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  • 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 from last year are about to be beaten with 18 days to go! £45 tickets are still available to purchase online via the festival's website and in person at ii Music in Aberdeen, Grouchos in Dundee and Sound & Vision in Elgin. 

    Category: National Events

  • 15 April 2014

    Wickerman to Celebrate Year of Homecoming with New Festival Features

     

    Wickerman, one of Scotland’s hottest annual music festivals, will be launching two new features this summer to celebrate its partnership with Homecoming Scotland 2014 – a Lowland Links tent and the festival’s first kilted Wickerman.  The attractions will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s rich and exciting culture and welcome the world  to the picturesque Dumfries and Galloway region, where the eclectic independent festival is held.
    To bring the Wickerman’s Southern Scottish roots to life,  the new Lowland Links Tent will showcase the  region’s unique culture through a lively programme of events. Featuring a diverse line-up of music mixed with interactive entertainment and local history, it will play host to an energetic  ceilidh at the end of each day to help Wicker fans get into the swing of the Lowland’s spirit. Local heritage experts, crafts and intriguing artefacts will also feature in the tent throughout the weekend. 
    To further celebrate Homecoming 2014, Wickerman’s famous icon will add a uniquely Scottish touch to the 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. For the first time the statue will be expertly hand sculpted in an gravity defying pose and be dressed in a striking kilt woven from willow. 
    Tickets for the Wickerman Festival are on sale now, with acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri, The Feeling, Alabama 3, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Zombies and many more lined up to play.
    Hosted on a picturesque working farm, it attracts music lovers from all over the UK and will feature eleven stages that cater for every musical taste, in addition to a full programme of  on-site activities. 

    Wickerman, one of Scotland’s hottest annual music festivals, will be launching two new features this summer to celebrate its partnership with Homecoming Scotland 2014 – a Lowland Links tent and the festival’s first kilted Wickerman.  The attractions will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s rich and exciting culture and welcome the world  to the picturesque Dumfries and Galloway region, where the eclectic independent festival is held.

    To bring the Wickerman’s Southern Scottish roots to life,  the new Lowland Links Tent will showcase the region’s unique culture through a lively programme of events. Featuring a diverse line-up of music mixed with interactive entertainment and local history, it will play host to an energetic  ceilidh at the end of each day to help Wicker fans get into the swing of the Lowland’s spirit. Local heritage experts, crafts and intriguing artefacts will also feature in the tent throughout the weekend. 

    To further celebrate Homecoming 2014, Wickerman’s famous icon will add a uniquely Scottish touch to the 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. For the first time the statue will be expertly hand sculpted in an gravity defying pose and be dressed in a striking kilt woven from willow. 

    Tickets for the Wickerman Festival are on sale now, with acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri, The Feeling, Alabama 3, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Zombies and many more lined up to play.Hosted on a picturesque working farm, it attracts music lovers from all over the UK and will feature eleven stages that cater for every musical taste, in addition to a full programme of  on-site activities. 

    Friday 25th & Saturday 26th July 2014 / www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

     

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2014

    First tickets released for the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

     

    First tickets released for the 
    Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival
    Van Morrison, Jools Holland with special guest Mel C, 
    Bill Wyman and a Mandela Day Concert confirmed for the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, 2014
    The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, which will take place Friday 18th to Sunday 27th July, will release tickets for four headline acts on Tuesday 15th April at noon.
    The full programme will be launched in May, set to include a host of exciting Festival firsts and one-off specials that will delight enthusiasts and entice new audiences. 
    The four acts whose tickets are released tomorrow will all perform at the Festival Theatre. 
    Tickets are available to the general public from Tuesday 15th April 12pm online at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com and via Festival Theatre on 0131 529 6000 or in person.
    The Festival’s opening day, July 18th, is recognised worldwide as Mandela Day and has a special resonance this year. The Festival presents three of South Africa’s greatest musical acts:
    Revered pianist, Abdullah Ibrahim, opens the show. In the late 50s and early 60s, his group made the first South African jazz record and, for many years in exile, he was a torchbearer for South African music. He played at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, and now in the year he celebrates his 80th birthday, he will headline at Carnegie Hall in New York and The Royal Festival Hall in London. Following up are Freshlyground, the high-energy band whose official song of the World Cup in 2010 underlined their status as the musical voice of a nation’s adolescent democracy; and closing the show are the legendary Mahotella Queens who have been South Africa’s most popular singing group for 50 years. They have played all the major world stages and were featured in London’s Hyde Park for the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations in 2012.
     
    On Sunday 20th July at 7.30pm the undisputed king of boogie-woogie, swing, and R’n’B, Jools Holland is back with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and an all-star line-up including long time vocal partners Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, and this year a much-anticipated guest performance by Spice Girl, Melanie C. 
    Legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison will light up the stage on Tuesday 22nd July ay 8pm. Morrison grew up listening to artists such as Ray Charles and Solomon Burke, as well as Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Charlie Parker, courtesy of his father’s record collection. These artists made a real impact on his work, and much of his music has been influenced by the Celtic tradition and jazz as well as soul music and R’n’B. He’ll play music from across his huge back catalogue, plus blues classics, an odd jazz standard, and music from his recent CD, Born To Sing. 
    Rock ‘n’ roll icon, former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman brings his star power to Edinburgh on Sunday 27th July at 8pm. His musical rebirth as the driving force behind the fabulous Rhythm Kings sees him return to his musical roots, bringing back to life the kind of classic rhythm and blues that first inspired Wyman to pick up the guitar as a teenager.  Wyman’s all-star band will be joined by the original Average White Band singer and guitarist, Hamish Stuart, featured for many years with Paul McCartney.
    The packed programme of world-class acts to be released in full in May includes an international jazz supergroup the Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band featuring Dennis Chambers; the Edinburgh debut of Grammy-nominated trumpeter and composer Christian Scott; the popular return, with his exceptional big band, of Chris Barber; and getting the party started with their old style jazz and blues-fuelled stage presence, Davina and the Vagabonds.
    There will be a programme of special projects funded by the Scottish Government's EXPO fund and a reprise of the Tron Kirk Festival Club, which proved to be a big hit in its introductory year last year. The two free events organized by the Jazz & Blues Festival – The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival – will take place on the 19th and 20th July respectively.

    Van Morrison, Jools Holland with special guest Mel C, Bill Wyman and a Mandela Day Concert confirmed for the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, 2014.

    The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, which will take place Friday 18th to Sunday 27th July, will release tickets for four headline acts today at noon.

    The full programme will be launched in May, set to include a host of exciting Festival firsts and one-off specials that will delight enthusiasts and entice new audiences. 

    The four acts whose tickets are released today will all perform at the Festival Theatre. 

    Tickets are available from 12pm online at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com and via Festival Theatre on 0131 529 6000 or in person.

    The Festival’s opening day, July 18th, is recognised worldwide as Mandela Day and has a special resonance this year. The Festival presents three of South Africa’s greatest musical acts:

    Revered pianist, Abdullah Ibrahim, opens the show. In the late 50s and early 60s, his group made the first South African jazz record and, for many years in exile, he was a torchbearer for South African music. He played at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, and now in the year he celebrates his 80th birthday, he will headline at Carnegie Hall in New York and The Royal Festival Hall in London. Following up are Freshlyground, the high-energy band whose official song of the World Cup in 2010 underlined their status as the musical voice of a nation’s adolescent democracy; and closing the show are the legendary Mahotella Queens who have been South Africa’s most popular singing group for 50 years. They have played all the major world stages and were featured in London’s Hyde Park for the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations in 2012. On Sunday 20th July at 7.30pm the undisputed king of boogie-woogie, swing, and R’n’B, Jools Holland is back with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and an all-star line-up including long time vocal partners Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, and this year a much-anticipated guest performance by Spice Girl, Melanie C.  

    Legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison will light up the stage on Tuesday 22nd July ay 8pm. Morrison grew up listening to artists such as Ray Charles and Solomon Burke, as well as Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Charlie Parker, courtesy of his father’s record collection. These artists made a real impact on his work, and much of his music has been influenced by the Celtic tradition and jazz as well as soul music and R’n’B. He’ll play music from across his huge back catalogue, plus blues classics, an odd jazz standard, and music from his recent CD, Born To Sing. 

    Rock ‘n’ roll icon, former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman brings his star power to Edinburgh on Sunday 27th July at 8pm. His musical rebirth as the driving force behind the fabulous Rhythm Kings sees him return to his musical roots, bringing back to life the kind of classic rhythm and blues that first inspired Wyman to pick up the guitar as a teenager.  Wyman’s all-star band will be joined by the original Average White Band singer and guitarist, Hamish Stuart, featured for many years with Paul McCartney.

     The packed programme of world-class acts to be released in full in May includes an international jazz supergroup the Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band featuring Dennis Chambers; the Edinburgh debut of Grammy-nominated trumpeter and composer Christian Scott; the popular return, with his exceptional big band, of Chris Barber; and getting the party started with their old style jazz and blues-fuelled stage presence, Davina and the Vagabonds.

    There will be a programme of special projects funded by the Scottish Government's EXPO fund and a reprise of the Tron Kirk Festival Club, which proved to be a big hit in its introductory year last year. The two free events organized by the Jazz & Blues Festival – The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival – will take place on the 19th and 20th July respectively.

    Category: Industry News

  • 11 April 2014

    Matt Cardle opens Burns Festival Sunday!

     

    Matt Cardle opens Burns Festival Sunday!
    Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but for Matt Cardle fans, it’s a winning number, as the talented singer and X-Factor winner has announced he will headline South Ayrshire’s13th Burns an’ a’ that! Festival, in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2014.
    An annual tribute to Scotland's poet Robert Burns, the Festival features a ‘Weekend in the Park’ –  offering two days of free music in a special music tent, plus a host of fun activities, held at Belleisle Park, Ayr. (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May 2014) 
    Sunday 25 May will now be headlined by Matt, who had been scheduled to switch on the Ayr Christmas Lights in December 2013 but due to unforeseen circumstances was unable to attend.
    He promised he would return at a later date and, true to his word, he’s taking time out from his 19-date ‘Porcelain Tour’ to perform at Burns an’ a’ that! – kicking off the second day of the festival’s Weekend in the Park in style, by playing a special acoustic set.
    He said: “I’m so excited to finally come to Ayr and to be able to support the Burns an’ a’ that! Festival.  I love Scotland and have always received such warm welcomes on my visits there.”
    Matt takes to the stage at 1pm and the open tent provides lots of room for fans to watch Matt perform from within the tent and on the surrounding lawn. However, if the weather is bad the tent may be closed with only the first 500 people admitted –so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.  
    Matt will be followed by a unique blend of 20s and 30s frivolity from The Casablanca Steps, the much anticipated return of local legends Southbound and fiddle mashing with urban dance and rock grooves from Bahookie. An evening ticketed gig will feature Jim Diamond and band and popular singer Horse
    Saturday 24 May also has a FREE line up including a perfect picnic vibe from The Easy Orchestra, local bands The Hostiles and The Colin Kennedy Band plus two great names of Scottish music – Altered Images and The Blow Monkeys. 
    A comedy gig will take place in the evening with the hilarious Keara Murphy’s modern parallel on the Burns poem ‘To A Mouse’ providing an outlook on life, love, loneliness and the need for Snickers bars. 
    Throughout the Weekend in the Park there will also be lots more attractions including a teddy bears picnic, the Fresh Ayr Buskers Garden, special Burns trails and arts attractions, Greenhouse Gass, The Burns Mobstars, Arts Market, Food and Drink and much more!
    The Festival – which is supported by South Ayrshire Council and Homecoming Scotland – is an annual tribute to Scotland's internationally acclaimed poet Robert Burns, celebrating the best of Scottish talent. This year it also forms part of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming and is sponsored by The Balgarth Pines with charity sponsorship from Children 1st and Festival Friday display sponsorship from Owen Kerr Signs. 
    Full details, booking information and updates are available on the Festival’s website at: www.burnsfestival.com and on www.facebook.com/southayrshireeventsfestivals

    Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but for Matt Cardle fans, it’s a winning number, as the talented singer and X-Factor winner has announced he will headline South Ayrshire’s13th Burns an’ a’ that! Festival, in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2014.

    An annual tribute to Scotland's poet Robert Burns, the Festival features a ‘Weekend in the Park’ –  offering two days of free music in a special music tent, plus a host of fun activities, held at Belleisle Park, Ayr. (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May 2014) 

    Sunday 25 May will now be headlined by Matt, who had been scheduled to switch on the Ayr Christmas Lights in December 2013 but due to unforeseen circumstances was unable to attend.

    He promised he would return at a later date and, true to his word, he’s taking time out from his 19-date ‘Porcelain Tour’ to perform at Burns an’ a’ that! – kicking off the second day of the festival’s Weekend in the Park in style, by playing a special acoustic set.

    He said: “I’m so excited to finally come to Ayr and to be able to support the Burns an’ a’ that! Festival.  I love Scotland and have always received such warm welcomes on my visits there.”

    Matt takes to the stage at 1pm and the open tent provides lots of room for fans to watch Matt perform from within the tent and on the surrounding lawn. However, if the weather is bad the tent may be closed with only the first 500 people admitted –so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.  

    Matt will be followed by a unique blend of 20s and 30s frivolity from The Casablanca Steps, the much anticipated return of local legends Southbound and fiddle mashing with urban dance and rock grooves from Bahookie. An evening ticketed gig will feature Jim Diamond and band and popular singer Horse
    Saturday 24 May also has a FREE line up including a perfect picnic vibe from The Easy Orchestra, local bands The Hostiles and The Colin Kennedy Band plus two great names of Scottish music – Altered Images and The Blow Monkeys. 

    A comedy gig will take place in the evening with the hilarious Keara Murphy’s modern parallel on the Burns poem ‘To A Mouse’ providing an outlook on life, love, loneliness and the need for Snickers bars. 
    Throughout the Weekend in the Park there will also be lots more attractions including a teddy bears picnic, the Fresh Ayr Buskers Garden, special Burns trails and arts attractions, Greenhouse Gass, The Burns Mobstars, Arts Market, Food and Drink and much more!
    The Festival – which is supported by South Ayrshire Council and Homecoming Scotland – is an annual tribute to Scotland's internationally acclaimed poet Robert Burns, celebrating the best of Scottish talent. This year it also forms part of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming and is sponsored by The Balgarth Pines with charity sponsorship from Children 1st and Festival Friday display sponsorship from Owen Kerr Signs. 

    Full details, booking information and updates are available on the Festival’s website at: www.burnsfestival.com 

    Category: National Events

  • 11 April 2014

    World Tattie Scone Competition

    Calling all tattie scone makers.    Entry forms are now available to register for the World Tattie Scone competition which will run alongside the European Pipe Band Championships to be held in Grant Park, Forres on Saturday 28 June.

    The aim is to make a tattie scone using a set recipe and set ingredients plus your own ‘magic’ ingredient with the tastiest and most imaginative scone winning a trophy donated by the host, the Oakwood Cookery School, Elgin and the accolade of Scotland’s Tastiest Tattie Scone Maker 2014.

    Last year the winner was retired Forres businessman, Lee Bell with ‘Babe in the Park’ using pancetta.  Second was the late Stacey Innes’s ‘Tam of Chanter’ – cheese and garlic and third local Northern Scot reporter, Chris Saunderson’s ‘Red Hot Scot’ -  Stornoway black pudding.   Moray MP Angus Robertson’s ‘Forres in Blue’ tattie scone using Strathdon Blue cheese was commended.

    Entrants must be over 16 and as there is a limit to the number of places available to cook on the day candidates will be chosen from names in a hat and successful candidates will be notified in advance with a given  time slot.    Whilst it is free to enter the competition, a fee of £5 will be charged for the competitors on the day to cover costs and entrants will need to pay for entry to the Championships.  The recipe and ingredients will be provided but contestants are invited to bring their own ‘special ingredient’ – no alcohol ‘though!  The winning tattie scone will be judged by Raymond Laidlaw - National Training Manager UK; Penny Rumford - Product Specialist Manager and a representative from Electrolux who are sponsoring the event.

    Those wishing to register should download a form from the piping hot Forres website – www.pipinghotforres.com; and send it to Elaine Sutherland on elaine@riversidekitchens.co.uk by 1200 hrs on Tuesday 17 June 2014. 

    Elaine Sutherland of the Oakwood cookery school, who is organising the competition said:  “This was great fun last year with some weird and wonderful ideas for flavours, I’m hoping this year will be even more successful.”

    The event held in June in Grant Park Forres 2013 was the biggest single day ticketed event held in Moray in 2013, the last 25 years and possibly ever.   Over 17,000 people watched 120 bands compete to be the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s European Champions in the Park and it was given 9.2 out of a possible 10 for overall enjoyment in an online survey.

    Can’t wait until June to hear the best in piping?   Saturday 3 May, Aberdeen Music Hall hosts nine times World and current European Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery pipe band who play in concert along with Bucksburn and District Pipe Band.

    This year to promote Moray’s food and drink Forres Events Ltd are delighted to have received grant funding from the Community Food Fund, which is financed by the Scottish Government and has been created to promote local food and drink, in line with Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy.  www.communityfoodfund.co.uk

    To help put Moray on the tourist trail, funding has also been secured from EventScotland to increase marketing for the event, in a bid to attract even more people to the event in 2014.

    And Piping Hot Forres will also form part of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2014 - a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

    The project is also being part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Moray Leader programme.

    Category: National Events

  • 10 April 2014

    Rutherford & Clegg confirmed for Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix

     

    RUTHERFORD & CLEGG CONFIRMED FOR SAINSBURY’S GLASGOW GRAND PRIX
    Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Paralympic 100m silver medallist Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) have confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12 on the day tickets go on sale for the 2014 Sainsbury’s Summer Series. 
    Rutherford, who famously leapt to gold on Super Saturday at London 2012 is excited to be returning to compete in front of a home crowd after injury ruled him out from competing at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year. 
    "What a treat it’ll be to step out into Hampden Park, and again compete in front of a home crowd. We know from London what I can do with the crowd behind me and I can't wait to get that opportunity at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”
    Clegg, who will line-up for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games two weeks after the IAAF Diamond League visit believes that the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will provide her the perfect platform to add to her seven global medals. 
    Clegg said: “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is really close to the Commonwealth Games, so it will be great for me to see how my preparation is going and also face a world-class line-up at Hampden.
    “It’s great to have the opportunity to compete as a part of the Diamond League and it’s going to be a great occasion going out in front of a home crowd. I’m sure the Scottish crowd will create the same sort atmosphere as we had at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year.”
    The 24 year old was joined in Glasgow today by her guide runner Mikail Huggins as the duo raced against her boyfriend, Scotland rugby 7s player Michael Maltman in a bid to find the Mo Farah lifesize cut outs dotted around the city. 
    Maltman, who has recently returned from Asia after winning the Bowl Final at the Hong Kong 7s then swapped positions with Clegg as he was given a guide running masterclass by Huggins at Nethercraigs Leisure Centre. 
    “It was an interesting experience to see how Libby runs. It was quite daunting not being able to see where I was going, but it’s given me a real insight into how much dependence she must put on Mikail during a race,” said Maltman, who is currently preparing for the Emirates Airlines 7s on May 3-4 at Scotstoun. 
    Huggins added: “With Michael being a burly rugby player, it was impressive how quickly he got the hand of running alongside me. However, after guiding Libby and I through some rugby drills, I don’t think there will be a career change anytime soon!” 
    Huggins, who starred at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January, is excited to return to Scotland with victory on his mind once again when he lines up with Clegg at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix. 
    “We tasted victory at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match earlier this year and that gave us a real taste of what to expect from the Scottish crowd this summer. Hampden is going to be electric and I’m really looking forward to putting on a show on the track.” 
    Tara Hewitt, Sainsbury's Head of Sponsorship said: "We’re proud that our support means some of the world’s greatest athletes will be competing in Glasgow at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix this summer.  We’ve worked hard to ensure Para-athletic integration across the two days and look forward to welcoming thousands to the first IAAF Diamond League meeting at Hampden Park.”
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "The Glasgow leg of the IAAF Diamond League will be one of the sporting highlights of an incredible year in Scotland, and demand is guaranteed to be high as tickets go on sale. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with Greg Rutherford joining fellow Olympians Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Eilidh Child and Paralympian Libby Clegg at the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix, fans at Hampden are guaranteed to see some truly world-class athletics."
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Diamond League series has long been the pinnacle of athletics competition and we’re thrilled to be hosting the event in the city for the first time. The Glasgow Grand Prix will bring the very best athletes to our National Stadium from all over the globe – and they will bring their own army of fans.
    “We look forward to welcoming them all to Glasgow in what is the Year of Sport for the city. We have invested more than £200million in sporting infrastructure and can boast some of the best facilities in the world.
    “We are continually strengthening our reputation as one of the world’s top sporting cities, and it’s no surprise we have been shortlisted for an honour at the 2014 Ultimate Sports City Awards.”

    Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Paralympic 100m silver medallist Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) have confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12 on the day tickets go on sale for the 2014 Sainsbury’s Summer Series. 

    Rutherford, who famously leapt to gold on Super Saturday at London 2012 is excited to be returning to compete in front of a home crowd after injury ruled him out from competing at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year. 

    "What a treat it’ll be to step out into Hampden Park, and again compete in front of a home crowd. We know from London what I can do with the crowd behind me and I can't wait to get that opportunity at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”

    Clegg, who will line-up for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games two weeks after the IAAF Diamond League visit believes that the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will provide her the perfect platform to add to her seven global medals. 

    Clegg said: “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is really close to the Commonwealth Games, so it will be great for me to see how my preparation is going and also face a world-class line-up at Hampden.

    “It’s great to have the opportunity to compete as a part of the Diamond League and it’s going to be a great occasion going out in front of a home crowd. I’m sure the Scottish crowd will create the same sort atmosphere as we had at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year.”

    The 24 year old was joined in Glasgow today by her guide runner Mikail Huggins as the duo raced against her boyfriend, Scotland rugby 7s player Michael Maltman in a bid to find the Mo Farah lifesize cut outs dotted around the city. 

    Maltman, who has recently returned from Asia after winning the Bowl Final at the Hong Kong 7s then swapped positions with Clegg as he was given a guide running masterclass by Huggins at Nethercraigs Leisure Centre. 

    “It was an interesting experience to see how Libby runs. It was quite daunting not being able to see where I was going, but it’s given me a real insight into how much dependence she must put on Mikail during a race,” said Maltman, who is currently preparing for the Emirates Airlines 7s on May 3-4 at Scotstoun. 

    Huggins added: “With Michael being a burly rugby player, it was impressive how quickly he got the hand of running alongside me. However, after guiding Libby and I through some rugby drills, I don’t think there will be a career change anytime soon!” 

     Huggins, who starred at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January, is excited to return to Scotland with victory on his mind once again when he lines up with Clegg at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix. 

     “We tasted victory at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match earlier this year and that gave us a real taste of what to expect from the Scottish crowd this summer. Hampden is going to be electric and I’m really looking forward to putting on a show on the track.” 

     Tara Hewitt, Sainsbury's Head of Sponsorship said: "We’re proud that our support means some of the world’s greatest athletes will be competing in Glasgow at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix this summer.  We’ve worked hard to ensure Para-athletic integration across the two days and look forward to welcoming thousands to the first IAAF Diamond League meeting at Hampden Park.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "The Glasgow leg of the IAAF Diamond League will be one of the sporting highlights of an incredible year in Scotland, and demand is guaranteed to be high as tickets go on sale. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with Greg Rutherford joining fellow Olympians Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Eilidh Child and Paralympian Libby Clegg at the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix, fans at Hampden are guaranteed to see some truly world-class athletics."

     Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Diamond League series has long been the pinnacle of athletics competition and we’re thrilled to be hosting the event in the city for the first time. The Glasgow Grand Prix will bring the very best athletes to our National Stadium from all over the globe – and they will bring their own army of fans.

     “We look forward to welcoming them all to Glasgow in what is the Year of Sport for the city. We have invested more than £200million in sporting infrastructure and can boast some of the best facilities in the world.

     “We are continually strengthening our reputation as one of the world’s top sporting cities, and it’s no surprise we have been shortlisted for an honour at the 2014 Ultimate Sports City Awards.”

    Tickets for the 2014 Sainsbury’s Summer Series are on sale from Thursday 10 April at www.britishathletics.org.uk

     

    Category: International Events

  • 09 April 2014

    Fringes from around the world to gather in Edinburgh for World Fringe Congress

    Image credit: Chris Scott

    FRINGES FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO GATHER IN EDINBURGH FOR WORLD FRINGE CONGRESS
     
    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will host the second World Fringe Congress this August as part of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 
     
    This year’s Congress is part of the Culture 2014 Programme which accompanies the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow and is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, Event Scotland and the British Council Scotland.
     
    The World Fringe Congress is the only formal gathering of international fringe representatives and registration for the 2014 Congress is now open. 
     
    Directors and senior organisers from fringes around the world will be in the Scottish capital for the three day event to explore the opportunities and challenges experienced by each of them. Many of the issues faced by fringes around the world are the same regardless of national boundaries. 
     
    Edinburgh Festival Fringe performers and companies will also benefit from a chance to meet World Fringe Congress delegates in person and discuss potential opportunities with them.
     
    Speaking as registration for the World Fringe Congress was officially opened, Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:
     
    “I am delighted that we are once again getting the chance to welcome so many colleagues and friends from fringes around the globe to Edinburgh for this hugely exciting Congress.
     
    “It’s particularly fitting that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society hosts the Congress in 2014, given the colourful and diverse cultural calendar Scotland has planned for this year. Fringes are among the most vibrant cultural events in the world and I believe having the Congress in Edinburgh truly enriches Scotland’s cultural activity in 2014. 
     
    “This event gives fringe organisers the opportunity to sit around the table and openly discuss similarities and differences in terms of how each of their festivals operates. This means we are able to identify how we can work together and strengthen the bond among fringes across the world. 
    “I believe this kind of collaboration benefits the participating artists and affirms our commitment to giving the best possible experience to each and everyone taking part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
    “I also want to take this opportunity to thank our partners whose invaluable support has made the staging of the Congress possible – City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, Event Scotland and the British Council Scotland. The inclusion of the Congress in the Culture 2014 Programme of the Commonwealth Games will give the whole event an added focus and impetus.  
     
    “The World Fringe Congress is a really exciting cultural development and after the success of the 2012 World Fringe Congress I think the 2014 Congress promises to be a stimulating and lively event.”

    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will host the second World Fringe Congress this August as part of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  

    This year’s Congress is part of the Culture 2014 Programme which accompanies the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow and is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, Event Scotland and the British Council Scotland. 

    The World Fringe Congress is the only formal gathering of international fringe representatives and registration for the 2014 Congress is now open.  

    Directors and senior organisers from fringes around the world will be in the Scottish capital for the three day event to explore the opportunities and challenges experienced by each of them.

    Many of the issues faced by fringes around the world are the same regardless of national boundaries.  

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe performers and companies will also benefit from a chance to meet World Fringe Congress delegates in person and discuss potential opportunities with them. 

    Speaking as registration for the World Fringe Congress was officially opened, Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “I am delighted that we are once again getting the chance to welcome so many colleagues and friends from fringes around the globe to Edinburgh for this hugely exciting Congress. 

    “It’s particularly fitting that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society hosts the Congress in 2014, given the colourful and diverse cultural calendar Scotland has planned for this year. Fringes are among the most vibrant cultural events in the world and I believe having the Congress in Edinburgh truly enriches Scotland’s cultural activity in 2014.  

    “This event gives fringe organisers the opportunity to sit around the table and openly discuss similarities and differences in terms of how each of their festivals operates. This means we are able to identify how we can work together and strengthen the bond among fringes across the world. 

    “I believe this kind of collaboration benefits the participating artists and affirms our commitment to giving the best possible experience to each and everyone taking part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    “I also want to take this opportunity to thank our partners whose invaluable support has made the staging of the Congress possible – City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the British Council Scotland. The inclusion of the Congress in the Culture 2014 Programme of the Commonwealth Games will give the whole event an added focus and impetus.   

    “The World Fringe Congress is a really exciting cultural development and after the success of the 2012 World Fringe Congress I think the 2014 Congress promises to be a stimulating and lively event.”

    www.worldfringe.com/congress

    Category: International Events

  • 09 April 2014

    Major event skills legacy

    Around 300 event managers and students will be given access to one of the world’s biggest sporting events to build a major event skills legacy for Scotland.

    The once in a lifetime project will see those studying and involved in the events industry in Scotland attend The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. The move, organised by the Scottish Government and Ryder Cup Europe, will boost efforts to ensure Scotland remains the ‘perfect stage’ for major events.

    Scotland’s Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison revealed the plan at a Sport Accord today as she spoke on how the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup are creating a skills legacy to attract future high-calibre events.

    Ms Robison told delegates: “Scotland is the now well established as a world leading event destination and we are determined to grow our events industry, and the expertise within it, to deliver events which provide impact and international profile for Scotland.

    “The Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup events are bringing tangible physical, social and economic benefits Scotland, with new world class facilities, improved infrastructure and will leave a skills legacy long after the athletes have gone home.

    "We will invite 300 event management staff and students to the Ryder Cup to see at first-hand to how a truly global event is organised. This is just one of number of initiatives to leave a developed skills base that future organisers can use to deliver world-class events.

    “The Host Broadcaster Training Initiative at the Commonwealth Games will create a new generation of broadcast talent and give Scottish firms a wider pool of staff to cover major sporting events, with over 200 students receiving work experience and another 400 students and lecturers take part in world-class training.

    “In our tourism industry, VisitScotland is working to improve the level of service through programmes such as Glasgow Welcomes, the Greener Glasgow Tourism Programme and an Accessible Tourism Programme to assist disabled travellers.  And we are providing financial support for work, training and volunteering opportunities for young in the sports and events sectors.

    “We are extremely proud to host the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup and we will deliver spectacular events which will reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a brilliant place to visit and do business.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Ryder Cup is one of the world’s biggest sporting events, and this programme will give current and future event professionals a unique opportunity to get valuable first-hand experience at Gleneagles. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and our talented pool of event managers is part of the reason for our success to date. Whether through event-based training or the important tourism service programmes being run by VisitScotland, we must continue to invest in our people to ensure we retain a high-level of workforce for the industry in years to come.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 07 April 2014

    Royal Mail delivering special postmark for Homecoming 2014

     

    Royal Mail delivering special postmark for Homecoming 2014
    Royal Mail has specially designed a postmark to mark Homecoming celebrations in the country
    The Homecoming postmark will feature on all Scottish outward mail through its 3 main mail centres
    Scottish Mail will carry a special Royal Mail postmark to celebrate Homecoming 2014.
    The Universal postal Service provider will create a new postmark for all Scottish mail being posted through its three main mail centres in April and in October as celebrations gear up and reach their peak in the Autumn.
    Royal Mail only issues special postmarks for major events in the UK or to mark special historic dates. It’s the first time it has been used for Homecoming or a major Scottish event.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “This is a massive year for Scotland with the second Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup all putting our country on the international stage.  The commemorative postmark developed by Royal Mail for our second Year of Homecoming will further help to promote the year-long, co-ordinated programme of events designed to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage and further boost Scotland’s reputation as a dynamic and creative nation.
     
    “Ancestral Scots, the people of Scotland and all those with an affinity for Scotland are invited to join the celebration in 2014 when Scotland Welcomes the World during this extraordinary year for Scottish tourism.”
    Julie Pirone, Royal Mail Director of External Relations, added: “We are delighted to be carrying this special postmark on mail to mark the Scottish Government’s Homecoming celebrations. We hope these will capture everyone’s imagination throughout the country and those who visit us from abroad during the year-long celebrations.”
    The postmarks will appear on all stamped and franked mail from April 14th until the end of the month and then again for the month of October.
    Royal Mail will also be issuing a set of stamps to mark the XX Commonwealth Games in July.

    Royal Mail has specially designed a postmark to mark Homecoming celebrations in the country.  The Homecoming postmark will feature on all Scottish outward mail through its 3 main mail centres Scottish Mail will carry a special Royal Mail postmark to celebrate Homecoming 2014.

     The Universal postal Service provider will create a new postmark for all Scottish mail being posted through its three main mail centres in April and in October as celebrations gear up and reach their peak in the Autumn.

    Royal Mail only issues special postmarks for major events in the UK or to mark special historic dates. It’s the first time it has been used for Homecoming or a major Scottish event.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “This is a massive year for Scotland with the second Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup all putting our country on the international stage.

    The commemorative postmark developed by Royal Mail for our second Year of Homecoming will further help to promote the year-long, co-ordinated programme of events designed to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage and further boost Scotland’s reputation as a dynamic and creative nation. “Ancestral Scots, the people of Scotland and all those with an affinity for Scotland are invited to join the celebration in 2014 when Scotland Welcomes the World during this extraordinary year for Scottish tourism.”

     Julie Pirone, Royal Mail Director of External Relations, added: “We are delighted to be carrying this special postmark on mail to mark the Scottish Government’s Homecoming celebrations. We hope these will capture everyone’s imagination throughout the country and those who visit us from abroad during the year-long celebrations.”

     The postmarks will appear on all stamped and franked mail from April 14th until the end of the month and then again for the month of October.

     Royal Mail will also be issuing a set of stamps to mark the XX Commonwealth Games in July.

    http://www.royalmail.com/

     

     

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 04 April 2014

    GENERATION – 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland

     

    May to November 2014 – venues across Scotland 
    GENERATION is a landmark series of exhibitions celebrating some of the very best art to have emerged from Scotland in the last 25 years. GENERATION will feature the work of more than 100 artists, many of which have shown works at galleries or festivals across the world, in over 60 venues the length and breadth of Scotland. This ground breaking initiative will be the first time that such an extensive visual arts project has taken place across an entire nation. It is a key feature of the Glasgow 2014 Culture programme and takes place in advance of Glasgow hosting the prestigious Turner Prize exhibition in 2015.A partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the British Council, GENERATION will be one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever held by a single country, recognising the huge international acclaim that artists working in Scotland have achieved over the last generation
    All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. Featured artists including four former Turner Prize winners (Douglas Gordon, Martin Boyce, Richard Wright and Simon Starling) and seven Turner Prize finalists (David Shrigley, Lucy Skaer, Karla Black, Cathy Wilkes, Nathan Coley, Jim Lambie and Christine Borland).
    In Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland will host exhibitions  across the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which will bring together historically significant works from the past 25 years and show them in parallel with new work by both established and emerging artists, while GENERATION exhibitions will also be shown in all four galleries of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.  
    GENERATION will see exhibitions taking place right across Scotland, including: 
    Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich : The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney  
    Douglas Gordon, Caithness Horizons, Thurso 
    Toby Paterson : touring exhibition visiting Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Peebles and Dumfrie
    Dalziel + Scullion : An Lanntair, Stornoway and Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
    South By South West (SXSW) partnership – venues in East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway
    For more information about GENERATION, visit www.generationartscotland.org

    GENERATION is a landmark series of exhibitions celebrating some of the very best art to have emerged from Scotland in the last 25 years. GENERATION will feature the work of more than 100 artists, many of which have shown works at galleries or festivals across the world, in over 60 venues the length and breadth of Scotland (May to November 2014).

     This ground breaking initiative will be the first time that such an extensive visual arts project has taken place across an entire nation. It is a key feature of the Glasgow 2014 Culture programme and takes place in advance of Glasgow hosting the prestigious Turner Prize exhibition in 2015.A partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the British Council, GENERATION will be one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever held by a single country, recognising the huge international acclaim that artists working in Scotland have achieved over the last generation.

     All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. Featured artists including four former Turner Prize winners (Douglas Gordon, Martin Boyce, Richard Wright and Simon Starling) and seven Turner Prize finalists (David Shrigley, Lucy Skaer, Karla Black, Cathy Wilkes, Nathan Coley, Jim Lambie and Christine Borland).In Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland will host exhibitions  across the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which will bring together historically significant works from the past 25 years and show them in parallel with new work by both established and emerging artists, while GENERATION exhibitions will also be shown in all four galleries of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.

     GENERATION will see exhibitions taking place right across Scotland, including:

      Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich : The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

    Douglas Gordon, Caithness Horizons, Thurso

    Toby Paterson : touring exhibition visiting Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Peebles and Dumfries

    Dalziel + Scullion : An Lanntair, Stornoway and Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

    South By South West (SXSW) partnership – venues in East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway

    For more information about GENERATION, visit www.generationartscotland.org

    Category: International Events

  • 03 April 2014

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL OPENS 4 APRIL

    Glasgow International, one of the UK’s largest and most influential festivals for the visual arts launches its 6th edition tomorrow; the first of three festivals to be curated by new Director Sarah McCrory.

    Featuring the work of over 150 artists from 24 countries, Glasgow International 2014 takes over Glasgow’s best loved art galleries and museums, including Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum, Tramway and the Gallery of Modern Art, presenting 50 exhibitions and 90 events across the city.

    In order to complement the institutional shows and celebrate the Year of Homecoming, this year’s programme transforms and regenerates unusual or rundown sites and opens up usually closed spaces to the public, including Govanhill Baths swimming pool, an underground car park, a shopping centre, and the McLellan Galleries – the oldest art space in the city.

    More than 90% of the work is new or previously unseen in the UK with major new site-specific commissions covering a wide range of media and disciplines including installation, sculpture, performance, film, stand-up comedy, collage, ceramics, photography and painting.

    A series of workshops, talks, performances, films, and tours designed for all ages have been planned throughout the festival. A new media partnership with BBC Arts will present three one-off events at BBC Scotland Pacific Quay and the launch of ‘Art Screen’; a four day celebration of some of the finest arts documentaries from across the globe, taking place at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Centre for Contemporary Arts.

    Glasgow International has a legacy of producing some of the most exciting new contemporary art commissions, recognising emerging talent and tracing the careers of artists over multiple editions. Using the backdrop of the city, the Festival aims to highlight artists whose practices engage in essential and critical contemporary art discourse.

    This year’s event will further showcase Glasgow as one of the world’s most important centres for the production and display of contemporary visual art. 

    For full programme details please visit www.glasgowinternational.org

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 03 April 2014

    ICONIC ROUTE SET TO SHOWCASE EDINBURGH DURING PEARL IZUMI TOUR SERIES

     

    Edinburgh’s city centre streets will be transformed into a cycling race track as Scotland welcomes round six of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series on 29 May. The fast-paced race - brought to Edinburgh by Sweetspot, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council – will see some of Britain’s top professional teams competing on a challenging course, which includes cobbles, hairpin bends and a tough sharp climb. 
    Starting in the iconic Grassmarket in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the peloton will race up the cobbled Victoria Street climb onto George IV Bridge before heading south past the National Library of Scotland and over the famous Cowgate. 
    Riders will pass the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street and turn at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby at the top of Candlemaker Row before speeding back down to the Grassmarket to complete the lap. 
    Earlier in the day, Edinburgh will also host round three of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix, which will see some of Britain’s best domestic women’s teams. There will also be a number of lower category races, which will give aspiring local club riders the chance to race on the same course as the pro-teams. 
    Riders James McCallum (NFTO); David Lines, Jen Taylor, Eileen Roe and Jane Barr (all Starley Primal) were joined by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Festivals and Events Champion Steve Cardownie to announce the route in the Grassmarket. 
    James McCallum, NFTO Pro Cycling: "It's brilliant to have city centre racing back in the capital once again and The Pearl Izumi Tour Series back in Scotland.  The Edinburgh public have been wanting cycling back on their doorstep and now they have it. 
    "Being a local boy it's a massive motivation to put on a great show for the Scottish crowd, of which I'm sure will turn out in their thousands."
    Eileen Roe, Starley Primal Pro Cycling: "I've been hooked on the Series ever since my first win in Colchester in 2012 & look forward to racing in front of massive noisy crowds or catching it on ITV4. Criterium racing is a brilliant night of action, noise & having one in the capital of Scotland is very special, especially as it's on a circuit that's one of the hardest in the Series & defiantly not for the faint hearted!  A night to remember is on the cards! One that I cannot wait for already!"
    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted that the Pearl Izumi is visiting Edinburgh this year. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, and will provide families with a fun day out in the Capital. As a Council, we pledge to devote 5% of our transport budget on provision for cyclists so this event will complement this commitment enormously. I’m sure our residents will join in their thousands to make the Edinburgh leg of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series a huge success."
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with the Tour Series, we will bring quality bike racing to the city centre streets of our capital city. This is a technical, challenging route, which will excite the riders and create an incredible spectacle for fans lining the streets."

    Edinburgh’s city centre streets will be transformed into a cycling race track as Scotland welcomes round six of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series on 29 May. The fast-paced race - brought to Edinburgh by Sweetspot, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council – will see some of Britain’s top professional teams competing on a challenging course, which includes cobbles, hairpin bends and a tough sharp climb. Starting in the iconic Grassmarket in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the peloton will race up the cobbled Victoria Street climb onto George IV Bridge before heading south past the National Library of Scotland and over the famous Cowgate. Riders will pass the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street and turn at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby at the top of Candlemaker Row before speeding back down to the Grassmarket to complete the lap. Earlier in the day, Edinburgh will also host round three of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix, which will see some of Britain’s best domestic women’s teams. There will also be a number of lower category races, which will give aspiring local club riders the chance to race on the same course as the pro-teams. Riders James McCallum (NFTO); David Lines, Jen Taylor, Eileen Roe and Jane Barr (all Starley Primal) were joined by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Festivals and Events Champion Steve Cardownie to announce the route in the Grassmarket. James McCallum, NFTO Pro Cycling: "It's brilliant to have city centre racing back in the capital once again and The Pearl Izumi Tour Series back in Scotland.  The Edinburgh public have been wanting cycling back on their doorstep and now they have it. 

    "Being a local boy it's a massive motivation to put on a great show for the Scottish crowd, of which I'm sure will turn out in their thousands."

    Eileen Roe, Starley Primal Pro Cycling: "I've been hooked on the Series ever since my first win in Colchester in 2012 & look forward to racing in front of massive noisy crowds or catching it on ITV4. Criterium racing is a brilliant night of action, noise & having one in the capital of Scotland is very special, especially as it's on a circuit that's one of the hardest in the Series & defiantly not for the faint hearted!  A night to remember is on the cards! One that I cannot wait for already!"Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted that the Pearl Izumi is visiting Edinburgh this year. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, and will provide families with a fun day out in the Capital. As a Council, we pledge to devote 5% of our transport budget on provision for cyclists so this event will complement this commitment enormously. I’m sure our residents will join in their thousands to make the Edinburgh leg of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series a huge success."

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with the Tour Series, we will bring quality bike racing to the city centre streets of our capital city. This is a technical, challenging route, which will excite the riders and create an incredible spectacle for fans lining the streets."

    Edinburgh will also host the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix women’s race series.

    For further information visit here.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 March 2014

    Bringing John Muir home

     

    Revered in America, pioneering environmentalist John Muir is less well known in his homeland of Scotland. But as a new national pathway, the John Muir Way, opens in his honour, the John Muir Festival is bringing John Muir home.
    The Festival kicks off on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 April with ‘Home – the international launch of The Kelpies’, a spectacular family event at Scotland’s newest cultural landmark, Andy Scott’s colossal 30 metre high horses heads’ sculptures.
    The audience is invited to take a magical, night-time walk through Helix Park, Falkirk and journey past a variety of illuminated artworks on the theme of Scotland as ‘Home’ before making their way to monumental sculptures The Kelpies for a thrilling light, flame and pulsating sound performance.
    The recurring show by Groupe F – the renowned pyrotechnic company who famously lit up the Eiffel Tower at the millennium – promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Tickets are £8 and £5 in advance from johnmuirfestival.com and £10 and £5 on the door.
    Caroline Packman, Director of Homecoming Scotland said: ‘The Home event at The Kelpies promises to be a spectacular and memorable opening to an exciting John Muir Festival programme, which is a key part of this year’s Homecoming Scotland celebrations. The Groupe F show at The Kelpies will be an unmissable experience, and will be a fitting tribute to the brilliant and iconic John Muir.’ 
    First Minister Alex Salmond officially opens the John Muir Way in Muir’s hometown of Dunbar on 21 April where ramblers, runners and cyclists will be invited to carry Muir-themed flags along the first section of the coast to coast pathway. The event, supported by East Lothian Council, includes celebratory art, music, performance and food stalls, is open and free to all. 
    Over the following four days, 22 - 25 April, communities en route can participate directly in the Festival by carrying bespoke flags along the new pathway. At selected hotspots at North Berwick, Cockenzie, Edinburgh Quay, Blackness Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Callendar House, Kirkintilloch, Strathblane, Croftamie, Balloch Castle, Helensburgh and Loch Lomond Shores, a variety of artworks will be staged: a gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A camera obscura will provide a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. There will be seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers. And in a quieter, more reflective tribute, an American and a Scots poet will walk the length of the John Muir Way at their own unhurried pace, planting seeds and reciting poetry along the way. 
    Finally, on the afternoon of 26 April, the Festival and flags will reach the end of the John Muir Way in Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast where 11 year old Muir and his family set sail for a new life in America. Appropriately – for a founding father of the US National Parks – Scotland’s national park at Loch Lomond will be the venue the same evening for music, art, performance and a firework finale. 
    The new John Muir Way, the concept of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, is designed to give people in the central belt the opportunity to engage with nature and gain a better understanding of Muir the man and his legacy.
    Produced by UZ Arts, The John Muir Festival is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland. Home is also supported by Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Falkirk Community Trust. 
    Full programme details and tickets: www.johnmuirfestival.com 

    Revered in America, pioneering environmentalist John Muir is less well known in his homeland of Scotland. But as a new national pathway, the John Muir Way, opens in his honour, the John Muir Festival is bringing John Muir home.

    The Festival kicks off on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 April with ‘Home – the international launch of The Kelpies’, a spectacular family event at Scotland’s newest cultural landmark, Andy Scott’s colossal 30 metre high horses heads’ sculptures.The audience is invited to take a magical, night-time walk through Helix Park, Falkirk and journey past a variety of illuminated artworks on the theme of Scotland as ‘Home’ before making their way to monumental sculptures The Kelpies for a thrilling light, flame and pulsating sound performance.The recurring show by Groupe F – the renowned pyrotechnic company who famously lit up the Eiffel Tower at the millennium – promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Tickets are £8 and £5 in advance from johnmuirfestival.com and £10 and £5 on the door.

     Caroline Packman, Director of Homecoming Scotland said: ‘The Home event at The Kelpies promises to be a spectacular and memorable opening to an exciting John Muir Festival programme, which is a key part of this year’s Homecoming Scotland celebrations. The Groupe F show at The Kelpies will be an unmissable experience, and will be a fitting tribute to the brilliant and iconic John Muir.’ First Minister Alex Salmond officially opens the John Muir Way in Muir’s hometown of Dunbar on 21 April where ramblers, runners and cyclists will be invited to carry Muir-themed flags along the first section of the coast to coast pathway.

     The event, supported by East Lothian Council, includes celebratory art, music, performance and food stalls, is open and free to all. Over the following four days, 22 - 25 April, communities en route can participate directly in the Festival by carrying bespoke flags along the new pathway. At selected hotspots at North Berwick, Cockenzie, Edinburgh Quay, Blackness Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Callendar House, Kirkintilloch, Strathblane, Croftamie, Balloch Castle, Helensburgh and Loch Lomond Shores, a variety of artworks will be staged: a gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A camera obscura will provide a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. There will be seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers. And in a quieter, more reflective tribute, an American and a Scots poet will walk the length of the John Muir Way at their own unhurried pace, planting seeds and reciting poetry along the way. Finally, on the afternoon of 26 April, the Festival and flags will reach the end of the John Muir Way in Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast where 11 year old Muir and his family set sail for a new life in America. Appropriately – for a founding father of the US National Parks – Scotland’s national park at Loch Lomond will be the venue the same evening for music, art, performance and a firework finale. The new John Muir Way, the concept of the Central Scotland Green Network Partnership Board, is designed to give people in the central belt the opportunity to engage with nature and gain a better understanding of Muir the man and his legacy.Produced by UZ Arts, The John Muir Festival is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland. Home is also supported by Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Falkirk Community Trust. 

    Full programme details and tickets: www.johnmuirfestival.com 

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 27 March 2014

    Entries Open for Scottish Student Journalism Awards

    Top figures from the nation’s media are searching for the journalists of tomorrow with the launch this week of the Scottish Student Journalism Awards (SSJA).

    An impressive panel including the Daily Record columnist Joan McAlpine MSP will judge submissions from journalism students at universities and colleges across Scotland.

    Other judges will include Jim Wilson, editor of the Sunday Mail; Matt Roper, the digital news editor at STV; and Jackie Bird, the BBC Scotland news presenter.

    The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on Thursday 29 May in ARTA, Glasgow. The host of this year’s ceremony will be Stephen Jardine who has previously worked for STV, GMTV and Radio Tay and now runs his own PR company, Taste Communications.

    There are 11 categories across print, broadcast and online, including a new category, Broadcast Story of the Year. 

    There are a variety of prizes for the winning students including media work placements and cash prizes.

    You can find all the updates on the Facebook page by searching Scottish Student Journalism Awards 2014 or on the Twitter page @SSJA2014

    The awards are open to all journalism students studying at higher and further education in Scotland. The deadline for submissions is Friday 11 April before 5pm. All submissions should be sent to ssjaapplications2014@gmail.com

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 March 2014

    Blair Dates Announced for 2014

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Bruadar Country Fair (21-24 August) is one of the Scotland’s major sporting fixtures and the largest equestrian event in Scotland.  Taking place over four days in August each year and attracting in excess of 40,000 visitors. Olympic medallists compete alongside amateurs in the four International Eventing classes, whilst British Showjumping and showing classes provide a platform for riders in other disciplines to compete on Blair's hallowed turf.

    The scenery and the Castle itself provide a truly breathtaking backdrop for this special event.  Steeped in history, the castle and grounds are open to the public during the event.  Equal in splendour to the castle is the magnificent landscape of the 145,000-acre estate in which it is set, which offers beautifully scenic vistas of rolling farmland and wild open hills. 

    A large shopping village houses top class shopping over the four days from some of the country’s leading fashion retailers, jewellery stores and all sorts of unusual and original gifts are among the 200 plus trade stands. The Bruadar Country Fair which takes place on Saturday and Sunday makes this event even more special and features displays of both traditional and more modern countryside pursuits.

    Next year Blair Castle will be hosting the FEI 2015 European Eventing Championships, Alec Lochore the event director commented “We expect this year’s event to be a stepping stone to the Blair Castle FEI European Eventing Championships in September 2015, providing Scotland with a major international competition to look forward to.”

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair takes place from Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 August 2014. The Box office opens on 1 May.  For more information visit our website:  www.blairhorsetrials.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 24 March 2014

    Blogmanay wins Travel Marketing Awards 2014

     

    Congratulations to Unique Event which won the ‘Best use of Social Media’ award for #blogmanay
    and a Gold commendation for ‘Most Innovative Marketing’ at the Travel Marketing Awards 2014.
    The Travel Marketing Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the travel industry calendar, recognising the finest work being accomplished in travel and tourism marketing today.
    To read more click here

    Congratulations to Unique Event which won the ‘Best use of Social Media’ award for #blogmanay and a Gold commendation for ‘Most Innovative Marketing’ at the Travel Marketing Awards 2014.

    The Travel Marketing Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the travel industry calendar, recognising the finest work being accomplished in travel and tourism marketing today.

    To read more click here.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 March 2014

    Team GB brush the way for Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Launch

     

    Team GB’s men’s curling team swapped their slider shoes and ice for trainers and pavement pounding today as they officially launched Scotland’s largest mass participation running event - the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run. 
    Taking place on Sunday 5 October, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, set to be screened live on BBC2 for a second year, incorporates both a 10k and half marathon route along some of Glasgow’s best known streets, winding past some of the city’s most famous landmarks, historic buildings and inspirational Commonwealth Games venues. 
    Today curling skip David Murdoch and his all Scottish crew - Scott Andrews, Greg Drummond, Michael Goodfellow and Tom Brewster - were at Glasgow Green, the site of the iconic finishing stretch, with last year’s first female finisher, Susan Partridge. 
    In 2013 Susan covered the half marathon route in 01.10.40 and she joined the curlers on their very first training run today as they swept the way for her to come back and defend her title. 
    Susan said:  “I really love coming back to Scotland to take part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run. It’s so inspiring to see thousands of participants take on the challenge of the 10k, half marathon or Super Saturday events. 
    “Last year was particularly special for me and I was thrilled to be the first female finisher alongside the legendary Haile Gebrselassie who clinched the men’s title. I’m excited to come back this year to defend my position and can’t wait to see all the runners out in force along Glasgow’s streets.” 
    Three time Winter Olympian David Murdoch and his silver medal winning Sochi team are aiming to tackle the iconic half marathon route alongside tens of thousands of participants on Sunday October 5. 
    The day before the event, Saturday October 4, also sees the popular Super Saturday returning to the city with a toddler dash, family mile, mini run and junior event. 
    David Murdoch a two time world champion and three time European champion curler said: “Some people may not realise it, but curlers have to possess a strong fitness level and our training incorporates a lot of intense cardio and weightlifting in addition to work on and off the ice. We warm up and warm down before and after each game and you need to be as fit as possible when you are on the ice sweeping and curling intensely in tight matches for 2 hour plus game periods. 
    “However, training for a half marathon is a different ball game and we are all slightly apprehensive about making the move into long distance running! Like our sport of curling, you can be any age and of any ability level to have a go at running, and it helps keep you fit. The Saturday events are also great for youngsters and others to build themselves up to a Sunday event. 
    “It will be amazing to take part in such a popular event and I am positive the electric atmosphere will keep our feet moving until the finish line!” 
    David’s Olympic silver medal winning team mate’s Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Tom Brewster and Michael Goodfellow added:  “We would encourage people to enter this year’s Great Scottish Run in October”
    Starting at George Square in the heart of Glasgow, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run sees some of the world’s best known athletes and tens of thousands of club, charity and fun runners take on a route covering no fewer than six Commonwealth Games venues* before passing under the McLennan Arch to enter Glasgow Green and reach the tree lined finish straight in the shadow of Nelson’s Monument.  
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is one of the most highly anticipated mass-participation events on our annual calendar. Attracting 30,000 runners, the event delivers a significant economic impact for both Glasgow and Scotland, while providing a spectacular spectator experience for those lining the streets or watching live on BBC 2.”
    The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, featuring the 10k and half marathon distances, is open for entries at www.greatscottishrun.com

    Team GB’s men’s curling team swapped their slider shoes and ice for trainers and pavement pounding today as they officially launched Scotland’s largest mass participation running event - the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run.

    Taking place on Sunday 5 October, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, set to be screened live on BBC2 for a second year, incorporates both a 10k and half marathon route along some of Glasgow’s best known streets, winding past some of the city’s most famous landmarks, historic buildings and inspirational Commonwealth Games venues. 

    Today curling skip David Murdoch and his all Scottish crew - Scott Andrews, Greg Drummond, Michael Goodfellow and Tom Brewster - were at Glasgow Green, the site of the iconic finishing stretch, with last year’s first female finisher, Susan Partridge. 

    In 2013 Susan covered the half marathon route in 01.10.40 and she joined the curlers on their very first training run today as they swept the way for her to come back and defend her title. 
    Susan said:  “I really love coming back to Scotland to take part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run. It’s so inspiring to see thousands of participants take on the challenge of the 10k, half marathon or Super Saturday events. 

    “Last year was particularly special for me and I was thrilled to be the first female finisher alongside the legendary Haile Gebrselassie who clinched the men’s title. I’m excited to come back this year to defend my position and can’t wait to see all the runners out in force along Glasgow’s streets.” 

    Three time Winter Olympian David Murdoch and his silver medal winning Sochi team are aiming to tackle the iconic half marathon route alongside tens of thousands of participants on Sunday October 5. 

    The day before the event, Saturday October 4, also sees the popular Super Saturday returning to the city with a toddler dash, family mile, mini run and junior event. 

    David Murdoch a two time world champion and three time European champion curler said: “Some people may not realise it, but curlers have to possess a strong fitness level and our training incorporates a lot of intense cardio and weightlifting in addition to work on and off the ice. We warm up and warm down before and after each game and you need to be as fit as possible when you are on the ice sweeping and curling intensely in tight matches for 2 hour plus game periods.

    “However, training for a half marathon is a different ball game and we are all slightly apprehensive about making the move into long distance running! Like our sport of curling, you can be any age and of any ability level to have a go at running, and it helps keep you fit. The Saturday events are also great for youngsters and others to build themselves up to a Sunday event. 

    “It will be amazing to take part in such a popular event and I am positive the electric atmosphere will keep our feet moving until the finish line!” 

    David’s Olympic silver medal winning team mate’s Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Tom Brewster and Michael Goodfellow added:  “We would encourage people to enter this year’s Great Scottish Run in October”

    Starting at George Square in the heart of Glasgow, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run sees some of the world’s best known athletes and tens of thousands of club, charity and fun runners take on a route covering no fewer than six Commonwealth Games venues* before passing under the McLennan Arch to enter Glasgow Green and reach the tree lined finish straight in the shadow of Nelson’s Monument.  

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is one of the most highly anticipated mass-participation events on our annual calendar. Attracting 30,000 runners, the event delivers a significant economic impact for both Glasgow and Scotland, while providing a spectacular spectator experience for those lining the streets or watching live on BBC 2.”

     The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, featuring the 10k and half marathon distances, is open for entries at www.greatscottishrun.com

     

    Category: International Events

  • 20 March 2014

    All-star line-up revealed for 'breathtaking' Bannockburn Live event

     

    ow's the day and now's the hour
    All-star line-up revealed for 'breathtaking' Bannockburn Live event
     
    Celtic and folk music artists Julie Fowlis, Dougie MacLean, Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni will lead over 300 performers in an inspirational one-off festival to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
     
    VisitScotland and Unique Events joined Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing at Stirling Castle today (19 March 2014) to unveil the stellar line-up for the Homecoming Scotland 2014 event, Bannockburn Live, a two-day feast of music, culture, ancestry, food and drink and battle performances on 28-29 June 2014.
     
    Capturing every essence of Scottish culture, the atmospheric Bannockburn battlefield in Stirling will transform into five distinct areas, each with its own unmissable flavour and excitement:
     
    1314 Encampment:
    Step back in time to June 1314 to explore the bustling encampments and soak up the atmosphere, sights and sounds of medieval life. Witness armour and swords being made in the Blacksmiths, smell the bread baking over fires in the outdoor kitchens, gasp as men are treated in hospital as they come off the battlefield and speak to the warriors about their skills and strategies.
     
    The Battlefield and medieval encampments will be home to over 300 warriors and camp followers to recreate the Battle of Bannockburn and live the life of 1314. Battles will take place at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm, so you have one of three opportunities to see ‘The Battle’ - the largest event of this nature ever seen in Scotland.
     
    Choreographed by Clanranald, famous for their work on Hollywood blockbusters Gladiator, Robin Hood and Thor 2 and highly respected throughout the TV Industry, each battle will feature a dedicated professional combat team joining forces with re-enactors from across the UK and Europe to collide on the field in a spectacular demonstration of skill and determination.
     
    Music Arena:
    The stage will come to life with a top quality mix of folk and contemporary music including two of the country’s finest award-winning artists, Dougie MacLean (Saturday) and Julie Fowlis (Sunday). The stage will be live from 11.15am until 6.45pm. Artists on the Saturday include: Rura, The Deadly Winters, Siobhan Wilson and Saor Patrol.
     
    Sunday’s Line Up will include Treacherous Orchestra, Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire, Ross Ainslie & Jarlaith Henderson and Cask Strength Ceilidh Band. Additional performers will be announced in the run up to the event.
     
    Storyville:
    A festival within a festival, Scotland’s culture and history will be told by a range of artists from writers to stand-up comedians and renowned singer-songwriters. Featured musicians include Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni on the Saturday and UK Folk Award 2014 Singer of the Year, Bella Hardy and Idlewild frontman, Roddy Woomble on the Sunday.
     
    Authors Alistair Moffat and James Robertson take to the stage to talk about their new books ‘Bannockburn: The Battle for a Nation’ and ‘Robert the Bruce: King of Scots’. Family activities will be in abundance in Storyville with Living History Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and other organisations.
     
    Storyville will have creative craft stalls, a book shop (with book signings) and be served by the adjacent bar in the Land of Food and Drink. Additional performers will be announced in the run up to the event.
     
    Land of Food and Drink:
    Curated by Scotland Food and Drink, visitors to Bannockburn Live can sample and savour delicious Scottish products, whiskies, real ales and more as well as meet the passionate producers behind them. Visitors can picnic here under giant tipis and enjoy Food Talk, a programme of talk and discussion about Scottish Food – its history and provenance.
     
    Clan & Family Village:
    Around 40 clans from across the UK and overseas will converge at Bannockburn for this historic occasion. Visitors will be invited to meander through the clan society and family community, talk to members and find out about their history and how they can get involved. Audiences can also uncover their own ancestry with ScotlandsPeople, the official genealogical resource for Scotland with expert advice and demonstrations.
     
    Genealogist and Historian to MacDonald and Rees Ltd will lead a panel of qualified genealogists to offer consultations on Family History as well as talks on Records of Finding People, Places and Inheritance. Visitors will also get the opportunity to find out if they were related to anyone that fought at the Battle thanks to the Strathclyde University’s Bannockburn Genealogy Research Project which uses DNA testing.
     
    Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, said: “With the Homecoming 2014 programme well underway and with hundreds of events lined up for the rest of the year, the signature weekend commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn will be a memorable family weekend.
     
    “It will celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage.
     
    “Bannockburn Live is attracting people from across the globe with an affinity to Scotland and given the focus on Scotland’s past I am delighted that 39 individual clan organisations are participating in the event and also by the strong words of support being received from clan representatives both at home and abroad.”
     
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “On the 700th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in Scotland’s history, we had to make sure we created an event to remember - and with such an exceptional amount of activity planned, Bannockburn Live is going to be simply breathtaking.
     
    “All the performers – from those with swords to those with musical instruments – are incredible and it is an honour to have such world-renowned Scottish stars as Dougie MacLean and Julie Fowlis - who we worked with on ‘Brave’ - perform in the atmospheric surroundings of the Bannock Burn in Stirling. It’s going to be an amazing experience for young and old.”
     
    Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, said: “Unique Events are delighted to be involved with Bannockburn Live, to have the opportunity to create a completely new kind of festival, where History takes centre stage. This mix of the theatre (the Battle), national and natural history, outdoor activities and top-class music has not been seen before. We think this is the good-value family event in Scotland this summer. Like the Battle itself, this will be a date to remember.”
     
    Julie Fowlis said: “I am very much looking forward to taking part in the Bannockburn Festival, the line-up is fantastic and it promises to be an exciting weekend. This unique festival will look back to commemorate the milestone of 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn, whilst celebrating the best of contemporary Scotland.
     
    “In addition to the complex choreographed battle displays, I am heartened to see storytelling, debate, conversation and songs at the core of the festival; to discuss and celebrate Scotland's incredible natural landscape, culture, history and traditions.”
     
    Bannockburn Live is one of over 700 events in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme which include the Forth Bridges Festival, Whisky Month, John Muir Festival, Ryder Cup Concert, World Sheepdog Trials and the MTV Europe Music Awards. From Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June, all eyes will be on Stirling as it hosts a spectacular weekend of events including Pipefest (27 June), the Armed Forces Day National Event (28 June) and Bannockburn Live (28-29 June).
     
    The weekend provides an unmissable showcase of 700 years of history, pride in our armed forces, and will create a significant tourism boost to the city and surrounding area in 2014, the year of Homecoming Scotland. Bannockburn Live will run from 10am – 7pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June. Tickets are available at www.bannockburnlive.com Adults (14yrs+) £20; Children (5-13yrs) £12.50; Family ticket £55.00; Children under 5 yrs go free. Up to 20,000 tickets are available for the weekend. Please note: King’s Tickets are now sold out for both days. Due to capacity, the new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre (opened in March 2014) will only be open to King’s Ticket Holders holders during the Bannockburn Live event
    .N

    Celtic and folk music artists Julie Fowlis, Dougie MacLean, Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni will lead over 300 performers in an inspirational one-off festival to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

    VisitScotland and Unique Events joined Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing at Stirling Castle yesterday to unveil the stellar line-up for the Homecoming Scotland 2014 event, Bannockburn Live, a two-day feast of music, culture, ancestry, food and drink and battle performances on 28-29 June 2014.

    Capturing every essence of Scottish culture, the atmospheric Bannockburn battlefield in Stirling will transform into five distinct areas, each with its own unmissable flavour and excitement:

    1314 Encampment:

    Step back in time to June 1314 to explore the bustling encampments and soak up the atmosphere, sights and sounds of medieval life. Witness armour and swords being made in the Blacksmiths, smell the bread baking over fires in the outdoor kitchens, gasp as men are treated in hospital as they come off the battlefield and speak to the warriors about their skills and strategies.

    The Battlefield and medieval encampments will be home to over 300 warriors and camp followers to recreate the Battle of Bannockburn and live the life of 1314. Battles will take place at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm, so you have one of three opportunities to see ‘The Battle’ - the largest event of this nature ever seen in Scotland.

    Choreographed by Clanranald, famous for their work on Hollywood blockbusters Gladiator, Robin Hood and Thor 2 and highly respected throughout the TV Industry, each battle will feature a dedicated professional combat team joining forces with re-enactors from across the UK and Europe to collide on the field in a spectacular demonstration of skill and determination.

    Music Arena:

    The stage will come to life with a top quality mix of folk and contemporary music including two of the country’s finest award-winning artists, Dougie MacLean (Saturday) and Julie Fowlis (Sunday). The stage will be live from 11.15am until 6.45pm. Artists on the Saturday include: Rura, The Deadly Winters, Siobhan Wilson and Saor Patrol.

    Sunday’s Line Up will include Treacherous Orchestra, Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire, Ross Ainslie & Jarlaith Henderson and Cask Strength Ceilidh Band. Additional performers will be announced in the run up to the event.

    Storyville:

    A festival within a festival, Scotland’s culture and history will be told by a range of artists from writers to stand-up comedians and renowned singer-songwriters. Featured musicians include Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni on the Saturday and UK Folk Award 2014 Singer of the Year, Bella Hardy and Idlewild frontman, Roddy Woomble on the Sunday.

    Authors Alistair Moffat and James Robertson take to the stage to talk about their new books ‘Bannockburn: The Battle for a Nation’ and ‘Robert the Bruce: King of Scots’. Family activities will be in abundance in Storyville with Living History Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and other organisations.

    Storyville will have creative craft stalls, a book shop (with book signings) and be served by the adjacent bar in the Land of Food and Drink. Additional performers will be announced in the run up to the event.

    Land of Food and Drink:

    Curated by Scotland Food and Drink, visitors to Bannockburn Live can sample and savour delicious Scottish products, whiskies, real ales and more as well as meet the passionate producers behind them. Visitors can picnic here under giant tipis and enjoy Food Talk, a programme of talk and discussion about Scottish Food – its history and provenance.

    Clan & Family Village:

    Around 40 clans from across the UK and overseas will converge at Bannockburn for this historic occasion. Visitors will be invited to meander through the clan society and family community, talk to members and find out about their history and how they can get involved. Audiences can also uncover their own ancestry with ScotlandsPeople, the official genealogical resource for Scotland with expert advice and demonstrations.

    Genealogist and Historian to MacDonald and Rees Ltd will lead a panel of qualified genealogists to offer consultations on Family History as well as talks on Records of Finding People, Places and Inheritance. Visitors will also get the opportunity to find out if they were related to anyone that fought at the Battle thanks to the Strathclyde University’s Bannockburn Genealogy Research Project which uses DNA testing.

    Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, said: “With the Homecoming 2014 programme well underway and with hundreds of events lined up for the rest of the year, the signature weekend commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn will be a memorable family weekend.

    “It will celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage.

    “Bannockburn Live is attracting people from across the globe with an affinity to Scotland and given the focus on Scotland’s past I am delighted that 39 individual clan organisations are participating in the event and also by the strong words of support being received from clan representatives both at home and abroad.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “On the 700th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in Scotland’s history, we had to make sure we created an event to remember - and with such an exceptional amount of activity planned, Bannockburn Live is going to be simply breathtaking.

    “All the performers – from those with swords to those with musical instruments – are incredible and it is an honour to have such world-renowned Scottish stars as Dougie MacLean and Julie Fowlis - who we worked with on ‘Brave’ - perform in the atmospheric surroundings of the Bannock Burn in Stirling. It’s going to be an amazing experience for young and old.”

    Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, said: “Unique Events are delighted to be involved with Bannockburn Live, to have the opportunity to create a completely new kind of festival, where History takes centre stage. This mix of the theatre (the Battle), national and natural history, outdoor activities and top-class music has not been seen before. We think this is the good-value family event in Scotland this summer. Like the Battle itself, this will be a date to remember.”

    Julie Fowlis said: “I am very much looking forward to taking part in the Bannockburn Festival, the line-up is fantastic and it promises to be an exciting weekend. This unique festival will look back to commemorate the milestone of 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn, whilst celebrating the best of contemporary Scotland.

    “In addition to the complex choreographed battle displays, I am heartened to see storytelling, debate, conversation and songs at the core of the festival; to discuss and celebrate Scotland's incredible natural landscape, culture, history and traditions.”

    Bannockburn Live is one of over 700 events in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme which include the Forth Bridges Festival, Whisky Month, John Muir Festival, Ryder Cup Concert, World Sheepdog Trials and the MTV Europe Music Awards. From Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June, all eyes will be on Stirling as it hosts a spectacular weekend of events including Pipefest (27 June), the Armed Forces Day National Event (28 June) and Bannockburn Live (28-29 June).

    The weekend provides an unmissable showcase of 700 years of history, pride in our armed forces and will create a significant tourism boost to the city and surrounding area in 2014, the year of Homecoming Scotland.

    Bannockburn Live will run from 10am – 7pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June. Tickets are available at www.bannockburnlive.com Adults (14yrs+) £20; Children (5-13yrs) £12.50; Family ticket £55.00; Children under 5 yrs go free. Up to 20,000 tickets are available for the weekend. Please note: King’s Tickets are now sold out for both days. Due to capacity, the new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre (opened in March 2014) will only be open to King’s Ticket Holders holders during the Bannockburn Live event.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 14 March 2014

    Wicker Fans to Go Bonkers as Chart Topping Rapper Takes Centre Stage

    Wickerman, one of Scotland’s best-loved independent music festivals, has revealed that the Friday night headliner for this summer’s event will be British rap superstar Dizzee Rascal. Also joining the red hot Summerisle Stage line-up will be The Feeling, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Zombies and Big Country amongst others.

    On Friday 25th July, Dizzee Rascal is set to deliver an explosive set in what will be his only Scottish festival appearance this year.  Performing an amped up mix of classic hits from his five studio albums, the MC’s roof raising style is set to electrify the crowds.

    Joining him will be English pop rock band The Feeling. The Ivor Novello award winning act will be making their mark on stage with their unique pop rock sound and distinctive vocals.  Motown legends Martha Reeves and the Vandellas are set to deliver what promises to be a show stopping performance. Founded in the 1960s, the group’s string of hits include ‘Nowhere to Run’, ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘Jimmy Mack’.  Their Wickerman appearance is part of Martha’s tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of their biggest hit, ‘Dancing in the Street’. English rock band, The Zombies, will be further enhancing the Festival’s eclectic vibe by performing their iconic1960s hits, such as ‘She’s Not There.’ Their ‘Odessey and Oracle’ album is ranked number 100 in Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.

    Legendary rock band Big Country will add a Scottish touch to proceedings and are sure to stir up a storm with their folk infused sound. Wickerman favourites and Dumfries & Galloway natives Finding Albert will showcase their distinctive blend of rock and electronica whilst Dundee’s Model Aeroplanes, fresh off the back of winning ‘Best Newcomers’ at the 2014 Scottish Alternative Music Awards last weekend promise a set filled with fun and fresh pop music.

    Wickerman Festival Coordinator Helen Chalmers is thrilled to be revealing the first raft of Wickerman 2014 acts. She commented:

    “We are delighted that Dizzee Rascal will be joining the party this year, his live performances are incredible and I can’t wait to see the crowd’s reaction to his headline set.

    From hip hop, pop, folk to motown and alternative rock, this year’s line up will once again be a truly diverse offering and we look forward to announcing further exciting additions including our Saturday night headliner over the coming weeks.”

    Category: International Events

  • 13 March 2014

    Finalists in Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Photography Competition go on Tour

    Photographers from around the world have put the focus on Speyside and its magical malts in an effort to capture an iconic image which truly sums up the spirit of Scotland’s best-loved whisky region.

    Dozens of entries were submitted to the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Photography Competition, and judges have now whittled them into a shortlist of 17 finalists.

    The shortlisted entries will go on tour across Moray and beyond from next week before the overall winners are announced during a ceremony in Benromach Distillery – which sponsors the contest – in April.

    Photographers were asked to submit entries in three different categories - seasons, people and abstract images. Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival chairman James Campbell says settling on a shortlist was a tough task for the judging panel.

    He adds, “The quality of the entries was such that it was extremely difficult to decide which photographs should make the final. The entrants seem to have raised the bar even higher this year – I don’t think we saw one single image which could be described as anything other than superb.

    “The exciting thing for me has been to see the range of different images and how the categories have been interpreted. Many of the photographs feature whisky as you would expect, but others show a very different side to Speyside and its stunning landscape.”

    Michael Urquhart, managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, proprietors of Benromach, adds, “The images in the 2014 contest represent a broad range of subjects which are all very different but quintessentially Speyside in nature.

    “Every year we look forward to see what photographs will be submitted and we are never disappointed by what we see. There is something very special about this competition which produces an exceptionally high standard of work. Perhaps it’s because Speyside is such a magical place that truly inspires those who live in the area and visit it.”

    A touring exhibition of the finalists’ photographs gets underway on Monday, March 17. The first venue to host the collection is Johnstons of Elgin, followed by Baxters of Fochabers on March 31. Benromach Distillery will stage the exhibition for one week starting from April 14, before the images become part of the Grain to Glass Exhibition at St Giles’ Church in Elgin.

    The images will take pride of place at the Festival Hub in the Square at Dufftown for the duration of the Festival from May 1 – 5. They will go on tour at libraries across Moray in May and June, the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh from July, and back to Benromach in September.

    Although the judging panel will vote for their favourite, members of the public will also have the chance to influence one of the awards. The finalists’ photographs are currently on display online at www.spiritofpspeyside.com and visitors to the site are asked to vote for their contender for the People’s Choice. The winner of this competition will be announced later in the year.

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which is now in its 15th year, takes place at venues across the region. A signature event for Homecoming 2014, it will start Whisky Month – a four week national celebration of Scotland’s world class food and drink.

    It will also launch a brand new event this year – The Spirit of Speyside Sessions – which aims to put to spotlight on the area’s traditional music heritage with concerts and ceilidhs being staged in venues closely linked to the whisky industry.

    Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website – www.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter. 

    Category: International Events

  • 13 March 2014

    Games for Scotland aligns with Glasgow 2014’s Queen’s Baton Relay

    Funding for this year’s Games for Scotland legacy programme was announced today (March 13, 2014) by the Scottish Government and EventScotland as part of Commonwealth Week. Taking place in all 32 local authorities, the programme, which celebrates our nation’s love of sport, culture, heritage and role as Games host, will link in with the Queen’s Baton Relay as it makes its way through Scotland on the way to the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony on 23 July.

    The £385k funded programme is administered by EventScotland and delivered by local authorities, which will see events take place as communities across the country welcome the baton. The Queen’s Baton Relay gives everyone the chance to be part of the excitement and countdown to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural event, with Games for Scotland set to maximise the impact of celebrations.

    The Queen’s Baton Relay is the world’s most engaging relay, a unique tradition of the Games that unites the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace. By the time it arrives in Scotland on 14 June, the baton will have travelled over 190,000 kilometres through 69 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. It will then embark on a 40 day journey throughout the nation.  

    With the countdown to the Commonwealth Games well and truly on, Games for Scotland in 2014 aims to inspire more people than ever before to take part, with a real focus on lasting engagement in sport and physical activity, which forms an important part of Games Legacy.

    Launched in 2010, the Games for Scotland programme is designed to inspire, develop and support a range of events throughout the country, which will engender pride in Scotland’s people around our hosting of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. In 2013, over 112,000 people attended or participated in Commonwealth Games-themed sports and cultural activities as part of the programme.

    Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “Legacy is embedded within everything we do around the Games and they have the power to motivate the people of Scotland and capture the imagination of communities throughout the country.

    “The Games for Scotland programme is now well established, and over the course of five years of the project, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in sport and cultural activities. The funding announced today is the perfect link to one of the enduring symbols of the Games, the Queen’s Baton, during its relay across the whole of Scotland, visiting each of the 32 local authorities.

    “This legacy programme will no doubt help to inspire and engender pride around our hosting of the Games.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Games for Scotland has been hugely successful in spreading the message of the Games around Scotland’s communities since 2010. With the Queen’s Baton Relay making its way round Scotland in June and July there is a natural fit for the programme to support local authorities to maximise the impact of events celebrating its arrival.”

    David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is an opportunity for thousands of people across Scotland to join the celebrations of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. By cheering on batonbearers and joining the events and activities in their communities, people up and down the nation will be taking part in a unique moment, one that will be remembered for years to come.”

    Category: National Programme

  • 13 March 2014

    Programme announced for 11th Edinburgh Art Festival

    Edinburgh Art Festival, the UK’s largest annual celebration of visual art, is pleased to announce details of its 2014 festival programme. The festival features a month-long calendar of more than 40 exhibitions alongside special events, performances and tours across 30 of the city’s museums, galleries and institutions, as well as artist-run, temporary and pop-up spaces. In its 11th year the festival will bring together over 100 leading and emerging Scottish and international artists. As part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and during the year of Homecoming Scotland, this year's programme will also see the presentation of a major international group exhibition bringing together five curators and 20 artists from across five Commonwealth countries.

    Highlights include:

    The solo exhibitions in Scotland by leading contemporary artists Isa Genzken and Wim Delvoye, and major exhibitions by Susan Hiller, John Byrne and Leon Morrocco, together with a new commission by Tris Vonna-Michell

     An international exhibition programmed by Edinburgh Art Festival, Where do I end and you begin, bringing together curators and artists from across the Commonwealth, including Amar Kanwar and Shilpa Gupta

     A wave of new exhibitions opening as part of GENERATION, a landmark event celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, including exhibitions by Katie Paterson and Mick Peter at Jupiter Artland, Dalziel + Scullion at Dovecot Studios, alongside group presentations of key contemporary Scottish artists at City Art Centre and Talbot Rice Gallery

     In-depth art historical surveys including an overview of American Impressionism featuring works by Degas, Monet, Cassatt, Sargent and Whistler; the presentation of drawn and painting work by renowned art critic and artist John Ruskin; and the only UK showing of Chinese treasures from Ming: The Golden Empire

    A group show of newly-commissioned work at New Media Scotland, and exhibitions and performances showcasing the best emerging talent at Interview Room 11, GARAGE, the Glasshouse at Lauriston Castle and Edinburgh College of Art, amongst others

    Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said: “As the only major annual festival dedicated to the visual arts within the UK, Edinburgh Art Festival occupies a uniquely important place in the cultural calendar. Our 2014 programme continues to provide audiences with an unrivalled opportunity to immerse themselves in the very best historic and contemporary art, with an extraordinarily rich series of solo and group presentations of Scottish contemporary artists alongside exhibitions of leading international artists, many showing in the UK for the very first time.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the Edinburgh Art Festival is a hugely important part of Scotland’s annual festival offering with the impressive programme giving both new and established artists a platform to express their work. Supported by EventScotland and Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Commonwealth Exhibition at City Art Centre will see curators from five Commonwealth countries, present more than 20 emerging contemporary artists in the year Scotland will welcome the world to the Glasgow 2014 Games.

    Category: International Events

  • 07 March 2014

    Scotland House at the Games

    Glasgow’s City Halls and Old Fruitmarket are to be transformed into a hub to celebrate Scotland’s sporting success, culture and business potential during the Commonwealth Games.

    The hub will host a range of events to capitalise on the Games and exploit the international and domestic business opportunities presented by Scotland hosting the Games.

    The ‘House’ concept is a major part of every Commonwealth Games. There have been similar Scotland bases across the world, including in Delhi in 2010, and are designed to create the best welcome ever for athletes and their families, the public and key business people as well as celebrate the success of Team Scotland medal winners.

    Scotland House will be open from July 21 to August 3 and is a partnership between Commonwealth Games Scotland, the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Glasgow City Council, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland - with each partner contributing equally to the approx. £500,000 budget.      

    Scotland House will also include a private space for Team Scotland athletes and their families to meet and for post competition media activity. Next door, the Fruitmarket will be operated by Festival 2014 with an exciting programme of public events planned. Team Scotland events such as the Flag Bearer Ceremony, Queen’s Baton Relay, medallists’ nights and the Team Scotland closing celebration are already planned, while a range of business events, meetings and other activity will also be held there to ensure that business opportunities are maximised.

    The Scotland House business programme is designed to connect companies across Scotland with new international market opportunities in commonwealth countries.  A series of  targeted events are planned to showcase Scotland and Glasgow’s strengths and expertise across a range of sectors. 

    These national sectors include life sciences, food and drink, textiles, low carbon industries, engineering, design and manufacturing, financial and business services as well as tourism and events, and higher and further education. 

    Partners including Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau will host a range of business to business events during Games time.

    Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:

    “We are delighted that such a range of influential partners have come together to support Team Scotland through the delivery of Scotland House and build on the successful formula developed by Commonwealth Games Scotland over the last four Games.

    “Scotland House will provide that vital safe haven for the athletes and their family and friends and be the focal point for team sponsors and supporters to celebrate Scottish participation and success. With the added strategic cultural and business engagement opportunities which are being built into the programme, Scotland House will be the perfect showcase for all that is great about Scotland and the Commonwealth Games. It will undoubtedly be the place to be this summer!”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:   

    “2014 is the year that Scotland welcomes the world with the country taking centre stage.   Scotland House will be the place to be during the Games and give us the opportunity to put the spotlight on Glasgow and Scotland like never before.”

    Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said:

    “Our extensive programme of business events at Scotland House will showcase some of our country's most exciting sectors and companies to an international audience.  We want to connect Scottish businesses with new and emerging international commonwealth markets, opening up new avenues for growth and collaboration.

    “During 2014, we have an unparalleled opportunity to build a long-term international trade and investment legacy for our economy through a host of exciting business activity that we, and our partners, will deliver.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:

    “We look forward to working closely with our partners in Scotland House to celebrate both the success of our athletes and Glasgow and Scotland’s many economic and cultural strengths.  The Glasgow Business Embassy within Scotland House will allow local firms and organisations to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect with overseas markets including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Jamaica, promoting the fantastic opportunities in the city to a global audience.”

    Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said: 

    “Scotland is ready to host what will be the greatest Games ever. This will be the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has hosted and this Government and our partners are determined to maximise benefits beyond 2014.

    “This Government is determined to exploit the economic opportunities of the Games and to leave a lasting sporting, social and business legacy. Scotland House will be a great venue for locals and visitors to get a warm Scottish welcome and to soak up the atmosphere of the Games.

    “Everyone has a role in making Scotland shine even brighter in 2014. Scotland House will support our work to show the world that Scotland is a great place to live, work and invest by hosting an invigorating programme of formal and informal events to strengthen business and cultural links, connect our companies with new markets and business growth opportunities, and to leave a lasting Games legacy for Glasgow and Scotland.”

    Category: International Events

  • 05 March 2014

    Register now to see Farah and Ohuruogu at the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix

    Ticket registration for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix opens today as British Athletics confirm that double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) and world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) will be amongst the world’s biggest names in athletics competing at Hampden Park on 11-12 July 2014.

    The British duo will head to Hampden Park for a weekend of world-class IAAF Diamond League action and demand for tickets will be high. Sports fans have two weeks from today to register for tickets (5-19 March) via www.britishathletics.org.uk

    Farah will make his first track appearance since winning double gold at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow and he is excited about getting back out in front of a home crowd at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.   

    Farah said: “Glasgow will be one of my first track appearances in front of a home crowd in 2014, and having produced my best in front of the British public in London, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and taking in the home support. Nothing in the world can compare to a British crowd and I will be doing everything I can to get the Hampden crowd going.”

    Ohuruogu, who broke the British record on her way to claim the world 400m crown in the Russian capital, will be making her first appearance in the city since 2006 after starring at the annual International Match at its previous home, Kelvin Hall.

    “It is a real privilege to be competing at the first ever athletics event at Hampden. To have potentially 30,000 there in July, it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere for both athletes and spectators,” said Ohuruogu.  

    British Athletics’ Chief Executive Niels de Vos added: “Mo and Christine are two of the greatest ever British athletes and we are delighted that they will be taking part in the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix this summer.

    “They will be joined by all of the top box office attractions from the world of athletics. Athletes love competing in the UK knowing that they will get incredible support and a fantastic atmosphere in Glasgow.

    “I’d urge everyone to ensure they register their interest on the British Athletics website. Last year for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, the number of people registering massively outweighed the number of tickets available, which meant that they never went on public sale. With Commonwealth Games athletics tickets heavily oversubscribed, we fully expect the same situation to occur again, so it is vital to register to be in with a chance of seeing the world’s best at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”  

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The announcement that Mo Farrah and Christine Ohuruogu will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, underlines the quality of athletes competing at the event at Hampden. With a host of World and Olympic medals to their names, it will be a unique opportunity to see two of Britain’s best athletes competing in Scotland, with more names to be confirmed in the coming months. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and I am sure that tickets for this round of the IAAF Diamond League will be in high demand during what is an incredible year for sporting events.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 March 2014

    Glasgow Film Festival Reaches 40,000 Admissions in 10th Year

     

    The tenth Glasgow Film Festival supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Event Scotland, 
    Creative Scotland and The BFI, closed tonight with the Scottish Premiere of Under The Skin. A packed 
    programme of 369 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and pop-up cinema events ran 
    across the city throughout February, and while final box office figures were unavailable at time of going 
    to press, organisers can confirm that they’ve already broken 40,000 total admissions, and are delighted 
    that the Festival has managed to reach that particular milestone in ten years. 
    Allan Hunter, Festival Co-Director, said: 
    ‘This has been a thrilling tenth edition of Glasgow Film Festival. Our loyal and growing audience have 
    more than confirmed their status as one of the best festival crowds in the world, greeting our guests with 
    rousing welcomes and standing ovations, and, as the numbers show, turning up in droves. We put 
    together a huge programme of UK and European premieres, vintage treats and the unique pop-up 
    events that have become a GFF speciality, and our audiences have provided us with enough 
    encouragement and love to keep the Festival going. We’re all happily exhausted, inspired and glowing 
    with gratitude that such a marvellous team effort has been met by such a generous public vote of 
    confidence. Roll on 2015!’ 

    The tenth Glasgow Film Festival supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Event Scotland, Creative Scotland and The BFI, closed tonight with the Scottish Premiere of Under The Skin. A packed programme of 369 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and pop-up cinema events ran across the city throughout February, and while final box office figures were unavailable at time of going to press, organisers can confirm that they’ve already broken 40,000 total admissions, and are delighted that the Festival has managed to reach that particular milestone in ten years.

    Allan Hunter, Festival Co-Director, said: ‘This has been a thrilling tenth edition of Glasgow Film Festival. Our loyal and growing audience have more than confirmed their status as one of the best festival crowds in the world, greeting our guests with rousing welcomes and standing ovations, and, as the numbers show, turning up in droves. We put together a huge programme of UK and European premieres, vintage treats and the unique pop-up events that have become a GFF speciality, and our audiences have provided us with enough encouragement and love to keep the Festival going. We’re all happily exhausted, inspired and glowing with gratitude that such a marvellous team effort has been met by such a generous public vote of confidence. Roll on 2015!’ 

     

    Category: International Events

  • 28 February 2014

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials Links Up With HorseBack UK

    The Blair Castle International Horse Trials official charity for 2014 will be HorseBack UK.  The Aberdeenshire-based charity works with wounded veterans by introducing them to horses to help improve their rehabilitation, mobility and confidence.  2014 is the Centenary Year of World War One which will create even more awareness for this importance cause.

    HorseBack UK not only helps service personnel who have been mentally and physically scarred it also employs instructors who have themselves been injured as a result of service to their country.  The charity will benefit from raising its profile at the 2014 Blair Castle International Horse Trials (21-24 August), which attracts over 40,000 spectators every year. There will also be the opportunity to collect donations throughout the four days of competition at Blair Castle, which itself was converted into an auxiliary hospital during World War One.

    Alec Lochore, Event Director of Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair, commented “HorseBack UK has developed a unique concept in providing aid through riding horses to veterans who have been wounded during active service. Both organisations share a love of horses and we look forward to providing support to HorseBack UK”.

    Jock Hutchison at HorseBack UK, said “This partnership is the perfect way for us to raise awareness of the good that can be done through introducing injured servicemen and women to horses and with the very best athletes from the sport of eventing competing at Blair Castle we will be able to build on this association”.

    Alec Lochore added “We expect this year’s event to be a hugely busy occasion with a host of competitions and activities for spectators to enjoy.  It will also provide the stepping stone to the Blair Castle FEI European Eventing Championships in September 2015, providing Scotland with a major international competition to look forward to”.

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair takes place from 21 – 24 August 2014. The box office opens on 1st May.  For more information visit our website:  www.blairhorsetrials.co.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 27 February 2014

    Edinburgh Round for 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will feature ten venues this May and June, as the five-week season takes place across Britain with rounds from Edinburgh in the north to Jersey in the south.

    The Scottish capital is one of three new venues to join the Series, which will once again be televised by ITV4, bringing action packed and exciting team-based racing into living rooms across the UK.

    Stoke-on-Trent will host the opening round of the Series on Tuesday 13 May, after which Barrow, Peterborough, Aberystwyth, Durham, Edinburgh, Redditch, Canary Wharf and Woking will all host events, before the final round at Gorey on Jersey.

    In addition to Edinburgh, Barrow and Jersey will also host rounds for the first time, while Stoke-on-Trent and Woking continue their unbroken record of having hosted a round in every year of the Series.

    “This year’s Series has an outstanding list of venues, including rounds in the capital cities of both England and Scotland”, said Pearl Izumi Tour Series Race Director Mick Bennett.

    “We have a great variety of venues and circuits which will test the teams and their tactics and ensure that whoever is crowned Champions on Jersey is rightfully the best British team of 2014.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is an exciting, unique concept for city centre road racing, and Edinburgh will undoubtedly provide an ideal backdrop for the action. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are delighted to once again be hosting a round of the series, which will showcase cycling to a large audience in our capital city. Edinburgh is an ideal city to hold a major bike race, and the sight of the teams racing through the city centre will certainly be a sight to behold.”

    Cllr Steve Cardownie, Festival & Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council, added:  “We’re delighted that Sweetspot is bringing the event to Edinburgh for the very first time, giving residents an adrenaline fuelled glimpse of Britain’s top professional cyclists battling it out on our city streets. There’s a huge cycling community here and I can think of no better backdrop for this exhilarating challenge than Edinburgh’s dramatic city centre. I’m pleased also that there will be opportunities for young, up-and-coming cyclists to race each other as part of the event programme.”

    As well as ten circuit race or criterium rounds, teams will also contest an opening Team Time Trial at Round One in Stoke-on-Trent and a double-header final round on Jersey, which includes an individual hill climb above the beautiful setting of Gorey harbour.

    Pearl Izumi, world leader's in technical cycling, triathlon, running and active outdoor wear, will continue as title partners of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the next three years, thanks to Madison’s sponsorship, which was celebrated in the launch event at the final day of their iceBike show today.

    Past winners of the competition are Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011), Endura Racing (2012) and Team UK Youth (2013).

    Category: International Events

  • 27 February 2014

    Homecoming Whisky Month gets set to attract 70,000

     

    From the glorious grandeur of Whisky Stramash (24 & 25 May) at Edinburgh’s Surgeons’ Hall to the spectacular surroundings at the Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May), May 2014 toasts the arrival of Whisky Month - a unique programme of events celebrating the ‘water of life’ as part of the Year of Homecoming.  
    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.  
    Taking place throughout Scotland from 1 - 31 May, the programme of nineteen funded events will showcase the very best of Scotland’s food, drink, music and culture.  It is expected that Whisky Month events will attract audiences in the region of 70,000.
    Festivities include a programme of concerts combining the very best in jazz with the tastiest of whisky at Jazz and Dram, part of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival (3 & 4 May), a brand new food court at the popular 2014 Gordon Castle Highland Games (18 May) and a pop-up ‘Culture and Cocktails’ event in Aberdeen (3 May) celebrating the best in African food, drink and entertainment. 
    Fantastic Festivals
    One of the best-loved whisky festivals will become even bigger this year, combining music with malt to produce a mouth-watering cocktail of entertainment. Now in its 15th year, The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival (1-5 May) will launch the Spirit of Speyside Sessions – a new world-class music event celebrating the area’s rich traditional music heritage. Launched as part of the Festival’s programme for the Year of Homecoming Scotland, it boasts an impressive line-up of first rate traditional music acts, comedians and ceilidhs. 
    Perthshire’s rich whisky heritage will be celebrated on 3 May at The Home of Whisky Festival with free dram tokens, in-depth tasting master classes and some of the most knowledgeable whisky experts on hand to inspire and inform.   The brand new Highland Perthshire Whisky Festival taking place in Pitlochry (23 – 25 May) will also have a full programme of events including film screenings, exhibitions and a superb new production of the musical ‘Whisky Kisses.’
    Feis Ile – Islay Festival of Malt and Music (24 May -1 June) will raise its very own glass to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.   The island-wide festival will encompass all eight of Islay’s famous distilleries with many more events popping up in venues across the island throughout the week in a perfect marriage of music and malts – a whisky lovers paradise. 
    Glasgow’s Homecoming Whisky Festival will take place at The Arches on 17 May.  With over 40 stands, set within five atmospheric stone arches, the festival will give attendees the chance to sample some of Scotland’s best drams as well as whiskies from around the globe.
    Spirit of Stirling 2014 (9 & 10 May) will represent all of Scotland’s whisky regions alongside a packed programme of master classes and tasting sessions, this sell-out success year on year has been enlarged especially for Whisky Month. 
    A ‘virtual tasting’  is just one of the events set to take place at Eden Brewery in St Andrews as part of ‘The Angels Craft’ celebrations for Whisky Month (1-10 May).  The growing trend in brewing whisky-flavoured craft beer and the intricacies of brewing whisky beer will also be discussed with a number of leading experts.
    World Whisky Day will invite everyone to try a dram on 17 May with supporters signing up to host their own events in Scotland and across the globe.
    Drams & Delicacies 
    Food plays an important role in Whisky Month 2014 with a selection of exclusive tastings, dinners and multi-sensory journeys.  The National Piping Centre in Glasgow has created a brand new event entitled ‘Whisky Pairing and Piping’ to celebrate Whisky Month.  Running over four evenings (1/8/15/22 May), The Pipers’ Tryst Restaurant will highlight the deep seeded connection between Scottish traditional music and whisky.  
    The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh will open its doors to non-members and members alike with a month long programme (1-31 May) celebrating a kaleidoscope of food and drink experiences with some of Scotland’s finest producers.  This year will see the world’s widest selection of single cask, rare whisky playfully linked with Scottish clans to tie in with the Year of Homecoming.
    Create:Eat:Whisky will transform a former milk factory in Leith, Edinburgh (14-20 May) offering a multi-sensory whisky adventure.  Focusing on four key flavours, guests will be treated to an immersive experience that will evoke the sights, sounds and scents encountered in the whisky making process from grain to glass.  Marrying Malts and Molecules in Glasgow (24 May) will also explore the multi-sensory approach.  This event will demystify Scotch myths as well as explore Scottish food and whisky at a molecular level with some unique tasting experiences.
    On the 17 and 18 May, the Loch Fyne Food Fair at Cairndow will explore the connections between whisky and food.
    Blethers, Blends, Barrels and Box Offices
    A brand-new production of Mull Theatre’s acclaimed version of Compton Mackenzie’s famous story will tour throughout May 2014 (7-31 May) across a number of locations including Inverness, Oban, Isle of Jura, Ullapool, Perthshire and Ben Nevis Distillery in Fort William, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland.
    Whisky Words and Wisdom (various dates in May) will see Scotland's most southerly distillery join forces with the owners of Wigtown's bookshops to celebrate the 'Spirit of the Lowlands' in a month long Whisky, Words and Wisdom Festival. To celebrate the Year of Homecoming, visitors and locals will get the chance to experience an eclectic mix of readings, talks, music and storytelling, combined with a celebration of local food and drink, focusing on whisky.

    From the glorious grandeur of Whisky Stramash (24 & 25 May) at Edinburgh’s Surgeons’ Hall to the spectacular surroundings at the Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May), May 2014 toasts the arrival of Whisky Month - a unique programme of events celebrating the ‘water of life’ as part of the Year of Homecoming.

    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.

    Taking place throughout Scotland from 1 - 31 May, the programme of nineteen funded events will showcase the very best of Scotland’s food, drink, music and culture.  It is expected that Whisky Month events will attract audiences in the region of 70,000.

    Festivities include a programme of concerts combining the very best in jazz with the tastiest of whisky at Jazz and Dram, part of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival (3 & 4 May), a brand new food court at the popular 2014 Gordon Castle Highland Games (18 May) and a pop-up ‘Culture and Cocktails’ event in Aberdeen (3 May) celebrating the best in African food, drink and entertainment. 

    Fantastic Festivals

    One of the best-loved whisky festivals will become even bigger this year, combining music with malt to produce a mouth-watering cocktail of entertainment. Now in its 15th year, The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival (1-5 May) will launch the Spirit of Speyside Sessions – a new world-class music event celebrating the area’s rich traditional music heritage. Launched as part of the Festival’s programme for the Year of Homecoming Scotland, it boasts an impressive line-up of first rate traditional music acts, comedians and ceilidhs. 

    Perthshire’s rich whisky heritage will be celebrated on 3 May at The Home of Whisky Festival with free dram tokens, in-depth tasting master classes and some of the most knowledgeable whisky experts on hand to inspire and inform.   The brand new Highland Perthshire Whisky Festival taking place in Pitlochry (23 – 25 May) will also have a full programme of events including film screenings, exhibitions and a superb new production of the musical ‘Whisky Kisses.’

    Feis Ile – Islay Festival of Malt and Music (24 May -1 June) will raise its very own glass to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.   The island-wide festival will encompass all eight of Islay’s famous distilleries with many more events popping up in venues across the island throughout the week in a perfect marriage of music and malts – a whisky lovers paradise. 

    Glasgow’s Homecoming Whisky Festival will take place at The Arches on 17 May.  With over 40 stands, set within five atmospheric stone arches, the festival will give attendees the chance to sample some of Scotland’s best drams as well as whiskies from around the globe.

    Spirit of Stirling 2014 (9 & 10 May) will represent all of Scotland’s whisky regions alongside a packed programme of master classes and tasting sessions, this sell-out success year on year has been enlarged especially for Whisky Month. 

    A ‘virtual tasting’  is just one of the events set to take place at Eden Brewery in St Andrews as part of ‘The Angels Craft’ celebrations for Whisky Month (1-10 May).  The growing trend in brewing whisky-flavoured craft beer and the intricacies of brewing whisky beer will also be discussed with a number of leading experts.
    World Whisky Day will invite everyone to try a dram on 17 May with supporters signing up to host their own events in Scotland and across the globe.

    Drams & Delicacies

    Food plays an important role in Whisky Month 2014 with a selection of exclusive tastings, dinners and multi-sensory journeys.  The National Piping Centre in Glasgow has created a brand new event entitled ‘Whisky Pairing and Piping’ to celebrate Whisky Month.  Running over four evenings (1/8/15/22 May), The Pipers’ Tryst Restaurant will highlight the deep seeded connection between Scottish traditional music and whisky.  

    The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh will open its doors to non-members and members alike with a month long programme (1-31 May) celebrating a kaleidoscope of food and drink experiences with some of Scotland’s finest producers.  This year will see the world’s widest selection of single cask, rare whisky playfully linked with Scottish clans to tie in with the Year of Homecoming.

    Create:Eat:Whisky will transform a former milk factory in Leith, Edinburgh (14-20 May) offering a multi-sensory whisky adventure.  Focusing on four key flavours, guests will be treated to an immersive experience that will evoke the sights, sounds and scents encountered in the whisky making process from grain to glass.  Marrying Malts and Molecules in Glasgow (24 May) will also explore the multi-sensory approach.  This event will demystify Scotch myths as well as explore Scottish food and whisky at a molecular level with some unique tasting experiences.

    On the 17 and 18 May, the Loch Fyne Food Fair at Cairndow will explore the connections between whisky and food.

    Blethers, Blends, Barrels and Box Offices

    A brand-new production of Mull Theatre’s acclaimed version of Compton Mackenzie’s famous story will tour throughout May 2014 (7-31 May) across a number of locations including Inverness, Oban, Isle of Jura, Ullapool, Perthshire and Ben Nevis Distillery in Fort William, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland.Whisky Words and Wisdom (various dates in May) will see Scotland's most southerly distillery join forces with the owners of Wigtown's bookshops to celebrate the 'Spirit of the Lowlands' in a month long Whisky, Words and Wisdom Festival. To celebrate the Year of Homecoming, visitors and locals will get the chance to experience an eclectic mix of readings, talks, music and storytelling, combined with a celebration of local food and drink, focusing on whisky.

     For further information on the Whisky Month programme and for further information on Homecoming Scotland 2014 visit www.homecomingscotland.com/whiskymonth

     

    Category: Food and Drink

  • 20 February 2014

    PR Unwrapped sessions for those working in the creative industries

    As you know, particularly in such a crowded marketplace, good publicity is one of the key ingredients to getting your event seen by the right people - the audience and funders. Many musicians, performers and artists however just don't have the budget to hire the services of a PR agency. Each session gives a step by step guide to the essentials of good PR and media communications, focusing on planning, press releases, pitching to the media and social media. The workshops are designed to cumulatively build your understanding and skills to enable you to successfully promote your event, concert or festival to the media.
    We believe this is a great way to share our experience of the arts media landscape with the aim of empowering musicians, artists and event organisers and to professionally sell their story.

    In a crowded marketplace, good publicity is key to getting your event seen by the right people - the audience and funders. However, many musicians, performers and artists don't have the budget to hire the services of a PR agency.

     A series of arts PR sessions will be aimed at artists, performers and administrators working in the creative industries. 

     Each session gives a step by step guide to the essentials of good PR and media communications, focusing on planning, press releases, pitching to the media and social media. The workshops are designed to cumulatively build your understanding and skills to enable you to successfully promote your event, concert or festival to the media. These sessions are a great way to empower musicians, artists and event organisers and to sell their work.

     

    Thursday 27 March

     Session 1: Planning (9.30-12.30)

     What is PR

     Why do I need PR

     How do I do it

     Creating a strategy

     Press kits

     Industry jargon

     

    Session 2: Press Releases (1.30-4.30)

     What is a press release

     Layout and content

     Tone and language

     Finding the angle

     Issuing a release

     Practical session: writing a press release

     

    Friday 28 March

     Session 1: Pitching to the Media (9.30-12.30)

    What is pitching and why do I need to do it

    Knowing your objectives and what you want to achieve

    Understanding the media landscape

    Understanding the role of a journalist

    Do's and don'ts when pitching your story

     

    Session 2: Social Media (1.30-4.30)

     Understanding the social media landscape and deciding what works for you

    Facebook for the arts

    Twitter top 10 tips

     Blogging: why blog and what do I say

     YouTube: to upload or not to upload

     Podcasts: how to structure and edit a podcast

     

    Cost: 1 or 2 sessions £75 each, 3 sessions £200, 4 sessions £250 10% discount for students.

     

    Please visit www.prunwrapped.com or contact vicky@vjpmedia.com (07973 304286) or jane@janenicolson.com (07887 500 977) for more information or to book your place.

    Category: Industry News

  • 14 February 2014

    Tax Exemption Confirmed for Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix

    HRMC has today announced it will provide a one-off income tax exemption for international athletes at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, to be held from 11 to 12 July at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Part of the IAAF Diamond League – an annual series of athletics meetings taking place internationally – the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will take place in Scotland for the first time this year.

    Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson is delighted with today's announcement. He commented: “Hosting the Diamond League series for the first time is another huge honour for Glasgow in this special year. Today’s announcement by the UK Treasury is very welcome as Glasgow builds on its position as one of the world’s top ten sporting cities.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Hosting the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, a leg of the IAAF Diamond League is testament to our credentials as a major event destination and we welcome the HRMC announcement today agreeing a tax exemption for non-UK athletes. Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and this exemption will help to attract the world’s leading athletes to the event in July. We will continue to work closely with British Athletics, Glasgow Life and the other event partners and sponsors to fully maximise the opportunity presented by hosting a world-class athletics meet, with further details to be announced in the coming months.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 14 February 2014

    Applications to take part in the Commonwealth Ceremonies close TODAY at 5pm.

     

    They want the diversity of Glasgow to be on show to the world and anyone above the age of 18 is welcome to take part and no previous experience or skills are required. You still have time today to apply to be a Ceremonies Volunteer Cast Performer! This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of an event which will showcase and celebrate Glasgow and Scotland to a global audience. No previous experience or specific skills are required – you simply need to have to be over 18, have enthusiasm and commitment. It's going to be an amazing experience! Apply at www.glasgow2014.com/cast Applications to join the Ceremonies Cast close at 17:00hrs on Friday 14 February 2014.
    Glasgow 2014 are looking for up to 3,000 volunteers to take part in the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year. They want all the diversity of Glasgow to be on show to the world and anyone above the age of 18 is welcome to take part and no previous experience or skills are required. 
     This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of an event which will showcase and celebrate Glasgow and Scotland to a global audience. 
     No previous experience or specific skills are required – you simply need to have to be over 18, have enthusiasm and commitment. It's going to be an amazing experience! Apply at www.glasgow2014.com/cast 
     Applications to join the Ceremonies Cast close at 17:00hrs on Friday 14 February 2014.

    You still have time today to apply to be a Ceremonies Volunteer Cast Performer!

    Glasgow 2014 are looking for up to 3,000 volunteers to take part in the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year. They want all the diversity of Glasgow to be on show to the world and anyone above the age of 18 is welcome to take part and no previous experience or skills are required.  This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of an event which will showcase and celebrate Glasgow and Scotland to a global audience.  

     This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of an event which will showcase and celebrate Glasgow and Scotland to a global audience.

    No previous experience or specific skills are required – you simply need to have to be over 18, have enthusiasm and commitment.

    It's going to be an amazing experience! Apply at www.glasgow2014.com/cast

    Applications to join the Ceremonies Cast close at 17:00hrs on Friday 14 February 2014.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 12 February 2014

    Scotland reaps the benefits of 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open

     

    Scotland reaps the benefits of 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open
    12 February 2014: Impressive results of an economic impact study of hosting the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews in Scotland were revealed today. The report shows that the global media exposure for Scotland over the four days of the Championship reached £8.33m and the net total impact (on Scotland) of the 2013 Championship was estimated at £5.2m, up £0.5m, when compared with the 2011 edition at Carnoustie.
    The study, undertaken by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and commissioned by event organisers the Ladies’ Golf Union and IMG, EventScotland, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise, assessed the economic impact generated by the 2013 Championship on the local economy (Fife) and wider Scottish economy taking into account spending and activities of golfers, spectators, media, event staff, sponsors, and the organisers.
    Speaking on behalf of the Championship, Ross Hallett, VP IMG Golf, said “The Ricoh Women’s British Open is one of the highlights of the Women’s global golf schedule and to bring the event back to St Andrews, was a very popular move for players and fans alike and much credit goes to EventScotland for their commitment to the delivery of world-class golf in Scotland. The results of the study underline the importance of the Championship to the local and national economies and we are looking forward to returning to Scotland in 2015.”
    Paul Bush, COO of EventScotland, said “We are delighted with the impact that the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open has made to not only the local economy in Fife but to the rest of Scotland. Hosting an event of such prestige underlines not only Scotland’s position as The Home of Golf but also home to the world’s biggest golf events. The Ricoh Women’s British Open remains a key component in our golf event investment programme and with the ever increasing TV and media exposure that the tournament delivers I am certain that we will be in for another great instalment in 2015 at Turnberry.”
    The Championship at St Andrews was the second instalment of a multi-year commitment by EventScotland to support the Ricoh Women’s British Open in Scotland, which runs up to and including 2019. As a direct result of the Championship the net direct expenditure (of visitors and organisers) in Fife equated to £3.46m, an increase of £0.57m, when compared with the effects on Angus of the 2011 Ricoh Women's Open at Carnoustie.
    Cllr. Lesley Laird, of Fife Council, added: “Golf tourism is a hugely important economic driver for Fife and hosting major golf events is a key part of that. The Ricoh Women’s British Open is another successful example of St Andrews and Fife playing host to key golf events and we look forward to welcoming yet another huge event when The Open Championship returns to the Kingdom in 2015.
    “The financial benefits to Fife in pure monetary terms are obvious but it is also much more than that.  It is about continuing to grow and market our reputation and showcase the extensive and excellent golf courses and golf tourism businesses across the Kingdom. 
    We will continue to support the growth of golf tourism and events in Fife through the Fife Golf Partnership.”
    The percentage of spectators that planned to revisit Fife (for leisure) within a year increased to 71% of all visitors (including those from elsewhere in Scotland), based upon their experiences at St Andrews during the 2013 Ricoh Women's Open; whilst two-thirds of all visitors to Scotland expected to return within a year.  More than 40% of all spectators and 20% of those residing overseas planned to attend the next Scottish hosting of the Championship at Turnberry in 2015 – exemplifying the global pull of the Ricoh Women's Open.
    According to the media equivalency value, the exposure from global television coverage and national and international print media, increased four- fold compared with the 2007 Championship at St Andrews and this helped to showcase Scotland as a visitor destination.  Global broadcast hours increased significantly from 357 hours of coverage in 2007 to 3,166 hours for the 2013 Championship. 

    Impressive results of an economic impact study of hosting the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews in Scotland were revealed today.

    The report shows that the global media exposure for Scotland over the four days of the Championship reached £8.33m and the net total impact (on Scotland) of the 2013 Championship was estimated at £5.2m, up £0.5m, when compared with the 2011 edition at Carnoustie.

    The study, undertaken by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and commissioned by event organisers the Ladies’ Golf Union and IMG, EventScotland, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise, assessed the economic impact generated by the 2013 Championship on the local economy (Fife) and wider Scottish economy taking into account spending and activities of golfers, spectators, media, event staff, sponsors, and the organisers.

    Speaking on behalf of the Championship, Ross Hallett, VP IMG Golf, said “The Ricoh Women’s British Open is one of the highlights of the Women’s global golf schedule and to bring the event back to St Andrews, was a very popular move for players and fans alike and much credit goes to EventScotland for their commitment to the delivery of world-class golf in Scotland. The results of the study underline the importance of the Championship to the local and national economies and we are looking forward to returning to Scotland in 2015.”

    Paul Bush, COO of EventScotland, said “We are delighted with the impact that the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open has made to not only the local economy in Fife but to the rest of Scotland. Hosting an event of such prestige underlines not only Scotland’s position as The Home of Golf but also home to the world’s biggest golf events. The Ricoh Women’s British Open remains a key component in our golf event investment programme and with the ever increasing TV and media exposure that the tournament delivers I am certain that we will be in for another great instalment in 2015 at Turnberry.”

    The Championship at St Andrews was the second instalment of a multi-year commitment by EventScotland to support the Ricoh Women’s British Open in Scotland, which runs up to and including 2019. As a direct result of the Championship the net direct expenditure (of visitors and organisers) in Fife equated to £3.46m, an increase of £0.57m, when compared with the effects on Angus of the 2011 Ricoh Women's Open at Carnoustie.

    Cllr. Lesley Laird, of Fife Council, added: “Golf tourism is a hugely important economic driver for Fife and hosting major golf events is a key part of that. The Ricoh Women’s British Open is another successful example of St Andrews and Fife playing host to key golf events and we look forward to welcoming yet another huge event when The Open Championship returns to the Kingdom in 2015.

    “The financial benefits to Fife in pure monetary terms are obvious but it is also much more than that.  It is about continuing to grow and market our reputation and showcase the extensive and excellent golf courses and golf tourism businesses across the Kingdom. We will continue to support the growth of golf tourism and events in Fife through the Fife Golf Partnership.”

    The percentage of spectators that planned to revisit Fife (for leisure) within a year increased to 71% of all visitors (including those from elsewhere in Scotland), based upon their experiences at St Andrews during the 2013 Ricoh Women's Open; whilst two-thirds of all visitors to Scotland expected to return within a year. More than 40% of all spectators and 20% of those residing overseas planned to attend the next Scottish hosting of the Championship at Turnberry in 2015 – exemplifying the global pull of the Ricoh Women's Open.

    According to the media equivalency value, the exposure from global television coverage and national and international print media, increased four- fold compared with the 2007 Championship at St Andrews and this helped to showcase Scotland as a visitor destination.  Global broadcast hours increased significantly from 357 hours of coverage in 2007 to 3,166 hours for the 2013 Championship. 

     

    Image credit Getty Images

    Category: International Events

  • 11 February 2014

    Official Commemorative Ryder Cup coins launched with Royal Mint

     

    Official Commemorative Ryder Cup coins launched with Royal Mint
    A special commemorative set of coins and medals is to be launched in celebration of The 2014 Ryder Cup after The Royal Mint agreed the first deal of its kind for Ryder Cup Europe.
    Sculpted plaster models of the first design of the commemorative programme featuring a sculpted Ryder Cup trophy at its centre with an elaborate background based on a thistle have been presented to Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills. The inscription reads “Ryder Cup Scotland” with the year 2014 draped across the Ryder Cup trophy.
    Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, said: “The Royal Mint is proud to be producing the first-ever official commemorative coins of the Ryder Cup. We have enjoyed a long- running tradition of marking major international sporting events, including the recent production of the Victory medals and official host-nation commemorative coins for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
    “Now, with the unveiling of the official 2014 Ryder Cup commemorative coin, we are delighted that golf fans around the world will be able to own a lasting memento to remind them of this historic event.” 
    With a history that stretches back more than 1,000 years, The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest manufacturing organisations and today makes all circulating coinage for the United Kingdom and over 50 countries all over the world, as well as beautifully crafted commemorative coins and medals. The Royal Mint is known worldwide for its long tradition of craftsmanship, heritage, and artistry. 
    Richard Hills added: "The commemorative programme announced today demonstrates the significance of The Ryder Cup, which continues to grow in popularity and prestige. The artistry brought to The 2014 Ryder Cup through the Royal Mint’s commemorative coin can only enhance the reputation and reach of the event.”
    American Eagle Associates Inc. of Orlando, Florida, is the official Ryder Cup licensee for numismatics and will coordinate the distribution of the special commemorative editions worldwide. Ticket holders to The 2014 Ryder Cup event will have the first opportunity to own the Royal Mint commemorative editions.
    Michael J. Carroll, founder of American Eagle Associates, Inc., a leading specialist firm that advises in the development of global numismatic programmes, said: “It is a privilege to participate in commemorating the spirit and ideals of The Ryder Cup, and to provide Scotland and the world with the opportunity to access this global event through the timeless art and artistry of The Royal Mint.
    “As the first commemorative programme of its kind, and as a proud Scottish celebration, strong appeal and demand among Ryder Cup fans, sports enthusiasts and avid collectors around the world is expected.”

    A special commemorative set of coins and medals is to be launched in celebration of The 2014 Ryder Cup after The Royal Mint agreed the first deal of its kind for Ryder Cup Europe.

    Sculpted plaster models of the first design of the commemorative programme featuring a sculpted Ryder Cup trophy at its centre with an elaborate background based on a thistle have been presented to Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills. The inscription reads “Ryder Cup Scotland” with the year 2014 draped across the Ryder Cup trophy.

    Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, said: “The Royal Mint is proud to be producing the first-ever official commemorative coins of the Ryder Cup. We have enjoyed a long- running tradition of marking major international sporting events, including the recent production of the Victory medals and official host-nation commemorative coins for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

    “Now, with the unveiling of the official 2014 Ryder Cup commemorative coin, we are delighted that golf fans around the world will be able to own a lasting memento to remind them of this historic event.” 

    With a history that stretches back more than 1,000 years, The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest manufacturing organisations and today makes all circulating coinage for the United Kingdom and over 50 countries all over the world, as well as beautifully crafted commemorative coins and medals. The Royal Mint is known worldwide for its long tradition of craftsmanship, heritage, and artistry. 

    Richard Hills added: "The commemorative programme announced today demonstrates the significance of The Ryder Cup, which continues to grow in popularity and prestige. The artistry brought to The 2014 Ryder Cup through the Royal Mint’s commemorative coin can only enhance the reputation and reach of the event.”

    American Eagle Associates Inc. of Orlando, Florida, is the official Ryder Cup licensee for numismatics and will coordinate the distribution of the special commemorative editions worldwide. Ticket holders to The 2014 Ryder Cup event will have the first opportunity to own the Royal Mint commemorative editions.

    Michael J. Carroll, founder of American Eagle Associates, Inc., a leading specialist firm that advises in the development of global numismatic programmes, said: “It is a privilege to participate in commemorating the spirit and ideals of The Ryder Cup, and to provide Scotland and the world with the opportunity to access this global event through the timeless art and artistry of The Royal Mint.

    “As the first commemorative programme of its kind, and as a proud Scottish celebration, strong appeal and demand among Ryder Cup fans, sports enthusiasts and avid collectors around the world is expected.”

    Category: International Events

  • 11 February 2014

    John Muir Festival to open with launch of The Kelpies

     

    John Muir Festival to open with launch of The Kelpies 
    The John Muir Festival 2014 is to open with a spectacular night-time arts event – on the theme of Scotland as Home – which also marks the international launch of the nation’s new cultural landmark, The Kelpies.
    The celebration marks the start of a series of exciting John Muir Festival events over nine days and is a signature event in the Year of Homecoming programme.
    This begins with the two evenings, 17 and 18 April, of one-off, specially-commissioned night-time artworks illuminating Helix Park in Falkirk, as thousands gather round the iconic Kelpies for an extraordinary animation of the sculptures to a pulsating soundtrack.
    Artist Andy Scott’s colossal 300-tonne, 30-metre high horses heads’ sculptures will be ‘brought to life’ with a breath-taking light, sound and flame performance by Groupe F, the internationally renowned pyrotechnic company which famously lit up the Eiffel Tower at the Millennium.
    After this stunning opening event, First Minister Alex Salmond will officially open the new national pathway, the John Muir Way, in Dunbar on 21 April. There will be daily events at ten hotspots along the 134-mile route, before the Festival reaches Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast 11-year-old Muir and his family sailed en route to a new life in America. Appropriately – for the founding father of the US National Parks – a street ceilidh and firework Festival finale is planned at Scotland’s national park at Loch Lomond in the evening of 26 April.
    Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing said: ‘As 2014 is the centennial year of his death, the John Muir Festival and the opening of the John Muir Way in April this year provides an extremely fitting tribute. The festival also provides the platform for the international launch of the magnificent public art project, The Kelpies in Falkirk, an outstanding monument to Central Scotland’s horse powered heritage.
    ‘The festival is a signature event within the Homecoming 2014 programme and will celebrate the life, legacy and unique contribution that Scottish born John Muir made to the conservation movement across the world and also showcases Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty.’
    Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust said: 'The Home event, produced by UZ arts, will announce both the arrival of The Kelpies to the international stage and the inaugural John Muir Festival in suitably dramatic fashion. It is a pleasure to welcome Groupe F to Scotland to create an installation that will animate Andy Scott’s remarkable sculptures. They will work alongside Scottish artists to create, through a series of commissioned artworks, a unique experience on the theme of Scotland - our Home.’ 
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: ‘The John Muir Festival, which will launch with the official opening of this fantastic new landmark, will form a key part of our Homecoming Scotland celebrations, honouring an iconic, brilliant man from Scotland’s past as well as celebrating our country’s breath-taking landscapes. The Helix is set to be a major attraction in Scotland, bringing thousands of people - and real economic benefit - to the local community. The impressive Kelpies also offer a fitting tribute to Scotland’s strong industrial past, as well as celebrating the myth and folklore that has encapsulated the imagination of visitors to Scotland for centuries.’
    The Kelpies form a dramatic centrepiece to the £43 million Helix development, which is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors per year and add £1.5 million in annual tourism spend to the Falkirk area. They pay homage to the tradition of the working horses of Scotland. They stand where horses used to pull barges along Scotland’s canals and worked in the fields.
    The Kelpies stand on either side of a new one-kilometre canal extension which will open up the inland waterways to international marine traffic and tourism. The development is the result of a unique collaboration between the Helix partners – Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and the Big Lottery Fund - and Glasgow-based artist, Andy Scott, which has been seven years in the making.
    The John Muir Festival 2014 celebrates the life and legacy of pioneering conservationist John Muir, and marks the opening of a new national pathway, the John Muir Way, named in his honour.
    A host of events are planned daily along the route: ramblers, runners and cyclists will be invited to carry Muir-themed flags along sections, while a gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A camera obscura will offer a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. There will be seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers. A stylised tree will be raised at the launch and the finale in tribute to Muir’s enduring love of giant sequoias. And in a quieter, more reflective tribute, an American and a Scots poet will walk the length of the John Muir Way at their own unhurried pace, planting native seeds and writing poetry along the way. 
    Tickets for the Falkirk and Loch Lomond events, as well as the full Festival programme including details of over 70 associated Festival events, are available online at: www.johnmuirfestival.com .  
    The John Muir Way will allow walkers, cyclists and horse riders to easily visit some of the most beautiful coastal scenery, sweeping landscapes, wildlife sites and historic visitor attractions across Scotland’s heartland. The rocky coasts of East Lothian where Muir played as a child, the dramatic Blackness Castle on the Forth, historic Linlithgow Palace and Roman hill forts on Antonine’s Wall, and the unique Falkirk Wheel boat lift are just a few of the highlights. The route will be way marked with John Muir Way signs, and a website, book, leaflets and map will give people all the information they need to complete all or part of the trail.
    John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838, before emigrating to the United States in 1849.  He helped save the Yosemite Valley in California, was a co-founder of The Sierra Club – one of the most influential grassroots environmental organisations in the USA – and successfully campaigned for national parks in America. 
    The John Muir Festival is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland. Home is also supported by Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Falkirk Community Trust.

    The John Muir Festival 2014 is to open with a spectacular night-time arts event – on the theme of Scotland as Home – which also marks the international launch of the nation’s new cultural landmark, The Kelpies.

    The celebration marks the start of a series of exciting John Muir Festival events over nine days and is a signature event in the Year of Homecoming programme.

    This begins with the two evenings, 17 and 18 April, of one-off, specially-commissioned night-time artworks illuminating Helix Park in Falkirk, as thousands gather round the iconic Kelpies for an extraordinary animation of the sculptures to a pulsating soundtrack.

    Artist Andy Scott’s colossal 300-tonne, 30-metre high horses heads’ sculptures will be ‘brought to life’ with a breath-taking light, sound and flame performance by Groupe F, the internationally renowned pyrotechnic company which famously lit up the Eiffel Tower at the Millennium. 

     After this stunning opening event, First Minister Alex Salmond will officially open the new national pathway, the John Muir Way, in Dunbar on 21 April. There will be daily events at ten hotspots along the 134-mile route, before the Festival reaches Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast 11-year-old Muir and his family sailed en route to a new life in America. Appropriately – for the founding father of the US National Parks – a street ceilidh and firework Festival finale is planned at Scotland’s national park at Loch Lomond in the evening of 26 April.

    Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing said: ‘As 2014 is the centennial year of his death, the John Muir Festival and the opening of the John Muir Way in April this year provides an extremely fitting tribute. The festival also provides the platform for the international launch of the magnificent public art project, The Kelpies in Falkirk, an outstanding monument to Central Scotland’s horse powered heritage.

    ‘The festival is a signature event within the Homecoming 2014 programme and will celebrate the life, legacy and unique contribution that Scottish born John Muir made to the conservation movement across the world and also showcases Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty.’

    Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust said: 'The Home event, produced by UZ arts, will announce both the arrival of The Kelpies to the international stage and the inaugural John Muir Festival in suitably dramatic fashion. It is a pleasure to welcome Groupe F to Scotland to create an installation that will animate Andy Scott’s remarkable sculptures. They will work alongside Scottish artists to create, through a series of commissioned artworks, a unique experience on the theme of Scotland - our Home.’ 

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: ‘The John Muir Festival, which will launch with the official opening of this fantastic new landmark, will form a key part of our Homecoming Scotland celebrations, honouring an iconic, brilliant man from Scotland’s past as well as celebrating our country’s breath-taking landscapes. The Helix is set to be a major attraction in Scotland, bringing thousands of people - and real economic benefit - to the local community. The impressive Kelpies also offer a fitting tribute to Scotland’s strong industrial past, as well as celebrating the myth and folklore that has encapsulated the imagination of visitors to Scotland for centuries.’

     The Kelpies form a dramatic centrepiece to the £43 million Helix development, which is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors per year and add £1.5 million in annual tourism spend to the Falkirk area. They pay homage to the tradition of the working horses of Scotland. They stand where horses used to pull barges along Scotland’s canals and worked in the fields.

     The Kelpies stand on either side of a new one-kilometre canal extension which will open up the inland waterways to international marine traffic and tourism. The development is the result of a unique collaboration between the Helix partners – Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and the Big Lottery Fund - and Glasgow-based artist, Andy Scott, which has been seven years in the making.

    The John Muir Festival 2014 celebrates the life and legacy of pioneering conservationist John Muir, and marks the opening of a new national pathway, the John Muir Way, named in his honour.

    A host of events are planned daily along the route: ramblers, runners and cyclists will be invited to carry Muir-themed flags along sections, while a gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A camera obscura will offer a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. There will be seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers. A stylised tree will be raised at the launch and the finale in tribute to Muir’s enduring love of giant sequoias. And in a quieter, more reflective tribute, an American and a Scots poet will walk the length of the John Muir Way at their own unhurried pace, planting native seeds and writing poetry along the way. 

    Tickets for the Falkirk and Loch Lomond events, as well as the full Festival programme including details of over 70 associated Festival events, are available online at: www.johnmuirfestival.com  

    The John Muir Way will allow walkers, cyclists and horse riders to easily visit some of the most beautiful coastal scenery, sweeping landscapes, wildlife sites and historic visitor attractions across Scotland’s heartland. The rocky coasts of East Lothian where Muir played as a child, the dramatic Blackness Castle on the Forth, historic Linlithgow Palace and Roman hill forts on Antonine’s Wall, and the unique Falkirk Wheel boat lift are just a few of the highlights. The route will be way marked with John Muir Way signs, and a website, book, leaflets and map will give people all the information they need to complete all or part of the trail.

    John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838, before emigrating to the United States in 1849.  He helped save the Yosemite Valley in California, was a co-founder of The Sierra Club – one of the most influential grassroots environmental organisations in the USA – and successfully campaigned for national parks in America. 

     The John Muir Festival is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland. Home is also supported by Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Falkirk Community Trust.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 February 2014

    New sales record set for Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    New sales record set for Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival as tickets go on sale for 2014 celebration

     

    A new sales record has been set by the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, with £30,000 of event tickets being sold within 20 minutes at the weekend. It took an hour for sales to reach the same milestone in 2013, and with tickets continuing to be rapidly snapped up, this year’s Festival is on course to be the biggest yet.

    Tickets went on sale on Saturday (February 1) evening, and within the first hour 527 revellers had made purchases – most of them for multiple events. The value of ticket sales had reached in excess of £70,000 within 48 hours.

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which is now in its 15th year, takes place at venues across the region from May 1 to 5. It is a signature event for Homecoming 2014, and will start Whisky Month – a four week national celebration of Scotland’s world class food and drink.

    Festival manager Mary Hemsworth says, “A number of events sold out within a very short space of time after the launch, which shows just how eagerly anticipated these events are with whisky lovers around the world.

    “Every year the number of ticket sales sold immediately on the day of the launch increases, but the level of demand this year has truly taken us by surprise.

    “However, with more than 350 events on the programme, there are lots of activities to keep both whisky enthusiasts and whisky novices entertained. Of course much of our focus is on whisky, but the programme includes everything from music and walking to food and folklore.”

    Ticket sales from Canada have been particularly strong, which may indicate that the number of visitors from North America could expand again this year. Other regions which are also standing out are the USA, Australia, Italy and Scandinavia.

    Mary added, “We had a big push focused on Canada two years ago, and since that time key industry influencers have been blogging and writing about the Festival. It is very pleasing that we are now starting to see the results of that effort take shape.

    “We have a very strong relationship with whisky festivals in Canada which is hugely beneficially. We believe that we will see a further increase in the number of overseas visitors this year and the fact that we are kicking off Whisky Month for Homecoming has certainly created some additional buzz around the international markets.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website – www.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirt_speyside on Twitter.

    For further information, please contact:

    Leanne Carter

    Account Manager

    Tricker PR

    01224 646491

    07500 442 444

    lcarter@trickerpr.com

    Category: Food

  • 05 February 2014

    Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix to be held in Glasgow as part of 2014 IAAF Diamond League

    British Athletics and Sainsbury’s confirmed today that the London leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League will take place at Hampden Park in Glasgow on 11-12 July. The event will become known as the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix and will be supported by Sainsbury’s, EventScotland and Glasgow City Council.

    Tara Hewitt, Head of Sponsorship at Sainsbury’s said: “As part of our new long-term relationship with British Athletics we’re delighted that the 2014 IAAF Diamond League is coming to Glasgow and will be known as the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix. Just last month at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match we saw the passion and enthusiasm of the Scottish crowd for athletics, and look forward to seeing this again in July and being part of such a momentous summer of athletics in Scotland.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2014

    Aberdeen Asset Management wins ESA European Sponsorship Award

     

    ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT WINS ESA EUROPEAN SPONSORSHIP AWARD
    Global and national brands gathered at the prestigious 2013 ESA European Sponsorship Awards on Wednesday night, where Aberdeen Asset Management were crowned winners of the Business-to-Business category for their sponsorship of the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
    The Awards Ceremony, which took place at Plaisterers’ Hall in London was hosted by UK Radio/TV presenter and former British Olympic swimmer, Steve Parry, and ESA Head of European Policy and Chair of Judges, Helen Day. 
    A capacity audience attended the Awards event that announced the winners in what is the only recognition of excellence within the sponsorship industry across Europe.
    The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open submission highlighted how the sponsorship activation programme targeted key audiences in the UK and the US through extensive broadcast coverage and PR initiatives as well as showcasing the client engagement, promotional and CSR aspects of the campaign.  Notably the 2013 event was the first regular European Tour event to be broadcast live on NBC network television in the USA.
    The 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, played at the magnificent Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness, won the award from a competitive shortlist including, Audi, Evonik and Heathrow Express, to become the first European Tour event to receive the prestigious award. 
    Over 65,000 spectators witnessed a world class field compete for one of the Tour’s leading titles, with American Phil Mickelson eventually prevailing over South African, Branden Grace after a sudden-death play-off at the climax of a tremendous week on the Moray Firth coastline. Mickelson went on to win The Open Championship just one week later.
    Jill Maxwell, Sponsorship Manager of Aberdeen Asset Management commented: “We are so pleased to accept this prestigious award on behalf of everyone associated with the tournament. The 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open was a real team effort, all parties worked together to make the event at Castle Stuart as successful and enjoyable as possible, for both the players and the spectators. I’d like to thank the European Tour, EventScotland and WSM Communications for their continued support and look forward to the 2014 tournament at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club."
    ESA Chairman Karen Earl, said: “It was a great pleasure to award Aberdeen Asset Management for their sponsorship of the Scottish Open. To combine many of the cornerstones of business-to-business marketing within one property was a great achievement and one which has undeniably increased the potential for new business opportunities.” 
    The Business-to-Business campaign was one of several awards presented to leading sports agencies and brands during an entertaining evening where Aberdeen Asset Management’s sponsorship of Cowes Week was also highly commended in the Business-to-Community category.
    The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will move to a new venue at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club and takes place from the 10th to the 13th of July. For more information please visit www.aamscottishopen.com 
    For a list of all the 2013 ESA European Sponsorship Award winners please visit www.sponsorship.com 

    Global and national brands gathered at the prestigious 2013 ESA European Sponsorship Awards last Wednesday night, where Aberdeen Asset Management were crowned winners of the Business-to-Business category for their sponsorship of the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

    The Awards Ceremony, which took place at Plaisterers’ Hall in London was hosted by UK Radio/TV presenter and former British Olympic swimmer, Steve Parry, and ESA Head of European Policy and Chair of Judges, Helen Day. A capacity audience attended the Awards event that announced the winners in what is the only recognition of excellence within the sponsorship industry across Europe.

    The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open submission highlighted how the sponsorship activation programme targeted key audiences in the UK and the US through extensive broadcast coverage and PR initiatives as well as showcasing the client engagement, promotional and CSR aspects of the campaign. Notably the 2013 event was the first regular European Tour event to be broadcast live on NBC network television in the USA.

    The 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, played at the magnificent Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness, won the award from a competitive shortlist including, Audi, Evonik and Heathrow Express, to become the first European Tour event to receive the prestigious award. Over 65,000 spectators witnessed a world class field compete for one of the Tour’s leading titles, with American Phil Mickelson eventually prevailing over South African, Branden Grace after a sudden-death play-off at the climax of a tremendous week on the Moray Firth coastline. Mickelson went on to win The Open Championship just one week later.

    Jill Maxwell, Sponsorship Manager of Aberdeen Asset Management commented: “We are so pleased to accept this prestigious award on behalf of everyone associated with the tournament. The 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open was a real team effort, all parties worked together to make the event at Castle Stuart as successful and enjoyable as possible, for both the players and the spectators. I’d like to thank the European Tour, EventScotland and WSM Communications for their continued support and look forward to the 2014 tournament at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.

    "ESA Chairman Karen Earl, said: “It was a great pleasure to award Aberdeen Asset Management for their sponsorship of the Scottish Open. To combine many of the cornerstones of business-to-business marketing within one property was a great achievement and one which has undeniably increased the potential for new business opportunities.” 
    The Business-to-Business campaign was one of several awards presented to leading sports agencies and brands during an entertaining evening where Aberdeen Asset Management’s sponsorship of Cowes Week was also highly commended in the Business-to-Community category.

    The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will move to a new venue at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club and takes place from the 10th to the 13th of July. For more information please visit www.aamscottishopen.com 

    For a list of all the 2013 ESA European Sponsorship Award winners please visit www.sponsorship.com

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2014

    Celtic Connections celebrates its most successful year

     

    CELTIC CONNECTIONS CELEBRATES ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL YEAR
    Celtic Connections is celebrating its most successful year to date as the festival draws to a close tonight, as attendances reached over 110,000 and gross ticket sales topped £1.15million, Celtic Connections 2014 really was the biggest and best yet. 
    The middle weekend saw a record number of people attending the festival – on Friday 24th January just fewer than 14,500 people attended a Celtic Connections show, while Saturday 25th January saw 10,500 bums on seats at the festival – this tallies to 25,000 attendances within 48 hours. 
    Over 18 days in January and February, 2000 artists from around the globe descended on Glasgow. Highlights of Celtic Connections 2014 included two of the festival’s gigs taking place at Scotland’s new landmark arena, the SSE Hydro. 
    Del Amitri took to the stage of the Hydro on Friday 24th January and blew away the biggest crowd Celtic Connections has seen to date.  The night after festival fans were treated to an International Burns Night again at the Hydro with a stellar line-up including The Mahotella Queens, Karine Polwart, Dougie MacLean, Rachel Sermanni and Salsa Celtica. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra were in residence for the night. There was also a very special tribute to Seamus Heaney by John Spillane and Bongani Tembe paid a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela. 
    Other festival highlights included: Imelda May, Capercaillie, Bobby Womack, Amadou & Mariam, Lúnasa, AR Rahman & Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Mogwai, Peatbog Faeries, Julie Fowlis, Elephant Revival, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Manu Dibango, Treacherous Orchestra, Shawn Colvin, Nicola Benedetti, Stockton's Wing, The Gloaming, Lau, Suzanne Vega, Seth Lakeman, RANT, Boban Marković Orchestra, Alkinoos Ioannidis, The Olllam, Bill Callahan, De Temps Antan, RM Hubbert, Lloyd Cole & the Leopards, Kathleen MacInnes, Tim Finn, Dick Gaughan and The Stray Birds.
    Music fans attended approximately 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, which took place in nearly 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days in January. 
    The festival is renowned for its ambitious programme of one-off shows, world exclusive performances and unique collaborative events. The 2014 line-up explored the connections between Celtic music and cultures across the globe, bringing musicians from all over the world to Glasgow, with acts from as far afield as Australia, India, South Africa, Mali, Malawi, Cuba and Jamaica as well as across Europe, the USA and Canada. 
    Celtic Connections continues to have an international appeal and enhance Glasgow’s reputation as a major tourist destination. Fans visited from all corners of the globe to experience the best in traditional, folk, roots, world and indie music. In 2013 Celtic Connections saw an increase in visitors from outwith Scotland, with 14.6% of the audience visiting from the rest of the UK and 4% coming from overseas. 44% of festival fans accompanied their visit to Celtic Connections with an overnight stay, a few stayed with friends but the majority at 69% stayed in a Hotel or Guest House or B&B. An impressive 70% of visitors stated that attending Celtic Connections was their sole or main reason for visiting Glasgow and 77% said they had also attended Celtic Connections in 2012. A fantastic 99.8% said they would come back to the festival in the future. Festival fans attended an average of 4.7 events.
    Sold-out shows included Celtic Connections Opening Concert with Nicola Benedetti, Capercaillie 30th Anniversary Concert, Julie Fowlis, Cherish the Ladies, We Banjo 3 with Chessboxer, Rab Noakes, Mogwai, Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott, Imelda May, De Temps Antan, Karan Casey, Suzanne Vega, Flook with Mairearad and Anna, Lewis Psalm Singers, Ceolas and Rachel Sermanni and of course the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions, which is now touring, bringing a dazzling international cast of Celtic and Americana musicians to concert halls across the UK following its sell-out success over two nights in Glasgow.
     
    The reach and engagement of the festival's social media was outstanding this year. The Celtic Connections Facebook page topped 20,000 likes and Twitter followers now stand at over 12,000. Artists also interacted with the festival through their own social media networks – with AR Rahman posting that he was at Celtic Connections to his 16.5 million supporters on Facebook.
    The middle weekend of Celtic Connections also featured a major showcase of Scottish music, with 214 international music industry delegates from over 29 countries in town to sample the cream of Scottish musical talent performing as part of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. The largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland, Showcase Scotland provides acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from countries all over the world. The exposure that artists gain can lead to record deals and overseas touring contracts, promoting Scottish music and artists to new audiences around the world.
    The Celtic Connections Education Programme celebrated a successful 17th year, with high profile festival acts including Treacherous Orchestra and Mairearad & Anna performing free concerts for school-children in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. 
    Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then picked six winners from the eighty acts which took part. The Danny Kyle Open Stage 2014 winners – all of whom will perform a support slot at next year’s festival – Hò Rò, Griogair Morrison, The Mischa Macpherson trio, The Chaplins, Arthur Nicholson and Austen George. 
    Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said: “Celtic Connections 2014 really has been the biggest and best yet. It was really exciting to showcase the festival at the SSE Hydro and attendances have once again been fantastic, topping 110,000 for the first year ever. I would like to say a special thanks to the amazing artists who travelled all the way from Australia and India to be part of the festival - they definitely added an extra special element this year. 
    “Each January we endeavour to bring exciting new sounds to Glasgow and we’ve seen some world class performances over the past 18 days. As well as featuring an array of international acts we’ve celebrated the vibrancy of the Scottish folk scene, which still remains the driving force behind the festival.”
    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Celtic Connections has brought some of the worlds finest musicians to the city of Glasgow over the past eighteen days. The festival has drawn people from around the globe to attend this internationally renowned event.
    “This year, Glasgow Life and Celtic Connections brought a taste of the festival to thousands of school-children with an impressive Education and Outreach Programme. Celtic Connections is of immense value to Glasgow, economically and culturally, and we’re proud to say 2014 has been the most successful year yet.”  

    Celtic Connections celebrated its most successful year to date as the festival drew to a close yesterday. Attendances reached over 110,000 and gross ticket sales topped £1.15million, Celtic Connections 2014 really was the biggest and best yet. 

    The middle weekend saw a record number of people attending the festival – on Friday 24th January just fewer than 14,500 people attended a Celtic Connections show, while Saturday 25th January saw 10,500 bums on seats at the festival – this tallies to 25,000 attendances within 48 hours. 

    Over 18 days in January and February, 2000 artists from around the globe descended on Glasgow. Highlights of Celtic Connections 2014 included two of the festival’s gigs taking place at Scotland’s new landmark arena, the SSE Hydro. 

    Del Amitri took to the stage of the Hydro on Friday 24th January and blew away the biggest crowd Celtic Connections has seen to date.  The night after festival fans were treated to an International Burns Night again at the Hydro with a stellar line-up including The Mahotella Queens, Karine Polwart, Dougie MacLean, Rachel Sermanni and Salsa Celtica. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra were in residence for the night. There was also a very special tribute to Seamus Heaney by John Spillane and Bongani Tembe paid a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela. 

    Other festival highlights included: Imelda May, Capercaillie, Bobby Womack, Amadou & Mariam, Lúnasa, AR Rahman & Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Mogwai, Peatbog Faeries, Julie Fowlis, Elephant Revival, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Manu Dibango, Treacherous Orchestra, Shawn Colvin, Nicola Benedetti, Stockton's Wing, The Gloaming, Lau, Suzanne Vega, Seth Lakeman, RANT, Boban Marković Orchestra, Alkinoos Ioannidis, The Olllam, Bill Callahan, De Temps Antan, RM Hubbert, Lloyd Cole & the Leopards, Kathleen MacInnes, Tim Finn, Dick Gaughan and The Stray Birds.Music fans attended approximately 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, which took place in nearly 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days in January. 

    The festival is renowned for its ambitious programme of one-off shows, world exclusive performances and unique collaborative events. The 2014 line-up explored the connections between Celtic music and cultures across the globe, bringing musicians from all over the world to Glasgow, with acts from as far afield as Australia, India, South Africa, Mali, Malawi, Cuba and Jamaica as well as across Europe, the USA and Canada. 

    Celtic Connections continues to have an international appeal and enhance Glasgow’s reputation as a major tourist destination. Fans visited from all corners of the globe to experience the best in traditional, folk, roots, world and indie music. In 2013 Celtic Connections saw an increase in visitors from outwith Scotland, with 14.6% of the audience visiting from the rest of the UK and 4% coming from overseas. 44% of festival fans accompanied their visit to Celtic Connections with an overnight stay, a few stayed with friends but the majority at 69% stayed in a Hotel or Guest House or B&B. An impressive 70% of visitors stated that attending Celtic Connections was their sole or main reason for visiting Glasgow and 77% said they had also attended Celtic Connections in 2012. A fantastic 99.8% said they would come back to the festival in the future. Festival fans attended an average of 4.7 events.

    Sold-out shows included Celtic Connections Opening Concert with Nicola Benedetti, Capercaillie 30th Anniversary Concert, Julie Fowlis, Cherish the Ladies, We Banjo 3 with Chessboxer, Rab Noakes, Mogwai, Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott, Imelda May, De Temps Antan, Karan Casey, Suzanne Vega, Flook with Mairearad and Anna, Lewis Psalm Singers, Ceolas and Rachel Sermanni and of course the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions, which is now touring, bringing a dazzling international cast of Celtic and Americana musicians to concert halls across the UK following its sell-out success over two nights in Glasgow. 

    The reach and engagement of the festival's social media was outstanding this year. The Celtic Connections Facebook page topped 20,000 likes and Twitter followers now stand at over 12,000. Artists also interacted with the festival through their own social media networks – with AR Rahman posting that he was at Celtic Connections to his 16.5 million supporters on Facebook.

    The middle weekend of Celtic Connections also featured a major showcase of Scottish music, with 214 international music industry delegates from over 29 countries in town to sample the cream of Scottish musical talent performing as part of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. The largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland, Showcase Scotland provides acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from countries all over the world. The exposure that artists gain can lead to record deals and overseas touring contracts, promoting Scottish music and artists to new audiences around the world.

    The Celtic Connections Education Programme celebrated a successful 17th year, with high profile festival acts including Treacherous Orchestra and Mairearad & Anna performing free concerts for school-children in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. 

    Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then picked six winners from the eighty acts which took part. The Danny Kyle Open Stage 2014 winners – all of whom will perform a support slot at next year’s festival – Hò Rò, Griogair Morrison, The Mischa Macpherson trio, The Chaplins, Arthur Nicholson and Austen George. 

    Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said: “Celtic Connections 2014 really has been the biggest and best yet. It was really exciting to showcase the festival at the SSE Hydro and attendances have once again been fantastic, topping 110,000 for the first year ever. I would like to say a special thanks to the amazing artists who travelled all the way from Australia and India to be part of the festival - they definitely added an extra special element this year. 

    “Each January we endeavour to bring exciting new sounds to Glasgow and we’ve seen some world class performances over the past 18 days. As well as featuring an array of international acts we’ve celebrated the vibrancy of the Scottish folk scene, which still remains the driving force behind the festival.”

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Celtic Connections has brought some of the worlds finest musicians to the city of Glasgow over the past eighteen days. The festival has drawn people from around the globe to attend this internationally renowned event.

    “This year, Glasgow Life and Celtic Connections brought a taste of the festival to thousands of school-children with an impressive Education and Outreach Programme. Celtic Connections is of immense value to Glasgow, economically and culturally, and we’re proud to say 2014 has been the most successful year yet.”  

    celticconnections.com

    Category: International Events

  • 29 January 2014

    Funding for communities who take up 2014 challenge

     

    Funding for communities who take up 2014 challenge
    Perth & Kinross Council is announcing a new fund to help communities to take part in the exciting events taking place in Scotland in 2014.
    Constituted community groups can apply for up to £2,014 towards celebrating The 2014 Ryder Cup, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Queen's Baton Relay or Homecoming.
    The types of events which will be considered include local sports events or competitions; street parties or local festivals; 2014-related cultural celebrations or artistic performances and community projects which decorate or enhance local communities during 2014. For large scale plans, applications up to £5,000 may be considered. 
    Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: "We want local residents to take pride in their area in this special year and really feel that they are part of something. The Council has set up this fund to support communities who want to get involved, whether it's organising a sports day, a street party or simply decorating their local area. I'm really looking forward to seeing what people across Perth and Kinross have planned."
    Applications must be from constituted community groups and can be for up to 80% of the required funding, with at least 20% coming from the community, either financially or through people's time. 
    Applications will be considered monthly and can be made through PKC Grants Direct Website.
    The Community Challenge Fund is part of the Council's Legacy programme, 'Take Part, Take Pride, Take Place', building a legacy of involved communities.

    Perth & Kinross Council is announcing a new fund to help communities to take part in the exciting events taking place in Scotland in 2014.

    Constituted community groups can apply for up to £2,014 towards celebrating The 2014 Ryder Cup, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Queen's Baton Relay or Homecoming.

    The types of events which will be considered include local sports events or competitions; street parties or local festivals; 2014-related cultural celebrations or artistic performances and community projects which decorate or enhance local communities during 2014. For large scale plans, applications up to £5,000 may be considered. 

    Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said: "We want local residents to take pride in their area in this special year and really feel that they are part of something. The Council has set up this fund to support communities who want to get involved, whether it's organising a sports day, a street party or simply decorating their local area. I'm really looking forward to seeing what people across Perth and Kinross have planned."

    Applications must be from constituted community groups and can be for up to 80% of the required funding, with at least 20% coming from the community, either financially or through people's time. 

    Applications will be considered monthly and can be made through PKC Grants Direct Website.

    The Community Challenge Fund is part of the Council's Legacy programme, 'Take Part, Take Pride, Take Place', building a legacy of involved communities.

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 January 2014

    Big Burns Supper Three-Day Festival Celebrates Huge Success

     

    The event, which is a key part of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, saw a series of famous name and locally created shows selling out.
    The 1,000-lantern Homecoming Carnival, which wound through the streets of Dumfries on Saturday evening, drew large crowds to watch the parade of 2,000 performers, dancers and musicians along with floats and huge puppets.
    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper director, said: “The festival has gone brilliantly. What’s really blown me away is that it’s not just the household names like Fred MacAulay and Big Country that have sold out, but also our own home-grown alternative productions. 
    “We have had capacity audiences for everything from our Hamish the Haggis children’s shows through to the Le Haggis Burlesque Burns Suppers – which had a fun and sauciness Burns would have loved.
    “We are already starting to look ahead at how we can make Big Burns Supper 2015 better still. What I think we have proved, with three years of Big Burns Suppers, is that Scotland’s Burns Night celebrations have huge potential. They can become a really important and eagerly anticipated part of Scotland’s rich cycle of public cultural events and festivals.”
    The development of a New Performance Venue, showcasing original work by emerging writers and performers from Dumfries and Galloway, has been a particular success. 
    Among the productions attracting attention was a one-woman show by 19-year-old Jordan Chisholm called Jordan, Herself and ID – a raw autobiographical exploration of what it is like coming from a family with mental health issues and the fear that they could be hereditary.
    It is hoped that BBS will act as a launchpad for the region’s young performers and writers, with some shows going on to be performed at other events around the country.
    There have also been big audiences for the comedy shows that included Alan Anderson’s highly rated Whisky for Dafties and The Best of Scottish Comedian of the Year. 
    The festival has also included 12 pop up pieces of public art all around the town, such as Occupy Dumfries, which invited young people to put on performances about what life in the capital of the south west was like in the past.
    Robert Burns lived in Dumfries when he was at the height of his powers. The area inspired some of his greatest work and he loved the social life of the town.
    BBS 2014 is a community-based event which involves a host of groups and individuals from around Dumfries and has rapidly built up a reputation offering a great atmosphere and giving a real boost in the lull after Hogmanay.
    With Dumfries being in easy reach of the Central Belt and northern England, BBS attracts visitors from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Carlisle and many other places.
    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, Homecoming Scotland, The Hollywood Trust, Winter Festivals Burns Night, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
    Festival statistics:
    Around 125 shows, events and performances
    Three days and nights of celebrations
    A projected 7,000 people attended paid-for vents with many thousands more enjoying the carnival and a host of free events
    Overall audiences reaching a highly impressive 85% of capacity at paid-for shows
    Carnival statistics:
    The procession took nearly an hour 
    Around 2,000 people took part 
    There were 800-1,000 lanterns – most made by local residents
    Five lanterns were specially commissioned from local artists
    Ideas for the costumes came from local school pupils and include dragons, owls, horses, stars, golden rings, poppies, soldiers and nurses.
    There were five decorated floats two with large interactive puppets 
    Live music was provided by six pipe and samba bands.

    The Big Burns Supper is celebrating a huge success as three days of festivities around the bard’s birthday come to a close. 

    The event, which is a key part of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, saw a series of famous name and locally created shows selling out. The 1,000-lantern Homecoming Carnival, which wound through the streets of Dumfries on Saturday evening, drew large crowds to watch the parade of 2,000 performers, dancers and musicians along with floats and huge puppets.

    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper director, said: “The festival has gone brilliantly. What’s really blown me away is that it’s not just the household names like Fred MacAulay and Big Country that have sold out, but also our own home-grown alternative productions. 

    “We have had capacity audiences for everything from our Hamish the Haggis children’s shows through to the Le Haggis Burlesque Burns Suppers – which had a fun and sauciness Burns would have loved.

    “We are already starting to look ahead at how we can make Big Burns Supper 2015 better still. What I think we have proved, with three years of Big Burns Suppers, is that Scotland’s Burns Night celebrations have huge potential. They can become a really important and eagerly anticipated part of Scotland’s rich cycle of public cultural events and festivals.

    "The development of a New Performance Venue, showcasing original work by emerging writers and performers from Dumfries and Galloway, has been a particular success. Among the productions attracting attention was a one-woman show by 19-year-old Jordan Chisholm called Jordan, Herself and ID – a raw autobiographical exploration of what it is like coming from a family with mental health issues and the fear that they could be hereditary.

    It is hoped that BBS will act as a launchpad for the region’s young performers and writers, with some shows going on to be performed at other events around the country. There have also been big audiences for the comedy shows that included Alan Anderson’s highly rated Whisky for Dafties and The Best of Scottish Comedian of the Year. The festival has also included 12 pop up pieces of public art all around the town, such as Occupy Dumfries, which invited young people to put on performances about what life in the capital of the south west was like in the past.

    Robert Burns lived in Dumfries when he was at the height of his powers. The area inspired some of his greatest work and he loved the social life of the town. BBS 2014 is a community-based event which involves a host of groups and individuals from around Dumfries and has rapidly built up a reputation offering a great atmosphere and giving a real boost in the lull after Hogmanay. With Dumfries being in easy reach of the Central Belt and northern England, BBS attracts visitors from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Carlisle and many other places.

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, Homecoming Scotland, The Hollywood Trust, Winter Festivals Burns Night, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    Festival statistics:

    Around 125 shows, events and performances

    Three days and nights of celebrations

    A projected 7,000 people attended paid-for vents with many thousands more enjoying the carnival and a host of free events

    Overall audiences reaching a highly impressive 85% of capacity at paid-for shows

    Carnival statistics:

    The procession took nearly an hour 

    Around 2,000 people took part 

    There were 800-1,000 lanterns – most made by local residents

    Five lanterns were specially commissioned from local artists

    Ideas for the costumes came from local school pupils and include dragons, owls, horses, stars, golden rings, poppies, soldiers and nurses.

    There were five decorated floats two with large interactive puppets 

    Live music was provided by six pipe and samba bands.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 January 2014

    Raise a Glass at the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

     

    Raise a Glass at the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
    Tickets on sale from Saturday 1st February for 15th annual whisky festival
    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is set to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink and open its doors to the people and passion behind some of the finest whiskies available.
    Tickets are on sale from Saturday 1st February for the annual festival, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It will run this year from May 1st- 5th in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region. 
    And this year the festival has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month which is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme. Whisky Month celebrates Scotland's diverse food and drink offering and will include an array of activities including events, festivals, and unique tastings and tours throughout the month of May, emphasising the warm hospitality that Scotland is famed for.
    Festival Chairman James Campbell says organisers are looking forward to welcoming back old festival friends, as well as those who will be attending the internationally renowned event for the first time.
    He says, “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.
    “More than 300 events are taking place over five days so whisky aficionados and novices alike will find something to suit them. Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.
    “The Year of Homecoming Scotland also gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history and offer a warm Scottish welcome to international visitors. We are proud to have been chosen as the launch event for Whisky Month and it’s the perfect chance to raise a glass of our world famous malt whiskies.”
    The Speyside region contains more than half of all Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries and each one produces a whisky with its own distinguished set of characteristics. During the Festival, a large number of distilleries will open their doors for public tours, nosings and tastings – some for the very first time in history.
    Tickets will be available on the new look Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website from 1900 GMT on 1st February. The new website offers quick and easy access to information about all of the festival’s events and partners, and aims to enhance the quality and availability of information to local and international visitors alike.
    James adds, “The Speyside locals are always more than happy to offer a warm welcome to visiting tourists, and that is no different during the five days of the whisky festival. There is always such a vibrant atmosphere as thousands of visitors arrive and join in locals in celebrating all things whisky – there’s no better way to encapsulate the true Spirit of Speyside and the essence of Homecoming.”
    Scotland’s Food and Drink Secretary Richard Lochhead says, “With a boom in tourism expected during the Year of Homecoming, it’s important that we take the opportunity to show the world what we have to offer.  Scottish food and drink is already well known for its world class standard, and I believe that our whisky really is second to none.  As such, I’m pleased to see that the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, as part of our Whisky Month celebration in May, will present a chance to enjoy some of our finest produce as well as our famous Scottish hospitality, and to showcase this iconic drink to visitors from near or far.”
    Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website – www.spiritofspeyside.com 

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is set to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink and open its doors to the people and passion behind some of the finest whiskies available.

    Tickets are on sale from Saturday 1st February for the annual festival, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It will run this year from May 1st- 5th in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region. And this year the festival has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month which is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme.

    Whisky Month celebrates Scotland's diverse food and drink offering and will include an array of activities including events, festivals, and unique tastings and tours throughout the month of May, emphasising the warm hospitality that Scotland is famed for.

    Festival Chairman James Campbell says organisers are looking forward to welcoming back old festival friends, as well as those who will be attending the internationally renowned event for the first time.

    He says, “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.

    “More than 300 events are taking place over five days so whisky aficionados and novices alike will find something to suit them. Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.

    “The Year of Homecoming Scotland also gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history and offer a warm Scottish welcome to international visitors. We are proud to have been chosen as the launch event for Whisky Month and it’s the perfect chance to raise a glass of our world famous malt whiskies.

    ”The Speyside region contains more than half of all Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries and each one produces a whisky with its own distinguished set of characteristics. During the Festival, a large number of distilleries will open their doors for public tours, nosings and tastings – some for the very first time in history.

    Tickets will be available on the new look Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website from 7pm on 1st February. The new website offers quick and easy access to information about all of the festival’s events and partners, and aims to enhance the quality and availability of information to local and international visitors alike.

    James adds, “The Speyside locals are always more than happy to offer a warm welcome to visiting tourists, and that is no different during the five days of the whisky festival. There is always such a vibrant atmosphere as thousands of visitors arrive and join in locals in celebrating all things whisky – there’s no better way to encapsulate the true Spirit of Speyside and the essence of Homecoming.

    "Scotland’s Food and Drink Secretary Richard Lochhead says, “With a boom in tourism expected during the Year of Homecoming, it’s important that we take the opportunity to show the world what we have to offer.  Scottish food and drink is already well known for its world class standard, and I believe that our whisky really is second to none.  As such, I’m pleased to see that the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, as part of our Whisky Month celebration in May, will present a chance to enjoy some of our finest produce as well as our famous Scottish hospitality, and to showcase this iconic drink to visitors from near or far.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website – www.spiritofspeyside.com 

    Category: International Events

  • 21 January 2014

    The latest case study from the Event Ready Producers project - Food from Argyll

     

    Experiencing Scotland...... Driving business through provenance
    Food from Argyll
    Food from Argyll is a ground-breaking and award-winning co-operative of food and drink producers based in Argyll, who have been successfully delivering a range of events catering offers at large scale events, such as the World Pipe band Championships, T in the Park and Rock Ness, since 2008. 
    The group recently signed up to receive 1-2-1 business support under Scottish Enterprise’s Event Ready Producers project, to provide a ‘health check’ for current events catering activity in readiness for the Year of Homecoming 2014 and beyond.
    As a region, Argyll is renowned for its larder of beef, lamb and venison, fresh seafood, cheeses and vegetables, and the group’s events food offer focuses around flavoursome, freshly prepared dishes made from these core ingredients. 
    The co-operative structure of the group and its excellent partnership approach to delivering and managing events is one of the keys to its success. While many food groups emerge from an existing retail offer, Food from Argyll already has a well-established ‘food to go’ group, with offers including: Loch Fyne Oysters; Bumble Cakes and Puddings; Inverawe Smokehouse; and Fyne Ales. 
    Additional member products featured at events, which enhance the core ‘food to go’ offer but represent more of a retail range, include: Inverlochy Cheese; Crystals Shortbread; Gigha Halibut; and Home Ground Coffee.
    Sandra Reid, Event Ready Producer catering consultant, says: “The group is hugely experienced in comparison with many other producers operating within, or attempting to enter, this marketplace. Nevertheless, there are a number of areas where developments could be made. 
    “In terms of marketing and promotion, featuring the Food from Argyll ‘food story’ prominently in all marketing and point of sale material, including menus, banners, uniforms and vehicle livery, is certainly something that should be looked at. 
    “The group’s new website, currently under development, will present a fantastic opportunity to promote the ‘food to go’ offer more proactively to events organisers. Similarly, the site will be an ideal vehicle for promoting individual ‘food heroes’ and ‘hero products’, through features on individual producers as well as food stories. 
    “A series of short films has been developed and is currently available on YouTube. The films are ideal for social networking media such as Facebook, Pinterest and tumblr and could be instrumental in helping to raise awareness of the brand as well as individual producers, however to generate the maximum promotional benefit, links should be provided to the footage from the main website as well as from individual producers’ sites. 
    “The group recognises that customer feedback could be used more effectively to generate interest in online retail sales, as well as cross-sell to other suppliers. Electronic capture using an iPad or other tablet format would be one way of handling this. Alternatively customers could be encouraged to provide feedback online, with a competition or vouchers for online purchases being used as an incentive to register. 
    “A pre-paid postcard given to customers with food, offering options for them to receive information about different products and services, would provide valuable insights into customer trends and provide the group with a ready-made sales database”.      
    Businesses can find out more about the one-to-one support at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/services/develop-your-organisation/event-ready-producers/overview, by telephoning 0845 607 8787 or emailing enquiries@scotent.co.uk
    For further Info on making the most of the business opportunities created by Scotland’s growing calendar of events go to www.readyforevents.co.uk

    Food from Argyll is a ground-breaking and award-winning co-operative of food and drink producers based in Argyll, who have been successfully delivering a range of events catering offers at large scale events, such as the World Pipe band Championships, T in the Park and Rockness, since 2008. 

    The group recently signed up to receive 1-2-1 business support under Scottish Enterprise’s Event Ready Producers project, to provide a ‘health check’ for current events catering activity in readiness for the Year of Homecoming 2014 and beyond.

    As a region, Argyll is renowned for its larder of beef, lamb and venison, fresh seafood, cheeses and vegetables, and the group’s events food offer focuses around flavoursome, freshly prepared dishes made from these core ingredients. 

    The co-operative structure of the group and its excellent partnership approach to delivering and managing events is one of the keys to its success. While many food groups emerge from an existing retail offer, Food from Argyll already has a well-established ‘food to go’ group, with offers including: Loch Fyne Oysters; Bumble Cakes and Puddings; Inverawe Smokehouse; and Fyne Ales. 

    Additional member products featured at events, which enhance the core ‘food to go’ offer but represent more of a retail range, include: Inverlochy Cheese; Crystals Shortbread; Gigha Halibut; and Home Ground Coffee.

    Sandra Reid, Event Ready Producer catering consultant, says: “The group is hugely experienced in comparison with many other producers operating within, or attempting to enter, this marketplace. Nevertheless, there are a number of areas where developments could be made. 

    “In terms of marketing and promotion, featuring the Food from Argyll ‘food story’ prominently in all marketing and point of sale material, including menus, banners, uniforms and vehicle livery, is certainly something that should be looked at. 

    “The group’s new website, currently under development, will present a fantastic opportunity to promote the ‘food to go’ offer more proactively to events organisers. Similarly, the site will be an ideal vehicle for promoting individual ‘food heroes’ and ‘hero products’, through features on individual producers as well as food stories. 

    “A series of short films has been developed and is currently available on YouTube. The films are ideal for social networking media such as Facebook, Pinterest and tumblr and could be instrumental in helping to raise awareness of the brand as well as individual producers, however to generate the maximum promotional benefit, links should be provided to the footage from the main website as well as from individual producers’ sites. 

    “The group recognises that customer feedback could be used more effectively to generate interest in online retail sales, as well as cross-sell to other suppliers. Electronic capture using an iPad or other tablet format would be one way of handling this. Alternatively customers could be encouraged to provide feedback online, with a competition or vouchers for online purchases being used as an incentive to register. 

    “A pre-paid postcard given to customers with food, offering options for them to receive information about different products and services, would provide valuable insights into customer trends and provide the group with a ready-made sales database”.      
    Businesses can find out more about the one-to-one support at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/services/develop-your-organisation/event-ready-producers/overview, by telephoning 0845 607 8787 or emailing enquiries@scotent.co.uk

    For further Info on making the most of the business opportunities created by Scotland’s growing calendar of events go to www.readyforevents.co.uk

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 January 2014

    It's Scone Palace - as you've never seen it before!

    When the magnificent setting of Scone Palace is transformed for next month’s ‘Enlighten’ event, it will be the culmination of a huge logistical challenge for the company behind the technical aspects for the two day spectacular.

    ‘Enlighten’, will see Scone Palace totally transformed with a spectacular evening celebration of its 900 year old built heritage and winter woodlands, allowing visitors to explore a stunning new illuminated trail as it winds its way through the magnificent iconic estate, interact with Scotland’s famous Pinetum and Talking Trees, lit to highlight the beauty of their fabulous structures, complete with cutting edge light and sound technology, creating stunning choreographed effects, moods and backdrops.  The event will herald the Year of Homecoming 2014 and will be part of Perth’s Winter Festival.  

    Glasgow based CPE Lighting has been working with the organisers for many months in preparing for the event and, as the company’s Nicola Garman, explains, there were a few logistical issues to contend with along the way.

    “To put an event such as ‘Enlighten’ together requires a great deal of preparation, not least managing to site more than ten miles of cable as subtly as possible throughout the grounds. Then there is the small matter of thousands of individual light bulbs to be incorporated plus a number of other surprises which will be revealed on the first night.”

    A number of individual images, including a giant peacock, will be projected on to the front of the Palace throughout the event while, as visitors stroll round the illuminated grounds, their senses will be treated to various highlights. “At the Old Scone junction, you will be able to listen to echoes of the past, you can watch as Moot Hill is transformed into a cinema screen and also listen to the Redwoods talk!”

    In constructing the temporary site at Scone Palace, which will be powered by four industrial generators and will take nearly 500 man hours, Nicola and her 10-Strong team expect to drink 368 cups of tea with 36 pairs of thermals providing welcome insulation from the Perthshire winter! 

    ‘Enlighten’ will be open on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February  from 5pm until 9.30 pm with tickets costing £12 for adults, £9 concessions and £6 for children between 5 and 15 (all plus booking fee) and free for Under 5’s.

    Tickets, which include entrance to Scone Palace, must be purchased in advance and are available from Scone Palace – 01738 552300 email visits@scone-palace.co.uk or www.scone-palace.co.uk

    Free car parking is available at Scone Palace and will be open from 4.15 pm to ticket holders.

    Scone Palace and ‘Enlighten’ will open at 5 pm. 

    Category: National Events

  • 20 January 2014

    Scotland welcomes The Senior Open Championship to Carnoustie in 2016

    Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for the world’s biggest golf events has received yet another glowing endorsement with news that The Senior Open Championship has been secured for Carnoustie in 2016.

    The legendary links course last staged the event in 2010 when Bernard Langer emerged victorious for his first Senior ‘Major’ crown and now Scotland is preparing itself for a bumper summer of Majors in 2016 with The Open Championship also being played at Royal Troon in Ayrshire.

    And with The Open Championship at St Andrews and the RICOH Women’s British Open at Turnberry in 2015, Scotland will see a ‘Major’ Championship double header two years in a row.

    The confirmation of The Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie further underlines Scotland’s commitment to hosting top-class golf events as part of its 2014 Ryder Cup legacy.

    EventScotland is responsible for delivering on this commitment to securing top golf events in Scotland and has worked closely with The R&A and The European Tour since 2005 in bringing the championship to Scotland. The event at Carnoustie will be the 7th time it will have been supported by EventScotland.

    Robbie Clyde, Ryder Cup Project Director with EventScotland, said: “The Senior Open Championship has developed into one of the greatest championships in the world and as such there is no better place to hold it than in Scotland, the Home of Golf.

    “Carnoustie has proven itself to be a fine host venue for Major Championships throughout the years and it will once again provide a stern test for the world’s greatest senior golfers in 2016.

    “At EventScotland we are proud of the relationships we have built with event organisers and there is no greater way to capitalise on a fantastic year in 2014 with The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles than by following with the hosting of four Major Championships in the two subsequent years.

    “We look forward to continuing to build Scotland’s golf event portfolio by working with golf bodies such as The R&A, The European Tour, the Ladies Golf Union and the Ladies European Tour and I’m sure the announcement of The Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie will be one of many more in years to come.”

    Category: International Events

  • 16 January 2014

    Susan Boyle unveiled as Chieftain of the British Pipe Band Championships in West Lothian

     

    SUSAN BOYLE UNVEILED AS CHIEFTAIN OF THE BRITISH PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS IN WEST LOTHIAN
    To mark the countdown to one of this year’s biggest spectacles, members of the West Lothian Highland Games and local pipers from Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia, Torphichen and Bathgate and West Lothian Schools Pipe Bands came together today (Wednesday 15 January) to officially launch the British Pipe Band Championships and unveil Bathgate’s very own singing sensation, Susan Boyle as the event’s Chieftain.
    Held at the Bathgate Partnership Centre, the launch officially marked the countdown to the Championships, which will take place in Bathgate's Meadow Park on 31 May 2014. 
    West Lothian Highland Games secured the prestigious British Pipe Band Championships for West Lothian for a three year period, with the first Championship taking place last year. The event saw  138 bands competing and attracted over 7,000 visitors.
    This year the Championships are set to be bigger and better and will run alongside this year’s West Lothian Highland Games, which sees a host of traditional activities including highland dancing, solo piping and heavy athletics competitions.  Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band will also be hosting a festival of music in the evening alongside a Ceilidh run by the Organising Committee.
    Matt Purdie, President of the West Lothian Highland Games said: “We are really looking forward to hosting the British Band Piping Championships in West Lothian for the second year running and it is a great honour to welcome Susan Boyle on board as Cheftain for 2014. Last year was a great success and we hope to build on that this year and in 2015, especially as for the first time we’ll be holding the West Lothian Highland Games alongside the Championships which will provide fun for all the family.”
    Councillor Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council said: “It’s a real coup for West Lothian to host the British Pipe Band Championships and we are very excited about the event for 2014 and of course welcoming West Lothian’s very own Susan Boyle – it’s great to have her support for such a prominent event for the region. We are very much looking forward to welcoming bands and visitors from all over the world to West Lothian.”
    Nick Williams, Chair of Visit West Lothian said: “Last year’s Championships were a huge success and truly showcased West Lothian for the great destination it really is and we’re really proud to continue to host the event for 2014 and 2015. We look forward to welcoming families within West Lothian and from further afield to discover the extensive calendar of events and activities taking place throughout West Lothian. “
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland added: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as a staple of our cultural portfolio it is fitting that we will once again host the British Pipe Band Championships in West Lothian. With the inclusion of the Highland Games into the wider programme and the added excitement of Susan Boyle as Chieftain the event is set to be bigger and better than ever.”
    To find out more about the British Pipe Band Championships/West Lothian Highland Games and to book tickets please go to www.bpbc-bathgate.com 
    Ticket Prices
    Adult:  At the gate = £10
    Children: (5 - 16yrs) = £4.50
    Under 5s = FREE
    Family Ticket - (Up to 2 children) = £27 at the gate 
    Promotional offers will also be available online

    To mark the countdown to one of this year’s biggest spectacles, members of the West Lothian Highland Games and local pipers from Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia, Torphichen and Bathgate and West Lothian Schools Pipe Bands came together yesterday to officially launch the British Pipe Band Championships and unveil Bathgate’s very own singing sensation, Susan Boyle, as the event’s Chieftain.

    Held at the Bathgate Partnership Centre, the launch officially marked the countdown to the Championships, which will take place in Bathgate's Meadow Park on 31 May 2014. West Lothian Highland Games secured the prestigious British Pipe Band Championships for West Lothian for a three year period, with the first Championship taking place last year. The event saw 138 bands competing and attracted over 7,000 visitors.

    This year the Championships are set to be bigger and better and will run alongside this year’s West Lothian Highland Games, which sees a host of traditional activities including highland dancing, solo piping and heavy athletics competitions.  Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band will also be hosting a festival of music in the evening alongside a Ceilidh run by the Organising Committee.

    Matt Purdie, President of the West Lothian Highland Games, said: “We are really looking forward to hosting the British Band Piping Championships in West Lothian for the second year running and it is a great honour to welcome Susan Boyle on board as Cheftain for 2014. Last year was a great success and we hope to build on that this year and in 2015, especially as for the first time we’ll be holding the West Lothian Highland Games alongside the Championships which will provide fun for all the family.”

    Councillor Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council, said: “It’s a real coup for West Lothian to host the British Pipe Band Championships and we are very excited about the event for 2014 and of course welcoming West Lothian’s very own Susan Boyle – it’s great to have her support for such a prominent event for the region. We are very much looking forward to welcoming bands and visitors from all over the world to West Lothian.”

    Nick Williams, Chair of Visit West Lothian, said: “Last year’s Championships were a huge success and truly showcased West Lothian for the great destination it really is and we’re really proud to continue to host the event for 2014 and 2015. We look forward to welcoming families within West Lothian and from further afield to discover the extensive calendar of events and activities taking place throughout West Lothian."

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, added: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as a staple of our cultural portfolio it is fitting that we will once again host the British Pipe Band Championships in West Lothian. With the inclusion of the Highland Games into the wider programme and the added excitement of Susan Boyle as Chieftain the event is set to be bigger and better than ever.”

    To find out more about the British Pipe Band Championships/West Lothian Highland Games and to book tickets please go to www.bpbc-bathgate.com 

    Ticket Prices

    Adult:  At the gate = £10

    Children: (5 - 16yrs) = £4.50

    Under 5s = FREE

    Family Ticket - (Up to 2 children) = £27 at the gate 

    Promotional offers will also be available online

    Category: International Events

  • 16 January 2014

    VisitScotland Chairman hails "Stunning" tourism success

     

    VISITSCOTLAND CHAIRMAN HAILS “STUNNING” TOURISM SUCCESS  
    VisitScotland Chairman, Mike Cantlay responds to the release of the quarterly International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Domestic tourism statistics derived from the Great Britain Tourism Survey.
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
    “We named 2013 the Year of Natural Scotland, and it certainly did us proud!  With fantastic weather and boundless energy, enthusiasm and engagement from across the tourism industry, visitor numbers soared higher than the sun.  
    “VisitScotland’s confidence and continuing investment in European markets, despite unpredictable economic climates has proved tangible with a large rise in spend and visits from this continent overall.  And of course new flight routes played their part with Air Canada Rouge and Virgin’s Little Red – to name but a few - linking up Scotland with the world.
    “Strong growth in the domestic market has been fuelled by a rise in visitor numbers to rural areas including the Highlands and south of Scotland, which reflects the success of putting an emphasis on ‘the great outdoors’ in 2013.
    “After a challenging 2012, these results are simply stunning.  It’s just the motivation Scotland needs as we head into 2014, the year that we welcome the world with an outstanding programme of global events including the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games, Homecoming Scotland and the MTV EMAs.  We must keep the momentum going!”
    KEY FACTS
    YEAR TO DATE FIGS (2013)
    Year to date (Jan - September 2013) - Overseas visitors
    Overseas visits have increased:  7.9% 
    Overseas spend has increased:  18.8% 
    Year to date (Jan - September 2013) - Domestic visitors
    Domestic visits have increased:  1.3%
    Domestic spend has increased:  3%
    Year to date (Jan - September 2013 - Combined domestic and overseas visitors 
    Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 2.3%
    Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 8.5%
    QUARTER 3 ONLY FIGS
    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Overseas visitors
    Overseas visits have increased: 18.7% 
    Overseas spend has increased: 28.7% 
    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Domestic visitors
    Domestic visits remained the same
    Domestic spend has increased: 8.8% 
    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Combined domestic and overseas visitors 
    Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 3.2%
    Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 16.2%
    ROLLING YEAR STATISTICS
    Rolling year (Oct 2012 – Sept 2013 – Overseas Visitors
    Overseas visits have increased: 2.8% 
    Overseas spend has increased 5.1% 
    Rolling Year (Oct 2012 – Sept2013) – Domestic Visitors
    Domestic visits have increased:  2.1%
    Domestic spend has increased:  2.8%
    Rolling Year (Oct 2012 – Sept 2013) – Combined Overseas and Domestic
    Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 2.2%
    Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 3.6%

    VisitScotland Chairman, Mike Cantlay responds to the release of the quarterly International Passenger Survey (IPS) tourism statistics by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Domestic tourism statistics derived from the Great Britain Tourism Survey.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:“We named 2013 the Year of Natural Scotland, and it certainly did us proud!  With fantastic weather and boundless energy, enthusiasm and engagement from across the tourism industry, visitor numbers soared higher than the sun.  

    "VisitScotland’s confidence and continuing investment in European markets, despite unpredictable economic climates has proved tangible with a large rise in spend and visits from this continent overall.  And of course new flight routes played their part with Air Canada Rouge and Virgin’s Little Red – to name but a few - linking up Scotland with the world.

    “Strong growth in the domestic market has been fuelled by a rise in visitor numbers to rural areas including the Highlands and south of Scotland, which reflects the success of putting an emphasis on ‘the great outdoors’ in 2013.

    “After a challenging 2012, these results are simply stunning.  It’s just the motivation Scotland needs as we head into 2014, the year that we welcome the world with an outstanding programme of global events including the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games, Homecoming Scotland and the MTV EMAs.  We must keep the momentum going!”

    KEY FACTS

    YEAR TO DATE FIGS (2013)

    Year to date (Jan - September 2013) - Overseas visitors

    Overseas visits have increased:  7.9% Overseas spend has increased:  18.8% 

    Year to date (Jan - September 2013) - Domestic visitors

    Domestic visits have increased:  1.3%Domestic spend has increased:  3%

    Year to date (Jan - September 2013 - Combined domestic and overseas visitors 

    Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 2.3%Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 8.5%

    QUARTER 3 ONLY FIGS

    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Overseas visitors

    Overseas visits have increased: 18.7% Overseas spend has increased: 28.7% 

    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Domestic visitorsDomestic visits remained the sameDomestic spend has increased: 8.8% 

    Quarter 3 (July - September 2013) - Combined domestic and overseas visitors Combined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 3.2%Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 16.2%

    ROLLING YEAR STATISTICS

    Rolling year (Oct 2012 – Sept 2013 – Overseas VisitorsOverseas visits have increased: 2.8% Overseas spend has increased 5.1% 

    Rolling Year (Oct 2012 – Sept2013) – Domestic VisitorsDomestic visits have increased:  2.1%Domestic spend has increased:  2.8%

    Rolling Year (Oct 2012 – Sept 2013) – Combined Overseas and DomesticCombined overseas and domestic visits have increased: 2.2%Combined overseas and domestic spend has increased: 3.6%

    Category: Industry News

  • 13 January 2014

    Celtic Connections Kicks off this Week

     

    Celtic Connections Kicks off this Week
     
    Celtic Connections 2014 kicks off this Thursday for 18 days filled with memorable musical moments.  
     
    This is the festival’s 21st year and with the most eclectic and diverse programme yet it is fair to say that Celtic Connections has really come of age.  
     
    Celtic Connections 2014 Showcases at The SSE Hydro
     
    2014 will also see the festival expand into Scotland’s new leading venue the SSE Hydro with two very special shows. 
     
    Glasgow’s own Del Amitri will play their first UK show since 2002 on the city’s newest and biggest stage as part of the festival on Friday 24th January. 
     
    To celebrate Burns night birthday on Saturday 25th January a star-studded line-up will ascend on the Hydro’s stage for the Celtic Connections International Burns Night which has been made possible thanks to support from Homecoming Scotland 2014. 
     
    Musical greats such as Capercailllie, Rachel Sermanni, Dougie MacLean, The Mahotella Queens and Raghu Dixit will explore Burns’s influence throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. The line-up is ever growing and there will be some surprise appearances on the night, as well as celebrations of the lives of Nelson Mandela and Northern Irish Poet Seamus Heaney. 
     
    Celtic Connections International Burns Concert will be aired on BBC Scotland later that night.  
     
    Line up announced for Alliance Concert 
    Indie folk five-piece Admiral Fallow, Scottish alternative folk rock band Kassidy, songstress Eddi Reader, founder member of The Delgados Emma Pollock, Horse McDonald, Hue & Cry, Little Fire, Siobhan Wilson, Joe Nisbet Jnr and Tommy Reilly are among the acts joining us for the Alliance Scotland celebration concert – Letters, Life and Love Stories: A Celebration of Caring. This show pays tribute to the love and dedication of Scotland's 660,000 carers, by bringing some of their inspiring stories to life with music.
     
    Other Celtic cultures
    The Celts have always been a wandering lot and this is vividly brought to life this year in On Celtic Drover Tracks, which brings together eight leading folk musicians from the British Isles, Canada and Australia on Thursday 23rd January at the Mitchell Theatre to perform two new works inspired by the history and lore of cattle droving. 
     
    Celebrating the Celtic kinship between Scotland and Wales, we welcome some of the most exciting acts on today’s Welsh folk scene to the Tron Theatre on Friday 17th January, including DnA, Gwyneth Glyn and busking sensation Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion who played a major part in the Welsh folk revival of the early 1990s. 
     
    From further afield, we have a Breton Night featuring Barzaz and Ronan Le Bars Group and central driving force in Québécois music, accordionist and singer Yves Lambert on Saturday 25th January at the Old Fruitmarket. 
     
    Jazz up January
    Celtic Connections is nothing if not a melting pot - and among the great jazz offerings this year is the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's collaboration with Mercury Prize-nominated pianist Gwilym Simcock  and saxophonist Trish Clowes, a current Radio 3 New Generation artist. They'll be traversing boundaries to bring a feast of jazz, improv and classical to the Grand Hall in City Halls on Monday 27th January. 
     
    Also in a jazz vein, Balkan Beat stars the Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra at the Old Fruitmarket on Saturday 18th January and Manu Dibango, the first African musician ever to reach the US Top 40 at the same venue on Sunday 26th January.
    For something different The National Jazz Trio of Scotland (not jazz, not a trio, in no way officially 'national') will be led by the wayward genius of Bill Wells at the Tron Theatre on Sunday 19th January. 
     
    Afternoon entertainment
    Celtic Connections has a reputation for heating up when the sun goes down but there’s also plenty going on during the weekend afternoons. Sunday afternoons are made complete by the excellent line-ups at Hazy Recollections - this year they range from the 16-plus members of The Second Hand Marching Band to neo-bluegrass combo The Dirty Beggars, singer Alistair Ogilvy and hip-hop supremos Stanley Odd. The cream of young talent shows up for the Traditional Musician of the Year Young Trad Tour and there are definitely some 'ones to watch' in our New Voices concerts - featuring Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes, Doctor Who and Brave piper Lorne MacDougall and The Shee's Rachel Newton.  
     
    Gigs at Platform 
     
    Celtic Connections is putting on two gigs at Platform again in 2014. Friday 24th January will see cult Newcastle neo-troubadour Richard Dawson, Australian slide guitar virtuoso and singer/songwriterJeff Lang perform with support coming from Lang’s award-winning Australian compatriots The Mae trio. 
     
    On Saturday 25th January Arab Strap’s Malcolm Middleton will perform as well as fast-rising Australian star Jordie Lane who will deliver a mix of rugged country-folk and old-timey blues. Supporting on this bill is Assam’s Papon who will combine his home state’s distinctive folk music with Indian classical elements and western contemporary influnces.  
     
    Change to Concert Content
     
    Amadou & Mariam will no longer be presenting their ‘Eclipse’ project at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 22nd January and will be presenting their regular performance instead. 
     
    Support Acts 
     
    AJ Roach will no longer be supporting Nuala Kennedy Band at Oran Mor on Wednesday 29th January and has been replaced by one of last year’s Danny Kyle Open Stage Winners Elliott Morris. Elliott combines vibrant folk-pop songcraft and inventive percussive guitar work. 
     
    Marc Duff & Hamish Napier, acclaimed whistle players in their own right, will be supporting Lorne MacDougall & Ross Kennedy in their Deadly Duos concert at the National Piping Centre on Thursday 30th January. 
     
    Change to  Concert Venues and Times
    Dub Inc will now be performing in the O2 ABC 2 instead of the O2 ABC 1 on Friday 17th January. 
     
    Gaels la Chèile/Gaels Together @ Ceòl’s Criac will be starting at an earlier time of 7pm on Friday 17th January. 
    Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, can’t believe the festival starts so soon, “I can’t wait for it all to kick off this Thursday, this is the best bit – seeing all the months of planning come into play over the next 3 weeks.
     
    “The festival is really coming of age this year, as can be seen from the expansion into Scotland new leading venue and also in the diversity of this year’s programme. Although Celtic Connections still stays true to its roots it has definitely become more adventurous and brings music from all over the world to Glasgow’s stages. The festival also continues to embrace other musical genres as can be seen in the line-up of this year’s Opening Concert. Who’d have thought twenty years ago that one of the world’s most incredible classical musical stars would be premiering new collaborative work alongside Scottish traditional musicans at the opening night of the festival?”
     

    Celtic Connections 2014 kicks off this Thursday for 18 days filled with memorable musical moments.   

    This is the festival’s 21st year and with the most eclectic and diverse programme yet it is fair to say that Celtic Connections has really come of age.   

    Celtic Connections 2014 Showcases at The SSE Hydro 

    2014 will also see the festival expand into Scotland’s new leading venue the SSE Hydro with two very special shows.  

    Glasgow’s own Del Amitri will play their first UK show since 2002 on the city’s newest and biggest stage as part of the festival on Friday 24th January.  

    To celebrate Burns night birthday on Saturday 25th January a star-studded line-up will ascend on the Hydro’s stage for the Celtic Connections International Burns Night which has been made possible thanks to support from Homecoming Scotland 2014.  

    Musical greats such as Capercailllie, Rachel Sermanni, Dougie MacLean, The Mahotella Queens and Raghu Dixit will explore Burns’s influence throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. The line-up is ever growing and there will be some surprise appearances on the night, as well as celebrations of the lives of Nelson Mandela and Northern Irish Poet Seamus Heaney.  

    Celtic Connections International Burns Concert will be aired on BBC Scotland later that night.   

    Line up announced for Alliance Concert 

    Indie folk five-piece Admiral Fallow, Scottish alternative folk rock band Kassidy, songstress Eddi Reader, founder member of The Delgados Emma Pollock, Horse McDonald, Hue & Cry, Little Fire, Siobhan Wilson, Joe Nisbet Jnr and Tommy Reilly are among the acts joining us for the Alliance Scotland celebration concert – Letters, Life and Love Stories: A Celebration of Caring. This show pays tribute to the love and dedication of Scotland's 660,000 carers, by bringing some of their inspiring stories to life with music. 

    Other Celtic cultures

    The Celts have always been a wandering lot and this is vividly brought to life this year in On Celtic Drover Tracks, which brings together eight leading folk musicians from the British Isles, Canada and Australia on Thursday 23rd January at the Mitchell Theatre to perform two new works inspired by the history and lore of cattle droving.  

    Celebrating the Celtic kinship between Scotland and Wales, we welcome some of the most exciting acts on today’s Welsh folk scene to the Tron Theatre on Friday 17th January, including DnA, Gwyneth Glyn and busking sensation Bob Delyn a’r Ebillion who played a major part in the Welsh folk revival of the early 1990s.  

    From further afield, we have a Breton Night featuring Barzaz and Ronan Le Bars Group and central driving force in Québécois music, accordionist and singer Yves Lambert on Saturday 25th January at the Old Fruitmarket.  

    Jazz up January

    Celtic Connections is nothing if not a melting pot - and among the great jazz offerings this year is the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's collaboration with Mercury Prize-nominated pianist Gwilym Simcock  and saxophonist Trish Clowes, a current Radio 3 New Generation artist. They'll be traversing boundaries to bring a feast of jazz, improv and classical to the Grand Hall in City Halls on Monday 27th January.  

    Also in a jazz vein, Balkan Beat stars the Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra at the Old Fruitmarket on Saturday 18th January and Manu Dibango, the first African musician ever to reach the US Top 40 at the same venue on Sunday 26th January.

    For something different The National Jazz Trio of Scotland (not jazz, not a trio, in no way officially 'national') will be led by the wayward genius of Bill Wells at the Tron Theatre on Sunday 19th January.  

    Afternoon entertainment

    Celtic Connections has a reputation for heating up when the sun goes down but there’s also plenty going on during the weekend afternoons. Sunday afternoons are made complete by the excellent line-ups at Hazy Recollections - this year they range from the 16-plus members of The Second Hand Marching Band to neo-bluegrass combo The Dirty Beggars, singer Alistair Ogilvy and hip-hop supremos Stanley Odd. The cream of young talent shows up for the Traditional Musician of the Year Young Trad Tour and there are definitely some 'ones to watch' in our New Voices concerts - featuring Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes, Doctor Who and Brave piper Lorne MacDougall and The Shee's Rachel Newton.   

    Gigs at Platform  

    Celtic Connections is putting on two gigs at Platform again in 2014. Friday 24th January will see cult Newcastle neo-troubadour Richard Dawson, Australian slide guitar virtuoso and singer/songwriterJeff Lang perform with support coming from Lang’s award-winning Australian compatriots The Mae trio.  

    On Saturday 25th January Arab Strap’s Malcolm Middleton will perform as well as fast-rising Australian star Jordie Lane who will deliver a mix of rugged country-folk and old-timey blues. Supporting on this bill is Assam’s Papon who will combine his home state’s distinctive folk music with Indian classical elements and western contemporary influnces.   

    Change to Concert Content 

    Amadou & Mariam will no longer be presenting their ‘Eclipse’ project at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 22nd January and will be presenting their regular performance instead.  

    Support Acts  

    AJ Roach will no longer be supporting Nuala Kennedy Band at Oran Mor on Wednesday 29th January and has been replaced by one of last year’s Danny Kyle Open Stage Winners Elliott Morris. Elliott combines vibrant folk-pop songcraft and inventive percussive guitar work.  

    Marc Duff & Hamish Napier, acclaimed whistle players in their own right, will be supporting Lorne MacDougall & Ross Kennedy in their Deadly Duos concert at the National Piping Centre on Thursday 30th January.  

    Change to  Concert Venues and Times

     Dub Inc will now be performing in the O2 ABC 2 instead of the O2 ABC 1 on Friday 17th January.  

    Gaels la Chèile/Gaels Together @ Ceòl’s Criac will be starting at an earlier time of 7pm on Friday 17th January. 

     Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, can’t believe the festival starts so soon, “I can’t wait for it all to kick off this Thursday, this is the best bit – seeing all the months of planning come into play over the next 3 weeks. 

    “The festival is really coming of age this year, as can be seen from the expansion into Scotland new leading venue and also in the diversity of this year’s programme. Although Celtic Connections still stays true to its roots it has definitely become more adventurous and brings music from all over the world to Glasgow’s stages. The festival also continues to embrace other musical genres as can be seen in the line-up of this year’s Opening Concert. Who’d have thought twenty years ago that one of the world’s most incredible classical musical stars would be premiering new collaborative work alongside Scottish traditional musicans at the opening night of the festival?” 

     Celtic Connections 2014 tickets are now on sale: 

     Online               www.celticconnections.com

     By phone          0141 353 8000

     In person       Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

                            2 Sauchiehall Street

                            Glasgow, G2 3NY

     

                            City Halls and Old Fruitmarket

                            Candleriggs

                            Glasgow, G1 1NQ

     

     


    Category: International Events

  • 13 January 2014

    New Edinburgh Deal For Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry

    Following a thrilling day of world-class athletics in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat last weekend (Saturday 11th January), event partners EventScotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and NOVA International have announced a new deal to secure the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry for Scotland until 2018.

    This year saw the 25th edition of the event in the UK with Garrett Heath from the USA taking the men’s 4k title, while GB runner Gemma Steel took the women’s 6K race. Alongside the elite races, the event also includes the Great Winter Run 5k, which is attracts over 2500 amateur runners each year.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry is an annual highlight on our sporting calendar. Attracting some of the biggest names in athletics, we are proud to host this world-class meet in Edinburgh.

    “Taking place in Holyrood Park, in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, the meet is a wonderful advert for our capital city, and it is credit to our credentials as a major event destination that we have secured a new deal for the Cross Country through to 2018.”

    Cllr Steve Cardownie, Festivals & Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I am delighted that, with the Council’s support, the Nova event can continue until at least 2018.

    “The Great Edinburgh Cross Country race, staged in Holyrood Park in January, is of particular significance. Attracting some of the finest endurance runners in the world, it is worth around £1m to the local economy and, thanks to live coverage on the BBC, acts as a fantastic advert for the city.”

    Nicky Homes, commercial director at Nova International added: “We’re delighted that the event will continue to be staged in Edinburgh, our aim for this event has always been to create a world-class festival of cross country running, and the support from our partners EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh council is invaluable in helping us achieve that.  

    “The growing number of participants in the mass participation event and increase in enthusiastic spectators, as well as the consistent quality of elite athletes from around the world, show the event is going from strength to strength.”    

    Category: International Events

  • 10 January 2014

    Waste not want not as AECC's efforts meet waste regulations

    In a bid to curb its waste disposal costs, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) diverts over 50% of its waste from landfill by recycling food, card, paper and glass; enabling it to comply with the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations which came into force this month (1 January 2014). 

    The Venue’s many catering and beverage points use cups, plates and cutlery made from corn starch, which means these can be composted alongside food waste. All food waste and compostable packaging is collected for processing locally at an Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Aberdeenshire, turning the waste into compost which can be used by local farmers. 
    David McDonald, Catering General Manager at AECC commented: “For us, needing to become a more sustainable business was spurred on by our desire to cut costs commercially, given the high financial cost of sending waste to landfill. We are not experts in this area by any means, but we are a group of focused individuals who want to make a difference.
    “While the food waste requirements don’t include drinks, the particular challenge we had was how to deal with our liquid food waste. We overcame this problem by following Scottish Water’s best practice guidance for dealing with waste soup, stocks, sauces and milk products, which usually all contain fat and can congeal and harden in the drains. With agreement with our waste contractor, we simply leave them to cool and harden, scrape into container and place them in a food waste bin. Used fat, oil and grease are placed in containers and uplifted as it’s an offence to dispose of them in the drain under the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968. By continuously working to reduce waste, we are delighted to have been waste regulation compliant ahead of deadline”. 
    Ian Gulland of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “A recent report from WRAP highlighted the staggering annual cost to Scotland’s hospitality and food service sector of throwing away its food waste. By implementing ways in which food waste can be cut down and recycled rather than thrown away, the industry could be in a position of saving £166 million per annum. It’s fantastic to see Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre is well on its way to helping Scotland’s hospitality industry achieve that saving. However, they have been effective across the board, not just with food waste, and through the measures implemented are in a great position to comply with the new waste regulations. I would encourage those within the hospitality industry to sign up to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, a UK wide voluntary agreement to reduce waste.
    “We urge all organisations, regardless of size, to speak to their local authority or waste contractor for about the waste regulations to ensure that they are compliant. A wealth of excellent free help, advice and support is available via the Resource Efficient Scotland programme.In a bid to curb its waste disposal costs, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) diverts over 50% of its waste from landfill by recycling food, card, paper and glass; enabling it to comply with the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations which came into force this month (1 January 2014). 

    In order to achieve its sustainability goals AECC wrote a Waste Management Plan and put an Environmental Management System in place. The Venue, which attracts over 300,000 visitors to over 600 events a year, embarked on a campaign in May 2011 to recycle as much waste as possible, to minimise hefty landfill charges and increase sustainability of the events held there.  AECC’s efforts, which have earned the Centre Gold Status in the Green Tourism Business Scheme, have been instrumental in enabling AECC to meet the new waste regulations, which are now in effect.

    All businesses in Scotland are now (as of 1 January 2014) legally required to separate key recyclable materials including paper and card, plastic, metals and glass for recycling collection. In addition, all food businesses which produce over 50kg of food waste per week must present this for separate collection, unless they are located in a rural area.

    Ahead of the game, the Venue makes use of the ‘Recycle on the Go’ brand with bins dedicated to different waste streams to promote recycling. Staff training has been implemented to ensure the bins are used correctly. Prominent signage is key to success, ensuring that staff and visitors are clear where they need to dispose of their rubbish. 

    The Centre has also been proactive in promoting re-use schemes for items it no longer needs. For instance, part-used radio-microphone batteries are offered for staff to take away and use rather than be disposed of. All items no longer needed such as used light bulbs, batteries and exhibition carpets are now sent to be recycled rather than sent direct to landfill. 

     The Venue’s many catering and beverage points use cups, plates and cutlery made from corn starch, which means these can be composted alongside food waste. All food waste and compostable packaging is collected for processing locally at an Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Aberdeenshire, turning the waste into compost which can be used by local farmers. 

     David McDonald, Catering General Manager at AECC commented: “For us, needing to become a more sustainable business was spurred on by our desire to cut costs commercially, given the high financial cost of sending waste to landfill. We are not experts in this area by any means, but we are a group of focused individuals who want to make a difference.

     “While the food waste requirements don’t include drinks, the particular challenge we had was how to deal with our liquid food waste. We overcame this problem by following Scottish Water’s best practice guidance for dealing with waste soup, stocks, sauces and milk products, which usually all contain fat and can congeal and harden in the drains. With agreement with our waste contractor, we simply leave them to cool and harden, scrape into container and place them in a food waste bin. Used fat, oil and grease are placed in containers and uplifted as it’s an offence to dispose of them in the drain under the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968. By continuously working to reduce waste, we are delighted to have been waste regulation compliant ahead of deadline”. 

     Ian Gulland of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “A recent report from WRAP highlighted the staggering annual cost to Scotland’s hospitality and food service sector of throwing away its food waste. By implementing ways in which food waste can be cut down and recycled rather than thrown away, the industry could be in a position of saving £166 million per annum. It’s fantastic to see Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre is well on its way to helping Scotland’s hospitality industry achieve that saving. However, they have been effective across the board, not just with food waste, and through the measures implemented are in a great position to comply with the new waste regulations. I would encourage those within the hospitality industry to sign up to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, a UK wide voluntary agreement to reduce waste.

     “We urge all organisations, regardless of size, to speak to their local authority or waste contractor for about the waste regulations to ensure that they are compliant. A wealth of excellent free help, advice and support is available via the Resource Efficient Scotland programme.” 

     Free online support is available at www.resourceefficientscotland.com/regulations. Food businesses should use the rural postcode finder to help determine whether they are exempt from presenting food waste for collection if they are in a rural area. Detailed answers are available in the FAQ section. 

     A quick summary of resources is available online.

     The Business Resource Centre offers a local search for waste management services, including recycling and reuse organisations.

     A webinar provides a detailed briefing for businesses covering a range of topics including Duty of Care and the Waste Hierarchy with the prevention is better than management principal.

     Scottish Water recommended best practice for the disposal of liquid food waste can be found at: http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/you-and-your-home/your-home/keep-the-water-cycle-running-smoothly/in-the-kitchen

    Category: Industry News

  • 10 January 2014

    Porter, Bleasdale, Meadows and Proctor to star in Glasgow

     

    PORTER, BLEASDALE, MEADOWS & PROCTOR TO STAR IN GLASGOW 
    Tiffany Porter (coach: Rana Reider), Holly Bleasdale (Scott Simpson) and Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) have all confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 25 January. 
    After winning IAAF World Championship bronze in the 100m hurdles in Moscow, Porter will head to the Emirates Arena full of confidence as she looks to better her British indoor record of 7.80 in 2014.  
    “Medalling in Moscow was definitely the highlight of 2013 for me. Given the competition in the event at the moment, I was over the moon to come away with a bronze medal and a personal best. 
    “However, I’m already focused on 2014 and opening my international competitive season with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January. I’m sure the home crowd will be there to get behind the Scottish athletes before the Commonwealth Games, and I know I’ll have to be at my very best to come away with maximum points for GB & NI.”
    Not content with her two medals last year, the 26 year old has set her sights on medalling at three major championships in 2014. 
     
    “This year there are three podiums that I would like to visit - World Indoors, European Championships and, of course, the Commonwealth Games," added the reigning World Indoor silver medallist. 
    Bleasdale, who leapt to pole vault gold at the European Indoor Championships in March missed the entire outdoor season through injury, but returned to action last month with a 4.61m clearance in Villeurbaune, France. After a period of six months on the sidelines, the 22 year old is looking forward to getting her indoor season underway in Glasgow. 
    It was great to get back to competing following a long spell away from the runway. It was a strong start and I feel I’m in good shape ready for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match at the end of January, an event in which I won last year.” 
    2014 promises to be another big year for the Cardiff-based athlete and Bleasdale knows that she has to be at her very best to put herself in contention with the world’s best in 2014. Despite Olympic champion Jenn Suhr clearing a world indoor record of 5.02m in March last year and four Europeans going beyond her outdoor personal best in 2013, Bleasdale is confident of putting herself in medal contention next year. 
    “Pole vault is one of the strongest events on the circuit at the moment and I know that I will have to be jumping over 4.70m to put myself in contention for a medal at the World Indoors, European Championships or Commonwealth Games. I know that I am capable of competing with the best and I feel there are no limits to how high I can go, it’s just about getting that performance right on the day,” added Bleasdale, who boasts an indoor personal best of 4.87m.  
    Meadows is another athlete on the comeback trail after injuries have restricted her to just a handful of appearances over the last two years. However, the 800m star believes that the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match presents the ideal opportunity to get back to the form that saw her take European Indoor gold in 2011. 
    “2013 was another tough year for me, but the injuries have made me more determined to come back and show that I’m still a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. Glasgow will give me a gauge of where I am in relation to my competition and I’m determined to go out there and put in a solid performance for GB & NI,” said the 33 year old, who has recorded three victories from her previous eight appearances at the meet. 
    “To have the opportunity to go up against a world-class field so early on in the season will help me build towards the major championships in 2014. Having been so close to a medal in Gothenburg earlier this year, my focus is on getting on the podium at the World Indoors.” 
    GB & NI teammate Proctor is targeting medal success next year and believes that with a few slight adjustments, she can make the step up to the major medals in both the indoors and outdoors. 
    “I’m looking for a big year in 2014 and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match will provide the perfect springboard for the World Indoors and the outdoor season. 
    “I competed at this meet in 2012, but I’m really looking forward to getting familiar with the surroundings and the atmosphere ahead of the Commonwealth Games. My goal this year is to get amongst the medals, and feel that if I can jump to my potential, I have the capability of beating anyone. I’m edging closer and closer to the seven metre mark and believe that with a tweak here and there, I can make that small jump.”  
    Porter, Bleasdale, Meadows and Proctor will join Olympic medallists Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) at the Emirates Arena along with T44 100m rivals Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) and USA’s Richard Browne, European Indoor 60m silver medallist James Dasaolu (Fudge), 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, world 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) and Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Steph Reid (Reider).
    Tickets for the Glasgow British Athletics International Match are on sale at britishathletics.org.uk   

    Tiffany Porter (coach: Rana Reider), Holly Bleasdale (Scott Simpson) and Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) have all confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 25 January. After winning IAAF World Championship bronze in the 100m hurdles in Moscow, Porter will head to the Emirates Arena full of confidence as she looks to better her British indoor record of 7.80 in 2014. “Medalling in Moscow was definitely the highlight of 2013 for me. Given the competition in the event at the moment, I was over the moon to come away with a bronze medal and a personal best. 

    “However, I’m already focused on 2014 and opening my international competitive season with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January. I’m sure the home crowd will be there to get behind the Scottish athletes before the Commonwealth Games, and I know I’ll have to be at my very best to come away with maximum points for GB & NI.”

    Not content with her two medals last year, the 26 year old has set her sights on medalling at three major championships in 2014.  “This year there are three podiums that I would like to visit - World Indoors, European Championships and, of course, the Commonwealth Games," added the reigning World Indoor silver medallist. 

    Bleasdale, who leapt to pole vault gold at the European Indoor Championships in March missed the entire outdoor season through injury, but returned to action last month with a 4.61m clearance in Villeurbaune, France. After a period of six months on the sidelines, the 22 year old is looking forward to getting her indoor season underway in Glasgow. 

    It was great to get back to competing following a long spell away from the runway. It was a strong start and I feel I’m in good shape ready for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match at the end of January, an event in which I won last year.” 

    2014 promises to be another big year for the Cardiff-based athlete and Bleasdale knows that she has to be at her very best to put herself in contention with the world’s best in 2014. Despite Olympic champion Jenn Suhr clearing a world indoor record of 5.02m in March last year and four Europeans going beyond her outdoor personal best in 2013, Bleasdale is confident of putting herself in medal contention next year. 

    “Pole vault is one of the strongest events on the circuit at the moment and I know that I will have to be jumping over 4.70m to put myself in contention for a medal at the World Indoors, European Championships or Commonwealth Games. I know that I am capable of competing with the best and I feel there are no limits to how high I can go, it’s just about getting that performance right on the day,” added Bleasdale, who boasts an indoor personal best of 4.87m.  

    Meadows is another athlete on the comeback trail after injuries have restricted her to just a handful of appearances over the last two years. However, the 800m star believes that the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match presents the ideal opportunity to get back to the form that saw her take European Indoor gold in 2011. 

    “2013 was another tough year for me, but the injuries have made me more determined to come back and show that I’m still a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. Glasgow will give me a gauge of where I am in relation to my competition and I’m determined to go out there and put in a solid performance for GB & NI,” said the 33 year old, who has recorded three victories from her previous eight appearances at the meet. 

    “To have the opportunity to go up against a world-class field so early on in the season will help me build towards the major championships in 2014. Having been so close to a medal in Gothenburg earlier this year, my focus is on getting on the podium at the World Indoors.” 

    GB & NI teammate Proctor is targeting medal success next year and believes that with a few slight adjustments, she can make the step up to the major medals in both the indoors and outdoors. 

    “I’m looking for a big year in 2014 and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match will provide the perfect springboard for the World Indoors and the outdoor season. 

    “I competed at this meet in 2012, but I’m really looking forward to getting familiar with the surroundings and the atmosphere ahead of the Commonwealth Games. My goal this year is to get amongst the medals, and feel that if I can jump to my potential, I have the capability of beating anyone. I’m edging closer and closer to the seven metre mark and believe that with a tweak here and there, I can make that small jump.”  

    Porter, Bleasdale, Meadows and Proctor will join Olympic medallists Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) at the Emirates Arena along with T44 100m rivals Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) and USA’s Richard Browne, European Indoor 60m silver medallist James Dasaolu (Fudge), 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, world 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) and Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Steph Reid (Reider).

    Tickets for the Glasgow British Athletics International Match are on sale at britishathletics.org.uk   

    Category: International Events

  • 08 January 2014

    VisitScotland Opens the Door to 2014

     

    VISITSCOTLAND OPENS THE DOOR TO 2014
    A new marketing campaign designed to encourage Scots and those in the north of England and Northern Ireland to uncover the Homecoming Scotland 2014 events on their doorsteps was launched today (Wednesday 8 January) by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.
    The £500,000 campaign, which involves a dedicated TV advert as well as additional press, radio, digital and promotional activity, will demonstrate how easy it is to attend at least one of the record number of 430 Homecoming events (and counting) which stretch across Scotland.
    The advert, to be shown across Scotland, the north of England and Northern Ireland, depicts different family groups stepping out of their front doors straight into one of the many Homecoming events including:
    Grandparents with their 2 grandchildren enjoying the Lochearnhead Highland Games
    A couple taking the CalMac ferry to Islay to enjoy the Islay Festival of Music and Malt
    A young couple at the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway
    A couple on the High Street enjoying the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
    A mum and her two young children at Return to the Ridings in the Scottish Borders
    The 30-second advert is aimed primarily at the domestic market to encourage Scots to attend not just one, but many of the vast, diverse activities happening across Scotland in 2014 and get involved in what is set to be the biggest programme of events for Homecoming that the country has ever seen.
    As well as the TV advert, a promotional campaign has been launched on radio and in print and a special Homecoming App, also launched today, will allow users to search events, bookmark favourites, check in while at events and take photos to seamlessly share with friends and those around them. Visitors can also download a special e-brochure.
    Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister said:
    “The world-class events planned for Homecoming 2014 create a huge opportunity for Scotland, boosting our tourism industry and wider economy and positioning our country on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation.
    “We have already seen Lonely Planet name Scotland as one of the three top countries in the world to visit in 2014. CNN recently listed Edinburgh as a top ten city to visit this winter. This fantastic news further adds to the momentum building through spectacular events such as last week’s Hogmanay celebrations.
    “The Doorsteps TV advert showcases some of the other inspirational events and activities happening across Scotland in 2014 and warmly invites our people and visitors closer to home to join the celebration.  
    “This year, Scotland will also play host to the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the MTV Europe Awards - which will broadcast to nearly 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels.
    “2014 will be an extraordinary year for Scotland and this advert, alongside the Homecoming app and enhanced information on the wider events programme which are also now available, will help us to share it with as many people as possible.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
    “From the Orkney Nature Festival in the north to the Big Burns Supper in the south, Homecoming Scotland events are sweeping across the country in 2014 and we want everyone to get out there and enjoy them, whether it’s just one, or all 430 – now there’s a challenge!  
    “Homecoming is not only about Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, it’s about Scots themselves, opening their doors to the rich culture and history all around them.  It’s going to be a truly amazing year.”
    The Homecoming ‘doorsteps’ advert was created by Edinburgh-based The Leith Agency and directed by Martin Wedderburn. The adverts will appear on television in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England from 8 – 27 January, when millions of people will see the advert.  Further bursts of activity are planned for early March and May.
    The ‘doorsteps’ advert complements the VisitScotland ‘Brilliant Moments’ campaign, launched in November 2013, which promotes Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup to national and international audiences through TV advertising, radio, print, outdoor and online.      
    The end frame to the ‘doorsteps’ advert states “A Year of Brilliant Moments, right on your doorstep,” to link the campaigns. The advert will also promote the homecomingscotland.com website and twitter handle: #Homecoming2014.  The advert will be available to view on the VisitScotland YouTube channel from 11am on Wednesday 8 January.4A new marketing campaign designed to encourage Scots and those in the north of England and Northern Ireland to uncover the Homecoming Scotland 2014 events on their doorsteps was launched today (Wednesday 8 January) by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

    A new marketing campaign designed to encourage Scots and those in the north of England and Northern Ireland to uncover the Homecoming Scotland 2014 events on their doorsteps was launched today (Wednesday 8 January) by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

     The £500,000 campaign, which involves a dedicated TV advert as well as additional press, radio, digital and promotional activity, will demonstrate how easy it is to attend at least one of the record number of 430 Homecoming events (and counting) which stretch across Scotland.

     The advert, to be shown across Scotland, the north of England and Northern Ireland, depicts different family groups stepping out of their front doors straight into one of the many Homecoming events including:

      Grandparents with their 2 grandchildren enjoying the Lochearnhead Highland Games• A couple taking the CalMac ferry to Islay to enjoy the Islay Festival of Music and Malt• A young couple at the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway• A couple on the High Street enjoying the Edinburgh Festival Fringe• A mum and her two young children at Return to the Ridings in the Scottish Borders

     The 30-second advert is aimed primarily at the domestic market to encourage Scots to attend not just one, but many of the vast, diverse activities happening across Scotland in 2014 and get involved in what is set to be the biggest programme of events for Homecoming that the country has ever seen.

     As well as the TV advert, a promotional campaign has been launched on radio and in print and a special Homecoming App, also launched today, will allow users to search events, bookmark favourites, check in while at events and take photos to seamlessly share with friends and those around them. Visitors can also download a special e-brochure

     Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister said:“The world-class events planned for Homecoming 2014 create a huge opportunity for Scotland, boosting our tourism industry and wider economy and positioning our country on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation.

     “We have already seen Lonely Planet name Scotland as one of the three top countries in the world to visit in 2014. CNN recently listed Edinburgh as a top ten city to visit this winter. This fantastic news further adds to the momentum building through spectacular events such as last week’s Hogmanay celebrations.

     “The Doorsteps TV advert showcases some of the other inspirational events and activities happening across Scotland in 2014 and warmly invites our people and visitors closer to home to join the celebration.  

     “This year, Scotland will also play host to the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the MTV Europe Awards - which will broadcast to nearly 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels.

     “2014 will be an extraordinary year for Scotland and this advert, alongside the Homecoming app and enhanced information on the wider events programme which are also now available, will help us to share it with as many people as possible.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:“From the Orkney Nature Festival in the north to the Big Burns Supper in the south, Homecoming Scotland events are sweeping across the country in 2014 and we want everyone to get out there and enjoy them, whether it’s just one, or all 430 – now there’s a challenge!  

     “Homecoming is not only about Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, it’s about Scots themselves, opening their doors to the rich culture and history all around them.  It’s going to be a truly amazing year.”

     The Homecoming ‘doorsteps’ advert was created by Edinburgh-based The Leith Agency and directed by Martin Wedderburn. The adverts will appear on television in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England from 8 – 27 January, when millions of people will see the advert.  Further bursts of activity are planned for early March and May.

     The ‘doorsteps’ advert complements the VisitScotland ‘Brilliant Moments’ campaign, launched in November 2013, which promotes Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup to national and international audiences through TV advertising, radio, print, outdoor and online.      

     The end frame to the ‘doorsteps’ advert states “A Year of Brilliant Moments, right on your doorstep,” to link the campaigns. The advert will also promote the homecomingscotland.com website and twitter handle: #Homecoming2014.  The advert will be available to view on the VisitScotland YouTube channel 

    Category: International Events

  • 07 January 2014

    The Perfect New Year Resolution!

    We’re all guilty of making the same old New Year’s Resolutions every January and then finding a wealth of excuses come December when we realise we’ve not fulfilled them – yet again! 

    One of the most common is to ‘get fit’, closely followed by ‘achieve something special’, ‘set myself a challenge’, ‘do something for me’. If this sounds like you, here’s an opportunity to tick off every single one of these in a one go – by entering this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running on Sunday 28th September! 

    With eight months of training time, regardless of your running abilities and fitness levels, this is one challenge that is totally within your grasp – and imagine how good you’ll feel come the end of the year knowing you’ve met your goal and kept your resolution?! 

    Read more and enter online by clicking here.

    Early Bird Still Available!

    What’s even better than the feeling of signing up and committing to taking part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon or Baxters River Ness 10K? That’s right, committing to take part AND securing a place at the reduced, Early Bird entry fee rate! 

    You have until midnight on the 1st March to take advantage of this great reduction so hop online and do it now. 

    And don’t forget, you can also choose from the team event, 10k Corporate Challenge, the increasingly popular Baxters River Ness 5K or a favourite with the tots – the Wee Nessie

    For all information and entry click here.

    A Winning Partnership For 2014

    Macmillan Cancer Support are delighted to once again, be the Official Charity at the 2014 Loch Ness Festival of Running and are urging runners to join Team Macmillan with their place to support those affected by cancer. You will receive unrivalled support, a free running vest, a free fundraising & training pack, the loudest cheers on the course, a free post-race massage and a great reason to keep running. 

    Click here to sign up or call 020 7840 4619 

    Kick Start Your New Year Resolutions 

    Now the festivities are coming to an end, what better way to kick-start your New Year’s resolutions than by signing up to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon? 

    Whether seeking to achieve health resolutions or looking to raise money for charity, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is the ideal event to keep you motivated in 2014. 

    Click here to read more

    Global Energy Inverness Half MarathonEntries are still available for the Loch Ness Marathon’s sister event – the Global Energy Inverness ½ Marathon, 5K Team Attack and 5K Fun Run taking place on Sunday 9th March 2014.

    There’s something for everyone amongst these three, popular races so whether a new challenge, your first ever race or as part of your Marathon training, come and join us. But be quick! You only have until the 19th February to get your entry in! 

    For information and entry details click here.

    With over 12,500 ‘likes’ on Facebook, we’ve got quite a big, happy gang chatting away on there so if you’re not already one of them, come and join us! You’ll get the ‘banter’ as well as useful event info, training tips, updates, competitions and photos. 

    Click here to join us.

    You can also keep in touch with us by tweeting @nessmarathon or using the hash tag, #LNM2014. 

    https://twitter.com/nessmarathon

    Category: International Events

  • 07 January 2014

    Double World Champion Kiprop Chasing Another Edinburgh Title

    Asbel Kiprop, the current 1500m World Champion, will start his New Year campaign when he defends his Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry crown on 11 January 2014.

    The Kenyan, who roared to a solid victory in the last Men’s international short course race in 2012, lines up against a field including the world's greatest ever cross country runner, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, and his younger brother, Olympic 10000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele.

    Chris Thompson, a former European 10000m silver medallist will head the British opposition in the four kilometre clash alongside Scotland's promising middle distance runner, European Junior 1500m champion Jake Wightman.

    Teenager Wightman has ambitions of making the Scottish team for this summer's Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, and this will be a testing occasion for the 19-year-old Edinburgh AC athlete.

    Also competing will be Garrett Heath of the United States who surprisingly won the Bupa Great North Mile on Tyneside last September when beating world class opposition including after a hard season, a very tired looking Kiprop in a sprint finish.  

    However Kiprop the 2008 Olympic gold medallist who surrendered the title at the London Games, carrying a hamstring injury, is also a talented cross country runner and, will come ready for the meeting in mint condition. 

    Peter Riley, the event's elite athlete manager, insisted he will arrive fully fit after being involved in a road traffic accident last November along with fellow countrymen, World Marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and James Kangogo.

    "Asbel lost control of his car on a bend before landing in a ditch after hitting a rock," said Riley. "But after hospital treatment for bruising he had a short recuperation period and has been back in full time training for quite some time."

    The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country will also feature the annual match between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Team Europe and the United States over the long course. The day includes a popular mass participation 5K, which see’s 2,500 runners take on their first event of the year, the Bupa Great Winter Run in the picturesque surroundings of Holyrood Park.

    The event is free to spectate and no tickets are required, visit www.greatrun.org  for athlete announcements and event information. The Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD on 11 January from 13:14 – 14:45.  

    Category: International Events

  • 31 December 2013

    Scotland's Big Year Starts Here

    The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival, produced by Unique Events on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, kicked off with the Torchlight Procession and attracted over 7,500 torchbearers & 20,000 participants who joined the procession winding through the city centre to the finale. During the Son et Lumière finale Edinburgh’s Hogmanay launched ‘Scotland’s Hogmanay’ – the celebration of 2014, Scotland’s Big Year – with the viewing preview of the ‘2014 Moment’ which will be seen around Scotland at 8.14pm on Hogmanay night. The flagship Concert in the Gardens tomorrow will be headlined by Pet Shop Boys and the spectacular midnight fireworks rising from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill will be set to music and, together with the displays in Stirling and Inverness, will contain the 2014 bespoke sequence to celebrate Scotland’s Hogmanay and Homecoming Scotland.

    On New Year’s day, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands – a journey around nine atmospheric venues – both well-known and less discovered - in Edinburgh’s Old Town, each curated and customised by notable artists and arts organisations from all over Scotland. A cultural feast of free events on the first day of 2014, Feeling brave? New Year’s Day revellers can work off the excess of the night afore with a dip in the River Forth in the annual Homecoming Scotland Loony Dook. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay showcases Scotland on the international stage every year; appearing on global news channels, and capturing the imagination of the world at the midnight moment. Once again we are supporting the spectacular Torchlight Procession on December 30th, which signals the start of three days of celebrations. This year Hogmanay will be the event that signals the start of Homecoming Scotland, and there couldn’t be a more fitting way to kick off a year where Scotland will welcome the world. With the Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and a packed programme throughout Homecoming, Scotland really is the place to be next year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the home of Hogmanay, which makes this event in the capital so special every year.”

     

    Image copyright Grant Richie www.twitter/realedinburgh



  • 11 December 2013

    The Iconic Stanley Cup Trophy Arrives in Scotland

    Ice hockey’s world famous trophy ‘The Stanley Cup’ arrived in Scotland yesterday for the first time. It was flown into Glasgow Airport the Hockey Hall of Fame, as part of Ice Hockey UK’s 100-year celebrations.

    The arrival of the Cup coincides with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under 20s World Championship, which is taking place in Dumfries from 9 – 15 December. 

    The Cup will be on display on Wednesday 11 December (from 12noon to 5pm), one of the tournament’s rest days, at Dumfries Ice Bowl as part of an exhibition commemorating ‘100 years of ice hockey in the UK’, which is being supported by the world renowned Hockey Hall of Fame.

    The Stanley Cup is the much coveted and prestigious championship trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) winner after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.  It was originally commissioned in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston the then British Governor General of Canada.  Winners of the cup (including all team members’ names) are engraved on the cup each year.

    Phil Prichard (Vice President, Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame) explains the world wide significance: "Everybody who picks up a hockey stick and puts on a pair of skates, dreams on winning the Stanley Cup wherever they are from in the world. It is great to be returning to Great Britain with the trophy that Lord Stanley donated so long ago."

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Events Champion from Dumfries & Galloway Council is pleased to welcome the trophy to Scotland: I’m tremendously excited, on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council, to welcome the Stanley Cup to Scotland. Its arrival celebrates 100 years of ice hockey in the UK, and the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Men’s Under 20s World Championship, that is proudly being hosted by Dumfries Ice Bowl.’

    Francois Bourienne, Glasgow Airport’s Commercial Director, said: Glasgow is home to some who have made it to the very top in the sporting world, and often hosts large-scale sporting events, so we are used to seeing famous sportsmen and women passing through Glasgow Airport on a regular basis. We are delighted to welcome the Stanley Cup as it is clearly an impressive and coveted piece of silverware which represents the pinnacle of achievement in ice hockey.”

    The Stanley Cup will be on display at the ‘100 years of Ice Hockey Exhibition’ at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Wednesday 11 December 12noon – 5pm. 

    The IIHF Under 20s World Championship will continue until Sunday 15 December. The Great Britain team will compete against France, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine and the ice hockey promises to be of great quality to enthral and entertain old and new fans of the fast moving sport. 

    Tickets are available from the Midsteeple Box Office on 01387 253383 and online at www.ticketweb.co.uk 

    Ticket prices start from as little as £4 per match and there are affordable family tickets available priced £15.

    Category: National Events

  • 11 December 2013

    Paint the town tartan – Dumfries unveils a three-day festival of music, carnival, cabaret and theatre

     

    Big Country Headline at World’s Largest Burns Night Celebrations
    Paint the town tartan – Dumfries unveils a three-day festival of music, carnival, cabaret and theatre
    THREE days of fabulous entertainment have today been unveiled for January’s Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries – part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
    The acclaimed Scottish rock band Big Country will be among the highlights of an event which includes everything from carnival and cabaret to live music and theatre – plus lots of chances to enjoy a Burns Supper.
    Today’s launch saw the statue of Robert Burns, in Dumfries, dressed in tartan for Big Burns Supper (BBS) 2014.
    The events, which are a key part of the Homecoming Scotland and Scotland’s Winter Festival celebrations, take place over the weekend of 24-26 January – wrapping round Burns Night itself on Saturday 25th.
    Graham Mains, Festival Director, said: “The Big Burns Supper celebrates our national bard and all that’s best about contemporary Scotland. Burns loved life and lived it to the full, and that’s the spirit of our festival.
    “BBS 2014 will be the biggest yet and we look forward to welcoming people from all over Scotland, Britain and the world to enjoy three days of superb fun and entertainment.
    “The festival is a real call to arms, as the nation gets ready for its biggest year on the international stage with the 2014 Year of Homecoming. The programme reflects our desire to connect with more international work, while providing a platform for local talent. 
    “We have also focused on making BBS 2014 highly accessible so there is plenty to enjoy for revellers of every age and taste. There won’t be a bigger, better or more exciting way to enjoy the Burns Night weekend than with us in Dumfries.”
    At the heart of the festival will be the magical Spiegeltent – a large 1920s-style mirrored tent where audiences can enjoy shows, cabaret and music including:
    The great Scottish rock sound of Big Country
    Sensual Spanish-born singer Buika 
    The richly diverse Mull Historical Society
    Folk guitar genius Dick Gaughan and special guests
    Bagpipes, drums and guitars from the Dangleberries
    The Hackney Colliery Band
    After 11pm Club Spiegel arrives, with two party nights plus a wild roller disco.
    BBS 2014 events will be taking place at a variety of venues, and on the streets themselves as Dumfries hosts the first ever Homecoming Carnival. 
    This lantern-lit procession will be one of the first major events of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, and certainly among the most colourful – with 2,000 people expected to take part.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “The Big Burns Supper in Dumfries has become another superb event in Scotland’s successful Winter Festival’s programme. 
    “I was delighted to attend the first Big burns Supper festival in 2012 as well as We Can Be Heroes, the community theatre production created for the Big Burns Supper in 2013. 
    “The success of the young festival, which is financially supported by Scottish Government agencies, is a great credit to the talented local team behind it and the people of Dumfries and Galloway. This year’s Homecoming programme promises to be the most exciting yet.”
    The next BBS will be the third and largest so far. There will be lots of Burns Supper options so everyone can tuck into their traditional haggis, neeps and tatties. These include the award-winning 10-minute Burns Suppers.
    Dumfries Provost Ted Thompson, said: “The Big Burns Supper is a popular event and I am sure that it will be a fantastic addition to the early part of the Homecoming 2014 programme.  Our Council believes that such events are vital in stimulating our economy. We will be introducing a Major Festivals and Events Strategy to ensure such events will become a permanent fixture in the calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide.”
    Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with The Big Burns Supper as part of the ever-extending Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme.  
    “The festival continues to grow from strength to strength and I’m sure the Homecoming Carnival will really capture the essence of the 2014 celebrations which focus on placing the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons.  
    “I hope the plans announced today will encourage even more people to experience the event next year.”
    Dumfries is the last resting place of Robert Burns and the place which inspired some of his most famous work.
    BBS 2014 is a community-based event that involves a host of groups and individuals from around Dumfries and has rapidly built up a reputation offering a great atmosphere and giving a real boost in the lull after Hogmanay.
    With Dumfries being in easy reach of the Central Belt and northern England, BBS attracts visitors from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Carlisle and many other places.
    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, Homecoming Scotland, Scotland’s Winter Festivals, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    Three days of fabulous entertainment have been unveiled for January’s Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries – part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

    The acclaimed Scottish rock band Big Country will be among the highlights of an event which includes everything from carnival and cabaret to live music and theatre – plus lots of chances to enjoy a Burns Supper.

    The launch saw the statue of Robert Burns, in Dumfries, dressed in tartan for Big Burns Supper 2014. The events, which are a key part of the Homecoming Scotland and Scotland’s Winter Festival celebrations, will take place over the weekend of 24-26 January – wrapping around Burns Night itself on Saturday 25th. Graham Mains, Festival Director, said: “The Big Burns Supper celebrates our national bard and all that’s best about contemporary Scotland. Burns loved life and lived it to the full, and that’s the spirit of our festival. BBS 2014 will be the biggest yet and we look forward to welcoming people from all over Scotland, Britain and the world to enjoy three days of superb fun and entertainment. The festival is a real call to arms, as the nation gets ready for its biggest year on the international stage with the 2014 Year of Homecoming. The programme reflects our desire to connect with more international work, while providing a platform for local talent. We have also focused on making BBS 2014 highly accessible so there is plenty to enjoy for revellers of every age and taste. There won’t be a bigger, better or more exciting way to enjoy the Burns Night weekend than with us in Dumfries. At the heart of the festival will be the magical Spiegeltent – a large 1920s-style mirrored tent where audiences can enjoy shows, cabaret and music including:  The great Scottish rock sound of Big Country • Sensual Spanish-born singer Buika • The richly diverse Mull Historical Society • Folk guitar genius Dick Gaughan and special guests • Bagpipes, drums and guitars from the Dangleberries • The Hackney Colliery Band. After 11pm Club Spiegel arrives, with two party nights plus a wild roller disco. BBS 2014 events will be taking place at a variety of venues, and on the streets themselves as Dumfries hosts the first ever Homecoming Carnival. This lantern-lit procession will be one of the first major events of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, and certainly among the most colourful – with 2,000 people expected to take part.

    Dumfries is the last resting place of Robert Burns and the place which inspired some of his most famous work. BBS 2014 is a community-based event that involves a host of groups and individuals from around Dumfries and has rapidly built up a reputation offering a great atmosphere and giving a real boost in the lull after Hogmanay. With Dumfries being in easy reach of the Central Belt and northern England, BBS attracts visitors from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Carlisle and many other places. The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, Homecoming Scotland, Scotland’s Winter Festivals, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    Category: International Events

  • 05 December 2013

    Eilidh Child to Captain Scotland Team in Glasgow

    World 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child (coach: Malcolm Arnold) is to captain the first ever Scottish team at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match on Saturday 25 January 2014.

    Child will lead the team in the first major international event in Glasgow in 2014, as the city gears up for the Commonwealth Games. The Scottish Athlete of the Year will line up in the 400m and is excited to be a part of the event’s history at the Emirates Arena.

    “I’m really honoured to be named captain and it’ll be an immensely proud occasion for me to lead the Scottish team out at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match. There is some really good talent coming through, so it is great for everyone to have the opportunity to compete at the Emirates Arena before the Commonwealth Games. It will also give fans the chance to come out and watch some of the athletes they might not have heard of before the summer,” said Child, who won Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles silver in 2010.

    “We don’t really get the chance that often to compete in front of a home crowd. I was at this event at the start of this year, but it was one of the first times I’ve had that Scottish support for quite a few years. People always get behind all the athletes, so to have that opportunity to go out there and show what we can do with a huge crowd behind us will be incredible.”

    Child will be joined in the team by IAAF World Championships by European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young) who lines up in the 800m.

    Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) will return from the United States after a successful collegiate career to wear the Scottish colours in the 1500m after a successful 2013 season which included a new personal best of 3:35.37 in July. A month later, the 23 year old marked his major championship debut with a spot in 1500m final in Moscow.

    Jamie Bowie (Piotr Haczek) teammate of Child, Muir and O’Hare in Russia will be looking to continue his rise up the ranks, running in the 400m. Guy Learmonth (George Gandy) will take to the track in the rarely run 600m with the aim of breaking the Scottish record of 1:18.0 set by David Jenkins 40 years ago this Sunday.

    The Glasgow British Athletics International Match will also welcome some of the stars from the London 2012 Paralympic Games. For the first time in the event’s 23 year history, para-athletes will contribute to the overall team score and Scotland’s Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) will be looking to post maximum points at the Emirates Arena.

    Clegg will line up alongside guide runner Mikail Huggins in the T12 60m after winning double silver at the IPC World Championships, while Reid will compete in the F44 long jump with the aim of replicating the form that saw her leap to silver at London 2012.

    The full Scotland team for the Glasgow British Athletics International Match will be announced in due course.

    Tickets for the Glasgow British Athletics International Match are on sale at britishathletics.org.uk   

    Category: International Events

  • 05 December 2013

    Highland Homecoming fund launches

     

    The Highland Homecoming fund has been launched today. It is an opportunity for new or existing events not currently supported by Homecoming to benefit from both funding and marketing support and to contribute to a key part of Homecoming Scotland 2014’s year-round events programme. Highland Homecoming is a programme of events that will take place within the geographical area as defined by the boundaries of the Highland Council from 1st September 2014 to 31st October 2014. It is intended to help extend the benefit of events being staged specifically in 2014 such as the 150th anniversary of the Northern Meeting Park, The World Masters Highland Games and Inverness hosting Royal National Mòd. It will also highlight established events taking place throughout September and October including the Camanachd Cup Final and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.Details on how to apply and the application form can be downloaded from here http://www.eventscotland.org/funding-and-resources/highland-homecoming-funding/Please feel free to pass on to any contacts you fell may be interested in this opportunity. 
    The Highland Homecoming fund has been launched today. It is an opportunity for new or existing events not currently supported by Homecoming to benefit from both funding and marketing support and to contribute to a key part of Homecoming Scotland 2014’s year-round events programme. Highland Homecoming is a programme of events that will take place within the geographical area as defined by the boundaries of the Highland Council from 1st September 2014 to 31st October 2014.
    It is intended to help extend the benefit of events being staged specifically in 2014 such as the 150th anniversary of the Northern Meeting Park, The World Masters Highland Games and Inverness hosting Royal National Mòd. It will also highlight established events taking place throughout September and October including the Camanachd Cup Final and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.  
    Details on how to apply and the application form can be downloaded from here 

    The Highland Homecoming fund has been launched today. It is an opportunity for new or existing events not currently supported by Homecoming to benefit from both funding and marketing support and to contribute to a key part of Homecoming Scotland 2014’s year-round events programme.

    Highland Homecoming is a programme of events that will take place within the geographical area as defined by the boundaries of the Highland Council from 1st September 2014 to 31st October 2014.

    It is intended to help extend the benefit of events being staged specifically in 2014 such as the 150th anniversary of the Northern Meeting Park, The World Masters Highland Games and Inverness hosting Royal National Mòd. It will also highlight established events taking place throughout September and October including the Camanachd Cup Final and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.

    Details on how to apply and the application form can be downloaded from here

    Category: International Events

  • 03 December 2013

    Olympic Stars to Line-up in Glasgow

    Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford (coach: Dan Pfaff) and Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) have confirmed that they will compete at the Glasgow British International Match on Saturday 25 January.

    Rutherford, who leapt to gold London 2012 on ‘Super Saturday’ is ready to get back to winning ways  starting with his first indoor meet of the season at the Emirates Arena.

    “2014 is a big year for sport in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games in the horizon and the Glasgow British Athletics Match will be my first meet in 2014, and one I’m really looking forward to. It’s great test to see how the body has recovered but the focus is definitely on a good season both indoors and outdoors.

    “It’s been five years since I last competed at the event and it will be my first time competing at the Emirates Arena, so almost a trip into unchartered territory. The event has a great history of hosting some of the world’s best athletes including the likes of Mike Powell, Michael Johnson, Mo Farah, Jess Ennis amongst others, and I’m sure 2014 will be no different,” added the Olympic champion, who will make his first indoor appearance in four years.

    Despite an injury-interrupted 2013, Rutherford is determined to get back on top of the podium in the summer, with the Commonwealth Games and European Championships firmly in his sights.

    “My goal this year was to win gold in Moscow, so it was unfortunate to get the injury when I did. However, injuries are part and parcel of the sport, so I’m just looking to hit the ground running in 2014 and show that like with 2012, I’m still the one to beat. There are more gold medals to aim for this summer in Glasgow and Zurich, and I’m more determined than ever to add more silverware to my Olympic title.”

    Like Rutherford, Grabarz is looking forward to competing in to Glasgow after finishing behind Russia’s Aleksey Dimitrik at the inaugural Glasgow British Athletics International Match at the Emirates Arena in 2013.

    “It will be a really good opportunity to get my season underway at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match. I know from last year how much the Scottish crowd get behind the athletes, and with a big year ahead for the city, I’m sure the atmosphere will be even better.

    “I had an unforgettable year in 2012 winning the Diamond League, European outdoor gold and of course the Olympic bronze medal and although 2013 didn’t pan out as I quite hoped, it has made me more determined going into next year.”

    The 26 year old, who finished eighth in Moscow in a competition that saw three athletes go beyond 2.38m believes that while the event is getting stronger, he is more than capable of replicating the form that saw him match the British outdoor record of 2.37m last year.

    “I don’t think there’s an event more competitive than the high jump. With the likes of (Mutaz Essa) Barshim, (Bohdan) Bondarenko, (Ivan) Ukhov, (Erik) Kynard, (Derek) Drouin all going above 2.35m this year, we all know it’s going to take a jump in the high-30s or even into the 40s to win a major competition.

    “I’ve got some big targets to aim for with the World Indoors, Commonwealth Games and defending my European title, so I’m determined to reproduce my best and put myself back in medal contention.”

    Rutherford and Grabarz will join T44 100m Paralympic and world champion Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge), T44 100m world record holder Richard Browne, European Indoor 60m silver medallist James Dasaolu (Fudge), 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, world 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) and European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young) at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match. 

    Category: International Events

  • 02 December 2013

    ‘Early bird’ tickets on sale now for Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup

     

    Tickets are now on sale for one of the greatest mountain biking events on the planet - the
    multi-award winning Fort William leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
    Taking place on 7-8 June 2014, the Fort William event boasts 300 of the world’s best riders
    from 25 nations and is one of the biggest gatherings of British world title holders of any
    single sport. It is also regarded as the best event of its kind anywhere on the globe with a
    record breaking nine awards for UCI Best Downhill World Cup in its illustrious 12-year
    history.
    From today, mountain bike fans, families and those who want to experience one of the most
    exhilarating events to come to Scotland next year can save up to 17% on ticket prices
    thanks to some fantastic ‘early bird’ offers (ends 31 December). Prices start at just £14 for
    adults and £8 for children aged 6-17 years. Family packages are also available from £36. All
    can be purchased at www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.
    Last year, around 20,000 fans basked in glorious sunshine along the most physically and
    technically demanding downhill course in the world, to witness British riders take home three
    of the four titles up for grabs. Brother and sister duo Gee and Rachel Atherton took the
    honours in the main downhill competitions with Rachel subsequently going onto to be
    crowned the overall World Cup winner and World Champion. Katy Curd won the Women’s
    4X Pro Series event on the Saturday night.
    Mike Jardine, from event organisers Rare Management, said: “Fort William is considered as
    one of the best mountain biking events in the world and it gets its reputation from the
    incredible course and the amazing fans that flock to the Highlands every year.
    “Scotland has some very high profile sporting events next year, but if you want to get up
    close to British winners and experience pure guts and excitement, then this is one not to be
    missed.”
    The World Cup Village will have the ever-popular Tech Area where fans can catch up with
    the riders for photographs and autographs as well as getting a behind the scenes view of the
    stars preparing to race.
    The Expo area will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and
    team sponsors alongside demonstrations and displays to keep everyone entertained. Mouthwatering
    action will also take place away from the track with a huge selection of food and
    drink to fuel the crowds.

    Tickets are now on sale for one of the greatest mountain biking events on the planet - themulti-award winning Fort William leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

    Taking place on 7-8 June 2014, the Fort William event boasts 300 of the world’s best ridersfrom 25 nations and is one of the biggest gatherings of British world title holders of anysingle sport. It is also regarded as the best event of its kind anywhere on the globe with arecord breaking nine awards for UCI Best Downhill World Cup in its illustrious 12-year history.

    From today, mountain bike fans, families and those who want to experience one of the mostexhilarating events to come to Scotland next year can save up to 17% on ticket pricesthanks to some fantastic ‘early bird’ offers (ends 31 December). Prices start at just £14 foradults and £8 for children aged 6-17 years. Family packages are also available from £36. Allcan be purchased at www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Last year, around 20,000 fans basked in glorious sunshine along the most physically andtechnically demanding downhill course in the world, to witness British riders take home threeof the four titles up for grabs. Brother and sister duo Gee and Rachel Atherton took thehonours in the main downhill competitions with Rachel subsequently going onto to becrowned the overall World Cup winner and World Champion. Katy Curd won the Women’s4X Pro Series event on the Saturday night.

    Mike Jardine, from event organisers Rare Management, said: “Fort William is considered asone of the best mountain biking events in the world and it gets its reputation from theincredible course and the amazing fans that flock to the Highlands every year.

    “Scotland has some very high profile sporting events next year, but if you want to get upclose to British winners and experience pure guts and excitement, then this is one not to bemissed.”

    The World Cup Village will have the ever-popular Tech Area where fans can catch up withthe riders for photographs and autographs as well as getting a behind the scenes view of thestars preparing to race.

    The Expo area will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands andteam sponsors alongside demonstrations and displays to keep everyone entertained. Mouthwateringaction will also take place away from the track with a huge selection of food anddrink to fuel the crowds.

    Category: International Events

  • 28 November 2013

    HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD! ‘BEST YEAR FOR CINEMA EVER’ IN FOCUS AS GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL TURNS 10.

     

    HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD! ‘BEST YEAR FOR CINEMA EVER’ IN FOCUS AS GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL TURNS 10.
    After enjoying its most successful year ever in 2013, Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to announce some very special developments for the tenth annual festival. 
    Opening in 2005 with 68 films over ten days, GFF has grown into the third-biggest film festival in the UK, with over 39,000 admissions to 368 events at the 2013 Festival, fifty-seven UK premiere screenings and seven world premieres, and guests including major names like Joss Whedon, John C Reilly, Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan. 
    2014 is also a significant triple anniversary for Glasgow Film Theatre, the art deco cinema in which the Festival originated and which remains its headquarters. The Cosmo, which was only the second purpose-built arthouse cinema in the UK, opened its doors seventy five years ago in 1939, undergoing a makeover and reopening as Glasgow Film Theatre forty years ago in 1974. 
    NEW PROGRAMME STRANDS FOR 2014
    1939: Hooray for Hollywood!
    As well as birthing The Cosmo, 1939 was also a very significant year for Hollywood cinema, widely regarded as Hollywood’s greatest year ever. 365 films were released, 80 million tickets a week were sold, and the Best Picture award nominees at the 1939 Oscars were Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, Love Affair, Goodbye Mr Chips, Ninotchka, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, Of Mice and Men, and The Wizard of Oz. Rather than celebrating the achievement of an individual actor in the popular retrospective programme strand, this year GFF will be screening all of those films, beginning with a palette-whettening advance screening of Gone With The Wind at GFT in December. 
    CineChile
    The country focus this year is on Chile, where filmmaking has recently been energised by two large international successes, No (starring Gael Garcia Bernal) and Gloria. GFF is delighted to be able to draw attention to the breadth of excellent, innovative work coming from the skinniest of countries. 
    Pop-Up Cinema 
    GFF’s audience-focused programmes are designed to bring cinema to the whole city, with boutique screenings and cinematic experiences in a huge variety of unusual locations. At GFF13, audiences went underground to watch The Warriors in the bowels of the Glasgow Subway system, witnessed Jaws and Dead Calm from the cargo hold of the Tall Ship Glenlee, encountered the silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, with live soprano soundtrack, in the vaulted surroundings of Glasgow Cathedral, and donned Stetsons for a barn dance and screening of Calamity Jane at the Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow’s long-running country and western saloon. This year, there will be a themed pop-up event on every night of the Festival apart from the opening and closing galas, taking in more venues across the city than ever before. Selected events will be announced in December 2013. 
    COMPLETE LIST OF PROGRAMME STRANDS OVER
    COMPLETE LIST OF PROGRAMME STRANDS AT GFF14
    1939: Hooray For Hollywood! All the Best Picture Oscar nominees from Hollywood’s Greatest Year. 
    Best of British Brand new films and much-loved classics from all over the UK.
    CineChile  Recent releases from a country bursting with exciting new cinema talent. INCLUDES The Illiterate (Las Analfabetas), Crystal Fairy, The Quispe Sisters (Las Ninas Quispe), The Summer of Flying Fish (El Verano de los Peces Voladores), Things the Way They Are (La Cosas Como Son), Violet Went to Heaven (Violeta Se Fue a los Cielos)
    Crossing the Line Open your mind to experimental and artist films from Glasgow and across the world. 2013’s programme will include the world premiere of Hope and Glory, a new film commission by upcoming video artist and recent Jarman Award nominee, Rachel Maclean, the winner of GFF13’s prestigious Margaret Tait Award. 
    Eurovisions Romcoms from Romania, Swedish sci fi or noir from the Netherlands? Could be, as we take a gander at the best new cinema from the continent. 
    FrightFest The horror institution takes over Screen 1 at GFT for the final weekend of the Festival for back-to-back screenings and an advance wallow in the gore of the finest, freakiest new horror movies. 
    Gala The big ones. Gala screenings, red carpet events and premieres. Are you ready for your closeup?
    Game Cats Go Miaow! As computer games now regularly beat the biggest Hollywood box office takings, is video set to kill the movie star too?  Ace gamer Robert Florence, best known from BBC comedy sketch show Burnistoun, is back with irreverent events, screenings and probably a house party to celebrate the rise of the pixel. 
    Glasgow Music and Film Festival An inspired programme of live music events, features and rockumentaries celebrating the special relationships between film and music, curated by The Arches. 
    Glasgow Short Film Festival (13-16 February 2014) Scotland’s leading short film showcase returns for four days of screenings, events and parties dedicated to emerging film talent here and around the globe.  Four awards are up for grabs, including the prestigious Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, and this year's programme includes a focus on emerging Irish talent, avant-garde 16mm films from Japan, explorations of sound and cinema and much more. www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff 
    Glasgow Youth Film Festival (2-12 February 2014) Showcasing the best contemporary international cinema for and by young people alongside workshops, masterclasses, competitions and special events. Our Youth Film Festival is the only festival of its kind in Europe to be curated and programmed entirely by 15-17 year olds, with films representing issues faced by young people alongside events and workshops for those thinking about getting into the movie business. www.glasgowfilm.org/gyff 
    Great Scots A celebration of native talent and local heroes with screenings of the best new productions from Scottish filmmakers and Scottish production companies. 
    It’s a Wonderful World Globetrotting without a passport – brilliant titles from all over the world. 
    Kapow! Biff! Bang! Kapow! Comic book legend and Fox creative consultant Mark Millar, creator of Kick-Ass, is back to curate our strand dedicated to cult movies and the rise of the superhero. 
    Out of the Past Classic movies in peak condition back on the big screen, where they come alive all over again.
    Pop Up Cinema and Special Events Cinema experiences in strange and unusual locations, and distinguished guests in conversation. 
    Stranger than Fiction An exceptional selection of the best new documentary releases. 
    NOTES FOR EDITORS OVER
    NOTES FOR EDITORS
    The tenth annual Glasgow Film Festival runs from 20 February – 2 March 2014. The full programme will be launched on Tuesday 21 January on www.glasgowfilm.org, with tickets on sale from Friday 24 January. Information about selected special events will be released in December 2013. 
    Tickets are priced at £8.50 (£6.50), but Early Bird Passes, priced at 5 films for £30, 10 for £50 or 20 films for £90, are onsale now until Sunday 5 January. Tickets are available from www.glasgowfilm.org or on 0141 332 6535.
    Glasgow Youth Film Festival runs from 2 – 12 February 2014; Glasgow Short Film Festival from 13 – 16 February. Both programmes will be announced in late 2013. 
    1939: Hooray for Hollywood! begins with an advance GFF screening of Gone With The Wind: Sunday 1 December (13.00) and Wednesday 4 December (18.20) at Glasgow Film Theatre. 
    The Cosmo, Scotland’s first arts cinema and the second purpose-built arthouse cinema in the UK, opened on 18 May 1939. The cinema’s icon, Mr Cosmo, was a dapper-suited gentleman whose bowler hat still forms the lighting feature in the current Cinema 1.  The Cosmo reopened as Glasgow Film Theatre on 2 May 1974. Glasgow Film Theatre was classed as a B-Listed building by Historic Scotland in 1988.  The first Glasgow Film Festival opened on 10 February 2005 with Melinda & Melinda. 
    Significant UK premieres at GFF13 included Stoker, The Place Beyond the Pines, Byzantium, Arbitrage, The Look of Love, The Paperboy,Welcome to the Punch and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. The world premieres at the Festival were We Are Northern Lights, Alasdair Gray: A Life In Progress, The Devil’s Plantation, The Happy Lands, A Tale of Two Syrias, Staande! Debout! and Outwork. 
    Previous UK premieres have included Half Nelson, Lars and The Real Girl, Micmacs, The Lives Of Others and In The Loop. 
    Guests attending GFF13 included Joss Whedon, Saoirse Ronan, Jane Birkin, Gemma Arterton, John C Reilly, Neil Jordan, Peter Mullan, James D’Arcy, James Cosmo, Regis Roinsard, Eli Roth, Rory McCann, First Minister Alex Salmond, David Hayman, Jeff Mills and Maria Sadowska.  
    Guests at previous Festivals have included Peter Capaldi, James Earl Jones, Shirley Henderson, Richard Ayoade, Pam Hogg, Julian Fellowes, Dexter Fletcher, Armando Iannucci, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Martin Compston, Garry Lewis, Bill Paterson, Denis Lawson Emilia Fox, Anders Tomas Jensen, Martin Creed, Celine Sciamma, John Sayles, Bertrand Tavernier, Anthony La Paglia and Steven Graham.  
    COMMENT CONTINUED OVER

    After enjoying its most successful year ever in 2013, Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to announce some very special developments for the tenth annual festival.

    Opening in 2005 with 68 films over ten days, GFF has grown into the third-biggest film festival in the UK, with over 39,000 admissions to 368 events at the 2013 Festival, fifty-seven UK premiere screenings and seven world premieres, and guests including major names like Joss Whedon, John C Reilly, Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan. 

     2014 is also a significant triple anniversary for Glasgow Film Theatre, the art deco cinema in which the Festival originated and which remains its headquarters. The Cosmo, which was only the second purpose-built arthouse cinema in the UK, opened its doors seventy five years ago in 1939, undergoing a makeover and reopening as Glasgow Film Theatre forty years ago in 1974. 

     NEW PROGRAMME STRANDS FOR 2014

    1939: Hooray for Hollywood!

    As well as birthing The Cosmo, 1939 was also a very significant year for Hollywood cinema, widely regarded as Hollywood’s greatest year ever. 365 films were released, 80 million tickets a week were sold, and the Best Picture award nominees at the 1939 Oscars were Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, Love Affair, Goodbye Mr Chips, Ninotchka, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, Of Mice and Men, and The Wizard of Oz. Rather than celebrating the achievement of an individual actor in the popular retrospective programme strand, this year GFF will be screening all of those films, beginning with a palette-whettening advance screening of Gone With The Wind at GFT in December. 

     CineChile

    The country focus this year is on Chile, where filmmaking has recently been energised by two large international successes, No (starring Gael Garcia Bernal) and Gloria. GFF is delighted to be able to draw attention to the breadth of excellent, innovative work coming from the skinniest of countries. 

     Pop-Up Cinema GFF’s audience-focused programmes are designed to bring cinema to the whole city, with boutique screenings and cinematic experiences in a huge variety of unusual locations. At GFF13, audiences went underground to watch The Warriors in the bowels of the Glasgow Subway system, witnessed Jaws and Dead Calm from the cargo hold of the Tall Ship Glenlee, encountered the silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, with live soprano soundtrack, in the vaulted surroundings of Glasgow Cathedral, and donned Stetsons for a barn dance and screening of Calamity Jane at the Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow’s long-running country and western saloon. This year, there will be a themed pop-up event on every night of the Festival apart from the opening and closing galas, taking in more venues across the city than ever before. Selected events will be announced in December 2013. 

     

    Category: International Events

  • 25 November 2013

    Blair and Bankier cap a great Scottish Open Grand Prix

    Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier brought the Scottish Open Grand Prix to a rousing finale by winning the mixed doubles title at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow this afternoon to the delight of thousands of Scotland fans.

    Scotland’s two former world silver medallists defeated England’s top seeds Chris Langridge and Heather Olver 21-16 21-14 to give Blair his fourth mixed doubles title and Bankier her third.

    And to finish things off Blair received the Robert McCoig Memorial Award for the best performance by a Scot after reaching the men’s doubles semi-finals unseeded as well as taking the mixed doubles title that he won with Natalie Munt in 2001 and 2002 and with Bankier in 2007, the year he also won the men’s doubles.

    But Scotland’s hopes of a second title on finals day were dashed when Kirsty Gilmour failed to avenge her London Grand Prix defeat by Carolina Marin after a gruelling women’s singles final.

    The Spanish top seed, who won in straight games in their London final last month, beat second seed Gilmour 21-14 11-21 21-13 after a 68-minute battle of the 20-year-olds.

    But the Bothwell star was given great support by the Scotland fans who hope to see her on the podium at next year’s Commonwealth Games badminton event in this same Emirates Arena.

    In the men’s singles third seed Brice Leverdez became the first French winner when he came back from 15-11 down in the deciding game to defeat second seed Henri Hurskainen of Sweden 21-8 16-21 21-16 in 63 minutes.

    Selena Piek, runner-up last year in the mixed doubles, took the women’s doubles title back to the Netherlands when she and Eefje Muskens defeated Malaysian sisters and Loughborough students Hui Ern Ng and Hui Lin Ng, the fourth seeds and 2010 runners-up, 25-23 15-21 21-16.

    The men’s doubles title went to Denmark when 2009 winners Mads Conrad Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding gained a walkover against team-mates Kim Astrup Sorensen and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

    Chief Executive and Tournament Director Anne Smillie said: “Finals day provided a fitting climax to Championship week and we are delighted that our long-serving Patron, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex was able to share the excitement of the afternoon finals with us.

    “The atmosphere in the arena was tremendous and was a real appetiser for the Commonwealth Games next summer and Robert and Imogen’s success emphasised the fact that we now have genuine medal contenders in two or three events.”

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix has been a huge sporting success for Glasgow - and the country as a whole. Staging the event in our world class Emirates Arena has added to the fantastic experience for the athletes and thousands of spectators.

    “This event has underlined why Glasgow is one of the world’s top ten sports cities, and I look forward to badminton returning to the Emirates Arena at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    “Of course it’s marvellous that the day finished with a Scottish win which really augers well for Scottish chances at Glasgow 2014.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “With the 2014 Commonwealth Games fast approaching, this year’s Scottish Open Grand Prix has given spectators a taste of what’s in store for them next year.

    “The elevated Grand Prix status of the event this year attracted a strong field which makes the winning performance by Robert and Imogen even more impressive, while the Emirates Arena once again showcased Scotland as the perfect stage for events.

    Final results

    Men’s singles: (3) Brice Leverdez (Fra) bt (2) Henri Hurskainen (Swe) 21-8 16-21 21-16

    (63mins)

    Women’s singles: (1) Carolina Marin (Esp) bt (2) Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) 21-14 11-21 21-13 (68min)

    Men’s doubles: (5) Mads Conrad-Petersen & Mads Pieler Kolding (Den) bt (6) Anders Skaarup Rasmussen & Kim Astrup Sorensen (Den) walkover

    Women’s doubles: Eefje Muskens & Selena Piek (Ned) bt (4) Hui Ern Ng & Hui Lin Ng (Mas) 25-23 15-21 21-16 (65 mins)

    Mixed doubles: (5) Robert Blair & Imogen Bankier (Sco) bt (1) Chris Langridge & Heather Olver (Eng) 21-16 21-14 (40mins)

    TV Guide:

    A two-hour highlights programme of the finals from the Scottish Open Grand Prix will be screened on Sky Sports 3 Digital as follows:

    Thursday, November 28: 8pm, repeated at 1am and 4am on Friday Nov 29

    Friday, November 29: 10am and 3pm

    Category: International Events

  • 21 November 2013

    Live for the moment

    New £5.3 million ‘Brilliant’ marketing campaign uses real people to motivate visitors to experience Scotland in 2014.

    A paramedic, a wildlife ranger, a chef, a swimmer, a youth golfer and a whisky ambassador will join six-time Olympic champion and Glasgow 2014 Ambassador, Sir Chris Hoy, to inspire the world to make Scotland their top destination in 2014 in a new multi-million pound marketing drive.

    The £5.3 million VisitScotland Brilliant Moments campaign, launched yesterday by First Minister Alex Salmond in Edinburgh includes a £3 million investment in TV involving ‘real’ people reading a specially penned poem, against a backdrop of dramatic Scottish locations.

    As a surprise element, three well known Scottish faces deliver the final line of the poem in different versions of the advert, designed to promote the headline events of 2014 - Homecoming Scotland, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

    Sir Chris Hoy will deliver the final line within the 30-second master TV advert and also within the Commonwealth Games-specific version. Scottish musician and Classic Brit Award winner Nicola Benedetti will feature in the version which highlights the year of Homecoming. And Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will deliver the final line of the advert to promote this epic golf tournament at Gleneagles.

    The advert will play on television screens across the UK from November 2013 and throughout 2014, and will also reach new international audiences through social media and e-communication.

    The ‘real’ people in the advert include:

    • Jenny Campbell - Scottish Natural Heritage Ranger, at the Ring O’Brodgar and Orkney Nature Festival 

    • Sonn Breslin - Glasgow swimmer and Commonwealth Games hopeful, at Tollcross Swimming Pool

    • Lewis Breslin - Junior golfer at Blairgowrie, host course of the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup

    • Ian Millar - Global Brand Ambassador of Glenfiddich, at Spirit of Speyside

    • Ely Nathan - Chef at Gleneagles

    • Graeme Hay - Paramedic and hobbyist Boatman at Portsoy Boat Festival

    Alongside the TV campaign, VisitScotland will run extensive marketing activity including direct mail, sales promotion, print advertising, e-communications, social media and PR, all with a Brilliant Moments theme.

    Launching the new Brilliant Moments campaign, the First Minister Alex Salmond said:

    “2014 is a great year for Scotland – one full of brilliant moments – the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming. Scotland welcomes the world next year, and this campaign shows that our people, our natural landscapes and our culture are tremendous adverts in themselves.

    “The XX Commonwealth Games will be the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever hosted and the Ryder Cup will boldly reinforce our status as 'The Home of Golf', both events displaying Scotland as the perfect stage during our Year of Homecoming 2014.

    “The Brilliant Moments campaign showcases Scotland as a must-see holiday destination but it’s also about Scots enjoying events right on our doorstep. We want to see your brilliant moments by sharing them with us on social media, using #brilliantmoments. 2014 will provide an ideal opportunity to inspire and engage people of all generations – from the Ring of Brodgar to the National Museum of Scotland.

    “We’re creating a lasting legacy for the visitor economy: a lasting legacy for Scotland that is tangible, visible and carries with it long-term benefit.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “We are excited to finally be able to launch this campaign to the world. The whole idea behind Brilliant Moments is real people. Yes, the campaign draws strength from the global events taking place in Scotland in 2014, but also demonstrates the friendliness and welcoming nature of people living in Scotland. 

    “From those talking in the television advert to those talking about the wonderful experiences they have had online through social media, it’s a time to celebrate all our awe-inspiring country has to offer. The real question is - what will be your brilliant moment in 2014?”

    The TV advert has been directed by Richard Oliver, who has worked on a number of big brand campaigns, most recently Road Safety Scotland, starring David Coulthard. The poem spoken within the advert, penned by creatives at Edinburgh’s Union Advertising Agency, is:

    Every country has its moment. Its time to shine.

    When the universe conspires and planets align.

    Scotland invites you, our stage is set.

    For one brilliant year we’ll never forget.

    Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

    A year of surprises. A calendar filled up.

    We welcome the world to come and to share.

    So you too can say ‘yes, I was there’.

    Brilliant Moments will replace the VisitScotland ‘Surprise Yourself’ campaign which has been running for nearly 3 years.

    Category: International Events

  • 15 November 2013

    Extra tickets on sale for the Duel in the Pool

    More tickets will be on sale today from 10am for the most exciting swimming head-to-head in the calendar – the Duel in the Pool.

    The biennial event will take place at Glasgow's Tollcross International Swimming Centre - host to the swimming events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games - on 20 and 21 December 2013 and now even more people can be at the heart of the action.

    The Duel will see swimmers from USA and Europe facing off to win points for their team in what has become known as the 'Ryder Cup' of the pool.

    With tickets already sold out for the second day of competition this is the last opportunity to be at the heart of the action at the future Commonwealth pool.

    For swimmers like Craig McNally the opportunity to take part in such an exciting competition was something he couldn’t resist.

    “I am really excited about the meet,” McNally said. “I got to watch the competition in 2009 and it looked exciting and fun and I can’t wait to be part of it now. It’s a really different format and totally head-to-head. It will be quick and I will be looking to up my game for the competition.

    “The home support really means a lot for all of us. The crowds are what creates the buzz for the swimmers and gets you excited to race. At the Duel in the Pool the crowd will be really important to all of the swimmers. With these extra tickets on sale it gives more people the chance to experience the excitement of the meet and help to cheer us all on ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Following high interest in the first batch of tickets for Duel in the Pool, it is great news that more are going on sale. With the 2014 Commonwealth Games on the horizon, this event will give fans the chance to see world-class swimming for the first time in the newly refurbished Tollcross Swimming Centre.

    Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for Commonwealth Games 2014 and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The high demand for tickets for Duel in the Pool has been fantastic and really shows how much the people of Glasgow get behind our city’s world class sporting events.”   

    “Now with more tickets on sale there is another chance for the people of Glasgow and Scotland to come along and get taste of what to expect next year at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

    Adult tickets start from £40 for the chance to see a host of world class swimmers battling it out in Glasgow this Christmas. To buy tickets visit http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming

    Category: International Events

  • 14 November 2013

    Preparation Camp Volunteers Required!

    Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) is the lead body for Commonwealth Sport in Scotland and is responsible for selecting, preparing and managing Scotland's team at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. For every Games, CGS, in partnership with sportscotland, aim to deliver the best prepared team possible, creating the right environment and giving athletes every opportunity to excel. 

    CGS is also responsible for the Team Scotland Preparation Camp that will be held at the University of Stirling from 4 – 24 July 2014. This camp will enhance team preparations and provide an ideal training base for the Scottish athletes and team staff in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

    The Preparation Camp Senior Management Team is seeking to appoint appropriately skilled people for the positions of Operations Assistant (x2) and Sport Liaison. These are voluntary roles with expenses reimbursed. 

    A job description and application form can be obtained from the download section below or by contacting:

    Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS)

    Gannochy Sports Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA

    Email: info@cgcs.org.uk

    Tel: 01786 466 480

    Applications should be returned by email to: info@cgcs.org.uk no later than 12 noon on 25 November 2013.

    Interviews will be held on 16 December 2013 at Commonwealth Games Scotland, Gannochy Sports Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA. Alternatively video interviews by Skype can also be organised.

    Category: Industry News

  • 12 November 2013

    Programme Announced for Edinburgh's Hogmanay

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay today invited revellers to join the 21st birthday celebrations of the World Famous Street Party and Concert in the Gardens when they announced the full programme of events for this year. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will run from Monday 30 December to Wednesday 1 January 2014, 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 popular Torchlight Procession on Monday 30 December which is supported by EventScotland. With a new start time of 7.00pm, and a new start location on George IV Bridge, this event is expected to attract over 7,500 torchbearers and 20,000 participants who will join the procession winding through the city centre to the finale. During the Son et Lumière finale Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will launch ‘Scotland’s Hogmanay’ – the celebration of 2014, Scotland’s Big Year – with the viewing preview of the ‘2014 Moment’ which will be seen around Scotland at 8.14pm on Hogmanay night. This year access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family.

    The flagship Concert in the Gardens on Tuesday 31 December will be headlined by Pet Shop Boys with special guests The 1975 and Edinburgh’s own Nina Nesbitt. and will be opened by The 10:04’s. Tickets for The Enclosure have already sold out; there are limited tickets available for The Gardens. The world famous Street Party offers an uniquely Scottish line up across three stages with performances from Django Django, Chvrches, The Rezillos and William Douglas on the Waverley Stage; King Creosote, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid on the Scottish Stage in Frederick Street.

    Following its success last year, REWINDER returns playing from the Mound Stage. In an ambitious development it will showcase Scotland’s impact on the modern world in an exclusive multimedia mix of irresistible floor filling tunes. Revellers along the length of Princes Street will dance to the same beat in the world’s largest outdoor nightclub as DJ Swiss and VJs Buttercup and Pixels bring the face of Scotland to life and the music from the last 50 years to the eight screens along the length of the Street Party.

    The Keilidh, the UK’s largest New Year outdoor dance event, once again presents the best in traditional
    Scottish music from Hugh McDiarmid’s Haircut, The Black Rose Ceilidh Band and Box Fizz in Mound
    Precinct.

    The spectacular midnight fireworks rising from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill will be set to music and,
    together with the displays in Stirling and Inverness, will contain the 2014 bespoke sequence to celebrate
    Scotland’s Hogmanay and Homecoming Scotland. Free bus transport home throughout the city will be
    available for revellers at the Street Party, supported by Lothian Buses and Diageo, the world’s leading
    premium drinks company. Countdown fireworks will lift from Edinburgh Castle at 9.00pm, 10.00pm and
    11.00pm.

    Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, who have created, produced and managed Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
    since its inception said “Scotland’s big year starts here! As anticipation and excitement builds for the
    biggest event year that Scotland has ever seen, we’re ready to start it off. With Pet Shop Boys playing the
    last, and a UK exclusive, date on their world tour and a really strong Scottish line up for the Street Party,
    we’ve already got the fastest selling tickets for years. The Rewinder will remind us how Scotland has
    always and truly rocked the planet.”

    On Wednesday 1 January Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands – a journey around nine
    atmospheric venues – both well-known and less discovered - in Edinburgh’s Old Town, each curated and
    customised by notable artists and arts organisations from all over Scotland. A cultural feast of free events
    on the first day of 2014, Scot:Lands is supported by The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo
    Fund and seeks to bring Scotland to the Capital City on the first day of the big year in a way that has both
    a geographical and metaphorical resonance. Each venue will have a distinctive and bespoke atmosphere
    that relates to the artists and their work and the places that have inspired them.

    Also on New Year’s Day revellers can work off the excess of the night afore with a dip in the River Forth in the annual Homecoming Scotland Loony Dook. Starting with a Dookers Parade through South Queensferry featuring pipers and a host of entertainment the brave, or daft, Loony Dookers will take the chilly plunge for charity under the world renowned Forth Bridge. For those not brave enough to get their feet wet, there are plenty of vantage points to watch the action and spectators are welcomed. The Loony Dook is funded by Homecoming Scotland and supported by Scotmid.

    The award winning #Blogmanay was conceived in 2012 as a means of using travel bloggers and a high-impact social media campaign to showcase the unique experience of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, whilst using the festival as a gateway to explore and discover the delights of visiting Scotland, the ‘Home of Hogmanay’ in winter. This year #Blogmanay is back and even bigger encouraging locals, visitors and attractions across the city from 22 November to 5 January to create a huge bank of live digital content – blogs, reviews, videos, photographs and tweets, highlighting Edinburgh & Scotland as a premier winter destination.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay showcases Scotland on the international stage every year; appearing on global news channels, and capturing the imagination of the world at the midnight moment. Once again we are supporting the spectacular Torchlight Procession on December 30th, which signals the start of three days of celebrations.

    “This year Hogmanay will be the event that signals the start of Homecoming Scotland, and there couldn’t be a more fitting way to kick off a year where Scotland will welcome the world. With the Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and a packed programme throughout Homecoming, Scotland really is the place to
    be next year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the home of Hogmanay, which makes this event in the capital so special every year.”

    Revellers can purchase tickets for all the events in one of three ways: by calling Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Box Office on 0844 573 8455; online at www.edinburghshogmanay.com; or by calling into the Hogmanay Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh.

    Category: International Events

  • 09 November 2013

    Glasgow To Host The 2014 MTV EMA

    AMSTERDAM, 9th November 2013 – Get ready, Glasgow! MTV has announced that its premier international awards show, the MTV EMA, will be staged in Scotland's largest city in 2014.

    On the eve of this year’s awards in Amsterdam, Bruce Gillmer, Executive Vice President of Talent, Music Programming and Events for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), has confirmed that the MTV EMA will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014 at Glasgow’s brand new, state-of-the-art venue, The SSE Hydro. Scotland will welcome the world in 2014, and the MTV EMA is the latest major event to join the Homecoming Scotland programme.

    It will be the first time that MTV’s global awards show will be held in Glasgow. The event, which showcases the world's hottest musical acts in a different city each year, has been secured for Scotland following successful discussions between MTV, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland.

    “Each year, the MTV EMA is an amazing, multi-platform music experience for our audiences around the world, presented through a dynamic, talent-driven spectacle that only MTV can deliver,” said Gillmer. "As one of the world’s great music cities, Glasgow is always a favorite with artists and the new SSE Hydro, with its state of the art facilities, will provide the perfect backdrop for the MTV EMA in its 20th anniversary year. We’re thrilled that the eyes of the music world will be on Glasgow next year.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “It has been our ambition as part of Glasgow’s major events strategy to attract the MTV EMA for a number of years and I’m delighted that MTV has accepted the city’s invitation. Glasgow proved to be the ideal destination for MTV Crashes in 2010, when Diddy Dirty Money and a fantastic crowd showed MTV’s global audience that Glasgow is a city that knows how to party. Since then, we’ve been working closely to bring the world’s greatest music event to Glasgow and I’m delighted that we can today announce the next chapter in this exciting partnership. Hosting an event of the magnitude and international reach of the MTV EMA reinforces Glasgow’s enviable reputation as one of the world’s leading music cities.”

    Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “2014 is going to be an incredible year for Scotland and it is fantastic news that the MTV EMA will be coming to Glasgow.
    “As a Signature Event on the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, we will welcome the world to the EMA and showcase Glasgow and Scotland to nearly 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels.

    “The awards are a highlight on the global music calendar and next year it is fitting that it should be held in Scotland, the perfect stage for events, in Glasgow’s newest venue, the spectacular SSE Hydro.”

    “The MTV EMA excites huge interest amongst British music fans, so it’s fantastic to be bringing the show back to Scotland,” said David Lynn, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for VIMN UK, Australia, Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. “The 2003 show in Edinburgh was described as ‘the greatest party to be held in Scotland in a thousand years’; now we’re looking forward to delivering an even bigger and better experience with the 2014 MTV EMA in what will be a momentous year for Scotland and the city of Glasgow.”

    The 2013 MTV EMA will take place in The Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on Sunday, 10th November. Redfoo from LMFAO will act as MC for the show, which will feature performances from some of the world’s hottest music acts including Katy Perry, The Killers, Miley Cyrus.

    Visit MTV EMA here.

    Category: Music

  • 08 November 2013

    War Poetry at the Front Line for StAnza 2014

    As Scotland prepares to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War next year, StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, unveils plans for its 2014 festival theme Words Under Fire.

    Taking place from 5-9 March 2014 as part of Homecoming Scotland, the festival will include a world class collection of war poets, exhibitions and poetry events highlighting the poetic legacy of WW1 and other wars.

    Poets announced today include John Greening, whose forthcoming collection To the War Poets explores what happens when a modern poet sends dispatches across the decades; Jenny Lewis, whose latest book is an account of the Iraq wars of the past 100 years, and Alex Gwyther’s spoken word story of the Christmas truce from 1915. 

    A major mixed media installation by artist Stephen Raw originally opened in London by Poet Laureate and StAnza 2014 headliner Carol Ann Duffy, will be displayed in the Town Hall in St Andrews.  ‘Was it for this the Clay Grew Tall’ has been inspired by the poetry of Wilfred Owen and the music of Benjamin Britten in his choral masterpiece, the War Requiem.  The Poet Laureate has described the exhibition as “a timely, truly visionary response to the genius of both Wilfred Owen and Benjamin Britten and to the pity and horror of war."

    Headliner David Constantine will give the StAnza lecture, ‘The Great War at Home and Abroad’, exploring not only war poetry written in English but also some from France and Germany.

    StAnza 2014’s popular Past and Present events will also have a war focus, with modern war poets celebrating the work of the past, including Alexander Hutchison on David Jones, author of In Parenthesis.

    Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said:

    “The war poetry from 1914-18 still has an impact on readers today, and we are delighted to welcome a range of accomplished poets who have engaged with it, some with new collections published in the run up to the WW1 centenary.

     “Stephen Raw’s exciting installation crosses art forms to interpret musical and poetic visions of war, while our past and present sessions give audiences the opportunity to consider war poetry from a modern perspective.

    “These poets and artists not only remind us of the legacy of the poetry of the Great War but that war poetry continues to have relevance today.

    “We look forward to announcing more poets and events over the coming months.”

    Category: International Events

  • 07 November 2013

    First Programme Details Revealed For GENERATION

    The first programme details for a landmark series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland have been revealed today. GENERATION will bring an ambitious and extensive programme of works of art by over 100 artists to over 60 galleries, exhibition spaces and venues the length and breadth of the nation between March – November 2014, with the majority of exhibitions taking place over the summer of 2014, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

    GENERATION has been in the making since 2011. The programme will continue to grow in the coming months, and featured artists announced today include Charles Avery, Sara Barker, Karla Black, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Roddy Buchanan, Steven Campbell, Duncan Campbell, Katy Dove, Graham Fagen, Moyna Flannigan, Douglas Gordon, Ilana Halperin, Charlie Hammond, Iain Hetherington, Louise Hopkins, Callum Innes, Jim Lambie, Lorna Macintyre, Sophie Macpherson, Alan Michael, Rosalind Nashashibi, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips, Alex Pollard, Charlotte Prodger, Mary Redmond, John Shankie, David Shrigley, Ross Sinclair, Simon Starling, Clare Stephenson, Corin Sworn, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Cara Tolmie, Sue Tompkins, Hayley Tompkins,  Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich, Alison Watt, Cathy Wilkes, Richard Wright and many more.

    GENERATION is being delivered through a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, and is supported by Creative Scotland. These partners have engaged with a range of Associate partners, venues and arts organisations across the country to ensure a truly national reach for the project. The programme aims to shine a spotlight on the past 25 years - a period which has seen Scotland develop an international reputation as a distinguished centre for contemporary art, produce a disproportionate amount of award-winning artists, host a number of ground-breaking exhibitions and foster an infrastructure which has helped allow contemporary art to flourish. 

    GENERATION is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, which is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland. Generation has ambitious goals to raise the profile of contemporary art in Scotland and to increase access and participation.  It is being produced with the assistance and expertise of partners including VisitScotland and EventScotland, British Council Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland, Education Scotland, Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the BBC.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major cultural events and in 2014, when Scotland will welcome the world, it is fitting that we should be celebrating 25 years of contemporary visual art with GENERATION. Taking place across the length and breadth of the country, GENERATION will bring people closer than ever to some of the artists who have captured our imaginations over the past quarter of a century.” 

    For further information on GENERATION visit: www.nationalgalleries.org/aboutus/special-projects/generation and use the hashtag #GENERATION on Twitter.

    Category: International Events

  • 07 November 2013

    EventScotland wins bronze at ISEM Awards

    At the 2013 International Sports Event Management Awards in London last night (6 November), EventScotland was presented with bronze in the Outstanding Team Contribution category for projects delivered in 2012/13.

    The prestigious award follows a packed year of events in Scotland including; The UCI Track World Cup; British Athletics Glasgow International Match; Tour of Britain; IRB Sevens World Series; The Open Championship; FINA Diving World Series; UCI Mountain Bike World Cup; 470 European Championships and The Women’s British Open.

    Amongst this incredible portfolio of major sporting events, the team at EventScotland has also worked with partners to bid for and secure a further three major events for 2015 - the IPC Swimming World Championships; The European Eventing Championships; and The European Judo Championships.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Receiving bronze in this category recognises the hard work of our team over the past 12 months, but also the strength and depth of the Scottish events industry, which we are so proud to be part of. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and looking back at the past year or portfolio has been up there with the best in the world.

    “As we head towards 2014, when Scotland will welcome the world to the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup it is exciting to know that our industry is in a strong position. Furthermore, with an ever growing programme of major events secured for 2015 and beyond we can be confident that Scotland will continue to raise the bar.”

    The ISEM Awards are the only international Awards to recognise excellence in the global sports event management industry. Conducted annually and now in its sixth year, the Awards honour sports event management industry leaders through the acknowledgment of outstanding performance and service excellence in the organising of major international sports events.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 November 2013

    Dasalou, Peacock & Collins to Start Glasgow British Athletics International Match

    Sprint trio James Dasaolu (coach: Steve Fudge) Jonnie Peacock (Fudge) and Kim Collins have all confirmed that they will compete at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match on Saturday 25 January 2014.

    This year Dasaolu, who won 60m European Indoor Championships bronze and also broke the 10 second barrier for the first time in his career, is hoping to put an early season marker down when he arrives for his Glasgow bow at the Emirates Arena.

    “This will be my first time competing at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match, but I know that with the calibre of athletes heading to Scotland every year, I will be in for a test,” said Dasaolu. “I showed that I can produce fast times when it matters and I will be looking to put in a strong performance for the Scottish crowd come the end of January.”

    After reaching the final of the 100m at the World Championships in Moscow, the 26 year old is hoping to use a strong 2013 as a building block for another big year in 2014.

    “2013 was a breakthrough season for me winning a medal at the European Indoors, dipping below the 10 seconds for the first time and showing the world that I will be one to watch over the next few years. Next year, I hope to build on this with the World Indoors in Poland, and hopefully another trip onto the podium.”

    Peacock meanwhile added world T44 100m gold to his Paralympic crown this year and after having the opportunity to run at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix – Birmingham and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, he feels that this integration will help to continue the momentum created by London 2012.

    “The Glasgow British Athletics International Match will be the first high profile indoor meet of my career and the first opportunity of the year to test myself against the world’s best. The British public have really taken to disability sport since London, and it was great to have a number of high profile meets over the summer before a major championships. To have an integrated event in Glasgow shows that the sport is coming together and I will be looking to put a show on for the crowd and put some points on the board.”

    Peacock is more than aware of his competition in the T44 category after USA’s Richard Browne took his world record in the semi-finals of the IPC World Championships clocking a time of 10.83, which was improved to 10.75 at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, but knows that he has the experience to pull out a performance when it matters.

    “2013 has been an interesting year for me. With the emergence of Richard Browne, there was a lot of hype in the build-up the IPC World Championships, so to go out there and take the gold medal shows that I’m capable of producing my best on the big stage when it matters. Make no mistake, I will still be the one everyone is looking to beat, but I’m working hard to ensure that I remain on top. The Glasgow British Athletics International Match will give me that early test to get a gauge of where I am in terms of my training, and I’m looking forward to it.”

    Collins will be making his third successive appearance at the Glasgow British Atheltics International Match and cites his affinity to the crowd as the main reason why he returns year after year. 

    “I have a special connection with the UK, which is the main reason why I come back and compete every year. The crowd always treat me as one of their own and I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Glasgow British Athletics International Match. I have proved over and over again that despite being in my late 30s, I can compete with the very best over 60m and 100m, and I will be looking to show that once again in January.”

    The 2003 100m world champion has shown no signs of ageing after running a personal best of 9.97 at the Lausanne Diamond League, and believes that he can keep rolling back the years and producing some more magical times in 2014.

    “Not many athletes break PBs at 37 let alone reach 37 and still be competing at the top, so 2014 for me will be all about showing the world that age is no barrier. Glasgow always brings out the best crowds and I can’t wait to step foot on that track and get that warm reception I’m so accustomed to. This will almost be my version of the Commonwealth Games, so I will be looking to take in all the atmosphere on the day and show that Kim Collins can never be written off.”

    Dasaolu, Peacock and Collins will join World 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child and European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match.

    Tickets for the 2014 British Athletics Series go on general sale on Thursday 7 November at 10am www.britishatheltics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 05 November 2013

    Scotland to make history at Glasgow British Athletics International Match

    British Athletics today announced that, for the first time in the event’s 23 year history, a Scottish team will be represented at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 25 January 2014.

    As Scotland prepares for the Commonwealth Games next summer, the Glasgow British Athletics International Match will be the first major international sporting event in the city in 2014.

    To celebrate the Games returning to Scotland for the first time since 1986, Scottish athletics fans will be able to cheer on the home nation for the first time as Scotland go head-to-head with Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB & NI), USA and a Commonwealth Select team.

    British Athletics also confirmed today that following the successful integration of four para-athletics events into the meet last year, stars from the London 2012 Paralympic Games will once again return to the Emirates Arena in January, and for the first time the events will contribute to the overall team points tally.

    Stephen Maguire, scottishathletics Director of Coaching said:

    “2014 is a big year for the city and the Glasgow British Athletics International Match will be the first time that supporters can see a Scottish team in action before the Commonwealth Games.

    “This will not only form a part of the event’s history, but it will also show that Scotland has the strength to compete with some of the best athletes in the world.

    “There is a great buzz around the city and I can see no better way to start the year in front of a big home support at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match.”

    British Athletics’ Paralympic Head Coach Paula Dunn said:

    “The Paralympic Games in London last year has really raised the profile of the sport in this country and we are committed to ensuring that para-athletics continues to capture the hearts and minds of the nation.

    “International events such as the Glasgow British Athletics International Match are also massively important to the development of our athletes as we prepare for major championships such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the IPC European Championships in Swansea next year.”

    Glasgow British Athletics International Match scoring system:

    First place: 4 points

    Second place: 3 points

    Third place: 2 points

    Fourth place: 1 point

    Fans can register for tickets for the 2014 British Athletics Series by visiting www.britishatheltics.org.uk

    Tickets go on general sale on Thursday 7 November

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2013

    92% of Glasgow 2014 Tickets Sold

    Thousands of elite Commonwealth athletes competing for gold and glory next year will do so in packed stadia across Glasgow and Scotland, Games organisers can reveal today (Monday, November 4).

    First details of the unprecedented levels of demand for the Glasgow 2014 Ticketing Programme to date were unveiled at a special event held on the stage of the iconic Clyde Auditorium, the venue for the Games’ Weightlifting and Powerlifting events.

    Preliminary research also reveals that 57% of tickets were sold in Scotland (22% within Greater Glasgow), with a further 40% going to Home Nations sports fans. A further 3% were sold outside the UK to non-Commonwealth nations. Tickets to Commonwealth nations are from an additional pot, sold through the Commonwealth Games Associations themselves, which means the overall numbers of international visitors will rise.

    However, even at this stage, ticket sales indicate the Games will deliver a significant boost to tourism in 2014 – the year Scotland welcomes the world. Only last week, Lonely Planet put Scotland in the top three places to visit next year, thanks to its jam-packed schedule of world-class events. The Commonwealth Games is the biggest of those events, helping to ensure that Scotland is the place to be.

    Such impressive levels of early demand for tickets are unprecedented in Commonwealth Games history.

    However, for those who still want to be part of the UK’s next big sporting event there are still great opportunities to experience live sport in Glasgow next summer.

    All remaining tickets are available for general public sale from 10am tomorrow (November 5).  There will be 76,000 tickets available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s a range of six sports to choose from – Badminton, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash and Weightlifting - with more than 50% of all remaining tickets priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for under 16s and over 60s. There are also a limited number of tickets available for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

    Tickets will be sold online via the Glasgow 2014 Ticketing website tickets.glasgow2014.com or via the Glasgow 2014 Ticket Hotline 0844 826 2014 (Option 1), open 24 hours a day. Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline. Other networks may vary.

    Commenting on the Ticketing Programme, Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive David Grevemberg said:

    “The demand for Glasgow 2014 tickets has been simply incredible and we want to thank everyone for their massive response to our invitation to be part of making Glasgow 2014 a great moment in sporting history. Already Glasgow 2014 can show it will deliver great home crowds and an impactful boost to tourism as we welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to Glasgow in the year Scotland welcomes the world.

    “We are really proud of meeting the ambitions of making the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games accessible, affordable and available to as many people as possible.

    “What a fantastic position to be in this far out from the Games. What a fantastic fanfare for athletes across the Commonwealth setting their goals for Glasgow.  I want to once again say a huge thank you to everyone, and particularly the home support here in Scotland, for helping ensure the success of this event and for such an amazing response. “

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2013

    Experiencing Scotland Quarterly Update for November 2013

    The latest Quarterly Update from Experiencing Scotland, the initiative which supports tourism companies to provide and promote the high quality food and drink produce Scotland offers.

    Highlights include:

    • How Auchindrain in Argyll is using ‘food stories’ drawing on the heritage of the site to deliver food as a visitor ‘experience’.

    • ‘Taste of National Tourist Routes, Norway’, an initiative to promote the people and businesses offering unique and authentic food experiences along five routes in the country.

    • How Scottish Dim Sum are helping to meet the expectations of the growing market of Chinese visitors to The Amber Restaurant at the Scotch Whisky Experience.

    Help your catering operation become a more profitable part of your business

    Over 70 businesses have now benefitted from the 1-2-1 support offered by Experiencing Scotland, and are reaping the rewards both in terms of improvements to their bottom line and increased customer satisfaction.

    While one of the main aims of the project is to help businesses make more of Scotland’s rich natural larder, feedback from the companies supported to date suggests that the ‘holistic’ approach taken by Experiencing Scotland, which involves a diagnostic of their overall catering operation, has in many cases been equally beneficial.

    Experiencing Scotland’s catering and food service consultant Sandra Reid says: “Business support encompasses a full review of the catering activity. We take a 360 degree approach and we look at all aspects of the business - menus, food sourcing and procurement, merchandising, marketing, staffing, customer service and training, and ultimately we look at financial delivery. Is the food offer delivering financially for the business?

    “If it’s not, or if we think that it could be making a greater contribution to the overall performance of the business, then we work with the team on the ground to identify possible areas for improvement. The aim is to provide them with a practical action plan that they can take forward in their own time and monitor against the industry benchmarks supplied.

    “This review process has already helped management teams to find practical solutions to operational challenges they have been grappling with for years. In other cases it has simply highlighted possible new product development, marketing or customer service ideas. The most useful thing, in many cases, is to have a fresh, independent pair of eyes take a look at the catering operation from a visitor or guest point of view.

    At Moness Resort in Aberfeldy, Sandra was able to identify a number of areas where the catering operation was failing to meet business needs and to suggest some simple solutions to these issues, such as using kitchen ‘down time’ more profitably for food preparation and menu development, altering the traditional shift pattern to meet the needs of the business more adequately and ‘up skilling’ bar staff to deliver the bar food and snack menu.

    Sandra also identified that increased skills and training for both kitchen and service teams would lead to a much-needed reduction in pressure on the head chef and restaurant manager, and was able to signpost Resort Director Terry Vose to funding available through Skills Development Scotland to help address this need.

    Terry says: “The changes which Sandra suggested will undoubtedly have a very positive effect on our overall catering operation in the long term, reducing pressure on staff at key times and making the very best use of their skills and time”.

    Following their recent Experiencing Scotland review, New Lanark Heritage Trust have been emboldened to think out of the box and buy a local ice-cream company and delivery bike, in order to enhance their food and drink offer and profit margins at their food operations including New Lanark Mill Hotel and the Trust’s Visitor Centre.

    “This is a fantastic example of the innovation the business support from Experiencing Scotland can lead to”, says Sandra.

    Find out how Experiencing Scotland’s 1-2-1 support has helped two of Scotland’s most iconic tourism businesses, Abbotsford House and Edinburgh Castle, to increase the profitability of their food and drink operations by checking out their stories at http://www.experiencingscotland.com/videos/  

    To learn more about 1-2-1 support or to register interest click here, telephone 0845 607 8787 or email enquiries@scotent.co.uk

    Case studies......

    Auchindrain

    Auchindrain is the most complete surviving example of a farm township, a type of settlement representative of much of Scottish rural history before 1800. Located six miles south of Inveraray, it is now preserved as a museum of the way things were.

    The attraction recently signed up to receive 1-2-1 expert advice and business support from the Experiencing Scotland food and drink project, in order to review the current business approach to the visitor catering operation at Auchindrain Tearoom. 

    The location of Auchindrain means that by necessity most produce is sourced locally or from wholesalers within a 50 mile radius. The catering operation also benefits from an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables grown in the township’s “kailyards”.  Particularly during summer and early autumn, these are used as available in soups and ‘specials’.

    Sandra Reid, Experiencing Scotland’s Catering Consultant, says: “The business has a good approach to maximising use of garden produce, which should continue and be supported in menu text and marketing collateral. It would be fantastic, however, if the team could look to deliver food as a visitor ‘experience’, drawing on the heritage of the site and featuring heritage dishes.

    “One way of doing this might be to develop a range of workable heritage recipes, built into a manual for staff. Alongside this, garden produce-based recipes could be integrated into the offer on a seasonal basis. This would give an excellent reflection of how township residents cooked and ate, and as an added bonus, heritage dishes could be sold at a premium price aimed at delivering a higher margin.

    “Auchindrain has a positive wealth of ‘food stories’ that could be adapted for use in menus and other point of sale material. These could include food and cooking ‘then and now’; links to crops farm machinery and equipment; social activity around food and drink; farming traditions and importance of the harvest; and the stories of food and people such as the tale of Bell a‘Phuill and the pancakes or the centuries-old Traveller connections with Auchindrain.

    “Heritage recipes and food stories could be included on table talkers or tent cards and postcards, with the latter providing a souvenir value. There are also fantastic opportunities to develop links between people and recipes, for example ‘Travellers’ Broth’ or ‘Kailyard Pie’.

    “This would really help to ensure that food and drink becomes a much more integral part of the whole visitor experience at Auchindrain, enhancing visitor satisfaction and boosting profitability”. 

    Read the full case study at www.experiencingscotland.co.uk

    New website to help you make more of Scotland’s world-class food & drink

    Experiencing Scotland’s brand new website is now live!

    The site is a ‘one stop shop’ for:

    • Information on one-to-one business advice and support to help you make the most of the market opportunities.

    • Details of new workshop support for tourism groups, to help them enhance the visitor experience through Scottish food & drink.

    • A range of useful information, tools and resources to help you offer Scottish and regional food on your menus.

    • Over 30 case studies highlighting how Experiencing Scotland has helped tourism businesses across Scotland to develop their food offer.

    • Video clips featuring businesses that are satisfying their visitors’ desire for an authentic Scottish experience and improving their bottom line.

    • The latest product innovations and ideas helping food & drink companies across the globe to stay one step ahead.

    • Links to the latest business opportunities.

    Access the site now at www.experiencingscotland.co.uk     

    Grow your business through Scottish events

    If you’re a food and drink company looking to capitalise on the business opportunities presented by Scotland’s rich calendar of events, two new websites are an absolute must….

    Ready for Events has lots of great advice on how to work with events, including practical advice, information and resources to help you enter the market, and an ‘Events Finder’ facility which allows you to search for events in your area that include food retail or catering operations, and download catering specifications.

    Scotland will welcome the world in 2014 –and it’s just around the corner!  Work continues apace to make the most of this big year for the food and drink sector when the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland come to our shores. Find out more about the plans, how to get involved and benefit from this exceptional year today at 2014 Food & Drink.

    Grasp the opportunity now and make the most of Scotland’s ‘winning years’!

    New Supplier Showcase replaces Scotland Food & Drink’s Buyers’

    Scotland Food & Drink’s Supplier Showcase - the next generation of its popular Buyers’ Guide - launched in September.

    Containing the updated details of over 1000 suppliers and producers across Scotland, the Showcase is designed to make sourcing and buying Scottish produce as simple as possible. Users can search for suppliers by region or category, as well as creating printable favourites lists.

    It was launched in conjunction with several other sourcing tools, which can be found alongside the Showcase: a food map, seasonality calendar and a number of case studies from both a supplier and chef’s point of view.

    Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight - save the date!

    This year's Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight was the most successful yet, with thousands of visitors celebrating the best of Scottish produce at 322 events across the country. A large number of producers, retailers and foodservice businesses took part in a wide range of activities which celebrated Scotland’s fantastic larder and our Land of Food and Drink.

    Next year's Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight runs from the 6th to the 21st September, it’s a great hook with which to promote your business. Visit http://www.scottishfoodanddrinkfortnight.co.uk/  to explore ways you can be involved.

    Food for thought

    A brief round-up of some of the latest ideas and innovations from around the culinary world.....

    World Food Travel Summit 21-24 September: Gothenburg, Sweden

    In September, Helen McNeill (Food & Drink Sector Team, Scottish Enterprise) attended the World Food Travel Summit in Gothenburg. Just over 200 people representing 28 countries were at the event. The summit provided a forum for professionals in the food and drink industry, in the travel and hospitality industry, as well as wider groups such as academics, public sector organisations/agencies and media professionals.

    The topics covered a phenomenal range of interests, for example: The Success of Nomanomics: how one restaurant changed a Nation; The Chinese Traveller of Tomorrow; True to Our Roots : the conscious decision to Avoid Fast Food, and Building a Fame Worthy Culinary Destination.

    One of the most striking presentations was delivered by Egil Ørjan Thorsen, Project Manager for the Taste of National Tourist Routes, Norway.  Norway has already invested in developing National Tourism Routes – designated routes within Norway that offer stunning scenery as you journey up and down the country. They then asked themselves the simple question: “Can Norwegian food culture measure up to the country’s most beautiful sights?”  

    They recognised that gastronomy is becoming increasingly important within the tourism industry and that food is a way for various destinations to increase their profile. They have developed this notion as part of a pilot initiative “The Taste of National Tourism Routes” – bringing together famers, food producers, hotels and restaurants. Its purpose is to promote the people and businesses who offer unique and authentic food experiences along five specific routes.

    In their own words: “This is not just about food for connoisseurs and three-course meals, but rather serving food that is distinctive and with a special connection to the place and its history. The project promotes a wide variety of excellent places to eat that focus on Norwegian and local ingredients. At the same time it is a matter of creating a total experience of food in its natural environment, with such factors as the local cultural landscape and the hosts playing a major role. Those involved have also arrived at a shared and binding core set of values that make them ambassadors for good food, with a concern for ingredients, quality, back-story and good hospitality.”

    The links below provide further details and information about the Routes, including some stunning images of Norwegian landscapes and Fjords!

    http://www.matlangsnasjonaleturistveger.no/about-taste/?lang=en 

    http://www.slideshare.net/Sognefjellet/gothenburg-w-summit-egil-taste-of-national-tourist-routes?fb_action_ids=10151920926764553&fb_action_types=slideshare%3Aupload&fb_source=og_timeline_photo_robotext

    Look out for more on the Summit in the February Update. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact helen.mcneill@scotent.co.uk for more information.

    Scotch Whisky Experience offers pots of Scotland to visitors

    The Amber Restaurant at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh is constantly looking at emerging trends in food tourism and adapting its offer accordingly.

    Recognising that Chinese visitors have a preference for ‘sharing’, the restaurant has rolled out a Scottish Dim Sum offer to appeal to this market, using international techniques such as steamers but incorporating Scottish produce. ‘Pots of Scotland’ and sharing platters with Scottish meats, fish and cheeses, all matched with whisky, are also on offer.

    A Platinum Tour has been introduced as the last tour of the day in the visitor centre, linked to a food and drink ‘Taste of Scotland’ menu, to appeal to high spending visitors looking for unique experiences.

    They have also collaborated with a smokehouse, arranging for salmon to be painted with their 25 year old anniversary blend whisky prior to smoking. The product is available exclusively in the restaurant – a unique product with added value and a story for visitors.

    www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

    Hotel takes its kitchen to the streets

    The Four Seasons hotel chain took to the road recently with the Four Seasons Taste Truck, a roving restaurant that offered passers-by a taste of the haute cuisine available to its booking guests.

    With an 8-week tour covering large parts of the Western USA, the food truck pitched up and offered a sample of the meals from the brand’s hotel menus. The menu included dishes ranging from Bucatini pasta with pesto and green beans to Banh mi with porchetta, cooked by Michelin-star chef Marco Fossati. The food truck was also used to create community events centering around food, such as Oktoberfest celebrations and urban art exhibitions.

    The tour aimed to raise awareness of the meals available at Four Seasons hotels, as well as heighten its brand profile in the marketplace.

    http://www.fourseasons.com/

    Savouring sensory science

    Dundee Science Festival recently invited guests on a multi-sensory journey, with its first ever ‘science of taste’ event. The event brought together the science of taste, Scotch whisky food pairing with a molecular focus and Dundee's first ‘Flavour Tripping’ experience. 

    Guests were invited to sample local artisan produce together with local whisky.  Local food and drink producers involved included Cairn O Mohr, Mackays, Summer Harvest, Iain R. Spink, Glencadam whisky, Scotherbs and Taste of Angus.

    Unleashing the taste journey was a Marmalade Maltjito, a whisky cocktail with marmalade and mint, made like a mojito and served in a jam jar as nod to Dundee's past using present day Mackays marmalade.  Another quirky dish was the Arbroath Smokie popping cone, a mousse in a mini ice cream cone with popping candy! 

    Register for FREE updates from Experiencing Scotland

    Experiencing Scotland offers a range of free communications designed to highlight the benefits of offering Scottish food & drink. To register contact Scottish Enterprise, Tel: 0845 607 8787 or email enquiries@scotent.co.uk  

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 30 October 2013

    Eilidh Child to Star at Glasgow International Match

    World 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (coach: Malcolm Arnold) has confirmed that she will compete at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match.

    Child, who finished fifth in the 400m hurdles in Moscow and also won European Indoor silver over 400m earlier this year, will join her compatriot Laura Muir (Andy Young) at the Emirates Arena, when the 2014 British Athletics Series gets underway.

    In the first major international sporting event in the city before the Commonwealth Games, the 26 year old from Perthshire is excited to return to the city’s indoor arena after finishing fourth in the 400m at the start of this year.

    “I can’t wait to go back and compete at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match. I was fortunate to run at the first ever meet staged at the Arena in 2013 in front of a sell-out crowd.

    “There’s a great history behind this event, with some of the best international and British athletes competing in the city over the last 20 years or so, and I’m sure that next year will create some more memories.”

    After a successful 2013, which also included being named Scottish Athlete of the Year, Child will be looking to upgrade on the silver medal she won at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. However, the Bath-based athlete is focused first and foremost on running in front of a home crowd at the turn of the year.

    “Competing in front a home Scottish crowd is a big thing for me and I’m sure the atmosphere will be electric again just like it was last year. 2014 is massive year for sport in Glasgow and I’m sure the Glasgow British Athletics International Match will kick it off with a bang.

    "I finished fourth at the meet last year, and I’ll be looking to put in a strong performance to show that I’ll be a force to be reckoned with when the summer comes.

    “2013 was a great year for me, medalling in Gothenburg, the world championships and individually lowering my times in both the 400m and 400m hurdles. I’m hoping to continue this trend next year with the aim of going one better in Glasgow than I did in Delhi three years ago.

    “The indoor season presents me with the platform to build towards the Commonwealth Games, and I see no better place than the Glasgow British Athletics International Match to get my season underway.”

    Category: International Events

  • 28 October 2013

    Former champions top a quality entry for Scottish Open Grand Prix

    The elevation of the Scottish Open to Grand Prix status has had the effect of attracting a star-studded line-up to the Championships at Glasgow's Emirates Arena next month.

    Atotal of 272 players representing 31 nations and all five continents will converge on the Commonwealth Games badminton venue for five days of top-class action, starting on Wednesday 20 November and running till Sunday 24 November.

    The Grand Prix has attracted a number of former champions back to Glasgow to top the entry list alongside Scotland's own stars like Yonex French Open quarter-finalist and London Grand Prix runner-up Kirsty Gilmour and their two former world doubles silver medallists Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair.

    Leading the overseas challenge is Russia's current Olympic bronze medallist Nina Vislova, who is three times a women's doubles champion at the Scottish Open (2005, 2007 and 2009). Vislova partners Anastasia Chervaykova in a line-up where Bankier and Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva will be the ones to beat after winning four titles so far this year.

    But Scotland have another top pair in contention in Gilmour and Jillie Cooper while England’s Kate Robertshaw and Heather Olver and Malaysia’s 2011 Scottish open runners-up Hui Lin Ng and Hui Ern Ng will also be in contention.

    Bankier is also likely to be second favourite in the mixed doubles with Blair behind England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver. Bankier has won the mixed title with both Blair (2007) and England’s Chris Adcock (2010) while Blair has won it three times in total, twice with England’s Natalie Munt before his win with Bankier. The Scottish pair have already won three titles this year.

    At 20 Gilmour has yet to win the Scottish Open title but she has already reached her first Grand Prix Gold final this season in London and the quarter-finals of the Yonex French Superseries last week, and will be seeded to reach at least the semi-finals at the Emirates Arena.

    Spain’s London winner Carolina Marin, who is also 20, Nedelcheva and Gilmour will be the players to beat in one of the strongest women’s singles line-ups in recent years.

    Two former men’s singles champions are in the line-up - Finland's 2006 winner Ville Lang and Poland's 2005 champion Przemyslaw Wacha, who is now established as a top men's doubles player with team-mate Adam Cwalina.

    Scotland No. 1 Kieran Merrilees will also spot Denmark’s Joachim Persson, Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen and France’s Brice Leverdez as danger men in the men’s singles along with Malaysia’s Misbun Ramdan Mohmed Misbun and Ukraine’s Dmytro Zavadsky, who beat the Glasgow man two weeks ago in the Yonex Dutch Open quarter-finals.

    England's Marcus Ellis, who won the mixed doubles last year, is the only defending champion returning from last year's winners. But this year his target will be to recapture the men's doubles title he won in 2010 with Peter Mills when he partners Scotland's Paul Van Rietvelde.

    They will be up against 2009 winners Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding and their Danish team-mates Kim Astrup Sorensen and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen as well England’s Mills and Chris Langridge and two top Polish pairs in Wacha and Cwalina and Wojciech Szkudlarczyk and Lukasz Moren.

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “This is the strongest entry we have had for some years.

    “It is marvellous to see so many past winners returning to Glasgow to compete for trophies. This is down to our new Grand Prix status and the increased prize money and ranking points that go with it.

    “We have a new Arena for the players – the one which will be used for the Commonwealth Games badminton event next summer – and a higher-profile event offering TV coverage.

    “None of these advances would have been possible without the backing of our key partners, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland, who are supporting our tournament with a £750,000 investment over the next four years.”

    The Championships begin with qualifying on Wednesday, November 20 with the finals on the morning and afternoon of Sunday, November 24.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 October 2013

    Tickets for second day of Duel in the Pool sold out

    The tickets for Saturday 21 December for the exciting Duel in the Pool in Glasgow have sold out with huge response from the public after going on sale on Friday.

    With swimming stars like Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Michael Jamieson and Florent Manaudou descending on the venue where the swimming for next year’s Commonwealth Games will be held, demand was high.

    Tickets are still available for Friday 20 December.

    To be at the heart of the action click here: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming/

    Category: International Events

  • 25 October 2013

    Last week to nominate humanitarians for Bard's award

    There's just one week left to submit your nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2014 – one of the world's most prestigious humanitarian accolades.

    Established in recognition of the Bard, the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – supported by South Ayrshire Council and EventScotland, through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or 'hands on' charitable work. And nominations can be submitted until next Friday (1 November 2013).

    The winner/s – who will be announced at the award ceremony on the Bard's birthday (25 January) – receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas, 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.

    The 2013 winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award was Khalil Dale MBE, a British Red Cross aid worker who was abducted and killed in Pakistan in 2012. The 60-year-old, who grew up in Dumfries, spent decades working to help vulnerable people in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Last year, he was abducted and killed in Pakistan while working to make a difference for people wounded in conflict.

    Previous recipients include Karen Graham, 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; Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors; Habib Malik, Scotland Manager of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and a member Islamic Relief; and Guy Willoughby, Founder and CEO of the HALO Trust which specialises in the removal of war debris.

    Nominees must emulate Rabbie through their commitment to and fight for human rights and social reform, but can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender.

    Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2014 can be made online at  www.robertburnsaward.com and close on Friday 1 November 2013.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 October 2013

    Community Batonbearers - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - Queen’s Baton Relay

    And we’re off!  The online community batonbearer programme was launched on 10 October and will remain open for nominations until 5pm on 22 November. Members of the public have the opportunity to nominate a deserving individual from their local community to become a batonbearer.

    Community nominations can be made by accessing the online form at www.glasgow2014.com/baton-relay

    To support the promotion of the campaign we have produced this short digital animation film to showcase this unique opportunity.

    Please feel free to share this film with your networks so that we can reach every community in Scotland and give your local champions an opportunity to become Commonwealth champions.

    Glasgow 2014 Engagement and Legacy team

     

    Category: International Events

  • 23 October 2013

    Ticket Details Announced for Duel in the Pool

    Tickets will be on sale for one of the toughest showdowns in swimming, the Duel in the Pool, on Friday 25 October at 10am.

    The Duel in the Pool, which is set to take place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow from 20 – 21 December, features some of the world’s best swimmers as the USA takes on select swimmers from Europe to see who has the right to rule the pool.

    Olympic Champions Ryan Lochte, Katie Ledecky and Conor Dwyer will make their way across the Atlantic to see if they can retain their title.

    The European Allstars will see Olympic medallist Michael Jamieson line up alongside Olympic Champions Florent Manaudou, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Yannick Agnel as they take on the best swimming nation in the world. Commonwealth, European and World Medalist Hannah Miley will also line up on the blocks just seven months out from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    The straight final format will see athletes swimming as fast as they can, in the fight to claim crucial points for their team. The event, which will provide up to three hours of nail-biting entertainment per-day, will be a thrilling showcase of swimming on home soil.

    Tickets will be priced from £40 for adults and £25 for concessions for what will be one of the most exciting swimming battles of the year. Make sure you guarantee your place at the heart of the action of this not to be missed spectacular.

    Tickets will be available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk from 10am on Friday 25 October.

    Category: International Events

  • 21 October 2013

    Record Breaker Proffitt wins Tiree Wave Classic again

    Tiree13 Day 7 Roundup 360p from Jim Puravida on Vimeo.

    Professional windsurfer Ben Proffitt has written himself into the sport's history books after winning the Tiree Wave Classic for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. On a thrilling final day of action, the Shropshire sailor beat off a spirited challenge from Welshman Phil Horrocks to reclaim the title and with it an engraved broadsword.

    The 35-year-old held the lead going into the final day of action as the heats began again in windy conditions and head-high waves at Balephuil.  But it soon became apparent that Proffitt was going to have a severe test to reclaim his title, as Horrocks produced a series of sensational jumps to climb from fourth place to take on the Englishman in the final.

    As a thrilled crowd watched on from the beach on the Inner Hebridean isle, Horrocks' wave jumping was of the highest calibre, but Proffit's sensational wave-riding clinched him the title once again.

    The competition is in its 27th year, and is the third of four events on the British Wavesailing Association (BWA)'s UK Wave Tour, with Cornwall hosting the final leg later this month.

    Ian Ross, Head Judge, said, "Tiree has delivered yet again, coupled with the effort from the riders, this is exactly why this competition is called the Tiree Wave Classic."

    "We witnessed the most consistent full day of windsurfing action from 8am through til 5pm, that I've ever seen in the UK," he said.

    "The conditions really were spectacular and the competitors took full advantage," said Ross.

    BWA UK Wave Tour leader Ross Williams, from the Isle of Wight, finished in third place in the pro's division.

    One of those watching on was Mark Bees, from Tiree, who said, "I've never seen so much world class windsurfing in one day in Tiree before."

    "The atmosphere on the beach was really special and it the competitors and the crew were having a real blast," he said.

    Polish sailor Justyna Sniady took the ladies title while Scottish pair Scot McDowell, from Troon, won the amateur title and Tiree local Stewart Cowling took the youth award.

    Event organiser, Jim Brooks-Dowsett, said, "This was one of the best Tiree Wave Classics ever, with some really exciting results all changing hands on the last day, in fantastic conditions."

    "And it wasn't just the competition, there was an amazing mass expression session - a first for Tiree - and just brilliant to watch," said Jim.

    The Tiree Wave Classic is hosted by Puravida Boardriders at the Tiree Lodge Hotel and funded by EventScotland with Argyll & Bute Council.

    Category: International Events

  • 21 October 2013

    2013 MOBO Awards Winners Strike Gold In Glasgow

    Saturday saw the 18th Annual MOBO Awards take place at the newly opened SSE Hydro arena, as the hottest names in RnB, soul, gospel, hip hop, reggae and many more descended on the venue for its first televised, multi-artist event.

    The evening saw gongs handed out in 13 diverse MOBO categories featuring nominees such as Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Rudimental, Jessie J, Jessie Ware and Wretch 32 amongst others who were all in the running for one of the coveted awards with success stories; Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each.  Each winner was given an 18ct gold leaf MOBO trophy carefully redesigned for this year’s 18th anniversary celebrations.

    Throughout the evening, Glasgow and BBC3 audiences were treated to exhilarating performances from Tinie Tempah who took home the Best UK Hip Hop/Grime act award and Laura Mvula who picked up two awards for Best Female in association with Tresor Paris and Best RnB/Soul Act.  While winners for Best Newcomer Award in association with HTC, Krept & Konan made no secret of their delight at taking home the gong, which will no doubt help them on their journey to further industry success. The dynamic duo has been recognised as one of the UKs most promising urban artists and has become one of a handful to be awarded a prestigious MOBO award while still unsigned. Without a doubt, the award for performance of the night went to garage collective, So Solid Crew, who closed the show with an amazing rendition of their number one hit ’21 Seconds’. The high-energy 10-piece collective’s show-stopping finale was a fitting celebratory end to MOBO18.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s top music cities and we’re home to the most lively and passionate audiences for music events in the UK, which is why shows like the MOBO Awards want to come here.

    “This year, MOBO made history as the first music awards event and live multi-artist production to be held at our magnificent new SSE Hydro arena, which provided a stunning backdrop for the show.

    “Hosting the MOBO Awards is a fantastic endorsement of the city’s ability to successfully deliver major music events and demonstrates increasing recognition by event organisers that coming to Glasgow will enhance their brand on the global stage.”

    MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE said, “It has been an exciting road this year that has seen artists both new and established demonstrate their worth and talent. For us at MOBO, the awards are about recognising the exciting and inspiring artists out there and giving them a platform to perform on.  This year has been a great representation of the wealth of talent MOBO music has to offer.  It’s an amazing industry to work in and we love being at the forefront honouring the past and supporting the future.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "The MOBO Awards is a spectacular made for TV event that showcases Scotland around the world as the perfect stage for major music events.

    "The show will reach millions of people in the UK this weekend on BBC Three and BBC One, with further pick up in media around the world. Scotland has a wonderful reputation as a host for major cultural events, and we are blessed with fantastic venues like the new SSE Hydro, which has hosted the show tonight and will be home to other great events in the years to come."

    Category: International Events

  • 17 October 2013

    2013 Duel in the Pool teams revealed

    Olympic medallist Michael Jamieson and World Championship medallist Fran Halsall will lead the European challenge at the 2013 Duel in the Pool when the continent’s best swimmers go head-to-head with world number one swimming nation the USA.

    Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Britain will be French Olympic champions Florent Manaudou, Yannick Agnel and Fabien Gilot for the men, and double Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands for the women as they combine for the 37-strong European Allstars.

    But they will face a USA team that also features swimming’s elite such as double Olympic champion Ryan Lochte as well as Olympic champions Kate Ledecky, Conor Dwyer, Shannon Vreeland and Tyler Clary.

    Duel in the Pool 2013 will be held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, home to next year’s Commonwealth Games swimming, on 20-21 December and provides a unique opportunity for fans to see the world’s greatest swimmers battle for supremacy in the pool.

    The European Allstars will feature 12 British athletes, including Craig McNally, Robbie Renwick and Hannah Miley from Scotland. And joining them will be Radoslaw Kaweckiof Poland, Jeremy Stravius, Camille Muffat and Fred Bousquet of France, Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain, and Lotte Friis and Jeanette Ottesen-Gray of Denmark.

    British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss believes this year’s European squad is the most competitive he has seen.

    “The European Allstars features by far the strongest line up we’ve ever seen in what will be the third of these exciting biennial events,” said Furniss.

    “Both teams include a multitude of Olympic and World champions and medallists, and therefore the head-to-head promises to be a dramatic encounter.

    “The USA are sending a very strong team so the challenge facing the Europeans will be immense but it will provide a great spectator event at the home of next year’s Commonwealth Games.”

    The USA line-up also sees Jessica Hardy, Caitlin Leverenz, Anthony Ervin, Eugene Godsoe and Cullen Jones spearheading the USA challenge as they look to reclaim the title they won two years ago in Atlanta.

    “We’ve assembled a nice mix of veteran performers and rising stars on the U.S. roster, and we look forward to racing some of the top swimmers in Europe,” said USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch.

    “The Duel in the Pool has become a must-watch event for swimming fans around the globe, and USA Swimming is excited to compete against a talented European Allstars in Glasgow.”

    The Duel in the Pool is a USA Swimming concept designed to showcase the sport’s most exciting swimmers and will be hosted this year by British Swimming, Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and EventScotland.

    Tickets for the event will be released on sale next week and spectators wishing to see the European Allstars take on the USA can register their interest at http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/swimming/duel-in-the-pool/

    Fans will also be able to see the action unfold live on Sky Sports 2. The showdown event will be televised on Friday 20 December and concludes on Saturday 21 December.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 October 2013

    AlunaGeorge, Shy FX & Ms. Dynamite complete MOBO line-up

    With just two days to go until the 18th MOBO Awards take over Glasgow for a star studded night to celebrate the finest urban music, MOBO is excited to announce that AlunaGeorge, Ms Dynamite and Shy FX have all been added to the line-up of music on the live show this Saturday at the newly opened SSE Hydro Arena.

    Super cool, electro pop duo, AlunaGeorge will be bringing their infectious hooks and throbbing basslines to the party with a unique performance of the smash ‘Attracting Flies’.  Adding to the star studded line up are two legends of the UK music scene, Ms Dynamite and Shy FX who will be performing their hotly anticipated collaboration, ‘Cloud 9’.  Surrounded by carnival dancers and drawing on Shy FX sound system roots, this is sure to be a performance of epic proportions.

    Hosting the festivities, four-time MOBO winner and legendary Urban music DJ Trevor Nelson MBE and fellow BBC 1Xtra DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford will steer proceedings as the show airs live on BBC Three this Saturday from 9pm and repeated on Sunday, BBC1 at 11:30pm.

    Expect some electrifying performances across the night featuring, pyros, tributes, special guest vocalists, dance troupes and even a fairground!  This year’s awards are set to shine as the biggest show yet!

    The evening will present 13 diverse MOBO Awards categories featuring nominees such as Disclosure, Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Jessie J, Jessie Ware and Wretch 32 amongst others, all in the running for one of the coveted awards with Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations.

    As a UNESCO city of music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s top music destinations.  The MOBO Awards return to Glasgow for the third time as the result of a successful partnership between the MOBO Organisation, EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. The Awards will be the first multi-artist, televised event at the brand new SSE Hydro.

    MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE said, “We’re thrilled at this year’s diverse line-up and the additional two, exciting and unique performances. MOBO is all about diversity and this is the perfect mix of long-standing and new UK talent paving the way forward for UK music.” 

    Tickets are available at mobo.com/tickets. For more information around the event, find out more at www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 October 2013

    There’s been a murder … at Leith Hall

    A body has been found, the police have cordoned off the whole area, the crime scene team that you are leading have moved in…

    Can you crack the case?

    CSI: Leith Hall this weekend is the latest brilliant crime and mystery event devised by the Absafe team and written by crime writer Bill Kirton.

    This is a family event where children and adults move from room to room in Leith Hall looking for clues, dusting for fingerprints, testing DNA under microscopes,  interviewing suspects last seen at the crime including the butler and the maid and attempting to find out ‘who dunnit’.

    Absafe who have devised this year’s event are a safety charity based in Aberdeen, this is the second year they have created a CSI event for the Festival using drama students from Aberdeen College to play the parts of the witnesses and real DNA experiment equipment from the Forensics Lab.

    Fiona Watson Development Manager at Absafe said: “We are really excited to be working with the Festival on CSI: Leith Hall. Last year our CSI at Haddo House was a huge success but this year what we have created, using one of Bill Kirton’s brilliant plots, is far more exciting, it’s full of twists, what ifs and medical evidence to help participants really understand the mind of the murderer and get to grips with solving crimes. “

    Emma Henderson, Festival Producer said: “Leith Hall has a long association with ghosts and historical crime and we are delighted to be able to stage this year’s CSI in such an atmospheric and truly chilling place.”

    Tickets for CSI:Leith Hall can be booked in advance www.nts.org.uk/unsolved, £5/£3, family £12, The Event runs at Leith Hall from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 19th October and Sunday 20th October.

    The Unsolved Festival runs on Saturday 19th October and Sunday 21st. Over the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy storytelling, CSI:Leith Hall and wildlife CSIs at Leith Hall. At Castle Fraser there is a talks programme by crime writers including Alanna Knight who spent several nights at Leith Hall and had many ghostly encounters where she heard crystal clinking and felt as if she was being smothered as she lay sleeping with her husband in bed. At Haddo Country Park there is Operation Espionage a chance to work undercover, meet secret agents and attempt to identify the whereabouts of a Norwegian spy.

    Category: National Events

  • 15 October 2013

    Innovative Real Time Event Management Training

    In the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond SEFA are working in partnership with the Scottish Police College to deliver a new type of training for the festivals and events industry. The programme will be groundbreaking as it will give the participants the opportunity to explore and work with the emergency services.

    In November at a two day crowd management seminar this innovative learning development strategy is being trialed for the very first time. The two-day programme, delivered by Professor Chris Kemp from the International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies, Bucks New University and Allan Jones, International Policing Advisor for Crowd Control will open with a session on the theory behind crowd management and crowd science. This will then be contextualized through two major studies on recent incident and issues at venues and events. From this base the Hydra Suite at the Scottish Police College will be utilized to run an exercise using real time, real life scenarios which focus on the decision making capabilities under pressure of those involved in the seminar. After this exercise the participants will be interviewed about the decisions that have been made.

    The reason behind this education process is to try to deliver a new type of festival and event management education linked to immersive learning including inductive and deductive reasoning skills giving those present on the course not only the underpinning theory behind what happens at events but a role in the decision making process which will affect the event going forward. How participants’ can be held accountable for their decisions and how the outcome of these decisions could be viewed in the eyes of the media and other stakeholders will also be examined. In this way a new breed of succession managers will be created through this intensive programme. This will challenge not only the risk averse nature of event planning but also support the change process in festival and event delivery.

    The course runs from the 13th-14th November, 2013 at Scottish Police College, Tulliallan Castle, FK10 4BE

    Further details available on www.sefa.org.uk. To book on this course go to http://sefaseminars.eventbrite.co.uk

    Category: Industry Info

  • 15 October 2013

    Glasgow music mural unveiled ahead of preMOBO event

    A Glasgow music inspired mural created by underground graffiti artist, Rogue One was officially unveiled by DJ and new music pioneer, Jim Gellatly today (Monday, 14th October 2013) at the  Barras Art and Design (BAaD) with a live performance from hip hop star, Gasp who features in the mural.

    The 16ft x 10ft painting was created by Rogue One aka Bobby McNamara, took 14 hours to paint and used over 32 cans of spray-paint. The mural was created ahead of a one day free industry event to highlight urban culture and music influence in Scotland on Friday, 18th October at BAaD ahead of the 18th annual MOBO awards taking place at The Hydro.

    Inspiration for the mural came after Rogue One put a call out on Facebook asking for Scottish artists to send across pictures for inclusion. His Celebrate MOBO mural features Brian Adams - better known by his stage name Gasp, a Glaswegian Hip Hop MC/wordsmith and founder of Badmouth Battles held in the o2 ABC, and Scotland producer/DJ Bunty Beats.

    Designed to bring together hundreds of young people and music industry figures by the creator of the MOBO's Kanya King MBE and funded by Scottish Enterprise, Celebrate MOBO aims to take the passion and excitement surrounding the MOBO Awards to deliver a legacy for emerging Scottish talent.

    On top of showcasing the best of the Scottish music scene, Celebrate MOBO will also provide an opportunity to gain insight into the creative industries, with live gaming demos from Grand Theft Auto V and FIFA 14, as well as interactive panel sessions with industry figureheads covering cutting edge topics within the music and digital industries.

    Following the speaker sessions a live music and cultural showcase will begin at five pm including hip hop MC Gasp, MC and drummer duo Hector Bizerk, urban pop star Si Si Rae, and King Keytan who plays music through two Nintendo Gameboys described as ‘Spacerock’.

    Speaking of the mural, Rogue One said: “The idea behind Celebrate MOBO is creative collaboration. Bringing together like-minded people who want to meet each other in the city.”

    McNamara who will be undertaking a live street art battle at Celebrate MOBO continues: “I’m looking forward to listening to the bands and doing my street battle. Glasgow is the perfect city to host the MOBOS as the underground music scene is thriving.”

    DJ Jim Gellatly, the Celebrate MOBO host said: “It’s really exciting that the MOBOs are back in Glasgow this year and the fact that we can herald the Scottish music scene with our legacy event, Celebrate MOBO is inspiring.

    “There is lot of urban and R ‘N’ B music coming out of Glasgow right now with the likes of Scope, Hector Bizerk and Gasp, and Celebrate MOBO really gives the chance to celebrate all types of music and bring these talented people together. This event has a lot to offer and it’s a great platform for aspiring musicians and those in the creative industries to network and meet the right people.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "As a UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world's top music cities, which is why shows like the MOBO Awards want to come here.

    "This year's show marks a milestone for the MOBO organisation as it celebrates its 18th anniversary and it's a milestone for the city too as MOBO will make history as the first live multi-artist show to be held at our magnificent new SSE Hydro arena.

    "I'm delighted that through Celebrate MOBO we are building a positive legacy for the city, and Scotland, from the passion and excitement that surrounds this major event."

    More information on Celebrate MOBO can be found online www.celebratemobo.co.uk The one day free event will take place at The Barras Art and Design Centre on Friday, 18th October from 10am – 11pm.  Spaces to attend the event are limited. If you are interested to attending, please sign up with your e-mail address by visiting www.celebratemobo.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 14 October 2013

    Early Bird Tickets On Sale for Badminton Scottish Open

    CALLING all badminton fans. There's just a week to go before the end of BADMINTONscotland's Early Bird half-price ticket offer to next month's Scottish Open Grand Prix at Glasgow's Emirates Arena.

    Scotland stars like London Grand Prix runner-up Kirsty Gilmour and former world silver medallists Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier will be competing at the third oldest Open tournament in world badminton from November 20-24.

    They will be up against top players from all over the world as some of the best in badminton head for Glasgow to get a feel for the arena before next year's Commonwealth Games.

    Tickets for the tournament are on offer at half price until next Sunday (October 20) so don’t miss out on this bargain opportunity to get the best seats at the best possible price.

    The tournament, which has been elevated to Grand Prix status on the BWF tournament circuit, starts with qualifying rounds on the Wednesday along with the men's singles first round. From Thursday the tournament gets into full swing with all five events under way.

    Grand Prix status could not have been achieved without the vital support of BADMINTONscotland's funding partners Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland who between them have invested £750,000 into the Scottish Open Grand Prix over the next four years.

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said today: "You cannot run a successful event these days without strong support behind the scenes and the Scottish Open is no exception. We are once again indebted to Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland for their continued support. We are fortunate that they have such a strong commitment to badminton."

    Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: “We’re excited about hosting the Scottish Open at the Emirates Arena, particularly as this will be the first Grand Prix event in Scotland. I have no doubt that five days of badminton action, featuring some of the world’s best players, will provide outstanding entertainment for all those attending.

    “The Scottish Open will give us a taste of what fans can expect at next year's Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games."

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with the Scottish Open Grand Prix we can expect to see some of the sport’s top names competing at the Emirates Arena.

    “The event will undoubtedly put on a fantastic show for spectators, and with tickets starting from just £2 in the early-bird discount I am sure it will be appealing to both fans of the sport and newcomers alike.”

    In a departure from previous years the finals will feature two matches in the Sunday morning session followed by the remaining three in the afternoon.

    Under the Early Bird discount tickets start for as little as £2 for day one with a season ticket terrific value at just £7 - which means you can pop into the Emirates Arena any time you want throughout the five days of the tournament.This is an offer that's too good to miss but remember, from next Monday the tickets revert to full price.

    Category: International Events

  • 14 October 2013

    MOBO Awards 2013 Countdown

    Starting on Monday 7th October we are counting down the days until the 18th MOBO Awards, which will take place at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on 19th October. We'll look back at previous MOBO Awards shows and look at some of the performers set to wow fans this year.

    Today we take a look back at MOBO's tenth show in 2011:

    This year the awards returned to the SECC Arena in Glasgow, they obviously loved having us there!  Alesha Dixon also must have loved working with us, as she returned to host the show, this time with US artist Jason Derulo by her side.  Attendees included Wretch 32, Ms Dynamite, Professor Green, Emeli Sande, Tinchy Stryder, Katy B, Tinie Tempah, Dappy, Chipmunk, Rizzle Kicks, Dionne Bromfield and more.

    Key 2011 MOBO Moments:

    Boyz II Men are awarded for Outstanding Contribution to music:  Three of the original members were in attendance to collect the award, and performed a medley of their hits that included 'I'll Make Love To You', 'End of the Road' and 'One Up For Love'.

    Tribute to Amy Winehouse: Amy passed away that year, so in tribute to her, her god-daughter Dionne Bromfield sang a beautiful rendition of 'Love Is A Losing Game', sounding very similar to her much-missed godmother.

    Jessie J sweeping the board: Jessie walked away with four awards in her first year of attendance.  She took home the trophies for Best Newcomer, Best UK Act, Best Song and Best Album. Not bad at all for a first-time nominee!

    Category: International Events

  • 10 October 2013

    2013 Tiree Wave Classic Set for Lift Off

    Among the finest windsurfers in the world are due to descend on the Hebridean isle of Tiree this weekend – for the 2013 Tiree Wave Classic.

    The famous week-long event is in its 27th year, and starts on Saturday October 12th.

    “Tiree always delivers something special,” said event organizer Jim Brooks-Dowsett.

    “We’re hoping we get one of those stand-out days which really showcases why people love the island so much – so we can show off our world class sailors at their best,” he said.

    The competition is the third of four legs of the British Wavesailing Association’s (BWA) UK Wave tour.

    This year the pro fleet has been boosted further by the entry of Ross Williams, from the Isle of Wight.

    He is currently leading the BWA standings after events in Wales and Ireland.

    “Ross is a well-polished and professional sailor, and his skill level is stand-out,” said Jim Brooks-Dowsett, from Puravida Boardriders.

    “But there are a handful of guys snapping at his heels, making the competition very exciting,” said Jim.

    Three time winner Ben Proffitt, from Shropshire, is among Williams’ key rivals for the title this year, along with the likes of Phil Horrocks from north Wales.

    Along with the pro fleet, there will be highly competitive competitions among the ladies, amateurs and youth fleets.

    “Tiree is always a special place for us,” said BWA Tour Manager Nigel Treacy.

    “There’s just something magical about it, whether it’s the beautiful coastline, the epic conditions or the fantastic people on the island, we just love it,” he said.

    Riders from outside of the UK are also expected to compete this year, and dozens are coming from all across the British isles, including Cornwall.

    This year will also see a number of entrants from the RAF, and also several youngsters from across Scotland who have been training with Royal Yachting Association Scotland.

    Entrants are marked by how well they ride waves and perform jumps in front of a panel of three judges.

    The event is supported by EventScotland and Argyll and Bute Council.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “This year marks almost a decade of our support for Tiree Wave Classic. Over the period that we have supported the event, Tiree has become a popular destination for visitors and water sports enthusiasts. Tiree Wave Classic showcases this thrilling sport and the stunning landscape of Tiree to an international audience and demonstrates that Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

    Argyll Estates allow access to beaches, and organisers work closely with them to make sure the coastline is left in good condition.

    “We couldn’t run the competition without the support of the people of Tiree, and we’re so grateful for that” said Jim Brooks-Dowsett.

    “It’s crucial for us that we leave Tiree with it looking as fantastic as it does when we arrive, and every one of the competitors appreciates that and feels the same,” he said.

    “We just can’t wait for the competition to start now,” said Jim.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 October 2013

    Trevor Nelson MBE and Sarah-Jane Crawford to Host MOBO Awards

    With just nine days to go until the MOBO Awards take over Glasgow for its biggest Urban music show ever, MOBO is excited to announce its hosts, stars of TV and radio, Trevor Nelson MBE and Sarah-Jane Crawford from BBC1xtra.

    As one of BBC radio’s most prestigious and long-standing urban music DJs and winner of four MOBO Awards, Trevor Nelson MBE will be bringing his endless knowledge and infectious personality to the stage at Glasgow’s brand new SSE Hydro on Saturday, October 19. He’ll be joined on stage by fellow presenter and international DJ, Sarah-Jane Crawford who is currently the leading lady of BBC Radio 1Xtra. She is one of the most popular figures in UK broadcasting, holding record audience figures for the Monday to Friday afternoon time slot.

    Most recently, Sarah-Jane hosted the coverage of BBC 3’s first ever ‘Urban Proms’ in August and helped bring an edge to a traditional music event. Trevor and Sarah-Jane will run proceedings with that ‘MOBO glitz’ taking us through an 18 year salute as well as a nod to the present, of the hottest MOBO acts.

    With performances featuring trampolines, gymnasts, special guest vocalists, dance troupes and even a fairground - this year’s awards is set to be a show stopper! Our ticket holders are in for a special treat with an exclusive performance (which will not be aired on TV) by festival favourites, Rudimental. The fresh prince of Afrobeats, Fuse ODG will be enrolling some famous faces into the Azonto dance craze making everyone leave their seats to join in.

    The likes of Disclosure, Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Jessie J, Jessie Ware and Wretch 32 are in the running for awards this year, with Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each. Each category is now open to the public vote which closes on October 16 and can be placed at www.mobo.com/voting2013.

    MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE said, “Both Trevor and Sarah-Jane have always been hugely supportive of MOBO and everything the organisation stands for. As it is our 18th anniversary year - a big one for us, it’s wonderful to have hosts on board that we know will put on a great show, love the music and are at the heartbeat of young Britain. This is our third year in Glasgow, a result of a successful partnership between EventScotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and MOBO. We’re determined to make it an unforgettable evening!”

    As a UNESCO city of music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s top music destinations. The Awards will be the first multi-artist, televised event at the newly opened SSE Hydro which has already given its stage to Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac and Bruno Mars.
    Tickets are available at mobo.com/tickets. For more information around the event, find out more at www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 October 2013

    Up to 4000 people to carry the baton in Scotland next year!

    The Queen’s Baton Relay has begin its epic journey around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. It won’t be long before the baton returns to Scotland – and we want you to be a part of its final journey!

    The baton holding Her Majesty The Queen’s Message will cross continents, terrains and time zones. Once it has been around the Commonwealth it’ll come home to Scotland on 14 June 2014 to spend 40 days visiting communities in all 32 Local Authority areas. On 23 July 2014 the baton will be handed back to Her Majesty at the Opening Ceremony where the 288 day relay will conclude and the Games officially begin.

    We need up to 4,000 batonbearers to help carry the baton around Scotland on the final leg of its journey, helping us to ensure the Games reach every person and every community in Scotland.

    Opportunities don’t come much bigger than this to be involved in the Games and we need your help to find our community batonbearers!

    How you can help

    Please find below a link and password to our digital toolkit, which we encourage you to use to share this opportunity with the people, groups, communities and networks you work with across the length and breadth of Scotland.

    Community batonbearers are recruited by nomination, and we and we need your help in making sure this information is available to a large number of people.

    We will be running a public campaign over the coming weeks through the media, so the materials we are providing within the toolkit mirror what you will see elsewhere.  Please note that the content of this link is strictly embargoed until 9am 10 October, so please do not publish batonbearer recruitment information until then.

    Please also note that this toolkit can only be used by non-commercial organisations, as per the following guidance from Glasgow 2014; 

    Please take care to ensure that the items within this community batonbearer recruitment toolkit are used only for the purpose of promoting the community batonbearer recruitment campaign being organised by Glasgow 2014 Limited. In particular, the items should not be used by any commercial organisation or business in any manner or for any reason unless that organisation is an official sponsor of the Games. For the full terms and conditions which apply to your use of the volunteer toolkit please see the terms and conditions on the Glasgow 2014 website here. 

    Link: http://glasgow2014.com/batonbearer-digital-toolkit  
    Password: B@ton3elay (case sensitive)

    Nominations are open from 10 October until 17.00 22 November 2013.

    To find out more go to www.glasgow2014.com/baton-relay   

    Let’s give Scotland’s local champions a thank you they’ll never forget!

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 October 2013

    Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art Announces 2014 Programme

    Glasgow International is delighted to announce details of the programme for its 6th edition opening on 4 April 2014. This innovative model of a contemporary art Festival includes a programme comprised of curated commissions and projects by new Director for 2014, Sarah McCrory as well as exhibitions and events at over 40 spaces across the city of Glasgow. Showcasing work by more than 80 of the best local and international

    artists, the Festival aims to highlight artists whose practices engage in essential and critical contemporary art discourse.

    The festival will also include a programme for the year of Homecoming Scotland 2014, which will include off-site projects by Jordaon Wolfson, Charlotte Prodger and Avery Singer.

    More than 90% of the work included in the 18-day Festival will be new or previously unseen in the UK and will be presented in a range of media and disciplines such as installation, sculpture, performance, film, stand-up comedy, collage, ceramics, photography and painting.

    Now in its sixth year, Glasgow International has a legacy of producing some of the most exciting new contemporary art commissions, recognising emerging talent and tracing the careers of artists over multiple editions. The 2014 Festival will further showcase Glasgow as one of the world’s most important centres for the production and display of contemporary visual art.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major cultural events, and in Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art we can proudly boast to have one of the most diverse, engaging and well-programmed celebrations of contemporary art in the world. GI continues to attract huge audiences and consistently highlights Glasgow’s reputation within the international arts community, while showcasing some of Scotland’s finest visual artists alongside established international talent.”

    Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director said: “In 2014, the year that Scotland welcomes the world, it is fitting that we support the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art as it ties in perfectly with the Homecoming theme of celebrating creativity. Glasgow continues to act as a vibrant and modern backdrop for this world-renowned festival and it is fantastic that unique venues, not always used to showcase art, will get their chance to shine as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations. I hope the exciting commissions and projects announced today will encourage even more people to experience the festival next year.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 October 2013

    Naughty Boy Confirmed For MOBO Awards As Flash Sale Goes Live

    Producer of the moment, Naughty Boy is the newest act to be added to the heavyweight line up confirmed to perform at this year’s 18th anniversary MOBO AwardsHe joins already confirmed acts, Jahmene Douglas, Fuse ODG, Iggy Azalea, Laura Mvula, Rudimental, So Solid Crew and Tinie Tempah for this year’s highly anticipated live show which will take place at Glasgow’s new home for live entertainment; the SSE Hydro on Saturday, October 19.

    Hailed as one of the UKs hottest producer talents, Naughty Boy is up for a clutch of MOBO Awards at this year’s event including the coveted ‘Best Male Act’ alongside ‘Best Song in association with PRSforMusic’ (for chart topping track ‘La La La’ featuring fellow MOBO nominee Sam Smith) which also gets a nod for ‘Best Video in association with SBTV’.

    With his recent debut album release ‘Hotel Cabana’ which reached number two in the UK charts in the summer, features some of the hottest UK talent such as multi MOBO winner, Emeli Sandé, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran and the legendary, Gabrielle.

    Tickets for the 18th MOBO Awards are also on sale today (4 Oct) for the limited price of £18. The flash sale runs from 6am to midnight (18 hours) to celebrate MOBO's 18th anniversary.

    The likes of Disclosure, Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Jessie J, Jessie Ware and Wretch 32 are all in the running for awards this year, with Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each. Each category is now open to the public vote, which can be placed at www.mobo.com/voting2013.

    As a UNESCO city of music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s top music destinations.  The MOBO Awards return to Glasgow for the third time as the result of a successful partnership between the MOBO Organisation, EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. The Awards will be the first multi-artist, televised event at the brand new SSE Hydro.

     

    MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE said, “We’re thrilled to be able to announce yet another unique and talented addition to this year’s performer line up. Naughty Boy is a musical force within the industry and we’re happy to support his work.  The MOBO Awards is about finding and giving a platform to emerging and established talent.  We’re excited to be showcasing such an eclectic and amazing mix of acts in our 18th anniversary show - it is really inspiring.”

     

    Tickets are available at mobo.com/tickets. For more information around the event, find out more at www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 September 2013

    Scottish Event Awards 2013 – The Results!

    That’s it for another year, and what a night it was!

    Congratulations to all the nominees, commendees and especially the winners from last night’s extremely successful year at The Scottish Event Awards in association with EventScotland.

    Fire performers, live jazz musicians and Charleston dancers entertained the guests with fun extras like popcorn, props and a photo booth thrown in to make sure there was something for all at the event.

    The Scottish Fashion Awards were big winners on the night, picking up Best Small Event and the Event Management Grand Prix.  Zisys Events also had a good night as they won in two categories as well as scooping the Event Services Grand Prix to finish their lot.  Other notable wins were The National Museum of Scotland being crowned Best large Venue and Tiree Music Festival picking up Best Small Festival for the second year in a row.

    Thanks again for everyone for coming; we are already looking forward to next year!

    www.scottisheventawards.net

    Results below:

     

    Event Management Grand Prix

    Hartmann Media

    For Scottish Fashion Awards 2012

     

    Event Services Grand Prix

    Zisys Events

     

    Chairman’s Award

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

    Best Conference

    AWARD

    CIPD Scotland

    For CIPD Scotland Centenary HR Conference

     

    NOMINATION

    Lux Events

    For Scottish Tourism Alliance

    The Scottish Tourism Alliance 'Signature Conference' 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    QD Events

    For Base Glasgow

     

    Best Corporate

     

    AWARD

    The Thrill of it All Ltd

    For Shell Shared Services Glasgow

    EFOLT 2 Day Event

     

    COMMENDATION

    Maximillion

    For Business Tourism Conference

    Bespoke Wildgoose GPS activity for Business Tourism Conference

     

    NOMINATION

    Mearns & Gill

    For SPE Aberdeen Section

    Offshore Achievement Awards 2013

     

    Best Cultural

     

    AWARD

    Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company (VOLPA)

    For The Enchanted Forest

    FLOW

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh International Festival

    For Lowland Hall, Royal Highland Centre Edinburgh International Festival 2012

     

    NOMINATION

    MG ALBA

    For MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2012

     

    NOMINATION

    The Wickerman Festival

    For Building the Wickerman Festival for the Future

     

    Best Sports

     

    AWARD

    Loch Ness Marathon Ltd

    For Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running

     

    COMMENDATION

    Tricker PR

    For Aberdeen Asset Management

    Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens

     

    NOMINATION

    British Swimming

    For FINA/Midea Diving World Series 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Nova International

    For The Bupa Great Edinburgh XC and Winter Run

     

    Best Awards Scheme

    AWARD

    Northsound Radio

    For The Northsound Radio Awards

    NOMINATION

    Homes for Scotland

    For Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch and Awards 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Mearns & Gill

    For SPE Aberdeen Section

    Offshore Achievement Awards 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Scottish Golf Union

    For Scottish Golf Awards 2013

     

    Best Exhibition

    AWARD

    TradesAdvisor

    For Scottish Home Show 2013

     

    COMMENDATION

    Gardening Scotland

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

    For Edinburgh Wedding Fair

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

    For Pout at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange

     

    NOMINATION

    QD Events

    For The Scottish Wedding Show

     

    Best In-House

     

    AWARD

    Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

    For Edinburgh Zoo Nights

     

    NOMINATION

    Bauer Media / Clyde 1

    For Clyde 1 Live          

     

    COMMENDATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

    For Edinburgh Wedding Fair

     

    COMMENDATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

    For Pout at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange

     

    COMMENDATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

    Christmas at the Corn Exchange        

     

    NOMINATION

    Homes for Scotland

    For Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch and Awards 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Northsound Radio

    For The Northsound Radio Business Dinner

     

    NOMINATION

    VisitScotland

    For Year of Natural Scotland Industry Event

     

    Best Product Launch

     

    AWARD

    Tricker PR

    For Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    Save our Dram

     

    Best Large Event

     

    AWARD

    Zisys Events

    For Stirling Council

    Stirling's Hogmanay

     

    NOMINATION

    Aberdeen University

    For May Festival 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Gardening Scotland

     

    NOMINATION

    Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company (VOLPA)

    For The Enchanted Forest

    FLOW

     

    Best Small Event

     

    AWARD

    Hartmann Media

    For Scottish Fashion Awards 2012

     

    COMMENDATION

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

     

    NOMINATION

    Homes for Scotland

    For Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch and Awards 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Mearns & Gill

    For SPE Aberdeen Section

    Offshore Achievement Awards 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

    For Edinburgh Zoo Nights

     

    Best Large Festival

     

    AWARD

    Edinburgh International Science Festival

     

    COMMENDATION

    Glasgow Film Festival

     

    NOMINATION

    The Wickerman Festival

     

    NOMINATION

    Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

    Best Small Festival

     

    AWARD

    Tiree Music Festival

     

    COMMENDATION

    Haddington Pipe Band

    For Trad on the Tyne festival

     

    NOMINATION

    Falkirk Community Trust

    For Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Mugdock Country Park

    For East Dunbartonshire & Stirling Councils

    Mugdock Music Festival

     

     

    Best Large Venue

    AWARD

    The National Museum of Scotland

    NOMINATION

    AECC

     

    NOMINATION

    Crieff Hydro

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Corn Exchange

     

    NOMINATION

    Royal Highland Centre

     

    NOMINATION

    SECC

     

    Best Small Venue

     

    AWARD

    Royal Scots Club

     

    NOMINATION

    IET Glasgow: Teacher Building

     

    Best Unusual Venue

     

    AWARD

    The Titan Crane

     

    COMMENDATION

    Mount Stuart

     

    NOMINATION

    Bogbain Farm

     

    NOMINATION

    Cabaret Voltaire

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Zoo

     

    NOMINATION

    House for an Art Lover

     

    Best Caterer

     

    AWARD

    Saltire Hospitality

     

    NOMINATION

    Appetite Direct

     

    NOMINATION

    Ginger Snap

     

    Best Technical Services/Production Company           

     

    AWARD

    Zisys Events

     

    NOMINATION

    Vision Sound & Light

     

    Best Event Services Supplier

    AWARD

    Diamond Event Services

     

    COMMENDATION

    EventServ UK Ltd

    NOMINATION

    21cc Fireworks

     

    NOMINATION

    Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental

     

    NOMINATION

    Securigroup

    Best Marketing Strategy

    AWARD

    Unique Events

    For EventScotland / Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG)

    #Blogmanay

    COMMENDATION

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

     

    NOMINATION

    Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

    For DJCAD Degree Show 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Glasgow Film Festival

    For Glasgow Film Festival 2013

     

    NOMINATION

    Glasgow Life

    For Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics

     

    Best PR Strategy

     

    AWARD

    Tricker PR

    For Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    Save our Dram

     

    COMMENDATION

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

     

    NOMINATION

    3x1 Public Relations

    For QD Events

    The Scottish Wedding Show

     

    NOMINATION

    Material_UK

    For EPIC 2012

     

    NOMINATION

    Tricker PR

    For Aberdeen Asset Management

    Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens

     

    Sustainability Award

    AWARD

    21cc Fireworks

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh International Conference Centre

    For Plan-it Green

     

    NOMINATION

    Maximillion

     

    Best Cause Related/Charity Event

     

    AWARD

    The Thrill of it All

    For Yorkhill Children's Foundation

    Make this the Best Christmas Possible

     

    COMMENDATION

    The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice

    For (A Little Less) Strictly Dancing

     

    NOMINATION

    Grand Central Hotel

    For Grand Central Hotel Charity Ball

     

    NOMINATION

    Material_UK

    For EPIC 2012

     

    NOMINATION

    St Andrews First Aid

    For Kiss of Life

     

    NOMINATION

    St Andrews First Aid

    For Scottish First Aid Week

     

    Best Educational Event

     

    AWARD

    Glasgow Film Festival

    For Glasgow Youth Film Festival 2013

     

    COMMENDATION

    Edinburgh College

    For One Night Stand Graduate Show

     

    NOMINATION

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

     

    Best Traditional Event

     

    AWARD

    Glasgow Life

    For World Pipe Band Championships

     

    NOMINATION

    Material_UK

    For EPIC 2012

     

    NOMINATION

    MG ALBA

    For MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2012

     

    Best Student Event

    AWARD

    Glasgow Caledonian University

    For The Z Mile

    COMMENDATION

    Five Swans Events

    For 1950's Rock 'n' Roll Night at Howies Waterloo

     

    COMMENDATION

    Edinburgh Napier University

    For We are Young Exhibition

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Napier University

    For Brew-lliant – Local Beer Tasting

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Napier University

    For Moulin Rouge

     

    NOMINATION

    Edinburgh Napier University

    For Electric Summer

     

    NOMINATION

    Robert Gordon University

    For USEC 2013 Universities of Scotland Events Conference 2013

     

    Best Experiential Event

    AWARD

    The Gate Worldwide

    For LAS Theatre

    Deadinburgh

    NOMINATION

    Maximillion

    For Business Tourism Conference

    Bespoke Wildgoose GPS activity

     

    NOMINATION

    UZ Arts

    For Roofless

     

    Best Use of Technology

     

    AWARD

    Maximillion

    For Business Tourism Conference

    Bespoke Wildgoose GPS activity

     

    NOMINATION

    Unique Events

    For #Blogmanay

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 September 2013

    MOBO Awards 2013 announce Fuse ODG and Jahmene Douglas

    Three-time MOBO Award nominee Fuse ODG and Best Newcomer contender, Jahmene Douglas are the newest acts to be added to the heavyweight line up confirmed to perform at this year’s 18th anniversary MOBO Awards. Both stars join Iggy Azalea, Laura Mvula, Rudimental, So Solid Crew and Tinie Tempah as confirmed performers with three more exciting acts to be revealed shortly.

    No stranger to the arena stage, X Factor finalist and gospel sensation, Jahmene will be bringing his unique and soulful tones to the stage during the ceremony with a unique performance that has been months in the making! Following the release of his Number 1 debut album ‘Love Never Fails’, Jahmene will be vying for the ‘Best Newcomer in association with HTC’ award at this year's ceremony.

    Waving the flag for Africa, Ghanaian born and London raised Fuse ODG has taken the UK pop charts by storm this summer with his smash hit single ‘Antenna’ which peaked at number seven and reached number one in the iTunes chart. No stranger to the arena stage, X Factor finalist and gospel sensation Jahmene will be bringing his unique and soulful tones to the MOBO stage during the ceremony with a unique performance that has been months in the making! Both exciting new artists are set to blow us away with their energetic style of performance at the newly built, SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.

    This year’s categories see the likes of Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Rudimental and Wretch 32 in the running for awards, with Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each. Each category is now open to the public vote which can be placed at www.mobo.com/voting2013.

    As a UNESCO city of music, Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s top music destinations. The MOBO Awards return to Glasgow for the third time as the result of a very successful partnership between the MOBO Organisation, EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. The Awards will be the first multi-artist, televised event at the brand new SSE Hydro.

    MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE said, “We’re thrilled to be able to announce two more talented, unique and exciting additions to this year’s MOBO Awards line up. Supporting music of different genres and styles is what MOBO is all about and so to be able to include such an eclectic mix of acts in our 18th Anniversary show is really inspiring.”

    Tickets are available at mobo.com/tickets. For more information around the event, find out more at www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 24 September 2013

    Watch: Traquair Fair 2013 video

    Traquair Fair 2013 from Catherine Maxwell Stuart on Vimeo.

    The Traquair Fair enjoyed a 60's theme this year and featured The Troggs and The Animals as well as a great line-up of new music.

    Held in the grounds of Scotland's oldest inhabited home, Traquair House in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, The Traqauri Fair took place Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July this year.

    The Fair has a mixture of visual arts, outdoor theatre and children's entertainment and attracts over 5,000 visitors every year.

    The event organsiers have produced this video showing the colour and festive atmosphere of Traquair Fair.

    Go here for more information.

     

    Category: National Events

  • 24 September 2013

    Free course at Edinburgh College: Security Industry Authority Licence

    The Commonwealth Games are to be run in Glasgow next year and organisers are keen to have sufficient numbers of  Licenced Security Officers trained in advance for the event.

    Edinburgh College will be delivering a Security Industry Authority (SIA) recognised course to cover the Games requirements, which will include:

    - SIA Licence checks for PVG/Military Record (if serving overseas during last 5 years) and Identity of candidate to ensure eligibility

    - Enrolment on the Level 2 Award for Understanding Stewarding at Spectator Events (AUSSE) which will underpin the knowledge required for gaining  the SIA Licence

    - Enrolment on the SVQ Level 2 Course in Understanding Spectator Safety

    - Application cost (£220) for the SIA Licence

     

    These free courses will delivered at the Edinburgh College Milton Road Campus, and will run regularly between the period 7 October 2013 to June 2014.

    The courses will initially run as either:

    - 2 x 5 day weeks starting 7 and 21 October, 4 and 18 November 2013, 9am - 4.30pm

    - 10 x 2 evenings per week, (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) starting 8 October and 18 November 2013

    It is envisaged that the courses will run on a rolling programme basis until June 2014 with 20 candidates in each class.

    The completed candidates will gain an industry recognised Qualification and Licence, with details forwarded to the successful contractor for security at the Games – still to be confirmed in October – for inclusion in their interview process for the Games (also to be confirmed once the contractor has been selected).

    If you're interested please register your interest at glasgow2014@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 24 September 2013

    Unique opportunity for Scottish musicians to be part of MOBO at free festival

    Scottish artists, DJs, bands and solo performers are being encouraged to showcase their musical talents in a one day legacy event entitled ‘Celebrate MOBO’ ahead of the MOBO Awards.

    The launch of Celebrate MOBO marks the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards which will be screened live from the SSE Hydro, a first for the city, and to mark the occasion MOBO has been working with its partners to create a one day free industry event to highlight urban culture and music influence in Scotland on Friday, 18th October at the Barras Art and Design (BAaD).

    Celebrate MOBO will give emerging Scottish talent the opportunity to network and engage with industry experts from the fields of digital, gaming, music and fashion. Confirmed speakers at the event include music entrepreneur Brian D’Souza from Open Ear, Iain Hamilton from gonorth, James Jefferson from Equator, Ciaran O’Toole from TeamRock, and fashion designer Rebecca Torres.

    Musicians wishing to get involved with this festival opportunity should visit the Celebrate MOBO website and e-mail details about their band including genre of music, bio and an online music link. Selected musicians will then be chosen to perform on the day and also be invited to take part in music sessions at BAaD to encourage collaboration.

    As well as showcasing the best of the Scottish music scene, Celebrate MOBO will also provide an opportunity to gain insight into digital promotion through on-line tools, music consumption, and how music inspires all levels of business with insight from fashion designers; digital agencies; the media, and an underground culture demonstration with a live graffiti battle.   

    Kanya King MBE, founder of MOBO said: “‘Celebrate MOBO’ is an exciting opportunity for upcoming and emerging artists in Scotland, to be inspired by the diverse ranges of music that are at the heart of British youth culture and beyond.

    "This year, it’s our 18th anniversary show and we are so excited to be in Glasgow to celebrate this achievement on October 19th!”

    Celebrate MOBO aims to take the passion and excitement surrounding the MOBO Awards to deliver a legacy for emerging Scottish talent. Brian d’Souza owner of Open Ear and a producer DJ known as ‘Auntie Flo’ said: “This is a phenomenal opportunity for emerging artists to utilise and I hope that Celebrate MOBO will showcase the very best of Scotland’s diverse thriving music scene.”

    More information on Celebrate MOBO can be found on-line http://www.celebratemobo.co.uk and by following the hashtag #cbMOBO across all social platforms. The one day event will take place at The Barras Art and Design Centre on Friday, 18th October from 10am – 6pm.

    Spaces to attend the event are limited. If you are interested in attending, please sign up by visiting www.celebratemobo.co.uk If you would like to be part of this event, please e-mail info@celebratemobo.co.uk or use the hashtag #cbMOBO

    Category: International Events

  • 23 September 2013

    Tenth anniversary Tour of Britain concludes with success for Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish

    The tenth edition of Britain's biggest professional cycle race has concluded with a double success for British riders, as Mark Cavendish took the final stage in London with Sir Bradley Wiggins winning the race overall and the IG Gold Jersey.

    Cavendish held off fellow stage winners Sam Bennett and Elia Viviani on Whitehall for his third stage victory of the week long race, winning the final stage of The Tour of Britain for the third successive year.

    Sky Pro Cycling's Wiggins maintained his overnight 26 second advantage over Switzerland's Martin Elmiger, with Simon Yates finishing third and claiming the title of Best Under-23 Rider.

    "The feeling at the moment is more relief than anything else to be honest” said Wiggins afterwards.  "It's a funny one, you want to win it and when you cross the line you feel relief more for your teammates that you've fulfilled the job. 

    "It is pressure for the whole week.  I said I wanted to win it and put my hand up and then to take the jersey on day three and to defend it throughout.”

    Hundreds of thousands of spectators turned out for the final day's stage in London to witness the final 88-kilometres of the 2013 Tour of Britain.  Packed crowds lined the circuit from Whitehall to the Tower of London to cheer on the world's top riders after eight days of intense competition in

    Wiggins won the Stage Three Individual Time Trial at Knowsley on Tuesday, holding the IG Gold Jersey for the remainder of the race through tough stages in Wales and Devon.  Next up for the 2012 Tour de France winner, the first time a Grand Tour winner has won The Tour of Britain, is the World Time Trial Championships in Italy on Wednesday.

    "It's a bit like the Tour last year, we've planned for this for so long that I'll enjoy tonight with my family and then tomorrow when I arrive in Italy I'll be straight out on the bike and my focus turns to the time trial and then Wednesday I race.”

    Tour of Britain runner-up Martin Elmiger took the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey as the race's most consistent finisher, with Viviani second and triple stage winner Cavendish in third.

    Speaking after his victory, Cavendish said, "It was really really nice.  Last time we were here a couple of years ago there was a big crowd, but nothing compared to that today.  What's happened to British cycling in the last couple of years, especially this race, has been incredible.”

    Movistar's Angel Madrazo added the Yodel Direct Sprints Jersey to the SKODA King of the Mountains title he sealed on Friday's Devon stage.  The Spaniard becomes only the fourth rider in The Tour of Britain's ten year history to win two of the classification jerseys in a single Tour.

    Madrazo survived a last minute scare as Team IG Sigma Sport's Peter Williams initially took the honours but was disqualified from the stage's second Yodel Direct Sprint after interfering with his rival in the sprint, thus reinstating the Movistar rider at the top standings.

    AN Post Chain Reaction's Shane Archbold won the day's Rouleur Combativity Award, with Kristian House taking the week's overall Rouleur Combativity Award for his attacking exploits throughout The Tour of Britain.

    Tour of Britain 2013 Recap
    Stage One, Peebles to Drumlanrig: Elia Viviani, ITA, Cannondale Pro Cycling
    Stage Two, Cumbria The Lake District Stage, Carlisle to Kendal: Gerald Ciolek, GER, MTN Qhubeka
    Stage Three, Knowsley Individual Time Trial: Sir Bradley Wiggins, GBR, Sky Pro Cycling
    Stage Four, Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis: Mark Cavendish, GBR, Omega Pharma Quick-Step
    Stage Five, Machynlleth to Caerphilly: Sam Bennett, IRL, AN Post Chain Reaction
    Stage Six, Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor: Simon Yates, GBR, Great Britain
    Stage Seven, Epsom to Guildford: Mark Cavendish, GBR, Omega Pharma Quick-Step
    Stage Eight, The TfL London Stage: Mark Cavendish, GBR, Omega Pharma Quick-Step

    Category: International Events

  • 23 September 2013

    Full Steam Ahead As Ryder Cup Captains Mark One Year To Go

    Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson today [23rd September 2013] boarded a specially commissioned steam train in Scotland to kick off a series of celebrations to mark a Year to Go until the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    The captains were joined by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, Minister for Sport Shona Robison, European Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills and PGA of America President Ted Bishop, as well as celebrity ambassadors including actor James Nesbitt, JLS star Marvin Humes and ex-footballers Alan Hansen and Ruud Gullit, on board the uniquely branded locomotive.

    After departing from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, guests were transported through the Scottish countryside in first class Pullman carriages before arriving at The Gleneagles Hotel, where the contest for next year’s Ryder Cup will take place.

    European Captain Paul McGinley commented: “The Ryder Cup is an iconic event in the world’s sporting calendar and what better way to kick it off than to arrive into Gleneagles Station on an iconic steam train built in 1927, the year of the first Ryder Cup itself. There is a tremendous excitement already around The Ryder Cup with a year to go – you can only imagine what it will be like when we get to next September.”

    US Captain Tom Watson said: “I am very grateful for the opportunity to be captain in Scotland, a place that has been very special to me during my career. It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 20 years ago that I enjoyed one of the most thrilling experiences in my career in being captain in 1993. Now the clock is ticking down quickly for us in preparing for golf's grandest spectacle at Gleneagles. We anticipate a tremendous match and September 2014 can’t get here soon enough.”

    Before taking to the course itself, both captains joined First Minister Alex Salmond as a commemorative flagstone was unveiled marking improvement works at Gleneagles station and investment in improving the transport infrastructure of the region. The commemorative journey and regeneration at the station reflects the organisers’ determination to encourage ticket holders to travel by rail to the event next year.

    The captains were then joined on the PGA Centenary Course by sixteen lucky junior golfers representing the uniquely successful ClubGolf programme. The youngsters - a boy and a girl from each of Scotland’s eight regions - experienced a once in a lifetime chance to play with the captains as part of a special event marking the legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    Celebrations continued on into the evening, as 1,150 people joined the captains at Perth Concert Hall for ‘An Audience with The Ryder Cup Captains’. Focused around an up-close-and-personal Q&A session hosted by Dougie Donnelly, the evening also offered fans, via Twitter, the chance to quiz the captains on a wide range of topics ahead of next year’s event. The audience also enjoyed entertainment from comedian Fred MacAulay and Scottish band Hue and Cry.

    The 2014 Ryder Cup takes place at The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland from September 26-28, 2014.

     

    Visit The 2014 Ryder Cup website.

    Category: Golf

  • 23 September 2013

    Carbs and Craic at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running Weekend

    The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running is warming up for its annual festival of fun and running in Inverness this weekend (28th & 29th September).

    With over 9000 runners expected to take part in the five races scheduled on the Sunday, organisers are starting the weekend festivities on the Saturday with the Baxters Pasta Party.  Chefs will be serving up a nutritional three course spread of tasty carbs as well as an afternoon of live music and an hourly show hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, with experts on hand to help banish runners’ last minute nerves.

    New for 2013 is the Sports Expo at the Event Village, which is open on both the Saturday and the Sunday.  Bigger than ever before, there will be a great range of running products and exciting offers from leading brands.

    On Sunday, the day of the race, the ‘festival’ atmosphere of the Event Village kicks up a gear.  The Baxters Food & Drink Fayre showcases a selection of the best ready-to-eat offerings from around the area and there are plenty of Baxters’ finest chutneys, relishes and jams available for sampling.

    Audrey Baxter said: “As title sponsor of the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, Baxters is keen to promote its philosophy of a healthy active lifestyle and the importance of maintaining a balanced diet.   The marathon is an ideal platform to showcase some of our key products, including our Healthy range of soups.

    “Over the years, the event has evolved into a festival in its own right.  It’s a fun weekend, and there’s something for everyone, whether they are running or spectating.”

    Other tempting foods from local suppliers range from seafood paella and venison burgers to risotto, hearty soups and hog roast rolls, as well as ice cream, hot and cold drinks and locally brewed beers.

    There’s no shortage of activities and features to keep the kids occupied this year.  They’ll literally be jumping for joy and spoilt for choice between super jumper trampolines, bouncy castle, inflatable slides, bucking bronco and a merry-go-round.

    And, of course, no Highland festival would be complete without the stirring sounds of a pipe band.  This year the 1 Highlanders ACF Pipes & Drums are performing in the event village, and The Lochaber High School Pipe Band will be providing the theme tune to kick off the start of the marathon.

    During the day Jack Badcock & Ciaran Ryan will be providing acoustic entertainment in the food tent on both Saturday and Sunday, and popular Scottish ceilidh/folk band Schiehallion is the headline act on race day.

    Race director, Malcolm Sutherland said:  “We always aim to bring a festival atmosphere to the weekend’s proceedings.  It’s very much a family affair and we hope people will come and support the runners and add to the unique buzz of race day.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “In 2013, the year of natural Scotland, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon will once again showcase one of Scotland’s most spectacular locations as runners take in the iconic Loch Ness. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and I am sure that participants of all ages and abilities will once again enjoy this fantastic festival of running.”

    There will be a number of road closures in place during the weekend.  For full details visit www.lochnessmarathon.com and click on Spectators and Residents’ Information within the Event Info section of the website.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 September 2013

    Robert Burns quest underway to find deserving humanitarians

    A worldwide quest is on for the next six weeks 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.

    The quest for nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2014 – one of the world's most prestigious humanitarian accolades – will continue until Friday 1 November 2013.

    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – supported by South Ayrshire Council and EventScotland, through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or 'hands on' charitable work.

    Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – 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.

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

    * A courageous deed involving personal self-sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty in the name of humanity and/or charity.

    * A commitment to serving others through an act or 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 a charitable act directly benefitting an individual or groups of individuals or 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/family institution.

    The 2013 winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award was Khalil Dale MBE, a British Red Cross aid worker who was abducted and killed in Pakistan in 2012. The 60-year-old, who grew up in Dumfries, spent decades working to help vulnerable people in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Last year, he was abducted and killed in Pakistan while working to make a difference for people wounded in conflict.

    Previous recipients include Karen Graham, 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; Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors; Habib Malik, Scotland Manager of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and a member Islamic Relief; and Guy Willoughby, Founder and CEO of the HALO Trust which specialises in the removal of war debris.

    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2014 judging panel, said: "Burns is renowned the world over not just for his literary works, but for his passionate promotion of human rights and social reform – and we want to find those who are doing exactly the same, some 255 years after the Bard was born.

    "We're looking for nominations for the many individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to help those who cannot help themselves in every corner of the globe, exemplifying tolerance, friendship and humanity.

    "Making other people’s lives better is what has connected all our previous winners from John Sulston in 2002 to Khalil Dale earlier this year. We know there are many other Johns and Khalils out there – and so do you – so get nominating now.”

    Nominees can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: “In 2014, the year of Homecoming Scotland, it is fitting that we once again celebrate outstanding individuals with The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award.

    “Every year, the stories we hear through the awards highlight the people who go out of their way to make a difference to the lives of others, and it is important that they are recognised for the work they do. The event is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, which begins this year with St Andrew’s Day, and culminates on Burns Night 2014, when the next recipient of this prestigious award will be announced.”

    Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2014 can be made online at  www.robertburnsaward.com and nominations close on Friday 1 November 2013.

    The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway on 25 January, which will coincide with the 255th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns and the 2014 Year of Homecoming Scotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 18 September 2013

    Glasgow to host Europe V USA Duel in the Pool

    British swimmers will lead a team of European Allstars as they go head-to-head with world number one swimming nation the USA at the Duel in the Pool in December.

    The biennial Duel in the Pool is a USA Swimming event designed to showcase the sport’s most exciting swimmers and will be co-hosted this year by British Swimming, Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and EventScotland.

    Duel in the Pool 2013 will be held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, home to next year’s Commonwealth Games swimming, on 20-21 December and provides a unique opportunity for fans to see the world’s greatest swimmers battle for supremacy in the pool.

    Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson is one of those who will lead the European challenge and he is looking forward to performing in front of a home crowd.

    “I watched Duel in the Pool four years ago when it was in Manchester and it looked like a great event so I’m thrilled to be part of the team this time around,” said Jamieson.

    “For me it will be special as it’s being held in my home town of Glasgow and it will be a great opportunity to try the newly refurbished pool ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year.

    “There’s no doubt it will be a very tough event as the USA are the strongest nation in world swimming but with an impressive European team and with the backing of a passionate home crowd behind us we hope to push them all the way.”

    British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes is delighted to see such a high-profile event being staged once again in Britain.

    “We are delighted to welcome some of the world's greatest athletes to Glasgow to again see the best swimmers in Europe compete against the greatest swimming nation in the world, the USA,” said Sparkes.

    “We look forward to seeing some great swimming with the potential for world records in what we anticipate will be one of the fastest pools in the world.”

    Both teams will include up to 22 men and 22 women each for the short course (25m) meet with each event being a straight, head-to-head final.

    Executive Director for USA Swimming Chuck Wielgus commented: “USA Swimming is thrilled to continue the long-standing tradition of the Duel in the Pool.

    “We look forward to an extremely competitive meet, especially in the duel format, and we’re excited that the competition is moving to Scotland for the first time in its history.”

    Glasgow is excited to be bringing Duel in the Pool to the city as it offers another opportunity to witness world class sport ahead of next summer’s Commonwealth Games.

    Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for Commonwealth Games 2014 and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “We are delighted the fantastic Duel in the Pool is taking place in Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “In the lead up to Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the City of Glasgow will welcome a number of exciting sporting events, such as this, which will further cement our position as one of the top 10 sporting cities in the World.

    “The Duel in the Pool is a brilliant opportunity for the people of Glasgow and Scotland to come along, support the athletes and get a taste of what to expect next year.”

    The event is also hosted by EventScotland and Chief Operating Officer Paul Bush OBE is pleased that Tollcross continues to attract high-calibre international events.

    “Duel in the Pool is a world-class spectacle of swimming and will bring some of the sport’s top names to Glasgow, including a number of medallists from London 2012,” said Bush.

    “As we approach 2014, when Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games, it is hugely exciting to be able to confirm an event of this stature for the newly refurbished Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “The improvements to the venue have enabled us to attract major swimming events like never before, such as Duel in the Pool and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. This gives an early indication of the events legacy that we are starting to deliver from the Games.”

    Spectators wishing to see the action as the European Allstars takes on the USA can register their interest at http://www.swimming.org/britishswimming/swimming/duel-in-the-pool/

    Full athlete line-ups for both teams will be announced soon.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 September 2013

    Four times MOBO Award Nominee, Laura Mvula and two times winners So Solid Crew to perform at this year's 18th anniversary awards show

    Laura Mvula and So Solid will join Rudimental, Tinie Tempah and Iggy Azalea on stage at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on October 19 for this year’s MOBO Awards.

    • Premium tickets are on sale exclusively through O2 Priority from 9am, Wednesday, September 18

    • General tickets still available from mobo.com/tickets

    Following the announcement of Rudimental, Tinie Tempah and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea earlier this summer, the MOBO Awards has added UK Garage favourites So Solid Crew and four-time MOBO Award nominee, Laura Mvula to its highly anticipated line-up. The remaining five top secret acts will be revealed shortly.

    To celebrate the new announcements, the internationally renowned awards will be joining forces with O2 to offer fans exclusive Priority Tickets to this year’s 18th anniversary show at Glasgow’s brand new SSE Hydro. As of 9am, Wednesday September 18, O2 customers will have the chance of getting a limited number of premium seats with unparalleled views of the event from o2priority.co.uk/tickets. These premium seat tickets will then go on sale to the general public from Friday, September 20 from www.mobo.com/tickets.

    After a star-studded London nominations launch earlier this month, this year’s categories see the likes of Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Rudimental and Wretch 32 in the running for awards, with Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each. Each category is now open to the public vote which can be placed at www.mobo.com/voting2013.

    2013 is not the first year for the So Solid Crew to set the MOBO Awards stage alight.  In 2001, the group took home awards for Best Newcomer and Best UK Garage Act. After making plenty of noise at this year’s nominations party, Mega Man from the So Solid Crew knows how to get the fans in the mood: “Get ready for one of So Solid’s biggest stage performances yet! For everybody who witnessed us on the 2001 MOBO Awards we’re going to bring the house down – the So Solid way!!”

    The MOBO Awards return to Glasgow for the third time as the result of a very successful partnership between the MOBO Organisation, EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. To mark the arrival of the Awards, there will be events around the city from mid-October, giving residents, local businesses and ticket holders the chance to get involved in a range of related activities. It will be the first multi-artist, televised event at the brand new SSE Hydro and will help to show Glasgow as a true destination for live music.

    “This year’s 18th anniversary show is set to be our biggest yet!” says inspirational MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE. “MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and we have some truly incredible artists on the shortlist who demonstrate the diverse range of music that is at the heart of British youth culture and beyond. Our aim has always been to give a platform and voice to emerging and established artists of MOBO music - we celebrate these artists all year round.  We’re really proud of the nominees and wish them all the best with the public vote and the show in Glasgow on October 19!”

    General sale tickets are available at mobo.com/tickets. For more information around the event, find out more at www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2013

    Don't miss out! Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games ticket applications close 6pm 16th September!

    This is your chance to experience world-class sport in spectacular venues while soaking up the sights and sounds of Scotland’s largest and liveliest city.  Glasgow’s welcome is world famous and to be in the city at Games Time will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So don’t miss out, apply for your Glasgow 2014 tickets today. 

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2013

    Quotes from Pre-Tour of Britain Press Conference

    The final start list for The Tour of Britain can be downloaded here.

    Mick Bennett, Race Director, Tour of Britain, said "We are proud to have the best field ever assembled for our tenth anniversary of The Tour of Britain. It has grown in stature, it has grown in safety and it has grown in rider and team attendance. I feel very proud to have survived ten years of organising it, along with the great SweetSpot team."

    Mark Cavendish, Omega Pharma Quick-Step: "I was just out training with two of my team mates and Iljo [Keisse] last rode here in 2005 and he was saying how they don't like cyclists here but I told him how it has changed. We went into Peebles and it was pretty crazy and I think that is exciting. Last year the crowds were unbelievable. Not just where we had the Olympics, but the whole week, even in the bad weather. That's testament not only to how big cycling has come in the country across all disciplines, but for the amount of times this race had been on and what's it become. The standard of the teams that come here is phenomenal.

    "I know SweetSpot have won it again and part of that was to grow it into a bigger event. In terms of racing quality, it's as big as some of the bigger category races so I think it should have no problem in the future becoming a bigger category event and having a bigger field."

    Talking about Alessandro Petacchi…"The man is a true professional, he trains so hard. He is on super form. It was a big motivation to come here with him and race. I am very excited he is on the team and he is a good guy. Hopefully we will put on a good show this week and get some good results out of it.”

    On whether Mark could win The Tour as a sprinter…"It is a very difficult race here. As a pure sprinter, no. With time bonuses, given the right course, there is a year I believe I could win here.  This year, there is a time trial, very British – 10mile – which fits right into The Tour of Britain has a race. I know Brad [Wiggins] has come here in good form but we have some good guys that can challenge each day and hopefully we will be there or thereabouts when we get to London next week.”

    "We have a great team here, it is quite important now for our team to come here. Omega Pharma had their record sales here in July so it shows the interest in the sport here. Quick-Step, one of their biggest markets is the UK now so it's important for us to be here, that's why we are going to try and do well here.”

    The win in Guilford last year…."It was very special because it was the last time I would wear the rainbow jersey. To be able to get the win was very significant. I was unfortunate not to win my first race in the jersey, I was sick, but I won my second race in it so to win my second and last race book-ended quite a spectacular year. I was honoured to be able to finish that off, in front of home crowds. That was superb.”

    Ian Stannard, Sky Pro Cycling: How long did it take to recover from the Tour de France…"It was more mentally for me, it took a lot out for me. We held the jersey for a long time. Being my first one I didn't really appreciate how stressful it is. The last few weeks have been a lot better and I have come here for a good race, we've got Brad with us and I am looking forward to it. British fans, British roads, it's going to be good.”

    Is this a race that you think you can win one year? "Yes, I would like to think so. I am racing well, we're riding for Brad but I will give it everything.”

    "These first two stages are long, it's going to be hard but we've got a team that can do it.”

    Alex Dowsett, Movistar: Thoughts on the Time Trial…."It suits both of us [Bradley Wiggins] but it's my bread and butter, it's what I've grown up doing, same goes for Brad.

    "I think Brad is the man to beat but I think if there is a situation where he falters then I will be the man snapping on his heels.”

    Do you have any GC ambitions? "Yes, I have now!”

    "It's tough roads round here, it suits the strong man – you've got three of us sitting right here – if you get the weather tomorrow that is expected then I think that could be one of the big GC days. I don't think it is going to come down to the Time Trial. It will help but this is the hardest Tour of Britain to date. I have looked at last years and that was split to pieces so it is going to be tough.”

    Does Nairo Quintana have the faintest idea what he's let himself in for? "It can't be a huge amount harder than what he had in July [Tour de France] but what I've said to the boys is that you get a flat stage in Europe that's average watts 200-230 but the roads here are much harder. It's like riding on carpet as opposed to a velodrome. The roads are harder and wear you down. You do feel it, and the earlier starts are going to shock the Spaniards too.”

    Nathan Haas, Garmin Sharp: "The Tour of Britain never fails to impress me. The crowds, the climbs, the crazy roads just create an awesome event. I am still hungry from last years second place overall myself and the Garmin-Sharp team are sending a super motivated squad to make an impression again. This year's team brings good experience and we will make this race fun, at very least."

    The Tour of Britain 2013 will run from Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd September.

    For details of The Tour of Britain, go to www.thetour.co.uk

    You can follow The Tour of Britain on Twitter, via www.twitter.com/tourofbritain #tob2013

    Category: International Events

  • 13 September 2013

    Events in the Digital World Seminar

    EventScotland held its latest industry seminar, Events in the Digital World, on Wednesday 11 September at Summerhall in Edinburgh. Led by Kate Campbell and Aimée McAvoy in the communications team at EventScotland, the seminar was delivered along with Dr Jane Ali Knight from the new Scottish Events and Festivals Association, and students from Edinburgh Napier University.

    Richie Kelly from VisitScotland's Content Marketing Team was MC for the event, which attracted over 130 people from the events, marketing and digital industries.

    Our keynote speaker, Stephen Whitelaw, has over 25 years experience within the technology sector and has delivered workshops to some of the largest corporations in the world including Google and Microsoft. He explored the ‘Future of the Web’, taking delegates on an interactive and in-depth tour into the future of web technology. 

    Jenny Mungall, Senior Account Director at Material, has worked on events such as Oxegen, Tennent’s Vital, T in the Park and Edinburgh International Festival and for clients Bank of Scotland, BAFTA and DF Concerts amongst others. Jenny shared her experience of developing a digital strategy from scratch using Tennent’s Vital as a case study along with some helpful tips.

    Finally, Alex Crawley from Glasgow International Comedy Festival rounded off the seminar by discussing how the festival has activated partner digital channels to successfully grow attendances.

    Kate Campbell, Marketing Manager at EventScotland said: “Our seminars are a really important part of how we engage with the wider events industry and I am delighted with the way our latest event has gone. The feedback on Twitter has been great and reaction to our speakers has been brilliant, and I would like to thank everyone who made it such a success!

    “Thanks to Richie for hosting; and to Aimée, Polly McClure, Louise Hamilton, Gillian McCaul and Bethany Lawrie for their help on the day.”

    Richie Kelly, Digital Marketing Manager at VisitScotland said: “Chairing an event like this is really exciting and with speakers as strong as Stephen, Jenny and Alex it really makes it worthwhile for delegates. Taking time out from work to come to seminars like this is only valuable if people can take something practical away, and judging by the feedback everyone in the room and online we really hit the nail on the head.”

    To check out the social media buzz surrounding the event - including an appearance from a dog called Terrance! - search for #planfordigital and follow @EventScotNews on Twitter!

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 12 September 2013

    Tour of Britain television schedules announced

    ITV4 and British Eurosport will both screen live coverage of this year's tenth anniversary Tour of Britain, which starts in Peebles this Sunday (15 September).  ITV4 will also exclusively show a one-hour highlights programme every evening.

    In total 16.5 hours of action from Britain's biggest professional cycle race will be shown live with eight hours of highlights also broadcast in the UK.

    Live coverage of the opening stage of The Tour, from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle, on Sunday 15 September, will be shown on British Eurosport, with both channels showing live coverage from Stages Two to Eight. ITV4's live coverage will commence with Stage Two, Cumbria the Lake District Stage on Monday 16 September, in a specially extended two and a half hour programme.

    All of ITV4's coverage of The Tour of Britain will also be streamed online via the ITV website and available for 30 days post-broadcast on the ITV Player.

    Full schedules of the ITV4 and British Eurosport broadcasts can be found here.

    Details of the international television distribution for The Tour of Britain will be published on Friday.

    The Tour of Britain 2013 will run from Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd September.

    For details of The Tour of Britain, go to www.thetour.co.uk

    You can follow The Tour of Britain on Twitter, via www.twitter.com/tourofbritain

    Category: International Events

  • 12 September 2013

    SEFA presents Crowd Management Programme

    Scottish Events & Festivals Association (SEFA) presents a two day course focusing on how to understand the management, psychology, dynamics and social interaction of crowded event spaces.

    13th and 14th November 2013 at The Scottish Police College, Tulliallan Castle, FK10 4BE

    Promoting the following themes:

    - Underpinning reasons why event safety is so important

    - How and why crowds behave as they do

    - Simple, safe solutions to complex Crowd Management problems

    The programme will be delivered by Professor Chris Kemp, Mind Over Matter Consultancy momconsultancy.com

    This is an interactive course and limited places are available.

    Fees:

    Non residential £200

    Residental (onsite single and double bedrooms with ensuite facilities, breakfast will be provided) £250

    Includes 2 days tuition, all course materials and catering.

    To book on this course go to the Eventbrite listing here

    Further details on sefa.org.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 12 September 2013

    Golf Tourism Strategy targets £300m value

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing has today welcomed the launch of a new collaborative golf tourism strategy, designed to unify Scotland’s approach to golf tourism.

    “Driving Forward Together” is the first national strategy that has been developed by both the golf tourism industry and the public sector working in partnership for the benefit of golf tourism businesses in Scotland.

    It signals an intent to capitalise on major events being held in Scotland during the next few years, including The 2014 Ryder Cup and The Open Championship in 2015 and 2016, with the aim of enhancing Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and becoming the world’s leading golf destination by 2020.

    The strategy has been developed to build on the strong foundations of activity from the industry, governing bodies and the public sector.  As a result of implementing the strategy, it is hoped to grow the industry’s current £220 million annual value to the Scottish economy by 20 per cent to around £300 million annually by 2020.

    The document, which is published today and will be launched in front of more than 75 attendees at Murrayshall Hotel and Golf Courses in Perthshire, sets out seven key objectives which have been identified and agreed by the golf tourism industry through a series of workshops held throughout the country over the past 12 months.

    A key strand to the strategy is unifying the golf tourism sector in a Team Scotland approach - meaning all partners work together towards a common goal - and modernising the approach taken by many businesses to marketing, promotion and customer service.

    The seven key objectives in the strategy are:

    1. Collectively and consistently brand and promote Scotland as “The Home of Golf”

    2. Encourage an evidence-based approach by gathering quality visitor data, sharing market intelligence, best practice and research findings with industry

    3. Strengthen industry leadership and engagement

    4. Co-ordinated regional golf development groups

    5. Improve the quality of the golf tourism experience to boost reputation, increase visitor numbers, spend and repeat visits

    6. Maximise the impact and tourism opportunities from hosting major golf events

    7. Promote sustainable golf club and course management

    Mr Ewing, who also provides the foreword to the strategy, said: “Golf in Scotland has never been more in the spotlight thanks to an envied schedule of world-class events taking place at the Home of Golf. These events are played on many of the world’s top ranked golf courses but Scotland also has many hidden gems too, giving golfers of all levels a variety of courses to play.

    “These events, including the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, bring with them a terrific opportunity to highlight Scotland  to hundreds of millions of potential visitors worldwide and to grow what is already a hugely important sector in terms of income generation for Scotland.

    “To fully take advantage of these opportunities we need a co-ordinated and unified approach to golf tourism, and that’s why I’m delighted to welcome the Driving Forward Together strategy.

    “The collaborative approach between various organisations in pulling this strategy together is exactly what Scotland’s golf tourism sector requires and demonstrates that we are all working towards one single aim – to make Scotland the must-visit destination for every golfer.”

    Stewart Walker, chairman of industry-body Golf Tourism Scotland (GTS), said: “There is no doubt that the golf tourism industry in Scotland already has the greatest collection of assets anywhere in the world as well as an enviable history and heritage in the game.

    “What this strategy is designed to achieve is ensuring all partners involved in growing the golf tourism industry are working together in order to sell and market Scotland as the Home of Golf to its full potential.

    “Each partner involved in the strategy brings an area of expertise to the table and together we can ensure that Scotland is known as the must-visit golf destination in the world and grow the value of the industry to the economy of Scotland.”

    Organisations involved in developing the strategy include GTS, VisitScotland, EventScotland, the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA), Scottish Enterprise, and Highland & Islands Enterprise. The launch follows an exhaustive consultation exercise to ensure that Scotland’s Golf Tourism industry had it’s say in setting our future priorities.

    The development of the strategy is part of Scotland’s commitments as host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup, in order to deliver a lasting legacy to the country’s tourism industry long after the event.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 September 2013

    New Focus Years programme announced

    First Minister Alex Salmond has today announced a new programme of Focus Years to celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people.

    Today’s announcement will enhance the successful programme, launched as a legacy after the Year of Homecoming 2009, which spanned food and drink, active, creative, natural and ancestral themes. Focus Years aim to support and drive Scotland’s tourism and events industries to both domestic and international markets.

    The new Focus Years programme include:

    • 2015 – Year of Scotland’s Food and Drink

    • 2016 – Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    • 2017 – Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

    • 2018 – Year of Young People

    Announcing the new Focus Year’s programme during Scotland’s Food and Drink Fortnight, First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland’s incredible influence on the world has encouraged invention, inspired creativity and fired the imagination of generations. From our first Year of Homecoming in 2009 to our current Year of Natural Scotland, Scottish businesses have come together to promote our most valuable and celebrated assets.

    “Such has been the success of our introductory themed years that I am today announcing the next programme which will kick off in 2015 with the Year of Scotland’s Food and Drink.

    “During Scotland’s last Year of Food & Drink in 2010, the International Culinary Tourism Association described Scotland as one of the most 'unique, memorable and interesting places' for food and drink on the planet. And the facts speak for themselves: only today we announced the industry has reached historic sales levels, with a turnover of £13.5 billion.

    “Scotland prepares to welcome the world during our second Year of Homecoming in 2014. Next year, Scots and Scots at heart will celebrate our great country with friends and family and enjoy the huge programme of events, including two of the largest sporting events on the planet – the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.”

    Mike Cantlay Chairman of Visit Scotland said: “The previous focus years have been a tremendous success, galvanising all sectors within the tourism industry promoting partnership year after year.  Globally, tourism continues to face challenges with competing countries noticing a decline in numbers and spend.  Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, and early figures from this summer suggest using this year’s theme ‘Natural’ has provided a magnificent platform to sell Scotland on the world stage. 

    “The coming focus years will look to harness this already successful relationship by looking to promote exciting areas of growth within the industry. History will be made with the opening of one of the world’s most exciting new cultural attractions, the V&A in Dundee, and a brand new crossing to complement the world famous bridges across the Forth.

    “When you couple this with visitors from across the globe keen to learn more about the country’s fabulous food and drink, history, architecture and heritage, the next focus years are set to be some of the most exciting and inspirational yet.”

    James Withers CEO of Scotland Food & Drink said: “We know 2014, the Year of Homecoming, will be an incredible year for Scotland’s food and drink sector, with huge efforts going into showcasing Scotland’s natural larder.

    “Today’s new industry figures are a tremendous result and are a product of ambition and partnership. The news that we can now maintain this momentum through 2015 is very exciting. 

    “Sustaining this ambition means both building further business domestically and, crucially, transforming our export activity and breaking into new markets. There remains a huge untapped potential for our food and drink sector to strengthen its position in Scotland’s tourism offering, in 2015 and beyond.”

    Background

    2015 – Year of Scotland’s Food and Drink

    A year themed around food and drink delivered in 2010/11 was a significant success, attracting over 500,000 visitors from home and abroad. Food and drink is recognised as an important part of our cultural identity and heritage and is recognised within the tourism industry’s strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020.

    2016 – Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    This year will encapsulate Scotland’s heritage and modern attributes in relation to architecture, engineering, renewables, fashion, textiles, science, technology and more. This theme will also embrace the centenary celebrations planned by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), which raises awareness of the importance of good environmental design to people’s everyday lives. 

    2017 – Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

    A year that celebrates Scotland’s historic environment and past. With local, national and international reach, archaeological sites and visitor attractions are an important part of Scotland’s ancestral tourism product, both for Scots and visitors alike.

    2018 – Scotland’s Year of Young People

    This year will see an exciting programme of educational and cultural events centred on another of Scotland’s great assets, our young people. Opportunities will also be identified to build youth elements into the programmes of Focus Year activity in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

    The first Focus Years programme included:

    • 2009 – Scotland’s Year of Homecoming

    • 2010 – Year of Food and Drink

    • 2011 – Year of Active Scotland

    • 2012 – Year of Creative Scotland

    • 2013 – Year of Natural Scotland

    • 2014 – Year of Homecoming 2014

    Food and Drink Fortnight is a celebration of food and drink and the wonderful efforts of food producers the length and breadth of this country.

    For more information on the latest industry stats see: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Food-drink-success-3ee.aspx

    Category: International Events

  • 10 September 2013

    Programme Launched for Unsolved – Aberdeenshire’s Crime and Mystery Festival

    Tickets are now on sale for Unsolved – Aberdeenshire’s crime and mystery festival, taking place at Leith Hall, Castle Fraser, Fyvie Castle and Haddo Country Park this October.

    The Festival runs on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October. Over the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy talks by bestselling crime writers including Bloody Scotland’s co-founders Lin Anderson and Alex Gray in ‘What’s your poison?’, Richard and Judy’s favourite crime writing farmer James Oswald, leading crime writer Alanna Knight who is one of The Times’ “100 Masters of Crime”, Robert Jeffrey whose latest real crime book focuses on Peterhead – Scotland’s Toughest Prison and Janet Morgan aka Lady Balfour of Burleigh who is the only official biographer of household favourite Agatha Christie.

    New this year is Operation Espionage in Haddo Country Park supported by Aberdeenshire Council and run by Boundaries Edge Events who are a group of former intelligence and specialist military officers. This event is a must for families and young people. Armed with a map each group is sent on a secret mission into the park to see if they can gather enough clues and evidence, remain undercover, avoid counter surveillance teams and complete their mission before time runs out. 

    Over at the newly reopened Leith Hall near Huntly our popular CSI – in association with charity Absafe is back with a new mystery for our budding detectives to solve. This is a family event where children and adults move from room to room dusting for fingerprints, interviewing suspects, testing DNA under microscopes, and examining clues that will help them crack the case. The plot, set at Leith Hall is written by local crime writer Bill Kirton, best known for the popular Jack Carston series.

    Crime Tours - throughout the weekend Allan Burnett; historian, performer and bestselling author of the ‘And All That’ series, will be back at the Festival, taking visitors on crime themed tours behind the scenes at Castle Fraser.  These tours are exclusive to the festival and a real one-off chance to explore the mysteries at this stunning property.  Fyvie Castle, one of the most haunted castles in Scotland, will also be open and running crime and mystery themed tours all weekend.

    There will also be who dunnits, children’s storytelling, wildlife CSIs and much more, to make the Unsolved Festival a truly unmissable weekend of murders, double crossings, poisonings and dark mystery.

    Steve Callaghan, Group Manager, National Trust for Scotland said: “I am sure our audiences will love the mix of crime history and crime fiction that we have on offer this year and hope that we will be able to attract a lot of first time visitors to each of our properties over the weekend.”

    Haddo Regeneration Project chair Cllr Paul Johnson said: "Haddo Country Park is steeped in history and and provides the perfect setting for Operation Espionage. It's also a great opportunity for visitors to see some of the work that has been ongoing over the summer as part of the park regeneration project. I hope families and young people from across the area take up the invitation to become detectives for the day." 

    The Unsolved festival is a partnership event between Public Image Events and the National Trust for Scotland.

    To book visit www.nts.org.uk/unsolved

    Category: National Events

  • 06 September 2013

    Mark Cavendish and Nairo Quintana head Tour of Britain start list

    The stars of the Tour de France's sprints and mountains head the start list for The Tour of Britain's tenth anniversary, which gets underway in Peebles in just over a week's time.

    Reigning British Champion and former World Road Race Champion Mark Cavendish leads the Omega Pharma Quick-Step team, which includes fellow sprinter and treble Tour of Britain stage winner Alessandro Petacchi alongside him as a teammate for the first time.

    Movistar make their Tour of Britain debut with a strong team which includes Nairo Quintana, Tour de France King of the Mountains and Best Young Rider, plus British Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett and double 2013 Giro d'Italia stage winner Giovanni Visconti.

    There will also be a popular return to The Tour of Britain for Dan Martin of Garmin Sharp, who crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana but will start The Tour alongside Nathan Haas, 2012 runner-up to Jonathan Tiernan Locke, for the American team.

    Between them the field have won over 100 Grand Tour stages, while in Cavendish and Petacchi the field has two of only five riders in history to have won the Points Jerseys in all three Grand Tours.

    "Every year the rider list for The Tour of Britain has grown more and more impressive, with this year being no exception to that,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director for The Tour of Britain.

    "We have world-class sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Gerald Ciolek, the very best time trialists in Sir Bradley Wiggins and Alex Dowsett, and exceptional climbing talents in Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin, plus many others who I could mention.

    "I, like all cycling fans in Britain, look forward to seeing how this year's race develops over the eight stages and who can succeed Jonathan Tiernan Locke in the IG Gold Jersey.”

    In addition to Quintana, this Summer's King of the Mountains from the Giro d'Italia Stefano Pirazzi starts for Bardiani Valvole CSF Inox, alongside fellow stage winner Enrico Battaglin.

    In total the field can claim eight stage wins at the 2013 Giro d'Italia and four from July's Tour de France, plus the winners of this season's Milan San Remo (Gerald Ciolek) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (Dan Martin).

    Four of the field have won Tour of Britain stages in the past (Mark Cavendish, 7 victories; Alessandro Petacchi, 3; Alex Dowsett, 1; Marc de Maar, 1) while two former winners of the Yodel Sprints Jersey, sponsored by parcel delivery company Yodel, (Peter Williams, 2012, and Michal Golas, 2010) and last year's SKODA King of the Mountains winner (Kristian House) will also be on the start line in the Scottish Borders.

    The provisional start list can be downloaded here with the final official start list due to published at approximately 6pm (UK time) on Saturday 14th September.

    The Tour of Britain gets underway in Peebles in Scotland on Sunday 15th September, finishing in the centre of London eight days later on Sunday 22nd September, with stages in the Lake District, Snowdonia and the race's first ever summit finish on Dartmoor on Stage Six.

    ITV4 and British Eurosport will provide daily live coverage and highlights, with a full list of international broadcasters around the world to be announced next week.

    Amateur cyclists wishing to be a part of the Grand Depart weekend can join in The Tour Ride Scotland on Saturday 14th September, taking on 50 and 100-mile Rides between Peebles and Drumlanrig Castle.  To find out more and to register, please visit www.thetour.co.uk/tourride 

    Category: International Events

  • 05 September 2013

    Gebrselassie Ready For The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run

    The world's greatest ever distance runner whose collection of major honours include two Olympic Games and four World Championships gold medals over 10,000m, plus 27 world records, will head a star-studded field in the mass participation race on Sunday 6 October.

    Gebrselassie may now be a veteran but sees that as just another step in his determination to target even more age 40-44 world records – indeed he has already began the task.

    The ‘Emperor’ as he is affectionately known because of his tremendous performances over the last 20 years, in the spring posted 10 miles and 10km records in the Grand Prix of Bern and the Bupa Great Manchester Run.

    Although confident he can defeat his much younger rivals who will be lining up with him at Scotland's biggest road running event, he will also be eyeing the Veterans Half Marathon record which stands at 1:02:28.

    Gebrselassie having ran 1:01:14 just a few days short of his 40th birthday to retain his Vienna City half marathon crown in April should, unless the weather intervenes, substantially reduce the old mark belonging to Kenyan Nelson Chirchir and John Campbell of New Zealand.

    Despite being a full-time businessman and fulfilling a 12-hour working day from his office in Addis Ababa, Gebrselassie, who is also strongly tipped to be Ethiopia's next president, still finds time for a daily training session.

    "A day without running is not a good day... running – you continue until you die," is the philosophy of the legend whose achievements has inspired and brought great pride to the citizens of his country, motivating and assisting in gradually throwing away its status as a Third World nation.

    Gebrselassie also insisted in CNN's Human to Hero Series: "I want to break all the Masters records – over 40, over 50, over 60," and since that statement has taken major steps in the right direction with his victories in Bern and Manchester.

    "He'll certainly be arriving in mint condition as he has been training very seriously for the Bupa Great North Run which will ensure there is plenty of strength and speed in his legs three weeks before coming to Glasgow," said Peter Riley, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run elite athletes manager.

    Category: International Events

  • 05 September 2013

    Sir Bradley Wiggins to lead strong Team line-up for Tour of Britain

    Sir Bradley Wiggins will lead a strong Team Sky squad at the Tour of Britain which begins on Sunday 15 September in Peebles, Scotland.

    The 33-year-old will line up as part of a six-man squad featuring three British riders in the team’s home tour.

    The race is a great opportunity for the team to thank UK fans for their continued support, taking in stages in Scotland, England and Wales over eight tough days. 

    Sir Bradley Wiggins will be joined in a six-man line up by:  Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman and David Lopez.

    Speaking about the Tour of Britain Sir Bradley Wiggins said:  "I'm really looking forward to the Tour of Britain; it's a race I’m fond of and it’s nice to see it growing in stature each year.

    "The crowds and the roads make it special and it’s always very humbling to see the fantastic support that we get from the public.

    "I’m coming into the race feeling really good.  It finishes in close proximity to the world time trial championships which is my main late-season goal.

    "The Tour of Britain is always a tough event and I’m looking forward to getting started."

    Fellow British rider Ian Stannard added:  "The Tour of Britain has become a massive event in the cycling calendar and I’m really excited to be racing at home.

    "There’s a real enthusiasm for cycling at the moment – especially following Brad and Froomey’s Tour wins and the Olympics – so I’m really looking forward to competing again on British roads.

    "We race all over the world but it’s always nice to compete in front of your home fans.  With such a high-level race in the UK naturally I want to be there."

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2013

    World Youth Netball Championships Comes to a Spectacular Finish

    The World Youth Netball Championships came to a spectacular finish tonight with a nail-bitingly close game between Australia and New Zealand. The kiwis took it home with 52 goals to Australia’s 47.

    New Zealand’s coach, Janine Southby, said: “The team are all elated! We knew it was going to be fast, furious and physical but they took it in their stride and they really worked their hardest.”

    New Zealand’s captain, Storm Purvis, said: “I’m feeling really overwhelmed, the crowd definitely helped us through.”

    The World Youth Netball Championships welcomed the biggest crowds ever seen for a Netball event in Scotland. Over 12,000 spectators and 400 players and officials from far and wide have come through the doors of the Emirates Arena to support the 20 teams taking part in the Championships over the past ten days.

    The Opening Night saw a record breaking 3000 strong support come along to cheer on the home nation to a 72 – 21 defeat of the Cayman Islands. Last night (Friday 30th August) Scotland lost by only 3 points against Namibia with a final score of 48 - 51 to be placed 12th in the tournament.

    Scotland under 21s Team Captain, Lynsey Gallagher, said: “I was really pleased with our performance. Although the game didn’t go our way we fought until the end and it was a performance we can be proud of.”

    The 7th World Youth Netball Championships has featured the best young netball players from across the world. The 10-day event, which is part of UK Sport’s £27million Gold Event Series, was the first world netball event to be staged in Scotland since 1987 and has taken place less than a year before the sport takes centre stage across the 11 days of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member of the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “The World Youth Netball Championships really has been a resounding success with over 12,000 people coming along over the ten days. I am delighted at the support the people of Glasgow and Scotland have given the event and the teams. The commitment and enthusiasm the supporters have shown over the ten days is fantastic, especially ahead of next year’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    “I would like to express my thanks to all twenty teams who have come from far and wide to compete. We have been blown away by the talent, dedication and enthusiasm of these young players.”

    The competing countries were: Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, England, Fiji, Israel, Jamaica, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Papau New Guinea, Republic of Ireland, Samoa, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Wales.

    The 2013 WYNC was delivered in partnership between Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and Netball Scotland with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2013

    Glasgow European Open Judo Tickets On Sale

    The 2013 Glasgow European Open takes place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on the 19th - 20th October 2013 and sees British Judo's top male athletes take on some of the best judoka in Europe across two days of non-stop action.

    Tickets are available now from www.britishjudo.org.uk/glasgow2013 with advance day tickets starting at just £7.50 for concessions and £15 for adults. Weekend passes can be bought for £10/£20.

    As one of the Commonwealth Games venues and the home of the 2015 European Judo Championships, the Emirates Arena is a world-class venue providing up to 7,000 spectator seats, top class media facilities, VIP areas, catering facilities, physiotherapy, medical and doping areas, conference and hospitality suites, event control and offices, and TV lighting all on one site.

    The Emirates Arena has already established itself as Scotland’s top venue for international sport and will provide an awesome arena in which to watch some of the world's best judoka do battle on the tatami.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2013

    Epic Nominee List Announced for 18th Annual MOBO Awards

    Some of the most exciting names in music joined forces for the hotly anticipated announcement of the nominees for this year’s MOBO Awards. Ahead of the 18th anniversary show at the brand new, SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday, October 19; the nominations were revealed at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms – where the awards show started in 1996, following careful deliberation from this year’s MOBO music panel.

    During an important year for the internationally-renowned entertainment brand, the star-studded London event saw names from the MOBO Awards past and present arrive to hear this year’s shortlist before opening to the public vote. It will now be down to the fans to decide who walks away with a coveted MOBO Award in October, with the categories now open to the public via www.mobo.com/voting2013.

    Never in its 18 year history has such a fierce competition been witnessed among MOBO music talent with Laura Mvula and Wiley being nominated in four categories each, immediately followed by Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Rudimental and Wretch 32 with three gongs respectively being put forward to be publicly recognised for their achievements over the past year.

    Tickets for the show are on sale now, giving fans the chance to be there as the winners are revealed. Prices vary from £25 to £49 and are available from www.mobo.com/tickets.

    Hosted by long-standing MOBO Awards supporter and BBC 1Xtra DJ; Sarah-Jane Crawford and appearances from Jessie J, So Solid, CEO Dancers (Britain’s Got Talent), 90s pop sensation; Gabrielle, Lianne La Havas, Wiley, Naughty Boy, MKS (original Sugababes line-up) Jason Derulo and Jourdan Dunn to name just a few - this year’s nominations party didn’t disappoint.

    One particular highlight of the evening was a surprise performance from past MOBO Award winners; So Solid Crew, who opened the evening with a lively performance of their hit track ‘Oh No’. Jahmene gave a rousing, soulful performance singing an Amy Winehouse classic, ‘Back to Black’, while Fuse ODG and the CEO Dancers (Britain’s Got Talent) came together in an explosive AfroBeats collaboration which had all the audience on their feet to his hit track ‘Azonto’.

    The Best Newcomer in association with HTC category is always hotly anticipated and this year is no exception. The category has long provided a platform for the UK’s most exciting artists, launching the careers of NDubz, Emeli Sandé and Rita Ora to name a few. A glimpse of this year’s nominees includes Daley, Sam Smith, Fuse ODG, Stylo G and Jahmene Douglas – a showcase of exciting and varied talent.

    “This year’s 18th Anniversary Awards will be no different” says inspirational MOBO Awards founder and CEO, Kanya King MBE: “MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and we have some truly incredible artists on the shortlist for this year’s event. They demonstrate the diverse range of music that is at the heart of youth culture in Britain and globally. Our aim has always been to give a platform and voice to emerging and established artists; we celebrate these artists all year round. We’re really proud of the nominees and wish them all the best with the public vote and the show in Glasgow on October 19!”

    The nominations come ahead of next month’s MOBO Awards on 19th October, which will be making their debut at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. With chart toppers, Rudimental, Australian female rapper, Iggy Azalea and three-time MOBO Award winner, Tinie Tempah already announced to perform. Coming back to Glasgow for a third time is the result of a very successful partnership between the MOBO Organisation, EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and this year’s awards are set to make more noise than ever.

    For the full list of nominees and to pick up tickets for the show in Glasgow on October 19 visit www.mobo.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 03 September 2013

    London gets ready for MOBO 2013 nominations launch

    We are just hours away from the annoucement of the 2013 MOBO Award nominees.

    2013 marks the 18th anniversary of the MOBO Awards. The nominations will be announced tonight at The London Connaught Rooms.

    The MOBO Awards have been attended by the world's biggest urban music star's over the years and offered a first stage to many UK artists including Rita Ora,  Emeli Sandé, Angel, Misha B, Shola Ama and more.

    The MOBO Awards were launched in 1996 by Kanya King MBE, and were the first music awards event in Europe to focus on urban music. MOBO has been going strong for 18 years and played an important role in bringing black music and culture to the mainstream in the UK.

    It will be exciting to see which artists will be at the forefront for this years nominations and which upcoming UK talent will be acknowledged as they begin their career journey.

    MOBO will be live tweeting on the night using #MOBO18.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 02 September 2013

    Tourism ‘Oscars’ to make debut at Stirling Castle

    Stirling Castle has been confirmed as the venue for the glittering Scottish Thistle Award national final...and so has Lorraine!

    Popular TV personality Lorraine Kelly will unveil this year’s Scottish Thistle Award winners in the grand surroundings of Stirling Castle at the finale on 15th November. 

    Organised by VisitScotland, the awards celebrate excellence and quality within the tourism industry. Now in their 21st year, the 2013 awards included four regional ceremonies, with the winners progressing to the glittering national final.

    The crème de la crème of tourism businesses the length and breadth of Scotland will descend on one of history’s most recognisable landmarks to battle out for the coveted national award and be crowned Scottish Thistle Award winner.

    Speaking ahead of the event, Lorraine Kelly said: “I'm delighted to be hosting the event and to be honouring the people who work so hard to make Scotland such a wonderful place to visit.

    Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman said: “I’m delighted that the final of the Scottish Thistle Awards will be held at Stirling Castle. In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, what better location to host the flagship tourism event of the year than the picturesque surroundings of Stirling. I’d like to wish every finalists the very best of luck.

    “We’re in the midst of an incredibly exciting time for tourism as we prepare to welcome the world to Scotland in 2014 through a host of iconic events. The Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games but the second Homecoming Scotland will ensure the eyes of the world will firmly be on us. I can’t think of any better ambassadors than those reaching the finals to cement Scotland’s position as a must visit, must return destination.”

    Stirling Castle is a world-class attraction which draws visitors from across the globe. Boasting stunning views of the area it has undergone major refurbishment to the Royal Palace and has played a key role in Scottish history through art, culture and celebrity in Scotland in the 16th century

    The event is expected to be extremely popular so all ticket requests must be registered via the website scottishthistleawards.co.uk by 6 September.

    Full details can be found on the website www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk

    Categories:

    Best Cafe, Bar or Restaurant Award

    Best Guest House or B&B Award

    Best Hotel Award

    Best Self-Service Accommodation Award

    Best Shopping Experience Award

    Best Sporting Event Award

    Best Tour Operator Programme of the Year Award (New)

    Best Sporting Event Award

    Best Tour Operator Programme of the Year Award (New)

    Best Visitor Attraction Award

    Historic Scotland - Tourism Entrepreneur Award

    Marketing Campaign of the Year Award

    Partnership in Tourism Award (New)

    Scotrail - Best Cultural Event Award

    Training and Skills Development Award

    Year of Natural Scotland - Best Nature Based Experience Award

    Category: Industry News

  • 28 August 2013

    Pet Shop Boys to headline 21st Anniversary Concert in the gardens

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2013/14 - Concert in the Gardens will feature Pet Shop Boys plus very special guests to be announced. The Concert in the Gardens takes place on new year's eve in West Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh city centre. The stage is live from 8.30pm and closes at 1am.

    Enclosure tickets (in front of stage) are £45 plus booking fee

    Gardens tickets (surround Enclosure) are $40 plus booking fee

    The event is not recommended for under 16's

    Full event details are available at www.edinburghshogmanay.com

    Tickets go on sale Friday 30th August at 10am. You can call the box office on 0844 573 8455 or pick up tickets in person at Edinburgh's Hogmanay Box Office, 180 High St, Edinburgh.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 27 August 2013

    Homecoming funding boosts World Record attempt at Forth Bridges Festival.

    Award winning Chocolatier, Sebastian Kobelt (based in Linlithgow) puts the finishing touches to his chocolate Forth Bridges creation celebrating the Homecoming Scotland Food and Drink Fund award www.sebastiankobelt.com

     

    The Forth Bridges Festival’s attempt to stage the ‘World’s Biggest Sit Down Lunch’ was given a significant boost today as it was confirmed organisers Queensferry Ambition would receive £25,000 from the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund.

    The Festival was one of a number of Homecoming events awarded money from the special £250,000 fund dedicated to promoting Scottish food and drink in 2014 announced by Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead.

    The world record attempt will take place on Saturday 13 September 2014 as part of a ten day celebration of Scotland’s iconic bridges to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Forth Road Bridge.  

    The ‘Scotland Welcomes the World’ lunch will provide a feast of entertainment for participants across two locations in North and South Queensferry.  Attendees will enjoy a traditionally Scottish Homecoming-themed lunch while dressed in 1960’s outfits to honour the Road Bridge which was built in 1964.

    Seven events received money from the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund including 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)*.

    As well as showcasing the best of Scottish produce at the events, the fund will provide event organisers with expert support in developing their food and drink offering through a series of one-to-one sessions and workshops, delivered by food and drink consultants, Experiencing Scotland. 

    The workshops, which will take place in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh, will ensure organisers benefit from expert advice and ideas for including fresh, local and seasonal produce from quality Scottish suppliers.  

    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.

    Richard Lochhead, Rural Affairs Secretary said: “The Forth Road Bridge is one of this country’s most iconic landmarks and what better way to celebrate its 50th birthday than with another icon of Scotland – our fabulous array of food and drink. Our magnificent natural larder continues to attract huge interest abroad and helps to market Scotland to the world as a Land of Food and Drink - an important ingredient as we encourage people to celebrate their Scottish heritage during Homecoming. Our local communities play an integral part in the food and drink industry and it’s great to be able to support them by bringing events to their areas.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “From a magnificent haggis supper, to deliciously fresh salmon, to a tantalising glass of whisky, food and drink plays an integral part in Scottish culture.  The country generates over £2million per day through food and drink tourism, so it is hugely important that we provide the very best products. Supporting local suppliers is key to ensuring communities throughout Scotland benefit from Homecoming events in their area and I, for one, can’t wait to get tucked in! ”   

    James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive said: “Scotland’s food and drink community is hugely excited about 2014.  Homecoming events, alongside the Commonwealth Games & Ryder Cup, provide the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase Scotland as a ‘Land of Food and Drink’. 

    With surging interest at home and overseas in Scottish produce, next year’s events will be a real culinary celebration, shining a light on our talented producers.  We’re ambitious and we want to set a new benchmark for quality catering at big events.  And there is no better place to do that than at the ‘World’s biggest sit-down lunch’, which should be a feast of world class, local produce.”

    Malcolm Brown, Chair of Queensferry Ambition said: “Queensferry Ambition is grateful for the funding received from the Homecoming Food and Drink fund.  This will ensure that this superb one off event is a real success and uniquely showcases Scottish Food and Drink.  The world might only be with us for a few hours but we will leave a lasting impression of true Scottish hospitality and a real flavour of these great and historic towns.”  

    Category: International Events

  • 26 August 2013

    Watch the inspirational CELTMAN! Film featuring Kathrin Müller produced by Skinfit Racing

    Skinfit Racing have produced this inspirational film about Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon, which took place in July this year, featuring Kathrin Müller. Celtman!

    Category: National Events

  • 26 August 2013

    Council to provide free transport for up to 500 spectators to the Tour of Britain

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is to provide free transport to the Tour of Britain at Drumlanrig Castle for up to 500 cycling fans.

    The Tour is returning yet again to Dumfries and Galloway, which will receive worldwide publicity for hosting the Scottish Stage and Grand Depart on Sunday 15 September. More than 8000 spectators are forecast to descend on Drumlanrig Castle, for the UK’s blue riband cycling event. The Tour of Britain has sold television rights to more than 140 countries worldwide, and the race will be televised live on ITV4.  The Day One, Scottish Stage will be the longest Stage in Tour history, an energy sapping 209 km between Peebles and Drumlanrig.

    The Council is putting on free transport to Drumlanrig Castle in recognition of the tremendous support the Tour received at Dumfries in 2011 and 2012, to ease congestion and to make it as easy as possible for local people to attend the event on a Sunday.

    Up to five hundred spectators will be accommodated in the free travel initiative. Interested cycling fans can go to www.gosmartdumfries.co.uk and book their place.

    The Council is working with community transport providers to ensure that people have the option of taking buses to the event from Dumfries, and direct from the Glenkens, Moffat, Upper Nithsdale and Thornhill.

    The majority of buses will leave from DG One, Dumfries at 12pm, returning 45 minutes after the Scottish Stage finishes.

    Councillor Finlay Carson, the Events Champion said, “The Tour of Britain is one of the most significant events to take place in our region each year and the Council is committed to creating access to it. Council funding of free buses to the Tour makes sense from an events management and environmental perspective. I hope that all 500 free places are taken up and that the thousands of spectators enjoy a fantastic day out at the Tour of Britain.”

    The Council is working closely with Buccleuch Estates to promote the Tour of Britain and ensure that all runs smoothly on Sunday 15 September. World class cycling teams have already signed up for the 2013 Tour and hopes are high that Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins will be in the field.

    Category: International Events

  • 26 August 2013

    VIP packages at MOBO Awards, Glasgow

    Experience the 18th Anniversary MOBO Awards Show right at the heart of the action! The hottest and most prestigious urban music event in the British calendar will be held at The SSE Hydro arena on Saturday 19th October 2013.

    Celebrating its 18th year, MOBO will be showcasing the finest selection of national and international MOBO acts. In 2012 MOBO welcomed an all-star line up, with artists such as Emeli Sandé, Rita Ora, JLS, Plan B, Labrinth, Dionne Warwick and TLC, just to name a few.

    Announced to perform thus far are the incredible Tinie Tempah the sensational and stunning Iggy Azalea and the chart topping, dynamic group Rudimental, with many more performances and celebrity guests to follow suit.

     

    For more information on VIP packages avaliable for the 18th anniversary MOBO Awards, please click here

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 22 August 2013

    Playing games a priority, medals a bonus for host Scots

    Scotland's top bowlers will face the world's best teams at home next week when Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre hosts the 8 Nations Commonwealth Invitational Championships (24-31 August).

    Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa and two teams for Scotland will all compete at the Glasgow 2014 Games venue for the event organised by Bowls Scotland in partnership with SportScotland, Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport, EventScotland and Glasgow Life.  

    For Scotland the event is an opportunity to be considered for nomination to Commonwealth Games Scotland for the Glasgow Games.

    With team selection at the forefront, Bowls Scotland Head Coach, David Gourlay's plan next week is for each player to gain maximum exposure to competition and to win as many games as they can against quality opposition.

    "At this stage I'm more bothered about players playing and winning games to make the selection criteria than I am about them winning medals," he said.

    "So the focus next week is about giving the maximum number of players the opportunity to be eligible for the selection criteria and giving them games against quality opposition to see how they are performing in different events."

    'Clyde' and 'Kelvin', Scotland's two teams at Kelvingrove, have a total of 24 players, including World Champions and Commonwealth Games competitors.  Amongst them are four times Games player Margaret Letham and World Champion Paul Foster.

    Entering two teams gives the maximum number of Scots the chance to play but the obvious downside is that the best players are spread across both.

    "If we wanted to win every event we would just put in one team," admits Gourlay. "Fielding two teams means we are spreading ourselves pretty thin.    

    "Australia, ranked the number one country in the world, will be bringing a squad of 10 players which will no doubt include all their superstars so we obviously need to manage people's expectations about overall results."

    The experience of competing against many of the world's best players at the Games venue is as important as winning matches and it is all part of the programme Gourlay has been working through this season.

    So far his elite squad has met for training sessions at Kelvingrove on a twice weekly basis since May, with further individual coaching each week, which is producing a bank of useful data about the greens that increase Scotland's home advantage for the 2014 Games.

    "Our squad training sessions are as much about getting all the players used to the greens as they are about getting everybody familiar and comfortable with the venue and the surroundings," he said.

    "What we are creating is a feeling amongst our players that they are competing on their home green so they feel completely familiar with the environment.  That will give us home advantage which is our challenge before this time next year."

    Entry to the 8 Nations Commonwealth Invitation Championships is free to spectators.

    Official website: www.bowlsscotland.com

    Playing schedule:  www.bowlsscotland.com/8-nations-info/8-nations-playing-schedule

    Scottish teams line up

    MEN

    TEAM KELVIN                                                                          TEAM CLYDE

    PAUL FOSTER                                                                          WAYNE HOGG

    MARTYN RICE                                                                          STEWART ANDERSON

    NEIL SPEIRS                                                                            ROBERT GRANT

    GRAEME ARCHER                                                                   DARREN BURNETT

    JOHNATHAN ROSS                                                                 GRANT LOGAN

    DAVID PEACOCK                                                                     THOMAS MANN

                                                                                                      RONNIE DUNCAN

    WOMEN

    TEAM KELVIN                                                                          TEAM CLYDE

    CAROLINE BROWN                                                                  BECKY CRAIG

    MICHELLE COOPER                                                                 SUSAN MURRAY

    LAUREN BAILLIE                                                                       ANNE DUNWOODIE

    MARGARET LETHAM                                                                LYNN STEIN

    CLAIRE JOHSTON                                                                    LORRAINE MALLOY

                                                                                                       CLAIRE DOUGLAS

    Category: International Events

  • 22 August 2013

    Loch Lomond welcomes swimmers from across the UK to the Great Scottish Swim

    World class athletes, around 2,000 amateur swimmers, and a huge number of supporters and spectators, will be making their way to Loch Lomond Shores on Saturday 24th August to enjoy Scotland’s biggest open water swimming event, the Great Scottish Swim. Set in the majestic surroundings of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park, the event is a day-long celebration of this unique sport, giving swimmers of all abilities - from first timers to Olympic medallists - the opportunity to take on half mile, one mile or two mile challenges in the open water.

    Alex Jackson, Great Swim Series event director, from organisers Nova said, “We’re really looking forward to staging the 2013 Great Scottish Swim in its new location for the first time.

    “Giving swimmers the opportunity to swim in such an iconic place is very exciting. The event is set to be bigger and better than ever before.”

    In the elite races, home grown stars - such as twice World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne, two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Caitlan McClatchey, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and London 2012 Olympian Robbie Renwick - will be taking on an international field which includes World Champion Christian Reichert of Germany and former World Cup winner and Olympian Chad Ho from South Africa.

    Commonwealth gold medallist and TV presenter Iwan Thomas MBE is also taking the plunge on Saturday. Iwan said, “I took part in my first Great Swim in the Lake District in June and completed the mile course, which was the furthest I’d ever swum in open water.

    “I’m looking forward to trying to better my time this weekend and I can’t think of a better place to do it!”

    Visitors and swimmers will also be able to enjoy live music from local bands throughout the day, shop at the continental market and browse charity and retail stalls.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer from EventScotland said: “It is fitting that in 2013, the year of natural Scotland, the Great Scottish Swim is taking place in one of our most spectacular natural environments; Loch Lomond. Scotland is the perfect stage for mass participation events and I am sure the Great Scottish Swim will capture the imagination of swimmers and spectators alike.”

    Mairi Bell, Tourism Manager for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park added:

    “We’re excited to see so many people taking up their own personal challenge and taking part in the Great Scottish Swim. It’s really encouraging in this first year of running the event at Loch Lomond that there are now around 2,000 participants. Hosting this event in the National Park will give local tourism providers a welcome economic boost and give thousands of visitors a spectacular event to watch.”

    The event is part of Great Swim, Europe’s biggest open water swimming series, which gives 20,000 participants the opportunity to swim in Lakes, Lochs and urban docks across the UK including; the Great North Swim at Windermere, Cumbria, the Great East Swim at Alton Water, near Ipswich, the Great Manchester Swim at Salford Quays and the Great London Swim in the Royal Victoria Docks.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 August 2013

    A taste of what's to come - Glasgow 2014

    Up to one million tickets for the UK’s next big sporting celebration went on sale yesterday as the starting pistol was fired for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Next summer will see 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth compete for gold and glory in Glasgow. Within the Glasgow 2014 Ticketing Programme there’s something for everyone, across 17 sports and 11 days of competition, with family-friendly pricing and a simple application process. The four-week ticketing phase is now open until 16 September, offering fans the opportunity to experience the action and thrills of the Games with two-thirds of tickets priced at £25 or less.

    Ticket applications can be made on glasgow2014.com/tickets or via postal application forms distributed nationwide with the Official Ticketing Guide. It makes no difference whether fans apply on the first day, last day or in between, but all applications must be received by 6pm on 16 September.

    Everyone will have the same opportunity to apply for the tickets they want over the four week period. It’s a brilliant opportunity to experience world-class competition in all the sports you already love and experience new thrills of elite athletes going for Gold in sports you’ve never seen live or at that level before. Take time to explore the sports programme and plan your application with your family and friends.

    Access to sporting events will start from just £15 for adults. Half-price concessions will also be available for under 16s - a Commonwealth Games first - and the over-60s.

    The price of a ticket also includes access to public transport in the local area on the day of your event.  

    As part of the simple and accessible ticketing process at least 70% of all tickets to all sporting events will be available to the public, and a number of different payment methods can be used.

    Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said:“Glasgow 2014 in every sense is a Games for everyone and a fantastic opportunity to experience world-class sport up close in one of the world’s great sporting cities. We look forward to welcoming elite athletes from across the Commonwealth and the best welcome we can give them are stadia packed with supporters cheering them on.

    “Now is your chance to be part of this friendly force of fans for what I hope will be a great moment for sport, for Glasgow and Scotland.

    “This is your opportunity to make sure you are part of the experience, part of the action and enjoy all the thrills and spills which Glasgow 2014 will have on offer. We want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy live sport and really make these Games the best they can be.”

    Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:“In less than one year’s time, Team Scotland hopes to be fielding its biggest team ever at Glasgow 2014. Our athletes in 17 sports will be ready to go up against the best in the Commonwealth and make their mark at the biggest international sporting event to come to these shores.

    “We urge the public to buy tickets now to ensure that the venues are filled with Saltire flags and cheering Scots, helping to make home advantage count. From swimming to weightlifting our athletes are training hard to give you something to shout about, so come along and play your part in the Games!”

    Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:“This is a chance to be part of one of the world’s biggest events and the largest ever multi-sport event in Scotland. With affordable ticket prices and concessions for children and over 60s, this is a truly family friendly Games that will guarantee top class sporting drama for spectators and a great Glasgow welcome for visitors.”

    Category: International Events

  • 20 August 2013

    Whisky Month 2014 Food and Drink Fund - Guidelines and how to apply

    Homecoming Scotland 2014 will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. 

    It will extend the benefits and opportunities offered by the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup and build on the successes of the first year of Homecoming 2009 by presenting a year-long co-ordinated programme of inspirational events.  This programme will be designed to support Scotland’s events industry, increase visitors to Scotland and generate additional tourism revenue in a celebration of Scotland’s past, present and future in the year that “Scotland welcomes the world”.

    www.homecomingscotland.com

    Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative managed by EventScotland, which is part of VisitScotland.  Homecoming Scotland 2014 will enable the tourism and events industries to further demonstrate the important role they play in delivering sustainable and sustained growth to the Scotland’s economy.

    The objective of Homecoming Scotland 2014 is to develop a strong portfolio of activity for 2014 that will:

    • Deliver additional tourism visit and revenue for Scotland

    • Develop Scotland’s event portfolio and build capacity in the industry

    • Engage and mobilise communities across Scotland in Homecoming Scotland 2014

    • Engage and mobilise Scottish businesses in Homecoming Scotland 2014

    • Enhance Scotland’s profile on the international stage

    Since 2009 there have been a series of themed years celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets, designed as an opportunity for partners to build capacity across industry in preparation for 2014, and ensuring that potential partners within the events industry are primed to engage with Homecoming in the most successful and inventive ways possible.

    The themed years are:

    • Food and Drink - 2010

    • Active - 2011

    • Creative - 2012

    • Natural - 2013

    These four themes along with a new theme of Ancestry will provide the bedrock on which to build Homecoming Scotland 2014’s programme of events.

    About Whisky Month

    Whisky Month is a key element of the Food and Drink theme, taking place throughout May 2014. It will be a month-long, country-wide celebration of Scotland’s national drink which will explore the subtle blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and generation after generation of skilled craftsmanship that make it the national drink - a drink that is as uniquely Scottish as the landscape and people that created it. 

    Whilst Whisky Month will of course have whisky at its core, it will also use the opportunity afforded by Homecoming to turn the spotlight on other related areas. A packed programme will highlight the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, celebrated through festivals and events both large and small, taking place right across the country.

    Working with a wide range of partners and led by Homecoming 2014 in cooperation with drinks industry representatives, Whisky Month will be celebratory programme of activity which is as uniquely Scottish as the drink it celebrates.

    Whisky Month is an opportunity to reference one of the key themes of Homecoming Scotland 2014, Food and Drink, through supporting events that may have a more nuanced or thematic link with Whisky Month as opposed to directly exploring whisky.

    The intention is that this will widen the potential audience through celebrating the best of Scotland’s food and drink. This wider remit for Whisky Month will be explicit through all messaging as will the promotion and support of the Scottish Government’s commitment to responsible drinking.

    Whisky Month will consist of an events programme and stand-alone marketing campaign, with events supported financially and in-kind as with the core Homecoming programme.

    The objectives for Whisky Month 2014 are:

    • To develop Whisky Tourism in Scotland and promote to markets overseas

    • Celebrate and promote Scotland’s world class Food and Drink Industry  

    • Support Scotland’s events industry

    • Promote the aims and objectives of Homecoming Scotland 2014

    The Fund

    Applications are invited from events organisers, community groups, visitor centres, and hospitality or tourism businesses for activity that will take place in Scotland through May 2014 for up to £5000 to enhance the profile of Scottish food and drink and in particular whisky.  

    These events will be promoted in a full campaign as part of Whisky Month.

    If you feel that your event or activity may not be suitable for this particular fund but could benefit from being part of the Homecoming programme please sign up to the Partner Programme at http://www.eventscotland.org/partner_programme/

    • Criteria

    Applications for funding through the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Funded Programme should also meet the criteria outlined below:

    • Events must take place in Scotland between 1st May 2014 and 31st May 2014

    • Applications must be made by a legally constituted organisation

    • Activity must be open to the general public

    • Existing events must demonstrate their capacity to successfully carry out activity applied for

    • Applications must demonstrate that the funds applied for will develop new, special activity in line with the aims and objectives of Whisky Month 2014

    • The level of funding applied for must be supported by a clear business case that justifies the request.

    How to apply

    If you feel that your event or activity qualifies for the fund and would like to apply please email info@homecomingscotland.com for an application form. The deadline for applications is 5pm Monday 16th September 2013, if you would like to discuss you application with a member of the Homecoming team please call EventScotland on 0131 472 2313.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 August 2013

    Great Scottish Swim to be biggest open water swimming event in Scotland

    New for 2013, an expected 2,000 participants will make the Great Scottish Swim the biggest open water swimming event in Scotland. Held for the first time in the majestic surroundings of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, 40 minutes’ drive from Glasgow city centre, swimmers can choose from 1/2 mile, 1 mile and 2 mile swims with participants seting off in waves of approximately 300 every half an hour.

    If you're looking for the ultimate in revitalising weekends, it doesn't get much better than spending it in the open water of Loch Lomond and its fun-filled shores. There will be various tasty opportunities amongst shopping in nearby retail outlets, and all whilst watching world-class open water swimmers in action.

    Safety is the number one priority for organisers of the Great Scottish Swim. All swimming events have expert kayakers overseeing the progress of swimmers with safety boats ready in waiting for the unlikely event of an emergency.

    The Great Scottish Swim takes place on 24 August 2013 at Loch Lomond. Swimmers can choose their distance from ½ mile, 1 mile or 2 miles.

    Pricing: ½ Mile – £21 (£17.50 + VAT), 1 mile – £28 (£23.33 + VAT), 2 miles – £32 (£26.66 + VAT)

    Requirements: Wetsuits, swimmers of all abilities are welcome

    Category: International Events

  • 19 August 2013

    Field Marshal Montgomery make it three in a row in a thrilling climax to the final day of Worlds competition

    Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band have been crowned World Pipe Band Champions once again this year. It is their third victory in a row. The event, which has been staged over two days for the first time in Glasgow, attracted more than 30,000 people on Saturday and Sunday. The runners up were Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia, with third place going to Scottish Power. The event, which has been associated with Glasgow for more than 60 years, drew people from all over the world to see 8,000 of the very best pipers and drummers compete. 

    This year 225 bands were due at Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships. Performances started early yesterday with the newly crowned World Champions being announced after two days of fierce competition. 

    The Worlds ended with the amazing spectacle of the thousands of pipers and drummers who had been competing throughout the day taking part in a march past before the world champions were crowned in front of thousands of people.  Glasgow Green also played host to some of the strongest men and women in the world in a Highland Games. Kristy Scott from the USA broke her own world record for the 28lb weight over the bar by clearing 21 feet. Followers of pipe bands who couldn’t make the journey to Glasgow watched the competition streamed live on both days. 

    The Chieftain of the World Pipe Band Championships and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “The Worlds is a cornerstone of our cultural calendar that Glaswegians look forward to every year. I’ve always believed that Glasgow Green is never better than when the bands are here competing and we’ve enjoyed some sensational performances. Next year the event will be held just after the Commonwealth Games which will generate even more global interest.”

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “Every year the standard of competition is so high but this year we have seen something extra special. The two day event allows us to drive the already very high standard to new heights and we’ll look forward to welcoming bands back to Glasgow Green next year for another unforgettable experience.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “2013 has been another hugely successful year for Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships, with Glasgow attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and following this wonderful celebration of piping, thoughts will already be turning towards 2014 when Scotland will welcome the world once again.”

    Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: "Last week certainly reinforced Glasgow's position as the epicentre of global piping every August. The sound of the pipes rung out across the city culminating with another spectacular celebration of The Worlds over the weekend. Once again Glasgow Green provided an ideal backdrop to the action, with enthusiastic crowds of thousands, and pipers and drummers from hundreds of bands, creating a thrilling spectacle over the two days of competition. Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation for attracting and staging world-class events, and given the success of this year's World Pipe Band Championships, it's easy to see why event organisers choose to return here time and again. The sights and sounds of The Worlds live long in the memory and I'm already looking forward to an unforgettable event in 2014 when all eyes will be on the city."

    The World Pipe Band Championships is organised by Glasgow Life on behalf of The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow City Council and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 August 2013

    Tinie Tempah confirmed performer at this year's MOBO Awards

    With just nine weeks until the eyes of the world turn to Glasgow for the 18th annual MOBO Awards on Saturday, October 19, some of the hottest acts of the last 12 months are preparing a visual feast for fans and viewers alike.

    The three-time MOBO award winner Tinie Tempah yesterday confirmed he will return to the MOBO stage which gave him his first industry award and championed his talent from the start.  Fans can expect a highly energetic performance from Tinie which will be boosted by the fact he will be one of the very first acts to grace The SSE Hydro arena’s stage. 

    Tinie Tempah said: “So excited to be back at the MOBO Awards performing brand new music!  It's an award ceremony that's very important to me and one of the first that really embraced my work as an artist.  Bring on October 19th!”

    Kanya King MBE commented: “This year is our coming of age and we’re ecstatic to be bringing back a wealth of our MOBO music acts which we’ve supported over the years.  Tinie always brings the fire when he performs, get ready for a blistering show!”

    Tinie will be amongst great company as chart toppers, Rudimental and Iggy Azalea are also confirmed to perform.  Tickets for the MOBO Awards are priced at £25, £35 and £49 and available from www.mobo.com/tickets.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 August 2013

    Paisley to host 110th Royal National Mòd for the first time

    Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s premier event celebrating Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage, will this year travel to Paisley for the first time in its 121 year history.

    The eight day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature, which takes place from Friday 11th until Saturday 19th October, is set to attract thousands of participants and visitors.

    Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisation, The Royal National Mòd is a competition based event which attracts Highland dancers, pipers, musicians, singers and many more competitors from communities throughout the world. 

    Now in its 121st year the Royal National Mòd has a long and impressive history and has evolved to become the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland, regularly playing host to Gaelic speakers and competitors from as far afield as Australia, the USA and Canada.

    John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “We’re absolutely delighted to bring the Royal National Mòd to Paisley for the very first time.

    “It’s really encouraging to see that, even though this is the first time we’ve brought the Mòd to Paisley, we are seeing such high entries to competitions from adults and children from all over Scotland and further afield.  With almost 3,000 participants already registered to take part, we can see that this Mòd is going to be a really busy, lively event with the numbers of entries close to the numbers achieved at the 2009 Mòd which was held in Oban.

    “We applaud the hard work of the local committee and thank the support of our sponsors in bringing this event to the central belt, and we hope that everyone will join us in having a fantastic week.”

    First held in 1892, the Royal National Mòd has evolved to be the second most important festival in Scotland, with ever increasing popularity and visitors coming from as far as Australia, the USA and Canada.

    Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome the Royal National Mòd to Paisley for the first time.

    "We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the area during the Mòd and are sure they will find plenty to see and do while here.

    "With The Spree festival happening at the same time, there will be a real festival atmosphere to the town throughout October."

    The Royal National Mòd offers a huge range of opportunities for people to compete, from fluent Gaelic speakers to those in the fledgling stages of learning the language.

    The event kicks off on Friday 11th October with a torchlight procession organised by the local committee and involving the many competitors and members of the local community as they walk from Paisley Museum to Paisley Town Hall marking the start of this year’s Royal National Mòd.  A grand opening ceremony will then take place in Paisley’s newly refurbished Town Hall early evening featuring performances from musicians, dancers and singers.

    Saturday traditionally plays host to the annual shinty match which this year sees Kyles Athletic play Glasgow Mid Argyll.  There will also be a fiercely fought out football competition with competitors to be announced soon. The fiddlers rally is also hosted over the weekend with hundreds of musicians demonstrating their skills in a musical maelstrom.  Traditionally tickets go very fast for this high octane spectacle which visitors won’t want to miss.  

    Children’s competitions take place at the start of the week with nearly 1,735 children from across the country taking part. The increase in numbers at the children’s Mòd reflects the impact that Gaelic Medium Education is now having on the revival of the Gaelic language in the central belt. The adult Traditional and Gold Medal qualifying rounds take place on Wednesday 16 October with the finals on Thursday 17 October.

    The coveted Lovat & Tullibardine and Margrat Duncan titles will be awarded on Friday 19 October before the final concert takes place. The grand finale of the 2013 Royal National Mòd will take place on Saturday 20 October when the Massed Choirs will gather and perform in front of Paisley Town Hall.

    The fringe activities also offer an annual opportunity for Gaels and non-Gaels to gather and renew old friendships as well as forging new ones. Fringe activity for this year includes ceilidhs, music, comedy events as well as for the first time, the Kennedy Gillies competition in a changed format this year. 

    There will be a maximum of six competitors in each qualifying round and the winner of each qualifying round plus the best runner-up will go through to the grand final on the evening of Friday 18th October held in Hamishes Hoose Bar in Paisley throughout Mòd week 2013.  The winner will receive the Kennedy Gillies award, kindly donated by the family of Calum Kennedy and Anne Gillies.

    Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), John Angus MacKay said: "Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes the Royal National Mòd to Paisley. We expect that a Mòd in Paisley, and the publicity surrounding it, will generate additional interest in the Gaelic language and also encourage parents to take advantage of the educational opportunities and benefits available for their children through the language.

    “The focus the Mòd will bring on Gaelic in this area gives added impetus to our discussion with the Local Authority in this and surrounding areas on how best to meet growing demand and to encourage young people to consider a career path using Gaelic."

    The Royal National Mòd is supported by Renfrewshire Council, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the national events agency, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “We’re pleased to be supporting The Royal National Mòd once again this year, an event recognized all over the world as a key celebration of Gaelic culture and language. We are delighted that entries have been high and it’s great that the event continues to attract new support from the central belt of Scotland. With so many activities for thousands of children and adults, and running alongside The Spree this year, the week should be a tremendous celebration of culture and heritage in Paisley.”

    The Spree (10 to 20 October) is returning to Paisley after a successful debut in 2012 and has been designed to run alongside the Royal National Mòd.

    For full event programme and details, visit www.acgmod.org or for Fringe events visit www.modphaislig.org

    For more information about the Spree, please visit www.thespree.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 16 August 2013

    Just the ticket as Blair, Bankier and Cyril the Squirrel launch Scottish Open Grand Prix

    An exciting new era for badminton was launched in Glasgow yesterdaywhen tickets went on sale for the first Scottish Open Grand Prix.

    The Championships, which will be staged at the Emirates Arena from November 20-24, will attract a world-class entry – and Scotland are already guaranteed two world-class players in the shape of Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair.

    The two Scotland internationalists were joined today by BADMINTONscotland mascot Cyril the Squirrel as tickets went on sale through the governing body’s official website www.badmintonscotland.org.uk

    Blair, who won a world silver medal in men’s doubles in 2006, said: “I was lucky enough to play at the Emirates Arena last year and it was a fabulous setting for badminton. I can’t wait to get back there in November – and, hopefully, again in July at the Commonwealth Games.

    “I am sure the new Grand Prix status is going to guarantee us a world-class entry, especially from the players from Commonwealth nations who want to get a feel of the courts before the Games.”

    Bankier, the 2011 world mixed doubles silver medallist, said: “I wasn’t able to play at the Emirates last year but I am just as excited as Robert about the chance to play there in November.

    “It’s a big season for the sport in Scotland and, following our recent successes, it is great that the badminton public now have an annual world-class event in Glasgow. We want them to play their part at the Scottish Open Grand Prix by coming to support us so we can make that home backing work to our advantage.”

    Anne Smillie, BADMINTONscotland’s Chief Executive, said: “We have made a big step from being the No. 1 event on the European circuit to becoming a Badminton World Federation tournament of high quality.

    “This has only been made possible thanks to our partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland. Between us we are investing £750,000 into the Scottish Open Grand Prix over the next four years.

    “But this means we are able to offer Scottish badminton fans – indeed all fans of our sport – an event of true quality. Winning Grand Prix status couldn’t have come at a better time with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow just less than 12 months away.

    “We are used to staging big badminton events in the City and we have some world class players in our team as well and look forward to giving the fans plenty to shout about.

    “We have made big strides at all levels of our sport over the last 12 months and we want to see that progress continue. We will, of course, be working at increasing participation in all age groups, but notably among schoolchildren and to that end we will be staging a Play Badminton Festival in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during the five days of the Championships.”

    The Scottish Open Grand Prix is supported with funding from the Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, Scotland’s national events agency and part of VisitScotland.

    Tickets are now officially on sale and you can book through BADMINTONscotland’s website www.badmintonscotland.org.uk by going to the new Scottish Open section which contains all the details you need to know about the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

    Picture by Lorraine Hill: Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier in the new Scottish Open T-shirts while Cyril the Squirrel showcases the new Scottish Open Grand Prix logo

    Category: International Events

  • 14 August 2013

    Experiencing Scotland Quarterly Update

    Experiencing Scotland – joining the dots between supplier and restaurant

    Over 60 businesses have now benefited from the 1-2-1 support offered by Experiencing Scotland, and such has been the success of the project that it has been extended to December 2014.

    Experiencing Scotland’s catering consultant Sandra Reid says: “Business support encompasses a review of tourism business catering activity. We take a 360 degree approach and we look at all aspects of the business - menus, food sourcing, merchandising, marketing, staffing and training, and ultimately we look at financial delivery. Is the food offer delivering financially for the business?”

    Abbotsford House in Melrose, formerly the residence of Sir Walter Scott, initially signed up to receive 1-2-1 business support from the project early in 2011, in respect of the small tearoom operation within the main house. Since then a new visitor centre has opened, featuring interpretation of Scott’s life and achievements, conference and exhibition facilities and restaurant and retail areas.

    Sandra visited the new restaurant, to provide further guidance on the catering operation in preparation for the re-opening of the house in early 2013.

    Justin Orde of ‘Gill Orde in Catering’, who manage the catering operation at Abbotsford says: “Being based in the Scottish Borders, I already know instinctively where to go for local produce. We are right next to St Boswells, where the local livestock market is, likewise for fish, Eyemouth is a fantastic fishing port. We’ve got great fruit as well in the area, so it was simply a case of knowing where this produce was and then having a helping hand in planning our menus from Experiencing Scotland.

    “Experiencing Scotland has provided us with a really solid base from which to go out and identify how we can integrate great local produce into our menus, and at the same time do it in a way which is cost effective and makes sense commercially. It’s also helped us to signpost and incorporate local suppliers into our menus. It’s nice to be able to put the name of a supplier next to a particular product.

    “For any business thinking about ways to increase the amount of local produce on their menus, I can’t really advise them any better than to go to Experiencing Scotland. It joins the dots between supplier and restaurant”.

    Start maximising profit through provenance now! To find out more about 1-2-1 support or to register interest click here, telephone 0845 607 8787 or email enquiries@scotent.co.uk

    Case studies......

    The Falkirk Wheel

    The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boat lift and connects the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal in the heart of Scotland. Operated by Scottish Canals, the Wheel is integral to the organisation’s ambition to open up Scotland’s canal network to a greater variety of users and complements the £43 million Helix project, which is currently being built just along the canal.

    The visitor centre attracts extremely high footfall, with in excess of 480,000 visitors each year. Business is also highly seasonal, with large numbers of visitors during peak periods, which can present challenges to the visitor café in relation to queue management.

    Experiencing Scotland’s Catering Consultant Sandra Reid was able to suggest a number of potential solutions, including reviewing the product range to eliminate low selling items and ranges and splitting the queue by providing a dedicated grab and go area.

    Another key issue for the catering operation is its lack of identity as part of the Falkirk Wheel as a whole. While the visitor centre has an industrial appearance, elements of the catering space are more rustic.

    “Bringing clarity on identity would be beneficial”, says Sandra, “either matching to industrial design with more stainless steel and similar finishes on service ware and presentation, or a farmer’s market style rustic approach, with takeaway foods in ‘brown bag’ packaging, wood and other ‘softer’ materials”.

    Other advice included improving the signposting of local suppliers on menus; making more of the unique selling points of the offer; introducing more local goods and seasonality via a limited range of ’specials’ based on local and traditional recipes; and taking a more consistent approach to brand standard on menus, table talkers and other catering marketing materials.

    Claire McVeigh from Scottish Canals says:  “The report from Experiencing Scotland is very constructive and insightful and we have already started implementing the easier suggestions they came back with. The impartial and independent feedback we received has been particularly beneficial in helping us to develop potential solutions to some of the logistical challenges we face, such as queue management and visitor flow. It has also highlighted the importance of promoting our unique themes and relationships with local suppliers and developing a more consistent approach to branding”.

    Coming soon….

    The brand new Experiencing Scotland website will be launching soon! The site will be the place to go to find out more about how Experiencing Scotland can help your business, read and view case studies on how businesses across Scotland are using and promoting local produce to enhance customer satisfaction and improve their bottom line, and pick up tips on how you can make the most of Scotland’s world-class natural larder.

    Look out for more information in the next few weeks.

    Focus on Events

    To help Scottish companies maximise the business opportunities arising from the world-class events coming to Scotland next year, a wide package of support has been rolled out by the 2014 Food & Drink Team.

    Read on for more details.....

    2014 Food & Drink

    The 2014 Food & Drink team has launched a dedicated website where food and drink businesses can find out about all the opportunities arising from the major events in 2014, how to get involved and the support available. 

    Scotland will be (even more!) in the spotlight next year with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and second edition of Homecoming Scotland coming to our shores.  With visitors from around the world descending on Scotland there is no better time to demonstrate the fantastic larder is renowned for, both to the Scottish population and visitors from elsewhere in the UK or further afield.

    Click here to view the website now!

    Grow your business through Scottish events

    The Event Ready Producers project aims to help food and drink companies looking to capitalise on the business opportunities presented by Scottish events.

    A brand new video story highlights how two of the companies involved - the Juicy Meat Company and Harviestoun Brewery - have benefitted from the support.

    Check out the video at www.scottishfoodanddrinkforums.org/resources/event-ready-producers.aspx

    For more information on the one-to-one expert business support available through the project, plus lots of great advice on how to work with events, go to www.readyforevents.co.uk

    Glasgow Major Events

    Glasgow Major Events is a brand new website to help event organisers and tourism businesses make the most of the business opportunities around Glasgow's world-class events programme.

    Tourism businesses can use the site to:

    • Keep up to date with who'll be visiting the city

    • Identify opportunities for increasing sales

    • Target your marketing more effectively and diversify your offers

    Event organisers can find information about venues, local suppliers who can support your event needs and some of the other facilities you’ll find in the city.

    Click here to access the site.

    Celebrate Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 7th-22nd September
    By Scotland Food & Drink

    Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is a celebration of the best that Scotland's vibrant larder has to offer.

    Boasting more than 220 events last year, the Fortnight offered foraging to farmers' markets, special menus and cookery demonstrations to butchery classes. Managed by Scotland Food & Drink, the Fortnight is the annual celebration of Scottish produce. It offers a great opportunity to shout about what you’re doing with Scottish food and drink and can be interpreted to the needs and activities of individual businesses.

    If you’d like to take part, there’s still time! Events can be registered for a listing on the site free of charge at www.scottishfoodanddrinkfortnight.co.uk/join-in-register/register-your-event 

    This will enable us to map your event and help promote it as part of the Fortnight. We'll also be promoting the Fortnight through our Facebook page facebook.com/eatscottish and Twitter using @ScotFoodFort and #EatScottish, and encourage anyone running an event to get involved with these two forums.

    We are currently revamping the free downloadable support materials, and welcome any suggestions for further materials that could be helpful in planning and promoting an event. The Fortnight logo is available free of charge for use in event brochures, on menus, on your website, in social media etc. There is no charge for participation- the Fortnight champions the Scottish produce we’re so proud of and invites businesses to shout about what they’re doing!

    In addition, we'll be running competitions throughout the Fortnight, and products/prizes are welcomed for this - competitions will be promoted through the same channels (website, Facebook, Twitter) with, of course, specific mention of all the companies involved, and any events they're linked to.

    For more information go to www.scottishfoodanddrinkfortnight.co.uk or contact Sophie Fraser (sophie.fraser@scotlandfoodanddrink.org), Tel. 0131 335 0952.

    All aboard for a taste of Scotch lamb

    Travellers boarding the CalMac ferry running between Oban and Mull on the 14th June were lucky enough to have local sheep farmers tempting them with tasty bites of delicious Scotch lamb.

    Lamb dishes were also on the ferry’s restaurant menu and farmers were on board to tell passengers about the fantastic story of how they produce fresh, tasty lamb in the hills of Argyll and the Islands.

    The ferry promotion was set up by the farmer group Argyll Hill Lamb, who provide lambs to Oban-based food service company Forteiths, who in turn supply the lamb to Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferries.

    Argyll Hill Lamb’s Fergus Younger said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to remind passengers on this ferry route that sheep farmers in Argyll and the Islands not only produce some of the best tasting lamb in the world, but that it’s being reared and sold right here on their doorstep!

    “Scotch lamb is amongst the finest in the world and here in the spectacular hills and mountains of Argyll, we believe we produce some of the best. 

    “When it comes to a product like Scotch lamb, we think it ticks all the right boxes for our customers.  It is naturally reared, produced locally, is packed full of nutrition, tastes great and offers great value.  It can meet the demands of everyone, whether they need a quick and easy midweek meal or a Sunday roast – Scotch lamb has it all.

    “For us as local sheep farmers, the message to shoppers is simple.  We believe we are producing a top quality product to very high standards and by giving the passengers a taste, we hope they will keep supporting local farmers by buying a bit more Argyll hill lamb in the future.” 

    Is this type of joint promotion something that other producer groups could roll out?

    Food for thought

    A brief round-up of some of the latest ideas and innovations from around the culinary world.....

    Restaurant sells food in edible packaging

    The WikiBar in Paris has launched what it describes as a ‘sustainable business’, offering only foods that come in an edible containers.

    The bar space centers around a circular bar that serves items such as ice cream, yoghurts and cheese in a skin that keeps the food fresh as well as enabling consumers to eat the products with their hands. Created by Harvard professor David Edwards, the invention uses natural food products in place of plastic packaging – for example, its mango ice cream comes in a skin of coconut, while its vanilla ice cream is wrapped in a peanut-based container. The wrappings are biodegradable but designed to be eaten along with the product inside.

    Could this be the future of package-free food?

    www.wikipearl.com

    Flying drone delivers food to restaurant tables

    YO! Sushi has developed the iTray, a flying robot that enables restaurants to send food to diners’ tables.

    Using a wifi-enabled Drone quadrocopter that is remotely controlled with an iPad, customers at the sushi chain’s Soho branch in London can experience the high-tech waiter service when they order one of the new YO! Burgers. The meals are placed on a tray, which is then loaded onto the drone and directed to the diner’s table using the on-board camera. The device can travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and a distance of 50 yards, and is able to deliver food faster than a typical waiter.

    www.yosushi.com

    Exploring the Natural Tastes of Iceland (ENTICE)

    Nicola Watt, Project Manager with Scottish Enterprise, was one of the participants on the recent ENTICE study visit to Iceland, which was organised to allow food producers with an interest in tourism and tourism professionals involved in food and tourism to experience and learn about food tourism developments in Iceland, share their own experiences and those of Icelandic colleagues.

    Nicola says: “The country has seen a 100% increase in visitors from 302,900 in 2000 to 660,000 in 2012 and has a target to grow out of season visitors by 12% per year. Despite a range of places to visit all across Iceland, most visitors currently follow the 300 km so-called ‘Golden Circle’ route from Reykjavik, which takes in Thingvellir, the Gulfoss waterfall and Haukadalur (Geysir and Strokkur geysirs) and the site of the former capital at Skalholt. As well as growing off-season visits, one of the greatest challenges for tourism bosses is therefore how to encourage geographic dispersal.

    “With food tourism seen as a major business opportunity, there is an enthusiasm for developing new products and new ways to diversify. For example, Chef Bjarki cooks boiled eggs in the hot springs at Geysir and serves them on rye bread baked in the mud from the hot springs to visitors standing within sight and sound of Strokkur, the live geysir. Cafe Kjöt of Kúst (Earth and Art Cafe) also makes a feature of cooking and baking outside using a geothermal cooker and promotes Icelandic artists on the walls of the cafe.

    “The greenhouse project at Fri∂heimar uses both borehole water and geothermal energy to grow tomatoes and cucumbers to sell as produce and to use in making tomato jam, sauces and salsas, as well as tomato soup served in their cafe.

    “The dairy farm at Efsti-Dalur, also on the Golden Circle route, is a family business which has been operating for 32 years. In addition to 220,000 litres of milk for sale, they produce 15,000 litres of milk for their own use, which they turn into skyr, butter and ice cream for sale on site. 10 years ago, in response to visitors asking to sleep in their barn, the family opened a small guest house. The tourism side of the business has grown from there to include a coffee shop and restaurant serving home cooked local and home grown produce.

    “In June, they opened an ice-cream parlour which is just the other side of the wall from the cow byre. Visitors can look directly through a window at the cows which produce the milk for the ice cream. The family is also enthusiastic about, and keen to share, the musical traditions of Iceland; whenever possible, guests are treated to traditional Icelandic tunes played on the flute and/or accordion as an audio aperitif!

    “The visit provided a fascinating insight into how food producers and visitor attractions are taking Iceland’s traditions, the natural geothermal phenomena and local ingredients to create food and drink experiences which are rooted in the local landscape and history”. 

    Register for FREE updates from Experiencing Scotland

    Experiencing Scotland offers a range of free communications designed to highlight the benefits of offering Scottish food & drink. To register contact Scottish Enterprise, Tel: 0845 607 8787 or email enquiries@scotent.co.uk 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 13 August 2013

    Teams for tenth anniversary Tour of Britain announced

    The tenth anniversary Tour of Britain will enjoy its biggest ever field, with 114 riders from 19 teams starting the 2013 Tour in Peebles next month.

    Almost half of the field will have raced in Grand Tours during the 2013 season, with Tour de France winners Sky Pro Cycling heading the world-class line-up that also includes a further four UCI Pro Teams from the sport’s World Tour, plus Milan San Remo winning team MTN Qhubeka.

    While a number of teams will be familiar to Tour of Britain spectators, three teams will make their debuts in Britain’s biggest professional cycle race.  Two teams new to the sport, IAM Cycling and Madison Genesis, ride The Tour, while the longstanding Movistar squad from Spain will ride The Tour of Britain for the first time this September.

    “This year’s Tour of Britain will have a world-class line-up bringing a number of international stars to race on British roads, while at the same time allowing our top domestic teams and a Great Britain squad to race on the biggest stage possible for them,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.

    “The make-up of teams will provide another exciting and unpredictable Tour from a racing perspective, whether you are watching at the roadside or at home on the live television coverage.”

    The complete list of teams for the 2013 Tour of Britain can be found below.

    UCI Pro Teams

    Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita)

    Garmin - Sharp (USA)

    Movistar (Spa)

    Omega Pharma - Quick Step (Bel)

    Sky Pro Cycling (GBr)

    UCI Pro Continental Teams

    Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox (Ita)

    IAM Cycling (Swi)

    MTN Qhubeka p.b Samsung (RSA)

    Sojasun (Fra)

    Team NetApp Endura (Ger)

    UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA)

    UCI Continental Teams

    AN Post Chain Reaction (Irl)

    Madison Genesis (GBr)

    Node4 Giordana Racing (GBr)

    Rapha Condor JLT (GBr)

    Team IG Sigma Sport (GBr)

    Team Raleigh (GBr)

    Team UK Youth (GBr)

    National Teams

    Great Britain (GBr)

    The Tour of Britain gets underway in Peebles in the Scottish Borders on Sunday 15th September, finishing in the centre of London eight days later on Sunday 22nd September, with live coverage in the UK on ITV4 and British Eurosport.

    Amateur cyclists wishing to be a part of the Grand Depart weekend can join in The Tour Ride Scotland on Saturday 14th September, taking on 50 and 100-mile Rides between Peebles and Drumlanrig Castle.  To find out more and to register, please visit www.thetour.co.uk/tourride

    Category: International Events

  • 12 August 2013

    The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen's baton relay - reveal!

    The Queen’s Baton Relay is the curtain-raiser to the XX Commonwealth Games. After visiting 71 nations and territories over 288 days it will meet the finish line at the Opening Ceremony of the Games on 23 July 2014 in Glasgow, where Her Majesty The Queen’s message to the Commonwealth will be read aloud.

    What will the baton look like? Where did the inspiration come from?

    The full story will be revealed over the next seven exciting days! Information and clues building up to a momentous baton relay will be rolled out for a big reveal on Friday 16 August!

    Teaser films and articles about the relay will start to appear from Monday 12 August 2013 at: www.glasgow2014.com/baton-relay

    Ensure you’re in the know by following our social media updates – giving away many intriguing clues throughout the week - on Facebook and Twitter, and if you tweet about the reveal, make sure you use #BatonRelay

    Category: International Events

  • 12 August 2013

    Spectators from 75 countries will attend The 2014 Ryder Cup as ballot closes

    People in 75 countries around the world will today receive news that their ticket application for The 2014 Ryder Cup was successful as the ballot for the event closes. Tickets will be posted to the lucky ballot winners next year.

    Ryder Cup Europe has confirmed that final stage applications for tickets were up 38 per cent compared to the 2010 event at Celtic Manor in Wales, and more countries are represented in the final allocation than ever before.

    The highly sought-after tickets contain several security measures, including the photograph of the buyer and a unique barcode, in an effort to prevent transfer and fraud. Organisers will warn successful applicants not to attempt to re-sell their ticket, and will be informing those who were unsuccessful in the ballot to avoid ticket reselling websites as the security measures all but eliminate the possibility of ticket transfers.

    Around one in three (37%) spectators will be based in Scotland, where the event is being held. The top ten countries with ticket allocations to The 2014 Ryder Cup are:

    1. UK & Ireland

    2. USA

    3. Germany

    4. Canada

    5. The Netherlands

    6. Italy

    7. Australia

    8. Sweden

    9. France

    10. Denmark

    Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills, said: “The Ryder Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events and attracts a global audience. In Europe the host nation stands to gain substantially from holding a Ryder Cup, as we will see in Scotland, when people from 75 different countries will travel to Gleneagles especially for the event.

    “As well as introducing a new system to the balloting process – which has enabled us to guarantee as high a number of unique visits to the event as possible – we have also conducted an extensive PR and awareness campaign in relation to the process, not only in the host nation, but also across Europe and the rest of the world.

    “This is an important consideration for ensuring a high economic impact for the hosts, but it is also a balancing act as, naturally, we want to ensure that those local to the event also get a chance to enjoy it.

    Sport Minister Shona Robison said: “The record demand for tickets and the appetite to travel to Scotland for The 2014 Ryder Cup illustrates exactly why we have worked so hard to bring the event to the Home of Golf. The Ryder Cup is a truly international event which will showcase Scotland in all its glory, as well as bringing many lasting benefits to our country but it is also heartening to see such strong interest from the people of Scotland. Scots have embraced the Ryder Cup being played on their own doorstep and I am delighted there will be such a strong home presence in the crowds at Gleneagles in September 2014.”

    Ryder Cup Europe has also announced that interest in Practice Day tickets, when spectators can not only watch the teams put the finishing touches to their preparations, but also take in a Friendship Match between Junior Ryder Cup players and enjoy an interactive fun zone at the tented village, is ahead of expectations.

    Edward Kitson, Match Director for The 2014 Ryder Cup, commented: “Practice Days are becoming increasingly popular as a family event – kids can come for just £10 and you still get the opportunity to watch the world’s best golfers on course and savour the unique Ryder Cup atmosphere.”

    www.rydercup2014.com

    Category: International Events

  • 05 August 2013

    Book now for our free seminar, Events in the Digital World, 11th September

    Our second free seminar of 2013 will explore how to plan and promote your event in an ever-evolving technological landscape. Taking place at Summerhall, the former Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh - the venue is now a creative hub for the arts with studio and workshop spaces.

    Keynote speaker Stephen Whitelaw will explore the 'Future of the Web', taking you on a live, interactive and in-depth tour into the future of the numerous web and internet technologies. It will explain how you can exploit, at a low cost, these new and emerging technologies to your organisations advantage saving you time and money and enabling you to better understand and measure the effectiveness of your digital assets.

    Stephen has over 25 years experience within the technology sector, and has delivered keynotes and workshops on digital marketing strategies & social media to some of the largest corporations in the world including both Google and Microsoft.

    The session will continue with Jenny Mungall, Senior Account Director at Material, Glasgow of which clients include DF Concerts and Edinburgh International Festival. Jenny will be sharing her experience of developing a digital strategy from scratch for Vital Festival - Belfast's equivilent to T in The Park, as well as providing some helpful tips.

    Events should be aware of the threats of digital communication as well as effectively using the social media to manage negative situations. Lisa Murray, Intelligence and Analysis Trainer at Scottish Police College will discuss how to best protect your event reputation.

    Finally, it is integral for events to work in partnership to further reach audiences. Alex Crawley from Glasgow International Comedy Festival will be showing how they have activated partner digital channels to successfully grow attendances for an event described by the Times as 'An impressive piece of programming...who knew Glasgow in March was such a cheerful place to be?'

    The session will end with a panel session with the opportunity for delegates to ask questions, followed by a light lunch and networking.

    Don't forget to tweet using #Planfordigital

    Presened by EventScotland in association with Scottish Events & Festivals Association (SEFA).  

    To reserve your free place now go here.

    Category: Industry News

  • 31 July 2013

    Volunteering call for Tour of Britain

    Be part of the tenth anniversary edition of The Tour of Britain this September by signing up to volunteer.

    Volunteers will receive a goody bag containing items from Tour partners as well as getting to be an integral part of the event.

    In addition to starts and finishes, volunteers are required at all SKODA King of the Mountain climbs and Yodel sprints hotspots. Here you could be asked to help out as course marshals, man crossing points, help with the running of team parking, spectator liaison and conducting spectator surveys amongst other things.

    "We'd like to publicly thank all those who volunteer to be part of both The Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Tour of Britain" said Race Director Mick Bennett. "Without volunteers, events like these and other cycle races in the UK simply couldn't happen."

    Should you wish to volunteer for the event visit www.thetour.co.uk/volunteer to be redirected to our volunteer registration page.

    Once you have registered and your registration has been accepted (bear with us, this may take a few days) you will receive an email telling you that your application has been successful. Once you have received this mail you will be able to select which stages or rounds you would like to volunteer for.

    Category: International Events

  • 29 July 2013

    Tickets on sale for Glasgow European Open 2013

    Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 Glasgow European Open, with prices starting from just £7.50 for concessions and £15 for adults.

    The 2013 Glasgow European Open takes place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on the 19th - 20th October 2013 and sees British Judo's top male athletes take on some of the best judoka in Europe across two days of non-stop action.

    Visit: www.britishjudo.org.uk/glasgow2013 for details.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 July 2013

    Another Bumper Year for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    Organisers of the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival have cause to celebrate with a dram or two – the event generated almost £1.65 million for the local economy, attracted 32,000 visits to events, and saw an increase of 30% in ticket sales.

    A report released by the Festival shows that the five-day event, which ran from May 2-6, also benefited from a rise in the number of international visitors and an increase in repeat visitors.

    An expanded programme resulted in 370 events taking place across a larger area, with the festival extending south into Aviemore for the first time and securing its position as one of the leading whisky festivals in the world.

    Festival chairman James Campbell said: “We are delighted with this year’s figures, which have seen a significant increase in the economic impact of the festival on Moray and Speyside. The festival generated almost £1.65 million to the local economy, an increase of 12% on 2012, with 78% of visitors staying overnight in the Moray Speyside area.”

    There was a marked increase in visitors from the USA and Canada, and visitors also travelled from as far afield as Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Scandinavian visitors continued to represent the keenest Speyside whisky fans who were attracted by the exceptional choice of whisky-based events and activities.

    “We certainly know our visitors enjoyed themselves, almost 100% of our visitors said they were ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ with their Festival experience, enjoying the atmosphere, hospitality, friendliness, expert knowledge and, this year in particular, the weather,” added Mr Campbell.

    Festival manager, Mary Hemsworth, was equally positive about the impact of this year’s event.  She said: “Year after year the Festival continues to attract visitors from around the globe, with many having attended five or more times.

    “Encouragingly, a large percentage of visitors this year were experiencing the Festival for the first time. Hopefully they found the Festival as enjoyable and welcoming as our many loyal and regular visitors, and will come back to join in the festivities with us next year in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2014.”

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Market Research and Festival Evaluation 2013 report found that the festival showcased the very best of the area’s culture, history, landscape and people and with over 370 events running throughout the five days.

    Some of the most popular events on this year’s Festival programme included the Whisky Awards Judging and Awards Lunch and the Opening Dinner, as well as the highly regarded and exclusive three-day Whisky School where enthusiasts learned about the science, art and folklore of the whisky industry at the historic Knockando Distillery.

    Next year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is one of the key events in Homecoming 2014 and will kick off Whisky Month. The celebration, which will run throughout May, will get underway in the Speyside region before taking in other whisky events across Scotland. The event programme and tickets will go live on the festival website early next year.

    Category: International Events

  • 24 July 2013

    The world’s largest gymnastics event is coming to Glasgow in 2015

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships take place in Glasgow, from 23 October–1 November 2015, bringing together more than 500 gymnasts from over 80 countries around the world, for ten days of exhilarating competition in a stunning new arena, The Hyrdro.

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships was awarded to Glasgow by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). The event will be delivered in partnership by British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council, with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland.

    The world will be watching. You can be there.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 July 2013

    Five Golden Facts about the Glasgow 2014 Ticketing Guide

    1. The first Gold of the Games will be in the Women’s Triathlon on Thursday 24 July at Strathclyde
    Country Park.

    2. The first ever Mixed Triathlon Team Relay Gold medal will be awarded on Saturday 26 July
    while the first ever Women’s Boxing Commonwealth Gold medals will be decided on 2 August.

    3. The 100m Finals (Men’s and Women’s) will take place on the evening of Monday 28 July at
    Hampden Stadium.

    4. Saturday 2 August will be a jam-packed with Gold medal action, with 34 Gold medals up for
    grabs in Aquatics (Diving) Athletics, Boxing, Hockey, Squash, Table Tennis and Powerlifting.

    5. Tour de Force: The Men’s and Women’s Road Races will speed through the streets of Glasgow on Sunday 3 August, starting in Glasgow Green and passing by iconic locations on a lapped course across the city of Glasgow towards the West End before returning for a sprint finish at Glasgow Green on the last lap.

    Key highlights of the Ticketing Guide -

    Aquatics: Diving

    Don’t miss the finals of the Men’s 10m Platform event on the evening of Saturday 2 August

    Aquatics: Swimming

    With nail-biting finishes that’ll leave you breathless the first night of Swimming finals take place on Thursday 24 July with the Men’s 200m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle and Women’s 400m Individual Medley.

    The evening Sunday 29 July features medal events in the Men’s 50m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley.

    Athletics

    The Men’s and Women’s 100m Final will take place on the evening of Monday 28 July at Hampden Stadium.

    Wednesday 30 July – The Heptathlon comes to a close.

    The finals of the Men’s 200m, 800m and the 400m Hurdles, and the Para-Sport 1500m T-54 all take place on Thursday 31 July.

    Badminton

    Gold medal matches in Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, as well as the Mixed Doubles Final will take place on Sunday 3 August.

    Boxing

    Saturday is Finals day. All Men’s and Women’s finals will take place on Saturday 2 August.

    Cycling

    Friday night inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. On Friday 25 July the medal- races for the Men’s Para-Sport 1000m Time Trial B Tandem and Men’s Sprint will take place, while the women will battle it out for Gold in the 3000m Individual Pursuit.

    The streets of Glasgow will be packed on both Thursday 31 July for the Men’s and Women’s Individual Time Trial races and on Sunday 3 August for the Men’s and Women’s Road Races.

    Gymnastics

    The Men’s and Women’s Individual All-Around finals will take place on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 30 July. The poise, strength and agility of the best gymnasts in the Commonwealth will be on display, not to be missed.

    Hockey

    Going for Gold on Glasgow Green. The Women’s Bronze and Gold medal matches will take place on the evening of Saturday 2 August. Men’s Bronze and Gold medal matches begin the following morning on the final day of the Games on Sunday 3 August.

    Judo

    The SECC will come to its feet on the evenings of July 24, 25 and 26 July. Get involved, add your voice, increase the volume and experience the Gold medals up for grabs every night acrpss every weight category.

    Lawn Bowls

    Kelvingrove will be the centre of attention on Friday 1 August as Men’s (Fours and Singles) and Women’s (Pairs) Lawn Bowls Gold and Bronze medal matches take place.

    Netball

    The best of the best in the Commonwealth will meet on Sunday 3 August for the Gold and Bronze medal Netball matches.

    Shooting

    Tuesday 29 July is the final day of Shooting at Barry Buddon Shooting Centre and will see Finals in the Men’s Trap 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions and the Open Queen’s Prize Individual events.

    Squash

    All eyes will be on the best Squash players in the Commonwealth as they battle it out inside a glass-walled - court in Singles medal matches on Monday 28 July.

    Table Tennis

    It’s going to be a super Saturday at Scotstoun Sports Campus on August 2 as the finals of the Mixed Doubles, Men’s Singles and Women’s Doubles matches are contested.

    Triathlon

    The Individual Triathlon events take place on Thursday 24 July. Also look out for the Triathlon Mixed Team Relay race taking place at Strathclyde Country Park on Saturday 26 July. It’s a first for the Commonwealth Games and is sure to be a captivating spectacle.

    Weightlifting / Powerlifting

    The Clyde Auditorium will play host to finals on every night of competition, with the Women’s 48kg taking place on Thursday 24 July and the Men’s +105kg final on Thursday 31 July.

    Wrestling

    The first Glasgow 2014 Wrestling medals will be decided on Tuesday 29 July at the SECC Precinct. Don’t miss Gold and Bronze medal matches in the Men’s Freestyle 55kg, 74kg and 120kg and Women’s Freestyle 48kg and 72kg.

    Rugby Sevens

    A weekend of non-stop, fast paced Rugby Sevens action at Ibrox Stadium will culminate in the Gold and Bronze medal matches on the evening of Sunday 27 July.

    Ticket prices start at £15 for all sports, with half-price tickets for under 16s and over 60s. Two thirds of all sports tickets are £25 or under and there are no booking fees for any tickets. The ticket price also includes public transport in the local area on the day of the sports session. For more information go to www.glasgow2014.com/tickets.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 July 2013

    ONE photographic moment kicks off Scotland's Commonwealth Games year to go celebration

    Dramatic imagery from some of Scotland’s most famous views took on a quirky ONE-off look to celebrate today’s historic ‘One Year to Go’ milestone for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    From the bleak beauty of Glen Etive (which provided the memorable backdrop to the last Bond movie, Skyfall) to the breathtaking elegance of the Edinburgh skyline, the message that Glasgow and Scotland are counting down to the biggest sporting occasion in the nation’s history was writ large in the landscape – with a 16ft inflatable number one.

    A series of nine portraits were commissioned by Glasgow 2014, each capturing a different aspect of the home nation for next summer’s Commonwealth Games – from its natural beauty, historic landmarks, iconic sporting fields of play or its connections with the Games themselves.

    The images will be shared across 71 nations and territories as Commonwealth Games Associations from Tuvalu to Tanzania to mark the date in exactly one year’s time on which a spectacular Opening Ceremony will officially launch the start of a great sporting occasion for 4,500 of the world’s top athletes.

    In Glasgow today the major milestone is set to be marked in celebratory style with a series of magical and fun moments involving top athletes, thousands of people across the city and the nation  and led by Glasgow 2014 Ambassador and six-time Olympian and double Commonwealth Gold medal winner, Sir Chris Hoy.

    Sir Chris is set to start the day by hosting a people’s bike challenge and a Breakfast of Champions in the middle of the city’s main shopping zone, Buchanan Street. Glasgow 2014’s cheeky mascot Clyde will also take to the streets to join dancers, musicians and street performers in showcasing how vibrant the city will feel at Games time. 

    At the heart of the day’s action will be the unveiling of the Glasgow 2014 Official Ticketing Guide – the route to up to one million seats at the heart of the Games live action, across 17 sports. The Ticketing Guide, featuring stunning athletic imagery from across the sports programme sets out full details of how everyone can be part of an accessible and affordable Commonwealth Games.

    Ticket prices start at £15 for all sports, with half-price tickets for under 16s and over 60s. Two thirds of all sports tickets are £25 or under and there are no booking fees for any tickets. The ticket price also includes public transport in the local area on the day of the sports session.

    Commenting on the milestone moment Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: “Today marks an important moment in the journey towards the biggest sporting and cultural festival Glasgow and Scotland has ever hosted.

    “With one year to go, the Organising Committee is making great strides towards our ultimate goal of delivering an outstanding Games for the athletes of the Commonwealth.

    “I’m delighted to see how the city and the nation are getting set to welcome the world to enjoy our landscape, our friendship and truly great international sport.”

    Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Just as these wonderful images show off some of the most iconic parts of Scotland, athletes across the length and breadth of the country are training hard and competing to the best of their ability, to secure their place on Team Scotland and realise their dream of competing in a home Commonwealth Games.

    “In exactly one year’s time Team Scotland’s athletes will be ready to go up against the best in the Commonwealth and make their mark at the biggest international sporting event to come to these shores. We urge the public to support them in their quest for success at Glasgow 2014.”

    Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “A great deal of hard work has been invested since Glasgow was announced as the 2014 host city. Over the next 12 months, the pride and excitement of hosting these Games will continue to grow as the venues and village are made ready and our volunteers are trained.

    “People across Scotland, and the world, will now start planning their journey to witness the biggest international sporting event our country has ever hosted. As these iconic images show, Scotland has a great deal to offer our welcome visitors.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said “The milestone of One Year To Go until the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games means an even greater level of anticipation as we all get ready for the greatest event to be staged in the city.  Like so many others, I am really looking forward to welcoming many of the world’s greatest athletes to the city next summer, as well as the huge number of visitors who will come to see the Games. 

    “The work by the council and our partners to prepare for the Games has gone exceptionally well so far and I am confident that we will host the best Games ever held.  The preparations for 2014 have already left a legacy for Glasgow in so many ways and I am sure we will look back on an unforgettable event that transformed not just Glasgow but how the city is seen by the world.”

    Mike Hooper, Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive said: “Glasgow 2014 is now well placed not just to deliver a great Games with world-class competition, but also to leave a great legacy to the Scottish people. I wish Glasgow well as we enter the final year of preparations and testing and as Scotland prepares to welcome visitors from across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

    Category: International Events

  • 22 July 2013

    Scottish Event Awards 2013: Finalists Revealed

    Nominations for this year's Scottish Event Awards, in association with EventScotland, have now been revealed.

    The awards are the only annual scheme that reward and celebrate all areas of the thriving events industry in Scotland. Now in its sixth year, The Scottish Event Awards are going from strength-to-strength with event organisers, promoters, in house-teams, venues and suppliers all entering the awards.

    This year has seen an overall increase in entrants, with new events appearing across the board from all over Scotland.  Edinburgh Corn Exchange and Deadinburgh lead the way with six and five nominations each, respectively. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Scottish Event Awards recognise the best of the industry and you can see from this year’s nominations that there is breadth and depth in the quality of event properties and organisers in Scotland just now. Events are hugely important for Scotland in attracting both domestic and international tourists, which in turn has a significant impact on our visitor economy. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and I am looking forward to September when we will celebrate Scotland’s best events and look forward to 2014 when we welcome the world to Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup.”

    All the finalists can be viewed on the Scottish Event Awards website – www.scottisheventawards.net/nominations

    This year’s judging panel was chaired by Jan Booth from Sunbaba.  Joining Jan was Tina Benson from ‘Team Tactics’ and Clare Savory from Great Ormond Street Hospital.  The full list of Judges can be seen on our website – www.scottisheventawards.net/judges

    The results will be revealed at the gala awards ceremony being held on Thursday 26th September at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.  Tickets are now available on our website, so visit www.scottisheventawards.net/book for more details

    The event promises to be a great evening, celebrating the best within the Scottish Events Industry.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Category: Industry News

  • 22 July 2013

    Look out for Peter Liversidge’s Flags for Edinburgh, flying across Edinburgh’s rooftops this August

    (Photograph by Stuart Armitt)   

    Look out for Peter Liversidge’s Flags for Edinburgh, flying across Edinburgh’s rooftops this August.

    In a city which doubles in size in August, Peter Liversidge’s proposal invites Edinburgh, visitors and residents alike, to join in a collective and universal greeting. In the artist’s own words, “a simple welcome across the rooftops. A buoyant, floating ‘hello’".

    Liversidge’s white flags, bearing the text HELLO, will be situated throughout the city centre on flag poles such as those belonging to the Scottish National Gallery, Camera Obscura, City Chambers, the National Museum of Scotland and Summerhall.

    Flags have long been used as a means to communicate – to assert ownership, admit defeat, display allegiance, or indeed request a parley, to drawn on the military use of the term. Liversidge’s project reminds us that in its simplest sense, the flag too is a form of hello, ‘a greeting, an indication of intent be that benevolent or with malice.’

    Part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival programme of commissions, titled Parley, these white flags will be flying for the duration of this year’s festival (1 August - 1 September). 

    Read more >>

    Category: International Events

  • 19 July 2013

    Catriona Matthew Competes Against Hickory Golf Champion to Launch World Hickory Open 2013

    Caption: Catriona Matthew and Rick Valentine at Montrose Links, host of the World Hickory Open 2013.
    Credit: Photo courtesy of www.carnoustiecountry.com

    The British Open may be grabbing the headlines – but it’s not the only international golf tournament making the news. To launch the World Hickory Open 2013, on Thursday, 18 July, two top golfers from the worlds of women’s golf and hickory golf battled it out across three holes on Montrose Golf Links, where golf has been played for over 450 years.

    The World Hickory Open 2013, which takes place in Montrose on 1st and 2nd of October, is one of the main events in the inaugural Carnoustie Country Golf Festival, which is being held this autumn. To launch this high profile, international event, Carnoustie Country Ambassador Catriona Matthew, one of the main contenders at the Ricoh Women’s British Open next month, competed in a mini hickory golf tournament against the current World Hickory Open champion, Rick Valentine.

    Catriona swapped her state-of-the-art golf clubs for hickory-shafted golf clubs which are exact replicas of those used 100 years ago and, in keeping with the spirit of the World Hickory Open, wore a golfing outfit similar to those worn by lady golfers in the early 20th century. “Until today, I had no experience whatsoever of hickory golf but it was great fun,” said Catriona.

    “I was intrigued to discover just how different the whole experience is from the golf that we play today and how much golf equipment – and golfing attire - has advanced over the last century.”

    After three hotly-contested holes across Montrose Medal, the Carnoustie Country course which will host the World Hickory Open 2013, Rick Valentine narrowly beat Catriona. “Right up until the end, it was very close,” said Rick, who is Director of Golf at Loretto School in Musselburgh. “Catriona played fantastically well and I only just sneaked in as a result of the penalty Catriona incurred at the last hole.”

    As the winner of last year’s World Hickory Open, which was held on Monifieth Medal and Carnoustie Burnside, Rick is returning to Montrose in October to defend his title. “I hope today’s result bodes well for the 2013 championship,” said Rick, whose grandmother, Jessie Valentine, was one of Britain’s top lady golfers from the 1930s right through to the 1950s. “Playing hickory golf anywhere is special but it will be fantastic to once again compete in Carnoustie Country, home to so many of Scotland’s greatest and oldest golf courses.”

    The World Hickory Open 2013 is a two-day event played across 36 holes of Montrose Medal. This is the tournament’s ninth year and organiser Lionel Freedman, co-founder and Director of the World Hickory Open, explained that, as a result of the success of the World Hickory Open’s move to Carnoustie Country in 2012, a couple of additional events have been added to the programme.

    “We’re definitely making the most of being located in the cradle of golf, where there are an almost unbelievable 30 golf courses within a forty minute drive of Carnoustie Championship,” said Lionel.

    The World Hickory Open 2013 is for amateur and professional golfers, with categories for individuals and teams. “Well over 100 competitors and 40 teams are expected to attend this year’s tournament,” said Lionel. “We’ve already had entries from as far afield as America, Australia and South Africa, with many entrants joining us for the first time.”

    Entry to the 2013 World Hickory Open costs £250 per golfer. This includes an optional warm-up round on Monifieth Medal, two rounds on Montrose Medal during the tournament, the possibility of a place in the Ryder Cup style competition that will be played at Arbroath on Thursday, 3rd October, hire of hickory-shafted clubs and the gala prizegiving dinner.

    “Places are still available in this year’s World Hickory Open,” added Lionel. “Experience of hickory golf is not necessary and neither is wearing period golfing gear, although most of our competitors agree that this is the perfect finishing touch.”

    To find out more about the World Hickory Open 2013, or to download an entry form, visit www.worldhickoryopen.com. To find out more about Carnoustie Country and its golf courses, including ‘stay and play’ packages, visit www.carnoustiecountry.com, ‘like’ the Carnoustie Country Facebook page or follow Carnoustie Country on Twitter.

    Category: Industry News

  • 19 July 2013

    Free shuttle bus for spectators heading to the 2013 british mountain bike cross country championships

    This weekend the best Mountain Bike Cross Country athletes from across Britain will head to Cathkin Braes Country Park with the hopes of clinching the British National Championship titles on the 2014 Commonwealth Games course. Around 500 competitors will compete in six races over the two days, testing the newly built course and determining National Champions in 18 categories. 

    Olympic and Commonwealth Games athlete and 5 times British Champion Liam Killeen, XC Eliminator World Cup winner Kenta Gallagher and Scottish Champion Lee Craigie lead a world class field of athletes at the 2013 British Cycling National Mountain Bike Cross Country Championships this weekend. 

    For those attending Glasgow City Council will be providing a FREE SPT spectator shuttle Bus system. The shuttle will be running from Hampden Transport Hub on Aikenhead Road to the Championship event village at Cathkin Braes every 15 minutes with a drop off/ pick up point at Kings Park rail station. 

    Alternatively for those that want to ride to the event there is a designated Bike Park (remember your bike lock).

    All championship races will take place on Sunday 21st July with Under 12, Under 10, Under 8, Sport, Open and Fun races taking place on Saturday 20th July. On the day entry is still available for all races taking place on Saturday.

    For more information please visit www.scottishcycling.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 19 July 2013

    Get your group on at The Tour Ride sportives

    Organisers of The Tour Ride sportives are targeting groups, teams and cycling clubs to take part in this September’s rides in Stoke-on-Trent and Scotland.

    In addition to enjoying a discount for groups, organisers are creating two special awards to be given away to teams in both The Tour Ride Stoke-on-Trent, on Sunday 1st September, and The Tour Ride Scotland, on Saturday 14th September.

    There will be a prize for the most stylish team or group entrants at this September’s Tour Rides, the official sportives of The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race.

    The ‘Panache Trophy’ will be awarded at each Tour Ride to the group or team of riders who take part in the sportive whilst showing the most style.  The prize will be judged by Tour Ride organisers with the aim of encouraging team spirit in a fun and creative way.

    The Tour Ride ‘Team Award’ will also be presented to the club, group or team who enter the most riders into either the Stoke-on-Trent or Scottish Tour Rides.

    Groups can also claim a free sixth place for every five places purchased in a Tour Ride.  To take up this offer groups should email ride@thetour.co.uk for more information.

    The Tour Ride Stoke-on-Trent returns for a fifth successive year on Sunday 1st September.  Starting and finishing from Trentham Gardens, a choice of 50 and 100-mile routes through the Staffordshire Moorlands are available, both of which include the famous climb of Gun Hill.

    The Scottish Tour Ride takes place the day before Stage One of The Tour of Britain, giving amateur cyclists the chance to take part in their own ride over 100-miles from Peebles to Drumlanrig Castle.

    A 50-mile Challenge Ride starting and finishing from Drumlanrig Castle gives riders wanting a shorter ride the chance to join in the Grand Depart celebrations.  Riders on both routes will enjoy the professional experience and support from Tour of Britain partners, while finishing beneath The Tour of Britain finish gantry that will welcome the conclusion of Stage One 24-hours later.

    For more information and to sign-up, visit www.thetour.co.uk/tourride 

    British Cycling members can claim £5 off entry to either The Tour Ride sportive by entering via the British Cycling entry system, found at www.britishcycling.org.uk/sportives

    Category: National Events

  • 19 July 2013

    The circus comes to Scotstoun for 2014 Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s

    After the fun of the 2013 Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s movie fancy dress theme the organisers of the penultimate leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series event have opted for something quite different next year - but something that will still test supporters' creativity.

    For the 2014 event it will be a circus theme on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 May at Scotstoun Stadium, with fans, young and old alike, encouraged to turn up as their favourite, most extravagant big top characters.

    As ever there will be prizes to be won for the best-dressed supporters and a lap of honour around the stadium bowl for all those dressed up.

    Scottish Rugby’s Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs, Dominic McKay, said: “With the Commonwealth Games shortly after our HSBC Sevens World Series event and sevens being one of the core sports in the games, the world will be looking to Scotstoun Stadium in May.

    “Fancy dress has always gone down well at Scotstoun for the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s and is synonymous to the game of sevens throughout the world, be it in Wellington, Hong Kong, Dubai or here at home.

    “After the Glasgow 7s this year we went out to fans and asked them what themes they wanted to have at our next event and we received an overwhelming response and range of ideas.

    “We went for the circus theme because it will once again allow us to dress the stadium to suit the flavour of the event and offer lots of circus styled entertainment and prizes off the pitch.

    “It’s also a theme we believe can be worked to suit supporters of all ages and from all walks of life, from stag and hen dos to a family day out.”

    Scotland 7s head coach, Stephen Gemmell, said: “There has been a wonderful atmosphere at Scotstoun the last two years for the sevens with so many people dressing up and buying into our different themes for the two tournaments.

    “Hopefully, the circus style fancy dress will be another opportunity for fans to get behind the theme and create a fun party atmosphere in the stadium, that continues to make Scotstoun a great venue for international sevens.”

    After securing their core status at the London 7s last May, Scotland 7s will compete in the nine HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments once again this year and will be the host nation at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s.

    Their first HSBC Sevens World Series tournament of the year, will be on Australia’s Gold Coast on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2013.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 July 2013

    Tickets now on sale for UK's largest winter festival

    Unique Events and Underbelly yesterday announced show and ticket details for an exciting new look to Edinburgh’s winter festive season.

    Underbelly and Unique Events have also announced that the Paradiso Spiegeltent will be at the heart of this year’s Christmas celebrations, situated in St Andrew's Square from 23 November to 5 January. And winter in Edinburgh is about to get hotter as we welcome international hit show: Limbo!

    “A high-octane blend of dance, circus, sideshow and live music" (Observer)

    Initially created for the Adelaide Festival, LIMBO! comes directly to Edinburgh from a six month run at Underbelly's award winning London Wonderground Festival at Southbank Centre where it is playing until the end of September to capacity audiences and to massive critical acclaim.

    LIMBO! is an exotic, illogical world of mind-bending illusions, breathless dance and soaring live music from a coterie of highly skilled international performers. A truly unique experience for Christmas, suitable for all ages from 12+

    Tickets for LIMBO! Are on sale today www.edinburghschristmas.com

    The Paradiso Spiegeltent will also feature some of the finest family entertainment to be had this Christmas in Edinburgh, including: Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs from Nov 23 – Dec 15 and Red Riding Hood from Dec 17 – Jan 5.

    The full Edinburgh's Christmas programme will be announced in early September.

    Tickets are also on-sale to celebrate the first 21 years of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with a spectacular three-day programme of free and ticketed events. ‘Scotland’s Year Starts Here’, with the new-look Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, Concert in the Gardens and The Keilidh, where 80,000 people from over 60 countries will bring in the New Year and launch the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

    For the first time Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will offer our local audience with a limited ‘EH Postcode’ ticket for the Street Party. The EH Postcode Ticket allows EH postcode residents the opportunity to purchase tickets for a reduced price of £16 + bf, a saving of £4 per ticket.

    Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “2014 is going to be a very big year for Scotland and it will start with the UK’s largest winter festival.  Our plans for the launch of this special year will be announced later as will the artists for our five music stages in and around Princes Street together with the major headliners at the Concert in the Gardens.  We will rival the summer music festivals.  Demand for tickets for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is already high, and we’re happy to be able to offer an early-bird ticket specifically to EH postcodes for the first time.”

    Full details of all the events can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com and the full line up of acts for the Street Party and Concert in the Gardens will be announced in the autumn.

    Steve Cardownie, Festivals & Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council, said “This year’s Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations are shaping up to be an exciting new take on Edinburgh’s traditional festive activities. The events held in the Capital always prove hugely popular, drawing in tens of thousands of people from across the world and 2013/14 is set to be no different. I know everyone will be looking forward to a programme that will enhance Edinburgh’s reputation as the place to be at Christmas and Hogmanay.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of our signature events each year and the new collaboration with Underbelly looks set to make the festival bigger and better this year as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014.”

    Revellers can purchase tickets for all the Christmas events at www.edinburghschristmas.com or by calling into the Christmas Box Office at The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh and for all Hogmanay events 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.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 17 July 2013

    Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme unveiled as nationwide celebration

    The Organising Committee of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games yesterday launched its official Cultural Programme and unveiled the new brand that will promote the year-long countdown of events.

    Designed by internationally-acclaimed Scottish artist Jim Lambie, the brand draws inspiration from the famous star-clad façade of Glasgow’s legendary east end venue, the Barrowland Ballroom and utilises Lambie’s characteristic approach to line, colour and popular culture.

    The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme will be a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors.  Running from the ‘One Year to Go’ milestone in July 2013 until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

    The programme will feature theatre, dance, music, visual arts, comedy and multi-media; intimate shows and outdoor spectaculars; work in theatres, community centres, on bicycles, by rivers, in botanic gardens, art galleries, cinemas, public spaces and much more.

    There are two strands to the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme – itself a collaboration between the Organising Committee, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life. These are:

    • Culture 2014 will kick off this year and is the Scotland-wide cultural countdown to the Games, extending beyond the Closing Ceremony. Many events will happen from mid-June to tie-in with the Queen’s Baton Relay – the global precursor to the Games – as Scotland’s towns and communities celebrate as the baton passes through.

    • Festival 2014 is the massive Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action, transforming the city from 19 July to 3 August with an invigorating mix of entertainment, culture and enjoyment filling the streets, spaces and stages of Glasgow.

    Highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme include:

    • Big Big Sing - Produced by Glasgow Unesco City of Music, a range of inspiring singing events taking place across Scotland from October 2013 including 'Big Sings’, an online Commonwealth choir, and staged singing events in Glasgow during Games Time.

    • Perch - An ambitious and spectacular global performance on multiple stages high above streets in three countries - Scotland, Australia, and Brazil - Perch will utilise aerial theatre, street theatre, community participation, choirs, orchestras and media broadcast in an international collaboration by Conflux, Legs On The Wall and Lume Teatro.

    • News Just In by Random Accomplice will be a continually evolving, satirical comedy set in a fictional media office of Glasgow 2014. Described as ‘part 2012’, part ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’, it will mix live theatre, a live 'studio' audience, filmed news reports and on-line content to explore the everyday office stress of organising an international event of the size and scale of the Games.

    • Blueblock Studio - An interactive pop-up space for children aged 4 and under and their parents and carers to participate in energetic and immersive storytelling performances linked to Commonwealth values of friendship and understanding. Led by artist Katy Wilson and produced by Starcatchers, Blueblock Studio will visit communities right across Scotland.

    • Julia Donaldson Cycling Marathon – acclaimed actor and theatre maker Tam Dean Burn will undertake a marathon endeavour to travel by bicycle to locations across Scotland and read to children, over the course of his journey, all of former Childrens’ Laureate Julia Donaldson's 167 books. Best known for the phenomenally successful children's book The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson's catalogue of works includes picture books, phonic books, music books, plays, and early age books.

    Organisers are also delighted to confirm that the previously announced exhibition celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, Generation, and the first ever New Music Biennial, including performances of 20 new commissions in Glasgow on 2 – 3 August as part of Festival 2014, will become part of the official Cultural Programme along with the hugely successful country-wide initiative Get Scotland Dancing.

    Another major commission as part of Cultural programme will see a disused site nearby to the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the east end of Glasgow transformed by a public artwork.  For Making the Most of Dalmarnock, which is promoted by VELOCITY, Create London, architects Assemble and Scottish artist Ruth Ewan will work with local communities in Dalmarnock to design and construct a permanent outdoor learning and play area. 

    Scottish Opera, Louise Welsh, Tam Dean Burn, Claire Cunningham, Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan, Janice Parker, Cora Bissett, Kieran Hurley, Phil Collins, Janey Godley, the Scottish Poetry Library, the Citizens Theatre, and Barrowland Ballet are also among the artists and organisations who will take part in a programme that will be a massive part of the Games experience for spectators, residents and visitors.

    More details of all activity taking place as part of the Cultural Programme announced with key highlights today will be provided in the coming months. There will also be announcements of significant additional projects, currently being developed, which will form part of the Cultural Programme.

  • 16 July 2013

    A Course Fit for An Olympian at the Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun Town and Country Fair

    Olympic gold medalist, Captain Mark Phillips, has been announced as the new course designer for this year’s Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun International Horse Trials July 27th-28th.

    The equestrian star was part of the gold medal winning British team at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the silver medal team in Seoul in 1988 as well as experiencing success in numerous home events, including four times winner at the Badminton Horse Trials.

    Following last year’s London Olympics, Captain Phillips retired as the US Eventing team trainer after a 20-year tenure. He was also behind the design for the Gleneagles Equestrian Centre.
    Stuart Buntine, event organiser of the Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun Town and Country Fair, commented: “We are thrilled to have such an experienced international course designer on board at Hopetoun. Captain Phillips has a wealth of experience, past and present, in competing, designing and even writing, making him the perfect candidate for Hopetoun.  Having been involved in the course design of Burghley Horse Trials and the Luhmühlen Horse Trials we are all particularly excited at the prospect of his first course design in Scotland taking place at Hopetoun.”

    Mr Buntine added: “The vision is to make Hopetoun a showcase event on the Scottish equestrian calander.”

    Almost 250 riders are expected to compete over the two-day event which will see cross country, showjumping and dressage classes take part. With the support of Hopetoun, all showjumping will now take place on the West Lawn in front of Hopetoun House providing a stunning backdrop for spectators while the cross country will follow a similar route to the 2012 event which saw riders passing within meters of the House.

    Previous Olympic rider Ian Stark designed the course in 2012, putting in place a number of challenging and demanding jumps across the lawn.  The layout of the course will not alter much within the first year, however, it is hoped Captain Phillips' involvement will see the course develop to become recognised on an international level within years to come.

    Commenting on his involvement, Captain Phillips said: “As an increasingly popular event in the equestrian calendar I was flattered to be invited to Hopetoun as course designer. I am excited to be following the work of Ian Stark and look forward to creating a fast paced, exciting cross country course for all the competitors and spectators.”

    The Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun Town and Country Fair will take place in the grounds of Hopetoun House on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July. The event will celebrate the best in country living, outdoor pursuits and the thrill of the equestrian sport. A Lifestyle Shopping Village will provide a unique shopping experience for visitors plus a full programme of family entertainment.

    Tickets are priced at £15 and children under 12 go free. www.hopetountownandcountryfair.com

    Category: International Events

  • 15 July 2013

    Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government back Scottish Open until 2017

    Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government have extended their backing of the Scottish Open until 2017.
    After three years at Castle Stuart, the event will be staged at Royal Aberdeen next year before moving around some of Scotland's top links courses, with a likely return to Castle Stuart in 2016.

    The prize fund will increase from its current level of £3m to £3.25m in 2015 and 2016 and to £3.5m in 2017.

    First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said: "I am delighted that the future of the Scottish Open has been secured up until at least 2017.

    "This fantastic event has become a popular fixture on the European Tour and provides ideal preparation for some of the world's best players before the following week's Open Championship.

    "I'm proud of the Scottish Government's continuing support for this event which brings significant benefits to the whole of Scotland, both in terms of tourism and television exposure, while also providing a multi-million pound boost to the economy."

    Peter Adams, the European Tour's director of international championships, said players would be "consulted quite widely" over possible future venues.

    "We have time on our side and can go and look at courses and can also talk to the players," he said.

    "We can use that time wisely. I think there is a will to move the tournament around geographically but the decision has not been reached."

    Category: Golf

  • 12 July 2013

    Check out the Official 2013 Fringe App

    Download the Fringe app for iPhone and Android and discover the world of the Fringe at your fingertips! Go to the website to download the app or search for "Edinburgh Festival Fringe" in your phone's app store.

    The app aims to help you make the most of the Fringe, you can purchase Fringe tickets on the go, browse listings, check out exclusive deals, locate the nearest shows starting soon, navigate hundreds of venues, save favourites, share with friends and much more!

    For any questions about the Fringe app, please contact marketing@edfringe.com or phone +44 (0)131 226 0026.

    Please see www.edfringe.com/tcs for terms and conditions.

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 July 2013

    Announcement of the Youth Olympic Games 2018 Host City, today, 4 July 2013

    Today’s announcement of the host city for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018 will take place at 3.40 p.m, local time, Lausanne, or 2.40 p.m GMT. The Candidate Cities for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games are Buenos Aires (Argentina), Glasgow (Great Britain) and Medellín (Colombia).

    You will be able to follow the 2013 Extraordinary IOC Session, including the presentations of the Candidate Cities and the announcement of the host city of the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018, live today at: www.olympic.org.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 July 2013

    Coastal rowing crews gather in Scottish Highlands for inaugural World Skiff Championships

    Coastal rowing teams from all over the world are about to plot a course to Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands for the inaugural St Ayles Skiff World Championships. The event will be staged against the backdrop of the town’s picturesque Loch Broom from July 8 to 14, with 32 vessels and up to 800 competitors expected to take part.

    The championship is being run under the auspices of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, and will feature teams from Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Australia, the USA, and New Zealand.  The event, sponsored by the Ullapool Harbour Trust, Aberdeen Asset Management, Highland Council and a wide range of other partners, will be officially launched by HRH The Princess Royal.

    As well as a packed programme of racing and have-a-go sessions over the course of the week, there will be lots happening off the water too. Crews and spectators will be able to enjoy traditional music performances, attend ceilidhs, enjoy local seafoods and take part in arts and crafts sessions.

    One of the star attractions will be The Sephira – a vessel based in Pennsylvania which also doubles as a musical instrument. She is a seaworthy skiff rigged with eight long piano wires from masthead to stern, which can be plucked like a harp. The string length and resonance properties of the hull enable the notes to be played in the same frequency band as a whale song.

    St Ayles Skiffs are 22ft long wooden rowing boats crewed by four oarsmen and a coxswain. The boats were introduced by the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther in an effort to encourage a resurgence of a sport once common in coast communities.

    The skiffs are built from a kit, which means they can be put together by people with a basic level of DIY skills. As well as coming together to fund-raise to buy their own kit, community groups then build it. Group members come together from all walks of life, and most have either little or no experience in boatbuilding or rowing.

    Fiona MacDonald of the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club – one of the hosts of the event – says the Ross Shire town is the ideal location for the inaugural championships. She adds, “This will be the biggest gathering of skiffs anywhere in the UK and Loch Broom offers a spectacular setting for the first ever world championships."

    Further information about the regatta and the shore-based attractions is available at www.skiffieworlds.com

    Category: Industry News

  • 28 June 2013

    PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW as city launches new brand

    The people of Glasgow are at the heart of the new brand which will promote the city to the world. Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), introduced *PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW *as the city's new brand today (Friday, June 28) at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

    During April and May, GCMB engaged the people of Glasgow in a conversation aimed at shaping the new brand; encouraging residents, visitors and fans of the city across the globe to have their say at www.whatmakesglasgowgreat.co.uk.

    More than 1,500 people in 42 countries shared their views while the website recorded 7,000 visits. In addition, the conversation reached more than 400,000 Facebook and Twitter users worldwide.

    Councillor Matheson said: "Glasgow is a warm, welcoming and genuinely friendly city, because the people are. We're an ambitious, inventive and entrepreneurial city, because the people are. And we're a down to
    earth, to the point, no nonsense city, because the people are. We work well together, we get things done and we make things happen.

    "*PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW* reflects the Glaswegian character. It's bold, friendly, confident, and it evokes a real sense of pride. The people of Glasgow are at the heart of this brand; we have created something
    which presents a truly distinctive identity for the city and on behalf  of Glasgow I would like to warmly thank all those who gave their ideas so generously."

    Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) revealed that from the hundreds of contributions received, words such as real, smart, home, creative, bright and better came through, time and time again, when describing
    Glasgow, with some saying they were proud to call the city a home from home, or the home of invention, while others referenced Glasgow as the real face of Scotland; a city full of talented and creative people
    where the future is bright.

    Councillor Matheson said: "This has been an amazing process - it's crowd branding on a global scale. No other city has branded itself through social media and no other city-brand identifies its best asset as its people.  Over the past five weeks we have reviewed all of the contributions from Glaswegians and from across the globe. We also interviewed more than 40 of Glasgow's leaders from the private, public and academic sectors and, overwhelmingly, they told us that what makes Glasgow great is its people."

    http://www.peoplemakeglasgow.com/

  • 28 June 2013

    Bannockburn Live: A feast of food, music and history

    Medieval warriors, families, clans and history fans will be standing shoulder to shoulder this time next year at the National Trust for Scotland’s Bannockburn Live event. 

    Taking place over Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Monday 30 June 2014 as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations, the event will commemorate the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, and mark the opening of the new state-of-the-art visitor centre at the heritage site. 

    A year ahead of this historic event, the Trust has unveiled an outline of the 3-day programme, and tickets are now on sale.

    As a signature event of the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, the scope of Bannockburn Live has been extended as a result of almost £400,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and Creative Scotland.

    Bannockburn Live will conjure the events and people of the past out from the history books and into real life. Alongside the largest ever re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn, an array of themed villages will showcase the sights, sounds and atmosphere of medieval and modern Scotland. 

    700 years on from the battle that changed the course of history, 45,000 people will have a unique opportunity to come to Bannockburn and feast their senses on the spoils of war and the fruits of peace.  They will have the chance to experience medieval life like never before – to see, taste, smell, hear and discover historical encampments, and watch two brave Kings lead their armies to battle in full armour. 

    The National Trust for Scotland has selected Scotland’s leading events and festival creation company, Unique Events, to produce Bannockburn Live. A specially created festival arena will feature a programme packed with music, Scottish food and drink, crafts, literature and outdoor activities all set in the memorial park where people have commemorated the Battle of Bannockburn for centuries. 

    There will be three opportunities to watch the re-enactment each day so that all visitors will have the chance to see and enjoy all of the performance stages and theatre tents. The bespoke arena will include: a main contemporary music stage; Scottish literature and traditional music in “Storyville”; tastings and food demonstrations featuring quality Scottish produce and real ales in the “Land of Food and Drink”; hands-on bushcraft, wildlife and outdoor activities in a “Natural World Village”; a children’s programme; the chance to participate in sports like archery and highland games; and an opportunity to trace your Scottish roots with Clan Societies returning to Scotland for the event from around the world. 

    David McAllister, Director of the Battle of Bannockburn Project said: “The 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is a significant milestone and deserves to be marked with a major event. Bannockburn Live will breathe life into the past like never before, providing visitors with a unique chance to experience medieval Scotland, to commemorate this historic event an