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  • 12 February 2016

    Toast to Year of Food and Drink

     

    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year. Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:• 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.• Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.• 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.• Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.• 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com• The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.• The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.• Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.• Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events. • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.“With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.“I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:“The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.“Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said:“Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce. “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 
    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  
    The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year. 
    Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  
    Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:
    • 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.
    • Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.
    • 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.
    • Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.
    • 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com• The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.
    • The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.
    • Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.
    • Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events. 
    • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  
    The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.
    “With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.
    “I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
    “Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  
    “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  
    Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce. 
    “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”
    To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit  
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 

    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  

    The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year.

    Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  

    Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  

    The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:

    • 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.

    • Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.

    • 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.

    • Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.

    • 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com

    • The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.

    • The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.

    • Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.

    • Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events.

    • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  

    The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.

    “With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.

    “I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.“Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  

    “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  

    Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce.

    “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”

    To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 February 2016

    SCOTTISH GYMNASTICS LEGEND STEVE FREW LAUNCHES 2016 GLASGOW WORLD CUP

    Scotland’s first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal winning gymnast, Steve Frew, joined members of Sapphire Gymnastics Club to launch ticket sales for next month’s Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event at the £113million Emirates Arena.

    Frew won gold in the men’s rings in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and represented Scotland and Great Britain at over 100 events including two World Championships and five Commonwealth Games during an incredible career spanning 23-years.

    The Falkirk born star is now an athlete mentor for the Sky Sports Living for Sport Programme and regularly visits schools and sports clubs across the country to work with young people. He was joined at today’s ticket launch by members of the Maryhill based Sapphire Gymnastics Club.

    World champion Max Whitlock is leading a star studded line up for the 2016 Glasgow Cup (Saturday 12 March), with five-time Commonwealth Games champion and world bronze medallist Claudia Fragapane and World Championships silver medal winner Daniel Purvis also set to compete.

    This Glasgow World Cup is one the final chances to see the heroes of Glasgow’s World Championships back in action just a few months before they head to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    And Frew can’t wait to see some of the world’s best gymnasts in action again in Glasgow, just five months after the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the SSE Hydro.

    Steve Frew said: "Glasgow and its people are once again on the World Gymnastics stage for what will be a spectacular showcase of the world's best gymnasts right here in the city.

    "Glasgow is a world-class gymnastics city and the world’s best gymnasts can expect a warm welcome from the people of Glasgow. I’m sure they will enjoy the magic of the gymnastics.

    "I am delighted to join the next generation from Sapphire Gymnastics Club as we look forward to what promises be a fantastic showcase of the world’s best gymnasts in Glasgow."

    World champion Max Whitlock said: “Competing in Glasgow has always been very special to me and the World Championships last year was incredible and historic not just for me but for the whole British team.

    “I’m really looking forward to being back in the city and starting 2016 positively. Everyone knows how huge this year is and the World Cup is a perfect event to test myself against a really good field of international gymnasts – I can’t wait.”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “Excitement is building ahead of the World Cup with some of the biggest names in gymnastics set to go for gold at the Emirates Arena.

    “It is shaping up to be the best World Cup in years with a host of stars, including newly crowned world champion Max Whitlock, set to take to compete as part of their final preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland proved it was the perfect stage for gymnastics events in 2015 by staging a best-ever World Gymnastics Championships, and we are delighted many of the sport’s biggest names have chosen to return for the Glasgow World Cup in March.

    “Max Whitlock, Dan Purvis and Claudia Fragapane have each enjoyed some of the finest moments of their respective careers in Scotland, and we hope that they can continue in that vein during this critical qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “The award-winning World Gymnastics Championships in 2015 raised the bar for the sport with brilliant performances, a passionate crowd and state-of the-art presentation.

    “It’s fantastic we can now build on that success with the Glasgow World Cup forming part of our National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio campaign to bring world class sport to the UK and give GB athletes the opportunity to fine tune their preparations for Rio 2016 in front of a home crowd.”

    Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from EventScotland and National Lottery investment from UK Sport.

    Also competing at the Glasgow World Cup are 2014 world champion Mykayla Skinner (USA), 2015 European Championships bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Bekyavskiy (RUS).

    The Glasgow World Cup is the second of three events in the International Gymnastics Federations 2015/16 Cup Series following the American Cup and to be followed by the Stuttgart World Cup. The competition sees the world best gymnast invited to compete in the ‘all-around’ format with six apparatus for the men and four for the women.

    Tickets are on sale now. Visit www.glasgowworldcup.com to book or phone the box office on 0141 353 8000. The event has sold-out every year since 2012, with early booking recommended. 

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 11 February 2016

    Mickelson, McDowell and Stenson confirmed for Castle Stuart

    Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson will this year renew rivalries in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, where the popular American took the title in 2013 before lifting the Claret Jug the following week.

    Five-time Major Champion Mickelson, World Number Five Stenson and former winner Graeme McDowell are among the star names so far confirmed for the 34th edition of Scotland’s national Open, which returns to the stunning Inverness venue from July 7-10, 2016. Tickets to see the world-class trio in action are now on sale at www.tickets.europeantour.com


    Stenson led by two shots going into the final round at Castle Stuart three years ago, only to be pipped to the prize by Mickelson, who produced a trademark flop shot in the play-off with Branden Grace to secure his first victory in a regular European Tour event.


    Mickelson cited that win as a key component in his subsequent triumph at Muirfield, and the 45 year old is hopeful of achieving another Scottish double when he warms up for The Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club with his seventh straight appearance – and 14th overall – in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.


    Mickelson said: “I’m always excited about returning to Scotland, and particularly to Castle Stuart. I believe winning there in 2013 was key to my success the next week at The Open Championship.


    “Beyond that, the nation is the home of golf and I really appreciate the fans’ golfing knowledge and their respect for the game. It’s always one of the highlights of my year when I compete in Scotland.”  


    Stenson followed his third place at Castle Stuart with a runner-up finish behind Mickelson at Muirfield, and whilst he was understandably disappointed to have missed out on both titles, his impressive performances heralded a remarkable run of form which ultimately culminated in the Swede winning both The Race to Dubai and the FedExCup on the US PGA Tour.


    This year will mark Stenson’s first appearance in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open since his near-miss in 2013, and the 39 year old – currently leading The Race to Dubai – is hopeful of a different outcome on the Moray Firth this time.


    He said: “It didn’t quite work out for me on the final day in 2013, I had a great chance but Phil recovered well from a bad start and deserved to win. And even though I didn’t quite manage to get the job done, it was still the start of a great run for me and maybe I used those near-misses at Castle Stuart and Muirfield as motivation.


    “For me, playing the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is the perfect preparation for The Open. We’ll be expecting a tougher test at Troon the week after, but although Castle Stuart doesn’t beat you up as much as an Open Championship venue does, it’s still great to get into the mind-set of playing links golf.


    “So I’m looking forward to going back, and hopefully I can get the better of Phil this time. He proved that winning the Scottish Open was the recipe for success in The Open in 2013, so I’ll be going all out for the win in July.”           


    McDowell, Stenson’s team-mate from The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, has already tasted success in the Scottish Open, taking the title in 2008 at Loch Lomond Golf Club.


    The 2010 US Open Champion missed the tournament between 2012 and 2014, but a return to Gullane Golf Club last year rekindled his love affair with the £3.25 million event.     


    McDowell said: “I’m looking forward to making my return to Castle Stuart this year. It’s going to be a great little period for me, with the French Open, the Scottish Open and hopefully The Open, so I’m very excited about that little stretch over the summer.


    “I always love playing in Scotland, and after missing the Scottish Open for a few years it was great to go back there last year. I played very well for the first two days at Gullane, and hopefully I can keep that sort of form going over all four rounds at Castle Stuart.”  


    Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “I’m absolutely delighted the 2013 champion Phil Mickelson, World Number Five Henrik Stenson and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell will be playing in this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.


    “With a condensed summer golfing calendar, having these star names playing is testament to the strength of this tournament and its enviable position of being contested the week before The Open Championship.


    “Aberdeen is a company that continues to grow its presence around the world, so we are pleased that American golf fans will have the opportunity to see the likes of Phil take on the magnificent Castle Stuart once more through our continued live coverage on the Golf Channel and NBC.”


    James Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “I’m delighted that Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell – three giants of world golf – will be competing at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. This tournament is one of the highlights of Scotland’s sporting calendar, and it’s already looking like we’ll see another strong field returning to Castle Stuart.


    “Scotland is the best place in the world to watch and play golf, and the Scottish Government is pleased to be able to continue to sponsor the Scottish Open, which helps to raise the profile of Scottish golf worldwide and also contributes to our wider economy.”  

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Having three world-class players commit so early to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is testament to the reputation and strength of the event and the strong draw that Scotland has a golf and events destination.



    “We’re looking forward to another terrific championship at Castle Stuart and showing why Scotland is the perfect stage for top-class golf events.”

    Category: Golf

  • 11 February 2016

    All-star line-up announced for Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival

    Some of the world’s biggest names in knitting will be showcased at the inaugural Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival this autumn. Knitting celebrities including Scot Alice Starmore and Danish knitwear designer Christel Seyfarth are among the presenters at the four-day festival from 29th September.

    Kicking off with a gala dinner Thursday evening, and followed by three days packed with workshops, fashion shows, lectures and trade displays, it is anticipated that the Festival will attract an additional 3,000 visitors to the Inverness Loch Ness area. There will also be a concert showcasing Highland music and dance, and specially-chartered “knit-cruises” on Loch Ness.

     Workshops ranging from “Design your own Scandinavian sweater” to “Creating intricate Celtic knotwork felt borders”, and “Design your own garment and achieve a perfect fit” will give participants plenty of opportunity for hands-on involvement. Most workshops are three hours in duration, whilst a few extend to six hours.

    The Festival will also feature lectures highlighting historical and cultural perspectives on knitting and design. Lecturers are from a range of countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland and Norway.

     Artisans and craftspeople are invited to take a stand at the Festival, which is based around Eden Court but with lectures and workshops also taking place at the nearby Botanical Garden and Culloden Battlefield.

     Based on the “Strikkefestival”, a Danish knitting festival now in its second decade, it is hoped that the Festival will generate an additional £1million in direct and indirect spending by visitors to the area.

     Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival is a project of tourism organisation Visit Inverness Loch Ness. Alan Rawlinson from VisitInverness Loch Ness anticipates the Festival will have wide appeal. “We have already had queries from the US, Canada, Scandinavia, across central Europe, and throughout the UK from people who have heard about the Festival and who want to plan a visit around it. We’re delighted at the response, and believe that the Festival will boost visitor numbers this autumn and benefit tourism and other local businesses,” he noted.

     “We are hoping the Knit Fest will become an annual event, continuing to raise the profile of Inverness Loch Ness, and we are grateful for the support of Highland Council and EventScotland in staging this inaugural event.”

     Christel Seyfarth is a Danish knitwear designer and developer of the Strikkefestival. It has attracted thousands of visitors and millions of pounds of investment to the island of Fanø. She is working with the Inverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival to bring this successful model from Denmark to the north of Scotland.

     2016 is Scotland’s Year of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and it is hugely exciting to see Scotland’s first Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival taking place during the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The festival’s planned programme looks set to offer enthusiasts a range of exciting activity, which combined with the cultural experience of the Highlands, will hopefully provide inspiration for many of the participants own future designs.”

     Chair of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair said: “With programmes such as “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Great British Sewing Bee” we’ve seen a recent surge in interest in traditional skills and it would appear that knitting is no exception. The fit with both the tradition of Highland knitwear and crafts and 2016’s designation as Scotland’s Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design makes it all the more relevant that we welcome this event this autumn. As a lifelong knitter, I personally am looking forward to the festival coming to Inverness.”

     Supported by Highland Council, EventScotland and the Inverness Common Good Fund, the Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival runs from 29 September to 2 October 2016. For more information visit the website at www.lochnessknitfest.com.

    Category: National Events

  • 11 February 2016

    Whisky Month is back for 2016

    Join Whisky Month as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 Partner Programme.

    The Whisky Month Partner Programme is returning in May 2016 as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Join Whisky Month as part of the
    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016
    Partner Programme

    May is Whisky Month when we pay homage to our national drink. Whisky Month first took place in 2009 and returned in 2014 as part of Homecoming Scotland and 2015 in the Year of Food and Drink.

    In 2016 Whisky Month will align with the Themed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Your event can benefit from being part of the YIAD Partner Programme through spin-off promotion. Sign up at http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme.

    As a Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme event you will benefit from the spin-off promotion of being part of this celebration. Being part of Whisky Month means you may be mentioned in VisitScotland activity promoting our national drink and our natural larder.

    Our campaigns will promote the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design programme as a whole, driving visitors to find out more about the events involved, including those in the Partner Programme.

    We want to hear the stories about your event - selected stories may then be used by our regional, national and international PR and marketing teams. Our goal is to help you raise your event’s profile through being part of the Year, although we can’t guarantee that every event will be mentioned.

    You can access Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design imagery, text and the logo, which will be recognisable by visitors and local people as they feature across our marketing and PR campaigns. Your event will also be listed on our website www.visitscotland.com, which attracts around 13 million visitors a year.

    For furthert information surrounding the Whisky Month Partner programme please click here.

    Some ideas for joining Whisky Month 2016:

    - Events with a Whisky offering taking place in May that have an innovative twist.

    - Distilleries which align their May tours in 2016 with the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, for example celebrating the built heritage and architecture of your distillery.

    - Whisky tasting events for the public which focus on one of the year’s strands, for example theming your selection on whiskies with an interesting design story.

    For more information and to sign up, go to http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme. If you have any questions please contact us at partnerprogramme@eventscotland.org

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 10 February 2016

    SUDDENLY I SEE… KT TUNSTALL AT OBAN LIVE

    Grammy Award-nominated songstress, KT Tunstall, has been announced as the headline act at Oban Live – an exciting new open air concert taking place in Mossfield Park, Oban, on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May. 

    Trad superstars Capercaillie, Julie Fowlis, Skipinnish and many more also feature on the concert’s bill, which has already seen 1500 early bird tickets sell out in under three hours.

    General tickets go on sale 12 noon on Saturday 13 February via www.obanlive.com or from www.eventbrite.co.uk.

    Oban Live’s inception came about after the hugely successful ‘Decade’ concert, held in Oban in May 2015, generated an incredible £1.1 million for the town and its surrounding areas.  The concert, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of Skerryvore, saw international acts attract crowds from across the world to attend.  Artistic director and Skerryvore band member, Daniel Gillespie, saw the huge potential for an open-air concert in Oban and, as a result, Oban Live was born. 

    The economic impact of the concert is expected to be double that of Decade and organisers have already had to arrange additional capacity at Mossfield Park to cope with demand.

    Daniel Gillespie, Oban Live Artistic Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce KT Tunstall as our headline act at Oban Live.  She is an iconic musician who has been flying the flag for Scotland for many years around the world.  Oban has hosted incredible music events in the past year - including our own Decade event and The Royal National Mod – and we want to continue to celebrate this town’s wonderful community spirit and incredible atmosphere with an event that will welcome people from all over the world to Oban for a weekend of sensational live music.  With the early bird tickets selling out so quickly we advise people to book tickets early to avoid missing out. See you all in May!”

    Oban Live is supported by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Oban Live through our National Funding Programme. This exciting addition to Oban’s existing portfolio of music events, with its impressive line-up of Trad and international pop artists, will no doubt attract visitors to the town from the local area and further afield."

    Tunstall shot to fame when her debut album Eye to the Telescope earned her a nomination for the Mercury Prize. She later went on to win awards for Best British Live Act and Best Breakthrough Act at 2006 BRIT Awards, then later adding the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song to her trophy cabinet with hit song Suddenly I See.

     

     

    LINE UP FOR OBAN LIVE 2016

    KT Tunstall

    Julie Fowlis

    Capercaillie

    Skerryvore

    We Banjo 3

    Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham

    Skipinnish

    Hunter & The Bear

    Blair Douglas

    JJ Gilmour

    Category: National Events

  • 09 February 2016

    Edinburgh International Science Festival launches 28th programme - Building Better Worlds

     

    DISCOVER HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD AT 2016 EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL
    Today, (Tuesday 9 February) Edinburgh International Science Festival announced their 28th Festival programme – Building Better Worlds, which centres around how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it.
    The Festival will run throughout the Easter holidays, 26 March – 10 April 2016, in venues across the city including Festival hub Summerhall, the City Art Centre, the National Museum of Scotland and partner venues Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will offer adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events and workshops and will give everyone the chance to join the global debate of how we can build better worlds for now and the future. In 2016 there are 272 events in total.
    Creative Director Amanda Tyndall comments: “In 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival asks: how can we all collaborate to help build a better world? It’s a huge question but I’m excited by the mix of world-leading scientists, artists, authors and innovators that will join audiences in Edinburgh to share and debate their visions of a better world.
    Science and technology have the potential to help us address so many of the key challenges we face; from how we feed, heal and fuel the world to how we live happy and fulfilling lives as we do so. But they don't work in isolation from the wider world. It is through collaboration with their creative cousins that we stand the best chance of innovating and securing our future. This year's Festival celebrates this with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.” 
    The strand Our Built Environment explores how science is impacting on our homes and cities is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and includes the large scale outdoor installation a Tiny Homes Village. Situated at the Mound Precinct throughout the Festival, this full scale exhibition of ten tiny housing structures examines our changing style of homes and how small buildings may provide comfortable and realistic solutions to urban, eco and emergency shelter demands.
    Tickets for all events go on sale on Tuesday 9 February at 1100hrs. Book online www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phone 0844 557 2686 or in person at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Office, 66 High Street.
    EventScotland in celebration of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016. It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural. Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
    Join the conversation #IAD2016I

    Image: Tiny House example 2 in Portland USA by Tammy Strobel

    Today, (Tuesday 9 February) Edinburgh International Science Festival announced their 28th Festival programme – Building Better Worlds, which centres around how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it.

    The Festival will run throughout the Easter holidays, 26 March – 10 April 2016, in venues across the city including Festival hub Summerhall, the City Art Centre, the National Museum of Scotland and partner venues Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will offer adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events and workshops and will give everyone the chance to join the global debate of how we can build better worlds for now and the future. In 2016 there are 272 events in total.

    Creative Director Amanda Tyndall comments: “In 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival asks: how can we all collaborate to help build a better world? It’s a huge question but I’m excited by the mix of world-leading scientists, artists, authors and innovators that will join audiences in Edinburgh to share and debate their visions of a better world.

    "Science and technology have the potential to help us address so many of the key challenges we face; from how we feed, heal and fuel the world to how we live happy and fulfilling lives as we do so. But they don't work in isolation from the wider world. It is through collaboration with their creative cousins that we stand the best chance of innovating and securing our future. This year's Festival celebrates this with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.” 

    The strand Our Built Environment explores how science is impacting on our homes and cities is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and includes the large scale outdoor installation a Tiny Homes Village. Situated at the Mound Precinct throughout the Festival, this full scale exhibition of ten tiny housing structures examines our changing style of homes and how small buildings may provide comfortable and realistic solutions to urban, eco and emergency shelter demands.

    Tickets for all events go on sale on Tuesday 9 February at 1100hrs. Book online www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phone 0844 557 2686 or in person at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Office, 66 High Street.

    EventScotland in celebration of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016. It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural. Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
    Join the conversation #IAD2016

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 04 February 2016

    New ticket sales record set as Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival events go on sale to whisky-loving public

    Ticket sales for the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival have set new records, with over 2,700 tickets valued at almost £75,000 being bought within the first hour of their launch this week.

    Just 10 minutes after the website went live on Tuesday (February 2) transactions reached the same level that took an hour to achieve in 2015, while the same amount of sales in an hour took 24 hours on last year’s opening day.

    Over 60 events in the packed programme taking place in whisky’s spiritual home from April 28 to May 2 have already sold out, and many more have limited availability.  The events attracts thousands of visitors to Speyside to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink.

    Visitors from the UK, Europe and North America have been the driving force behind the sales, with whisky lovers from as far afield as Bahrain, Australia, Japan and India also snapping up tickets on the opening day.

    Festival manager Pery Zakeri says the phenomenal demand has taken everyone surprise, and there seems no sign of sales slowing down.

    She adds, “We have had ticket sales from a total of 22 different countries and in the first 24 hours of going live we had reached a sales value of over £91,000. 

    “I think this just goes to show how eagerly anticipated the Festival is this year. We have garnered a fantastic reputation for putting on a world class event, and people are making sure they get in early to get tickets for the activities they really want.

    “As with previous years, the exclusive distillery tours have sold out first. The real whisky aficionados are always looking for very special experiences that are only available at the time of the Festival, so tours of distilleries not normally open to the public, such as Strathmill and Dalmunach, were snapped up within minutes.

    “However, with 467 different events on the programme from whisky tasting and blending experiences and from heritage walks to traditional ceilidhs, there are still plenty of tickets available.

    “The beauty of the Spirit of Speyside Festival is that it is small enough to be incredibly friendly and welcoming, but big enough so that there is something for everyone. But we’d urge anyone thinking about coming to book their events soon as tickets are selling very quickly indeed.”

    The Festival is taking part in Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and many of the events are focused on the theme. There will be the chance to enjoy drams against the background of stunning architecture, and visitors will learn about the innovation born in the region which is home to the world’s best-loved whiskies. 

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says, “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is always a massively popular event with visitors from around the world and we are delighted to see so many people eager to take advantage of the opportunity to sample this unique aspect of Scotland’s history and culture in 2016.

    “Much more than simply whisky tasting, the Festival celebrates Scotland’s national drink with an exciting and innovative programme of events, and we’re confident that the hugely encouraging sales over these first 24 hours will be maintained ahead of the Festival over the coming months.”

    Along with helping whisky fans organise their itineraries and finalising details of the Festival, organisers are balancing that with planning their new mini-festival in the autumn.

    It takes place from September 9 to 11 at Elgin Town Hall, and will bring many of the region’s whisky producers together under one roof on their own doorstep from September 9 to 11. Tickets for that event are due to go on sale after the main Festival in May.

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com

    The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Heritage

  • 03 February 2016

    ADAM GEMILI SET TO FACE SPRINT STARS AT GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Britain’s gold medal sprinter Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) will face some of the fastest men on the planet at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix later this month.

     Gemili is the latest star attraction to be added to the start list for the world’s number one indoor athletics meeting and will face Britain’s reigning World and European Indoor 60m Champion Richard Kilty (Benke Blonkvist), 2015 world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell from the USA, and former world and Commonwealth champion, Kim Collins from Saint Kitts and Nevis.

     The men’s 60m looks set to be one of the highlights of the sold-out event. Athletes in action in other events include British Athletics ‘Golden Trio’ from London 2012 and last year’s World Championships; Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello), Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff).

     Following a hamstring injury suffered last summer, Gemili made a successful return to action in Cardiff last weekend running a 60m personal best of 6.59 and is looking forward to stepping up his season in Glasgow.

     He said: “2015 was bittersweet for me. It was amazing to become only the sixth British man in history to break 10 seconds for the 100m but rupturing my hamstring and missing the World Championships in Beijing was a massive disappointment. Now I’m fit and ready to return and looking forward to the 2016 season.”

     “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the ideal way for me to begin my journey to the Rio Olympic Games. The competition is absolutely top-class and I can’t wait to face so many top athletes. It really is an incredible line-up and I’m very excited.”

     The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the number one indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

     Glasgow is one of the world’s great cities of sport and has a rich history of supporting world class athletics.

     Now sold-out, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for the World Indoor Championships in Portland in March.

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world. British sprinting is making incredible strides every year and the sport is excited to see what Adam and his fellow sprinters can achieve this year. The Scottish fans always support athletes from all nations brilliantly and this event will showcase Glasgow’s abilities to stage world-class events.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Adam Gemili is one of the hottest prospects in British Athletics and we are delighted he will be using the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix as his first step on the road to Rio 2016. As the world’s most prestigious indoor events, and one which attracts a host of world-class athletes, fans at the sold out Emirates Arena are set to witness an outstanding day of action during yet another spectacular occasion for Scotland and the city of Glasgow.”

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the number 1 ranked indoor meet in the world of athletics. Find out more by visiting britishathletics.org.uk and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BritAthletics

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

    EIFF & RSNO PRESENT THE UK PREMIERE OF E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL WITH A LIVE ORCHESTRAL SCORE

     Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) are delighted to present the UK Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s legendary E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, accompanied by John Williams’ iconic score performed live by the RSNO on Saturday 25 June 2016 at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

     Tickets will go on sale Friday 5 February from 10am and can be bought from Filmhouse Box Office, 0131 623 8030, or online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk.

     A global cultural phenomenon, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an alien dubbed E.T., who is stranded on Earth. The film was the highest grossing film of the 1980’s and is widely held to be one of the greatest science fiction films ever made having been released and re-released no less than three times since 1982.

     Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted the UK premiere of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in 1982, where it was the opening night film. This screening will form a key highlight in EIFF’s 2016 programme falling on the last Saturday of the Festival.

     The event is being staged with the support of Sir Ewan and Lady Brown.

     Mark Adams, Artistic Director of EIFF commented: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with the RSNO for this wonderful film and music event. The fact that E.T. and Steven Spielberg have such a strong link to EIFF makes this magnificent screening in our 70th edition all the more special. Certainly not an event to be missed.”

     RSNO Chief Executive Krishna Thiagarajan commented: “This will be the second time in as many years we’ve collaborated with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, following the hugely successful presentation of Back to the Future last year. The RSNO is well-known as

    an award-winning recording artist when it comes to music for film, plus the musicians relish the opportunity to perform John Williams’ works in a live context, as we have done on numerous occasions. E.T. surely has an appeal which spans generations so this special screening with live orchestra promises to be a memorable event for the young as well as the more seasoned cinema attenders. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a few tears on stage as well as in the stalls come the film’s final scenes.”

     2016 marks the 70th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, making it the longest continually running film festival in the world. Since its inception, the Festival has sought to bring the best of world cinema to UK audiences and championed the work of the most pioneering and innovative film makers. 2016 will be no exception with the Festival showcasing a huge array of the best in feature films, shorts and documentaries over the twelve-day period.

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

    Old Course to host the Senior Open Championship for the first time

    The Old Course at St Andrews, which has been a regular host to the world’s oldest and most international Major Championship for more than 140 years, will achieve another historic milestone from July 26-29, 2018, by hosting the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex for the first time.

    Today’s momentous announcement, which was made jointly by The R&A and the European Tour at The Home of Golf, completes the full set of Major Championships to be held over the Old Course.

    The 144th Open in 2015 was the 29th occasion on which the Championship has been played at St Andrews. The Ricoh British Women’s Open has been played there on two occasions and the Old Course will now become the 13th venue to accommodate the Senior Open Championship, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary with a return to another famous Scottish venue at Carnoustie.

    Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, and European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, welcomed the decision to bring the Senior Open to an iconic location with which many of the world’s greatest senior golfers have a strong affinity.

    The announcement also received unanimous support from several golfing greats, including five-time Champion Golfer of the Year and three-time Senior Open winner, Tom Watson, of the United States, who was a prime instigator behind the event heading to St Andrews for the first time.

    Although he never claimed the Claret Jug at The Home of Golf – famously finishing tied second behind Seve Ballesteros alongside another European legend in Bernhard Langer in 1984 – Watson spoke today of his desire to compete one last time over the famous links.

    The 66-year-old made what he believed would be his final flourish on the Old Course during The Open last year, when he bade an emotional farewell to the Championship, which defined him as a golfer, on the Swilcan Bridge.

    Watson is now set to return for one last hurrah, however, alongside a number of champions who can boast victories at St Andrews, including Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and John Daly, who turns 50 this year and is set to make his Senior debut at Carnoustie this July.

    He said: “I am thrilled at the news that the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will be staged over the Old Course for the first time in 2018. Only last July, I played what I believed would be my final competitive round of golf at The Open, and the reception I received as darkness fell on that Friday evening will stay with me always.

    “However, The R&A, the European Tour and the St Andrews Links Trust have shown the spirit of cooperation that exists in the game. By agreeing to bring this wonderful Championship to the Home of Golf in July 2018, they have allowed not just me, but many other great champions, an opportunity to return to a venue that means so much to everyone who plays the game.”

    Sir Nick Faldo, who captured the second of his three Open victories at St Andrews in 1990, also bade farewell to The Open on the same Friday as Watson in 2015 but he is already thinking about dusting down the clubs to compete in the Senior Open Presented by Rolex in 2 ½ years’ time.

    The six-time Major Champion and Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to see the Senior Open Championship going to St Andrews in 2018.  This certainly gives me another golfing goal and I only hope my game is good enough to give it a go on the Old Course!"

    Montgomerie was part of the three-man Scotland team who claimed the Dunhill Cup in 1995. Exactly a decade later the three-time Senior Major Champion finished a credible runner-up behind Tiger Woods in The Open over the Old Course, before going one better in that year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

    He commented: “This is great news and will surely deliver the best field ever assembled for the Senior Open Championship. All credit to the powers that be to get the Senior Open at St Andrews for the first time. Even now, more than two years out, I am excited about the prospect. It’s a real coup for The R&A, the European Senior Tour, St Andrews Links Trust, Rolex and everyone associated with the event to get us playing senior golf at St Andrews.

    “It will be great to see Tom Watson back, at the age of 68, where we thought he would play in a major for the last time in 2015. However, there will be a lot of other players, like Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer for instance, who will be excited by the prospect. It will be a real celebration of over-50s golf.”

    Martin Slumbers said: “There have been many great championships held at St Andrews over the years and it is entirely fitting that the Senior Open should be played at the Home of Golf in 2018. We know that the galleries in St Andrews are passionate about golf and I’m sure they will turn out in strong numbers to see so many renowned senior players competing. It promises to be another wonderful event for golf fans in Scotland.”

    Keith Pelley said: “The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex is, without question, the premier tournament in the Senior game and it is fitting, therefore, that it is to be played for the first time at golf’s most iconic venue. We thank our partners at the R&A and Rolex for their support and I know all of our Senior Tour Members are already looking forward to pitting their wits against the Old Course in July 2018.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached between St Andrews Links Trust and The R&A and European Tour to see yet another world-class championship played on the Old Course.

    “Scotland has a long and proud history as the perfect stage for major golf championships and 2018 is now shaping up to be a special year in Scotland with The Open at Carnoustie and the inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in addition to the Senior Open Championship at St Andrews.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 January 2016

    EventIt – New Events Industry Trade Show for Scotland

     

    Are you going to EventIt, Scotland’s new events industry trade show? Have you signed up as an exhibitor or put in your diary to attend?
    Find out more about the show, which takes place on Friday 18 March at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, at www.eventit.org.uk.
    We are supporting EventIt as an opportunity for the industry to come together and share expertise, knowledge, products and services.
    The principle objective of EventIt is to bring the events sector together under one roof and match up the industry's supply chain with corporate event planners, venue bookers, DMC's, PCO's and a wide range of decision-makers from the public, third and private sectors.
    The show is part of the Scottish Tourism Week signature programme. Exhibitors will benefit from the additional footfall of delegates from the National Tourism Conference who will network within the EventIt exhibition during their breaks.
    It’s an easy visit for delegates who wish to attend both EventIt and the Friday of the STA Conference in the EICC. EventIt also takes place before the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, giving additional convenience for everyone wishing to attend the industry’s ‘Tourism Oscars’.  Tickets for the awards can be purchased via the website.  
    In addition, EventIt organisers are working with Edinburgh-based publishers Canongate Communications to produce Scotland's first dedicated events industry magazine. EventsBase, a quarterly magazine distributed to events industry professionals in Scotland, was launched in November.

    Are you going to EventIt, Scotland’s new events industry trade show? Have you signed up as an exhibitor or put in your diary to attend?

     
    Find out more about the show, which takes place on Friday 18 March at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, at www.eventit.org.uk.


    We are supporting EventIt as an opportunity for the industry to come together and share expertise, knowledge, products and services.


    The principle objective of EventIt is to bring the events sector together under one roof and match up the industry's supply chain with corporate event planners, venue bookers, DMC's, PCO's and a wide range of decision-makers from the public, third and private sectors.


    The show is part of the Scottish Tourism Week signature programme. Exhibitors will benefit from the additional footfall of delegates from the National Tourism Conference who will network within the EventIt exhibition during their breaks.


    It’s an easy visit for delegates who wish to attend both EventIt and the Friday of the STA Conference in the EICC. EventIt also takes place before the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, giving additional convenience for everyone wishing to attend the industry’s ‘Tourism Oscars’.  Tickets for the awards can be purchased via the website.  


    In addition, EventIt organisers are working with Edinburgh-based publishers Canongate Communications to produce Scotland's first dedicated events industry magazine. EventsBase, a quarterly magazine distributed to events industry professionals in Scotland, was launched in November.

    Category: Industry News

  • 29 January 2016

    Well-plaid for Scotland’s PGA of America centennial links

    To commemorate the historic centennial year of the PGA of America in 2016, Scotland has gifted the organisation a one-of-a-kind tartan weave to celebrate the country’s proud links with the organisation.

     The PGA of America Centennial Tartan has been exclusively created to mark 100 years since the inception of the organisation and honours the role Scottish-born professional golfers played in its formation.

     Five of the seven founding members of the first PGA of America committee were Scottish professionals, including Robert W. White, the first PGA of America President, and James Hepburn, the first chairman of the committee.

     The tartan was the brainchild of Matt Clark, owner of Scottish custom golf bag business Bridge Golf Scotland and was commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scotland’s economic development agencies. It was created by renowned textile manufacturers, Lochcarron of Scotland with the colours carefully chosen to represent those of the PGA of America as well as Scotland’s Saltire flag and the iconic Stars and Stripes banner of the United States.

     The tartan was officially gifted to Allen Wronowski, Honorary President of the PGA of America, by VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, and Graeme White, SDI’s Head of Tourism, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Part of the gift included specially-designed golf club headcovers designed and made in Scotland by stand partner Bridge Golf Scotland, and ties and scarves created by Lochcarron of Scotland. The tartan cloth will now be made available to all PGA of America members as well as offering commercial opportunities for Scottish businesses and manufacturers.

     As well as being the PGA of America’s centennial year, 2016 is also the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in Scotland, resulting in a year-long celebration of Scotland’s achievements across these areas. Tartan has become an internationally-acclaimed fashion, and the development of the PGA of America Tartan further enhances this reputation.

     Bush said: “We are honoured to be able to present the PGA of America with this specially designed tartan to commemorate its centennial year and to celebrate the proud association Scotland, the Home of Golf, has with this incredible organisation.

     “As a nation, we are incredibly proud of the role we have played in the globalisation of golf, both as a game and a profession, and I am delighted that the relationships forged with the PGA of America back in 1916 continue to this day. Traditionally, every clan in Scotland had its own unique tartan and the new PGA of America Centennial Tartan ensures that the organisation will forever be part of Scotland’s golfing family.”

     Graeme White, head of tourism at Scottish Enterprise said: "Scottish tartan is known the world over for its iconic fashion, quality and heritage. But it is also an important commercial product of Scotland. This new tartan, while welcoming the PGA of America into our global family, also offers Scottish businesses and manufacturers exciting national and international trade opportunities, which we look forward to supporting."

     The inception of the PGA of America came at a time when golf was expanding rapidly in the US, not just as a past-time, but as a business; and the organisation was set up to nurture and capitalise on that growth. Now, 100 years on, the PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organisation, comprising more than 28,000 men and women dedicated to promoting the game of golf.

     Accepting the tartan on behalf of the PGA of America, Honorary President Wronowski said: “It is with a great deal of honor that the PGA of America accepts the beautiful Scottish tartan, symbolic of the bond that the PGA of America shares with the Home of Golf. Scottish blood was a part of our Association’s founding a century ago and our shared passion and pride for growing the game has never been stronger.” 

     The tartan was gifted to the PGA of America at the Scotland, the Home of Golf stand (Booth #3473) at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The show represents the biggest gathering of golf industry professionals with more than 1000 golf businesses and 40,000 golf industry professionals attending. Scotland’s presence at the show is supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International and includes businesses from across the golf tourism and manufacturing industries in Scotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 January 2016

    WORLD’S TOP SPORTS STARS TO COMPETE IN GLASGOW AHEAD OF RIO 2016 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES

    Some of the biggest names in world sport are set to go for gold in Glasgow over the next three months as they continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The action gets underway at the £113million Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February when double Olympic and five-time world champion Mo Farah, Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford, Olympic, triple world and European champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, current European record holder and 200 metre world champion Dafne Schippers and Britain’s fastest ever woman Dina Asher-Smith will star at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.

    World and European indoor champion Richard Kilty and sub-10 man Chijindu Ujah will also be facing world 100m medallist Trayvon Bromell and former world champion Kim Collins over 60m as part of the star-studded line-up for the sold out Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – the best indoor athletics meeting in the world.

    On Saturday 12 March the world’s best gymnasts will return to the Emirates Arena for the 2016 Glasgow World Cup – just five months after the World Championships in the city. Glasgow was one of only four cities in the world that was awarded the right to hosts FIG World Cup events back in 2011.

    Leading the field at the Glasgow World Cup will be 2015 pommel horse world champion Max Whitlock, returning to the city where he made history for Britain in November. Joining Max will be teammate and five-time Commonwealth champion and world team bronze medallist Claudia Fragapane and Scotsman Daniel Purvis, World Championships silver medal winner and Commonwealth Games champion.

    Joining the British trio are some of the world’s top gymnasts including 2014 World champion Mykayla Skinner (USA), 2015 European bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Bekyavskiy (RUS).

    Tickets for the Glasgow World Cup, which is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport, are available from www.glasgowworldcup.com or from the box office on 0141 353 8000.

    The British Swimming Championships (Olympic Trials) and British Para-Swimming International Meet (Paralympic Trials) will take place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre on 12-17 April and 23 to 27 April respectively, where Britain’s top swimmers be looking to secure their place in Rio.

    Among those competing will be triple world champion and double world record holder Adam Peaty, Commonwealth Games gold medallists Ross Murdoch and Hannah Miley and Paralympic star Ellie Simmonds OBE who has an incredible two Olympic, 12 world and 10 European titles to her name. Please visit www.swimming.org/britishswimming for ticket details.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “It is with great delight we are able to build on the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games by utilising our outstanding sporting facilities, such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre, to welcome inspirational Olympic and World champions to Scotland.

    “Glasgow has played a crucial part in the country’s ever-strengthening reputation as the perfect stage for events, and 2016 is set to be another tremendously significant year for the city.

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “Glasgow is enjoying a golden era of sport having just delivered the best ever Commonwealth Games, the IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent World Gymnastics Championships, which set a new benchmark for gymnastics and indoor sporting events. 

    Category: International Events

  • 25 January 2016

    Finalists revealed in VisitScotland digital competition

    The University of St Andrews, Edinburgh Napier University and The Glasgow School of Art have been named as finalists in a digital competition launched by VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation.

     Teams from the three universities submitted creative proposals centred on the development of an interactive and innovative digital product designed to showcase Scotland’s places of interest and inspire visits to Scotland during the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The competition which aims to celebrate the expertise, skills and knowledge of Scotland’s academic institutions is a brand new product development approach for Scotland’s national tourism organisation.  The project was developed in collaboration with Interface, which connects organisations to academic expertise for research and development leading to new products, services and processes.

     Competition finalists were selected by a panel of judges including Dr Jamie Coleman - Managing Director of CodeBase, Clive Gillman - Director of Creative Industries at Creative Scotland and Suzanne Dawson - Head of Sector Relationships at Interface.  The judges evaluated the entries based on criteria including the interpretation of the brief, clarity of content strategy and product innovation.

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

    “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design carries forward the momentum from last year’s celebration of food and drink and demonstrates Scotland’s credentials as an innovation nation -  showing that our creative, modern and inventive past, present and future can continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe.

     “This innovative marketing competition links two of the Year’s themes –  innovation and design – with young designers across Scotland, challenging them to create an interactive digital product which will motivate people to visit Scotland. I would like to congratulate the three finalists for reaching this stage of the competition and I look forward to seeing how the winning entry will develop into an exciting digital product that will inspire visitors for years to come.”

     Charles Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland said:

    “This is a brand new collaborative approach for VisitScotland and it has been a really exciting process from initiation to working with the finalists across the three teams as part of the mentoring process. The support from Interface, the mentors and the judges has been central to the success of the project, but ultimately it is about celebrating the expertise, knowledge, ideas and talent of the academic teams.”

     Suzanne Dawson, Head of Sector Relationships at Interface, and a competition judge, said:

    “The VisitScotland competition has been a fantastic way of highlighting how Scotland’s top academic expertise can help turn an idea into an exciting reality.”

     “I’ve been impressed by the proposals, which provide creative solutions aimed at attracting international and domestic tourists to Scotland. I am sure that the competition will inspire those working in the tourism sector, from the largest visitor attraction to the smallest B&B, to think about how working with academics could help grow their business.”

     “This is a great example to show how universities and research institutions are paving the way for new developments in all sectors.”

     Professor David Benyon, Director of the Centre for Interaction Design in Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, said:

    “It has been a great boost for the students to work on a real commercial brief as part of their studies.”

     “They have been able to apply the techniques taught in class and see how well they work in real life, and it is pleasing to see their efforts and enthusiasm rewarded with a place in the final three.”

     Dr Alan Miller of the University of St Andrews’ School of Computer Science said:

    “We are so excited to be in the final. It would be fabulous to work with VisitScotland to create our proposed ‘Taste From Afar’ collection of immersive tours. It has been a joy to participate in the competition and we have learned so much from our mentors.”

     Dr Stuart Jeffrey, Research Fellow in International Heritage Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design (DDS) said:

    “Our Heritage Visualisation MSc students are delighted to have been short listed for the VisitScotland Digital competition for the year of Innovation, Architecture and Design”

     “The DDS has extensive previous experience in research projects in the heritage sector, from The Scottish Ten - large scale recording of World Heritage Sites with Historic Environment Scotland - to co-production of heritage data with community groups and mobile application development for tourists.”

     “The students leading the competition entry are excited to have the opportunity to work so closely with visitor and digital industry professionals and are enthusiastic about the impact their competition idea could have on the visitor experience in Scotland in this important year.”

     As part of the competition process, the finalists have been awarded a mentoring session with leading games industry representative Michael Boniface, Managing Director of Reloaded Productions Ltd and Charles Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland.  The one-to-one sessions focus on nurturing and developing each idea further to ensure readiness for market delivery.

     All three teams will now go forward to present their final product idea to a panel of judges, with the winning team securing a £16,000 prize fund towards their professional development.   In the final stage of the competition, the winning team will be matched with a digital agency to develop their concept through to completion.

     The competition winner will be announced at a later date.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 25 January 2016

    Rollers Rock Big Burns Supper

     

    Les McKeown celebrates fantastic time at Dumfries gig
    The Bay City Rollers rocked the Spiegeltent at the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries last night.
    Hundreds of fans, waving tartan scarves, danced to hits including Shang A Lang, I Only Wanna Be With You and Bye Bye Baby.
    Les McKeown, lead singer, said afterwards: “That was a fantastic gig, I couldn’t believe what a great time we have all had here at Big Burns Supper.”
    Looking back at the enduring love that fans have for the Bay City Rollers he added: “When they were young we were the untouchable dream boyfriends for a lot of girls. Nowadays we are their untouchable granddads.
    “We love it that so many people want to dress up in the tartan gear and join us for a great time.”
    In the audience was David Mundell, local MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, and his son Oliver.
    He congratulated Artistic Director Graham Main on the festival, saying: “What is being done here is superb for Scotland and for – and it’s fantastic to see such a tremendous mix of performers. 
    “It’s tremendous that we have such a huge festival in Dumfries as Big Burns Supper with so much going on. 
    “The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing and it’s great to see so many people out here having a good time at all the shows being put on by the festival.”
    After the Rollers gig he said: “That was just brilliant – it took me back 40 years. It’s that mix of fun, nostalgia, music and song that Big Burns Supper is so good at. And I think Burns himself would have loved it too, because those are things he enjoyed.”
    Graham Main added: “This has been an amazing weekend and tonight Les McKeown and the band really took it up into top gear. They brought back so many memories of good times for so many people – and I’m really pleased that David Mundell was one of them.
    “The whole festival has got off to the best possible start, with so many people coming in from all over the country to help us celebrate the spirit of Burns and all that’s best in life.”
    Big Burns Supper 2016 runs until 30 January and is packed with comedy, carnival, cabaret and music to suit all tastes.

    Les McKeown celebrates fantastic time at Dumfries gig.

    The Bay City Rollers rocked the Spiegeltent at the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries last night.

    Hundreds of fans, waving tartan scarves, danced to hits including Shang A Lang, I Only Wanna Be With You and Bye Bye Baby.

    Les McKeown, lead singer, said afterwards: “That was a fantastic gig, I couldn’t believe what a great time we have all had here at Big Burns Supper.

    Looking back at the enduring love that fans have for the Bay City Rollers he added: “When they were young we were the untouchable dream boyfriends for a lot of girls. Nowadays we are their untouchable granddads.

    “We love it that so many people want to dress up in the tartan gear and join us for a great time.”

    In the audience was David Mundell, local MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, and his son Oliver.

    He congratulated Artistic Director Graham Main on the festival, saying: “What is being done here is superb for Scotland and for – and it’s fantastic to see such a tremendous mix of performers. 

    “It’s tremendous that we have such a huge festival in Dumfries as Big Burns Supper with so much going on. 

    “The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing and it’s great to see so many people out here having a good time at all the shows being put on by the festival.

    After the Rollers gig he said: “That was just brilliant – it took me back 40 years. It’s that mix of fun, nostalgia, music and song that Big Burns Supper is so good at. And I think Burns himself would have loved it too, because those are things he enjoyed.”

    Graham Main added: “This has been an amazing weekend and tonight Les McKeown and the band really took it up into top gear. They brought back so many memories of good times for so many people – and I’m really pleased that David Mundell was one of them.

    “The whole festival has got off to the best possible start, with so many people coming in from all over the country to help us celebrate the spirit of Burns and all that’s best in life.”

    Big Burns Supper 2016 runs until 30 January and is packed with comedy, carnival, cabaret and music to suit all tastes.

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 22 January 2016

    David Nott – ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – wins Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016

     

    David Nott – ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – wins Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016
    A life-saving British doctor who has had to dodge bombs and stare down the barrel of a gun – and is known as the ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – has tonight (Thursday) been named winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.
    David Nott was presented with the award at a special ceremony and the first-ever celebration concert at the Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway – the town of Burns’ birth – by Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP. 
    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – or RBHA – is a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals, with sponsorship from Burns Crystal and The Herald, Sunday Herald and heraldscotland.com. The event is part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations, which take place in and around Burns’ birthday this month and form part of the year-round Burns an’ a’ that! Festival. 
    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, the award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.
    It takes its inspiration from Robert Burns who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian, as recognised in his famous lines: 'That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that'.
    This year’s winner, David – a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Marsden, St Mary’s and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals – has given up several months every year for more than two decades to volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross in war zones and amidst major humanitarian crises.
    His efforts have seen him performing life-saving surgery in areas such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Syria – and in some of the most desperate conditions.
    David’s first posting took him to the state hospital in Bosnia, which was known as ‘the Swiss cheese’ because it was pockmarked with bullet holes, and that was to shape his experience for many years to come.
    David has now taken his skills and experience and established the David Nott Foundation – a UK registered charity that provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.  
    As well as providing the best medical care, David Nott Foundation surgeons will train local healthcare professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes.
    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: 
    “The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises the selfless vital work that is undertaken around the world every day of every year to help others. David Nott is a truly worthy winner and an inspiration to others. As a volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, he has performed life-saving surgery in desperate circumstances in areas such as Darfur/Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Chad and Syria. He is developing a training programme to share his expertise with more than 1,000 doctors and local health professionals.
    “Now in its fifteenth year, the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award continues to be one of the highlights of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which draws to a close on Burns Night.  Scots and the Scottish-at-heart will be celebrating Robert Burns the world over this weekend and I would encourage everyone to take the time to honour the life of our Bard and his enduring message of humanitarianism, egalitarianism and equality.”
    David Nott said: “I am stunned and very proud to receive this amazing award, which I share with the many people I have worked with over the years. You know that you’re taking a risk when you do this type of humanitarian work, but once you’re out there and saving the lives of people – including children and teenagers the world has forgotten about – you just focus on getting the job done and try to forget about what’s going on around you.
    “It is difficult – there’s no doubt – but when you can see that you can make a very real difference, you simply cannot turn your back and that’s why I’m particularly pleased to have established the Foundation to keep that work going.
    “I’m very grateful for this award and it will remind me, every day, why we do what we do.” 
    The runners-up for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 were:
    Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – whose humanitarian efforts started more than 20 years ago with an appeal for food, clothing and medicines for those affected by the Balkan conflict. He went on to establish Scottish International Relief, which delivered more than £10 million worth of aid in its first 10 years. In Malawi in 2002, Magnus was inspired to launch Mary’s Meals after meeting teenager Edward who said all he hoped for in life was: ‘I want to have enough food to eat and go to school one day’. Mary’s Meals now feeds more than one million school children in 12 countries every day.
    Zannah Bukar Mustapha – a lawyer who works to make lives better for children and young people affected by the conflict between Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group – and government forces in Nigeria. Having spent many years working to counter the growing radicalisation of children and young people, and concerned at the closure of state schools, he founded the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation – a primary school for orphans and less privileged children from both sides of the conflict. Zannah’s school provides free meals, free education, uniforms and health care, with the aim of achieving a lasting peace in the future. 
    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Judging Panel, said: “David, Zannah and Magnus all recognise that not everyone has the same choices, freedoms and opportunities – and they have stepped in to right that wrong and are actively making a difference for many.
    “David’s work has, quite literally, saved lives and there are hundreds of people alive today who would not be here if it wasn’t for his bravery, tenacity and commitment to others. He has put himself in danger and put his own life at risk to protect other people and he is a perfect example of Robert Burns’ humanitarian values.
    “My warmest congratulations to him on being awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”
    VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “A key date in Scotland’s cultural calendar, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a marvellous recognition of an individual’s incredible personal dedication to, and amazing achievements in, making a major beneficial impact on the lives of others – so it ties in very closely with the themes underpinning this 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  
    “We are delighted that David Nott – a truly deserving and inspirational nominee – has won this year’s award and our congratulations go to him, and indeed to all of those shortlisted, for embodying the values of this very prestigious accolade.”
    Further information about the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is available at www.robertburnsaward.com. Details of the year-round Burns an’a’that! Festival are at www.burnsfestival.com. 

    A life-saving British doctor who has had to dodge bombs and stare down the barrel of a gun – and is known as the ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – has tonight (Thursday) been named winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.


    David Nott was presented with the award at a special ceremony and the first-ever celebration concert at the Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway – the town of Burns’ birth – by Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP


    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – or RBHA – is a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals, with sponsorship from Burns Crystal and The Herald, Sunday Herald and heraldscotland.com. The event is part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations, which take place in and around Burns’ birthday this month and form part of the year-round Burns an’ a’ that! Festival. 


    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, the award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.


    It takes its inspiration from Robert Burns who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian, as recognised in his famous lines: 'That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that'.
    This year’s winner, David – a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Marsden, St Mary’s and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals – has given up several months every year for more than two decades to volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross in war zones and amidst major humanitarian crises.


    His efforts have seen him performing life-saving surgery in areas such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Syria – and in some of the most desperate conditions.


    David’s first posting took him to the state hospital in Bosnia, which was known as ‘the Swiss cheese’ because it was pockmarked with bullet holes, and that was to shape his experience for many years to come.


    David has now taken his skills and experience and established the David Nott Foundation – a UK registered charity that provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.  


    As well as providing the best medical care, David Nott Foundation surgeons will train local healthcare professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes.


    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: 
    “The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises the selfless vital work that is undertaken around the world every day of every year to help others. David Nott is a truly worthy winner and an inspiration to others. As a volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, he has performed life-saving surgery in desperate circumstances in areas such as Darfur/Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Chad and Syria. He is developing a training programme to share his expertise with more than 1,000 doctors and local health professionals.


    “Now in its fifteenth year, the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award continues to be one of the highlights of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which draws to a close on Burns Night.  Scots and the Scottish-at-heart will be celebrating Robert Burns the world over this weekend and I would encourage everyone to take the time to honour the life of our Bard and his enduring message of humanitarianism, egalitarianism and equality.”


    David Nott said: “I am stunned and very proud to receive this amazing award, which I share with the many people I have worked with over the years. You know that you’re taking a risk when you do this type of humanitarian work, but once you’re out there and saving the lives of people – including children and teenagers the world has forgotten about – you just focus on getting the job done and try to forget about what’s going on around you.


    “It is difficult – there’s no doubt – but when you can see that you can make a very real difference, you simply cannot turn your back and that’s why I’m particularly pleased to have established the Foundation to keep that work going.


    “I’m very grateful for this award and it will remind me, every day, why we do what we do.” 


    The runners-up for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 were:


    Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – whose humanitarian efforts started more than 20 years ago with an appeal for food, clothing and medicines for those affected by the Balkan conflict. He went on to establish Scottish International Relief, which delivered more than £10 million worth of aid in its first 10 years. In Malawi in 2002, Magnus was inspired to launch Mary’s Meals after meeting teenager Edward who said all he hoped for in life was: ‘I want to have enough food to eat and go to school one day’. Mary’s Meals now feeds more than one million school children in 12 countries every day.


    Zannah Bukar Mustapha – a lawyer who works to make lives better for children and young people affected by the conflict between Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group – and government forces in Nigeria. Having spent many years working to counter the growing radicalisation of children and young people, and concerned at the closure of state schools, he founded the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation – a primary school for orphans and less privileged children from both sides of the conflict. Zannah’s school provides free meals, free education, uniforms and health care, with the aim of achieving a lasting peace in the future. 


    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Judging Panel, said:

    “David, Zannah and Magnus all recognise that not everyone has the same choices, freedoms and opportunities – and they have stepped in to right that wrong and are actively making a difference for many.


    “David’s work has, quite literally, saved lives and there are hundreds of people alive today who would not be here if it wasn’t for his bravery, tenacity and commitment to others. He has put himself in danger and put his own life at risk to protect other people and he is a perfect example of Robert Burns’ humanitarian values.
    “My warmest congratulations to him on being awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”


    VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “A key date in Scotland’s cultural calendar, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a marvellous recognition of an individual’s incredible personal dedication to, and amazing achievements in, making a major beneficial impact on the lives of others – so it ties in very closely with the themes underpinning this 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  


    “We are delighted that David Nott – a truly deserving and inspirational nominee – has won this year’s award and our congratulations go to him, and indeed to all of those shortlisted, for embodying the values of this very prestigious accolade.”


    Further information about the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is available at www.robertburnsaward.com. Details of the year-round Burns an’a’that! Festival are at www.burnsfestival.com

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 20 January 2016

    GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL ‘GERES’ UP FOR 12TH PROGRAMME

    Glasgow Film Festival today announced their twelfth annual programme: an exciting, innovative, audience-focused festival packed with UK, European and World premieres, and the festival’s trademark pop-up cinema events making new use of some of the city’s most unusual venues. As previously announced, GFF16, which runs from 17-28 February 2016 and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland, Creative Scotland and BFI, will open with the UK Premiere of Hail, Caesar! by Ethan & Joel Coen, and close with the UK Premiere of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Oscar-nominated Anomalisa.  With 308 separate events and screenings and 174 films, this is one of the largest programmes the festival has fielded.

     GFF is delighted to welcome a number of very special guests, including Richard Gere, supporting the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind (Sun 28 Feb), in which he plays a homeless man, possibly suffering from mental illness, adrift in New York. Natalie Dormer, best known for Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, walks the red carpet for the UK premiere of The Forest (Thu 25 Feb); director Ben Wheatley will also be in attendance for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise (Thu 18 Feb), the high-profile adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian novel starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. Veteran arthouse director Peter Greenaway and über-stuntman Vic Armstrong will also be taking part in In Person events discussing their careers. Full list of confirmed guests below; further guest announcements will be made closer to the festival.

     Other major UK premieres this year include Demolition, the new film from Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, Louder Than Bombs, the Cannes Palme d’Or nominee directed by Joachim Trier and starring Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg, Sing Street, the new Dublin-set musical by Once writer/director John Carney, the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Mustang, Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s labour-of-love Miles Davis film, and the new Disney animation Zootropolis, created by the minds behind Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. The programme of high-profile new films also includes Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, Norway’s Oscar entry, action-thriller The Wave, Miguel Gomes’ utterly majestic trilogy Arabian Nights, multi-award-winning indie James White, Truth, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett’s tense take on the 60 Minutes George W Bush scandal, and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s blistering follow-up to Blue Ruin, starring Sir Patrick Stewart playing against type as the leader of a neo-Nazi group. GFF is also thrilled to host the world premiere of Hamish, a documentary about Scottish poet, songwriter and intellectual Hamish Henderson. 

    For more information and a look at the full programme, visit http://visitgff.glasgowfilm.org

    Category: International Events

  • 19 January 2016

    World champion Whitlock returns to Glasgow for World Cup

    The 2016 Glasgow World Cup line up has been confirmed with a star-studded line-up of international gymnasts set to compete as the prestigious event returns to the Emirates Arena on 12th March.

    Leading the way will be 2015 pommel horse World Champion Max Whitlock, returning to the city where he made history for GBR in November. Joining Max will be teammate Claudia Fragapane the five-time Commonwealth Champion and World team bronze medallist and Scotsman Daniel Purvis, World Championships silver medal winner. Also in action will be 2015 World Championship team silver medallist Kelly Simm invited to take part in the World Cup as a host nation wild card competitor, the 2015 World University Champion will be aiming to make her mark again in Glasgow.

    Max is excited to be back competing in Glasgow saying: “Competing in Glasgow has always been very special to me and the World Championships last year was incredible and historic not just for me but for the whole British team. I’m really looking forward to being back in the city and starting 2016 positively. Everyone knows how huge this year is and the World Cup is a perfect event to test myself against a really good field of international gymnasts – I can’t wait”

    This Glasgow World Cup is one the final chances to see the World Championships heroes back in action just a few months before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Dan Purvis is looking forward to more famous home crowd support saying: “Every time I compete in Glasgow the support is incredible and I’m expecting more of the same at the World Cup. Hopefully lots of people will have watched us at the World Championships and been inspired by what we achieved. The World Cup is a special event and this year’s line-up is world class so I’m hoping for another sell-out crowd to cheer on the British gymnasts.”

    Claudia adding: “I’m really looking forward to the World Cup and being back in Glasgow. With the Olympics not far away it’s important to start the year off well and continue to prove myself. The World Cup is a very special event and Glasgow is a brilliant city to compete in – I can’t wait to see everyone.”

    Joining the British trio are some of the world’s top gymnasts including 2014 World champion American Mykayla Skinner, 2015 European bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS), European Games beam gold medallist Lieke Wevers (NED) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Belyavskiy (RUS).

    The Glasgow World Cup is the second of three events in the International Gymnastics Federations 2015/16 Cup Series following the American Cup and to be followed by the Stuttgart World Cup. The competition sees the world best gymnast invited to compete in the ‘all-around’ format with six apparatus for the men and four for the women.

    Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    Tickets are on sale now. Click here to book or phone the box office on 0141 353 8000. 

    Sold-out every year since 2012, don’t miss the chance to book the best seats in the house.


    The 2016 Glasgow World Cup line-up:

    Women

    Maegan Chant
    Canada
    Age: 18
    Team silver with Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games


    Claudia Fragapane (Bristol Hawks)
    Great Britain
    Age: 18
    2015 World bronze medallist with Team GB and 2014 four-time Commonwealth gold medallist

    Enus Mariani
    Italy
    Age: 17
    2012 Junior European Champion

    Asuka Teramoto
    Japan
    Age: 20
    2015 Japanese national champion and 9th all-around at the 2015 World Championships

    Lieke Wevers
    Netherlands
    Age: 24
    2015 European Games beam gold medallist

    Mykayla Skinner
    USA
    Age: 19
    2014 World Champion with team USA and vault bronze medallist

    Maria Kharenkova
    Russia
    Age: 17
    2014 World bronze medallist with team Russia and 2014 European beam champion

    Yufen Xie
    China
    Age: 17
    2014 World silver medallist with Team China

    Kelly Simm (Dynamo/Southampton )
    GBR
    Age:20
    2015 World Championships team bronze

    Men

    Arthur Nory Oyakawa Mariano
    Brazil
    Age: 22
    All-around 12th at the 2015 World Championships & team silver at the 2015 Pan American Games

    Max Whitlock (South Essex)
    Great Britain
    Age: 23
    2015 World pommel horse champion and 2012 Olympic double bronze medallist

    Daniel Purvis (Southport)
    Great Britain
    Age: 25
    2015 World team silver medallist and 2012 Olympic team bronze medallist

    Yu Cen
    China
    Age:  20
    2015 World Universiade vault champion

    Masayoshi Yamamoto
    Japan
    Age: 26

    David Belyavskiy
    Russia
    Age: 23
    2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist

    Christian Baumann
    Switzerland
    Age: 20
    2015 European Championships parallel bars silver

    Marvin Kimble
    USA
    Age: 20
    2015 Pan American Games team and pommel horse champion

    Junho Lee
    Korea
    Age: 20
    2015 World University Games team silver medallist

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 18 January 2016

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL PROGRAMME FOR 2016

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar gears up to return for its 14th year from Thursday 10 – Sunday 27 March 2016.  

    The bumper line-up for the eighteen-day festival includes: critically-acclaimed stand up from Frankie Boyle who has recently added a third night to his run at the Clyde Auditorium; character comedy from Scot Squad’s Grado and Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson, both appearing live at the Kings Theatre; Greg Proops recording his The Smartest Man In The World podcast; a night with the QI Elves; and Bob Slayer’s award-winning double decker Blundabus pulling up for a residency at Candleriggs, where a ticket to ride might get you comedians playing Hungry Hippos, storytelling and gossip, or the genius of Phil Kay.

    Headline acts and household names set to perform include Reginald D Hunter, Bridget Christie, Adam Hills, Paul Merton, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Rob Delaney, Jenny Eclair, Jerry Sadowitz, Russell Kane, Mark Watson, Dylan Moran and Richard Herring.

    Local stars Des Clarke, Daniel Sloss, Craig Hill, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, and Janey Godley are lined up alongside rising talents from Scotland’s creative comedy scene - with collective Chunks taking over The Griffin, plus shows from Fern Brady, Ashley Storrie, Darren Connell, Chris Forbes and Jamie Dalgleish.

    Appearances from acclaimed performers from across the UK include Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Sinha, Mark Steel, Paul Foot, Rob Beckett, and Chris Ramsey.

    The Festival has earned a reputation for its strong selection of international acts, this year bringing Will Franken, Scott Capurro, John Hastings and Jena Friedman to the city, while American Stands Up! introduces some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now in what is always a sell-out showcase.

    As well as large scale stand up and intimate gigs in pubs, GICF presents film screenings at the Govanhill Baths and the Grosvenor Café; solo shows from Scott Gibson and Alan Bissett at the Tron; comedy for kids at The Stand Comedy Club and the Citizens Theatre; and discussions on comedy, women, feminism and more with Standard Issue, and on the role of satire with the Sunday Herald.

    Events take place every day throughout the Festival including sketch shows, plays, lunchtime comedy, and late night Festival clubs. Tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performers, including Grado, Adam Hills and Russell Kane already adding extra nights due to popular demand.

    Sarah Watson, Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “We’re very proud to announce what I think is our best line-up yet, and look forward to taking over the city for eighteen comedy-packed days. We always want to bring our audiences something different and exciting - it’s great that we are working with new venues like Saint Luke’s, debuting brand new shows like Uncles from the creators of Burnistoun, and bringing top class acts to the city, some of whom are visiting for the first time.”

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “It’s an exciting time in Glasgow as the curtain prepares to open on the 14th annual Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Some of the biggest – and funniest – performers in the world have graced stages across the city over the years; and this year’s line-up will be no exception.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow International Comedy Festival has been bringing together world-class performers and top local talent for many years and we are delighted to support the event in 2016. The festival programme for this year is stronger than ever and we look forward to seeing thousands of spectators turn out at venues across the city in March.”

    Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: Comedy

  • 12 January 2016

    Musselburgh's Riding of the Marches 2016 announces its principals

    Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches 2016 has officially launched with the introduction of the seven Principals, who will lead the pomp and pageantry of  this historic event.

    RoM2016 is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the UK. Although it is thought to date back to the 5th Century, it was first recorded in 1682. But as the first Musselburgh RoM of the 21st Century, this year’s festivities look forward to fresh changes as well as celebrating its rich history.

    Now the Town Champion, Turf Cutter, Turf Cutter’s Assistant, two Squires and two Halberdiers have all been chosen, including Fiona Grant-MacDonald, the first ever woman to take a major role in the event, which is held once every 21 years.

    All the Principals will take part in the official RoM ceremony, which is the central occasion in a week of celebration. This commemorates the marking of the ancient boundaries of the Burgh, and highlights the unique history and heritage of the Honest Toun of Musselburgh.

    The party ride out under the close protection of the armour-clad town champion, and stop at 12 boundary stations around the town to cut a sod of turf and proclaim “it’s a' oor ain!'

    Other Principals are Town Champion Neil Wilson, Turf Cutter Iain Clark, Squiers David Finlayson and Graham Bennet, and Halberdiers Scott Robertson and Alan Williams. All were chosen for their good work in the town.

    The ceremonial aspect of the week-long event – which runs between between July 24-30 – also includes a huge procession, a pageant, an exhibition, a civic ball, a concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as various sporting events, and entertainment for young and old. The week will conclude with a spectacular Lumiere at the mouth of the River Esk and a huge fireworks display.

    Preparations for RoM2016 began at the end of 2014 with Hogmania, the largest family party in the county at the Brunton Hall, carried on into the next day with the first ever New Year’s Day Loony Dook at Fisherrow Harbour – repeated on 1st January this year. All of the town’s big tournaments and sporting events in 2015 were put on as part of the build-up, and this will continue throughout this year.

    Artists from Musselburgh are also making their mark and as street art and yarn bombing are already popping up throughout the town. The highlight of this will be the Riding of the Marches Horse Parade, with ten life-sized model horses decorated mainly by school kids will appear at prominent positions.

    Category: Heritage

  • 12 January 2016

    Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson to headline 2016 Festival

     The wait is finally over as tickets for this year's StAnza festival go on sale. With the full programme now online, the box office is open for the much anticipated event which takes place in two months time in Fife.

     StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival  lasts for five days from 2nd to 6th March and features around 100 events, many of them free – a diverse range of performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations. StAnza is the place to hear your favourite poet, discover new voices, meet other poets, writers and publishers and enjoy the energetic buzz of the beautiful and historic town of St Andrews.

     Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: "The countdown is now definitely on for this year's festival, with the stage set for another fantastic few days celebrating poetry and the spoken word in its many forms.

     "We're thrilled to have a wonderful programme which is bursting with some of the best and newest poetry talent and look forward to welcoming the world to St Andrews to enjoy this literary feast."

     The annual festival this year opens with a performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains. The performance is a collaboration between Tommy Smith, award winning saxophonist and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

     Among StAnza’s 2016 headliners is Don Paterson, who last week won the Costa Poetry Award for his latest collection, 40 Sonnets, published by Faber and Faber. The Scottish poet and jazz musician previously won the accolade in 2003 and is also twice winner of the T.S. Eliot prize. He is joined by recent winner of the Guardian First Book award and Fenton Aldeburgh first collection prize, Andrew McMillan. Commenting on performing at StAnza, Andrew McMillan said: "Stanza is an iconic festival which has seen some of the world's best poets perform - I'm honoured and delighted to be there".

     Other big names from the literary world to perform at the annual festival include Fiona Benson, joint winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, English poet Jo Bell, winner of the Causley Prize and the Manchester Cathedral Prize in 2014, and Lemn Sissay, recipient of an MBE for services to literature and the first poet to write for the London Olympics. The UK headliners include Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside who will be joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt.

     StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. This year’s first theme will be Body of Poetry, looking at poetry which engages with the human body, its needs, appetites and how it changes. As part of the second theme, City Lines, the festival will have a strong focus on Architecture for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and will connect St Andrews with various cities worldwide, including Berlin as part of a focus on German poetry for 2016.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting StAnza again through our Beacon programme. The festival attracts thousands of people to St. Andrews each year along with some of the most prestigious poets from across the globe, making it a real highlight in Scotland’s cultural events calendar.

     "This year’s theme, City Lines is a wonderful way for the festival to celebrate the relationship between the historic town of St. Andrews itself, architecture and poetry as part of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture, and Design." 

    Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.  The printed brochure will be available later this month.

    Category: National Events

  • 12 January 2016

    LONDON OLYMPIC HEROES REUNITE IN GLASGOW AS JESSICA ENNIS-HILL IS CONFIRMED TO COMPETE AT SOLD OUT INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Jessica Ennis-Hill (coach: Toni Minichiello) has confirmed that she will compete at the sold out Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February.

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the world’s number one ranked indoor athletics meeting and will be the best one-day athletics meeting to ever be held in Scotland. It will feature many of the world’s best athletes, including Britain’s other gold medal winners from ‘Super Saturday’ at the London 2012 Olympics, Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff).

    Ennis-Hill has a great record in the 60m hurdles in Glasgow, setting a personal best in 2008, a British record of 7.95 in 2010 and then taking victory in 2011.

    She said: “I am really looking forward to competing in the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – this fixture always kick-starts my year.  Training is going well and it will be good to get out there and compete with some great athletes and really test myself.  Olympic year is a big year for all of us and the first competition brings with it trepidation and excitement.”

    The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the world’s best indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “Jessica Ennis-Hill is one of the biggest stars in British sport. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will provide her with an opportunity to test herself and we wish her every success in Olympic year. She is a winner and a tremendous role-model for athletics and for Britain. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will again showcase the city’s passion for major athletics events and is a sold-out success.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that Jessica Ennis-Hill will begin her preparations for this year’s Olympic Games at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, reaffirming Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events among the world’s most decorated athletes. As well as providing the opportunity to witness Jessica in action, the event will see her fellow Olympic gold medallists, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, compete alongside a host of world-class athletes, creating an occasion not to be missed.”

    Category: Athletics

  • 08 January 2016

    Farah returns to Great Edinburgh XCountry as record numbers take on the Pure Gym Great Winter Run

    Mo Farah, the reigning Double Olympic and World Champion will make his return to the Great Edinburgh XCountry this Saturday. Farah will start his 2016 season in Scotland as he prepares to defend his Olympic title in Rio this summer - competing in his first cross-country race since he triumphed at the event in January 2011.

     Mark Hollinshead, group chief executive of the Great Run Company said; “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Mo back to Holyrood Park and the Great Edinburgh International XC.

     “This will be his first cross country race in five years and we’re sure the Edinburgh crowds will be out in force to give him, and the other world class athletes, their support.”

     Farah will be competing in one of the four races that comprise the Team challenge against Team USA and Team Europe. His GB&N.I. teammates include five Scots.

     Callum Hawkins, who represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and 2015 Scottish XC Champion Andrew Butchart, line up with Farah for the Men’s 8K race.  2015 bronze medallist in the Scottish Nation XC Championships Josephine Moultrie will take part in the Senior Women’s 6K alongside the 2014 Bronze Medallist Beth Potter, while Kilbarchan AAC’s Euan Gillham represents GB in the Men’s U20 race.

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that the Great Edinburgh International XCountry is set to open this all-important Olympic year in tremendous fashion and hugely excited at the prospect of witnessing Mo Farah competing on Scottish soil once more.

     “Along with the other world-class athletes competing, Mo’s decision to kick-start his Olympic Games campaign in Edinburgh is further proof of Scotland’s outstanding reputation as the perfect stage for athletics events and we are confident the event will offer the perfect preparation for all of those competing in Rio this summer.”

     The world-class event will be shown live on BBC One from 13:00 -14:30 and will showcase the city and the unique location of Holyrood Park.

     Earlier in the day a record number of participants will take part in the Pure Gym Great Winter Run. 3000 amateur runners will take on the 5k around  Arthur’s Seat. The Junior Great Winter Run will also be staged before the elite action gets underway.

     They will be sent on their way by the inspiring tones of opera singer Lucy O’Byrne, who was runner up in the 2015 series of The Voice. Lucy is currently playing Maria in Sound of Music at the Playhouse in Edinburgh.

     Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: "The Great Winter Run has become a firm fixture in Edinburgh and, despite the cold conditions, it continues to prove popular with thousands of runners and spectators. At this time of year, many people find the 5k stretch the perfect way to race their way back into fitness.

     “The beautiful backdrop of the city’s ancient volcano Arthur’s Seat and the Dunsapie and St Margaret’s Lochs is a real favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to taking part. As a running fan, it’s a special day when you race in the footsteps of the likes of Mo Farah! Good luck to the other runners braving our winter weather and I’ll see you there.” 

     The event is completely free to spectate, so come along and enjoy all the action as well as tasty treats from Stoats Porridge Oats, Union of Genius Soup Kitchen, Risotto to Go and the Italian Coffee Bar.

     For more information and a full timetable visit www.greatrun.org/winter  

    Category: International Events

  • 08 January 2016

    CELEBRATING THE BRILLIANT BARD’S BIRTHDAY

     
    Programme of events planned to honour Robert Burns this month.

    Burns Night on January 25 will see Scots and Scots at heart from around the world come together to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s beloved national Bard.

    Six events will take place this month to celebrate Robert Burn’s Birthday as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a 21 strong event programme that runs across Scotland every year from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 to Burns Night on January 25.

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

    Robert Burns’ words are recognised around the world and his poetry, writing and songs continue to be enjoyed by millions. Burns Night is a great opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s Bard and to enjoy Scotland’s poetry, music and wider culture.

    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

    The Burns events include Alloway 1759, The Big Burns Supper Festival in Dumfries, Burns’ Birthday in Mauchline, the Big Burns Stramash in Inverness, Burns Unplugged in Edinburgh and Burns Fest at the Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.

    Outside of Scotland, celebrations for Robert Burns’ birthday are held annually on an international level, with Burns suppers, ceilidh dancing, poetry and storytelling taking place across the globe, demonstrating the far reaching affection for our much loved poet.

    After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Burns has more statues dedicated to him than any other non-religious icon.

    To capture this worldwide warmth for Burns, social media users across the world are being asked to share a selfie, or a ‘Burnsie’, via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a Burns-related item, such as a statue, painting, book of poems or even a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties.

    These ‘Burnsies’ will be collated into a massive mosaic image of Robert Burns and will be shared on social media and on www.scotland.org/burns

    For more information on the events, please visit www.scotland.org/burns

  • 06 January 2016

    World orienteering community names Glen Affric 'Course of the Year 2015'

    The Scottish Highlands is home to the world’s finest orienteering course, according to the international orienteering community.

    The Long Distance course for the men’s World Orienteering Championships, which took place within Glen Affric, was named by World of O website as the ‘Orienteering Course of the Year 2015’ after consultation with more than 1,000 individuals involved in the sport.

    Designed by the course setter team of Steve Nicholson and Brian Bullen, the course embraced the remote beauty of the glen, encompassing a forest of pine, birch and oak with steep slopes, complex contour details and few paths.

    Also used as the stage for the ‘Long’ when the World Championships were previously in Scotland in 1999, the Glen Affric stage was overwhelmingly chosen for top honours, receiving almost three times as many votes as the second-placed World Cup Long Distance course in Tasmania.

    It provided the final challenge of the World Orienteering Championships which took between 31 July and 8 August in various locations across Highland and Moray, and coincided with the 20th edition of the biennial Scottish 6 Days race.

    Paul McGreal, WOC2015 Race Director, said: “This award caps off a really successful WOC for the organising team, and hopefully reflects our concentration on keeping it athlete-focussed.

    “It’s well justified recognition for the amazing skills, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise of the orienteering community in Scotland and beyond. We proved that Scotland is capable of delivering a huge event on a world stage using largely volunteer efforts.”

    The accolade is the icing on the cake for an event which proved to be one of the most successful in Scotland in 2015, drawing almost 7,000 overseas spectators and participants, and generating an impressive £9.4m for the Scottish economy.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The World Orienteering Championships and Scottish 6 Days were a huge success in 2015 and the ‘Orienteering Course of the Year 2015’ prize is a fitting reward for our partners who worked tirelessly to deliver such a tremendous event.

    “Congratulations to the course planning team, who have positioned Scotland at the forefront of the sport and demonstrated why our stunning landscapes and natural assets make Scotland the perfect stage for orienteering events.”

    Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive, British Orienteering, said: “The award is a fitting tribute to the fantastic terrain within Glen Affric and the way in which it was used by the very talented planning team. The world-class courses provided physical and mental challenges for the athletes and those that achieved top places knew they had been tested.

    “We hope to be back in the Scottish Highlands for further international competition soon!”

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 31 December 2015

    Stage set for “ground-breaking year” Scotland gets ready to celebrate Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

     

    Stage set for “ground-breaking year” 
    Scotland gets ready to celebrate Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    Hot on the heels of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, Scotland is getting ready to celebrate the best of its breath-taking built heritage, bold design and awe-inspiring innovation with a range of new and exciting events as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme running from 1 January to 31 December 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s architectural masterpieces, unique crafts and textiles, and its cutting edge design creations.
    With 2016 just around the corner, a number of New Year events are already set to celebrate the theme including the brand new ‘Fire and Light’ event at the Helix in Falkirk on 1 January which will see Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ as the backdrop for a 3500 sold-out capacity crowd.
    On New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will splash into the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth in the shadow of an iconic World Heritage Site, famed for its cantilever design – the Forth Bridge - at the 30th anniversary Stoats Loony Dook.  The event will be witnessed by almost 3,000 spectators.  
    Also on New Year’s Day, those in Edinburgh can discover artists, actors and musicians at Scot:Lands as part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Eleven ‘Lands’ curated by the country’s best brightest and innovative creatives will await to be found on foot around distinctive venues within Edinburgh’s Old Town built heritage.  
    Another highlight in January will include ‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ – an exhibition brought to Glasgow for the first time at The Lighthouse, which traces the iconic designer’s development from the early 1970's until today. 
    A Tale of Two Cities will be on display to the public at Edinburgh Castle until 14 February 2016.  Tale of Two Cities pairs the Scottish capital with other locations that have shared key periods of change over the centuries, and uses a combination of archival material and innovative digital technology to explain the stories of two cities.
    For budding architects, sculptors or just big kids at heart Build it! Adventures with LEGOⓇ Bricks is a series of events and activities starting from 29 January and running until 17 April at the National Museum of Scotland.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design  offers tourism businesses across Scotland a fantastic opportunity to showcase, celebrate and engage visitors with this wide-ranging and fascinating theme. 
    “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has begun. Visitors already travel to Scotland to experience world-class architecture and top-class design and the year will build on this heritage with an enticing programme of events that shows Scotland’s creative, modern and inventive approach continues to inspire and influence audiences across the globe. 
     
    “Building on the success of Homecoming 2014 and the previous themed years, I encourage the industry to embrace this latest opportunity to show the best of what Scotland has to offer and to invite all of our visitors – from day-trippers to those coming from further afield – to enjoy the diverse range of events on offer throughout the year.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.
    “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.
    “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 are diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”
    The year will be celebrated with a programme of 28 events funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, including the Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed, Luminous Birds, Craft Scotland’s ‘Meet Your Maker’, SPECTRA and the Festival of Architecture – a series of over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).  
    Leading public arts organisation NVA, will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 with ‘Hinterland’, at which audiences have the chance to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a spectacular night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened. 
    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016 

    Hot on the heels of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, Scotland is getting ready to celebrate the best of its breath-taking built heritage, bold design and awe-inspiring innovation with a range of new and exciting events as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme running from 1 January to 31 December 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s architectural masterpieces, unique crafts and textiles, and its cutting edge design creations.
    With 2016 just around the corner, a number of New Year events are already set to celebrate the theme including the brand new ‘Fire and Light’ event at the Helix in Falkirk on 1 January which will see Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ as the backdrop for a 3500 sold-out capacity crowd.
    On New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will splash into the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth in the shadow of an iconic World Heritage Site, famed for its cantilever design – the Forth Bridge - at the 30th anniversary Stoats Loony Dook.  The event will be witnessed by almost 3,000 spectators.  
    Also on New Year’s Day, those in Edinburgh can discover artists, actors and musicians at Scot:Lands as part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Eleven ‘Lands’ curated by the country’s best brightest and innovative creatives will await to be found on foot around distinctive venues within Edinburgh’s Old Town built heritage. 

    Another highlight in January will include ‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ – an exhibition brought to Glasgow for the first time at The Lighthouse, which traces the iconic designer’s development from the early 1970's until today. 
    A Tale of Two Cities will be on display to the public at Edinburgh Castle until 14 February 2016.  Tale of Two Cities pairs the Scottish capital with other locations that have shared key periods of change over the centuries, and uses a combination of archival material and innovative digital technology to explain the stories of two cities.
    For budding architects, sculptors or just big kids at heart Build it! Adventures with LEGOⓇ Bricks is a series of events and activities starting from 29 January and running until 17 April at the National Museum of Scotland.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design  offers tourism businesses across Scotland a fantastic opportunity to showcase, celebrate and engage visitors with this wide-ranging and fascinating theme. 
    “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has begun. Visitors already travel to Scotland to experience world-class architecture and top-class design and the year will build on this heritage with an enticing programme of events that shows Scotland’s creative, modern and inventive approach continues to inspire and influence audiences across the globe.  “Building on the success of Homecoming 2014 and the previous themed years, I encourage the industry to embrace this latest opportunity to show the best of what Scotland has to offer and to invite all of our visitors – from day-trippers to those coming from further afield – to enjoy the diverse range of events on offer throughout the year.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.
    “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.
    “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 are diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”
    The year will be celebrated with a programme of 28 events funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, including the Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed, Luminous Birds, Craft Scotland’s ‘Meet Your Maker’, SPECTRA and the Festival of Architecture – a series of over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).  
    Leading public arts organisation NVA, will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 with ‘Hinterland’, at which audiences have the chance to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a spectacular night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened. 
    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016 

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 30 December 2015

    Sold out events for Edinburgh's Hogmanay - Street Party tickets still available

    Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council for 23 years, advised revellers to buy and pick up their Street Party tickets today, and not to wait until Thursday 31st December. Tickets are already sold out for Concert in the Gardens, Candlelit Concert and the Old Town Ceilidh as well other events across the three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.  Tickets for the world famous Street Party are still available however this event sold out last year.
     

    Cllr Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festival and Events Champion, said: “This year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all set to be a real cracker and with so many stages offering fantastic entertainment there really is something for everyone. And with three days of spectacular events including the Torchlight Procession and Loony Dook I would encourage everyone to come along and experience what Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is really about.”
     

    Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 1993, said “With so many events already sold out for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this year, I would encourage you to get hold of your tickets for the world famous Street Party from our Box Office before Thursday – to guarantee that you can join us to celebrate this fabulous festival in the Home of Hogmanay.  With a fantastic line-up across seven stages, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter music festival and an unmissable way to welcome 2016.”
     

    The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival kicks off on Wednesday 30 December with the Torchlight Procession.  10,000 Torchbearers, led by 26 Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland and 6 pipe bands, and accompanied by an expected 20,000 friends and family, illuminate the streets of the City from George IV Bridge to the son et lumière and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.  The Procession leaves George IV Bridge at 7.00pm and will be viewed by an estimated 30,000 spectators along the route. Access to Calton Hill is exclusively available to those on the procession and the fireworks finale can be viewed from surrounding streets as well as from the Hill.
     

    Concert in the Gardens, which this year sold out in record time, is headlined by Biffy Clyro who will be joined by special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood in an all-Scottish line-up. The Street Party sees performances from Maxïmo Park, Slaves and White on the Waverley Stage while the new Scottish Stage on Castle Street welcomes Shooglenifty, Peatbog Faeries and Rura.  BBC Radio 6 Music’s Craig Charles provides the soundtrack to the Street Party live from the Frederick Street Stage and broadcasts across screens along the length of Princes Street, and finally cabaret performers, Guilty Pleasures, take over the Mound Stage fresh from their sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.
     

    The world’s largest outdoor ceilidh moves into its new home in Parliament Square and becomes the Old Town Ceilidh as 4000 revellers birl their way through the bells with four live ceilidh bands performing over  two stages.  Tickets are now SOLD OUT for this event.  Revellers will be invited to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest Strip the Willow – with a target of 2016 participants.  Dancers are advised to wear sturdy, flat footwear as the Ceilidh takes place in the historic Old Town and much of the arena has  cobbled streets. 
     

    A free Hogmanay NightBus Service once again runs throughout the capital for revellers supported by sponsors Diageo and Lothian Buses with additional funding from Essential Edinburgh. This much welcome journey home at the end of the festivities is part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.  The service starts at 00:20 and runs until 04:00.  Stagecoach, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, will be operating free Hogmanay NightBuses from the city centre to South Queensferry.  Details of times and routes can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com.  
     

    While all tickets for Concert in the Gardens, The Old Town Ceilidh and The Candlelit Concert are sold out, there are still Street Party wristbands available - these can be booked on-line at www.edinburghshogmanay.com or on the phone on 0844 573 8455 but must be collected from the Box Office at 180 High Street, Edinburgh before 8.00pm on 31 December.   Pre-Booked torch vouchers for the Torchlight Procession are also sold out as are places at the Queensferry Loony Dook on Friday 1st January although spectators are most welcome at both events.
     

    Unicef, the leading children’s organisation, is the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay official charity this year and partygoers will be encouraged to support the Unicef New Year’s Resolution to help children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria. At 10.00pm, in the middle of the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, a one minute blue firework display will lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, which will also be lit up blue for the Unicef moment.  Donations can be made to Unicef by texting MOUTH to 70444 to donate £3.
     

    Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, from Police Scotland said “We want everyone who attends the celebrations to have a safe and enjoyable time. We'll have officers deployed throughout the city centre who will be working with stewards to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  If you're coming to the Street Party with friends, please look after one another and make sure you have plans for getting home safely. Enjoy the Hogmanay spirit but watch your alcohol intake and make sure you wrap up warm."
     

    G4S Events Managing Director, Eric Alexander, said: “The annual Hogmanay celebration represents the best Edinburgh has to offer and G4S is honoured to once again help secure this event.  Having coordinated the security at this event for so many years now, we know exactly what’s needed to ensure everyone has a great time. This includes everything from stewarding and security services to managing crowd movement and ensuring everyone gets home safely. 
     

    “The whole team looks forward to supporting the celebrations each year and 2016 looks set to be another great one. We’re looking forward to helping secure this highlight of the festive season for many more years to come.”
     

    Senior Met Office Advisor, Graeme Forrester said, “After a wet and windy day on Wednesday we should see an improvement on Hogmanay.  We could see a shower at any time right through to the bells – maybe a few heavy ones in the afternoon - but it should be mostly dry.  It will be blustery though and chilly with temperatures around midnight down to about 3 or 4 degrees, so be sure to wrap up adequately.”


    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will continue on Friday 1st January with a programme of free activities for all the family.  The Stoats Loony Dook celebrates its 30th anniversary and sees 1,200 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year with a dip in the River Forth at South Queensferry.  Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town at 2.30pm before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges.  This year the event is supported by Stoats, who’ll be there on the day, warming everyone up with bowls of energising porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition.  South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all of which will be open on New Year’s Day.


    An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Scot:Lands  takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and offers a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining.  With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up, multi-arts Festival offers one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations.  Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.  

    Category: International Events

  • 26 December 2015

    Brits to take on world stars over 60m in Glasgow

    World and European 60m champion Richard Kilty (coach: Benke Blomkvist) and British 60m champion Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) will go up against 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins and the USA’s world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Brommell when they line up over 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on 20 February.

     

    Kilty added the European indoor title to his World Indoor Championships gold earlier this year and has a personal best of 6.49. Although he has never beaten Collins in four attempts over 60m, he remains unbeaten against British teammate Ujah and will be aiming to continue his impressive indoor form at the Emirates Arena.

     

    Kilty said: “I love competing indoors and I can’t wait to run in Glasgow again. This will be a good test for me against some of the best sprinters in the world and the best preparation for the British Championships where I want to secure my spot for Portland and try to defend my world title from Sopot two years ago.”

     

    At the age of 21, Ujah established himself as Britain’s best 100m sprinter this year, running sub-10 seconds for the second consecutive year and reaching the World Championships semi-final. With a personal best of 6.53 for 60m, he will be confident of performing well in Glasgow.

     

    He said: “2015 was another good year for me but I’m already excited for 2016 and getting started at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. I’ve got my eye on improving my personal best and pushing for sub-6.50, I’m sure we will all push each other to some really fast times in Glasgow.”

     

    40 year old Collins was the world’s best indoor sprinter in 2015, going unbeaten all season and improving his personal best to 6.47. After first competing in Britain in 2002, Collins has raced a number of times in Glasgow but is hoping for his first win in Scottish soil in February.

     

    He said: “I always love competing in the UK and have been coming to Glasgow for many years, I can’t wait to get back there in February. Being unbeaten indoors in 2015 was an amazing achievement for me and I want to keep the run going this season, but it will be a tough race in Glasgow and the fans could be in for a great show.”

     

    At the other end of the age scale, Brommell became the world’s fastest ever teenager over 100m in the summer, running 9.84 in July and then impressing hugely in Beijing to win World Championships bronze. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be his first ever 60m in Europe and he will be looking to challenge his 6.54 personal best.

     

    Brommell said: “2015 was a great year for me and I was delighted to win a medal in Beijing. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be an important meet to set me up for another good year and I’m looking forward to testing myself in a world class 60m race.”

     

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. The final of four stops on the IAAF World Indoor Tour, the Emirates Arena will see a number of clashes between the best athletes on the globe.

     

    With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as athletes prepare themselves for the summer.

     

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow Grand Prix will bring together some of the world’s most talented athletes and is set to be a terrific showpiece for the city. UK stars Richard Kilty and Chijindu Ujah, as well as the likes of Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith, will be looking  for a fast start in this Olympic year, which will bring lots of excitement to proceedings at the Emirates Arena in February.”

     

    For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: Athletics

  • 14 December 2015

    MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP PASSES £30M MILESTONE FOR HIGHLAND ECONOMY

    As Fort William gears up to once again host the adrenaline-charged UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on 4-5 June 2016, organisers Rare Management reveal the event has brought a £30m boost to Highland tourism since 2002.

     Renowned for being one of the must-see events on the Scottish sporting calendar, over quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago.

     The figures have been released as the ‘Early Bird’ tickets go on sale for next year’s event. Available from 1-31 December, the Early Bird tickets are the perfect Christmas gift for all bike fans. Ticket prices remain at 2015 prices, making Early Bird tickets even more attractive. 

     Fort William delivers one of the best and most gruelling courses on the World Cup circuit. 2016 promises to be more exciting than ever with plans underway to add new features to the notorious 2.8km downhill course, giving riders a fresh competitive challenge.

     Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community, thanks to the incredibly enthusiastic crowds. They make the event and give it such a fantastic, nerve-tingling atmosphere.

     “The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend has grown into a must-see fixture on the Scottish sporting calendar for families and die-hard fans alike and the impact on the local economy is huge. It’s also broadcast to millions of people around the world, helping to raise the profile of Scotland and the Highlands as the ultimate bike-friendly destination.

     “2016 is going to be a real celebration of the legends of the sport – especially some of the home heroes who are always the crowd’s favourites. It’s time to salute these greats, so we’d advise fans to get their tickets early to make sure they are part of what could be an incredible weekend.”

     Over the 2015 weekend, more than 19,000 fans witnessed a thrilling climax, with Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton claim her second Fort William title and South African, Greg Minnaar, a record-breaking fifth win.

     Sponsored by BUFF® and Silverline for the third year and with support from Event Scotland and Highland Council, the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup takes place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William.

     Councillor Thomas Maclennan, Leader of the Lochaber Area Committee for Highland Council said: “Our figures show that the World Cup was worth £2.8 million to the area in 2015. However, having such a prestigious competition on our doorstep provides world-wide publicity which money can’t buy.

     “Continuing to host this event helps to showcase the scenery, terrain and local enthusiasm that cements Fort William’s reputation as a haven for outdoor activities.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic figure and a gives a tremendous boost to the Highland economy. It really is testament to the great organisation of this incredibly popular annual event and the multitude of spectators it attracts from all corners of the globe.

     “The visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country – from laundry to life sciences. This news perfectly illustrates how important events such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William are to tourism in our regions. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.”

     Fans looking to secure tickets early can book now at a discounted rate through the ‘Early Bird’ ticket offer which is available from today until December 31. Buying now guarantees access to the Nevis Range gondola, which travels above the Downhill course between the start and the finish.

     Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36.

     For more information on purchasing an ‘Early Bird’ ticket, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.

    Category: International Events

  • 11 December 2015

    Eden court prepares for a smashing stramash

     

    EDEN COURT PREPARES FOR A SMASHING STRAMASH
    ‘Big Burns Stramash’ event to celebrate Burns Night
    Eden Court CREATIVE are delighted to have been awarded funding to participate in the Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/2016 programme.  For a fourth year, Eden Court CREATIVE will work with young people and artists from across the Highlands to deliver an event to celebrate Burns Night.
    The Big Burns Stramash will take place on Saturday 23 January at Eden Court, and there will be a range of different Burns themed events throughout the day for families to get involved in.  The event will be made up of workshops and film screenings, a lantern procession and some outdoor performance too.  The day’s events will be rounded off with not one but two Burns Ceilidhs.  From 5.30pm The Wee Burns Ceilidh is perfect for families with wee ones to come and dance with some special guests.  Then, later on in the evening, the Ceilidh Commandos – Gary Innes (Manran), Ewen Henderson (Manran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Martin O'Neill (Treacherous Orchestra) - will host The Big Burns Ceilidh for ages 14+. 
    For the first time Eden Court have incorporated a schools project into the Burns Night celebrations. The Stramash-up! project invited 10 classes from Primary 4 and 5 to take part in a unique Tam O’Shanter film mash-up. Each class worked with our drama team on a section of the poem, and transformed it into a creative film.  Classes from Cradlehall, Smithton, Milton of Leys, Merkinch, Dornoch, Kilchumein, Millbank Primaries and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis took part. The film will be premiered at the cinema in Eden Court on 23 January. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: 
    Burns Night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity including our creativity, pride and confidence. Robert Burns encapsulates this and I encourage friends, family and loved ones across the Highlands to come together to honour this great Scot.
    The Big Burns Stramash is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.
    Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: 
    I am delighted that the Big Burns Stramash is being held here in Inverness and I am sure it will attract families from around the area. With workshops, film screenings, a lantern procession and two ceilidhs, it is the perfect choice for an event that sets the stage for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.
    2016 will be a year to remember in Scotland - from textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, events across the country will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems. This is tourism’s opportunity to showcase Scotland’s traditional and contemporary culture and cutting-edge design to the world.
    Eden Court CREATIVE Manager Lucy McGlennon said: 
    This year we are going for even more Burns Night fun than before, and we’ve started early! Our primary schools project; Stramash-up! began earlier this month. We are delighted to have been able to involve many primary school children in this part of Big Burns Stramash. 
    We’ve also split our Burns Ceilidh into two events this year; The Wee Burns Ceilidh and The Big Burns Ceilidh so that everyone can get in on the dancing action! 
    Tickets are available from the Eden Court box office by calling 01463 234 234 or online at www.eden-court.co.uk
    For more information contact Eden Court CREATIVE on 01463 239 841 or visit www.eden-court.co.uk 

    ‘Big Burns Stramash’ event to celebrate Burns Night


    Eden Court CREATIVE are delighted to have been awarded funding to participate in the Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/2016 programme.  For a fourth year, Eden Court CREATIVE will work with young people and artists from across the Highlands to deliver an event to celebrate Burns Night.The Big Burns Stramash will take place on Saturday 23 January at Eden Court, and there will be a range of different Burns themed events throughout the day for families to get involved in.  

     

    The event will be made up of workshops and film screenings, a lantern procession and some outdoor performance too.  The day’s events will be rounded off with not one but two Burns Ceilidhs.  From 5.30pm The Wee Burns Ceilidh is perfect for families with wee ones to come and dance with some special guests.  Then, later on in the evening, the Ceilidh Commandos – Gary Innes (Manran), Ewen Henderson (Manran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Martin O'Neill (Treacherous Orchestra) - will host The Big Burns Ceilidh for ages 14+. For the first time Eden Court have incorporated a schools project into the Burns Night celebrations. The Stramash-up! project invited 10 classes from Primary 4 and 5 to take part in a unique Tam O’Shanter film mash-up. Each class worked with our drama team on a section of the poem, and transformed it into a creative film.  Classes from Cradlehall, Smithton, Milton of Leys, Merkinch, Dornoch, Kilchumein, Millbank Primaries and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis took part. The film will be premiered at the cinema in Eden Court on 23 January. 


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: Burns Night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity including our creativity, pride and confidence. Robert Burns encapsulates this and I encourage friends, family and loved ones across the Highlands to come together to honour this great Scot.The Big Burns Stramash is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.


    Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: I am delighted that the Big Burns Stramash is being held here in Inverness and I am sure it will attract families from around the area. With workshops, film screenings, a lantern procession and two ceilidhs, it is the perfect choice for an event that sets the stage for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.2016 will be a year to remember in Scotland - from textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, events across the country will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems. This is tourism’s opportunity to showcase Scotland’s traditional and contemporary culture and cutting-edge design to the world.


    Eden Court CREATIVE Manager Lucy McGlennon said: This year we are going for even more Burns Night fun than before, and we’ve started early! Our primary schools project; Stramash-up! began earlier this month. We are delighted to have been able to involve many primary school children in this part of Big Burns Stramash. We’ve also split our Burns Ceilidh into two events this year; The Wee Burns Ceilidh and The Big Burns Ceilidh so that everyone can get in on the dancing action! 

     

    Tickets are available from the Eden Court box office by calling 01463 234 234 or online at www.eden-court.co.uk For more information contact Eden Court CREATIVE on 01463 239 841 or visit www.eden-court.co.uk 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 11 December 2015

    SPOTY nominated Rutherford wants gold in Rio and countdown begins in Glasgow

    Greg Rutherford (coach: Dan Pfaff), Britain’s Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth long jump champion has targeted the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday 20 February as the perfect way to prepare to defend his Olympic title.

     

    After a year in which he was crowned World Champion in Beijing to complete the ‘grand slam’ of international titles, Rutherford has targeted the Glasgow meeting as the ideal platform to launch his attempt to win his second Olympic Gold medal.


    Rutherford has also recently been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award alongside fellow track and field athletes Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello).


    Rutherford said: “It’s a great honour to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year alongside some amazing sportspeople. 2015 has been a great year for me with winning the World Championships to complete my grand slam and also winning the Diamond League title. But next year is another really important year for me to defend my Olympic title, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be my only indoor meeting in Europe and I can’t wait for it.


    “The Indoor Grand Prix is consistently ranked as the number one indoor annual athletics event in the world and is moving to Glasgow for the very first time. It’s going to be special and is the perfect way for me to begin the countdown to the Olympic Games. High-class competition on home soil is a great way to start Olympic year.”


    The British long jump record holder is looking forward to returning to the city where he won Commonwealth gold in 2014.


    He added: “I’ve got really fond memories of Glasgow as it’s where I won the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and I’m looking forward to competing there again. I’ll never forget the amazing support from the Glasgow crowd and I’m sure the fans will be out in force again in February.”


    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as athletes prepare themselves for the summer.


    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics said: “It is fantastic to see athletics so well represented on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist with Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all nominated for the award. Greg has had another superb year and has become one of British athletics’ most consistent and reliable performers. It will be great for the people of Glasgow to get the chance to see him compete there again at what will be the best one-day indoor meeting anywhere in the world.”


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow has proven itself to be a favourite destination for the world’s finest athletes in recent years, contributing greatly to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events. Greg Rutherford, as reigning Commonwealth Games champion, will have the chance to build on the success he achieved in Glasgow in 2014, and spectators at the Emirates Arena will certainly appreciate the chance to witness him perform as he prepares for the Olympic Games in 2016.”


    Fans will be able to vote for BBC Sports Personality of the Year by phone or online during the awards show at Belfast’s SSE Arena, broadcast live on BBC One on Sunday 20 December.


    Buy tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix here.

    Category: Athletics

  • 08 December 2015

    Assemble Wins The Turner Prize 2015

    The Turner Prize 2015 has been awarded to Assemble, it was announced at Tramway, Glasgow, in partnership with Tate, last night. The £25,000 prize was presented by artist, musician and songwriter, Kim Gordon during a live broadcast on Channel 4. 
     ​ ​The jury has awarded the prize to Assemble who work in tandem with communities to realise a ground up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification.
     They draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work. The long term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and Assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues in the post-industrial era.​
    The Turner Prize, organised by Tate, is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition in the preceding year. This year’s shortlisted artists are Assemble, Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers.
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Congratulations to Assemble on collecting the 2015 Turner Prize during yesterday’s tremendous awards ceremony at Tramway, which has proved to be the perfect stage for the exhibition. It is already the most successful exhibition in Tramway’s history and I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Glasgow venue to witness the work by the winner and three runners-up before the Turner Prize draws to a close on January 17.”  
    The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all ages to get involved and be inspired by the creativity on show. 
    For details on the exhibition and programme visit Tramway’s website.

    Category: International Events

  • 08 December 2015

    “LAUSANNE” CONFIRMED AS HOST CITY FOR SPORTACCORD CONVENTION 2016

     SportAccord Convention is pleased to announce Lausanne as Host City for the 2016 Convention. Returning to the Home of International Sport, the Convention will take place from 17-22 April 2016 at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre which offers state-of-the-art congress facilities.

    On becoming Host City to the next SportAccord Convention, Mr. Marc Vuilleumier, Lausanne’s Municipal Councillor in charge of Sport commented:“What a wonderful way to close an exceptional year for the City of Lausanne. 2015 marked the IOC’s Centenary in our city, and last July we became the host of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. TheSportAccord Convention will once again witness the entire world of sport gather here, for the first time since we hosted the second Convention in 2004. Lausanne truly is the “Olympic Capital”, today more than ever!”

    With close to 50 sports organisations based in Lausanne and the surrounding region of the Canton of Vaud, including many international sport federations, the city is an idyllic location for this premier event.

    On hearing the news, Thomas Bach, President, International Olympic Committee (IOC) said:“What better place could SportAccord Convention have chosen to hold its annual event than Lausanne,a city which is made for sport. For a century now, Lausanne has been the IOC’s home. More than thirty international sports federations and sports organisations have also found in Lausanne the ideal setting to develop and strengthen the place of sport in society.”

    Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional andnational agendas. An exclusive 6-day event comprising 2000 delegates, the Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee.

    Now in its 14th edition, Francesco Ricci Bitti, President, ASOIF and SportAccord Convention remarked:“We are delighted that Lausanne has taken up the baton once more and will be hosting the next SportAccord Convention. As a major event in the international sporting calendar, Lausanne provides a favourable location for sport and business leaders to meet, given its strong commitment to sport and industry. With the warm hospitality shown to visitors and delegates in 2004, we can expect to deliver a Convention that meets the needs of our stakeholders, partners and delegates.”

    The Convention comprises: a themed conference including City Forum, LawAccord and MediaAccord, as well as a plenary conference; an exhibition represented by industries, sport organisations, government offices, cities, event services, media, and many more; a Sports Demo Zone; as well as a social and cultural programme.

    For further information visit: www.sportaccordconvention.com

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 December 2015

    VisitScotland encourages family dining as new recipe book is launched

    More than half of families in Scotland do not sit down for meals together on a daily basis, according to new research commissioned by VisitScotland.

     To coincide with today’s launch of its new recipe book,You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland, the national tourism organisation is urging families to enjoy dining together and create more mealtime memories.

     The research, carried out by Scotpulse, showed that only 47 per cent of people in households of two or more sit down as a family to eat dinner every day, while 8 per cent said they would never do this and 9 per cent had not done this in the last week.

     Seventeen per cent of respondents will sit down as a family to eat four-five times a week, while the remaining 13 per cent do this two-three times a week.

     The survey of more than 800 adults also revealed the following:

    Participants with children in household are less likely to sit down every day to eat dinner (34 per cent vs 51 per cent of those with no children).

    Over 55s (69 per cent)  are more likely than average (47 per cent) to sit down as a family every day compared to 35 per cent of under 35s (least likely to sit down together every day)

    Participants from the north of Scotland are more likely to sit down every day as a family (52 per cent) compared to the average (47 per cent)

    Launched at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 8 December), You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland is available free of charge from VisitScotland Information Centres throughout Scotland from today.

     Following a nationwide appeal by VisitScotland, the book contains more than 40 traditional recipes, which were submitted by members of the public from every corner of the country.

    Each recipe is accompanied by a special memory giving the background to each dish. Whether it’s a childhood recollection of helping mum bake shortbread or frying the catch of the day after a fishing trip with granddad, each delicious recipe is brought to life by the story behind it.

     The book also offers some ‘foodspiration’ so that people can embark on their own culinary adventures around the country, highlighting regional specialities and food and drink experiences unique to certain locations

     Scotland’s Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “Scotland has a stellar reputation as being a Land of Food and Drink. We are fortunate enough to have a fantastic natural larder right here on our doorstep and more people should take advantage of that, helping Scotland move towards being a Good Food Nation. Using this new recipe book to create traditional Scottish dishes, using locally sourced produce, is not only good for the food and drink industry here; it also ensures the food on your plate is in-season and fresher.”

     You’ll Have Had Yer Tea’s foreword is provided by Scottish chef and food enthusiast Shirley Spear. She writes: “The idea behind this recipe book was to create a legacy for the Year of Food & Drink 2015, reminding ourselves of our local Scottish roots, our home-cooking skills and memories of days gone by when family food, cooking and eating together were more prevalent. I would love to see more of this in future.”

     Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

    “From ‘Mum’s Traditional Scotch Broth’ to ‘Granny Norma’s Custard Creams’, You’ll Have Had Yer Tea is a mouthwatering collection of recipes that serves as the perfect accompaniment to the Year of Food and Drink.

     “Many of the treasured memories contained within the book are of Scottish people sitting down to enjoy meals together as a family. We would encourage people to do this more often, where possible, so they can create their own precious memories around mealtimes and I am sure this book will give them some fantastic inspiration for traditional Scottish cooking.

     “The Year of Food and Drink has been a great success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It has built on the momentum generated by previous focus years and Homecoming Scotland 2014 in further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink. It has also helped to debunk any myths about Scottish cuisine being all about fizzy drinks and deep-fried chocolate bars.”

     You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland is available in VisitScotland Information Centres throughout Scotland from 8 December 2015 and online at www.visitscotland.com/ebrochures/en/recipe-book/

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 08 December 2015

    Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix included in IAAF's newly announced World Indoor Tour

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced the creation of the World Indoor Tour - which will feature four meetings from 2016 including the .

    Four competitions which have staged IAAF Indoor Permit meetings have been selected for next year and the Tour dates are all in February, starting with the Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting in the German city on 6 February.

    On 14 February the Tour will move to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston, United States, with Swedish capital Stockholm then hosting the Globen-galan on 17 February.

    The Tour will conclude with the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix in the Scottish city on 20 February.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “We are delighted to see that the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix has been included as one of four inaugural fixtures in the IAAF World Indoor Tour. Already world-class athletes like Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith are scheduled to take part, providing a fitting conclusion to the circuit in its first year.”

    All of the meetings will feature a minimum of 12 events, with a core group of five or six divided across a two year period.

    Wildcard spots at the World Indoor Championships will be up for grabs. In 2016 the men’s 60 metres, 800m, 3000/5000m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put will be held while on the women's side the 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump are the disciplines.

    Events in 2017 will be the 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump for the men, and the 60m, 800m, 3000/5000m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put for the women.

    Like the outdoor Diamond League circuit, a points system and prize money will be part of the Tour with the individual winner of each event set to pocket $20,000 (£13,000/€18,000).

    In addition, they will also qualify for the next edition of the World Indoor Championships, starting from Portland 2016, as a "wildcard entry".

    All wildcards, however, will have to be ratified by their member federation.

    Find out more about the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix including how to buy tickets here.

    Category: Athletics

  • 07 December 2015

    RECORD BREAKERS DAFNE SCHIPPERS AND DINA ASHER-SMITH SET TO GO HEAD TO HEAD AT GLASGOW

    Current European record holder and 200 metre world champion Dafne Schippers will face Britain’s fastest ever woman, Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie), over 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on 20 February.

     Each athlete has beaten the other once over 60m with both setting their personal bests at last year’s European Indoor Championships in Prague; 7.05 for Schippers and 7.08 for Asher-Smith, the first of five British records she set during 2015.

     The Glasgow Grand Prix is the single best day of indoor athletics ever staged in Scotland and can now boast the top sprint head-to-head in European athletics.

     The Indoor Grand Prix is consistently ranked as the number one indoor annual event in athletics and is moving to Glasgow for the very first time.

     Asher-Smith confirmed that Glasgow will be integral to setting the stage for the rest of the year. She said: “2015 has been a special year for me and I couldn’t be more pleased. Now I’m looking ahead and I am absolutely thrilled to compete with Dafne in the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. The atmosphere in the Emirates Arena will be amazing and a strong start to 2016 is going to be important for me in my build up to the Olympic Games in Rio.”

    Dafne Schippers has been one of the stars of global athletics this year culminating in winning Gold in the 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Her 200m winning time of 21.63 seconds broke the 36 year old European record and gave her the title of third fastest woman in history over that distance.

     She said: “Clocking 21.63 in the 200 metres in Beijing was a huge win for me. I kept thinking if I pull this off, there’s nothing stopping me from doing this again in Rio. I’m even more committed to putting on an amazing performance, especially in Glasgow where the atmosphere is always electric.”

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as champion athletes prepare themselves for the summer.

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics said: “The Glasgow Grand Prix will be the best one-day indoor meeting anywhere in the world in 2016. Having Dafne Schippers facing Dina Asher-Smith is the most exciting head-to-head in European sprinting and the Scottish public will be in for a treat.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Indoor Grand Prix is one of the gems in the athletics crown, so it is with great excitement that we look forward to welcoming the event to Glasgow in February. In an Olympic year, this event has even greater significance and having Dafne Schippers and Dina Asher-Smith going head-to-head will add to what is always a tremendous atmosphere at the Emirates Arena.”

     For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 07 December 2015

    GICF RETURNS FOR 14TH YEAR, WITH OVER 420 SHOWS ACROSS MORE THAN 40 VENUES

     The Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) returns from 10 - 27 March 2016 with everything from stand up comedy to panel discussions, major theatre shows to gigs in pubs.  Headline acts already announced include Reginald D Hunter, Paul Merton, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Rob Delaney, Jenny Eclair, Bridget Christie, Russell Kane, Mark Watson and Richard Herring.

    Local stars Des Clarke, Daniel Sloss, Craig Hill, Mark Nelson, Janey Godley and Jerry Sadowitz are lined up alongside acclaimed acts from across the UK, including Romesh Ranganathan, Shappi Khorsandi, Mark Steel, Paul Foot and Paul Sinha.

    Sarah Franken, Greg Proops and Adam Hills are part of the strong international strand of the Festival, and the hugely popular American Stands Up! showcase introduces some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now.

    Events take place every day throughout the Festival including sketch shows, plays, films, lunchtime comedy, comedy for kids, and late night Festival clubs.

    The full programme is launched at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow on Wednesday 13 January 2016. A London launch takes place on Burns Night, Monday 25 January 2016 at the Leicester Square Theatre.

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland and recently won Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards.

    Tickets for many shows are already on sale.  Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 December 2015

    National Events Conference 2015 a resounding success

    Delegates from across the Scottish Events & Festivals industry yesterday (Thursday 3 December) enjoyed a highly successful National Events Conference 2015.

    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company, used a Key Note speech at Scotland’s National Events Conference to deliver invaluable insight into Melbourne’s startling success as an events destination and likened this to Scotland’s own meteoric rise in recent years.

    Delivering an analogy of a computer operating system, he said: “Melbourne’s hardware is events. They have helped shape the face of the city: the major sporting and cultural infrastructure, as well as hotels, restaurants and transport in the heart of the city.

    “But the software is realising the fundamental role everyone plays in the delivery. You have to build a church of like-minded people, a network of leaders and that is what we try to do with ‘Team Melbourne’.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, provided the closing remarks and said: “The overarching theme of the National Events Conference has been the importance of coming together as indicated within the Scotland the Perfect Stage strategy.

    “There is no question that Scotland is a leader in the provision of internationally-significant events, and events which capitalise on our rich cultural heritage, but we have to continue to build momentum through innovation and taking calculated risks.

    “The conference was a terrific example of Scotland’s depth of knowledge and the expertise within the industry and I believe we are well placed to meet the challenges that the future holds.”

    Elsewhere in the conference, which was opened by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, European and External Affairs and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, delegates were treated to a discussion session examining what makes Scotland the Perfect Stage for events featuring some of the industry’s key stakeholders.

    In recognition of Mike Cantlay’s contribution to tourism and events the Chairman was presented with a montage of images of some of Scotland’s greatest events presented by the Cabinet Secretary on behalf of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and EventScotland.

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 December 2015

    Team Scotland model is shining light for global events industry

    Scotland’s approach to partnership working in the delivery of its flourishing events and festivals portfolio is an outstanding example to be followed by countries worldwide, according to one of the global sector’s leading figures.

     

    Key Note speaker, Brendan McClements, expressed praise for the ‘Team Scotland’ model ahead of the 2015 National Events Conference, taking place at the EICC tomorrow (3 December), as fundamental to the nation’s unprecedented success in recent years.

     

    As Chief Executive of Australia’s Victorian Major Events Company, McClements has been responsible for attracting some of the world’s most prestigious events properties to the state, including the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and the incredibly popular artistic and cultural celebration, White Night Melbourne.

     

    In the face of an increasingly competitive and congested landscape in attracting world-class events, McClements’ Key Note address will emphasise Scotland’s pre-eminent position in encouraging and facilitating the public, private and third sectors to work in unison in the delivery of its events and festivals portfolio, valued at £3.5bn to the Scottish economy, annually.

     

    He said: “From my experience, success relies on the ability of people to work together for a greater collective benefit. Team Scotland is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy.

     

    “Major international events, and indeed small-scale events that support local communities, all of which have a number of stakeholders, can only achieve successful outcomes for all parties if everyone buys into the same plan. Sustainable events cannot survive on a command and control model.

     

    “And that is why Scotland’s approach has been bearing so much fruit in recent years. Striking meaningful and impactful partnerships has been tackled and it now underpins the national events strategy - Scotland the Perfect Stage.”

     

    Hosted by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona McLeod, the sold-out conference will centre on the recently refreshed Scotland the Perfect Stage strategy, as key industry figures discuss the future of Scotland’s events industry.

     

    Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, will open the conference and reflect upon the importance of events to Scotland’s vital visitor economy and cultural heritage.

     

    Following an unprecedented year for events in 2014, in which Scotland hosted the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, and with other major occasions, such as the 2018 European Sports Championships, 2019 Solheim Cup and UEFA EURO 2020 on the horizon, the conference comes at a critical juncture.

     

    According to Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, there couldn’t be a more fitting time to look ahead to the prospect of a prosperous future. He said: “The National Events Conference will provide all delegates with an in-depth view of the updated national events strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, and the significant opportunity it provides to all stakeholders within the sector.

     

    “During the course of the day, key representatives from within the industry will discuss the challenges we face in maintaining our position as one of the world’s elite global destinations for events, and how we are preparing to meet these head on.

     

    “Of course, Brendan’s Key Note speech will be a particular highlight and will provide encouragement for delegates to continue embracing the Team Scotland approach, which has allowed us to continuously punch above our weight in bidding for, attracting and delivering some of world’s biggest events.”

     

    Hot topics facing the industry will also be addressed by experts during the course of in-depth sessions, which will focus on operating outstanding smaller events, delivering safer events and, significantly, addressing the opportunities provided to the sector by Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

     

    To find out more about the National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, or to view the full event programme, visit www.nationaleventsconference.scot.

     

    To join the conversation online, follow #PerfectStage on Twitter. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 December 2015

    Napier University - Win a place on the Executive Certificate in Event Management

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

    Who is it for?

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

    Programme content and dates

    3 day intensive programme from 25 – 27th January 2016 at Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus.

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation
    Project Management
    Risk Management, safety and security
    Marketing, PR and sponsorship
    Greening of Events
    Managing people
    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

    To WIN a place on this programme worth £975, please write a 300 word piece on why you should be chosen and how you would apply the learning for this programme back at your workplace. The deadline for entries is the 4th January, with the winner notified by 8th January at the latest. Send your entry to Peter Skellett.

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

    Please note that if you are not successful in winning the free place, but are still keen to do the course, you may be eligible to reimbursement of 50% of this programme through Skills Development Scotland 

    www.napier.ac.uk/ei.

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 December 2015

    Drum award for VisitScotland's promotional work on The Ryder Cup 2014

    VisitScotland’s promotional work alongside The 2014 Ryder Cup has been praised by experts after its campaign won the Event Marketing/PR Strategy of the Year Award at the prestigious Drum UK Event Awards this week.

    The award recognises the outstanding efforts of VisitScotland’s campaign to promote Scotland as the Home of Golf and a world-class golf tourism destination alongside the delivery of one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

    The campaign included a partnership with Sky Sports to uncover The Ryder Cup’s best Brilliant Moment, as well as comprehensive global activity which included partnerships with other key broadcasters such as NBC in the US.

    Domestic activity included a Scotland-wide trophy tour, innovative city-centre activity and incorporation of golf and The 2014 Ryder Cup into the VisitScotland Brilliant Moments TV campaign.

    Judges at the glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Square Hotel in London, said the campaign was an “outstanding use of an international sporting event to promote Scotland.”

    Activity relating to The 2014 Ryder Cup was delivered by departments across VisitScotland and represents an outstanding team approach to the delivery of a major campaign. The delivery and staging element of The 2014 Ryder Cup was led by the EventScotland team in VisitScotland’s Events Directorate while Marketing, Corporate Communications, Events & Exhibitions, Content and Partnerships teams all worked collectively to deliver a world-class marketing and PR strategy in the run up to and throughout 2014.

    Alan Grant, VisitScotland’s Senior Golf Manager, said: “This is a tremendous accolade and truly represents the team effort and the collaboration of the whole organisation, which pulled together to capitalise on the staging of a major event.

    “The campaign activity was delivered across a multitude of departments within VisitScotland and constituted a number of unique and innovative ideas.  I’d like to thank and pass my congratulations to everyone who worked on the campaign and contributed to its outstanding success. It was fantastic to see golf at the heart of a cross-organisational campaign and we look forward to continuing to use the world-class golf events regularly staged in Scotland to promote us as a global destination.”

    Click here for a full list of winners.

    Category: Golf

  • 02 December 2015

    Hinterland: a world premiere event to launch Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016

     

    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations)The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.orgAs dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built. Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews. As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened. The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture. However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration. Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century. Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.“We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.“Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture”Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.HinterlandNear Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland18 – 27 March 2016Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org
    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.
    At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.
    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).
    The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.
    Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.org
    As dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. 
    In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built. 
    Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews. 
    As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.
    Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened. 
    The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.
    Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. 
    Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture.
    However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.
    A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration. 
    Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century.
     
    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.
    “We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.“Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”
    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”
    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.
    Hinterland
    Near Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
    18 – 27 March 2016
    Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org
    Hinterland visualisation by James Johnson, coutesy of NVA

    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.

    At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations)

    The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.

    Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.org


    As dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built.

    Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

    As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.

    Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened.

    The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.

    Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture. However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.

    A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration.

    Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century.


    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.

    “We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.

    “Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”


    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture.”


    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”

     

    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.

     

    Hinterland

    Near Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

    18 – 27 March 2016

    Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org

     

    Hinterland visualisation by James Johnson, coutesy of NVA

  • 02 December 2015

    RIAS Launches Festival of Architecture 2016

     

    Scotland’s architecture will take centre stage during 2016, as Scots and visitors to Scotland join the most ambitious ever nationwide celebration of the built environment of a single country.  Curated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 will deliver a packed programme of events and activities, which will highlight and celebrate Scotland’s world-class architecture.  
    As one of the cornerstones of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Festival of Architecture will showcase Scotland’s fantastic buildings, old and new, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.  With world renowned and celebrated architects such as Robert Adam and Charles Rennie Mackintosh hailing from Scotland and iconic buildings such as the National Gallery, Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Parliament, there is much to celebrate in this very special year.
    Adrian Wiszniewski Hon FRIAS has redesigned a garden shed for the Ideal Hut Show, which will be unveiled on Wednesday morning at the programme launch. Adrian is one of the renowned 'New Glasgow Boys' and one of Scotland's most internationally recognised contemporary artists. 
    The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is working with over 90 partners and funders across the public and private sectors to deliver this ambitious project.  
    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Festival of Architecture will be one of the main attractions in 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements from the creative industries and fashion to engineering and renewables. The programme that RIAS have curated looks set to offer a host of exciting opportunities for people in every corner of Scotland to access, enjoy and celebrate architecture encouraging us to think about the important role that our built environment plays in every aspect of our lives.”
    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture said: “This national celebration of great architecture will transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment. It will improve our appreciation and understanding. It will also be great fun.”
    RIAS is grateful to its many supporters and funders and particularly pleased to welcome ScotRail as the official transport partner.
    A list of the headline events and a flavour of the rest of the programme follows below. 
    PROGRAMME INFORMATION
    Headline Events
    ‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 18 – 27 of March
    Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.  Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.
    Ideal Hut Show, touring across Scotland, May to September
    We’ll take 20 standard model garden sheds and have them transformed and customised by leading architects, artists, designers and celebrities from Scotland and abroad. The sheds will be on display in venues including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
    Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June – 25 September 
    ‘Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects’ will make connections between some of Scotland’s greatest ever architects and their buildings. Portraits, photographic portraits and portrait busts will be displayed alongside representations of the buildings they masterminded.  This prestigious exhibition will run in the Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of Scotland’s most popular and accessible venues. Hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition is generously supported by the Scottish Futures Trust.
    Pop-up World Cities Expo, Mound Square, Edinburgh, 16 June - 16 July
    An inspiring group of international cities, alongside a selection of Scotland’s cities have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square.  The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.
    Adventures in Space, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, July - September
    Journey into the heart of spectacular science fiction cities created for films such as Flash Gordon, Blade Runner and The Matrix. This innovative exhibition, being held in The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will be curated by leading architect and educationalist, David Reat. 
    Scotstyle, across Scotland, throughout 2016
    Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.
    The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts.
    BUILD IT – Adventures with LEGO® bricks
    National Museums Scotland 
    Edinburgh; 29 January - 17 April 2016
    A programme of activities to accompany a display of Lego® models in the Grand Gallery, including opportunities to design your own buildings and see the creation of a model of the National Museum.
    Notes from Scotland
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Across Scotland; 1 December 2015 - 1 October 2016
    Notes from Scotland is a national young composers competition from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who are inviting 12 - 18 year olds to submit a short piece of music inspired by an example of the country’s greatest contemporary architecture.
    Grey Gardens
    Dundee Contemporary Arts
    Dundee; 27 February - 1 May 2016
    An exhibition addressing art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature. Works by Scotland-based architects will be presented alongside artists including Guido Guidi, Martin Boyce and Neville Rae.
    HOME: 190th RSA Annual Exhibition 
    The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture 
    Edinburgh; 16 April - 25 May 2016
    Twenty four interpretations of the notion of ‘HOME’ from distinguished Scottish and international architects. Includes innovative completed houses and working ideas for yet-to-be-realised projects.
    Glasgow 1980 Re-Take
    Glasgow Institute of Architects 
    Glasgow; 10 - 31 March 2016
    A documentary that examines and responds to the claims and predictions made in the 1971 film ‘Glasgow 1980’ by Oscar Marzaroli. 
    Coast to Coast Journey
    RIAS Highlands and Islands Chapter
    Fort William to Inverness; 1 - 31 August 2016
    A customised architectural craft taken along the Caledonian Canal and playing host to changing art work along the way.
    From the Thistles to the Castle
    Artlink Central + ice cream architecture
    Stirling; 1 - 30 September 2016
    Stirling Castle and the city centre shopping area will be the start and end of a trail of architectural activity that will occupy spaces along the route from the city centre to the Castle creating inventions and opportunities to participate.
    For more information on the Festival of Architecture go to www.foa2016.com

    Scotland’s architecture will take centre stage during 2016, as Scots and visitors to Scotland join the most ambitious ever nationwide celebration of the built environment of a single country.  

    Curated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 will deliver a packed programme of events and activities, which will highlight and celebrate Scotland’s world-class architecture.  

    As one of the cornerstones of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Festival of Architecture will showcase Scotland’s fantastic buildings, old and new, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.  

    With world renowned and celebrated architects such as Robert Adam and Charles Rennie Mackintosh hailing from Scotland and iconic buildings such as the National Gallery, Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Parliament, there is much to celebrate in this very special year.

    Adrian Wiszniewski Hon FRIAS has redesigned a garden shed for the Ideal Hut Show, which will be unveiled on Wednesday morning at the programme launch. Adrian is one of the renowned 'New Glasgow Boys' and one of Scotland's most internationally recognised contemporary artists. 

    The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is working with over 90 partners and funders across the public and private sectors to deliver this ambitious project.  

     

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

     “The Festival of Architecture will be one of the main attractions in 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements from the creative industries and fashion to engineering and renewables. The programme that RIAS have curated looks set to offer a host of exciting opportunities for people in every corner of Scotland to access, enjoy and celebrate architecture encouraging us to think about the important role that our built environment plays in every aspect of our lives.”

     

    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture said:

    “This national celebration of great architecture will transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment. It will improve our appreciation and understanding. It will also be great fun.”

     

    RIAS is grateful to its many supporters and funders and particularly pleased to welcome ScotRail as the official transport partner.

     

    A list of the headline events and a flavour of the rest of the programme follows below. 

    PROGRAMME INFORMATION


    Headline Events

     

    ‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 18 – 27 of March

    Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.

    Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

     

    Ideal Hut Show, touring across Scotland, May to September

    We’ll take 20 standard model garden sheds and have them transformed and customised by leading architects, artists, designers and celebrities from Scotland and abroad. The sheds will be on display in venues including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

     

    Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June – 25 September 

    ‘Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects’ will make connections between some of Scotland’s greatest ever architects and their buildings. Portraits, photographic portraits and portrait busts will be displayed alongside representations of the buildings they masterminded.  This prestigious exhibition will run in the Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of Scotland’s most popular and accessible venues. Hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition is generously supported by the Scottish Futures Trust.

     

    Pop-up World Cities Expo, Mound Square, Edinburgh, 16 June - 16 July

    An inspiring group of international cities, alongside a selection of Scotland’s cities have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square.  The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.

     

    Adventures in Space, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, July - September

    Journey into the heart of spectacular science fiction cities created for films such as Flash Gordon, Blade Runner and The Matrix. This innovative exhibition, being held in The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will be curated by leading architect and educationalist, David Reat. 

     

    Scotstyle, across Scotland, throughout 2016

    Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.

     

    The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts.

     

    BUILD IT – Adventures with LEGO® bricks

    National Museums Scotland Edinburgh; 29 January - 17 April 2016

    A programme of activities to accompany a display of Lego® models in the Grand Gallery, including opportunities to design your own buildings and see the creation of a model of the National Museum.

     

    Notes from Scotland

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    Across Scotland; 1 December 2015 - 1 October 2016

    Notes from Scotland is a national young composers competition from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who are inviting 12 - 18 year olds to submit a short piece of music inspired by an example of the country’s greatest contemporary architecture.

     

    Grey Gardens

    Dundee Contemporary Arts

    Dundee; 27 February - 1 May 2016

    An exhibition addressing art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature. Works by Scotland-based architects will be presented alongside artists including Guido Guidi, Martin Boyce and Neville Rae.

     

    HOME: 190th RSA Annual Exhibition 

    The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture 

    Edinburgh; 16 April - 25 May 2016

    Twenty four interpretations of the notion of ‘HOME’ from distinguished Scottish and international architects. Includes innovative completed houses and working ideas for yet-to-be-realised projects.

     

    Glasgow 1980 Re-Take

    Glasgow Institute of Architects Glasgow; 10 - 31 March 2016

    A documentary that examines and responds to the claims and predictions made in the 1971 film ‘Glasgow 1980’ by Oscar Marzaroli. 

     

    Coast to Coast Journey

    RIAS Highlands and Islands Chapter

    Fort William to Inverness; 1 - 31 August 2016

    A customised architectural craft taken along the Caledonian Canal and playing host to changing art work along the way.


    From the Thistles to the Castle

    Artlink Central + ice cream architecture

    Stirling; 1 - 30 September 2016

    Stirling Castle and the city centre shopping area will be the start and end of a trail of architectural activity that will occupy spaces along the route from the city centre to the Castle creating inventions and opportunities to participate.

     

    For more information on the Festival of Architecture go to www.foa2016.com

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 02 December 2015

    Welcome 2016 at Helix Park with Fire and Light!

    Visit Helix Park on 1st January 2016 and embrace the New Year with something a little different!

    For this new event bring friends and family with you and blow the cobwebs away with a crisp New Year's Day walk on the Helix.

    As dusk approaches, join the team on the Great Lawn as they light the fires to bid farewell to 2015 and welcome 2016, when Scotland will celebrate innovation, architecture and design.

    Falkirk Community Trust has received support from the Scotland’s Winter Festivals event programme, which is managed by EventScotland on behalf of Scottish Government, to bring another option to the Falkirk area with a daytime, family friendly event which will take place on the afternoon of the 1st January.

    Having already sold 1000 tickets, the event is clearly proving popular and will hopefully become part of Falkirk’s Festive celebrations in the future!

    Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We are looking forward to this new event immensely, and hope the people of Falkirk - and beyond – will join us on the 1st January to start 2016 with a shared optimism and new resolutions.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "Helix Park, flanked by the iconic Kelpies, is the perfect place to celebrate the start of a new year with family and friends . The Fire and Light event will act as the starting point for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements.

    “Scotland has a great story to tell and throughout 2016 we’ll do just that – from the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, to the Forth bridges, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art to the Scottish Parliament.”

    Liz Buchanan, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director said: “The Fire & Light event is a celebration both of a great year past and a great one ahead for The Helix and the magnificent Kelpies. It will cap a fantastic 2015 for our partners in Falkirk, which has seen them exceed all expectations by drawing huge numbers of visitors, and that success will only continue following the opening last month of the excellent new Helix Visitor Centre. The Kelpies are sure to be among the star attractions of our forthcoming Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, and I can’t think of a better backdrop to begin the year than this spectacular event.”

    In days gone by (and sometimes, still today!), fire is used in rituals to cleanse the past and mark the start of a new beginning, so we invite you to join with us in celebrating the past whilst embracing the future.

    3:00pm - 5:00pm, Friday 1st January 2016

    Family ticket £10

    Adults £3.50

    Concession/Children £2.50

    Parking £5

    Book online – visit www.thehelix.co.uk for more information, or ring the box office on 01324 506850 (If you are a blue badge holder please ring on 01324 506850)

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 25 November 2015

    Glasgow International launches Kickstarter campaign to fund a versatile social club for the next Festival

    Today, Glasgow International launches their campaign to raise £25,000 to create a brand new project for the next festival.  This additional project will be an essential and versatile project room for the next Glasgow International Festival (8 – 25 April 2016), funded through Kickstarter, the online fundraising platform for creative projects. This social space will be designed by leading Glasgow based designers and will be a venue for new performances, events and screenings, as well as a forum for talks and discussions. The space will be a home to the Glasgow International education programme and provide a place for visitors, artists and curators to socialise, and discuss what they have seen each day of the festival. The funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign will be essential to the creation of this social space and its public programme.

     Our space will be created by Scottish-Italian designer Gabriella Marcella, and furniture designer Damian Kruse, reflecting the aims of the festival to collaborate with artists and arts organisations, commission new and ambitious work, and contribute to an essential and critical contemporary art discussion. The space will also represent a central point for visitors to GI 2016 and will house information on the Festival and a diverse schedule of artist talks, performances, workshops, lectures, live music, film screenings and parties. The confirmed line up of events includes:

     Diverse and intimate talks by some of the leading international and British artists in the Director's Programme, including Alexandra Bircken, Sheila Hicks, Lawrence Lek, Aaron Angell, Helen Johnson, Tamara Henderson and Claire Barclay, in conversation with a variety of curators, academics and fellow artists.

     The unique event Mega Hammer, which will brings together a mobile group of performers with shared sensibilities, including Turner Prize nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jedrzej Cichosz, Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich.

    A talk and workshop by the group of socially-engaged artists, 'Open Jar Collective', based on their project for Glasgow International 2016, Soil City: A Land Rights Research Lab.

     Music performances by a variety of Glasgow-based musicians and artists, including presentations by JD Twitch (Optimo) on his latest compilation about overlooked post-punk 7-inch records, artist-band Fallopé and the Tubes, and a live performance organised by Alexander Storey Gordon to accompany his Don Levy exhibition.

     The full programme is still to be confirmed and further details will be announced in the coming weeks. For those unable to attend the Festival next year, Glasgow International hopes to post recordings and images of the events on their website to make some of this content available to all.

     For all the pledges received, Glasgow International is offering a range of rewards as ‘thank-yous’ for supporting the Festival. These include unique t-shirts and bags designed by Gabriella Marcella, limited edition photographs by artist Tessa Lynch, risograph workshops with Gabriella Marcella, limited edition prints by Glasgow-based artist Michael Fullerton, and a unique work by Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd amongst others. For full information on the Glasgow International Social Club, the Kickstarter campaign, the rewards and how to get involved, please visit the Kickstarter website here.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 November 2015

    TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships website launched

    BADMINTONscotland and its key partners today took a major step towards the 2017 TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships with the launch of the official tournament website.

     The Badminton World Championships will be returning to Glasgow from 21-27 August 2017 and will be staged at the Emirates Arena, the Commonwealth Games badminton venue which is this week also hosting the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

     Many of the world’s best players will converge on the Emirates this week but the tournament also offers the opportunity for badminton fans attending the Grand Prix to learn more about the World Championships and how to keep in touch with ticketing and tournament information in the countdown to the big event.

     The website www.glasgow2017.com will give details about the Championships and its history, dating back to the first Worlds in 1977, information about the city of Glasgow and information about the event partners.

     It will also have a page where fans can register their details to be kept up to date with important information and priority access to tickets.

     At the same time the World Championships Twitter feed www.twitter.com/2017BWC and Facebook page www.facebook.com/2017BWC will go live to let fans interact through social media channels.

     Scotland have enjoyed plenty of major success in recent years with Imogen Bankier winning a silver medal with England’s Chris Adcock at the 2011 World Championships at Wembley and a bronze medal with Robert Blair at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Emirates Arena. Kirsty Gilmour scooped a silver medal at Glasgow 2014 and will doubtless lead the Scotland challenge in 2017.

     Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We have a great track record for major events and this week’s Scottish Open provides the ideal opportunity to engage with our fans and learn from them what they are expecting when the World Championships return to the city.

     “We have just 21 months to prepare and we aim to make the 2017 event just as successful as our 1997 and 2007 world events. In fact, we will be going all out to make it even better for the fans who will be coming to Glasgow from home and abroad.”

     Councillor Archie Graham, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s leading sports cities and we have a recently delivered some outstanding sporting events. Following the best ever Commonwealth Games, Davis Cup ties and the hugely successful World Gymnastics Championships, we’re more than up for the challenge of delivering on both this week’s Scottish Open and the Badminton World Championships in 2017.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The new TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships website will provide an invaluable tool for fans and we are delighted to support its development. Thousands of spectators are expected to travel to the Emirates during the championships, the pinnacle of competitive badminton outside of the Olympics, and the new website will not only help them plan their journey, but to also make the most of their time in Scotland.”Tickets are still available for this week’s Scottish Open Grand Prix. You can buy them on the door at the Emirates Arena or go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk for more details. Don’t forget, by attending the Grand Prix you will get the chance to learn more about the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 November 2015

    Iconic raincoat gets ready to rain supreme in 2016 as VisitScotland launches Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    It is an invention which has been at the heart of tourism in Scotland for decades, keeping visitors dry through many a “Scottish summer.”

    And today, VisitScotland paid homage to the iconic Mackintosh coat (invented by Scottish chemist, Charles Macintosh in 1823) while launching the events, activities and inspiration that will make up the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

    From festivals of light, to festivals of architecture, luminous origami birds to Harris Tweed celebrations, digital gaming to Renaissance fashion, a stunning variety of events will take place the length and breadth of the country during 2016.  Highlights include:

    Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed (Outer Hebrides)

    In Vogue – a fashion show of the centuries (Stirling Castle)

    Luminous Birds – art installations encouraging communities to celebrate their surroundings (Aberdeen, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow)

    Craft Scotland – Meet Your Maker (Scotland-wide)

    Edinburgh International Science Festival – including a Tiny Home Trail (Edinburgh)

    World Canals Public Programme (Highlands)

    Building Blocks at Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow)

    SPECTRA – Festival of Light (Aberdeen)

    Keyframes – involving the RSNO (Edinburgh)

    Ignite – celebration of creativity in our City of Design (Dundee)

     The programme of 28 events announced today with a funding value of £265,350 join the Festival of Architecture in an exciting line up that will shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems throughout the year.  

     Running throughout 2016, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, the Festival of Architecture is coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).   Announced in July, the Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from VisitScotland.

     Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.

     The event, which has secured £85,000 from VisitScotland and £50,000 from the Scottish Government will be a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. It will give audiences a unique opportunity to discover one of Europe’s most important buildings ahead of its reclamation as an international platform for arts and heritage set to open in 2018. 

     In addition to the funded events programme announced today, there will also be a wide range of partnership events celebrating the three themes including Architecture and Design Scotland’s ‘Say Hello to Architecture’ programme, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, and Doors Open Day

     VisitScotland is also putting innovation at the heart of its wider activity for 2016. In June, young creatives in Scotland were invited to design the official logo used to promote the year across domestic and international marketing campaigns.  The organisation is also working with Interface to challenge teams from Higher and Further Education to create an innovative digital resource that will be at the heart of Scotland’s marketing during 2016.

     Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

     “The exciting programme for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design announced today will showcase Scotland’s greatest contemporary assets, innovative icons and hidden architectural gems, inspiring visitors and people from all over Scotland to get involved.

     “From Styling the Nation through to the Festival of Architecture, these events - which take place in every corner of this country - will demonstrate our track record of excellence in innovation and design.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

     “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

     “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.

     “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”

     Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016

    Join the conversation #IAD2016

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 17 November 2015

    Gilmour hoping for another Emirates fan-fare!

    Kirsty Gilmour will be looking for a ranking boost when she spearheads the home challenge at this week’s Scottish Open Grand Prix.

     The 22-year-old Hamilton star returns to the scene of her Commonwealth Games silver medal success when she goes into action on Thursday at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

     Gilmour is already back in the world’s top 20 but must wait until the end of Wednesday’s qualifying rounds at this Badminton World Federation Grand Prix event to see who she faces in her opening contest. Gilmour is seeded to face last year’s runner-up Beatriz Corrales of Spain in the final.

     The leading GB women’s singles player in the Race to Rio is looking to build on her recent victories at the Forza Prague and Yonex Dutch Opens and her semi-final performance at the Bitburger Grand Prix Gold and runners-up spot at the Belgian International events over the last two months as she steps up her push to seal her Olympic place.

     After Glasgow, she will head to Orlando in Florida for next month’s Yonex US Open and Mexico City Grand Prix to round off her year.

     Badminton fans will know Gilmour relishes the challenge at the Emirates. “I love playing in front of a passionate home crowd,” she said today. “I reached the final of the Scottish Open two years ago and the semi-finals last year. I also had tremendous support during the Commonwealth Games and I am looking forward to repaying that tremendous support this week by continuing my recent good run of form.”

     Scotland’s other big hopes are in the men’s doubles when the Edinburgh-Glasgow pairing of Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh will look to capitalise on their recent tournament success at the Yonex Hungarian International to add to their Iceland victory at the start of the year. That has lifted them into the world’s top 60 and climbing.

     BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are delighted with the progress Kirsty, Martin and Patrick have made but this week at the Open there is a great opportunity for badminton fans to see the new generation of Scotland players who are falling in the footsteps of these three established players.”

     Scotland have experienced Kieran Merrilees, Matthew Carder and Ben Torrance in the main draw of the men’s singles while Holly Newall and Julie MacPherson are in the qualifying and aiming to join Gilmour in the main draw of the women’s singles.

     Robert Blair, the 2013 and 2014 mixed doubles winner and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, again partners Adam Hall in the men’s doubles with Scotland boasting three pairs in the main draw of both level doubles events. The Scots also have two pairs in the main draw of the mixed doubles.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations entered the Scottish Open Grand Prix and that includes the 37 players who form the home challenge.

     Tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are still available at the Emirates Arena.

     Play starts on Wednesday with the tournament running until Sunday when there will be two finals in the morning session and three in the afternoon session.

     For more information go to www.tournamentsoftware.com

    Category: International Events

  • 12 November 2015

    An Lanntair announce 2015 Hogmanay celebrations with Willie Campbell and Breabach

    An Lanntair is delighted to welcome back Willie Campbell and friends in what promises to be another spectacular night of entertainment to bring in the New Year.

    Following the success of last year’s sell out show, which showcased the huge variety of local musical talent, he will once more take to the stage with a new line up of guest musicians for an exclusive one off performance.

    An Lanntair’s Hogmanay celebrations are supported as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events funded by Scottish Government and managed by VisitScotland.

    Willie, along with members of his band The Open Day Rotation, will be joined by Colin MacLeod, Jane Hepburn, and Iain “Spanish” Mackay, and tickets for this unique event are now much sought after. 

    Alex Macdonald, An Lanntair’s Head of Performing Arts and the creator of Bliadhna Mhath Ur! said:

    “We are really grateful to the Winter Festivals programme for the continued support of our Hogmanay celebrations. New Year is a time for people to return to the islands and be with family, and we have been really pleased at the community’s response to us offering them activities which help us celebrate it together.” 

    And continuing the theme of returning home for New Year, piper James Mackenzie will be heading to Lewis as part of traditional band Breabach, who can also be seen at An Lanntair on Saturday 2nd January.

    Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland is famous for its outstanding Hogmanay celebrations. The occasion provides a great opportunity for families and friends to come together to sample the very best of what Scotland has to offer from traditional and contemporary music and arts, to food and drink. 

    “An Lanntair’s Hogmanay celebrations are part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."

    Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager said: “We would hope these Hogmanay celebrations will attract visitors who are keen to experience the unique, traditional and contemporary celebrations in Stornoway. An Lanntair has a fantastic line-up of music and entertainment that is sure to delight the whole family and give our visitors a chance to celebrate the beginning of 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, in style.”

    Join us for this very special celebration of Hogmanay and bring in 2016 in style

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 12 November 2015

    GBBO Star Flora Launches this Weekend's Foodies Festival Christmas Edinburgh at the EICC

    GBBO star Flora and top chefs, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival launches its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – at Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November.

    Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland this weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast. Acclaimed

    chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. Confirmed chefs include:

    Flora Shedden – Great British Bake Off favourite

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014

    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys

    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep

    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015

    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)

    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)

    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore

    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour

    Gordon Craig – The Field

    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen

    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti

    Three Sisters Bake

    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine

    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special.

    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more.

    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers.

    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons.

    A Baking Competition invites home bakers to bring their cakes along to the festival before 1pm on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November with the chance to be crowned ‘Edinburgh Showstopper Champion’.

    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa.

    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth.

    Tickets:

    Tickets are on sale now and are available at www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111

    Friday adult day ticket £13.00 (£11.00 concession)

    Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £15.00 (£13.00 concession)

    3-day adult ticket £20.00 (£16.00 concession)

    Friday VIP ticket £35.00

    Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00

    VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP lounge with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a festive goody bag and a showguide.

    All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

    Open times:

    Friday 13th November: 5pm – 9pm

    Saturday 14th November: 10am – 6pm

    Sunday 15th November: 10am – 5pm

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 November 2015

    MO FARAH TO COMPETE AT GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Britain’s double Olympic and five-time world champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) is to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday 20 February.

     The Grand Prix meeting is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world and will be staged at the Emirates Arena for the first time, following its move from Birmingham last year.

     With 100 days to go until the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, British Athletics has confirmed that Farah will compete in the 3000m, likely to be his only indoor race of 2016.

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best one-day athletics meeting to ever be held in Scotland and will feature many of the world’s best athletes. It will provide a crucial platform for Mo Farah as he aims to win the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the Olympic Games in Rio next summer.

     He said: “2016 is another massive year for me, and the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be a key part of that. The 3000m in Glasgow is likely to be my only indoor race of 2016 and I want to make it a good one. It will give a good indication of how my training is going and will hopefully set me up for a successful outdoor season.”

     The 32 year old previously competed indoors in Glasgow at Kelvin Hall in 2009 and 2012 at the Glasgow International Match, setting what was then a British 3000m record of 7:40.99 in 2009 and a 1500m personal best of 3:39.03 in 2012.

     He is excited about the prospect of returning to the Scottish city and running at the Emirates Arena for the first time.

     He continued: “I haven’t competed in Glasgow since 2012 and it will be great to be back. The Scottish crowd love athletics and I’m sure they will give great support to the athletes.”

    The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the number one indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

    Scotland’s Commonwealth and European 800m medallist Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) believes that Farah’s appearance at the Indoor Grand Prix is great news for Glasgow, particularly with the city bidding to host the 2019 European Indoor Championships.

    She said: “Mo Farah running at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is fantastic news for Scotland. He is one of the biggest stars in sport and I am sure that his participation in this world class event will really help create an amazing atmosphere at the Emirates Arena. The Scottish public always support athletics passionately and I'm sure that this event will be one of the best that Scotland has ever seen. It will provide a taste of what the country can expect if Glasgow is fortunate enough to be chosen as the host city for the 2019 European Indoor Championships. The honour of staging this event - and hopefully 2019 European Indoor Championships - is wonderful for Scotland. We are a nation who loves athletics.”

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “Mo Farah is one of the biggest stars in British sport. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the best single day of athletics ever staged in Scotland and we are thrilled that Mo will be taking part. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for the World Indoor Championships in Portland in March and provides the start of the countdown to the Rio Olympic Games. This is Scotland’s chance to support the British athletes as they prepare to take on the world”.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will raise the curtain on a landmark year for athletics and signals the start of the final countdown to Rio 2016. Fans at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena will delight in watching Mo Farah, alongside a world-class cast of international athletes, begin final preparations for the Olympics and are sure to be treated to a number of sensational performances.”

     

    For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 11 November 2015

    Kim Gordon to present Turner Prize 2015 award

    Artist, musician and songwriter Kim Gordon will present the award for Turner Prize 2015. 

    The winner of the Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony at Tramway, Glasgow, on Monday 7 December 2015 which will be broadcast live to the public on Channel 4 from 7.30pm.

    Musician, artist, and writer Kim Gordon is a founding member of the band Sonic Youth and a current member, with Bill Nace, of the guitar duo Body/Head. She is the author of Is It My Body? Selected Texts (Sternberg Press, 2014), and her memoir Girl in a Band was released this past February by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. This year, her artwork was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Benaki Museum in Athens and 303 Gallery in New York.

    The Turner Prize 2015 exhibition runs until 17 January 2016 and features work by the four nominated artists (in alphabetical order): Assemble; Bonnie Camplin; Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers.

    The Turner Prize is presented annually to a British artist under fifty years old who has exhibited outstanding work in the UK the previous year. This is the first time the UK’s most prestigious arts prize has been presented in Scotland.

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:

    “It is fantastic that we will be welcoming Kim Gordon to Tramway this December, when she will take centre stage at the awards ceremony. Who the winner will be is a fascinating part of the debate which visitors to the exhibition are engaging in every day.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “As one of the world’s most prestigious visual arts awards, it is fitting that Kim Gordon, someone who has earned widespread acclaim as both a musician and artist, has been chosen to present the Turner Prize in 2015. Glasgow’s Tramway has provided the perfect stage for this year’s exhibition and we look forward to seeing the winner crowned there on December 7.”

    Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts, Creative Scotland, said:

    “Kim Gordon has been at the cutting edge of culture for many years and we are delighted to welcome her to Scotland to present this prestigious contemporary art prize.  Glasgow’s Tramway is the ideal setting for Scotland’s first hosting of the exhibition and award ceremony.  Tramway is one of many art-spaces across Scotland that continues to make a significant contribution to the country's reputation as an international centre of excellence for the visual arts.”

  • 11 November 2015

    Funding puts Highland cycle events into gear for 2016

    Two major cycling events in the Highlands which attract thousands of cyclists to the region have been given a combined financial boost of £16,400 for 2016.

     The funding has been awarded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s events directorate. Etape Loch Ness has been given £10,900 which will be put towards marketing and social media campaigns. Strathpuffer 24 has received £5,500 to enhance onsite facilities for spectators and competitors and to contribute towards a website upgrade.

     Etape Loch Ness is a cycle sportive following a 360 degree 66-mile/106km route on closed roads around Loch Ness starting and finishing in Inverness.  The 2015 event, in April, received 3,328 entries. The event attracts a wide range of cyclists including elite and club cyclists, seasoned non-club cyclists, amateur cyclists, newcomers to road cycling and charity fundraisers looking for a new challenge.

     Building on the success of the inaugural event, the organisers’ mission is to grow and develop the Etape Loch Ness to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading cycle sportives.

     Its focus will be on delivering a quality, memorable and safe experience, increasing participant numbers, developing the event’s national appeal, developing stakeholder and sponsor investment, fostering good community relations, increasing economic impact to the local area, providing a platform for charity fundraising, delivering a targeted PR and marketing plan and increasing national media coverage.

     The Strathpuffer is a winter 24-hour cross country mountain-bike race open to male, female and mixed teams with categories for solo, pairs and quads between the ages of 16 and 80. It attracted 800 bikers in 2015.

     The ‘Puffer’s main objectives are to encourage visitors to the area  and experience other cycling areas away from the main well-known sites such as Glentress, Innerleithen, Mabie and Dalbeattie by showing them a wilder, not often seen side of the Highlands, which will enhance Scotland’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination.

     By offering a unique adventure, creating a fun ‘all-in-it-together’ friendly atmosphere, yet run as tough a race as possible, the aim of the event is to introduce the Strathpeffer/Contin area as a superb off-road cycling destination which has fantastic, on the doorstep mountain-biking, available to all abilities. The expectation is that competitors will make a return visit at another time of the year with friends and/or family.

     Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:

    “I am thrilled that these two great cycling events have received a total of £16,400 funding to help them promote the Etape Loch Ness and Strathpuffer 24 even more widely than before.

     “The Highlands are a major draw for outdoor enthusiasts and events such as these really put the region on the map and help cement our reputation as a must-visit cycling destination.

     “Conferences and events such as these don’t just provide entertainment, they represent a multi-million pound opportunity to boost jobs as well as deliver cultural and social benefits.”

     Etape Loch Ness event director, Malcolm Sutherland, said:

    “The funding that we have received from EventScotland has been instrumental to the overall success of the event, and we are very grateful to learn that we have the support of the organisation for the 2016 event.

     “The support has allowed us to carry out additional promotional activities and help us to spread the word about the event to a much wider audience all over the UK. Statistics from the 2015 Etape Loch Ness show a 20% increase in the number of riders travelling from outwith the local area to participate, and with the help of EventScotland we hope to see this figure increase again in 2016.

     “The funding that we receive helps us to attract cyclists from all over the country – and some riders from overseas – to this beautiful part of the Highlands which is such a perfect backdrop for large-scale sports events like Etape Loch Ness.”

     Clancy Macdonald, from the Strathpuffer 24 organising team, said:

    "It was only ever meant to be a one-off but the Strathpuffer24 continues to go from strength to strength. Eleven years on, it is widely recognised as the UK's iconic must-do true mountain-biker's event.

     “We're really delighted EventScotland are now on board. Their funding means we will be able to improve our infrastructure so we can increase competitor capacity and also look to adding to the event categories.

     “Additionally we intend to upgrade the shelters for our fantastic well-deserving, loyal band of marshals, without whom we could not run the event. With the help of VisitScotland, all these things will help maintain the longer term future of the Strathpuffer24.”

    The EventScotland National Programme helps to provide financial assistance to events which provide a real benefit to their local areas. The Scottish Highlands has some of the finest terrain for all cycling disciplines, which is something that thousands of enthusiasts will experience through both of these events in 2016.

    Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The EventScotland National Programme helps to provide financial assistance to events which provide a real benefit to their local areas, and we were delighted to be in the position to support Etape Loch Ness and Strathpuffer 24 in the most recent funding round. The Scottish Highlands are blessed with some of the finest terrain for all cycling disciplines, which is something that thousands of enthusiasts will experience through both of these events in 2016. We look forward to working closely with the organisers of both over the coming weeks and months to ensure their success.

    For more information, please visit: http://www.eventscotland.org/funding/national-events-programme/

    Category: National Events

  • 10 November 2015

    Hogmanay in the Honest Toun 2015

    The Brunton is the place to be...for Family Hogmanay.

    On Thursday 31 December The Brunton, Musselburgh hosts a day packed with fantastic activities for families, to celebrate Hogmanay. Ticketed activities and events run from 11am – 5pm, for all the family to enjoy, with an early evening FREE Lantern Parade and spectacular FREE Fireworks Display at Fisherrow Links.

    Paid for ticketed activities include:

    Family Ceilidh: Lively fun for all the family with pipers, ceilidh band and Scottish Country dancers.

    Illuminated lantern making: To carry in the evening parade.

    Edinburgh Samba School: Drumming workshops.

    The Starlicht Runaway: Storytelling and song from Sonsie Music.

    The Fisherman and the Seal: Puppetry, storytelling, music and movement from Yugen Puppet Theatre.

    Cinderella: Traditional family pantomime.

    Hogmania!: See in the New Year at this family ceilidh with live band, food, pipers and more. Presented by Musselburgh Riding of the Marches 2016 and The Brunton.

    There will also be face painting and craft activities running all day, additional charges apply.

    The FREE evening events start at 6.30pm as people gather at The Brunton for the Lantern Parade which sets off at 7pm led by the Edinburgh Samba Band, walk-about illuminated birds and Jacks of Frost. This leads to Fisherrow Links for a spectacular fireworks display from 7.30pm to 8pm.

    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun are delivered by East Lothian Council and The Brunton and are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by VisitScotland.

    Councillor Tim Day, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing at East Lothian Council said: “We look forward to welcoming families from East Lothian, Edinburgh and beyond to celebrate Hogmanay in the Honest Toun. This is the fourth year we have run this event with the support of Scotland’s Winter Festivals. Our focus is on fun for all the family, and there is a real buzz in Musselburgh all day as a result. This year we are delighted to be teaming up with Musselburgh Riding of the Marches 2016 to present Hogmania! an evening ceilidh for all the family to see in the New Year, as well as our much loved family afternoon ceilidh.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland is the home of Hogmanay and I’d encourage families, friends and loved ones to come together to enjoy the full programme on offer at The Brunton Theatre and in Musselburgh.  "Hogmanay in the Honest Toun” is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."

    Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations attract visitors from across the UK and the world to experience unique, traditional and contemporary celebrations. The Honest Toun has a fantastic line-up of activities that is sure to delight the whole family and give our visitors a chance to celebrate the beginning of 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, in style.”

    Information and booking: www.thebrunton.co.uk / 0131 665 2240

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 06 November 2015

    Brightest Ever Big Burns Supper Packed With Fun For 5th Birthday

     

    Dumfries winter festival lines up The Beat, Eddi Reader and Jason Byrne plus spectacular carnival, cabaret, folk and trad. The line-up for the fifth Big Burns Supper has been unveiled with headliners including Black Grape, Jason Byrne, The Beat and Eddi Reader.
    The nine-day festival in Dumfries, from 22-30 January, will be overflowing with party spirit from start to finish and will bring thousands of people onto the streets for the annual Burns Carnival, which takes place on Sunday, 24 January.
    Big Burns Supper 2016 has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.
    On the Bard’s birthday itself there will be the festival’s own fifth birthday party, featuring special guest performers, and a family Burns Supper for around 300 inside the mirror-lined Spiegeltent which is the event’s main venue.
    Another major highlight of BBS 2016 is Le Haggis III which sees a triumphant return to Dumfries of the saucy and spectacular Caledonian cabaret after its award-winning run at the Edinburgh-Fringe. As ever it will be a feast of Scottish and international circus, aerial dance and music – featuring some of the country’s best young trad and folk musicians.
    There will also be a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment with the arrival of Celtic Circus, a Spiegeltent show with acrobatic thrills and spills to delight a younger audience.
    Dumfries children themselves take command for a series of By Kids activities. One will be the pop-up Salon 1962, where adults will have their nails and make-up done by enthusiastic Lochside Primary School pupils. The most daring will also have their hair cut!
    Graham Main, Artistic Director, said: “It’s our fifth birthday, so we want Big Burns Supper 2016 to be huge fun for everyone. It will be packed with great music, comedy and cabaret plus a fabulously colourful street carnival.
    “We’re offering a really joyful mix of the current and the classic – and a great chance to dig out your Harrington, trilby and DMs. 
    “As one of Scotland’s fastest-growing winter events we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and beyond for an event which celebrates all that’s best in life.”
    As a “thank you” to the Big Burns Supper’s many loyal supporters the festival will be bringing back some highly popular acts from previous years. These include the magnificent singer songwriter, and huge champion of Rabbie Burns, Eddi Reader and also the wonderful Inner Mongolian musicians of Anda Union.
    There will be a new performance and bar area at the Spiegeltent where audiences will find themselves in the capable hands of Big Burns Supper 2016 Mistress of Ceremonies the ever-bonnie, if occasionally unshaven, Misschief Amor.
    There will be a host of other superb shows from Irish vocalist Camille O’Sullivan, the Scots trad Treacherous Orchestra, comedian Andrew Maxwell and Irish folk act the Dublin Legends.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Big Burns Supper, which is now in its fifth year, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity. I congratulate the festival organisers for another impressive performance line-up and I’d encourage friends, families and loved ones to come together to take part.
    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”
    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “The Big Burns Supper has fast become a real favourite of our regional events calendar and it’s fantastic to see it attracting more and more visitors to the region every year. It’s a unique, exciting and vibrant celebration which embodies and befits our national Bard. The event is brimming with spirited character, spontaneity, irreverent humour and bawdy fun, and is underpinned by great music and story-telling.  
     
    “With its superb line-up of talent and packed programme, next year’s Big Burns Supper promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It will definitely be an unmissable highlight of the New Year so I hope as many people as possible will come along and enjoy the party atmosphere in Dumfries throughout the festival’s nine days.”
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”
    Tickets for Big Burns Supper are now on sale at www.bigburnssupper.com and from the box office at 28 Munches Street, Dumfries or by calling 01387 271820.  Box Office is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
    Big Burns Supper is a registered charity and is funded by Holywood Trust, Robertson Trust, Scotland’s Winter Festival programme, and through Dumfries & Galloway Council’s event strategy, and sponsored by 8020 Communications, and Electric Theatre Workshop.

    Dumfries winter festival lines up The Beat, Eddi Reader and Jason Byrne plus spectacular carnival, cabaret, folk and trad. The line-up for the fifth Big Burns Supper has been unveiled with headliners including Black Grape, Jason Byrne, The Beat and Eddi Reader. The nine-day festival in Dumfries, from 22-30 January, will be overflowing with party spirit from start to finish and will bring thousands of people onto the streets for the annual Burns Carnival, which takes place on Sunday, 24 January. Big Burns Supper 2016 has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.


    On the Bard’s birthday itself there will be the festival’s own fifth birthday party, featuring special guest performers, and a family Burns Supper for around 300 inside the mirror-lined Spiegeltent which is the event’s main venue.Another major highlight of BBS 2016 is Le Haggis III which sees a triumphant return to Dumfries of the saucy and spectacular Caledonian cabaret after its award-winning run at the Edinburgh-Fringe. As ever it will be a feast of Scottish and international circus, aerial dance and music – featuring some of the country’s best young trad and folk musicians.There will also be a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment with the arrival of Celtic Circus, a Spiegeltent show with acrobatic thrills and spills to delight a younger audience.
    Dumfries children themselves take command for a series of By Kids activities. One will be the pop-up Salon 1962, where adults will have their nails and make-up done by enthusiastic Lochside Primary School pupils. The most daring will also have their hair cut!

     

    Graham Main, Artistic Director, said: “It’s our fifth birthday, so we want Big Burns Supper 2016 to be huge fun for everyone. It will be packed with great music, comedy and cabaret plus a fabulously colourful street carnival.

    “We’re offering a really joyful mix of the current and the classic – and a great chance to dig out your Harrington, trilby and DMs. 
    “As one of Scotland’s fastest-growing winter events we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and beyond for an event which celebrates all that’s best in life.”


    As a “thank you” to the Big Burns Supper’s many loyal supporters the festival will be bringing back some highly popular acts from previous years. These include the magnificent singer songwriter, and huge champion of Rabbie Burns, Eddi Reader and also the wonderful Inner Mongolian musicians of Anda Union.There will be a new performance and bar area at the Spiegeltent where audiences will find themselves in the capable hands of Big Burns Supper 2016 Mistress of Ceremonies the ever-bonnie, if occasionally unshaven, Misschief Amor.There will be a host of other superb shows from Irish vocalist Camille O’Sullivan, the Scots trad Treacherous Orchestra, comedian Andrew Maxwell and Irish folk act the Dublin Legends.


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Big Burns Supper, which is now in its fifth year, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity. I congratulate the festival organisers for another impressive performance line-up and I’d encourage friends, families and loved ones to come together to take part.“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.” 


    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “The Big Burns Supper has fast become a real favourite of our regional events calendar and it’s fantastic to see it attracting more and more visitors to the region every year. It’s a unique, exciting and vibrant celebration which embodies and befits our national Bard. The event is brimming with spirited character, spontaneity, irreverent humour and bawdy fun, and is underpinned by great music and story-telling.   

    “With its superb line-up of talent and packed programme, next year’s Big Burns Supper promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It will definitely be an unmissable highlight of the New Year so I hope as many people as possible will come along and enjoy the party atmosphere in Dumfries throughout the festival’s nine days.”


    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”


    Tickets for Big Burns Supper are now on sale at www.bigburnssupper.com and from the box office at 28 Munches Street, Dumfries or by calling 01387 271820.  Box Office is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

    Big Burns Supper is a registered charity and is funded by Holywood Trust, Robertson Trust, Scotland’s Winter Festival programme, and through Dumfries & Galloway Council’s event strategy, and sponsored by 8020 Communications, and Electric Theatre Workshop.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 05 November 2015

    FARAH SETS OFF ON THE ROAD TO RIO BY RETURNING TO HIS ROOTS IN THE GREAT EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL XCOUNTRY

    Mo Farah’s first test of 2016, as he prepares to defend his Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m crowns in Rio, will come in Scotland’s capital city when he spearheads the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team challenge in the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on Saturday 9 January.

     For the 32-year-old home town hero of the London 2012 Olympics, who took his haul of global gold medals to a magnificent seven when he retained his World Championship 5000m and 10,000m titles in Beijing in August, the 8km event at Holyrood Park will mark a return to his racing roots.

     Farah forged his distance running reputation as a winter mudlark and the reigning world, Olympic and European 5,000m and 10,000m champion will be contesting his first cross country race for five years when he lines up in the televised new year event.

    Now, as he works towards the defence of his Olympic titles in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016, the leading light of the distance running world will be laying the groundwork with his first cross country race since he triumphed in the 8km Great Edinburgh International race in January 2011.

     “It will be an important year for me in 2016 and I’m looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season,” said Farah. “For many years cross country was a key building block for the year ahead and I’m pleased to add it to my schedule for the first time since I ran in Edinburgh back in 2011.”

     Farah enjoyed a trailblazing time in 2015, opening with a world indoor two mile best on the boards in Birmingham in February, overcoming all challengers to retain his World Championship 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, and setting a British and European course record as he finished his season in fitting style with a second successive victory in the Morrisons Great North Run.

     “It was a fantastic feeling winning the Great North Run in front of a home crowd,” said Farah. “I’m sure there will be plenty of support in Edinburgh for my first event in 2016.”

    “It's a big year for Mo and this race is a serious part of his plan and programme." said Barry Fudge, Head of Endurance for British Athletics.

     “Mo has previously built his base for a summer track season with cross country races over the winter season, so we see this as a fundamental part of his preparation as we build towards the defence of his Olympic titles in Rio – which is ultimately his main goal for 2016. He enjoys nothing more than running in front of the British public so this is a great way for him to kick off his most important of years.”

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

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

    Entry to the Pure Gym Great Winter Run is available online at www.greatrun.org/winter

    Category: International Events

  • 05 November 2015

    Edinburgh will be the City of Lights this Christmas!

     

    An incredible 100,000 tickets have already been snapped up for what promises to be the biggest and brightest new show in the Capital  - the Virgin Money Street of Light at Edinburgh's Christmas.
    Demand for these free shows has been huge, with a sensational 100,000 free tickets being issued to audiences within a few days of tickets being made available. To put that in perspective, 100,000 tickets is the combined capacity of the city's three main sporting arenas - Murrayfield, Easter Road and Tynecastle stadiums.
    With enormous demand from Edinburgh, Scotland and around the world, organisers Underbelly are urging people to make sure they get their tickets booked. Already bookings have been made from as far afield as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and throughout Europe.
    Visit www.virginsmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve your FREE ticket NOW!
    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly, said: “The response from not just Edinburgh but the rest of the world has been amazing with no sign of demand slowing down. We are so happy to have already issued 100,000 free tickets in such a short period of time. I advise everyone to book NOW to avoid disappointment. There will be no finer place to celebrate the spirit of Christmas this year than here in Edinburgh.”
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "These figures speak volumes and demonstrate that people across Scotland, and the world, are hugely excited about The Virgin Money Street of Light event. The event is an outstanding addition to Edinburgh's Christmas programme and will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk in the lead up to Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.
    "The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the run up to St Andrew's Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."
    Cllr Richard Lewis, Festival and Events Champion, said: “The appeal of Edinburgh’s winter festivals is truly international. Tickets are being reserved for Edinburgh’s Street of Light from all over the world but local residents are also rushing to snap up spaces. It really is shaping into one of the city’s must-see attractions and will help to promote the Royal Mile during the winter months. The city’s famous festive markets, ice rinks, shows and rides will also make a return meaning one trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas won’t be enough.”
    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association, said:  "What an incredible response from around the world! The Royal Mile Business Association continues to be delighted with the growing numbers of people who are booking tickets to enjoy this amazing Christmas light show on this iconic street. This really is going to be a spectacular, global event!"
    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is also part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals. The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and local businesses.
    The event runs for 25 days from St Andrew's to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The lights synchronise to specially commissioned pieces of music sung and recorded by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.  The schedule of choirs can be found in Notes to Editors below. 
    RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW 
    VIRGINMONEYSTREETOFLIGHT.COM

    An incredible 100,000 tickets have already been snapped up for what promises to be the biggest and brightest new show in the Capital  - the Virgin Money Street of Light at Edinburgh's Christmas.

    Demand for these free shows has been huge, with a sensational 100,000 free tickets being issued to audiences within a few days of tickets being made available.

    To put that in perspective, 100,000 tickets is the combined capacity of the city's three main sporting arenas - Murrayfield, Easter Road and Tynecastle stadiums.

    With enormous demand from Edinburgh, Scotland and around the world, organisers Underbelly are urging people to make sure they get their tickets booked.

    Already bookings have been made from as far afield as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and throughout Europe.

    Visit www.virginsmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve your FREE ticket NOW!

    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly, said: “The response from not just Edinburgh but the rest of the world has been amazing with no sign of demand slowing down. We are so happy to have already issued 100,000 free tickets in such a short period of time. I advise everyone to book NOW to avoid disappointment. There will be no finer place to celebrate the spirit of Christmas this year than here in Edinburgh.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "These figures speak volumes and demonstrate that people across Scotland, and the world, are hugely excited about The Virgin Money Street of Light event. The event is an outstanding addition to Edinburgh's Christmas programme and will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk in the lead up to Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016."

    "The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the run up to St Andrew's Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."

    Cllr Richard Lewis, Festival and Events Champion, said: “The appeal of Edinburgh’s winter festivals is truly international. Tickets are being reserved for Edinburgh’s Street of Light from all over the world but local residents are also rushing to snap up spaces. It really is shaping into one of the city’s must-see attractions and will help to promote the Royal Mile during the winter months. The city’s famous festive markets, ice rinks, shows and rides will also make a return meaning one trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas won’t be enough.”

    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association, said:  "What an incredible response from around the world! The Royal Mile Business Association continues to be delighted with the growing numbers of people who are booking tickets to enjoy this amazing Christmas light show on this iconic street. This really is going to be a spectacular, global event!"

    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is also part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

    The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and local businesses.

    The event runs for 25 days from St Andrew's to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The lights synchronise to specially commissioned pieces of music sung and recorded by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union. RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW VIRGINMONEYSTREETOFLIGHT.COM

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 03 November 2015

    Edinburgh Food-Lovers Ready for a Festive Feast as Foodies Festival Christmas Comes to Edinburgh

     

     

    Retro recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival brings its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – to Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November.
     
    Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland next weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast.
     
    Acclaimed chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. 
    Confirmed chefs include:
     
    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014
    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys
    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep
    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015
    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)
    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)
    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore
    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway
    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour
    Gordon Craig – The Field
    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen 
    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti
    Three Sisters Bake 
    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine
     
    Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre will transport festival-goers back in time to the 1960s when glacé cherries and multi-coloured jellies were all the rage. Inspired by infamous TV chef Fanny Cradock, flamboyant baking extraordinaire Charlotte White will recreate classic desserts such as the Baked Alaska, Sherry Trifle and Black Forest Gateau with a modern twist, inspiring visitors to cook something old but new this Christmas. 
    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special. 
    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more. 
    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers. 
    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons. 
    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa. 
    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth. 

    Retro recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival brings its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – to Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November. Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland next weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast. 

     

    Acclaimed chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. 


    Confirmed chefs include: 

     

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014

    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys

    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep

    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015

    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)

    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)

    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore

    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour

    Gordon Craig – The Field

    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen 

    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti

    Three Sisters Bake 

    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine 

     

    Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre will transport festival-goers back in time to the 1960s when glacé cherries and multi-coloured jellies were all the rage. Inspired by infamous TV chef Fanny Cradock, flamboyant baking extraordinaire Charlotte White will recreate classic desserts such as the Baked Alaska, Sherry Trifle and Black Forest Gateau with a modern twist, inspiring visitors to cook something old but new this Christmas. 


    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special. 


    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more. 

     

    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers. 


    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons. 


    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa. 


    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth

    Category: Food and Drink

  • 02 November 2015

    SCOT:LANDS: EDINBURGH’S POP-UP MULTI-ARTS NEW YEAR FESTIVAL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED FOR 1 JANUARY 2016

    Organisers today announced the full-line up for Scot:Lands, the exclusive pop-up festival within a festival, on January 1st 2016. Now in its third year, and an integral part of the three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay which is produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council by Unique Events, Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

     An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Scot:Lands takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and, as can be seen by the programme announced today, offers a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining. With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up Festival offers one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations.

     Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “We’re delighted that through the support of the Expo Fund we set off on our New Year’s Day journey again and this year from a new starting point, our Departure Lounge within the Old College Quad. This, truly the first Scottish Festival of the year, may have a short life – 4 to 5 hours – but it’s packed with unexpected in-situ performances from a stellar line-up of Scottish artists, each creating something you’ll never see again. It’s the spin of the compass alone that will determine your New Year journey. Edinburgh’s Old Town is both the theatre and the landscape for discovering and experiencing culture, in a format perhaps unique in the world of festivals.”

     Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Over the last three years, Scot:Lands has grown in prominence, attracting an audience from far and wide. More than 150,000 visitors from 70 countries visited the capital last year to take part in Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme. Scot:Lands draws together artists from across Scotland to provide a ‘whole’ experience of music, theatre, installations, audio visual and the spoken word in unique settings. Scot:Lands is part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, one of the cornerstone events of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme. This year a record £390,000 of funding has been provided to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     The all-important element of chance returns again this year, as audiences ‘check in’ at the Departure Lounge in the University of Edinburgh’s Old College, before spinning a compass to discover their first destination on a randomly, tantalisingly selected, unpredictable journey through eleven hidden Edinburgh Old Town venues – some familiar and some unknown and rarely accessible to the public.

     They  alight might on Blazin:Land, presented by renowned fiddle collective Blazin’ Fiddles who will be joined by some very special guests including Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes; or be transported to the Isle of Skye in Blue Skye:Land where they will be treated to captivating musical and performance pieces including the UK premiere of a collaboration between beatboxer Jason Singh and Gaelic vocalist Anne Martin. Sea Bird:Land will introduce a reconfigured live performance of Dalziel + Scullion’s mesmerising, multi-media art installation, Tumadh is Turas: Immersion & Journey, in a hauntingly atmospheric venue with a live soundtrack from Aidan O’Rourke, Graeme Stephen and John Blease.

     Elsewhere Coorie-In:Land will introduce an exhilarating menu of lyrical delight and artsy mischief curated by Edinburgh literary duo Rally & Broad; Licht:Land will offer a celebration of light at the gateway to the New Year with puppetry, live music and storytelling while Lyrical:Land will bring together some of Scotland’s foremost singer/songwriters with intimate performances from Kathryn Joseph, Mercury Prize nominated C Duncan, Roddy Woomble and poet Michael Pedersen amongst others. Cine:Land will mark 70 pioneering years of the Edinburgh International Film Festival with a labyrinth of mini-cinemas showing award-winning short films in a celebration of Scotland on the big screen; and Glasgow’s Chemikal Underground will celebrate their 20th anniversary in Chemikal:Land featuring live performances from R M Hubbert, Emma Pollock and Miaoux Miaoux. Curious Seed will create a mesmerising, immersive and improvised new dance work for the turn of the year, which will be accompanied by live music from Luke Sutherland in d’Arc:Land and dropping in from Aviemore The Insider Festival will recreate the essence of an outdoor festival in an indoor venue – Insider:Land – with a distillation of music, food and drink from the Inver Restaurant and performances from Admiral Fallow, Blue Rose Code, Findlay Napier and BEAM.

     For the first time, a Land has been specially created for families and children under 10. WeeScot:Land will offer a theatre show as well as arts and crafts, balloons, face-painting, storytelling, music and street  performance in the most unexpected forms at the National Museum of Scotland, presented by Festival partners Pleasance KidZone and National Museums Scotland.

     At the end of the afternoon, as all other Lands draw to a close, audiences are invited to come, or come back to, the National Museum of Scotland for The Final Fling, the closing event of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2015/16 with music and Ceilidh Callers from Edinburgh’s top ceilidh outfit, the Portobello Ceilidh Band.

     Scot:Lands has become increasingly popular every year, and places are limited. Tickets are free and from today, Monday 2 November 2015, are available from www.edinburghshogmanay.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 02 November 2015

    Etape Loch Ness sells out in record time – but cyclists raising money for official charity Macmillan Cancer Support can still apply

    A closed-road cycling event which circles Scotland’s most iconic loch has sold out in record time. Thousands of cyclists have signed up to take part in Etape Loch Ness, with general entry filling up after just 51 hours despite an increase in capacity. Cyclists who missed out on one of the highly sought after spaces can still register through the event’s official charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

    A limited number of entries are being accepted from participants who pledge to raise a minimum of £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support – the official charity partner of the 66-mile sportive which takes place on Sunday, April 24 next year.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “We increased the field of entry for 2016 following the high demand for our last event, so to sell out faster than ever is incredible. It’s a real testament to the reputation Etape Loch Ness has built in the last two years.

    “Priority entry opened on Tuesday for those who had registered their interest on our website, and by the time general entry opened on Thursday morning we were well on our way to maximum capacity.

    “We are now seeing the number of Macmillan Cancer Support riders rising, and it is fantastic to see so many people coming forward to fundraise for worthwhile causes at Etape Loch Ness.”

    Macmillan Cancer Support has been the official charity partner of Etape Loch Ness since its inception in 2014, and participants have raised over £245,000 so far to support its work with cancer patients and their families. The charity provides a number of services across the Highlands, including a team of specialist care nurses and mobile information centres.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, adds, “Etape Loch Ness has been an incredibly popular event since launching in 2014, and we are delighted to be supporting it through our National Programme.

    “With thousands of riders participating in the closed-road sportive we can expect to see a real benefit to the local area, along with wonderful efforts for charity.”

    Riders are being encouraged to #ridehappy in the Etape Loch Ness 2016, following Inverness’ recent nomination as the happiest place to live in Scotland. The closed-road sportive, which begins in Inverness and skirts along the edge of the loch, is guaranteed to bring a smile to any cycling enthusiast’s face.

    Following the A82 along the northern side of the loch, the route passes through Fort Augustus onto the south side for the most challenging leg of the course – the King of the mountain – a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital.

    For more information visit www.etapelochness.com, or follow Etape Loch Ness on social media on Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 30 October 2015

    Biles Blows Away Field to Make History at World Gymnastics Championships

    A sell-out crowd of over 6,500 gathered at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro to witness history in the making as the USA’s Simone Biles became the first woman to win three consecutive World Gymnastics Championship All-Around titles. Of the world’s top 24 female gymnasts to arrive at the SSE Hydro with dreams of All-Around gold, only a few held realistic expectations of glory.

     Pursued by her compatriot, Gaby Douglas, Biles set about demonstrating her class early, producing the night’s standout performance on her first apparatus. Facing the Vault, her Amanar produced an evening-high score of 15.8333 to establish her charge towards the title. Beam, typically, produced a far sterner test and, at one stage, saw Biles clutch the apparatus in a desperate effort to stay on. A score of 14.4 was a long way shy of the 14.966 she’d produced in qualification and could have left the door open for Douglas, the 2012 London Olympic All-Around champion, to capitalise. However, although far less theatrical in her errors, a series of tilts and quivers prevented Douglas from doing better than a 14.4 of her own. It was the only opportunity she would see to redress the margin on the evening, and that which has been set between the two since Biles adopted the mantle of world’s best two years ago.

     Douglas completed her rotation with a solid routine on Floor, but, as the podium cleared and all other routines drew to a close, the stage was set. A gold medal-winning performance from Biles was the moment the crowd had come to see. And she didn’t disappoint. Although, by this point, there was little doubt about where the gold was destined, Biles delivered a champion’s display. She twisted and tumbled her way to a score of 15.2 and a comfortable winning margin of 1.083. It wasn’t quite the dominance she had shown in qualifying, but the record books will show a third consecutive World All-Around title nevertheless.

     “I’m just really proud of myself and all the work I put in,” said Biles, after collecting her second Glasgow gold, following USA’s Team Final success two days previously. “I know it wasn’t my best meet but I’m still proud of the outcome. “I’m still in shock. I feel very weird and I guess it’s maybe how Kohei (Uchimura, winner of five consecutive men’s World All-Around titles) feels. I feel really proud of myself. We put a lot of hard work and dedication into what we do, and if you’re always having fun and loving what you do, I think that’s when you get the best results.” On the chances to building on her medal haul, she added: “I still have three finals to go, and we’ll see what happens.”

     Credit must also be given to a resurgent Larisa Iordache. Shrugging off the disappointment of failing to make the women’s Team Final with Romania, the fans’ favourite was resolute throughout a determined display and captured the bronze. Prior to this evening’s all-important finale, which was the only remaining chance Iordache would have to medal in Glasgow, she was paid a welcome visit by the great Nadia Comaneci.

     For home hopes Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler, who each played a telling contribution in Great Britain’s Team bronze medal success two days ago, it was a challenging occasion but one that will surely prove to be invaluable as a learning experience. Each was below her best but remained philosophical in assessing the final. Harrold said: “To be honest I'm a bit disappointed. A lot of effort went into the qualification and Team Final and, after walking away with the bronze, we were on massive high and it was a challenge to come down and get the mind ready to compete. 

    “We had to enjoy it out there today. It wasn’t the result we were after but we enjoyed it. The home crowd were amazing for every routine – brilliant. Hopefully I can rest and get my head together for Bars final which I’m really looking forward to now.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    Largest Ever St Andrew’s Day Events Programme for 2015

     

    With just over a month to go, Scots and Scots at heart are being encouraged to plan their perfect St Andrew’s Day weekend by taking advantage of the huge programme of offers, activities and events taking place across the country.
    There are 560 free, two-for-one or child goes free activities and offers happening across 400 Scottish venues and attractions in the run up to St Andrew’s Day with downloadable vouchers available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday, presenting a variety of days out to suit every taste.
    As part of this year’s St Andrew's Day celebrations, Historic Environment Scotland will be offering thousands of free tickets to some of Scotland’s best known heritage attractions via a pre pre-registration scheme. Further details will be released later this month at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
    In addition to the hundreds of offers going on throughout Scotland, a series of eleven funded events are taking place including the new Virgin Money Street of Light in Edinburgh and The St Andrew’s Day Fusion Festival in Dundee, through the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme, funded by the Scottish Government and managed EventScotland.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: 
    “St Andrew’s Day is going to be bigger than ever before with a huge range of offers and events taking place in the lead up to our national day. I’d encourage people to get together to celebrate and get involved in the fun and exciting activities taking place across the country.
    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”
    Those looking for outdoor activities can take advantage of two-for-one surf lessons with Coast to Coast surf school in Dunbar, kids go free canoeing in Lochgilphead and a two-for-one offer on Segway Safari tours in Loch Lomond.
    Budding young scientists will get free entry into the Stratosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen, while water babies can enjoy the huge variety of swimming centres offering free child classes across the country.
    Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman, said: “St Andrew’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the things that make Scotland so special - from our rich heritage and unique culture to our delicious food and drink and warm and welcoming people. This year is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet with a huge array of exciting events planned the length and breadth of the country. There really is something to suit all tastes! With 50 million people across the world claiming Scottish ancestry and the millions of others who simply love Scotland, the 30th November is the perfect time for the world to unite and celebrate Scotland, and what better way to do that there than in Scotland itself.”
    A selection of home grown recipes are also available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday for those looking to celebrate St Andrew’s Day at home with friends and family.
    To mark the celebrations, social media users are being asked to take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to talk about their ideal St Andrew’s Day using the dedicated hashtag #mystandrewsday. Whether it’s sharing a picture of a Scottish landscape or landmark, posting a link to a Scottish recipe or sharing plans on how to celebrate St Andrews Day, #mystandrewsday will gather together everyone’s unique ways of celebrating.
    To find out what’s going on in your area and download vouchers for your St Andrew’s Day out visit www.scotland.org/standrewsday
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals is a programme of events which will run across Scotland in the lead up to St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage. The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.

    With just over a month to go, Scots and Scots at heart are being encouraged to plan their perfect St Andrew’s Day weekend by taking advantage of the huge programme of offers, activities and events taking place across the country.


    There are 560 free, two-for-one or child goes free activities and offers happening across 400 Scottish venues and attractions in the run up to St Andrew’s Day with downloadable vouchers available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday, presenting a variety of days out to suit every taste. As part of this year’s St Andrew's Day celebrations, Historic Environment Scotland will be offering thousands of free tickets to some of Scotland’s best known heritage attractions via a pre pre-registration scheme. Further details will be released later this month at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.


    In addition to the hundreds of offers going on throughout Scotland, a series of eleven funded events are taking place including the new Virgin Money Street of Light in Edinburgh and The St Andrew’s Day Fusion Festival in Dundee, through the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme, funded by the Scottish Government and managed EventScotland.


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “St Andrew’s Day is going to be bigger than ever before with a huge range of offers and events taking place in the lead up to our national day. I’d encourage people to get together to celebrate and get involved in the fun and exciting activities taking place across the country.“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     

    Those looking for outdoor activities can take advantage of two-for-one surf lessons with Coast to Coast surf school in Dunbar, kids go free canoeing in Lochgilphead and a two-for-one offer on Segway Safari tours in Loch Lomond.


    Budding young scientists will get free entry into the Stratosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen, while water babies can enjoy the huge variety of swimming centres offering free child classes across the country.
    Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman, said: “St Andrew’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the things that make Scotland so special - from our rich heritage and unique culture to our delicious food and drink and warm and welcoming people. This year is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet with a huge array of exciting events planned the length and breadth of the country. There really is something to suit all tastes! With 50 million people across the world claiming Scottish ancestry and the millions of others who simply love Scotland, the 30th November is the perfect time for the world to unite and celebrate Scotland, and what better way to do that there than in Scotland itself.”


    A selection of home grown recipes are also available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday for those looking to celebrate St Andrew’s Day at home with friends and family.


    To mark the celebrations, social media users are being asked to take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to talk about their ideal St Andrew’s Day using the dedicated hashtag #mystandrewsday. Whether it’s sharing a picture of a Scottish landscape or landmark, posting a link to a Scottish recipe or sharing plans on how to celebrate St Andrews Day, #mystandrewsday will gather together everyone’s unique ways of celebrating.
    To find out what’s going on in your area and download vouchers for your St Andrew’s Day out visit www.scotland.org/standrewsday


    Scotland’s Winter Festivals is a programme of events which will run across Scotland in the lead up to St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage. The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 29 October 2015

    Stellar Line-up Confirmed for Scotland's National Events Conference

     

    STELLAR LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL EVENTS CONFERENCE
    Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia.
    McClements has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne-based organisation for the past six years, further establishing its reputation as a world-leading major events acquisitions business.
    He gained extensive experience in sport during his time with the International Cricket Council and, prior to his current role, held senior posts in commercial, marketing and public affairs within the brewing, financial and sporting industries. 
    His address will draw a number of interesting parallels between international and community events across sport and culture in both Scotland and Victoria, and will be his first Key Note speech outside of Australia.
    Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is home to over 4 million people and is a destination celebrated for its style and sophistication. In hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting, entertainment and cultural events - including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Championships, White Night Melbourne, Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition, and the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2013 - visitors from around the world have revelled in Melbourne’s inspiring architecture, exceptional hotels, outstanding food and drink offer and friendly atmosphere. 
    Excited at the prospect of sharing his considerable knowledge with a captive audience at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, McClements said: “Scotland’s reputation as a home for major events continues to go from strength to strength and there are a number of parallels between Scotland and Victoria in the approach they’ve each adopted in driving success in this area. 
    “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share with the local events industry some insights into what Victoria has learnt over the years and continue to learn more about what is a competitive, dynamic but, above all, interesting industry.”
    The National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will examine the latest industry trends, issues and topics with insight from expert speakers and in-depth sessions on the areas affecting the Scottish events industry.
    The international context will also be considered as Scotland maintains and builds upon its reputation as an elite event destination. The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will provide a central theme to the conference and will allow all of those involved in the delivery of events to discover more about the opportunities it will provide to their businesses.
      
    Compered by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona MacLeod, the session will open with a welcome address from Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland, and Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.
    VisitScotland’s Director of Events and Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Paul Bush OBE, will then offer insight into the international context within which Scotland’s event portfolio operates. This will be followed by a panel session involving Eleanor Cannon, the first Chair of Scottish Golf; Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, Bernadette Malone CBE; and Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the recently held World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will provide an analysis of the new national events strategy until 2025 while Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will explain what its revision could mean to events of all shapes and sizes. 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, curator of TEDxGlasgow, will also lead an innovation-themed discussion and reflect upon the exciting opportunities new developments could bring to events in Scotland. 
    In-depth sessions on key topics affecting the industry will also feature events experts to complete the not-to-be missed line-up.
    Delegates can sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot. Register before midnight on 31st October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.
    The full list of confirmed speakers for the National Events Conference is as follows:
    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive Victorian Major Events Company, Melbourne
    Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events
    Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf
    Bernadette Malone CBE, Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council
    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland
    Marie Christie, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Development
    Neil Brownlee, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Business Tourism 
    Paul McGreal, owner of Durty Events and Race Director, Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon 
    Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink
    Kresanna Aigner, Director, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
    Angus Gordon Lennox, Executive Chairman at Gordon Castle
    Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable
    Kevin Sewell, Scottish Borders Council 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, Curator TEDxGlasgow
    Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
    For more information on the conference and further details of the full programme, visit the conference website: www.nationaleventsconference.scot.Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia.

    Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia. Brendan McClements has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne-based organisation for the past eight years, further establishing its reputation as a world-leading major events acquisitions business.


    He gained extensive experience in sport during his time with the International Cricket Council and, prior to his current role, held senior posts in commercial, marketing and public affairs within the brewing, financial and sporting industries. 


    His address will draw a number of interesting parallels between international and community events across sport and culture in both Scotland and Victoria, and will be his first Key Note speech outside of Australia.
    Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is home to over 4 million people and is a destination celebrated for its style and sophistication. In hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting, entertainment and cultural events - including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Championships, White Night Melbourne, Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition, and the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2013 - visitors from around the world have revelled in Melbourne’s inspiring architecture, exceptional hotels, outstanding food and drink offer and friendly atmosphere. 


    Excited at the prospect of sharing his considerable knowledge with a captive audience at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, McClements said:

    “Scotland’s reputation as a home for major events continues to go from strength to strength and there are a number of parallels between Scotland and Victoria in the approach they’ve each adopted in driving success in this area. 


    “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share with the local events industry some insights into what Victoria has learnt over the years and continue to learn more about what is a competitive, dynamic but, above all, interesting industry.”


    The National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will examine the latest industry trends, issues and topics with insight from expert speakers and in-depth sessions on the areas affecting the Scottish events industry.


    The international context will also be considered as Scotland maintains and builds upon its reputation as an elite event destination. The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will provide a central theme to the conference and will allow all of those involved in the delivery of events to discover more about the opportunities it will provide to their businesses.  

     

    Compered by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona MacLeod, the session will open with a welcome address from Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland, and Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.


    VisitScotland’s Director of Events and Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Paul Bush OBE, will then offer insight into the international context within which Scotland’s event portfolio operates. This will be followed by a panel session involving Eleanor Cannon, the first Chair of Scottish Golf; Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, Bernadette Malone CBE; and Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the recently held World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.


    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will provide an analysis of the new national events strategy until 2025 while Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will explain what its revision could mean to events of all shapes and sizes. 


    Gurjit Singh Lalli, curator of TEDxGlasgow, will also lead an innovation-themed discussion and reflect upon the exciting opportunities new developments could bring to events in Scotland. 


    In-depth sessions on key topics affecting the industry will also feature events experts to complete the not-to-be missed line-up.


    Delegates can sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot.


    Register before midnight on 31st October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.


    The full list of confirmed speakers for the National Events Conference is as follows:

     

    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive Victorian Major Events Company, Melbourne
    Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events
    Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf
    Bernadette Malone CBE, Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council
    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland
    Marie Christie, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Development
    Neil Brownlee, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Business Tourism 
    Paul McGreal, owner of Durty Events and Race Director, Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon 
    Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink
    Kresanna Aigner, Director, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
    Angus Gordon Lennox, Owner at Gordon Castle, venue for the Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair

    Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable

    Kevin Sewell, Scottish Borders Council 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, Curator TEDxGlasgow
    Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

     

    For more information on the conference and further details of the full programme, visit the conference website: www.nationaleventsconference.scot

    Category: Industry News

  • 29 October 2015

    Scotland wins the right to host The 2019 Solheim Cup

    The Solheim Cup will be played at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019 after the Ladies European Tour voted to stage the event in Scotland, the Home of Golf for the third time in its history.

    The event is regarded as the biggest tournament in women’s golf and will pit the best female professional golfers in Europe against their United States counterparts, attracting a huge worldwide audience and media profile for the host country.

    And now, just five years on from hosting what was dubbed the “best-ever” Ryder Cup in September 2014, The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles will be the venue for the biggest event in women’s golf following Scotland’s successful bid.

    Commenting on the news that the Ladies European Tour’s Board voted in favour of Scotland, The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland MSP, said: “This is tremendous news, not only for golf tourism and events in Scotland but for Scotland as a whole. As a nation we take a huge amount of pride in welcoming major events to our country and in women’s golf they don’t come any bigger than The Solheim Cup.

    “The outstanding success of 2014 still looms large in the memory and I am delighted that Gleneagles and Scotland will once again play host to a major international team golf event. It will help cement Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and the perfect stage for major golf events and help inspire a new generation of children to take up the game invented in their home country.”

    Scotland’s bid, which was led by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and backed by The Scottish Government, was submitted in August and received huge support from stars across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum.

    Following the initial submission, a delegation from the Ladies European Tour visited Gleneagles as part of an official site inspection, where they met key partners who will be involved in the staging of the event including VisitScotland, The Scottish Government, Gleneagles, Perth & Kinross Council, Transport Scotland and Police Scotland. To show the nation’s support for the bid, they were also welcomed at The Scottish Parliament by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health Jamie Hepburn.

    Bernard Murphy, Managing Director of The Gleneagles Hotel, said: “We are extremely proud to be chosen as the host venue for The 2019 Solheim Cup. Gleneagles has a great history of holding major international events and we are delighted to be able to add The Solheim Cup to that list. We look forward to welcoming the teams and spectators from both sides in 2019 to take part in what we are sure will be yet another memorable event.”

    The Solheim Cup has grown in stature since it was last held in Scotland at Loch Lomond in 2000. The event at Gleneagles is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators as well as being screened to hundreds of millions of homes across the globe.

    Much like The Ryder Cup in 2014, Scotland will look to capitalise on the legacy associated with hosting such a major international sporting event. A key focus will be looking to drive participation in the game, with a particular emphasis on junior and family participation.

    The event will also add to Scotland’s already impressive portfolio of world-class golf events lined up in future years, which includes The Open Championship in 2016 and 2018, the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017 in addition to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open on an annual basis.

    It will also take place just a year after the recently-announced inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in 2018, which will see professional men and women golfers compete for the first time in the same competition.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: “Hosting major international sporting events is a key strand in our National Events Strategy, The Perfect Stage, and the fact that we can now add The 2019 Solheim Cup to an already envied list is fantastic news for Scotland.

    “Golf is one of our key drivers for inbound tourism and hosting The Solheim Cup in 2019 will ensure that we continue to play on the world stage when it comes to major golf events. We are looking forward to once again welcoming spectators from Europe and the US and showing the world how Scotland embraces major events.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    GB men make history with World Championship silver

    Britain’s gymnasts have once again made history as the men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis have taken silver at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow our greatest ever artistic gymnastics World Championships team result.

     

    The GB men, who have never taken a world team medal, finished with 270.345, just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan (270.818) and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China (269.959). The silver medal was sealed with the last performances of the championships as the Hydro Arena awaited the placing’s, finally the scoreboard revealing the result confirming Great Britain’s standing amongst the best gymnastic teams in the world.


    The British men’s competition got off to a great start with Louis Smith performing a difficult pommel routine under the pressure of opening the campaign, scoring 15.333. Brinn Bevan’s huge shout of “come on” to the crowd showed how happy he was with his pommel with Max Whitlock last up produced an outstanding routine for our top score of 15.700.


    GB then moved to rings where Max Whitlock was again in good form scoring 14.400, the roar of the crowd indicated ScotsmanDan Purvis was next up and he was solid for 14.333, Nile Wilson the last up with an impressive 14.933. 


    Brinn Bevan on vault showed no nerves in his first World Championships, his double pike Tsukahara scoring 15.133. Max triple twisted to 15.033 and Kristian Thomas followed with a double piked Yurchenko vault with 15.333. After three rotations this placed GB third in at the half way mark. 


    Max lead the way once more on parallel bars with a 15.033, Nile Wilson who has made the parallel bars final had some difficulty but battled well for a score of 15.033. Dan Purvis then produced a superb 15.466 to regain the momentum and keep the team in third heading to high bar as the pressure intensified.


    Max again was the man to calm the nerves, executing an impressive routine with a near perfect landing for 15.000 points.Kristian Thomas’s routine was packed with difficult release moves, re-catching with cross arms to the amazement of the crowd and impressing the judges for another 15.000 for GB. Nile Wilson had the whole arena focussed on his routine and rose to the challenge, the arena and his teammates erupting after his clean routine scored him 14.833.


    Heading into the final apparatus, GB needed to score in the mid 14s to overtake Russia and solid scores above 15 to overtake gymnastic greats and the reigning world champions China. Kristian started off GB’s campaign with a strong routine packed with difficulty, a few small steps on landing but it was clean for 14.600 to keep GB in contention. Up next, Dan proved his consistency at high level competition and completed an outstanding routine for a high 15.400. Then came the question, could Max score in the mid to high 15s to overtake China? The answer was yes, Max stuck cold nearly every landing to score 15.766. 


    Max Whitlock led the team competing on all apparatus and summed up the achievements saying: “To be honest there was pressure but the amount of support that goes with that was unbelievable. The crowd were absolutely crazy today and I think that has helped us get these silver medals that are round our necks now. The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.”


    Teammate Nile Wilson proud of the result: “That Olympic medal has spurred us all on made us all believe that we are one of the best countries in the world at gymnastics. To be a part of this team was incredible. We were all relentless out there and hit every routine and you can’t ask for more than that.” 


    Full results.


    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships continues with the women’s all-around final tomorrow (Thursday 29th October) with Britain’s Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler fighting for world glory. Follow the action LIVE on BBC Two from 7pm.

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    Gilmour faces big tests in Scottish Open draw

    Kirsty Gilmour learned the size of her task if she is to lift the Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles title for the first time in Glasgow next month.

     The Commonwealth silver medallist and recent Dutch Open Grand Prix winner is top seed at the Emirates Arena from November 18-22 and she has drawn a start against a qualifier in the first round.

     But she is then likely to meet Denmark’s Bulgarian International winner Natalia Koch Rohde in her second contest and, if the draw unravels according to seeding, Swiss seventh seed Sabrina Jaquet and German third seed Karin Schnaase, whom Gilmour defeated to win the Dutch title, will bar her path to the final.

     Second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales has the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds in the shape of Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt, Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri and Ireland’s Chloe Magee in her half of the draw.

     In the men’s singles the Scotland challenge is once again led by Kieran Merrilees but he faces two-time former champion and 11th seed Anand Pawar of India in the first round. Ben Torrance, the young prospect who reached the second round last year, will do so again if he can overcome Mateusz Dubowski while Matthew Carder meets another Pole in Michal Rogalski.

     Denmark’s top seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus faces Frenchman Lucas Corvee in his first contest while England’s two-time champion and second seed Rajiv Ouseph starts against Czech No.1 Petr Koukal.

     Scotland’s men’s doubles hopes Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh failed to get the luck of the draw as they face a first-round test against second seeds Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge. The England pair are leading the GB Olympic race to qualify for Rio next summer in men’s doubles.

     If Campbell and MacHugh can pull off a shock they could face team-mates Alex Dunn and Josh Neil in the second round. But the youngsters would first need to overcome German pair Andreas Heinz and Fabian Holzer.

     Former men’s doubles winner Robert Blair is again giving young prospect Adam Hall the benefit of his experience but they face a hard test against another German pair in Raphael Beck and Peter Kaesbauer.

     In the women’s doubles Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell received a first-round bye when the draw was announced today but they gained scant reward as they must take on top seeds and defending champions Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva of Bulgaria in the second round.

     The draw was also tough on Rebekka Findlay and Kirsten Geals, who must defeat Linda Efler and Franziska Volkmann in the first round if they are to earn a crack at a second German pair in second seeds Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszeski while Ciara Torrance and Toni Woods will take on Japan’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hiroto.

     Hall and O’Donnell carry Scotland’s hopes into the mixed doubles but they face a tall order against seventh seeds Gaetan Mittelheiser and Audrey Fontaine of France.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations have made this the biggest entry since 2010 thanks to the Olympic qualifying race and the fact that Scotland will be staging the 2017 World Championships in the Emirates Arena.

     BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We knew the draw would be tough on our players given the strength of this year’s entry. But we are delighted to be able to offer this quality of competition to our ever-growing badminton audience.”

     Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will see some of the world’s finest players come together for an incredibly exciting occasion, and we are delighted to be supporting it in 2015. Evidenced by the strength of the draw, the event is set to provide a tremendous experience for spectators at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

     To view the full draw go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389

    Category: International Events

  • 28 October 2015

    Historic World Gymnastics Championship team bronze for GB

    Great Britain’s women’s gymnastics team have made history at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow by winning world bronze at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, the first ever team medal won by Great Britain at a World Championships.

    The team of Rebecca Downie, Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Ruby Harrold and Kelly Simm sensationally overtook powerhouses Russia to clinch the bronze medal in style at their home championships scoring 172.380 behind the USA (181.338) and China (176.164).

    After a having to count a fall on their first piece of apparatus, the bars, the girls needed to be on top form as they progressed through the competition. Becky Downie anchored the team with an impressive 14.833 on what is her specialist piece, to keep to girls in contention. Moving on to beam, the British girls looked calm and confident as they went through cleanly, at this point in the competition the only country to do so, Ellie Downie scoring the top mark with 14.133. Moving on to floor the girls looked incredible as they powered through difficult tumbles and nailed their landings, all the while the home crowd cheering their every move. Pocket-rocket Claudia Fragapane brought the house down with her routine and her score of 14.733. Moving onto the final apparatus, GB had to score in the high 14’s minimum to overtake Russia who had troubles on the bars and beam. Claudia and Amy produced some superb vaults to put GB right in the mix and it all came down to Ellie Downie, she produced the vault of her life to score a worlds class 15.133 to seal the deal and take the historic bronze medal.

    Ellie Downie spoke after about clinching the bronze medal with her vault: “It was quite nerve-racking, I could hear the crowd and all of the girls getting behind me so, I’m so proud of these guys I love them all so much!”

    Sister Rebecca Downie, as the most experienced team member, could not have been prouder of the girls: “I think we all knew that we had a shot coming into it today and I just tried to keep the girls just as relaxed as we could. We went shopping earlier, we’ve just had a chilled out day and tried to keep the mood pretty light. After the first mistake on bars, I was like, it’s never over until the end that’s what GB is about we fight for everything and I am so proud of all of them, it’s just amazing!”

    Full results.
    Watch the girl’s reaction after they received their medal.

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships continues tonight, as the British boys go for gold in the men’s team final with coverage on BBC Two from 7pm.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 October 2015

    Scotland's Solheim Cup bid receives star backing

    As Scotland awaits a decision this week to determine whether its submission to host The 2019 Solheim Cup is successful, stars from across the world of golf, sport and media have given their backing to the bid.

    The Scottish bid, which proposes staging the biennial event at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019, looks to bring the event back to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years and a decision is expected to be made by the Ladies European Tour Board of Directors on Thursday 29 October.

    It has already received backing from top names in women’s golf from both sides of the Atlantic with American duo Paula Creamer and Cheyenne Woods joining proud Scots Catriona Matthew, Kylie Walker and Carly Booth in voicing their support.

    Now the bid has received further backing from a plethora of famous names across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum, each of whom recorded a personal message in support of Scotland’s bid to send to the Ladies European Tour.

    Those backing the bid include Scotland’s leading male golfers Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie and Marc Warren; former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance; Fed Cup captain Judy Murray; Scotland rugby captain Greig Laidlaw; Olympic Curling medallist Eve Muirhead; Olympic Gymnastics medallist Louis Smith; Scottish women’s football captain Gemma Fay as well as sports broadcasters Dougie Donnelly, Hazel Irvine, Sarah Stirk and Cara Robinson.

    Irvine, a long-time presenter for the BBC’s golf coverage, said: “I am hugely excited about our bid to host the Solheim Cup for a third time. I was there at Dalmahoy in Edinburgh for the 1992 match. It was the very first time that Europe won the Cup and it remains one of my most precious memories in almost 30 years of working in golf.

    “How appropriate and exciting that moment should be in Scotland, the Home of Golf. Scotland has played a significant role in events since that time in 1992 and helped to raise the profile of the women's game. Who can forget the impact, profile and support that women's golf enjoyed when the Ricoh Women's British Open came to St Andrews for the first time in 2007 and again in 2013? 

    “Moreover, The 2014 Ryder Cup demonstrated, beyond doubt, that Gleneagles is a fabulous venue for a trans-continental golf match. It produced a world-class event last year and did so with great class and grace.  I strongly believe the crowds would flock back to Perthshire in their droves to witness the best women players from Europe and the United States go head to head in 2019.”

    Torrance, a vice captain to Paul McGinley in the European Team at Gleneagles in 2014, added: “We all saw the terrific spectacle of The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the magnificent support from the Scottish crowds there. It’s time we got the Solheim Cup back to Scotland to give the women the chance to represent their countries in the Home of Golf.”

    The Scottish bid, which is led by VisitScotland and supported by The Scottish Government, proposes staging the event on the world-renowned PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, which hosted The Ryder Cup in 2014. There is also a bid to stage the event at Bro Hoff Slott in Sweden.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We have delivered a strong and comprehensive bid to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, a tried and trusted venue with great experience of hosting major events.

    “We are looking forward to the decision on Thursday, after which we hope to be working towards staging the best-ever Solheim Cup in Scotland in 2019.”

  • 27 October 2015

    Gilmour top seed at Scottish Open Grand Prix

    Kirsty Gilmour will go into the Scottish Open Grand Prix as favourite for the women’s singles title after the seedings were announced by the Badminton World Federation.

     The Scotland No. 1 and leading GB player is top seed after her victories at the Forza Prague International and Yonex Dutch Open helped lift her to her current No. 24 in the world rankings. That makes her the highest-ranked player in the draw as she bids to better her runners-up spot in 2013 and semi-final place last year at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

     She was, of course, also runner-up at the Commonwealth Games 14 months ago at the Emirates and will be up against strong competition again when the five-day Scottish Open gets under way on November 18.

     Gilmour will have to withstand the challenge from Spain’s second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales and third seed Karin Schnaase, the German player she defeated to win the Dutch title. But as Gilmour said: “It’s always a treat to play in Glasgow. I look forward to it every year.”

     This year’s entry is so strong that Gilmour is the only Scot seeded across the five draws. But promising youngster Adam Hall and Eleanor O’Donnell are top qualifying seeds in the mixed doubles while Ben Torrance, who was originally top seed in the men's singles qualifying, has moved up into the main draw. Julie MacPherson has been promoted from the reserve list to join Holly Newall in women's singles qualifying.

     Kieran Merrilees will once again lead Scotland’s men’s singles challenge where two-time champion Rajiv Ouseph is second seed behind Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. Ireland’s Scott Evans is third seed while Finland’s defending champion Ville Lang, who is another two-time winner, is only  No. 9 seed in a strong men’s singles line-up.

     In the men’s doubles India’s Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who have reached five finals this season and won the Belgium International title, are top seeds ahead of England pair Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis. Atttri and Reddy are bidding to be India’s first men’s doubles winners at the Scottish Open.

     Defending champions Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva are top women’s doubles seeds with Germany’s Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszewski No. 2 seeds and last year’s runners-up Heather Olver and Lauren Smith of England at No. 3. The England pair defeated the Germans in last year’s semi-finals.

     In the mixed doubles Germany’s world No. 14s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels will start as favourites as Fuchs looks to add to his 2008 title triumph with Annekatrin Lillie. Last year's men's doubles winner Mathias Christiansen is also among the seeds with his Danish partner Lena Grebak and Poland's former European champions Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba will also be strong contenders.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations have entered this year’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are delighted with the quality of the entry but I am especially pleased that Kirsty is top seed in the singles. It is a reflection of all the hard work she has put in recently and that has been rewarded by her successes in the last four weeks, particularly in winning her first Grand Prix title in Holland.

     “But Kirsty won’t be the only top player in action next month and it promises to be a fabulous tournament.”

     Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will bring together some of the best talents from the world of badminton and we are delighted to be supporting the event in 2015. Almost 300 athletes and thousands of spectators will converge on Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and I think each will agree that it is an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

     Tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are still on sale. Go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk for details and to book your tickets.

     For the full list of seeds go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389

     

    Category: International Events

  • 26 October 2015

    5,000 DRAGON PROTECTORS DESCEND ON ANGUS

    As an ancient dragon prepares to spend its final week in an Angus park, organisers of DragonQuest are revealing that 5,000 visitors have explored the magical woods of Monikie Country Park since the event began – and that the dragon will return!

    DragonQuest is a theatrical, mystery spectacular created especially for the woods of Monikie.  With the final show taking part on Sunday 1 November, countless 3D fairies, trolls, goblins, hovering flies and, of course, the breath-taking dragon itself, will then leave the park they have been inhabiting since the event began on Wednesday 7 October. 

    However, Vision Mechanics, the Edinburgh-based theatre company behind the show, are promising that the event will return next year due to its ‘overwhelming success’ to date.

    Symon Macintyre, Artistic Director, Vision Mechanics said, “As we enter the final week, we are absolutely delighted that 5,000 people have joined us on our DragonQuest so far.  We have not only achieved our targets but exceeded them, and all expectations we had for the show.  We have reached out to audiences in Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Fife and Perthshire, opening their eyes to an entirely new style of theatre, and early indications show that ticket sales remain very healthy for the final few days.”

    However, Mr Macintyre added, “The challenge ahead is to develop DragonQuest further, to take it to the next level and meet our audiences’ growing expectations.  We are hugely grateful to our funders but, to make DragonQuest even bigger and better, and to help it evolve, we are looking to secure a major sponsor to fund new creatures, installations and more lighting.  This month’s audiences are all now members of the Dragon Protection League and next year, it’s our hope and intention to secure more funding to take them on the next step of the journey - an even bigger and better one.”

    DragonQuest has been supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.  Meanwhile, arts workshops with children and young people to produce stunning dragon scarers for Monikie Country Park and local schools were funded by The Gannochy Trust, The CashBack for Creativity Open Arts Fund and Creative Scotland.

    As well as traditional theatrical treats, illuminations and music, a downloadable App allows visitors to reveal what was hidden - a world of magical creatures which they can scan and snap for social media, friends and family alike.  Indeed, the technology is the first ever use of Augmented Reality (AR) in a live theatre performance.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said, “We are delighted to support DragonQuest, attracting impressive crowds to Angus to experience this fantastical evening show. The stunning setting of Monikie Woods combined with the event’s immersive storytelling and state-of-the-art technology, demonstrates just why Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

     Tickets remain available for certain performances this week, and are available from The Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1AW - telephone 01241 435800, email info@webstertheatre.co.uk or via www.webstertheatre.co.uk.

    The Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-6pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm. On performance nights, the Box Office hours will be extended, changing to Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-7.30-pm and on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm-7.30pm.

    For further information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk and Facebook page - facebook.com/DarkWoodDragonQuest.

    For more information, please contact Vision Mechanics – telephone (0131) 554 8923, email info@visionmechanics.org or website www.visionmechanics.org.

    Category: National Events

  • 23 October 2015

    Aberdeen announced as the venue for the LEN European Junior Championships

    LEN, British Swimming, Scottish Swimming and Event Scotland are pleased to announce that Aberdeen has been awarded with the LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships in 2020.

    The competition will see the continent’s best young swimmers and divers come to Scotland for the first time. The 2020 event will be hosted at Aberdeen Sports Village’s Aquatics Centre, which opened in 2014 and boasts a 50m 10 lane competition pool with spectator seating for 500 and 25m six lane pool with full floating floor and full Olympic standard diving facilities, including springboards and platforms up to 10 metres, with spectator seating for 130.

    The 16-day competition will be supported by an excellent volunteer and staff base who have experience of world class events like Duel in the Pool and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes said: “We are excited to welcome the LEN European Junior Championships to the UK. This event will no doubt be the biggest competition athletes of that age group will have competed at.

    “The new pool will provide everything the athletes could need and I know we will see some excellent performances through the competition.”

    Jan Griffiths, Acting Chief Executive, Aberdeen Sports Village commented: “Aberdeen Sports Village is absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the hosting of the 2020 Championships. 

    “We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to deliver a world class event, and welcoming Europe's top junior swimmers and divers to the City.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said: "We are delighted to be hosting the European Junior Championships 2020 in Aberdeen. We look forward to welcoming the swimming stars of the future to compete in Scotland, the perfect stage for events such as this."

    Category: International Events

  • 23 October 2015

    Gymnastics and golf join prestigious line up

     

    Gymnastics and Golf are to join the prestigious line up for the European Sports Championships as organisers set the date for Glasgow and Berlin in 2018, it was announced today.
    The two new additions complete the impressive roster for Scotland alongside Aquatics, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon. Berlin will also host the 2018 European Athletics Championships as part of the inaugural event.
    The dates of for the event were confirmed today as the 1st to 12th August 2018, just four years after Glasgow staged what were widely regarded as the best ever Commonwealth Games in 2014.
    The new sporting partnership will create a strong multi-sport event on the world stage, attracting a projected television audience of around 850 million and an even wider audience via multiple digital platforms.
    Following the decision of the European Sports Championships 2018 Board today, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be staged in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro, currently the venue for the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Scotland’s Dan Purvis hailed the return of another world-class gymnastics event to Glasgow.
    The brand new European Golf Team Championships will take place at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
    This innovative new approach by the sports’ governing bodies, who announced their plans earlier this year, bring six existing European Championships together with the new Golf event in a sustainable format once every four years to continue to build their prestige, profile and media exposure.
    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin.
    Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in
    partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy
    achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games. With a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership also
    planned with Berlin, Glasgow will be promoted across Europe as a tourist and business destination.
    With sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism
    bringing £495m a year to the city, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s
    economic success. As well as Glasgow’s businesses enjoying a direct economic impact of more than
    £200m over the period of the Commonwealth Games, around 6000 young people gained jobs or
    apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.
    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the consortium for the continent’s public service free-to-air
    broadcasters including the BBC, will be the broadcast partner for the combined championships, which
    are expected to generate more than 2750 hours of programming across Europe’s biggest
    broadcasters.
    The Gymnastics event will include both the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Championships with around
    600 athletes competing in Glasgow over six days.
    The Golf event will be staged over five days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team
    competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations
    included.
    Commonwealth Games, gold silver and bronze, medal winner, Scotland's Dan Purvis, said: "Glasgow
    is showing exactly what it is capable of during the current FIG World Championships at the SSE Hydro
    and did so during the 2014 Commonwealth Games but it can now look ahead to 2018 and the
    excitement of the inaugural European Sports Championships.
    "It is fantastic that gymnastics is now part of this exciting new multi-sport event and for the athletes it
    will be great to return to Glasgow - the scene of so many memorable sporting moments over the last
    two years."
    Britain's greatest ever female gymnast, triple World Champion, Beth Tweddle MBE said: "The 2018
    European Sports Championships is coming to Glasgow during what is a golden era for sport across the
    UK - with gymnastics taking centre stage.
    "Sport changes lives and events like this will allow the city to continue the legacy journey started at the
    2009 World Championships in London, helping inspire the next generation of young gymnasts."
    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “The European Sports Championships is shaping up to be a tremendous event for Scotland and Scottish sport. It’s great news that two more sports have been added to the roster.
    “There is no better place than Scotland to play and watch golf. I’m delighted that Gleneagles has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural European Golf Team Championship. If last year’s Ryder Cup is anything to go by, it promises to be a fantastic event and a great showcase for what Scotland has to offer.
    “I’m also delighted to be able to welcome another major gymnastics event to Scotland. This is a growing sport, and hosting major competitions like this will only help to build interest in gymnastics in this country.”
    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “With all the sports now confirmed for 2018 Glasgow is again ready to show the excellence and innovation with which it can stage world class events on the global stage.
    “Major events have become a crucial part of Glasgow’s economy and we can now look forward with tremendous excitement and focus to partnering with this fantastic group of sports to continue to create opportunity and help improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our citizens.
    “Hosting these world class events not only projects Glasgow across the world as a fantastic tourist destination but, for example, has helped us increase attendance at sporting facilities by 50 per cent, and increased the number of people joining sports clubs by a staggering 288 per cent.”

    Gymnastics and Golf are to join the prestigious line up for the European Sports Championships as organisers set the date for Glasgow and Berlin in 2018, it was announced today.

    The two new additions complete the impressive roster for Scotland alongside Aquatics, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon. Berlin will also host the 2018 European Athletics Championships as part of the inaugural event.

    The dates of for the event were confirmed today as the 1st to 12th August 2018, just four years after Glasgow staged what were widely regarded as the best ever Commonwealth Games in 2014.

    The new sporting partnership will create a strong multi-sport event on the world stage, attracting a projected television audience of around 850 million and an even wider audience via multiple digital platforms.

    Following the decision of the European Sports Championships 2018 Board today, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be staged in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro, currently the venue for the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Scotland’s Dan Purvis hailed the return of another world-class gymnastics event to Glasgow.

    The brand new European Golf Team Championships will take place at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

    This innovative new approach by the sports’ governing bodies brings six existing European Championships together with the new Golf event in a sustainable format once every four years to continue to build their prestige, profile and media exposure.

    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin.

    Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games. With a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership also planned with Berlin, Glasgow will be promoted across Europe as a tourist and business destination.

    With sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism bringing £495m a year to the city, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s economic success. As well as Glasgow’s businesses enjoying a direct economic impact of more than £200m over the period of the Commonwealth Games, around 6000 young people gained jobs or apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the consortium for the continent’s public service free-to-air broadcasters including the BBC, will be the broadcast partner for the combined championships, which are expected to generate more than 2750 hours of programming across Europe’s biggest broadcasters.

    The Gymnastics event will include both the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Championships with around 600 athletes competing in Glasgow over six days.

    The Golf event will be staged over five days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations included.

    Commonwealth Games, gold silver and bronze, medal winner, Scotland's Dan Purvis, said: "Glasgow is showing exactly what it is capable of during the current FIG World Championships at the SSE Hydro and did so during the 2014 Commonwealth Games but it can now look ahead to 2018 and the excitement of the inaugural European Sports Championships."

    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “The European Sports Championships is shaping up to be a tremendous event for Scotland and Scottish sport. It’s great news that two more sports have been added to the roster.

    “There is no better place than Scotland to play and watch golf. I’m delighted that Gleneagles has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural European Golf Team Championship. If last year’s Ryder Cup is anything to go by, it promises to be a fantastic event and a great showcase for what Scotland has to offer.

    “I’m also delighted to be able to welcome another major gymnastics event to Scotland. This is a growing sport, and hosting major competitions like this will only help to build interest in gymnastics in this country.”

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 23 October 2015

    Sports Minister Tracey Crouch visits World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow to support British Gymnasts on their Road to Rio

    UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch is to visit Glasgow’s Hydro Arena to see the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games as the city stages the World Gymnastics Championships.

     The event - the second most prestigious event in the sport after the Olympic Games - is being supported with over £1 million of public funding from UK Sport, backed by the National Lottery and UK Government investment.

     Glasgow, as a world-class sports city, is welcoming over 500 athletes from 90 countries with over 50,000 tickets sold for the event - the largest ever for a gymnastics event in the UK.

     The World Gymnastics Championships is a key qualification event for Rio 2016. The top eight teams who qualify for the final of the Championships will secure their place for the team competition at the 2016 Olympic Games.

     Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said:

     “Hosting the World Gymnastic Championships is another coup for Scotland and a real legacy from last year’s Commonwealth Games. The British gymnasts will get an incredible reception from the fans in the Hydro Arena and ticket sales have been really strong. I am delighted that we are supporting the event, through UK Sport, that will further strengthen Britain’s reputation for staging major events but also provide a boost to the economy in Scotland.”

     Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “Bringing world class events to Scotland is a key part of our commitment to building a strong legacy from the success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

     “Not only does the World Gymnastics Championships make use of one of Scotland’s world-class venues, it also gives thousands of people the opportunity to witness outstanding sport first hand and delivers significant economic impact for Scotland.

     “There’s an important performance benefit too as we know our talented gymnasts will be inspired by the passionate home crowd as they strive to qualify for Rio 2016.

     “Staging this prestigious event would not have been possible without the wonderful support of The National Lottery and key partners including EventScotland, Glasgow City Council and British Gymnastics.”

     Team GB gymnast, Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Dan Purvis said:

     “The whole British team are excited and ready to compete in Glasgow. Having the World Championships on home soil is a massive boost for us.

     “The home crowd make a huge difference and definitely add that extra percentage of motivation and inspire us to excel. Competing at London 2012 and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year proved how all our gymnasts rise to the occasion with the massive support from the British crowd and I’m sure that will be the case again as we aim for Olympic qualification at these vital World Championships.”

     Paul Bush  OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

     “Scotland is now well established as one of the world’s elite event-hosting nations and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow will further contribute to its reputation as the perfect stage for events. Following a remarkable 2014, during which the nation was the focus of the sporting world as host of the Commonwealth Games and 2014 Ryder Cup, Scotland now has the capacity, capability, credibility and confidence to welcome sport’s biggest occasions.

     “We are highly excited about the prospect of visions of The SSE Hydro and Glasgow being beamed around the world during this critical Rio 2016 Olympics qualifying event, as well as the associated economic benefits the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship will bring to Scotland as a whole.”       

    The World Gymnastics Championships is one of 16 major sporting events being held in Scotland between 2013 and 2019, backed by UK Sport funding. The body is investing £3.4 million of National Lottery and UK government funds into the events that is expected to deliver at least £24 million to Scotland’s economy.

     Forthcoming events in Scotland include the Cycling Track World Cup in Glasgow in 2016 and the World Badminton Championships in the city in 2017.

    Category: International Events

  • 22 October 2015

    Sign up to The List's Scotland Festival and Event Organiser News

    A quarterly email dedicated to business news for Scotland’s festival and event organisers from the publisher of the annual guide to Scotland’s Festivals.

    This quarterly email will keep you up to date with news and developments related to festivals and events in Scotland - industry news, funding information, legislation, ticketing trends, market intelligence and opportunities to promote your festival. The newsletter comes from The List, publishers of The Guide to Scotland's Festivals, each January.

    To recieve the newsletter sign up here. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 21 October 2015

    Virgin Money Street of Light Launches - Exciting new event as part of Edinburgh's Christmas

     

    Virgin Money Street of LIGHT
    30 November – 24 December
    Tickets now available 
    Choirs and music announced
    Visit www.virginmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve FREE tickets. 
    Up to 250,000 people are expected to enjoy a major, new free event for Edinburgh’s Christmas – and boost local businesses in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town at the same time.
    Edinburgh’s Christmas already drives enormous footfall to Princes Street and St Andrew Square, creating significant economic benefit for Edinburgh (£118 million in 2014/15), and now the Royal Mile and the Old Town are set to see numbers swell thanks to The Virgin Money Street of Light.
    This stunning new addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas launches on St Andrew's Day (Monday 30 November) and runs till Christmas Eve, with a specially designed architectural installation of 60,000+ lights stretching along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. Enter this stunning canopy of light, rising up to 19 metres high and listen to music from choirs from across Edinburgh in specially commissioned recordings and synchronised to the lights.
    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
    The music comes from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.
    The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will sing extracts from Stella Natalis and Joy To The World (Karl Jenkins) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Bell.
    The Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus will sing Gaudete (Traditional), The Flood (Take That), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), Jolene (Dolly Parton), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (The Beatles) and Deck The Halls (Traditional).
    The Edinburgh Police Choir will sing One Day Like This (Elbow), Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), Get Lucky (Daft Punk/Phinarrell Williams) and Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen).
    The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union will sing extracts from The Messiah (Handel) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Michael Bawtree 
    The event runs for 25 days from 30 November to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The schedule of choirs and performances is at the end of this release.
    Tickets are free of charge, and 5,000 tickets will be issued for each show, giving a total capacity over the event of 250,000 people. 
    The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association.
    People are being encouraged to share their highlights and images of the Virgin Money Street of Light on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday
    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly said: “We are delighted to be extending Edinburgh's Christmas this year into the Old Town with an installation that has been specially designed for this historic site, with music sung by some of Edinburgh’s finest choirs and which offers something truly unique, not just to Edinburgh but to the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Tickets are FREE and demand will be high, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment. I would also like to thank Virgin Money and Scotland's Winter Festivals for their incredible support.”  
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said “The Virgin Money Street of Light is a hugely exciting addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas programme which will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. More than 2 million people visited Edinburgh’s Christmas festival during 2014, and I’d encourage people of all ages to get involved in the celebrations this year.
    “The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage. The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.”
    Underbelly has worked closely with the Royal Mile Business Association since being first approached by them to create an event for the Royal Mile area. This unique and site specific architectural installation has been designed in such a way that the pavements will remain clear at all times allowing the free flow of pedestrians up and down this area. 
    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association said: "The Royal Mile Business Association are very proud and excited to be involved with Underbelly in bringing Edinburgh's Christmas to the Royal Mile. The contribution and efforts of our Members have all helped to support Underbelly in showcasing one of the most famous and iconic streets in Scotland with an incredible free light show that will be enjoyed by everyone. We are delighted to be associated with such a major project and it's been great to see local businesses take the opportunity to be part of such a unique and spectacular event."
    With an estimated 250,000 people expected to enjoy this magical experience over 25 days, they will be able, before and after each show to enjoy all that the businesses on the Royal Mile and Old Town have to offer.
    Mr Surinder Gold, Founding Director of Gold Brothers said: “Through our participation in the Royal Mile Business Association (RMBA), we have been involved in discussions regarding a Christmas programme for the Royal Mile since early 2014. The Royal Mile business community collectively and others understood that the vast majority of European capital cities who had large Christmas and Winter Festivals had their Old Town’s very much at the heart of it. We were all keen to see the Old Town included in the wonderful and highly successful ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’, building on the amazing offer the Royal Mile already gives our city's visitors from across the world.. We congratulate the Royal Mile Business Association for their great efforts and we applaud the producers Underbelly for bringing the Street of Light to Edinburgh and very much thank Virgin Money for their continued and expanded involvement in activities on the Royal Mile. We believe the Street of Light initiative will be an outstanding success for Edinburgh and we hope to see it grow. It has our full support for the good of the whole community, our city at large and all the visitors who come here.”
    John McCormack, GM of Bella Italia Northbridge said: “It is brilliant to be part of something so unique and fitting, not just to Edinburgh but to the historic Old Town. The event gives Christmas time visitors to Edinburgh more varied choice of attractions and a sprinkle of magic that nowhere else in the UK can offer. We at Bella look forward to you spending the festive period with us.”
    Craig Miller, General Manager at The Real Mary King’s Close commented: “We are delighted to welcome Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations to the Old Town and we are proud to be supporting the Street of Light in its inaugural year. We hope this 25-day event will encourage those who come to see the light spectacular to explore all that this historic and vibrant area has to offer. It really is a fantastic project and we can’t wait to see the Royal Mile light up this Christmas.”
    Siobhnan Leith from Heritage Portfolio said: “As an Edinburgh based catering and event design company we are delighted to support the Street of Light.  The Royal Mile is the perfect location to host this spectacular event as it will showcase Edinburgh’s dramatic history and also Scotland’s expertise in creating unforgettable experiences for visitors and locals.  Heritage Portfolio is proud to work with the grand café ‘Colonnades’ at the Signet Library which is located at the entrance to the Street of Light.  We have worked with our head chefs to create special menus for guests and families and to enjoy pre and post the light show.”
    Judith Grieve, from the Old Town Chambers said: “What an absolutely fantastic installation for Edinburgh and at a great time of year. We know our guests are going to love it!” 
    Demand for the Virgin Money Street of Light  is expected to be high. Reserve a ticket to ensure entry at virginmoneystreetoflight.com 

    Virgin Money Street of Light

    30 November – 24 December

    Tickets now available 

    Choirs and music announced

    Visit www.virginmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve FREE tickets. 

    Up to 250,000 people are expected to enjoy a major, new free event for Edinburgh’s Christmas – and boost local businesses in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town at the same time.

    Edinburgh’s Christmas already drives enormous footfall to Princes Street and St Andrew Square, creating significant economic benefit for Edinburgh (£118 million in 2014/15), and now the Royal Mile and the Old Town are set to see numbers swell thanks to The Virgin Money Street of Light.

    This stunning new addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas launches on St Andrew's Day (Monday 30 November) and runs till Christmas Eve, with a specially designed architectural installation of 60,000+ lights stretching along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk.

    Enter this stunning canopy of light, rising up to 19 metres high and listen to music from choirs from across Edinburgh in specially commissioned recordings and synchronised to the lights.

    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

    The music comes from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.

    The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will sing extracts from Stella Natalis and Joy To The World (Karl Jenkins) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Bell.

    The Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus will sing Gaudete (Traditional), The Flood (Take That), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), Jolene (Dolly Parton), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (The Beatles) and Deck The Halls (Traditional).

    The Edinburgh Police Choir will sing One Day Like This (Elbow), Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), Get Lucky (Daft Punk/Phinarrell Williams) and Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen).

    The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union will sing extracts from The Messiah (Handel) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Michael Bawtree 

    The event runs for 25 days from 30 November to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The schedule of choirs and performances is at the end of this release.

    Tickets are free of charge, and 5,000 tickets will be issued for each show, giving a total capacity over the event of 250,000 people. • The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association.
    People are being encouraged to share their highlights and images of the Virgin Money Street of Light on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday

    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly said: “We are delighted to be extending Edinburgh's Christmas this year into the Old Town with an installation that has been specially designed for this historic site, with music sung by some of Edinburgh’s finest choirs and which offers something truly unique, not just to Edinburgh but to the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Tickets are FREE and demand will be high, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment. I would also like to thank Virgin Money and Scotland's Winter Festivals for their incredible support.”  

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said “The Virgin Money Street of Light is a hugely exciting addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas programme which will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. More than 2 million people visited Edinburgh’s Christmas festival during 2014, and I’d encourage people of all ages to get involved in the celebrations this year.

    “The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage. The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.”

    Underbelly has worked closely with the Royal Mile Business Association since being first approached by them to create an event for the Royal Mile area. This unique and site specific architectural installation has been designed in such a way that the pavements will remain clear at all times allowing the free flow of pedestrians up and down this area. 

    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association said: "The Royal Mile Business Association are very proud and excited to be involved with Underbelly in bringing Edinburgh's Christmas to the Royal Mile. The contribution and efforts of our Members have all helped to support Underbelly in showcasing one of the most famous and iconic streets in Scotland with an incredible free light show that will be enjoyed by everyone. We are delighted to be associated with such a major project and it's been great to see local businesses take the opportunity to be part of such a unique and spectacular event.

    "With an estimated 250,000 people expected to enjoy this magical experience over 25 days, they will be able, before and after each show to enjoy all that the businesses on the Royal Mile and Old Town have to offer.

    Demand for the Virgin Money Street of Light  is expected to be high. Reserve a ticket to ensure entry at virginmoneystreetoflight.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 21 October 2015

    Etape Loch Ness is smiles better – entries open next week for cycle sportive in Scotland’s happiest city

    Cyclists who sign up for the 2016 Etape Loch Ness closed-road sportive are being promised grins and not grimaces – the event will lead off from a city officially recognised as the happiest place to live in Scotland.

    Inverness was also named as the second happiest place to stay in the UK in a survey undertaken earlier this year and organisers believe riders who sign up to the event – which opens for entries next week – will also leave with smiles on their faces.

    Etape Loch Ness follows a 66-mile route on closed roads from Inverness around the shores of the world-famous loch before returning to the city. It will take place on April 24 next year, and is expected to see thousands of cyclists converge on the Highlands.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “With stunning scenery, traffic-free roads and great camaraderie among the riders, Etape Loch Ness already has a reputation as being a very happy and friendly event.

    “But the fact that Inverness is now recognised as the happiest place to live in Scotland and that we are more content here with our local community than any other part of the country just adds to the feel-good factor.

    “This year we are encouraging our cyclists to #ridehappy in the lead-up to and during Etape Loch Ness. Cycling brings great joy to so many people, whether they are experienced riders looking to better their performance, or training for their first cycle sportive.

    “They might have started cycling to get fit and improve their health, or perhaps they are taking part in Etape Loch Ness to raise money for a charity that is close to their hearts. Whatever the reason, we want them to celebrate the happiness that cycling brings to their lives.”

    Etape Loch Ness is now in its third year, and 2016 is expected to follow the same pattern as the previous two years where places have been in exceptionally high demand. All places were snapped up within 72 hours last year, with a limited number of entries later made available for charity riders.

    Priority entry for 2016 will open on Tuesday, October 27 for those who have pre-registered their interest via the event website www.etapelochness.com before opening to the general public 48 hours later, subject to event capacity.

    Macmillan Cancer Support will once again be the official charity partner of Etape Loch Ness. Last year the organisation raised £170,000 at the event, while a total of £228,000 was generated for good causes.

    Malcolm adds, “The way in which Etape Loch Ness has raised so much money for charity is something that makes us as event organisers incredibly happy. Completing the course in itself is an achievement, but to do so knowing that your actions are directly helping others will really bring a smile to your face.

    “The feedback that we had from the 2015 event was really positive and as the event is garnering a reputation as a must-do sportive, we expect that demand will be high again for 2016.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, adds, “Etape Loch Ness has been an incredibly popular event since launching in 2014 and we are delighted to be supporting it again next year.

    “Traffic free roads and one of Scotland’s most stunning natural landscapes make Loch Ness the perfect stage for cycling, and I look forward to seeing thousands of participants make their way to the Highlands for Etape Loch Ness again in April.”

    To register interest in the event and to enter visit www.etapelochness.com Regular updates also appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 19 October 2015

    Celebrate St Andrew's Day this year in St Andrew Square

     

    Sunday 29th November 10am - 10pm
    Free Tickets are now available for a host of fun and family friendly events as part of the 2015 St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrew Square.
    Underbelly announce that tickets for their packed St Andrew's Day programme of FREE events can be reserved from today online at www.edinburghschristmas.com. There will be no finer place to celebrate Scotland's national day than St Andrew Square in the very heart of the city, where all the events take place. 
    The Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day celebrations are free to all, including performances within the Speigletent, which are ticketed. 
    Visitors can pre-book via www.edinburghschristmas.com.
    Throughout the day, St Andrew Square will host a diverse selection of free, fun and family-friendly events including: in the Spiegeltent, Stick Man, Royal Scottish Country Dancing, Scottish Storytelling, Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead and Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts, and out on the Main Stage, Pulse of Place, The Banana Sessions and Blazin’ Fiddles will get you dancing.
    Around the site, you will find face painting, a Haggis Hunt for the young at heart and you can also take this opportunity to sample the culinary delights of our Scottish Market.
    The celebrations in St Andrew Square on 29 November will be followed by the launch on 30 November of the Virgin Money Street of Light, a stunning architectural installation of over 60,000 lights stretching from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, set to the music of local choirs. Free tickets for the Virgin Money Street of Light are available to book online from 22 October from virginmoneystreetoflight.com.
    Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day programme and the Virgin Money Street of Light are supported as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals.
    Selected highlights include:
    Stick Man: Based on the beloved book by Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this brilliant stage adaptation of Stick Man returns to Edinburgh’s Christmas following a hit season in 2014.   Touching, funny and utterly original this award-winning show has delighted audiences across the country. Packed with puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves the show guarantees more fun than you can shake a stick at!
    Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts: Velvet-voiced Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed singer songwriters and along with his five-piece band will bring his infectious brand of Celtic Americana, from Leith via Nashville to the very heart of the city.
    Liz Lochhead: Scotland’s National Poet, multi award winner and veteran Fringe performer, in a celebration of the word - poems, monologues, characters, lyrics, theatre pieces.  “An inspirational force in British poetry… has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry … funny, feisty, full of feeling, a fantastic performer” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: ““St Andrew’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our great nation by getting involved in a diverse range of events and activities which are happening the length and breadth of the country to mark our national day.
    “Over the years Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day celebration has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from near and far to a packed programme of family friendly events and activities, which this year also includes the eagerly anticipated Virgin Money Street of Light.”
    “Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. We want to hear how people are celebrating St Andrews Day and are encouraging them to let us know on #mystandrewsday"
    Charlie Wood, Director of Underbelly, said: “We are delighted to be hosting Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations for a second year, with an all day long programme featuring some of the finest Scottish music, poetry and dance – all free - to celebrate Scotland’s national day.There will be something for everyone and it is all free so we urge people to book in advance via www.edinburghschristmas.com.”
    Roddy Smith, Chief Executive, Essential Edinburgh, said: “What better way to celebrate St Andrews Day than by attending some wonderful free entertainment in the square bearing his name. Essential Edinburgh are delighted to be working with Underbelly to provide the day of activity in the city centre, just one part of a very exciting programme for Edinburgh’s Christmas.” 
    St Andrew's Day is Scotland's national day, designed to celebrate the country's history, culture and heritage with people both at home and abroad. Share your highlights from Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day celebrations using #mystandrewsday. 
    facebook/edinburghschristmas
    @EdXmas
    Tickets for all ticketed events are available from: 
    www.edinburghschristmas.com 

    Sunday 29th November 10am - 10pm

    Free Tickets are now available for a host of fun and family friendly events as part of the 2015 St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrew Square.

    Underbelly announce that tickets for their packed St Andrew's Day programme of FREE events can be reserved from today online at www.edinburghschristmas.com.

    There will be no finer place to celebrate Scotland's national day than St Andrew Square in the very heart of the city, where all the events take place. 

    The Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day celebrations are free to all, including performances within the Speigletent, which are ticketed. 

    Visitors can pre-book via www.edinburghschristmas.com.

    Throughout the day, St Andrew Square will host a diverse selection of free, fun and family-friendly events including: in the Spiegeltent, Stick Man, Royal Scottish Country Dancing, Scottish Storytelling, Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead and Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts, and out on the Main Stage, Pulse of Place, The Banana Sessions and Blazin’ Fiddles will get you dancing.

    Around the site, you will find face painting, a Haggis Hunt for the young at heart and you can also take this opportunity to sample the culinary delights of our Scottish Market.

    The celebrations in St Andrew Square on 29 November will be followed by the launch on 30 November of the Virgin Money Street of Light, a stunning architectural installation of over 60,000 lights stretching from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, set to the music of local choirs.

    Free tickets for the Virgin Money Street of Light are available to book online from 22 October from virginmoneystreetoflight.com.

    Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day programme and the Virgin Money Street of Light are supported as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals.

    Selected highlights include:

    Stick Man: Based on the beloved book by Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this brilliant stage adaptation of Stick Man returns to Edinburgh’s Christmas following a hit season in 2014.   Touching, funny and utterly original this award-winning show has delighted audiences across the country. Packed with puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves the show guarantees more fun than you can shake a stick at!

    Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts: Velvet-voiced Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed singer songwriters and along with his five-piece band will bring his infectious brand of Celtic Americana, from Leith via Nashville to the very heart of the city.

    Liz Lochhead: Scotland’s National Poet, multi award winner and veteran Fringe performer, in a celebration of the word - poems, monologues, characters, lyrics, theatre pieces.  “An inspirational force in British poetry… has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry … funny, feisty, full of feeling, a fantastic performer” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “St Andrew’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our great nation by getting involved in a diverse range of events and activities which are happening the length and breadth of the country to mark our national day.

    “Over the years Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day celebration has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from near and far to a packed programme of family friendly events and activities, which this year also includes the eagerly anticipated Virgin Money Street of Light.”

    “Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. We want to hear how people are celebrating St Andrews Day and are encouraging them to let us know on #mystandrewsday."

    Charlie Wood, Director of Underbelly, said: “We are delighted to be hosting Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations for a second year, with an all day long programme featuring some of the finest Scottish music, poetry and dance – all free - to celebrate Scotland’s national day.There will be something for everyone and it is all free so we urge people to book in advance via www.edinburghschristmas.com.”

    Roddy Smith, Chief Executive, Essential Edinburgh, said: “What better way to celebrate St Andrews Day than by attending some wonderful free entertainment in the square bearing his name. Essential Edinburgh are delighted to be working with Underbelly to provide the day of activity in the city centre, just one part of a very exciting programme for Edinburgh’s Christmas.” 

    St Andrew's Day is Scotland's national day, designed to celebrate the country's history, culture and heritage with people both at home and abroad.

    Share your highlights from Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day celebrations using #mystandrewsday. 

    facebook/edinburghschristmas

    @EdXmas

    Tickets for all ticketed events are available from: www.edinburghschristmas.com 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 16 October 2015

    Scotland plays key role in global golf forum

    Scotland will take its seat at the biggest global platform in golf business next month when VisitScotland plays a prominent role in the HSBC Golf Business Forum in Shanghai.

    The two-day conference is the largest and most significant meeting of golf business executives and decision-makers on the planet, featuring key influencers such as PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley and John Solheim, President and CEO of PING.

    Joining the impressive list of speakers for the conference at the Pudong Shangri La Hotel, from 1-4 November, is Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, who will use the platform to discuss Scotland’s role in attracting and hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf and how the organisation uses these events to market Scotland as the Home of Golf.

    Bush, who oversees an annual investment of £3m in golf through the EventScotland team within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, said: “The HSBC Golf Business Forum is a unique gathering of the most influential people within the sport and I am honoured to have the opportunity to join that stage and to talk about Scotland’s significant role in the world of golf.

     “Scotland is one of the most recognisable brands in golf and the profile we have enjoyed thanks to hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf has been phenomenal.

    “Our investment in golf events is a key strand of our activity to promote Scotland as a global golf and tourism destination. Scotland has been the venue for some of the most dramatic and endearing moments in golf and with each event played in Scotland, new golfing history is made. There is no doubt that when golf fans round the world watch their heroes playing magnificent courses in Scotland it inspires them to learn more and to visit the country for themselves.

    “I look forward to sharing our ideas on such a global forum in Shanghai and to potentially fostering new relationships and partnerships to keep Scotland at the forefront of the game for many more years to come.”

    Scotland has enjoyed an almost unprecedented profile on the world stage in recent years thanks to staging of major golf events including The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, The Open at St Andrews and the Women’s British Open at Turnberry in the space of just 10 months.

    Scotland remains committed to hosting the biggest events in world golf with a number of Major Championships already confirmed for future years including The Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and Carnoustie in 2018,  the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017.

    In addition, Scotland is currently bidding to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, with a decision expected by the Ladies European Tour at the end of October.

    Category: Golf

  • 13 October 2015

    Cabinet Secretary and VisitScotland Chairman to open the National Events Conference 2015

    The National Events Conference 2015 at the EICC on Thursday 3 December will be opened by The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.  Ms Hyslop and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland will welcome delegates to the conference which will focus on the recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage.

    Sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot. Register before the end of October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.

    Standard ticket: £125 + VAT

    The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage will provide a central theme to the conference.  Providing an opportunity for event organisers, partners, suppliers and practitioners to find out more about the industry’s strategy and how you can maximise the opportunities for your business.

    Delegates have the opportunity to choose from the following in-depth sessions:

     

    • Developing Events - Putting on an outstanding smaller event
    • Developing Scotland - Deliver safer results
    • Developing the Industry - The opportunity: Year of Innovation, Architechture and Design

     

    The international context will also be considered looking at how to maintain and build on Scotland’s position as the Perfect Stage for events. Delegates will also be given the opportunity for valuable networking, meeting fellow events professionals and volunteers.  The Conference will start at 9am and finish at 4pm.
     
    The National Events Conference is delivered by VisitScotland's Events Directorate which encompasses EventScotland.
     
    Keep an eye on National Events Conference website, our e-newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn for further announcements relating to programme details and speakers. Join the conversation at #perfectstage


    Category: National Events

  • 13 October 2015

    Saltire Festival returns in 2015 with packed programme

     

    The programme for this year’s Saltire Festival has been launched – featuring events celebrating all things Scottish, from enjoying the outdoors to traditional music and food and drink.Once again, the Saltire Festival has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.Based around St Andrew’s Day, the Saltire Festival also celebrates East Lothian’s status as the home of our national flag. Events start this year on Monday 23 November, running to Sunday 29th, with something to suit everyone.New to the programme this year are two events at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick – The Saltire Wine and Dine and The Saltire Whisky Dinner; a Saltire Lecture in Dunbar; Scotland Through the Ages at Dirleton Castle; Dunbar Arts, Crafts and Produce Market and the Book Week Festival.Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading delivered by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with local libraries and other organisations. This year, East Lothian Library Service is combining with The Saltire Festival to provide a fantastic week of events. Highlights include an evening with celebrated crime writers Arne Dahl, Eva Dolan and Stuart Neville, in the atmospheric setting of St Mary’s parish church in Haddington; TV presenter and broadcaster, record breaking round the world cyclist and ultra endurance adventurer Mark Beaumont will be appearing at the Brunton theatre;  meet Tartan noir crime novelist Lin Anderson at Tranent library and  Ann Cleeves, author of the hugely popular Vera detective series, will be visiting Port Seton community centre. Saltire favourites from previous years’ programmes return: Appetite for Music, featuring musical entertainment and special menus at a selection of East Lothian’s top restaurants and bars; Scotland on Film at the Brunton, Musselburgh; The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse; The Saltire Haddington Farmers’ Market; John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake; The Saltire Epicurean Encounter at Haddington Corn Exchange and the Home of the Flag Celebrations on Sunday 29th November featuring a church service at Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Saltire, Laughs and Lyrics featuring music, comedy and entertainment at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington and the Saltire Concert at St Mary’s Church, Haddington.Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “I’m very much looking forward to this year’s expanded Saltire programme as it’s a great mix of favourite events and some exciting new ones. East Lothian can truly boast attractions and events to suit everyone and the Saltire Festival is a great example of this – and helps us towards achieving our aims of making East Lothian Scotland’s leading coastal leisure and food and drink destination. And of course, we’re celebrating the fact that we’re the home of the Saltire flag. It’s sure to be a great event again this year and I look forward to welcoming along locals and visitors.”Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This year’s expanded Saltire Festival programme is shaping up to be engaging and inspiring. I’m sure revellers will enjoy travelling back in time to 832AD to learn about how the Saltire was adopted as Scotland’s flag.“The event is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which this year is being provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across Scotland.”Share your highlights and images of The Saltire Festival on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsdayFor full details, visit saltirefestival.comDetails of the full book festival programme from East Lothian library service will soon be available at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/libraries   For events nationwide visit www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland
    The programme for this year’s Saltire Festival has been launched – featuring events celebrating all things Scottish, from enjoying the outdoors to traditional music and food and drink.
    Once again, the Saltire Festival has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.
    Based around St Andrew’s Day, the Saltire Festival also celebrates East Lothian’s status as the home of our national flag. Events start this year on Monday 23 November, running to Sunday 29th, with something to suit everyone.
    New to the programme this year are two events at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick – The Saltire Wine and Dine and The Saltire Whisky Dinner; a Saltire Lecture in Dunbar; Scotland Through the Ages at Dirleton Castle; Dunbar Arts, Crafts and Produce Market and the Book Week Festival.
    Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading delivered by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with local libraries and other organisations. This year, East Lothian Library Service is combining with The Saltire Festival to provide a fantastic week of events. Highlights include an evening with celebrated crime writers Arne Dahl, Eva Dolan and Stuart Neville, in the atmospheric setting of St Mary’s parish church in Haddington; TV presenter and broadcaster, record breaking round the world cyclist and ultra endurance adventurer Mark Beaumont will be appearing at the Brunton theatre;  meet Tartan noir crime novelist Lin Anderson at Tranent library and  Ann Cleeves, author of the hugely popular Vera detective series, will be visiting Port Seton community centre. 
    Saltire favourites from previous years’ programmes return: Appetite for Music, featuring musical entertainment and special menus at a selection of East Lothian’s top restaurants and bars; Scotland on Film at the Brunton, Musselburgh; The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse; The Saltire Haddington Farmers’ Market; John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake; The Saltire Epicurean Encounter at Haddington Corn Exchange and the Home of the Flag Celebrations on Sunday 29th November featuring a church service at Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Saltire, Laughs and Lyrics featuring music, comedy and entertainment at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington and the Saltire Concert at St Mary’s Church, Haddington.
    Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “I’m very much looking forward to this year’s expanded Saltire programme as it’s a great mix of favourite events and some exciting new ones. East Lothian can truly boast attractions and events to suit everyone and the Saltire Festival is a great example of this – and helps us towards achieving our aims of making East Lothian Scotland’s leading coastal leisure and food and drink destination. And of course, we’re celebrating the fact that we’re the home of the Saltire flag. It’s sure to be a great event again this year and I look forward to welcoming along locals and visitors.”
     Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This year’s expanded Saltire Festival programme is shaping up to be engaging and inspiring. I’m sure revellers will enjoy travelling back in time to 832AD to learn about how the Saltire was adopted as Scotland’s flag.
     “The event is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which this year is being provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across Scotland.”
     Share your highlights and images of The Saltire Festival on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday
     For full details, visit saltirefestival.com
     Details of the full book festival programme from East Lothian library service will soon be available at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/libraries   
     For events nationwide visit www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland

    The programme for this year’s Saltire Festival has launched – featuring events celebrating all things Scottish, from enjoying the outdoors to traditional music and food and drink.

    Once again, the Saltire Festival has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.

    Based around St Andrew’s Day, the Saltire Festival also celebrates East Lothian’s status as the home of our national flag.

    Events start this year on Monday 23 November, running to Sunday 29th, with something to suit everyone.

    New to the programme this year are two events at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick – The Saltire Wine and Dine and The Saltire Whisky Dinner; a Saltire Lecture in Dunbar; Scotland Through the Ages at Dirleton Castle; Dunbar Arts, Crafts and Produce Market and the Book Week Festival.

    Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading delivered by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with local libraries and other organisations.

    This year, East Lothian Library Service is combining with The Saltire Festival to provide a fantastic week of events. Highlights include an evening with celebrated crime writers Arne Dahl, Eva Dolan and Stuart Neville, in the atmospheric setting of St Mary’s parish church in Haddington; TV presenter and broadcaster, record breaking round the world cyclist and ultra endurance adventurer Mark Beaumont will be appearing at the Brunton theatre;  meet Tartan noir crime novelist Lin Anderson at Tranent library and  Ann Cleeves, author of the hugely popular Vera detective series, will be visiting Port Seton community centre.

    Saltire favourites from previous years’ programmes return: Appetite for Music, featuring musical entertainment and special menus at a selection of East Lothian’s top restaurants and bars; Scotland on Film at the Brunton, Musselburgh; The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse; The Saltire Haddington Farmers’ Market; John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake; The Saltire Epicurean Encounter at Haddington Corn Exchange and the Home of the Flag Celebrations on Sunday 29th November featuring a church service at Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Saltire, Laughs and Lyrics featuring music, comedy and entertainment at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington and the Saltire Concert at St Mary’s Church, Haddington.

    Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “I’m very much looking forward to this year’s expanded Saltire programme as it’s a great mix of favourite events and some exciting new ones. East Lothian can truly boast attractions and events to suit everyone and the Saltire Festival is a great example of this – and helps us towards achieving our aims of making East Lothian Scotland’s leading coastal leisure and food and drink destination. And of course, we’re celebrating the fact that we’re the home of the Saltire flag. It’s sure to be a great event again this year and I look forward to welcoming along locals and visitors.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This year’s expanded Saltire Festival programme is shaping up to be engaging and inspiring. I’m sure revellers will enjoy travelling back in time to 832AD to learn about how the Saltire was adopted as Scotland’s flag.

    “The event is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which this year is being provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across Scotland.”

    Share your highlights and images of The Saltire Festival on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday

    For full details, visit saltirefestival.com

    Details of the full book festival programme from East Lothian library service will soon be available at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/libraries  

    For events nationwide visit www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 12 October 2015

    2015 World Gymnastics Championships teams announced

    Today Team GB revealed their men and women's World Championships team.

     

    Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Daniel Purvis, Nile Wilson and Brinn Bevan will compete in the six-strong men’s team which includes four of Great Britain’s Olympic medal winners from London 2012.  The Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Team Final will take place on the 28 October with the Men’s All-Around Final on 30 October.  Tickets are still available so why not get behind the home team and ‘Back the Brits’.

     

    The women’s team will be 2008 Olympian Rebecca Downie and her sister Ellie, Claudia Fragapane, Kelly Simm, Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler.

     

    This is a significant event on the journey to Rio with only the top teams qualifying to the Olympic Games.  Both the men and women’s team require your support, it’s time to be a part of it and join the home crowd now. 

     

    For more information see here.

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 08 October 2015

    Lots to celebrate from the Scottish Event Awards

    Last night, the Scottish Event Awards in association with EventScotland celebrated the Scottish events industry’s successes from the past year at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

    The Scottish Event Awards is an annual award scheme which provides the Scottish event industry a fantastic platform to demonstrate their talent and skills and stand out above the competition.

    Dr. Jane Ali-Knight from Edinburgh Napier University, Nigel Holl from Scottish Athletics and James McVeigh from Festivals Edinburgh were amongst the panel of judges for the awards.

    MTV EMA’s won a hat-trick of awards, Best International Event, Event Management Grand Prix and Best Large Event; while The 2014 Ryder Cup was awarded the Chairman’s Award and Best Sports Event.  Awards were also given to the following events to name but a few: Botanic Lights: Night in the Garden, ScottishPower National Youth Racing Series, Glasgow International Comedy Festival and Laugh your Way Out by Edinburgh Napier University students. 

    For the full list of results click here

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Events Awards is a tremendous celebration of the talent which lies at the heart of our events industry and I would like to congratulate each of the winners across all categories on their success. The strength of the nominations for each award is indicative of Scotland’s capability in delivering world-class events and highlights our reputation worldwide as the perfect stage for events.”

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 07 October 2015

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2015/16 announce full programme of events and Street Party line up

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay invite revellers to ‘Release Your Party Animal’ and come to Edinburgh to enjoy the best New Year’s party on the planet. Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 1993, today announced the Street Party line-up and full details of the three-day festival which takes place from Wednesday 30 December 2015 to Friday 1 January 2016.

     

    Edinburgh is the ‘Home of Hogmanay’, and organisers are expecting another sell-out event, welcoming 150,000 visitors to Scotland’s capital city over the three days, bringing an estimated economic benefit of over £40 million to the city (figures based on 2014/15 event). Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a key part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals celebrations.

     

    The celebrations launch on Wednesday 30 December with the family-friendly Torchlight Procession as 10,000 torchbearers wind their way through the city streets lined with tens of thousands of spectators. The Procession, which is supported by EventScotland, will move from George IV Bridge towards the finale of the Son et Lumière display on Calton Hill which can be viewed from across the city and from the streets surrounding the hill. Access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. This year Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has partnered with UNICEF who will be raising funds at the Torchlight Procession and throughout the Festival to help children both in Scotland and abroad.

     

    On Thursday 31 December, the musical line-up across the seven stages in the centre of the city promises to deliver an exhilarating party soundtrack for the anticipated 75,000 revellers. The flagship Concert in the Gardens (which sold out in a record 10 days) features headliners Biffy Clyro making their only UK appearance this year who are joined by very special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood for a very strong all-Scottish line-up.

     

    There’s a new look to the world famous Street Party with an additional stage and screens, expanded entertainment zones and dedicated ‘Food & Drink Villages’. The Waverley Stage (Indie) will be headlined by Newcastle alt-rock band and Mercury Prize nominees Maxïmo Park, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their seminal debut album ‘A Certain Trigger’ with special guests, energetic punk duo Slaves and Glasgow funk outfit, the hotly tipped White.

     

    The new Castle Stage (Scottish) features performances from leading Scottish Celtic crossover bands Rura, Peatbog Faeries and a special 25th anniversary performance from Shooglenifty.

     

    The Frederick Stage (Party) provides the soundtrack to the whole Street Party with DJ sets from BBC 6 Music’s Craig Charles, who presents his ‘Funk n’ Soul Show’, alongside Edinburgh’s own Simon Hodge. VJ’s Buttercup and Pixels mix cutting-edge visuals to accompany the dance tunes which are relayed on seven screens along the length of Princes Street and throughout the Street Party arena. The Mound Stage (Cabaret), which alters position this year, features the Guilty Pleasures cabaret performers, fresh from their sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Guilty Pleasures offers a heart-thumping, show-stopping, disco-dancing, rollercoaster of a night’s entertainment featuring DJ’s, dancers, performers and audience participation.

     

    The perfect ending to the event calendar for the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has signed up to Scotland’s Food Charter for Events. Organisers have created new refreshment and break-out areas around the Street Party arena including Market Street and the West End of Princes Street. The Mound Precinct leading into East Princes Street Gardens offers a food and drink experience, with retailers from the Edinburgh’s Christmas European Market on hand with a feast of cuisine beneath the exhilarating Star Flyer and Big Wheel attractions, offering revellers a sky-high view of the capital.

     

    A new event for 2016 sees the annual sell-out ‘Keilidh’ move into its own exclusive outdoor arena on the Royal Mile to become ‘The Old Town Ceilidh’. The UK’s biggest outdoor ceilidh event becomes even bigger, with two live stages featuring the best in traditional Scottish music with performances from Cask Strength Ceilidh Band, Whisky Kiss, Ceilidhdonia and Sporran Again and ‘Ceilidh Makers’ will be on hand to make sure everyone knows the moves. Participants will also join together at 11.00pm to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Longest Strip the Willow’. (The current record for the world’s biggest outdoor dance is already held by the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.) Those wishing to participate in the record attempt should wear traditional dress – a kilt, tartan trews or a sash. The Old Town Ceilidh is expected to be a huge hit with the many overseas visitors to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and will feature its own Midnight Moment. 

     

    New Year revellers across Edinburgh and beyond will enjoy a feast of fireworks with countdown displays on the hour from 9.00pm, rising to the crescendo of the spectacular Midnight Moment as the fireworks lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill. (The Castle display is extended east this year for the Ceilidh revellers in the Royal Mile.) The fireworks are followed by the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne as old friends and new join hands across the arena to sing Burns’ universal New Year anthem. 

     

    All stages are live from 9.00pm to 1.00am but the party starts from 7.00pm throughout the Street Party arena.

     

    Free Hogmanay NightBus Services will once again run throughout the capital for revellers supported by sponsors Diageo and Lothian Buses. A much welcome journey home at the end of the festivities is part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.

     

    On Friday 1 January 2016 the ‘Stoats Loony Dook’ celebrates its 30th anniversary and sees 1,250 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year with a dip in the River Forth at South Queensferry. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges. This year the event is supported by Stoats, who’ll be there on the day, warming everyone up with free bowls of energising porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition. Registration for the event is now open at £10.00 (includes £1 booking fee and a 10% donation to the South Queensferry branch of the RNLI.).

     

    On New Year’s Day, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay presents Scot:Lands – incredible new worlds hidden in beautiful buildings and outdoor spaces in the city’s Old Town, where audiences can discover the very best in music, art and theatre, created and curated by Scotland’s most innovative artists, arts organisations and musicians: a festival in itself – all free. Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and the full programme will be in early November.

     

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is an incredibly important occasion for Scotland, helping to promote our reputation as the perfect stage for events and Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city to a global audience. The festival continues to grow each year and the 2015/16 programme of events looks set to be the strongest yet, with more than 150,000 visitors expected to take to the streets of the capital over the course of three days. I can think of no better way to welcome in the New Year than what is sure to be a grand celebration of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage, supported by some of our finest performers and artists.” 

    Category: Heritage

  • 07 October 2015

    ANGUS WOODLANDS TRANSFORMED AS DRAGONQUEST BEGINS!

    A theatrical, mystery spectacular within the woods of Monikie Country Park opens to the public today. (Wednesday 7 October 2015).

    DragonQuest, which will see the first ever use of Augmented Reality in a live theatre performance, runs every evening, excluding Mondays, until Sunday 1 November 2015.

    The Edinburgh-based Vision Mechanics team of designers, along with animation graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee (DJCAD), have created breathtaking sets and fantastic illusions to wow family audiences and leave lasting impressions on visitors.  Visitors are encouraged to download the DragonQuest App in advance, and hunt for tags within the woods which reveal the plot of the story and a hidden world of 3D animated creatures, from hovering flies and goblins to fairies and the dreaded trolls!

    The App (SneakaPeek AR), which has been built and designed by Lanarkshire-based Colin Purves of itsalivedesign.co.uk, can be downloaded onto Apple, Android and Kindle Fire phones or tablets.  For more information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk.

    DragonQuest has been supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.

    Deputy Provost of Angus Councillor Alex King said, “We are delighted to be supporting DragonQuest and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Angus and further afield.  As the nights are starting to get darker, the woods are coming alive with the magic of DragonQuest and Monikie Country Park is the ideal setting for people looking for something different this Autumn.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland added, “We are delighted to support DragonQuest, showcasing the country’s natural and artistic assets. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and this immersive night-time show will no doubt capture the imagination of both the local community and visitors alike in the wonderful setting of Monikie Country Park.”

    The event is suitable for all ages, but may not be advisable for children of a sensitive disposition.

    Tickets are available from The Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1AW - telephone 01241 435800, email info@webstertheatre.co.uk or via www.webstertheatre.co.uk.

    The Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-6pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm. On performance nights, the Box Office hours will be extended, changing to Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-7.30-pm and on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm-7.30pm.

    For further information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk and Facebook page - facebook.com/DarkWoodDragonQuest.

    For more information, please contact Vision Mechanics – telephone (0131) 554 8923, email info@visionmechanics.org or website www.visionmechanics.org.

    Category: National Events

  • 06 October 2015

    Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Investment in Major Events to Continue

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is to continue to invest fully in major festivals and events in 2016 and 2017.

    The Local Authority’s Major Events Strategic Fund is now open for applications, on a competitive basis, for major events that take place in the region or that wish to relocate to Dumfries and Galloway.

    Funding has already been ring-fenced up to and including 2017 for three of the region’s most prestigious and high profile events –Spring Fling, Big Burns Supper and the Arts Festival. The long term financial security these events are now establishing is a foundation of their artistic success. The Council is also investing in the 2016 Tour of Britain, which will visit the area in September 2016 and will provide funding of £32,500 to the Wigtown Book Festival next year – an exceptional showcase for literature, the arts and Galloway culture.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, the Local Authority’s Events Champion said, “We recently announced that major events are worth in excess of £10m of net additional economic value to the region each year, and add greatly to our quality of life. That’s why our Council is to continue to invest in a range of events projects next year, through a mixture of confirmed funding to a range of our most significant ‘signature’ events and on a competitive basis via our Strategic Fund.

    We have had an exceptional September, with superb festival programmes in Wigtown and at the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, and thousands of people enjoying the timeless charm of the International Sheep Dog Trials that was held between Dumfries and Moffat in the middle of last month. Our sustained, targeted investment in the best events projects can ensure many more memorable events in the future and opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the visitors encouraged to visit our region.”

    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said, “The extensive range of first-class events and festivals which take place in Dumfries & Galloway is a fantastic tourism asset. It is an extremely important way of attracting visitors to the region and showcasing our wonderful scenery, amazing attractions, rich heritage and wealth of things there are to see and do here. Continued investment in the region’s vibrant programme of diverse, engaging events and festivals is absolutely vital - not only to the continued success of our tourism industry but to the strength of our local economy.

    This funding by the Council - as well as funding in our region’s events and festivals by our Events Directorate - will ensure that we build on the fantastic successes and superb return on investment which we’ve seen delivered during 2015. We are extremely well placed to look forward to another exciting and rewarding year ahead in 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.”

    Category: International Events

  • 05 October 2015

    Record funding for Scotland's Winter Festivals 2015/2016 programme

     

    People across Scotland are set to experience the country’s biggest ever Winter Festival celebrations this year.
    A record £390, 000 will support 22 key cultural events which will form parts of Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16 programme. An additional £75, 000 has been approved this year to expand the line-up to more areas.
    Events will take place in 14 local authorities, with new programme activity in four regions not previously involved - Aberdeen, Dundee, East Ayrshire and Falkirk.
    Events will run across Scotland from St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage. The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.
    Announcing the funding, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
    “This year’s programme sends a clear message that Scotland is open for business during the winter period.
    “We want to build on Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme year on year. By increasing the funding package available, I hope these dynamic events will engage, inspire and mobilise communities across Scotland, the UK and internationally.
    “The programme offers Scotland a chance to promote and showcase itself as a modern and creative nation, while highlighting our contribution to the world. The number of tourists visiting Scotland rose by 5% during 2014 to more than 15 million.”
    In addition, the Scottish Government has provided BEMIS with a funding contribution of    £46, 050 to support the multi-cultural celebration of the 2015 Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16. A key element of the wider programme will support specific activity designed by Scotland’s minority ethnic communities in support of the Winter Festivals.
    The celebrations begin in the lead up to St Andrew’s Day on 30th November with major events in Aberdeen, Argyll and Bute, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife, Glasgow, Dundee and Perth and Kinross. The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh will also host a St Andrew’s Day Celebration event. The money also supports the Virgin Money Street of Light which begins on St Andrew’s Day as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas.
    Five Hogmanay celebrations will be supported through the fund, with events in The Western Isles, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling.
    A range of events will also take place across Scotland to celebrate Burns Night, including Burns Unplugged at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. The Scottish Storytelling Centre will host Burnsfest 2016, while the Big Burns Supper Festival will be held in Dumfries and Galloway. A Big Burns Stramash in the Highlands and Alloway 1759 will take place in South Ayrshire, while Burns Birthday in Mauchline will be held in East Ayrshire.
    Further information on all the individual events can be found on www.scotland.org/winter
    The events are:
    Oban Winter Festival - Argyll and Bute
    Cambeltown's Spotlight on St Andrew's Day - Argyll and Bute
    Virgin Money Street of Light and Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day Celebration - Edinburgh
    Scottish Storytelling Centre's St Andrew's Day Celebrations and Burnsfest - Edinburgh
    The Saltire Festival - East Lothian
    St Andrew's Day Fusion Festival - Dundee
    St Andrew's Day Celebrations in St Andrews - Fife
    Glasgow Loves St Andrew's Day - Glasgow
    Night at the Museum (St Andrew's Day and Burns Night events) - Glasgow
    The City of Perth St Andrew's Day Festival - Perth and Kinross
    Aberdeen St Andrew's Day Celebrations - Aberdeen
    An Lanntair - Bliandhna Mhath Ur! - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
    Family Hogmanay in the Honest Toun - East Lothian
    Edinburgh's Hogmanay - Edinburgh
    Stirling's Hogmanay - Stirling
    Fire and Light at Helix Park - Falkirk
    Burns Unplugged - Edinburgh
    Scottish Big Burns Supper Festival - Dumfries and Galloway
    Burns' Birthday in Mauchline - East Ayrshire
    Big Burns Stramash - Highland
    Alloway 1759 - South Ayrshire 

    People across Scotland are set to experience the country’s biggest ever Winter Festival celebrations this year.

    A record £390, 000 will support 22 key cultural events which will form parts of Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16 programme.

    An additional £75, 000 has been approved this year to expand the line-up to more areas.Events will take place in 14 local authorities, with new programme activity in four regions not previously involved - Aberdeen, Dundee, East Ayrshire and Falkirk.

    Events will run across Scotland from St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.

    The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.

    Announcing the funding, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This year’s programme sends a clear message that Scotland is open for business during the winter period.

    “We want to build on Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme year on year. By increasing the funding package available, I hope these dynamic events will engage, inspire and mobilise communities across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

    “The programme offers Scotland a chance to promote and showcase itself as a modern and creative nation, while highlighting our contribution to the world. The number of tourists visiting Scotland rose by 5% during 2014 to more than 15 million.”

    In addition, the Scottish Government has provided BEMIS with a funding contribution of    £46, 050 to support the multi-cultural celebration of the 2015 Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16. A key element of the wider programme will support specific activity designed by Scotland’s minority ethnic communities in support of the Winter Festivals.

    The celebrations begin in the lead up to St Andrew’s Day on 30th November with major events in Aberdeen, Argyll and Bute, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife, Glasgow, Dundee and Perth and Kinross. The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh will also host a St Andrew’s Day Celebration event. The money also supports the Virgin Money Street of Light which begins on St Andrew’s Day as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas.

    Five Hogmanay celebrations will be supported through the fund, with events in The Western Isles, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling.

    A range of events will also take place across Scotland to celebrate Burns Night, including Burns Unplugged at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. The Scottish Storytelling Centre will host Burnsfest 2016, while the Big Burns Supper Festival will be held in Dumfries and Galloway. A Big Burns Stramash in the Highlands and Alloway 1759 will take place in South Ayrshire, while Burns Birthday in Mauchline will be held in East Ayrshire.

    Further information on all the individual events can be found on www.scotland.org/winter

    The events are:

    Oban Winter Festival - Argyll and Bute

    Cambeltown's Spotlight on St Andrew's Day - Argyll and Bute

    Virgin Money Street of Light and Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day Celebration - Edinburgh

    Scottish Storytelling Centre's St Andrew's Day Celebrations and Burnsfest - Edinburgh

    The Saltire Festival - East Lothian

    St Andrew's Day Fusion Festival - Dundee

    St Andrew's Day Celebrations in St Andrews - Fife

    Glasgow Loves St Andrew's Day - Glasgow

    Night at the Museum (St Andrew's Day and Burns Night events) - Glasgow

    The City of Perth St Andrew's Day Festival - Perth and Kinross

    Aberdeen St Andrew's Day Celebrations - Aberdeen

    An Lanntair - Bliandhna Mhath Ur! - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

    Family Hogmanay in the Honest Toun - East Lothian

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay - Edinburgh

    Stirling's Hogmanay - Stirling

    Fire and Light at Helix Park - Falkirk

    Burns Unplugged - Edinburgh

    Scottish Big Burns Supper Festival - Dumfries and Galloway

    Burns' Birthday in Mauchline - East Ayrshire

    Big Burns Stramash - Highland

    Alloway 1759 - South Ayrshire 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 05 October 2015

    MULL SET FOR RALLY INVASION

    For the 46th time, Mull will see some of the fastest rally cars in the UK when the Mull Rally roars into action on Friday, October 9. For the first time, the world famous three-day rally (Oct 9-11) on the Inner Hebridean island welcomes Beatson’s Building Supplies as the title sponsor. A total of 150 crews from across the UK will tackle the 18 stages and 160-miles of high-speed action on the closed-off public roads normally used by islanders, tourists and farmers.

    At the head of the field, there are a number of drivers who will battle for overall victory and podium places in the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally, supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Seeded No1, last year's winner Calum Duffy, has ditched his all-conquering Ford Escort MkII and replaced it with a four-wheel drive GpA Subaru Impreza. But will the change of car alter his approach to the rally?

     Twelve months ago, Tristan Pye admitted to being "proud as Punch" when he powered his Impreza home in second place. But the Bishop Auckland driver is playing down his chances this year.
    "Last year's result was fantastic, but I'm not allowing myself to get too excited this year," Pye, who will be co-driven by Invernessian Andrew Falconer, admitted.
    "A lot of things have got to fall into place for a result like last year's to happen, including problems for some other drivers, which of course none of us want.
    "Getting into the top three this year will be tough, because there's  a lot of stiff competition. Being realistic, I think it's very unlikely I'll win, but I'll give it a heck of a go."
    Pye, who plans to focus on delivering a good, strong, clean run through the opening leg on the Friday evening before "going for it" on the Saturday, has already starting building a "lightweight Subaru" which he will use on Mull in 2016.
    The field also includes some of the fastest Tarmac rally drivers around, who annually flock to test themselves on the dauntingly demanding high-speed test that is the Mull Rally.

    Richmond's Tony Bardy returns to action in his Ford Focus, and 12 months after being forced to retire his MkI Ford Escort with fuel-feed problems, Jimmy McRae returns to Mull.
    The five-times British rally champ, now 71, will be partnered by his longtime co-driver Ian Grindrod, but this time the duo will drive a Vauxhall Firenza.
    Ireland's Derek McGeehan will cross the Irish Sea to tackle the event in his unique, right-hand drive MINI World Rally Car — it's the only right-hander in the world — while 17-year-old Ally Currie from Tobermory will return to tackle the event for the second time in his Peugeot 106.

    One of the highlights of the event is a change from tradition. Crews will tackle ‘The Long One’ as the first stage of the Saturday night, and in reverse direction from the last few years. The 21.89 miles starts at Dervaig, and heads round Calgary Bay before the fast finish at Torloisk.
    The other major change is the finish of the rally's final stage which will, for this year, be at Tobermory when the Glen Aros and Mishnish Lochs stages are combined to make a 15-mile last test.

    "I think that once again we've managed to put together a thrilling and exciting event, not just for the crews who are competing, but also the spectators," Iain Campbell, Clerk of the Course for the event, explained.
    "Of course, none of the weekend’s motorsport activity would be possible without the continued support of the residents of the island.
    "They put up with the invasion that arrives during the second week of October every year, and the closure of their roads, with good spirit and a proper Highland welcome.
    "Safety, as always, is paramount, and we have worked closely with Police Scotland to ensure the Beatson's Mull Rally is as safe as possible for the crew and the spectators."
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: "We are delighted to once again be supporting the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally. The event will provide a wonderful weekend of action and excitement for spectators. Scotland is the perfect stage for motorsport events, and in the Mull Rally we have a thrilling spectacle, set against the stunning backdrop of the island."

    Category: National Events

  • 02 October 2015

    Nominations open for humanitarians to walk in Rabbie’s footsteps

     

    Courage, commitment, inspiration and hands-on humanitarian efforts are being sought as nominations open for a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade – the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA).
    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – launched in 2002 and supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland’s Winter Festivals – recognises those who have saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or direct humanitarian work.
    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, this much sought after award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.
    An advocate for social change and an inspiration for the founders of socialism and liberalism, Robert Burns was a man who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian. This is most commonly recognised in his famous lines: ‘That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that’.
    Robert Burns Humanitarian Award nominees – who can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender – must demonstrate one of more of the following:
    • A courageous deed involving personal self-sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty in the name of humanity.
    • A commitment to serving others and making a difference through humanitarian acts of selfless service.
    • A generosity of spirit and dedication helping improve the quality of life for people in need through the provision of shelter, food, clothing, education or meaningful employment.
    • Direct ‘hands-on’ participation in humanitarian works that directly benefit an individual/groups of individuals/community.
    • Outstanding involvement and dedication that makes a significant contribution to volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and society as a whole.
    • An act of kindness done without expectation of reward that has resulted in recognition by members of a community/organisation.
    Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.
    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Chair of the RBHA judging panel, said: “In the current global climate, it’s painfully obvious that we don’t all enjoy the same choices, freedoms and opportunities. The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is all about looking for the people who refuse to tolerate this, stand up and do something about it and push the boundaries for social change. 
    “It doesn’t even have to be someone you know – it could be someone you know of or have heard about and that you know is doing some terrific work to make a difference for people in difficult and unimaginable situations.
    “As our past finalists and winners show, nominees need to reflect Burns’ passion and determination for human rights and we know there’s lots of that on show every day, in every corner of the globe. Let’s give these people something back – nominate them for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”
    The winner of the RBHA 2015 was Olivia Giles – a lawyer from Edinburgh who became a quadruple amputee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia in 2002. After recovering, she made a conscious decision to do something more than just develop a 'nice career'. In 2007, she founded the charity 500 Miles, which supplies prosthetic limbs to developing countries. Through her work, she has helped hundreds of amputees regain some form of independence. 
    Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 can be made online at www.robertburnsaward.com
    The deadline is Monday 2 November 2015.

    Courage, commitment, inspiration and hands-on humanitarian efforts are being sought as nominations open for a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade – the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA).

    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – launched in 2002 and supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland’s Winter Festivals – recognises those who have saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or direct humanitarian work.

    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, this much sought after award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.

    An advocate for social change and an inspiration for the founders of socialism and liberalism, Robert Burns was a man who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian. This is most commonly recognised in his famous lines: ‘That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that’.

    Robert Burns Humanitarian Award nominees – who can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender – must demonstrate one of more of the following:

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

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

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

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

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

    • An act of kindness done without expectation of reward that has resulted in recognition by members of a community/organisation.Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.

    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Chair of the RBHA judging panel, said: “In the current global climate, it’s painfully obvious that we don’t all enjoy the same choices, freedoms and opportunities. The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is all about looking for the people who refuse to tolerate this, stand up and do something about it and push the boundaries for social change. 

    “It doesn’t even have to be someone you know – it could be someone you know of or have heard about and that you know is doing some terrific work to make a difference for people in difficult and unimaginable situations.

    “As our past finalists and winners show, nominees need to reflect Burns’ passion and determination for human rights and we know there’s lots of that on show every day, in every corner of the globe. Let’s give these people something back – nominate them for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”

    The winner of the RBHA 2015 was Olivia Giles – a lawyer from Edinburgh who became a quadruple amputee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia in 2002. After recovering, she made a conscious decision to do something more than just develop a 'nice career'. In 2007, she founded the charity 500 Miles, which supplies prosthetic limbs to developing countries. Through her work, she has helped hundreds of amputees regain some form of independence. 

    Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 can be made online at www.robertburnsaward.com

    The deadline is Monday 2 November 2015.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 02 October 2015

    Register now for the National Events Conference 2015 - early bird 3 for 2 available

    Sign up now for the National Events Conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) on Thursday 3 December 2015: 

    www.nationaleventsconference.scot

    Register before the end of October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.

    The National Events Conference will cover the latest trends, issues and topics in the events industry.  Delegates will have access to insight from expert speakers and in-depth sessions on the areas affecting the Scottish events industry.  The international context will also be considered looking at how to maintain and build on Scotland’s position as the Perfect Stage for events.
     
    The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage will provide a central theme to the conference.  Providing an opportunity for event organisers, partners, suppliers and practitioners to find out more about the industry’s strategy and how you can maximise the opportunities for your business.
     
    Delegates will also be given the opportunity for valuable networking, meeting fellow events professionals and volunteers.  The Conference will start at 9am and finish at 4pm.
     
    The National Events Conference is delivered by the VisitScotland Events Directorate which encompasses EventScotland.
     
    Keep an eye on National Events Conference website, our e-newsletter and social media channels for further announcements relating to programme details and speakers.  

    Category: National Events

  • 02 October 2015

    Superheroes and Monsters unveil Dundee Science Festival Programme

     

    THURSDAY 1 OCTOBER 2015
    PRESS RELEASE
    SUPERHEROES AND MONSTERS UNVEIL DUNDEE SCIENCE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
    EMBARGO – 11.30AM – FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER 2015
    You are invited to send a reporter photographer to Dundee Science Centre at either 11.30am or 2.30pm on Friday 2 October 2015 when the Dundee Science Festival programme will be unveiled in the presence of superheroes and monsters!
    Superheroes and monsters unveiled the sheer strength of science power today (Friday 2 October 2015) while launching the programme for this year’s Dundee Science Festival.
    Now in its sixth year, the 16 day celebration will descend upon the city from Saturday 31 October through to Sunday 15 November 2015 and, with the support of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, promises fun, entertainment, inspiration and curiosity for all ages in the shape of over 40 events.  As the countdown begins, the festival programme was launched today in the presence of Superman, Spiderman and Frankenstein!
    Once again, the emphasis will be on free (and discounted) events, with the majority taking place within Dundee Science Centre, as well as community venues and shopping centres, not forgetting a standalone programme of events within primary and secondary schools.
    Day one of Dundee Science Festival will kick off with Halloween special ‘Superheroes V Monsters’ where families can join Igor and his superhero friends for a day of science experiments, feverish face painting, super powers and monstrous mask-making.  Visitors to this Dundee Science Centre event can also delve into the science behind superpowers, explore monster myths and fully embrace the wonderful world of good vs evil! In the evening, adults will also get the chance to explore the science of the paranormal.
    Marking Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, the festival will also feature a pop-up food market showcasing local produce. Further events include an evening dedicated to video games, an outdoor ‘Big Bang’ event celebrating the history of fireworks, and a ‘Curious Creatures’ event with a collection of animal guests lined up, from cuddly guide dog puppies to scaly lizards.
    To ensure that no-one misses out, a number of events will be held in community venues and shopping centres, where visitors can try their hand at everything from jewellery-making and forensics to exploring the night skies and making brush robots. 
    A programme of free, evening lectures will also be held at Dundee Science Centre throughout the duration of the festival, with topics as diverse as human performance doping and fracking. Dundee Science Centre, along with Abertay University, will be coordinating the schools programme, which will see a number of events for primary and secondary schools in Dundee. 
    Laura Louch, Festivals and Development Manager, Dundee Science Centre said, “In many ways, we are going back to our core objectives with this year’s festival, providing a programme of inclusive events that local people really want, in venues they can get to easily.  While the emphasis is on family fun, there’s plenty for adults too, with the festival tackling a host of topical issues through its lecture programme, not to mention some great food and drink events. There will even be opportunities for us to bus some community groups to Dundee Science Centre free of charge, to ensure that no-one misses out.”
    Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director added,  “Dundee Science Festival is always a highlight of the local events’ calendar and the addition of a culinary Year of Food and Drink element to this science spectacular will bring a delicious new flavour to this year’s festivities.  
    “Scotland’s reputation for quality food and drink is increasing and the Year of Food and Drink has helped Scots and visitors to Scotland discover and experience our natural larder and diverse dining experiences. We hope the pop-up markets and food-themed workshops at this year’s Dundee Science Festival will help tickle the taste buds and encourage visitors from both home and away to experiment with the country’s culinary delights and embark on their own edible adventures long after 2015 ends.”
    Dundee Science Festival is brought to you by Dundee Science Centre, along with key partners Dundee City Council and Scottish Government with additional support, as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015, from VisitScotland.
    For more information, and to view the programme in full, please visit www.dundeesciencefestival.org   or follow Dundee Science Festival on social media – www.facebook.com/dundeescifest (Facebook) or @dundeescifest (Twitter).
    ENDS
    Notes to Editor
    Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015
    The Year of Food and Drink began on 1 January 2015 and ends on 31 December 2015. The Year builds on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 by celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success. Through a series of exciting events and activities, the year is showcasing Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and reputation as a land of food and drink. For more information visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland and join the conversation using #TasteScotland 
    The Year of Food and Drink is a Scottish Government initiative being delivered by VisitScotland in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Tourism Alliance, SRUC and Young Scot.
    The Year of Food and Drink events fund is managed by EventScotland. The Community Food Fund, which is managed by Think Local on behalf of the Scottish Government, has contributed £150K towards the overall events fund for 2015.

    BER 2015

    SUPERHEROES AND MONSTERS UNVEIL DUNDEE SCIENCE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

     

    Superheroes and monsters unveiled the sheer strength of science power today (Friday 2 October 2015) while launching the programme for this year’s Dundee Science Festival.


    Now in its sixth year, the 16 day celebration will descend upon the city from Saturday 31 October through to Sunday 15 November 2015 and, with the support of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, promises fun, entertainment, inspiration and curiosity for all ages in the shape of over 40 events.  As the countdown begins, the festival programme was launched today in the presence of Superman, Spiderman and Frankenstein!
    Once again, the emphasis will be on free (and discounted) events, with the majority taking place within Dundee Science Centre, as well as community venues and shopping centres, not forgetting a standalone programme of events within primary and secondary schools.


    Day one of Dundee Science Festival will kick off with Halloween special ‘Superheroes V Monsters’ where families can join Igor and his superhero friends for a day of science experiments, feverish face painting, super powers and monstrous mask-making.  Visitors to this Dundee Science Centre event can also delve into the science behind superpowers, explore monster myths and fully embrace the wonderful world of good vs evil! In the evening, adults will also get the chance to explore the science of the paranormal.


    Marking Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, the festival will also feature a pop-up food market showcasing local produce. Further events include an evening dedicated to video games, an outdoor ‘Big Bang’ event celebrating the history of fireworks, and a ‘Curious Creatures’ event with a collection of animal guests lined up, from cuddly guide dog puppies to scaly lizards.


    To ensure that no-one misses out, a number of events will be held in community venues and shopping centres, where visitors can try their hand at everything from jewellery-making and forensics to exploring the night skies and making brush robots. 


    A programme of free, evening lectures will also be held at Dundee Science Centre throughout the duration of the festival, with topics as diverse as human performance doping and fracking. Dundee Science Centre, along with Abertay University, will be coordinating the schools programme, which will see a number of events for primary and secondary schools in Dundee. 


    Laura Louch, Festivals and Development Manager, Dundee Science Centre said, “In many ways, we are going back to our core objectives with this year’s festival, providing a programme of inclusive events that local people really want, in venues they can get to easily.  While the emphasis is on family fun, there’s plenty for adults too, with the festival tackling a host of topical issues through its lecture programme, not to mention some great food and drink events. There will even be opportunities for us to bus some community groups to Dundee Science Centre free of charge, to ensure that no-one misses out.”


    Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director added,  “Dundee Science Festival is always a highlight of the local events’ calendar and the addition of a culinary Year of Food and Drink element to this science spectacular will bring a delicious new flavour to this year’s festivities.  

    “Scotland’s reputation for quality food and drink is increasing and the Year of Food and Drink has helped Scots and visitors to Scotland discover and experience our natural larder and diverse dining experiences. We hope the pop-up markets and food-themed workshops at this year’s Dundee Science Festival will help tickle the taste buds and encourage visitors from both home and away to experiment with the country’s culinary delights and embark on their own edible adventures long after 2015 ends.”


    Dundee Science Festival is brought to you by Dundee Science Centre, along with key partners Dundee City Council and Scottish Government with additional support, as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015, from VisitScotland.


    For more information, and to view the programme in full, please visit www.dundeesciencefestival.org   or follow Dundee Science Festival on social media – www.facebook.com/dundeescifest (Facebook) or @dundeescifest (Twitter).

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 01 October 2015

    Spectators flock to Blair Castle

     

    Champions were crowned, history was made and the Scottish weather gave its best. The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle had all the ingredients for a thrilling competition, and so it turned out, with more than 63,000 people attending the event.
    Supported by EventScotland and UK Sport, the competition, hosted by Blair Castle & Atholl Estates, saw 15 nations compete for the first time at this fairytale venue. Despite persistent rain on cross country day more than 52,000 spectators arrived through the gates over the four days to watch Germany retain its European crown and Britain fight it out for team silver. A further 11,000 athletes and team members, volunteers and trades people were also on site, making this the biggest event to take place in Perthshire in 2015. 
    Esther Britten, Head of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “It is fantastic that the crowds turned out in force to support the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 and to see Great Britain win a superb team silver medal. This was one of three major sporting events to take place in Scotland this year as part of our National Lottery backed #EveryRoadtoRio campaign, along with the IPC Swimming World Championships and the upcoming World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, giving sports fans the chance to get behind British athletes as they prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” 
    In addition to many successes achieved at Blair 2015, over 500 prospective volunteers signed up to the volunteer recruitment campaign run by British Eventing (BE) and HorseScotland on their respective trade stands throughout the event. Douglas Edward, Chair of the BE Scotland Committee said of the success of the initiative: “It was great to see how many people wanted to find out about volunteering that had never done it before or weren’t sure how to go about it. Giving people the opportunity to meet someone from BE or HorseScotland who could talk them through the benefits of volunteering seems to have had a really encouraging effect.”
    VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, added: “The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship has been a huge success for Scotland, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s finest riders in action. The stunning setting of Blair Castle demonstrated just why Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to welcoming equestrian enthusiasts back to Perthshire for the Blair International Horse Trials in 2016.”
    The icing on the cake this year was a visit from Her Majesty The Queen – who earlier in the week had become the UK’s longest-serving monarch. The Queen presented the prize-winners with their medals on the final day and pictures of her awarding Germany’s Michael Jung his individual gold were beamed around the world. 
    Alec Lochore, Event Director, said: “We knew 2015 was a big year for Blair Castle and I am delighted with the overall figures, we sold tickets in 26 different countries all over the world which also supports the FEI’s decision to award this Championship to Blair. This coupled with the excellent sport we witnessed; the iconic venue and surrounding countryside, wowed many visitors whom we look forward to welcoming back again in the future.”

    Champions were crowned, history was made and the Scottish weather gave its best. The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle had all the ingredients for a thrilling competition, and so it turned out, with more than 63,000 people attending the event.

    Supported by EventScotland and UK Sport, the competition, hosted by Blair Castle & Atholl Estates, saw 15 nations compete for the first time at this fairytale venue. Despite persistent rain on cross country day more than 52,000 spectators arrived through the gates over the four days to watch Germany retain its European crown and Britain fight it out for team silver. A further 11,000 athletes and team members, volunteers and trades people were also on site.

    In addition to many successes achieved at Blair 2015, over 500 prospective volunteers signed up to the volunteer recruitment campaign run by British Eventing (BE) and HorseScotland on their respective trade stands throughout the event. Douglas Edward, Chair of the BE Scotland Committee said of the success of the initiative: “It was great to see how many people wanted to find out about volunteering that had never done it before or weren’t sure how to go about it. Giving people the opportunity to meet someone from BE or HorseScotland who could talk them through the benefits of volunteering seems to have had a really encouraging effect.”VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, added: “The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship has been a huge success for Scotland, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s finest riders in action. The stunning setting of Blair Castle demonstrated just why Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to welcoming equestrian enthusiasts back to Perthshire for the Blair International Horse Trials in 2016.”

     The icing on the cake this year was a visit from Her Majesty The Queen – who earlier in the week had become the UK’s longest-serving monarch. The Queen presented the prize-winners with their medals on the final day and pictures of her awarding Germany’s Michael Jung his individual gold were beamed around the world. Alec Lochore, Event Director, said: “We knew 2015 was a big year for Blair Castle and I am delighted with the overall figures, we sold tickets in 26 different countries all over the world which also supports the FEI’s decision to award this Championship to Blair. This coupled with the excellent sport we witnessed; the iconic venue and surrounding countryside, wowed many visitors whom we look forward to welcoming back again in the future.”

    Category: International Events

  • 01 October 2015

    TweedLove Bike Festival wins major industry award

    The team behind TweedLove Bike Festival are delighted to announce that they have won Singletrack Magazine’s 2015 Event of the Year Award. This award is decided by the readers of Singletrack Magazine and users of Singletrackworld website. Singletrack is one of the world’s biggest mountain bike media platforms, with millions of viewers and readers each month. The award has previously been won by some of the UK’s biggest bike events, and this year the short list included the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William and Ardrock Enduro.  

     Event Director Neil Dalgleish says: "We are absolutely delighted to win this – coming out on top against such fantastic competition shows how far TweedLove has come in five short years. We’re proud to help put the Tweed Valley on the map and we’re looking forward to making 2016 an even better year for our festival. We’ll keep trying our best to put on events which do the trails here justice, get folk on their bikes and above all to put smiles on the riders’ faces – that’s what it’s always about. Thanks as ever to the incredible local community and volunteers without whom the whole thing wouldn’t happen.”

     TweedLove will run from the 14th till 30th May next year.  Full programme to be announced soon.

    Category: National Events

  • 01 October 2015

    Corky Kirkham confirms for BWA Tiree Wave Classic 2015

    Corky Kirkham, international professional windsurfer and three times Tiree expression session winner, will be traveling from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands to attend the 2015 Tiree Wave Classic.

     

    Corky, who is famous for his high jumping and radical moves, says that he has a few new moves to test against the next generation of UK Pro riders. Additionally he has been back in training all this year and is looking for some big action on his return to the Tiree Wave Classic. 

     

    William Maclean - Event Host stated: 

     

    “As the event hosts, we are delighted to be welcoming international riders to our event this year. This may herald a move back towards Tiree once again hosting an international level windsurfing event in the near future with international riders such as Corky Kirkham, travelling to our shores to sample Scotland’s and Tiree’s conditions!”

    Category: Windsurfing

  • 30 September 2015

    SCOTLAND’S FIRST TURNER PRIZE EXHIBITION OPENS IN TRAMWAY GLASGOW

    October 2015 sees the first ever presentation in Scotland of the Turner Prize – the UK’s most prestigious art prize.  The exhibition is held at Tramway, Glasgow and runs from 1 October 2015 – 17 January 2016.  The winner of Turner Prize 2015 will be announced at an awards ceremony at Tramway on Monday 7 December 2015 and will be broadcast live to the public on Channel 4.

     The exhibition features work by the four nominated artists (in alphabetical order):

     Assemble have been nominated for projects including the ongoing collaboration with local residents and others in the Granby Four Streets, Liverpool.  Assemble are a collective of 18 who work across the fields of art, design and architecture.  Their working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made.  The Granby Four Streets project builds on the vision of local residents and translates it to the refurbishment of housing, public space and the provision of new work and enterprise opportunities.  At Tramway, Assemble will present,  A Showroom for Granby Workshop (2015).

    Bonnie Camplin has been nominated for The Military Industrial Complex, South London Gallery.  Her work spans the disciplines of drawing, film, performance, music and writing as well as immaterial and situational research.  The Military Industrial Complex took the form of a study room exploring what ‘consensus reality’ is and how it is formed, drawing from physics to philosophy, psychology, witchcraft, quantum theory and warfare.

    Janice Kerbel has been nominated for her performance DOUG, commissioned by The Common Guild at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  Kerbel borrows from conventional modes of narrative in order to create elaborate imagined forms.  Her precisely crafted works often take the form of audio recordings, performance and printed matter.  DOUG takes the form of nine songs for six voices and calls on the history of physical comedy, animated cartoons, narrative ballad and operatic librettos to imagine a new kind of compositional choreography.

    Nicole Wermers has been nominated for her exhibition Infrastruktur, Herald Street, London.  Wermers creates sculptures, collages and installations, which explore the appropriation of art and design within consumer culture.  Her installation Infrastruktur adopted the glossy aesthetics and materials of modernist design and high fashion, alluding to themes of lifestyle, class, consumption and control.

     For Turner Prize 2015, Tramway has devised an extensive engagement and education programme for all ages both in and outside of the exhibition space.  Entitled ‘Try Something New’, the programme includes workshops and events for family, young people and over-50s, as well as associated contemporary art exhibitions in other galleries in Glasgow.  Gallery of Modern Art presents ‘Devils in the Making: Glasgow School of Art & the Collection’ – featuring works by Glasgow School of Art alumni including past Turner Prize nominees and winners such as Simon Starling, Karla Black and Jim Lambie (18 September 2015 – 28 February 2016).  Cass Art, Tramway’s Public Programme Partner, presents an interactive exhibition and Turner Prize related workshops in its Glasgow Art Space (1 November 2015 – 17 January 2016).

    The much-loved Travelling Gallery celebrates Scotland’s first Turner Prize by taking a special show out on the road across Scotland featuring a roll-call of past Scottish Turner Prize winners and nominees from Martin Boyce, Douglas Gordon, Jim Lambie to David Shrigley.  Custom built as a mobile, contemporary art space, the Travelling Gallery is based on a Scania Omni Decca 12 metre chassis.  It will travel across Scotland as far as the Highlands and the Orkney Islands, visiting schools, galleries and community centres and returning to Glasgow to coincide with the announcement of the Turner Prize winner on 7 December.

    Sarah Munro, Director of Tramway, said:  ‘Working with the shortlisted artists and seeing the Turner Prize 2015 exhibition take shape at Tramway has been fantastic and it is brilliant that we’re now at the moment where everyone can see and share this work.  It’s here to explore, to challenge, to inspire and to provoke.  It is here to start conversations, to be passionate about.  Most of all it is here to be experienced and I would encourage everyone to come along and join us, to see the Turner Prize exhibition.” 

    Judith Nesbitt, Director of National & International Programmes, Tate, said:  “It’s wonderful to see Turner Prize 2015 here at Tramway.  Glasgow is an important centre for the arts in Britain so it is very fitting for the exhibition to be hosted in the city this year.  Working in partnership with colleagues in Scotland means Turner Prize reaches an even wider audience and enables a richer debate about contemporary art.  We hope all who visit the exhibition at Tramway will find it exciting and thought-provoking, and that they will see how British art today connects with wider contemporary culture.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Turner Prize is Europe’s premier visual arts award and we are delighted to support the 2015 exhibition, which will be on display at Tramway until January next year.

    “With such a strong contemporary arts tradition, and having produced many former winners, Glasgow is the perfect stage for the Turner Prize’s first visit to Scotland and I’m confident that arts enthusiasts from all over Europe will take the chance to experience the exhibition first-hand.”

    Category: International Events

  • 28 September 2015

    Courageous civilians raise thousands for The Commando Spirit Appeal by completing 30 mile Survive The Yomp challenge

    Over 100 civilians from across the world, some travelling from as far afield as Hong Kong and Canada, headed to the Scottish Highlands to take part in Commando Spirit’s Survive The Yomp, which is supported by EventScotland (part of VisitScotland) and the Highland Council.

     Part of the Commando Spirit Series of fundraising challenge events that have to date raised almost £1M, this 30 mile training exercise is designed to test the military’s most elite force and is normally only experienced by Commandos in order to gain their coveted green beret.

     The stunning Highlands of Scotland was again the setting for the annual Survive The Yomp and the 30 mile challenge took place in and around Spean Bridge, home to the iconic Commando Memorial, and Achnacarry Castle. Participants supported by serving Royal Marines from 43 Commando, former Royal Marines including members of the RMA Highland Branch and civilian staff and volunteers, followed in the footsteps of thousands who trained in the remote and unforgiving terrain to become “Commandos” and prepare for their pivotal roles in World War II. It was especially important and poigant this year as 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the British Commandos.

     Sally-Anne Hunter, Commando Spirit Founder and Director, said: “Like all our challenge events, Survive The Yomp is tough and as close to real life military training as it can get. Participants get a glimpse into the life of a Commando and I was yet again immensely impressed by the shear guts, determination and courage of all our participants in completing the challenge and raising life changing sums for those in need. This year’s Survive The Yomp was our largest yet and we are already planning for even more participants next year!

     We are delighted to recognise individual and team achievements and Awards were given to those that most embodied the Commando Spirit qualities of Courage, Determination, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness as well as to the Fastest Individual, Fastest Team and new Social Media Prizes. At the end of the year we will also be giving out our most coveted Award to the Top Fundraiser.

     All participants however deserve recognition as Survive The Yomp remains one of the most physically and mentally demanding challenges around, and continues to prove to be a real test of character with memories and a sense of achievement for the participants that will no doubt last a lifetime.”

     Commando Spirit Series offers participants a rare insight into what it means to be a Commando today. Commando Spirit participants get the chance to test their courage and character against some of the most formidable aspects of Commando training, be supported through their experience by our serving and former Royal Marines and help raise life changing sums for those in need.

     Sally-Anne continued “I am always humbled and honoured to work with our former and serving Royal Marines and I would like to give a special thank you to all those who gave up their weekend to support the event as well as all our civilian volunteers and staff.”

     Major General Martin Smith, Commandant General of the Royal Marines said:

     "I am delighted Survive The Yomp yet again takes place in iconic Commando Country and take us back to our old ‘yomping’ ground in and around Achnacarry and Spean Bridge, Scotland. I congratulate all this years participants for completing the 30 miler, and extend my gratitude for their tremendous fundraising efforts to date."

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and Survive the Yomp presents participants with the fantastic opportunity to put their endurance to the test, while raising funds for charity, in the spectacular setting of the Scottish Highlands. We are delighted to have supported this year’s event and congratulate Commando Spirit and their team and all participants on their efforts.”

    The beneficiary of the Commando Spirit Appeal for 2015 is the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and they are dedicated to providing a better quality of life for the Royal Marines Family.  As such the RMCTF has probably the widest purposes of almost any Service charity – helping the wounded and injured; providing support for those still serving by funding decompression activities, homecoming events and memorials; providing through-life support to those who have left the Corps or have lost loved ones. Quite simply, the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund will help when others cannot.

    For more information on the Commando Spirit Appeal or to take part in next year’s challenges including Survive The Yomp (10 September 2016), please visit www.commandospirit.com.

    To donate to the Commando Spirit Appeal for the RMCTF please go to http://www.justgiving.com/CommandoSpirit

    Category: National Events

  • 28 September 2015

    Thousands Take to the Highlands for Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

    Thousands Take to the Highlands for Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

    Thousands of footsteps have echoed across Loch Ness during the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running today (Sunday, September 27). Runners from across the globe arrived in the Scottish Highlands to take in the breath-taking scenery of the event, joining in with thousands of Highlanders in a display of endurance and personal triumphs.

    Alongside the marathon the Festival of Running included the River Ness 10k, 10k Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5k and Wee Nessie run for pre-school children.

    Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “From running novices taking part in their first ever 5k, to seasoned marathon pros taking on the iconic lochside route, the atmosphere and camaraderie amongst participants this year has been fantastic and we are incredibly pleased with the results.

    “Loch Ness is one of the most recognisable destinations in the world, making it the perfect backdrop for huge sporting events like this. One of the very special things about this event is the way that it brings together people of different nationalities – whether they have travelled half way around the world or come from just down the road, they all bond together to share in a common purpose that crosses backgrounds, languages and abilities.

    “We have been organising this event for many years now but I personally will never grow tired of the sight of thousands of runners gathered at the start, waiting to get underway in beautiful countryside. I think the only thing that beats it is seeing the looks of sheer delight on the faces of all our runners as they cross the finish line, having won their own personal challenges.

    “The runners this year have once again given generously to good causes the length and breadth of the country, and we are very proud to be able to provide an event at which such a large sum of money is raised. We estimate around £100,000 will be raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, the official race charity, alone, not to mention our other affiliated charities and good causes that are close to the hearts of our runners.”

    The marathon was won by Tarus Elly of Salford Harriers in a time of 2:25:19, with the first female Megan Crawford from Fife AC crossing the line in 2:44:50 - a new course record.

    First Highlander home in the marathon was John Newsom of Inverness Harriers in 2:32:54, who was presented with the HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Trophy, along with a £1,000 donation a charity of his choice.

    The winner of the Baxters River Ness 10k was Neil Renault from Edinburgh AC in 30:33, while the female title went to Shona McIntosh of the Hunters Bog Trotters club in 35:17. The 10k Corporate Challenge title went to 3 SCOTS Black Watch – based at the army barracks at Fort George - in an overall combined time of 2:46:47.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, says, “The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of running is always one of Scotland’s best-attended events and we are delighted that competitors and spectators alike turned out in their thousands again this year.

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for outdoor events, thanks to its stunning natural landscapes, and we’re sure that runners of all ages and abilities took great delight in the breathtaking scenery provided by Loch Ness while raising funds for some very worthy causes in the process.”

    Heather Metcalfe, chief financial officer of title sponsor Baxters, adds, “It has been an absolute pleasure to represent Baxters at the Event Village today and to watch thousands of runners cross the line after so many months of hard work and preparation.

    “We have healthy living at the very heart of what we do as a company, whether that be through developing innovative and nutritional products or supporting our staff to develop a more active lifestyle. To that end, the event represents a perfect partner for Baxters because our values are so closely linked.

    “We have been the title sponsor for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running for well over a decade, and in that time we have proudly watched as it has grown into an event with a truly international feel and worldwide appeal. Just like Baxters, the event is a global brand that continues to go from strength to strength.”

    Entry for the 2016 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, which takes place on October 2, open tomorrow (Monday, September 28). Find out more at www.lochnessmarathon.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon

    Category: International Events

  • 25 September 2015

    Just the ticket as Kirsty leads the Scottish Open Challenge

    Kirsty Gilmour will return to the scene of her Commonwealth Games silver medal success when she leads the home challenge at the Scottish Open Grand Prix at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in eight weeks – and you can be there to cheer her on in her title challenge with tickets now on sale at www.badmintonscotland.org.uk.

     

    Gilmour, who was runner-up at the 2013 Scottish Open and a semi-finalist last year, will be among the favourites for the women’s singles title over the five days of competition from November 18-22.

     

    The Scottish No.1, who is leading the race to represent GB in women’s singles at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio, has already retained her Swedish Masters title this year and has just finished runner-up at the Yonex Belgian International.

     

    Gilmour, who just turned 22 said: “I have come close at the last two Scottish Opens and I enjoy playing in front of my home crowd so I will be going all out to make a big impression this time round.

     

    “Playing in front of passionate crowds at the Emirates Arena will be a big boost for all the Scotland players competing in November but the Scottish Open is a great opportunity for badminton fans to see some of the game’s top players in action. It’s a great event and a great arena.”

     

    BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “It is a really exciting time for the sport in Scotland and we have so much to look forward to. None of this would be possible without the strong support we receive from Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and all our other key partners and we are so grateful for their continued backing.”

     

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support the 2015 Scottish Open Grand Prix at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, less than two years ahead of the BWF World Championships in 2017. I’m sure that our sporting enthusiasts will be keen to show their support for the 250 world-class players competing and prove, once again, why Scotland is the perfect stage for events.” 

     

    During Championships week BADMINTONscotland will also be staging their renowned Play Badminton Festivals for primary school pupils keen to get started in the sport. The youngsters will enjoy expert coaching and also have a chance to watch some of the top-class action.

     

    To book tickets or for more information go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk.

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 25 September 2015

    2015 World Gymnastics Championships medals revealed as final countdown begins

    With just less than a month to go until the FIG 2015 World Gymnastics Championships gets underway in Glasgow, organisers today revealed the medals that will be awarded to the gymnasts who reach the greatest heights in each of the 14 captivating events.

    Tickets for the World Gymnastics Championships can be purchased at www.2015worldgymnastics.com.

    There are Team and Individual All-Round competitions for both men and women, plus individual apparatus finals for men on Vault, Floor, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, Rings and Horizontal Bar and for women on Vault, Floor, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.

    Bars, Vault or Pommel Horse, it doesn't matter what piece of equipment the gymnasts turn to - you know they'll push the boundaries to conquer it. Gymnastics is the ultimate in control, balance and perfect execution - sheer strength wrapped up in grace.

    Colin Hartley, Championship Director said: "Gymnasts from 91 countries across the world are putting the finishing touches to their routines, before they descend on Glasgow next month for the biggest single sport event the city has ever hosted.

    "We are delighted to reveal the medals which will be presented to those who deliver the ultimate performance, in front of the record crowds who have already bought more than 44,000 tickets to watch in awe as the gymnasts vie for a place on the podium."

     

    With all the final entries by name expected to be confirmed in the next week, Glasgow and Scotland looks forward to welcoming the best in the world to the Worlds, so make sure you're there to see your pick of the action!

     

    Click here for more information on the hotly tipped gymnasts looking to pick up medals in 2015.

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 24 September 2015

    Scotland states its case for The 2019 Solheim Cup

    Ladies European Tour officials have undertaken a site inspection of The Gleneagles Hotel as part of the next stage of Scotland’s bid to host The 2019 Solheim Cup.

    A delegation from the Ladies European Tour, which owns the event, spent two days touring the hotel, golf courses and other facilities as well as hearing presentations from various partners involved in the bid, including EventScotland, The Scottish Government, Gleneagles, Perth & Kinross Council, Transport Scotland and Police Scotland.

    The five-strong delegation, which included chief executive Ivan Khodabakhsh and members of the Ladies European Tour board, were also greeted at the Scottish Parliament by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland looked to outline its strengths as a world-class host to major events.

    Khodabakhsh commented: “On behalf of the Ladies European Tour we were delighted to visit Gleneagles and meet with the many stakeholders behind the Scottish bid to host The 2019 Solheim Cup. The quality of the presentations and the experience of the team behind the bid was extremely impressive as well as the world renowned facilities at Gleneagles Hotel.


    “It was very opportune to visit exactly 12 months on from the Ryder Cup Matches which was hosted to an exceptional level and to see the commitment and desire from everyone to deliver the same stage for the largest ladies professional golf tournament in the world in 2019.”


    Scotland’s submission, which proposes staging the event on the world-renowned PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, would see The Solheim Cup return to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years.


    The Ladies European Tour will now consider the detail behind Scotland’s bid before deciding on the host venue for 2019 towards the end of October.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events with VisitScotland, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ivan and his team from the Ladies European Tour to Scotland and Gleneagles to show them what a wonderful venue this would be for The 2019 Solheim Cup.

    “Scotland is recognised as a world-class host of major events and we are proud of the bid we have submitted to the Ladies European Tour to host the most prestigious event in women’s golf. We very much look forward to hearing the outcome of their deliberations and, if successful, staging The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.”

    Category: Golf

  • 23 September 2015

    EDINBURGH'S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS REVEALED FOR 2015/2016

    Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to deliver the biggest and brightest Christmas festival ever seen in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    Building on last year’s enormous success, and in the lead up to Christmas Day, this year’s Festival will also see an expansion into other parts of the city centre and more free events than ever before.

    Highlights include:

    The Virgin Money Street of Light. Launching on St Andrew’s Day, up to 250,000 people will enjoy this new major free event for the Edinburgh’s Christmas season with an architectural installation of 60,000+ lights stretching along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, set to music from Edinburgh choirs.

     Susan Boyle to switch on Edinburgh’s Christmas lights at Light Night, 22 November 2015. Scotland’s superstar and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Susan Boyle will do Edinburgh the honour of switching on the City’s lights at Light Night, the free event on George Street, where 1,300 local performers will show off their talents to an audience of 20,000+ people.

     A significant expansion of the Winter Windows programme. Thanks to the generous support of Scottish Gas with national charity partner Shelter, Edinburgh’s Christmas is extending the Winter Windows programme from 15 primary schools in 2014 to 25 primary and secondary schools from the Edinburgh area.

    An exceptional programme of circus, comedy and cabaret in the Paradiso Spiegeltent with performances from Circa, reviving Beyond, the hit show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014; the legendary Camille O’Sullivan; Puddles, the cabaret sensation of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015; Austentatious; Abandoman; and Frisky & Mannish. And the return of Stick Man, the adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s magical best‐selling book.

    A continuation of the EH discount offer, where holders of an EH postcode receive a 20% discount on all shows, rides and events. In 2014, 97,512 tickets were sold with the 20% discount.

    Other highlights include:

    St Andrew’s Day celebrations in St Andrew Square on 29 November,  which will see free performances from Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead, Dean Owens and The Whisky Hearts, The Banana Sessions and Blazin’ Fiddles.

     The return of the unique ellipse shaped ice rink around the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square, the Big Wheel, the Star Flyer, the expanded Santa Land with its series of affordable family attractions, and the double decker Carousel which moves this year to St Andrew Square.

    24 Doors of Advent welcomes many new doors to explore this year to the advent calendar including the Forth Bridge which was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2015, the Rock House, Leith’s Custom House and the Biscuit Factory.

    Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam of Underbelly said:

    ”This Christmas is all about lighting up Edinburgh. We’re very excited to be bringing the Street of Light and extending the success of Edinburgh’s Christmas into the Old Town and we’re delighted that the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus and the Edinburgh Police Choir will be providing the music. It’s a free event for up to 5,000 people a show, 250,000 in all. We hope it will show one of Scotland’s most famous streets in a whole new light and bring the whole community together to celebrate Christmas.

    We’re also honoured that Susan Boyle, who became a household name as a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent and has since become a superstar, will turn on Edinburgh’s lights at the end of Light Night, the event where 1,300 performers from across the City will show off their own talents to the rest of Edinburgh.

    Elsewhere at Edinburgh’s Christmas, we hope that local residents will use their 20% discount to enjoy what’s on offer from the elliptic ice rink at St Andrew Square to the rides in Santa Land, to the performances of Circa’s Beyond, Stick Man, Puddles and Camille in the Spiegeltent.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

    “Edinburgh’s Christmas programme is a great blend of top international performers, community events and local talent. The Virgin Money Street of Light is an exciting new part of the programme and one we are proud to support through Scotland's Winter Festivals. The launch will be a great addition to our national St Andrew's Day celebrations.”

    For more information and tickets for all ticketed events visit:

    www.edinburghschristmas.com

    Category: Winter Festivals

  • 23 September 2015

    Etape Loch Ness cyclists deliver £743,000 economic boost to the Highlands as entries almost triple

    Cyclists have delivered a £743,000 economic boost to the Scottish Highlands, an independent study into the 2015 Etape Loch Ness sportive has found. 

    The independent economic impact assessment carried out by Mackay Consultants Inverness found that 68% of participants came from outside the Highlands, a 20% increase on the previous year. A total of 3,328 riders entered the 66-mile closed road sportive – an increase of 166% on the inaugural event in 2014 – and 92% of participants said they would take part again.

    Riders who completed the ride on April 27 for charity raised £228,000 for a range of good causes, with official charity Macmillan Cancer Support raising £170,000 - more than double the amount raised last year.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says the report underlines the importance of mass participation sports events to the Highlands, especially on the shoulder months leading up to the main tourist season.

    He adds, “The report confirms what we have always believed – that events such as Etape Loch Ness can be a significant driver for the local economy. The statistics show that people are travelling to the area and when they are here, they are using local accommodation providers, cafes and restaurants, and other facilities.

    “It is also pleasing to note that the 2015 Etape Loch Ness resulted in a significant economic benefit of £507,000 for Scotland in addition to the benefit to the Highlands. The whole of Scotland and not just the Highlands enjoys a spin off from the event.

    “However, one of the most significant figures for us is the amount of money that riders have been able to raise for charity. Good causes have benefited to the tune of £228,000 from fundraising by event participants, and we are delighted that £170,000 of this total was raised for our official charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.”

    Cecilia Owen, Challenge Events Programme Manager (Cycling) for Macmillan, adds, “We are delighted to be official charity for Etape Loch Ness once again. The event was a huge success last year and we look forward to welcoming even more cyclists to Team Macmillan from all around the UK to help ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, says, “2015 has been a very successful year for the Etape Loch Ness with record spectator and participant numbers. The Etape brings great benefits to the Highlands, and indeed Scotland, generating economic impact and positioning the country as the perfect stage for mass participation events.”

    The Etape Loch Ness starts and finishes in Inverness, and follows the main A82 on the north side of the loch to Fort Augustus. It then returns to the Highland capital via minor roads on the south side.

    The sportive includes a King of the Mountain stage, which recognises the quickest male and female riders to the top of the Glendoe Summit on the outskirts of Fort Augustus. The 4.8 mile climb rises to 380m in height.

    Organisers expect to open for entries for the 2016 Etape Loch Ness, taking place on 24 April,   in late October.  Anyone interested in taking part should pre-register their interest at www.etapelochness.com to get priority entry before places go on general sale.

    Regular updates appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 22 September 2015

    Join the debate at HOST CITY 2015

    Top speakers announced for the leading EU-based meeting of Cities and Sports, Business and Cultural Events in Glasgow on 9-10 November.

    HOST CITY 2015 Conference and Exhibition is attracting leading experts and key decision makers to examine issues concerning the bidding for and hosting of large-scale, multi-sport and cultural events.

    Under the theme “Creative Innovation Connecting Cities with Sports, Business and Culture Events”, the event is set to bring together like-minded individuals to create a dialogue  between cities and the owners and suppliers of sports, business, cultural and entertainment events.

    Join top speakers such as Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg, Baku 2015 European Games Chief Operating Officer Simon Clegg CBE and Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland at this unique event to explore the challenges and benefits of bidding for major global events. 

    View the latest agenda here

    In addition to the conference programme, delegates will have the opportunity to engage with one another in roundtable discussions and networking receptions.

    Visit www.bidtowin-hostcity.net to book your place and for more information on speakers and topics covered in this exciting event.

  • 21 September 2015

    Sporting stars support Scotland’s 2019 Solheim Cup bid

    Solheim Cup stars from both sides of the Atlantic have given their backing to the event returning to Scotland, the Home of Golf, following the country’s bid to host the biennial event at Gleneagles in 2019.

     Scotland’s Catriona Matthew and American Paula Creamer, who lined up on opposing sides in the dramatic US victory at St Leon Rot last week, both recorded messages of support for Scotland’s bid, which was submitted to the Ladies European Tour last month.

     The Scottish bid, which is led by VisitScotland and supported by The Scottish Government, looks to bring the event back to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years and has already received support from top names across the sporting spectrum.

     Matthew, Scotland’s number one ranked female golfer, was joined by Americans Creamer and Cheyenne Woods as well as Scots Carly Booth and Kylie Walker in pledging support for the bid via a series of passionate video messages to the Ladies European Tour.

     Matthew, who last week featured in her eighth Solheim Cup as a player, said: “The Solheim Cup is a special event, which is growing in profile and stature with each passing staging. I’ve been fortunate to play in eight European teams but I have no doubt that a Solheim Cup in 2019 at Gleneagles would be the biggest and best yet and further help to enhance the stature of the event and women’s golf as a whole.

     “Golf in Scotland is a national past-time and the Scottish crowds would come out to support The Solheim Cup in droves. Equally, both players and media love coming to golf events in Scotland. It is the Home of Golf and there is always that something extra every time you tee it up in a competition here.”

     Creamer, a wild card pick in Juli Inkster’s US Solheim Cup team in Germany last week, has previously spoken about her love of playing golf in Scotland and said: “I definitely support Scotland’s bid for The 2019 Solheim Cup. I love playing in Scotland both because it is the Home of Golf and because of all their amazing golf courses with magnificent views."

    Woods, who made her first appearance in Scotland during the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in July, added: “I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a number of countries around the world but it was special to play in the Aberdeen Asset Management Asset Ladies Scottish Open in July. It was the first time I’d played in Scotland and it was a special feeling to be able to play in the country where the game began. The crowds were amazing and so supportive throughout the week. I back Scotland’s bid for The 2019 Solheim Cup and it would be great to have the opportunity to qualify to represent my country in the Home of Golf.”

     Scotland’s submission, which proposes staging the event on the world-renowned PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, has now moved to the final stage with site visits from LET officials planned at Gleneagles this week before a decision is made by the Player’s Committee at the end of October. The visits, which are being co-ordinated by the EventScotland team at VisitScotland, will include a tour of the hotel and its grounds, presentations from key Scotland partners and a meeting with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

     Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that our bid has received so much support across the sporting spectrum, including from a number of high-profile individuals from outwith Scotland. That goes to show the high regard in which Scotland is held around the world as a destination for major events.

    “We are confident that our bid is a strong one and we look forward to further demonstrating to the LET this week that we not only have the passion, but the capacity, capability, credibility and confidence to hold the best-ever Solheim Cup in 2019.”

    Category: International Events

  • 18 September 2015

    Stirling Fringe opens this weekend

    Stirling Fringe is set to open tonight at venues across the city of Stirling, running until 26th September. And, with strong pre-event box office sales, organisers are expecting demand for remaining tickets to be high as the festival, now in its third year, gets into full swing with its opening acts which include Simply Soweto Encha, Stanley Odd and All my Sons by Arthur Miller.

    Billed as Scotland’s “Other Fringe, the festival opens this weekend with a rousing performance in Cowane’s Hospital from South African vocal group, Simply Soweto Encha, whose a capella fusion of gospel, soul and doo-wop, is already a firm favourite with festival goers and sees the group perform for the second year in a row.

    Later in the festival, opera lovers will be treated to a contemporary interpretation of Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) performed by VoiceArc. And, for the comedy lovers, some of Scotland’s finest comedians are set to take to the stage including reigning Scottish Comedian of the Year, Bruce Fummey, as well as appearances from well-kent Scottish names Gary Little, Joe Heenan and Ray Bradshaw.

    Music lovers will be in their element with a programme that juxtaposes the towering urban impact of Scottish hip hop band Stanley Odd with the more lyrical sounds of modern string quartet Routes and families can also get in on the act with a variety of events aimed at arts lovers of all ages including a Family Fun Day on Saturday 19th September.

    Festival Director, Barry McDonald, commented:

    “We’re delighted with advanced ticket sales are are looking forward to a fun-packed celebration of the arts with this year’s Stirling Fringe. Tickets have been selling twice as fast this year, so we’re urging festival fans to book now to ensure they can get tickets to the shows they really want to see.


    “Stirling Fringe is now a respected feature of the Scottish cultural calendar and our strong performance at the box office this year is testimony to that. We are attracting people from far and wide to Stirling, demonstrate the rich cultural offering that the city has to offer.  We are also giving the people who live in Stirling a festival they can truly boast about.

    Following hot on the heels of Edinburgh’s festival offering, Stirling claims it punches well above its weight, culturally speaking. And, with such a varied mix of popular, experimental and engaging acts lined up for this year’s Striling Fringe, people don’t actually need to travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow to see first class music, comedy, or theatre. It’s right here on their doorstep.

    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said:

    “Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events continues to grow each year, benefitting greatly from the incredible variety on offer and unique atmosphere of our festivals, like the Stirling Fringe. I am delighted to see this event generating greater interest than ever as it enters its third year and know all of those attending will be treated to an outstanding mix of performances which offer something for every taste.”

    The beauty of Stirling Fringe is that the programme has something for everyone and all ages. Boasting a packed programme of performing artists with everything from musicians to magicians, dramatic actors to divas.

    The Stirling Fringe Festival is supported by EventScotland, part of the events directorate at VisitScotland, through the National Programme. 

     

    For further information on the full line up, and to book tickets, visit www.stirlingfringe.com.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 18 September 2015

    Biffy Clyro to headline 2015/2016 Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens

    Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are today delighted to announce that Biffy Clyro will headline the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2015/16 Concert in the Gardens. Unique Events, who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, confirmed that the band will make an exclusive UK appearance this year at the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay event and will be joined by very special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood in a very strong all-Scottish line-up.

     

    Biffy Clyro headlined the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay event in 2010 and now, five big years later, they will be bringing their explosive live show to Princes Street Gardens for what promises to be an unforgettable New Year celebration. This will be the band’s one and only UK performance of 2015 and will be the stage from which they will kick off 2016 and what is being lined up to be an absolutely huge year for them.

     

    Biffy Clyro said “We are so happy to come out of musical hibernation to kick off 2016 with the show on Hogmanay. We want to rock off the cobwebs and prepare for the year of da biff!! Nothing can compete with Edinburgh's celebrations and we hope to make it a special night for everyone!!”

     

    Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “We reckon it’s a real coup that Biffy have chosen Edinburgh’s Hogmanay not only for their first outing of 2015 but also to launch what looks like a very special year for them. Their stand-out performance two years ago headlining T in the Park reminded us that they are one of the most exciting live bands ever to come out of Scotland. Biffy have built a big international following and headlining an impressive Scottish line-up at Concert in the Gardens will please both the Scots and our audience who come from over 70 countries.”

     

    Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s festivals and events champion, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is going back to its Scottish roots. Idlewild first formed in Edinburgh 20 years ago and they are sure to be a huge hit with local fans in particular, while Scotland’s NME Award winning Biffy Clyro will help the city bring in the bells when they perform at the Concert in the Gardens. Coupled with the famous fireworks display, this year’s celebrations will yet again entertain thousands of people and get 2016 off to a spectacular start.”

     

    Special guests Idlewild formed in Edinburgh in 1995 and will perform at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with a line-up of Roddy Woomble, Rod Jones, Colin Newton, Andrew Mitchell and Lucci Rossi. The Scottish indie band have had a triumphant return to the live scene in 2015, performing at summer festivals across the country with their first album since 2009 ‘Everything Ever Written’ which has been launched to critical, and public, acclaim.

    Honeyblood will open Concert in the Gardens, closing a huge year for Scots duo which has seen them perform at festivals across Europe including an opening slot for the Foo Fighters at their recent Murrayfield gig. Edinburgh born singer Stina Marie Claire Tweedale and drummer Cat Myers released their debut album in 2014 and also joined Belle & Sebastian on their US tour earlier this year. 

    Category: Music

  • 18 September 2015

    The Davis Cup begins

    One of the oldest rivalries in tennis will be renewed when Great Britain meet Australia at the Emirates Arena in the Davis Cup semi-final tie from today until Sunday. The sporting clash is supported by EventScotland and is the first semi-final for GB and Australia since 1981 and 2006 respectively and the 12th time the two sides have met in the tournament.

    Australia leads the head-to-head 8-4 and the last time GB defeated Australia was at Crystal Palace, London in 1978.

    Today will see former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray Thanasi Kokkinakis in Friday's opening singles at 13:00 BST, followed by world number 300 Dan Evans against Bernard Tomic.

    GB captain Leon Smith also named Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot for Saturday's doubles, although nominations can change up to an hour before play, so Andy Murray could yet feature.

    Britain is trying to reach their first Davis Cup final since 1978.

    The best-of-five tie opens with two singles matches on Friday, followed by the doubles match on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday. The line-up for the weekend’s sporting action currently stands as:

    Friday
    Andy Murray v Thanasi Kokkinakis (13:00 BST)
    Dan Evans v Bernard Tomic

    Saturday
    Dom Inglot & Jamie Murray v Lleyton Hewitt & Samuel Groth

    Sunday
    Andy Murray v Bernard Tomic
    Dan Evans v Thanasi Kokkinakis

    The winners will play either Argentina or Belgium in the final. 

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 18 September 2015

    Scottish Thistles Award shortlist revealed

    One of the biggest events in golf, the ‘best ever’ Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s world-famous New Year festival and a star-studded music awards show are among those in the running for a top tourism award.

     The shortlist for the regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards has been announced today (18 September) and sees some of the biggest events in Scottish history, world-famous attractions and first-class accommodation providers compete for the coveted regional accolades.

     Nominees include The 2014 Ryder Cup, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay organised by Unique Events, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the MTV VMAs, Edinburgh Zoo, Rosslyn Chapel and Knockhill Racing Circuit.

     Shortlisted finalists will now battle it out against competition from across five different areas at regional award ceremonies to be held in November.

     The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrates excellence, innovation and success within the country’s valuable hospitality and tourism sector. Successful finalists in each category will then go on to represent their respective region in the glittering national Scottish Thistle Award final in March 2016, part of the Signature Programme of Scottish Tourism Week.

    2015 saw a record breaking 615 entries submitted, including hundreds of nominations from members of the public keen to recognise hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service. Over 60% of businesses were encouraged to enter after being nominated by the public.

    Categories, which are aligned with the Scottish Tourism Strategy 2020, include Fishers Cleaning Services Ltd’s Most Hospitable Hotel and Friendliest Pub or Bar, as well as new awards such as ‘Hospitality Hero’ and ‘Tourism – Everyone’s Business’. An ‘Innovation’ category has been introduced this year in anticipation of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.

    Stephen Carter OBE, VisitScotland Board Member and Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said: “It’s been fantastic to see such an overwhelming response from the general public to this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards.

    “The Scottish Thistles Awards help celebrate the shining stars of our tourism and hospitality sector and recognise those who strive to offer visitors a truly memorable experience of Scotland. 

    “From the sheer volume and calibre of entries, it is clear that this year’s competition will be the fiercest yet and on behalf of the panel I’d like to congratulate all the shortlisted entrants and wish each and every one of them the very best of the luck at the regional finals later this year.”

    The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Wild Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.

    Regional finals will take place in different locations around Scotland covering areas such as Fife and Tayside, Central South East, Central South West, the Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and Aberdeen City and Shire, which will this year be organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

    The Central South West Regional Final will take place at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday 4 November 2015.

    The Central South East Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on Wednesday 11 November 2015.

    The North East & Tayside Regional Final will take place at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh on Wednesday 11 November 2015.

    The Highlands and Islands Regional Final, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards,  will take place at the New Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday 13 November 2015

     The Aberdeen City and Shire Regional Final, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, will take place at the Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Friday 27 November 2015

     For a full list of shortlisted finalists please visit: https://www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk/regional-finalists15/

    Category: Industry News

  • 17 September 2015

    DONALD SHAW AND KAREN MATHESON TO OPEN ROYAL NATIONAL MÒD 2015

    This year’s Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) will open with a sensational homecoming concert headlined by Capercaillie’s Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson.   Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, will return to Oban this autumn for the first time since 2009 and the nine day spectacular will take place from Friday 9th to Saturday 17th October

     2014’s Mòd was one of the most successful in its 123 year history - generating £3.5million to the business community in Inverness.  Organisers aim to have a positive impact on Oban and are setting the tone by kick starting proceedings with a performance by Donald and Karen, who hail from Argyll and formed Capercaillie in the town.  Kirsteen Macdonald and the Oban High School Trad Band complete the bill for the opening concert which will take place in the Corran Halls following a torchlight procession from Station Square to the venue. 

     Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, one of the oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisation, The Mòd is the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland.  Thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland, the UK and from all corners of the globe including USA, Australia and Holland will descend on Oban to take part and watch over 200 competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama.  The Fringe will run alongside the contests and has a packed programme of concerts, music sessions, poetry, dance and other art forms of every description.

     John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “We’re thrilled to be returning to Oban for the first time in six years.

     “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.  We’re delighted to have secured Donald and Karen to open this year’s event – it’s not to be missed.”

     Karen Matheson, of Capercaillie, said: “Traditional Scottish music has been part of my whole life and, as a kid, I even took part in The Royal National Mod, so to have it return to my hometown of Oban is really exciting.  I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the opening ceremony with Donald and other terrific acts.  The Mòd festival line up looks amazing and it’s wonderful that there is still such a thirst for traditional and Gaelic music in Scotland.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be once again supporting the Royal National Mòd, which is a fantastic celebration of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage and the Gaelic language.  Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the extensive fringe programme at this year’s Mòd will showcase the very best of Gaelic culture.”

    For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.ukTickets are available now from The Mòd Shop, George Street, Oban.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 September 2015

    Glasgow International announces 2016 programme

    Glasgow International is excited to announce details of the programme for its seventh edition, opening on 8 April 2016. Directed by Sarah McCrory, the 2016 programme is comprised of new works, site-specific commissions, exhibitions and events at over 57 spaces across the city of Glasgow.

    Exhibiting work by more than 228 of the best local and international artists, the 2016 Festival will build on the success and energy of the previous editions and further showcase Glasgow as one of the world’s most important centres for the production and display of contemporary visual art.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow International Festival is a tremendous celebration of the city’s standing within the international arts community and we are delighted to be able to offer our support again for 2016. As well as exhibiting the works of Scotland’s finest visual artists, it will also bring together many notable figures from across the world for a diverse event programme that continues to attract impressive audiences with every staging.”

    Highlights for the 2016 Festival will include:

    Solo exhibitions by international and Glasgow-based artists including Claire Barclay, Tamara Henderson, Helen Johnson, Cosima von Bonin, Derrick Alexis Coard, Tessa Lynch, Rallou Panagiotou and Monika Sosnowska.
     
    New commissions by British artist Aaron Angell, Turner Prize Winner Simon Starling and Venezuelan artist Sol Calero.
     
    Major group exhibition at Tramway, responding to Glasgow and its status as a post-industrial city, featuring artists including Lawrence Lek, Sheila Hicks, Alexandra Bircken, Mika Rottenberg, Amie Siegel, exhibition co-designed with Martin Boyce.
     
    Over 40 group shows and 36 solo exhibitions by Glasgow-based, UK and international artists
     
    Diverse new venues used across the city including listed Kelvin Hall, Roller Stop Roller Rink and No 1 Royals Terrace.

    For more information, please visit www.glasgowinternational.org.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 16 September 2015

    Sheep Dog Trials Hailed a Success

    The 2015 International Sheep Dog Trials, which took place last week in Dumfriesshire, have been hailed as the ‘best ever’ by the International Sheep Dog Society.  Organised by local volunteers, led by sheep dog expert Fiona McMillan and funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and EventScotland, the event was designed to showcase Dumfries & Galloway’s beautiful countryside, hospitality and rural skills to an international audience.

     HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the International Sheep Dog Society attended on the first day of the trials, while television crews from BBC Scotland filmed on the day. BBC Alba and S4C (the Welsh language broadcaster) filmed throughout the event. S4C’s coverage of the Trials will be broadcast on Saturday 3rd October and BBC Alba’s six one hour programmes will be broadcast in January 2016.

     Ireland scooped the team title, Welsh competitor Aled Owen and his dog Llangwm Cap were crowned Supreme Champions on Saturday with Wales also taking the Young Handler title. The top placed Scottish competitor was Alistair Stewart and his dog Midge from Lockerbie who achieved outstanding recognition from the Society in being awarded one of the sport’s highest and most coveted prizes – that of ‘Shepherd’s Cup.’

     The scale of the 2015 Trials reflects a growing interest in sheep dog trialling, building on the cult appeal of the iconic One Man and His Dog. 

     The event was part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink celebrations, and it showcased locally produced food, drink and crafts in a specially designed Artisan Village at the Trials. Children from local schools and nurseries had an opportunity to see the competition in glorious sunshine on the Thursday and Friday.   

     Organiser Fiona McMillan said the Trials were an opportunity to celebrate Dumfries & Galloway’s hospitality and agricultural heritage:

    “The International is one of the most prestigious sheep dog events in the world, and we welcomed visitors from Canada, USA and many from across mainland Europe who had come to see the most highly skilled dogs and handlers demonstrate their skills.

     “Dumfries & Galloway has a proud tradition of sheep hill farming and shepherding, so to hold this important event in Dumfriesshire for the first time in over 30 years was a great honour, especially so given the resurgence of interest in sheep dog trials as a spectator sport.

     “I’m delighted with the support and effort made by the local community, our funders, our local sponsors and of course our hosts for the event, the Mair family.  Together we put together an event that surpassed the expectations of the International Sheep Dog Society and its members.”

    Category: National Events

  • 16 September 2015

    New National Events Strategy

    A new ten year collaborative strategy to grow Scotland’s £3.5 billion events industry was unveiled today.

    Click here to view the strategy in full.

    ‘Scotland – The Perfect Stage’ sets out how Scotland can enhance its reputation nationally and internationally as the perfect stage for events.

    Today’s strategy updates the previous version, which culminated in the unprecedented success of 2014 when Scotland hosted the 20th Commonwealth Games, 2014 Cultural Programme, The Ryder Cup and more than 1,000 events in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme.

    Produced with over 100 contributions from the public, private and third sectors, the strategy covers everyone involved in planning, securing, supporting and delivering events in Scotland. This includes major events of international significance and smaller events supporting local communities.

    At the centre of the strategy is equal responsibility for delivery on the Scottish Government, the Events and Festivals sector and individual event organisers. This represents a more collaborative approach to ensure that Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in the events industry.

    According to the Scottish Events and Festivals Association (SEFA), the industry is currently worth an estimated £3.5 billion a year to the Scottish economy.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
     
    “Since the launch of the first national events strategy in 2008, Scotland has achieved many remarkable feats, becoming established as an elite event destination, especially following an incredible year in 2014 with the XX Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, MTV Europe Music Awards and Homecoming Scotland all taking place.
     
    “With the launch of Scotland – The Perfect Stage, we look forward to the prospect of continuing to welcome events of international significance, while developing the signature events which attract visitors to Scotland year after year, such as The Open Championship and Edinburgh’s Festivals, and events which are of crucial importance to the local communities that they support.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:

    “The events and festivals sector is a major contributor to the Scottish economy locally and internationally, creating jobs and making a significant contribution to our standing on the world stage.

    “This strategy draws on Scotland’s credentials as the perfect stage for events and the learnings from what was an unprecedented year for us in 2014. It sets out how we will build on our existing experience, expertise and reputation for hosting successful events by working together with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations to develop an even stronger, more dynamic events industry for Scotland.

    “This will ensure Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in events over the next ten years, with clear economic, social and reputational benefits for Scotland.” 

    VisitScotland Chairman, Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, said:

    “Events are an increasingly crucial part of Scotland’s tourism offering. In 2014, the eyes of the world were on Scotland as we celebrated the Year of Homecoming, The Ryder Cup and XX Commonwealth Games. We continue to build on that momentous year and show that Scotland’s facilities, infrastructure and, most importantly, warm and welcoming people make it the perfect stage to deliver major events to the highest standards.

    “The national strategy unveiled today will be a valuable tool in helping to galvanise the event industry, building confidence, harnessing skills and cementing our reputation as a leading destination for international events. This year Scotland has already played host to the IPC Swimming World Championships and FEI European Eventing Championships, while The Turner Prize and World Gymnastics Championships are all due here before the end of 2015. With our new strategy I look forward to welcoming even more world-class events to our shores in the future.”

    Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Events and Festivals Champion for the Scottish Tourism Alliance explained, however, that it is also crucial for the strategy to nurture local events, which deliver very real benefits for communities nationwide. He said:

    “The Perfect Stage is not only a description of Scotland’s offer to events and festivals organisers but it is also an aspiration of what we have to work towards. The strategy sets out clearly how we can all play our part in delivering growth. It is crucial we nurture all our events, not just those that make headlines but those with local character and reach - those that contribute so much to communities. 

    “Most importantly, the strategy provides a framework for thinking and a guide for further graft. It invites us to work together to upskill our staff, to develop the local, national and international offers, to be innovative in staging existing events and growing new ones, all the while looking to the needs of potential customers and audiences who are looking to be inspired.”

    Background:

    ‘Scotland – The Perfect Stage’ comprises the Events and Festivals aspect of ‘Tourism Scotland 2020’, a strategy for the tourism industry established by the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

    The strategy is available at: http://www.eventscotland.org/scotland-the-perfect-stage/the-national-events-strategy/

    The Perfect Stage strategy focuses on:

     

    • Promoting the importance to successful events of communities and partnerships between the public, private and third sectors.
    • Sustaining support for investment for events from private, public and third sectors.
    • Working together to tackle inequality.
    • Better consideration of transport links, technology and accommodation within long term event planning.
    • Using events to promote Scotland to the wider world.
    • Continuing to develop existing Scottish events, as well as securing one-off events.
    • Recognising events as a driver of Scotland’s visitor economy.
    • Developing the industry through further higher, post-graduate and CPD courses, as well as the exchange of best practice.
    • Improving how the economic, social, environmental and promotional value of events is evaluated.

     

    ‘Scotland – The Perfect Stage’, the national events strategy, is the result of an 18-month consultation process involving Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance and over 100 active participants from the public, private and third sectors.

    VisitScotland’s Events Directorate has led the development of the strategy and, through the work of its EventScotland team, Scotland has already been announced as host of golf’s global stars for The Open Championship in 2016, many of the world’s finest athletes for the European Sports Championships in 2018, and Europe’s footballing elite for UEFA Euro 2020.

    Scotland is also one of two nations bidding to host the 2019 Solheim Cup at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, to be decided later this year. 

    Category: News categories

  • 15 September 2015

    Scotland's largest rural book festival is delivered by an army of volunteers

    The story of the Wigtown Book Festival is made possible by the incredible dedication of its volunteers.

    Scotland’s largest and best rural Book Festival takes place between Friday 25 September and Sunday 4 October, and its packed programme of more than 200 individual events – including talks, music, theatre and film, for all ages over 10 days this autumn - will attract visitors to the beautiful Galloway town from all over the region, Scotland and further afield.

    The organisation required to deliver the Festival requires detailed planning and fantastic imagination, and would not be possible without a dedicated army of more than 120 volunteers.

    Confirming Council funding of £32,500 for the Festival this year, Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “Wigtown is as picturesque spot as you could possibly hope to find, and the Festival Programme this year is as full of treats and surprises as ever. It is a real pleasure to have met many of the volunteers who work so well with the Festival Trust to deliver the ten day celebration of books, the arts and Galloway. The volunteers clearly love the Festival and demonstrate how important it is to the local community, and that the Festival is of the community. It is amazing what can be achieved when the chemistry of an event works as well as the Wigtown Book Festival does.”

    Anne Barclay, Operational Director for the Festival said, “For the 17th year in a row, the people of Wigtown and neighbouring areas come together to deliver one of Scotland’s leading cultural events. The festival contributes over £2m to the local economy annually and we couldn’t do it without the dedication and belief of the many people who continue to volunteer over the years. The Wigtown Book Festival is a platform to showcase the region’s cultural highlights – including its unrivalled food produce, the dark skies of Galloway, its heritage and stories – which is why so many feel invested in making it happen.”

    A central Festival theme for 2015 is the relationship between the city and the country, which will be marked by special events, including a film season that runs the gamut from Cold Comfort Farm to Deliverance. The festival will also be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink with an enhanced programme of culinary talks and activities.

    Festival events are selling very well and visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. Programme highlights this year include writers Leila Aboulela, Laura Barnett, Chris Brookmyre, Jenny Colgan, Caroline Criado-Perez, Gavin Francis, Janice Galloway, Mairi Hedderwick, Liz Lochhead, Val McDermid, Neel Mukherjee, Thomas Pakenham, Anthony Seldon, Malachy Tallack, Raymond Tallis and AN Wilson; EastEnders star Annette Badland; comedians Jon Holmes, Phill Jupitus and Hardeep Singh Kohli; politicians Alex Salmond and Vince Cable; broadcasters Frank Gardner, Bridget Kendall, Rev Richard Coles, John McKay, Mike Wooldridge, Marc Allum of the Antiques Roadshow and Gary Bell QC, star of BBC1’s The Legalizer; astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell; and legendary Corries folk musician Ronnie Browne.

    For full details of the Festival, go to www.wigtownbookfestival.com

    Category: National Events

  • 15 September 2015

    The temperature is set to rise at Scone Palace's Scottish Food and Drink Festival 2015

    If you’ve been looking for some heat all summer, then all is not lost. The temperature is set to rise at Scone Palace this weekend as their hotly anticipated Chilli Fest gets under way as part of the 5 star visitor attraction’s Scottish Food and Drink Festival 2015.

    Taking place in the Palace grounds over two days from Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th September, the festival will celebrate The Year of Food and Drink with some of the country’s finest food producers and artisans on hand to tempt visitors with their tasty creations and present live cookery demonstrations.

    Presented by Chilli Dave of the Clifton Chilli Club, the now famous Chilli Eating Competition, into its third year, is a not for the faint hearted, or for sensitive stomachs, but is definitely not to be missed! 15 brave and, some would say, hot-headed, competitors will take on the challenge of eating 15 of the hottest chillies in the world. See this on both Saturday and Sunday at 3.00pm.

    In partnership with Perth Farmer’s Market, the festival will celebrate Scotland’s larder with a range of local and national food producers exhibiting their delicious produce including Cairn O’ Mohr Fruit Wines, a gin tasting from Strathearn Distillery and The Caledonian Oyster Co. Ltd who will have a fresh oyster bar for festival visitors to enjoy.

    There will also be a vast array of chilli based exhibitors, sticking to the spicy theme throughout the weekend. Vendors include Allan’s Chilli Products who will be exhibiting hot chilli sauces and jellies, chilli sauces from Spice of Fife and chilli jams from Lone Star Chilli. There will even be chilli inspired artwork from Chilli Bang Bang for those who would like a more permanent piece of spicy memorabilia. 

    Cookery demonstrations will be led by four of the local area’s finest chefs. Sarah Mellersh from Let’s Cook Scotland, Praveen Kumar of Tabla Indian Restaurant in Perth, Tim Dover from The Roost Restaurant in Bridge of Earn and Bhola Khanal from Everest Inn, a Perth-based Nepalese restaurant, will all be there to showcase their cookery expertise and offer advice to any budding chefs, both amateur and professional.

    Heather McArthur, Events Manager at Scone Palace commented:

    “As this is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, we are really excited to be welcoming so many vibrant and diverse food producers from far and wide to Scone Palace. Having just received our Taste Our Best accreditation from VisitScotland, it is fantastic to be able to showcase our food provenance alongside some of the best artisan food producers and suppliers in the country.

    To find out more about Scone Palace, visit www.scone-palace.co.uk

    Category: Food

  • 15 September 2015

    Join the Perfect Picnic at Perthshire Amber as the festival celebrates Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink

    Festival-goers are in for a tasty treat at this year’s Perthshire Amber which takes place 30 October – 8 November.  In addition to the fantastic musical line up featuring 17 concerts, the festival has an extended fringe programme ‘Amber Discoveries’, which is packed with foodie delights to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink.

    Perthshire Amber Decorated Wheelbarrow Parade - Sunday 1 November 2015 at 12.30pm

    Described as a “brilliant fun and an amazing spectacle”(Perthshire Advertiser) the decorated wheelbarrows, created by local businesses, community groups and families, are led by the pipe band through the streets of Dunkeld.  The barrows weave their way to Stanley Hill in the north of the village for judging followed by some wonderful live music from Buddy MacDonald, Dallahan and Dougie MacLean.  Local business will have special Amber Picnics for sale so that visitors can enjoy their perfect picnic while enjoying the free concert.

    The Tattie Talk with John Marshall, Saturday 31 October 4.30pm

    TattieTalk is a fast moving photo talk with stories of John Marshall’s ‘travels with potatoes’ across the globe. He was brought up on a Perthshire Farm near Dunning in the 1950’s early 60’s enjoying the country life of the time and has spent his entire working life in the potato industry.

    John will be tracking the source of the potato plant from Lake Titicaca in Peru , the introduction of this new food to Europe and the over-dependence which resulted in the Irish potato famine.  His talk reveals the pioneering work of Auchtermuchty’s Archibald Findlay and the proliferation of potato breeding which has led to the 4,000 varieties of potato that are being produced today! 

    The Berry Talk with Dougie MacLean and Ewen Sutherland, Saturday 7 November 10.00am

    Perthshire has been the centre of the UK soft fruit industry for around 100 years.  As a result of that a unique culture has grown up around the picking of berries in this area.  There was not a family that wasn’t involved, or a child that didn’t participate, in the berry picking every summer. Ewen Sutherland and Dougie MacLean will share their personal stories of thorns and red stained fingers during their years at the harvest of this most important crop.  From ‘cleeks’ to ‘luggies’ from ‘dreels’ to ‘big pails’ - they will inform and delight you with their perspective on the berry fields of Blair and surrounds and there might be a song or two as well..

    Wicked Chocolate Workshop with Elaine Forrest Saturday 7 November 11.15am

    The very popular chocolate workshop returns for 2015.  This is a chocolate event where the history, growing and manufacture of chocolate will be discussed in a light-hearted way. There will be many samples to taste and chocolate to take home courtesy of Perthshire’s own Wicked Chocolate who specialise in creating the most delicious chocolate drawn from sources around the world.

    To complete the delicious offering at Perthshire Amber, the team from Tennent’s will be holding tastings of their Caledonia Best beer at many of our evening concerts.

    And that’s not all, the ever popular music workshops and walks will be running again this year, with photography and archaeology walks as well as new storytelling walks around Dunkeld.  The music workshops will include handbells, penny whistle and the ever popular bodhran.

    Dougie MacLean explains more about the Discoveries Programme:

    “We love curating the Amber Discoveries; it’s such a vital part of the festival experience.  We know people travel from all over the world to enjoy our concerts, however it’s often the walks, talks and workshops that help visitors feel a part of the festival.  Discoveries gives people the chance to learn something new, either by trying a new instrument or improving their photography or learning about Perthshire’s fascinating history and culture.  This part of the world is so important to me, so much of my music is inspired by the landscape, the history and the people and I enjoy being able to share some of that with our audiences.”  

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

     We are delighted to be supporting Perthshire Amber through our Beacon programme. The additional food and drink offering as part of the Amber Discoveries Fringe programme will provide festival-goers with the opportunity to enjoy talks and workshops while sampling the very best local produce. The festival is a fantastic celebration of the music of Dougie Maclean and of the region’s culture and history, which contributes toward making Scotland the perfect stage for events.”

     For a full listing of all the Amber Discoveries and to book your tickets, go to the festival website www.perthshireamber.com

    The festival takes place from 30 October – 8 November in venues across Perthshire.  The festival hub is the charming village of Dunkeld, where festival goers will find the box office, Cabaret Amber, Open Mic Sessions and pub sessions throughout the festival.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 11 September 2015

    Courageous Civilians to Take Part in Extreme Challenge This Weekend for Charity

    A select group of over 120 civilians from across the globe will take part in a challenging 30 mile training exercise based on a  real life Royal Marines test of endurance this weekend.

    Part of the Commando Spirit Series of fundraising challenge events to raise £1M for The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, the training exercise is normally only experienced by Royal Marines Commandos. However this weekend, over 120 civilians including participants from as far afield as Hong Kong and Canada, disabled veteran, Hugh Ewart and many others will be greeted by Cameron of Lochiel as they take part in this gruelling charity challenge.

    The stunning Highlands of Scotland will be the  setting for the annual Survive The Yomp challenge in and around Spean Bridge, home to the iconic Commando Memorial, and Achnacarry Castle. Participants, supported by serving Royal Marines from 43 Commando and 539 Royal Marine Assault Squadron along with members of the RMA and civilian volunteers, will follow in the footsteps of thousands of Royal Marines who trained in the remote and unforgiving terrain to become “Commandos” and prepare for their pivotal roles in World War II.

    The annual Survive The Yomp offers participants the chance to take on the ultimate challenge all Royal Marines must complete in order to achieve the coveted green beret and complete the 30-miler over the original yomping ground of our Royal Marines Commandos. Last year’s event saw £50,000 raised for the charity with 41 participants taking part and organiser, Sally-Anne Hunter expects this weekend’s event to surpass that.

    Sally-Anne Hunter, Commando Spirit Founder and Director, said: “We are really looking forward to this year’s event and hope it’s as much as a success as last year.  Survive the Yomp gives participants a unique glimpse into the intensive training the Royal Marine Commandos go through and we’re so impressed by how many people want to to put themselves through this for such a worthwhile charity.”

     “I am always humbled and honoured to work with our former and serving Royal Marines and I would like to give a special thank you to all those who are giving up their weekend to support the event.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We are proud to be supporting Survive the Yomp for the first time this year through our National Programme. This exciting fundraising event in and around Achnacarry and Spean Bridge will put participants through an incredible test of endurance in the stunning Scottish Highlands. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to welcoming participants for this unique challenge.”

    The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund is dedicated to providing a better quality of life for the Royal Marines Family.  As such the RMCTF has as wide a set of purposes as any Service charity, working to support those wounded and injured, as well as those still serving, by funding decompression activities, homecoming events and memorials. It also provides through-life support to those who have left the Corps or dependents who have lost loved ones in service. Importantly, a significant grant is also made to the next of kin of all Royal Marines killed in service within 48 hours.

    For more information on the Commando Spirit Appeal and Series or to take part in next year’s challenges including Survive The Yomp, please visit www.commandospirit.com.

    To donate to the Commando Spirit Appeal please go to http://www.justgiving.com/CommandoSpirit or follow the event on Twitter @CdoSpirit and #STY2015

    Category: National Events

  • 10 September 2015

    International Sheep Dog Trials starts on Thursday with Royal Visit

    The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 begins on Thursday 10th September where the most highly skilled sheep dogs in the world will compete over 3 days for the title of Supreme Champion.  In attendance will be HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the International Sheep Dog Society.

    Interest in sheep dog trialling has never been higher, with ITV’s celebrity sheep dog show Flockstars attracting millions of viewers and BBC’s Countryfile giving a new home to the iconic One Man and His Dog.

     Sheep dog trials take core, traditional shepherding skills and showcase them in a spectacle of tough manoeuvres that test the skills of each competing dog and handler to the limit.  As well as the competitive trials, the event will also showcase artisan food, drink and crafts, and will host an extensive Country Fair on Championship Saturday.

     Among the highlights:

    Thursday:  Royal Visit from 12noon, Thursday 10th September

    Year of Food & Drink Artisans Village, daily rural skills demonstrations and vintage vehicle display

    Saturday: Supreme Championship competition all day

    Saturday: Young Handler Final at 12 noon

    Saturday: Countryside Fair with family friendly activities

    Saturday: Trophy presentation at 6pm

     Key Facts:

    The first recorded sheep dog trials were held in 1873 in Wales

    The UK is the 'kennel of the world' as far as the working sheepdog is concerned, sheep dogs here set the standard for the rest of the world

    Those competing have already triumphed in the National Trials in Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland held earlier this year

    The youngest competitor is 13 and the oldest refuses to say how old he is!

    The real stars are the dogs – there will be 72 sheep dogs competing

    Thousands of Trial experts and enthusiasts from all over Europe are visiting this prestigious competition

    Celebrity Shepherdess and Flockstars Coach, Emma Gray is coming to the Trials on Sat 12

     Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Event Champion said:

    “I’m delighted to see an event of such regard choosing to take place in Dumfries & Galloway.  The Trials create a wonderful opportunity for us to let visitors and TV audiences see all that Dumfries & Galloway has to offer.

     “This is a sport that plays well to Dumfries & Galloway’s strengths – beautiful scenery, a rich agricultural heritage and a fantastic tradition of appreciating and promoting traditional rural skills and crafts.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the International Sheep Dog Trails and Country Fair this year. Scotland has a rich agricultural heritage and a stunning landscape against which to hold the trials, further enhancing its reputation as the perfect stage for events. The Trials will attract thousands of people to Dumfries and Galloway and more than 70 competitors, which will ensure the event will generate an impressive economic impact for the area."

     The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 take place on 10-12 September at Meikleholm Farm, half way between Moffat and Dumfries.  Day tickets can be purchased on the gate and cost £8, with children (and dogs) free of charge. 

    Category: National Events

  • 10 September 2015

    Edinburgh and BT Murrayfield to host 2016 Guinness PRO12 Final

    Edinburgh will host the 2016 Guinness PRO12 Final on Saturday 28 May 2016. The final will be played at BT Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby.

    It is the second time that the Guinness PRO12 has staged a 'destination final' allowing the host city to prepare for a great festival of rugby on the Final weekend. 

    The Guinness PRO12 Final will be broadcast live on TV by Sky Sports and other broadcast partners to be confirmed once finalists are known.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events, said: "We are delighted that BT Murrayfield has been selected to host the 2015-2016 GUINNESS PRO12 Final. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and fans coming to Edinburgh in May can expect some fantastic rugby in Scotland's national stadium right in the heart of Scotland's unique and vibrant capital city.”

    Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby's Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs and Board Director of Guinness PRO12 said: "We are extremely pleased that our bid was successful and we have the privilege of hosting such a prestigious Final.

    "Bringing the match to Scotland and BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh is a great way to grow the tournament and our focus will be on attracting a record crowd for a PRO12 final, which for the first time is being held outside of Ireland."

    Announcing Edinburgh as the chosen host city John Feehan, CEO of PRO12 Rugby said: "Edinburgh is well known as an inspiring host city for sports, arts & cultural events. The BT Murrayfield Stadium is a super venue for the Guinness PRO12 Final. We invited offers from all 12 clubs & their regions to host the Final. The tender from Edinburgh was outstanding and was unanimously agreed as the chosen venue." 

    Category: Rugby

  • 08 September 2015

    Aegon GB team announced for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semi-final tie vs. Australia

    The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today confirmed the Great Britain team to contest the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semi-final tie against Australia from September 18-20, 2015 at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.

    The Aegon GB Davis Cup Team, which will be led by captain Leon Smith, will comprise of:

    Andy Murray
    Kyle Edmund
    James Ward
    Jamie Murray
    Dominic Inglot

    Commenting on the selections, Leon Smith said: “I'm delighted to name the five players for the match against Australia. Once again the team will be spearheaded by Andy Murray who has shown incredible dedication and passion to the team in recent ties. After the fantastic performances of all of those involved in our campaign this year, we carry great momentum going into the tie. However, we know the test ahead of us and the Australian team have some incredible talent that is worthy of a Davis Cup semi-final. In James Ward we have a player who has shown on more than one occasion he can deliver the upsets required in this tournament, and, in Kyle Edmund, a fantastic young talent who has broken into 100 for the first time recently.


    • “We will also be travelling to Glasgow with some flexibility for the doubles rubber. Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot are both having a great US Open this year. Jamie and Andy had great success against a very strong French pairing in July, while Dom and Jamie showed what they could do against the greatest doubles team of all time in the Bryan brothers back in March, narrowly losing the fifth set. I know that all of the team will feel a great sense of pride when they pull on their GB shirts and whoever walks out on the court in Glasgow will give everything.

      “Our run of home ties in this year’s tournament have been met with the most incredible support. And once again we want everyone who is coming to the tie to make as much noise as possible. We are all so excited to be returning to the Emirates Arena and to Glasgow where we have such fond memories and I'm sure the crowd will be behind us 100%.”

      British No.1 Andy Murray said, “It's always exciting playing in the Davis Cup in front of a home crowd and I love being part of a team and representing my country. Australia are a very experienced nation with a proven track record, and while it will be tough, we’ll go into the semi-final with the belief that we can do it.  The crowd will certainly play a part, we have had amazing support in our last two home ties, and we are all looking forward to this one.”

      Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, added: “The performance of the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team this year has been remarkable. This historic run has been an achievement we are proud to support. Returning to the scene of the thrilling victory over the USA in March is very exciting and we wish Leon and all of the team the very best of luck.”

      One of the oldest rivalries in tennis will be renewed when Great Britain meet Australia at the Emirates Arena in the semi-final tie supported by Event Scotland. This is the first semi-final for GB and Australia since 1981 and 2006 respectively and the 12th time the two sides have met in the tournament. Australia leads the head-to-head 8-4 and the last time GB defeated Australia was at Crystal Palace, London in 1978. 

      The winners of the tie will face either Belgium or Argentina in the final from 27- 29 November 2015.

      For further information please go to www.lta.org.uk/DavisCup

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 07 September 2015

    Get your entry in for the UK Event Awards!

    The UK Event Awards are back for 2015 and are now accepting entries. The awards, which are now in their 6th year, reward all aspects of the industry including event organisers, suppliers and promoters. This year categories include Event Agency of the Year, Conference of the Year and Large Venue of the Year.

    The judging panel for this year’s awards has begun to take shape with four names already in the frame with more to be confirmed. 

    Judging Panel

     Emma Barrow – Head of Events at Somerset House

     Richard Dodgson – Founder & Creative Director of Timebased Events

    Lynn Lester – Managing Director of Events at The Drum

    Caroline Jones – Founder of Miss Jones & Co

    Philip Atkins – Founder of Off to Work

    Read more about this year’s judges online

    Deadline: September 16th 

    Submissions can now be made online up until the deadline of September 16th. The awards are open to all UK companies and international companies that have organised a UK based event. 
    Contact
    For more information including entry enquiries please contact Claire Shades on 0141 559 6061 or e-mailclaire.shades@thedrum.com
    Download the awards entry pack for more information on categories and how to enter. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 07 September 2015

    MTV returns to Scotland with MTV Live Lockdown Glasgow

    We are delighted to announce the return of the MTV to Glasgow later this month. EventScotland are partnering with MTV UK and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) to treat music fans to MTV Live Lockdown Glasgow on 30th September, the second live music event to be produced in the city in less than a year. 

    Confirmed performers include English rapper and dance phenomenon, Example, two piece band, Slaves and chart topping British duo, Sigma.

    The news builds on the success of the 2014 MTV EMAs and MTV Crashes held in Glasgow in 2010.

    MTV Live Lockdown Glasgow will feature its trademark selection of high profile artists delivering a unique performance in a coliseum style set, providing a 360 degree view for an intimate and exclusive audience of approximately 500 fans. 

    The live event will be produced by JJ Stereo and filmed and broadcast as a 3 x 30-minute series set to air on 30th October on MTV Music and MV Live HD. 

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland:  “It’s fantastic to welcome MTV to Scotland once more and hold the first production of MTV Live Lockdown outside of London.  MTV Live Lockdown forms part of a legacy from the 2014 MTV EMA which was also hosted here; further reinforcing Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events”.

    Category: Music

  • 07 September 2015

    PIONEERING APP BRINGS WOODLAND CREATURES TO LIFE!

    With just one month to go until the launch of DragonQuest, Dundee animation graduates are making the finishing touches to the computer-generated creatures which will inhabit the woods of Monikie Country Park.

    DragonQuest is a theatrical, mystery spectacular created especially for the woods of Monikie from Wednesday 7 October to Sunday 1 November 2015 (excluding Mondays).  The technology, which will see hovering flies, fairies and goblins appear within the magical setting of Monikie, will be the first ever use of Augmented Reality (AR) in a live theatre performance.

    The Edinburgh-based Vision Mechanics team of designers, along with animation graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee (DJCAD), has created breath-taking sets and fantastic illusions to wow family audiences and leave lasting impressions on visitors. 

    The DJCAD graduates have now unveiled the conceptual drawings which provided the inspiration behind the creatures which will appear in the DragonQuest App which, when downloaded onto smartphones or tablets, will reveal what was hidden - a world of magical creatures which they can scan and snap for social media, friends and family alike.  The App itself has been built and designed by Lanarkshire-based Colin Purves of itsalivedesign.co.uk who, through some clever mathematics, has propelled the 3D creatures into our world utilising the very latest computer technology.

    Saara Väkiparta, the team lead for the animation/3D models who graduated from DJCAD in June 2015, has been working on the 3D modelling and texturing for the App.

     She said, “Vision Mechanics approached me after the DJCAD degree show, asking if I’d be interested in making fairies, goblins and the like for an augmented reality App. The idea of a sculptural forest show with technology sounded interesting and I was really excited about the prospect. The process required to make the characters for the App is very much a collaborative one. I specialise in 3D modelling and texturing, so I make the form of the 3D models in a digital sculpting programme - not too different from working with physical clay - then make the model animation-friendly with editing, add in the colours and surfaces, and this model is sent to the rigger who puts the skeleton in the model for animation. The concepts for the models were made by former classmate Constantin Daniel Popa, and I was very happy for another chance to make his crazy ideas come to life and work in 3D!”

     Symon Macintyre, Artistic Director, Vision Mechanics added, “DragonQuest is a story of romance, magic and mystery that the audience will discover as they walk in the woods on an autumn evening.   We were keen to tap into local talent to develop the technology side of things but, even without a smartphone or tablet, audiences will be able to enjoy a whole host of impressive, interactive physical installations and lots of traditional, theatrical creations to see and explore on the night!”

    DragonQuest has been supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.

    Tickets are available from The Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1AW - telephone 01241 435800, email info@webstertheatre.co.uk or via www.webstertheatre.co.uk.

    The Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-6pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm. On performance nights, the Box Office hours will be extended, changing to Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-7.30-pm and on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm-7.30pm.

    For further information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk and Facebook page - facebook.com/DarkWoodDragonQuest.

    For more information, please contact Vision Mechanics – telephone (0131) 554 8923, email info@visionmechanics.org or website www.visionmechanics.org.

    Category: National Events

  • 03 September 2015

    50 Days to Go until the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships begins!

    With the countdown now on, Glasgow and Scotland are getting ready to welcome 600 world-class gymnasts from over 90 countries as they compete for a Word-Title!  The Championships will be held at The SSE Hydro from 23 October – 1 November and to celebrate 50 Days to Go the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships team will be hosting a pop-up event on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow this Saturday.


     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland has proven itself as the perfect stage for events in recent years and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow are another shining example of this. The event has attracted a record number of entries from more participating countries than ever before, demonstrating the appetite among world-class athletes to compete on the world stage in Glasgow. As an important qualifying event for the Rio Olympic Games, spectators at the SSE Hydro Arena are set to witness an exhilarating contest among the world’s finest gymnasts at the very pinnacle of their powers.”


     EventScotland worked in partnership with British Gymnastics, UK Sport and Glasgow City Council to host this prestigious event.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 September 2015

    Countdown to Craft Beer Rising at Drygate: Full Line Up Confirmed

     

    Scotland’s biggest collaborative craft beer festival– Craft Beer Rising – has today announced its full line-up, promising a weekend of beer, street food and music in Glasgow city centre. Hosted in collaboration with Drygate Brewing Co – the UK’s first experiential craft brewery – Craft Beer Rising will take place from the Friday 4th – Saturday 5th of September 2015, with tickets on sale. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend, building on the success of last year and cementing Craft Beer Rising’s position as the leader of a new wave of festivals that bring together beer, music and street food under one roof.  Taking place across three sessions, festivalgoers can look forward to sampling up to 150 beers from 30 local and international breweries, including Williams Bros, BrewDog, Harviestoun, Stewart’s Brewing, Innis & Gunn and Drygate. Music at Craft Beer Rising will focus some of the country’s best DJ talent.   Headline acts include DJ Food on Friday and a Friendly Fires DJ set on Saturday.  Saturday will also feature a support set from Prince Fatty and Horseman, known for their take on ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ which featured on the ‘Breaking Bad’ soundtrack.  A Scottish street food offering inspired by sustainable and seasonal produce is set to include Scottish cheeses, smoked salmon salads and even seaweed soups. Served fresh from the Rabbie’s Highland Bothy, it is hoped that the locally sourced menu might even inspire festivalgoers to try their hand at beer and food pairing. Babu Kitchen (Glasgow curry kitchen), Ugly Burger, Burger Bear, The Meat Merchants (authentic Biltong) and Little Jack Horner (artisan sausage rolls) complete the street food line-up. Craft Beer Rising has received support as part of the Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. Craft Beer Rising founder – Daniel Rowntree – shared his excitement ahead of the festival’s second year in Glasgow: “Craft Beer Rising Glasgow was our fastest selling event to date; which is remarkable given that the festival began in London. “What this tells us is that there is an incredible appetite for craft beer in Scotland and opportunities where lots of different types of people – from adventurous foodies to craft beer novices - can come together, share experiences and get involved.  “Drygate proved to be the perfect venue for the festival – which is why we’re coming back for seconds! The fact that Drygate is committed to creating a craft beer experience for everyone – no matter where you are on that journey – completely resonates with Craft Beer Rising and our mission to create an immersive and unforgettable festival experience, quite unlike any other.” Drygate’s Operation Director – Colin Johnston – welcomed the festival back to Glasgow’s East End: “We’re delighted to be hosting Craft Beer Rising’s return to Scotland. “As a craft brewery powered by the spirit of collaboration, we welcome any opportunity to work more closely with other breweries; sharing knowledge, experiences and our passion for craft beer along the way.” Tickets for Craft Beer Rising at Drygate are on sale now for £12 from www.craftbeerrising.co.ukCraft Beer Rising takes place over three public sessions, plus a session for trade on Friday 4th September 2015 from 11am – 5.30pm. Sessions are as follows: Friday 4th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12Saturday 5th September 2015: 11am – 5.30pm, tickets £12Saturday 5th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12 Evening sessions are over 18s only. Minors are welcome for the Saturday daytime session if accompanied by an adult. Craft Beer Rising at Drygate can be found at the following address, 10 minutes’ walk from George Square: 85 Drygate, Glasgow, G4 0UT Craft Beer Rising was created in 2012 by founders Daniel Rowntree and Chris Bayliss, who run marketing agency Elastic, partnering with leading beer and music experts. 
    Scotland’s biggest collaborative craft beer festival – Craft Beer Rising – has today announced its full line-up, promising a weekend of beer, street food and music in Glasgow city centre. 
    Hosted in collaboration with Drygate Brewing Co – the UK’s first experiential craft brewery – Craft Beer Rising will take place from the Friday 4th – Saturday 5th of September 2015, with tickets on sale. 
    Over 2,000 people are expected to attend, building on the success of last year and cementing Craft Beer Rising’s position as the leader of a new wave of festivals that bring together beer, music and street food under one roof.  
    Taking place across three sessions, festival-goers can look forward to sampling up to 150 beers from 30 local and international breweries, including Williams Bros, BrewDog, Harviestoun, Stewart’s Brewing, Innis & Gunn and Drygate. 
    Music at Craft Beer Rising will focus some of the country’s best DJ talent. Headline acts include DJ Food on Friday and a Friendly Fires DJ set on Saturday. Saturday will also feature a support set from Prince Fatty and Horseman, known for their take on ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ which featured on the ‘Breaking Bad’ soundtrack.  
    A Scottish street food offering inspired by sustainable and seasonal produce is set to include Scottish cheeses, smoked salmon salads and even seaweed soups. Served fresh from the Rabbie’s Highland Bothy, it is hoped that the locally sourced menu might even inspire festivalgoers to try their hand at beer and food pairing. 
    Babu Kitchen (Glasgow curry kitchen), Ugly Burger, Burger Bear, The Meat Merchants (authentic Biltong) and Little Jack Horner (artisan sausage rolls) complete the street food line-up. 
    Craft Beer Rising has received support as part of the Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. 
    Craft Beer Rising founder – Daniel Rowntree – shared his excitement ahead of the festival’s second year in Glasgow: “Craft Beer Rising Glasgow was our fastest selling event to date; which is remarkable given that the festival began in London. 
    “What this tells us is that there is an incredible appetite for craft beer in Scotland and opportunities where lots of different types of people – from adventurous foodies to craft beer novices - can come together, share experiences and get involved.  
    “Drygate proved to be the perfect venue for the festival – which is why we’re coming back for seconds! The fact that Drygate is committed to creating a craft beer experience for everyone – no matter where you are on that journey – completely resonates with Craft Beer Rising and our mission to create an immersive and unforgettable festival experience, quite unlike any other.” 
    Drygate’s Operation Director – Colin Johnston – welcomed the festival back to Glasgow’s East End: “We’re delighted to be hosting Craft Beer Rising’s return to Scotland. 
    “As a craft brewery powered by the spirit of collaboration, we welcome any opportunity to work more closely with other breweries; sharing knowledge, experiences and our passion for craft beer along the way.” 
    Tickets for Craft Beer Rising at Drygate are on sale now for £12 from www.craftbeerrising.co.uk
    Craft Beer Rising takes place over three public sessions, plus a session for trade on Friday 4th September 2015 from 11am – 5.30pm.
    Sessions are as follows: 
    Friday 4th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12
    Saturday 5th September 2015: 11am – 5.30pm, tickets £12
    Saturday 5th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12 
    Evening sessions are over 18s only.
    Minors are welcome for the Saturday daytime session if accompanied by an adult. 
    Craft Beer Rising at Drygate can be found at the following address, 10 minutes’ walk from George Square: 85 Drygate, Glasgow, G4 0UT 
    Craft Beer Rising was created in 2012 by founders Daniel Rowntree and Chris Bayliss, who run marketing agency Elastic, partnering with leading beer and music experts.

    Scotland’s biggest collaborative craft beer festival – Craft Beer Rising – has today announced its full line-up, promising a weekend of beer, street food and music in Glasgow city centre.

    Hosted in collaboration with Drygate Brewing Co – the UK’s first experiential craft brewery – Craft Beer Rising will take place from the Friday 4th – Saturday 5th of September 2015, with tickets on sale.

    Over 2,000 people are expected to attend, building on the success of last year and cementing Craft Beer Rising’s position as the leader of a new wave of festivals that bring together beer, music and street food under one roof.  

    Taking place across three sessions, festivalgoers can look forward to sampling up to 150 beers from 30 local and international breweries, including Williams Bros, BrewDog, Harviestoun, Stewart’s Brewing, Innis & Gunn and Drygate.

    Music at Craft Beer Rising will focus some of the country’s best DJ talent.  

    Headline acts include DJ Food on Friday and a Friendly Fires DJ set on Saturday.  

    Saturday will also feature a support set from Prince Fatty and Horseman, known for their take on ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ which featured on the ‘Breaking Bad’ soundtrack.  

    A Scottish street food offering inspired by sustainable and seasonal produce is set to include Scottish cheeses, smoked salmon salads and even seaweed soups. Served fresh from the Rabbie’s Highland Bothy, it is hoped that the locally sourced menu might even inspire festivalgoers to try their hand at beer and food pairing.

    Babu Kitchen (Glasgow curry kitchen), Ugly Burger, Burger Bear, The Meat Merchants (authentic Biltong) and Little Jack Horner (artisan sausage rolls) complete the street food line-up.

    Craft Beer Rising has received support as part of the Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland.

    Craft Beer Rising founder – Daniel Rowntree – shared his excitement ahead of the festival’s second year in Glasgow: “Craft Beer Rising Glasgow was our fastest selling event to date; which is remarkable given that the festival began in London.

    “What this tells us is that there is an incredible appetite for craft beer in Scotland and opportunities where lots of different types of people – from adventurous foodies to craft beer novices - can come together, share experiences and get involved.  

    “Drygate proved to be the perfect venue for the festival – which is why we’re coming back for seconds! The fact that Drygate is committed to creating a craft beer experience for everyone – no matter where you are on that journey – completely resonates with Craft Beer Rising and our mission to create an immersive and unforgettable festival experience, quite unlike any other.”

    Drygate’s Operation Director – Colin Johnston – welcomed the festival back to Glasgow’s East End: “We’re delighted to be hosting Craft Beer Rising’s return to Scotland.

    “As a craft brewery powered by the spirit of collaboration, we welcome any opportunity to work more closely with other breweries; sharing knowledge, experiences and our passion for craft beer along the way.”

    Tickets for Craft Beer Rising at Drygate are on sale now for £12 from www.craftbeerrising.co.uk

    Craft Beer Rising takes place over three public sessions, plus a session for trade on Friday 4th September 2015 from 11am – 5.30pm.

    Sessions are as follows:

    Friday 4th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12

    Saturday 5th September 2015: 11am – 5.30pm, tickets £12

    Saturday 5th September 2015: 6pm – 1am, tickets £12

    Evening sessions are over 18s only.

    Minors are welcome for the Saturday daytime session if accompanied by an adult.

    Craft Beer Rising at Drygate can be found at the following address, 10 minutes’ walk from George Square: 85 Drygate, Glasgow, G4 0UT

    Craft Beer Rising was created in 2012 by founders Daniel Rowntree and Chris Bayliss, who run marketing agency Elastic, partnering with leading beer and music experts. 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 01 September 2015

    Further line-ups confirmed for the Aviva Tour of Britain

    UCI Hour Record holder and 2012 Tour de France Champion Sir Bradley Wiggins and Taylor Phinney of the BMC Racing Team are the latest star riders to confirm that they will be on the start line for the Aviva Tour of Britain, which begins this Sunday (6 September) from Beaumaris in North Wales.

    Wiggins, who won the 2013 Tour of Britain, will lead his own Team WIGGINS in their first appearance in the race.

    Phinney was fourth in the Olympic Games Road Race in 2012 on his last appearance on British roads, and will line-up for the BMC Racing Team on their second appearance in British Cycling’s premier road cycling event. The remaining five riders in their provisional line-up will be announced later in the week.

    The duo head the latest riders to be confirmed for the Aviva Tour of Britain, a list which also includes Evan Oliphant (pictured) for Team Raleigh GAC who will ride on home roads in East Lothian during Stage Four from Edinburgh to Blyth. This team will be led by this year’s British Cycling Elite Road Series Champion Steve Lampier.

    Provisional line-ups for the Tinkoff Saxo and Cult Energy Pro Cycling teams have also been confirmed.

    UCI WorldTeam Tinkoff Saxo will be led by Croatian Robert Kiserlovski, who has twice finished in the top ten overall of the Giro d’Italia, with a line-up that also includes Giro d’Italia stage winner Chris Anker Sorensen and Nikolay Trusov, who won a stage of the 2007 Tour of Britain in Taunton.

    The Cult Energy Pro Cycling team will make their debut at the Aviva Tour of Britain, with a strong line-up that includes former Tour de France yellow jersey Linus Gerdemann who won the SKODA Tour de Luxembourg earlier this year and 2005 British Road Race Champion Russ Downing.

    Fellow former British Champion and 2012 SKODA King of the Mountains winner Kristian House will also return, leading the JLT Condor presented by Mavic team, in what is his final appearance for the ‘men in black’.

    Further British interest comes in the An Post Chain Reaction line-up led by Josh Edmondson, who finished in the top 20 on his last appearance in the Aviva Tour of Britain in 2012.  Edmondson won the Ronde de l’Oise stage race in France earlier this Summer

    Riding alongside Edmondson will be fellow Brit Alistair Slater, Lithuanian National Champion Aidis Kruopis and 2012 Olympic Team Pursuit Bronze medallist Aaron Gate.

    Further rider announcements will be made over the next two days to confirm the remaining line-ups ahead of the Team Presentation, which takes place at Parc Eirias at Colwyn Bay on Saturday 5 September.

    Among the riders previously confirmed for the Aviva Tour of Britain are former winners Dylan Van Baarle (2014) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (2009) and former stage winners Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek and Andre Greipel, plus three-time World Cyclo-Cross Champion Zdenek Stybar.

    Following Stage One live on ITV, Stages Two to Eight will all be shown live on ITV4, with three-hours of coverage each day. ITV4 will show a one-hour highlights programme each evening.

    British Eurosport will also show live coverage and highlights of the race in the UK.  Live coverage and highlights will also be shown worldwide in excess of 100 countries.

    The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: Cycling

  • 31 August 2015

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CLOSES AFTER A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL 2015

    The 2015 Edinburgh International Festival comes to a close today after a hugely successful programme, featuring some of the world’s greatest artists, which has extended its reach to audiences both at the Festival and across the world.

     Free, outdoor events such as the Festival’s Opening Event, The Harmonium Project, and the closing Virgin Money Fireworks Concert see the Festival spill out of the city’s established theatre and concert halls. Nearly 20,000 people celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Festival Chorus as its recorded performance of John Adams’s Harmonium, played by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, was brought to life in a spectacular digital animation created by 59 Productions.

     Tonight an estimated audience of 250,000 is expected to enjoy the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from Princes St Gardens, Princes Street, Inverleith Park and all over the city.

     2015 has been acclaimed as an outstanding year for the International Festival, with top rated shows including The Encounter from Complicite and Simon McBurney; Antigone directed by Ivo van Hove with Juliette Binoche; Sylvie Guillem’s farewell tour, Life in Progress; 887 from Ex Machina and Robert Lepage; Budapest Festival Orchestra’s production of The Marriage of Figaro; Lanark by David Grieg, directed by Graham Eatough for the Citizens Theatre; and The Magic Flute, directed by Barrie Kosky at Komische Oper among many other staged events.

     The Usher Hall played host to orchestras and artists from around the world with stand out performances by the San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra; Yuja Wang; Colin Currie; and by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus in its 50th Anniversary. At the Queen’s Hall the series of morning chamber music concerts included wonderful performances by, among others, Matthias Goerne and Daniil Trifonov and the Zehetmair Quartet.

     The new Hub Sessions series of concerts with artists such as King Creosote and Anna Calvi and concerts by FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) and Sufjan Stevens proved extremely popular and further extended the Festival’s reach and impact.

     Audiences have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the Festival taking more than £3.8 million in ticket sales income, surpassing last year’s record receipts by approximately 19%. While in a wonderfully sunny Edinburgh over 6,000 people enjoyed 12 Scottish brass bands play on 12 sites along the Water of Leith bringing the Festival to new audiences.

     This was Festival Director Fergus Linehan’s first Festival.

     Festival  Director, Fergus Linehan said; ‘At the end of three exhilarating weeks, all that remains is for us to thank the hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of audience members who continue to make the Edinburgh International Festival one of the wonders of the arts world. 

     ‘This alliance of artists, audiences, government agencies, the media, donors and sponsors is unprecedented and all of us at the Festival office are deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute to this remarkable organisation. We will continue to seek out artists of the highest calibre and present their work to the widest possible audience.’

     The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said,

     “From the opening notes and illuminations of the spectacular The Harmonium Project to the crescendo of the festival fireworks this is has been a great year for the Edinburgh International Festival. The festival has delivered music, theatre, dance and culture of the highest quality, including Lanark - a remarkable production that we have been proud to support through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo fund.  I have been impressed how the festival has pushed the boundaries to connect to wider audiences with projects such as ‘Fanfare’ and ‘From Castlebrae with Love.”

  • 31 August 2015

    A TRULY SCOTTISH FEEL TO THE LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP

    This year will be the first time the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship will take place on Scottish soil and the first time in 10 years that the British team will have home advantage going into this prestigious Championship.

     The fairytale Blair Castle, situated just outside Pitlochry between Perth and Inverness, is the chosen venue.  The event takes place from 10-13 September and the stage will be set to welcome Europe's best event riders.  Although Blair has never hosted a senior championship previously, it has run two Young Rider European Championships (2007 and 2011); on both occasions Britain won team gold - can the seniors follow suit?

     Blair Castle is a truly historic location. Dating back to 1269 this ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl has been home to 19 generations of the Stewarts and Murrays who, over the years, have backed winners and losers, won battles and lost them. There could hardly be a more fitting setting for the most important eventing competition of the year.

     Alec Lochore, the Event Director, knows Blair Castle like the back of his hand and with his experience as Eventing Manager for the 2012 London Olympic Games is ideally placed to put on the most spectacular show that Blair has ever seen.

     “It's hugely exciting to be hosting the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship in Scotland – my home country. Blair Castle is a wonderful venue, with a remarkable team behind it; we will all be working extremely hard to make sure that visitors – riders, horses, volunteers, spectators, trade stand exhibitors, everyone – will enjoy a wonderful few days in the Scottish Highlands,” said Alec.

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “We are proud to welcome the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 to Scotland for the first time in its distinguished history and it would be hard to imagine a more fitting location for this grand occasion than the stunning Blair Castle, one of the country’s most distinctive and historic estates. Over the course of the Championship, Europe’s finest event riders will provide quite a show for the many thousands of spectators expected to gather in scenic Perthshire over four days and I’m sure they will be treated to an event to remember.”

     Eventing is a three phase sport, a comprehensive test of all round ability of both horse and rider. The dressage phase demands obedience, accuracy and controlled flamboyance. This is followed by the adrenalin-charged cross country where the horses will gallop over imposing fixed fences, up and down Blair's infamous hillside. Fitness of horse and rider will be paramount, as will their courage and trust in each other.

     On the final day comes the showjumping, where a single rail down can dash medal hopes. The horses need to be careful and the riders at the top of their game. Three day eventing is undoubtedly the most challenging of equestrian sports, and the riders at Blair will be among the best in the world.

     In addition to the Eventing competition there will be Highland Pony, Hunter and NPS Scotland showing classes, British Showjumping and Pony Club Mounted Games. We also welcome the inaugural British Eventing BE90 and BE100 Arena Eventing Championships that is taking place at Blair Castle and Blenheim Palace, sponsored by Kent & Masters.

     The Bruadar Country Fair runs alongside the equestrianism, offering non-horsey visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of demonstrations each day. The shopping village houses over 200 trade stands providing something for all tastes and budgets; including a fabulous Food Hall full of delicious and tempting treats. Then in the evenings visitors can enjoy the Ceilidh, live bands, disco and that all important charity whisky tasting.

     A limited number of tickets are still available for what will be Scotland's biggest and most prestigious sporting event of the year. The breathtaking setting, testing terrain and warm Scottish welcome guarantee a memorable competition, both for competitors and for the thousands of spectators that will flock to Blair Atholl this September.

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

    Category: National Events

  • 31 August 2015

    Rousing finale to Cowal Highland Gathering

    As family days out go, this was one of the best.

     Thousands of people from across the world gathered in Dunoon today for the finale of the celebrated Cowal Highland Gathering.

     Competitors and spectators alike joined forces to ensure the event’s spectacular Saturday was a day to remember for everyone involved.

     From the hundreds of dancers and pipers to the heavy athletes, runners, ceilidh tent performers, stunt cyclists and many other entertainers on show, every participant contributed to what was a fantastic day’s entertainment.

     The standard of competition was breathtaking, with many of the world’s top competitors giving their all in a bid go home with the silverware.

     Overseeing the action was this year’s Chieftain, actor Martin Compston, who had flown in from Los Angeles to be at the event with his fiancé and parents.

     One of the highlights of the Gathering’s final day – and one of the most fiercely contested – was, as always, the Cowal Pipe Band Championship.

     This year, Johnstone Pipe Band  managed to hold off the challenge of Oban Pipe Band to be crowned winners of the Grade 1 Cowal Pipe Band Championships 2014.

     In the other sections and grades, the Cowal Pipe Band champions were:

     Novice juvenile – Oban High School

    Juvenile – Kintyre Schools

    Grade 4 – Lanark and District

    Grade 4 MSR - Wolverhampton

    Grade 3 – Isle of Islay

    Grade 3 MSR – Isle of Islay

    Grade 2 – Johnstone

    Grade 2 MSR – Johnstone

     The champion juvenile drum major was once again Emma Barr from Field Marshall Montgomery, and the champion adult drum major was once again Brian Wilson MBE from Lomond & Clyde.

     Today also saw the Argyllshire Highland Dancing competitions, with top honours going to Lisa McGillivray from Kirn (Under 13), with Blairmore’s Libby Maclean winning the under 16 category and Rhiannon Charles from Helensburgh triumphing in the 16 years and over.

     At 11am, at the Burgh Hall in Dunoon town centre, 49 brave runners lined up for what must be one of the toughest 5K runs in the country – the Cowal Hill Race.

     This year, it was won by Steven Campbell of Greenock’s Glenpark Harriers in an amazing time of 21 minutes and 2 seconds, with Paul Monaghan (also Glenpark Harriers) second (21.15) and Iain Cairns from Dunoon third (21.37).

     The first local home was Iain Cairns.  The winner of the women’s race was Lisa Marshall, also of Dunoon Hill Runners, in a time of 27.49.  The next local woman to cross the line was Lindsay Moss in a time of 29.32.

     Then came the biggest Highland Dancing competition in the world – the World Championship finals - with dancers from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the USA pitting their skills against the best the UK has to offer.

     In the end, it was Erin Blair from California  who once again emerged victorious in the World Juvenile finals, followed – as she was last year – by Sophie Dunn of Ontario.  Larissa Godin from New Brunswick came third. 

     The trophy for best Scottish Juvenile Dancer went to Holly Donaldson from Kirriemuir.

     In the World Junior championship, Newton Stewart’s Ellis Hayes followed up her fourth place last year with victory this year.  Second was Mellisa Carnegie from Alberta and third was California’s Emma Schiff.

     The Adult World champion was once again Marielle Lesperance from Ontario, with Rebecca Thow (formerly of Aberdeen and now Ontario) second and last year’s Junior winner, Abbie MacNeil of Glasgow, third.

     Marielle also won the Mary McHarg Quaich for Best Overseas Adult Dancer.  The Victor Wesley Challenge Trophy for Best Scottish Adult Dancer went to Abbie McNeil and the James Lomath Trophy for Best Overseas Juvenile Dancer was won by the World Champion, Erin Blair.

     Throughout the afternoon, four of the world’s hottest traditional music bands entertained the crowds in the now-famous McEwan’s Ceilidh Tent.

     Leading the pack once again was Oban-based Skipinnish, who brought the house down when they headlined the show last year and who also wowed the crowds at last night’s inaugural Gig at the Gathering.

     Today, they were joined by three of the hottest names on the traditional music scene – The Gunna Sound Ceilidh Band, Eriskay Lilt and Dùn Mòr Ceilidh Band.

     While they were playing, the heavy athletes and wrestlers battled it out for top honours.

     Heisi Geirmundsson from Iceland triumphed in the men’s heavy athletics, with Kylle Randalls from Grangemouth second and Germany’s’ Daniel Dorrow third.

     In the women’s competition, Lucy Marshall from Crick beat off the challenge of Germany’s Sylvanna Bomholt (2nd) and Laura Gillespie from Dunfermline (3rd).

     Heisi Geirmundsson and Sylvanna Bomholt were crowned men’s and women’s caber toss champions respectively.

     In the wrestling, the Female Open section was won by Eva Dogg Johansdottir from Iceland, with Glasgow’s Erin McNeill second and Marin Davidsdottir from Iceland third.

     In the men’s Open competition, Fraser Hirsch from Carnoustie was crowned champion, followed by Iceland’s Asmundr Asmundsson (2nd) and Aberdeen’s Scott Carson (3rd).

     The weight category winners were Sam McCrory from Hamilton in the 9 and a half stone category, Ryan Ferry (Hamilton) in 11 and a half stone, Greg Neilson (Hamilton) in 13 and a half stone and Fraser Hirsch (Carnoustie) in the 15 and a half category.

     This year, there was a bigger and better selection of entertainment for all ages than ever before.

     One of the most popular draws once again proved to be the Clan mountain bike stunt team, which returned to Cowal after their triumphant debut last year to perform their gravity-defying shows to packed audiences.

     Another show-stopper was the Drakes of Hazard Duck and Dog display team, which also featured in last year’s event.

     A highlight for the younger visitors was once again ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’. Veteran entertainer Artie Trezise – who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle - uses a tartan trunk full of souvenirs and trinkets as props for his traditional but interactive Scottish storytelling sessions.

     Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said the event would go down as one of the most memorable in recent times.

     He stressed that its success was in no small part due to the ongoing efforts and support of the people of Dunoon and the wider Cowal community, as well as the event’s sponsors.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Cowal Highland Gathering brings together many of the aspects that make Scotland the perfect stage for events, including our unique culture and heritage, stunning natural environment and, of course, our people. We are proud to support this event, which welcomes thousands of visitors from all over Scotland and as far afield as Australia and South Africa for a celebration of Scottish sport, music, dance and hospitality that always lives long in the memory.”

     Dunoon residents and visitors are already starting to line the streets for the Gathering’s show-stopping finale this evening – the massing of the bands and their march down Argyll Street.

     The final act of this year’s event, as usual, will be the spectacular Western Ferries firework display at Dunoon’s Coal Pier which starts at 9.00pm.

     For more information about the Gathering, please visit its website at www.cowalgathering.com or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206. 

     A full list of today’s results will be posted on the website as soon as possible. 

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2015

    Longines FEI European Championship 2015: An increasingly Scottish Spectacle

    Not only does the Longines FEI European Championship 2015 at Blair Castle boast a Scottish Event Director Alec Lochore and cross country Course Designer, Ian Stark OBE, it now has a Scottish athlete in the British squad, preparing to fight for medal glory.

     Wills Oakden, 25, based in Newburgh, Fife, has been called up to ride Mr David Kenwright and Sylvia Douglas's British bred 12-year-old mare, Greystone Midnight Melody. It will be a journey of less than 40 miles for Wills to make to his first senior Team GBR appearance at Blair Castle in two weeks time. Blair Castle is a favourite for Oakden, coming away with Team Gold in the Young Rider European Championships in 2011 and finishing 2nd in the Scottish Open Championship last year.

     “I can't believe it to be honest. It never crossed my mind that this would happen – I didn't even expect to be on the reserve list, so the last few days have been something of a whirlwind. It's been a real team effort to get this far and things have just come together at the right time.

     “Obviously I'm hugely disappointed for Tom [Jackson, whose horse has been withdrawn]. I've trained with him through the British Equestrian Federation World Class Programme and know him well – he's a really nice guy.

    “For myself and my owners I am, of course, extremely excited. They bred 'Molly' - to be able to give them back something like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. They were among my first owners and have been a long standing, massive support to me; I used to ride Molly's sire, Greystone Pathfinder, for them.”

     Molly has already proved herself on Blair Castle's testing terrain; placing 2nd in the Scottish Open Championship with Wills last year. “Molly has an open, natural gallop, preferring the top of the ground but also adapting when it's wet. It took us a wee while to gel in the early days. At first I was a bit too dominant, but I realised what a free spirit she is, so now just give her a touch of guidance as and when she needs it. I have so much respect for her as an athlete, and she's a real character on the yard.

     “With the European Championship being so close to home, it makes it even more special for me; the thought of competing in front of a home nation crowd is mind-blowing. I went to watch the cross country at London 2012 and the atmosphere was incredible; I'm hoping that the home crowd will be just as enthusiastic at Blair. I can't wait.”

     This important championship is part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio series, supporting British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016, this summer’s event is the last major championship before the Olympic Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, which has a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    For more information on the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 including a link to the box office, visit www.Blair2015.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2015

    Crowds descend on Dunoon for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering

    Dunoon welcomed thousands of people today (27th) as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games finally kicked off.

     Visitors have been pouring into the town over the last few days in the run-up to what is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Scottish calendar.

     Today they joined crowds of local people in flocking to Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) for the start of the action.

     At 10am sharp the first event got underway - the Scottish National Highland Dancing Championships.

     The Nationals, which continue tomorrow, is one of three dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Scottish Championship and the World Highland Dancing Championship, the finals of which provides the most eagerly anticipated and biggest afternoon in the global dancing calendar on Saturday.

     Today’s action saw top class entertainment from 192 dancers in 11 categories. Among the winners were:

    •          Hannah Butchart from Stonehaven in the 10 years category

    •          Rosey Watt from Macduff in the 11 years category

    •          Jessica Morrison from Fraserburgh in the 15 years category

    •          Kirstin Stewart from Leven in the 18 years and over category

     CHG chair Ronnie Cairns said he was delighted by both the crowds and the entertainment they witnessed.

     “It’s no exaggeration to say Dunoon is the centre of the Highland dancing world this weekend,” he added.

     Highland dancing aficionados from all corners of the globe will be waiting with bated breath to see who comes out on top in the various competitions.

    “If today’s action is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat over the next couple of days.”

     Ronnie added that the meticulous preparations for this year’s event seem to be paying off, with everything going without a hitch today.

     “Even a bit of wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of competitors and spectators, most of whom come prepared for rain at some stage of the proceedings!,” he added.

     “We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be Highland Dancing, pipe bands, solo piping, heavy athletics, ceilidh music, running, stunt cycle teams, animal display teams, kids’ entertainment or any of the other many attractions the Gathering now boasts.

     “I’m delighted with how the first day has gone, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back again tomorrow for another day of spectacular entertainment.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Cowal Highland Gathering is an extremely important event for the local community and we are delighted to be able to offer our support to this historic event once again this year. It combines many of the most celebrated aspects of Scottish culture and heritage across a highly entertaining event programme and it is fantastic to see thousands of visitors from across Scotland and many from overseas descending on Dunoon to join in with the festivities.”

     The day’s events are not yet over, with the 5K Cowal Run due to start from the Coal Pier on Dunoon’s Alexandra Parade at 7.15pm this evening.

     This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering is part of EventScotland’s National Events programme - runs from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 August. 

     For more information about the event or to buy tickets for either tomorrow or Saturday, please visit the Gathering’s website at www.cowalgathering.com or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206. 

     A full list of today’s results will be posted on the website as soon as possible.

    Category: National Events

  • 27 August 2015

    THE FINAL COUNTDOWN TO THE LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, AT BLAIR CASTLE

    In just two weeks time, many of the best Event riders in the world will have arrived at Blair Castle, stabled their horses, and got a first glimpse of Course Designer Ian Stark's cross country track.

    Ian Stark OBE, a five time Olympian and multiple medal winner himself, is renowned for building big, bold cross country courses. His stated design ethos is to: “allow the horses to go forwards and attack the course. I'm happy to challenge the riders, so long as the fences are jumpable and understandable for the horses to read.” Riders underestimate his courses at their peril.

     Of his first ever Championship track Ian says: “I have tried to build fences that look impossible to us but which horses will understand; to incorporate the modern, accuracy side of cross country riding, but still to have horses going forward and attacking the fences, rather than going round in ever-decreasing circles.

     “Designing any course is nerve-wracking. It's not over until the last horse has jumped the final fence. I love to set riders challenges, but my dread is that the horses won't understand the questions – and I have been known to get up in the middle of the night and change a fence! Whilst you don't want everyone jumping clear inside the time, you do look for the first good result before relaxing just a tiny bit.”

    “With the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 visiting Scotland for the first time, event riders from all 16 nations, and Team GB in particular, can expect a hugely warm welcome when they arrive in Perthshire,” added Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events. “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and there could hardly be a more fitting setting for one of the final major contests ahead of Rio 2016 than Blair Castle, allowing spectators to take in world-class sporting action while discovering one of the country’s most stunning and historically significant locations in the process.” Germany is the current European Champion nation but, spurred on by their silver medal at last summer's World Equestrian Games, Great Britain will be sure to pull out all the stops on home soil.  She has an enviable record at European Championships, winning a remarkable eight consecutive team gold medals, from 1995-2009.

     The British challenge will be led by William Fox-Pitt, riding Catherine Witt's Bay My Hero but with two direct reserve horses, Fernhill Pimms and Luxury FH, lined up. A member of seven of those British gold medal winning teams, William needs no introduction. He has been British number one 11 times, won five of the six CCI4* events worldwide and more Three Day Events than any other rider.

     Pippa Funnell MBE and Nicola Wilson are also no strangers to representing their country. The only rider ever to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing for consecutive wins at Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley, Pippa is a past Individual European Champion (1999 & 2001) and has represented Great Britain on countless occasions. Whilst she rides the relatively inexperienced Sandman 7, with Second Supreme as a direct reserve, her track record means that she shouldn't be overlooked for a podium finish.

     Nicola's selected horse for the 2015 Longines FEI European Championship enjoys Blair; One Two Many won the Scottish Open Championship here last year. Nicola also has a direct reserve horse in the shape of her parents' Annie Clover.

     Oliver Townend is one of the most competitive riders on the circuit, so whilst his partnership with Fenyas Elegance is relatively new, his CCI4* winning experience and the mare's CCI3* winning track record could make them a wildcard for a medal.

     Great Britain benefits from 12 entries to the championship, as host nation. Also called up are Izzy Taylor, with KBIS Briarlands Matilda, Kitty King who brings Persimmon and multiple youth team gold medal winner Laura Collett with Grand Manoeuvre.

     This year's Senior British debutants are Blenheim winners Francis Whittington and Easy Target, Gemma Tattersall on Arctic Soul, Dani Evans with Smart Time, Tom Jackson on Waltham Fiddlers Find and the youngest of the squad, 21 year old Holly Woodhead with DHI Lupison.

     Germany undoubtedly starts as favourite for both gold medals. Reigning World, European and Olympic title holder, the German squad should take some beating. The current individual World Champion Sandra Auffarth will be looking to add the European title to her record, although Michael Jung (current Olympic and European individual champion) is unlikely to relinquish it readily. Sandra will be riding her multi-medalled Opgun Louvo, while Michael has the choice of either FischerTakinou or Halunke FBW.

     The on-form Ingrid Klimke has been selected with Horseware Hale Bob or FRH Escada; with a win at this year's Luhmühlen and the runner up spot at Badminton CCI4*s, plus a 1-2 in Aachen earlier this month, Ingrid's confidence levels will be flying high. Germany has enviable depth in talent, with the experienced Bettina Hoy (Designer 10), Dirk Schrade (Hop and Skip) and Peter Thomsen (Horseware's Barny) completing the line up.

    In total, 16 nations will be taking part in the most prestigious event of this year's British equestrian calendar; the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship should not be missed by any equine enthusiast.

    For more information including a link to the box office, visit www.blair2015.com

    Image: Ian Stark, Course Designer.

    Credit Jim Crichton. 

    Category: International Events

  • 27 August 2015

    Mark Cavendish and Zdeněk Štybar line-up for Etixx Quick-Step

    Mark Cavendish, the man with the most modern Aviva Tour of Britain stage wins to his name will lead a strong Etixx Quick-Step team at the race this September, which will also include three-time World Cyclo-Cross Champion Zdeněk Štybar.
     
    The former World and British Champion, who has 10 stage wins in the race to his name will make his eighth appearance in his home Tour. Joining him will be Štybar, who won a stage of the Tour de France this Summer.
     
    Commenting on the confirmation of his participation, the 26-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish said;
     
    "I'm excited to ride the Tour of Britain.  It's my home tour and it's always something special to ride in front of your national crowd. It's already my 8th time at the race and year-by-year I can see how cycling is growing in this nation. We are at the start to try to be successful as we were last year. We have a strong team and we are ready to race. This year the course is extremely difficult. It will be also a good final preparation for the UCI World Championships in Richmond.”
     
    Alongside Cavendish will be Štybar who won Stage Six of the Tour de France to Le Havre, as well as the Italian one-day classic Strade Bianche earlier this year.  Štybar made the switch to road racing in 2011 going on to win a multitude of stages and single day races, plus the overall Eneco Tour in 2013.
     
    "This is the first time that I ride this race,” Štybar said.
     
    "I'm pretty curious about it. My teammates told me that it's a tough race, without a metre of flat road, designed in great scenarios. It will be even more difficult because the teams are formed by only six riders, so it's not easy to control the race. The atmosphere will be great, I'm sure. I have never raced on the road in United Kingdom, but I remember the great images of the Olympics and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France last year. It will be nice to be part of this race. As for my condition, I think I'm okay and I'm looking forward to participate in the race.”
     
    Etixx Quick-Step will announce their full six-rider roster for the Aviva Tour of Britain in the coming days.
     
    "This is excellent news from Etixx Quick-Step showing the importance that UCI WorldTeams place on the Aviva Tour of Britain,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.
     
    "We are always pleased to see Mark Cavendish racing in his home Tour and he will have a very strong Etixx Quick-Step team riding alongside him, particularly in Zdeněk Štybar. Last year we saw the team win three stages of the race and a similar result would not surprise me this September.”
     
    Cavendish and Štybar join the likes of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Gerald Ciolek, Andre Greipel and 2014 overall Tour of Britain winner Dylan Van Baarle as already confirmed for the 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain.
     
    Stage One of the Aviva Tour of Britain will be shown live on ITV between 1pm and 4pm, with subsequent stages shown live on ITV4.  ITV4 will also broadcast a one hour highlights programme the evening of every stage. British Eurosport will also show live coverage and highlights of the race in the UK.  Live coverage and highlights will also be shown worldwide in excess of 120 countries.
     
    The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling's premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world's best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: Cycling

  • 26 August 2015

    Scotland celebrates a golfing year to remember

    As the golfing summer in Scotland draws to a close with the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open at Archerfield this week, the country is celebrating an unprecedented 12-month period of being in the world’s spotlight, during which time more than 622,000 spectators attended golf events watched by hundreds of millions of fans around the globe.

     The Archerfield event, which is one of the longest running on the European Seniors Tour, is the 11th international golf event to have taken place in Scotland in just 12 months and the 60th event supported overall as part of Scotland’s 2014 Ryder Cup tournament legacy programme since 2003.

     And to coincide with the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open, the wider benefits of The 2014 Ryder Cup are being revealed with the publication of an independent study which shows the event at Gleneagles attracted more than 63,000 visitors from outwith Scotland and supported spend in excess of £106m for the host country.

     Sam Torrance, vice captain in the European Team at Gleneagles and a competitor in the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open, joined VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay at Archerfield to publish the report compiled by Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC).

     Torrance, who was also a winning European captain at The Belfry in 2002, said: “This has been a phenomenal 12 months for golf events in Scotland. From the unforgettable scenes at Gleneagles last September to playing here at Archerfield this week in the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open, it has been an incredible year and shows what a wonderful country Scotland is for golf.

     “Being part of a winning European Team in my home country was a special feeling and to see the major benefits it has brought to Scotland through spectator and visitor numbers, junior golf programmes and golf tournament legacy shows what a terrific event it was for the country as a whole.”

     The 2014 Ryder Cup, held at Gleneagles in Perthshire during September 2014, was part of a landmark year for Scotland during which it also held the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the second Year of Homecoming Scotland.

     It was hailed as the best ever staging of a Ryder Cup by media, public and organisers alike, delivering a host of benefits in the form of an enhanced portfolio of golf events and the inception of the innovative ClubGolf programme across a number of years leading up to 2014. Now SIRC’s report has revealed the full economic and wider benefits to Scotland from hosting The 2014 Ryder Cup.

     The report showed that £106m was spent in Scotland as a direct result of hosting the event – including the event week and extended stays by Ryder Cup attendees - £22m of which was in the host region of Perth & Kinross.

    Other key findings from the report include:

    57 per cent of event spectators came from outwith Scotland with 22 per cent travelling from overseas to attend the event.

    Attendees at The Ryder Cup accounted for a total of 133,104 bed nights during the week of the event alone whilst a further 10,793 attendees extended their stay either pre or post event, which accounted for an additional 57,758 bed nights.

    Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of accommodation providers reported greater than normal takings compared with September 2013 with an average 21 percentage point increase.

    Spectators were inspired to return to Scotland with 68 per cent of attendees from outwith the country indicating they would visit Scotland within a year for a leisure break.

    The media value for the event totalled £42m, including the provision of more than 5,000 hours of television coverage by 50 broadcasters in 200 territories.

    Scotland’s Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn MSP, said: “There is no doubt The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was a huge success story for Scotland. When the sun rose above the Ochil Hills on the Friday morning just before the first tee shot was struck, the pictures being beamed to more than 600 million homes around the world could not have shown Scotland in any better light.

    “And now, with the publication of this independent study from the Sport Industry Research Centre, we can see the full extent of the major benefits The 2014 Ryder Cup delivered for Scotland. From huge numbers of visitors travelling from outwith Scotland and hotels reporting high occupancy levels to the introduction of the ClubGolf and Get into Golf programmes, which provide every child and family in the country the opportunity to play golf, it is clear that The 2014 Ryder Cup has cemented Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and the perfect stage for hosting major events and delivered benefits across Scotland that we will be feeling for many years to come.”

    Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “These figures published today demonstrate the wide spectrum of involvement that Ryder Cup Europe had with Scotland over a period of years in the delivery of The 2014 Ryder Cup. We are delighted they reflect so well on Scotland’s economy and the development of the game as a whole, whilst evolving the nation’s golfing product.

    “They also reflect how actively The Ryder Cup became involved with the educational resource in the country. We are proud of this aspect and our continuing relationship and partnership with many events in Scotland.”

    Backing up claims of Scotland hosting the “best ever” Ryder Cup, the report reveals high levels of spectator satisfaction with their Ryder Cup experiences ( 92 per cent), with 71 per cent of those attending reporting their experiences as excellent. Of the spectators who had attended at least one of the previous four Ryder Cups, 58 per cent rated Gleneagles as the best with a further 32 per cent indicating it was just as good as previous editions.

    The reputation of Scotland was also enhanced from the event with 97 per cent of respondents agreeing that Scotland is the Home of Golf while 95 per cent agreed that Scotland was The Perfect Stage to host The Ryder Cup. In addition, Scotland (amongst the home nations) was the most highly rated place to play golf with 95 per cent rating it as good/very good.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, which led Scotland’s preparations on behalf of The Scottish Government, added: “We take great pride in Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and we are delighted that so many spectators agree with that fact. The 2014 Ryder Cup showed what Scotland can do on the world stage and we were honoured to throw open our doors to so many spectators from countries around the globe. Our Events Directorate at VisitScotland led Scotland’s preparations alongside Richard Hills and his team at Ryder Cup Europe and, in partnership with Gleneagles, delivered a visitor experience that was second to none.

    “The fact that more than 10,000 spectators chose to extend their stay to the benefit of tourism businesses across Scotland is testament to that warm welcome and with such a high percentage indicating they will be making a return trip in the near future, we look forward to welcoming them many more times to Scotland, the Home of Golf.”

    The study by the Sport Industry Research Centre is the most comprehensive ever undertaken at The Ryder Cup and involved more than 9,000 survey responses from spectators.

    The 2014 Ryder Cup was delivered in partnership between Ryder Cup Europe, the Scottish Government (led by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate) and Gleneagles. Other key delivery partners were Transport Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council and Police Scotland.

    Aside from those outlined in the economic benefits study, there is a whole host of further legacy benefits to Scotland from hosting The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    These include:

    The inception of the innovative ClubGolf programme, which is being used as the blueprint for junior golf participation across the world, which to date has seen more than 350,000 schoolchildren in Scotland introduced to golf.

    The creation of an envied portfolio of golf events in Scotland. Between 2003 and 2014, £10.9m was invested in supporting golf events across Scotland with The Ryder Cup being the 55th supported event.

    For a full list of Ryder Cup legacy benefits see The 2014 Ryder Cup Highlights report:http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0046/00463924.pdf

    Category: International Events

  • 25 August 2015

    Sixteen nations nominated for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle

    Excitement is mounting for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle (GBR) next month (10-13 September) when riders from 16 nations will arrive for the first senior championship to be held in the grounds of the fairytale white Scottish castle.

     

    It will be a first taste of the Scottish Highlands and hospitality for many nations, but it’s anticipated that the reigning champions, Germany, will be fully prepared for this new test amid the Perthshire hills and forests.

     

    Germany has never won a European team title on British soil before – and the host nation, Great Britain, has never been beaten in a home European Championship – so the scene is set for a fascinating competition.

     

    The German team is likely to have a very similar look to the one that won gold in Malmö (SWE) in 2013, with Michael Jung, the reigning European and Olympic champion, Ingrid Klimke, who won silver on that occasion, Andreas Dibowski and Dirk Schrade all named on the squad.

     

    Add to the mix the reigning World Champions, Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo, plus the 1997 European Champion Bettina Hoy and the up-and-coming talents of Nicholas Bschorer and Claas Hermann Romeike, son of the 2008 Olympic Champion Hinrich, and Germany looks the nation to beat.

     

    But Great Britain, which is entitled to field 12 riders, will not be relinquishing home supremacy without a fight. William Fox-Pitt, acknowledged as one of the most talented riders in history and the individual bronze medallist in Malmö, is likely to act as team anchorman on the CCI4* winner Bay My Hero, backed up by Nicola Wilson, who has her strongest string of horses yet.

     

    Pippa Funnell, dual European Champion in 1999 and 2001, is back in the big time with exciting young horses; Laura Collett, Kitty King and Izzy Taylor have competed in previous senior championship teams and will be looking to build on their experience at this level. 

     

    The squad sees five athletes making their senior team debut; Dani Evans, Tom Jackson, Gemma Tattersall, Francis Whittington and Holly Woodhead all of whom have good CCI3* form under their belts and are hungry for a first taste of senior championship success, plus there’s the intriguing new combination of the seasoned Oliver Townend with Fenya’s Elegance, the chestnut mare formerly partnered by nominated Irish rider Aoife Clark.

     

    Many predict – and hope – that this will be the year that Ireland, European team champions back in 1979, is back in the medals and, with a strong squad comprising Aoife Clark, Padraig McCarthy with fiancée Lucy Wiegersma’s  former British team ride Simon Porloe, plus Sam Watson, Michael Ryan, Camilla Speirs and Austin O’Connor, medal prospects look extremely promising.

     

    France, bronze medallists in 2013, have never won the European team title, and they are among the nations that have yet to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, but trainer Thierry Touzaint has a talented squad to call on, including Arnaud Boiteau, Astier Nicolas, his nephew Nicolas Touzaint, the 2003 and 2007 Champion, Thomas Carlile, Rodolphe Scherer and Gwendolen Fer.

     

    The Swedes, also, will be hoping to maintain momentum after their silver in Malmö, and bring a stellar squad that includes Niklas Lindbäck, Olympic silver medallist Sara Algotsson-Ostholt, her sister Linda Algotsson and British-based rider Ludwig Svennerstal.

     

    The Netherlands, world bronze medallists last year and Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain and Switzerland are also expected to field teams. Whilst Austria, the Czech Republic and Finland  entering individual athletes in what should be a thrilling 32nd running of the FEI European Eventing Championship. 

     

    This important championship is part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio series, supporting British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016, this summer’s event is the last major championship before the Olympic Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, which has a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

     

    Don’t miss out on this memorable weekend in the Scottish Highlands, to find out more information and to book your tickets visit the website www.blair2015.com.

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 25 August 2015

    Wilton Lodge Park A-Buzz for Bee Fayre

     

    Wilton Lodge Park is set to host a special Bee Fayre this Sunday 30 August, as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. 
    Gordon Webber, Events Manager for Wilton Lodge Park, said: “We are delighted with the support from the Year of Food and Drink events fund for our Bee Fayre, which will take place at the end of August. This event will be a wonderful culmination to our ‘Year of the Bee’ celebrations, which are taking place in the park throughout 2015. 
    “We have a core group of local producers on-board and will continue to add more in the run up to the event to showcase the use of honey in our varied, regional produce. We’ve tapped into the Scottish Borders Food Network and have had a great response to the idea of promoting honey and beekeeping alongside regional food and drink at the Fayre”. 
    The Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre will host a food and drink fair alongside a host of other activities including a bee ceilidh; screenings of the Bee Movie; displays and demonstrations from the Borders Beekeepers Association; children’s activities; and bee-spotting walks. 
    The Great Bee Bake-off, a light-hearted baking competition, will also take place on the day. With various categories and open to all ages, organisers are encouraging entrants to come up with the best idea for a cake using honey as an ingredient. There will also be a category for best cake decoration using a bee theme!
    Gordon said: “We thought it would be a fun way to engage visitors with theme of the Fayre. We’ll enlist the help of some of the producers and the Borders Beekeepers Association as judges.”  
    There will be 2 categories for the best cape using honey as an ingredient – aged 12 and under and aged 13 and over – and a prize for aged 13 and over for the best decorated cake using a bee theme. Those entering the competition need to be on site and register their entry by 1pm on the day.
    Born in the Borders Brewery, Wilton Lodge Park and the Borders Beekeepers Association have also teamed up to create a special edition beer for the event. 
    Brewmaster Tom Graham from the Born in the Borders Brewery said: “It has been a fun challenge to use honey as an ingredient in our beer. We plan to experiment with a few different varieties from the local area and create something special”. 
    The Bee Fayre will take place near the recently opened Elliot Bandstand, from 11am - 4pm. The Fayre is FREE to attend. 

    Wilton Lodge Park is set to host a special Bee Fayre this Sunday 30 August, as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. 

    Gordon Webber, Events Manager for Wilton Lodge Park, said: “We are delighted with the support from the Year of Food and Drink events fund for our Bee Fayre, which will take place at the end of August. This event will be a wonderful culmination to our ‘Year of the Bee’ celebrations, which are taking place in the park throughout 2015. 

    “We have a core group of local producers on-board and will continue to add more in the run up to the event to showcase the use of honey in our varied, regional produce. We’ve tapped into the Scottish Borders Food Network and have had a great response to the idea of promoting honey and beekeeping alongside regional food and drink at the Fayre”. 

    The Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre will host a food and drink fair alongside a host of other activities including a bee ceilidh; screenings of the Bee Movie; displays and demonstrations from the Borders Beekeepers Association; children’s activities; and bee-spotting walks. 

    The Great Bee Bake-off, a light-hearted baking competition, will also take place on the day. With various categories and open to all ages, organisers are encouraging entrants to come up with the best idea for a cake using honey as an ingredient. There will also be a category for best cake decoration using a bee theme!

    Gordon said: “We thought it would be a fun way to engage visitors with theme of the Fayre. We’ll enlist the help of some of the producers and the Borders Beekeepers Association as judges.”  

    There will be 2 categories for the best cape using honey as an ingredient – aged 12 and under and aged 13 and over – and a prize for aged 13 and over for the best decorated cake using a bee theme. Those entering the competition need to be on site and register their entry by 1pm on the day.

    Born in the Borders Brewery, Wilton Lodge Park and the Borders Beekeepers Association have also teamed up to create a special edition beer for the event. 

    Brewmaster Tom Graham from the Born in the Borders Brewery said: “It has been a fun challenge to use honey as an ingredient in our beer. We plan to experiment with a few different varieties from the local area and create something special”. 

    The Bee Fayre will take place near the recently opened Elliot Bandstand, from 11am - 4pm. The Fayre is FREE to attend. 

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 24 August 2015

    Dylan Van Baarle to defend Aviva Tour of Britain title

    Twelve months on from claiming his biggest win to date, Team Cannondale Garmin's Dylan Van Baarle will return to the Aviva Tour of Britain to defend his title. This year’s race will pass through Scotland during Stages 3 and 4, taking in Floors Castle and Edinburgh respectively as well as the surrounding areas.
     
    The Dutchman won the 2014 edition of Britain's biggest bike race, taking victory ahead of World Champions in waiting Michal Kwiatkowski and Sir Bradley Wiggins, after taking the lead on the penultimate day.
     
    23-year-old Van Baarle will wear the #1 at the head of the six rider Team Cannondale Garmin line-up, the remainder of which will be confirmed in the coming days.
     
    "I'm really looking forward to race again in the Tour of Britain. It's a special honour to ride with number 1. We have a strong team and we will definitely look to defend my title,” said Van Baarle.
     
    Van Baarle is the second former winner to confirm his participation in the 2015 Aviva Tour of Britain.  2009 Champion Edvald Boasson Hagen will lead the MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, which will also include 2013 stage winner Gerald Ciolek.
     
    Stage One of the Aviva Tour of Britain will be shown live on ITV between 1pm and 4pm, with subsequent stages, including those taking place in Scotland, shown live on ITV4.  ITV4 will also broadcast a one hour highlights programme the evening of every stage. British Eurosport will also show live coverage and highlights of the race in the UK.  Live coverage and highlights will also be shown worldwide in excess of 120 countries.
     
    The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling's premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world's best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: Cycling

  • 20 August 2015

    Developing Skills for a Stronger Scottish Events & Festivals Industry.

    On the morning of Friday 4th September SEFA will be hosting a seminar at Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University, focusing on skills development. The seminar will explore the skills development needs of the industry, with particular focus on the development of modern apprenticeships and the embedding of the national occupational standards (NOS). Key speakers will present current thinking and best practice to enable you to get a better grasp on how your company/business could support the initiative. This will be followed by a panel of key Scottish industry experts who will debate how we can work together to develop skills for the future success of our industry.

    Programme

    9.30 - 9.40

    Introduction

    Jane Ali-Knight – SEFA Board

    9.40 - 10.25

    Developing Skills for a Stronger, more Successful Scotland

    An overview of the skills landscape in Scotland with reference to other sectors and how they have been successful

    Lawrence Durden & David Martin – Skills Development Scotland

    10.25 - 11.00

    Focus on Continuing Improvement: the establishment and implementation of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the events industry 

    Susan Spibey – Institute of Event Management

    11.00 – 11.10

    Comfort break

    11.10 - 11.40  

    Modern Apprenticeships for the Events Industry – The Experience in England

    Mark Riches – Chair - Events Industry Apprenticeship Scheme England / First Protocol

    11.40- 12.20

    Industry Panel  - Future Skills Development for the Scottish Festival and Events Industry: Opportunities and Challenges

    Panel TBC

    If you have a vested interest in the future of the event and festival industry make sure you do not miss this event!

    Register today at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/developing-skills-for-a-stronger-scottish-events-and-festivals-industry-tickets-17806649167?aff=savethedate

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 August 2015

    Edvald Boasson Hagen returns to Aviva Tour of Britain

    2009 Tour of Britain winner Edvald Boasson Hagen will return to the Aviva Tour of Britain this September as he leads the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team in the eight-stage race from 6 to 13 September. Stages 3 and 4 run from Cockermouth to Floors Castle on Tuesday 8th September and Edinburgh to Blyth on Wednesday 9th September, and are supported by EventScotland.
     
    This will be the first time that the Norwegian has ridden in the Aviva Tour of Britain since he won the 2009 edition, taking four stages along the way. Fellow stage winner Gerald Ciolek, who took victory between Carlisle and Kendal in 2013, will also return as part of a strong six-rider line-up.
     
    Joining him in the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung line-up will be Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot, who made history at the Tour de France by becoming the first African rider to wear the iconic polka dot King of the Mountains jersey.
     
    Serge Pauwels will also come to the Aviva Tour of Britain off the back of a strong Tour de France, having finished a career best 13th overall before going on to finish second in last weekend's test event for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Road Race.
     
    The final two members of the provisional MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung line-up are former Tour de France stage winner Tyler Farrar and South African Reinardt Janse van Regensburg.
     
    "I have good memories from winning stages in the Aviva Tour of Britain in the past, and look forward to come back to race there again. My form has been pretty good over the last few weeks, so I hope to get some good results in some of the stages", says Bassoon Hagen.
     
    Boasson Hagen, who is the reigning Norwegian National Road Race Champion, has twice before ridden in the Aviva Tour of Britain – in 2009 when he took four stage wins as well as both the Yellow and Points Jerseys, and in 2008 when he won three stages, including the Scottish stage between Glasgow Green and Drumlanrig Castle,  and the Sprints Jersey.
     
    "We are always pleased to welcome back former winners of the Aviva Tour of Britain so are delighted to see Edvald returning to the race,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.
     
    "This is a very strong line-up from MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, showing a real sign of intent and their ambitions towards the race. In particular we are excited to welcome Daniel Teklehaimanot to make his debut at the Aviva Tour of Britain after his strong showing in the Tour de France.”
     
    The Scottish stages will be shown live on ITV4. ITV4 will also broadcast a one hour highlights programme on the evening of every stage. British Eurosport will also show live coverage and highlights of the race in the UK. Live coverage and highlights will also be shown worldwide in excess of 120 countries.
     
    The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling's premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world's best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: Cycling

  • 18 August 2015

    European Judo Open set to return to Glasgow in October

    The 2015 Glasgow European Judo Open will be held on 10th October 2015 at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow for the third consecutive year.  

    This year it is the turn of the men to take to the judo mat at the Emirates Arena. The event will see Britain’s stars of judo compete for all important Olympic qualification points against a strong field of international competitors.

    British Judo are pleased to be offering tickets at a special one-off price for 2015, a third of the cost compared to last year, as a thank you to its members and judo fans in Scotland and across the UK. Tickets are set to go on sale exclusively to British Judo and JudoScotland members from Thursday 20th August 2015, with tickets on general sale to the public from Friday 21st August. Tickets will be available via www.britishjudo.org.uk/glasgow2015.

    Andrew Scoular, British Judo Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to be returning to the Emirates Arena for the European Open again this year and are hoping to see a large crowd taking up the offer of our reduced tickets. It’s a fantastic venue to showcase our sport and is a great opportunity for the judo community and beyond to witness some fantastic judo and get behind our athletes on their road to Rio 2016.”

    Douglas Bryce, Chief Executive of JudoScotland added: “JudoScotland are very excited to be jointly hosting this prestigious European event for a third successive year and we are happy to extend our world renowned Scottish hospitality once again. Not only will the European Open assist Scotland’s top athletes on the road to Rio, it is also a fantastic opportunity for our young judoka to continue to experience world class Judo on home soil.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The return of the European Judo Open to Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is yet another demonstration of Scotland’s position among the global elite when it comes to hosting major sporting events. There is further significance on this occasion being the final opportunity in the UK for athletes to earn their places at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and I’m certain fans will take full advantage of the reduced ticket price to watch all of the action unfold.”

     Tickets will be on pre-sale for British Judo and JudoScotland members via www.britishjudo.org.uk/glasgow2015 from Thursday 20th August.

    Category: International Events

  • 18 August 2015

    DRAGONQUEST TICKETS ON SALE

    Monikie Country Park enjoyed its first taste of what’s to come today (Monday 17 August 2015) when ‘DragonQuest’ brings its dark woods to life later this year.

    DragonQuest is a theatrical, mystery spectacular created especially for the  woods of Monikie Country Park from Wednesday 7 October to Sunday 1 November 2015 (excluding Mondays).  The eagerly-anticipated tickets will go on sale, via Webster Memorial Theatre in Arbroath, at 1pm on Tuesday 18 August 2015.

    Vision Mechanics, the Edinburgh theatre company behind ‘Big Man Walking’, ‘Giants in the Forest’ and ‘Embrace’, is creating an original story-telling event, which will see the woods lit up and inhabited by dragons, trolls, fairies, goblins and other magical creatures. The Vision Mechanics team of designers, along with Animation graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee (DJCAD), has created breath-taking sets and fantastic illusions to wow family audiences and leave lasting impressions on visitors. 

    Alongside the more traditional elements of woodland sound and light shows, ticket holders are invited to download the  DragonQuest App for smartphones or tablets and reveal  what was hidden - a world of magical creatures which they can scan and snap  for social media, friends and family alike. The technology will be the first ever use of Augmented Reality (AR) in a live theatre performance.

    Symon Macintyre, Artistic Director, Vision Mechanics said, “DragonQuest is not just about being tech-savvy. It's a great story of romance, magic and mystery that you, as an audience, discover as you walk in the woods on an autumn evening.   With or without a smartphone, DragonQuest is an event for the whole family. 

    “Audiences will be amazed and intrigued by the impressive, interactive physical installations on offer and, through the downloadable App, can also enjoy a wider, high-tech experience.  By capturing images, they will trigger animations on their smartphones or tablets, seeing fairies, hovering flies and goblins as they walk through the woods on their search for an ancient dragon that has supposedly come to rest there.  But, technology aside, there will also be lots of more traditional, theatrical creations to see and explore on the night!”

    DragonQuest has been supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, a team within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.

    For further information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk 

    Category: National Events

  • 17 August 2015

    GREAT SCOTTISH SWIM TO INCORPORATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Scottish Swimming have announced that the national one mile open water championship race will take place at this years Great Scottish Swim in Loch Lomond, 29 August.

     The race will be part of the elite competition which will see some of the world’s best open water swimmers, compete against Scotland’s top home grown talent, in one of the country’s most iconic settings.

     The Great Scottish Swim is Scotland’s biggest open water swim with over 2000 people taking part across the day, in a range of distances from a beginners half-mile challenge, all the way up to a gruelling 5k “half-marathon” swim. 

     Lining up for the one mile elite race will be Commonwealth Champion and local Balloch boy, Ross Murdoch, who will be competing in the open water for the first time, he will be joined by fellow Scot, Commonwealth silver medallist, Robbie Renwick.

     They will be taking on international talent including 2013 World Champion Christian Reichert of Germany as well as newly crowned 2015 World Champion and six time Midmar Mile winner, South Africa’s Chad Ho.

     The women’s race will feature two time National USA 10KM Champion, Christine Jennings alongside two time World Champion, and Olympic Silver medallist, Team GB’s Keri-anne Payne. 

    This is the third year the Great Scottish Swim has been held at Loch Lomond, with the open water swimming element of the inaugural, multi-event European Championships due to take place on the loch in 2018.    

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said, “We are delighted to support the Great Scottish Swim and welcome some of the world’s very best open water swimmers back to Scotland, as well as those competing in the Scottish National Championship. With our wealth of stunning natural assets, Scotland is the perfect stage for events and it is without doubt that Loch Lomond will again provide all entrants with a sensational setting for this exciting contest.”

     As well as overall prizes for the first five athletes to finish, elite swimmers will be awarded on their speed over the first 200m and 400m, with prize money on offer for the first male and female athletes past these markers.

     For more information on qualifying standards and up to date athlete announcements please visit greatswim.org/Scotland.

     For more information about taking up open water swimming, visit www.vigourevents.com, or for details of Scottish Swimming’s ‘Come and Try’ events go to www.scottishswimming.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 August 2015

    Huge crowds enjoy World Pipe Band Championships

    Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia has been named the World Pipe Band Champions for 2015. They fought off stiff competition from St Laurence O’Toole who finished second and Inverary and District who were third. Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia are the first World Champions from Scotland since 2005.

    A total of 230 Pipe Bands brought around 8000 pipers and drummers to Glasgow Green to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships. Organisers say around 40,000 people attended the event over 2 days.

    In total 16 nations were represented at The Worlds as they are affectionately known including bands from Austria and Malaysia for the first time. Bands from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, England, Oman, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, the Netherlands and Scotland took part.

    The World Pipe Band Championships are a unique celebration of Scottish culture featuring outstanding musicians who have practised for years to reach the pinnacle of Pipe Band competition. The event has been associated with Glasgow for well over 60 years. As well as the opportunity to enjoy world class performances the World Pipe Band Championships hosted Highland Dancing competitions, a Highland Games, a childrens area, food village and traders.

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the RSPBA said: “It is always hard to imagine just how much better the bands and the event can get but this year’s World Pipe Band Championships have been outstanding. Everyone who joined us at Glasgow Green has enjoyed performances from some of the most talented pipers and drummers in the world. The World’s will be back in Glasgow in August 2016 and we are already looking forward to welcoming bands from all over the world back to compete.”

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The World Pipe Band Championships have become firmly established in Glasgow’s Cultural events calendar and this year has shown once again the incredible talent of the musicians taking part. We look forward to hosting these world championships each year and to showing everyone who comes to Glasgow to take part or attend why the city has such a well-deserved global reputation for hosting events.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “The 2015 World Pipe Band Championships have been a massive success for the city of Glasgow and Scotland as a whole, providing many inspiring performances from some of the world’s most talented musicians. This event is an important showcase of Scottish culture and heritage and we look forward to welcoming spectators and performers from all over the world back to Glasgow in 2016.” 

    The World Pipe Band Championships are delivered on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow City Council by Glasgow Life and are supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland, a team in VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Category: International Events

  • 14 August 2015

    WORLD PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO GLASGOW THIS WEEKEND

    Glasgow will play host to many of the finest Pipe Bands in the world this weekend as they compete for title of World Champions. 230 bands are heading for Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships bringing around 8000 pipers and drummers to the city to compete across 8 different grades.

    In total 16 nations are expected to be represented at The Worlds as they are affectionately known on 14 and 15 August 2015. More than a hundred bands will come from outside Scotland to compete including bands from Austria and Malaysia for the first time. Bands from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, England, Oman, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands will also attend.

    The World Pipe Band Championships are a unique celebration of Scottish culture featuring outstanding musicians who have practised for years to reach the pinnacle of Pipe Band competition. As well as the opportunity to enjoy world class performances the World Pipe Band Championships will also host Highland Dancing competitions, a Highland Games, a children’s area, food village and traders.

    Tickets for the event range from as little as £2 for a concession ticket on Friday August 14 to £28 for a ticket for the Grade 1 competition on Saturday afternoon where the battle for the World Championship will play out. Children aged 5 or under won’t be charged. For further information please go to www.theworlds.co.uk

    Live streaming of the event will be available via www.theworlds.co.uk on Friday August 14 and via the BBC website on Saturday August 15. BBC Scotland will also broadcast television highlights post event.

    The Worlds complete a week-long celebration of piping in Glasgow with Piping Live! bringing the best contemporary and traditional performances to the city from 10th to 16th August. For more information please visit www.pipinglive.co.uk.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It is with great anticipation that Scotland once again welcomes The World Pipe Band Championships, which alongside Piping Live! delivers the world’s biggest piping festival. This is an event of great significance, both to Scotland and to an international array of incredibly talented musicians who have travelled from across the globe to compete in Glasgow. As a celebration of Scottish culture, there really is no better showcase.”   

    The World Pipe Band Championships are delivered on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow City Council by Glasgow Life and are supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland, a team in VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Category: International Events

  • 14 August 2015

    Scotland stakes its claim to host The Solheim Cup in 2019

    Less than a year on from hosting the “best ever” Ryder Cup, Scotland has reiterated its desire to stage the world’s biggest golf events and to promote equality throughout the game by submitting a bid to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.

     Pitting the best female professional golfers in Europe against their United States counterparts, in an event mirroring The Ryder Cup, the event attracts a huge worldwide audience and media profile.

     And following on from what is considered by some to be the best-ever staging in the history of The Ryder Cup, Scotland has vowed to continue that trend by taking The Solheim Cup to new heights in 2019.

     The bid has been led by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and backed by The Scottish Government. Jamie Hepburn, the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, passed the bidding documents to 16-year-old ClubGolf graduate Katriona Taylor on Thursday and today, along with former Ladies European Tour player Catherine Panton-Lewis, the bid was submitted to the Ladies European Tour on behalf of Scotland.

    This reflects Scotland’s commitment to legacy and the future of golf through the success of the innovative ClubGolf junior programme and also its history and prestige in the game with Bridge of Allan-born Panton-Lewis being a founder member of the Ladies European Tour.

     First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, said: “Last year Scotland showed what it can do on the world-stage when it not only held, but significantly enhanced, some of the biggest events in the world of sport. The 2014 Ryder Cup was a magnificent spectacle and will be remembered for many years to come, while the XX Commonwealth Games was another huge success story for our country. We want to do the same thing with The Solheim Cup in 2019.

     “Scotland is now renowned as a world-class tourism and events destination. Not only would hosting The Solheim Cup in Scotland, the Home of Golf, provide a huge boost to the profile of this fantastic event, it would continue to promote equality across the game and show that golf in Scotland, where it began, is a sport for all after the successful hosting of The Ryder Cup.”

     Following a detailed selection process led by VisitScotland, and involving The Scottish Government, the Scottish Ladies Golf Association, Scottish Golf Union, Transport Scotland and current Scottish LET professionals, Gleneagles was identified as the ideal bidding partner for the event, given the world-renowned status of the venue and the outstanding success of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

     Bernard Murphy, Gleneagles’ Managing Director, said: “Hosting the Ryder Cup was a great opportunity for Gleneagles and Perthshire, and an experience none of us will ever forget.  The positive impact it had on tourism and Scotland’s global reputation should not be underestimated. We would be truly honoured to welcome The Solheim Cup to Gleneagles, and look forward to working with VisitScotland and The Scottish Government to bring another world-class golfing event to the area.”

    Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s number one ranked female golfer and a player in seven European Solheim Cup teams, added: “The Solheim Cup is a special event, which is growing in profile and stature with each passing staging. I’ve been fortunate to play in seven European teams but I have no doubt that a Solheim Cup in 2019 at Gleneagles would be the biggest and best yet and further help to enhance the stature of the event and women’s golf as a whole.

     “Golf in Scotland is a national past-time and the Scottish crowds would come out to support The Solheim Cup in droves. Equally, both players and media love coming to golf events in Scotland. It is the Home of Golf and there is always that something extra every time you tee it up in a competition here.”

     The event, to be played in August or September 2019, would be expected to attract around 30,000 spectators per day to the Perthshire venue including a strong contingent travelling from outwith Scotland and from overseas.

     Katriona Taylor, who plays at Crieff Golf Club and is also a ClubGolf Development Player at Gleneagles, received Scotland’s bidding documents from Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health before travelling to the Ladies European Tour headquarters at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club to hand them in personally.

     She said: “It is such an honour to be asked to hand in Scotland’s bid for The 2019 Solheim Cup. It would be such an inspiration for me for the event to come to my home country and to Gleneagles, where I attend the ClubGolf Development Centre. ClubGolf has really helped me get into golf and progress quickly and I hope that if The Solheim Cup does come to Scotland that it will inspire lots more children to take up the game.”

     Katriona was joined at The Buckinghamshire by Catherine Panton-Lewis, a 14-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and winner of the very first Order of Merit.

     Panton-Lewis, who is also the daughter of three-time Ryder Cup player John Panton, added: “I am delighted to help deliver Scotland’s bid document for The 2019 Solheim Cup. The event, and the women’s game as a whole, has enjoyed an enhanced media profile in recent years but taking it to Gleneagles and Scotland, which was a great venue for The Ryder Cup, would undoubtedly help to further elevate its status on the world stage as the leading event in women’s sport. I very much hope to see The Solheim Cup staged in Scotland in 2019.”

     Scotland’s bid for The 2019 Solheim Cup has been led by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, which has internationally-renowned experience in bidding for and delivering major events in Scotland.

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Our Events Directorate has gained a strong reputation throughout the world for bringing major events to Scotland and helping delivering them to the highest of standards. We are delighted to have led this bid on behalf of Scotland and The Scottish Government and look forward to helping deliver a world-class Solheim Cup in 2019 in the same way as we did with The Ryder Cup in 2014.”

    Category: International Events

  • 12 August 2015

    Emirates Arena in Glasgow to host Great Britain vs. Australia Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Semifinal

     

    The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today announced that the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal between Great Britain and Australia will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. 
     
    The tie will take place on September 18-20 and will be the 13th meeting between the two nations dating back to 1907, with Australia holding an 8-4 advantage.  Interestingly the two nations have split their last six meetings and the last time they faced off indoors in Great Britain, the hosts won 3-2.  
    World number three Andy Murray added: “It’s exciting for the team to be going back to Glasgow. It’s always special to play in front of a home crowd and we are fortunate to have played our last three ties at home.  We had a unique atmosphere in Glasgow, the crowd was unbelievable.  It’s going to be a huge week for our team and we’ll be doing everything we can to get GB through to the final.”
    The Emirates Arena will build a temporary hard court with 8,200 seats, similar to what was used in March against the United States. Teams will be announced no later than ten days before the start of the tie.  Great Britain will be playing their first Davis Cup semifinal since 1981, while Australia is playing their 15th in that same span.  Great Britain are bidding to reach the final for the first time since 1978 having last won the title in 1936 (ending a four consecutive year-run) amounting to nine titles in all.  Australia have won the Davis Cup 28 times (only four behind the United States with 32), their last victory coming in 2003.
      
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “We are delighted that Glasgow has been selected to host the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team once again for the semi-final against Australia in September. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are certain that fans from all across the country will turn out in force to show their support at the Emirates Arena.”
    British Tennis Members and previous 2015 Davis Cup purchasers will be given priority access to tickets from 7am Tuesday 25 August. Tickets will then go on general sale from 7am Thursday 27 August.  Three-day tickets will be available and a variety of price points will be offered across all three days. Hospitality is on sale now. For the latest information on tickets and hospitality, please visit www.lta.org.uk/DavisCup or follow us on twitter @BritishTennis or (www.facebook.com/britishtennislta).

    The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today announced that the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal between Great Britain and Australia will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.  

    The tie will take place on September 18-20 and will be the 13th meeting between the two nations dating back to 1907, with Australia holding an 8-4 advantage.  Interestingly the two nations have split their last six meetings and the last time they faced off indoors in Great Britain, the hosts won 3-2.

    World number three Andy Murray added: “It’s exciting for the team to be going back to Glasgow. It’s always special to play in front of a home crowd and we are fortunate to have played our last three ties at home.  We had a unique atmosphere in Glasgow, the crowd was unbelievable.  It’s going to be a huge week for our team and we’ll be doing everything we can to get GB through to the final."

    The Emirates Arena will build a temporary hard court with 8,200 seats, similar to what was used in March against the United States. Teams will be announced no later than ten days before the start of the tie.  Great Britain will be playing their first Davis Cup semifinal since 1981, while Australia is playing their 15th in that same span.  Great Britain are bidding to reach the final for the first time since 1978 having last won the title in 1936 (ending a four consecutive year-run) amounting to nine titles in all.  Australia have won the Davis Cup 28 times (only four behind the United States with 32), their last victory coming in 2003.  

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “We are delighted that Glasgow has been selected to host the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team once again for the semi-final against Australia in September. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are certain that fans from all across the country will turn out in force to show their support at the Emirates Arena.”

    British Tennis Members and previous 2015 Davis Cup purchasers will be given priority access to tickets from 7am Tuesday 25 August. Tickets will then go on general sale from 7am Thursday 27 August.  Three-day tickets will be available and a variety of price points will be offered across all three days. Hospitality is on sale now. For the latest information on tickets and hospitality, please visit www.lta.org.uk/DavisCup or follow us on twitter @BritishTennis or (www.facebook.com/britishtennislta).

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 10 August 2015

    FROM NZ TO GLA - THE WORLD PIPES UP FOR PIPING LIVE!

    Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival kicked off today with a special performance by the New Zealand Police Pipe Band, who have travelled more than any other band to take part in this year’s festival – globe-trotting a staggering 11,000 miles.

    Now in its 12th year, Piping Live! will bring 50,000 spectators from such countries as France, Spain, USA, Australia, and Malaysia to the city this week, with more than 200 events taking place across the city over the next 7 days.   In 2014 it was found the festival is worth more than £2million to the Scottish economy. 

    Members of the New Zealand Police Pipe Band opened the festival with a spectacular performance and over the next four days they will perform at various points throughout the city, before competing in Grade 1 of the World Pipe Band Championships, which takes places in Glasgow Green from 14 – 15 August.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events, said: "Piping Live! is a terrific celebration of Scottish culture and heritage and demonstrates Scotland's status as the perfect stage for events of international significance. With performers and spectators travelling to Glasgow from all over the world, it is set to be an outstanding event not to be missed."

    Piping Live! is famed for its diverse evening concerts across a range of city venues celebrating the diversity of the pipes.  This year’s highlights include The Masters Solo Competition (Monday 10th, National Piping Centre), International Quartets Competition (Tuesday 11th, Royal Concert Hall) which sees seven top grade pipe bands from across the globe send 4 of their pipers to compete, Lowland and Border Pipers society showcase (Wednesday 12th National Piping Centre),  International Piping Duets (Thursday 13th, Art school) featuring Bellón Maceiras Duo and Finlay MacDonald & Chris Stout, Friday night folk (Friday 14th, Art school) featuring some of the most exciting, modern collaborations on the folk/piping scene including the Scott Wood Band and Armagh Pipers Club, After World’s shindig (Saturday 15th, Art school) with Flook and Fred Morrison and the 40 years of piping from the Tannahill Weavers concert (Sunday 16th, National Piping Centre) will finish off the week in spectacular fashion.  

    For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.pipinglive.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 10 August 2015

    THE HARMONIUM PROJECT DRAWS APPROXIMATELY 19,500 FOR ITS OPENING NIGHT

    The Edinburgh International Festival opened with The Harmonium Project, a free outdoor animated performance that lit up the city’s key concert hall, to celebrate 50 years of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.

     Approximately 19,500 watched a series of projected artworks, designed by 59 Productions, on the Usher Hall whilst listening to John Adams’ mesmerising choral work Harmonium. 

     The music was recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, conducted by Peter Oundjian.

     2015 is Festival Director Fergus Linehan’s first programme. Fergus’ previous roles include the Sydney Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival and Australia’s Vivid LIVE.

     The Festival runs until Monday 31 August and welcomes more than 2,300 artists from 39 nations to perform in Scotland’s magnificent capital city.

     Musical highlights over the weekend at the Usher Hall include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles, and Celtic Dialogues with Jordi Savall, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.

     The Queens Hall series opens with the Nash Ensemble, whilst Rudolf Buchbinder beginning his cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas at the Playfair Library Hall.

     Chilly Gonzales and the Kaiser Quartett launch the Russian Standard Vodka Hub Sessions series.

     Festival commissions opening over weekend include, The Encounter by Simon McBurney and Complicite and Antigone, by Ivo van Hove with Juliette Binoche.

     Dance legend Sylvie Guillem will perform her final touring production Life in Progress and Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s new opera, The Last Hotel opens.

     Throughout the month there is an array of big international stars across the performing arts, and new areas of programming include more diverse genres of music and family focused shows.

     Ticket sales are strong across the entire programme, from dance to theatre to music and opera. With this year’s scheduling including many shows with longer runs, there are still plenty of tickets available.

     Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said,

    “It is now time for the team at the Edinburgh International Festival to take a back seat and leave audiences in the hands of the thousands of extraordinary artists that are arriving in our city to light up our theatres and concert halls. Here's to the courage & generosity of all of all those up onstage and thank you from all of us in the shadows”.

    For more information on the Edinburgh International Festival go to: www.eif.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 06 August 2015

    Get Ready for Glasgow’s Newest Music Festival

    MugStock runs August 7th, 8th and 9th in Mugdock Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow.

    “There’s been a big spike in ticket sales over the weekend, with 25% of festival goers booking in the last seven days.” says Festival Director Alan Govan. “We’re confident the first ever MugStock festival will be a resounding success.”

    Tickets are still available for the festival, which has a maximum capacity of 2,000. 

    MugStock is a grassroots, non-profit, volunteer-led organisation. The event is supported by Stirling Council, Awards for All and EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    The festival offers an eclectic line-up of great acts from established international bands and unaccustomed raw talent to local legends. MugStock will be headlined by Californian experimental world fusion group Beats Antique, making their very first Scottish appearance.

    The programme also features UK festival favourites Dodgy, heavy rock trio The Amorettes, solo guitar wizard Preston Reed, hi-octane fusion outfit Orkestra del Sol, folk sensation Siobhan Wilson and many more. There are also theatre, circus and children’s activities such as woodland walks, pond-dipping and crafts. Children aged 12 and under can get in for free!

    MugStock is on Glasgow’s doorstep with bus transport on offer, but its country park location offers a relaxed rural vibe. Full details on performers and tickets are available from mugstock.org

    Category: National Events

  • 05 August 2015

    RECORD NUMBER OF GYMNASTS POISED FOR ACTION IN GLASGOW

    With exactly a year to go to the 2016 Olympic Games, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has confirmed today that a record number of countries and gymnasts will travel to Glasgow this autumn to compete in the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, which includes opportunities to qualify for Rio.

     615 gymnasts from 91 countries, including for the first time the Caymen Islands and Honduras, have pledged to take part in the 10 day event. Held at the SSE Hydro from 23 October – 1 November, World Gymnastics is one of the world’s largest single sport events and will showcase Glasgow and Scotland to an even wider global audience than the Commonwealth Games.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland has proven itself as the perfect stage for events in recent years and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow are another shining example of this. The event has attracted a record number of entries from more participating countries than ever before, demonstrating the appetite among world-class athletes to compete on the world stage in Glasgow. As an important qualifying event for the Rio Olympic Games, spectators at the SSE Hydro Arena are set to witness an exhilarating contest among the world’s finest gymnasts at the very pinnacle of their powers.”

    FIG Technical Committee Presidents, Nellie Kim (BLR) and Steve Butcher (USA) have been in Glasgow this week to review the city’s plans for hosting the Championships and in addition to venue visits and briefings, the highlight of their trip was to conduct the official draw.  Impressed by her visit to Glasgow this week, five times Olympic Champion and President of the FIG Women’s Technical Committee Nellie Kim said: “This is the biggest number of individuals ever recorded in the history of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.  The meticulous approach of the Organising Committee to each and every little detail of these Championships is truly impressive and I am sure that the experience, the effort and the wisdom put into the process of preparation will lead us all to a truly unique event.” 

    The draw is an important milestone and determines which teams will compete when during qualifying sessions, which can play an important role in strategy and preparation.

    The Qualification rounds for both men and women take on further significance this year, as the top eight teams who qualify for the Final will also secure their place for the team competition at the 2016 Olympic Games. In addition, gymnasts who earn a medal in Individual Apparatus Event Finals in Glasgow also qualify directly to the Rio Games, provided they come from a country that has not already qualified a team.

     The top 24 men’s and the top 24 women’s teams from the 2014 World Championships will take part in Glasgow 2015 along with 287 individual gymnasts from other nations (maximum of three per nation) who are allocated into mixed country groups.

     The record entry in the women’s competition (297) has now be divided into  12 Subdivisions held over the opening two qualification days (23 and 24 October) with the session times extended, which will allow the public to see even more gymnastics action than ever before. The 8 men’s Subdivisions will go ahead as originally scheduled over the following two days (25 and 26 October).   

     With ticket sales already selling fast, news from the draw now enables spectators to find out which teams they can see in action at which Qualification session, when the world’s top gymnasts battle it out for the coveted title of 2015 World Champion.

     Tickets are available from http://www.2015worldgymnastics.com/tickets.aspx

     Tickets to support the British teams on the road to Rio are expected to be in particularly high demand with the draw confirming that the women will compete in Subdivision 4 on day 1 of the Championships (Friday 23 October) in the afternoon/evening session, with Olympic hosts Brazil. Italy, Russia, Poland and Germany will also be in action in that session.

     Drawn in the least preferred Subdivision 1, Britain’s men will  be looking to the home crowd for maximum support when they also pair up with Brazil and Peurto Rico in the morning session of day 3 (Sunday 25 October).

     Full details of the draw can be found http://www.2015worldgymnastics.com/the-championships.aspx

    Category: International Events

  • 04 August 2015

    Stirling Highland Games celebrates the Year of Food and Drink by showcasing Scottish award winning producers

    Stirling Highland Games which attracts an international audience and is one of central Scotland’s most visited cultural events, is celebrating the Year of Food and Drink by bringing together a number of Scottish producers and suppliers to showcase their wares in a new Visitors marquee. 

    Stirling’s premier highland games is on Saturday 15th August and prides itself on working with producers and suppliers to bring more than your standard burger and chips to an outdoor event. Visitors will have mouthwatering choices like Scottish red tractor chicken fillet, Perthshire pulled pork, Honey salted beef, BBQ pulled jackfruit and Aberdeen Angus steaks. Plus and as part of our Scotland Food and Drink showcase you will be able to sample and purchase some of the food and drink producers products in our Visitors Marquee including Stirling Whisky Shop, The Wee Fudge Company, Kelvin Valley Honey, Cochrane Cottage, Perthshire Oatcakes and Gigha Smoked Halibut.

    The Stirling Highland Games is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “The Stirling Highland Games is a wonderful event, celebrating our rich heritage. For 2015, to celebrate the Year of Food & Drink we are delighted to be supporting a celebration of the best in local and Scottish produce. 

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Stirling Highland Games is a fantastic example of how events can drive domestic tourism and economic benefits for a region.”

    Indeed with Stirling Highland Games attracting huge interest from out with the area, online ticket sales have overtaken last year’s already and this is something the games committee are keen to build on as not only is it an enjoyable day out watching one of Scotland’s oldest sports, it’s a family day out with kids entertainment, quality food and drink and all at an affordable cost.

    Event organiser, Matt McGrandles said, “We have worked really hard to bring back this event over the last 2 years by engaging with businesses to support it, building our presence in the highland games arena and by making sure our food and drink suppliers and producers offer our visitors the very best Scotland has. To be part of the Year of Food and Drink campaign is wonderful for our whole team and we are delighted to play our part by showcasing some of Scotland’s award winning producers.”

    Discounted tickets are available online at www.stirlinghighlandgames.com or you can purchase them at the gates on Saturday 15th August.  

     

    Photo courtesy of Bill Robertson

    Category: National Events

  • 03 August 2015

    Wickerman Fans the Flames of Festival Success with 2016 Early Bird Ticket Release

     With the sun-drenched celebrations of this year’s Wickerman Festival still glowing in the minds of music fans, organisers have announced the release of a limited number of Early Bird tickets, frozen at 2015 prices.

     From 9am today (Saturday 1st August) until midnight on Saturday 31st October, fans will be able to snap up tickets exclusively via Skiddle for next year’s festival, which is scheduled to take place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July 2016.

    Early Bird prices stay at the same rates as the 2015 festival:

    Weekend adult tickets: £110

    Weekend concession tickets: £55

    Saturday adult tickets: £72.50

    Saturday concession tickets: £35

    Free entry for children aged 12 and under

    VIP weekend adult tickets: £160

    VIP weekend concession / child tickets: £30

    Caravan / campervan pitch: £55

    Caravan / campervan pitch with electric hook up: £105

    Full price 2016 tickets will go on sale from 1st November and will be available to buy online from Skiddle.com and selected outlets.  Please note under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

     With this year’s festival hailed as one of Wickerman’s finest thanks to its brilliantly eclectic line up and an arena packed with relaxed fun and family-friendly entertainment, the festival team want to thank Wicker fans for bringing what was undoubtedly the best festival vibe of the summer to the sunny fields of Dundrennan.

     20,000 music fans enjoyed a wonderful two-day treat of music and festivities, with highlights including the legendary Jimmy Cliff, The Waterboys, Squeeze, Lulu, Tom Odell, The Sonics, Stereo MCs, The Vaselines, BMX Bandits and some of the hottest rising stars of Scotland’s music scene. 

    The Early Bird ticket offer will run from 09.00 on Saturday 1st August until midnight on Saturday 31st October 2015 and will be exclusive to Skiddle. For further information visit: www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk.

  • 03 August 2015

    Festival Site 50% Bigger for Foodies Festival's 10th Anniversary Celebrations at Edinburgh Inverleith Park 7,8,9th August

     

    Festival Site 50% Bigger for Foodies Festival's 10th Anniversary Celebrations 
    at Edinburgh Inverleith Park 7,8,9th August
    Foodies Festival’s flagship event returns to Edinburgh Inverleith Park next weekend 7,8,9th August, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a three-day showcase of Scotland’s finest culinary talents and regional produce as part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland. 
    Following the success of last year’s Edinburgh Foodies Festival - which welcomed 34,000 visitors - organisers are expanding the festival site by 50%, making room for new food and drink theatres, an extended Producers Market and a huge selection of street food for visitors to feast on.
     
    The Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin-star, celebrity and top local chefs, who will cook their favourite summer recipes, inspiring visitors to recreate these dishes at home and experiment with new flavours and ingredients. Chefs confirmed include:
    Michelin-star Marcello Tully - Kinloch Lodge
    Jamie Scott - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner
    Adam Handling - Adam Handling at Caxton voted Scotland’s Chef of the Year
    Fraser Allan - The Pompadour by Galvin
    Mark Greenaway – Restaurant Mark Greenaway
    Paul Wedgwood – Wedgwoods
    Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore
    Jian Wang - Chop Chop
    Graeme Pallister – 63 Tay Street
    Colin Findlay - Melville Castle
    Ian McAndrew - Blackaddie 
     
    Highlights of the Festival:
    New Wine and Champagne Theatre: Experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe guide visitors through this season’s best bubblies from around the world, while beer expert Melissa Cole is on-hand in the New Craft Beer Theatre with food and beer pairing masterclasses. 
    New Tasting Theatre: Festival-goers can learn new skills and discover new flavours with masterclasses in Bee Keeping, Sushi Rolling and Sausage Making, and chocolate experts Coeur de Xocolat host ‘How to Sniff Chocolate like a Rockstar’ classes, which leave participants tasting chocolate for hours. 
    Street Food Avenue: A feasting hub at the heart of the festival which takes visitors on a flavour adventure around the world. Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, French and African are just some of the cuisines visitors can tuck into at communal tables in the Feasting Tent.
    Cake & Bake Theatre: A haven for passionate bakers with Scotland's top cake makers and patissiers sharing their tips for baking delicious summer cakes. Visitors can also enjoy 3D cake modelling, Chocolate Making and Sugar-Craft masterclasses and a complementing Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells bakes, jams, and the latest baking gadgets. 
    Artisan Producers Market: With over 200 artisan producers from Scotland and across the UK to sample and shop from, selling everything from award-winning Salted Caramel Cheese to Pink Raspberry Gin, festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with samples and for what to buy to take home and enjoy - the perfect setting to meet the producers and share their passion for quality food and drink. 
    Chilli Market: A destination for those who like it really hot, selling UK grown chillies and face-meltingly spicy sauces. And for those foolish enough, the famous Chilli Eating Competition challenges contestants to try and break the current record of 16 million scoville eaten to win the Chilli Eating Crown - that's 6400 times the average chill heat! 
    Childrens Cookery Theatre: Little foodies can explore their taste buds and learn basic cooking skills in 'Picnic in the Park' themed masterclasses with Kiddy Cook, who will show them how to make finger sandwiches, fruit jellies and chocolate bugs. 
    New Spaghetti-Eating Competition: Pairs of contestants - friends and strangers - race from either end of a 4 meter spaghetti to be crowned 'Lady and her Champ'. 
    After a day of feasting and fun, foodies can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm's Teapot or Captain Morgan Mojito Galleon.

    Foodies Festival’s flagship event returns to Edinburgh Inverleith Park next weekend 7,8,9th August, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a three-day showcase of Scotland’s finest culinary talents and regional produce as part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland. 

    Following the success of last year’s Edinburgh Foodies Festival - which welcomed 34,000 visitors - organisers are expanding the festival site by 50%, making room for new food and drink theatres, an extended Producers Market and a huge selection of street food for visitors to feast on. The Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin-star, celebrity and top local chefs, who will cook their favourite summer recipes, inspiring visitors to recreate these dishes at home and experiment with new flavours and ingredients.

    Chefs confirmed include:

    Michelin-star Marcello Tully - Kinloch Lodge

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner

    Adam Handling - Adam Handling at Caxton voted Scotland’s Chef of the Year

    Fraser Allan - The Pompadour by Galvin

    Mark Greenaway – Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Paul Wedgwood – Wedgwoods

    Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore

    Jian Wang - Chop Chop

    Graeme Pallister – 63 Tay Street

    Colin Findlay - Melville CastleIan McAndrew - Blackaddie  

    Highlights of the Festival:

    New Wine and Champagne Theatre: Experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe guide visitors through this season’s best bubblies from around the world, while beer expert Melissa Cole is on-hand in the New Craft Beer Theatre with food and beer pairing masterclasses. 
    New Tasting Theatre: Festival-goers can learn new skills and discover new flavours with masterclasses in Bee Keeping, Sushi Rolling and Sausage Making, and chocolate experts Coeur de Xocolat host ‘How to Sniff Chocolate like a Rockstar’ classes, which leave participants tasting chocolate for hours. 
    Street Food Avenue: A feasting hub at the heart of the festival which takes visitors on a flavour adventure around the world. Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, French and African are just some of the cuisines visitors can tuck into at communal tables in the Feasting Tent.
    Cake & Bake Theatre: A haven for passionate bakers with Scotland's top cake makers and patissiers sharing their tips for baking delicious summer cakes. Visitors can also enjoy 3D cake modelling, Chocolate Making and Sugar-Craft masterclasses and a complementing Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells bakes, jams, and the latest baking gadgets. 
    Artisan Producers Market: With over 200 artisan producers from Scotland and across the UK to sample and shop from, selling everything from award-winning Salted Caramel Cheese to Pink Raspberry Gin, festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with samples and for what to buy to take home and enjoy - the perfect setting to meet the producers and share their passion for quality food and drink. 
    Chilli Market: A destination for those who like it really hot, selling UK grown chillies and face-meltingly spicy sauces. And for those foolish enough, the famous Chilli Eating Competition challenges contestants to try and break the current record of 16 million scoville eaten to win the Chilli Eating Crown - that's 6400 times the average chill heat! 
    Childrens Cookery Theatre: Little foodies can explore their taste buds and learn basic cooking skills in 'Picnic in the Park' themed masterclasses with Kiddy Cook, who will show them how to make finger sandwiches, fruit jellies and chocolate bugs. 
    New Spaghetti-Eating Competition: Pairs of contestants - friends and strangers - race from either end of a 4 meter spaghetti to be crowned 'Lady and her Champ'. 

    After a day of feasting and fun, foodies can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm's Teapot or Captain Morgan Mojito Galleon.

    www.foodiesfestival.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 30 July 2015

    The World’s Orienteering Elite To Do Battle In The Highlands

    The world of international orienteering is heading to Scotland as the elite of the sport get ready to do battle for nine World Championship titles. 

     From Friday 31 July to Saturday 8 August The 2015 IOF World Orienteering Championships (WOC2015) and the 20th edition of The Scottish 6-Days, two of the world’s most renowned orienteering events, will be staged alongside each other in the Highlands and Moray. Together they comprise the largest orienteering event ever held in the UK, and one of the largest sporting events to be held in Scotland in 2015.

     Up to 400 of the world's best orienteer athletes from 51 nations [with Cameroon, Egypt, Nepal and Uganda attending a world Championships for the first time]; and up to 5,300 club orienteers and enthusiasts from all over the world, will compete in both competitions.

     At the end of a week of close fought and tactical racing on some of the finest, yet physically and technically demanding orienteering terrain the UK has to offer, worthy world champions in individual and team sprint, long and middle distance and relay disciplines will have been crowned.

     British athletes are likely to feature highly in the WOC 2015 results. The Great Britain team is amongst those at the top of the international rankings and of its 22 athletes (many from Scotland), there are real medal hopes. One of these is Scott Fraser who took the silver medal in the Sprint discipline at WOC 2013.  He is ranked 21 in the Sprint World rankings just behind fellow British athletes Kristian Jones and Murray Strain in 19th and 20th respectively.  Graham Gristwood, a Middle and Long distance specialist, is ranked 30 in the World overall.  Catherine Taylor who will be competing in the Middle, Long and Forest Relay, is ranked 17th in the Sprint World rankings and 18th overall. With such a strong pool of talent within the squad the British relay teams will also be looking to podium in the sprint and forest races.

     Orienteering has traditionally been dominated by the Scandinavian nations, where it is considered the ‘national sport’. However, in recent years, French and Swiss athletes have broken through and have had an impressive series of wins.   Thierry Gueorgiou FRA, who won seven of the nine World Championship Middle titles between 2003 and 2011, is ranked 4th in the world. Daniel Hubmann, CHE, World number 2, is searching for a World Championships Middle gold medal to go with his previous Sprint and Long titles.

     Paul McGreal, WOC 2015 Event Director, said: “Together with The Scottish 6-Days, The 2015 World Orienteering Championships will deliver an international festival of world-class orienteering aimed at everyone from elite and club athletes and support teams to enthusiastic spectators, families and visitors keen to soak up the great atmosphere and camaraderie that the sport generates.

     “The areas and arenas we are using for the races are amongst the finest that can be found anywhere in the world, and will provide a challenging test for the best in the world, as well as an exciting and inspirational experience for spectators.  WOC2015 and Scotland is going to present the sport in its true competitive and accessible light.”

     Scotland is the perfect stage for hosting major international sporting events and 2015 marks the third time that the country has hosted the World Orienteering Championships.  The previous occasions were in 1976 and 1999.

     The eyes of millions will be on the 2015 World Orienteering Championships and Scotland with world-wide live television coverage, recorded highlights and feature packages being produced at the event.  BBC Alba will also be broadcasting live coverage of a number of races and BBC Scotland’s Adventure show are producing a full length feature focusing on the Long race at Glen Affric, considered by many as the blue riband event of the World Championships.

     WOC2015 and Scottish 6-Days have great support from a wide range of organisations including British Orienteering in partnership with EventScotland, the International Orienteering Federation, The Highland Council, The Moray Council, Scottish Orienteering, Scottish 6-Days Orienteering and many others.

     Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive from British Orienteering, said: “British Orienteering are excited at the prospect of the world’s best orienteers coming to Scotland to enjoy the challenging courses that have been set for them. The World Championships are a great opportunity for our elite orienteers to enjoy a home championships and to provide their overseas competitors with a glimpse of the great orienteering countryside that can be found in Scotland. I’m sure members of the public living in the area and local businesses will also be looking to see what orienteering has to offer.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “With athletes from 51 nations attending, the World Orienteering Championships  and The Scottish 6-Days highlight Scotland as the perfect stage for events of global significance. The stunning natural landscapes of the Highlands and Moray lend themselves perfectly to the sport and I’m sure all 5,500 competitors, including the world’s elite athletes, will relish the challenge that lies ahead.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 July 2015

    Who will be top dog at the International Sheep Dog Trials?

    The most prestigious sheep dog competition in the world is coming to Dumfries & Galloway on 10-12 September.  The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 will be held at Meikleholm Farm.  Thousands of spectators are expected to attend to watch the most highly skilled sheep dogs in the world compete for the title of Supreme International Sheep Dog Trial Champion 2015 – the highest accolade in the International dog trial circuit.

    The International lands in Dumfries & Galloway at a time when the profile of sheep dog trialling has never been higher, with ITV’s celebrity sheep dog show, ‘Flockstars’, hitting TV screens on 30th July.

    Increasingly regarded as a spectator sport for all ages to enjoy, sheep dog trials take core, traditional shepherding skills and showcase them in a spectacle of tough manoeuvres that test the skills of each competing dog and handler to the limit. 

    Event Organiser and Chairman of the International Sheep Dog Trials, Fiona McMillan from Moniaive, says Dumfries & Galloway is an ideal host venue for the event.

    “Dumfries & Galloway has a long association with sheep farming and the skills demonstrated by these competitors are used regularly to manage flocks.  It is more than 35 years since this competition was last in Annandale, and I’m delighted that it has returned this year.”

    More than 13,000 visitors attended the 2014 International Sheep Dog Trials which were held in Wales and were believed to have injected £2.5million into the respective local economy.  Organisers are aiming to achieve similar results for Dumfries & Galloway in September, and to help realise this the event has received funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals & Events Fund and from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Event Champion said:

    “I’m delighted to see an event of such regard choosing to take place in Dumfries & Galloway.  The Trials create a wonderful opportunity for us to let visitors and TV audiences see all that Dumfries & Galloway has to offer.

    “This is a sport that plays well to Dumfries & Galloway’s strengths – beautiful scenery, a rich agricultural heritage and a fantastic tradition of appreciating and promoting traditional rural skills and crafts.”

    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said:

    “I hope that as many people as possible -  from the local community as well as from outwith the region - will come along to Meikleholm for The International Sheep Dog Trials, which promises to be a really entertaining, unmissable event.  The Trials are expected to attract thousands of visitors so will not only provide important benefits for businesses here and our local economy, but also offers us a great opportunity to showcase this beautiful region and the wonderful range of things to see and do which Dumfries & Galloway offers.”  

    The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 take place on 10-12 September at Meikleholm Farm, half way between Moffat and Dumfries.  Day tickets cost £8 and children under 14 can attend free of charge.  Tickets are available from www.internationalsheepdogtrials.org.uk and they can also be purchased during the Moffat Sheep Races on 9 August and at the Galloway Country Fair on 22-23 August. 

  • 29 July 2015

    Countdown to new boutique festival MugStock

    Scotland’s newest boutique music and arts festival is waging war on unscrupulous summer weather!

    MugStock runs August 7th, 8th and 9th in Mugdock Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow.

    “The weather this summer has been so erratic” says Festival Director Alan Govan, “that we have made some changes in the main entertainment areas - literally covering ourselves against all possibilities! We’ve moved our two main stages into marquees presenting Mugstock as the best “Scottish-summer-proof” Festival you can get.

    “With an third stage being outdoor, impromptu happenings around the site, guided walks, woodland rambles, storytelling, mountain biking, willow weaving and archery, festival happenings will be best served under a blanket of blue sky and sunshine but will occur whatever the weather!”

    MugStock is a grassroots, non-profit, volunteer-led organisation. The event is supported by Stirling Council and EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.   The festival offers an eclectic lineup of great acts from established international bands and unaccustomed raw talent to local legends.

    MugStock will be headlined by Californian experimental world fusion group Beats Antique, making their very first Scottish appearance.

    The programme also features UK festival favourites Dodgy, heavy rock trio The Amorettes, solo guitar wizard Preston Reed, hi-octane fusion outfit Orkestra del Sol, folk sensation Siobhan Wilson and many more. There are also theatre, circus and children’s activities such as woodland walks, pond-dipping and crafts. Children aged 12 and under can get in for free!

    MugStock is on Glasgow’s doorstep with bus transport on offer for just £5, but its country park location offers a relaxed rural vibe. Full details on performers and tickets are available from mugstock.org

    Category: National Events

  • 29 July 2015

    Glasgow to host 2016 British Olympic Swimming Trials

    Glasgow has just been announced as host for the 2016 British Olympic Swimming Trials. Following the hugely successful 2014 Commonwealth Games and the associated developments, the Tollcross International Swimming Centre is a world class venue and the perfect stage for another prestigious event.

    It recently hosted the IPC world championships, welcoming some of the world’s best disabled athletes.

    High calibre athletes will be competing from across the UK. However, there are some particularly strong Scottish contenders such as Hannah Miley, Robbie Renwick, Dan Wallace and Ross Murdoch, all hoping to make the Olympic team.     

    “For me it’s going to bring back lots of great memories as I came up through the ranks at the pool and then experienced the amazing atmosphere it provided at the Commonwealth Games,” said Murdoch.

    “I know it’s a great pool and I expect the swimmers will be supported by a passionate crowd who love their swimming. It’s a world class facility which will help the swimmers pursue their Olympic goals.”

    Taking place between April 12 – 17, this will be the first time in many years that Trials will be held outside of England. Sheffield hosted between 1996 and 2008 followed by London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. 

    Category: International Events

  • 28 July 2015

    Developing Skills for a Stronger Scottish Events and Festivals Industry

    On the morning of Friday 4th September SEFA will be hosting a seminar at Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University, focusing on skills development. The seminar will explore the skills development needs of the industry, with particular focus on the development of modern apprenticeships and the embedding of the national occupational standards (NOS). Key speakers will present current thinking and best practice to enable you to get a better grasp on how your company/business could support the initiative. This will be followed by a panel of key Scottish industry experts who will debate how we can work together to develop skills for the future success of our industry.

    If you have a vested interest in the future of the event and festival industry make sure you do not miss this event!

    Register today at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/developing-skills-for-a-stronger-scottish-events-and-festivals-industry-tickets-17806649167?aff=savethedate

    Category: Industry News

  • 28 July 2015

    Doune The Rabbit Hole to showcase an array of festival food and drink

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, is celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink in style by inviting some of the country’s most unique and diverse food and drink companies to showcase their produce at this year’s three day event.

    The festival, which runs from August 21st-23rd, is hosting an array of local food and drink vendors celebrating cuisines from all over the world including authentic Japanese food from Edinburgh-based Harajuku Kitchen and handmade sour dough traditional pizzas from Kingussie’s street food vendor, Woodburns Espresso Pizza. Drink will be supplied by Thistly Cross, the award winning Scottish Farmhouse Cider from Dunbar and Glaswegian craft beer makers, Williams Bros Brewing Co. who brew the popular ‘Fraoch’ Heather Ale.

    Other food vendors include Haggis Haggis, Wild Rover Food, Colin’s Coffee and Tchai-Ovna – a speciality tea house in Glasgow. Musical acts performing at the festival include a host of both Scottish and International talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic Fusion band.

    With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere.

    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole community Interest Group said:

    “This festival provides an opportunity to showcase Scottish music and arts talent, but is also a brilliant opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible food and drink produced on our doorstep. This year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever with a fantastic line up of musical talent, arts and crafts stalls and classes to experience and lots of family friendly activities for the kids to enjoy too. The sense of community-spirit is what makes Doune The Rabbit Hole so special and seeing so many amazing examples of Scottish culture in one place is very exciting.”

    Additional funding from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has enabled Doune The Rabbit Hole to extend their offering this year.

    Liz Buchanan, Regional Director at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting this unique festival again, especially during this Year of Food & Drink when visitors can sample more Scottish culinary delights as part of the experience.

    “VisitScotland is working hard with partners in Stirling to grow the area’s £400m tourism industry by making the area a destination of choice for a high-quality, value-for-money and authentic visitor experience. Doune the Rabbit Hole makes a great contribution to that effort, and I’d urge everyone to head ‘Doune’!”

    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 28 July 2015

    World’s top teams line-up for the Aviva Tour of Britain

    The Aviva Tour of Britain will feature the biggest line-up of UCI WorldTeams to race in the UK this year, as nine of the world’s best teams head to Britain in September.

     Headlining the 20-team list are Team Cannondale Garmin, who won the 2014 Tour of Britain with Dylan Van Baarle and the Etixx Quick-Step team of Mark Cavendish and World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski. Top level British interests are represented by Team Sky.

     The other six UCI WorldTeams that will race in the 2.HC ranked Aviva Tour of Britain – the first time the race has been sponsored by Aviva, the largest insurer in the UK – are BMC Racing, IAM Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Team Lotto NL Jumbo and Tinkoff – Saxo.

     Those nine, plus MTN Qhubeka, have been in action in the Tour de France, winning 13 of the 21 stages, and will line-up with six rider squads in Beaumaris on Anglesey for Stage One on Sunday 6 September.

     “This is undoubtedly the strongest line-up of teams to have appeared in the Aviva Tour of Britain,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director.

      “The Aviva Tour of Britain presents a fantastic opportunity for British fans to see what will be the best line-up of teams and riders to race in this country this year. In 2014 we saw Michal Kwiatkowski, Sir Bradley Wiggins and the BMC Racing Team all go on to win World titles immediately after the race and are sure that this year’s Tour will provide an equal platform for riders going on to target the World Championships.”

     Fans of the domestic racing scene will also be able to get behind all six of the country’s UCI Continental teams, including 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series Champions Madison Genesis and last year’s Elite Road Series winning squad Team Raleigh GAC, and also cheer on a Great Britain Cycling Team racing on home roads.

     Three squads, ONE Pro Cycling, co-owned by former England cricketer Matt Prior, Team WIGGINS, the personal team of World Hour Record holder Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Cult Energy will make their Aviva Tour of Britain debuts this September. They will also be joined by two further UCI ProContinental teams – MTN Qhubeka and Team Novo Nordisk.

     The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    For the full list of teams for the Aviva Tour of Britain visit the website

    Category: International Events

  • 24 July 2015

    Tontine Lane transformed into pop-up market for Merchant City Festival

     

    Glasgow's Tontine Lane has been transformed into a bustling street market as part of the Merchant City Festival. Starting tomorrow (25th July), the pop-up market will bring a number of street food stalls, urban bars and live art performances to this historic Glasgow spot.

    The team behind Candleriggs Square and Fish Plaice will be in charge of this entire project as they look to replicate the success of their previous food and drink ventures. Seen by many as the perfect location for a lively pop-up market, a number of different attractions will be on display here during the festival.

    The iconic Tontine Garage has undergone a facelift before being be reopened as a sleek, trendy metropolitan bar serving a range of Summer cocktails and spirits. The market itself will boast a Belgium Beer café, a number of Scottish Street food stalls, an open-roof cinema, a range of art installations and an elevated stage on which Glasgow's best up-and-coming bands and DJs will be performing. 

    Overlooking the entire market will be Douglas Gordon's 'Empire' sign. The Turner Prize winner's sign will illuminate the entire area, surrounded by industrial buildings and factories, giving a 1960s Steel Town feel. The latest addition to the already well-establish Merchant City Festival, it’s hoped hordes of Glaswegians and art lovers will flock in their droves to the city’s newest, urban attraction.

    Performances and activity will be held at venues and stages across the Merchant City from Saturday July 25 until Sunday August 2 bringing a mix of entertainment and markets to the streets for everyone to enjoy. 

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival promises to be nine days of outstanding events and entertainment that will deliver something for everyone. Where else can you find dancing JCB’s, the finest food and drink, street entertainment, music and laughter as part of hundreds of live events and performances. The Merchant City Festival is showcasing everything Glasgow has to offer as welcoming and generous hosts over the next nine days and is unmissable for local people and visitors alike.”

    Internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemmingway returns to the Merchant City Festival to discuss ‘generous design’ and its benefits for our communities. For the very young there is a Happy Feet dance-a-long and for devotees of Northern Soul, there’s a chance to learn the steps before immersing yourself in Elaine Constantine’s film charting the rise of youth culture which transformed the UK in the1970s.

    The first anniversary of the Commonwealth Games will be celebrated with 2 weekends of come and try sports in George Square on the 25th and 26th of July and 1st and 2nd August as part of the Merchant City Festival. Several Commonwealth Games medallists will be appearing at George Square over both weekends.

    The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "The Merchant City Festival is a fantastic event for all to enjoy.  With attractions showcasing the produce of local businesses and traders, I am delighted that The Scottish Government has been able to support the festival as part of the Year of Food and Drink. Following the huge success of Homecoming 2014 and the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games, Scotland continues to welcome the world through events such as the Merchant City Festival.  With so many events for everyone to enjoy across the entirety of the Festival from street theatre, music, comedy and of course Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and quality produce, I would encourage everyone to come along and join the celebrations.”

     Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “The Merchant City Festival is always a welcome and anticipated event in Glasgow’s festivals calendar.  Spotlighting emerging and established talent the streets will once again come to life with a vibrant and varied programme of exciting theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film and fashion.  The festival builds on the energy of Festival 2014 during the Commonwealth Games and continues to be one of Scotland’s most engaging outdoor festivals, attracting both local and national audiences.”

     The full programme is available at www.merchantcityfestival.com

    Image: Cloaked in history, Tontine Lane will be the home of a new pop-up market, offering delicious traditional Scottish street food and irresistible home-brewed craft beers.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 23 July 2015

    NEAR RECORD ENTRY FOR THE WORLDS AS PIPE BANDS PREPARE TO COMPETE IN GLASGOW FOR THE ULTIMATE PRIZE

    230 bands have entered the World Pipe Band Championships which are being held in Glasgow on 14th and 15th August 2015. In total 15 nations are expected to be represented at The Worlds as they are affectionately known when they return to Glasgow Green next month.

    More than a hundred bands will travel to Scotland to compete from countries all over the world including bands from Austria and Malaysia for the first time. Bands from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, England, Oman, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands will also attend. More than 50 bands are coming from outwith the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    Glasgow Green is expected to welcome up to 8000 pipers and drummers when the World Pipe Band Championships return to the city. Advance tickets for the Grade 1 Arena where the best Pipe Band in the world will be crowned are also expected to sell out well ahead of the event.

    Tickets for the event range from as little as £2 for a concession ticket on Friday August 14 to £28 for a ticket for the Grade 1 competition on Saturday afternoon where the battle for the World Championship will play out. Family tickets for 2 adults and up to 3 children on Saturday August 15 cost just £43 while children aged 5 or under won’t be charged. Hospitality packages for Saturday are also available. For further information please go to www.theworlds.co.uk

    Live streaming of the event will be available via www.theworlds.co.uk on Friday August 14 and via the BBC website on Saturday August 15. BBC Scotland will also broadcast television highlights post event.

    The Worlds complete a week-long celebration of piping in Glasgow with Piping Live! bringing the best contemporary and traditional performances to the city from 10th to 16th August. For more information please visit www.pipinglive.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 July 2015

    One Year On from Glasgow 2014, Scotland is a destination for world class events

     

    Securing Major Events
    Glasgow 2014 helped Scotland become recognised as a world class major events destination. 
    The Games were an essential element of a wider strategic goal to boost Scotland’s tourism and events industries and EventScotland worked with partner organisations to use the Games as a catalyst to secure further Major Events for Scotland, both before and after 2014. 
    Alongside this goal, new state-of-the-art venues built or refurbished to stage the Games meant that Scotland was able to secure major events for many years to come. 
    To date 37 national and international events have been secured, with an estimated economic impact of over £14m. 
    This year’s World Gymnastics Championships at The SSE Hydro Arena and the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre are two examples of events secured. The World IPC Championships are staged every two years and are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games. The Tollcross International Swim Centre hosted the hugely successful and popular swimming competitions at the 2014 Games, as well as the 2013 Duel in the Pool between the USA and the European Allstars.
    16 July 2015 marked 100 Days to Go until the world’s greatest gymnastics event is here, The World Gymnastics Championships, 23 Oct – 1 Nov. Ambassadors Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith were at the 100 Days To Go event in Princes Square Shopping Centre earlier in the month. Louis Smith said: “Glasgow delivered an unbelievable Commonwealth Games just over one year ago. There was a great vibe in the city and I really loved being part of it all. 
    “But it’s all about the World Gymnastics Championships now and I can’t believe it is now 100 days to go. It’s all becoming very real and I’m sure Glasgow will once again deliver an incredible event.” 
    You can find more case studies of major events here
    Games For Scotland and the Queen’s Baton Relay 2014
    EventScotland supported local authorities from 2010 to 2014 through the Games For Scotland funding programme. 
    The programme gave local authorities the resource to develop a range of exciting activities and events to celebrate Scotland’s role as host of the Games and give young people and adults the opportunity and the inspiration to engage with sports and cultural activities. 
    The programme was part of Legacy 2014 - the Scottish Government initiative to inspire Scots to lead more active and healthy lives.  
    Games For Scotland events gave participants the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports or dance alongside cultural activities. 
    In 2014 the overarching objective of the programme was to give organiser the opportunitys to commemorate the Queen’s Baton Relay’s journey through Scotland by holding themed events on the day when the QBR visited their area. 
    Building on the excitement of the QBR’s countdown to the Games, the Games for Scotland programme enhanced community celebrations across the country, with more than 340,000 people taking part in Games for Scotland activities during the QBR’s journey. 
    All 32 local authorities took part in the programme
    16 local authorities held events in all 5 years
    More than 500,000 people took part in the programme, with participants increasing year of year, from over 35,500 in 2010 to more than 340,000 participants in 2014. 
    138 events supported over 5 years
    Over £1.2m awarded by EventScotland
    2014 was a year like no other for the Scottish events industry, for a flavour of events in 2015 watch this #PerfectStage

    Securing Major Events

    Glasgow 2014 helped Scotland become recognised as a world class major events destination. 

    The Games were an essential element of a wider strategic goal to boost Scotland’s tourism and events industries and EventScotland worked with partner organisations to use the Games as a catalyst to secure further Major Events for Scotland, both before and after 2014. 

    Alongside this goal, new state-of-the-art venues built or refurbished to stage the Games meant that Scotland was able to secure major events for many years to come. 

    To date 45 national and international events have been secured, with an estimated economic impact of over £18.6m by 2020. 

    This year’s World Gymnastics Championships at The SSE Hydro Arena and the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre are two examples of events secured. The World IPC Championships are staged every two years and are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games. The Tollcross International Swim Centre hosted the hugely successful and popular swimming competitions at the 2014 Games, as well as the 2013 Duel in the Pool between the USA and the European Allstars.

    16 July 2015 marked 100 Days to Go until the world’s greatest gymnastics event is here, The World Gymnastics Championships, 23 Oct – 1 Nov.

    Ambassadors Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith were at the 100 Days To Go event in Princes Square Shopping Centre earlier in the month.

    Louis Smith said: “Glasgow delivered an unbelievable Commonwealth Games just over one year ago. There was a great vibe in the city and I really loved being part of it all. 

    “But it’s all about the World Gymnastics Championships now and I can’t believe it is now 100 days to go. It’s all becoming very real and I’m sure Glasgow will once again deliver an incredible event.” 

    You can find more case studies of major events here >>

     

    2014 was a year like no other for the Scottish events industry, for a flavour of events in 2015 watch the trailer >>

     

    View the Scottish Government's