such a brilliant space like this where people can come to engage with the championships and the sport of gymnastics further” - said Louis -“extra events like this surrounding the competition really shows how gymnastics is growing in popularity.”

     The fan zone will have various elements to it including a big screen which will stream the event live, ‘come and try’ sporting activities, and athlete appearances and demonstrations. The official merchandise will also be sold within the fan zone. The Merchant Square will also play host to the Closing Party!

    After his comeback success at the Commonwealth Games Louis Smith is looking forward to next year – “Glasgow put on such a good show for the Games this summer – I’m sure they will do the same for the championships next year.

    “It was fantastic to be back competing and the SSE Hydro proved itself to be a great competition venue. The championships attract the top gymnasts from across the world and as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games every athlete will be on their top form.”

    Tickets are on sale for the 10 days of world-class competition. The schedule will comprise of four days of qualification events followed by six days of finals where gymnasts will compete in team, all around and individual apparatus events. For the qualification events concessions start at £7.50, adult tickets start at £15 and a family ticket starts at £38. For the finals concession ticket prices start at £20, adult ticket prices start at £40 and a family ticket starts at £100.

    This world-class event will be staged in Glasgow’s world-class SSE Hydro Arena between 23rd October and 1st November 2015. With the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships’ unique layout gymnastics fans will be able to get closer to the action than ever before and see the chalk dust fly.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships is the next step in Glasgow’s world-class sporting journey. The championships will build on the success of the best ever Commonwealth Games and once again showcase our city to a global audience.

    "It is already shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets in town in 2015 and with some of the biggest names in gymnastics set to go for gold ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games it is not difficult to see why. And of course leading the medal charge will be the fantastic members of Team GB including our own ambassador Louis Smith.

    “Glasgow is rightly regarded as one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities. We set the bar high in Glasgow and we are now focussing on delivering the best ever World Gymnastics Championships.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “"Following the incredible Commonwealth Games, where Louis made such a successful return, it is fantastic to be able to announce him as an ambassador. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are determined to make 2015 the best World Gymnastics Championships ever as athletes look for Rio qualification.”

    The first World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Antwerp in 1903. Now, over 100 years later Glasgow will take great pleasure in welcoming the 46th World Gymnastics Championships here next year.

    Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event at Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 1997. The title of the Grand Prix changed to the Gymnastics World Cup in 2011 and has been hosted in £113 million Emirates Arena since its opening in 2013. Glasgow is one of only four cities hosting World Cup events.

    The decision by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) follows a joint bid between British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport. Glasgow beat off tough competition from Paris (France) and Orlando (USA) to win the right to host the prestigious event.

    The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland. 

    Category: International Events

  • 18 August 2014

    Scotland take on Australia in bid for 2017 Sudirman Cup

    BADMINTONscotland are looking to capitalise on the success of the Commonwealth Games to bring the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships back to Scotland for the third time in 2017.

    The Badminton World Federation (BWF) today confirmed just two bidding candidates to host the Cup by the July 31 deadline – Scotland and Australia.

    Scotland are putting forward Glasgow’s Emirates Arena as the venue following the success of the Commonwealth Games badminton competition when more than 100,000 fans watched the 11 days of action.

    Australia’s venue will be on Queensland’s Gold Coast, which will stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Their venue would be the new Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.

    BADMINTONscotland must now wait until the BWF Council meeting in the Peruvian capital of Lima from November 10-14 for the decision.

    Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “Everyone knows we have a great track record of staging world championships in Glasgow.

    “We have hosted the Sudirman Cup and the World Individual Championships in the city in 1997 and staged the Sudirman Cup again in 2007.

    “We want to build on the success of the Commonwealth Games to bring more world-class badminton to the city and we feel we have a persuasive bid in place thanks to the continued support of Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport.

    “Hopefully the decision will go in Glasgow’s favour and give us another reason to celebrate when we stage the Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena a week later (November 19-23).”

    Category: International Events

  • 18 August 2014

    LILY ALLEN TO HEADLINE EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY 2014/15 CONCERT IN THE GARDENS

     

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are today delighted to announce that pop superstar Lily Allen, will headline the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2014/15 ‘Concert in the Gardens’. Organisers Unique Events on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council announce that this special headline show will end a spectacular year for Lily Allen and will be the final show of her 2014 world tour. After a self-imposed ‘retirement’ from the music industry, 2014 has been a triumphant return to the top, producing her second No.1 album ‘Sheezus’, plus a summer of exhilarating performances and headline appearances at the UK’s biggest music festivals (including Glastonbury, Latitude and V Festivals), collecting the NME Award for ‘Best British Solo Artist’ and positioning herself as one of the UK’s most successful female artists.
    Her 2006 debut album ‘Alright, Still’ sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide, produced No1 singles and pop classics ‘Smile’ and ‘LDN’, projecting Lily Allen to international pop superstardom, critical acclaim and a raft of industry awards including nominations at the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.
    On her headline appearance at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Lily Allen has said: ‘I’ve always wanted to spend Hogmanay in Scotland so the fact that I get to do it this year but performing onstage in front of a whole load of people up for the best time makes it extra special. I can’t wait”
    Lily Allen at the Concert in the Gardens includes very special guests to be announced, set beneath the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and the spectacular Midnight Fireworks, broadcast around the world and showcasing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay as one of the biggest and best New Year parties on the planet!
    Recently listed as the only event/festival in the ‘Discovery Channel - Top 25 World Travel Experiences’, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is recognised globally as one of the world’s best New Year celebrations and last year welcomed visitors from over 60 countries to celebrate at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’. Over three-days of spectacular free and ticketed events in 2013/14, audiences of over 130,000 joined the celebrations, with 5 of 6 main ticketed events sold-out before the 31st December.
    PRESS RELEASE
    STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL
    12NOON FRIDAY 15 AUGUST 2014
    www.edinburghshogmanay.com
    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has long been the envy of cities across the globe and the celebrations to bring in the start 2015 are set to be no exception. Headliner Lily Allen is sure to be a big hit with revellers, and coupled with an absolutely spectacular fireworks display, we are aiming to yet again bring together and entertain thousands of people as the capital brings in the bells.”
    Pete Irvine, Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: ‘We are delighted to announce Lily Allen to headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in this the final week of the world's largest arts festival Edinburgh‘s Festival Fringe. Lily has had a great year headlining summer festivals, playing all over the world and now we welcome her to the Home of Hogmanay. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is THE New Year party, Lily is THE party girl.”
    Revellers can purchase tickets for Concert in the Gardens and all other Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, The Keilidh at the Street Party, Torchlight Procession and Concert in St Giles’ Cathedral from 10am Friday 22 August at www.edinburghshogmanay.com, by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455 or by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.
    Sign-up for pre-sale ticket information at www.edinburghshogmanay.com

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are today delighted to announce that pop superstar Lily Allen, will headline the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2014/15 ‘Concert in the Gardens’. Organisers Unique Events on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council announce that this special headline show will end a spectacular year for Lily Allen and will be the final show of her 2014 world tour. After a self-imposed ‘retirement’ from the music industry, 2014 has been a triumphant return to the top, producing her second No.1 album ‘Sheezus’, plus a summer of exhilarating performances and headline appearances at the UK’s biggest music festivals (including Glastonbury, Latitude and V Festivals), collecting the NME Award for ‘Best British Solo Artist’ and positioning herself as one of the UK’s most successful female artists.

    Her 2006 debut album ‘Alright, Still’ sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide, produced No1 singles and pop classics ‘Smile’ and ‘LDN’, projecting Lily Allen to international pop superstardom, critical acclaim and a raft of industry awards including nominations at the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.

    On her headline appearance at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Lily Allen has said: ‘I’ve always wanted to spend Hogmanay in Scotland so the fact that I get to do it this year but performing onstage in front of a whole load of people up for the best time makes it extra special. I can’t wait”Lily Allen at the Concert in the Gardens includes very special guests to be announced, set beneath the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and the spectacular Midnight Fireworks, broadcast around the world and showcasing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay as one of the biggest and best New Year parties on the planet!

    Recently listed as the only event/festival in the ‘Discovery Channel - Top 25 World Travel Experiences’, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is recognised globally as one of the world’s best New Year celebrations and last year welcomed visitors from over 60 countries to celebrate at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’. Over three-days of spectacular free and ticketed events in 2013/14, audiences of over 130,000 joined the celebrations, with 5 of 6 main ticketed events sold-out before the 31st December.

    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has long been the envy of cities across the globe and the celebrations to bring in the start 2015 are set to be no exception. Headliner Lily Allen is sure to be a big hit with revellers, and coupled with an absolutely spectacular fireworks display, we are aiming to yet again bring together and entertain thousands of people as the capital brings in the bells.

    ”Pete Irvine, Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: ‘We are delighted to announce Lily Allen to headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in this the final week of the world's largest arts festival Edinburgh‘s Festival Fringe. Lily has had a great year headlining summer festivals, playing all over the world and now we welcome her to the Home of Hogmanay. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is THE New Year party, Lily is THE party girl.”

    Revellers can purchase tickets for Concert in the Gardens and all other Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events including Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, The Keilidh at the Street Party, Torchlight Procession and Concert in St Giles’ Cathedral from 10am Friday 22 August at www.edinburghshogmanay.com, by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455 or by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.

    Sign-up for pre-sale ticket information at www.edinburghshogmanay.com

    Category: Winter Festivals

  • 14 August 2014

    Tickets for FRB 50th Birthday Party and Torchlight Procession

    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.

    Tickets can be purchased from 10:00am on Friday 15 August via the Forth Road Bridge website www.forthroadbridge.org and the Forth Bridges Festival website www.forthbridgesfestival.com.

    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.

  • 13 August 2014

    SPONSORSHIP RECRUITMENT FOR 2015 FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Blair Castle Horse Trials reported this week that it plans to use this year’s event (August 21-24) as a launch pad to build interest from commercial sponsors for its hosting of the 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships, awarded to Blair Castle from 10-13 September 2015.  This prestigious event will provide companies with the opportunity of getting involved in the most important major sporting event to be held in Scotland in 2015. 

    The sport of eventing attracts a wide range of audiences – from families, to individuals and of course the competitive audiences.  80% of spectators are ABC1 with the highest AB audience of any sport.   The sport offers strong value associations for brands to leverage – expertise, success and integrity and it is a sport that the whole family can enjoy whether watching or competing. 

    Eventing is also a sport where uniquely men and women compete against each other on equal terms and is a sport where ‘town meets country’.  Eventing roots are in the rural community but its supporters are drawn from major towns and cities as well as the rural sector. 

    In addition British success in the international arena is enviable with a collection of European, World and Olympic team and individual medals.  The sport enjoys Royal Patronage and it is estimated that over 4.3 million people ride in Great Britain each year with over 33% of the population having an interest in equine sport (excluding racing). 

    The membership of various societies within the equestrian community grows year on year which clearly demonstrates that the sport attracts a wide and increasing network of supporters.

    The 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships will bring the cream of the European circuit to Blair Castle both in terms of competitors and spectators and will give companies involved the opportunity to reach a wide audience through a host of mediums.   The event runs over four days and will attract in excess of 60,000 spectators from far and wide.  

    Alec Lochore, Director of Blair Castle Horse Trials, commented, "We're now planning ahead for the Europeans in August 2015. This year, we're successfully running Blair without a title sponsor, but we're looking to the Scottish business community to rally round this superb opportunity to showcase the best of Scotland and Scottish Eventing. As this year's Commonwealth Games has amply illustrated, Scotland can compete with the best and put on a show of which all can be proud. We want to partner with businesses for whom Blair can show their brands in a very positive light across the UK and Europe at large."

    The media campaign surrounding the Europeans both in the build-up, on event and post will be extensive and encompass television, radio, print and the ever growing digital sector.  The campaign will reach out to the European market in order that the European community benefits from this exceptional sporting occasion.

    Sponsorship opportunities abound for the Championship competition from title sponsorship through to the grass roots opportunities - all of which will allow investors to promote their brand and image to a wide, diverse and increasing audience.

    To find out more of what is on offer at the 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle email:  petermcneile@gmail.com (07850 091523) 

    Category: Industry News

  • 13 August 2014

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials – the Final Countdown

    In just over a week lorries will be packed, horses loaded, and riders from far and wide will head to Blair Castle in the Scottish Highlands. The Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Bruadar Country Fair runs from 21-24 August, with showing, show jumping and Pony Club classes taking place alongside the main event, providing equestrian entertainment to suit all horse lovers.

    Top riders will be challenging for the spoils, among them British World Equestrian Games squad member Nicola Wilson who will be heading straight from Scotland to France. Her team veteran Opposition Buzz, now retired from the very top level, will start as one of the favourites for the CIC3*, a class he has won twice before. Olympians Lucinda Fredericks and Mark Kyle both have good records at Blair and are also bound to be in the mix.

    The fairytale Blair Castle, situated between Perth and Inverness, is set to play host to next summer's FEI European Eventing Championships, so event riders will be keen to try out the new reverse-routed course devised by Ian Stark OBE. Ian has, however, promised that few clues as to next year's Championship track will be visible. Tickets for the European Championships, which will run from 10-13 September 2015, go on sale on Thursday 21 August 2014.

    Complimenting the equestrianism will be the Bruadar Country Fair, offering non-horsey visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of demonstrations each day. Performing this year will be Ridgeside Falconry and Dogs, the Quack Commandos and Riders of the Storm amongst others, and there will also be a Vintage and Classic Tractor Cavalcade.

    The shopping village houses over 200 trade stands providing something for all tastes and budgets, including a fabulous food hall full of deliciousness, so visitors would do well to ensure they arrive with plenty of empty space in the car for their purchases.

    As well as the equine spectacle and Country Fair, visitors to Scotland's leading equestrian event will also have the opportunity to experience the enchanting 'spirit of Scotland'. 2014 is Scotland's Year of Homecoming, a year-long celebration of all that makes Scotland an amazing place to visit.

    There is no better place to start a Scottish tour than at Blair Castle, which dates back to 1269. It is the ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, the last remaining private army in Europe, and it houses countless fascinating historical artefacts detailing 700 years of Scottish history.

    Scotland is captivating: the landscape is magnificent, the wildlife prodigious and the local produce some of the best in the world. The country also boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with an eclectic range of theatre, dance and music. It has an intriguing literary history and a range of architecture encompassing castles and crofts through to Glasgow's stunning Riverside Museum and Edinburgh's Scottish Parliament.

    If you are one of the 40,000 visitors planning to attend this month's Horse Trials, why not grasp the opportunity to explore this extraordinary country? Watch world class sport in a truly idyllic setting before embarking on a tour of all that Scotland has to offer.

    Category: International Events

  • 08 August 2014

    WORLD CLASS ENTRIES FOR BLAIR CASTLE INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS - WHO WILL TAKE THE TITLES FOR 2014?

    Riders from all disciplines will be heading to the Scottish Highlands in two weeks time for the Blair Castle International Horse Trials, 21-24 August. With Showing, British Showjumping and Pony Club classes running alongside the main event, there will be equestrian entertainment to suit all horse enthusiasts with some very competitive classes to look forward to. 

    In the eventing competitions, Lucy Wiegersma must start as one of the favourites for the CCI3*. Lucy will be riding last year's CIC3* runner up, Mr Chunky, who recently finished 5th in the British Eventing Open Championship at Gatcombe Park.   Louise Harwood will be giving Lucy a run for her money, however. She rides Whitson, one of the named reserves for the British Team for the World Equestrian Games (WEG), who was placed third at last weekend's British Eventing Open Championship. A winner at Blair back in 2005 Louise will undoubtedly be giving it her best shot.

    Defending title holder Lucinda Fredericks has two horses entered in the CIC3*, last year's winner Flying Finish and Mr Sydney Rocks. Lucinda will be keen to prove the Australian selectors wrong for having left her out of the WEG team. Ireland's Mark Kyle and his London 2012 ride Coolio will be a prime contender as he is very much back on form.

    It will be the first big run for Laura Collett and her new ride, Grand Manoeuvre, who was produced to 4* level by Nick Gauntlett and given to Laura after Badminton this year. The crowd favourite, however, is likely to be Nicola Wilson's team stalwart for so many years, Opposition Buzz. Nicola has four horses entered in the CIC3*, but 'Dodi', who won at Blair in both 2009 and 2010, is likely to get the biggest cheers from the crowds her other rides are Watermill Vision, One Two Many and Beltane Queen.

    There is a raft of younger talent in the CCI2*, past youth team medal winners Willa Newton, Ben Hobday and Emily Parker among them. In contrast, Matthew Wright brings the seventeen-year-old Hugginstown, who has contested this class for the last five years, winning in 2009 and 2010, runner up in 2011 and 2012 and finishing 5th last year.  Matthew is never one to just come along for the ride and the Scottish Highlands obviously suit Hugginstown, Charlotte Cole's son of Puissance.

    The well subscribed CCI1* is wide open, and a testament to riders enthusiasm for the challenges that the Blair terrain provides... and perhaps for the excellent and seemingly non-stop parties and fun that will undoubtedly take place during the week.

    This year riders will be faced by a reverse-routed cross country designed by Ian Stark OBE. Those looking for a clue as to what next year's FEI European Championship course will look like could well be disappointed though. For now, Blair's new course designer, is playing his cards very close to his chest.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 August 2014

    Commonwealth success helps Scotland raise its game

    The XX Commonwealth Games has been credited with leaving a lasting legacy on Scotland’s £1bn events industry, with nine world-class sporting and cultural events coming to Scotland in 2015 alone.

    Newly constructed or refurbished Games venues have helped VisitScotland, under its events directorate EventScotland, attract major sporting competitions including the IPC Swimming World Championships (July) to the redeveloped Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the EJU European Judo Championships (April) to the new Emirates’ Area and the World Gymnastics Championships 2015 (October) to the SSE Hydro.

     But the benefit of the Games legacy will be felt far beyond Glasgow, with major events like the FEI European Eventing Championships coming to Perthshire (September), the Open Championship returning to St Andrews in Fife (July), the Women‘s British Open being held at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire (July/August), and the World Orienteering Championships taking place in the Highlands (August).

     Scotland will also host a number of major cultural events including the Turner Prize (Nov/Dec) and the World Pipe Band Championships (August) both in Glasgow.

     Meanwhile 14 conferences, supported by the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, have already been confirmed for 2015, attracting nearly 20,000 business delegates to cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen and potentially bringing over £30 million to the economy.

     The huge success of Glasgow 2014, which saw 1.2 million tickets sold, plus investment in infrastructure and skills, has helped position Scotland as a country capable of delivering high-quality sporting, cultural and business experiences.

     As well as attracting thousands of visitors, these events are expected to generate significant economic impacts, helping Scotland’s tourism industry achieve its target of bringing an extra £1bn in tourism expenditure to Scotland by 2020.

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Glasgow 2014 has been hugely successful, the XX Commonwealth Games has brought around 6500 athletes and team officials from across the world, together with their support teams, friends and family.  Scotland has welcomed them all in the true spirit of a nation which is modern, inclusive and global in its outlook.

     “The Games show that Scotland is the place to be, with over 300 events still to take place as part of the Homecoming 2014 programme in the upcoming months as well as The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next month and the MTV Europe Music Awards.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The XX Commonwealth Games was a game-changer for Scotland’s tourism industry. Not only did it showcase Scotland to the world, it showed a global audience of over a billion, that Scotland has the facilities, infrastructure and the skills to deliver world-class events to the highest standards.

    “We now have the capacity, confidence and capability to ensure that Scotland becomes serious contender in attracting more major events and it all starts with our world-class 2015 programme.”  

    Paul Bush O.B.E, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: ‘‘Glasgow and Scotland have delivered an exceptional Commonwealth Games and on behalf of EventScotland I would like to thank everyone who has been involved during these past seven years.  Welcoming the Commonwealth Games to the country was a huge milestone for the Scottish events industry but what happens after this is vital. The last two weeks have been an international game changer for Glasgow and Scotland and truly demonstrates that Scotland is The Perfect Stage for events. We will take this opportunity to look ahead, and grow Scotland’s portfolio of major events beyond 2014.’’

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 August 2014

    Well done to badminton’s unsung heroes at Glasgow 2014

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie today paid tribute to the team behind the scenes who made the badminton tournament at the Emirates Arena such a success during Glasgow 2014.

    “They are the unsung heroes who played a big part in Scotland winning two medals,” she said.

    “Without the support of sportscotland and the Scottish Institute of Sport we wouldn’t be celebrating the great successes of Kirsty Gilmour’s silver medal in women’s singles and Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier’s bronze medal in the mixed doubles, not to mention the whole team reaching the quarter-finals of the team event.

    “But equally, we mustn’t forget the many court officials and volunteers, the workforce who make events of this magnitude possible.

    “We appreciate them giving up their time, especially as we are expecting many of them to be getting behind our sport again in just over three months to produce another spectacle at the Scottish Open Grand Prix (November 19-23).

    “The Emirates Arena has proved that it is a great venue for badminton. Danish badminton legend Morten Frost said so during his BBC commentary and, as a great champion, indeed a former Scottish Open champion, he should know.

    “We want the Arena to be home to the Scottish Open for many years to come and, perhaps even home to the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships in 2017 if Scotland is successful with their bid to host the competition for the third time. We will know the outcome of our bid in November.

    “But right now we want to bask in the success of Glasgow 2014 and encourage those people, young and old, who have enjoyed seeing world-class badminton to come back for more.

    “Tickets sales for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are already going well with many fans taking advantage of our early bird discounts. We want all you Glasgow 2014 fans to come back and support the Scotland players in November.”

    Perhaps you even want to consider becoming a line judge or joining the army of volunteers who make things happen. There are roles for drivers, hostesses, team liaison staff, something for everyone – and a chance to make new friends.”

    For ticket information and schedule details go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk

    The website also has contact details and information about volunteering.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 August 2014

    Gilmour and Bankier bounce back as Scotland stars reach quarter-finals

     Kirsty Gilmour and Imogen Bankier shook off last night's women's doubles disappointment when they bounced back today by reaching the last 16 in their second events at Glasgow 2014.

    Second seed Gilmour was too strong for Yeldy Louison of Mauritius, winning her last 16 match in the women's singles 21-4 21-6 to keep on course for a quarter-final clash with New Zealand's sixth seed Michelle Chan, who gave her a tough test in the team event in Glasgow's Emirates Arena.

    Third seeds Bankier and Robert Blair started slowly in the mixed doubles before stealing the first game from a six-point deficit before going on to beat Terry Hee and Fu Mingtian of Singapore 21-19 21-11 on their fifth match point.

    That win keeps then on course for a semi-final showdown with top seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock.

    Blair is back in action tonight with Paul Van Rietvelde in the men's doubles with Scotland's second pair, Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh also bidding for a quarter-final place.

    Kieran Merrilees is also through to the last eight in the men's singles after beating Northern Ireland's Tony Murphy 21-15 21-8. He now faces his GB training partner Rajiv Ouseph, the 2010 silver medallist and third seed from England.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 July 2014

    The Creative Mackintosh Festival 2014

     

    The Creative Mackintosh Festival 2014 is back for a third year this October with a month-long programme of arts and cultural events celebrating the life and genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s most famous architect, designer and artist and is part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
    Now in its third year, the festival will run from 1st – 31st October 2014 in Mackintosh venues throughout the city, and further afield, with the addition of several new partner venues to this year’s programme. Attendees to this year’s festival can also enjoy Mackintosh in: Glasgow Women’s Library; Provand’s Lordship; St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art; Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Nitshill; The Glad Café in Shawlands and Lyon & Turnbull, an auction house in the city’s Bath Street. 
    Visitors are invited to unleash their creativity during the month with a series of exhibitions, talks, tours, music events, kids’ activities, workshops and walks. Many of the events are FREE and appeal to all ages and tastes.

    The Creative Mackintosh Festival 2014 is back for a third year this October with a month-long programme of arts and cultural events celebrating the life and genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s most famous architect, designer and artist and is part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

    Now in its third year, the festival will run from 1st – 31st October 2014 in Mackintosh venues throughout the city, and further afield, with the addition of several new partner venues to this year’s programme. Attendees to this year’s festival can also enjoy Mackintosh in: Glasgow Women’s Library; Provand’s Lordship; St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art; Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Nitshill; The Glad Café in Shawlands and Lyon & Turnbull, an auction house in the city’s Bath Street. Visitors are invited to unleash their creativity during the month with a series of exhibitions, talks, tours, music events, kids’ activities, workshops and walks. Many of the events are FREE and appeal to all ages and tastes.

    For full information: www.glasgowmackintosh.com/festival


     

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 25 July 2014

    Major sporting events continue in Scotland after the Games!

    The Commonwealth Games are in full swing but never fear… major sporting events continue in Scotland beyond Glasgow 2014! See below for some of the highlights:

     

    Glasgow European JUDO Open 2014

    4 October 2014 at Emirates Arena

    glasgowopenjudo.com

     

    Scottish Open Badminton Grand Prix 2014

    19 - 23 November at Emirates Arena

    badmintonscotland.org.uk

     

    Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics 2014

    6 December at Emirates Arena

    glasgowlife.org.uk

     

    Glasgow International Match 2015

    TBC January 2015 at Emirates Arena

    Britishathletics.org.uk

     

    European JUDO Championships 2015

    9-12 April 2015

    eurojudo2015.com

     

    The IRB 7s

    9-10 May 2015 at Scotstoun Stadium

    Scottishrugby.org

     

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2015

    TBC June 2015 at Nevis Range, Fort William

    Fortwilliamcup.com

     

    IPC World Swimming Championships 2015

    13-19 July 2015 at Tollcross International Swimming Centre

    Swimming.org/ipcworlds2015

     

    World Orienteering Championships 2015

    2 - 8 August 2015 in Moray & Highlands

    Woc2015.org


    FEI European Eventing Championships 2015

    10 - 13 September at Blair Castle

    Blair2015.com

     

    2015 World Gymnastics Championships 2015

    23 October - 1 November 2015 at The SSE Hydro

    2015worldgymnastics.com

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 22 July 2014

    Wickerman’s Iconic 2014 Statue Unveiled

    WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE MAKING HERE: https://vimeo.com/101347716

    With only a few days to go until Scotland’s hottest summer party welcomes its first campers on site, the Wickerman Festival is delighted to reveal its iconic 2014 statue. For the first time the statue has been expertly hand sculpted in an gravity defying highland fling pose and is dressed in a striking kilt woven from willow.

    Created to celebrate the Festival’s partnership with Homecoming Scotland, Wickerman’s famous icon will add a uniquely Scottish touch to this year’s seasoned music event and act as a distinct marker for visitors.  Towering 40ft above the picturesque festival site, the Wickerman statue is as iconic as the event itself, and is spectacularly set alight every year in an unforgettable festival finale.

    Tickets for the Wickerman Festival are on sale now with acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri, Shed 7, The Feeling, Alabama 3, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Zombies, British Sea Power, Big Country and Augustines lined up to play.

    Buy your tickets now via: http://wickerman.skiddletickets.com/

    Category: Music

  • 18 July 2014

    Becoming a Good Food Nation - give your views

     

    On 18 June 2014 Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled the next step of Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy. Increasing access for everyone to good quality food to improve Scotland’s diet and food culture will be one of the top priorities of the ambitious next phase of the Scottish Government’s food and drink policy.
    Becoming a Good Food Nation seeks views on a number of proposed priority areas of work and recognises the need to move towards a healthier, resilient and sustainable food system.
    This discussion document is available on the Scottish Government website for consultation at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2014/06/1195, and we invite you to think about how you, your family or organisation will play a part. Views can be emailed to goodfoodnation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 17 October 2014.
    Please read our discussion paper and help us to identify the way forward for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation.

    On 18 June 2014 Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled the next step of Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy. Increasing access for everyone to good quality food to improve Scotland’s diet and food culture will be one of the top priorities of the ambitious next phase of the Scottish Government’s food and drink policy.

    Becoming a Good Food Nation seeks views on a number of proposed priority areas of work and recognises the need to move towards a healthier, resilient and sustainable food system.

    This discussion document is available on the Scottish Government website for consultation at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2014/06/1195, and we invite you to think about how you, your family or organisation will play a part. Views can be emailed to goodfoodnation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 17 October 2014.
    Please read our discussion paper and help us to identify the way forward for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 18 July 2014

    EXCITING PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED FOR SCOTLAND’S NEWEST ARTS FESTIVAL

     

    Eddi Reader, Shooglenifty, Charlie McKerron and Neville Gabie are among the celebrated
    artists who make up the full programme for the first Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, which was
    launched yesterday.
    Scotland’s newest arts festival will be a spectacular celebration of arts and culture taking place at the
    heart of Moray between 24 and 28 September 2014, showcasing artists of national and international
    renown.
    The launch event, which was held at Brodie Castle and hosted by Nicky Marr of MarrKerr
    Communications, treated an array of guests to an enticing taste of what to expect, including a musical
    performance by Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie, exhibits from Michael and Maria Start of The House
    of Automota, who provided automata expertise on Scorsese’s film Hugo, plus a sequence from
    Macbeth the Remix, featuring Lady Macbeth and her troupe of parkourists.
    This unique five-day bonanza will bring together artists from Moray, Scotland and beyond to entertain
    audiences with a vibrant and dynamic programme, including premiere performances and exhibitions,
    outdoor theatre and live music, fine-art and photography, talks, tours, tastings and lots of free activities
    which aim to make the Festival accessible to all. These include Culture Day, which will see Forres
    town centre come alive with buskers, drummers, walk about performers, dancers, story tellers, pipe
    band, brass band, live music, alternative theatre and lots more.
    As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 the Festival will be bringing Macbeth home to Moray through
    Macbeth the Red King, a series of talks, tours and performances exploring both the real
    King and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 16th Century Brodie Castle will provide the dramatic backdrop for
    the Festival’s exclusive performance of Macbeth the Remix – Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition
    and treachery, reworked into a unique one hour modern remix.
    Guest speaker, David Taylor of Creative Scotland said: ““Creative Scotland is delighted to respond to
    the energy and vision of the Findhorn Bay Festival, by offering support as part of the Homecoming
    celebrations. The festival is not only important in itself, and for what it offers to visitors and local
    audiences, but it also has potential as an ongoing focus for the artistic community in the area.”
    16th Century Brodie Castle is just one of a number of diverse and imaginative venues around the
    beautiful Findhorn Bay, which also include Forres’ historic Tolbooth, Logie Steading, Findhorn’s
    famous Universal Hall and the local streets, parks, woodlands, hills and sandy beaches that make the
    setting so special.
    The National Trust for Scotland’s Alex Mackenzie-Copp, Property Manager at Brodie Castle said:
    “This is an exciting event for Moray and Brodie Castle is pleased to be playing its part.”
    The Festival, organised by Forres-based Findhorn Bay Arts, hopes to attract a wide audience from
    home and further afield. Festival Director, Kresanna Aigner, said: “The Festival will bring home many
    renowned artists whose lives and careers have been touched by Moray. It’s an eminent homecoming
    that includes one of Scotland’s most unique musical exports, Shooglenifty; renowned fidldlers Charlie
    McKerron, Douglas Lawrence and James Alexander; plus award-winning fine-artist and illustrator,
    Owen Normand. It’s a Festival with people and place at its heart, drawing inspiration from and
    celebrating the many traditions that still shape the lives of our coastal communities.”
    Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Alasdair Allan said: “The Findhorn Bay Arts
    Festival is a welcomed celebration of the richness of arts and culture in the area. One of over 970
    events in the Homecoming Scotland programme, the festival offers an exciting programme for the
    audience and those taking part. It is also a great example of how Homecoming is not only about
    Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, but is also
    about Scots themselves, celebrating the rich culture, activities and opportunities within their own
    communities.”
    The full Festival programme can be found online at www.findhornbayartsfestival.com and tickets are
    available now from Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234 234.
    The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:
    Homecoming Scotland 2014, EventScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland,
    Moray Towns Partnership, Moray Council, National Trust for Scotland and MarrKerr Communications.

    Eddi Reader, Shooglenifty, Charlie McKerron and Neville Gabie are among the celebrated artists who make up the full programme for the first Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, which was launched yesterday.

    Scotland’s newest arts festival will be a spectacular celebration of arts and culture taking place at the heart of Moray between 24 and 28 September 2014, showcasing artists of national and international renown.

     The launch event, which was held at Brodie Castle and hosted by Nicky Marr of MarrKerr Communications, treated an array of guests to an enticing taste of what to expect, including a musical performance by Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie, exhibits from Michael and Maria Start of The Houseof Automota, who provided automata expertise on Scorsese’s film Hugo, plus a sequence from Macbeth the Remix, featuring Lady Macbeth and her troupe of parkourists.

     This unique five-day bonanza will bring together artists from Moray, Scotland and beyond to entertain audiences with a vibrant and dynamic programme, including premiere performances and exhibitions,outdoor theatre and live music, fine-art and photography, talks, tours, tastings and lots of free activities which aim to make the Festival accessible to all. These include Culture Day, which will see Forrestown centre come alive with buskers, drummers, walk about performers, dancers, story tellers, pipeband, brass band, live music, alternative theatre and lots more.

     As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 the Festival will be bringing Macbeth home to Moray through Macbeth the Red King, a series of talks, tours and performances exploring both the real King and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 16th Century Brodie Castle will provide the dramatic backdrop forthe Festival’s exclusive performance of Macbeth the Remix – Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition and treachery, reworked into a unique one hour modern remix.

     Guest speaker, David Taylor of Creative Scotland said: ““Creative Scotland is delighted to respond tothe energy and vision of the Findhorn Bay Festival, by offering support as part of the Homecomingcelebrations. The festival is not only important in itself, and for what it offers to visitors and localaudiences, but it also has potential as an ongoing focus for the artistic community in the area.”16th Century Brodie Castle is just one of a number of diverse and imaginative venues around the beautiful Findhorn Bay, which also include Forres’ historic Tolbooth, Logie Steading, Findhorn’s famous Universal Hall and the local streets, parks, woodlands, hills and sandy beaches that make the setting so special."

    Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Alasdair Allan said: “The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is a welcomed celebration of the richness of arts and culture in the area. One of over 970 events in the Homecoming Scotland programme, the festival offers an exciting programme for theaudience and those taking part. It is also a great example of how Homecoming is not only about Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, but is also about Scots themselves, celebrating the rich culture, activities and opportunities within their own communities.”

    The full Festival programme can be found online at www.findhornbayartsfestival.com and tickets areavailable now from Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234 234.

    The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:Homecoming Scotland 2014, EventScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland,Moray Towns Partnership, Moray Council, National Trust for Scotland and MarrKerr Communications.

    Category: National Events

  • 16 July 2014

    THE 2014 RYDER CUP GALA CONCERT LAUNCHES WITH ARTS AND MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA

    Organisers of The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, DF Concerts & Events on behalf of VisitScotland, announced today (15th July) that Jake Bugg, Texas, Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt, Eddi Reader and Midge Ure will join Scottish Ballet, RSNO, NTS and Scottish Opera as the first names to be announced for The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert. Today’s announcement will whet the appetites of culture fans with further additions as well as a headline act still to be announced.

    As golf fans from across the globe gather in Scotland to experience The 2014 Ryder Cup (23-28 September), top names in golf, music and the arts will unite for one evening only to create an unmissable and extraordinary event.

     On Wednesday 24 September, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will play host to an awe-inspiring fusion of vibrant colour, stunning production and spectacular performances for the one-off The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

     Curated by celebrated Creative Director Kim Gavin, whose portfolio includes the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, Take That Progress Live Tour (2011) and the Concert for Diana (2007); world renowned talent from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland will share the stage for the first time with contemporary artists and select acts will perform unique collaborations with a full orchestra from the RSNO. With very special artists still to be announced, today’s news gives an insight into one of the most exciting shows ever staged in Scotland.

     Flashes of fashion, bespoke short films and never-before-seen live performances will build the tension and excitement around The 2014 Ryder Cup as the audience is introduced to the European and USA Teams, meeting for the first time live on stage alongside captains, Paul McGinley and Tom Watson.

     The Concert is a signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme and celebrates the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup which takes place 23-28 September and is supported by EventScotland, the national events agency and a directorate of VisitScotland, and Ryder Cup Europe.

    A much-anticipated event in the sporting calendar, this year, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland for the first time in more than 40 years and only the second time in its history.

    At the age of just twenty, Jake Bugg is one of British music’s hottest properties. The singer/songwriter released his self-titled debut album, in late 2012 and hit the number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. Since then, it has been certified Platinum in the UK. A stunning live performer, Jake’s hits include ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Two Fingers’ and he was the penultimate artist to headliners Arctic Monkeys at this year’s T in the Park festival.

    Having sold over 35 million albums to date, Texas are one of Scotland’s most successful musical exports and hitmakers. Collaborating with the RSNO for the first time, the audience will see the band perform a selection of their hits as they’ve never been seen before in the UK.

    Almost three years and over 300 gigs since the release of their silver-selling, debut album, ‘Free’, catapulted them from clubs to sold-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and the Main Stage at T in the Park, with new album, ‘Great Divide’, Radio 1 favourites Twin Atlantic have made a mainstream record that marries their incredible energy live with a more mature approach to songwriting that acknowledges their long-held love of pop.

    One of Scotland’s most exciting new talents, Nina Nesbitt, joins the bill, adding a touch of glamour. The ‘selfies’ singer has gained a huge fanbase whilst taking her sun soaked folk-pop around the globe and debut album ‘Peroxide’ charted at Number 11  in the UK.    

    Known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career, Eddi Reader is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns and is one of Scotland’s best loved talents.

    Midge Ure is perhaps best known for writing Vienna when he was lead singer with Ultravox continues to perform around the world and is recognised as the musical force behind Live Aid. Plus, Danny Wilson will reform especially for the evening to perform ‘Mary's Prayer’.

    Even bigger names will be unveiled over the coming weeks and the concert is set to have the flavour of The Brits meets The Proms.  Select solo performers will be backed by a house band led by Mike Stevens, who is musical director for Take That and Gary Barlow and writes with Annie Lennox.

    Bringing together four of Scotland’s national arts bodies for the first time under the roof of a world class venue, The Ryder Cup Gala Concert will delight and astound.

    The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is Scotland’s national symphonic ensemble and is one of the country’s five National Performing Companies. Representing Scotland around the world, The RSNO is made up of some of the country’s most talented classical musicians and throughout its history, has played an integral part in Scotland’s musical life, including performing at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament building in 2004.

    For the first time live on stage at the SSE Hydro, Scottish Ballet, Scotland's national dance company will perform a passionate duet sequence from Jealousy. Choreographed by James Cousins, winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award set up by director and choreographer Matthew Bourne OBE, Jealousy is a powerful duet, set to the haunting melody ‘O God protect me’ from experimental composer Ben Frost.

    Jealousy takes its inspiration from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel written from the viewpoint of a man who suspects his wife of adultery. Jealousy offers an intimate viewpoint of a passionate and obsessive relationship, and will be performed by Scottish Ballet principal dancer Sophie Martin and soloist Victor Zarallo.

    National Theatre of Scotland will present an excerpt of critically acclaimed show, ‘Glasgow Girls’.  Based on a true story, Glasgow Girls follows a group of seven teenage girls whose lives are changed forever when they arrive at school one day to be told that one of their friends - and her asylum seeking family - have been forcibly taken from their home to be deported. 

    Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Andrew McTaggart will perform Dark Island, a traditional Scottish song, arranged and accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark.

    The RSNO will also be playing a selection of the works of renowned composer Craig Armstrong, providing the soundtrack to a bespoke short film created by Kim Gavin, especially for the audience on the night. Armstrong's score for William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet earned him a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music and an Ivor Novello. His composition for Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge! earned him the 2001 American Film Institute’s composer of the Year award, a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA. Armstrong was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Original Score in 2004 for the biopic Ray.

    The evening will be set in the impressive surroundings of Glasgow’s brand new Hydro Arena, which has already played host to some of the biggest names in the world of music and offers the perfect space to showcase this exquisite event.

    The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop said: "The 2014 Ryder Cup is a once-in-a- generation opportunity to see Scotland host one of the biggest sporting events in the world which will also leave behind a lasting legacy for Scotland.   I'm delighted that the state of the art Hydro Arena will play host to the Gala Concert and the exciting line up performing during this signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme will undoubtedly showcase Scotland on the world's stage."

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said:

    “The 2014 Ryder Cup is an incredibly exciting, important event for Scotland, so we had to create a celebration concert that was unique, bringing together in one place the culture, history and sporting tradition of our remarkable country.  The concept of merging the classical with the contemporary is inspired, stirring the audience to embrace all sides of Scottish culture, and of course, golf is a huge part of that. 

    “The 2014 Ryder Cup will enhance and showcase Scotland as the ’Home of Golf’, and with its broadcast  reach of a staggering 183 countries across the world, it will inspire a generation not just to play golf on our shores, but experience all that our country has to offer from  events to business to leisure.  The legacy is infinite.”

    www.rydercupgalaconcert.com

    Tickets for the concert go on general sale on Saturday 19th July at 10am and will be available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.ticketsoup.com and by calling 08444 999 990 or 0844 395 4000

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Southern Africa at the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

    Three exhibitions to showcase the best contemporary fashion, design, art and music in Southern Africa, all at one venue – Gayfield Creative Spaces.

    To acknowledge South Africa’s emergence as a design powerhouse, made official by Cape Town  being named World Design Capital for 2014, these three presentations represents a snapshot of the emerging Southern African scene.

    Also opening on the same night is an exhibition of photographs ‘Photopia’ by David McLean.

    Exhibition openings: 6pm, 17 July 2014

     For more information visit: http://edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Date change for 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships confirmed

    IPC Swimming and British Swimming confirmed on Sunday (13 July) that the dates for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, have been moved to one year from now, from 13-19 July.

    The competition was originally scheduled for 18-25 July.

    Glasgow was announced as the host city of the prestigious competition in 2012 and the awarding of the event was originally stated as a European Championships but with a change to the IPC Swimming calendar the competition was upgraded to a World Championships.

    The World Championships is the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of a Paralympic year and the competition is expected to see more than 650 athletes from more than 50 countries compete for honours.

    The venue will be the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the same pool that will host the swimming competitions of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Xavier Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer, said: "Glasgow has everything needed to stage our World Championships and we are looking forward to working with British Swimming, UK Sport, EventScotland and Glasgow City Council to make these Championships a fantastic event."

    David Sparkes, Chief Executive for British Swimming said: "British Swimming together with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, EventScotland and UK Sport believe we can showcase Paralympic Swimming to the whole of World.

    "The Paralympics in London introduced the world to the quality of swimming and I hope that audience will embrace this competition in the same way."

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: "We're delighted that the IPC Swimming World Championships will be one of the first major international Paralympic events to form part of UK Sport's Gold Event Series - our National Lottery funded programme to host some of the world's biggest sporting events in the UK."

    "We are determined to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 making use of the outstanding venues, technical know-how and army of volunteers while also giving people the opportunity to witness world class sport."

    Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: "Glasgow has been named one of the top ten sporting cities in the world and its reputation continues to grow thanks to our investment in facilities and our ever-growing sporting events programme that continues to deliver world-class events such as the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

    "The new and improved Tollcross International Swimming Centre will be the perfect host venue for this prestigious event. This is another world-class facility built by the city of Glasgow for the people of Glasgow which will provide a real and lasting legacy for all of our communities as we build a more active city for future generations. Tollcross International Swimming Centre will also host all of the swimming events as we welcome the world to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games."

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the refurbished Tollcross International Swimming Centre we have a venue truly worthy of hosting a championship of this calibre. Welcoming the Commonwealth Games to the country in just over a week's time is a huge milestone but what happens after that is vital; and these championships will add to our ever growing portfolio of major events from 2015 onwards."

    Maureen Campbell, Chair of Scottish Swimming said "Tollcross is a first class facility and the city of Glasgow will provide a fantastic welcome to competitors from all nations."

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Scotland’s badminton stars ready to shine

    SCOTLAND’S badminton players faced the media for the last time today before going into lockdown in the final build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

    With just two weeks to go to the start of Glasgow 2014 the 10 Team Scotland players were kitted out in their official Commonwealth Games tracksuits for the first time when they appeared at the Glasgow School of Sport this morning.

     Robert Blair is the oldest member of the squad at 32 while Caitlin Pringle and Rebekka Findlay (who is in line for her Scotland senior international debut in the team event) are the youngest at 20.

     While Findlay will be winning her first international cap in the opening week of the Games, Imogen Bankier, who is Scotland’s most-capped current player, will build on her 52 appearances.

     The Scotland squad will be able to draw on their unbeaten display at last year’s Sudirman Cup, when they finished top of Group 2, when they tackle the team event. The squad will also be aiming to better Scotland’s team bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

     In the individual events Kirsty Gilmour will be trying to match women’s singles star Susan Egelstaff’s 2006 bronze in Melbourne and her 2010 fourth place in Delhi while Blair and Bankier, who have already won the Scottish Open Grand Prix and Yonex German Open titles, will also be challenging for a place on the podium in the mixed doubles.

     Six of the squad already have Commonwealth Games experience with Kieran Merrilees, Paul Van Rietvelde, Gilmour, Bankier and Jillie Cooper having competed in the 2010 Games in New Delhi and Blair having represented England in 2002 and 2006, the year he won a world silver in men’s doubles.

    Bankier also has experience at the highest level, having won a world mixed doubles silver at Wembley Arena in 2011.

    Team manager Christine Black said:

    “We have a good blend of youth and experience in our squad. It is going to be a great challenge for the younger players and our top players like Robert and Imogen will be able to pass on their experience.

    “The whole squad is preparing well and they will be ready to rise to the occasion. Playing on home turf is going to be a great inspiration for them and I am confident they will cope with the pressure of expectation.”

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said:

    “Our squad must be the envy of all Scotland’s badminton players. It will be an unforgettable experience for them to compete in a Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and I urge the Scotland fans to get right behind them throughout the 11 days of the badminton competition.

    “All our players know the Arena from playing there in last November’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and we are hoping they will have some medals to show off when they play there again at this year’s Open in November.

    BADMINTONscotland wishes them every success at Glasgow 2014. We are right behind them all the way.”

    The full squad is:

    Robert Blair                   Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Team

    Martin Campbell            Men’s Doubles, Team

    Patrick MacHugh           Men’s Doubles, Team

    Kieran Merrilees            Men’s Singles, Team

    Paul Van Rietvelde         Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Team

    Imogen Bankier              Mixed Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Team

    Jillie Cooper                   Mixed Doubles, Team

    Rebekka Findlay            Team

    Kirsty Gilmour               Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Team

    Caitlin Pringle                Team    

    Team manager: Christine Black. Coaches: Yvette Yun Luo, Chris Bruil and Andy Bowman.

    Team event: July 24-28. Individual events: July 30-August 3.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 July 2014

    VISITSCOTLAND AND SKY SPORTS TEAM UP TO FIND THE RYDER CUP’S BEST BRILLIANT MOMENT

    From Jack Nicklaus’ famous concession to Tony Jacklin in 1969 at Royal Birkdale to Martin Kaymer’s nerve-jangling putt to complete the Miracle at Medinah in 2012, The Ryder Cup has been full of brilliant moments over the years.

    Now VisitScotland and Sky Sports have launched an exciting campaign to find the nation’s favourite Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment in the history of the competition ahead of the matches at Gleneagles in September.

    Launched by Sky Sports lead golf presenter David Livingstone and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, the campaign features 10 brilliant moments from the 87-year history of The Ryder Cup as chosen by Sky Sports analysts Colin Montgomerie and Butch Harmon.

    Featuring brilliant moments such as Sam Torrance’s winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 and Darren Clarke’s emotional walk to the first tee at The K Club in 2006, the campaign will ask Sky Sports viewers to vote on their favourite brilliant moment from the shortlist.

    And any viewer who matches the final choice of Butch and Monty is in with a chance of winning the trip of a lifetime with an incredible prize including tickets to multiple match days at The 2014 Ryder Cup, including The Ryder Cup concert and opening ceremony, four rounds of golf, bespoke club fitting and luxury hotel accommodation. There will also be 50 pairs of matchday tickets to The Ryder Cup for runners-up prizes.

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: “I am delighted to see this campaign between VisitScotland and Sky Sports to find the best Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment as Scotland prepares to host The Ryder Cup for only the second time in our history.

    “It is a competition which never fails to excite and with the eyes of the world on Scotland and Gleneagles in September I look forward to there being many more brilliant moments to add to the collection.”

    David Livingstone, who has led Sky Sports’ extensive live golf coverage – including 10 Ryder Cups - for the past 19 years, said: “I have had the privilege of witnessing many brilliant Ryder Cup moments over the years and to narrow down so many into a shortlist of 10, never mind choosing the best one, was no easy task for Butch and Monty.

    “But is shows just how much The Ryder Cup means to both players and golf fans alike and we are excited to team up with VisitScotland to give viewers the chance to vote for their favourite. As the home of live golf it makes perfect sense for us to team up with Scotland, the Home of Golf to uncover the nation’s favourite

    Ryder Cup moment as the excitement builds towards Gleneagles in September this year.”

    The campaign is due to run on all Sky Sports golf coverage, starting with the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday 10 July running through to the first week of the FedEx playoffs on the PGA Tour on 17 August.

    Robbie Clyde, Ryder Cup Project Director with EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, added: “We are extremely proud of the partnership we have with Sky Sports in promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf and the host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup across their extensive coverage of live golf on both the European and PGA Tours.

    “Our quest to find the No1 Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment fits in perfectly with our year of brilliant moments across Scotland in 2014 with the Commonwealth Games and Homecoming Scotland alongside The 2014 Ryder Cup.”

    To vote and to enter the competition, viewers have to visit skysports.com/rydercupcompetition and fill in the details.

    Category: International Events

  • 07 July 2014

    Endura Tour O’ The Borders announce road closures on 10th August

     

    The emerald forests, sweeping valleys and heather-clad moorlands of the Scottish Borders are
    helping it become one of the UK’s most popular cycling destinations, bringing tens of thousands of
    additional visitors and huge economic benefits to the area every year.
    Cycling events are playing an important part in this growth, and on Sunday, 10th August, the
    Endura Tour O’ The Borders is expected to attract three thousand cyclists of all abilities, taking part
    to raise money for charity. With most of the riders expected to stay overnight, the event should
    bring an estimated £500,000 of income to the area. The event is supported by EventScotland and
    Scottish Borders Council, and will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.
    In order to allow the participants to enjoy the event in safety, it will be held on closed roads. The
    124km circular route will be closed on the 10th August for most of the day and Tour O’ The Borders
    have been working hard with traffic management experts to ensure disruption is kept to a
    minimum.
    The route is mainly confined to rural roads between Peebles, Crosslee and Selkirk and these areas
    will be closed to all traffic on the 10th August. Full details and closure schedules have already been
    published on the event website. Tour O’ The Borders will also be hand delivering full information
    leaflets to every property on the route, ensuring inconvenience is minimised.
    For more information, there is a comprehensive FAQ section and map showing the route, on the
    ‘Community’ section of the event website www.tourotheborders.com, and if you have specific
    questions you can email Tour O’ The Borders directly on community@tourotheborders.com.
    The roads affected will be:
    A72 from Peebles High Street to Cardrona
    B7062 from Cardrona to Traquair
    B709 from Traquair to Crosslee
    B711 from Crosslee to Roberton
    Local road Roberton to Aikwood Tower
    Local road Aikwood Tower to Kirkhope
    Local road Kirkhope to Yarrow
    A708 from Yarrow to Selkirk
    A707 from Selkirk to Ashiesteel
    Local road Ashiesteel to Innerleithen
    Local road Innerleithen to Traquair
    Local road Cardrona to Cavalry Park, Peebles

    The emerald forests, sweeping valleys and heather-clad moorlands of the Scottish Borders are helping it become one of the UK’s most popular cycling destinations, bringing tens of thousands of additional visitors and huge economic benefits to the area every year.

    Cycling events are playing an important part in this growth, and on Sunday, 10th August, the Endura Tour O’ The Borders is expected to attract three thousand cyclists of all abilities, taking part to raise money for charity. With most of the riders expected to stay overnight, the event should bring an estimated £500,000 of income to the area. The event is supported by EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council, and will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.

     In order to allow the participants to enjoy the event in safety, it will be held on closed roads. The 124km circular route will be closed on the 10th August for most of the day and Tour O’ The Borders have been working hard with traffic management experts to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

     The route is mainly confined to rural roads between Peebles, Crosslee and Selkirk and these areas will be closed to all traffic on the 10th August. Full details and closure schedules have already been published on the event website. Tour O’ The Borders will also be hand delivering full information leaflets to every property on the route, ensuring inconvenience is minimised.

    For more information, there is a comprehensive FAQ section and map showing the route, on the ‘Community’ section of the event website www.tourotheborders.com, and if you have specific questions you can email Tour O’ The Borders directly on community@tourotheborders.com.The roads affected will be:

    A72 from Peebles High Street to Cardrona
    B7062 from Cardrona to Traquair
    B709 from Traquair to Crosslee
    B711 from Crosslee to Roberton
    Local road Roberton to Aikwood Tower
    Local road Aikwood Tower to Kirkhope
    Local road Kirkhope to Yarrow
    A708 from Yarrow to Selkirk
    A707 from Selkirk to Ashiesteel
    Local road Ashiesteel to Innerleithen
    Local road Innerleithen to Traquair
    Local road Cardrona to Cavalry Park, Peebles

    Category: National Events

  • 04 July 2014

    Wickerman Gathers Pace as More Acts are Announced

     With less than four weeks to go until Wickerman welcomes the crowds, Scotland’s hottest summer party is turning up the heat by adding a batch of exciting artists to its sizzling line-up.

    On Saturday, the legendary electronic duo Utah Saints will make a much requested return to the Summerisle Stage following their show stopping 2009 performance. Since the birth of house music, the pioneering DJs have toured the globe, sampled a huge range of artists and sold over two million records. Still very much at the top of their game, they are set to round off an incredible day by occupying the coveted DJ slot after the iconic Wickerman burning.

    Joining them will be Glasgow’s hotly tipped punk act Baby Strange who have just finished their first UK headline tour. The talented trio have received much critical acclaim from the British music press and impressively packed out the tent at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow in May.  Liverpool’s up and coming dance rockers, Tea Street Band, will also be livening up the crowds on Saturday with what is set to be an electrifying live performance. Championed by Radio 2 DJ Janice Long, the band have just returned from a tour with former Dove’s front man Jimi Goodwin.

    Other additions to the Summerisle Stage, which will once again be compered by BBC Introducing DJ Ally McCrae, include the winners of the Sunday Herald’s Unsigned Band competition – The Cut Throat Razors. The ten-piece act promise to deliver an energetic mix of classic ska, motown, new wave and big band swing. Galloway sister act, The Mermaids, will also join the line-up after winning West Sound radio’s annual ‘One to Watch’ competition.

    An array of established stars and hot new talent will also be joining Wickerman’s much loved Acoustic Village this July. On Saturday, renowned producer, multi-instrumentalist and late blooming artist Ethan Johns will headline the main stage.  Throughout his illustrious career, Johns has worked with a wealth of artists, including Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Ray LaMontagne, Tom Jones and the  Kaiser Chiefs. He released his first solo album to much critical acclaim in 2012.

    On Friday, Glasgow nine-piece ska collective Esperanza, rowdy folk and blues act Have Mercy Las Vegas , solo acoustic act Neil Sturgeon and talented folk star Gabriel Kelly will entertain music lovers on the Acoustic Village’s main stage. Zoe Bestal, Little Fire, Duffy’s Gypsy Band, Jono and Gareth Icke, Rab McCahill and Finch and the Moon will also be bringing the stage to life.

    On Saturday contemporary Celtic act Novantae, French born guitarist Anne Chaurand, Dumfries Community Choir and Scottish singer songwriter Kim Edgar will entertain the acoustic faithful. Other Saturday additions include The Minpins, Roberto Cassani and The Tickety Two, The Cracked Man, Brandon Lee Webb and Kim Wheeler. 

    Wickerman’s Ingrid Pit stage is a familiar attraction amongst festival fans and newcomers can also expect a treat as music, poetry and spoken word and comedy are blended together seamlessly. This year’s revellers can enjoy star turns from The Snack Family, Wooden Box, Andy Paterson and the Balgoni Boyz.

    The Acoustic Village’s Barabajagal Yurt will be the perfect place for Wicker fans to jam and make music with other people. This year it will play host to local artists Sandy Cowan and Jill Johnston. Thursday's Child will be opening the yurt on both days, providing fun for children and the young-at-heart with singalong songs.

    Once again the much loved Reggae Tent will be hosted by Explosion Soundsystem. Originating in Northern Ireland they only play the best of Roots, Reggae, Dub and anything in between, whilst honouring the original Jamaican soundsystem culture. Explosion’s own MC Ranking Fox will be joined by London’s MC Brother Culture and Edinburgh’s MC Dangerman. Crews from Glasgow and Belfast will also be at the controls to ensure celebrations continue throughout the night.

    The festival’s 2014 Scooter Tent line-up will be completed with four new additions, including Dundonian punk outfit The Cundeez, whose thrashing guitar sounds and explicit lyrics are not for the faint hearted.  Scottish band the Ska-Beat Jakes and Lothian punk act Nine Bullets are also set to the get the crowds skanking on Saturday, whilst Wickerman’s amazing walkabout band Blowjangles  will  be opening the stage in style on the Friday.

    Helen Chalmers, Wickerman’s Festival Coordinator commented:

    “Wickerman’s Acoustic Village has rapidly become a firm favourite amongst our fans and we are delighted to once again announce a wealth of established and up and coming artists.

    With less than a month to go, it’s fantastic to unveil yet more eclectic acts and we very excited to announce the return of Utah Saints who we know will receive a very warm welcome from the festival crowds”

    For further information visit: www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 02 July 2014

    ROYAL NATIONAL MÒD LAUNCHES WITH BIGGEST EVER FRINGE EVENT

    Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, will take place in Inverness this autumn for the first time since 1997.  Now in its 122nd year, the event is the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland.

    Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, one of the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisation, the nine day spectacular will take place from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October.  It will feature competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama, offering Gaelic speakers of all levels to compete.  It will bring thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland, the UK and from all corners of the globe including USA, Australia and Canada to Inverness.

     The Mòd is set to light up the city, kick starting with a vibrant Torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court - the main venue for the event - where the opening concert will be staged. Acts confirmed for the opening concert include Skipinnish and the up-and-coming Scottish folk band, Gria.

     2014 will also see the biggest Fringe event ever take place alongside the competitions.   This will include concerts, book and CD launches, music sessions, poetry, dance and other art forms of every description.  Around twelve pubs have signed up to providing traditional Celtic music in their venues, while street theatre will take place across the city.  The fringe will encompass Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness to Fort George and the Culloden Visitor Centre and all areas in between.

     John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “We are delighted to be returning to Inverness for the first time in 17 years and to be bringing the biggest Fringe in the event’s history. 

     “The competition is the heart of the Mod and we have had substantial entries this year.  The Fringe also means we can bring Gaelic Culture to a new audience, Gaels and non-Gaels together and celebrate talented musicians from around the world with our exciting programme of events”.

    Fringe highlights will include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden court.  Hosted in association with Blazin in Beauly under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles, the concert will feature over one hundred fiddlers including world renowned artistes, plus local groups, it promises to be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.  A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I on Wednesday afternoon will be a showpiece event, with musician Erik Spence, creating a piece of music to go along with the poem Bantrach Cogaidh written by the late Rev John Macleod.  Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will contribute. 

    Other highlights include performances by Skerryvore, singing super group Cruinn and the talented Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band.  Lunchtime performances in the historic Inverness Town House by artists including Ewen Henderson, Barluath, and renowned clarsach player Catriona Mackay are not to be missed, while musical performances at the area’s stunning visitor attractions Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George will also take place.

    The Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, on the Saturday morning will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Royal National Mod is a wonderful celebration and showcase of Scotland’s cultural heritage, which generates huge profile for the country every year. We have been working with the team at the Mod since 2004, and are delighted to continue our support as part of our commitment to National Gaelic Strategy. This year as we celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Mod will be the centre piece of the Highland Homecoming programme - a two-month long series of events ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge.”

    For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for Fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 30 June 2014

    Scottish heritage in the spotlight: Three year fund to boost Scottish tourism

    A £200,000 fund which will help attract international visitors to Scotland has been launched by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.

    The  second round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund will support the delivery and planning of local clan events over the Year of Food and Drink in 2015, Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. 

     The news coincided with Clans Monday, where clans and families have special access to the newly opened Bannockburn Visitor Centre.

    Mr Ewing said:

    “Thanks to the first round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund, we were able to provide support to a number of Clans who organised events across the country during our Year of Homecoming 2014.

    “This weekend at Bannockburn Live, we saw a fantastic range of outlets showing off their Scottish delicacies, whiskies and real ales to visitors from around the world. As we look towards the Year of Food and Drink in 2015 we want to keep up this momentum and show off some of the excellent produce that has helped to reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink. 

    “Visitors are keen to learn more about the country’s fabulous food and drink, history, architecture and heritage. The second round of the Clan Event Fund will make sure we keep up our international profile to ensure we continue to attract kin from across the globe to events around the country. It will also help to encourage clans to hold events in all parts of Scotland and ensure everyone reaps the rewards from their boost to tourism.”

    Sir Malcolm MacGregor, Convenor, Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs said:

    “The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs continues to support this important initiative which will enhance Clan activities in local communities and encourage more people to celebrate their clan and family heritage across Scotland.”

    John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie, Chair of the Highland Clan Partnership Group said:

    “The Scottish Clans Event Fund has provided a welcome boost to Highland Clans in planning and extending their International Clan Gatherings, providing a healthy addition to regional Tourism. 

    “The recognition of the Scottish Government of the importance of the Highland Clans to Ancestral and Heritage Tourism to Scotland today and in the future cannot be understated. The Scottish Clan Event Fund extends the ability of the Highland Clans to immeasurably improve the visitor experience and bring support to local businesses in often fragile communities as well as more community and cultural events to the Highland Region of Scotland.”

    More information about the fund is available at http://www.eventscotland.org/funding-and-resources/scottish-clan-event-fund/

    Category: Industry News

  • 26 June 2014

    Pipefest kicks off Stirling’s Big Weekend

    The kilts are packed, the pipes tuned and the Highland dancers are limbering up - the stage is set as final preparations for Pipefest get underway.  Taking place this Friday (27 June) the spectacular event will celebrate the Year of Homecoming and mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

    Over 1,650 participants from across the world including pipe bands, Highland dancers and clan members are travelling from as far afield as Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

    The parade which kick-starts Stirling’s Big Weekend featuring Bannockburn Live (Saturday and Sunday), Armed Forces Day National Event (Saturday) and Stirling's Big Night Out (Saturday) will start from the gates of Stirling Castle and proceed through the ancient City of Stirling.  Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the city during the weekend.

    Aberdeenshire-born Pipe Major Ian Duncan will lead thousands of stalwarts of Scottish heritage and tradition with Europe’s only private army - the 175-year-old regiment Atholl Highlanders Pipe Band and Colour Guard. 

    Visiting Scotland from the USA for the first time will be the popular Columbus Police and Fire Pipes and Drums, which is made up entirely of active, full-time Columbus police officers and firefighters.  The Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band from Canada will also have over fifty players take part on Friday evening.

    The largest group travelling to take park is Dunedin High School Scottish Highlanders from Florida with over 125 participants.

    Over twenty five Scottish Clans have registered to take part in the parade including the Clan Currie Society from the USA, Clan MacNicol and Clan McMillan from Australia and the Clan Henderson Society from the USA.  Clan Moffat, Clan Arthur, Clan Urquhurt, Clan Bell, Clan Oliphant will also be taking part on Friday as well as local dancers from the Julie Young School of Dancing in Perth and the Theresa Kelly School of Highland Dance.

    Closer to home, a number of pipe bands will also take part including bands from Dalkeith, Blairgowrie, Hawick Scout Pipe Band, Forfar and District Pipe Band and The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Association "Balaklava" Pipes & Drums.  From England, pipe bands including Harpenden, Scunthorpe, Plymouth and Oldham will also parade through the streets of Stirling.

    Pipefest is supported by Homecoming Scotland, The Famous Grouse Experience and Stirling Council. 

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

    “Pipefest Scotland is an exciting addition to the packed programme of events taking place during our second Year of Homecoming, with participants and visitors from around the globe taking part in the parade on the eve of the Bannockburn Live event.

    “Alongside a stunning re-enactment of the battle itself, Bannockburn Live – a key fixture in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 calendar commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn – will feature a programme packed with Scottish music, food and drink, crafts, literature and outdoor activities for people of all ages.

    “Scotland is welcoming the world in 2014. Homecoming Scotland 2014 now includes over 880 events, happening the length and breadth of the country, extending the benefits of the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games and positioning Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative country with a rich history and culture.”

    Category: International Events

  • 24 June 2014

    SCOTLAND CELEBRATES FANTASTIC 50 AS PART OF 2014 RYDER CUP PREPARATIONS

    Scotland’s journey towards The 2014 Ryder Cup hits a key milestone this week with the Scottish Hydro Challenge becoming the 50th golf tournament supported as part of The Ryder Cup legacy programme.

    A key commitment of Scotland’s bid to host The Ryder Cup was to build and develop a strong portfolio of domestic golf events – a commitment delivered by EventScotland and highlighted by reaching the half-century mark this week in Aviemore.

    The Scottish Hydro Challenge has been a key tournament in ensuring that opportunities are given to the next wave of Scottish professional golfers in terms of advancing to the next stage of their careers and represents nine of the 50 events, having been supported since 2006.

    The milestone has been passed in just 11 years since EventScotland was given the task of delivering Scotland’s Ryder Cup commitments and by the time The Ryder Cup is played at Gleneagles in September, this number will have risen to 55.

    Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, said: “Reaching the landmark of 50 supported golf events since 2003 is a terrific milestone and demonstrates the commitment we have in terms of reinforcing Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf and delivering on our commitments as host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    “We look back with great pride at the tournaments we have supported over the last 11 years. These events have benefitted many regions of Scotland in terms of direct economic benefit, marketing exposure around the world or simply bringing a high profile event to a new venue or new area of the country and inspiring people in Scotland to take a stronger interest in the game.

    “The support of golf tournaments is a key part of our national events strategy and that work will not stop going forward. The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles will be the 55th supported event since 2003 with many more confirmed for 2015 and beyond.”

    The building of Scotland’s golf event portfolio as part of The 2014 Ryder Cup began in 2003 with EventScotland’s support of The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. Since then tournaments have been supported at a total of 16 venues across Scotland.

    Events which have been supported as part of The Ryder Cup commitments include the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, The Senior Open Championship, the SSE Scottish Seniors Open, the Scottish Hydro Challenge, the Johnnie Walker Championship, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Junior Ryder Cup.

    These are in addition to other events such as The Open Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open, Curtis Cup and Walker Cup that have also been supported in Scotland.

    Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills said: “Everyone at Ryder Cup Europe congratulates EventScotland on the significant milestone of reaching 50 golf tournaments supported as part of The Ryder Cup legacy programme. The commitment shown, which has embraced all our Tours – The European Tour, the Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour such as this week’s event in Aviemore – is greatly appreciated and, together, we are very much looking forward to the final run-in to The Ryder Cup itself at Gleneagles in three months’ time.”

    Category: International Events

  • 24 June 2014

    Edinburgh International Fashion Festival reveals 2014 programme

    Heading into its third year, the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is making an impressive mark on the international fashion scene, engaging with the industry and the city in a fresh, innovative way. Following a successful 2013, this year sees a further evolution of the Festival, with a series of exceptional, curated events across the city.

    The theme for this year’s festival is ‘New Horizons’ which will permeate all of the festival’s many events. While focusing on the best Scottish fashion & design we also take time to celebrate South Africa’s emergence as a design powerhouse, made official by Cape Town being named World Design Capital for 2014.

     Expect runway shows, exhibitions, gala parties, interactive workshops and talks in some of the most unique and beautiful venues in Edinburgh including The National Museum of Scotland, Gayfield Creative Spaces, The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Assembly Rooms.

     International luminaries will sit alongside local heroes as the Fashion Festival engages the industry and general public in original, thought-provoking ways.

     Also launching during the Fashion festival is a new festival, The Retina Scottish International Photography Festival for which EIFF Director, Anna Freemantle has curated two exciting exhibitions by celebrated photographers, Rankin and Helena Christensen.

    EventScotland is supporting a research project intended to help the festival better understand its audiences and potential for growth. 

    Follow the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival’s twitter, Facebook and website over the coming weeks for further exciting announcements.

    Almost every event in this year’s programme is completely free.

    twitter.com/edinfashion

    facebook.com/EdinburghInternationalFashionFestival

    For more information visit the website: edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 20 June 2014

    Wickerman Unveils a Red Hot Selection of New On-Site Activities

     The Wickerman Festival has today announced that it will be expanding its sizzling on-site offering this year thanks to new festival funding. To support a schedule of exciting new programming, the much-loved music event has received £17,000 from Dumfries and Galloway Council, the funding forms part of the Council’s new strategy to grow iconic festivals in the region.

    As a result of this funding, Wickerman are delighted to reveal a host of new free on-site activities to fire-up festival fans even further. Revellers in need of a retro pick-me-up can get their skates on this year and bust some moves at Wickerman’s first Roller Disco. Hosted within the Headphone Arena, a series of family and adults only sessions will take place throughout the Friday and Saturday. Those keen to make a splash this summer are encouraged to do so by bringing their swimming costumes, bikinis, shorts and even budgie smugglers with them to try out the Festival’s new Hot Tubs.

     On Friday, Fly Right Dance Company will provide dance workshops to help music lovers pick up some fancy footwork skills to show off over the course of the weekend. And after a long absence, the Palace Outdoor Cinema will be back to wow the crowds with outdoor screenings and its visually stunning set-up.

     A very special mobile Rave Unit will also appear over the weekend to encourage revellers to party in an ordered fashion. There will be walkabout theatre galore courtesy of Mischief La Bas with their performers providing everything from emotional security to a customised hat to assist you with this year’s ‘Wicker Mad Hatters’ fancy dress theme.

    In addition to the Council supported activity, the previously announced Lowland Links Tent will help fans celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming in style by shining the spotlight on the Dumfries and Galloway region. Throughout the day, festival goers can research their family history, learn about the Vikings that once occupied the area and listen to local storytellers and poets bring the county’s rich heritage to life. On the Friday evening, we are thrilled to welcome BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014 and Dumfries and Galloway native, Robyn Stapleton to perform. The evenings revelries will be rounded off by Orkney’s stomp band, The Chair. Saturday night sees multi-award winners Skerryvore return to the festival to bring the tent curtain down in style.

    From escapist entertainment and al fresco adventures to spectacular sites and family favourites, Wickerman 2014 will provide a feast of treats for families with free festival admission for 12 year olds and under.  For £3 per day, children can enjoy a host of fun activities in Wickerman’s dedicated Children’s Area. All admission charges will be donated towards the education of James Okeyo, an African orphan who the festival have sponsored since 2011. Storytelling sessions, singalongs, art workshops and puppet shows are just some of the highlights that will keep children (and those accompanying them) entertained.

    Why not join in with the belly dancing up at The Bandstand, where you might just encounter various other spontaneous performances. The 7stanes Display Team return to Wickerman along with the mountain bike taster sessions, soccarenas, climbing wall, bouncy castles, fairground riders, laser quest, segway riding, festival golf and rocket making workshops to add to the merryment.

    Festival fans in need of some downtime can kick back, relax and enjoy The Retreat, where Catherine and her team will offer a variety of treatments including aromatherapy massage, deep tissue and trigger therapy and holistic facials all washed down with a cup of tea from the Motley Brew crew. Alongside the retreat Susan Neal will be hosting Yoga and Qigong sessions.

    There is also more in store for Wickerman campers, the enhanced ‘Down and Dirty’ area features hot showers and ‘posh’ toilets whilst BeYurtiful will be on site to offer entertainment and everything from sparkles and glitter to the hire of hair dryers, hair straighteners and a full hairdressing service.

    Helen Chalmers, Wickerman Festival Co-ordinator comments:

    “Wickerman’s on-site activities form a key part of the whole festival experience, so we are delighted that Dumfries & Galloway Council and Homecoming Scotland have supported our growth in this area.

    Similar to our music line-up, our activities schedule was created to offer something for everyone, from families and those keen to unwind to hardened party goers and adrenalin junkies."

    Tickets can be purchased from http://wickerman.skiddletickets.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 19 June 2014

    47 Global Gold Medallists to Star at Diamond League in Glasgow

    Olympic champions David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Carmelita Jeter and Ashton Eaton are just a few of the latest names to confirm that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on 11-12 July.

    The quartet will join 22 world champions and 25 Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists, which represents the most impressive athletic line-up ever assembled in Scotland, just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games. Britain’s biggest stars Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar), Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) are already confirmed alongside Scottish stars Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider), Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon) and Laura Muir (Andy Young).

    With the USA and a host of other nations not competing at the Commonwealth Games, the Diamond League meet will offer fans the chance to see the world’s best competing at Hampden Park in the first ever IAAF Diamond League meet staged in Scotland. For those who missed out on Glasgow 2014 tickets, this is an unmissable opportunity to experience the world’s premier athletics series in the city.

    Rudisha will be making his first appearance in the UK since breaking the 800m world record on his way to Olympic gold at London 2012, and he marked his return to form with a triumph at the New York Diamond League last weekend.

    The 25 year old said: “I haven’t competed in the UK since winning gold at the Olympics, so to return to the UK for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is something that I’m really excited about. 

    “Winning gold at the Olympic Games and being the first ever athlete to go below the 1:41 barrier is my biggest achievement to date.   Having only just returned to track action, my victory at the New York Diamond League has given me a lot of confidence and something which I will take with me to Hampden Park. 

    “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the best possible preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I know the field will include not only the best athletes in the Commonwealth, but the world too.  I know I will have to perform at my best to secure another victory on the Diamond League circuit.”

    Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman of all time over 100m will return to the UK after winning a complete set of medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The American, who won 4x100 gold, 100m silver and 200m bronze in Olympic Stadium is excited at the prospect of running in one of the best line-ups staged in the UK.

    The 34 year old said: “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will be one of the first meets of my outdoor season and I’m looking to put on a good show for the crowd in July. Even four weeks out, we have multiple Olympic and world champions confirmed for the event, which shows how high the standard will be and something which I will relish, being an athlete that thrives on the big stage. 

    “With the standard of women’s sprinting improving all the time, I’ve got to have my eyes on all seven of the athletes that line up against me on the start line at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The British crowd always treat me as one of their own and that is the main reason why I keep on coming back year after year.”  

    Eaton meanwhile not only won gold at London 2012, but also triumphed at last year’s World Championships, before going on to defend his World Indoor heptathlon crown in Sopot in March.

    With no major championships scheduled for the 26 year old this year, Eaton has opted to test his hand at the 400m hurdles this year, and will be looking to take the scalps of another world-class field at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in July. The world record holder made another piece of history this month by becoming the first decathlete to win an individual event at the Oslo Diamond League, as the American took a notable victory over 2011 world silver medallist LJ Van Zyl and has since lowered his personal best to 48.94 after just six races.

    “2014 will give me a chance to recharge my batteries ahead of the World Championships in 2015 and Rio 2016, where I will be looking to defend my decathlon titles.

    “To have the opportunity to compete in the UK at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is something that I will relish. I have established myself in the decathlon as the one to beat, and I’m looking to continue this throughout the course of the outdoor season in the individual events.

    “My aim is to go quicker still at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix; I want  to keep pushing myself to the limit to see how far inside 49 seconds I can go. I know from Oslo that I can contend with a world-class field, but I’m expecting an even bigger test in Glasgow in July.”

    Integrated into the IAAF Diamond League meet will be a series of para-events, which will star the likes of London 2012 gold medallists David Weir (Jenny Archer), Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) and Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks), as well as Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine), Stef Reid (Reider) and the USA’s Richard Browne.

    Rudisha, Fraser-Pryce, Jeter and Eaton will be joined at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix by a whole host of current and former Olympic gold medallists including Felix Sanchez, Anna Chicherova, Blanka Vlasic, Jenn Suhr, Dayron Robles, Amantle Montsho, Aries Merritt, Tomasz Majewski, Sandra Perkovic, Andreas Thorkildsen, Keshorn Walcott, Christian Taylor and Sally Pearson in one of the greatest fields ever assembled in the UK.

    Tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12 are available by visiting http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/

  • 18 June 2014

    Music Promises to be Highlight at Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

    Music will once again play a large part in the annual Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival which takes place in Portsoy on June 27-29, 2014. Drawing together a host of musicians from across Scotland as well as welcoming a number of international acts, many of whom originally hail from Scottish shores, the Festival’s musical offering will play a part in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

    Festival favourites and newcomers alike will be appearing throughout the three day celebration of traditional boat building and sailing, music, art and culture. Bands and singers will appear across numerous stages situated in various locations around the picturesque coastal village.

    The ever-popular De Kinkels will return to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival from the Netherlands, playing on the Harbour Stage throughout the weekend as well as at a gig in the Station Hotel in the evening of June 28. Celtic Connection award winners RURA will headline the Showcase Concert on Friday night at the Festival, bringing with them a vibrant, upbeat sound.

    Allan Carr, originally from Aberdeen and now based in Philadelphia, is also due to play at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. A multi-instrumentalist, Allan moved away from Scotland over 20 years ago and will return to play a mixture of traditional and contemporary music from his prolific repertoire.

    Folk and Robbers, hailing from Svelvik, Norway, will return to the Festival 15 years after their last performance, and promise to bring with them a mixture of pop, folk and rock mixed with some Scottish, Irish and Norwegian folk songs. Also from Norway, shanty choir Slogmaakane will be appearing across the weekend.

    For some more traditional Scottish fare, the Portsoy Pipe Band and Tarves’ Chaotica will perform during the weekend. The Spiers Family, Danny Couper, Carol Anderson and Arthur Watson will be curating informal sessions in the Festival marquee, as well as running workshops on Scots songs and tunes that have been adopted around the world.

    For those looking for a more interactive musical experience, the Borders-based HLI Ceilidh Band will be appearing in the Festival marquee on Saturday June 28 for a barnstorming family ceilidh. The Portsoy Bowling Club will host an open mic night, also on Saturday evening, for those that would like to show off their own musical talents.

    Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director said: “The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is a key event in the year of Homecoming, which will showcase the maritime and cultural heritage of the North East. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and with the announcement of the packed musical programme there is even more for visitors to enjoy at the Festival this year.”

    The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival draws in excess of 16,000 people to the shores of Portsoy every year and as well as heritage boats from near and far it includes a wide range of crafts, music, song and dance from around the world, a delicious food fayre and a fun packed action area.

    This year the Festival is a key event in the Year of Homecoming – a year-long programme of events and activities focusing on celebrating the very best of Scotland.

    For more information about the Festival and to buy tickets visit www.stbfportsoy.com. Updates about his year’s Festival are also available on Facebook at and Twitter – search for @STBFestival.

    An adult day ticket to the Festival costs £8, children aged five to 18 and concessions are £5. Adult weekend tickets are priced at £12 and children and concessions at £8. There are also family tickets available which allow entry for two adults and three children for £25 for a day ticket and £35 for a weekend.  Children under five go free. Car parking is available and costs £2, with the price including a brochure.

    Category: National Events

  • 18 June 2014

    The 2014 Ryder Cup marks 100 Days To Go

     

    100 balls, 100 strokes, 100 people and 100 Days To Go until The 2014 Ryder Cup
    A cast of 100 supporters of The 2014 Ryder Cup today marked 100 Days To Go until the event begins with a special 360-degree photograph.
    Chefs, security personnel and teachers took on waiters, school children, green keepers, transport operators and buggy drivers in a collective challenge to simultaneously chip one golf ball each into the 18th hole on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.   
    And it was 39-year-old green keeper Christopher Brown who defied the odds to hole his shot, a feat rewarded by the organisers with two Ryder Cup match day tickets, which he is giving to his two sons. Two practice day tickets were also awarded to each of the 100 supporters taking part in the challenge.
    The stunt was designed to mark the collective effort taken to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events just 100 Days before the first tee-off on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on 26th September.
    Edward Kitson, Match Director of The 2014 Ryder Cup, said: “It is no mean feat to stage one of the world’s largest events on a single golf course over just six days, while broadcasting every moment of it to over half a billion homes. 
    “The infrastructure for The Ryder Cup is necessarily temporary, and it therefore requires a huge amount of coordination and teamwork to make it happen. We are thrilled to mark 100 days to go to the event with this special photograph, which encapsulates the team ethic that has been put into the planning of the event.”
    Over 250,000 spectators are expected to travel to Gleneagles for the event, and 7,000 employed staff, marshals, volunteers, emergency service personnel and media representatives will be on site during the event week. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be broadcast to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching more than half a billion homes each day of competition. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “With one hundred days to go you can feel the excitement building as The Ryder Cup comes closer to a return to Scotland, the Home of Golf. Shortly we will be watching many of the world’s best golfers, competing at Gleneagles, in this iconic sporting occasion. This is an important period for Scottish Golf and for Scotland’s place on the world stage and we are set for a fantastic event that will capture the imagination of millions of fans at home and abroad.” 
    Patrick Elsmie, Gleneagles’ Managing Director, commented: “Gleneagles has been preparing to host The Ryder Cup for the past for 13 years, and there is enormous excitement around the resort that it’s now just 100 days away. The whole team have been working tirelessly to ensure the PGA Centenary Course and Gleneagles Hotel are both ready to host one of golf’s greatest events. We are all looking forward to welcoming the world to Perthshire in September, to showcase the very best of Scotland and Scottish hospitality.”

    A cast of 100 supporters of The 2014 Ryder Cup today marked 100 Days To Go until the event begins with a special 360-degree photograph.Chefs, security personnel and teachers took on waiters, school children, green keepers, transport operators and buggy drivers in a collective challenge to simultaneously chip one golf ball each into the 18th hole on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.   And it was 39-year-old green keeper Christopher Brown who defied the odds to hole his shot, a feat rewarded by the organisers with two Ryder Cup match day tickets, which he is giving to his two sons. Two practice day tickets were also awarded to each of the 100 supporters taking part in the challenge.

    The stunt was designed to mark the collective effort taken to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events just 100 Days before the first tee-off on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on 26th September.Edward Kitson, Match Director of The 2014 Ryder Cup, said: “It is no mean feat to stage one of the world’s largest events on a single golf course over just six days, while broadcasting every moment of it to over half a billion homes. “The infrastructure for The Ryder Cup is necessarily temporary, and it therefore requires a huge amount of coordination and teamwork to make it happen. We are thrilled to mark 100 days to go to the event with this special photograph, which encapsulates the team ethic that has been put into the planning of the event.”

     Over 250,000 spectators are expected to travel to Gleneagles for the event, and 7,000 employed staff, marshals, volunteers, emergency service personnel and media representatives will be on site during the event week. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be broadcast to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching more than half a billion homes each day of competition. 

     Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “With one hundred days to go you can feel the excitement building as The Ryder Cup comes closer to a return to Scotland, the Home of Golf. Shortly we will be watching many of the world’s best golfers, competing at Gleneagles, in this iconic sporting occasion. This is an important period for Scottish Golf and for Scotland’s place on the world stage and we are set for a fantastic event that will capture the imagination of millions of fans at home and abroad.” Patrick Elsmie, Gleneagles’ Managing Director, commented: “Gleneagles has been preparing to host The Ryder Cup for the past for 13 years, and there is enormous excitement around the resort that it’s now just 100 days away. The whole team have been working tirelessly to ensure the PGA Centenary Course and Gleneagles Hotel are both ready to host one of golf’s greatest events. We are all looking forward to welcoming the world to Perthshire in September, to showcase the very best of Scotland and Scottish hospitality.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland/ Eventscotland said: “With only 100 days to go, the buzz and excitement around hosting one of the world’s biggest sporting events is intensifying. As the lead agency delivering the 2014 Ryder Cup, we are working hard to maximise the opportunities that come with hosting such a world-famous event for tourism and the Scottish economy. 

     Our dedicated golf programme promotes Scotland throughout the UK and in key markets abroad, and The Ryder Cup has an expected global reach of more than half a billion. Combine the two and it’s clear that Scotland is set to confirm its position as the Home of Golf and demonstrate once more that it is the perfect stage for major events. 

     Scotland will stop to enjoy our Ryder Cup. With over 550 courses spread throughout the country and 250,000 spectators and media during the competition, we would encourage everyone to get out there and uncover their very own golfing paradise!”

    Category: International Events

  • 17 June 2014

    Tender invitations sought by The Festivals Forum

    The Festivals Forum, the body of stakeholders with a shared interest in ensuring Edinburgh maintains and develops its position as the world’s leading Festival city, seeks to commission a new study to consider the future sustainability, success and strategic development of Edinburgh’s 12 major Festivals. The study is commissioned by Festivals Edinburgh, EventScotland, Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Enterprise the British Council.  Reflecting on progress following the 2006 Thundering Hooves study, it is now necessary to reconsider the opportunities and threats relevant to the future cultural and organisational sustainability and development of the Festivals in order to inform a reinvigorated strategy and action plan. Invitations are sought from suitably qualified consultants who may bring together a team to research and deliver the study. The deadline for submission is 27 June, 2014.  Register your interest here >>

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 11 June 2014

    Borders school performs the ‘Hawick-a’ for Legacy Week

    In celebration of Legacy Week, school children from Drumlanrig Primary School, Loan today (10th June) took part in final rehearsals for their Hawick-a (Haka) performance, which combines the traditional New Zealand Haka and a Borders Common Riding song, to capture the spirit and legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

    The performance was created by local primary and secondary school children in Hawick and has been an extremely collaborative and educational experience for those involved. Children have been learning to drum and dance and have also created colourful carnival head dresses and Commonwealth flags to create a lasting impression from their performance.

    The dance will be part of a full day of celebrations to mark the arrival of the Queens’ Baton Relay to The Borders on 18th June to include – music from Clanadonia, The Big Parade of over 300 school pupils, dance showcases and free concerts from a host of performers.

    The Haka Hawick celebrations form part of the Games for Scotland programme of events, supported by EventScotland and a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a legacy through Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. The programme is designed to give people across Scotland the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay in their area and feel motivated and inspired by the Games.

    Ms Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “The Haka Hawick performance really embraces the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and is an excellent example of how Games for Scotland is inspiring Scots to actively participate in events which celebrate Scotland’s culture and heritage, and showcase Scotland as a welcoming host to our international friends.

    “This is a great example of how young people are being inspired by the Commonwealth Games and helping to create a lasting legacy.  So far, over 250,000 school pupils are benefitting from Game on Scotland legacy programme.”

    Olivia Roper, Performing Arts Coordinator, Scottish Borders Council said: “We wanted to create something truly memorable to celebrate the Queens Baton Relay and our Games for Scotland funding enabled us to be really creative with our approach.  The children have all worked really hard on their performance and we’re all honoured to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “We’re really excited by The Scottish Borders Council’s plans for their Games for Scotland event this year – it’s a great event for young people to be involved in and will build excitement in the area in the run up to the XX Commonwealth Games.

    “The Games for Scotland programme has been spreading the message of the Games around Scotland’s communities since 2010 and has proved to be hugely popular. There is a diverse programme of events across the country this summer from dance to storytelling and sports activity sessions. We’re delighted that the team have come up with something really creative that celebrates our ties to the rest of the Commonwealth and gives young people the opportunity to be part of something unforgettable.”

    Visit www.legacy2014.co.uk for more information.

    Category: Games for Scotland News

  • 10 June 2014

    Tweddle Announces 2015 World Gymnastics Championships Tickets on Sale

    Tickets for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow are now on sale – with just 500 days to go until the world’s top artistic gymnasts take centre stage at the stunning SSE Hydro Arena.

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships is one of the world’s largest single sporting events. More than 500 gymnasts from over 80 nations will compete to become world champion and secure their place amongst the legends of the sport. As a qualification event for Rio 2016 Olympic Games the gymnasts will be ensuring they are at the peak of their abilities to keep their medal hopes alive.

    Three-time world champion and Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle, who has been announced as an official ambassador for the championships, can’t wait for the action to get underway.

    Beth said: “The world championships attract the very highest calibre of gymnasts and, as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games, every single athlete will be striving to perform at their very best.

    “To have these championships here in Glasgow really shows the position it holds as a world-class sporting city. I hope the people of Glasgow, Scotland and the rest of the UK take full advantage of this fantastic event and come along to support our gymnasts.”

    Tickets are now on sale for the 10 days of world-class competition. The schedule will comprise of four days of qualification events followed by six days of finals where gymnasts will compete in team, all around and individual apparatus events. For the qualification events concessions start at £7.50, adult tickets start at £15 and a family ticket starts at £38. For the finals concession ticket prices start at £20, adult ticket prices start at £40 and a family ticket starts at £100.

    This world-class event will be staged in Glasgow’s world-class SSE Hydro Arena between 23rd October and 1st November 2015. With the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships’ unique layout gymnastics fans will be able to get closer to the action than ever before and see the chalk dust fly.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s great sporting cities – a position built on our track record of hosting international sporting events and our investment in world-class facilities.

    “As we look beyond this summer’s Commonwealth Games the excitement is already building towards the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. It will bring the world’s very best gymnasts together for 10 days of action in one of the best entertainment arenas anywhere in the world.

    “The stage is set and we are ready to put on a show that will wow the world in 2015. They will be the best world championships ever and now is your chance to make sure you are a part of it.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we have built a really strong reputation for delivering major Gymnastics Championships. 2015 is set to be a fantastic year for events in Glasgow and with tickets going on sale for the World Gymnastics Championships, fans can guarantee their seats at what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.”

    The first World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Antwerp in 1903. Now, over 100 years later Glasgow will take great pleasure in welcoming the 46th World Gymnastics Championships here next year.

    Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event at Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 1997. The title of the Grand Prix changed to the Gymnastics World Cup in 2011 and has been hosted in £113 million Emirates Arena since its opening in 2013. Glasgow is one of only four cities hosting World Cup events.

    The decision by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) follows a joint bid between British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport. Glasgow beat off tough competition from Paris (France) and Orlando (USA) to win the right to host the prestigious event.

    The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland. 

    Category: International Events

  • 05 June 2014

    GET UNBORED WITH THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE: 2014 PROGRAMME LAUNCHED

    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back for 2014 with a programme that is bursting at the seams with exhilarating, inspiring and unforgettable festival shows and offering a truly unboring experience.

    2014 will see 50,771 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across Scotland’s capital city. The number of shows reflects an 11% increase on last year’s programme, making it the biggest ever in the history of the Fringe.

    Audiences at the 2014 Fringe will have a new online ticketing experience that will improve the process for customers looking to search for shows and buy tickets. Ticketing on edfringe.com is now fully responsive and customers can now access it on any PC, tablet or mobile device, and will benefit from improved filtering options, the ability to export their search results, create their own calendar of events, and share booked and favourite shows. Additionally, audience members can now post reviews of any show they’ve seen directly onto edfringe.com, which will in turn benefit participants who can build up a picture of genuine audience responses. Participants will also be able to enrich their online show listings by sharing reviews, social media links, sneak previews and other media files. This is alongside the official Fringe App for Android and iOS which is already available. Once again the Fringe Society has increased the number of ticket collections points around the city, to make things easier for our audience. New collection points this year include the Institut français d'Ecosse in the west end of the city and, as announced last month, the Domestic Arrivals Hall at Edinburgh Airport. A full list of ticket collection points can be found online.

    As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe constantly evolves, a number of new venues will be showcasing work this year. Riddle’s Court, an A-listed 16th Century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile is once again in operation following extensive conservation work, and joins the C Venues group as C Cubed, while, rising like a phoenix, La Belle Angèle on Cowgate is reopening as a venue, following the devastating fire in 2002. Northern Stage is moving to a new venue at King’s Hall on Clerk Street, and the south side of the city also sees new venues Greenside @ Nicolson Square and C venues - C south, extending the presence of the Fringe in that neighbourhood. The Famous Spiegeltent will be located in St Andrew’s Square, alongside Stand in the Square, and a brand new open air stage. TheSpaceUK, which is celebrating 20 years at the Fringe this year, manages performance spaces across eight locations, plus a caravan on Niddry Street with a maximum audience capacity of just eight. 2014 also marks the 25th year as a Fringe venue for Universal Art’s Hill Street Theatre which will this year once again play host to the Festival of Solo Theatre.

    This year sees the former Dance and Physical Theatre category expanded to become Dance, Circus and Physical Theatre in recognition of the growth and popularity of circus shows over the last couple of years. Spoken Word, which was introduced in 2012 sees an 88% increase in the number of shows since last year to a total of 124 – making up just under 4% of the total programme. Children’s shows have also seen a big increase in popularity this year, with 22% more shows in this category than in 2013. All other categories continue to remain very popular.

    Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

    “This programme is the culmination of the creativity and hard work of thousands of people. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is many things to many people and part of the success of the Fringe is that whatever you are looking for, and in whatever capacity you are looking, you can almost certainly be satisfied by what you find.

    "This year the Fringe includes 3,193 shows which is a record number of shows, but more importantly the programme offers the widest selection of international high quality arts and entertainment that you will find in any one place at any one time. A truly unique experience.

    “This year is an incredibly important year for Scotland with major international cultural, sporting and political events taking place. With our eclectic range of shows and uniquely diverse range of voices the Fringe will, as always, be at the centre of things and promises to keep residents and visitors unbored.”

    Category: International Events

  • 05 June 2014

    Queen's Baton Relay route activities revealed

    Fife has revealed the detail for a day of celebration to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to the area as part of the Games for Scotland programme on Thursday 26 June.

    The Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman, will welcome the baton to Fife at Knockhill Racing Circuit in the morning where it will take in a lap on a superbike.
    The baton will then spend the day in Fife and take in sights including Dunfermline Abbey, coastal villages (and travel by RNLI lifeboat between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy no less!) and will then move on to places including Falkland Palace and the East Neuk before arriving in St Andrews for a carnival-themed parade!

    Fife Council’s Active Fife team will be delivering a range of active celebrations on the day including the opportunity for people of all ages to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports and an attempt at the world’s biggest ceilidh! The activity will form part of the Games for Scotland programme, managed by EventScotland, which forms a key part of Legacy 2014 - the Scottish Government's commitment to deliver a lasting legacy as a result of the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland.

    Around 100 children will welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay when it makes a morning stop at Dalgety Bay Sports Centre. They will take part in a free run-jump-throw athletics session and will have the opportunity to touch the baton.

    Meanwhile at Micheal Woods Sports & Leisure Centre in Glenrothes, the finalists of the Going for Gold competition will be battling it out. The annual competition between care homes encourages the elderly to try out a new activity and to keep active. Teams from 58 care homes across Fife are currently battling it out in a “Walk the Commonwealth Step Count Challenge” and are training at New Age Kurling, carpet bowls, boccia, basketball shoots and other fun sports in preparation for the final. The Baton Relay will visit the centre at lunchtime as part of this event to commend their efforts!

    It’s then on to Falkland where over 150 children from Falkland Primary School and nursery will take part in a cultural-themed dance and Commonwealth Games taster activity session at Falkland Palace.
    Later in the afternoon around 300 people will welcome the baton to Duffus Park in Cupar where a closing ceremony for a local Commonweath Games event will be taking place with Olympic Bronze medallist curler Anna Sloan.

    Finally, a carnival atmosphere will welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to St Andrews where people will line the streets to watch a parade travel along South Street, North Street and down to West Sands. They’ll then be encouraged to follow the baton to West Sands for more entertainment and the chance to take part in a record breaking attempt at the world’s biggest ceilidh!

    The Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman, is pleased that so many people will have the opportunity to not only welcome the baton to their community, but to take part in the celebrations too. He said: “Hundreds of Fifers will be taking part in these events. It’s an opportunity for them to be active, try out a new sport or activity and be part of the exciting build up to the Games in Glasgow. I’m looking forward to welcoming the baton into Fife at Knockhill and then ending the day of celebration in a fitting manner with some ceilidh dancing in St Andrews!”

    Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “The XX Commonwealth Games are fast approaching and, as we gear up to what will be the best Games ever, I am delighted that the Games for Scotland programme is going strong, encouraging communities across the country to feel part of the excitement that is building around the event.

    “The programme, which is part of our Legacy 2014 pledge, has already inspired thousands of people in Scotland to take part in sport and cultural activities. We are showing the world that we are a nation proud of our culture and diversity – and that this legacy will continue long after the closing ceremony of the Games at Hampden Park.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 June 2014

    Sharp Ready to Take in Electric Crowd At Glasgow Diamond League

    European 800m Champion Lynsey Sharp (coach: Rana Reider) has announced that she will run at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12.

    Sharp has only just returned to action after nine months on the sidelines and showed a promising return to form clocking 2:01.68 at the BMC Grand Prix on Saturday – her third victory in successive weekends. The Edinburgh AC athlete is now excited to get amongst the world’s best in her first IAAF Diamond League appearance in nearly two years.

    The Olympic semi-finalist said: “It’s going to be great occasion to step foot inside Hampden Park for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in July. It’s going to be like the Commonwealth Games in two days and I know that the atmosphere is going to be electric.”

    Sharp will follow in the footsteps of her footballing heroes, as the 23 year old lines up at Scotland’s national stadium and believes that having the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in the back of her mind during her rehabilitation has been crucial to getting back onto the track.

    “As soon as the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix was announced, this was the event that I was targeting on my comeback from injury. I’ve watched Rangers play at the stadium many times, but to be able to step on the track and compete in front of a home crowd is going to be something I’ll never forget.

    “It’s been a long road to recovery, but to have this event to focus on makes all the hours spent rehabbing worth it,” added the daughter of five-time Commonwealth Games medallist Cameron Sharp.  

    It will be a three-way battle of the Brits in the 800m at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with Sharp going head-to-head with fellow Scot Laura Muir (Andy Young) and World Junior 800m silver medallist Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark). Despite not having the best preparation to the 2014 season, she is ready to put her all into giving the home crowd the biggest cheer of the weekend.  

    “I know the Scottish public will be looking to get behind me and I’m determined to put a strong show on for them. I haven’t been a part of the Diamond League since 2012, so to be back and competing against a world-class field at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is more than I could ask for really.”

    Sharp will be joined at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix by double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), World 400m gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), 2003 World Champion Kim Collins, World Junior 100m champion Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge), World Indoor 60m Champion Richard Kilty (Reider) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man on the planet over 100m.

    To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12, please visit britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 30 May 2014

    Nick Brings Forth Scotland's Best Food and Drink

    Top celebrity chef, Nick Nairn, has brought his passion for Scottish produce to bear in designing a menu for Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch, a highlight of this September’s Forth Bridges Festival.

     Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is a unique outdoor event which will take place on Saturday 6 September.  It is planned to celebrate three centuries of bridge engineering on the Forth, as well as marking the 50th birthday of the iconic Forth Road Bridge, and is a key event in the Homecoming 2014 calendar.

     The lunch will be held in South Queensferry in front of the spectacular panorama of the three bridges – the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing, which is currently under construction.  Visitors and residents alike will enjoy all the best of Scottish quality food and drink sourced from right across the country. 

     Tickets are now on sale for up to 2400 lunch guests to enjoy a feast of artisan sandwiches with Scottish salmon, Inverurie sirloin beef and roasted vegetables, accompanied by a fresh super salad and followed by a Scottish berry trifle dessert.

     Commenting on his menu choice, Nick Nairn said: “The Forth Bridges are iconic symbols of Scotland around the world and I'm thrilled to be involved in the festival.  Scotland is going through a food and drink revolution at the moment and this is a brilliant chance to celebrate our fantastic natural larder against the amazing backdrop of the Bridges."

     The event will include an exciting line-up of live entertainment with music, choirs, street entertainers, a food and drink market, and demonstration kitchens manned by some of Scotland’s top chefs.  Grant Stott and Dingo Dave from Forth One will also be broadcasting from South Queensferry during the event.

     Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is one of the signature events of the Forth Bridges Festival, which runs from 4-13 September 2014, and is supported by Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund.

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “This is a landmark year for Scotland as the country plays host not only to the events of Homecoming, but also the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and The 2014 Ryder Cup.  Events such as ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’ as part of the stunning Forth Bridges Festival provide a fantastic boost for this country’s food and drink industry, enabling businesses to showcase the finest regionally sourced, premium quality produce that Scotland has to offer.  I am looking forward to sampling the menu by Nick Nairn with my family on 6 September on the banks of the River Forth.”

     The festival is being organised by Queensferry Ambition in partnership with FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority).

    Malcolm Brown, chair of Queensferry Ambition, said:  “Queensferry Ambition is absolutely delighted to confirm that the renowned and respected celebrity chef Nick Nairn is designing and overseeing the menu for ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’.  We are thrilled that Nick recognises the importance of the Forth Bridges Festival 2014 and has chosen to demonstrate his commitment to this highlight of Homecoming Scotland.  A glimpse at the menu, with its inventive use of the best of Scotland’s quality food and drink, offers a tantalising taste of what promises to be a truly delicious feast.”

     Tickets for the event cost £13 for adults and £8.00 for children, plus a small booking fee and are available to purchase through the Forth Bridges Festival website – www.forthbridgesfestival.com

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 29 May 2014

    Torrance and Livingstone Back Ryder Cup Support for Scottish Clubs

    European Ryder Cup vice-captain Sam Torrance and Sky Sports presenter David Livingstone are backing a new Scottish Golf ‘Club Toolkit’ initiative which will encourage clubs to build a legacy from The 2014 Ryder Cup through access to coveted tickets for the event itself.

     Making the announcement at Bathgate Golf Club, a venue synonymous with The Ryder Cup having produced two members in Eric Brown and Bernard Gallacher as captains, the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) and ClubGolf, in association with tourism agency VisitScotland, revealed that the country’s near 600 golf clubs  would be given the opportunity to receive at least two tickets for The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September, to be used in developing the game at local level.

     The ‘Ryder Cup Ready’ toolkit provides clubs and ClubGolf facilities with a guide featuring ideas on how to maximise the countdown to Scotland’s first Ryder Cup in 41 years, including building junior membership, retaining members, generating more clubhouse revenue, attracting new golfers and increasing visitor numbers. The Ryder Cup’s official broadcaster, Sky Sports, is also backing the club activity, through a special ‘6 months for the price of 4’ subscription offer and the chance to become one of Sky Sports’ ‘Ultimate Venues’ during the week of the event.

     Clubs will be invited to apply for the tickets, which have been awarded by The Scottish Government as part of Scotland’s host nation allocation, based on running Ryder Cup themed activity in the run up to the event in late September and successful clubs will be rewarded with two tickets for match days and up to eight practice day tickets.

     With match day tickets for the biennial event now sold out, the initiative will provide a unique opportunity for golfers in Scotland to attend one of the world’s biggest sporting events, with clubs encouraged to give golfers young and old the chance to get their hands on the tickets.

     Sam Torrance, the victorious European Ryder Cup captain in 2002, who will be a key member of Paul McGinley’s backroom team at Gleneagles, welcomed the initiative: “The Ryder Cup Ready Club Toolkit is a great idea, as there’s no better time for clubs to showcase themselves amid the buzz of The Ryder Cup.

     “It’s fantastic to see such as large proportion of tickets going to clubs across Scotland, giving the chance for club members to be part of what will be an amazing home crowd at Gleneagles.

     “The practice days are also a fantastic spectacle and I’m sure those youngsters and volunteers attending will savour the experience and inspire them to stay involved in the game of golf with the chance to see the world’s best players in action.”

     A total of 3,000 tickets will be provided to Scottish Golf from the Scottish Government’s Host Nation allocation, with 2,000 tickets being given to ClubGolf and 1,000 tickets awarded to the SGU and SLGA.  Each club will be invited to apply for tickets via the Scottish Golf Union and ClubGolf websites.

     Four clubs across Scotland will be awarded the title of Sky Sports Ultimate Venue, each winning a 3D TV and a visit from The Ryder Cup trophy to their club for a day. These clubs will be selected based on running the most successful Ryder Cup themed activity during the summer.

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said: “The importance of The 2014 Ryder Cup to golf clubs and golf tourism in Scotland cannot be overstated.

     “There is no doubt that the week of The Ryder Cup will deliver an influx of golfing visitors to Scotland but it is what we do before, during and after the event that will provide the lasting benefit to our golf industry. The toolkit outlines many ways in which golf clubs can capitalise on this enhanced exposure and benefit for many years to come, ensuring we maintain and build on Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf.

     “We are delighted to have played a part in this toolkit through our partnership with both the SGU and SLGA and our strong relationship with Sky Sports and we look forward to welcoming the world to our golf clubs in 2014 and beyond.”

    Further information on the Toolkit and the ticket allocation can be found here: http://www.scottishgolf.org/club-services/marketing/ryder-cup/

    Category: International Events

  • 28 May 2014

    Edinburgh International Film Festival Unveils 2014 Programme

     Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara announced this morning at Filmhouse in Edinburgh details of the programme for the 68th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 18 to 29 June, will showcase 156 features from 47 countries, including 11 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 7 European Premieres and 95 UK Premieres.

     The Festival boasts 124 new features, with highlights including Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final performances, which screens within the Directors’ Showcase strand; Gia Coppola’s PALO ALTO, starring James Franco and Emma Roberts, which will screen in the American Dreams strand; and, straight from Cannes, Abel Ferrara’s controversial title WELCOME TO NEW YORK, inspired by the case of former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, starring Gérard Depardieu, will receive its UK Premiere. EIFF will also host the World Premiere of CASTLES IN THE SKY from Gillies MacKinnon, the story of the Scottish engineer and developer of radar Robert Watson-Watt (Eddie Izzard). The film is one of the contenders for the Michael Powell Award, along with SET FIRE TO THE STARS, the debut feature from Andy Goddard, a semi-biographical drama depicting the life of Dylan Thomas and starring Elijah Wood, also screening as a World Premiere. Special Screenings include Anthony Baxter’s A DANGEROUS GAME, the follow-up to the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped, exploring American property developer Donald Trump’s incursion into Scotland; and this year’s family gala will be the UK Premiere of the animated heist adventure THE NUT JOB, featuring the voice talents of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson.

     Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “A film festival must keep trying to remain challenging, provocative and responsive, and I believe the programme we’re unveiling today shows our success at doing that this year. It’s a diverse and artistically strong programme that will delight and surprise our audiences, both old and new, and that will reward those who share our passion for exploring cinema in all its forms.”

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Amateur ride with Sir Chris Hoy joins men and women’s elite races on Grassmarket circuit

    Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series makes its debut in Edinburgh next week, with the country’s top professional cycling teams heading to the Grassmarket for an evening of action packed racing.

    Thursday 29th May sees the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series and women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series both taking place in the city for the first time, with multiple Olympic and World Champion Sir Chris Hoy.

    Hoy will be in Edinburgh for the final stop of the 2014 HOY Tour, showcasing his new range of kid’s bikes with an inflatable test track on the Grassmarket.

    He’ll then ride a few laps of the closed road circuit under the shadow of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle with 50 lucky fans who will be drawn at random in a prize draw conducted by Evans Cycles.

    Commenting on Thursday’s ride, Sir Chris Hoy said,

    “I always love coming home to Edinburgh, this week will be extra special as I’m launching the new Hoy kids range of bikes in the city where each of these bike names originated.  The Napier, Bonaly, Cammo and Meadowbank bikes are all named after these places where I enjoyed some of my first cycling experiences.  To find out more go to www.hoybikes.com and come along on Thursday to try the bikes out with me”

    Following the amateur ride, Britain’s leading televised race series for women, the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, will have its first ever round in Scotland, with racing underway at 17:30.

    Coming on the back of a month which has seen the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour, held in the East of England, and with Scottish riders Eileen Roe and Charline Joiner first and second in the standings, interest and support is sure to be high.

    At 19:30 attention will switch to the men, with Round Six of the team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series on the 1.3-kilometre course.

    Among the home riders taking part will be NFTO Pro Cycling’s Commonwealth Games medallist James McCallum and Starley Primal Pro Cycling duo Jack Pullar and David Lines.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in that the focus is on the teams, with squads battling to place their top three riders as high as possible in the standings in order to take the all-important team victory.

    Looking ahead to the round, Series Race Director Mick Bennett said; “Coming after Tuesday’s Durham round, Edinburgh will be another tough test for our teams and riders.

    “We have been looking forward to the Edinburgh event ever since it was confirmed, and think that the Grassmarket circuit will provide for spectacular racing and a great atmosphere from which spectators can enjoy the event.”

    In addition to the professional races there will be support activities on the circuit from 13:00 onwards, including youth races at 14:30 and a Category 2/3/4 amateur race at 15:30.

    Starting and finishing on the Grassmarket, the circuit then takes in the cobbled climb of Victoria Street, crosses the George IV Bridge, before returning to the Grassmarket via Candlemaker Row.

    Highlights of the Edinburgh round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat at 6am on Saturday 31st May.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Scottish Show Down for Edinburgh Round of Matrix Fitness GP Series

    Britain’s leading televised women’s cycle race series heads to Edinburgh on Thursday, for its first ever Scottish round on Thursday (29th May), with Scottish riders leading the way.

    Heading into the Edinburgh event, Round Three in the Series, Fife’s Eileen Roe tops the standings, 11-points clear of Dunfermline’s Charline Joiner.

    Roe, of the Starley Primal Pro Cycling team, was the winner last time out in Peterborough and took the runner-up spot in Round One at Stoke-on-Trent.  Back from a long-term injury layoff, she has hit the ground running and has high expectations of the racing and her home crowds.

    "It's exciting that there’s a round in Edinburgh and me being from Fife it's the closest to a home race in the Series. Meaning there's no 5hr+ drive involved.  I hope everyone is ready for probably the biggest crowds of the Series! Edinburgh is a city that definitely loves cycling and everyone I know can't wait for it.

    “It's one of the toughest circuits of the Series and racing up the cobbled Victoria Street certainly holds for one exciting race in both the men's and women's races. To be wearing the Leader Jersey coming into Edinburgh in front of a home crowd is certainly an honour, but it also comes with the pressure to keep hold of it or even a stage win. Starley Primal will do everything to keep that jersey with the team and give my home crowds something to shout about.”

    Fellow Scot Charline Joiner, of the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International squad, not only has her sights firmly set on Roe who currently sits 11-points above her in the Matrix Fitness GP Series overall standings, but has the bigger ambitions of competing for a spot in the track team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.   

    "There's a pretty steep cobbled hill that the crowd cheering for me will come in handy. With my sprint type riding the hills are always more difficult for me and having that home crowd will help a lot.

    “If I'm there in Glasgow [Commonwealth Games], I can imagine Edinburgh will be a little taster of how it might be. I love the fact my best friend and I are sitting 1st and 2nd in the series going into a home round."

    Scottish riders have so far won both events so far in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, with Joiner’s teammate Katie Archibald winning the opening event in Stoke-on-Trent.  Having missed the Peterborough round she sits sixth in the standings, but still less than a race win behind Roe in the points.  The Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team also continue to lead the team standings.

    The Edinburgh round will take place at the Grassmarket at 17:30 on Thursday 29th May.  Following the women’s race Round Six of the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series will hit the streets at 19:30 for an hour long race around the 1.3-kilometre Grassmarket circuit.

    If you can’t make it to Grassmarket to watch the action you can follow the race on our Pearl Izumi Tour Series Twitter feed @tourseries using the hashtag #tourseries.  Race highlights of both the men’s and women’s rounds will be broadcast on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat the following morning at 6am.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Merritt To Take On Sharman at The Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix

    Olympic 110m hurdles champion and world record holder Aries Merritt will go head-to-head with World Championships finalist William Sharman (coach: Jerzy Maciukiewicz) at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12. The duo join 10 global medallists already confirmed for the event held at Hampden two weeks before the Commonwealth Games.

     Just a month after winning Olympic gold at London 2012, Merritt lowered the world record from 12.87 to 12.80 at the Brussels Diamond League and will face Sharman, who finished fifth in Moscow last summer one place in front of his American counterpart.

     The IAAF Diamond League will come to Glasgow for the first time in its history and will follow last year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which was held at the Olympic Stadium. Sharman finished behind Merritt’s countryman and eventual World Champion David Oliver last year, clocking a personal best of 13.26, whilst Merritt was disqualified. With the world’s best returning to the UK, Merritt will be looking to reassert his dominance on the biggest stage with Sharman keen to build on his impressive early season form.  

     Joining the hurdlers at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix are double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), World Indoor 60m gold medallist Richard Kilty (Rana Reider), 2003 world champion Kim Collins and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man over 100m of all time.

     The Scottish contingent of world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), European U23 bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), Chris O’Hare, Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), Paralympic Games silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Reider) will all be looking to give the home crowd the biggest cheer over the course of the two days.

     More of the biggest stars from the world of athletics will be confirmed in due course for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12.

     Any adults purchasing tickets for the event will receive a free child’s ticket and can purchase via britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 26 May 2014

    Bathgate 2014’s Chieftain Susan Boyle Unveils Family Tartan Ahead of Main Event

    This year’s chieftain, world renowned singer Susan Boyle is looking forward to the weekend’s events, and rightly so. On Saturday thousands will participate in the EFR British Pipe Band Championships and the 43rd Calor Scotland West Lothian Highland Games.

     Therefore, for the occasion, Susan will be wearing a bespoke dress made from her Boyle Family Tartan. Susan’s nephew, Alan Boyle has created this special tartan outfit in partnership with the Kilt Studio, Bathgate and the help of Sew You, Livingston.

     But Susan will not be the only one in her finery on Saturday as 140 pipe bands, dancers and ‘Heavies’ will also be looking their best to compete.

     The EFR British Pipe Band Championships, the second biggest pipe band championship in the world and the first major of the year, is set to attract around 4000 competitors. Couple this with the well-attended Highland Games and Bathgate is in for a busy, fun-filled weekend.

     Alex Linkston, who is on the organising committee said: “It is going to be a fantastic day for all the family. This is the first time the two events have run on the same day and there will be a real atmosphere in Bathgate.

     “With Susan Boyle as our chieftain, very much looking the part, it’s also meant incredible exposure for our event. We are all looking forward to it.”

     For more information visit www.bathgate2014.com

    This year’s chieftain, world renowned singer Susan Boyle is looking forward to the weekend’s events, and rightly so. On Saturday thousands will participate in the EFR British Pipe Band Championships and the 43rd Calor Scotland West Lothian Highland Games.
    Therefore, for the occasion, Susan will be wearing a bespoke dress made from her Boyle Family Tartan. Susan’s nephew, Alan Boyle has created this special tartan outfit in partnership with the Kilt Studio, Bathgate and the help of Sew You, Livingston.
    But Susan will not be the only one in her finery on Saturday as 140 pipe bands, dancers and ‘Heavies’ will also be looking their best to compete.
    The EFR British Pipe Band Championships, the second biggest pipe band championship in the world and the first major of the year, is set to attract around 4000 competitors. Couple this with the well-attended Highland Games and Bathgate is in for a busy, fun-filled weekend.
    Alex Linkston, who is on the organising committee said: “It is going to be a fantastic day for all the family. This is the first time the two events have run on the same day and there will be a real atmosphere in Bathgate.
    “With Susan Boyle as our chieftain, very much looking the part, it’s also meant incredible exposure for our event. We are all looking forward to it.”
    For more information visit www.bathgate2014.com

    Category: National Events

  • 22 May 2014

    Tickets go on sale for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland

    Genealogy enthusiasts can today get their hands on tickets for the first ever Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland event taking place at the SECC in Glasgow from 29-31 August.

     Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland, which is supported by Homecoming Scotland, will help family historians of all levels to unravel their roots and build a picture of their ancestors’ lives. The three-day show will be home to leading experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online subscription sites and one of largest gatherings of family history organisations.

     Scheduled to tie in with the Scottish ‘Year of Homecoming’, which celebrates the ancestry theme, Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will complement the hundred-plus ancestral, clan and family events that feature in a year-long programme of celebrations of Scotland’s unique culture and identity.

     Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will follow the format of the established event that has been held in London’s Olympia since 2006, bringing some of the most popular features to Glasgow’s SECC. Highlights will include:

    Ask the Experts – Bought to you by the Society of Genealogists, the Ask the Experts area will provide an opportunity to get free one-to-one guidance on your family history research. Whether you are stuck finding an elusive ancestor or just need help to get started, this will be the perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert who can provide invaluable advice. 

    Society of Genealogists’ Workshops – An extensive programme of free workshops by leading genealogists will run over the course of the three-day show. Full details and a timetable will be released shortly.

    Photography Gallery – A free, unticketed service dedicated to the photos of our past, with experts on hand to investigate visitors’ valuable family photos and artefacts.

    Andy Healy, Show Director, commented: “Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in family history. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just starting out, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take your genealogy journey further.”

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Glasgow and is one of over 800 events included in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme. With Scotland’s rich and enviable culture and heritage, ancestral tourism is hugely important to Scotland’s economy and events like this help to raise the profile and reach an even wider audience.” The event is based on the popular television programme, produced by Wall to Wall (a Shed Media Group company), which will celebrate its 100th episode later this year. To date, the series has seen the likes of Alan Cumming, Annie Lennox, David Tennant, Fiona Bruce, David Mitchell and Alistair McGowan trace their family trees to reveal the surprising, extraordinary and often moving stories of their ancestors.

     Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland are available now online at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/prices or by calling 0844 873 7330. Advanced single tickets are priced £14 for adults, £24 for a two-day ticket and £30 for a three-day ticket, while children under 16 go free.

    Genealogy enthusiasts can today get their hands on tickets for the first ever Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland event taking place at the SECC in Glasgow from 29-31 August.
     
    Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland, which is supported by Homecoming Scotland, will help family historians of all levels to unravel their roots and build a picture of their ancestors’ lives. The three-day show will be home to leading experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online subscription sites and one of largest gatherings of family history organisations.
     
    Scheduled to tie in with the Scottish ‘Year of Homecoming’, which celebrates the ancestry theme, Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will complement the hundred-plus ancestral, clan and family events that feature in a year-long programme of celebrations of Scotland’s unique culture and identity. 
    Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will follow the format of the established event that has been held in London’s Olympia since 2006, bringing some of the most popular features to Glasgow’s SECC. Highlights will include:
    Ask the Experts – Bought to you by the Society of Genealogists, the Ask the Experts area will provide an opportunity to get free one-to-one guidance on your family history research. Whether you are stuck finding an elusive ancestor or just need help to get started, this will be the perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert who can provide invaluable advice. 
    Society of Genealogists’ Workshops – An extensive programme of free workshops by leading genealogists will run over the course of the three-day show. Full details and a timetable will be released shortly.
    Photography Gallery – A free, unticketed service dedicated to the photos of our past, with experts on hand to investigate visitors’ valuable family photos and artefacts.
    Andy Healy, Show Director, commented: “Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in family history. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just starting out, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take your genealogy journey further.”
     
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Glasgow and is one of over 800 events included in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme. With Scotland’s rich and enviable culture and heritage, ancestral tourism is hugely important to Scotland’s economy and events like this help to raise the profile and reach an even wider audience.” 
    The event is based on the popular television programme, produced by Wall to Wall (a Shed Media Group company), which will celebrate its 100th episode later this year. To date, the series has seen the likes of Alan Cumming, Annie Lennox, David Tennant, Fiona Bruce, David Mitchell and Alistair McGowan trace their family trees to reveal the surprising, extraordinary and often moving stories of their ancestors.
     
    Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland are available now online at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/prices or by calling 0844 873 7330. Advanced single tickets are priced £14 for adults, £24 for a two-day ticket and £30 for a three-day ticket, while children under 16 go free.

    Category: National Events

  • 21 May 2014

    Eileen Roe takes Series lead with victory in Peterborough

    Eileen Roe moved into the lead of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series with victory in Round Two at Peterborough, ensuring she will wear the leader's jersey on home roads in Scotland at Round Three.

    Roe now heads a Scottish 1-2 ahead of Charline Joiner as the women's Series heads to Scotland for the first time, with Edinburgh hosting Round Three on Thursday 29th May.

    In the absence of opening round winner and leader Katie Archibald, Roe had pulled on the red and white Matrix Fitness jersey in Peterborough as the leading rider racing, and did the jersey proud, firstly attacking and then ultimately winning the final sprint ahead of Nicola Juniper and Harriet Owen.

    Victory was Roe's second in the Series, having won the Colchester event in heavy rain in 2012, but this time victory means she takes control of the Series, with a 11-point lead over Joiner.

    Freshly back from a long-term injury lay-off, Joiner took sixth, helping her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team to a second successive team win, and to extend their series lead.

    Second placed Juniper, sixth placed Joiner and Lauren Creamer in eighth secured the points for the team of Dame Sarah Storey, with a fourth black and purple rider, Gabriella Shaw, also in the top ten.

    Third on the night was Harriet Owen, on the circuit where she took victory in 2012 the last time the Series visited, while fourth place was Italian Jasmine Diotti, in only her second outing in the Matrix Fitness GP Series.

    Roe took the Sprint win on the night, while Louise Mahe took over the Sprints Jersey with the overall lead for Team Mule Bar Girl – Sigma Sport, and Nicola Juniper the evening's combativity prize, after several aggressive moves in the first half of the race.

    In addition to the Scottish 1-2 at the top of the standings, riders from north of the border have won both of the opening two rounds, and will be hoping to make it three from three as the women's Series heads to Scotland for the first time next week.

    Edinburgh's tough Grassmarket circuit, featuring the cobbled climb of Victoria Street, hosts men and women's events on the afternoon and evening of Thursday 29th May.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Muir launches 'Kids go Free' for Diamond League in Glasgow

    Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) today announced that kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, which takes place at Hampden Park on July 11-12 and will showcase some of the world’s best athletes in action.

    To mark the occasion, the European U23 bronze medalist joined children from St Pauls RC Primary School in Glasgow, to promote one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar this year.

    The first 1,000 people buying a ticket for each day will receive a free children’s ticket to see the Scottish contingent of Muir, world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), 3000m steeplechaser Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare, Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) go head-to-head with the best in the world in the first visit to the UK of the IAAF Diamond League this year.  

    Muir, who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in the city, was quizzed by children between the ages of 10-11 asked a range of questions from how many races she’s competed in to what inspired her to take up athletics 10 years ago.

    Twenty-one-year old Muir said: “Inviting thousands of children to go free to watch world-class athletes compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation as well as make for a fantastic family day out.

    “This will be the final time fans will be able to see the best Scottish athletes in action on the world stage before the Commonwealth Games, so it would be great to have a full crowd at Hampden cheering us all on.

    “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is going to be one of the highlights of the sporting year and it’s great to be a part of two of the biggest athletics events in the same city in 2014.”   

    After winning European U23 1500m bronze, the Dundee Hawkhill Harrier is aware of the pressure on her as one of Scotland’s leading hopes this summer, but believes the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give her a feel for the atmosphere in the stadium and a gauge of the competition she might come up against two weeks later.

    “I got to sample the Scottish crowd earlier this year at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match and I know this summer the Hampden crowd is going to be magnified even further.

    “However, the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me that opportunity to take in the crowd and also compete against the best in the world. The UK always bring together the best fields for the Diamond League events, and I’m sure that will be no different come July.”

    Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man of all time over 100m have all confirmed for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with more of the biggest names in athletics to follow soon.

    To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, please visit britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Whisky barrel comes home to Pitlochry in celebration of the Year of Homecoming

    A whisky barrel purchased in Scotland ten years ago by wine merchants from Vienna, Austria has lovingly made its way back ‘home’ to Scotland in time for Whisky Month which is in full swing this month, as part of the Year of Homecoming. 

     The story of the barrel’s journey began in the summer of 2004 when Stefan Pagacs from Pagacs wine merchants in Vienna, visited Scotland in search of something special to offer his Austrian customers.  A chance visit to Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry, Scotland’s smallest traditional distillery dating back to 1825 produced the perfect product - a special filling of an Edradour barrel and a chance for their customers to sample the wonderful Scottish ‘water of life’. 

     On arrival in Austria, the barrel’s contents were turned into 180 bottles of limited edition whisky which were adorned with a specially designed label painted by Austrian painter, Thomas Reinhold, an Art Master and one of the initiators of the ‘New Painting’ movement or ‘Junge Wilde’ as it was referred to in German.

     Ten years on, the barrel has bid ‘So Long, Farewell’ to Vienna and returned back to Pitlochry to its new luxury home at four star Bed and Breakfast ‘Torrdarach House’ where owners Graeme Fish and his wife, Susanne Wallner said it will sit pride of place in the garden. 

     Susanne Wallner, Owner of Torrdarach Bed & Breakfast said:

    “Myself and Stefan have been friends for years, so when we told him we were moving to Torrdarach House; he thought it was only right the whisky barrel be returned back to its rightful home location.  Despite taking over a week to bring the barrel back to Pitlochry from Austria, it has been well worth it and is now sitting pride of place in our garden.  Sadly for us, all the wonderful whisky has been consumed but it’s nice to have a little piece of history sitting in our garden for visitors to enjoy.”

     Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director said:

    “We’ve heard some fantastic stories of people returning ‘home’ to join the Year of Homecoming celebrations, but the story of the whisky barrel returning home to its original location couldn’t be a nicer way to celebrate the month long Whisky Month celebrations.”

     Stefan Pagacs, Owner of Stefan Pagacs Weinhandel OG, Vienna said:

    “After various visits to distilleries on our trip to Scotland in 2004, we decided to choose an exclusive bottling of Edradour Single Malt Whisky for a selection of our exclusive customers to celebrate our first year of trading in May 2004.  We were taken with the fact that the size and shape of casks can have their own influence on the whisky inside and our customers enjoyed hearing the history behind the exclusive bottling.  I’m delighted that little piece of history can continue now the original cask has come home to Pitlochry.”

     Des McCagherty, from Edradour Distillery said:

     “It never ceases to amaze me the passion international visitors have for single malts and Edradour in particular. Edradour is a very special place and it is difficult not to fall in love with it and the handcrafted malt we produce. This is another one of those special and intimate associations, which people all over the world have struck up with Edradour over the years and it is great that the cask has survived, albeit empty, to take pride of place in the beautiful grounds of Torrdaroch in Pitlochry.”

     Taking place throughout Scotland from 1 - 31 May, the programme of nineteen funded Whisky Month events will showcase the very best of Scotland’s food, drink, music and culture. With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvelous malts.

     The brand new Tummel and Tay Festival taking place in Pitlochry (23 – 25 May) this forthcoming weekend will have a full programme of events including film screenings, exhibitions and a superb new production of the musical ‘Whisky Kisses.’ 

  • 20 May 2014

    Glasgow to host BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    The star-studded event will take place at The SSE Hydro in front of an estimated 12,000 capacity crowd and will be shown live on BBC One.

    It will be the culmination to a year in which Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games while golf's Ryder Cup also takes place in Scotland, at Gleneagles.

    Scotland's Andy Murray won the 2013 Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

    And the Wimbledon champion is hopeful of being part of the 2014 show in the city of his birth.

    "I might make a few changes to my training. I may be going to Australia a little bit earlier next year so I'll maybe come back for SPOTY," the world number eight said.

    "You don't often get that many great athletes in one space at one time, that's what makes the evening so special.

    "To have it in Glasgow, they'll put on a good show and the crowd will love it."

    The event, which was devised by Sir Paul Fox in 1954, has moved from city to city since 2006, taking in Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield, Salford and London before last year's staging in Leeds.

    Another former winner, Sir Chris Hoy, is delighted that Scotland will act as host for the first time.

    "It's fantastic news it's coming to Glasgow," said the six-time Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist and a native of Edinburgh.

    "Over the years it's grown and grown and grown - now it's a massive event. When you walk into the arena, it's like a sporting event in its own right," he said.

    Sir Chris Hoy won the prize in 2008 after winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics

    "I think the Glaswegians will put on a great show, like they will do for the Commonwealth Games, as they are passionate people.

    "I've been to Liverpool, London, Leeds - all over - so to go to Glasgow as well, hopefully if I get a ticket as I won't be nominated any more, it will be fantastic."

    Such enthusiasm reflects how busy a sporting year 2014 is, with the Winter Olympics, World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup as well as annual staples such as Wimbledon, the Six Nations and The Open Championship.

    Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "As hosts of this year's Commonwealth Games, it's fitting that Glasgow rounds off what will be a spectacular year of sport by staging BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

    "This show will be something very special; marking the successes of those who've excelled in their chosen sport in 2014 and welcoming back those who have made history thanks to their previous achievements.

    "Plans are now well under way for this year's Sports Personality I am already looking forward to it."

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Edinburgh's Festivals welcome significant increase in funding

    The Chief Executives and Directors of Edinburgh’s twelve major festivals today welcomed a significant increase in funding support for the festivals in a remarkable year for Scotland.

     Distinctively Scottish and profoundly international, the festivals offer an unparalleled international platform and springboard for Scottish artists and companies from around the world.  For this important year, in addition to the £2,000,000 Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, and project and ongoing core support from the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland, the festivals major public funders: the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, are working collaboratively to invest an additional £1,000,000 into the increased ambition of the festivals’ 2014 programmes, working together to enable the city to celebrate the cultural wealth of our nation and its connection to the world.

     Artists and audiences visiting the Festival City this year will become part of the Scotland-wide celebrations as Edinburgh marks Culture 2014, the nation’s cultural programme for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the second Year of Homecoming.  Enabled by and building on the ongoing Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund along with other funding streams, festivals will present programmes of unique and high impact creative initiatives across all genres, providing exciting new experiences for audiences from Scotland and around the world.

     New events and projects which complement the already announced work include:

    -  As part of the Culture 2014 programme, Animated In 2014 is an exciting new project including a two day Animation Lab being held during the Edinburgh International Film Festival, giving emerging animation filmmakers the opportunity to be inspired by and network with key industry professionals. The festival will also showcase a programme of short animation films from Commonwealth countries before transferring to Festival 2014 in Glasgow in July and then traveling internationally around the Commonwealth.

    - The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival will present the Commonwealth Jazz Orchestra, where Commonwealth musicians will come together with Scottish artists to collaborate. The Edinburgh Festival Carnival will have a strong Commonwealth flavour and will feature performers from around the globe, including South Africa, Trinidad, The Bahamas, and Zambia.

    - The Edinburgh International Book Festival will present Letters Home in collaboration with leading Scottish theatre company Grid Iron.  A unique promenade piece, this is the first time that such an ambitious theatre production has been presented within the Book Festival programme.

    - To celebrate the 20th Edinburgh Mela, the festival has commissioned a spectacular collaboration between rising world music star Soumik Datta and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The King of Ghosts, inspired by Oscar winning director Satyajit Ray’s 1969 arthouse film Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen, is a brand new score, combining rich orchestral textures with Indian folk rhythms and electronic beats, to accompany projected scenes from the film, creating a magical atmosphere. It will premiere at the Mela on Friday 29 August before going on to tour Scotland. The World Dance Feste stage returns to the Mela, with a programme mixing traditional dance styles from around the world with contemporary work from across the UK and South Asia.  

    - Made In Scotland will return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a curated programme of the very best Scottish theatre, dance and music. 

    - The Scottish International Storytelling Festival Once Upon a Place, will celebrate the creative connections between live narrative and place in Scotland, Europe and the Pacific regionGuest storytellers from Scotland will combine with visitors from Germany, Italy, Portugal, Samoa, Wales, New Zealand, Taipei, Australia and the Solomon Islands to explore traditional and innovative ways in which people express their sense of identity by ‘seeing stories’ in their landscapes- rural and urban.  The programme will once again bring Edinburgh to life as a city of story, while also spreading events and guest artists across Scotland through ‘Festival on Tour’. There will also be specific anniversary events for Walter Scott and literary Edinburgh, commemoration of World War One, and a retelling of Scotland’s sense of its own historical narrative- ‘Tales of a Grandson’ in partnership with the MacRobert Arts Centre and the National Museum of Scotland.

    Edinburgh Art Festival, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, presents a major international exhibition over four floors of the City Art Centre and at off-site locations around the city. Where do I end and you begin, which is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and the year of Homecoming Scotland, represents a significant evolution of Edinburgh Art Festival's festival-led programming. Five curators from Commonwealth countries have selected over 20 contemporary artists to exhibit work in the exhibition, with many showing work for the first time in the UK.  The festival also continues its acclaimed commissions programme, with new publicly sited works; commissions as part of GENERATION; work exploring the boundaries between visual art and other forms; and a significant commitment to supporting emerging Scottish talent.

    - In the first ever co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre of Great Britain, the Edinburgh International Festival will present a trilogy of plays by writer Rona Munro bringing to life a rarely explored period in Scottish history, three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled in the tumultuous fifteenth century. The James Plays are a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future and together create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.

    -  The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2014 celebrates ‘Our Home, Friends and Family’ as Scotland welcomes the world to join in the exciting year of Homecoming with hundreds of Commonwealth participants set to play a part. Music, dance and precision display from across the globe featuring performers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This year, in addition to welcoming people from around the world to our internationally renowned Edinburgh Festivals, Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and we will encourage visitors and Scots alike to engage with our second Year of Homecoming.  As we welcome the world in 2014 to see the best that Scotland has to offer, our extensive and diverse programme of cultural events will help to boost our international profile, and provide a platform for both Scottish artists and companies from around the world. 

     The Scottish Government is pleased to extend our support for Edinburgh’s Festivals in 2014-15 through the continuation of the Expo Fund and the additional support we are providing this year for the Year of Homecoming and through Creative Scotland, for Culture 2014.  This takes the Scottish Government’s investment in the Edinburgh Festivals to more than £15m since the Expo fund was set up in 2007.”

    Ken Hay, Chair of Festivals Edinburgh and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Film Festival said: “Edinburgh’s Festivals’ unique collaborative approach enables us to lead on and support the festivals in delivering projects on an international scale.  In this year of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and the WW1 commemoration, we are extremely grateful to our funders for their sustained support for our ambitions and backing that with this enhanced investment”

     Today’s announcement follows the news that Edinburgh will host the second Edinburgh International Culture Summit, with world leaders from the cultural sector and Culture Ministers gathering in Edinburgh to join in a dialogue and debate between policy makers and artists.  In the same month, the second World Fringe Congress will also meet, welcoming Directors and organisers of Fringes from around the world to share ideas and experiences.

     In August the festivals will provide the finale to Culture 2014 as the eyes of the world will move from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to Edinburgh. During Edinburgh’s August Festivals the city will play host to new commissions, international gatherings and world premieres represented by over 25,000 artists from over 70 countries and from where artists from the Commonwealth will play a starring role.

     Full programme details, combined with specific funding information, will be announced at the launch of individual festival programmes over the coming months.

    Category: Industry News

  • 19 May 2014

    Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon opens first solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.

    Photography credit: Installed for National Galleries of Scotland, 2006, photography A Reeve 

    An exhibition of work by the internationally acclaimed, Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon has opened at Caithness Horizons in Thurso and will run until 11 October 2014.  The works on show – which include three video installations and one text piece – have recently been presented by Douglas Gordon to the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and are being shown for the first time since their acquisition.  
    This exhibition also forms part of GENERATION, a national programme taking place in the summer of 2014, which will celebrate the wealth of contemporary art that has developed in Scotland over the last 25 years. Over 60 venues across the country are participating in this unique programme.  All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. The opening of ARTIST ROOMS: Douglas Gordon in Caithness will help to mark the beginning of this hugely ambitious project.
    ARTIST ROOMS is an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund.  The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014.  The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Art Fund, and in Scotland, Creative Scotland.
    Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon rose to prominence among a generation of Glasgow-trained artists which emerged in the 1990s; he has since gone on to achieve huge international recognition, marked by major awards (including the Turner and Hugo Boss Prizes, and the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale), and by exhibitions in museums and galleries across the world. He now lives and works in Berlin.  Remarkably, this will be the first time that Gordon has had a solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.
    The work recalls the rivalry between the biblical twins Jacob and Esau, and religious imagery plays a significant role in Gordon's work.  Looking down with his black, black, ee is a film dating from 2008, presented on three monitors, which features images of ravens, hopping around the vast chapel of the Palais des Papes in Avignon.  In medieval art the symbolic presence of a raven on a roof was commonly used in the representation of witches, and the animal is traditionally associated with misfortune and death.  Gordon has famously drawn upon the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and there are menacing echoes here of the of the director's uncanny thriller The Birds.  The primary inspiration for the work comes from a Scottish poem, which describes a raven 'Looking down with his black, black, ee' on a group of children, and the artist appears to address the ways in which, even in our rational, scientific age, such malevolent associations remain embedded in our memories, and continue to affect the way we apprehend the world.
    The Caithness exhibition will also feature another of Douglas Gordon's most memorable early video pieces, Film Noir (1995), as well as a more recent text piece I am the curator of my own misery (2010).  All four works on show were donated by Gordon to ARTIST ROOMS in 2012, and are being shown as part of the collection for the first time.
    Caithness Horizons will be running an education programme offering opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the exhibition in innovative and responsive ways.  The programme will include a three-day workshop for children aged 7-14 led by contemporary artist Lucy Harrison, a programme for schools and a family day led by Scottish contemporary artist Kenny Hunter. This will include a talk on Gordon’s work and a trip to see Hunter’s work, The Unknown located in Borgie Forest.
    http://generationartscotland.org/

    An exhibition of work by the internationally acclaimed, Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon has opened at Caithness Horizons in Thurso and will run until 11 October 2014.  The works on show – which include three video installations and one text piece – have recently been presented by Douglas Gordon to the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and are being shown for the first time since their acquisition.  

    This exhibition also forms part of GENERATION, a national programme taking place in the summer of 2014, which will celebrate the wealth of contemporary art that has developed in Scotland over the last 25 years. Over 60 venues across the country are participating in this unique programme.  All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. The opening of ARTIST ROOMS: Douglas Gordon in Caithness will help to mark the beginning of this hugely ambitious project.

    ARTIST ROOMS is an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund.  The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014.  The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Art Fund, and in Scotland, Creative Scotland.

    Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon rose to prominence among a generation of Glasgow-trained artists which emerged in the 1990s; he has since gone on to achieve huge international recognition, marked by major awards (including the Turner and Hugo Boss Prizes, and the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale), and by exhibitions in museums and galleries across the world. He now lives and works in Berlin.  Remarkably, this will be the first time that Gordon has had a solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.
    The work recalls the rivalry between the biblical twins Jacob and Esau, and religious imagery plays a significant role in Gordon's work.  Looking down with his black, black, ee is a film dating from 2008, presented on three monitors, which features images of ravens, hopping around the vast chapel of the Palais des Papes in Avignon.  In medieval art the symbolic presence of a raven on a roof was commonly used in the representation of witches, and the animal is traditionally associated with misfortune and death.  Gordon has famously drawn upon the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and there are menacing echoes here of the of the director's uncanny thriller The Birds.  The primary inspiration for the work comes from a Scottish poem, which describes a raven 'Looking down with his black, black, ee' on a group of children, and the artist appears to address the ways in which, even in our rational, scientific age, such malevolent associations remain embedded in our memories, and continue to affect the way we apprehend the world.

    The Caithness exhibition will also feature another of Douglas Gordon's most memorable early video pieces, Film Noir (1995), as well as a more recent text piece I am the curator of my own misery (2010).  All four works on show were donated by Gordon to ARTIST ROOMS in 2012, and are being shown as part of the collection for the first time.

    Caithness Horizons will be running an education programme offering opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the exhibition in innovative and responsive ways.  The programme will include a three-day workshop for children aged 7-14 led by contemporary artist Lucy Harrison, a programme for schools and a family day led by Scottish contemporary artist Kenny Hunter. This will include a talk on Gordon’s work and a trip to see Hunter’s work, The Unknown located in Borgie Forest.

    http://generationartscotland.org/

    Category: National Events

  • 19 May 2014

    New UK Cultural Events Diary Launches

    Organisers and promoters of public and private UK cultural events, across all art forms, are being encouraged to upload information about them to a new online Culture Diary. Designed to support UK organisations with planning, promotion and building partnerships, the Diary builds on a platform set up by the Mayor of London to support the 4,500 cultural events planned in the capital during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Users are being encouraged to register and share information about their short- and long-term event plans, including details of international tours and national campaigns such as First World War Centenary and Shakespeare 400, to provide a strategic overview of cultural activity in the UK.

     The site, which has been launched in beta, has come about through a collaboration between Arts Council England, the British Council, the DCMS, the GREAT Britain campaign, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Mayor of London, VisitBritain and UK Trade & Investment, and the information it generates will be used by these organisations to “provide much-valued input for British cultural diplomacy, trade, education and tourism promotion around the world”. The aim is for the site to become a “go-to tool” for arts professionals, event organisers, cultural attachés and marketing and press officers. It hopes to help eliminate programming clashes by improving communication between arts organisations, government and arts development agencies. Events on the site will also be promoted internationally as part of the GREAT Britain campaign. User feedback is welcomed and will be used along with evaluation to make further developments to the site. The new Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “… cultural diplomacy can build trust and relationships with other countries, helping to drive trade and investment. This new cultural diary along with our Cultural Export Fund will help the UK’s cultural organisations to build on their huge success both at home and abroad, helping underpin the trade deals of tomorrow.”

    For further information visit: - http://www.theculturediary.com/

    Category: Industry News

  • 16 May 2014

    Dramatic Initial Figures Measure Success Of Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    VisitScotland Chairman Dr Mike Cantlay, today congratulates the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival for kicking off Whisky Month in such a ‘dram’atic manner.  The festival, in its 15th year, held a record 431 events, with many sold out before the festival began on 1 May. Direct sales of almost 6000 tickets via the website alone exceeded £130,000, but final figures for sales will be even higher as tickets sold at the festival hubs and at participating venues will significantly increase these numbers.

    There were representatives from 31 different countries, with visitors coming from all over Europe, USA, Canada, Taiwan and Australia to join in the celebrations with Scots and celebrate the Year of Homecoming.

    The inaugural Spirit of Speyside Sessions, the new musical string to the festival’s bow supported by Homecoming Scotland, sold in excess of 1500 tickets with a value of almost £15,000. These figures were topped by another 400 people attending the opening launch dinner. The Sessions added a night time dimension to the festival, encouraging visitors to stay in the area for longer during the five days of the event. The musical events received an almost universal positive response with visitors even suggesting bands and new venues for 2015.

    Festival Chairman James Campbell says,

    “Our part of the world is known the world over for its warmth of welcome and hospitality and this year’s visitors have shared this experiences with us. I have to pay tribute to all our great whisky companies and their dedicated, passionate staff who act as ambassadors for Speyside as well as all the businesses who have taken part in the 15th annual Spirit of Speyside.

    “They have delivered a programme of whisky, food and music events which will stay long in the memories of our visitors from across the globe; making them feel very much a part of our communities.

    “It was also really pleasing to see so many Homecoming visitors making the journey back to Scotland and Speyside or making the journey for the first time. It was very gratifying to see them getting such a special welcome home.

    “The new Spirit of Speyside Sessions music festival, with top class musicians from all over Scotland has been a real success and, again, the mix of local Speysiders and visiting guests from all over the world gave a tremendous buzz and wonderful atmosphere to these evenings and added to the already high level of fun and enjoyment which always exists at our Festival.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, adds,

    “We’re absolutely delighted that this year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, one of Scotland’s best-loved whisky festivals, was such a huge success.  With the launch of the inaugural Spirit of Speyside Sessions, this year’s line-up boasted some of the finest traditional music acts, comedians and ceilidhs.

    “Homecoming 2014 is all about celebrating our greatest assets and it’s fitting that whisky, enjoyed right throughout the world, has a whole month of dedicated celebrations. This year is the perfect time for visitors and locals to get out and enjoy over 800 Homecoming events that are taking place right across Scotland.”

    A full economic impact assessment to highlight the contribution made to the local economy will be carried out within the next few weeks.

    Last year’s event generated £1.65m for the local economy.

    Planning for the 2015 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is already well underway. Further information about the event is available at www.spiritofspeyside.com

  • 15 May 2014

    Scotland bid to bring Sudirman Cup back to Glasgow

    BADMINTONscotland and partners today officially announced a bid to bring the Sudirman Cup back to Europe in 2017 for the first time since Glasgow staged the World Mixed Team Championships in 2007.

    A partnership between badminton’s national governing body, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport’s Gold Event Series and EventScotland will deliver the bid to host the Cup in Scotland for the third time.

    Glasgow first staged the Sudirman Cup in 1997, in a two-week spectacle at Scotstoun which also featured the World Individual Championships. Since then the Cup has become a stand-alone event.

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said:BADMINTONscotland and our funding partners have a strong track record of running world-class events in Glasgow ever since we staged the European Championships at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena back in 1992.

    “Today we have a fabulous new arena which is perfect for world-class badminton. The Emirates Arena has already played host to the Scottish Open Grand Prix and badminton fans coming to the Commonwealth Games this summer will be able to see first-hand just how good the facilities are there.

    “The Arena is certainly big enough to stage the Sudirman Cup and we all know that Glasgow have the hotels and restaurants of a high standard to meet the needs of the visiting teams as well as the many fans who follow them.

    “On top of that Scotland fans know we have built a strong squad of players, with the current team defeating higher-ranked nations to finish top of Group Two at last year’s Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Many of the current squad are young enough to still be competing three years from now for what will be the 15th Sudirman Cup.

    “We will have to wait until the October meeting of the Badminton World Federation Council to know if our bid has been successful but the BWF are well aware of our track record in organising and staging major events.

    “But the bid team will be working hard during the Commonwealth Games and at the World Championships in Copenhagen in late August to showcase everything that Glasgow can offer in staging world-class badminton.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is a world-class facility which will host the badminton competition at this summer’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I am confident that this event will fully demonstrate how well suited the facility is to staging prestigious badminton competitions such as the Sudirman Cup.

    “Alongside its well established first-class events programme and its world class facilities Glasgow can also offer a wide range of fantastic hotels and restaurants to suit the needs of the visiting teams and the many fans who will inevitably follow.”

    UK Sport is investing around £27million to bring up to 70 major championships to the UK through its Gold Event Series by 2019 to build a strong legacy from hosting the London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “This bid forms part of UK Sport’s on-going commitment to invest in building a strong and sustainable legacy from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

    “The Gold Event Series has already helped secure 8 events in Scotland in the build-up to and following the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    “UK Sport will continue to play a key role in ensuring a strong legacy from both London 2012 and Glasgow 2014. Passionate fans, excellent transport links, thousands of experienced volunteers, a strong TV and sponsor market, plus a proven track record in staging outstanding major events makes the UK a perfect host for world class sport.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and this partnership is focused on bringing the Sudirman Cup back to Glasgow. We have a strong global reputation as a major events destination and a passion for badminton that will provide the ideal platform for the world’s greatest players to excel.

    Over the past decade, Scotland has hosted some of the biggest properties in world sport, and we are working hard to ensure that there is a continuing programme of major events post-2014. We have already secured three World and two European Championships for Scotland in 2015, and the Sudirman Cup is one of our main targets for the following years.”

    This year Glasgow will of course host the XX Commonwealth Games, as well as a leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League. Next year the city will welcome the World Gymnastics Championships, the IPC Swimming World Championships and the European Judo Championships. All of these events will build on past successes, which includes the London Olympic Football Tournament and the UCI Track World Cup in 2012. 

    Category: International Events

  • 14 May 2014

    Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison launches Games for Scotland 2014 Programme

     

    CABINET SECRETARY FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES SHONA ROBISON MARKS ‘1 MONTH TO GO’ UNTIL COMMUNITY EVENTS KICK OFF TO CELEBRATE QUEEN’S BATON RELAY
    1 month to go until first Games for Scotland event on 14th June
    Carnivals, parades and flashmobs just some of the events taking place across the country as part of Games for Scotland as the nation counts down to The XX Commonwealth Games
    Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games Shona Robison marked ‘1 month to go’ until the first Games for Scotland event yesterday at Meadowbank Sports Centre with children from St Thomas of Aquins High School in Edinburgh.
    The Games for Scotland programme of events is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. 
    The first Games for Scotland event, the Tryathon, will be held at Meadowbank Sports Centre on 14 June when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Edinburgh. Children and families will be able to join in the excitement as the countdown to the Games begins and have a go at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports across the centre – from Lawn Bowls to Netball – alongside entertainment. 
    All local authorities in Scotland have received support through Games for Scotland to hold events along the Queen’s Baton Relay route - and in towns and cities where it stops - across Scotland from 14 June – 22 July. In a festive spirit events will be a cultural as well as sporting celebration of the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Baton Relay. 
    People across Scotland are being invited to join in the celebrations and participate in their local Games for Scotland event. 
    Highlights: 
    East Lothian will host storytelling from 17 – 19 June at The Brunton, Musselburgh, and other venues and a major performing arts event on 17 June with musical and interactive performances from The Pokey Hat; 
    Dundee will celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay with a mass Ceilidh in the City Square on 27 June, encouraging crowd participation in simple and enjoyable dance routines and a final performance by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; 
    The Highlands are celebrating with a Commonwealth Flashmob Relay right around the Highlands led by Eden Court CREATIVE. Coordinated by a dance artist, local groups will perform in their local community and post their dance on YouTube to pass on the ‘baton’ to the next group, culminating in a Flashmob performance in Dingwall on 11 July; 
    West Dunbartonshire Leisure will be holding a junior version of the Loch Lomond Highland Games on 18 July involving young people in inspiring and traditional sporting activities and an event in Clydebank to include live music and entertainment; 
    The programme will finish up on 22 July after the Queen’s Baton Relay has reached Glasgow with ‘Message Unknown’, featuring the creation of a new dance performance piece which will see people expressing what Glasgow means to them.
    Games for Scotland is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. The £385k funded programme sees EventScotland supporting a number of events across all 32 local authorities.
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “Games for Scotland has been running since 2010 and has proven to be hugely popular so we’re really excited about the programme for this year, which looks to be the best yet. People across the country will have the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay and Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. Alongside the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports, local authorities are preparing to host parades, carnivals, storytelling and dance events, which will bring people together and promote sport and physical activity.”
    Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, said: “Games for Scotland is a fantastic programme to get individuals and groups across all 32 local authorities involved in physical and cultural activities in the build-up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. The events will give people of all abilities the chance to try their hand at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports – and we might even discover some young stars of the future through it.
    “We are securing a legacy for Scotland that will last long after the curtain falls on the closing ceremony in August. Games for Scotland is one of a number of programmes that are already encouraging people up and down the country to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. With Games for Scotland events taking place in every local authority between June 14 and July 22, there’s no excuse not to get involved. Even the smallest steps can make a change and I would urge everyone to give it a go.”
    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is vitally important that everyone at home has the chance to join in the fun and champion Team Scotland.
    “On June 14, we are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Edinburgh – its first port of call in Scotland. The city has over 100 batonbearers, including a pupil from every secondary school, who will play an important part in the celebrations taking place throughout the day. 
    “We are encouraging families to join in the celebrations by lining the streets and, if they’re feeling fit, to take part in our School Run through Holyrood Park. The event will culminate in Meadowbank Stadium, where a ‘Tryathon’ will offer children and young people the chance to try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports in the company of a host of sporting stars – not to mention the Queen’s Baton.”
    Games for Scotland is designed to motivate and engage the people of Scotland in celebration of the country’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games and provides opportunities to get involved in physical activities as well as enjoy new artistic and cultural experiences. 
    To date over 145,000 people have participated in 123 Games for Scotland events and over 220,000 spectators have been to the events. 
    People can find more information about their local events by visiting www.gamesforscotland.com and share in the excitement by tweeting about their Games for Scotland experiences using #Legacy2014.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games Shona Robison marked ‘1 month to go’ until the first Games for Scotland event yesterday at Meadowbank Sports Centre with children from St Thomas of Aquins High School in Edinburgh.

    The Games for Scotland programme of events is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. 

    The first Games for Scotland event, the Tryathon, will be held at Meadowbank Sports Centre on 14 June when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Edinburgh. Children and families will be able to join in the excitement as the countdown to the Games begins and have a go at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports across the centre – from Lawn Bowls to Netball – alongside entertainment. 

     All local authorities in Scotland have received support through Games for Scotland to hold events along the Queen’s Baton Relay route - and in towns and cities where it stops - across Scotland from 14 June – 22 July. In a festive spirit events will be a cultural as well as sporting celebration of the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Baton Relay. 

     People across Scotland are being invited to join in the celebrations and participate in their local Games for Scotland event. 

     Highlights: 

     East Lothian will host storytelling from 17 – 19 June at The Brunton, Musselburgh, and other venues and a major performing arts event on 17 June with musical and interactive performances from The Pokey Hat; 

     Dundee will celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay with a mass Ceilidh in the City Square on 27 June, encouraging crowd participation in simple and enjoyable dance routines and a final performance by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; 

     The Highlands are celebrating with a Commonwealth Flashmob Relay right around the Highlands led by Eden Court CREATIVE. Coordinated by a dance artist, local groups will perform in their local community and post their dance on YouTube to pass on the ‘baton’ to the next group, culminating in a Flashmob performance in Dingwall on 11 July; 

     West Dunbartonshire Leisure will be holding a junior version of the Loch Lomond Highland Games on 18 July involving young people in inspiring and traditional sporting activities and an event in Clydebank to include live music and entertainment; 

     The programme will finish up on 22 July after the Queen’s Baton Relay has reached Glasgow with ‘Message Unknown’, featuring the creation of a new dance performance piece which will see people expressing what Glasgow means to them.

     Games for Scotland is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. The £385k funded programme sees EventScotland supporting a number of events across all 32 local authorities.

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “Games for Scotland has been running since 2010 and has proven to be hugely popular so we’re really excited about the programme for this year, which looks to be the best yet. People across the country will have the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay and Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. Alongside the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports, local authorities are preparing to host parades, carnivals, storytelling and dance events, which will bring people together and promote sport and physical activity.”

     Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, said: “Games for Scotland is a fantastic programme to get individuals and groups across all 32 local authorities involved in physical and cultural activities in the build-up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. The events will give people of all abilities the chance to try their hand at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports – and we might even discover some young stars of the future through it.

     “We are securing a legacy for Scotland that will last long after the curtain falls on the closing ceremony in August. Games for Scotland is one of a number of programmes that are already encouraging people up and down the country to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. With Games for Scotland events taking place in every local authority between June 14 and July 22, there’s no excuse not to get involved. Even the smallest steps can make a change and I would urge everyone to give it a go.”

     Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is vitally important that everyone at home has the chance to join in the fun and champion Team Scotland.

     “On June 14, we are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Edinburgh – its first port of call in Scotland. The city has over 100 batonbearers, including a pupil from every secondary school, who will play an important part in the celebrations taking place throughout the day. “We are encouraging families to join in the celebrations by lining the streets and, if they’re feeling fit, to take part in our School Run through Holyrood Park. The event will culminate in Meadowbank Stadium, where a ‘Tryathon’ will offer children and young people the chance to try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports in the company of a host of sporting stars – not to mention the Queen’s Baton.”

     Games for Scotland is designed to motivate and engage the people of Scotland in celebration of the country’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games and provides opportunities to get involved in physical activities as well as enjoy new artistic and cultural experiences. To date over 145,000 people have participated in 123 Games for Scotland events and over 220,000 spectators have been to the events. 

     People can find more information about their local events by visiting www.gamesforscotland.com and share in the excitement by tweeting about their Games for Scotland experiences using #Legacy2014.

    Category: Games for Scotland News

  • 09 May 2014

    MOVIES BIGGEST HEROES TO HANGOUT WITH EMPIRE MAGAZINE AT EIFF

     

    Edinburgh, Scotland – 9 May 2014 - Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced an exciting new partnership with Empire Magazine ahead of the 68th edition of the Festival, from 18 - 29 June 2014.
    EIFF and Empire Magazine will present a series of Hero Hangouts; which will see a variety of legendary names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival. Whether they are big names from in front of or behind the camera these sessions will give EIFF audiences a rare insight into the brains powering today’s movies. Empire readers and film fans not able to attend the Festival in person will be able to watch highlights of the Hero Hangouts at www.empireonline.com.
    In addition, for Empire’s Issue 301, the world’s biggest movie magazine has asked its readers to vote for the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time and EIFF has teamed up with Empire to host a very special screening at the Festival. The winning films will be revealed in Empire’s 301st issue which hits the shelves on 29 May 2014 and The Greatest Movie of All Time will be screened at the Festival on Wednesday 25 June in Edinburgh.
    Ken Hay, Chief Executive at EIFF, said, “Both EIFF and Empire share a passion for all things film and so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Empire in developing new ways for the festival to reach audiences across the UK and the World. As the first example of this partnership, Hero Hangout provides a unique opportunity for film fans to meet their cinematic heroes either up close in Edinburgh in June, or online via Empire’s website.”
    Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire Magazine, said, “Empire is thrilled to be partnering with EIFF for this series of spectacular events, which will be an essential experience for film fans of all ages. The EIFF is such an exciting festival and we can't wait to work with them on these unique movie moments. To be able to watch on the big screen what the Empire readers will have decided is officially The Greatest Film of All Time will be an absolute treat too."

    Edinburgh, Scotland – 9 May 2014 - Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced an exciting new partnership with Empire Magazine ahead of the 68th edition of the Festival, from 18 - 29 June 2014.

    EIFF and Empire Magazine will present a series of Hero Hangouts; which will see a variety of legendary names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival. Whether they are big names from in front of or behind the camera these sessions will give EIFF audiences a rare insight into the brains powering today’s movies. Empire readers and film fans not able to attend the Festival in person will be able to watch highlights of the Hero Hangouts at www.empireonline.com.

    In addition, for Empire’s Issue 301, the world’s biggest movie magazine has asked its readers to vote for the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time and EIFF has teamed up with Empire to host a very special screening at the Festival. The winning films will be revealed in Empire’s 301st issue which hits the shelves on 29 May 2014 and The Greatest Movie of All Time will be screened at the Festival on Wednesday 25 June in Edinburgh.Ken Hay, Chief Executive at EIFF, said, “Both EIFF and Empire share a passion for all things film and so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Empire in developing new ways for the festival to reach audiences across the UK and the World. As the first example of this partnership, Hero Hangout provides a unique opportunity for film fans to meet their cinematic heroes either up close in Edinburgh in June, or online via Empire’s website.”Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire Magazine, said, “Empire is thrilled to be partnering with EIFF for this series of spectacular events, which will be an essential experience for film fans of all ages. The EIFF is such an exciting festival and we can't wait to work with them on these unique movie moments. To be able to watch on the big screen what the Empire readers will have decided is officially The Greatest Film of All Time will be an absolute treat too."

     

    Category: International Events

  • 09 May 2014

    Calling all foodies - Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair

     

    A major attraction set to be unveiled at the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair on 18 May is the new Food Court, celebrating the best in Scottish food and drink. Sponsored by EventScotland as part of the Whisky Month events programme for Homecoming Scotland 2014, it will offer visitors a feast of gourmet treats to sample and buy. This is just one the many attractions at the event which will be bigger and better than ever before. 
    Held in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate in Fochabers, the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair has expanded this year as it continues to grow in popularity. Last year more than 8,000 visitors came through the gates and more are expected this year. The event marks the beginning of the tourism season in the area and offers an exciting combination of a traditional highland games alongside a country fair that includes a wide choice of stalls, music, food and country pursuit activities with plenty for all ages and interests. 
    The Food Court will feature fine food, whiskies and wine, with chefs demonstrating delicious recipes using local produce in AEG’s fabulous mobile kitchen. In celebration of Whisky Month, which runs throughout May, cooking with whisky will be a strong theme. A wide range of artisan producers will be sampling their wares, while children can take part in the cake icing competition and the comic Reckless Waiters will be keeping everyone on their toes. 

    A major attraction set to be unveiled at the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair on 18 May is the new Food Court, celebrating the best in Scottish food and drink. Sponsored by EventScotland as part of the Whisky Month events programme for Homecoming Scotland 2014, it will offer visitors a feast of gourmet treats to sample and buy. This is just one the many attractions at the event which will be bigger and better than ever before. 

    Held in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate in Fochabers, the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair has expanded this year as it continues to grow in popularity. Last year more than 8,000 visitors came through the gates and more are expected this year. The event marks the beginning of the tourism season in the area and offers an exciting combination of a traditional highland games alongside a country fair that includes a wide choice of stalls, music, food and country pursuit activities with plenty for all ages and interests. 

    The Food Court will feature fine food, whiskies and wine, with chefs demonstrating delicious recipes using local produce in AEG’s fabulous mobile kitchen. In celebration of Whisky Month, which runs throughout May, cooking with whisky will be a strong theme. A wide range of artisan producers will be sampling their wares, while children can take part in the cake icing competition and the comic Reckless Waiters will be keeping everyone on their toes. 

    For further information visit: www.gordoncastlehighlandgames.co.uk 

     

    Category: National Events

  • 01 May 2014

    Yohan Blake, Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty and Kim Collins Confirmed for Diamond League

    Yohan Blake, the world’s second fastest man of all time over 100m has confirmed that he will run against Britain’s Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge), World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (Rana Reider) and 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12.

    Only countryman Usain Bolt has run quicker than Blake, who ran 9.69 in Lausanne in 2012, and the 24 year old is ready to return from an injury-disrupted 2013 by running at the first IAAF Diamond League in the UK this year at Hampden Park. 

    Blake, who will make is first ever visit to Scotland said: “I’m really excited to be coming back to the UK this summer. After such a strong 2012, it was disappointing not to be able to continue that form into 2013 due to injury. However, I’m looking to use the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix to show the world I’m back and ready to light up the track once again.”

    The Jamaican, who won a gold and two silver medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games is well aware of the challenge facing him, but is determined to prove that he is in shape to go even quicker at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The UK gave the Jamaicans a big welcome for the Olympic Games and I know the British public will put on another great show in July. The competition in the Diamond League rivals the competition you get at major championships and it’s that challenge that motivates me. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m determined to show that ‘The Beast’ is back bigger and better at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”

    Kilty saw off some of the world’s best athletes to win what was considered by many quarters as a surprise gold medal in Sopot and is ready to build on his credentials and is aiming to take more scalps this summer.

    “It has been an unforgettable start to the season for me. Running personal bests and winning the World Indoor Championships has put me up there in the world of sprinting and I’m determined to stay there,” said Kilty, who will be facing Blake for the first time. 

    “Now it’s all about translating my 60m form into the 100m and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the platform to test myself against the very best out there. Yohan (Blake), Kim (Collins) and Adam (Gemili) are all great athletes in their own right and I know it’s going to take a fast time to win the race. However, I showed in Poland that I have confidence in my ability and I’m ready to show that again on the biggest stage this summer starting with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”  

    Kilty’s compatriot Adam Gemili, who is also yet to race against Blake has also enjoyed recent good fortunes after becoming the second fastest British athlete over 200m of all time clocking 19.98 at the 2013 IAAF World Championships. With British sprinting enjoying a resurgence, the former Chelsea trainee footballer is looking forward to challenging himself against the very best at Hampden Park in July.

    Gemili said: “2013 was a great year for me dipping under 20 seconds in Moscow and now I will be looking to make similar progress in the 100. The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will present me with the opportunity to go up against the best in the world and give me a springboard for the championships ahead this summer.

    “The UK always brings together the best field of athletes and I’m sure the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will be no different to what we experienced at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year.”

    The event also sees a return to the UK for the evergreen Kim Collins, who at 38 years old is producing the best form of his career running a personal best of 9.97 last year at the Lausanne Diamond League. Despite admitting athletes are improving year on year, the 2003 world champion is not fazed by the challenge that faces him at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The competition in the 100m never gets any easier and the talent not only on the international scene but in the UK is getting stronger and stronger. To be able to compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix against the likes of (Yohan) Blake, (Richard) Kilty and (Adam) Gemili is something I will relish and I’ll do everything in my power to show that I’m still a main contender.”  

    Blake, Gemili, Kilty and Collins will join the likes of double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Paralympic T12 100m silver medallist Libby Clegg, with more of the box office names to be announced shortly.  

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    Edinburgh Goes Out With A Bang With International Premiere of 'We'll Never Have Paris'

     

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announce
    Simon Helberg’s romantic comedy WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, co-directed by Jocelyn Towne, as
    the Closing Night film at the 68th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday 29
    June. The Festival runs from 18 to 29 June 2014.
    Released in the UK by Metrodome, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is written and co-directed by
    Helberg (The Big Bang Theory), who also plays the lead, and co-directed by actor/director Jocelyn
    Towne (I Am I). The film also stars Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code,
    Spiderman 2), Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Jason Ritter
    (Parenthood, Joan Of Arcadia) and Maggie Grace (Taken, The Twilight Saga). WE’LL NEVER
    HAVE PARIS is produced by Robert Ogden Barnum (All is Lost, Lawless, Margin Call) and Katie
    Mustard (The Greatest, Night Catches Us), along with Helberg and Towne. International sales are
    handled by K5 International.
    Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “With WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, a funny and very
    personal romantic comedy, we’ll be able to close this year’s festival on a real high note. It’s a film of
    great charm and considerable intelligence, and Simon Helberg is brilliant in it.”
    WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS will receive its International premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre
    on Sunday 29 June with Simon Helberg in attendance, and will open nationwide in August 2014.
    Simon Helberg, Director, said: "It is an unbelievable thrill to be picked as the coveted closing night
    film at such a legendary festival. We hope the people of Scotland will find our pain and suffering as
    funny as we do."
    Based on Helberg and Towne's real life romantic history, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is a candid
    tale of a neurotic young man rattled by the sudden declaration of love he receives from an
    attractive co-worker (Grace) moments before he is about to propose to his girlfriend (Lynskey).
    Heartbroken, she flees to Paris, and he must now race across the Atlantic to win her back. But will
    he be too

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announceSimon Helberg’s romantic comedy WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, co-directed by Jocelyn Towne, asthe Closing Night film at the 68th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday 29June. The Festival runs from 18 to 29 June 2014.

    Released in the UK by Metrodome, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is written and co-directed byHelberg (The Big Bang Theory), who also plays the lead, and co-directed by actor/director JocelynTowne (I Am I). The film also stars Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code,Spiderman 2), Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Jason Ritter(Parenthood, Joan Of Arcadia) and Maggie Grace (Taken, The Twilight Saga). WE’LL NEVERHAVE PARIS is produced by Robert Ogden Barnum (All is Lost, Lawless, Margin Call) and KatieMustard (The Greatest, Night Catches Us), along with Helberg and Towne. International sales arehandled by K5 International.

    Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “With WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, a funny and verypersonal romantic comedy, we’ll be able to close this year’s festival on a real high note. It’s a film ofgreat charm and considerable intelligence, and Simon Helberg is brilliant in it.

    ”WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS will receive its International premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatreon Sunday 29 June with Simon Helberg in attendance, and will open nationwide in August 2014.

    Simon Helberg, Director, said: "It is an unbelievable thrill to be picked as the coveted closing nightfilm at such a legendary festival. We hope the people of Scotland will find our pain and suffering asfunny as we do."

    Based on Helberg and Towne's real life romantic history, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is a candidtale of a neurotic young man rattled by the sudden declaration of love he receives from anattractive co-worker (Grace) moments before he is about to propose to his girlfriend (Lynskey).Heartbroken, she flees to Paris, and he must now race across the Atlantic to win her back. But willhe be too late?

    As previously announced, this year will see a FOCUS ON GERMANY strand at the Festival which aims to shine a light on Germany’s most inventive filmmakers with screenings of new and retrospective films. In partnership with German Films, with additional support from the Goethe-Institut, EIFF will offer festival-goers the opportunity to sample a broad range of titles from the most intelligent and inspiring auteurs in German cinema.

     Highlights of the programme include hard-hitting family dramas ‘Daughters’ by Maria Speth; ‘Parents’ directed by Robert Thalheim; and Edward Berger’s stirring tale of courage and responsibility, ‘Jack’. ‘Stations Of The Cross’ from Dietrich Brüggemann charts a teenage girl’s struggles with questions of life, death and faith, while ‘A House In Berlin’ directed by Cynthia Beatt explores a woman’s personal journey of self-discovery as she delves in to the history of 20th century Germany. The FOCUS ON GERMANY will also include expansive works such as Edgar Reitz’s historical epic ‘Home From Home - Chronicle Of A Vision’; Thomas Heise’s powerful documentary observing juvenile offenders in Mexico ‘Staedtebewohner’, Bruce LaBruce’s experimental adaptation of Arnold Schönberg’s song cycle ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ and the UK premiere of Dominik Graf’s ‘Beloved Sisters’. Shorts programme ‘Small Revolutions’ will showcase four striking examples of short-form cinema from contemporary Germany.

     In addition the FOCUS ON GERMANY will present ‘Secret Master: Dominik Graf and the Hidden History Of German Cinema’, a celebration of director Dominik Graf who has long been one of the best kept secrets in German-language cinema - mainly because he found his niche in television production. In his native country, Graf is a prolific and inventive filmmaker who is celebrated as the country's foremost specialist in crime and melodrama. A special feature of the programme is a carte blanche of German TV thrillers which Graf himself, an ardent cinephile, has selected for EIFF.

     EIFF is also proud to be working for the first time with Edinburgh-based events company Neu! Reekie! on ‘Achtung! Maybe!’ which will be held on 27 June at Summerhall in Edinburgh. Curators Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson will present a special German-themed Neu! Reekie! of Weimar Republic animation and films, accompanied by live music and performance adding a uniquely immersive element to the FOCUS ON GERMANY programme. Music includes new work from Edinburgh-based bands Found and Birdhead and will showcase previous winners of EIFF’s McLaren Award for Best British Animation.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    NISA bidding to bring ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 to Glasgow

    The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) is bidding to bring one of the biggest and most prestigious annual skating events in the world to the UK for the first time in almost 20 years.

    NISA has submitted a bid in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and UK Sport to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Glasgow. This strong partnership is built on a wealth of major event experience and a passion for ice skating.

    A decision by the International Skating Union (ISU) is expected to be made after the organisation’s congress taking place in Dublin from 9 to 13 June.

    Bringing the World Championships to the UK would enhance the new investment that NISA is making into developing talent and growing participation.

    Nick Sellwood, chief executive of NISA, which is the national governing body responsible for the development of the sport throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, said: “The ISU World Figure Skating Championships were last held in the UK in 1995 in Birmingham, so it would be fantastic to bring this prestigious championship to Glasgow.

    “It is one of the largest annual ice skating events in the world attracting more than 170 skaters from almost 40 countries in a superb showcase of figure skating.

    “Our bid comes on the back of the hugely successful ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 which we hosted in Sheffield. We hope to build on this with the staging of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.”

    If successful, the ISU’s flagship event will be held in the new state-of-the-art SSE Hydro. As the biggest indoor sport and entertainment venue in Scotland, it will provide a campus-based Championship with all athlete accommodation, training and competition rinks on one site.

    The 12,000-seater SSE Hydro will host 2014 Commonwealth Games events and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

    Men, Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance couples from all over the world would travel to Glasgow to compete. It would be the first time the event has ever been held in Scotland.

    Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive said: “UK Sport is delighted to be working in partnership with NISA, Glasgow and EventScotland to bid for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.  We have been working hard over the last 18 months to be in a position to present a proposal to the ISU that is not only exciting and innovative, but which also has the development of Ice Skating within the UK at its core.  The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 being bid for as part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series demonstrates our continuing significant commitment to winter sports following the unprecedented success of Sochi 2014 where our athletes provided so many inspirational performances.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We’re proud to submit our bid to bring the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 to Glasgow.

    “As one of the world’s top sporting cities, our strategic investment of some £300 million in sporting infrastructure has strengthened our reputation for winning and delivering world-class events, creating a vibrant stage for international athletes to perform at elite level.

    "The next few years are shaping up to be hugely exciting for the city as we get ready to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, adding to our extensive sporting events portfolio.

    “As a joint bid comprising strong partnership working and secured investment at local, national and UK government level, Glasgow is committed to delivering the best ever ISU World Figure Skating Championships and we would be delighted to welcome competitors and spectators to the city in 2017.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events, and the SSE Hydro would be a fantastic venue for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017. We have an outstanding track record for delivery in Scotland, and that has been achieved through strong partnerships at national and international level. We have an exciting and engaging bid, backed up by robust plans and a wealth of experience developed from some of the biggest events in world sport.”

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    Get into the Spirit – Whisky Month is here!

     

    Get into the Spirit – Whisky Month is here!
    Whether you prefer an Ardbeg to an Auchentoshen, a Glenlivet to a Glengoyne – Homecoming Scotland Whisky Month 2014 has arrived and has something for everyone.  With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvellous malts.
    The month long programme of events celebrating Scotland’s world class food, drink, music and culture across Scotland kicks off Thursday 1 May, with the popular and picturesque Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May).  Now in its 15th year, the festival will launch a brand new event for 2014 - The Spirit of Speyside Sessions will place the spotlight on the area’s traditional music heritage with concerts and ceilidhs being staged in venues closely linked to the whisky industry.   The Festival will also be asking whisky lovers around the world to raise a dram to the women who are shaking up the industry and breaking into the boys’ club with a global day of celebration as part of the first ever International Women of Whisky Day 
    (May 3).
    For more information visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/whiskymonth

    Whether you prefer an Ardbeg to an Auchentoshan, a Glenlivet to a Glengoyne – Homecoming Scotland Whisky Month 2014 has arrived and has something for everyone.  With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvellous malts.

    The month long programme of events celebrating Scotland’s world class food, drink, music and culture across Scotland kicks off Thursday 1 May, with the popular and picturesque Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May).  Now in its 15th year, the festival will launch a brand new event for 2014 - The Spirit of Speyside Sessions will place the spotlight on the area’s traditional music heritage with concerts and ceilidhs being staged in venues closely linked to the whisky industry.   The Festival will also be asking whisky lovers around the world to raise a dram to the women who are shaking up the industry and breaking into the boys’ club with a global day of celebration as part of the first ever International Women of Whisky Day (May 3).
    For more information visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/whiskymonth

  • 24 April 2014

    Glasgow - Candidate for UEFA European Championships 2020

     

    The Scottish FA is today proud to submit its bid for Glasgow and the National Stadium, Hampden Park, to become a host city for the UEFA European Championships in 2020 on the competition’s 60th anniversary.
    The bid has been made in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Campbell Ogilvie, the Scottish FA President, and Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, were joined by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights, and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
    The Scottish FA will formally submit its bid document to UEFA tomorrow (Friday, 25th April) and will discover whether it has been successful in September, when the UEFA Executive Committee meets to determine the 13 host cities.
    Hampden Park has a rich history and heritage in world football. It was the scene or arguably the greatest UEFA European Cup final of all time, the epic 7-3 victory for the mighty Real Madrid against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. It was also the venue when Zinedine Zidane scored what is generally regarded as one of the best goals in a UEFA Champions League final, when Real returned to Scotland to win the trophy against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.
    Hampden Park was once again the chosen venue for the 2007 UEFA Cup all-Spanish final between Sevilla and Espanyol. It will reiterate its status as a world-class sports and entertainment arena when it hosts the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the legacy redevelopment from which will ensure The National Stadium is equipped with the necessary improvements to ensure a top-class facility befitting the 60th anniversary of the European Championships.
    Campbell Ogilvie, Scottish FA President: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts in producing what I consider to be a first-class bid document that extols the many virtues of Scottish football, Glasgow and, of course, the National Stadium, Hampden Park.
    “Scottish football and Hampden Park are synonymous with excellence on the European stage: from Celtic becoming the first British winners of the European Cup in 1967, Rangers winning the European Cup-winners’ Cup in 1972 and Aberdeen doing likewise more than a decade later. 
    “The National Stadium has also played host to some of the greatest players and greatest games of all-time. With the stadium demonstrating its versatility as the host venue for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games I am sure the whole country – and indeed football fans across Europe – would be thrilled by the prospect of the Hampden Roar providing its unique soundtrack to the European Championships in 2020. Of course, it would be equally special if the national team qualified for what will be a very special anniversary tournament, staged in 13 cities.”
    Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights: “Scotland is a natural home for the world’s greatest sporting events.  We are a nation of sport fans, ready to welcome the best football talent from across Europe and take part in what will be a remarkable year for the European Championships.
    “While it is a competitive field, thanks to continued investment, strong partnership working and our track record in major events – which will be evident again this summer during the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup – we are confident that Glasgow and Hampden is a strong bid.  
     “This isn’t a bid just for Glasgow but a bid for the whole of Scotland. Hosting part of UEFA Euro 2020 provides a perfect opportunity to continue our national legacy from both Glasgow 2014 and a platform to showcase our culture and country to an international audience.”
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau: “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe.
    “As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events. We have a fantastic track record in attracting and hosting some of the biggest global sporting championships – from the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals to the Commonwealth Games – and we’re ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.
    “Working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Government, we have been targeting the European Championships in 2020 since it first became clear UEFA was considering this new tournament format. That work has been underway for more than 18 months and, delivering our bid today, we are ready to demonstrate that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary EURO celebration.
    “This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.”
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and our bid for Euro 2020 highlights the ambition we have to host the biggest properties in world sport. The exciting, multi-city concept for the European Championships would showcase Glasgow and Scotland to a huge global audience, while driving economic benefits through spectator spend. We have a strong reputation as a major events destination, built on years of experience, which we will demonstrate throughout the bidding process.” 

    The Scottish FA is today proud to submit its bid for Glasgow and the National Stadium, Hampden Park, to become a host city for the UEFA European Championships in 2020 on the competition’s 60th anniversary.

    The bid has been made in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Campbell Ogilvie, the Scottish FA President, and Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, were joined by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights, and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.

    The Scottish FA will formally submit its bid document to UEFA tomorrow (Friday, 25th April) and will discover whether it has been successful in September, when the UEFA Executive Committee meets to determine the 13 host cities.

    Hampden Park has a rich history and heritage in world football. It was the scene or arguably the greatest UEFA European Cup final of all time, the epic 7-3 victory for the mighty Real Madrid against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. It was also the venue when Zinedine Zidane scored what is generally regarded as one of the best goals in a UEFA Champions League final, when Real returned to Scotland to win the trophy against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

    Hampden Park was once again the chosen venue for the 2007 UEFA Cup all-Spanish final between Sevilla and Espanyol. It will reiterate its status as a world-class sports and entertainment arena when it hosts the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the legacy redevelopment from which will ensure The National Stadium is equipped with the necessary improvements to ensure a top-class facility befitting the 60th anniversary of the European Championships.

    Campbell Ogilvie, Scottish FA President: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts in producing what I consider to be a first-class bid document that extols the many virtues of Scottish football, Glasgow and, of course, the National Stadium, Hampden Park.

    “Scottish football and Hampden Park are synonymous with excellence on the European stage: from Celtic becoming the first British winners of the European Cup in 1967, Rangers winning the European Cup-winners’ Cup in 1972 and Aberdeen doing likewise more than a decade later. 

     “The National Stadium has also played host to some of the greatest players and greatest games of all-time. With the stadium demonstrating its versatility as the host venue for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games I am sure the whole country – and indeed football fans across Europe – would be thrilled by the prospect of the Hampden Roar providing its unique soundtrack to the European Championships in 2020. Of course, it would be equally special if the national team qualified for what will be a very special anniversary tournament, staged in 13 cities.”

     Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights: “Scotland is a natural home for the world’s greatest sporting events.  We are a nation of sport fans, ready to welcome the best football talent from across Europe and take part in what will be a remarkable year for the European Championships.

     “While it is a competitive field, thanks to continued investment, strong partnership working and our track record in major events – which will be evident again this summer during the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup – we are confident that Glasgow and Hampden is a strong bid.  

     “This isn’t a bid just for Glasgow but a bid for the whole of Scotland. Hosting part of UEFA Euro 2020 provides a perfect opportunity to continue our national legacy from both Glasgow 2014 and a platform to showcase our culture and country to an international audience.”Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau: “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe.“As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events. We have a fantastic track record in attracting and hosting some of the biggest global sporting championships – from the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals to the Commonwealth Games – and we’re ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.“Working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Government, we have been targeting the European Championships in 2020 since it first became clear UEFA was considering this new tournament format. That work has been underway for more than 18 months and, delivering our bid today, we are ready to demonstrate that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary EURO celebration.“This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.”Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and our bid for Euro 2020 highlights the ambition we have to host the biggest properties in world sport. The exciting, multi-city concept for the European Championships would showcase Glasgow and Scotland to a huge global audience, while driving economic benefits through spectator spend. We have a strong reputation as a major events destination, built on years of experience, which we will demonstrate throughout the bidding process.” 

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 18 April 2014

    Scotland welcomes the classic car world for bi-annual event

    Monday 28 April will see the bi-annual HERO Events, Scottish Malts Reliability Trial and Tour event kick-off from the world famous Gleneagles Hotel, the home of this year’s 2014 Ryder Cup, navigating its way clockwise around the finest roads and scenery Scotland has to offer in celebration of the Year of Homecoming.

    Amongst the sixty plus vehicles taking part are a 1934 Bentley 3 ½ Ltr Hooper Bodied Sports saloon, a Porsche 911 2.7 RS Lightweight from 1973, several Mercedes SL “Pagodas” also from the 1960's and many other rare and interesting classic vehicles from the 1930's right up to the 1980's.

    Of the 63 cars expected, five crews are Scottish with the rest from the UK and other nationalities including Switzerland, Argentina, Ireland, Germany, USA, Italy, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

    ‘The Scottish Malts’ as the event has become affectionately known, is split into two parts – The Trial and The Tour. The Trial is a competitive event, the cars and competitors competing over ‘regularity’ sections, testing navigation and timing skills and special manoeuvrability, handling and speed tests, designed to show not just the skill of the driver, but how agile these older cars really are.  Venues for these tests will include whisky distilleries such as Glenlivet, Dalmore, Tomatin and Edradour in honour of the Year of Homecoming Whisky Month which starts in May.

    A number of private castles and stately homes across Scotland will also provide a perfect backdrop for the event.The Tour is more relaxed, whilst following the main route of The Trial; entrants in this category are encouraged to visit points of interest along the route, re-joining the event for lunches, coffees and evening meals.

    The event will have live updates on HERO’s Facebook page and twitter so you can be sure of following every twist and turn at any time.

    Furthermore, a full TV program will also be aired on Motors TV on Friday 20th June 2014 at 22:35pm.

    Please see http://www.heroevents.eu/Events/ScottishMalts/scottish_malts_2014/ 

    Facebook -  herorally

    Twitter @HERO_CRA

    Category: Motorsport

  • 16 April 2014

    WORLDS BIGGEST WEEK OF PIPING WELCOMES 150 NATIONS

    The world’s biggest week of piping and traditional music was launched today, Wednesday 16th April.  Taking place over the 11-17th August, The World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival will feature over 200 events which will be enjoyed by 50,000 spectators and 8000 performers from 150 nations worldwide! 

    Tickets are expected to be snapped up in record time as music fans secure their place at concerts featuring the best in traditional music and parents plan a great family day out. 

    The events were launched at the world’s largest multitouch video wall, located in Glasgow Caledonian University.  The screen showcased the flags of the 150 countries from which music fans that will be travelling to Glasgow for the annual celebrations.

    The global appeal of piping grows year on year and Glasgow’s air links have seen more music fans come to the city to enjoy the events live.  2014 is expected to be bigger than ever as tourists remain in the dear green place following the Commonwealth Games.  The demand from overseas has also seen both events offer live streaming and “viewing parties” take place everywhere from Christchurch to Kazakhstan.

    Piping Live! is famed for its diverse concerts, which over the last 10 years of the festival, have featured some of the most innovative collaborations in traditional music. The 2014 festival will celebrate the best in the piping tradition and well as the most ground-breaking acts in diverse spaces around the city. Pop-up performances are also planned on Buchanan Street and some surprise locations around the UNESCO City of Music. The festival will also put on a series of events focusing on the link between piping and WWI, in this centenary year. 

     

    As well as hundreds of free daytime events, performances, and family activities the evening concert highlights include the Masters Solo competition featuring the best solo pipers from across the globe and the annual International Quartet Competition at the Royal Concert Hall.  The Gaels and Gracenotes concert will see Gaelic talent perform, including BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, The Mischa Macpherson Trio.  The New Music Concert is a platform for Calum MacCrimmon’s Borraig suite of compositions inspired by the lands in Skye, alongside the Rakish Paddy where four of Armagh's most talented sons will present an audio-visual extravaganza. The Art School is one of two new venues for this year and will play host to the Friday Night Folk gig featuring Paddy Keenan, Tejedor and Daimh Mor Big Band.  The infamous After Worlds Shindig annual ceilidh, headlined by Skippenish this year, is the place to be after The World Pipe Band Championships and goes onto the wee hours as everyone celebrates a great week of music.

     Says Piping Live! Festival Director Roddy MacLeod: “Last year was our 10th birthday and such a blast, but this year will be even better!  The city will be buzzing after the Commonwealth Games and we want to keep the momentum going.  Whether you are looking to listen to piobaireachd, have a party or are parents looking for a fun day out with the kids – Piping Live! has it all.  We are also proud to be part of Homecoming 2014 and our series of concerts and photo exhibition on the role of piping in WWI will be touching and insightful.”

     

    Piping Live! will be proceeded by the spectacle that is The World Pipe Band Championships which takes place on Glasgow Green. The Grade 1 qualifiers being staged on Friday 15th August with the full competition will being held on Saturday 16th August.  Over 200 pipe bands from across globe will be trying to clinch the crown from Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Belfast, who have won the last three years in a row! 

    The 25,000 who attend the annual event make The Worlds the biggest competition in any piping fan’s calendar and attracts bands and supporters from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Mexico and Brazil. The event is a great family day out with children aged 5 and under gaining free entry, a special children’s zone, Highland Dancing, and Highland Games. An International Street of Food area will be introduced, offering a wide variety of different dishes from around the world.

    Meanwhile, the popular Flavour of Scotland area is being given a boost and will be made bigger than ever, offering the very best in Scottish food and drink. This year’s theme is the “Glorious Twelfth” and will feature demonstrations and recipes highlighting the start of the Scottish Game season. The Scottish theme continues at the Worlds crafts and traders’ area, where there will be over 30 stalls promoting all things Scottish. 

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “This year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best yet and we look forward to welcoming more than 200 pipe bands from all over the world to Glasgow Green.

    “The World Pipe Band Championships have always been a family-orientated event, with plenty of entertainment for people of all ages.  Now with children aged 5 and under going free for the first time, we hope to see many new faces in 2014. The excellent choice of Scottish food, drink, arts and crafts will help ensure a great day out so get your tickets now!”

    Glasgow is proud to host the world’s biggest week of piping and Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “This summer is shaping up to be one of the most exciting, and high-profile, in Glasgow’s history. The city is buzzing and we’re firmly in the global spotlight as we prepare to welcome some of the biggest events in the world, from the Commonwealth Games to BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and the MTV Europe Music Awards.

     

    “We're also home to an enviable, diverse and ever-growing programme of annual major events and festivals. Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships are firmly at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, offering thousands of piping fans from across the UK and overseas the chance to experience a spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. With so much on offer, 2014 will be an unforgettable year for visitors.”

     

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland echo’s this sentiment saying: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and as the home of Piping we can proudly claim to host two of the world’s most significant events in Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships. Piping Live! also features on the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, and through a fantastic series of concerts and events it will undoubtedly be one of the cultural highlights of the year.”

     

    Tickets for Piping Live! and The Worlds are on sale now and available by calling 0141 353 8000 or by logging onto www.peoplemakeglasgow.com/piping

    For more information, interviews and images, contact Wire Media:

    Kirsty Atkinson | kirsty@wire-media.co.uk | 0141 440 6761 | 07736 281 684

    Victoria Irvine | victoria@wire-media.co.uk | 0141 440 6761 | 

    Category: Music

  • 16 April 2014

    The Big Beach Ball to host Battle of the Bands final

     

    THE BIG BEACH BALL 2014 – SUNDAY 4TH MAY – ABERDEEN
    THE TUNNELS TO HOLD BATTLE OF THE BANDS FINAL ON APRIL 18TH / /
    TICKET EASTER EGG HUNT TO LAUNCH THIS WEEKEND // 2013 TICKET SALES BEATEN
    Aberdeen’s one-day music festival; The Big Beach Ball will host The Battle of the Bands final in the Tunnels on Friday the 18th of April. 
    After an overwhelming response of applications from all over Scotland, six finalists will be going head to head to battle it out for a slot at this year’s festival. Finalists Ladykiller Caterpillar, The Fire & I, Ricky Fraser, The Ruptured Ducklings, Shangri-La and Franklin will be competing this Friday in Tunnel two of the venue.
    All members of the crowd will be given their chance to vote for their top three acts on Friday night alongside competition judges Steve Morris (Big Beach Ball Festival Director), Ross Calder (AGP), Kyle Reid (Aberdeen Now) and Scott Maskame (Shmeet Clubnight). The winner will be announced on Friday night once all bands have performed. The top act will then win a slot performing on the Peace and Jam stage alongside other Scottish acts including Arab Strap member; Malcolm Middleton, Lost Map Records label manager The Pictish Trail and Aberdeen based band The Marionettes.
    Amanda Christie, The Big Beach Ball Festival Director said: “We’re really excited to be putting this on as an addition to the festival this year. It’s great to get local bands involved and give them a bigger platform to perform on and hopefully providing them with some more exposure.”
    Doors for the competition will open at 7pm with an after party taking place in Tunnel One from 11pm with Glasgow promoters and Big Beach Ball act; Bigfoots Tea Party presenting Berlin based DJ and producer; Move D. 
    This weekend also sees the launch of the festivals Easter Egg Hunt. From the 18th to the 20th of April, ten eggs will be hidden throughout Aberdeen. Clues to where the eggs are will be posted on The Big Beach Ball Twitter and Facebook pages. Everyone who manages to track down one of the ten eggs will need to Tweet, Instagram or Facebook a photo of them and their prize to win a ticket to the festival on Sunday May the 4th. One person can win per egg. 
    The total ticket sales from last year are about to be beaten with 18 days to go! £45 tickets are still available to purchase online via the festivals website and in person at ii Music in Aberdeen, Grouchos in Dundee and Sound & Vision in Elgin. 

    Aberdeen’s one-day music festival; The Big Beach Ball will host The Battle of the Bands final in the Tunnels on Friday the 18th of April. 

    After an overwhelming response of applications from all over Scotland, six finalists will be going head to head to battle it out for a slot at this year’s festival. Finalists Ladykiller Caterpillar, The Fire & I, Ricky Fraser, The Ruptured Ducklings, Shangri-La and Franklin will be competing this Friday in Tunnel two of the venue.

    All members of the crowd will be given their chance to vote for their top three acts on Friday night alongside competition judges Steve Morris (Big Beach Ball Festival Director), Ross Calder (AGP), Kyle Reid (Aberdeen Now) and Scott Maskame (Shmeet Clubnight). The winner will be announced on Friday night once all bands have performed. The top act will then win a slot performing on the Peace and Jam stage alongside other Scottish acts including Arab Strap member; Malcolm Middleton, Lost Map Records label manager The Pictish Trail and Aberdeen based band The Marionettes.

    Amanda Christie, The Big Beach Ball Festival Director said: “We’re really excited to be putting this on as an addition to the festival this year. It’s great to get local bands involved and give them a bigger platform to perform on and hopefully providing them with some more exposure.”

    Doors for the competition will open at 7pm with an after party taking place in Tunnel One from 11pm with Glasgow promoters and Big Beach Ball act; Bigfoots Tea Party presenting Berlin based DJ and producer; Move D.

    This weekend also sees the launch of the festivals Easter Egg Hunt. From the 18th to the 20th of April, ten eggs will be hidden throughout Aberdeen. Clues to where the eggs are will be posted on The Big Beach Ball Twitter and Facebook pages. Everyone who manages to track down one of the ten eggs will need to Tweet, Instagram or Facebook a photo of them and their prize to win a ticket to the festival on Sunday May the 4th. One person can win per egg. 

    The total ticket sales