EventScotland

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  • 22 July 2014

    Wickerman’s Iconic 2014 Statue Unveiled

    WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE MAKING HERE: https://vimeo.com/101347716

    With only a few days to go until Scotland’s hottest summer party welcomes its first campers on site, the Wickerman Festival is delighted to reveal its iconic 2014 statue. For the first time the statue has been expertly hand sculpted in an gravity defying highland fling pose and is dressed in a striking kilt woven from willow.

    Created to celebrate the Festival’s partnership with Homecoming Scotland, Wickerman’s famous icon will add a uniquely Scottish touch to this year’s seasoned music event and act as a distinct marker for visitors.  Towering 40ft above the picturesque festival site, the Wickerman statue is as iconic as the event itself, and is spectacularly set alight every year in an unforgettable festival finale.

    Tickets for the Wickerman Festival are on sale now with acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Del Amitri, Shed 7, The Feeling, Alabama 3, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Zombies, British Sea Power, Big Country and Augustines lined up to play.

    Buy your tickets now via: http://wickerman.skiddletickets.com/

    Category: Music

  • 18 July 2014

    Becoming a Good Food Nation - give your views

     

    On 18 June 2014 Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled the next step of Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy. Increasing access for everyone to good quality food to improve Scotland’s diet and food culture will be one of the top priorities of the ambitious next phase of the Scottish Government’s food and drink policy.
    Becoming a Good Food Nation seeks views on a number of proposed priority areas of work and recognises the need to move towards a healthier, resilient and sustainable food system.
    This discussion document is available on the Scottish Government website for consultation at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2014/06/1195, and we invite you to think about how you, your family or organisation will play a part. Views can be emailed to goodfoodnation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 17 October 2014.
    Please read our discussion paper and help us to identify the way forward for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation.

    On 18 June 2014 Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled the next step of Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy. Increasing access for everyone to good quality food to improve Scotland’s diet and food culture will be one of the top priorities of the ambitious next phase of the Scottish Government’s food and drink policy.

    Becoming a Good Food Nation seeks views on a number of proposed priority areas of work and recognises the need to move towards a healthier, resilient and sustainable food system.

    This discussion document is available on the Scottish Government website for consultation at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2014/06/1195, and we invite you to think about how you, your family or organisation will play a part. Views can be emailed to goodfoodnation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 17 October 2014.
    Please read our discussion paper and help us to identify the way forward for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 18 July 2014

    EXCITING PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED FOR SCOTLAND’S NEWEST ARTS FESTIVAL

     

    Eddi Reader, Shooglenifty, Charlie McKerron and Neville Gabie are among the celebrated
    artists who make up the full programme for the first Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, which was
    launched yesterday.
    Scotland’s newest arts festival will be a spectacular celebration of arts and culture taking place at the
    heart of Moray between 24 and 28 September 2014, showcasing artists of national and international
    renown.
    The launch event, which was held at Brodie Castle and hosted by Nicky Marr of MarrKerr
    Communications, treated an array of guests to an enticing taste of what to expect, including a musical
    performance by Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie, exhibits from Michael and Maria Start of The House
    of Automota, who provided automata expertise on Scorsese’s film Hugo, plus a sequence from
    Macbeth the Remix, featuring Lady Macbeth and her troupe of parkourists.
    This unique five-day bonanza will bring together artists from Moray, Scotland and beyond to entertain
    audiences with a vibrant and dynamic programme, including premiere performances and exhibitions,
    outdoor theatre and live music, fine-art and photography, talks, tours, tastings and lots of free activities
    which aim to make the Festival accessible to all. These include Culture Day, which will see Forres
    town centre come alive with buskers, drummers, walk about performers, dancers, story tellers, pipe
    band, brass band, live music, alternative theatre and lots more.
    As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 the Festival will be bringing Macbeth home to Moray through
    Macbeth the Red King, a series of talks, tours and performances exploring both the real
    King and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 16th Century Brodie Castle will provide the dramatic backdrop for
    the Festival’s exclusive performance of Macbeth the Remix – Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition
    and treachery, reworked into a unique one hour modern remix.
    Guest speaker, David Taylor of Creative Scotland said: ““Creative Scotland is delighted to respond to
    the energy and vision of the Findhorn Bay Festival, by offering support as part of the Homecoming
    celebrations. The festival is not only important in itself, and for what it offers to visitors and local
    audiences, but it also has potential as an ongoing focus for the artistic community in the area.”
    16th Century Brodie Castle is just one of a number of diverse and imaginative venues around the
    beautiful Findhorn Bay, which also include Forres’ historic Tolbooth, Logie Steading, Findhorn’s
    famous Universal Hall and the local streets, parks, woodlands, hills and sandy beaches that make the
    setting so special.
    The National Trust for Scotland’s Alex Mackenzie-Copp, Property Manager at Brodie Castle said:
    “This is an exciting event for Moray and Brodie Castle is pleased to be playing its part.”
    The Festival, organised by Forres-based Findhorn Bay Arts, hopes to attract a wide audience from
    home and further afield. Festival Director, Kresanna Aigner, said: “The Festival will bring home many
    renowned artists whose lives and careers have been touched by Moray. It’s an eminent homecoming
    that includes one of Scotland’s most unique musical exports, Shooglenifty; renowned fidldlers Charlie
    McKerron, Douglas Lawrence and James Alexander; plus award-winning fine-artist and illustrator,
    Owen Normand. It’s a Festival with people and place at its heart, drawing inspiration from and
    celebrating the many traditions that still shape the lives of our coastal communities.”
    Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Alasdair Allan said: “The Findhorn Bay Arts
    Festival is a welcomed celebration of the richness of arts and culture in the area. One of over 970
    events in the Homecoming Scotland programme, the festival offers an exciting programme for the
    audience and those taking part. It is also a great example of how Homecoming is not only about
    Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, but is also
    about Scots themselves, celebrating the rich culture, activities and opportunities within their own
    communities.”
    The full Festival programme can be found online at www.findhornbayartsfestival.com and tickets are
    available now from Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234 234.
    The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:
    Homecoming Scotland 2014, EventScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland,
    Moray Towns Partnership, Moray Council, National Trust for Scotland and MarrKerr Communications.

    Eddi Reader, Shooglenifty, Charlie McKerron and Neville Gabie are among the celebrated artists who make up the full programme for the first Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, which was launched yesterday.

    Scotland’s newest arts festival will be a spectacular celebration of arts and culture taking place at the heart of Moray between 24 and 28 September 2014, showcasing artists of national and international renown.

     The launch event, which was held at Brodie Castle and hosted by Nicky Marr of MarrKerr Communications, treated an array of guests to an enticing taste of what to expect, including a musical performance by Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie, exhibits from Michael and Maria Start of The Houseof Automota, who provided automata expertise on Scorsese’s film Hugo, plus a sequence from Macbeth the Remix, featuring Lady Macbeth and her troupe of parkourists.

     This unique five-day bonanza will bring together artists from Moray, Scotland and beyond to entertain audiences with a vibrant and dynamic programme, including premiere performances and exhibitions,outdoor theatre and live music, fine-art and photography, talks, tours, tastings and lots of free activities which aim to make the Festival accessible to all. These include Culture Day, which will see Forrestown centre come alive with buskers, drummers, walk about performers, dancers, story tellers, pipeband, brass band, live music, alternative theatre and lots more.

     As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014 the Festival will be bringing Macbeth home to Moray through Macbeth the Red King, a series of talks, tours and performances exploring both the real King and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 16th Century Brodie Castle will provide the dramatic backdrop forthe Festival’s exclusive performance of Macbeth the Remix – Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition and treachery, reworked into a unique one hour modern remix.

     Guest speaker, David Taylor of Creative Scotland said: ““Creative Scotland is delighted to respond tothe energy and vision of the Findhorn Bay Festival, by offering support as part of the Homecomingcelebrations. The festival is not only important in itself, and for what it offers to visitors and localaudiences, but it also has potential as an ongoing focus for the artistic community in the area.”16th Century Brodie Castle is just one of a number of diverse and imaginative venues around the beautiful Findhorn Bay, which also include Forres’ historic Tolbooth, Logie Steading, Findhorn’s famous Universal Hall and the local streets, parks, woodlands, hills and sandy beaches that make the setting so special."

    Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Alasdair Allan said: “The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is a welcomed celebration of the richness of arts and culture in the area. One of over 970 events in the Homecoming Scotland programme, the festival offers an exciting programme for theaudience and those taking part. It is also a great example of how Homecoming is not only about Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, but is also about Scots themselves, celebrating the rich culture, activities and opportunities within their own communities.”

    The full Festival programme can be found online at www.findhornbayartsfestival.com and tickets areavailable now from Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234 234.

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

    Category: National Events

  • 16 July 2014

    THE 2014 RYDER CUP GALA CONCERT LAUNCHES WITH ARTS AND MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA

    Organisers of The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, DF Concerts & Events on behalf of VisitScotland, announced today (15th July) that Jake Bugg, Texas, Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt, Eddi Reader and Midge Ure will join Scottish Ballet, RSNO, NTS and Scottish Opera as the first names to be announced for The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert. Today’s announcement will whet the appetites of culture fans with further additions as well as a headline act still to be announced.

    As golf fans from across the globe gather in Scotland to experience The 2014 Ryder Cup (23-28 September), top names in golf, music and the arts will unite for one evening only to create an unmissable and extraordinary event.

     On Wednesday 24 September, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will play host to an awe-inspiring fusion of vibrant colour, stunning production and spectacular performances for the one-off The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

     Curated by celebrated Creative Director Kim Gavin, whose portfolio includes the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, Take That Progress Live Tour (2011) and the Concert for Diana (2007); world renowned talent from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland will share the stage for the first time with contemporary artists and select acts will perform unique collaborations with a full orchestra from the RSNO. With very special artists still to be announced, today’s news gives an insight into one of the most exciting shows ever staged in Scotland.

     Flashes of fashion, bespoke short films and never-before-seen live performances will build the tension and excitement around The 2014 Ryder Cup as the audience is introduced to the European and USA Teams, meeting for the first time live on stage alongside captains, Paul McGinley and Tom Watson.

     The Concert is a signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme and celebrates the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup which takes place 23-28 September and is supported by EventScotland, the national events agency and a directorate of VisitScotland, and Ryder Cup Europe.

    A much-anticipated event in the sporting calendar, this year, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland for the first time in more than 40 years and only the second time in its history.

    At the age of just twenty, Jake Bugg is one of British music’s hottest properties. The singer/songwriter released his self-titled debut album, in late 2012 and hit the number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. Since then, it has been certified Platinum in the UK. A stunning live performer, Jake’s hits include ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Two Fingers’ and he was the penultimate artist to headliners Arctic Monkeys at this year’s T in the Park festival.

    Having sold over 35 million albums to date, Texas are one of Scotland’s most successful musical exports and hitmakers. Collaborating with the RSNO for the first time, the audience will see the band perform a selection of their hits as they’ve never been seen before in the UK.

    Almost three years and over 300 gigs since the release of their silver-selling, debut album, ‘Free’, catapulted them from clubs to sold-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and the Main Stage at T in the Park, with new album, ‘Great Divide’, Radio 1 favourites Twin Atlantic have made a mainstream record that marries their incredible energy live with a more mature approach to songwriting that acknowledges their long-held love of pop.

    One of Scotland’s most exciting new talents, Nina Nesbitt, joins the bill, adding a touch of glamour. The ‘selfies’ singer has gained a huge fanbase whilst taking her sun soaked folk-pop around the globe and debut album ‘Peroxide’ charted at Number 11  in the UK.    

    Known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career, Eddi Reader is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns and is one of Scotland’s best loved talents.

    Midge Ure is perhaps best known for writing Vienna when he was lead singer with Ultravox continues to perform around the world and is recognised as the musical force behind Live Aid. Plus, Danny Wilson will reform especially for the evening to perform ‘Mary's Prayer’.

    Even bigger names will be unveiled over the coming weeks and the concert is set to have the flavour of The Brits meets The Proms.  Select solo performers will be backed by a house band led by Mike Stevens, who is musical director for Take That and Gary Barlow and writes with Annie Lennox.

    Bringing together four of Scotland’s national arts bodies for the first time under the roof of a world class venue, The Ryder Cup Gala Concert will delight and astound.

    The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is Scotland’s national symphonic ensemble and is one of the country’s five National Performing Companies. Representing Scotland around the world, The RSNO is made up of some of the country’s most talented classical musicians and throughout its history, has played an integral part in Scotland’s musical life, including performing at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament building in 2004.

    For the first time live on stage at the SSE Hydro, Scottish Ballet, Scotland's national dance company will perform a passionate duet sequence from Jealousy. Choreographed by James Cousins, winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award set up by director and choreographer Matthew Bourne OBE, Jealousy is a powerful duet, set to the haunting melody ‘O God protect me’ from experimental composer Ben Frost.

    Jealousy takes its inspiration from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel written from the viewpoint of a man who suspects his wife of adultery. Jealousy offers an intimate viewpoint of a passionate and obsessive relationship, and will be performed by Scottish Ballet principal dancer Sophie Martin and soloist Victor Zarallo.

    National Theatre of Scotland will present an excerpt of critically acclaimed show, ‘Glasgow Girls’.  Based on a true story, Glasgow Girls follows a group of seven teenage girls whose lives are changed forever when they arrive at school one day to be told that one of their friends - and her asylum seeking family - have been forcibly taken from their home to be deported. 

    Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Andrew McTaggart will perform Dark Island, a traditional Scottish song, arranged and accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark.

    The RSNO will also be playing a selection of the works of renowned composer Craig Armstrong, providing the soundtrack to a bespoke short film created by Kim Gavin, especially for the audience on the night. Armstrong's score for William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet earned him a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music and an Ivor Novello. His composition for Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge! earned him the 2001 American Film Institute’s composer of the Year award, a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA. Armstrong was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Original Score in 2004 for the biopic Ray.

    The evening will be set in the impressive surroundings of Glasgow’s brand new Hydro Arena, which has already played host to some of the biggest names in the world of music and offers the perfect space to showcase this exquisite event.

    The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop said: "The 2014 Ryder Cup is a once-in-a- generation opportunity to see Scotland host one of the biggest sporting events in the world which will also leave behind a lasting legacy for Scotland.   I'm delighted that the state of the art Hydro Arena will play host to the Gala Concert and the exciting line up performing during this signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme will undoubtedly showcase Scotland on the world's stage."

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said:

    “The 2014 Ryder Cup is an incredibly exciting, important event for Scotland, so we had to create a celebration concert that was unique, bringing together in one place the culture, history and sporting tradition of our remarkable country.  The concept of merging the classical with the contemporary is inspired, stirring the audience to embrace all sides of Scottish culture, and of course, golf is a huge part of that. 

    “The 2014 Ryder Cup will enhance and showcase Scotland as the ’Home of Golf’, and with its broadcast  reach of a staggering 183 countries across the world, it will inspire a generation not just to play golf on our shores, but experience all that our country has to offer from  events to business to leisure.  The legacy is infinite.”

    www.rydercupgalaconcert.com

    Tickets for the concert go on general sale on Saturday 19th July at 10am and will be available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.ticketsoup.com and by calling 08444 999 990 or 0844 395 4000

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Southern Africa at the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

    Three exhibitions to showcase the best contemporary fashion, design, art and music in Southern Africa, all at one venue – Gayfield Creative Spaces.

    To acknowledge South Africa’s emergence as a design powerhouse, made official by Cape Town  being named World Design Capital for 2014, these three presentations represents a snapshot of the emerging Southern African scene.

    Also opening on the same night is an exhibition of photographs ‘Photopia’ by David McLean.

    Exhibition openings: 6pm, 17 July 2014

     For more information visit: http://edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Date change for 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships confirmed

    IPC Swimming and British Swimming confirmed on Sunday (13 July) that the dates for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, have been moved to one year from now, from 13-19 July.

    The competition was originally scheduled for 18-25 July.

    Glasgow was announced as the host city of the prestigious competition in 2012 and the awarding of the event was originally stated as a European Championships but with a change to the IPC Swimming calendar the competition was upgraded to a World Championships.

    The World Championships is the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of a Paralympic year and the competition is expected to see more than 650 athletes from more than 50 countries compete for honours.

    The venue will be the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the same pool that will host the swimming competitions of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Xavier Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer, said: "Glasgow has everything needed to stage our World Championships and we are looking forward to working with British Swimming, UK Sport, EventScotland and Glasgow City Council to make these Championships a fantastic event."

    David Sparkes, Chief Executive for British Swimming said: "British Swimming together with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, EventScotland and UK Sport believe we can showcase Paralympic Swimming to the whole of World.

    "The Paralympics in London introduced the world to the quality of swimming and I hope that audience will embrace this competition in the same way."

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: "We're delighted that the IPC Swimming World Championships will be one of the first major international Paralympic events to form part of UK Sport's Gold Event Series - our National Lottery funded programme to host some of the world's biggest sporting events in the UK."

    "We are determined to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 making use of the outstanding venues, technical know-how and army of volunteers while also giving people the opportunity to witness world class sport."

    Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: "Glasgow has been named one of the top ten sporting cities in the world and its reputation continues to grow thanks to our investment in facilities and our ever-growing sporting events programme that continues to deliver world-class events such as the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

    "The new and improved Tollcross International Swimming Centre will be the perfect host venue for this prestigious event. This is another world-class facility built by the city of Glasgow for the people of Glasgow which will provide a real and lasting legacy for all of our communities as we build a more active city for future generations. Tollcross International Swimming Centre will also host all of the swimming events as we welcome the world to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games."

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the refurbished Tollcross International Swimming Centre we have a venue truly worthy of hosting a championship of this calibre. Welcoming the Commonwealth Games to the country in just over a week's time is a huge milestone but what happens after that is vital; and these championships will add to our ever growing portfolio of major events from 2015 onwards."

    Maureen Campbell, Chair of Scottish Swimming said "Tollcross is a first class facility and the city of Glasgow will provide a fantastic welcome to competitors from all nations."

    Category: International Events

  • 14 July 2014

    Scotland’s badminton stars ready to shine

    SCOTLAND’S badminton players faced the media for the last time today before going into lockdown in the final build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

    With just two weeks to go to the start of Glasgow 2014 the 10 Team Scotland players were kitted out in their official Commonwealth Games tracksuits for the first time when they appeared at the Glasgow School of Sport this morning.

     Robert Blair is the oldest member of the squad at 32 while Caitlin Pringle and Rebekka Findlay (who is in line for her Scotland senior international debut in the team event) are the youngest at 20.

     While Findlay will be winning her first international cap in the opening week of the Games, Imogen Bankier, who is Scotland’s most-capped current player, will build on her 52 appearances.

     The Scotland squad will be able to draw on their unbeaten display at last year’s Sudirman Cup, when they finished top of Group 2, when they tackle the team event. The squad will also be aiming to better Scotland’s team bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

     In the individual events Kirsty Gilmour will be trying to match women’s singles star Susan Egelstaff’s 2006 bronze in Melbourne and her 2010 fourth place in Delhi while Blair and Bankier, who have already won the Scottish Open Grand Prix and Yonex German Open titles, will also be challenging for a place on the podium in the mixed doubles.

     Six of the squad already have Commonwealth Games experience with Kieran Merrilees, Paul Van Rietvelde, Gilmour, Bankier and Jillie Cooper having competed in the 2010 Games in New Delhi and Blair having represented England in 2002 and 2006, the year he won a world silver in men’s doubles.

    Bankier also has experience at the highest level, having won a world mixed doubles silver at Wembley Arena in 2011.

    Team manager Christine Black said:

    “We have a good blend of youth and experience in our squad. It is going to be a great challenge for the younger players and our top players like Robert and Imogen will be able to pass on their experience.

    “The whole squad is preparing well and they will be ready to rise to the occasion. Playing on home turf is going to be a great inspiration for them and I am confident they will cope with the pressure of expectation.”

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said:

    “Our squad must be the envy of all Scotland’s badminton players. It will be an unforgettable experience for them to compete in a Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and I urge the Scotland fans to get right behind them throughout the 11 days of the badminton competition.

    “All our players know the Arena from playing there in last November’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and we are hoping they will have some medals to show off when they play there again at this year’s Open in November.

    BADMINTONscotland wishes them every success at Glasgow 2014. We are right behind them all the way.”

    The full squad is:

    Robert Blair                   Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Team

    Martin Campbell            Men’s Doubles, Team

    Patrick MacHugh           Men’s Doubles, Team

    Kieran Merrilees            Men’s Singles, Team

    Paul Van Rietvelde         Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Team

    Imogen Bankier              Mixed Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Team

    Jillie Cooper                   Mixed Doubles, Team

    Rebekka Findlay            Team

    Kirsty Gilmour               Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Team

    Caitlin Pringle                Team    

    Team manager: Christine Black. Coaches: Yvette Yun Luo, Chris Bruil and Andy Bowman.

    Team event: July 24-28. Individual events: July 30-August 3.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 July 2014

    VISITSCOTLAND AND SKY SPORTS TEAM UP TO FIND THE RYDER CUP’S BEST BRILLIANT MOMENT

    From Jack Nicklaus’ famous concession to Tony Jacklin in 1969 at Royal Birkdale to Martin Kaymer’s nerve-jangling putt to complete the Miracle at Medinah in 2012, The Ryder Cup has been full of brilliant moments over the years.

    Now VisitScotland and Sky Sports have launched an exciting campaign to find the nation’s favourite Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment in the history of the competition ahead of the matches at Gleneagles in September.

    Launched by Sky Sports lead golf presenter David Livingstone and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, the campaign features 10 brilliant moments from the 87-year history of The Ryder Cup as chosen by Sky Sports analysts Colin Montgomerie and Butch Harmon.

    Featuring brilliant moments such as Sam Torrance’s winning putt at The Belfry in 1985 and Darren Clarke’s emotional walk to the first tee at The K Club in 2006, the campaign will ask Sky Sports viewers to vote on their favourite brilliant moment from the shortlist.

    And any viewer who matches the final choice of Butch and Monty is in with a chance of winning the trip of a lifetime with an incredible prize including tickets to multiple match days at The 2014 Ryder Cup, including The Ryder Cup concert and opening ceremony, four rounds of golf, bespoke club fitting and luxury hotel accommodation. There will also be 50 pairs of matchday tickets to The Ryder Cup for runners-up prizes.

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: “I am delighted to see this campaign between VisitScotland and Sky Sports to find the best Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment as Scotland prepares to host The Ryder Cup for only the second time in our history.

    “It is a competition which never fails to excite and with the eyes of the world on Scotland and Gleneagles in September I look forward to there being many more brilliant moments to add to the collection.”

    David Livingstone, who has led Sky Sports’ extensive live golf coverage – including 10 Ryder Cups - for the past 19 years, said: “I have had the privilege of witnessing many brilliant Ryder Cup moments over the years and to narrow down so many into a shortlist of 10, never mind choosing the best one, was no easy task for Butch and Monty.

    “But is shows just how much The Ryder Cup means to both players and golf fans alike and we are excited to team up with VisitScotland to give viewers the chance to vote for their favourite. As the home of live golf it makes perfect sense for us to team up with Scotland, the Home of Golf to uncover the nation’s favourite

    Ryder Cup moment as the excitement builds towards Gleneagles in September this year.”

    The campaign is due to run on all Sky Sports golf coverage, starting with the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday 10 July running through to the first week of the FedEx playoffs on the PGA Tour on 17 August.

    Robbie Clyde, Ryder Cup Project Director with EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, added: “We are extremely proud of the partnership we have with Sky Sports in promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf and the host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup across their extensive coverage of live golf on both the European and PGA Tours.

    “Our quest to find the No1 Ryder Cup Brilliant Moment fits in perfectly with our year of brilliant moments across Scotland in 2014 with the Commonwealth Games and Homecoming Scotland alongside The 2014 Ryder Cup.”

    To vote and to enter the competition, viewers have to visit skysports.com/rydercupcompetition and fill in the details.

    Category: International Events

  • 07 July 2014

    Endura Tour O’ The Borders announce road closures on 10th August

     

    The emerald forests, sweeping valleys and heather-clad moorlands of the Scottish Borders are
    helping it become one of the UK’s most popular cycling destinations, bringing tens of thousands of
    additional visitors and huge economic benefits to the area every year.
    Cycling events are playing an important part in this growth, and on Sunday, 10th August, the
    Endura Tour O’ The Borders is expected to attract three thousand cyclists of all abilities, taking part
    to raise money for charity. With most of the riders expected to stay overnight, the event should
    bring an estimated £500,000 of income to the area. The event is supported by EventScotland and
    Scottish Borders Council, and will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.
    In order to allow the participants to enjoy the event in safety, it will be held on closed roads. The
    124km circular route will be closed on the 10th August for most of the day and Tour O’ The Borders
    have been working hard with traffic management experts to ensure disruption is kept to a
    minimum.
    The route is mainly confined to rural roads between Peebles, Crosslee and Selkirk and these areas
    will be closed to all traffic on the 10th August. Full details and closure schedules have already been
    published on the event website. Tour O’ The Borders will also be hand delivering full information
    leaflets to every property on the route, ensuring inconvenience is minimised.
    For more information, there is a comprehensive FAQ section and map showing the route, on the
    ‘Community’ section of the event website www.tourotheborders.com, and if you have specific
    questions you can email Tour O’ The Borders directly on community@tourotheborders.com.
    The roads affected will be:
    A72 from Peebles High Street to Cardrona
    B7062 from Cardrona to Traquair
    B709 from Traquair to Crosslee
    B711 from Crosslee to Roberton
    Local road Roberton to Aikwood Tower
    Local road Aikwood Tower to Kirkhope
    Local road Kirkhope to Yarrow
    A708 from Yarrow to Selkirk
    A707 from Selkirk to Ashiesteel
    Local road Ashiesteel to Innerleithen
    Local road Innerleithen to Traquair
    Local road Cardrona to Cavalry Park, Peebles

    The emerald forests, sweeping valleys and heather-clad moorlands of the Scottish Borders are helping it become one of the UK’s most popular cycling destinations, bringing tens of thousands of additional visitors and huge economic benefits to the area every year.

    Cycling events are playing an important part in this growth, and on Sunday, 10th August, the Endura Tour O’ The Borders is expected to attract three thousand cyclists of all abilities, taking part to raise money for charity. With most of the riders expected to stay overnight, the event should bring an estimated £500,000 of income to the area. The event is supported by EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council, and will help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.

     In order to allow the participants to enjoy the event in safety, it will be held on closed roads. The 124km circular route will be closed on the 10th August for most of the day and Tour O’ The Borders have been working hard with traffic management experts to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

     The route is mainly confined to rural roads between Peebles, Crosslee and Selkirk and these areas will be closed to all traffic on the 10th August. Full details and closure schedules have already been published on the event website. Tour O’ The Borders will also be hand delivering full information leaflets to every property on the route, ensuring inconvenience is minimised.

    For more information, there is a comprehensive FAQ section and map showing the route, on the ‘Community’ section of the event website www.tourotheborders.com, and if you have specific questions you can email Tour O’ The Borders directly on community@tourotheborders.com.The roads affected will be:

    A72 from Peebles High Street to Cardrona
    B7062 from Cardrona to Traquair
    B709 from Traquair to Crosslee
    B711 from Crosslee to Roberton
    Local road Roberton to Aikwood Tower
    Local road Aikwood Tower to Kirkhope
    Local road Kirkhope to Yarrow
    A708 from Yarrow to Selkirk
    A707 from Selkirk to Ashiesteel
    Local road Ashiesteel to Innerleithen
    Local road Innerleithen to Traquair
    Local road Cardrona to Cavalry Park, Peebles

    Category: National Events

  • 04 July 2014

    Wickerman Gathers Pace as More Acts are Announced

     With less than four weeks to go until Wickerman welcomes the crowds, Scotland’s hottest summer party is turning up the heat by adding a batch of exciting artists to its sizzling line-up.

    On Saturday, the legendary electronic duo Utah Saints will make a much requested return to the Summerisle Stage following their show stopping 2009 performance. Since the birth of house music, the pioneering DJs have toured the globe, sampled a huge range of artists and sold over two million records. Still very much at the top of their game, they are set to round off an incredible day by occupying the coveted DJ slot after the iconic Wickerman burning.

    Joining them will be Glasgow’s hotly tipped punk act Baby Strange who have just finished their first UK headline tour. The talented trio have received much critical acclaim from the British music press and impressively packed out the tent at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow in May.  Liverpool’s up and coming dance rockers, Tea Street Band, will also be livening up the crowds on Saturday with what is set to be an electrifying live performance. Championed by Radio 2 DJ Janice Long, the band have just returned from a tour with former Dove’s front man Jimi Goodwin.

    Other additions to the Summerisle Stage, which will once again be compered by BBC Introducing DJ Ally McCrae, include the winners of the Sunday Herald’s Unsigned Band competition – The Cut Throat Razors. The ten-piece act promise to deliver an energetic mix of classic ska, motown, new wave and big band swing. Galloway sister act, The Mermaids, will also join the line-up after winning West Sound radio’s annual ‘One to Watch’ competition.

    An array of established stars and hot new talent will also be joining Wickerman’s much loved Acoustic Village this July. On Saturday, renowned producer, multi-instrumentalist and late blooming artist Ethan Johns will headline the main stage.  Throughout his illustrious career, Johns has worked with a wealth of artists, including Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Ray LaMontagne, Tom Jones and the  Kaiser Chiefs. He released his first solo album to much critical acclaim in 2012.

    On Friday, Glasgow nine-piece ska collective Esperanza, rowdy folk and blues act Have Mercy Las Vegas , solo acoustic act Neil Sturgeon and talented folk star Gabriel Kelly will entertain music lovers on the Acoustic Village’s main stage. Zoe Bestal, Little Fire, Duffy’s Gypsy Band, Jono and Gareth Icke, Rab McCahill and Finch and the Moon will also be bringing the stage to life.

    On Saturday contemporary Celtic act Novantae, French born guitarist Anne Chaurand, Dumfries Community Choir and Scottish singer songwriter Kim Edgar will entertain the acoustic faithful. Other Saturday additions include The Minpins, Roberto Cassani and The Tickety Two, The Cracked Man, Brandon Lee Webb and Kim Wheeler. 

    Wickerman’s Ingrid Pit stage is a familiar attraction amongst festival fans and newcomers can also expect a treat as music, poetry and spoken word and comedy are blended together seamlessly. This year’s revellers can enjoy star turns from The Snack Family, Wooden Box, Andy Paterson and the Balgoni Boyz.

    The Acoustic Village’s Barabajagal Yurt will be the perfect place for Wicker fans to jam and make music with other people. This year it will play host to local artists Sandy Cowan and Jill Johnston. Thursday's Child will be opening the yurt on both days, providing fun for children and the young-at-heart with singalong songs.

    Once again the much loved Reggae Tent will be hosted by Explosion Soundsystem. Originating in Northern Ireland they only play the best of Roots, Reggae, Dub and anything in between, whilst honouring the original Jamaican soundsystem culture. Explosion’s own MC Ranking Fox will be joined by London’s MC Brother Culture and Edinburgh’s MC Dangerman. Crews from Glasgow and Belfast will also be at the controls to ensure celebrations continue throughout the night.

    The festival’s 2014 Scooter Tent line-up will be completed with four new additions, including Dundonian punk outfit The Cundeez, whose thrashing guitar sounds and explicit lyrics are not for the faint hearted.  Scottish band the Ska-Beat Jakes and Lothian punk act Nine Bullets are also set to the get the crowds skanking on Saturday, whilst Wickerman’s amazing walkabout band Blowjangles  will  be opening the stage in style on the Friday.

    Helen Chalmers, Wickerman’s Festival Coordinator commented:

    “Wickerman’s Acoustic Village has rapidly become a firm favourite amongst our fans and we are delighted to once again announce a wealth of established and up and coming artists.

    With less than a month to go, it’s fantastic to unveil yet more eclectic acts and we very excited to announce the return of Utah Saints who we know will receive a very warm welcome from the festival crowds”

    For further information visit: www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 02 July 2014

    ROYAL NATIONAL MÒD LAUNCHES WITH BIGGEST EVER FRINGE EVENT

    Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, will take place in Inverness this autumn for the first time since 1997.  Now in its 122nd year, the event is the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland.

    Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, one of the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisation, the nine day spectacular will take place from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October.  It will feature competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama, offering Gaelic speakers of all levels to compete.  It will bring thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland, the UK and from all corners of the globe including USA, Australia and Canada to Inverness.

     The Mòd is set to light up the city, kick starting with a vibrant Torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court - the main venue for the event - where the opening concert will be staged. Acts confirmed for the opening concert include Skipinnish and the up-and-coming Scottish folk band, Gria.

     2014 will also see the biggest Fringe event ever take place alongside the competitions.   This will include concerts, book and CD launches, music sessions, poetry, dance and other art forms of every description.  Around twelve pubs have signed up to providing traditional Celtic music in their venues, while street theatre will take place across the city.  The fringe will encompass Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness to Fort George and the Culloden Visitor Centre and all areas in between.

     John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “We are delighted to be returning to Inverness for the first time in 17 years and to be bringing the biggest Fringe in the event’s history. 

     “The competition is the heart of the Mod and we have had substantial entries this year.  The Fringe also means we can bring Gaelic Culture to a new audience, Gaels and non-Gaels together and celebrate talented musicians from around the world with our exciting programme of events”.

    Fringe highlights will include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden court.  Hosted in association with Blazin in Beauly under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles, the concert will feature over one hundred fiddlers including world renowned artistes, plus local groups, it promises to be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.  A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I on Wednesday afternoon will be a showpiece event, with musician Erik Spence, creating a piece of music to go along with the poem Bantrach Cogaidh written by the late Rev John Macleod.  Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will contribute. 

    Other highlights include performances by Skerryvore, singing super group Cruinn and the talented Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band.  Lunchtime performances in the historic Inverness Town House by artists including Ewen Henderson, Barluath, and renowned clarsach player Catriona Mackay are not to be missed, while musical performances at the area’s stunning visitor attractions Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George will also take place.

    The Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, on the Saturday morning will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Royal National Mod is a wonderful celebration and showcase of Scotland’s cultural heritage, which generates huge profile for the country every year. We have been working with the team at the Mod since 2004, and are delighted to continue our support as part of our commitment to National Gaelic Strategy. This year as we celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Mod will be the centre piece of the Highland Homecoming programme - a two-month long series of events ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge.”

    For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for Fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 30 June 2014

    Scottish heritage in the spotlight: Three year fund to boost Scottish tourism

    A £200,000 fund which will help attract international visitors to Scotland has been launched by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.

    The  second round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund will support the delivery and planning of local clan events over the Year of Food and Drink in 2015, Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. 

     The news coincided with Clans Monday, where clans and families have special access to the newly opened Bannockburn Visitor Centre.

    Mr Ewing said:

    “Thanks to the first round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund, we were able to provide support to a number of Clans who organised events across the country during our Year of Homecoming 2014.

    “This weekend at Bannockburn Live, we saw a fantastic range of outlets showing off their Scottish delicacies, whiskies and real ales to visitors from around the world. As we look towards the Year of Food and Drink in 2015 we want to keep up this momentum and show off some of the excellent produce that has helped to reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink. 

    “Visitors are keen to learn more about the country’s fabulous food and drink, history, architecture and heritage. The second round of the Clan Event Fund will make sure we keep up our international profile to ensure we continue to attract kin from across the globe to events around the country. It will also help to encourage clans to hold events in all parts of Scotland and ensure everyone reaps the rewards from their boost to tourism.”

    Sir Malcolm MacGregor, Convenor, Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs said:

    “The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs continues to support this important initiative which will enhance Clan activities in local communities and encourage more people to celebrate their clan and family heritage across Scotland.”

    John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie, Chair of the Highland Clan Partnership Group said:

    “The Scottish Clans Event Fund has provided a welcome boost to Highland Clans in planning and extending their International Clan Gatherings, providing a healthy addition to regional Tourism. 

    “The recognition of the Scottish Government of the importance of the Highland Clans to Ancestral and Heritage Tourism to Scotland today and in the future cannot be understated. The Scottish Clan Event Fund extends the ability of the Highland Clans to immeasurably improve the visitor experience and bring support to local businesses in often fragile communities as well as more community and cultural events to the Highland Region of Scotland.”

    More information about the fund is available at http://www.eventscotland.org/funding-and-resources/scottish-clan-event-fund/

    Category: Industry News

  • 26 June 2014

    Pipefest kicks off Stirling’s Big Weekend

    The kilts are packed, the pipes tuned and the Highland dancers are limbering up - the stage is set as final preparations for Pipefest get underway.  Taking place this Friday (27 June) the spectacular event will celebrate the Year of Homecoming and mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

    Over 1,650 participants from across the world including pipe bands, Highland dancers and clan members are travelling from as far afield as Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

    The parade which kick-starts Stirling’s Big Weekend featuring Bannockburn Live (Saturday and Sunday), Armed Forces Day National Event (Saturday) and Stirling's Big Night Out (Saturday) will start from the gates of Stirling Castle and proceed through the ancient City of Stirling.  Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the city during the weekend.

    Aberdeenshire-born Pipe Major Ian Duncan will lead thousands of stalwarts of Scottish heritage and tradition with Europe’s only private army - the 175-year-old regiment Atholl Highlanders Pipe Band and Colour Guard. 

    Visiting Scotland from the USA for the first time will be the popular Columbus Police and Fire Pipes and Drums, which is made up entirely of active, full-time Columbus police officers and firefighters.  The Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band from Canada will also have over fifty players take part on Friday evening.

    The largest group travelling to take park is Dunedin High School Scottish Highlanders from Florida with over 125 participants.

    Over twenty five Scottish Clans have registered to take part in the parade including the Clan Currie Society from the USA, Clan MacNicol and Clan McMillan from Australia and the Clan Henderson Society from the USA.  Clan Moffat, Clan Arthur, Clan Urquhurt, Clan Bell, Clan Oliphant will also be taking part on Friday as well as local dancers from the Julie Young School of Dancing in Perth and the Theresa Kelly School of Highland Dance.

    Closer to home, a number of pipe bands will also take part including bands from Dalkeith, Blairgowrie, Hawick Scout Pipe Band, Forfar and District Pipe Band and The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Association "Balaklava" Pipes & Drums.  From England, pipe bands including Harpenden, Scunthorpe, Plymouth and Oldham will also parade through the streets of Stirling.

    Pipefest is supported by Homecoming Scotland, The Famous Grouse Experience and Stirling Council. 

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

    “Pipefest Scotland is an exciting addition to the packed programme of events taking place during our second Year of Homecoming, with participants and visitors from around the globe taking part in the parade on the eve of the Bannockburn Live event.

    “Alongside a stunning re-enactment of the battle itself, Bannockburn Live – a key fixture in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 calendar commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn – will feature a programme packed with Scottish music, food and drink, crafts, literature and outdoor activities for people of all ages.

    “Scotland is welcoming the world in 2014. Homecoming Scotland 2014 now includes over 880 events, happening the length and breadth of the country, extending the benefits of the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games and positioning Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative country with a rich history and culture.”

    Category: International Events

  • 24 June 2014

    SCOTLAND CELEBRATES FANTASTIC 50 AS PART OF 2014 RYDER CUP PREPARATIONS

    Scotland’s journey towards The 2014 Ryder Cup hits a key milestone this week with the Scottish Hydro Challenge becoming the 50th golf tournament supported as part of The Ryder Cup legacy programme.

    A key commitment of Scotland’s bid to host The Ryder Cup was to build and develop a strong portfolio of domestic golf events – a commitment delivered by EventScotland and highlighted by reaching the half-century mark this week in Aviemore.

    The Scottish Hydro Challenge has been a key tournament in ensuring that opportunities are given to the next wave of Scottish professional golfers in terms of advancing to the next stage of their careers and represents nine of the 50 events, having been supported since 2006.

    The milestone has been passed in just 11 years since EventScotland was given the task of delivering Scotland’s Ryder Cup commitments and by the time The Ryder Cup is played at Gleneagles in September, this number will have risen to 55.

    Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, said: “Reaching the landmark of 50 supported golf events since 2003 is a terrific milestone and demonstrates the commitment we have in terms of reinforcing Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf and delivering on our commitments as host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    “We look back with great pride at the tournaments we have supported over the last 11 years. These events have benefitted many regions of Scotland in terms of direct economic benefit, marketing exposure around the world or simply bringing a high profile event to a new venue or new area of the country and inspiring people in Scotland to take a stronger interest in the game.

    “The support of golf tournaments is a key part of our national events strategy and that work will not stop going forward. The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles will be the 55th supported event since 2003 with many more confirmed for 2015 and beyond.”

    The building of Scotland’s golf event portfolio as part of The 2014 Ryder Cup began in 2003 with EventScotland’s support of The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. Since then tournaments have been supported at a total of 16 venues across Scotland.

    Events which have been supported as part of The Ryder Cup commitments include the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, The Senior Open Championship, the SSE Scottish Seniors Open, the Scottish Hydro Challenge, the Johnnie Walker Championship, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Junior Ryder Cup.

    These are in addition to other events such as The Open Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open, Curtis Cup and Walker Cup that have also been supported in Scotland.

    Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills said: “Everyone at Ryder Cup Europe congratulates EventScotland on the significant milestone of reaching 50 golf tournaments supported as part of The Ryder Cup legacy programme. The commitment shown, which has embraced all our Tours – The European Tour, the Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour such as this week’s event in Aviemore – is greatly appreciated and, together, we are very much looking forward to the final run-in to The Ryder Cup itself at Gleneagles in three months’ time.”

    Category: International Events

  • 24 June 2014

    Edinburgh International Fashion Festival reveals 2014 programme

    Heading into its third year, the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is making an impressive mark on the international fashion scene, engaging with the industry and the city in a fresh, innovative way. Following a successful 2013, this year sees a further evolution of the Festival, with a series of exceptional, curated events across the city.

    The theme for this year’s festival is ‘New Horizons’ which will permeate all of the festival’s many events. While focusing on the best Scottish fashion & design we also take time to celebrate South Africa’s emergence as a design powerhouse, made official by Cape Town being named World Design Capital for 2014.

     Expect runway shows, exhibitions, gala parties, interactive workshops and talks in some of the most unique and beautiful venues in Edinburgh including The National Museum of Scotland, Gayfield Creative Spaces, The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Assembly Rooms.

     International luminaries will sit alongside local heroes as the Fashion Festival engages the industry and general public in original, thought-provoking ways.

     Also launching during the Fashion festival is a new festival, The Retina Scottish International Photography Festival for which EIFF Director, Anna Freemantle has curated two exciting exhibitions by celebrated photographers, Rankin and Helena Christensen.

    EventScotland is supporting a research project intended to help the festival better understand its audiences and potential for growth. 

    Follow the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival’s twitter, Facebook and website over the coming weeks for further exciting announcements.

    Almost every event in this year’s programme is completely free.

    twitter.com/edinfashion

    facebook.com/EdinburghInternationalFashionFestival

    For more information visit the website: edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 20 June 2014

    Wickerman Unveils a Red Hot Selection of New On-Site Activities

     The Wickerman Festival has today announced that it will be expanding its sizzling on-site offering this year thanks to new festival funding. To support a schedule of exciting new programming, the much-loved music event has received £17,000 from Dumfries and Galloway Council, the funding forms part of the Council’s new strategy to grow iconic festivals in the region.

    As a result of this funding, Wickerman are delighted to reveal a host of new free on-site activities to fire-up festival fans even further. Revellers in need of a retro pick-me-up can get their skates on this year and bust some moves at Wickerman’s first Roller Disco. Hosted within the Headphone Arena, a series of family and adults only sessions will take place throughout the Friday and Saturday. Those keen to make a splash this summer are encouraged to do so by bringing their swimming costumes, bikinis, shorts and even budgie smugglers with them to try out the Festival’s new Hot Tubs.

     On Friday, Fly Right Dance Company will provide dance workshops to help music lovers pick up some fancy footwork skills to show off over the course of the weekend. And after a long absence, the Palace Outdoor Cinema will be back to wow the crowds with outdoor screenings and its visually stunning set-up.

     A very special mobile Rave Unit will also appear over the weekend to encourage revellers to party in an ordered fashion. There will be walkabout theatre galore courtesy of Mischief La Bas with their performers providing everything from emotional security to a customised hat to assist you with this year’s ‘Wicker Mad Hatters’ fancy dress theme.

    In addition to the Council supported activity, the previously announced Lowland Links Tent will help fans celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming in style by shining the spotlight on the Dumfries and Galloway region. Throughout the day, festival goers can research their family history, learn about the Vikings that once occupied the area and listen to local storytellers and poets bring the county’s rich heritage to life. On the Friday evening, we are thrilled to welcome BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014 and Dumfries and Galloway native, Robyn Stapleton to perform. The evenings revelries will be rounded off by Orkney’s stomp band, The Chair. Saturday night sees multi-award winners Skerryvore return to the festival to bring the tent curtain down in style.

    From escapist entertainment and al fresco adventures to spectacular sites and family favourites, Wickerman 2014 will provide a feast of treats for families with free festival admission for 12 year olds and under.  For £3 per day, children can enjoy a host of fun activities in Wickerman’s dedicated Children’s Area. All admission charges will be donated towards the education of James Okeyo, an African orphan who the festival have sponsored since 2011. Storytelling sessions, singalongs, art workshops and puppet shows are just some of the highlights that will keep children (and those accompanying them) entertained.

    Why not join in with the belly dancing up at The Bandstand, where you might just encounter various other spontaneous performances. The 7stanes Display Team return to Wickerman along with the mountain bike taster sessions, soccarenas, climbing wall, bouncy castles, fairground riders, laser quest, segway riding, festival golf and rocket making workshops to add to the merryment.

    Festival fans in need of some downtime can kick back, relax and enjoy The Retreat, where Catherine and her team will offer a variety of treatments including aromatherapy massage, deep tissue and trigger therapy and holistic facials all washed down with a cup of tea from the Motley Brew crew. Alongside the retreat Susan Neal will be hosting Yoga and Qigong sessions.

    There is also more in store for Wickerman campers, the enhanced ‘Down and Dirty’ area features hot showers and ‘posh’ toilets whilst BeYurtiful will be on site to offer entertainment and everything from sparkles and glitter to the hire of hair dryers, hair straighteners and a full hairdressing service.

    Helen Chalmers, Wickerman Festival Co-ordinator comments:

    “Wickerman’s on-site activities form a key part of the whole festival experience, so we are delighted that Dumfries & Galloway Council and Homecoming Scotland have supported our growth in this area.

    Similar to our music line-up, our activities schedule was created to offer something for everyone, from families and those keen to unwind to hardened party goers and adrenalin junkies."

    Tickets can be purchased from http://wickerman.skiddletickets.com/

    Category: International Events

  • 19 June 2014

    47 Global Gold Medallists to Star at Diamond League in Glasgow

    Olympic champions David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Carmelita Jeter and Ashton Eaton are just a few of the latest names to confirm that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on 11-12 July.

    The quartet will join 22 world champions and 25 Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists, which represents the most impressive athletic line-up ever assembled in Scotland, just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games. Britain’s biggest stars Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar), Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) are already confirmed alongside Scottish stars Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider), Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon) and Laura Muir (Andy Young).

    With the USA and a host of other nations not competing at the Commonwealth Games, the Diamond League meet will offer fans the chance to see the world’s best competing at Hampden Park in the first ever IAAF Diamond League meet staged in Scotland. For those who missed out on Glasgow 2014 tickets, this is an unmissable opportunity to experience the world’s premier athletics series in the city.

    Rudisha will be making his first appearance in the UK since breaking the 800m world record on his way to Olympic gold at London 2012, and he marked his return to form with a triumph at the New York Diamond League last weekend.

    The 25 year old said: “I haven’t competed in the UK since winning gold at the Olympics, so to return to the UK for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is something that I’m really excited about. 

    “Winning gold at the Olympic Games and being the first ever athlete to go below the 1:41 barrier is my biggest achievement to date.   Having only just returned to track action, my victory at the New York Diamond League has given me a lot of confidence and something which I will take with me to Hampden Park. 

    “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the best possible preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I know the field will include not only the best athletes in the Commonwealth, but the world too.  I know I will have to perform at my best to secure another victory on the Diamond League circuit.”

    Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman of all time over 100m will return to the UK after winning a complete set of medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The American, who won 4x100 gold, 100m silver and 200m bronze in Olympic Stadium is excited at the prospect of running in one of the best line-ups staged in the UK.

    The 34 year old said: “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will be one of the first meets of my outdoor season and I’m looking to put on a good show for the crowd in July. Even four weeks out, we have multiple Olympic and world champions confirmed for the event, which shows how high the standard will be and something which I will relish, being an athlete that thrives on the big stage. 

    “With the standard of women’s sprinting improving all the time, I’ve got to have my eyes on all seven of the athletes that line up against me on the start line at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The British crowd always treat me as one of their own and that is the main reason why I keep on coming back year after year.”  

    Eaton meanwhile not only won gold at London 2012, but also triumphed at last year’s World Championships, before going on to defend his World Indoor heptathlon crown in Sopot in March.

    With no major championships scheduled for the 26 year old this year, Eaton has opted to test his hand at the 400m hurdles this year, and will be looking to take the scalps of another world-class field at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in July. The world record holder made another piece of history this month by becoming the first decathlete to win an individual event at the Oslo Diamond League, as the American took a notable victory over 2011 world silver medallist LJ Van Zyl and has since lowered his personal best to 48.94 after just six races.

    “2014 will give me a chance to recharge my batteries ahead of the World Championships in 2015 and Rio 2016, where I will be looking to defend my decathlon titles.

    “To have the opportunity to compete in the UK at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is something that I will relish. I have established myself in the decathlon as the one to beat, and I’m looking to continue this throughout the course of the outdoor season in the individual events.

    “My aim is to go quicker still at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix; I want  to keep pushing myself to the limit to see how far inside 49 seconds I can go. I know from Oslo that I can contend with a world-class field, but I’m expecting an even bigger test in Glasgow in July.”

    Integrated into the IAAF Diamond League meet will be a series of para-events, which will star the likes of London 2012 gold medallists David Weir (Jenny Archer), Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) and Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks), as well as Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine), Stef Reid (Reider) and the USA’s Richard Browne.

    Rudisha, Fraser-Pryce, Jeter and Eaton will be joined at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix by a whole host of current and former Olympic gold medallists including Felix Sanchez, Anna Chicherova, Blanka Vlasic, Jenn Suhr, Dayron Robles, Amantle Montsho, Aries Merritt, Tomasz Majewski, Sandra Perkovic, Andreas Thorkildsen, Keshorn Walcott, Christian Taylor and Sally Pearson in one of the greatest fields ever assembled in the UK.

    Tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12 are available by visiting http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/

  • 18 June 2014

    Music Promises to be Highlight at Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

    Music will once again play a large part in the annual Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival which takes place in Portsoy on June 27-29, 2014. Drawing together a host of musicians from across Scotland as well as welcoming a number of international acts, many of whom originally hail from Scottish shores, the Festival’s musical offering will play a part in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

    Festival favourites and newcomers alike will be appearing throughout the three day celebration of traditional boat building and sailing, music, art and culture. Bands and singers will appear across numerous stages situated in various locations around the picturesque coastal village.

    The ever-popular De Kinkels will return to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival from the Netherlands, playing on the Harbour Stage throughout the weekend as well as at a gig in the Station Hotel in the evening of June 28. Celtic Connection award winners RURA will headline the Showcase Concert on Friday night at the Festival, bringing with them a vibrant, upbeat sound.

    Allan Carr, originally from Aberdeen and now based in Philadelphia, is also due to play at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. A multi-instrumentalist, Allan moved away from Scotland over 20 years ago and will return to play a mixture of traditional and contemporary music from his prolific repertoire.

    Folk and Robbers, hailing from Svelvik, Norway, will return to the Festival 15 years after their last performance, and promise to bring with them a mixture of pop, folk and rock mixed with some Scottish, Irish and Norwegian folk songs. Also from Norway, shanty choir Slogmaakane will be appearing across the weekend.

    For some more traditional Scottish fare, the Portsoy Pipe Band and Tarves’ Chaotica will perform during the weekend. The Spiers Family, Danny Couper, Carol Anderson and Arthur Watson will be curating informal sessions in the Festival marquee, as well as running workshops on Scots songs and tunes that have been adopted around the world.

    For those looking for a more interactive musical experience, the Borders-based HLI Ceilidh Band will be appearing in the Festival marquee on Saturday June 28 for a barnstorming family ceilidh. The Portsoy Bowling Club will host an open mic night, also on Saturday evening, for those that would like to show off their own musical talents.

    Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director said: “The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is a key event in the year of Homecoming, which will showcase the maritime and cultural heritage of the North East. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and with the announcement of the packed musical programme there is even more for visitors to enjoy at the Festival this year.”

    The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival draws in excess of 16,000 people to the shores of Portsoy every year and as well as heritage boats from near and far it includes a wide range of crafts, music, song and dance from around the world, a delicious food fayre and a fun packed action area.

    This year the Festival is a key event in the Year of Homecoming – a year-long programme of events and activities focusing on celebrating the very best of Scotland.

    For more information about the Festival and to buy tickets visit www.stbfportsoy.com. Updates about his year’s Festival are also available on Facebook at and Twitter – search for @STBFestival.

    An adult day ticket to the Festival costs £8, children aged five to 18 and concessions are £5. Adult weekend tickets are priced at £12 and children and concessions at £8. There are also family tickets available which allow entry for two adults and three children for £25 for a day ticket and £35 for a weekend.  Children under five go free. Car parking is available and costs £2, with the price including a brochure.

    Category: National Events

  • 18 June 2014

    The 2014 Ryder Cup marks 100 Days To Go

     

    100 balls, 100 strokes, 100 people and 100 Days To Go until The 2014 Ryder Cup
    A cast of 100 supporters of The 2014 Ryder Cup today marked 100 Days To Go until the event begins with a special 360-degree photograph.
    Chefs, security personnel and teachers took on waiters, school children, green keepers, transport operators and buggy drivers in a collective challenge to simultaneously chip one golf ball each into the 18th hole on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.   
    And it was 39-year-old green keeper Christopher Brown who defied the odds to hole his shot, a feat rewarded by the organisers with two Ryder Cup match day tickets, which he is giving to his two sons. Two practice day tickets were also awarded to each of the 100 supporters taking part in the challenge.
    The stunt was designed to mark the collective effort taken to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events just 100 Days before the first tee-off on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on 26th September.
    Edward Kitson, Match Director of The 2014 Ryder Cup, said: “It is no mean feat to stage one of the world’s largest events on a single golf course over just six days, while broadcasting every moment of it to over half a billion homes. 
    “The infrastructure for The Ryder Cup is necessarily temporary, and it therefore requires a huge amount of coordination and teamwork to make it happen. We are thrilled to mark 100 days to go to the event with this special photograph, which encapsulates the team ethic that has been put into the planning of the event.”
    Over 250,000 spectators are expected to travel to Gleneagles for the event, and 7,000 employed staff, marshals, volunteers, emergency service personnel and media representatives will be on site during the event week. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be broadcast to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching more than half a billion homes each day of competition. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “With one hundred days to go you can feel the excitement building as The Ryder Cup comes closer to a return to Scotland, the Home of Golf. Shortly we will be watching many of the world’s best golfers, competing at Gleneagles, in this iconic sporting occasion. This is an important period for Scottish Golf and for Scotland’s place on the world stage and we are set for a fantastic event that will capture the imagination of millions of fans at home and abroad.” 
    Patrick Elsmie, Gleneagles’ Managing Director, commented: “Gleneagles has been preparing to host The Ryder Cup for the past for 13 years, and there is enormous excitement around the resort that it’s now just 100 days away. The whole team have been working tirelessly to ensure the PGA Centenary Course and Gleneagles Hotel are both ready to host one of golf’s greatest events. We are all looking forward to welcoming the world to Perthshire in September, to showcase the very best of Scotland and Scottish hospitality.”

    A cast of 100 supporters of The 2014 Ryder Cup today marked 100 Days To Go until the event begins with a special 360-degree photograph.Chefs, security personnel and teachers took on waiters, school children, green keepers, transport operators and buggy drivers in a collective challenge to simultaneously chip one golf ball each into the 18th hole on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.   And it was 39-year-old green keeper Christopher Brown who defied the odds to hole his shot, a feat rewarded by the organisers with two Ryder Cup match day tickets, which he is giving to his two sons. Two practice day tickets were also awarded to each of the 100 supporters taking part in the challenge.

    The stunt was designed to mark the collective effort taken to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events just 100 Days before the first tee-off on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles on 26th September.Edward Kitson, Match Director of The 2014 Ryder Cup, said: “It is no mean feat to stage one of the world’s largest events on a single golf course over just six days, while broadcasting every moment of it to over half a billion homes. “The infrastructure for The Ryder Cup is necessarily temporary, and it therefore requires a huge amount of coordination and teamwork to make it happen. We are thrilled to mark 100 days to go to the event with this special photograph, which encapsulates the team ethic that has been put into the planning of the event.”

     Over 250,000 spectators are expected to travel to Gleneagles for the event, and 7,000 employed staff, marshals, volunteers, emergency service personnel and media representatives will be on site during the event week. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be broadcast to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching more than half a billion homes each day of competition. 

     Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “With one hundred days to go you can feel the excitement building as The Ryder Cup comes closer to a return to Scotland, the Home of Golf. Shortly we will be watching many of the world’s best golfers, competing at Gleneagles, in this iconic sporting occasion. This is an important period for Scottish Golf and for Scotland’s place on the world stage and we are set for a fantastic event that will capture the imagination of millions of fans at home and abroad.” Patrick Elsmie, Gleneagles’ Managing Director, commented: “Gleneagles has been preparing to host The Ryder Cup for the past for 13 years, and there is enormous excitement around the resort that it’s now just 100 days away. The whole team have been working tirelessly to ensure the PGA Centenary Course and Gleneagles Hotel are both ready to host one of golf’s greatest events. We are all looking forward to welcoming the world to Perthshire in September, to showcase the very best of Scotland and Scottish hospitality.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland/ Eventscotland said: “With only 100 days to go, the buzz and excitement around hosting one of the world’s biggest sporting events is intensifying. As the lead agency delivering the 2014 Ryder Cup, we are working hard to maximise the opportunities that come with hosting such a world-famous event for tourism and the Scottish economy. 

     Our dedicated golf programme promotes Scotland throughout the UK and in key markets abroad, and The Ryder Cup has an expected global reach of more than half a billion. Combine the two and it’s clear that Scotland is set to confirm its position as the Home of Golf and demonstrate once more that it is the perfect stage for major events. 

     Scotland will stop to enjoy our Ryder Cup. With over 550 courses spread throughout the country and 250,000 spectators and media during the competition, we would encourage everyone to get out there and uncover their very own golfing paradise!”

    Category: International Events

  • 17 June 2014

    Tender invitations sought by The Festivals Forum

    The Festivals Forum, the body of stakeholders with a shared interest in ensuring Edinburgh maintains and develops its position as the world’s leading Festival city, seeks to commission a new study to consider the future sustainability, success and strategic development of Edinburgh’s 12 major Festivals. The study is commissioned by Festivals Edinburgh, EventScotland, Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Enterprise the British Council.  Reflecting on progress following the 2006 Thundering Hooves study, it is now necessary to reconsider the opportunities and threats relevant to the future cultural and organisational sustainability and development of the Festivals in order to inform a reinvigorated strategy and action plan. Invitations are sought from suitably qualified consultants who may bring together a team to research and deliver the study. The deadline for submission is 27 June, 2014.  Register your interest here >>

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 11 June 2014

    Borders school performs the ‘Hawick-a’ for Legacy Week

    In celebration of Legacy Week, school children from Drumlanrig Primary School, Loan today (10th June) took part in final rehearsals for their Hawick-a (Haka) performance, which combines the traditional New Zealand Haka and a Borders Common Riding song, to capture the spirit and legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

    The performance was created by local primary and secondary school children in Hawick and has been an extremely collaborative and educational experience for those involved. Children have been learning to drum and dance and have also created colourful carnival head dresses and Commonwealth flags to create a lasting impression from their performance.

    The dance will be part of a full day of celebrations to mark the arrival of the Queens’ Baton Relay to The Borders on 18th June to include – music from Clanadonia, The Big Parade of over 300 school pupils, dance showcases and free concerts from a host of performers.

    The Haka Hawick celebrations form part of the Games for Scotland programme of events, supported by EventScotland and a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a legacy through Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. The programme is designed to give people across Scotland the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay in their area and feel motivated and inspired by the Games.

    Ms Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “The Haka Hawick performance really embraces the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and is an excellent example of how Games for Scotland is inspiring Scots to actively participate in events which celebrate Scotland’s culture and heritage, and showcase Scotland as a welcoming host to our international friends.

    “This is a great example of how young people are being inspired by the Commonwealth Games and helping to create a lasting legacy.  So far, over 250,000 school pupils are benefitting from Game on Scotland legacy programme.”

    Olivia Roper, Performing Arts Coordinator, Scottish Borders Council said: “We wanted to create something truly memorable to celebrate the Queens Baton Relay and our Games for Scotland funding enabled us to be really creative with our approach.  The children have all worked really hard on their performance and we’re all honoured to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “We’re really excited by The Scottish Borders Council’s plans for their Games for Scotland event this year – it’s a great event for young people to be involved in and will build excitement in the area in the run up to the XX Commonwealth Games.

    “The Games for Scotland programme has been spreading the message of the Games around Scotland’s communities since 2010 and has proved to be hugely popular. There is a diverse programme of events across the country this summer from dance to storytelling and sports activity sessions. We’re delighted that the team have come up with something really creative that celebrates our ties to the rest of the Commonwealth and gives young people the opportunity to be part of something unforgettable.”

    Visit www.legacy2014.co.uk for more information.

    Category: Games for Scotland News

  • 10 June 2014

    Tweddle Announces 2015 World Gymnastics Championships Tickets on Sale

    Tickets for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow are now on sale – with just 500 days to go until the world’s top artistic gymnasts take centre stage at the stunning SSE Hydro Arena.

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships is one of the world’s largest single sporting events. More than 500 gymnasts from over 80 nations will compete to become world champion and secure their place amongst the legends of the sport. As a qualification event for Rio 2016 Olympic Games the gymnasts will be ensuring they are at the peak of their abilities to keep their medal hopes alive.

    Three-time world champion and Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle, who has been announced as an official ambassador for the championships, can’t wait for the action to get underway.

    Beth said: “The world championships attract the very highest calibre of gymnasts and, as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games, every single athlete will be striving to perform at their very best.

    “To have these championships here in Glasgow really shows the position it holds as a world-class sporting city. I hope the people of Glasgow, Scotland and the rest of the UK take full advantage of this fantastic event and come along to support our gymnasts.”

    Tickets are now on sale for the 10 days of world-class competition. The schedule will comprise of four days of qualification events followed by six days of finals where gymnasts will compete in team, all around and individual apparatus events. For the qualification events concessions start at £7.50, adult tickets start at £15 and a family ticket starts at £38. For the finals concession ticket prices start at £20, adult ticket prices start at £40 and a family ticket starts at £100.

    This world-class event will be staged in Glasgow’s world-class SSE Hydro Arena between 23rd October and 1st November 2015. With the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships’ unique layout gymnastics fans will be able to get closer to the action than ever before and see the chalk dust fly.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s great sporting cities – a position built on our track record of hosting international sporting events and our investment in world-class facilities.

    “As we look beyond this summer’s Commonwealth Games the excitement is already building towards the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. It will bring the world’s very best gymnasts together for 10 days of action in one of the best entertainment arenas anywhere in the world.

    “The stage is set and we are ready to put on a show that will wow the world in 2015. They will be the best world championships ever and now is your chance to make sure you are a part of it.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we have built a really strong reputation for delivering major Gymnastics Championships. 2015 is set to be a fantastic year for events in Glasgow and with tickets going on sale for the World Gymnastics Championships, fans can guarantee their seats at what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.”

    The first World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Antwerp in 1903. Now, over 100 years later Glasgow will take great pleasure in welcoming the 46th World Gymnastics Championships here next year.

    Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event at Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 1997. The title of the Grand Prix changed to the Gymnastics World Cup in 2011 and has been hosted in £113 million Emirates Arena since its opening in 2013. Glasgow is one of only four cities hosting World Cup events.

    The decision by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) follows a joint bid between British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport. Glasgow beat off tough competition from Paris (France) and Orlando (USA) to win the right to host the prestigious event.

    The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland. 

    Category: International Events

  • 05 June 2014

    GET UNBORED WITH THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE: 2014 PROGRAMME LAUNCHED

    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back for 2014 with a programme that is bursting at the seams with exhilarating, inspiring and unforgettable festival shows and offering a truly unboring experience.

    2014 will see 50,771 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across Scotland’s capital city. The number of shows reflects an 11% increase on last year’s programme, making it the biggest ever in the history of the Fringe.

    Audiences at the 2014 Fringe will have a new online ticketing experience that will improve the process for customers looking to search for shows and buy tickets. Ticketing on edfringe.com is now fully responsive and customers can now access it on any PC, tablet or mobile device, and will benefit from improved filtering options, the ability to export their search results, create their own calendar of events, and share booked and favourite shows. Additionally, audience members can now post reviews of any show they’ve seen directly onto edfringe.com, which will in turn benefit participants who can build up a picture of genuine audience responses. Participants will also be able to enrich their online show listings by sharing reviews, social media links, sneak previews and other media files. This is alongside the official Fringe App for Android and iOS which is already available. Once again the Fringe Society has increased the number of ticket collections points around the city, to make things easier for our audience. New collection points this year include the Institut français d'Ecosse in the west end of the city and, as announced last month, the Domestic Arrivals Hall at Edinburgh Airport. A full list of ticket collection points can be found online.

    As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe constantly evolves, a number of new venues will be showcasing work this year. Riddle’s Court, an A-listed 16th Century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile is once again in operation following extensive conservation work, and joins the C Venues group as C Cubed, while, rising like a phoenix, La Belle Angèle on Cowgate is reopening as a venue, following the devastating fire in 2002. Northern Stage is moving to a new venue at King’s Hall on Clerk Street, and the south side of the city also sees new venues Greenside @ Nicolson Square and C venues - C south, extending the presence of the Fringe in that neighbourhood. The Famous Spiegeltent will be located in St Andrew’s Square, alongside Stand in the Square, and a brand new open air stage. TheSpaceUK, which is celebrating 20 years at the Fringe this year, manages performance spaces across eight locations, plus a caravan on Niddry Street with a maximum audience capacity of just eight. 2014 also marks the 25th year as a Fringe venue for Universal Art’s Hill Street Theatre which will this year once again play host to the Festival of Solo Theatre.

    This year sees the former Dance and Physical Theatre category expanded to become Dance, Circus and Physical Theatre in recognition of the growth and popularity of circus shows over the last couple of years. Spoken Word, which was introduced in 2012 sees an 88% increase in the number of shows since last year to a total of 124 – making up just under 4% of the total programme. Children’s shows have also seen a big increase in popularity this year, with 22% more shows in this category than in 2013. All other categories continue to remain very popular.

    Kath M Mainland, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

    “This programme is the culmination of the creativity and hard work of thousands of people. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is many things to many people and part of the success of the Fringe is that whatever you are looking for, and in whatever capacity you are looking, you can almost certainly be satisfied by what you find.

    "This year the Fringe includes 3,193 shows which is a record number of shows, but more importantly the programme offers the widest selection of international high quality arts and entertainment that you will find in any one place at any one time. A truly unique experience.

    “This year is an incredibly important year for Scotland with major international cultural, sporting and political events taking place. With our eclectic range of shows and uniquely diverse range of voices the Fringe will, as always, be at the centre of things and promises to keep residents and visitors unbored.”

    Category: International Events

  • 05 June 2014

    Queen's Baton Relay route activities revealed

    Fife has revealed the detail for a day of celebration to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to the area as part of the Games for Scotland programme on Thursday 26 June.

    The Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman, will welcome the baton to Fife at Knockhill Racing Circuit in the morning where it will take in a lap on a superbike.
    The baton will then spend the day in Fife and take in sights including Dunfermline Abbey, coastal villages (and travel by RNLI lifeboat between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy no less!) and will then move on to places including Falkland Palace and the East Neuk before arriving in St Andrews for a carnival-themed parade!

    Fife Council’s Active Fife team will be delivering a range of active celebrations on the day including the opportunity for people of all ages to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports and an attempt at the world’s biggest ceilidh! The activity will form part of the Games for Scotland programme, managed by EventScotland, which forms a key part of Legacy 2014 - the Scottish Government's commitment to deliver a lasting legacy as a result of the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland.

    Around 100 children will welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay when it makes a morning stop at Dalgety Bay Sports Centre. They will take part in a free run-jump-throw athletics session and will have the opportunity to touch the baton.

    Meanwhile at Micheal Woods Sports & Leisure Centre in Glenrothes, the finalists of the Going for Gold competition will be battling it out. The annual competition between care homes encourages the elderly to try out a new activity and to keep active. Teams from 58 care homes across Fife are currently battling it out in a “Walk the Commonwealth Step Count Challenge” and are training at New Age Kurling, carpet bowls, boccia, basketball shoots and other fun sports in preparation for the final. The Baton Relay will visit the centre at lunchtime as part of this event to commend their efforts!

    It’s then on to Falkland where over 150 children from Falkland Primary School and nursery will take part in a cultural-themed dance and Commonwealth Games taster activity session at Falkland Palace.
    Later in the afternoon around 300 people will welcome the baton to Duffus Park in Cupar where a closing ceremony for a local Commonweath Games event will be taking place with Olympic Bronze medallist curler Anna Sloan.

    Finally, a carnival atmosphere will welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to St Andrews where people will line the streets to watch a parade travel along South Street, North Street and down to West Sands. They’ll then be encouraged to follow the baton to West Sands for more entertainment and the chance to take part in a record breaking attempt at the world’s biggest ceilidh!

    The Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman, is pleased that so many people will have the opportunity to not only welcome the baton to their community, but to take part in the celebrations too. He said: “Hundreds of Fifers will be taking part in these events. It’s an opportunity for them to be active, try out a new sport or activity and be part of the exciting build up to the Games in Glasgow. I’m looking forward to welcoming the baton into Fife at Knockhill and then ending the day of celebration in a fitting manner with some ceilidh dancing in St Andrews!”

    Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “The XX Commonwealth Games are fast approaching and, as we gear up to what will be the best Games ever, I am delighted that the Games for Scotland programme is going strong, encouraging communities across the country to feel part of the excitement that is building around the event.

    “The programme, which is part of our Legacy 2014 pledge, has already inspired thousands of people in Scotland to take part in sport and cultural activities. We are showing the world that we are a nation proud of our culture and diversity – and that this legacy will continue long after the closing ceremony of the Games at Hampden Park.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 June 2014

    Sharp Ready to Take in Electric Crowd At Glasgow Diamond League

    European 800m Champion Lynsey Sharp (coach: Rana Reider) has announced that she will run at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12.

    Sharp has only just returned to action after nine months on the sidelines and showed a promising return to form clocking 2:01.68 at the BMC Grand Prix on Saturday – her third victory in successive weekends. The Edinburgh AC athlete is now excited to get amongst the world’s best in her first IAAF Diamond League appearance in nearly two years.

    The Olympic semi-finalist said: “It’s going to be great occasion to step foot inside Hampden Park for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in July. It’s going to be like the Commonwealth Games in two days and I know that the atmosphere is going to be electric.”

    Sharp will follow in the footsteps of her footballing heroes, as the 23 year old lines up at Scotland’s national stadium and believes that having the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in the back of her mind during her rehabilitation has been crucial to getting back onto the track.

    “As soon as the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix was announced, this was the event that I was targeting on my comeback from injury. I’ve watched Rangers play at the stadium many times, but to be able to step on the track and compete in front of a home crowd is going to be something I’ll never forget.

    “It’s been a long road to recovery, but to have this event to focus on makes all the hours spent rehabbing worth it,” added the daughter of five-time Commonwealth Games medallist Cameron Sharp.  

    It will be a three-way battle of the Brits in the 800m at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with Sharp going head-to-head with fellow Scot Laura Muir (Andy Young) and World Junior 800m silver medallist Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark). Despite not having the best preparation to the 2014 season, she is ready to put her all into giving the home crowd the biggest cheer of the weekend.  

    “I know the Scottish public will be looking to get behind me and I’m determined to put a strong show on for them. I haven’t been a part of the Diamond League since 2012, so to be back and competing against a world-class field at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is more than I could ask for really.”

    Sharp will be joined at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix by double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), World 400m gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), 2003 World Champion Kim Collins, World Junior 100m champion Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge), World Indoor 60m Champion Richard Kilty (Reider) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man on the planet over 100m.

    To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix at Hampden Park on July 11-12, please visit britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 30 May 2014

    Nick Brings Forth Scotland's Best Food and Drink

    Top celebrity chef, Nick Nairn, has brought his passion for Scottish produce to bear in designing a menu for Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch, a highlight of this September’s Forth Bridges Festival.

     Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is a unique outdoor event which will take place on Saturday 6 September.  It is planned to celebrate three centuries of bridge engineering on the Forth, as well as marking the 50th birthday of the iconic Forth Road Bridge, and is a key event in the Homecoming 2014 calendar.

     The lunch will be held in South Queensferry in front of the spectacular panorama of the three bridges – the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing, which is currently under construction.  Visitors and residents alike will enjoy all the best of Scottish quality food and drink sourced from right across the country. 

     Tickets are now on sale for up to 2400 lunch guests to enjoy a feast of artisan sandwiches with Scottish salmon, Inverurie sirloin beef and roasted vegetables, accompanied by a fresh super salad and followed by a Scottish berry trifle dessert.

     Commenting on his menu choice, Nick Nairn said: “The Forth Bridges are iconic symbols of Scotland around the world and I'm thrilled to be involved in the festival.  Scotland is going through a food and drink revolution at the moment and this is a brilliant chance to celebrate our fantastic natural larder against the amazing backdrop of the Bridges."

     The event will include an exciting line-up of live entertainment with music, choirs, street entertainers, a food and drink market, and demonstration kitchens manned by some of Scotland’s top chefs.  Grant Stott and Dingo Dave from Forth One will also be broadcasting from South Queensferry during the event.

     Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is one of the signature events of the Forth Bridges Festival, which runs from 4-13 September 2014, and is supported by Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund.

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “This is a landmark year for Scotland as the country plays host not only to the events of Homecoming, but also the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and The 2014 Ryder Cup.  Events such as ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’ as part of the stunning Forth Bridges Festival provide a fantastic boost for this country’s food and drink industry, enabling businesses to showcase the finest regionally sourced, premium quality produce that Scotland has to offer.  I am looking forward to sampling the menu by Nick Nairn with my family on 6 September on the banks of the River Forth.”

     The festival is being organised by Queensferry Ambition in partnership with FETA (Forth Estuary Transport Authority).

    Malcolm Brown, chair of Queensferry Ambition, said:  “Queensferry Ambition is absolutely delighted to confirm that the renowned and respected celebrity chef Nick Nairn is designing and overseeing the menu for ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’.  We are thrilled that Nick recognises the importance of the Forth Bridges Festival 2014 and has chosen to demonstrate his commitment to this highlight of Homecoming Scotland.  A glimpse at the menu, with its inventive use of the best of Scotland’s quality food and drink, offers a tantalising taste of what promises to be a truly delicious feast.”

     Tickets for the event cost £13 for adults and £8.00 for children, plus a small booking fee and are available to purchase through the Forth Bridges Festival website – www.forthbridgesfestival.com

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 29 May 2014

    Torrance and Livingstone Back Ryder Cup Support for Scottish Clubs

    European Ryder Cup vice-captain Sam Torrance and Sky Sports presenter David Livingstone are backing a new Scottish Golf ‘Club Toolkit’ initiative which will encourage clubs to build a legacy from The 2014 Ryder Cup through access to coveted tickets for the event itself.

     Making the announcement at Bathgate Golf Club, a venue synonymous with The Ryder Cup having produced two members in Eric Brown and Bernard Gallacher as captains, the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association (SLGA) and ClubGolf, in association with tourism agency VisitScotland, revealed that the country’s near 600 golf clubs  would be given the opportunity to receive at least two tickets for The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September, to be used in developing the game at local level.

     The ‘Ryder Cup Ready’ toolkit provides clubs and ClubGolf facilities with a guide featuring ideas on how to maximise the countdown to Scotland’s first Ryder Cup in 41 years, including building junior membership, retaining members, generating more clubhouse revenue, attracting new golfers and increasing visitor numbers. The Ryder Cup’s official broadcaster, Sky Sports, is also backing the club activity, through a special ‘6 months for the price of 4’ subscription offer and the chance to become one of Sky Sports’ ‘Ultimate Venues’ during the week of the event.

     Clubs will be invited to apply for the tickets, which have been awarded by The Scottish Government as part of Scotland’s host nation allocation, based on running Ryder Cup themed activity in the run up to the event in late September and successful clubs will be rewarded with two tickets for match days and up to eight practice day tickets.

     With match day tickets for the biennial event now sold out, the initiative will provide a unique opportunity for golfers in Scotland to attend one of the world’s biggest sporting events, with clubs encouraged to give golfers young and old the chance to get their hands on the tickets.

     Sam Torrance, the victorious European Ryder Cup captain in 2002, who will be a key member of Paul McGinley’s backroom team at Gleneagles, welcomed the initiative: “The Ryder Cup Ready Club Toolkit is a great idea, as there’s no better time for clubs to showcase themselves amid the buzz of The Ryder Cup.

     “It’s fantastic to see such as large proportion of tickets going to clubs across Scotland, giving the chance for club members to be part of what will be an amazing home crowd at Gleneagles.

     “The practice days are also a fantastic spectacle and I’m sure those youngsters and volunteers attending will savour the experience and inspire them to stay involved in the game of golf with the chance to see the world’s best players in action.”

     A total of 3,000 tickets will be provided to Scottish Golf from the Scottish Government’s Host Nation allocation, with 2,000 tickets being given to ClubGolf and 1,000 tickets awarded to the SGU and SLGA.  Each club will be invited to apply for tickets via the Scottish Golf Union and ClubGolf websites.

     Four clubs across Scotland will be awarded the title of Sky Sports Ultimate Venue, each winning a 3D TV and a visit from The Ryder Cup trophy to their club for a day. These clubs will be selected based on running the most successful Ryder Cup themed activity during the summer.

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said: “The importance of The 2014 Ryder Cup to golf clubs and golf tourism in Scotland cannot be overstated.

     “There is no doubt that the week of The Ryder Cup will deliver an influx of golfing visitors to Scotland but it is what we do before, during and after the event that will provide the lasting benefit to our golf industry. The toolkit outlines many ways in which golf clubs can capitalise on this enhanced exposure and benefit for many years to come, ensuring we maintain and build on Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf.

     “We are delighted to have played a part in this toolkit through our partnership with both the SGU and SLGA and our strong relationship with Sky Sports and we look forward to welcoming the world to our golf clubs in 2014 and beyond.”

    Further information on the Toolkit and the ticket allocation can be found here: http://www.scottishgolf.org/club-services/marketing/ryder-cup/

    Category: International Events

  • 28 May 2014

    Edinburgh International Film Festival Unveils 2014 Programme

     Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara announced this morning at Filmhouse in Edinburgh details of the programme for the 68th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 18 to 29 June, will showcase 156 features from 47 countries, including 11 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 7 European Premieres and 95 UK Premieres.

     The Festival boasts 124 new features, with highlights including Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final performances, which screens within the Directors’ Showcase strand; Gia Coppola’s PALO ALTO, starring James Franco and Emma Roberts, which will screen in the American Dreams strand; and, straight from Cannes, Abel Ferrara’s controversial title WELCOME TO NEW YORK, inspired by the case of former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, starring Gérard Depardieu, will receive its UK Premiere. EIFF will also host the World Premiere of CASTLES IN THE SKY from Gillies MacKinnon, the story of the Scottish engineer and developer of radar Robert Watson-Watt (Eddie Izzard). The film is one of the contenders for the Michael Powell Award, along with SET FIRE TO THE STARS, the debut feature from Andy Goddard, a semi-biographical drama depicting the life of Dylan Thomas and starring Elijah Wood, also screening as a World Premiere. Special Screenings include Anthony Baxter’s A DANGEROUS GAME, the follow-up to the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped, exploring American property developer Donald Trump’s incursion into Scotland; and this year’s family gala will be the UK Premiere of the animated heist adventure THE NUT JOB, featuring the voice talents of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson.

     Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “A film festival must keep trying to remain challenging, provocative and responsive, and I believe the programme we’re unveiling today shows our success at doing that this year. It’s a diverse and artistically strong programme that will delight and surprise our audiences, both old and new, and that will reward those who share our passion for exploring cinema in all its forms.”

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Amateur ride with Sir Chris Hoy joins men and women’s elite races on Grassmarket circuit

    Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series makes its debut in Edinburgh next week, with the country’s top professional cycling teams heading to the Grassmarket for an evening of action packed racing.

    Thursday 29th May sees the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series and women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series both taking place in the city for the first time, with multiple Olympic and World Champion Sir Chris Hoy.

    Hoy will be in Edinburgh for the final stop of the 2014 HOY Tour, showcasing his new range of kid’s bikes with an inflatable test track on the Grassmarket.

    He’ll then ride a few laps of the closed road circuit under the shadow of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle with 50 lucky fans who will be drawn at random in a prize draw conducted by Evans Cycles.

    Commenting on Thursday’s ride, Sir Chris Hoy said,

    “I always love coming home to Edinburgh, this week will be extra special as I’m launching the new Hoy kids range of bikes in the city where each of these bike names originated.  The Napier, Bonaly, Cammo and Meadowbank bikes are all named after these places where I enjoyed some of my first cycling experiences.  To find out more go to www.hoybikes.com and come along on Thursday to try the bikes out with me”

    Following the amateur ride, Britain’s leading televised race series for women, the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, will have its first ever round in Scotland, with racing underway at 17:30.

    Coming on the back of a month which has seen the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour, held in the East of England, and with Scottish riders Eileen Roe and Charline Joiner first and second in the standings, interest and support is sure to be high.

    At 19:30 attention will switch to the men, with Round Six of the team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series on the 1.3-kilometre course.

    Among the home riders taking part will be NFTO Pro Cycling’s Commonwealth Games medallist James McCallum and Starley Primal Pro Cycling duo Jack Pullar and David Lines.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in that the focus is on the teams, with squads battling to place their top three riders as high as possible in the standings in order to take the all-important team victory.

    Looking ahead to the round, Series Race Director Mick Bennett said; “Coming after Tuesday’s Durham round, Edinburgh will be another tough test for our teams and riders.

    “We have been looking forward to the Edinburgh event ever since it was confirmed, and think that the Grassmarket circuit will provide for spectacular racing and a great atmosphere from which spectators can enjoy the event.”

    In addition to the professional races there will be support activities on the circuit from 13:00 onwards, including youth races at 14:30 and a Category 2/3/4 amateur race at 15:30.

    Starting and finishing on the Grassmarket, the circuit then takes in the cobbled climb of Victoria Street, crosses the George IV Bridge, before returning to the Grassmarket via Candlemaker Row.

    Highlights of the Edinburgh round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat at 6am on Saturday 31st May.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Scottish Show Down for Edinburgh Round of Matrix Fitness GP Series

    Britain’s leading televised women’s cycle race series heads to Edinburgh on Thursday, for its first ever Scottish round on Thursday (29th May), with Scottish riders leading the way.

    Heading into the Edinburgh event, Round Three in the Series, Fife’s Eileen Roe tops the standings, 11-points clear of Dunfermline’s Charline Joiner.

    Roe, of the Starley Primal Pro Cycling team, was the winner last time out in Peterborough and took the runner-up spot in Round One at Stoke-on-Trent.  Back from a long-term injury layoff, she has hit the ground running and has high expectations of the racing and her home crowds.

    "It's exciting that there’s a round in Edinburgh and me being from Fife it's the closest to a home race in the Series. Meaning there's no 5hr+ drive involved.  I hope everyone is ready for probably the biggest crowds of the Series! Edinburgh is a city that definitely loves cycling and everyone I know can't wait for it.

    “It's one of the toughest circuits of the Series and racing up the cobbled Victoria Street certainly holds for one exciting race in both the men's and women's races. To be wearing the Leader Jersey coming into Edinburgh in front of a home crowd is certainly an honour, but it also comes with the pressure to keep hold of it or even a stage win. Starley Primal will do everything to keep that jersey with the team and give my home crowds something to shout about.”

    Fellow Scot Charline Joiner, of the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International squad, not only has her sights firmly set on Roe who currently sits 11-points above her in the Matrix Fitness GP Series overall standings, but has the bigger ambitions of competing for a spot in the track team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.   

    "There's a pretty steep cobbled hill that the crowd cheering for me will come in handy. With my sprint type riding the hills are always more difficult for me and having that home crowd will help a lot.

    “If I'm there in Glasgow [Commonwealth Games], I can imagine Edinburgh will be a little taster of how it might be. I love the fact my best friend and I are sitting 1st and 2nd in the series going into a home round."

    Scottish riders have so far won both events so far in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, with Joiner’s teammate Katie Archibald winning the opening event in Stoke-on-Trent.  Having missed the Peterborough round she sits sixth in the standings, but still less than a race win behind Roe in the points.  The Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team also continue to lead the team standings.

    The Edinburgh round will take place at the Grassmarket at 17:30 on Thursday 29th May.  Following the women’s race Round Six of the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series will hit the streets at 19:30 for an hour long race around the 1.3-kilometre Grassmarket circuit.

    If you can’t make it to Grassmarket to watch the action you can follow the race on our Pearl Izumi Tour Series Twitter feed @tourseries using the hashtag #tourseries.  Race highlights of both the men’s and women’s rounds will be broadcast on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat the following morning at 6am.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 May 2014

    Merritt To Take On Sharman at The Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix

    Olympic 110m hurdles champion and world record holder Aries Merritt will go head-to-head with World Championships finalist William Sharman (coach: Jerzy Maciukiewicz) at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12. The duo join 10 global medallists already confirmed for the event held at Hampden two weeks before the Commonwealth Games.

     Just a month after winning Olympic gold at London 2012, Merritt lowered the world record from 12.87 to 12.80 at the Brussels Diamond League and will face Sharman, who finished fifth in Moscow last summer one place in front of his American counterpart.

     The IAAF Diamond League will come to Glasgow for the first time in its history and will follow last year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which was held at the Olympic Stadium. Sharman finished behind Merritt’s countryman and eventual World Champion David Oliver last year, clocking a personal best of 13.26, whilst Merritt was disqualified. With the world’s best returning to the UK, Merritt will be looking to reassert his dominance on the biggest stage with Sharman keen to build on his impressive early season form.  

     Joining the hurdlers at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix are double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), World Indoor 60m gold medallist Richard Kilty (Rana Reider), 2003 world champion Kim Collins and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man over 100m of all time.

     The Scottish contingent of world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), European U23 bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), Chris O’Hare, Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), Paralympic Games silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Reider) will all be looking to give the home crowd the biggest cheer over the course of the two days.

     More of the biggest stars from the world of athletics will be confirmed in due course for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12.

     Any adults purchasing tickets for the event will receive a free child’s ticket and can purchase via britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 26 May 2014

    Bathgate 2014’s Chieftain Susan Boyle Unveils Family Tartan Ahead of Main Event

    This year’s chieftain, world renowned singer Susan Boyle is looking forward to the weekend’s events, and rightly so. On Saturday thousands will participate in the EFR British Pipe Band Championships and the 43rd Calor Scotland West Lothian Highland Games.

     Therefore, for the occasion, Susan will be wearing a bespoke dress made from her Boyle Family Tartan. Susan’s nephew, Alan Boyle has created this special tartan outfit in partnership with the Kilt Studio, Bathgate and the help of Sew You, Livingston.

     But Susan will not be the only one in her finery on Saturday as 140 pipe bands, dancers and ‘Heavies’ will also be looking their best to compete.

     The EFR British Pipe Band Championships, the second biggest pipe band championship in the world and the first major of the year, is set to attract around 4000 competitors. Couple this with the well-attended Highland Games and Bathgate is in for a busy, fun-filled weekend.

     Alex Linkston, who is on the organising committee said: “It is going to be a fantastic day for all the family. This is the first time the two events have run on the same day and there will be a real atmosphere in Bathgate.

     “With Susan Boyle as our chieftain, very much looking the part, it’s also meant incredible exposure for our event. We are all looking forward to it.”

     For more information visit www.bathgate2014.com

    This year’s chieftain, world renowned singer Susan Boyle is looking forward to the weekend’s events, and rightly so. On Saturday thousands will participate in the EFR British Pipe Band Championships and the 43rd Calor Scotland West Lothian Highland Games.
    Therefore, for the occasion, Susan will be wearing a bespoke dress made from her Boyle Family Tartan. Susan’s nephew, Alan Boyle has created this special tartan outfit in partnership with the Kilt Studio, Bathgate and the help of Sew You, Livingston.
    But Susan will not be the only one in her finery on Saturday as 140 pipe bands, dancers and ‘Heavies’ will also be looking their best to compete.
    The EFR British Pipe Band Championships, the second biggest pipe band championship in the world and the first major of the year, is set to attract around 4000 competitors. Couple this with the well-attended Highland Games and Bathgate is in for a busy, fun-filled weekend.
    Alex Linkston, who is on the organising committee said: “It is going to be a fantastic day for all the family. This is the first time the two events have run on the same day and there will be a real atmosphere in Bathgate.
    “With Susan Boyle as our chieftain, very much looking the part, it’s also meant incredible exposure for our event. We are all looking forward to it.”
    For more information visit www.bathgate2014.com

    Category: National Events

  • 22 May 2014

    Tickets go on sale for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland

    Genealogy enthusiasts can today get their hands on tickets for the first ever Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland event taking place at the SECC in Glasgow from 29-31 August.

     Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland, which is supported by Homecoming Scotland, will help family historians of all levels to unravel their roots and build a picture of their ancestors’ lives. The three-day show will be home to leading experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online subscription sites and one of largest gatherings of family history organisations.

     Scheduled to tie in with the Scottish ‘Year of Homecoming’, which celebrates the ancestry theme, Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will complement the hundred-plus ancestral, clan and family events that feature in a year-long programme of celebrations of Scotland’s unique culture and identity.

     Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will follow the format of the established event that has been held in London’s Olympia since 2006, bringing some of the most popular features to Glasgow’s SECC. Highlights will include:

    Ask the Experts – Bought to you by the Society of Genealogists, the Ask the Experts area will provide an opportunity to get free one-to-one guidance on your family history research. Whether you are stuck finding an elusive ancestor or just need help to get started, this will be the perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert who can provide invaluable advice. 

    Society of Genealogists’ Workshops – An extensive programme of free workshops by leading genealogists will run over the course of the three-day show. Full details and a timetable will be released shortly.

    Photography Gallery – A free, unticketed service dedicated to the photos of our past, with experts on hand to investigate visitors’ valuable family photos and artefacts.

    Andy Healy, Show Director, commented: “Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in family history. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just starting out, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take your genealogy journey further.”

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Glasgow and is one of over 800 events included in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme. With Scotland’s rich and enviable culture and heritage, ancestral tourism is hugely important to Scotland’s economy and events like this help to raise the profile and reach an even wider audience.” The event is based on the popular television programme, produced by Wall to Wall (a Shed Media Group company), which will celebrate its 100th episode later this year. To date, the series has seen the likes of Alan Cumming, Annie Lennox, David Tennant, Fiona Bruce, David Mitchell and Alistair McGowan trace their family trees to reveal the surprising, extraordinary and often moving stories of their ancestors.

     Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland are available now online at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/prices or by calling 0844 873 7330. Advanced single tickets are priced £14 for adults, £24 for a two-day ticket and £30 for a three-day ticket, while children under 16 go free.

    Genealogy enthusiasts can today get their hands on tickets for the first ever Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland event taking place at the SECC in Glasgow from 29-31 August.
     
    Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland, which is supported by Homecoming Scotland, will help family historians of all levels to unravel their roots and build a picture of their ancestors’ lives. The three-day show will be home to leading experts, informative workshops, archives and museums, major online subscription sites and one of largest gatherings of family history organisations.
     
    Scheduled to tie in with the Scottish ‘Year of Homecoming’, which celebrates the ancestry theme, Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will complement the hundred-plus ancestral, clan and family events that feature in a year-long programme of celebrations of Scotland’s unique culture and identity. 
    Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will follow the format of the established event that has been held in London’s Olympia since 2006, bringing some of the most popular features to Glasgow’s SECC. Highlights will include:
    Ask the Experts – Bought to you by the Society of Genealogists, the Ask the Experts area will provide an opportunity to get free one-to-one guidance on your family history research. Whether you are stuck finding an elusive ancestor or just need help to get started, this will be the perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert who can provide invaluable advice. 
    Society of Genealogists’ Workshops – An extensive programme of free workshops by leading genealogists will run over the course of the three-day show. Full details and a timetable will be released shortly.
    Photography Gallery – A free, unticketed service dedicated to the photos of our past, with experts on hand to investigate visitors’ valuable family photos and artefacts.
    Andy Healy, Show Director, commented: “Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in family history. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or just starting out, don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take your genealogy journey further.”
     
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I am delighted that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Glasgow and is one of over 800 events included in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme. With Scotland’s rich and enviable culture and heritage, ancestral tourism is hugely important to Scotland’s economy and events like this help to raise the profile and reach an even wider audience.” 
    The event is based on the popular television programme, produced by Wall to Wall (a Shed Media Group company), which will celebrate its 100th episode later this year. To date, the series has seen the likes of Alan Cumming, Annie Lennox, David Tennant, Fiona Bruce, David Mitchell and Alistair McGowan trace their family trees to reveal the surprising, extraordinary and often moving stories of their ancestors.
     
    Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland are available now online at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/prices or by calling 0844 873 7330. Advanced single tickets are priced £14 for adults, £24 for a two-day ticket and £30 for a three-day ticket, while children under 16 go free.

    Category: National Events

  • 21 May 2014

    Eileen Roe takes Series lead with victory in Peterborough

    Eileen Roe moved into the lead of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series with victory in Round Two at Peterborough, ensuring she will wear the leader's jersey on home roads in Scotland at Round Three.

    Roe now heads a Scottish 1-2 ahead of Charline Joiner as the women's Series heads to Scotland for the first time, with Edinburgh hosting Round Three on Thursday 29th May.

    In the absence of opening round winner and leader Katie Archibald, Roe had pulled on the red and white Matrix Fitness jersey in Peterborough as the leading rider racing, and did the jersey proud, firstly attacking and then ultimately winning the final sprint ahead of Nicola Juniper and Harriet Owen.

    Victory was Roe's second in the Series, having won the Colchester event in heavy rain in 2012, but this time victory means she takes control of the Series, with a 11-point lead over Joiner.

    Freshly back from a long-term injury lay-off, Joiner took sixth, helping her Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team to a second successive team win, and to extend their series lead.

    Second placed Juniper, sixth placed Joiner and Lauren Creamer in eighth secured the points for the team of Dame Sarah Storey, with a fourth black and purple rider, Gabriella Shaw, also in the top ten.

    Third on the night was Harriet Owen, on the circuit where she took victory in 2012 the last time the Series visited, while fourth place was Italian Jasmine Diotti, in only her second outing in the Matrix Fitness GP Series.

    Roe took the Sprint win on the night, while Louise Mahe took over the Sprints Jersey with the overall lead for Team Mule Bar Girl – Sigma Sport, and Nicola Juniper the evening's combativity prize, after several aggressive moves in the first half of the race.

    In addition to the Scottish 1-2 at the top of the standings, riders from north of the border have won both of the opening two rounds, and will be hoping to make it three from three as the women's Series heads to Scotland for the first time next week.

    Edinburgh's tough Grassmarket circuit, featuring the cobbled climb of Victoria Street, hosts men and women's events on the afternoon and evening of Thursday 29th May.

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Muir launches 'Kids go Free' for Diamond League in Glasgow

    Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) today announced that kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, which takes place at Hampden Park on July 11-12 and will showcase some of the world’s best athletes in action.

    To mark the occasion, the European U23 bronze medalist joined children from St Pauls RC Primary School in Glasgow, to promote one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar this year.

    The first 1,000 people buying a ticket for each day will receive a free children’s ticket to see the Scottish contingent of Muir, world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), 3000m steeplechaser Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare, Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) go head-to-head with the best in the world in the first visit to the UK of the IAAF Diamond League this year.  

    Muir, who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in the city, was quizzed by children between the ages of 10-11 asked a range of questions from how many races she’s competed in to what inspired her to take up athletics 10 years ago.

    Twenty-one-year old Muir said: “Inviting thousands of children to go free to watch world-class athletes compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation as well as make for a fantastic family day out.

    “This will be the final time fans will be able to see the best Scottish athletes in action on the world stage before the Commonwealth Games, so it would be great to have a full crowd at Hampden cheering us all on.

    “The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is going to be one of the highlights of the sporting year and it’s great to be a part of two of the biggest athletics events in the same city in 2014.”   

    After winning European U23 1500m bronze, the Dundee Hawkhill Harrier is aware of the pressure on her as one of Scotland’s leading hopes this summer, but believes the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give her a feel for the atmosphere in the stadium and a gauge of the competition she might come up against two weeks later.

    “I got to sample the Scottish crowd earlier this year at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match and I know this summer the Hampden crowd is going to be magnified even further.

    “However, the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me that opportunity to take in the crowd and also compete against the best in the world. The UK always bring together the best fields for the Diamond League events, and I’m sure that will be no different come July.”

    Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man of all time over 100m have all confirmed for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with more of the biggest names in athletics to follow soon.

    To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, please visit britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Whisky barrel comes home to Pitlochry in celebration of the Year of Homecoming

    A whisky barrel purchased in Scotland ten years ago by wine merchants from Vienna, Austria has lovingly made its way back ‘home’ to Scotland in time for Whisky Month which is in full swing this month, as part of the Year of Homecoming. 

     The story of the barrel’s journey began in the summer of 2004 when Stefan Pagacs from Pagacs wine merchants in Vienna, visited Scotland in search of something special to offer his Austrian customers.  A chance visit to Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry, Scotland’s smallest traditional distillery dating back to 1825 produced the perfect product - a special filling of an Edradour barrel and a chance for their customers to sample the wonderful Scottish ‘water of life’. 

     On arrival in Austria, the barrel’s contents were turned into 180 bottles of limited edition whisky which were adorned with a specially designed label painted by Austrian painter, Thomas Reinhold, an Art Master and one of the initiators of the ‘New Painting’ movement or ‘Junge Wilde’ as it was referred to in German.

     Ten years on, the barrel has bid ‘So Long, Farewell’ to Vienna and returned back to Pitlochry to its new luxury home at four star Bed and Breakfast ‘Torrdarach House’ where owners Graeme Fish and his wife, Susanne Wallner said it will sit pride of place in the garden. 

     Susanne Wallner, Owner of Torrdarach Bed & Breakfast said:

    “Myself and Stefan have been friends for years, so when we told him we were moving to Torrdarach House; he thought it was only right the whisky barrel be returned back to its rightful home location.  Despite taking over a week to bring the barrel back to Pitlochry from Austria, it has been well worth it and is now sitting pride of place in our garden.  Sadly for us, all the wonderful whisky has been consumed but it’s nice to have a little piece of history sitting in our garden for visitors to enjoy.”

     Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director said:

    “We’ve heard some fantastic stories of people returning ‘home’ to join the Year of Homecoming celebrations, but the story of the whisky barrel returning home to its original location couldn’t be a nicer way to celebrate the month long Whisky Month celebrations.”

     Stefan Pagacs, Owner of Stefan Pagacs Weinhandel OG, Vienna said:

    “After various visits to distilleries on our trip to Scotland in 2004, we decided to choose an exclusive bottling of Edradour Single Malt Whisky for a selection of our exclusive customers to celebrate our first year of trading in May 2004.  We were taken with the fact that the size and shape of casks can have their own influence on the whisky inside and our customers enjoyed hearing the history behind the exclusive bottling.  I’m delighted that little piece of history can continue now the original cask has come home to Pitlochry.”

     Des McCagherty, from Edradour Distillery said:

     “It never ceases to amaze me the passion international visitors have for single malts and Edradour in particular. Edradour is a very special place and it is difficult not to fall in love with it and the handcrafted malt we produce. This is another one of those special and intimate associations, which people all over the world have struck up with Edradour over the years and it is great that the cask has survived, albeit empty, to take pride of place in the beautiful grounds of Torrdaroch in Pitlochry.”

     Taking place throughout Scotland from 1 - 31 May, the programme of nineteen funded Whisky Month events will showcase the very best of Scotland’s food, drink, music and culture. With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvelous malts.

     The brand new Tummel and Tay Festival taking place in Pitlochry (23 – 25 May) this forthcoming weekend will have a full programme of events including film screenings, exhibitions and a superb new production of the musical ‘Whisky Kisses.’ 

  • 20 May 2014

    Glasgow to host BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    The star-studded event will take place at The SSE Hydro in front of an estimated 12,000 capacity crowd and will be shown live on BBC One.

    It will be the culmination to a year in which Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games while golf's Ryder Cup also takes place in Scotland, at Gleneagles.

    Scotland's Andy Murray won the 2013 Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

    And the Wimbledon champion is hopeful of being part of the 2014 show in the city of his birth.

    "I might make a few changes to my training. I may be going to Australia a little bit earlier next year so I'll maybe come back for SPOTY," the world number eight said.

    "You don't often get that many great athletes in one space at one time, that's what makes the evening so special.

    "To have it in Glasgow, they'll put on a good show and the crowd will love it."

    The event, which was devised by Sir Paul Fox in 1954, has moved from city to city since 2006, taking in Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield, Salford and London before last year's staging in Leeds.

    Another former winner, Sir Chris Hoy, is delighted that Scotland will act as host for the first time.

    "It's fantastic news it's coming to Glasgow," said the six-time Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist and a native of Edinburgh.

    "Over the years it's grown and grown and grown - now it's a massive event. When you walk into the arena, it's like a sporting event in its own right," he said.

    Sir Chris Hoy won the prize in 2008 after winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics

    "I think the Glaswegians will put on a great show, like they will do for the Commonwealth Games, as they are passionate people.

    "I've been to Liverpool, London, Leeds - all over - so to go to Glasgow as well, hopefully if I get a ticket as I won't be nominated any more, it will be fantastic."

    Such enthusiasm reflects how busy a sporting year 2014 is, with the Winter Olympics, World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup as well as annual staples such as Wimbledon, the Six Nations and The Open Championship.

    Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "As hosts of this year's Commonwealth Games, it's fitting that Glasgow rounds off what will be a spectacular year of sport by staging BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

    "This show will be something very special; marking the successes of those who've excelled in their chosen sport in 2014 and welcoming back those who have made history thanks to their previous achievements.

    "Plans are now well under way for this year's Sports Personality I am already looking forward to it."

    Category: International Events

  • 20 May 2014

    Edinburgh's Festivals welcome significant increase in funding

    The Chief Executives and Directors of Edinburgh’s twelve major festivals today welcomed a significant increase in funding support for the festivals in a remarkable year for Scotland.

     Distinctively Scottish and profoundly international, the festivals offer an unparalleled international platform and springboard for Scottish artists and companies from around the world.  For this important year, in addition to the £2,000,000 Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, and project and ongoing core support from the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland, the festivals major public funders: the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, are working collaboratively to invest an additional £1,000,000 into the increased ambition of the festivals’ 2014 programmes, working together to enable the city to celebrate the cultural wealth of our nation and its connection to the world.

     Artists and audiences visiting the Festival City this year will become part of the Scotland-wide celebrations as Edinburgh marks Culture 2014, the nation’s cultural programme for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the second Year of Homecoming.  Enabled by and building on the ongoing Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund along with other funding streams, festivals will present programmes of unique and high impact creative initiatives across all genres, providing exciting new experiences for audiences from Scotland and around the world.

     New events and projects which complement the already announced work include:

    -  As part of the Culture 2014 programme, Animated In 2014 is an exciting new project including a two day Animation Lab being held during the Edinburgh International Film Festival, giving emerging animation filmmakers the opportunity to be inspired by and network with key industry professionals. The festival will also showcase a programme of short animation films from Commonwealth countries before transferring to Festival 2014 in Glasgow in July and then traveling internationally around the Commonwealth.

    - The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival will present the Commonwealth Jazz Orchestra, where Commonwealth musicians will come together with Scottish artists to collaborate. The Edinburgh Festival Carnival will have a strong Commonwealth flavour and will feature performers from around the globe, including South Africa, Trinidad, The Bahamas, and Zambia.

    - The Edinburgh International Book Festival will present Letters Home in collaboration with leading Scottish theatre company Grid Iron.  A unique promenade piece, this is the first time that such an ambitious theatre production has been presented within the Book Festival programme.

    - To celebrate the 20th Edinburgh Mela, the festival has commissioned a spectacular collaboration between rising world music star Soumik Datta and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The King of Ghosts, inspired by Oscar winning director Satyajit Ray’s 1969 arthouse film Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen, is a brand new score, combining rich orchestral textures with Indian folk rhythms and electronic beats, to accompany projected scenes from the film, creating a magical atmosphere. It will premiere at the Mela on Friday 29 August before going on to tour Scotland. The World Dance Feste stage returns to the Mela, with a programme mixing traditional dance styles from around the world with contemporary work from across the UK and South Asia.  

    - Made In Scotland will return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a curated programme of the very best Scottish theatre, dance and music. 

    - The Scottish International Storytelling Festival Once Upon a Place, will celebrate the creative connections between live narrative and place in Scotland, Europe and the Pacific regionGuest storytellers from Scotland will combine with visitors from Germany, Italy, Portugal, Samoa, Wales, New Zealand, Taipei, Australia and the Solomon Islands to explore traditional and innovative ways in which people express their sense of identity by ‘seeing stories’ in their landscapes- rural and urban.  The programme will once again bring Edinburgh to life as a city of story, while also spreading events and guest artists across Scotland through ‘Festival on Tour’. There will also be specific anniversary events for Walter Scott and literary Edinburgh, commemoration of World War One, and a retelling of Scotland’s sense of its own historical narrative- ‘Tales of a Grandson’ in partnership with the MacRobert Arts Centre and the National Museum of Scotland.

    Edinburgh Art Festival, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, presents a major international exhibition over four floors of the City Art Centre and at off-site locations around the city. Where do I end and you begin, which is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and the year of Homecoming Scotland, represents a significant evolution of Edinburgh Art Festival's festival-led programming. Five curators from Commonwealth countries have selected over 20 contemporary artists to exhibit work in the exhibition, with many showing work for the first time in the UK.  The festival also continues its acclaimed commissions programme, with new publicly sited works; commissions as part of GENERATION; work exploring the boundaries between visual art and other forms; and a significant commitment to supporting emerging Scottish talent.

    - In the first ever co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre of Great Britain, the Edinburgh International Festival will present a trilogy of plays by writer Rona Munro bringing to life a rarely explored period in Scottish history, three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled in the tumultuous fifteenth century. The James Plays are a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future and together create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.

    -  The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2014 celebrates ‘Our Home, Friends and Family’ as Scotland welcomes the world to join in the exciting year of Homecoming with hundreds of Commonwealth participants set to play a part. Music, dance and precision display from across the globe featuring performers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This year, in addition to welcoming people from around the world to our internationally renowned Edinburgh Festivals, Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and we will encourage visitors and Scots alike to engage with our second Year of Homecoming.  As we welcome the world in 2014 to see the best that Scotland has to offer, our extensive and diverse programme of cultural events will help to boost our international profile, and provide a platform for both Scottish artists and companies from around the world. 

     The Scottish Government is pleased to extend our support for Edinburgh’s Festivals in 2014-15 through the continuation of the Expo Fund and the additional support we are providing this year for the Year of Homecoming and through Creative Scotland, for Culture 2014.  This takes the Scottish Government’s investment in the Edinburgh Festivals to more than £15m since the Expo fund was set up in 2007.”

    Ken Hay, Chair of Festivals Edinburgh and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Film Festival said: “Edinburgh’s Festivals’ unique collaborative approach enables us to lead on and support the festivals in delivering projects on an international scale.  In this year of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and the WW1 commemoration, we are extremely grateful to our funders for their sustained support for our ambitions and backing that with this enhanced investment”

     Today’s announcement follows the news that Edinburgh will host the second Edinburgh International Culture Summit, with world leaders from the cultural sector and Culture Ministers gathering in Edinburgh to join in a dialogue and debate between policy makers and artists.  In the same month, the second World Fringe Congress will also meet, welcoming Directors and organisers of Fringes from around the world to share ideas and experiences.

     In August the festivals will provide the finale to Culture 2014 as the eyes of the world will move from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to Edinburgh. During Edinburgh’s August Festivals the city will play host to new commissions, international gatherings and world premieres represented by over 25,000 artists from over 70 countries and from where artists from the Commonwealth will play a starring role.

     Full programme details, combined with specific funding information, will be announced at the launch of individual festival programmes over the coming months.

    Category: Industry News

  • 19 May 2014

    Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon opens first solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.

    Photography credit: Installed for National Galleries of Scotland, 2006, photography A Reeve 

    An exhibition of work by the internationally acclaimed, Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon has opened at Caithness Horizons in Thurso and will run until 11 October 2014.  The works on show – which include three video installations and one text piece – have recently been presented by Douglas Gordon to the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and are being shown for the first time since their acquisition.  
    This exhibition also forms part of GENERATION, a national programme taking place in the summer of 2014, which will celebrate the wealth of contemporary art that has developed in Scotland over the last 25 years. Over 60 venues across the country are participating in this unique programme.  All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. The opening of ARTIST ROOMS: Douglas Gordon in Caithness will help to mark the beginning of this hugely ambitious project.
    ARTIST ROOMS is an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund.  The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014.  The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Art Fund, and in Scotland, Creative Scotland.
    Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon rose to prominence among a generation of Glasgow-trained artists which emerged in the 1990s; he has since gone on to achieve huge international recognition, marked by major awards (including the Turner and Hugo Boss Prizes, and the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale), and by exhibitions in museums and galleries across the world. He now lives and works in Berlin.  Remarkably, this will be the first time that Gordon has had a solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.
    The work recalls the rivalry between the biblical twins Jacob and Esau, and religious imagery plays a significant role in Gordon's work.  Looking down with his black, black, ee is a film dating from 2008, presented on three monitors, which features images of ravens, hopping around the vast chapel of the Palais des Papes in Avignon.  In medieval art the symbolic presence of a raven on a roof was commonly used in the representation of witches, and the animal is traditionally associated with misfortune and death.  Gordon has famously drawn upon the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and there are menacing echoes here of the of the director's uncanny thriller The Birds.  The primary inspiration for the work comes from a Scottish poem, which describes a raven 'Looking down with his black, black, ee' on a group of children, and the artist appears to address the ways in which, even in our rational, scientific age, such malevolent associations remain embedded in our memories, and continue to affect the way we apprehend the world.
    The Caithness exhibition will also feature another of Douglas Gordon's most memorable early video pieces, Film Noir (1995), as well as a more recent text piece I am the curator of my own misery (2010).  All four works on show were donated by Gordon to ARTIST ROOMS in 2012, and are being shown as part of the collection for the first time.
    Caithness Horizons will be running an education programme offering opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the exhibition in innovative and responsive ways.  The programme will include a three-day workshop for children aged 7-14 led by contemporary artist Lucy Harrison, a programme for schools and a family day led by Scottish contemporary artist Kenny Hunter. This will include a talk on Gordon’s work and a trip to see Hunter’s work, The Unknown located in Borgie Forest.
    http://generationartscotland.org/

    An exhibition of work by the internationally acclaimed, Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon has opened at Caithness Horizons in Thurso and will run until 11 October 2014.  The works on show – which include three video installations and one text piece – have recently been presented by Douglas Gordon to the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and are being shown for the first time since their acquisition.  

    This exhibition also forms part of GENERATION, a national programme taking place in the summer of 2014, which will celebrate the wealth of contemporary art that has developed in Scotland over the last 25 years. Over 60 venues across the country are participating in this unique programme.  All exhibitions within GENERATION are FREE to visit. The opening of ARTIST ROOMS: Douglas Gordon in Caithness will help to mark the beginning of this hugely ambitious project.

    ARTIST ROOMS is an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund.  The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014.  The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Art Fund, and in Scotland, Creative Scotland.

    Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon rose to prominence among a generation of Glasgow-trained artists which emerged in the 1990s; he has since gone on to achieve huge international recognition, marked by major awards (including the Turner and Hugo Boss Prizes, and the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale), and by exhibitions in museums and galleries across the world. He now lives and works in Berlin.  Remarkably, this will be the first time that Gordon has had a solo exhibition in the North of Scotland.
    The work recalls the rivalry between the biblical twins Jacob and Esau, and religious imagery plays a significant role in Gordon's work.  Looking down with his black, black, ee is a film dating from 2008, presented on three monitors, which features images of ravens, hopping around the vast chapel of the Palais des Papes in Avignon.  In medieval art the symbolic presence of a raven on a roof was commonly used in the representation of witches, and the animal is traditionally associated with misfortune and death.  Gordon has famously drawn upon the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and there are menacing echoes here of the of the director's uncanny thriller The Birds.  The primary inspiration for the work comes from a Scottish poem, which describes a raven 'Looking down with his black, black, ee' on a group of children, and the artist appears to address the ways in which, even in our rational, scientific age, such malevolent associations remain embedded in our memories, and continue to affect the way we apprehend the world.

    The Caithness exhibition will also feature another of Douglas Gordon's most memorable early video pieces, Film Noir (1995), as well as a more recent text piece I am the curator of my own misery (2010).  All four works on show were donated by Gordon to ARTIST ROOMS in 2012, and are being shown as part of the collection for the first time.

    Caithness Horizons will be running an education programme offering opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the exhibition in innovative and responsive ways.  The programme will include a three-day workshop for children aged 7-14 led by contemporary artist Lucy Harrison, a programme for schools and a family day led by Scottish contemporary artist Kenny Hunter. This will include a talk on Gordon’s work and a trip to see Hunter’s work, The Unknown located in Borgie Forest.

    http://generationartscotland.org/

    Category: National Events

  • 19 May 2014

    New UK Cultural Events Diary Launches

    Organisers and promoters of public and private UK cultural events, across all art forms, are being encouraged to upload information about them to a new online Culture Diary. Designed to support UK organisations with planning, promotion and building partnerships, the Diary builds on a platform set up by the Mayor of London to support the 4,500 cultural events planned in the capital during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Users are being encouraged to register and share information about their short- and long-term event plans, including details of international tours and national campaigns such as First World War Centenary and Shakespeare 400, to provide a strategic overview of cultural activity in the UK.

     The site, which has been launched in beta, has come about through a collaboration between Arts Council England, the British Council, the DCMS, the GREAT Britain campaign, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Mayor of London, VisitBritain and UK Trade & Investment, and the information it generates will be used by these organisations to “provide much-valued input for British cultural diplomacy, trade, education and tourism promotion around the world”. The aim is for the site to become a “go-to tool” for arts professionals, event organisers, cultural attachés and marketing and press officers. It hopes to help eliminate programming clashes by improving communication between arts organisations, government and arts development agencies. Events on the site will also be promoted internationally as part of the GREAT Britain campaign. User feedback is welcomed and will be used along with evaluation to make further developments to the site. The new Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “… cultural diplomacy can build trust and relationships with other countries, helping to drive trade and investment. This new cultural diary along with our Cultural Export Fund will help the UK’s cultural organisations to build on their huge success both at home and abroad, helping underpin the trade deals of tomorrow.”

    For further information visit: - http://www.theculturediary.com/

    Category: Industry News

  • 16 May 2014

    Dramatic Initial Figures Measure Success Of Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

    VisitScotland Chairman Dr Mike Cantlay, today congratulates the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival for kicking off Whisky Month in such a ‘dram’atic manner.  The festival, in its 15th year, held a record 431 events, with many sold out before the festival began on 1 May. Direct sales of almost 6000 tickets via the website alone exceeded £130,000, but final figures for sales will be even higher as tickets sold at the festival hubs and at participating venues will significantly increase these numbers.

    There were representatives from 31 different countries, with visitors coming from all over Europe, USA, Canada, Taiwan and Australia to join in the celebrations with Scots and celebrate the Year of Homecoming.

    The inaugural Spirit of Speyside Sessions, the new musical string to the festival’s bow supported by Homecoming Scotland, sold in excess of 1500 tickets with a value of almost £15,000. These figures were topped by another 400 people attending the opening launch dinner. The Sessions added a night time dimension to the festival, encouraging visitors to stay in the area for longer during the five days of the event. The musical events received an almost universal positive response with visitors even suggesting bands and new venues for 2015.

    Festival Chairman James Campbell says,

    “Our part of the world is known the world over for its warmth of welcome and hospitality and this year’s visitors have shared this experiences with us. I have to pay tribute to all our great whisky companies and their dedicated, passionate staff who act as ambassadors for Speyside as well as all the businesses who have taken part in the 15th annual Spirit of Speyside.

    “They have delivered a programme of whisky, food and music events which will stay long in the memories of our visitors from across the globe; making them feel very much a part of our communities.

    “It was also really pleasing to see so many Homecoming visitors making the journey back to Scotland and Speyside or making the journey for the first time. It was very gratifying to see them getting such a special welcome home.

    “The new Spirit of Speyside Sessions music festival, with top class musicians from all over Scotland has been a real success and, again, the mix of local Speysiders and visiting guests from all over the world gave a tremendous buzz and wonderful atmosphere to these evenings and added to the already high level of fun and enjoyment which always exists at our Festival.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, adds,

    “We’re absolutely delighted that this year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, one of Scotland’s best-loved whisky festivals, was such a huge success.  With the launch of the inaugural Spirit of Speyside Sessions, this year’s line-up boasted some of the finest traditional music acts, comedians and ceilidhs.

    “Homecoming 2014 is all about celebrating our greatest assets and it’s fitting that whisky, enjoyed right throughout the world, has a whole month of dedicated celebrations. This year is the perfect time for visitors and locals to get out and enjoy over 800 Homecoming events that are taking place right across Scotland.”

    A full economic impact assessment to highlight the contribution made to the local economy will be carried out within the next few weeks.

    Last year’s event generated £1.65m for the local economy.

    Planning for the 2015 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is already well underway. Further information about the event is available at www.spiritofspeyside.com

  • 15 May 2014

    Scotland bid to bring Sudirman Cup back to Glasgow

    BADMINTONscotland and partners today officially announced a bid to bring the Sudirman Cup back to Europe in 2017 for the first time since Glasgow staged the World Mixed Team Championships in 2007.

    A partnership between badminton’s national governing body, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport’s Gold Event Series and EventScotland will deliver the bid to host the Cup in Scotland for the third time.

    Glasgow first staged the Sudirman Cup in 1997, in a two-week spectacle at Scotstoun which also featured the World Individual Championships. Since then the Cup has become a stand-alone event.

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said:BADMINTONscotland and our funding partners have a strong track record of running world-class events in Glasgow ever since we staged the European Championships at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena back in 1992.

    “Today we have a fabulous new arena which is perfect for world-class badminton. The Emirates Arena has already played host to the Scottish Open Grand Prix and badminton fans coming to the Commonwealth Games this summer will be able to see first-hand just how good the facilities are there.

    “The Arena is certainly big enough to stage the Sudirman Cup and we all know that Glasgow have the hotels and restaurants of a high standard to meet the needs of the visiting teams as well as the many fans who follow them.

    “On top of that Scotland fans know we have built a strong squad of players, with the current team defeating higher-ranked nations to finish top of Group Two at last year’s Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Many of the current squad are young enough to still be competing three years from now for what will be the 15th Sudirman Cup.

    “We will have to wait until the October meeting of the Badminton World Federation Council to know if our bid has been successful but the BWF are well aware of our track record in organising and staging major events.

    “But the bid team will be working hard during the Commonwealth Games and at the World Championships in Copenhagen in late August to showcase everything that Glasgow can offer in staging world-class badminton.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is a world-class facility which will host the badminton competition at this summer’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I am confident that this event will fully demonstrate how well suited the facility is to staging prestigious badminton competitions such as the Sudirman Cup.

    “Alongside its well established first-class events programme and its world class facilities Glasgow can also offer a wide range of fantastic hotels and restaurants to suit the needs of the visiting teams and the many fans who will inevitably follow.”

    UK Sport is investing around £27million to bring up to 70 major championships to the UK through its Gold Event Series by 2019 to build a strong legacy from hosting the London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “This bid forms part of UK Sport’s on-going commitment to invest in building a strong and sustainable legacy from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

    “The Gold Event Series has already helped secure 8 events in Scotland in the build-up to and following the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    “UK Sport will continue to play a key role in ensuring a strong legacy from both London 2012 and Glasgow 2014. Passionate fans, excellent transport links, thousands of experienced volunteers, a strong TV and sponsor market, plus a proven track record in staging outstanding major events makes the UK a perfect host for world class sport.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and this partnership is focused on bringing the Sudirman Cup back to Glasgow. We have a strong global reputation as a major events destination and a passion for badminton that will provide the ideal platform for the world’s greatest players to excel.

    Over the past decade, Scotland has hosted some of the biggest properties in world sport, and we are working hard to ensure that there is a continuing programme of major events post-2014. We have already secured three World and two European Championships for Scotland in 2015, and the Sudirman Cup is one of our main targets for the following years.”

    This year Glasgow will of course host the XX Commonwealth Games, as well as a leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League. Next year the city will welcome the World Gymnastics Championships, the IPC Swimming World Championships and the European Judo Championships. All of these events will build on past successes, which includes the London Olympic Football Tournament and the UCI Track World Cup in 2012. 

    Category: International Events

  • 14 May 2014

    Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison launches Games for Scotland 2014 Programme

     

    CABINET SECRETARY FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES SHONA ROBISON MARKS ‘1 MONTH TO GO’ UNTIL COMMUNITY EVENTS KICK OFF TO CELEBRATE QUEEN’S BATON RELAY
    1 month to go until first Games for Scotland event on 14th June
    Carnivals, parades and flashmobs just some of the events taking place across the country as part of Games for Scotland as the nation counts down to The XX Commonwealth Games
    Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games Shona Robison marked ‘1 month to go’ until the first Games for Scotland event yesterday at Meadowbank Sports Centre with children from St Thomas of Aquins High School in Edinburgh.
    The Games for Scotland programme of events is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. 
    The first Games for Scotland event, the Tryathon, will be held at Meadowbank Sports Centre on 14 June when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Edinburgh. Children and families will be able to join in the excitement as the countdown to the Games begins and have a go at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports across the centre – from Lawn Bowls to Netball – alongside entertainment. 
    All local authorities in Scotland have received support through Games for Scotland to hold events along the Queen’s Baton Relay route - and in towns and cities where it stops - across Scotland from 14 June – 22 July. In a festive spirit events will be a cultural as well as sporting celebration of the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Baton Relay. 
    People across Scotland are being invited to join in the celebrations and participate in their local Games for Scotland event. 
    Highlights: 
    East Lothian will host storytelling from 17 – 19 June at The Brunton, Musselburgh, and other venues and a major performing arts event on 17 June with musical and interactive performances from The Pokey Hat; 
    Dundee will celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay with a mass Ceilidh in the City Square on 27 June, encouraging crowd participation in simple and enjoyable dance routines and a final performance by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; 
    The Highlands are celebrating with a Commonwealth Flashmob Relay right around the Highlands led by Eden Court CREATIVE. Coordinated by a dance artist, local groups will perform in their local community and post their dance on YouTube to pass on the ‘baton’ to the next group, culminating in a Flashmob performance in Dingwall on 11 July; 
    West Dunbartonshire Leisure will be holding a junior version of the Loch Lomond Highland Games on 18 July involving young people in inspiring and traditional sporting activities and an event in Clydebank to include live music and entertainment; 
    The programme will finish up on 22 July after the Queen’s Baton Relay has reached Glasgow with ‘Message Unknown’, featuring the creation of a new dance performance piece which will see people expressing what Glasgow means to them.
    Games for Scotland is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. The £385k funded programme sees EventScotland supporting a number of events across all 32 local authorities.
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “Games for Scotland has been running since 2010 and has proven to be hugely popular so we’re really excited about the programme for this year, which looks to be the best yet. People across the country will have the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay and Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. Alongside the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports, local authorities are preparing to host parades, carnivals, storytelling and dance events, which will bring people together and promote sport and physical activity.”
    Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, said: “Games for Scotland is a fantastic programme to get individuals and groups across all 32 local authorities involved in physical and cultural activities in the build-up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. The events will give people of all abilities the chance to try their hand at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports – and we might even discover some young stars of the future through it.
    “We are securing a legacy for Scotland that will last long after the curtain falls on the closing ceremony in August. Games for Scotland is one of a number of programmes that are already encouraging people up and down the country to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. With Games for Scotland events taking place in every local authority between June 14 and July 22, there’s no excuse not to get involved. Even the smallest steps can make a change and I would urge everyone to give it a go.”
    Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is vitally important that everyone at home has the chance to join in the fun and champion Team Scotland.
    “On June 14, we are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Edinburgh – its first port of call in Scotland. The city has over 100 batonbearers, including a pupil from every secondary school, who will play an important part in the celebrations taking place throughout the day. 
    “We are encouraging families to join in the celebrations by lining the streets and, if they’re feeling fit, to take part in our School Run through Holyrood Park. The event will culminate in Meadowbank Stadium, where a ‘Tryathon’ will offer children and young people the chance to try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports in the company of a host of sporting stars – not to mention the Queen’s Baton.”
    Games for Scotland is designed to motivate and engage the people of Scotland in celebration of the country’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games and provides opportunities to get involved in physical activities as well as enjoy new artistic and cultural experiences. 
    To date over 145,000 people have participated in 123 Games for Scotland events and over 220,000 spectators have been to the events. 
    People can find more information about their local events by visiting www.gamesforscotland.com and share in the excitement by tweeting about their Games for Scotland experiences using #Legacy2014.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth Games Shona Robison marked ‘1 month to go’ until the first Games for Scotland event yesterday at Meadowbank Sports Centre with children from St Thomas of Aquins High School in Edinburgh.

    The Games for Scotland programme of events is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. 

    The first Games for Scotland event, the Tryathon, will be held at Meadowbank Sports Centre on 14 June when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Edinburgh. Children and families will be able to join in the excitement as the countdown to the Games begins and have a go at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports across the centre – from Lawn Bowls to Netball – alongside entertainment. 

     All local authorities in Scotland have received support through Games for Scotland to hold events along the Queen’s Baton Relay route - and in towns and cities where it stops - across Scotland from 14 June – 22 July. In a festive spirit events will be a cultural as well as sporting celebration of the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Baton Relay. 

     People across Scotland are being invited to join in the celebrations and participate in their local Games for Scotland event. 

     Highlights: 

     East Lothian will host storytelling from 17 – 19 June at The Brunton, Musselburgh, and other venues and a major performing arts event on 17 June with musical and interactive performances from The Pokey Hat; 

     Dundee will celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay with a mass Ceilidh in the City Square on 27 June, encouraging crowd participation in simple and enjoyable dance routines and a final performance by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; 

     The Highlands are celebrating with a Commonwealth Flashmob Relay right around the Highlands led by Eden Court CREATIVE. Coordinated by a dance artist, local groups will perform in their local community and post their dance on YouTube to pass on the ‘baton’ to the next group, culminating in a Flashmob performance in Dingwall on 11 July; 

     West Dunbartonshire Leisure will be holding a junior version of the Loch Lomond Highland Games on 18 July involving young people in inspiring and traditional sporting activities and an event in Clydebank to include live music and entertainment; 

     The programme will finish up on 22 July after the Queen’s Baton Relay has reached Glasgow with ‘Message Unknown’, featuring the creation of a new dance performance piece which will see people expressing what Glasgow means to them.

     Games for Scotland is a key part of Legacy 2014 – the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland. The £385k funded programme sees EventScotland supporting a number of events across all 32 local authorities.

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “Games for Scotland has been running since 2010 and has proven to be hugely popular so we’re really excited about the programme for this year, which looks to be the best yet. People across the country will have the opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s Baton Relay and Scotland’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games. Alongside the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports, local authorities are preparing to host parades, carnivals, storytelling and dance events, which will bring people together and promote sport and physical activity.”

     Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, said: “Games for Scotland is a fantastic programme to get individuals and groups across all 32 local authorities involved in physical and cultural activities in the build-up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. The events will give people of all abilities the chance to try their hand at some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports – and we might even discover some young stars of the future through it.

     “We are securing a legacy for Scotland that will last long after the curtain falls on the closing ceremony in August. Games for Scotland is one of a number of programmes that are already encouraging people up and down the country to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. With Games for Scotland events taking place in every local authority between June 14 and July 22, there’s no excuse not to get involved. Even the smallest steps can make a change and I would urge everyone to give it a go.”

     Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It is vitally important that everyone at home has the chance to join in the fun and champion Team Scotland.

     “On June 14, we are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Edinburgh – its first port of call in Scotland. The city has over 100 batonbearers, including a pupil from every secondary school, who will play an important part in the celebrations taking place throughout the day. “We are encouraging families to join in the celebrations by lining the streets and, if they’re feeling fit, to take part in our School Run through Holyrood Park. The event will culminate in Meadowbank Stadium, where a ‘Tryathon’ will offer children and young people the chance to try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports in the company of a host of sporting stars – not to mention the Queen’s Baton.”

     Games for Scotland is designed to motivate and engage the people of Scotland in celebration of the country’s role as host of the XX Commonwealth Games and provides opportunities to get involved in physical activities as well as enjoy new artistic and cultural experiences. To date over 145,000 people have participated in 123 Games for Scotland events and over 220,000 spectators have been to the events. 

     People can find more information about their local events by visiting www.gamesforscotland.com and share in the excitement by tweeting about their Games for Scotland experiences using #Legacy2014.

    Category: Games for Scotland News

  • 09 May 2014

    MOVIES BIGGEST HEROES TO HANGOUT WITH EMPIRE MAGAZINE AT EIFF

     

    Edinburgh, Scotland – 9 May 2014 - Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced an exciting new partnership with Empire Magazine ahead of the 68th edition of the Festival, from 18 - 29 June 2014.
    EIFF and Empire Magazine will present a series of Hero Hangouts; which will see a variety of legendary names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival. Whether they are big names from in front of or behind the camera these sessions will give EIFF audiences a rare insight into the brains powering today’s movies. Empire readers and film fans not able to attend the Festival in person will be able to watch highlights of the Hero Hangouts at www.empireonline.com.
    In addition, for Empire’s Issue 301, the world’s biggest movie magazine has asked its readers to vote for the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time and EIFF has teamed up with Empire to host a very special screening at the Festival. The winning films will be revealed in Empire’s 301st issue which hits the shelves on 29 May 2014 and The Greatest Movie of All Time will be screened at the Festival on Wednesday 25 June in Edinburgh.
    Ken Hay, Chief Executive at EIFF, said, “Both EIFF and Empire share a passion for all things film and so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Empire in developing new ways for the festival to reach audiences across the UK and the World. As the first example of this partnership, Hero Hangout provides a unique opportunity for film fans to meet their cinematic heroes either up close in Edinburgh in June, or online via Empire’s website.”
    Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire Magazine, said, “Empire is thrilled to be partnering with EIFF for this series of spectacular events, which will be an essential experience for film fans of all ages. The EIFF is such an exciting festival and we can't wait to work with them on these unique movie moments. To be able to watch on the big screen what the Empire readers will have decided is officially The Greatest Film of All Time will be an absolute treat too."

    Edinburgh, Scotland – 9 May 2014 - Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced an exciting new partnership with Empire Magazine ahead of the 68th edition of the Festival, from 18 - 29 June 2014.

    EIFF and Empire Magazine will present a series of Hero Hangouts; which will see a variety of legendary names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival. Whether they are big names from in front of or behind the camera these sessions will give EIFF audiences a rare insight into the brains powering today’s movies. Empire readers and film fans not able to attend the Festival in person will be able to watch highlights of the Hero Hangouts at www.empireonline.com.

    In addition, for Empire’s Issue 301, the world’s biggest movie magazine has asked its readers to vote for the 301 Greatest Movies of All Time and EIFF has teamed up with Empire to host a very special screening at the Festival. The winning films will be revealed in Empire’s 301st issue which hits the shelves on 29 May 2014 and The Greatest Movie of All Time will be screened at the Festival on Wednesday 25 June in Edinburgh.Ken Hay, Chief Executive at EIFF, said, “Both EIFF and Empire share a passion for all things film and so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Empire in developing new ways for the festival to reach audiences across the UK and the World. As the first example of this partnership, Hero Hangout provides a unique opportunity for film fans to meet their cinematic heroes either up close in Edinburgh in June, or online via Empire’s website.”Mark Dinning, Editor of Empire Magazine, said, “Empire is thrilled to be partnering with EIFF for this series of spectacular events, which will be an essential experience for film fans of all ages. The EIFF is such an exciting festival and we can't wait to work with them on these unique movie moments. To be able to watch on the big screen what the Empire readers will have decided is officially The Greatest Film of All Time will be an absolute treat too."

     

    Category: International Events

  • 09 May 2014

    Calling all foodies - Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair

     

    A major attraction set to be unveiled at the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair on 18 May is the new Food Court, celebrating the best in Scottish food and drink. Sponsored by EventScotland as part of the Whisky Month events programme for Homecoming Scotland 2014, it will offer visitors a feast of gourmet treats to sample and buy. This is just one the many attractions at the event which will be bigger and better than ever before. 
    Held in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate in Fochabers, the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair has expanded this year as it continues to grow in popularity. Last year more than 8,000 visitors came through the gates and more are expected this year. The event marks the beginning of the tourism season in the area and offers an exciting combination of a traditional highland games alongside a country fair that includes a wide choice of stalls, music, food and country pursuit activities with plenty for all ages and interests. 
    The Food Court will feature fine food, whiskies and wine, with chefs demonstrating delicious recipes using local produce in AEG’s fabulous mobile kitchen. In celebration of Whisky Month, which runs throughout May, cooking with whisky will be a strong theme. A wide range of artisan producers will be sampling their wares, while children can take part in the cake icing competition and the comic Reckless Waiters will be keeping everyone on their toes. 

    A major attraction set to be unveiled at the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair on 18 May is the new Food Court, celebrating the best in Scottish food and drink. Sponsored by EventScotland as part of the Whisky Month events programme for Homecoming Scotland 2014, it will offer visitors a feast of gourmet treats to sample and buy. This is just one the many attractions at the event which will be bigger and better than ever before. 

    Held in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate in Fochabers, the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair has expanded this year as it continues to grow in popularity. Last year more than 8,000 visitors came through the gates and more are expected this year. The event marks the beginning of the tourism season in the area and offers an exciting combination of a traditional highland games alongside a country fair that includes a wide choice of stalls, music, food and country pursuit activities with plenty for all ages and interests. 

    The Food Court will feature fine food, whiskies and wine, with chefs demonstrating delicious recipes using local produce in AEG’s fabulous mobile kitchen. In celebration of Whisky Month, which runs throughout May, cooking with whisky will be a strong theme. A wide range of artisan producers will be sampling their wares, while children can take part in the cake icing competition and the comic Reckless Waiters will be keeping everyone on their toes. 

    For further information visit: www.gordoncastlehighlandgames.co.uk 

     

    Category: National Events

  • 01 May 2014

    Yohan Blake, Adam Gemili, Richard Kilty and Kim Collins Confirmed for Diamond League

    Yohan Blake, the world’s second fastest man of all time over 100m has confirmed that he will run against Britain’s Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge), World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (Rana Reider) and 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on July 11-12.

    Only countryman Usain Bolt has run quicker than Blake, who ran 9.69 in Lausanne in 2012, and the 24 year old is ready to return from an injury-disrupted 2013 by running at the first IAAF Diamond League in the UK this year at Hampden Park. 

    Blake, who will make is first ever visit to Scotland said: “I’m really excited to be coming back to the UK this summer. After such a strong 2012, it was disappointing not to be able to continue that form into 2013 due to injury. However, I’m looking to use the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix to show the world I’m back and ready to light up the track once again.”

    The Jamaican, who won a gold and two silver medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games is well aware of the challenge facing him, but is determined to prove that he is in shape to go even quicker at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The UK gave the Jamaicans a big welcome for the Olympic Games and I know the British public will put on another great show in July. The competition in the Diamond League rivals the competition you get at major championships and it’s that challenge that motivates me. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m determined to show that ‘The Beast’ is back bigger and better at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”

    Kilty saw off some of the world’s best athletes to win what was considered by many quarters as a surprise gold medal in Sopot and is ready to build on his credentials and is aiming to take more scalps this summer.

    “It has been an unforgettable start to the season for me. Running personal bests and winning the World Indoor Championships has put me up there in the world of sprinting and I’m determined to stay there,” said Kilty, who will be facing Blake for the first time. 

    “Now it’s all about translating my 60m form into the 100m and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me the platform to test myself against the very best out there. Yohan (Blake), Kim (Collins) and Adam (Gemili) are all great athletes in their own right and I know it’s going to take a fast time to win the race. However, I showed in Poland that I have confidence in my ability and I’m ready to show that again on the biggest stage this summer starting with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.”  

    Kilty’s compatriot Adam Gemili, who is also yet to race against Blake has also enjoyed recent good fortunes after becoming the second fastest British athlete over 200m of all time clocking 19.98 at the 2013 IAAF World Championships. With British sprinting enjoying a resurgence, the former Chelsea trainee footballer is looking forward to challenging himself against the very best at Hampden Park in July.

    Gemili said: “2013 was a great year for me dipping under 20 seconds in Moscow and now I will be looking to make similar progress in the 100. The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will present me with the opportunity to go up against the best in the world and give me a springboard for the championships ahead this summer.

    “The UK always brings together the best field of athletes and I’m sure the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will be no different to what we experienced at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year.”

    The event also sees a return to the UK for the evergreen Kim Collins, who at 38 years old is producing the best form of his career running a personal best of 9.97 last year at the Lausanne Diamond League. Despite admitting athletes are improving year on year, the 2003 world champion is not fazed by the challenge that faces him at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

    “The competition in the 100m never gets any easier and the talent not only on the international scene but in the UK is getting stronger and stronger. To be able to compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix against the likes of (Yohan) Blake, (Richard) Kilty and (Adam) Gemili is something I will relish and I’ll do everything in my power to show that I’m still a main contender.”  

    Blake, Gemili, Kilty and Collins will join the likes of double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), Paralympic T12 100m silver medallist Libby Clegg, with more of the box office names to be announced shortly.  

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    Edinburgh Goes Out With A Bang With International Premiere of 'We'll Never Have Paris'

     

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announce
    Simon Helberg’s romantic comedy WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, co-directed by Jocelyn Towne, as
    the Closing Night film at the 68th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday 29
    June. The Festival runs from 18 to 29 June 2014.
    Released in the UK by Metrodome, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is written and co-directed by
    Helberg (The Big Bang Theory), who also plays the lead, and co-directed by actor/director Jocelyn
    Towne (I Am I). The film also stars Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code,
    Spiderman 2), Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Jason Ritter
    (Parenthood, Joan Of Arcadia) and Maggie Grace (Taken, The Twilight Saga). WE’LL NEVER
    HAVE PARIS is produced by Robert Ogden Barnum (All is Lost, Lawless, Margin Call) and Katie
    Mustard (The Greatest, Night Catches Us), along with Helberg and Towne. International sales are
    handled by K5 International.
    Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “With WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, a funny and very
    personal romantic comedy, we’ll be able to close this year’s festival on a real high note. It’s a film of
    great charm and considerable intelligence, and Simon Helberg is brilliant in it.”
    WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS will receive its International premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre
    on Sunday 29 June with Simon Helberg in attendance, and will open nationwide in August 2014.
    Simon Helberg, Director, said: "It is an unbelievable thrill to be picked as the coveted closing night
    film at such a legendary festival. We hope the people of Scotland will find our pain and suffering as
    funny as we do."
    Based on Helberg and Towne's real life romantic history, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is a candid
    tale of a neurotic young man rattled by the sudden declaration of love he receives from an
    attractive co-worker (Grace) moments before he is about to propose to his girlfriend (Lynskey).
    Heartbroken, she flees to Paris, and he must now race across the Atlantic to win her back. But will
    he be too

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announceSimon Helberg’s romantic comedy WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, co-directed by Jocelyn Towne, asthe Closing Night film at the 68th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday 29June. The Festival runs from 18 to 29 June 2014.

    Released in the UK by Metrodome, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is written and co-directed byHelberg (The Big Bang Theory), who also plays the lead, and co-directed by actor/director JocelynTowne (I Am I). The film also stars Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code,Spiderman 2), Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Jason Ritter(Parenthood, Joan Of Arcadia) and Maggie Grace (Taken, The Twilight Saga). WE’LL NEVERHAVE PARIS is produced by Robert Ogden Barnum (All is Lost, Lawless, Margin Call) and KatieMustard (The Greatest, Night Catches Us), along with Helberg and Towne. International sales arehandled by K5 International.

    Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “With WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, a funny and verypersonal romantic comedy, we’ll be able to close this year’s festival on a real high note. It’s a film ofgreat charm and considerable intelligence, and Simon Helberg is brilliant in it.

    ”WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS will receive its International premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatreon Sunday 29 June with Simon Helberg in attendance, and will open nationwide in August 2014.

    Simon Helberg, Director, said: "It is an unbelievable thrill to be picked as the coveted closing nightfilm at such a legendary festival. We hope the people of Scotland will find our pain and suffering asfunny as we do."

    Based on Helberg and Towne's real life romantic history, WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS is a candidtale of a neurotic young man rattled by the sudden declaration of love he receives from anattractive co-worker (Grace) moments before he is about to propose to his girlfriend (Lynskey).Heartbroken, she flees to Paris, and he must now race across the Atlantic to win her back. But willhe be too late?

    As previously announced, this year will see a FOCUS ON GERMANY strand at the Festival which aims to shine a light on Germany’s most inventive filmmakers with screenings of new and retrospective films. In partnership with German Films, with additional support from the Goethe-Institut, EIFF will offer festival-goers the opportunity to sample a broad range of titles from the most intelligent and inspiring auteurs in German cinema.

     Highlights of the programme include hard-hitting family dramas ‘Daughters’ by Maria Speth; ‘Parents’ directed by Robert Thalheim; and Edward Berger’s stirring tale of courage and responsibility, ‘Jack’. ‘Stations Of The Cross’ from Dietrich Brüggemann charts a teenage girl’s struggles with questions of life, death and faith, while ‘A House In Berlin’ directed by Cynthia Beatt explores a woman’s personal journey of self-discovery as she delves in to the history of 20th century Germany. The FOCUS ON GERMANY will also include expansive works such as Edgar Reitz’s historical epic ‘Home From Home - Chronicle Of A Vision’; Thomas Heise’s powerful documentary observing juvenile offenders in Mexico ‘Staedtebewohner’, Bruce LaBruce’s experimental adaptation of Arnold Schönberg’s song cycle ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ and the UK premiere of Dominik Graf’s ‘Beloved Sisters’. Shorts programme ‘Small Revolutions’ will showcase four striking examples of short-form cinema from contemporary Germany.

     In addition the FOCUS ON GERMANY will present ‘Secret Master: Dominik Graf and the Hidden History Of German Cinema’, a celebration of director Dominik Graf who has long been one of the best kept secrets in German-language cinema - mainly because he found his niche in television production. In his native country, Graf is a prolific and inventive filmmaker who is celebrated as the country's foremost specialist in crime and melodrama. A special feature of the programme is a carte blanche of German TV thrillers which Graf himself, an ardent cinephile, has selected for EIFF.

     EIFF is also proud to be working for the first time with Edinburgh-based events company Neu! Reekie! on ‘Achtung! Maybe!’ which will be held on 27 June at Summerhall in Edinburgh. Curators Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson will present a special German-themed Neu! Reekie! of Weimar Republic animation and films, accompanied by live music and performance adding a uniquely immersive element to the FOCUS ON GERMANY programme. Music includes new work from Edinburgh-based bands Found and Birdhead and will showcase previous winners of EIFF’s McLaren Award for Best British Animation.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    NISA bidding to bring ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 to Glasgow

    The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) is bidding to bring one of the biggest and most prestigious annual skating events in the world to the UK for the first time in almost 20 years.

    NISA has submitted a bid in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and UK Sport to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Glasgow. This strong partnership is built on a wealth of major event experience and a passion for ice skating.

    A decision by the International Skating Union (ISU) is expected to be made after the organisation’s congress taking place in Dublin from 9 to 13 June.

    Bringing the World Championships to the UK would enhance the new investment that NISA is making into developing talent and growing participation.

    Nick Sellwood, chief executive of NISA, which is the national governing body responsible for the development of the sport throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, said: “The ISU World Figure Skating Championships were last held in the UK in 1995 in Birmingham, so it would be fantastic to bring this prestigious championship to Glasgow.

    “It is one of the largest annual ice skating events in the world attracting more than 170 skaters from almost 40 countries in a superb showcase of figure skating.

    “Our bid comes on the back of the hugely successful ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 which we hosted in Sheffield. We hope to build on this with the staging of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.”

    If successful, the ISU’s flagship event will be held in the new state-of-the-art SSE Hydro. As the biggest indoor sport and entertainment venue in Scotland, it will provide a campus-based Championship with all athlete accommodation, training and competition rinks on one site.

    The 12,000-seater SSE Hydro will host 2014 Commonwealth Games events and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

    Men, Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance couples from all over the world would travel to Glasgow to compete. It would be the first time the event has ever been held in Scotland.

    Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive said: “UK Sport is delighted to be working in partnership with NISA, Glasgow and EventScotland to bid for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.  We have been working hard over the last 18 months to be in a position to present a proposal to the ISU that is not only exciting and innovative, but which also has the development of Ice Skating within the UK at its core.  The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 being bid for as part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series demonstrates our continuing significant commitment to winter sports following the unprecedented success of Sochi 2014 where our athletes provided so many inspirational performances.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We’re proud to submit our bid to bring the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 to Glasgow.

    “As one of the world’s top sporting cities, our strategic investment of some £300 million in sporting infrastructure has strengthened our reputation for winning and delivering world-class events, creating a vibrant stage for international athletes to perform at elite level.

    "The next few years are shaping up to be hugely exciting for the city as we get ready to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, adding to our extensive sporting events portfolio.

    “As a joint bid comprising strong partnership working and secured investment at local, national and UK government level, Glasgow is committed to delivering the best ever ISU World Figure Skating Championships and we would be delighted to welcome competitors and spectators to the city in 2017.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events, and the SSE Hydro would be a fantastic venue for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017. We have an outstanding track record for delivery in Scotland, and that has been achieved through strong partnerships at national and international level. We have an exciting and engaging bid, backed up by robust plans and a wealth of experience developed from some of the biggest events in world sport.”

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2014

    Get into the Spirit – Whisky Month is here!

     

    Get into the Spirit – Whisky Month is here!
    Whether you prefer an Ardbeg to an Auchentoshen, a Glenlivet to a Glengoyne – Homecoming Scotland Whisky Month 2014 has arrived and has something for everyone.  With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvellous malts.
    The month long programme of events celebrating Scotland’s world class food, drink, music and culture across Scotland kicks off Thursday 1 May, with the popular and picturesque Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May).  Now in its 15th year, the festival will launch a brand new event for 2014 - The Spirit of Speyside Sessions will place the spotlight on the area’s traditional music heritage with concerts and ceilidhs being staged in venues closely linked to the whisky industry.   The Festival will also be asking whisky lovers around the world to raise a dram to the women who are shaking up the industry and breaking into the boys’ club with a global day of celebration as part of the first ever International Women of Whisky Day 
    (May 3).
    For more information visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/whiskymonth

    Whether you prefer an Ardbeg to an Auchentoshan, a Glenlivet to a Glengoyne – Homecoming Scotland Whisky Month 2014 has arrived and has something for everyone.  With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvellous malts.

    The month long programme of events celebrating Scotland’s world class food, drink, music and culture across Scotland kicks off Thursday 1 May, with the popular and picturesque Spirit of Speyside Festival (1-5 May).  Now in its 15th year, the festival will launch a brand new event for 2014 - The Spirit of Speyside Sessions will place the spotlight on the area’s traditional music heritage with concerts and ceilidhs being staged in venues closely linked to the whisky industry.   The Festival will also be asking whisky lovers around the world to raise a dram to the women who are shaking up the industry and breaking into the boys’ club with a global day of celebration as part of the first ever International Women of Whisky Day (May 3).
    For more information visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/whiskymonth

  • 24 April 2014

    Glasgow - Candidate for UEFA European Championships 2020

     

    The Scottish FA is today proud to submit its bid for Glasgow and the National Stadium, Hampden Park, to become a host city for the UEFA European Championships in 2020 on the competition’s 60th anniversary.
    The bid has been made in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Campbell Ogilvie, the Scottish FA President, and Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, were joined by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights, and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
    The Scottish FA will formally submit its bid document to UEFA tomorrow (Friday, 25th April) and will discover whether it has been successful in September, when the UEFA Executive Committee meets to determine the 13 host cities.
    Hampden Park has a rich history and heritage in world football. It was the scene or arguably the greatest UEFA European Cup final of all time, the epic 7-3 victory for the mighty Real Madrid against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. It was also the venue when Zinedine Zidane scored what is generally regarded as one of the best goals in a UEFA Champions League final, when Real returned to Scotland to win the trophy against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.
    Hampden Park was once again the chosen venue for the 2007 UEFA Cup all-Spanish final between Sevilla and Espanyol. It will reiterate its status as a world-class sports and entertainment arena when it hosts the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the legacy redevelopment from which will ensure The National Stadium is equipped with the necessary improvements to ensure a top-class facility befitting the 60th anniversary of the European Championships.
    Campbell Ogilvie, Scottish FA President: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts in producing what I consider to be a first-class bid document that extols the many virtues of Scottish football, Glasgow and, of course, the National Stadium, Hampden Park.
    “Scottish football and Hampden Park are synonymous with excellence on the European stage: from Celtic becoming the first British winners of the European Cup in 1967, Rangers winning the European Cup-winners’ Cup in 1972 and Aberdeen doing likewise more than a decade later. 
    “The National Stadium has also played host to some of the greatest players and greatest games of all-time. With the stadium demonstrating its versatility as the host venue for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games I am sure the whole country – and indeed football fans across Europe – would be thrilled by the prospect of the Hampden Roar providing its unique soundtrack to the European Championships in 2020. Of course, it would be equally special if the national team qualified for what will be a very special anniversary tournament, staged in 13 cities.”
    Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights: “Scotland is a natural home for the world’s greatest sporting events.  We are a nation of sport fans, ready to welcome the best football talent from across Europe and take part in what will be a remarkable year for the European Championships.
    “While it is a competitive field, thanks to continued investment, strong partnership working and our track record in major events – which will be evident again this summer during the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup – we are confident that Glasgow and Hampden is a strong bid.  
     “This isn’t a bid just for Glasgow but a bid for the whole of Scotland. Hosting part of UEFA Euro 2020 provides a perfect opportunity to continue our national legacy from both Glasgow 2014 and a platform to showcase our culture and country to an international audience.”
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau: “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe.
    “As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events. We have a fantastic track record in attracting and hosting some of the biggest global sporting championships – from the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals to the Commonwealth Games – and we’re ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.
    “Working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Government, we have been targeting the European Championships in 2020 since it first became clear UEFA was considering this new tournament format. That work has been underway for more than 18 months and, delivering our bid today, we are ready to demonstrate that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary EURO celebration.
    “This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.”
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and our bid for Euro 2020 highlights the ambition we have to host the biggest properties in world sport. The exciting, multi-city concept for the European Championships would showcase Glasgow and Scotland to a huge global audience, while driving economic benefits through spectator spend. We have a strong reputation as a major events destination, built on years of experience, which we will demonstrate throughout the bidding process.” 

    The Scottish FA is today proud to submit its bid for Glasgow and the National Stadium, Hampden Park, to become a host city for the UEFA European Championships in 2020 on the competition’s 60th anniversary.

    The bid has been made in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Campbell Ogilvie, the Scottish FA President, and Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, were joined by Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights, and Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.

    The Scottish FA will formally submit its bid document to UEFA tomorrow (Friday, 25th April) and will discover whether it has been successful in September, when the UEFA Executive Committee meets to determine the 13 host cities.

    Hampden Park has a rich history and heritage in world football. It was the scene or arguably the greatest UEFA European Cup final of all time, the epic 7-3 victory for the mighty Real Madrid against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. It was also the venue when Zinedine Zidane scored what is generally regarded as one of the best goals in a UEFA Champions League final, when Real returned to Scotland to win the trophy against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

    Hampden Park was once again the chosen venue for the 2007 UEFA Cup all-Spanish final between Sevilla and Espanyol. It will reiterate its status as a world-class sports and entertainment arena when it hosts the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the legacy redevelopment from which will ensure The National Stadium is equipped with the necessary improvements to ensure a top-class facility befitting the 60th anniversary of the European Championships.

    Campbell Ogilvie, Scottish FA President: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts in producing what I consider to be a first-class bid document that extols the many virtues of Scottish football, Glasgow and, of course, the National Stadium, Hampden Park.

    “Scottish football and Hampden Park are synonymous with excellence on the European stage: from Celtic becoming the first British winners of the European Cup in 1967, Rangers winning the European Cup-winners’ Cup in 1972 and Aberdeen doing likewise more than a decade later. 

     “The National Stadium has also played host to some of the greatest players and greatest games of all-time. With the stadium demonstrating its versatility as the host venue for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games I am sure the whole country – and indeed football fans across Europe – would be thrilled by the prospect of the Hampden Roar providing its unique soundtrack to the European Championships in 2020. Of course, it would be equally special if the national team qualified for what will be a very special anniversary tournament, staged in 13 cities.”

     Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners Rights: “Scotland is a natural home for the world’s greatest sporting events.  We are a nation of sport fans, ready to welcome the best football talent from across Europe and take part in what will be a remarkable year for the European Championships.

     “While it is a competitive field, thanks to continued investment, strong partnership working and our track record in major events – which will be evident again this summer during the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup – we are confident that Glasgow and Hampden is a strong bid.  

     “This isn’t a bid just for Glasgow but a bid for the whole of Scotland. Hosting part of UEFA Euro 2020 provides a perfect opportunity to continue our national legacy from both Glasgow 2014 and a platform to showcase our culture and country to an international audience.”Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau: “Glasgow enjoys a proud reputation as one of the world’s great footballing cities and Hampden, in particular, has become a stadium familiar to football fans throughout Europe.“As a city, we recognise the value of football and major sporting events. We have a fantastic track record in attracting and hosting some of the biggest global sporting championships – from the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals to the Commonwealth Games – and we’re ranked as one of the top 10 ultimate sports cities in the world, ahead of the likes of Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam.“Working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Government, we have been targeting the European Championships in 2020 since it first became clear UEFA was considering this new tournament format. That work has been underway for more than 18 months and, delivering our bid today, we are ready to demonstrate that Glasgow and Hampden will provide a truly memorable backdrop to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary EURO celebration.“This is a real opportunity to bring some of Europe’s top football stars to Glasgow, support our national game and benefit the economy.”Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major events and our bid for Euro 2020 highlights the ambition we have to host the biggest properties in world sport. The exciting, multi-city concept for the European Championships would showcase Glasgow and Scotland to a huge global audience, while driving economic benefits through spectator spend. We have a strong reputation as a major events destination, built on years of experience, which we will demonstrate throughout the bidding process.” 

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 18 April 2014

    Scotland welcomes the classic car world for bi-annual event

    Monday 28 April will see the bi-annual HERO Events, Scottish Malts Reliability Trial and Tour event kick-off from the world famous Gleneagles Hotel, the home of this year’s 2014 Ryder Cup, navigating its way clockwise around the finest roads and scenery Scotland has to offer in celebration of the Year of Homecoming.

    Amongst the sixty plus vehicles taking part are a 1934 Bentley 3 ½ Ltr Hooper Bodied Sports saloon, a Porsche 911 2.7 RS Lightweight from 1973, several Mercedes SL “Pagodas” also from the 1960's and many other rare and interesting classic vehicles from the 1930's right up to the 1980's.

    Of the 63 cars expected, five crews are Scottish with the rest from the UK and other nationalities including Switzerland, Argentina, Ireland, Germany, USA, Italy, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

    ‘The Scottish Malts’ as the event has become affectionately known, is split into two parts – The Trial and The Tour. The Trial is a competitive event, the cars and competitors competing over ‘regularity’ sections, testing navigation and timing skills and special manoeuvrability, handling and speed tests, designed to show not just the skill of the driver, but how agile these older cars really are.  Venues for these tests will include whisky distilleries such as Glenlivet, Dalmore, Tomatin and Edradour in honour of the Year of Homecoming Whisky Month which starts in May.

    A number of private castles and stately homes across Scotland will also provide a perfect backdrop for the event.The Tour is more relaxed, whilst following the main route of The Trial; entrants in this category are encouraged to visit points of interest along the route, re-joining the event for lunches, coffees and evening meals.

    The event will have live updates on HERO’s Facebook page and twitter so you can be sure of following every twist and turn at any time.

    Furthermore, a full TV program will also be aired on Motors TV on Friday 20th June 2014 at 22:35pm.

    Please see http://www.heroevents.eu/Events/ScottishMalts/scottish_malts_2014/ 

    Facebook -  herorally

    Twitter @HERO_CRA

    Category: Motorsport

  • 16 April 2014

    WORLDS BIGGEST WEEK OF PIPING WELCOMES 150 NATIONS

    The world’s biggest week of piping and traditional music was launched today, Wednesday 16th April.  Taking place over the 11-17th August, The World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival will feature over 200 events which will be enjoyed by 50,000 spectators and 8000 performers from 150 nations worldwide! 

    Tickets are expected to be snapped up in record time as music fans secure their place at concerts featuring the best in traditional music and parents plan a great family day out. 

    The events were launched at the world’s largest multitouch video wall, located in Glasgow Caledonian University.  The screen showcased the flags of the 150 countries from which music fans that will be travelling to Glasgow for the annual celebrations.

    The global appeal of piping grows year on year and Glasgow’s air links have seen more music fans come to the city to enjoy the events live.  2014 is expected to be bigger than ever as tourists remain in the dear green place following the Commonwealth Games.  The demand from overseas has also seen both events offer live streaming and “viewing parties” take place everywhere from Christchurch to Kazakhstan.

    Piping Live! is famed for its diverse concerts, which over the last 10 years of the festival, have featured some of the most innovative collaborations in traditional music. The 2014 festival will celebrate the best in the piping tradition and well as the most ground-breaking acts in diverse spaces around the city. Pop-up performances are also planned on Buchanan Street and some surprise locations around the UNESCO City of Music. The festival will also put on a series of events focusing on the link between piping and WWI, in this centenary year. 

     

    As well as hundreds of free daytime events, performances, and family activities the evening concert highlights include the Masters Solo competition featuring the best solo pipers from across the globe and the annual International Quartet Competition at the Royal Concert Hall.  The Gaels and Gracenotes concert will see Gaelic talent perform, including BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, The Mischa Macpherson Trio.  The New Music Concert is a platform for Calum MacCrimmon’s Borraig suite of compositions inspired by the lands in Skye, alongside the Rakish Paddy where four of Armagh's most talented sons will present an audio-visual extravaganza. The Art School is one of two new venues for this year and will play host to the Friday Night Folk gig featuring Paddy Keenan, Tejedor and Daimh Mor Big Band.  The infamous After Worlds Shindig annual ceilidh, headlined by Skippenish this year, is the place to be after The World Pipe Band Championships and goes onto the wee hours as everyone celebrates a great week of music.

     Says Piping Live! Festival Director Roddy MacLeod: “Last year was our 10th birthday and such a blast, but this year will be even better!  The city will be buzzing after the Commonwealth Games and we want to keep the momentum going.  Whether you are looking to listen to piobaireachd, have a party or are parents looking for a fun day out with the kids – Piping Live! has it all.  We are also proud to be part of Homecoming 2014 and our series of concerts and photo exhibition on the role of piping in WWI will be touching and insightful.”

     

    Piping Live! will be proceeded by the spectacle that is The World Pipe Band Championships which takes place on Glasgow Green. The Grade 1 qualifiers being staged on Friday 15th August with the full competition will being held on Saturday 16th August.  Over 200 pipe bands from across globe will be trying to clinch the crown from Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Belfast, who have won the last three years in a row! 

    The 25,000 who attend the annual event make The Worlds the biggest competition in any piping fan’s calendar and attracts bands and supporters from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Mexico and Brazil. The event is a great family day out with children aged 5 and under gaining free entry, a special children’s zone, Highland Dancing, and Highland Games. An International Street of Food area will be introduced, offering a wide variety of different dishes from around the world.

    Meanwhile, the popular Flavour of Scotland area is being given a boost and will be made bigger than ever, offering the very best in Scottish food and drink. This year’s theme is the “Glorious Twelfth” and will feature demonstrations and recipes highlighting the start of the Scottish Game season. The Scottish theme continues at the Worlds crafts and traders’ area, where there will be over 30 stalls promoting all things Scottish. 

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “This year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best yet and we look forward to welcoming more than 200 pipe bands from all over the world to Glasgow Green.

    “The World Pipe Band Championships have always been a family-orientated event, with plenty of entertainment for people of all ages.  Now with children aged 5 and under going free for the first time, we hope to see many new faces in 2014. The excellent choice of Scottish food, drink, arts and crafts will help ensure a great day out so get your tickets now!”

    Glasgow is proud to host the world’s biggest week of piping and Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “This summer is shaping up to be one of the most exciting, and high-profile, in Glasgow’s history. The city is buzzing and we’re firmly in the global spotlight as we prepare to welcome some of the biggest events in the world, from the Commonwealth Games to BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and the MTV Europe Music Awards.

     

    “We're also home to an enviable, diverse and ever-growing programme of annual major events and festivals. Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships are firmly at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, offering thousands of piping fans from across the UK and overseas the chance to experience a spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. With so much on offer, 2014 will be an unforgettable year for visitors.”

     

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland echo’s this sentiment saying: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and as the home of Piping we can proudly claim to host two of the world’s most significant events in Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships. Piping Live! also features on the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, and through a fantastic series of concerts and events it will undoubtedly be one of the cultural highlights of the year.”

     

    Tickets for Piping Live! and The Worlds are on sale now and available by calling 0141 353 8000 or by logging onto www.peoplemakeglasgow.com/piping

    For more information, interviews and images, contact Wire Media:

    Kirsty Atkinson | kirsty@wire-media.co.uk | 0141 440 6761 | 07736 281 684

    Victoria Irvine | victoria@wire-media.co.uk | 0141 440 6761 | 

    Category: Music

  • 16 April 2014

    The Big Beach Ball to host Battle of the Bands final

     

    THE BIG BEACH BALL 2014 – SUNDAY 4TH MAY – ABERDEEN
    THE TUNNELS TO HOLD BATTLE OF THE BANDS FINAL ON APRIL 18TH / /
    TICKET EASTER EGG HUNT TO LAUNCH THIS WEEKEND // 2013 TICKET SALES BEATEN
    Aberdeen’s one-day music festival; The Big Beach Ball will host The Battle of the Bands final in the Tunnels on Friday the 18th of April. 
    After an overwhelming response of applications from all over Scotland, six finalists will be going head to head to battle it out for a slot at this year’s festival. Finalists Ladykiller Caterpillar, The Fire & I, Ricky Fraser, The Ruptured Ducklings, Shangri-La and Franklin will be competing this Friday in Tunnel two of the venue.
    All members of the crowd will be given their chance to vote for their top three acts on Friday night alongside competition judges Steve Morris (Big Beach Ball Festival Director), Ross Calder (AGP), Kyle Reid (Aberdeen Now) and Scott Maskame (Shmeet Clubnight). The winner will be announced on Friday night once all bands have performed. The top act will then win a slot performing on the Peace and Jam stage alongside other Scottish acts including Arab Strap member; Malcolm Middleton, Lost Map Records label manager The Pictish Trail and Aberdeen based band The Marionettes.
    Amanda Christie, The Big Beach Ball Festival Director said: “We’re really excited to be putting this on as an addition to the festival this year. It’s great to get local bands involved and give them a bigger platform to perform on and hopefully providing them with some more exposure.”
    Doors for the competition will open at 7pm with an after party taking place in Tunnel One from 11pm with Glasgow promoters and Big Beach Ball act; Bigfoots Tea Party presenting Berlin based DJ and producer; Move D. 
    This weekend also sees the launch of the festivals Easter Egg Hunt. From the 18th to the 20th of April, ten eggs will be hidden throughout Aberdeen. Clues to where the eggs are will be posted on The Big Beach Ball Twitter and Facebook pages. Everyone who manages to track down one of the ten eggs will need to Tweet, Instagram or Facebook a photo of them and their prize to win a ticket to the festival on Sunday May the 4th. One person can win per egg. 
    The total ticket sales from last year are about to be beaten with 18 days to go! £45 tickets are still available to purchase online via the festivals website and in person at ii Music in Aberdeen, Grouchos in Dundee and Sound & Vision in Elgin. 

    Aberdeen’s one-day music festival; The Big Beach Ball will host The Battle of the Bands final in the Tunnels on Friday the 18th of April. 

    After an overwhelming response of applications from all over Scotland, six finalists will be going head to head to battle it out for a slot at this year’s festival. Finalists Ladykiller Caterpillar, The Fire & I, Ricky Fraser, The Ruptured Ducklings, Shangri-La and Franklin will be competing this Friday in Tunnel two of the venue.

    All members of the crowd will be given their chance to vote for their top three acts on Friday night alongside competition judges Steve Morris (Big Beach Ball Festival Director), Ross Calder (AGP), Kyle Reid (Aberdeen Now) and Scott Maskame (Shmeet Clubnight). The winner will be announced on Friday night once all bands have performed. The top act will then win a slot performing on the Peace and Jam stage alongside other Scottish acts including Arab Strap member; Malcolm Middleton, Lost Map Records label manager The Pictish Trail and Aberdeen based band The Marionettes.

    Amanda Christie, The Big Beach Ball Festival Director said: “We’re really excited to be putting this on as an addition to the festival this year. It’s great to get local bands involved and give them a bigger platform to perform on and hopefully providing them with some more exposure.”

    Doors for the competition will open at 7pm with an after party taking place in Tunnel One from 11pm with Glasgow promoters and Big Beach Ball act; Bigfoots Tea Party presenting Berlin based DJ and producer; Move D.

    This weekend also sees the launch of the festivals Easter Egg Hunt. From the 18th to the 20th of April, ten eggs will be hidden throughout Aberdeen. Clues to where the eggs are will be posted on The Big Beach Ball Twitter and Facebook pages. Everyone who manages to track down one of the ten eggs will need to Tweet, Instagram or Facebook a photo of them and their prize to win a ticket to the festival on Sunday May the 4th. One person can win per egg. 

    The total ticket sales 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. 

    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 lega