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  • 26 March 2015

    LEADING EUROPEAN SPORTS CREATE EXCITING NEW MULTI-SPORT EVENT TO BE STAGED IN GLASGOW AND BERLIN IN 2018

    Glasgow is to co-host the first of an exciting new multi-sport event in 2018 following a decision by some of Europe’s top sports to bring together their prestigious European Championships for the first time.

    In a sporting partnership with Berlin announced today, which will attract a projected television audience of around 850 million, Glasgow will be Host City to four sports including cycling and swimming as part of the inaugural European Sports Championships.

     Given the heritage of the sport in Scotland, there is a further aspiration for golf to be included within the concept, with Gleneagles as the chosen venue. The event would be legacy from Scotland’s staging of the spectacular Ryder Cup in 2014.

     The governing bodies of some of the top European sports have come together to create a strong new brand on the world stage to grow their television audiences and sponsorship opportunities. With more than 2700 hours of programming across some of Europe’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters planned, the event will enjoy massive exposure across the continent.

     To be staged in the summer of 2018, around 2900 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8200 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin as part of the exciting new 10 to 12 day fixture on the world’s sporting calendar.

     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 in 2014. 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 5500 young people gained apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.

    Swimming, involving nearly 900 athletes, will be staged at three venues with the main swimming event at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow and the diving and synchronised swimming at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. The open water swimming competition is to be staged at Loch Lomond.

    The four cycling competitions – track, road race, mountain-biking and BMX – will attract 650 of Europe’s top names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and a new BMX track to be built in the city. This is the first time all four cycling championships have been staged together.

    Rowing and triathlon will see around 760 athletes compete at the world-class Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.

    Berlin will host the athletics at their iconic Olympic Stadium.

    Glasgow’s Opening Ceremony will take place in George Square where there will be a live celebration zone throughout the Championships. Sauchiehall Street and the Merchant City Festival will also be live celebration zones with the focus for all the activities being focused on the city centre. The city will also stage a European Cultural Festival in collaboration with arts venues across the city.

    Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “Last summer Scotland showed the world what a tremendous job it can do when it comes to staging major sporting events, with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup both hugely successful. As part of the legacy of those events, we want to attract even more top class sport to Scotland, and the European Sports Championships is certainly in that category.

    “The European Sports Championships will be another chance for Scotland to prove it’s the perfect stage for top class events. Not only will this be a fantastic opportunity for Scottish sports fans to see some of Europe’s top athletes competing in our world-class venues, it will also be attract visitors from around the continent, providing a great boost to the economy.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted that Glasgow has been chosen by such prestigious sporting bodies to stage this new and exciting event in partnership with our friends in Berlin. We have been chosen because of our excellence and innovation and our proven ability to stage world-class events. Not to mention of course our citizens’ world-famous warm welcome, so superbly demonstrated during the Commonwealth Games, described as the best ever staged.

    "Not only will Glasgow’s tourism offer be promoted across Europe helping to support our key services sector, but we will be able to continue many of the outstanding legacy initiatives which have done so much to create opportunity and help improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our citizens. For example, hosting these world class events 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.

    “Major events have become part of the bread and butter of our city’s economy and we can now look forward with tremendous excitement and focus to the next big thing on the Glasgow calendar.”

     

    Category: International Events

  • 25 March 2015

    Sixty Scottish producers head to Springfest

     

    Springfest, the Scottish Food & Drink Festival, to welcome 60 producers over Easter weekend
    In less than two weeks the first ever Springfest will transform the calm and picturesque surroundings of Loch Lomond Shores into a festival jam-packed with fantastic produce from across the country.
    Brought to you by the team behind the hugely Successful Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival, on 4th and 5th April, 60 stalls will be bursting with the best of Scottish food and drink with plenty to sample from chocolate to venison and more to take home including free-from produce, freshly baked breads, fresh veg, meat and unique produce from the likes of Chillilicious and Poporopo, the first Gourmet popcorn company in Scotland.
    If you’re just looking for some fridge staples, fresh veg, meat and fish will be delivered directly to the event so you can look forward to eating well for the rest of the week!
    Springfest is delighted to welcome two pop-up eateries: Willow Team Rooms present Mackintosh on the Loch with delightful own-blend teas and fresh baked cakes from 10am – 6pm over both days; and Kilted Skirlie Restaurant will feature a specially selected menu. 
    Just a taste of the producers attending: melt-in-the-mouth Scottish Highland Beef from Cedar Cottage Country Food; expertly blended loose herbal teas with whole herbs and spices from Miss IntegriTea; the Scottish Charcuterie Company’s air-dried, Scottish meats with their own carefully developed recipes; hog roast with a side of haggis at The Rollin Pig and make sure you stop by the popular Summer Harvest Oils for tips on what to cook with this fantastically healthful oil. 
    It may be Scottish produce but it’s not all traditional flavours: the team from Helensburgh based La Barca tapas restaurant will be bringing along their giant paella pan; Scozzese Wood Fired Pizza will be making their fresh, hot and crispy pizza like Nonna used to make back in Italy; Kwan’s Kitchen stir-fry kits and sauces with come with plenty of advice on how to get authentic, Chinese flavours into your cooking; and the real taste of Mexico arrives on the loch with the team from Mighty Mexican.
    The festival isn’t just for human consumption. If you have a four-legged friend who likes handmade treats then don’t forget to stop off at Gourmet Dog Treats.
    Whilst sampling some exciting new products, visitors can enjoy live cooking demos, live music and a range of spontaneous loch-side performances throughout the day. 
    Clare Gemmell, Loch Lomond Shores General Manager, said: “There are so many new producers coming along to this event, I have been gobsmacked to learn just how many talented food and drink producers we have in Scotland, from wines, beers and tea through to fudge, stovies and sausages. I am also really excited to see so many gluten, sugar and dairy free options; it shows that Scotland is listening to the needs of its customers.”
    Springfest is set to attract thousands of visitors to the picturesque surroundings over the course of the two day event, all looking for the ultimate day out just a short distance from Glasgow and surrounding areas.
    Springfest is a free event with free parking. For more information and directions go to lochlomondspringfest.co.uk 

    Springfest, the Scottish Food & Drink Festival, is set to welcome 60 producers to Loch Lomond over the Easter weekend.

    In less than two weeks the first ever Springfest will transform the calm and picturesque surroundings of Loch Lomond Shores into a festival jam-packed with fantastic produce from across the country.

    Brought to you by the team behind the hugely Successful Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival, on 4th and 5th April, 60 stalls will be bursting with the best of Scottish food and drink with plenty to sample from chocolate to venison and more to take home including free-from produce, freshly baked breads, fresh veg, meat and unique produce from the likes of Chillilicious and Poporopo, the first Gourmet popcorn company in Scotland.

    If you’re just looking for some fridge staples, fresh veg, meat and fish will be delivered directly to the event so you can look forward to eating well for the rest of the week!

    Springfest is delighted to welcome two pop-up eateries: Willow Team Rooms present Mackintosh on the Loch with delightful own-blend teas and fresh baked cakes from 10am – 6pm over both days; and Kilted Skirlie Restaurant will feature a specially selected menu. 

    Just a taste of the producers attending: melt-in-the-mouth Scottish Highland Beef from Cedar Cottage Country Food; expertly blended loose herbal teas with whole herbs and spices from Miss IntegriTea; the Scottish Charcuterie Company’s air-dried, Scottish meats with their own carefully developed recipes; hog roast with a side of haggis at The Rollin Pig and make sure you stop by the popular Summer Harvest Oils for tips on what to cook with this fantastically healthful oil. 

    It may be Scottish produce but it’s not all traditional flavours: the team from Helensburgh based La Barca tapas restaurant will be bringing along their giant paella pan; Scozzese Wood Fired Pizza will be making their fresh, hot and crispy pizza like Nonna used to make back in Italy; Kwan’s Kitchen stir-fry kits and sauces with come with plenty of advice on how to get authentic, Chinese flavours into your cooking; and the real taste of Mexico arrives on the loch with the team from Mighty Mexican.

    The festival isn’t just for human consumption. If you have a four-legged friend who likes handmade treats then don’t forget to stop off at Gourmet Dog Treats.

    Whilst sampling some exciting new products, visitors can enjoy live cooking demos, live music and a range of spontaneous loch-side performances throughout the day. 

    Clare Gemmell, Loch Lomond Shores General Manager, said: “There are so many new producers coming along to this event, I have been gobsmacked to learn just how many talented food and drink producers we have in Scotland, from wines, beers and tea through to fudge, stovies and sausages.

    "I am also really excited to see so many gluten, sugar and dairy free options; it shows that Scotland is listening to the needs of its customers.”

    Springfest is set to attract thousands of visitors to the picturesque surroundings over the course of the two day event, all looking for the ultimate day out just a short distance from Glasgow and surrounding areas.

    Springfest is a free event with free parking.

    For more information and directions go to lochlomondspringfest.co.uk 

    Category: Food and Drink

  • 24 March 2015

    Montrose Music Festival announces Ash as headline act

    Northern Irish alternative rock band, Ash, has been confirmed as the headline act for this year’s Montrose Music Festival.

    The music trio will perform at the Montrose Town Hall on Friday 22nd May 2015, kick-starting the weekend event, which attracts around 100 bands from across the UK, to venues in Montrose. This year’s festival takes place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th May 2015.

    Ash will showcase songs, including Cocoon, from its forthcoming studio album, Kablammo!, its first in eight years, when it takes to the stage in Montrose this May.

    Ash’s vocalist and guitarist, Tim Wheeler, said:

     “We’re really pleased to be back on the road doing a few shows this year, and are really looking forward to kicking it off with a night in Montrose as part of its music festival.”

    The Montrose Music Festival, or MoFest, as it’s affectionately known, is now in its eighth year and has 210 free gigs in 26 local venues lined-up for music fans.

    MoFest’s Chairman, David Paton, said:

    “Now in its eighth year, the Montrose Music Festival is going from strength to strength. We’re thrilled to welcome Ash to the line-up and have the band headline our weekend of music.

    “We established the festival to make live music more accessible and year on year it’s developing and attracting more music fans as well as bands eager to take part. This year, we’ve had over 350 band applications which we’ve had to whittle down to around 100 bands, which will put on 210 free gigs over the weekend. It’s shaping up to be great MoFest!”

    New for this year as part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland, is a ‘market street’ outdoor area, featuring stalls with delicious Scottish produce.

    Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Partnership Director, said:

    “It’s fantastic to hear that once again the Montrose Music Festival will be bringing some of the best-known names in British music to Angus.  As well as serving a great day out for music fans, this event provides a real opportunity to raise the profile of Angus as a fantastic destination to explore, particularly during the Year of Food and Drink 2015.  The region is renowned for its culinary delights from potato vodka to the world famous Arbroath smokie. The introduction of a new ‘market street’ at this year’s event is sure to whet the appetite of festival goers and will help showcase the best of Scotland’s natural larder.

    “Events and concerts are an increasingly important part of the visitor economy in Scotland. These experiences encourage repeat tourism and have a long term economic benefit for the region.”

    David Paton added:

    “We’re really excited to be adding a local food and drink aspect to this year’s festival, with support from VisitScotland.

    “We’ve vendors coming to showcase a range of Scottish produce from Scottish salmon sushi to a local brewery, which coupled with a chill out tent with acoustic music sets, will create a relaxed environment.”

    Following on from the hugely successful Status Quo show on Montrose East Links last year, MoFest and LCC Live have teamed up again. This year, they will bring Madness to Montrose as part of the festival’s offering, with a show at the East Links on Sunday 5th July. Tickets are still available for Madness in Montrose at: www.ticketline.co.uk/madness.

    Ash at the Montrose Town Hall is the only ticketed event of MoFest’s May weekend. Tickets are priced from £20 and are on sale from 10am on Friday 27th March. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.ticketline.co.uk/order/gateway/13304173; by phone: 0844 888 9991, or from Montrose’s Links Hotel (Fairways Suite) between 10am to 12noon on Saturday 28th March 2015 (cash or card payments will be accepted). This show is for over 16’s only.

    To find out more about MoFest, please visit: www.montrosemusicfestival.co.uk or follow on Twitter: @mofest2015 or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/montrosemusicfestival). 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 20 March 2015

    SEFA Training Decision-Making & Crisis Management: Delivering Safer Events

    This two-day course will provide sessions in decision making, crowd management, event safety and security theory. On the first day we use case studies and work-based learning to look at a range of solutions to event-based problems in real event situations. The second day of the course is delivered at the interactive HYDRA suite at the Scottish Police College where you will receive information on and be exposed to a major incidents and have the opportunity to make decisions in real time situations. The programme will be delivered by Professor Chris Kemp.  Visit here.

    Category: Industry Info

  • 18 March 2015

    COMMUNITY LINES UP BEHIND WORLD ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS

    People from every walk of life are lining up to back the World Orienteering Championships with excitement building as the Highlands and Moray prepares for the event this summer.

    Orienteering enthusiasts will return to Moray with fond memories of the Scottish 6 Days held there two years ago.  This time around they will be joined by most of the finest athletes in the world when the World Orienteering Championships runs alongside the Scottish 6 Days from July 31 until August 7.

    This month Douglas Ross, who can be found officiating at Scottish domestic or European football matches when he is not acting in his capacity as a Moray Councillor, announced that he had put his name forward as one of hundreds of volunteers helping to ensure the Championships run smoothly.

    Councillor Ross said: “I was only too happy to volunteer for WOC2015 and to urge my fellow councillors and everyone else in Moray and the Highlands to do all they can to ensure this world-class event runs as smoothly as the Commonwealth Games did in Glasgow.

    “Scotland has shown that when it comes to organising major events our people are the most welcoming in the world.  I’m confident that the people of Moray and the Highlands will prove this once again.

    “I was delighted to receive support from everyone at Moray Council when I tabled a motion of support for the World Orienteering Championships.  Moray is ready to help make this an event to remember.”

    Last week Moray’s Corporate Director of Education and Social Care, Laurence Findlay, visited Greenwards Primary School in Elgin where he acknowledged the work being done by Scottish Orienteering at grass-roots level.  Several hundred pupils have been coached in basic Orienteering skills in an initiative led by Scottish Orienteering Development Officer Mike Rodgers.

    Mr Findlay said: “We are delighted to be hosting part of the World Orienteering Championships.  We all know that Moray is a great place to live, to work and to bring up families. 

    “We think that anything that showcases this area as a great place to hold major tournaments and we hope that other organisations will consider coming to host an event in Moray.”

    The business world has also been assisting with the Elgin Rotary Club sponsoring the Orienteering initiative at schools in Moray.  Graham Milne from Elgin Rotary Club said: “Get them young, let them have fun and introduce them to the sport is the aim.

    “They may leave the sport for a while but they can come back to it because they will still have the skills they have learned, the inherent skills of team-working and understanding what it is all about are motivations that will stay with them.  Even if they do not orienteer it remains something good for them to have.”

    Helping to coach at Greenwards Primary School was Scotland and UK International Murray Strain, who said: “The enthusiasm by primary and secondary children in Moray and the Highlands for Orienteering has been great to see, they have been very quick to grasp the finer points of the sport. 

    “Most of all they realise that it is a lot of fun – it is always a pleasure to visit and I’m confident that the legacy of the World Championships being held in the Highlands this year will last for many years to come.”

    Category: International Events

  • 17 March 2015

    Two stages of Friends Life Tour of Britain for Scotland

    Scotland will welcome two stages of the Friends Life Tour of Britain this September, as British Cycling’s premier road cycling event comes to the country on two separate days for the first time ever.

    Tuesday 8th September will see Stage Three, which starts in Cumbria, conclude at Floors Castle, Kelso in the Scottish Borders, before the UK’s biggest professional cycle race resumes a day later from Edinburgh, the first visit to Scotland’s capital for the modern race.

    Departing from Holyrood Park, Stage Four will pass through the centre of Edinburgh before heading into East Lothian and then through the Scottish Borders to Northumberland, where the stage will finish in Blyth.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events said: “The Friends Life Tour of Britain is the country’s top bike race and we are proud to host two stages in Scotland this year. With stunning scenery throughout the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, and East Lothian, Scotland will undoubtedly provide the perfect stage for the action. The Edinburgh start in particular will be of particular interest to Scottish cycling fans as we see the peloton ride through the capital for the very first time.

    “With excitement and passion for cycling at a record high following the hugely successful road race at the Commonwealth Games last year, we look forward to welcoming some of the world’s top riders to Scotland once again.”

    Stage Three, which begins in Cockermouth, will cross into Scotland at Gretna, first heading through Dumfries & Galloway before the Scottish Borders, where the world’s top riders will race through Hawick, Selkirk and Melrose before the final kilometres through Kelso and the finish in the grounds of Floors Castle.

    Councillor Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Borders will host a stage finish of Friends Life Tour of Britain and that more visitors and local residents than ever before will be able to take in this fantastic event at close quarters with the following day’s stage also passing through the area.

    “The return of such a prestigious event emphasises our ability to host high profile events here in the Borders and is further recognition of the fact that the Scottish Borders is Scotland's leading cycling destination."

    Wednesday 9th September will be the first ever visit for the modern Friends Life Tour of Britain to Edinburgh, and the first visit for a national cycling Tour since the final stage of the PruTour in May 1999.

    After taking in the world famous city centre during the neutralised start, the stage will depart via Musselburgh and East Lothian and into Berwickshire, both firsts for the event, visiting Duns and Coldstream before crossing into Northumberland for the run to the finish in Blyth.

    Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s new Festivals and Events Champion, said: “This will be an exciting event for the city and a highlight for 2015. Elite cyclists from all over the world will descend on the Capital and the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh’s winding streets will make for a spectacular sight. This is going to be a must-see event for both local people and visitors to the city.”

    Commenting on the announcement, Mick Bennett, Race Director of Friends Life Tour of Britain organisers SweetSpot said;

    “This year’s route gives us the fantastic opportunity to have two days of racing in Scotland and to make first visits to the east of the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh.  I am sure many cycling fans will be excited, just like we are, at the prospect of seeing the world’s top riders on the streets of the Scottish capital, and will hopefully use the race as an opportunity to visit the areas we pass through”.

    Further details of both stages, including Ordnance Survey stage maps, will be announced in the Summer, along with details of the 20 competing teams.

    Stages Three and Four will mark the second and third chances to see top-level professional road cycling in Scotland this Summer, following February’s announcement that Motherwell would again host a round of the televised Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Thursday 26th May.

    The 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain will start in Wales for the first time in the modern race’s history, with Anglesey hosting the start of the opening stage to Wrexham, finishing eight days later in the heart of London with an iconic new circuit taking in many of the capital’s world famous sights.

    Once again ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight.  ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race.

    The Friends Life 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. The two stages in Scotland will once again be supported by Scottish Cycling. 

    Category: International Events

  • 17 March 2015

    Andrew Mullen Looks Forward to IPC Swimming World Championships as he unveils Legends will Rise Image at his Home Pool

    Four-time European Champion Andrew Mullen sees the forthcoming IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow as his ‘home’ Games and is looking to secure his selection to the event at the forthcoming British Para-Swimming International Meet at Tollcross from 26 - 29 March 2015.

    Mullen won gold in Eindhoven last year in no less than four events: the 50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 50m backstroke and 200m freestyle (S5) and is looking to emulate his success in Europe on the world stage.

    At the unveiling of his ‘Legends will Rise’ image at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Mullen said:

    “For me this is the big one, a major event on my home turf so to speak. I know how much home support meant for everyone competing last summer so I’m really hoping that everyone in Scotland will get behind the team again and roar us home.

    “I love racing and I am really competitive and want to do well for everyone who has supported me in swimming.”

    It is now only 118 days to go until the IPC Swimming World Championships, which will take place at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre, from 13-19 July.

    The week-long meet will see 650 swimmers from 50 countries in action, and there will undoubtedly be some exceptional performances in the pool.

    Across the seven days of competition there will be 172 medals up for grabs with athletes competing in freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley, freestyle relay and medley relay across 14 different classes, with distances ranging from 50m-400m.

    Tickets are now available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015  

    Prices are £10/£15 for Adults for Heats/Finals, while all Under-16s go free (t&c’s apply). 

    Category: International Events

  • 17 March 2015

    Crail Food Festival 2015 (12-14 June) programme announced

    Food and drink lovers are anticipating a true banquet as the Crail Food Festival 2015 programme is announced with a line up that contains a unique chocolate chamber, a series of street food pop-ups, producers’ markets, top chefs and the iconic lunch at the harbour festival.

    The festival, which is in its fifth year, brings the picturesque Fife coastal village alive with events and attractions in the historic centre.  Crail Food Festival’s programme promises a full weekend of activities designed to showcase the very best in outstanding local produce.

    The weekend will start with a dinner and film night celebrating local Fife producers on Friday evening and on Saturday and Sunday, Crail Food Festival will be in full swing.  Throughout the day on Saturday, a variety of venues host different events including:

    The Producers’ Market at Crail Community Hall (10.30 – 16.30)

    Local producers will showcase their food and drink including many award winning products, from jam to gin.

    The Cookery Theatre at Crail Kirk Hall (11.30 - 16.00)

    Hosted by award-winning farm shop, Ardross and SRUC Elmwood, the cookery theatre will include chefs from local inns to restaurants from the St Andrews fine dining scene.

    Meet The Producer Sessions at Crail Legion Hall (11.30 – 16.00)

    This provides the opportunity to get hands-on with food and drink, as well as learning more about the produce that is available to sample and purchase over the weekend. It’s a place to meet local fisherman and farmers, to share the story of Fife food and of course, eat it.

    EAT Neuk Pop Up Food & Drink Experiences on Marketgate (12.00 - 15.00)

    Young people from across Fife will help set up up a variety of creative pop-up street food stalls on the main thoroughfare. It’s grab and go between venues to keep everyone satisfied.

    Kiddies Classes in The Marine Hotel (10.30 - 16.00)

    This is the place for families to take a rest, have a snack, sit on the lawn and look out to sea, listen to a story and find out more about local produce with opportunities to have fun with food.

    The Chocolate Larder at Crail Town Hall (10.30 - 16.00)

    A celebration of Scottish chocolate with a range of interactive sessions from different chocolate producers and lots of chances to purchase some truly handmade artisan chocolates.

    A Bellyful Of Laughs in the Community Hall (19.15 – 23.00)

    Saturday night promises lots of merry-making with drinks, fun, food and laughter, comedy and magic. Evening entertainment and the chance to celebrate the festival with others make this a great reason to stay overnight.

    On Sunday, the cookery theatre, workshop arena and EAT Neuk Pop Up Food & Drink Experiences continue alongside other attractions including:

    The Harbour Festival and Producers’ Market on the Shoregate and at Crail Harbour (10.30 – 16.00)

    Using the iconic Crail Harbour as the backdrop, street food vendors and local producers will come together to host a massive picnic for visitors. Shellfish, smokies, ice cream, hog roast and veggie dishes will be served while you wait, all washed down with local craft beer or homemade lemonade. These are just some of the goods on offer at the harbour and surrounding streets.  

    Graham Anderson, the Event Manager said:

    “Crail Food Festival just keeps getting better and I’m delighted to see 2015’s programme taking shape with new companies lining up alongside our local businesses and many of Fife’s favourite producers. We would like everyone to come along and find out what’s great about our local produce. As Scotland celebrates the Year of Food and Drink, the Crail Food Festival is truly offering a banquet for everyone of all ages!”

    Crail Food Festival is supported by EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through the National Programme as part of the Year of Food and Drink.

    Paul Bush OBE from EventScotland said:

    “The Year of Food and Drink is a fantastic platform to showcase Scotland’s natural larder and authentic dining experiences through our strong portfolio of national events. For the second year running, the Crail Food Festival will receive support through the National Programme, which plays a key role in driving domestic tourism, and we will look forward to seeing increased visitors to Fife in June.”

    The full programme can be found at crailfoodfest.co.uk or follow @CrailFoodFest on Twitter or like the event on Facebook.  

    Category: National Events

  • 17 March 2015

    Dates Announced for 2015 Turner Prize at Tramway

     

    One of Europe’s most important and prestigious contemporary visual art awards is coming to Scotland for the first time. The Turner Prize 2015 will be held at Glasgow’s Tramway. An exhibition of work by the four shortlisted artists will be free and will run from 1 October, 2015 until 17 January, 2016. The winner of the prize will be announced on 7 December, 2015.
    The Turner Prize is award to a British artist, under the age of 50, for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the 12 months preceding 17 April 2015. Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art and every other year, the prize leaves Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside the capital. The four shortlisted artists will be announced on 14 May.
    Dr Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain, said: “Given how many artists from Glasgow have made up the Turner Prize shortlists over recent years, it is great to have the Prize on show in Tramway, which feels like its natural home.”
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and we’re delighted that Tramway has been chosen as the first Scottish location to host the Turner Prize. For decades, Glasgow has helped to nurture outstanding talent, as demonstrated by the number of nominees and winners of the Turner Prize.”
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “It’s extremely exciting that the globally renowned Turner Prize is coming to Scotland for the first time and specifically to Glasgow with its global reputation for arts, culture and hosting major international events.
    “The Scottish Government is working hard to ensure that everyone in Scotland has a chance to access, enjoy and take part in the arts, and I welcome this opportunity to encourage members of the public to get involved and nominate their favourite pieces from the last year. I looking forward to seeing the Turner Prize shortlist in May and the exhibition in October.”
    Turner Prize 2015 is a partnership between Tate, Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow City Council.
    Turner Prize 2015 will also be complimented by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all aged to get involved and be inspired by the creative work on show.
    The members of the Turner Prize 2015 jury are: Mr Alistair Hudson, Director, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Jan Verwoert, Critic and Curator; Ms Joanna Mytlowska, Director, Museum Sztuki Nowoczesnej; Ms Kyla McDonald, Head of Programme, Glasgow Scultpure Studios.
    The jury is chaired by Dr Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain

    One of Europe’s most important and prestigious contemporary visual art awards is coming to Scotland for the first time. The Turner Prize 2015 will be held at Glasgow’s Tramway. An exhibition of work by the four shortlisted artists will be free and will run from 1 October, 2015 until 17 January, 2016. The winner of the prize will be announced on 7 December, 2015.

    The Turner Prize is award to a British artist, under the age of 50, for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the 12 months preceding 17 April 2015. Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art and every other year, the prize leaves Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside the capital. The four shortlisted artists will be announced on 14 May.

    Dr Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain, said: “Given how many artists from Glasgow have made up the Turner Prize shortlists over recent years, it is great to have the Prize on show in Tramway, which feels like its natural home.”

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and we’re delighted that Tramway has been chosen as the first Scottish location to host the Turner Prize. For decades, Glasgow has helped to nurture outstanding talent, as demonstrated by the number of nominees and winners of the Turner Prize.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “It’s extremely exciting that the globally renowned Turner Prize is coming to Scotland for the first time and specifically to Glasgow with its global reputation for arts, culture and hosting major international events.“

    The Scottish Government is working hard to ensure that everyone in Scotland has a chance to access, enjoy and take part in the arts, and I welcome this opportunity to encourage members of the public to get involved and nominate their favourite pieces from the last year. I looking forward to seeing the Turner Prize shortlist in May and the exhibition in October.”

    Turner Prize 2015 is a partnership between Tate, Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow City Council.Turner Prize 2015 will also be complimented by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all aged to get involved and be inspired by the creative work on show.

    The members of the Turner Prize 2015 jury are: Mr Alistair Hudson, Director, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Jan Verwoert, Critic and Curator; Ms Joanna Mytlowska, Director, Museum Sztuki Nowoczesnej; Ms Kyla McDonald, Head of Programme, Glasgow Scultpure Studios.

    The jury is chaired by Dr Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain

     

    Category: International Events

  • 11 March 2015

    Legacy of green events set to live on with new guide

    Zero Waste Scotland has published a new guide to help event organisers to plan and deliver environmentally sustainable events, as part of national Legacy Week (9th – 15th of March).

    The guide, which builds on learnings from high profile events hosted by Scotland during 2014, including Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup 2014, Homecoming Scotland and Festival 2014, will be launched at the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s event at the Scottish Parliament this evening where the Legacy 2014 programme will be highlighting the tourism benefits of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    It has been developed to showcase best practice and act as a quick reference guide for key topics including energy, water, waste management, venue, catering and transportation. 

    Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme worked with event organising committees including Glasgow 2014 and Ryder Cup Green Drive to ensure events made efficient use of energy, water and raw materials, and recycled where possible.  The programme is now working with EventScotland, VisitScotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance to share guidance and support with the wider events sector in Scotland.

    The guide, ‘How to plan and deliver environmentally sustainable events’ can be downloaded at http://www.resourceefficientscotland.com/resource/how-plan-and-deliver-environmentally-sustainable-events

    Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “Last year saw Scotland set a new benchmark for sustainable events and Legacy Week is a great opportunity to celebrate this success and thank all of those who made it possible.  I’m delighted to welcome the publication of this new guide and look forward to seeing how it can help us to build on this valuable experience and make events in Scotland as green as possible.”

    Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

    “2014 really was a once in a lifetime year for Scotland as we saw sustainability raise its profile in the planning and delivery of several high profile events.  The legacy of these events has the potential to really benefit Scotland, and this guide has been developed to ensure that resource efficiency stays on the agenda.

    “Through our Resource Efficient Scotland programme and working closely with strategic partners we are supporting and enabling the events industry to be environmentally responsible.  By taking steps to improve sustainability, for example putting in place plans to divert waste from landfill or re-using materials where possible post-event, organising committees can boost their reputation and gain a competitive advantage, while helping to create a truly sustainable Scottish events industry that competes on the world stage.”

    Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance said:

     “We have shown the world we can deliver first class events, if we are to continue to attract and deliver high profile quality events we need to practice what we preach and take sustainability seriously. This guide is a great tool for the industry to reference and we actively encourage all tourism business to do just that.” 

     Paul Bush OBE, COO of Event Scotland said:

     "Sustainability continues to be an increasingly important area of event planning and this new guide will become an invaluable reference point for organisers throughout the country. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to continuing our work with Zero Waste Scotland in this area, and to seeing the impacts coming through over the coming years."

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 10 March 2015

    You’ve seen the Commonwealth’s best; now see the world’s best

    The Scotland round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which will return to Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May 2015 has been launched by Scotland centre Mark Bennett and Scotland 7s captain, Scott Wight at St. Enoch Centre in Glasgow city Centre.

     Building on the success of the Rugby Sevens at last summer’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which Bennett and Wight were a part of, it will be a weekend of world-class international sevens rugby performed to the back drop of live music, entertainment and with a ‘Comic Book’ fancy dress theme.

     Today’s announcement comes on Commonwealth Day, acting as a reminder to the part Rugby Sevens, a game invented here in Scotland, played at Glasgow 2014 in building a legacy for sport in this country.

     Glasgow Warriors’ home will play host to the world’s best sevens teams including the top three ranked teams on the circuit, South Africa, New Zealand and Fiji.

     With the added incentive of places at Rio 2016 up for grabs this year, as Rugby Sevens makes its Olympic debut, the competition is set to intensify. The top four teams at the end of the season will qualify for Rio.

     Dominic McKay, Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs at Scottish Rugby said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the best Rugby Sevens teams in the world to Glasgow for our fourth Emirates Airline Rugby 7s.

     “With this being the eighth year we have hosted a World Series event we know how much the players enjoy coming to, and competing in, Scotland.

     “Off the back of the success of Glasgow 2014 we have seen fantastic sales so far and encourage fans to snap up their tickets quickly to secure their place at one of Scottish rugby’s biggest parties.”

     The tournament is part of a series of nine international sevens tournaments held around the world, at the end of which the winning country is crowned HSBC Sevens World Series Champions.

     The season began at Gold Coast in Australia before moving on to Dubai and Port Elizabeth in South Africa and then Wellington in New Zealand and Las Vegas.

     It moves to the other side of the world to Hong Kong in March and Tokyo in April before arriving in Glasgow and concluding in London in May.

     Anne Ledgerwood, General Manager of St. Enoch Centre, said: “The HSBC Sevens World Series will bring some of the world’s top teams to the city and showcase Glasgow on the international stage. We’re pleased to be supporting the event and can’t wait to enjoy the carnival atmosphere in May.”

     Tickets for the 2015 Emirates Airline Rugby 7s are on sale now!

     For more details go to: www.scottishrugby.org.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 March 2015

    Stanza’s eighteenth festival draws to a close with organisers hailing it a huge success

    StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has ended its eighteenth year on a high with organisers hailing it a huge success.

    Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “This has been another hugely successful run for StAnza and we’re delighted we were able to mark the festival’s eighteenth year in such a fitting way. The wonderful opening night show, Bedazzled: A Welshman in New York set the bar extremely high for what proved to be an exciting and inspiring four days celebrating poetry in all its forms.”

    The festival was launched by Game of Thrones star Clive Russell who also appeared In Conversation on Saturday. Headline poets this year included Simon Armitage, Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey, Ian Duhig, New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, Alice Notley and Paul Durcan. As well as showcasing some of the major literary talents from around the world, StAnza provides a stage for new and aspiring voices. Among this year’s newcomers were Agnes Török, Toby Campion, Kei Miller and recent winner of the Arts Foundation Spoken Word Award Hollie McNish.

    StAnza prides itself on being a truly international event and this year was no different with poets from as far afield as Jamaica, New Zealand, the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Mallorca, Sardinia and the Faroe Islands.  Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “2015 has been another successful year for StAnza, attracting participants and visitors from around the world. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the strength of StAnza’s programme is testament to that fact.”

    StAnza concludes today (Sunday) after four days of over 100 events including performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations involving 70 artists and  thousands of visitors in the Fife coastal town of St Andrews.

    Eleanor Livingstone added: “Attendance has been excellent this year, and while it’s too early to give exact visitor numbers we are confident we have met our expectations. 2015 has been a fantastic festival for StAnza and while we’re sad that it is all over for another year we’re thrilled to end on such a high.”

    Category: International Events

  • 06 March 2015

    Scottish Senior Open moves to Archerfield Links

    The Scottish Senior Open will be played at Archerfield Links Golf Club for the first time from August 27-29, 2015, with the East Lothian course becoming the sixth different venue to host the long-running tournament.

    With a prize fund of £250,000 the tournament will have a field of 60 European Senior Tour professionals, who will play alongside an amateur partner for the first two rounds before the professionals only contest the final round on Saturday, August 29.

    Archerfield Links has hosted the Ladies Scottish Open since 2010, while it also hosts an annual charity Pro-Am event each June in conjunction with Senior Tour player Ian Woosnam.

    The Fidra Links course, which will host the Scottish Senior Open, was designed by Senior Tour Committee Chairman David J Russell, one of Woosnam’s assistant captains at The 2006 Ryder Cup, who is one of Archerfield Links’ two Touring Professionals, along with Catriona Matthew.

    Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “The Scottish Senior Open is one of the longest running tournaments on the European Senior Tour schedule, and we are delighted to be visiting a new venue this year in Archerfield Links, which will be a magnificent course for our leading players to contest this prestigious title.

    “The tournament will witness a new format this year enabling amateur golfers to play alongside some of the legends of the game and we must thank VisitScotland for their continued support, as well as East Lothian Council and Archerfield Links for hosting us for the first time.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:  “We are delighted to continue our support of world-class golf events in Scotland, the Home of Golf, and to see the Scottish Senior Open move to yet another outstanding venue at Archerfield Links.

    “East Lothian is renowned for being home to some of the best courses anywhere in the world and with the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open taking place at Gullane this year, as well as a number of other events throughout Scotland, it promises to be another hugely exciting summer of golf in the region and across the country as a whole.”

    Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “We are very pleased to be hosting the Scottish Senior Open this year. It’s a fantastic year for East Lothian, Scotland’s Golf Coast, as we’re also home to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane in July. Hosting tournaments of this calibre keeps us firmly on the map as one of the best places in the world to enjoy playing and watching the game of golf. And of course it’s a great boost to our local economy too.”

    Tom Younger, Chief Executive Archerfield Links Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to be working with the European Senior Tour, East Lothian Council and VisitScotland on staging this Championship here at Archerfield Links. It truly is an honour for us to host this event, especially when you look at some of the previous winners, and it will be really wonderful to see some of these great champions back in action on Scotland’s Golf Coast at Archerfield this August.”  

    This year’s Scottish Senior Open will be the 23rd edition of the event. First played at Royal Aberdeen in 1993, the tournament has also been held at Newmachar, Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, The Roxburghe, and Fairmont St Andrews, which was the venue for the past six editions.

    Former Scottish Senior Open champions include Tommy Horton (1993, 1997), Brian Huggett (1995), Neil Coles (1999), Sam Torrance (2006), and Barry Lane (2010, 2011), while Englishman Mark Davis claimed his maiden Senior Tour title at Fairmont St Andrews last year.

    Details relating to sponsorship, Pro-am teams and the purchase of individual amateur places in the tournament, will be available shortly.

    Category: Golf

  • 05 March 2015

    HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS MSP SET TO WELCOME THE WORLD TO HER CONSTITUENCY

    A Highlands and Islands MSP has been learning for herself some of the challenges that await the world's best athletes when they arrive for the World Orienteering Championships in the Highlands and Moray this year.

    Rhoda Grant joined members of the Inverness Orienteering Club at their opening event of a season that will end with the World Orienteering Championships and Scottish 6 Days events being held on their doorstep.

    The shadow minister for health, equality and sport at the Scottish Parliament joined the Scottish Orienteering Association professional officer Colin Matheson at Craig Phadrig on the west of Inverness, where she learned at first hand the wide range of participation in the sport as well as the importance of the World Championships being held in Scotland.

    Mrs Grant said: "If I was being totally honest, running round a forest on a cold and wet Sunday morning in March did not, at the time, strike me as the best idea I’d ever had.  Consequently, I was perhaps not as enthusiastic as I might have been when Colin Matheson, from Scottish Orienteering, offered to host me round a simple course during the Inverness Orienteering Club's opening event of the season.

    "However, what I saw and heard from Colin impressed me and I did end up having a very enjoyable time

    "Clearly, orienteering is a sport for all ages and abilities. I was surprised by the age range of those taking part, which included toddlers in buggies, children of all ages, and adults of various ages right up to veterans.

    "Most participants were obviously highly competitive, with their performance and times being of some importance to them. There also seemed to be others  who were enjoying the sport at a more leisurely pace. There was even one participant who had taken his dog along for the exercise.

    "That is, perhaps, one of the attractions of orienteering, the fact that it can be enjoyed by all ages in different ways. However, it also poses a serious challenge.

    "How do you develop and keep the serious competitors engaged whilst keeping happy the others who see it as an enhanced walk in the woods? This is especially important at a time when one measure of success is gauged not by the numbers of participants but by the number of club members you have.
    "Clubs have to cater to all levels of participation and from what I saw on Sunday, Inverness Orienteering Club is trying very hard to do so.

    "Much of the discussion centred on the forthcoming World Championships and Scottish Six Day Event.
    "In the first place, it is a great accolade for those involved in British and Scottish orienteering that the world body is showing such confidence in their ability to deliver this show-piece event.
    "I'm a bit surprised at the different areas that events will be held in. I expected forests to feature but not parks and urban areas. I intend to watch carefully how these events unfold. However, with a total of 9 days of events being covered by the world’s sporting press, including television, it is also a great opportunity for the Highlands and Moray to show itself off world wide."

    "I was also pleased to learn that over 5,500 competitors have already entered.  If we add to that officials and accompanying family and friends then it really is going to be a huge boost to the Highland and Moray economy.

    "I am sure  that the organising team still have many hurdles to overcome but I am certain that they will deliver a tremendous sporting event."

    Colin Matheson said: "Rhoda was a quick learner and was soon making sense of the control descriptions and detail shown on the map.

    "She noted the massive amount of wind blow in the area – a scene of devastation that is now commonplace after the winter gales and which is having an effect on our preparations for the World Orienteering Championships and Scottish 6 Days.

    "Rhoda was not too worried about her splits and final time and could see the advantages of orienteering as both a competitive sporting activity as well as the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors to improve general health and wellbeing."

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 03 March 2015

    Glasgow Film Festival announces winner of first-ever Audience Award, closing dates and 2015 admissions

    As the 2015 Glasgow Film Festival comes to a close with the UK premiere of Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure, organisers are delighted to announce the winner of their inaugural Audience Award, as well as 2015 admissions numbers, and the dates for 2016’s event.  The directors of the festival, supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland, EventScotland and the BFI, paid tribute to the 2015 audience and described this year as their ‘best ever’.

    AUDIENCE AWARD

    The winner of GFF’s first-ever Audience Award was Radiator, a beautiful and moving low-budget British film created by writer/ first-time feature director Tom Browne, and shot in the Cumbrian house of his deceased parents. Radiator features a pair of astonishing, career-best performances from veteran British actors Richard Johnson and Gemma Jones as elderly hoarders Leonard and Maria. Johnson and Jones, with Browne, were amongst the visitors to the festival this year. The Audience Award was voted on by the GFF audience from a selection of ten films made by first or second-time directors. Over 1100 votes were cast. The Audience Award runner up was the documentary Tender, directed by Lynette Wallworth. Both Radiator and Tender are currently seeking distribution: GFF organisers hope that this award will be of some assistance.  

    Radiator writer/director Tom Browne said:

    ‘Receiving the Audience Award has made us all terrifically happy - thank you!

    Radiator has an unfashionable theme and was made on a tiny budget. Unsurprisingly it is taking a while for the film to find a place within the film industry so to receive this award is very significant for Radiator's future. Richard, Gemma and I had a great time in Glasgow - we were treated so kindly and were touched by the engagement of the audiences evident in the Q and A sessions.’

     Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director Allan Hunter said:

    ‘We’ve always known that our audience has the best taste and now they have proved that all over again. The GFF audience has enthusiastically embraced the responsibility of picking their favourite film from a list of ten contenders and deciding the winner of the festival's first Audience Award. They couldn't have picked a more worthwhile winner than Radiator. Tom Browne's deeply autobiographical film resonates across the generations as it deals with the dynamics of family relationships and the challenges we will all face in our final years. It is funny, touching and told with a fearless truth and beautifully judged performances from Gemma Jones, Daniel Cerquiera and the magnificent Richard Johnson. I only hope distributors will take encouragement from the public passion for Radiator and the Audience Award and bring the film to the wider audience it clearly deserves.’

    AUDIENCE NUMBERS

    Despite fielding 23 fewer events this year due to unavailability at long-term venue partner Cineworld, the festival has still managed to reach over 40,000 admissions for the second year in a row at time of going to press. Last year’s final figure of 41,151 included also included Glasgow Short Film Festival audience numbers: as GSFF has now moved away from the main festival to later in March, this year’s figures can’t include GSFF. Final numbers will be confirmed later in the week, but the overall screen average is also up: there is a 7% increase overall in admissions per event, meaning larger audiences. 45% of the events in the programme sold out completely; 61% of screenings sold 75% of their tickets.

    Over 3500 people visited GFF’s first ever exhibition, Jeely Jars and Seeing Stars, held in the Mitchell Library, which collated oral histories and memories of cinema-going in Glasgow from the 1930s to the present day.

    Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director Allison Gardner said:

    ‘This year might just have been the best Glasgow Film Festival ever. It’s certainly been the most fun I’ve ever had. From ballroom dancing to roller-skating, from coming together in rapt appreciation at classic festival films like Wild Tales or Mommy, giving a standing ovation to legendary Scottish writer William McIlvanney, or queuing for tickets for the Internet Cat Video Festival, our audiences have been generous, committed, passionate and open-minded. And they’ve all got fabulous taste in fancy dress costumes, which we have asked them to wear in some form almost every night.  We’re also absolutely delighted that we’ve broken 40,000 admissions for a second year running, despite working with a smaller programme. Thanks so much to our wonderful audience: you make all the hard work worth it.’

    Guests attending this year’s festival included Alan Rickman, Richard Johnson, Gemma Jones, Paul Merton, Oscar-winning sound designer Glenn Freemantle, the band British Sea Power, actors Cliff Curtis, Gary Lewis, Conor McCarron, Karidja Toure and Assa Sylla, directors Carol Morley, David Robert Mitchell, Yasmin Fedda, Morgan Matthews, Ron Scalpello, Jane Spencer, author William McIlvanne and composerÓlafur Arnalds. On the final day, Sunday 1 March, GFF hosted a sold-out 20th anniversary screening of Glasgow cult classic Small Faces, attended by director Gillies MacKinnon, writer Billy MacKinnon and the cast, including Joe McFadden, Iain Robertson, Steven Duffy, Eilidh McCormick, Gary Sweeney, Carmen Pieraccini and Colin McCredie. Actor Kevin McKidd was present at the after-screening Q&A via online link-up from Los Angeles; similarly, leading documentary film-maker Kim Longinotto joined the festival via link-up for a post-show Q&A after the UK premiere of her new film Dreamcatcher. 

    Category: International Events

  • 26 February 2015

    Details of venues and teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series announced

     The 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will start with a ticket to Ryde for Britain’s nine fastest teams, as they head to the Isle of Wight on Thursday 14 May, which will culminate five weeks and twelve events later in the world-famous city of Bath on Thursday 11 June.

    Four new venues join the unique, team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series, sponsored by leading cycling, running and triathlon apparel brand Pearl Izumi, with Motherwell in Scotland and Croydon joining Ryde and Bath on the ten event schedule, with two debutant teams among the nine squads that will take part in the 2015 Series.

    The brand new Team WIGGINS formed by 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and the ONE Pro Cycling team of England cricketer Matt Prior join the list of teams headlined by defending champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, who hope to become the first squad to defend their Tour Series title.

    Week One sees the opening round take place on the Isle of Wight in Ryde, with a tough climb of Union Street shaping the circuit that will play host to an opening team time trial and traditional circuit race.

    Week Two sees the return of two regular venues, Redditch in Worcestershire on the Tuesday evening before the Aberystwyth event on the Friday night kicks off the weekend festival of cycling in the Welsh resort with both a circuit race and a hill climb up to Constitution Hill overlooking the town.

    A triple-header week of events will take place during half-term, with a new race in Motherwell, host to the triathlon events during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, before Thursday night’s notorious Durham race and a return for the very popular Barrow event in Cumbria on the Friday night.

    The penultimate week of racing will see two events in London, with a first visit to Croydon on the Tuesday before the Thursday night’s race in Canary Wharf, which will also include the popular Corporate Grand Prix event.

    The final week of racing will see Peterborough host Round Nine before the final event in the historic city of Bath, using an iconic circuit that takes in the Royal Crescent.  All ten rounds will once again have highlights on ITV4, screened the following evening, the seventh successive year it has been televised by ITV.

    “We are delighted to announce the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series with prestigious new venues and high-profile new teams,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director of Series organisers SweetSpot.

    “The season ahead is certainly going to be highly-competitive and we look forward to what will be an action packed five weeks of competition with Britain’s fastest teams vying for the title.

    “As always we have tried to challenge our teams with something new, so we have four new circuits plus what will be a very tough hill climb event as a part of the Aberystwyth event.”

    Alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, ONE Pro Cycling and Team WIGGINS, three further British registered UCI Continental teams will take part – Madison Genesis, NFTO Pro Cycling and Team Raleigh – GAC.

    Three further non-UCI British teams will also enter the full Series, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota and Velosure Starley Primal, with a new trophy being inaugurated for the highest placed non-UCI team at the end of the Series.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will also once again include a five-round women’s Grand Prix Series, culminating just a week before the biggest women’s cycle race in the UK, the Friends Life Women’s Tour (17-21 June).  Further details of the Grand Prix Series, including venues, will be announced shortly.

    Past winners of the unique, team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series are Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011), Endura Racing (2012), Team UK Youth (2013) and Rapha Condor JLT (2014).

     

    You can follow The Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #tourseries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 24 February 2015

    Investment confirmed for key Scottish Borders Mountain Biking events

    VisitScotland has today (24 Feb) announced up to £29,000 in funding for two mountain biking events, taking place in the Scottish Borders this summer. The TweedLove Enduro World Series event and the British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships have secured investment from EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through its National Programme.

    With two days of high octane racing featuring the world’s top trail riders, the Enduro World Series returns to the Tweedlove Bike Festival for the second year running on May 30-31. With 600 places in the main event selling out in an incredible 30 seconds, the event will see riders from all over the world compete in the beautiful surroundings of Innerleithen and Glentress. The event was the fastest-selling event in the entire series, a fact made more significant as it is also has the most competitors.

    The event will receive up to £25,000 in funding through the National Programme which, will support strategic marketing and PR and enhancements to the spectator experience, including increased capacity at the start area and an enhanced expo village.

    Returning to Selkirk for the third year in a row, the British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will see top domestic riders race over a challenging 75km course for the coveted national champion’s jersey. The event on May 1 will also feature a number of amateur sportives across three distances, giving riders of all ages and abilities a taste of the action. Up to £4,000 has been awarded to increase marketing and PR activity for the event, with visitors expected from throughout the UK.

    VisitScotland research shows that domestic visitors to Scotland, who take part in mountain biking or cycling, on average stay over two million nights and spend £109 million each year. The Scottish Borders is the perfect destination for mountain biking with a range of challenging trails running through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.

    In November last year, the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund helped support the Scottish Mountain Biking Conference 2014 – International Edition. The event at Peebles Hydro generated an estimated £250,000 for the economy and was attended by more than 200 mountain biking experts.

    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “Mountain Biking is a critical part of the tourism offering in the Scottish Borders. The 7stanes trails in the South of Scotland generate £11m for the local economy and with world class facilities complemented by stunning scenery and warm hospitality it’s easy to see why we are attracting these internationally significant events. 

    “Our aim in funding these events is to drive both domestic and international tourism, with hoteliers, restaurants and other local businesses set to benefit from an influx competitors and spectators. Scotland has a reputation as the perfect stage for events, and our team at EventScotland will continue to build on that by attracting major international events to the country.”

    Neil Dalgleish said, “The Tweed Valley really is amazing for mountain biking and undoubtedly has the UK’s best enduro trails. Hosting the EWS for a second year proves that we are now in the premier league of the world’s MTB destinations. The whole community is very proud that the event sold out so fast – it’s incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to welcome the world’s best riders!”

    Paul McGreal of Durty Events, organisers of The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, said: “We’re really pleased to have been asked to organise The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships alongside the Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon again. The financial support from EventScotland will make an enormous difference to both events.  Most importantly it allows us to grow this already popular event, both in terms of riders of national and open events as well as their supporters and the spectators.  This will ensure the event’s long term future thereby further benefitting the local economy.” 

    Category: National Events

  • 23 February 2015

    StAnza comes of age with a festival programme set to ‘Bedazzle’

    “…to be part of such a prestigious event, in the new Byre, is a delight for me.”

    Clive Russell, Actor

     StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival celebrates its eighteenth year with a festival programme set to ‘Bedazzle’.  As one of the UK’s leading festivals, StAnza is marking its coming of age year with an outstanding line-up of literary talent.

     The annual festival which gets underway next week, will be launched by Fife actor and Game of Thrones star Clive Russell, followed by an opening night performance of Bedazzled: A Welshman in New York. The highly acclaimed show will see the Byre Theatre transformed into 1950’s New York and audience members transported back in time to the heady, bohemian world of Greenwich Village in the 50s.

     Commenting on his involvement with StAnza Clive Russell said: “I was brought up in Fife, and St Andrews was a place, as a family, we visited many times for picnics on the West Sands, films at the cinema, putting on the Himalayas, golf, and plays at the original Byre Theatre. Indeed one of my first experiences of theatre was an A B Paterson play at that unique venue so to be part of such a prestigious event, in the new Byre, is a delight for me.”

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone added: “We are absolutely delighted to have an artist of such talent and stature as Clive Russell launching the eighteenth StAnza festival. Not only does he connect with Fife, StAnza’s home, but he also shares a love of poetry and of course, not forgetting, he is a major international television star, currently watched by millions around the world in Game of Thrones.”

     Over five days Fife's historic university town of St Andrews will come alive to celebrate live poetry in all its forms around this year's themes of Unfinished Business and An Archipelago of Poetry.

    The festival takes place from 4 to 8 March and boasts an impressive programme with headline acts including Simon Armitage, New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, along with three poets on their first appearance at StAnza, American poet Alice Notley, Sinéad Morrissey, currently Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Ian Duhig. Winner of the 2014 Forward Prize for best collection and Forward First Prize for best first collection, Kei Miller and Liz Berry, respectively are also included in this year’s line up along with Helen Mort, recent winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection prize and Hollie McNish, winner of the Arts Foundation spoken word award.

     Eleanor Livingstone continued: “This is a very special year for StAnza and we have marked it with an ambitious programme which demonstrates the incredible creative talent there is within the poetry world. From our headline acts to some of the newest voices on the stage, our line-up is an eclectic, vibrant and exciting mix of performance poets and artists who will no doubt make 2015 a festival to remember.”

     Among the new voices in this year’s programme are spoken word poets Agnes Török, Toby Campion and Erin Fornoff. Agnes Török was the 2014 StAnza Poetry Slam winner and was awarded the Best International Spoken Word Show at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her show Sorry I Don't Speak Culture. Toby Campion was a finalist in the BBC Poetry Slam 2014 and the UK National Slam 2014 while Erin Fornoff who has performed at Glastonbury, won the StAnza 2013 digital slam.

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to StAnza kicking off next week, with Clive Russell set to launch the festival in style. StAnza is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our annual cultural portfolio, and the programme this year looks set to capture the imagination of audiences once more.”

     Other programme highlights include an exhibition by Will Maclean in collaboration with poet John Burnside, Writing Motherhood, A Shipwrecked House, Sealegs, and a Modern Don Juan. 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.  

    Category: International Events

  • 20 February 2015

    Power up The Ideas Factory with Edinburgh International Science Festival

     

    Power up The Ideas Factory with Edinburgh International Science Festival
    In 2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival transforms into The Ideas Factory - a hub for information, ideas and innovation. Audiences are invited to get their thinking caps on as big ideas transform the halls, galleries, theatres and gardens of Edinburgh from 4 - 19 April. 
    Brainwaves - a series examining the mysteries of Brain, Mind & Consciousness 
    Light & Enlightenment - UN International Year of Light 2015 illuminates Scotland’s greatest minds 
    GastroFest - our mini-festival about the science of food and drink returns
    Energy & Environment - a series debating our global climate future featuring IPCC Chair 
    Dr Rajendra Pachauri
    Numbers That Matter - probing big data and the stats behind our lives
    The Reading Experiment - a celebration of science writing in all its forms 
    How the Light Gets In - an exhibition showcasing artists working with light
    Moral Philosopher Mary Midgley announced as recipient of the Edinburgh Medal 2015  
    Nobel Prize winner Prof Peter Higgs heads a list of world-leading scientists and speakers 
    Science Festival launches #SciPals half-price scheme for students supported by Siemens 
    Amanda Tyndall, Deputy Director of Edinburgh International Science Festival, said: “This year’s Science Festival will celebrate enlightened thinking and doing by drawing together shining lights from the fields of science, technology, engineering, philosophy, the arts and beyond, to mull over some of the big ideas, issues and challenges of our time. But it’s not all serious stuff – there are plenty of sociable science opportunities, with events on everything from to gaming to gin, and beauty to beer”. 
    In 2015 the Science Festival focuses on big ideas and brings together great minds from different disciplines - from makers of new inventions and political policy, to world-class scientists and ground-breaking artists. The programme unites pioneering thinkers and aims to foster dialogue about the future of our culture, nation, planet and global understanding. With events examining urgent questions across a wide range of issues – food, health, energy, environment, mind, art, numbers – the Science Festival calls on audiences to engage with the vital ideas of today and tomorrow. 
    Leading scientists appearing at the Festival include Edinburgh-based Nobel Prize winner Prof Peter Higgs, physicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and Gaia Theorist James Lovelock, alongside broadcasters Jim Al-Khalili (BBC’s Light and Dark), Hermione Cockburn (BBC’s Coast), Simon Watt (Channel 4’s Natures Giants) and Helen Keen (BBC Radio 4) who join professionals from a range of other disciplines to debate and generate new ideas around a huge range of topics. Scottish superstar trials rider and Red Bull athlete Danny MacAskill talks about the nature of focus and what drives him to achieve extraordinary feats (12 April), former hostage Terry Waite joins neuroscientist Sir Colin Blakemore to discuss his experience in captivity in an event exploring mental resilience (9 April), and best-selling author Matt Haig discusses his experience with depression and using mindfulness as a tool for mental well-being (6 April). 
    In December 2015, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet in Paris for the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference. Billed as a make or break international effort to curb global warming, this landmark event serves as a focus for the Energy & Environment series, sponsored by E.ON. Keynote event The Road to Paris features outgoing Chair of the IPCC and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr Rajendra Pachauri in discussion with experts and policy makers about the global issues at stake this December, including Scottish Minister for Environment and Climate Change Dr Aileen McLeod MSP. Closer to home, two highly topical debates consider Scotland’s energy future – Black Gold, White Lies? The Truth about North Sea Oil (14 April) investigates how much oil is really left in the North Sea, and what its worth could truly mean to Scotland, while Engineering Our Energy Future: To Frack Or Not To Frack? (9 April) considers each side of the fracking debate and the Scottish Government’s recent moratorium on the matter. 
    In Brainwaves, the Festival partners with the British Neuroscience Association - as they bring their 50th biennial conference to Edinburgh for the first time - to present a series exploring brain, mind and consciousness. Two keynote public lectures form the centre of this series: in Why Scotland should lead the Neuroscientific Enlightenment (12 April) Prof David Nutt, former UK Government Advisor on Drug policy, will reflect on the regulation of drugs and alcohol policy in Scotland, and calls for a reappraisal of societal attitudes to harmful drugs, and in The Search for Consciousness: detecting awareness in the vegetative state (12 April) Dr Adrian Owen will examine how improvements in human brain imaging changed how we perceive consciousness, with MRI scanning now able to detect cognitive activity in patients once thought to be in vegetative states. Other events include Gender and the Brain (10 April), examining if there such a thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain, Neuroethics On Trial (10 April) – where the audience turns jury to judge a panel of experts debating whether brain imaging should be admissible in a court of law, we host a special screening of Alex Garland’s critically acclaimed Ex Machina (16 April) with a discussion hosted by BBC broadcaster Dr Alex Rutherford, who acted as scientific consultant to the film, and there’s even a Neuroscience Ceilidh (17 April) from scientist and fiddle player Lewis Hou. 
    We celebrate the science of food and drink with the return of mini-festival GastroFest, supported as part of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland. Highlights include science-inspired farmers market SciMart (5 April), an Easter treat for all the family bringing together food producers, researchers and chefs, and featuring demos from award-winning Edinburgh chef Paul Wedgwood. Diners can explore the surprising links between our senses and our taste buds in Sensory Experimentation (9 April) with a series of tasters designed to trick in experiments exploring flavour, scent and texture (9 April), while Give in to Fermentation (15 April) investigates our ongoing fascination with the fermentation process whilst enjoying a series of beer and food pairings. Drink design has now become a science - GastroLab: Molecular Mastery (11 April) unveils the mysteries of molecular mixology with Prof Andrea Sella and drinks developers Zoe Burgess and Max Venning from London's Drinks Factory, and in Gin-omics for Generation Gin (12 April) we examine the distillation secrets behind this rediscovered classic, with a selection of Scottish craft gin tasters. 
    The UN International Year of Light 2015 serves as inspiration for Light and Enlightenment, a series exploring the beauty, form and function of light and its role as a metaphor for knowledge and enlightenment. On The Spectrum (13 April) investigates the nature of colour and explores how we use, interact with and understand it, and Light Fantastic (4 April) examines the many meanings of light across the spectrum of culture. A Sense of Wonder (15 April) celebrates a hero of Scottish science, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Edinburgh native James Clerk Maxwell’s ground-breaking theory of electromagnetism. A number of talks examine how light has been used throughout the ages as a metaphor for understanding and discovery - The Enlightenment Debate: Hume vs Reid (17 April) brings this idea home to Scotland, examining the legacy and influence of Scotland’s Enlightenment era thinkers – fathers of our intellectual, economic and scientific modern age. 
    Far from being the dull end of science and tech, Numbers That Matter highlights how integral statistics are to life in our online information age. Social Media: Spying? Sentiment? Source of Data? (9 April) investigates the realities of social media sharing and asks who truly owns your data, whilst The Computing Universe (14 April) charts the rise of the machine from computing in the 1930s to the modern day. Big Solutions to Big Data (16 April) examines how we capture ‘big data’ and the big challenges and opportunities that come with it, while Australia’s Numeracy Ambassador – and stand-up comedian - Simon Pampena explores the lighter side of maths in The Savant Garde (11 April) - a comedy journey through the hardest maths problems of all time. 
    Those looking for an inspiring night out can enjoy our Lates events - where science, music and art collide - starting with the Festival’s Opening Party at City Art Centre (2 April). The programme also features the return of hugely popular sci-creative series LateLab taking in subjects as diverse as the Tron movie series in a special Atmosphere screening at the National Museum of Scotland to complement the Game Masters exhibition (4 April), to a scientific look at beauty at the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland in Beauty by Design (17 April). Elsewhere The Science of Game of Thrones (10 April) asks whether the phenomena present in George R.R. Martin’s epic tales could perhaps be plausible, while Electric Tales: The Science Years (14 April) promises a night of comedy storytelling packed with love, competitions and a healthy dose of weird. Late nights include two special new events – The Big Bang Bash (10 April) presented in partnership with the National Museum of Scotland - an out-of-this-world party celebrating the wonders of space and Full Spectrum (17 April) – the Science Festival’s first ever club night – an audio-visual experience produced with Astrojazz and Adventures in Light.  
    The creative crossover continues with a new visual arts exhibition co-curated by the Science Festival, Summerhall and ASCUS Art & Science. How the Light Gets In showcases the work of international artists intrigued by light in all its many facets, and aims to illuminate the workings of our brain, mind and consciousness, celebrating both the Festival’s Brainwaves and Light & Enlightenment programmes. Artists featured include Oliver Jennings, Benjamin Burtenshaw, Collins and Goto, Fraser Ross, Keith Lemley, William Latham, Andrew Carnie, Art Neuro and Julia Malle. 
    The Reading Experiment returns to delve into the world of science writing and encourage audiences to engage with its many forms – from popular science to poetry, literary fiction and sci-fi. A series of author talks, workshops and events explores why everyone can enjoy sci-writing:  in The Science of Storytelling winners of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award discuss how science can bring new inspiration to writers who love it (15 April), whilst Bad Science Books? Jurassic Park takes on the relationship between science fact and science fiction (7 April), and in Forensic Fact Meets Forensic Fiction, author Lin Anderson examines the scientific fact behind popular crime writing (5 April). Aside from events, this year’s SciKu poetry competition - launching March 2015 – asks entrants to create a ‘science haiku’ about the wonder of light and will be transforming a community phone box on Portobello High Street into a hub for SciKu sharing. 
    The Science Festival also remains the perfect Easter Holiday adventure for families. The City Art Centre will again be transformed into a scientific playground, with lots of activities new for 2015: kids can enter the Carnival of the Mind to discover the secrets of their brain, enjoy science storytelling with Timmy the Turbine and explore our new Under 5s Science Trail. Over at Summerhall, families can enjoy an expanded series of interactive science shows and workshops, with more on offer for older children and teenagers. Children can make their own LED badges in Gadget Factory (9 April) find out how a lightsaber works in The Science of Star Wars (12 & 13 April) and dissect a toy mind in Robot Brain Surgery (14 April). Older visitors can immerse themselves in the how-to world of tech, with workshops on everything from electronics and soldering, to coding and video game design. Two new special themed days also group family activities together – in Dino Day (4 April) features robotic dinosaurs, Velma the Velociraptor, a dinosaur-dig, dino dressing-up and a special dino Easter-egg hunt. On Space Day, (12 April) scientist Marcus Chown will talk about the wonders of the universe, with demos from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Rocket in your Pocket science busking, space-suit dressing-up and a planetarium. Other family events around the city include hands on workshops at the National Museum of Scotland where their Lab Rats (7-11 April) have travelled to space and back, a Columbian jungle-themed expedition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh also presents a packed programme of events for families at the National Museum of Scotland. 
    The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 April 2015. Full details of the 2015 programme can be found at sciencefestival.co.uk. Tickets for all events can be booked online via the website or through the Box Office on 0844 557 2686 from 11am Thursday 19 February 2015. 
    Other Highlights
    Light Works – The Festival’s large-scale photography exhibition returns to St Andrew Square, with a brand-new exhibit organised by the Royal Photographic Society in celebration of the UN International Year of Light 2015. Light Works is a virtual journey through the electromagnetic spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves, showing how different kinds of light is used in science, technology and medicine, with fifty images taking us from inside the human body to the very edges of space. 
    Open daily from Tuesday 3 March to Friday 17 April 2015, 8am–6pm. Entry is un-ticketed and free of charge.  
    The Curiosity Mars Rover - A scale model of the Curiosity Mars Rover - NASA’s most technologically complex and famous rover - will be on display in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland throughout the Festival. Visitors will discover the features that allow the rover to explore the planet’s surface and how it’s working to determine if Mars has ever had an environment suitable for life. The Curiosity Mars Rover was virtually designed and tested using Siemens software and demonstrates how the power of engineering can help overcome the universe’s greatest challenges.
    The Edinburgh Medal - The 2015 Edinburgh Medal is awarded to moral philosopher Mary Midgely. Over the past 30 years, her writings have informed debates concerning animal rights, the environment and evolutionary theory. Mary was a senior lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University and wrote her first book, Beast and Man, when she was in her fifties. She has since published over fifteen books, including Animals and Why They Matter, Science and Salvation and Evolution as a Religion. Mary will appear in three events celebrating her life and work at this year’s Science Festival, the Edinburgh Medal Address (7 April), The Whispering Mind (8 April)  and a special In Conversation event with leading environmentalist and originator of Gaia theory, James Lovelock, at The Queen’s Hall (8 April). 
    Lunchtime Science – Our popular lunchtime series are back again giving audiences ideas to snack on during their lunch hour in two series of hour-long sessions. Oxford University Press’ author talks series A Very Short Introduction to... returns, covering everything from coral reefs to global catastrophes, whilst Healthy Lunches explores the health-related topics of Motor Neurone Disease, Crohn’s, allergies and obesity. 
    Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire – The Science Festival presents the third Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire at Summerhall on Sunday 19 April. This all-day, family-friendly event echoes the ethos of The Ideas Factory, featuring many of the UK’s most innovative and resourceful makers, showcasing skills and sharing their work in everything from traditional crafting to digital technologies. 
    #SciPals Student Ticket Scheme –the Festival launches #SciPals, a brand new scheme for students in full-time education offering them half-price tickets on a huge range of events. Students can now enjoy a lunchtime talk for just £2.50 or an evening out for as little as £4. Supported by Siemens.

    In 2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival transforms into The Ideas Factory - a hub for information, ideas and innovation. Audiences are invited to get their thinking caps on as big ideas transform the halls, galleries, theatres and gardens of Edinburgh from 4 - 19 April. 
    Brainwaves - a series examining the mysteries of Brain, Mind & Consciousness 

    Light & Enlightenment - UN International Year of Light 2015 illuminates Scotland’s greatest minds 

    GastroFest - our mini-festival about the science of food and drink returns

    Energy & Environment - a series debating our global climate future featuring IPCC Chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri

    Numbers That Matter - probing big data and the stats behind our lives

    The Reading Experiment - a celebration of science writing in all its forms 

    How the Light Gets In - an exhibition showcasing artists working with light• Moral Philosopher Mary Midgley announced as recipient of the Edinburgh Medal 2015  

    Nobel Prize winner Prof Peter Higgs heads a list of world-leading scientists and speakers 

    Science Festival launches #SciPals half-price scheme for students supported by Siemens 
    Amanda Tyndall, Deputy Director of Edinburgh International Science Festival, said: “This year’s Science Festival will celebrate enlightened thinking and doing by drawing together shining lights from the fields of science, technology, engineering, philosophy, the arts and beyond, to mull over some of the big ideas, issues and challenges of our time. But it’s not all serious stuff – there are plenty of sociable science opportunities, with events on everything from to gaming to gin, and beauty to beer”. 

    In 2015 the Science Festival focuses on big ideas and brings together great minds from different disciplines - from makers of new inventions and political policy, to world-class scientists and ground-breaking artists. The programme unites pioneering thinkers and aims to foster dialogue about the future of our culture, nation, planet and global understanding. With events examining urgent questions across a wide range of issues – food, health, energy, environment, mind, art, numbers – the Science Festival calls on audiences to engage with the vital ideas of today and tomorrow. 

    Leading scientists appearing at the Festival include Edinburgh-based Nobel Prize winner Prof Peter Higgs, physicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, and Gaia Theorist James Lovelock, alongside broadcasters Jim Al-Khalili (BBC’s Light and Dark), Hermione Cockburn (BBC’s Coast), Simon Watt (Channel 4’s Natures Giants) and Helen Keen (BBC Radio 4) who join professionals from a range of other disciplines to debate and generate new ideas around a huge range of topics.

    Scottish superstar trials rider and Red Bull athlete Danny MacAskill talks about the nature of focus and what drives him to achieve extraordinary feats (12 April), former hostage Terry Waite joins neuroscientist Sir Colin Blakemore to discuss his experience in captivity in an event exploring mental resilience (9 April), and best-selling author Matt Haig discusses his experience with depression and using mindfulness as a tool for mental well-being (6 April). 

    In December 2015, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet in Paris for the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference. Billed as a make or break international effort to curb global warming, this landmark event serves as a focus for the Energy & Environment series, sponsored by E.ON. Keynote event The Road to Paris features outgoing Chair of the IPCC and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr Rajendra Pachauri in discussion with experts and policy makers about the global issues at stake this December, including Scottish Minister for Environment and Climate Change Dr Aileen McLeod MSP. Closer to home, two highly topical debates consider Scotland’s energy future – Black Gold, White Lies? The Truth about North Sea Oil (14 April) investigates how much oil is really left in the North Sea, and what its worth could truly mean to Scotland, while Engineering Our Energy Future: To Frack Or Not To Frack? (9 April) considers each side of the fracking debate and the Scottish Government’s recent moratorium on the matter. 

    In Brainwaves, the Festival partners with the British Neuroscience Association - as they bring their 50th biennial conference to Edinburgh for the first time - to present a series exploring brain, mind and consciousness. Two keynote public lectures form the centre of this series: in Why Scotland should lead the Neuroscientific Enlightenment (12 April) Prof David Nutt, former UK Government Advisor on Drug policy, will reflect on the regulation of drugs and alcohol policy in Scotland, and calls for a reappraisal of societal attitudes to harmful drugs, and in The Search for Consciousness: detecting awareness in the vegetative state (12 April) Dr Adrian Owen will examine how improvements in human brain imaging changed how we perceive consciousness, with MRI scanning now able to detect cognitive activity in patients once thought to be in vegetative states. Other events include Gender and the Brain (10 April), examining if there such a thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain, Neuroethics On Trial (10 April) – where the audience turns jury to judge a panel of experts debating whether brain imaging should be admissible in a court of law, we host a special screening of Alex Garland’s critically acclaimed Ex Machina (16 April) with a discussion hosted by BBC broadcaster Dr Alex Rutherford, who acted as scientific consultant to the film, and there’s even a Neuroscience Ceilidh (17 April) from scientist and fiddle player Lewis Hou. 

    We celebrate the science of food and drink with the return of mini-festival GastroFest, supported as part of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland. Highlights include science-inspired farmers market SciMart (5 April), an Easter treat for all the family bringing together food producers, researchers and chefs, and featuring demos from award-winning Edinburgh chef Paul Wedgwood. Diners can explore the surprising links between our senses and our taste buds in Sensory Experimentation (9 April) with a series of tasters designed to trick in experiments exploring flavour, scent and texture (9 April), while Give in to Fermentation (15 April) investigates our ongoing fascination with the fermentation process whilst enjoying a series of beer and food pairings. Drink design has now become a science - GastroLab: Molecular Mastery (11 April) unveils the mysteries of molecular mixology with Prof Andrea Sella and drinks developers Zoe Burgess and Max Venning from London's Drinks Factory, and in Gin-omics for Generation Gin (12 April) we examine the distillation secrets behind this rediscovered classic, with a selection of Scottish craft gin tasters. 

    The UN International Year of Light 2015 serves as inspiration for Light and Enlightenment, a series exploring the beauty, form and function of light and its role as a metaphor for knowledge and enlightenment. On The Spectrum (13 April) investigates the nature of colour and explores how we use, interact with and understand it, and Light Fantastic (4 April) examines the many meanings of light across the spectrum of culture. A Sense of Wonder (15 April) celebrates a hero of Scottish science, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Edinburgh native James Clerk Maxwell’s ground-breaking theory of electromagnetism. A number of talks examine how light has been used throughout the ages as a metaphor for understanding and discovery - The Enlightenment Debate: Hume vs Reid (17 April) brings this idea home to Scotland, examining the legacy and influence of Scotland’s Enlightenment era thinkers – fathers of our intellectual, economic and scientific modern age. 

    Far from being the dull end of science and tech, Numbers That Matter highlights how integral statistics are to life in our online information age. Social Media: Spying? Sentiment? Source of Data? (9 April) investigates the realities of social media sharing and asks who truly owns your data, whilst The Computing Universe (14 April) charts the rise of the machine from computing in the 1930s to the modern day. Big Solutions to Big Data (16 April) examines how we capture ‘big data’ and the big challenges and opportunities that come with it, while Australia’s Numeracy Ambassador – and stand-up comedian - Simon Pampena explores the lighter side of maths in The Savant Garde (11 April) - a comedy journey through the hardest maths problems of all time. Those looking for an inspiring night out can enjoy our Lates events - where science, music and art collide - starting with the Festival’s Opening Party at City Art Centre (2 April).

    The programme also features the return of hugely popular sci-creative series LateLab taking in subjects as diverse as the Tron movie series in a special Atmosphere screening at the National Museum of Scotland to complement the Game Masters exhibition (4 April), to a scientific look at beauty at the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland in Beauty by Design (17 April). Elsewhere The Science of Game of Thrones (10 April) asks whether the phenomena present in George R.R. Martin’s epic tales could perhaps be plausible, while Electric Tales: The Science Years (14 April) promises a night of comedy storytelling packed with love, competitions and a healthy dose of weird. Late nights include two special new events – The Big Bang Bash (10 April) presented in partnership with the National Museum of Scotland - an out-of-this-world party celebrating the wonders of space and Full Spectrum (17 April) – the Science Festival’s first ever club night – an audio-visual experience produced with Astrojazz and Adventures in Light.  The creative crossover continues with a new visual arts exhibition co-curated by the Science Festival, Summerhall and ASCUS Art & Science.

     

    The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 April 2015.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 18 February 2015

    WORLD ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS ALREADY PROVING INSPIRATIONAL

    The Olympic Games in London and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow both inspired an increase in sports participation - now organisers of the Highland 2015 world orienteering festival are anticipating a similar reaction.

    Highland 2015 - the festival of orienteering taking place in the Highlands and Moray from July 31 to August 7 that incorporates the World Orienteering Championships and the Scottish 6 Days - is set to attract over 6000 competitors and thousands of spectators from throughout the world.

    It is already becoming evident that WOC2015 is proving inspiration in schools throughout the Highlands and Moray, as evidenced at Milne's Primary School in Moray, where P7 teacher Jane Barker was one of the first to introduce Orienteering classes to her enthusiastic pupils.

    Jane introduced a series of four progressive sessions that culminated in an outing to local woodlands where they took part for the first time in 'real' orienteering competition.  Mrs Baker said: “The pupils enjoy orienteering and all its different ways that they can participate.  It enthuses them to learn more about maps, symbols and navigation.  

    "By being able to understand maps, they will be able to use mathematics, problem solving and decision-making skills.  It is a great sport for meeting all of the significant aspects of PE and improves the health and wellbeing of pupils, as well as their cardiovascular fitness.”

    So popular where the sessions at the Fochabers school that similar lessons were introduced at other primary schools in the region, organised in association with Scottish Orienteering's regional development officer in Moray, Mike Rodgers.

    The Moray Schools Orienteering Project was launched at the end of the Scottish 6 Days Event held in Moray in two years ago.  The project was dubbed “WOC2015 and Beyond” and attracted funding from the Elgin Rotary Club along with donations from British Orienteering, the Scottish Orienteering Association and Moray-based national company Springfield properties.

    Participating 'school clusters' contributed to the project and between them allowed for state-of-the-art electronic orienteering equipment to be purchased for use by schools.

    “This was major project” explained Mike Rodgers, who added: “Thanks to the enthusiasm of five of Moray’s eight schools clusters, we now have enough equipment to enable them to take orienteering to a whole new level. 

    "It would have been no use waiting for the World Championships to happen amidst all the hype and media coverage and then ask “what now?”  Instead, there’s been the vision to get this kit in place ahead of the game, and by the time WOC2015 comes round staff and pupils will be getting to grips with the potential of this kit. 

    "It will kick start an exciting way of linking physical activity to many other areas of the curriculum. 

    "Everyone is talking about the legacy that came about after Glasgow 2014 and the London Olympics - well here in Moray we now have everything in place to build a fantastic sporting legacy of our own, for a World Championships that will be staged on our doorsteps – and one in which local children can compete themselves before watching the world’s best in action."

    The Director for the World Orienteering Championships, Paul McGreal, said that the Moray project had given a clear demonstration of the long-term benefit hosting a major world championship can bring.

    Mr McGreal added: "By the time the final event takes place at WOC2015 this summer we hope and expect that orienteering will be seen for the unique and exciting sport it is, one that appeals to people of all ages and fitness levels.

    "Our hope is that schools throughout the country will look at the educational benefits realised in Moray and in other parts of the country - and copy their lead."

    Category: International Events

  • 18 February 2015

    Scotland names a date for the 2017 World Championships

    BADMINTONscotland are delighted to announce that the TOTAL BWF World Championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena will be staged from August 21-27 in 2017.

     The World Championships will bring together the best players from across the globe during an action-packed week of competition at the £113million Emirates Arena – the same venue that hosted the badminton event at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  

     Organisers are vowing to deliver an event of the very highest quality, with BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie today urging volunteers and fans to put the dates firmly in their diary and plan their holidays to ensure that they can be part of the action at the Emirates.

     She said: “It will be the third time we have staged a World Championships and we are keen to carry on the momentum gained at the Commonwealth Games badminton tournament in the same arena last summer.

     “We can look forward to welcoming badminton fans, players, officials and volunteers from all over the world and I urge Scotland supporters to keep the dates free so they can come along to the Emirates and cheer on the home players.

     "We are particularly keen to encourage our marvellous volunteers because we are only too well aware that a matter of weeks after the World Championships we will be relying on many of them again when we stage our annual Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena."

     Scotland first staged a World Championships in 1997 in a two-week celebration of badminton which began with the Sudirman Cup World Team Championships and was followed by the individual competition.

     The Sudirman Cup returned to Glasgow in 2007. Now Scottish badminton fans are looking forward to August 2017 for another great celebration of the sport in the 6,000-seater Emirates Arena.

     The event was secured by Glasgow in the Peruvian capital of Lima in November thanks to the special partnership between BADMINTONscotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland.

     Ms Smillie said: “We have a magnificent venue in the Emirates Arena, which hosted the Commonwealth Games badminton event last summer, and an outstanding record of staging high-quality events with our 1997 World Championships and Sudirman Cup, the 2007 Sudirman Cup and two European Championships.

     “Being awarded the most prestigious event in world badminton once again reflects the high esteem with which we are held by the BWF. They can depend on us to put on a fabulous World Championships and the planning has already begun.”

     Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is rightly regarded as one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities – a position built on our investment in world-class facilities and our international events programme.

     “We are looking forward to once again welcoming the world’s very best badminton players to the Emirates Arena for what will be seven days of top-class action at the 2017 World Badminton Championships.

     “Badminton was one of the success stories of the best ever Commonwealth Games, with Glasgow’s Kirsty Gilmour winning Team Scotland’s 53rd and final medal in front of a packed crowd at the Emirates Arena.

     “The World Championships will allow us build on our proud record of hosting badminton events and take the sport to a new level. But more than that it will inspire the next generation of home-grown badminton players and help increase participation levels across the city.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “With the dates confirmed, badminton fans around the world can begin to plan a visit to Glasgow for the 2017 World Championships at the Emirates Arena. Glasgow and Scotland have much to offer as a destination, and these Championships will undoubtedly be a strong reason for fans to travel to the city.

     “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to welcoming the global badminton community. The Championships will also resonate with our passionate volunteering sector here in Scotland and further afield and we look forward to providing a high-profile opportunity for people to continue on their journey in sport.”

    Category: International Events

  • 17 February 2015

    Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair serves up a feast of fun

    This year’s Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair on Sunday 17th May 2015 will include a celebration of Scottish food and drink. With investment from VisitScotland, through their events team EventScotland as part of the Year of Food and Drink, it will offer the best in local produce to taste and buy, alongside a wide range of other attractions and fun for all of the family.

     Held in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate on the banks of the River Spey in Moray, the event is a highlight of the calendar, combining a traditional highland games with a country fair that includes music, food, shopping and country pursuits activities. Marking the beginning of the tourism season in the area, it attracts visitors from near and far and has grown in size and popularity every year.

     For those who want to indulge themselves in the experience, new for this year is the Gold Ticket which offers exclusive benefits including dedicated parking next to the entrance, access to the hospitality tent with all day light refreshments and soft drinks, a glass of wine and a souvenir brochure.

     Angus Gordon Lennox, owner of Gordon Castle, said;

     “The Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and our thanks go to EventScotland for helping it to grow. With such a wide-ranging programme including some new star attractions, visitors can be sure of a great day out. Whether your taste is gourmet, sporty, musical, traditional or you just want a little retail therapy, there really is something for everyone. We look forward to welcoming visitors in May for a day of family fun.”  

     Building on the success of the Food Court that was introduced last year, there will be more food and drink suppliers than ever before offering the finest quality produce for visitors to sample. The impressive AEG professional kitchen will host demonstrations from top chefs and masterclasses that people can take part in. With so many opportunities to buy goodies to take home, the complimentary new ‘Chill and Collect’ service allows shoppers to leave fresh produce they have bought in a chiller while they enjoy the rest of the day at the Games.

    The traditional heavy events taking place in the Highland Games Arena in front of the Castle remain a central focus, along with other traditional pursuits including the Highland dancing competition, solo piping and massed pipe bands. In the Country Pursuits Arena, there will be an action-packed programme of entertainment throughout the day including a new falconry and lurcher display, as well as the fun dog show, archery, laser clay shooting, terrier racing and a traditional highland pony display. Back by popular demand, the Mordor Gun Dogs will make a return appearance.

     There will be more activities than ever for children, with a children’s icing competition kindly sponsored by Walker’s Shortbread taking place in the Food Court, children’s races, face painting, giant bubbles, a funfair and an inflatable assault course.  

     The Concert Corner will make a welcome return, located on its dedicated stage in the Rose Garden, with plenty of seating for visitors to relax and enjoy the music. Featuring live performances throughout the day, the line up includes new acts as well as old favourites. Always a great opportunity for shopping, over 100 trade stands will offer a huge selection of crafts, jewellery, plants, gardening equipment and much more.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:

    “The Gordon Castle Highland Games is a wonderful event, steeped in history and which has grown in size and profile over the past few years. 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, which will add to the strong offering at the Country Fair.

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Games at the Gordon Castle Estate are a fantastic example of how events can drive domestic tourism and economic benefits for a region. Attracting visitors from outside of Moray, we can see the impact on the local economy through event tourism and look forward to seeing thousands of people attending again this year.”

    During the earlier part of the 20th century the Gordon Castle Highland Games was a prestigious annual event regularly attracting over 30,000 visitors. The event was re-launched in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, welcoming around 8,000 visitors last year. EventScotland has supported the event since 2013 as part of its national events programme.

    Ticket prices: Adults £9.00, Concessions £7.00, Children (under 14 yrs) £4.00, Under 5s Free. Gold Ticket £29.50. Family tickets (for two adults and three children) £26.00. Discount applies for tickets bought online. For further information visit: www.gordoncastlehighlandgames.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @GordonCastle and like us on Facebook.   

    Category: National Events

  • 16 February 2015

    BLUE PETER TAKES ON THE GLASGOW WORLD GYMNASTICS CHALLENGE WITH 250 DAYS TO GO

    There was some exciting news for young gymnastics fans today with confirmation that BBC’s

    Blue Peter is teaming up with British Gymnastics and organisers of this year’s FIG World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow to bring viewers a very special sporting challenge for 2015. In the spirit of the Blue Peter Sport Badge which encourages children to get active and try new sports, Blue Peter presenter, Radzi Chinyanganya will be attempting to master one of world’s most challenging sports – gymnastics.

    Starting from scratch, Radzi will be put through an aptitude test by Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith to see which gymnastic discipline he’s most suited to before preparing a routine which he will perform at the Championships in Glasgow in October. He’ll take centre stage at the SSE Hydro in front of an audience of 7000 and more than 500 of the best gymnasts in the world; can he pull off the performance of his life?

    Marking 250 days to go to the start of the championships, Radzi and Louis, who is also an event ambassador, were at the city’s Glasgow Club Bellahouston Leisure Centre today, to get this ambitious project underway.  They were joined by young gymnasts from City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club who were on hand to demonstrate the different skills required on each of the six pieces of apparatus: pommel horse, vault, floor, parallel bar, rings and horizontal bar, as Louis put Radzi through his paces.

    Louis Smith MBE said: “This is a really exciting project to be involved with and I have so much admiration for Radzi taking on this incredibly difficult challenge. Gymnastics is a great sport for boys and girls of all ages to take part in, but to get to the level required to compete at the World Championships takes years of dedication and hard work. I am sure Radzi can inspire even more children to give gymnastics a go and that they will follow his progress on Blue Peter with interest.”

    Radzi quote: “I can’t wait to get started on the gymnastics challenge - I’m a huge sports fan. I watched every minute of BBC coverage of the Olympics including gymnastics and now I am getting the opportunity to do something I have never done before.

    “I did a little bit of gymnastics when I was five as part of PE at school but never to this level and to get this chance to find out what my strengths may be and definitely my weaknesses are and then to get to perform in front of thousands of people at the World Championships in the Hydro is amazing. I have got seven months to prepare and I am going to need a lot of mental as well as physical preparation.”

    Blue Peter viewers will have to wait until later in the year to find out which piece of apparatus Radzi excelled at and to follow his gripping journey to the World Championships.

    Encouraging more children and young people across Scotland and the UK to get involved in gymnastics is one of the event’s key legacy objectives and organisers are delighted that BBC’s Blue Peter is lending its support. Just like Radzi, a number of young gymnasts from across the city will be perfecting their own routines over the coming months to perform in front of the crowds attending the 2015 World Championships as part of the pre-competition entertainment.

    The FIG World Gymnastics Championships, which will take place at the SSE Hydro from 23rd October – 1st November this year and it is already promising to be one of the biggest single sport events ever staged in the UK.

    The 10-day event will bring together more than 500 gymnasts from up to 80 nations all vying to be crowned 2015 world champion. Just to raise the stakes and test the gymnasts even further, the event will also play a key role in Olympic qualification, with the opportunity to secure places for Rio 2016.

    The best gymnasts in the world will go head to head in team and individual all-around competitions as well as apparatus finals, in front of capacity crowds at Glasgow's iconic SSE Hydro - now rated the second best entertainment venue in the world.

    The Championships are being delivered through a partnership between FIG, British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    They form part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded major events programme to support athletes with their preparation and qualification for Rio 2016.

    And with less than nine months to go until Radzi and the gymnasts take to the arena, organisers are focused on delivering the best ever World Championships for gymnasts and spectators alike.

     Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We are determined to deliver the best ever World Gymnastics Championships by putting the athletes and spectators right at the heart of what will be an unforgettable event experience. But we want to go further and ensure that the event leaves a legacy for years to come. 

     “Sport can change lives. We know that only too well in Glasgow from our experience of hosting the best ever Commonwealth Games. So while the focus will rightly be on icons like Louis Smith it is fantastic to see him spend time with the next generation of medal winners from the City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club.  

     “Blue Peter’s involvement will bring the championships closer to our army of young fans and add another layer of fun. I wish Radzi all the very best for his challenge but with a teacher like Louis he will have no problem at all. No pressure!”  

     Jane Allen, British Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer, said: “The excitement is definitely growing as we get closer to what promises to be the greatest World Gymnastics Championships ever. Glasgow has repeatedly proved that it is a world class host of world class events and we can’t wait to welcome the best gymnasts on the planet to the SSE Hydro in October. The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships are hugely important for our gymnasts and we expect the home crowd to play a significant role in inspiring them all to excel as we look to secure places at the Olympic Games.”

     Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “The World Gymnastics Championships will give thousands of children the opportunity to witness world class sport first hand and also makes excellent use of a Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue.

    “This fantastic partnership with Blue Peter will help spread the appeal of the championships and bring the sport to the attention of a whole new audience.

    “Our major events programme gives people the opportunity to get behind our athletes and really support them as we enter this crucial period of preparation and qualification for Rio 2016”

    For more information about the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships or to book tickets go to:  www.2015worldgymnastics.com

    To find out more about how you can get involved in gymnastics go to www.british-gymnastics.org or www.scottishgymnastics.org

    Category: International Events

  • 16 February 2015

    StAnza’s 2015 programme is bursting with new talent and future stars

    Image credit: Christine Fourie

    StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival has always been the perfect place to hear new voices and discover emerging talent, with 2015 set to be no different. The annual festival which this year takes place between 4-8 March in St Andrews, Fife is as much about launching new talent as it is about bringing together some of the most well-known and best loved poets and artists from all around the world.

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “As a festival director ensuring our programme is fresh and inspiring is key to the success of StAnza year after year. It is a privilege to put together a line-up which is interesting and diverse and allows us to introduce stars of the future and new voices to the international stage. This year is no different and we have a host of exciting and hugely talented newcomers alongside some of the biggest names in poetry coming to Fife next month.”  

     Among the new voices in this year’s programme are spoken word poets Agnes Török, Toby Campion and Erin Fornoff. Agnes Török was the 2014 StAnza Poetry Slam winner and was awarded the Best International Spoken Word Show at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her show Sorry I Don't Speak Culture. Toby Campion was a finalist in the BBC Poetry Slam 2014 and the UK National Slam 2014 while Erin Fornoff who has performed at Glastonbury, won the StAnza 2013 digital slam. Other new voices include Kim Moore and John Dennison both of whom will publish their first full collections this year.

     Poet, writer and singer Hollie McNish, who has most notably just won the Arts Foundation award to help take her work to the next level will appear at StAnza in Writing Motherhood which examines how motherhood affects a poet’s work on Friday 6th March.  

    Two aspiring UK poets in this year’s line-up are Liz Berry, winner of the Forward best first collection prize last year and Helen Mort, who won the Aldeburgh first collection prize last year and is currently Derbyshire’s Poet Laureate. Helen is also one of 20 Next Generation poets, who are recognised as being among the most interesting poets to publish first collections in the last decade. StAnza boasts another three Next Generation poets in the programme with Kei Miller, Heather Phillipson and Mark Waldron.

     Combining poetry with song is Scottish folk singer Kirsty Law, who is fast becoming ‘one to watch’. Kirsty performed at the StAnza preview in Edinburgh last month and will perform at StAnza’s launch on Wednesday 4th March.

     Finally, this year’s Poet in Residence is Clare Mulley, a young poet at the start of her career who was recently shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate of London post.

     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: International Events

  • 12 February 2015

    Swimming stars Keri-anne Payne and Scott Quin rally Scottish support with 150 days to go to the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow

    Beijing Olympic open water silver medallist Keri-anne Payne and Edinburgh’s para-swimming Europeans silver medallist Scott Quin, are predicting another great summer of sporting action in Scotland, at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow from 13-19 July.

    Payne, the former double open water world champion, trains with Quin in Edinburgh,  and both share the same goal of winning World Championships medals this year and ultimately Olympic and Paralympic medals in Rio 2016.

    Payne said: “It’s fantastic that the IPC Swimming World Championships are coming to Glasgow this summer.

    “After the huge success of Glasgow 2014 it’s great that people will get another opportunity to see world-class swimming in Scotland and I hope they’ll turn out to support the GB team.

    “I’ll be cheering on Scott as he aims for his first World Championships medal this year.”

    Quin who won his first international medal in the 100m breaststroke SB14 at the IPC Swimming European Championships in 2014, is hoping to be selected for the GB team in Glasgow, where he will aim to make his mark on the world stage.

    Quin said: “The IPC Swimming World Championships will allow me to test myself against the best swimmers in the world and will be a great way for me to measure where I am with a year to go until Rio.

    “Training with Keri-anne will definitely help me prepare for the IPC Swimming World Championships. She is a double world champion and an Olympic medallist and I’m learning a lot from her.”

     

    Friday 13th February, marks 150 days to go until the IPC Swimming World Championships, which will take place at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre, from 13-19 July.

    Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: "The countdown to the IPC Swimming World Championships is well and truly underway with the world's best para-swimmers set to take to the pool in Tollcross in just 150 days.

    "The IPC Swimming World Championships is the biggest para-swimming event outside of the Paralympic Games and brings together 650 of the best, and most inspirational, swimmers for what will be a week-long celebration of world-class sport.

    "London 2012 was the benchmark in terms of para-sport but just six months after delivering the best ever Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is fully focussed on hosting an IPC Swimming World Championships to remember."

    The week-long meet will see 650 swimmers from 50 countries in action, and there will undoubtedly be some exceptional performances in the pool.

    It forms part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded major events programme which targets championships that will support the nation’s athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The GBR Para-Swimming Team is likely to include four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, Paralympic, world and Commonwealth champion Ollie Hynd and seven-time European champion Stephanie Slater.

    In addition, some of the world’s best para-swimmers including 12-time Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long (USA), the most decorated athlete from London 2012, Jacqueline Freney (AUS), Paralympic and World champion Marc Evers (NED) and seven-time Paralympic champion Andre Brasil (BRA) could also compete.

    Across the seven days of competition there will be 172 medals up for grabs with athletes competing in freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley, freestyle relay and medley relay across 14 different classes, with distances ranging from 50m-400m.

    Tickets are now available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015  

    Prices are £10/£15 for Adults for Heats/Finals, while all Under-16s go free (t&c’s apply). 

    Category: International Events

  • 12 February 2015

    World Class Ice Bowl Action - The Women’s World Championship Division 2A comes to Dumfries

     The countdown is on to the Women’s World Championship Ice Hockey tournament at Dumfries Ice Bowl, which is being held from Monday March 30 to Sunday April 5 this year.

     The Great Britain Women’s team will compete against top seeds Kazakhstan, plus Korea, Poland, New Zealand and Croatia to try and earn promotion from the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Division 2A. The team will play all their fixtures at 8pm during the week-long event, which should encourage Great Britain supporters to turn out in force to get behind the host nation.

     The attraction of this latest World Championship to Dumfries is yet another boost for the sport in the region, and the Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy.  Ice hockey is buoyant in Dumfries, with the highly successful Solway Sharks senior and youth teams and Scotland’s only Ladies team all based in the town. The World Championship is being jointly organised by the Council and Ice Hockey UK on behalf of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

     The Ice Bowl is currently being upgraded, with two changing rooms being extended within the facility and a further two new changing rooms being developed within the adjacent stand at Palmerston Park.   This enhanced provision will further promote the Ice Bowl as a premier facility for Ice Sport across the UK, to enable the Council to Bid for future World Championships and Play-Offs.

     Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “It is a superb accolade for the Council to be entrusted to co-manage the 2015 Women’s World Championship Ice Hockey Group 2A. It is a wonderful testimony to Council staff and our investment in the sport that we are gearing up for our fourth World Championship in just two and a half years. It will be great to welcome national teams from as far afield as Korea, Kazakhstan and New Zealand to Dumfries.”

     Andy French, General Secretary of Ice Hockey said, “Ice Hockey UK is committed to supporting the development of Women’s Ice Hockey and we are delighted to be returning to Dumfries for this World Championship. Ice hockey is a fantastic sport to watch and play and we know that after previous tournaments in the Ice Bowl, participant rates have increased dramatically. We are hoping for that kind of legacy again as well as a compelling week of action.”

     The event has secured up to £19,000 in funding from EventScotland, the events team at national tourism body VisitScotland. Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and Dumfries has a growing reputation for hosting major Ice Hockey events. These championships will undoubtedly be a fantastic spectacle, attracting visitors from outwith Dumfries & Galloway to take in the action. Events like this are key in driving domestic tourism, which in turn delivers significant economic impact for the area."

     Eve Muirhead, the Bronze Olympic medallist and Great Britain Curling Skipper is acting as an Ambassador for the World Championship. Ms Muirhead said, “I am really impressed with the Council’s Ice Bowl facility and their commitment to winter sports coaching programmes and developing access to sport for women. It is a privilege to get right behind this World Championship and to become a supporter of the Solway Sharks Ladies Team!!”

     Tickets for the tournament are now on sale and range from just £4 for a single match ticket to £25 for the full week Championship Pass. There are generous discounts available for group discounts and all Under 16s go free with ticket purchasing adults. Please keep checking the local press and the Ice Hockey UK website for information on support entertainment at the venue during the tournament. Tickets are available from the Midsteeple Box Office and Ice Bowl, and online from www.icehockeyuk.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 12 February 2015

    Cyclists mean business during 2015 Etape Loch Ness

    Businesses around the shores of Loch Ness are gearing up for an off-season economic boost on the back of a major cycling event.

    Etape Loch Ness will draw in visitors before the area’s peak tourist trade and will help put the Highland region on the map, say a range of businesses along the route.

    The cycle sportive, which is now in its second year, takes place on Sunday, April 26 with over 3,000 cyclists from all over the UK making their way around a 66-mile route on closed roads.

    Event organisers have worked closely with Uniqueness - the tourism BID (business improvement district) group - to highlight what the local area has to offer both day trippers and those staying for the whole weekend.

    Local businesses have been quick off the mark to maximise the benefits of the off-peak influx of visitors by offering deals on accommodation, attractions, activities and eateries for riders, their family and friends.

    Morag Cameron is already seeing a steady stream of cyclists who are preparing for the challenge at her tea room and farm shop at Foyers.

    Morag says, “I have a lot of cyclists and cycle clubs doing a recce of the route, with regulars on Saturdays and Sundays.

     “On the day of the sportive, the cyclists come through very early in the morning before most businesses have opened, but there has been a push to get cyclists coming to the area to stay longer.

    “If people do stay longer, they will be able to do things either side of the cycle event and that will be a positive thing and bring benefits. The Etape also generates fantastic publicity for this area.”

    Neil Beattie, manager of the Lovat Hotel at Fort Augustus, has given the Etape Loch Ness the ultimate endorsement – by signing up to take part.

    As a keen cyclist, he appreciates the appeal of riding the roads around the iconic loch without the distraction of traffic.

    “It’s right on my doorstep so I just couldn’t not do it. It’s going to be great and will bring more people in the area. And people will come back – no doubt about it,” Neil says.

    While Neil predicts that many of the riders will be opting to stay in or around Inverness where the event starts and ends, he believes that other businesses out with the Highland capital can also capitalise on the surge in visitors.

    The Lovat is close to one of the toughest endurance tests on the route – the King of the Mountain, a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height - and the hotel is offering promotional deals for cyclists coming up in advance to check out the route.  

    Its overnight stay offer includes a hearty Scottish breakfast, packed lunch, two course dinner in the brasserie, with bike storage and even a massage available on request.

    Kevin Reid of the Loch Ness and Clansman Hotel on the shores of Loch Ness said the event’s timing was perfect, falling after Easter and before the May Day bank holiday weekend.

    He adds, “There’s no doubt the Etape is very good for the area. What happens is participants will book accommodation in Inverness and that will ripple outwards, because of the volume of people taking part.

    “Another benefit is people will come up beforehand to have a look at the route. With this in mind the Loch Ness and Clansman Hotel, along with a few other businesses, are doing special offers in February and March.

    “I can only see this getting bigger and bigger as long as logistics allow and that is great for putting the area on the map.”

    The 106km sportive will take place on closed roads, allowing cyclists to enjoy the spectacular scenery around Loch Ness in a safe, traffic-free environment. Event organiser Caledonian Concepts has been working closely with key partner agencies and local communities to minimise road closures along the route,

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “We have worked closely with our partners and local communities over the past six months, listening to their feedback on what we could do to improve the event for both local residents and businesses, and for participants. We believe that the 2015 Etape Loch Ness will be another success story for the Highlands, and help to put the area on the map as a year-round cycling destination.”

    The sportive is supported by EventScotland, part of national tourism agency VisitScotland. Chief operating officer Paul Bush OBE says, “Etape Loch Ness is a spectacular event, which builds on the increasing popularity of mass-participation cycling events in the UK. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the stunning landscape and scenery will once again offer participants a beautiful yet challenging experience.”

    The Etape Loch Ness will start in Inverness city centre, following the northern side of the loch on the A82, passing through Fort Augustus. The route will continue on the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital and the finish line. 

    The official charity is Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2014, over £60,000 was generated for Macmillan.

    For further information and to enter the Etape Loch Ness, visit www.etapelochness.com. Regular updates will appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess #etapelochness15

    To find out more about the unique offers and promotions available to riders, visit http://www.etapelochness.com/your-visit/uniqueness-offers/

    Category: National Events

  • 11 February 2015

    Record entries from around the world for World Orienteering Championships

    Anticipation is building for Highlands 2015 when the world's finest Orienteer athletes will gather alongside club competitors and enthusiasts from around the world.


    The Scottish 6 Days event, which will take place from July 31 to August 7 alongside the World Orienteering Championships in the Highlands and Moray, has already attracted over 3300 advance entries.
    Described as "quite unprecedented", the number of entries received at this stage is over 1000 higher than at the corresponding stage for Moray 2013, when the Scottish 6 Days was last staged.


    Orienteering Regional Development Officer for Moray, Mike Rodgers, said: “In 2013 we had 2130 entries by the end of discounted-rate entries, so to surpass that by over 50% is beyond what any of us envisaged.
    “The course planning teams are already looking at designing extra courses to cope with the volume of runners.  It could well be impossible to fit everyone in at the required staggered start intervals without having more than one course for each age class.


    "This sort of thing simply doesn’t happen at orienteering events in the UK."
    It is believed that the added attraction of being a spectator at the World Orienteering Championships is a major factor behind the massive interest, although organisers are also pointing to the fantastic welcome competitors were given when the event was held in Moray two years ago.


    In terms of the countries participating, 287 entries have been put in place from Sweden while another 254 have arrived from Switzerland - Norway is also well represented with 131 entries.


    Mike Rodgers added: "The rate of entries does not appear to be slowing down.  Another 15 came in on the first day after the price increase, a rate that would mean around 5,500 runners in each of the six race days.
    "There will be even larger numbers of spectators at the elite World Championship races, which are being beamed live on TV to an estimated overseas audience of 2million people."

     

     The Director for the World Orienteering Championships, Paul McGreal, said the Scottish 6 Days entry statistics auger well for WOC2015, which like the Scottish 6 Days will be centred on Inverness with events being held at various locations around the Highlands and Moray.

     

    Mr McGreal said: "Highland 2015 event organisers only recently concluded negotiations to set up an event campsite at Bught Park in Inverness while the official event centre will be at the Eden Court Theatre.


    "The interest in WOC2015 is growing as evidenced by entries to Scottish 6 Days - these events will certainly draw a great deal of attention on the Highlands and Moray and we were only recently informed that television companies will be carrying events live to around two million people, double the number we originally anticipated."

    Category: International Events

  • 04 February 2015

    European Judo Championships Return to UK After 20 Years

    The European Judo Championships are set to return to the UK for the first time in 20 years, and will be held in Scotland for the first time in the competition’s 60 year history.

    The four-day competition will take place from 9th to 12th April at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, which also played host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in summer of last year.

    With fantastic venues, experience of delivering large scale and international events, Glasgow has become a hub for sport. The 2015 European Judo Championships form part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded major events programme which aims to help athletes with their preparation and qualification for Rio 2016. Tickets are available from www.eurojudo2015.com

    British Judo Chairman and former Olympic medallist, Kerrith Brown, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the European Judo Championships here in the UK. Following the huge success of the Commonwealth games held here in Glasgow, it’s great to see world class judo returning to the city.

    We’re looking forward to seeing our British Judo team supported over the four days of competition and we know from the Commonwealth Games that there is a real appetite for spectating at large scale judo events like this in Glasgow. Would urge our British sports fans to make the most of this opportunity to cheer on our British Judo team on the road to Rio 2016.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major event and following the success of the Commonwealth Games and the European Open last year it is hugely exciting to welcome the European Judo Championships to Glasgow this year. It is the first of five major World and European Championships we will host in 2015, and it will provide yet another platform for our top athletes to perform.”

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “The welcome return of the European Judo Championships to the UK will give thousands of people the opportunity to witness world class sport first hand and also makes excellent use of a Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue.

    “There is also a crucial performance element to UK Sport’s bidding and hosting strategy as we know our athletes thrive on competing in a home environment and these championships can play a key role in their preparations on the road to Rio 2016.

    “The UK has built a global reputation for staging outstanding major sporting events thanks to a compelling mix of world class facilities, great infrastructure, technical know-how and passionate and knowledgeable fans.”

    Also at the event in Glasgow were UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, who continue to support a number of combat sports through their association with the British Combat sports Federation.

    David Allen, Senior Vice President and general Manager at UFC, said: “UFC is thrilled to support the European Judo Championships through the British Combat Sports Federation. MMA is made up of a number of different combat sports and UFC feel it is important to see individual disciplines thrive as well as promoting mixed martial arts. The European Judo Championships will be a fantastic platform for fans and practitioners to see world-class sport in a great city.”​

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2015

    MÒD 2014 GENERATES MORE THAN £3.5 MILLION

    A study has shown that the 2014 Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) generated £3,547,661 to the business community in Inverness – over a £1million more than the event target.

     The report, delivered by ‘The Market Specialists’ shows the nine day festival, which took place from 10-18 October 2014 in Inverness, entertained over 9000 unique visitors, 78% of which came from outside the host city. 67% were in Inverness with the sole purpose of attending The Mòd, while 25% lived in the Highland Capital. 

     Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the event is the most significant of the Gaelic language in Scotland.  The figures are testament to The Mòd’s importance, not only to Scotland’s cultural calendar but to its economy too, as 74% of attendees revealed they would not have taken a trip during that week, had it not been for the festival.

     The Mòd is hosted in a different town or city every year and this is to not only engage more people in Gaelic culture, but also to boost the local economy. Findings from the 2014 festival show there was huge return on Highland Council’s investment in the event, with £19 spent for every £1 invested in their governing area and this rose to £25 for every £1 invested at a local level. 

     The 2014 festivities were a signature event of the Highland Homecoming celebrations and saw the return of Inverness as a host area after 17 years; and its impact was unprecedented.  The city’s hotels, restaurants and shops benefited with 60% of attendees staying in a hotel, guest house, rented accommodation or hostel with the average length of stay for overnight guests being 4.2 days.  62% of festival goers reported going shopping at least once (25% on “most days”) while 59% visited pubs at least once (24% “most days”) and 86% ate out at least once (55% on “most days”).

     200 competitions took place during The Mòd, whilst almost 100 Fringe events added to the electric atmosphere in Inverness.  Workshops, book readings, come and try sessions, concerts and gigs took place morning, noon and night across the Highland Capital.  Visitors came from across Scotland, the UK, Canada and even the United Arab Emirates

     The atmosphere saw 61% say the “buzz” of the festival was “well above” or “above” expectations and 59% said Inverness as a host city was also as impressive, with the same percentage indicating that they would definitely come to the city for a future holiday/short break, another 16% said they would possibly do so. 

     

    Category: International Events

  • 30 January 2015

    Gourock Highland Games to celebrate Year of Food & Drink

    Inverclyde Council has this morning announced a welcome £6,000 funding boost from VisitScotland, through its events directorate EventScotland for the Gourock Highland Games (GHG). Chieftain of last year’s Games, Provost Robert Moran, and VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong were in Gourock with some of the event’s stars; piper Ryan Turley and highland dancer Lauren Young, to mark 100 days until the event gets underway.

    The GHG, now in its 59th year, will form part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink celebrations by establishing a food and drink village at Gourock Park to promote local Scottish producers and fayre.  The main events, including the pipers, highland dancers and heavy competitions, will still take centre stage, however it is hoped that the new food and drink offering will attract an additional audience who haven’t experienced a highland games event before.

    Provost Robert Moran said: “The GHG is a highlight in Inverclyde’s event calendar, so I am delighted EventScotland has enabled us to expand the event and enhance the visitor experience. The Inverclyde community are continually supportive of the event, but it is also an invaluable opportunity to promote the area to visitors who come to listen to pipers or watch the Highland dancers. We look forward to working with EventScotland and thank them for their support.”

    Annique Armstrong said: “The Gourock Highland Games plays a key role in driving domestic tourism for Inverclyde which in turn generates a significant amount of money for the local economy; with businesses reaping the benefits of additional visitor spend. I am delighted that our investment will enable the event to grow and develop this year, and with a strong food and drink element the GHG will have its strongest and most diverse programme ever.”

    This year’s GHG is set for Sunday 10th May at Gourock Park, Inverclyde. Further information for spectators and traders can be found at www.gourockhighlandgames.org.uk.

    Category: National Events

  • 30 January 2015

    Screen time for Scottish Tourism Week Annual Conference 2015

    4 – 5 March 2015, Crowne Plaza and SECC, Glasgow

    Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP is set to deliver the keynote speech of the Scottish Tourism Week annual conference reaffirming tourism as one of Scotland’s key economic drivers.

     Following on from the First Minister’s speech a diverse range of business and tourism leaders will seek to inspire, enlighten and entertain delegates.  The Signature Conference kick-starts the 10th year of Scottish Tourism Week and the programme demonstrates how it has grown in stature, as well as how far recognition of the importance of the industry has come. 

     Marc Crothall, CEO of Scottish Tourism Alliance said:

     “It’s great to see tourism in Scotland increasingly being recognised as the key economic driver that it undoubtedly is and I believe our 2015 conference programme reflects this, as well as highlighting the sheer diversity of the industry. 

     This breadth of the programme and the coming together of the hospitality, tourism, food & drink, licensed trade and marine sectors really demonstrates that as we drive the national tourism strategy forward, tourism in Scotland really is everyone’s business. 

     I’m delighted with the line-up of speakers we have brought together and the number of delegate registrations to date. It’s great to have an audience that is truly representative of all sectors of the industry and one that spans all levels, coming from across Scotland.”

     The two-day event is organised by the Scottish Tourism Alliance will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster Stephen Jardine and guest speakers range from Michelin’s top chef in Scotland, Andrew Fairlie, to Sahar Hashemi founder of Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy. Scotland’s tourism professionals will be treated to inspiring talks ranging from motivational speaker Nigel Risner and broadcaster and cyclist Mark Beaumont. 

     Other speakers include:

    ·       Justin Reid (Head of Destinations in Europe, Middle East and Africa for Tripadvisor) alongside Damian Cook (CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers) on how the online world is influencing travel decisions.

    ·       Jeremy Lazell (travel writer for the Sunday Times) on how Scotland shapes up against other destinations.

    ·       A panel of industry experts join Huw Williams (SOUK-Response) to discuss how focusing on authentic experiences can help tourism thrive.

    ·       Gordon Dewar (CEO of Edinburgh Airport) chairs a group discussion with principles from some of Scotland’s transport operators, Calmac, Abellio, LoganAir, Stagecoach and Arnold Clark.

    ·       Joss Croft (Head of Marketing at VisitBritain), Charlie Smith (Head of Marketing at VisitScotland) provide the insight and rationale behind their future approach to attracting visitors to Scotland and how both organisations can support the industry. Deirdre Wells OBE (CEO of UK Inbound) joins for the Q+A to share her thoughts.

     Malcolm Roughead, CEO of VisitScotland said:

     "Tourism is one of the country's most important industries, contributing billions of pounds to the economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.  2014 was a unique year for Scottish tourism: the year we welcomed the world.  However, if we want to build on that momentum and continue growing and thriving as an industry, we must all continue to work together. Tourism is everyone's business and events like Scottish Tourism Week offer an opportunity for those with a vested interest in the industry to come together, share ideas and ensure Scotland remains the perfect place to visit and do business. "

     Taking place across the SECC and Crowne Plaza Hotel, the conference annually attracts over 500 decision makers from hotels, restaurants, visitor attractions, tour operators, transport operators, banks, local authorities and key public agencies are expected to attend to network and discover the latest in the world of tourism from influential speakers.

     The conference is part of Scottish Tourism Week’s Signature Programme, which will run from 3 to 5 March and includes six must-attend event for industry insiders.  Early Bird tickets are available until the 6 February, with delegate tickets starting from £95.00 Member/ £110.00 Non-member (+ VAT).  Those travelling to Glasgow to take part in Scottish Tourism Week events can take advantage of 20% off rail travel, courtesy of Scotrail.  Details of this offer, conference registration and the full programme are at scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/stw2015/.

     For more information, images or to attend the Scottish Tourism Week national conference, contact Martha Bryce or Rebecca Harvey on martha@tastecommunications.co.uk / Rebecca@tastecommunications.co.uk or 0131 225 7205.

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 January 2015

    WOC2015 Issue a Highland Hospitality Appeal

    With thousands of visitors set to descend on the Highlands and Moray this summer from all over the world, organisers of the World Orienteering Championships have issued an accommodation appeal.

    As well as normal hotel and self-catering accommodation it is hoped that families with spare accommodation in their homes might step forward and host some of the hundreds of volunteers who are freely giving up their time during the first week in August.

    Organisers for the world championships, which along with the parallel Scottish6Days event is expecting to draw well over 5000 people to the region, are putting in place a 'Homestay' programme.

    WOC2015 volunteer manager Linda Cairns said: "We are organising a small-scale "Homestay" programme for volunteers.

    "As has been the case for other major sporting events in the UK, including the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, volunteers are vital to a successful event not just for competitors but for the thousands of spectators who will descend on the region.

    "We are asking people in the Highlands and Moray to consider hosting one of these volunteers in their own homes maybe for a couple of nights or for the week. 

    "It is expected that we will have around 500 volunteers who are arriving from throughout the UK and beyond - and while many will have managed to make accommodation plans some will struggle and we hope to fill that void."

    Anyone interested in assisting with accommodation is asked to visit http://www.woc2015.org/volunteers/volunteer-accommodation

    Category: International Events

  • 27 January 2015

    Police Charging at Events - Guidance

    Following Event Industry Feedback on The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) approved ‘Charging for Goods and Services Policy’ – a policy that enables Police Scotland to charge for the provision of police services at events - Police Scotland has now produced a Step-By-Step Guide to the Assessment Matrix Process.  

    It is EventScotland’s role to help identify the implications and impacts of this new charging policy and help communicate guidance and best practice to the events sector.  EventScotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Government and industry bodies SEFA and NOEA will continue to work together to monitor the impact of this new policy therefore it’s important to let us know if your event has been affected.  For more information and to download the guide visit our 'Policing for Events' page here.

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 January 2015

    Safety at Events - Edinburgh Napier University Lecture 27 May

     

    Professor Chris Kemp is the CEO and owner of Mind over Matter Consultancy. He is a renowned expert in a number of areas spanning a wide range of disciplines such as crowd and safety management, music and venue management, music genre classification and sports development. From past research he has created a number of theoretical models which are used in musicology, business continuity and crowd management. 
    Professor Kemp is known throughout the world for his work on the management of crowds and his ceaseless endeavour to make events safer, and will be visiting Edinburgh Napier University to present a lecture built around his research. 
    The lecture will focus on the differing threats to individuals and society from a range of aspects. It will expose our macro environmental weaknesses through an exposition of natural disasters including pandemics, famine, adverse weather conditions and climate change, as well as our micro environmental vulnerabilities through human error, mechanical failure terrorist attack, war, risk, transport malfunctions’ lack of safety at events and many others. The discussion will draw together similarities and differences in the way in which we expose, try to combat and expend our energies on futile and irrational solutions to the inevitable consequences of risk. 
    This talk will provide an exposition into such disasters and their consequences and ask that burning question, how safe are we? 
    Read more...
    The lecture will be followed by a networking drinks reception.
    Wednesday 27 May 2015
    6 - 8pm (lecture 6 - 7pm)
    Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre
    Craiglockhart Campus
    RSVP
    The lecture is free but please register your attendance to lectures@napier.ac.uk.

    Professor Chris Kemp is the CEO and owner of Mind over Matter Consultancy. He is a renowned expert in a number of areas spanning a wide range of disciplines such as crowd and safety management, music and venue management, music genre classification and sports development. From past research he has created a number of theoretical models which are used in musicology, business continuity and crowd management. 
    Professor Kemp is known throughout the world for his work on the management of crowds and his ceaseless endeavour to make events safer, and will be visiting Edinburgh Napier University to present a lecture built around his research. 

    The lecture will focus on the differing threats to individuals and society from a range of aspects. It will expose our macro environmental weaknesses through an exposition of natural disasters including pandemics, famine, adverse weather conditions and climate change, as well as our micro environmental vulnerabilities through human error, mechanical failure terrorist attack, war, risk, transport malfunctions’ lack of safety at events and many others. The discussion will draw together similarities and differences in the way in which we expose, try to combat and expend our energies on futile and irrational solutions to the inevitable consequences of risk. 

    This talk will provide an exposition into such disasters and their consequences and ask that burning question, how safe are we? 

    The lecture will be followed by a networking drinks reception.
    Wednesday 27 May 20156 - 8pm (lecture 6 - 7pm)Lindsay Stewart Lecture TheatreCraiglockhart Campus
    RSVPThe lecture is free but please register your attendance to lectures@napier.ac.uk.

    Category: Industry Info

  • 26 January 2015

    Huge Turnout for Spectacular Burns Night Carnival in Dumfries

     

    Huge Turnout for Spectacular Burns Night Carnival in Dumfries
    Scottish Government Minister Declares he is “blown away” by the event and the creativity of the people of Dumfries 
    A spectacular Burns Night carnival through the streets of Dumfries attracted at least 10,000 spectators and participants.
    The parade was lit by at least 3,000 lanterns – far more than the 2,015 organisers had hoped for in order to mark the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light.
    Spectators lined the streets and packed the centre of the town – where Burns lived, loved, revelled and wrote some of his greatest work.
    Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: “I came to Dumfries with high expectations, but I was absolutely blown away by this carnival. The creativity of the people of Dumfries is absolutely incredible. I have been so impressed and really hope to be invited back next year.”
    The procession included dozens of local schools, groups and organisations with costumed dancers and interactive puppets plus:
    •       6 large main floats
    •       6 bands
    •       432 specially made costumes from 20 community artists
    •       3,000 lanterns
    •       4,000 participants in the parade.
     
    There were an immense variety of costumes – many taking environmental and farming themes for Scotland’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink. They included tattie-bogle scarecrows and also the funeral of a carrot – highlighting environmental destruction. There were also sea creatures, including a 10 foot octopus and a multi-coloured fish. They were joined by bumble bees, seagulls and swans.
     
    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Artistic Director, said: “Tonight was just astonishing – I think Rabbie Burns would have been astounded to see so many people turning out for such a huge celebration of his work, his spirit and of Scottish culture.”
    The carnival has taken months of preparation with the organisers working closely with schools, community groups and many others to plan and create the costumes and the floats. 
    Costumes will include a giant haggis, vegetables and tattie-bogle scarecrows, plus all sorts of creatures from the oceans.
    The carnival started at 5pm and was led by a huge lantern made in conjunction with Barnardo’s Scotland, which is Big Burns Supper’s partner charity.
    Around 25% of the materials used in the carnival (for example a lot of cardboard and some of the costumes) are recycled and remodelled from last year. And each year BBS finds ways to reuse materials, for example by donating them to other arts projects.
    BBS is a festival of contemporary and traditional culture and a huge public celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s national Bard, Robert Burns, in his beloved town of Dumfries. It is also part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas.
    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.
    Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
    The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.
    To see the Burns Night carnival live online just go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQRxrNwr7lA
     
    This year Big Burns Supper has teamed up with Barnardo’s Scotland as its first ever charity partner. Text BURNS to 70500 to donate £3 to Barnardo’s Scotland.
    Ends

    Scottish Government Minister declares he is “blown away” by the event and the creativity of the people of Dumfries.

    A spectacular Burns Night carnival through the streets of Dumfries attracted at least 10,000 spectators and participants.

    The parade was lit by at least 3,000 lanterns – far more than the 2,015 organisers had hoped for in order to mark the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light.

    Spectators lined the streets and packed the centre of the town – where Burns lived, loved, revelled and wrote some of his greatest work.

    Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: “I came to Dumfries with high expectations, but I was absolutely blown away by this carnival. The creativity of the people of Dumfries is absolutely incredible. I have been so impressed and really hope to be invited back next year.”

    The procession included dozens of local schools, groups and organisations with costumed dancers and interactive puppets plus:

    •       6 large main floats

    •       6 bands

    •       432 specially made costumes from 20 community artists

    •       3,000 lanterns

    •       4,000 participants in the parade. 

    There were an immense variety of costumes – many taking environmental and farming themes for Scotland’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink. They included tattie-bogle scarecrows and also the funeral of a carrot – highlighting environmental destruction. There were also sea creatures, including a 10 foot octopus and a multi-coloured fish. They were joined by bumble bees, seagulls and swans. 

    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Artistic Director, said: “Tonight was just astonishing – I think Rabbie Burns would have been astounded to see so many people turning out for such a huge celebration of his work, his spirit and of Scottish culture.”

    The carnival has taken months of preparation with the organisers working closely with schools, community groups and many others to plan and create the costumes and the floats. Costumes will include a giant haggis, vegetables and tattie-bogle scarecrows, plus all sorts of creatures from the oceans.

    The carnival started at 5pm and was led by a huge lantern made in conjunction with Barnardo’s Scotland, which is Big Burns Supper’s partner charity.

    Around 25% of the materials used in the carnival (for example a lot of cardboard and some of the costumes) are recycled and remodelled from last year. And each year BBS finds ways to reuse materials, for example by donating them to other arts projects.

    BBS is a festival of contemporary and traditional culture and a huge public celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s national Bard, Robert Burns, in his beloved town of Dumfries. It is also part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas.

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

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

    The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All.

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

    To see the Burns Night carnival live online just go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQRxrNwr7lA 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 23 January 2015

    TweedLove Enduro World Series Entries Go Live Jan 28th

    Entries for the TweedLove round of the Enduro World Series go live online on January 28th at 5pm GMT. TweedLove Bike Festival hosts the biggest race of the series, and last year was the fastest selling event.  Demand for this year’s race is expected to be massive, as it is one of the few events in Europe where amateur racers can compete against some of the best professional athletes in the world.

     Team entries have been announced and some of the fastest riders in the world are heading towards the Tweed Valley. Defending world champions Jared Graves and Tracy Moseley will be facing competition from Jerome Clements and Fabien Barel who were both injured last year, as well as Greg Minnaar,  Anne Caroline Chausson and Cecile Ravenel to name a few. There are several Tweed Valley locals who are hoping for a podium finish, including Gary Forrest, Katy Winton, Ruaridh Cunningham and Crawford Carrick Anderson.

     600 places are available for the UK’s most important enduro race of the year.   This includes 200 E2 places  – these will race over the same trails as the E1 category riders but with less transition timing pressures, allowing amateur riders to take part in a world class event but without needing the same level of fitness as the professional athletes.

     A wildcard scheme is also in place, where 20 riders will have the chance of a place if they miss out in the online entries.  Online entries are allocated on a first come first served basis, but as demand is so high, disappointment is inevitable for some.  Riders wishing to apply for a wild card place should refer to the TweedLove event website for details.

     Neil Dalgleish, TweedLove director, says “we are so pleased that the EWS has come back to the Tweed Valley –our trails really are world class and we’re working hard to put on a fantastic event.  We are also delighted that there are some local riders now signed with global teams and who will be competing with the best in the world for the EWS title. It’s going to be a thrilling series - we can’t wait to see how the racing pans out.”

     In 2014, the TweedLove EWS event was a received as a great success with thousands of vistors watching the action and riding the trails for themselves. “We hope the event will be even bigger this year,” says Dalgleish, “and it’s our amazing community of volunteers who make all this possible. We’re going to need more help than ever, and we’re very keen for people to get in touch if they’d like to join the team. It’s a great chance to be part of one of the most exciting bike events in the world!”

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events and in Tweedlove we have an exciting programme set against the stunning backdrop of the Tweed Valley. The return of the ‘Enduro World Series’ will see amateur racers compete on the same track as some of the sport’s best athletes in what promises to be an action-packed event.”

    Category: National Events

  • 22 January 2015

    First round of Year of Food and Drink funded events revealed

    A cake-themed celebration of our Capital city, a festival to inspire junior foodies and a gala which raises a glass to our national tipple, are just some of the mouth-watering events that will form the Year of Food and Drink, it was announced today (22 January).

    Scotland’s outstanding natural larder will be showcased over the next 12 months at events the length and breadth of the country, including special events supported through a dedicated £265,000 fund aimed at raising awareness of the role food and drink plays in the country’s cultural identity and in shaping the nation’s economic success.

    Funded events will be spread across the country and include existing or established events such as Borders Book Festival (11-14 June), the Orkney Folk Festival (21-24 May) and the Glasgow Science Festival (5-15 June) - with a greater food focus.

    There will also be a number of new events designed to inspire and engage diverse audiences with Scottish produce, including  the Children’s Food Festival in the Highlands (5-6 June), Cake Fest Edinburgh (21 June) at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Food Town Day (6 June) in Dumfries and Galloway.

    Whisky Month will also return in May, with events like Mhor Whisky Festival (23-24 May) and Whisky Stramash (23-25 May) inviting visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvelous malts.

    Led by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Year of Food and Drink aims to increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

    The Year of Food and Drink event fund is administered by the national tourism organisation’s event directorate, EventScotland. The Community Food Fund, which is managed by Think Local on behalf of the Scottish Government, has contributed £150K towards the overall £265,000 fund for 2015

    With eating traditional dishes and local produce listed as one of the top activities undertaken by visitors to Scotland, promoting food and drink has the potential to provide significant growth for tourism. Recent figures revealed that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £2.5 million per day to the economy.

    Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead said:

    “The Year of Food and Drink is a brilliant opportunity to build on Homecoming 2014, and inspire the people of Scotland and our visitors to celebrate the exceptional food and drink we produce the length and breadth of our country. The programme unveiled today will offer a unique taste of Scotland, and am I am delighted that all funded events are being encouraged to increase their use of locally sourced produce by signing up to the Food Charter. This will help to enhance our reputation as a land of food and drink and achieve my vision of Scotland becoming a Good Food Nation.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland’s reputation for quality food and drink is increasing and the Year of Food and Drink is a chance not just for visitors to sample the best of our natural larder but for people in Scotland to learn more about what is on our doorstep.

    “The events unveiled today are just a taste of what the Year of Food and Drink can offer visitors from far and wide. 2014 was all about welcoming the world, 2015 is an opportunity to build on that momentum and use strengths, like our world-famous food and drink, to take Scotland to the world.”

    Ian Edwards, Head of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, who will host two funded events added:

    “We are delighted to be part of the Year of Food and Drink with events throughout the year. Highlights include our Botanics Late adults-only evening The Still & the Hive in May and the Cake Fest  Edinburgh in June. The Edible Gardening Project will also be encouraging people to grow their own food during the Spring and Harvest Festival events.”

    All funded events will now go through a workshop organised by EventScotland to help develop their Scottish and local food and drink offering and enhance the visitor experience. A further series of special events for July to December 2015 supported through the dedicated £265,000 events fund will be revealed in the coming months.

    For a full list of events visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland  

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 19 January 2015

    Game of Thrones star Clive Russell confirmed to launch StAnza 2015

    Tickets now on sale and full programme for StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival online.

     As tickets go on sale for StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, event organisers have announced ‘Game of Thrones’ star Clive Russell will launch the 2015 festival. As well as officially opening the festival at the launch event on Wednesday 4th March, the Fife actor will host an ‘In Conversation’ to discuss his interests in poetry on Saturday 7th March.

     The festival, which takes place in St Andrews, lasts for five days from 4th to 8th March and features almost 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. This 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 programme for 2015 really does have something for everyone and brings together acclaimed poets, new voices and emerging talent from all around the world to make this a true celebration of the written word. We are delighted this year to welcome back to Fife, our special guest Clive Russell to launch the festival.

     “It’s very exciting to be at the point of announcing that tickets for all these superb events are now on sale, as this really does mark the start of the countdown to the festival welcoming the world to enjoy poetry in St Andrews once again.”

     Among this year’s headliners are Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, along with three poets on their first appearance at StAnza, American poet Alice Notley, Sinéad Morrissey, currently Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Ian Duhig. Winner of the 2014 Forward Prize for best collection and Forward First Prize for best first collection, Kei Miller and Liz Berry, respectively are also included in this year’s line up along with Helen Mort, recent winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection prize.

     The festival opens with a performance of Bedazzled: A Welshman in New York. For one night the Byre Theatre will be transformed into 1950’s New York as audience members are invited to enjoy a drink with the cast, in character as the legendary Dylan Thomas and friends, while being transported back in time to the heady, bohemian world of Greenwich Village in the 50s.

     In Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink StAnza has included a food and drink focus in its 2015 programme including an all-day workshop in the Edwardian kitchen of the Hill of Tarvit mansion house on metaphors about food, and another in Kellie Castle famous for producing organic fruit and vegetables. Other highlights in the programme include A Modern Don Juan in the steps of Byron, Karen Cairns exhibition of Places and Faces around St Andrews, jazz singer Lorna Reid, singer Kirsty Law, the Viridian Quartet who will be performing Steve Reich’s Different Trains, and the Black Cat Jook Band for the festival finale.

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and once again, StAnza presents a programme which celebrates both the best Scottish and international poetic talent. With a number of performances, exhibitions, open-mic events and workshops there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the festival.”

     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: International Events

  • 19 January 2015

    Beacon Funding Programme continues in 2015

    Following a hugely successful first year, the EventScotland Beacon Events Programme continues in 2015, supporting uniquely Scottish events, which generate tourism benefits, contribute significantly to the National Events Strategy impact areas and offer examples of best practice.

    Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway and StAnza in Fife are the first events to be confirmed for 2015, with the rest of the programme set to be announced soon.

    During 2014 some of Scotland’s best loved national events were supported through the Beacon Programme, which is delivered by EventScotland, the events directorate of national tourism body VisitScotland.

    The benefits have been spread throughout the country with, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (Aberdeenshire); Cowal Highland Gathering (Argyll & Bute); Wigtown Book Festival (Dumfries & Galloway); Enchanted Forest and Perthshire Amber (both Perth & Kinross) all receiving support.

    The Beacon Programme was launched in early 2014 to support recurring events based in Scotland, which have previously had support through the National Event Programme. These events mark a strong fit across all aspects of the National Events Strategy: Scotland the Perfect Stage, and have significance and proven support in a particular local authority.

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “Tourism is at the heart of Scotland’s economy and we are dedicated to continuing our support for events, which provide a platform for growth throughout the country.

    “The continuation of the Beacon programme will ensure Scotland builds on its position as the perfect stage for events, by sustaining and developing our annual calendar of nationally significant events.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Events continue to play a vital role in Scotland’s visitor economy and the Beacon programme is helping to support the events that have real significance in communities across Scotland.

    “Not only do they generate significant economic impacts, they stimulate domestic tourism and contribute to our vast, vibrant portfolio of annual events.”

    Festival Director for StAnza, Eleanor Livingstone said: "EventScotland’s various funding programmes are hugely important to StAnza and provide us with crucial funding that enables our festival to thrive and reach its full potential year after year, enabling us to attract audiences from across the UK and beyond. This year’s Beacon Events Programme is a fantastic initiative which supports events which showcase the best of Scotland and we're extremely proud to be a part of this." 

    In order to be considered for the programme events, must meet two of the following criteria: To attract 50% of visitors from outwith the local authority; generate or have the potential to generate around £500,000 economic impact to Scotland; or fill a specific geographic, demographic or sector gap in the Scottish events portfolio.

    Criteria for support includes events being willing to act as a model of good practice for other events, and information from the 2014 programme will follow, which will help to support the ongoing development of the industry in Scotland.

    Applications are currently being sought from events for the 2015 programme. Further details can be found at http://www.eventscotland.org/funding/beacon-events-programme/

    Category: National Programme

  • 19 January 2015

    Just Days to go Before Big Burns Supper and the Dumfries Burns Night Carnival

    Burns Night will see a spectacular lantern lit carnival wind its way through the streets of Dumfries – the Bard’s favourite town.

    It’s one of the highlights of Big Burns Supper, a nine-day festival of music, comedy, theatre, cabaret, culture and fun. BBS 2015 starts this Friday with great acts like Nina Nesbitt and Hue and Cry taking centre stage.

    The carnival, on Sunday 25th, will feature 2015 lanterns in celebration of UNESCO’s 2015 Year of Light.

    There are still opportunities available to be at the heart of the huge procession as a voluntary steward.

    For people who can’t make it in person the procession will be broadcast live online and you can see it just by going to the Big Burns Supper website at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com/.

    The carnival, which also has Scotland’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink as a theme, has taken months of preparation with the organisers working closely with schools, community groups and many others to plan and create the costumes and the floats.

    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Artistic Director, said: “It’s a huge piece of work to create a carnival, but it’s great because so many people get involved.  And it’s fun being part of it – we still have spaces for a few more volunteers, so if you want to be right at the heart of things get in touch.

    “The lanterns will look brilliant and we will have around 2015 of them especially for the Year of Light. But really, nothing could be better than a food and drink theme for a carnival on Burns Night when people all round the world will be thinking about Scottish cooking as they tuck into haggis neeps and tatties.

    “We are really looking forward to the event and welcoming people from all over Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and beyond to be part of a magical occasion.”

    To put yourself forward as a volunteer contact Moira Priestley on volunteers@bigburnssupper.com or 01387 271820.

    This year the carnival costumes will include a giant haggis, vegetables and tattie-bogle scarecrows, plus all sorts of creatures from the oceans.

    The carnival starts at 5pm on Sunday, 25 January and will be led by a huge lantern which has been made in conjunction with Barnardo’s Scotland, which is Big Burns Supper’s partner charity.

    BBS is a festival of contemporary and traditional culture and a huge public celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s national Bard, Robert Burns, in his beloved town of Dumfries. It is also part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas.

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

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

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

    This year Big Burns Supper has teamed up with Barnardo’s Scotland as its first ever charity partner. Text BURNS to 70500 to donate £3 to Barnardo’s Scotland.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 16 January 2015

    CAMPING AND EVENT CENTRE IN INVERNESS MOVED FOR WOC2015

    Leading athletes from around the world will use the Eden Court Theatre complex as their base for the World Orienteering Championships when they take place in the Highlands and Moray later this year.

    Agreement has also been reached to create a campsite at Bught Park for the use of orienteers attending the Scottish6Days event that will run alongside WOC2015 in August.

    As well as providing a safe and secure site for Scottish6Days competitors the facilities of the nearby Inverness Leisure Centre will also be made available, while the campsite is close to Eden Court where the WOC2015 Event Centre is to be located.

    The campsite will also have its own facilities in place including a marquee with a licensed bar, catering facilities and a full social programme.

    WOC2015 will be based in Inverness and will run in parallel with the Scottish6Days event, already widely recognised as one of the world's top multiday competitions.

    Well over 5000 spectators and participants are expected at what will be a festival of world orienteering, drawing participants and visitors from around 50 nations.

    Held for one week from August 1, championship events will be held throughout the Highlands with long, middle and relay races being held at Darnaway and Glen Affric while Forres and Nairn is the venue for sprint events.
    The Scottish6Days events will be held in Keppernach, Darnaway and Glen Strathfarrar, with the final day staged at Glen Affric.

    Scottish6Days spokesman Colin Matheson said: "The campsite will be established on a pleasant, flat and well drained site. 

    "Parking will be adjacent to the main camping areas which will include mixed, family, quiet and youth areas.  Buses will run from the campsite to events every day from Saturday, August 1 through to Saturday, August 8." 

    Campsite bookings through the Scottish6Days entries system will be available very shortly.

    Registration for the Scottish6Days as well as the WOC office will be established at Eden Court while that venue and adjacent facilities will be available for Team Officials’ Meetings and the International Orienteering Federation conference.  

    The arrangements represent a change in the original planning for the event, with Colin Matheson saying: "We apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced by the change of venue.  The campsite is on an attractive riverside location and within easy walking distance of Inverness city centre."

    WOC2015 Director Paul McGreal said: "Inverness is a thriving city with many visitor attractions, places to eat and drink and a good range of shops all in a small and compact area.
    "We are particularly delighted to be able to site our Event Centre at Eden Court which is also close to the city centre and provides us with world-class facilities for a world-class event."

  • 16 January 2015

    BRITISH MTB CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURNS TO THE SCOTTISH BORDERS

    The 2015 British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships are again to be staged over a challenging 75 km single lap course in the Scottish Borders, as part of the ever popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon open cycling event, on Saturday 2 May 2015. 

     A British Cycling Spokesman said:  “We are delighted to be working with Durty Events once again. Selkirk has rapidly become the home of the British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in recent years, and has established a fine reputation for the excellence of its trails and the high standard of event infrastructure.”

     Award winning Selkirk based event organisers, Durty Events, who have staged the Selkirk MTB Marathon since 2013, are also pleased to announce National Events Programme funding from EventScotland, Scotland’s national events agency, to support the staging of this prestigious event.

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for mountain biking with all disciplines catered for amongst some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will see some of the country’s top riders compete in the Scottish Borders, with amateur riders also given the chance to test themselves along the three single loop courses.”

     With a choice of three single-loop and fully marked courses (approx. 25km, 50km and 75km), all setting off from Selkirk High Street, the Selkirk MTB Marathon is an epic ride through the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer, something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.  All three courses are filled with a mix of flowy natural and man made singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads, lung and thigh busting climbs and grin-inducing descents - ‘real’ mountain biking.  Riders will visit the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick with stunning views across the Scottish Borders guaranteed.

     The 2015 British MTB Marathon Championships will be run as a separate 'wave' start shortly before the 'sportive' events begin. It will be raced over the single lap 75km course that also includes some of the man-made trail centre downhill tracks at Innerleithen Trail Centre.  It is open to male and female riders (19+) who are British citizens and hold a full British Cycling or UCI recognised racing licence.  Coveted red, white and blue British Championships winner’s jerseys will be up for grabs in both male and female classes.

     Paul McGreal of Durty Events said: “We’re really chuffed to have been asked to organise the British Championships alongside the Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon again. With the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer and the most popular and challenging course in the UK we are keen to challenge riders of all abilities whilst making sure that they have the maximum amount of fun at the same time.

     “The additional financial support from EventScotland will make an enormous difference to both the marathon events and our family Bike Festival in Selkirk on the first of May.”

     On the evening of Friday 1 May 2015 Durty Events are taking over the centre of Selkirk and will turn it over to a free festival of two-wheeled mayhem for all the family.  From 19:00 to 21:00 The Selkirk Bike Festival will be staged on the High Street with an action packed programme that includes bike stunt displays, head to head Rolalpolluza style racing, Bike film screenings, a Pump Track and a mountain bike obstacle course.

     To round off the weekend in style The Selkirk MTB Marathon and The British MTB Marathon Championships will be followed up by ‘The Reivers Raid’, the fourth round of the Scottish MTB Challenge Series (mtb orienteering) on Sunday 3 May 2015 - http://www.smbo.org.uk/.

     The British MTB Marathon Championships and the Selkirk MTB Marathon will take place on Saturday 1 May 2015. Entry fees (including camping) are:

    British MTB Marathon Championships (age 19+) - £45

    Selkirk MTB Marathon - 25km (age 16+) 
/ 50km (age 16+)
 75km (age 18+) - £35.

    Selkirk MTB Marathon - Entry on the day (subject to availability) - £40.

    12-15 year olds ride for free over the 25km course but must be accompanied by a full price entry adult.

     Online entry is via http://www.entrycentral.com and there are also links from www.selkirkmtbmarathon.com.

    Category: National Events

  • 15 January 2015

    LUCKY FOR SOME - GLASGOW'S LAUGHTERFEST HITS 13

     

    The biggest comedy festival in Europe returns from 12 to 29 March 2015. Now in its thirteenth year, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival offers nearly 106,000 tickets for 400 shows at 46 venues all over the city. The 2015 programme will be packed with not just the very best contemporary stand up, but also film, theatre, workshops, kid’s shows and discussion offering something for every taste, age and budget.
    A host of headliners
    A whole host of headline acts will feature in the star studded programme which takes in some of the city’s biggest theatres. Jimmy Carr, Dylan Moran and Stewart Lee will all perform at the Clyde Auditorium, Radio Scotland star Fred MacAulay leads a packed King’s Theatre programme including Al Murray, Tom Stade, Michelle McManus, Al Murray plus an already sold out performance of the live debut from Burnistoun: Live and For Real! Another jewel in the King’s Theatre line up is a gala benefit to raise in support of Gordon Aikman’s campaign to raise funds for MND Scotland, featuring Frankie Boyle and Stewart Francis. At the Citizens Theatre, the comedy festival will take over for a full two week run with a top line up including Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Chowdhry, Mark Steel and John Shuttleworth.
    As usual the programme proudly boasts a strong Scottish flavour across the board, from headliners such as Jerry Sadowitz at the King’s Theatre to Susan Calman and Des Clarke in the Citizens Theatre, Craig Hill, Hardeep Singh Kohli and Phil Differ in Oran Mor plus emerging talent such as Eleanor Morton, Davey Connor, Ashley Storrie, Susie McCabe and Matt Winning.
    Something for the all the family
    Younger comedy fans are well catered for with a range of shows specifically programmed to appeal to families. Highlights include the Amazing Bubble Man – Louis Pearl brings his unique show to the King’s Theatre and the
    innovator of stand-up for kids, James Campbell brings his ever popular show to the Citizens Theatre. The Tron will stage two very special shows both fresh from sell out runs at the Fringe, Morgan and West perform “Parlour Tricks” and Funz and Gamez take to the stage with their critically acclaimed family shows. There will also be a return of the ever popular “Watch With Baby Comedy” where parents can enjoy an adult show with their under 2’s at the Bungo on 15, 22 and 29 March.
    Top International talent
    The International programme is headed up by the well established and now prestigious “America Stands Up” showcase on Saturday 28 March at the Stand Comedy Club. Over the last 6 years this has featured UK debuts from many of the hottest acts from North America including Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane, Marina Franklin, Paul Mecurio, W Kamau Bell and Rachel Feinstein. In 2015 host Scott Capurro introduces Time Out New York’s “one to watch” Emma Willman and Kendra Cunnningham who will be recognised from Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon. Other International visitors include Irish super star Tommy Tiernan, popular Canadians Rich Hall, Craig Campbell and Jason John Whitehead plus the self proclaimed German comedy ambassador Henning Wehn.
    Something different
    The festival will team up with BBC Comedy to host some comedy writing workshops in the Stand Comedy Club and there will be a return of the highly successful collaboration with the Sunday Herald with a topical discussion about the state of political comedy in the run up to the general election. “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Westminister” hosted by Iain MacWhirter promises to be a lively evening at the Citizen’s Theatre on Thursday 26 March at 8pm. Don’t miss specially programmed films at Cineworld, the Grosvenor and Govanhill Baths which include a celebration of the late Robin Williams.
    Popular demand
    Advance sales for festival shows are strong with additional performances being added as shows sell out. Susan Calman adds a second show at 5pm on Saturday 21 March at the Citizens Theatre, Gary Little adds a second show at 10pm on 27 March at Cottiers Theatre, Darren Connell adds a third show at 9.15pm on Sunday 22 March at Blackfriars Basement, Christian O’Connell also adds a second show at Blackfriars Basement on Friday 13 March and Nina Conti adds a third show on Thursday 19 March at the Tron Theatre.
    Tommy Sheppard, director of the festival organiser’s the Scottish Comedy Agency, said:
    “This year the festival enters its teenage years – and it is growing up to be one of the most looked forward to events in the Scottish cultural calendar. As ever we are delighted to bring the best to Glasgow and also to showcase what the city has to offer to the rest of the world."
    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:
    “Some of the biggest names in comedy have graced the stages of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival over the years and the calibre of this year’s programme is again a strong reflection of this – it’s diverse, bold and packed with an eclectic mix of top performers from across the globe.
    “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour, and the city was recently voted as the friendliest in the world by travel bible Lonely Planet, so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the world’s best comedy festivals, which perfectly encapsulates Glasgow’s personality. We're well used to staging major events with huge international appeal and we’re looking forward to another bumper Festival; with more than 400 shows across 46 venues, visitors and locals alike are in for a real treat.”
    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said:
    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and once again, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival presents a programme, which celebrates the very best of comedic talent from home and abroad. It is one of the highlights on our annual calendar of cultural events, and with 400 shows across two and a half weeks; we look

    The biggest comedy festival in Europe returns from 12 to 29 March 2015. Now in its thirteenth year, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival offers nearly 106,000 tickets for 400 shows at 46 venues all over the city. The 2015 programme will be packed with not just the very best contemporary stand up, but also film, theatre, workshops, kid’s shows and discussion offering something for every taste, age and budget.

    A host of headliners

    A whole host of headline acts will feature in the star studded programme which takes in some of the city’s biggest theatres. Jimmy Carr, Dylan Moran and Stewart Lee will all perform at the Clyde Auditorium, Radio Scotland star Fred MacAulay leads a packed King’s Theatre programme including Al Murray, Tom Stade, Michelle McManus, Al Murray plus an already sold out performance of the live debut from Burnistoun: Live and For Real! Another jewel in the King’s Theatre line up is a gala benefit to raise in support of Gordon Aikman’s campaign to raise funds for MND Scotland, featuring Frankie Boyle and Stewart Francis. At the Citizens Theatre, the comedy festival will take over for a full two week run with a top line up including Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Chowdhry, Mark Steel and John Shuttleworth.

    As usual the programme proudly boasts a strong Scottish flavour across the board, from headliners such as Jerry Sadowitz at the King’s Theatre to Susan Calman and Des Clarke in the Citizens Theatre, Craig Hill, Hardeep Singh Kohli and Phil Differ in Oran Mor plus emerging talent such as Eleanor Morton, Davey Connor, Ashley Storrie, Susie McCabe and Matt Winning.

    Something for the all the family

    Younger comedy fans are well catered for with a range of shows specifically programmed to appeal to families. Highlights include the Amazing Bubble Man – Louis Pearl brings his unique show to the King’s Theatre and the

    innovator of stand-up for kids, James Campbell brings his ever popular show to the Citizens Theatre. The Tron will stage two very special shows both fresh from sell out runs at the Fringe, Morgan and West perform “Parlour Tricks” and Funz and Gamez take to the stage with their critically acclaimed family shows. There will also be a return of the ever popular “Watch With Baby Comedy” where parents can enjoy an adult show with their under 2’s at the Bungo on 15, 22 and 29 March.

    Top International talent

    The International programme is headed up by the well established and now prestigious “America Stands Up” showcase on Saturday 28 March at the Stand Comedy Club. Over the last 6 years this has featured UK debuts from many of the hottest acts from North America including Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane, Marina Franklin, Paul Mecurio, W Kamau Bell and Rachel Feinstein. In 2015 host Scott Capurro introduces Time Out New York’s “one to watch” Emma Willman and Kendra Cunnningham who will be recognised from Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon. Other International visitors include Irish super star Tommy Tiernan, popular Canadians Rich Hall, Craig Campbell and Jason John Whitehead plus the self proclaimed German comedy ambassador Henning Wehn.

    Something different

    The festival will team up with BBC Comedy to host some comedy writing workshops in the Stand Comedy Club and there will be a return of the highly successful collaboration with the Sunday Herald with a topical discussion about the state of political comedy in the run up to the general election. “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Westminister” hosted by Iain MacWhirter promises to be a lively evening at the Citizen’s Theatre on Thursday 26 March at 8pm. Don’t miss specially programmed films at Cineworld, the Grosvenor and Govanhill Baths which include a celebration of the late Robin Williams.

    Popular demand

    Advance sales for festival shows are strong with additional performances being added as shows sell out. Susan Calman adds a second show at 5pm on Saturday 21 March at the Citizens Theatre, Gary Little adds a second show at 10pm on 27 March at Cottiers Theatre, Darren Connell adds a third show at 9.15pm on Sunday 22 March at Blackfriars Basement, Christian O’Connell also adds a second show at Blackfriars Basement on Friday 13 March and Nina Conti adds a third show on Thursday 19 March at the Tron Theatre.

    Tommy Sheppard, director of the festival organiser’s the Scottish Comedy Agency, said:

    “This year the festival enters its teenage years – and it is growing up to be one of the most looked forward to events in the Scottish cultural calendar. As ever we are delighted to bring the best to Glasgow and also to showcase what the city has to offer to the rest of the world."

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

    “Some of the biggest names in comedy have graced the stages of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival over the years and the calibre of this year’s programme is again a strong reflection of this – it’s diverse, bold and packed with an eclectic mix of top performers from across the globe.

    “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour, and the city was recently voted as the friendliest in the world by travel bible Lonely Planet, so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the world’s best comedy festivals, which perfectly encapsulates Glasgow’s personality. We're well used to staging major events with huge international appeal and we’re looking forward to another bumper Festival; with more than 400 shows across 46 venues, visitors and locals alike are in for a real treat.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said:

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and once again, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival presents a programme, which celebrates the very best of comedic talent from home and abroad. It is one of the highlights on our annual calendar of cultural events, and with 400 shows across two and a half weeks; we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors again in 2015.”

     

    Category: International Events

  • 14 January 2015

    Competition schedule released as 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships reaches six months to go milestone

    IPC Swimming released the provisional competition schedule for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships on Tuesday (13 January), to celebrate six months to go until 650 of the world’s best swimmers converge on Glasgow, Great Britain.

    Glasgow 2015 will take place from 13-19 July and is expected to see world and Paralympic champions from 50 countries looking to place themselves firmly on the road to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

    Tickets are now available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015 priced at just £10/£15 for Adults for Heats/Finals, while all Under-16s go free (t&c’s apply).

    The schedule published on Tuesday (available to view at www.glasgow2015.com/schedule-results) shows which events are set to take place on each day, with a final version due for release in June once the entries have closed.

    The competition could get off to a flying start with the possibility of five golds for British swimmers on day one, including home favourite Ellie Simmonds who will be looking to defend her 400m freestyle S6 title.

    Other headline events include Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, defending his six S5 world titles against the likes of Great Britain’s multiple European champion Andrew Mullen and the USA’s Roy Perkins.

    The women’s S8 races could feature America’s 12-time Paralympic champion Jessica Long against Great Britain’s Stephanie Slater, the most decorated female athlete from the 2014 Euros, and Russia’s Oleysa Vladykina.

    New Zealand’s six-time world champion Sophie Pascoe will have to get past top ranked athletes including Canada’s Aurelie Rivard and France’s Elodie Lorandi in the women’s S10 events.

    The men’s equivalent could see American youngster and 400m freestyle world and Paralympic champion Ian Silverman face Brazil’s 12-time Worlds gold medallist Andre Brasil. China’s Furong Lin, who won the most medals at October’s Asian Para Games, could also line-up. 

    Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO, said: “We are delighted to be publishing the provisional competition schedule with six months to go until Glasgow 2015.

     “This exciting event is likely to feature the best swimmers from around the world who are currently training and competing to qualify for this - the most important event ahead of Rio 2016.”

    The World Championships, which are staged every two years, are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games and will see the world’s best male and female para-swimmers in action across 172 medal events.

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

    National Paralympic Committees and National Federations have until 28 May to submit their team entries to IPC Swimming.

    Category: International Events

  • 13 January 2015

    New Theatre and Performance Studio for Dumfries Thanks to Big Burns Supper

    Dumfries will benefit from a permanent new theatre, performance and rehearsal studio as a legacy of Big Burns Supper 2015.

    BBS, which is run by the Electric Theatre Workshop, is transforming part of the ground floor at its Munches Street base into an auditorium which can hold audiences of up to 100.

    It will initially be used as a venue for shows and events during this year’s nine-day Big Burns Supper festival, which takes place from 23-31 January. It will then be made available to the community.

    Graham Main, Director of ETW and Artistic Director of BBS, said: “We needed an extra venue for Big Burns Supper events and it made sense for it to be something that could benefit the community all year round. It’ll be great for Dumfries to have a brand new space for shows and events right in the heart of the town.”

    After the festival is over Electric Theatre Workshop hopes to organise a year-round programme of events in the space – which is currently being called Studio 1 – as well as opening it up for other groups to use.

    Graham believes that as town centres decline as places just for shopping it is vital to revive them as hubs for community activity.

    He said: “It’s really important to make our town centres into lively and vibrant places which the whole community can enjoy. The arts are a great way of doing this and we hope that Studio 1 will bring people together for all sorts of exciting projects.”

    BBS is a festival of contemporary and traditional culture and a huge public celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s national Bard, Robert Burns, in his beloved town of Dumfries. It is also part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government) and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas.

    This year it features 140 events and shows. One highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on 25 January which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers. As 2015 is the UNESCO Year of Light one of the main features of the carnival will be lanterns made and carried by people from all across the region. 

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

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

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

    This year Big Burns Supper is proud to announce that it has teamed up with Barnardo’s Scotland as its first ever charity partner.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 12 January 2015

    Etape Loch Ness sold out but places still available for cyclists willing to raise cash for charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support

     Closed-road cycling event Etape Loch Ness has joined forces with a leading cancer charity to offer places in the 2015 event. A limited number of slots are now available to cyclists who pledge to raise funds for the event’s official charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.

    The sportive, which sold out within 72 hours of launching, takes place around the banks of the world famous loch on April 26. Riders can, however, secure one of the coveted slots by agreeing to raise a minimum of £100 for Macmillan.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says Etape Loch Ness could offer the perfect solution to anyone vowing to get fit and do more for charity as part of their new year resolutions for 2015.

    He adds, “It is open to people of all cycling abilities and in the inaugural event last year we had seasoned riders lining up along with first time participants. Everyone came with their own personal challenge, whether that was to record a great time or to raise money for charity.

    “People are always more likely to stick to a new year resolution if they have a goal, so we are appealing to anyone who has put getting fit on the top of their list to consider joining us. The 67-mile course is an achievable distance - we had riders in their 70s easily complete the course last year - and a realistic fitness goal for those starting training now.

    “Coupled with that, riders who take up one of the charity places will be able to complete the course knowing that they have made a real difference to Macmillan Cancer Support and the incredible work they do in the Highlands and beyond.”

    Every day in the north of Scotland, 21 people are told that they have cancer and 11 people die. Incidence of cancer is a little higher in the Highlands than the UK average, and it is anticipated that figures will double over the next 20 years, with some 23,300 people being diagnosed in 2030.

    In addition to its specialist nurses, Macmillan is involved in a number of projects across the Highlands. It is investing nearly £142,000 to fund a three-year NHS Highland project to support people at risk of developing or who have developed lymphoedema.

    The project is raising awareness among health professionals in the community about the problems associated with lymphoedema post-surgery, and has produced clinical guidelines on care. Training and mentoring is being provided to health professionals in Fort William and Invergordon, so they can champion it among peers and ensure that people in the Highlands have the specialist support they need to cope with the condition.

    Etape Loch Ness has fast become a favourite event with cyclists, with high demand for places when entries opened last November. 

    The sportive is supported by EventScotland. Chief operating officer Paul Bush OBE says, “Etape Loch Ness is a spectacular event, which builds on the increasing popularity of mass-participation cycling events in the UK. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the stunning landscape and scenery will once again offer participants a beautiful yet challenging experience.”

    Etape Loch Ness will start in Inverness city centre, snaking its way around the northern side of the loch on the A82, passing through Fort Augustus and onto the southern side where they will face one of the most challenging stages on the course – the King of the Mountain - a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route will continue on the southern side of the loch before returning to finish in the Highland capital. 

    For further information and to enter Etape Loch Ness, visit www.etapelochness.com. Regular updates will appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess #etapeln15 

    Category: National Events

  • 09 January 2015

    The Saltire celebrates success in 2014

     

    It was competition time at this year’s Saltire Festival (24-30 November) – with more events than ever on the calendar and thousands enjoying the annual St Andrew’s Day celebrations in East Lothian, the ‘home of the flag’. The Saltire Festival celebrates St Andrew’s Day and is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.Seven local schools took part in a Saltire Education Day, with St Martin’s Primary in Tranent winning Best Dressed Dining Room. Runners-up were Loretto RC Primary in Musselburgh. A special poetry competition was won by Ben Nightingale from Innerwick, Maya Downs and Jessica Crosbie from East Linton and Maria Schettulli from Loretto RC.The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse attracted a crowd of more than 1,500 people and the Saltire Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle race was won by ‘One for Hocky’.The John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake Adventures proved very popular and involved some intense competition! Winners of the men’s Foxtrail 13km trail run were:1. Johnny Lawson 55.322. Martin Gore 57.253. John Smith 52.18Ladies’ Foxtrail 13km trail run winners were:1. Rowena Halliday 55.322. Ali Wyllie 57.253. Hazel Smith 57.36Cyclocross under 15 years (6 laps)1. Rory McQuire 19.392. Kier Robb 20.093. Chris Horden 21.01Cyclocross senior male (19 laps)1. Mark McGuire 56.502. Rab Wardell 58.243. Sean Clark 59.19Cyclocross senior female (14 laps)1. Anne Ewing 57.592. Jane Barr 58.353. Katie Carmichael 59.50Coastal Rowing sprint competitionOverall Winner Club, with combined results of the mens’ ladies’ and mixed open was Port Seton Coastal Rowing ClubWake Boarding Big Air competitionOverall winner Blair Fraser (UK under 16 straight line cable champion 2014)James Barbour, Director at Foxlake, said: “More than 1000 competitors and spectators attended our second John Muir Winter Carnival, making it a huge success. It was great to see so many people competing and also trying their hand at everything from zorb balling and coastal rowing to archaeology at the ‘dig on the hill’. The atmosphere on the day was fantastic. A big thanks to everyone who attended and helped make it such a great day, including all the traders and activity providers.”The 2014 Saltire Festival enjoyed a great turnout at several events celebrating St Andrew’s Day. The first ever Saltire Epicurean Affair at Haddington Corn Exchange, showcasing luxury food and drink brands, sold out, attracting almost 500 attendees. One of this year’s signature events, Hue and Cry at the Brunton, Musselburgh, played to more than 400 music-lovers.A special Saltire-themed Haddington Farmers Market drew large crowds, who enjoyed a cookery demonstration courtesy of Mark DeFreitas from the Maitlandfield House Hotel and Cullen Skink and shortbread from the Waterloo Bistro, both Haddington. Feast n’ Folk gave locals and visitors the chance to enjoy traditional music and a delicious Scottish menu at more than 14 bars and restaurants in the area.The Festival was rounded off by the traditional service and flag handover ceremony at Athelstaneford Church. The flag was carried from Athelstaneford to Prestonpans on horseback, then, a team of volunteers and members of Beyond Boundaries East Lothian (BBEL offers a wide range of outdoor adventurous activities and all-ability cycling to people with disabilities and mental health issues aged 16 years plus and living in East Lothian) carried the flag from Prestonpans to Fisherrow where it was met by the Honest Toun Association members. On arrival at St Michael’s Parish Church, Inveresk, the flag handover marked the start of The Saltire Concert, hosted by comedienne Jo Caulfield, which celebrated St Andrew’s Day with Scottish music and verse and was attended by 150 people.Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism said: “Once again, we’ve had a great Saltire Festival with a huge variety of events for people of all ages and interests. It’s great to celebrate East Lothian’s heritage as the home of the Saltire flag and to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. I hope everyone who took part had a fantastic time and will return next year and bring their friends!”The Saltire 2014 was organised by East Lothian Council.
    It was competition time at this year’s Saltire Festival (24-30 November 2014) – with more events than ever on the calendar and thousands enjoying the annual St Andrew’s Day celebrations in East Lothian, the ‘home of the flag’. 
    The Saltire Festival celebrates St Andrew’s Day and is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
    Seven local schools took part in a Saltire Education Day, with St Martin’s Primary in Tranent winning Best Dressed Dining Room. Runners-up were Loretto RC Primary in Musselburgh. A special poetry competition was won by Ben Nightingale from Innerwick, Maya Downs and Jessica Crosbie from East Linton and Maria Schettulli from Loretto RC.
    The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse attracted a crowd of more than 1,500 people and the Saltire Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle race was won by ‘One for Hocky’.
    The John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake Adventures proved very popular and involved some intense competition! 
    James Barbour, Director at Foxlake, said: “More than 1000 competitors and spectators attended our second John Muir Winter Carnival, making it a huge success. It was great to see so many people competing and also trying their hand at everything from zorb balling and coastal rowing to archaeology at the ‘dig on the hill’. The atmosphere on the day was fantastic. A big thanks to everyone who attended and helped make it such a great day, including all the traders and activity providers.”
    The 2014 Saltire Festival enjoyed a great turnout at several events celebrating St Andrew’s Day. The first ever Saltire Epicurean Affair at Haddington Corn Exchange, showcasing luxury food and drink brands, sold out, attracting almost 500 attendees. 
    One of this year’s signature events, Hue and Cry at the Brunton, Musselburgh, played to more than 400 music-lovers.A special Saltire-themed Haddington Farmers Market drew large crowds, who enjoyed a cookery demonstration courtesy of Mark DeFreitas from the Maitlandfield House Hotel and Cullen Skink and shortbread from the Waterloo Bistro, both Haddington. Feast n’ Folk gave locals and visitors the chance to enjoy traditional music and a delicious Scottish menu at more than 14 bars and restaurants in the area.The Festival was rounded off by the traditional service and flag handover ceremony at Athelstaneford Church. The flag was carried from Athelstaneford to Prestonpans on horseback, then, a team of volunteers and members of Beyond Boundaries East Lothian (BBEL offers a wide range of outdoor adventurous activities and all-ability cycling to people with disabilities and mental health issues aged 16 years plus and living in East Lothian) carried the flag from Prestonpans to Fisherrow where it was met by the Honest Toun Association members. On arrival at St Michael’s Parish Church, Inveresk, the flag handover marked the start of The Saltire Concert, hosted by comedienne Jo Caulfield, which celebrated St Andrew’s Day with Scottish music and verse and was attended by 150 people.Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism said: “Once again, we’ve had a great Saltire Festival with a huge variety of events for people of all ages and interests. It’s great to celebrate East Lothian’s heritage as the home of the Saltire flag and to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. I hope everyone who took part had a fantastic time and will return next year and bring their friends!”
    The Saltire 2014 was organised by East Lothian Council.

    It was competition time at this year’s Saltire Festival (24-30 November 2014) – with more events than ever on the calendar and thousands enjoying the annual St Andrew’s Day celebrations in East Lothian, the ‘home of the flag’.

    The Saltire Festival celebrates St Andrew’s Day and is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.

    Seven local schools took part in a Saltire Education Day, with St Martin’s Primary in Tranent winning Best Dressed Dining Room. Runners-up were Loretto RC Primary in Musselburgh. A special poetry competition was won by Ben Nightingale from Innerwick, Maya Downs and Jessica Crosbie from East Linton and Maria Schettulli from Loretto RC.

    The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse attracted a crowd of more than 1,500 people and the Saltire Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle race was won by ‘One for Hocky’.

    The John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake Adventures proved very popular and involved some intense competition!

    James Barbour, Director at Foxlake, said: “More than 1000 competitors and spectators attended our second John Muir Winter Carnival, making it a huge success. It was great to see so many people competing and also trying their hand at everything from zorb balling and coastal rowing to archaeology at the ‘dig on the hill’. The atmosphere on the day was fantastic. A big thanks to everyone who attended and helped make it such a great day, including all the traders and activity providers.”

    The 2014 Saltire Festival enjoyed a great turnout at several events celebrating St Andrew’s Day. The first ever Saltire Epicurean Affair at Haddington Corn Exchange, showcasing luxury food and drink brands, sold out, attracting almost 500 attendees.

    One of this year’s signature events, Hue and Cry at the Brunton, Musselburgh, played to more than 400 music-lovers.

    A special Saltire-themed Haddington Farmers Market drew large crowds, who enjoyed a cookery demonstration courtesy of Mark DeFreitas from the Maitlandfield House Hotel and Cullen Skink and shortbread from the Waterloo Bistro, both Haddington.

    Feast n’ Folk gave locals and visitors the chance to enjoy traditional music and a delicious Scottish menu at more than 14 bars and restaurants in the area.

    The Festival was rounded off by the traditional service and flag handover ceremony at Athelstaneford Church. The flag was carried from Athelstaneford to Prestonpans on horseback, then, a team of volunteers and members of Beyond Boundaries East Lothian (BBEL offers a wide range of outdoor adventurous activities and all-ability cycling to people with disabilities and mental health issues aged 16 years plus and living in East Lothian) carried the flag from Prestonpans to Fisherrow where it was met by the Honest Toun Association members.

    On arrival at St Michael’s Parish Church, Inveresk, the flag handover marked the start of The Saltire Concert, hosted by comedienne Jo Caulfield, which celebrated St Andrew’s Day with Scottish music and verse and was attended by 150 people.

    Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism said: “Once again, we’ve had a great Saltire Festival with a huge variety of events for people of all ages and interests. It’s great to celebrate East Lothian’s heritage as the home of the Saltire flag and to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. I hope everyone who took part had a fantastic time and will return next year and bring their friends!”.

    The Saltire 2014 was organised by East Lothian Council.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 08 January 2015

    Performers from around the country take on Big Burns Supper

     

    Performers from around the country take on Big Burns SupperFrom traditional music to jazz and contemporary, this year’s BBS features both up-and-coming and legendary talent to keep everyone entertained at Europe’s largest winter fringe festival.Of Scottish and Burmese origin and hailing from rural Aberdeenshire, Fiona Soe Pang presents a compelling fusion of music, vocals and cinema in her show Alien Lullabies. Fiona, who is part of the festival’s emerging talent programme, is an electronic producer and vocalist who creates surreal and hypnotic audio-visual shows, weaving off-world electronica, projected 3D animation and live vocals into a mesmerising "live cinema" performance. You can catch Fiona at Greyfriars Church on Friday, 30 January at 1pm. The Vaselines – loved by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – head the list of talent from Glasgow and the west.The Vaselines will appear on Saturday, 31 January, at the main venue, The Spiegeltent – a stunning ‘30s-style marquee lined with mirrors and stained glass.Other acts with roots in the west include:• Caileag – Scottish folk trio plus guitar, fiddles and piano. Fresh from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Caileag promise a night filled with Burns songs, folk tunes and traditional Scottish music.• Erica Von Stein - a young poet from Glasgow who performs her work at events across the UK and wrote the welcoming ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014.• Quirky Jade - acapella trio who perform a mixture of Scottish, folk, African and modern songs. They came together in 2003 and recorded their album “Quirky” in 2011. On their home patch of Renfrewshire they are well known for singing at Burns Night celebrations. They are now in the studio recording again.• Fine voice and Mesmerising Guitar – from Glasgow and Paisley, Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher perform across Britain. Pauline’s beautiful vocals and Edwin’s mesmerising fingerstyle guitar, secured them a place as Isambard Folk Award finalists this year with their blend of contemporary, folk, easy listening and blues.• LOOP Theatre – Glasgow’s newest integrated physical theatre company channel the words, beats and songs of the Bard in a celebration of the underdog. Look Beyond challenges our perceptions on disability and art. The cast and musicians have devised this performance, inspired by works such as “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.”  • Melanie Jordan and Caitlin Skinner – a show called Sanitise where a woman alone discovers there is something dark living beneath the bath. A playful and original production without words combining physical theatre, dance, music and multimedia to explore our most intimate insecurities and fantasies. Among the traditional music performers will be BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton, the Border Strathspey & Reel Society Fiddlers and The Gallovidians.• Robyn Stapleton: A young woman with a truly phenomenal voice and brilliant future. In recent months Robyn has performed live on BBC radio, on BBC Alba TV, at Commonwealth Games concerts and with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. • Smooth Jazz for the Bard: Returning from a successful appearance at last year’s Big Burns Supper and the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Getz Group bring their smooth jazz to the world of Burns. Cool saxophone in the style of jazz legend Stan Getz, bringing jazz classics and Burns songs together in a unique show.• Mark Meiklejohn: A fun, entertaining show with poems and songs of Robert Burns along with Standard English subtitles and a bit of context and discussion – making Burns accessible to all. • A Fine Voice & A Mesmerising Guitar: Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher have been impressing audiences across Britain. They believe a good song is a good song regardless of genre, so you are just as likely to hear something from the Beatles or Dire Straits as you are a bit of Burns. • True To Self: Spoken word and original music, telling a mysterious story about finding the real you in a material world. Accompanied by unique live music with hints of acoustic, soul, jazz and hip-hop genres. • Border Strathspey & Reel Society: A fiddle with members come from across the Borders who play Burns music, Scottish music and much more. A singer will join the group to entertain the public with well-known Burns Songs for a sing along. It is a lively foot tapping and hand clapping show.  • Cup O’ Kindness: Inspiring audiences to take part in creating and performing their own music. An evening of poetry and song inspired by Robert Burns created and performed by members of Loch Arthur, the Dumfries Choral Society and Paragon Music.• The Gallovidians: A small local traditional music group consisting of mainly fiddles and accordions playing popular, traditional Scottish and Irish music. The show is suitable for all age groups.  • The Meat Puppet Collective: An irreverent, time travelling comedy drama filled with gusto, shenanigans and endless adventure, which stars Grant Dinwoodie of Sparo & The Yahs. This romp through Burnsian history explores ways in which we can move forward to create positive change in the local community.The tremendous Gary Anderson is well-known on the Angus circuit and far beyond.Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper is an amazingly colourful and fun festival – and we are really looking forward to welcoming Gary to take centre stage at our main venue. “Gary mixes his own original material with folk, rock and country covers, all stripped down to great effect using only his voice and a guitar.  In short – it’ll be great, so come and join us in Dumfries.”Gary said: "It is a massive honour for me to be chosen as an emerging artist to appear in the magical Spiegeltent at The Big Burns Supper festival and I am tremendously proud to be able to showcase my music at such a prestigious event."BBS features 140 events from 23-31 January. A highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on 25 January which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers. Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.Headline actsHue and Cry are a sophisti-pop duo and will be performing as a stunning eight piece, full band for the Festival Closing Party. The duo is best known for 1987 single "Labour of Love", which reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart.   Nina Nesbitt, Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out and an experienced songwriter and festival veteran, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second. Scottish indie pop pioneers The Vaselines are best known for being covered by Nirvana on Incesticide and MTV Unplugged in New York. The group will play some of the world’s most iconic hits at a tea time show on the final Saturday.   The Undertones are a punk rock/new wave band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland and will kick start the party at the tent on the first Saturday of the festival.  Skerryvore are a six piece multi-award winning folk-rock band from Scotland who will play our Burns Night Special taking us through to the festival week.    From Fringe First winners, writer Peter Arnott and director Cora Bissett, featuring Angela Darcy as Joplin present Janis Joplin: Full Tilt.    Peatbog Faeries, Based on the Isle of Skye, are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. You can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com. From traditional music to jazz and contemporary, this year’s BBS features both up-and-coming and legendary talent to keep everyone entertained at Europe’s largest winter fringe festival.Of Scottish and Burmese origin and hailing from rural Aberdeenshire, Fiona Soe Pang presents a compelling fusion of music, vocals and cinema in her show Alien Lullabies. Fiona, who is part of the festival’s emerging talent programme, is an electronic producer and vocalist who creates surreal and hypnotic audio-visual shows, weaving off-world electronica, projected 3D animation and live vocals into a mesmerising "live cinema" performance. You can catch Fiona at Greyfriars Church on Friday, 30 January at 1pm. The Vaselines – loved by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – head the list of talent from Glasgow and the west.The Vaselines will appear on Saturday, 31 January, at the main venue, The Spiegeltent – a stunning ‘30s-style marquee lined with mirrors and stained glass.Other acts with roots in the west include:• Caileag – Scottish folk trio plus guitar, fiddles and piano. Fresh from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Caileag promise a night filled with Burns songs, folk tunes and traditional Scottish music.• Erica Von Stein - a young poet from Glasgow who performs her work at events across the UK and wrote the welcoming ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014.• Quirky Jade - acapella trio who perform a mixture of Scottish, folk, African and modern songs. They came together in 2003 and recorded their album “Quirky” in 2011. On their home patch of Renfrewshire they are well known for singing at Burns Night celebrations. They are now in the studio recording again.• Fine voice and Mesmerising Guitar – from Glasgow and Paisley, Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher perform across Britain. Pauline’s beautiful vocals and Edwin’s mesmerising fingerstyle guitar, secured them a place as Isambard Folk Award finalists this year with their blend of contemporary, folk, easy listening and blues.• LOOP Theatre – Glasgow’s newest integrated physical theatre company channel the words, beats and songs of the Bard in a celebration of the underdog. Look Beyond challenges our perceptions on disability and art. The cast and musicians have devised this performance, inspired by works such as “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.”  • Melanie Jordan and Caitlin Skinner – a show called Sanitise where a woman alone discovers there is something dark living beneath the bath. A playful and original production without words combining physical theatre, dance, music and multimedia to explore our most intimate insecurities and fantasies. Among the traditional music performers will be BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton, the Border Strathspey & Reel Society Fiddlers and The Gallovidians.• Robyn Stapleton: A young woman with a truly phenomenal voice and brilliant future. In recent months Robyn has performed live on BBC radio, on BBC Alba TV, at Commonwealth Games concerts and with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. • Smooth Jazz for the Bard: Returning from a successful appearance at last year’s Big Burns Supper and the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Getz Group bring their smooth jazz to the world of Burns. Cool saxophone in the style of jazz legend Stan Getz, bringing jazz classics and Burns songs together in a unique show.• Mark Meiklejohn: A fun, entertaining show with poems and songs of Robert Burns along with Standard English subtitles and a bit of context and discussion – making Burns accessible to all. • A Fine Voice & A Mesmerising Guitar: Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher have been impressing audiences across Britain. They believe a good song is a good song regardless of genre, so you are just as likely to hear something from the Beatles or Dire Straits as you are a bit of Burns. • True To Self: Spoken word and original music, telling a mysterious story about finding the real you in a material world. Accompanied by unique live music with hints of acoustic, soul, jazz and hip-hop genres. • Border Strathspey & Reel Society: A fiddle with members come from across the Borders who play Burns music, Scottish music and much more. A singer will join the group to entertain the public with well-known Burns Songs for a sing along. It is a lively foot tapping and hand clapping show.  • Cup O’ Kindness: Inspiring audiences to take part in creating and performing their own music. An evening of poetry and song inspired by Robert Burns created and performed by members of Loch Arthur, the Dumfries Choral Society and Paragon Music.• The Gallovidians: A small local traditional music group consisting of mainly fiddles and accordions playing popular, traditional Scottish and Irish music. The show is suitable for all age groups.  • The Meat Puppet Collective: An irreverent, time travelling comedy drama filled with gusto, shenanigans and endless adventure, which stars Grant Dinwoodie of Sparo & The Yahs. This romp through Burnsian history explores ways in which we can move forward to create positive change in the local community.The tremendous Gary Anderson is well-known on the Angus circuit and far beyond.Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper is an amazingly colourful and fun festival – and we are really looking forward to welcoming Gary to take centre stage at our main venue. “Gary mixes his own original material with folk, rock and country covers, all stripped down to great effect using only his voice and a guitar.  In short – it’ll be great, so come and join us in Dumfries.”Gary said: "It is a massive honour for me to be chosen as an emerging artist to appear in the magical Spiegeltent at The Big Burns Supper festival and I am tremendously proud to be able to showcase my music at such a prestigious event."BBS features 140 events from 23-31 January. A highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on 25 January which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers. Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.Headline actsHue and Cry are a sophisti-pop duo and will be performing as a stunning eight piece, full band for the Festival Closing Party. The duo is best known for 1987 single "Labour of Love", which reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart.   Nina Nesbitt, Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out and an experienced songwriter and festival veteran, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second. Scottish indie pop pioneers The Vaselines are best known for being covered by Nirvana on Incesticide and MTV Unplugged in New York. The group will play some of the world’s most iconic hits at a tea time show on the final Saturday.   The Undertones are a punk rock/new wave band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland and will kick start the party at the tent on the first Saturday of the festival.  Skerryvore are a six piece multi-award winning folk-rock band from Scotland who will play our Burns Night Special taking us through to the festival week.    From Fringe First winners, writer Peter Arnott and director Cora Bissett, featuring Angela Darcy as Joplin present Janis Joplin: Full Tilt.    Peatbog Faeries, Based on the Isle of Skye, are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. 
    From traditional music to jazz and contemporary, this year’s BBS features both up-and-coming and legendary talent to keep everyone entertained at Europe’s largest winter fringe festival.
     Of Scottish and Burmese origin and hailing from rural Aberdeenshire, Fiona Soe Pang presents a compelling fusion of music, vocals and cinema in her show Alien Lullabies. 
     Fiona, who is part of the festival’s emerging talent programme, is an electronic producer and vocalist who creates surreal and hypnotic audio-visual shows, weaving off-world electronica, projected 3D animation and live vocals into a mesmerising "live cinema" performance. 
     You can catch Fiona at Greyfriars Church on Friday, 30 January at 1pm.
     The Vaselines – loved by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – head the list of talent from Glasgow and the west.
    The Vaselines will appear on Saturday, 31 January, at the main venue, The Spiegeltent – a stunning ‘30s-style marquee lined with mirrors and stained glass.
    Other acts with roots in the west include:
    • Caileag – Scottish folk trio plus guitar, fiddles and piano. Fresh from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Caileag promise a night filled with Burns songs, folk tunes and traditional Scottish music.
    • Erica Von Stein - a young poet from Glasgow who performs her work at events across the UK and wrote the welcoming ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014.
    • Quirky Jade - acapella trio who perform a mixture of Scottish, folk, African and modern songs. They came together in 2003 and recorded their album “Quirky” in 2011. On their home patch of Renfrewshire they are well known for singing at Burns Night celebrations. They are now in the studio recording again.
    • Fine voice and Mesmerising Guitar – from Glasgow and Paisley, Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher perform across Britain. Pauline’s beautiful vocals and Edwin’s mesmerising fingerstyle guitar, secured them a place as Isambard Folk Award finalists this year with their blend of contemporary, folk, easy listening and blues.
    • LOOP Theatre – Glasgow’s newest integrated physical theatre company channel the words, beats and songs of the Bard in a celebration of the underdog. Look Beyond challenges our perceptions on disability and art. The cast and musicians have devised this performance, inspired by works such as “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.”  
    • Melanie Jordan and Caitlin Skinner – a show called Sanitise where a woman alone discovers there is something dark living beneath the bath. A playful and original production without words combining physical theatre, dance, music and multimedia to explore our most intimate insecurities and fantasies. 
    Among the traditional music performers will be BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton, the Border Strathspey & Reel Society Fiddlers and The Gallovidians.
    • Robyn Stapleton: A young woman with a truly phenomenal voice and brilliant future. In recent months Robyn has performed live on BBC radio, on BBC Alba TV, at Commonwealth Games concerts and with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. 
    • Smooth Jazz for the Bard: Returning from a successful appearance at last year’s Big Burns Supper and the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Getz Group bring their smooth jazz to the world of Burns. Cool saxophone in the style of jazz legend Stan Getz, bringing jazz classics and Burns songs together in a unique show.
    • Mark Meiklejohn: A fun, entertaining show with poems and songs of Robert Burns along with Standard English subtitles and a bit of context and discussion – making Burns accessible to all. 
    • True To Self: Spoken word and original music, telling a mysterious story about finding the real you in a material world. Accompanied by unique live music with hints of acoustic, soul, jazz and hip-hop genres. 
    • Cup O’ Kindness: Inspiring audiences to take part in creating and performing their own music. An evening of poetry and song inspired by Robert Burns created and performed by members of Loch Arthur, the Dumfries Choral Society and Paragon Music.
    The tremendous Gary Anderson is well-known on the Angus circuit and far beyond.
    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper is an amazingly colourful and fun festival – and we are really looking forward to welcoming Gary to take centre stage at our main venue. 
    “Gary mixes his own original material with folk, rock and country covers, all stripped down to great effect using only his voice and a guitar.  In short – it’ll be great, so come and join us in Dumfries.”
    Gary said: "It is a massive honour for me to be chosen as an emerging artist to appear in the magical Spiegeltent at The Big Burns Supper festival and I am tremendously proud to be able to showcase my music at such a prestigious event."
    BBS features 140 events from 23-31 January. A highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on 25 January which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers. 
    Once again BBS has teamed up with other local festivals and promoters to present eclectic club nights which include the Eden Opening Party.
    Headline acts
    Hue and Cry are a sophisti-pop duo and will be performing as a stunning eight piece, full band for the Festival Closing Party. The duo is best known for 1987 single "Labour of Love", which reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart.   
    Nina Nesbitt, Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out and an experienced songwriter and festival veteran, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second. 
    Scottish indie pop pioneers The Vaselines are best known for being covered by Nirvana on Incesticide and MTV Unplugged in New York. The group will play some of the world’s most iconic hits at a tea time show on the final Saturday.   
    The Undertones are a punk rock/new wave band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland and will kick start the party at the tent on the first Saturday of the festival.  
    Skerryvore are a six piece multi-award winning folk-rock band from Scotland who will play our Burns Night Special taking us through to the festival week.    
    From Fringe First winners, writer Peter Arnott and director Cora Bissett, featuring Angela Darcy as Joplin present Janis Joplin: Full Tilt.    
    Peatbog Faeries, Based on the Isle of Skye, are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards. 
    You can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at 2014.bigburnssupper.com 

    From traditional music to jazz and contemporary, this year’s BBS features both up-and-coming and legendary talent to keep everyone entertained at Europe’s largest winter fringe festival.

    Of Scottish and Burmese origin and hailing from rural Aberdeenshire, Fiona Soe Pang presents a compelling fusion of music, vocals and cinema in her show Alien Lullabies.

    Fiona, who is part of the festival’s emerging talent programme, is an electronic producer and vocalist who creates surreal and hypnotic audio-visual shows, weaving off-world electronica, projected 3D animation and live vocals into a mesmerising "live cinema" performance.

    You can catch Fiona at Greyfriars Church on Friday, 30 January at 1pm.

    The Vaselines – loved by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – head the list of talent from Glasgow and the west.

    The Vaselines will appear on Saturday, 31 January, at the main venue, The Spiegeltent – a stunning ‘30s-style marquee lined with mirrors and stained glass.

    Other acts with roots in the west include:

    Caileag – Scottish folk trio plus guitar, fiddles and piano. Fresh from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Caileag promise a night filled with Burns songs, folk tunes and traditional Scottish music.

    Erica Von Stein - a young poet from Glasgow who performs her work at events across the UK and wrote the welcoming ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014.

    Quirky Jade - acapella trio who perform a mixture of Scottish, folk, African and modern songs. They came together in 2003 and recorded their album “Quirky” in 2011. On their home patch of Renfrewshire they are well known for singing at Burns Night celebrations. They are now in the studio recording again.

    Fine voice and Mesmerising Guitar – from Glasgow and Paisley, Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher perform across Britain. Pauline’s beautiful vocals and Edwin’s mesmerising fingerstyle guitar, secured them a place as Isambard Folk Award finalists this year with their blend of contemporary, folk, easy listening and blues.

    LOOP Theatre – Glasgow’s newest integrated physical theatre company channel the words, beats and songs of the Bard in a celebration of the underdog. Look Beyond challenges our perceptions on disability and art. The cast and musicians have devised this performance, inspired by works such as “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.”  

    Melanie Jordan and Caitlin Skinner – a show called Sanitise where a woman alone discovers there is something dark living beneath the bath. A playful and original production without words combining physical theatre, dance, music and multimedia to explore our most intimate insecurities and fantasies.

    Among the traditional music performers will be BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton, the Border Strathspey & Reel Society Fiddlers and The Gallovidians.

    Robyn Stapleton: A young woman with a truly phenomenal voice and brilliant future. In recent months Robyn has performed live on BBC radio, on BBC Alba TV, at Commonwealth Games concerts and with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

    Smooth Jazz for the Bard: Returning from a successful appearance at last year’s Big Burns Supper and the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Getz Group bring their smooth jazz to the world of Burns. Cool saxophone in the style of jazz legend Stan Getz, bringing jazz classics and Burns songs together in a unique show.

    Mark Meiklejohn: A fun, entertaining show with poems and songs of Robert Burns along with Standard English subtitles and a bit of context and discussion – making Burns accessible to all.

    A Fine Voice & A Mesmerising Guitar: Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher have been impressing audiences across Britain. They believe a good song is a good song regardless of genre, so you are just as likely to hear something from the Beatles or Dire Straits as you are a bit of Burns.

    True To Self: Spoken word and original music, telling a mysterious story about finding the real you in a material world. Accompanied by unique live music with hints of acoustic, soul, jazz and hip-hop genres.

    Border Strathspey & Reel Society: A fiddle with members come from across the Borders who play Burns music, Scottish music and much more. A singer will join the group to entertain the public with well-known Burns Songs for a sing along. It is a lively foot tapping and hand clapping show.  

    Cup O’ Kindness: Inspiring audiences to take part in creating and performing their own music. An evening of poetry and song inspired by Robert Burns created and performed by members of Loch Arthur, the Dumfries Choral Society and Paragon Music.

    The Gallovidians: A small local traditional music group consisting of mainly fiddles and accordions playing popular, traditional Scottish and Irish music. The show is suitable for all age groups.  

    The tremendous Gary Anderson is well-known on the Angus circuit and far beyond.

    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Big Burns Supper is an amazingly colourful and fun festival – and we are really looking forward to welcoming Gary to take centre stage at our main venue.

    “Gary mixes his own original material with folk, rock and country covers, all stripped down to great effect using only his voice and a guitar.  In short – it’ll be great, so come and join us in Dumfries.”

    Gary said: "It is a massive honour for me to be chosen as an emerging artist to appear in the magical Spiegeltent at The Big Burns Supper festival and I am tremendously proud to be able to showcase my music at such a prestigious event."

    BBS features 140 events from 23-31 January. A highlight will be the Burns Night street carnival on 25 January which will feature bands, huge interactive puppets and hundreds of costumed performers.

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

    Headline acts

    Hue and Cry are a sophisti-pop duo and will be performing as a stunning eight piece, full band for the Festival Closing Party. The duo is best known for 1987 single "Labour of Love", which reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart.  

    Nina Nesbitt, Best known for her 2013 hit single Stay Out and an experienced songwriter and festival veteran, her first album Peroxide was released this year and she is now working on a second.

    Scottish indie pop pioneers The Vaselines are best known for being covered by Nirvana on Incesticide and MTV Unplugged in New York. The group will play some of the world’s most iconic hits at a tea time show on the final Saturday.  

    The Undertones are a punk rock/new wave band formed in Derry, Northern Ireland and will kick start the party at the tent on the first Saturday of the festival.  

    Skerryvore are a six piece multi-award winning folk-rock band from Scotland who will play our Burns Night Special taking us through to the festival week.    

    From Fringe First winners, writer Peter Arnott and director Cora Bissett, featuring Angela Darcy as Joplin present Janis Joplin: Full Tilt.    

    Peatbog Faeries, Based on the Isle of Skye, are one of Scotland’s best-known names in contemporary folk music. In 2012 they were nominated for "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, having already twice won "Live Act of the Year" at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

    You can see the full Big Burns Supper 2015 programme at http://2014.bigburnssupper.com

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 07 January 2015

    Homecoming Scotland 2014 events top over 2 million attendances

    A record-breaking 2 million people have attended 1049 Homecoming events across Scotland in 2014, VisitScotland revealed today (Tuesday 6 January 2015).

     The figure, which has been compiled from independent outcome reports and includes events such as Bannockburn Live, which attracted a capacity 20,000 crowd, Glasgow Film Festival, Perthshire Amber, East Neuk Festival and Scotland’s Boat Show – all of which achieved record-breaking attendances during 2014.

     The diverse range of sell-out events and exceptional audience figures across the country, combined with extensive global marketing campaigns by the national tourism organisation has ensured that the spotlight has truly shone on Scotland during 2014.

     The success of Homecoming is testament to one of the biggest partnership campaigns ever, with event organisers, local and national government, local communities, schools, and businesses engaging with the special year across Scotland and beyond.  

     As the curtain closes on the year Scotland welcomed the world, early positive indicators from the year include:

    1049 Homecoming events throughout Scotland – more than double the initial target of 400

    Homecoming themed events in every Local Authority area in Scotland

    A significant impact on tourism - the first six months of 2014 equated to the strongest first half of a year for inbound tourism to Scotland since 2008

    Funding for 137 events throughout Scotland during 2014

    43% of funded events were brand new for 2014

    Awareness of the Year of Homecoming reached 83% of Scottish Households

    Over 93% of tourism businesses aware of Homecoming Scotland 2014

    Almost half a million people viewed the dedicated Year of Homecoming web page

    Scottish produce enhanced at a number of events including Dundee Flower and Festival, Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival and Living Food at Cawdor Castle thanks to the Homecoming Food and Drink Fund

    36% increase in VisitScotland ancestral database during the course of the year

    Over 6500 people joined the celebration of the Multi-Cultural Homecoming, led by BEMIS (Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland) and the Scottish Government

    Homecoming promoted to over 500 international and 230 UK based tourism buyers at VisitScotland Expo 2014

    144 International tour operators used the Year of Homecoming in their own promotions

     The Homecoming event programme has been heralded as a major success with many brand new events taking place in Scotland during 2014 including The European Festival of Brass, The MTV European Music Awards, McLaren 2014 and Pipefest. Existing events were also able to extend their programmes as a result of additional Homecoming funding including Borders Book Festival, Big Burns Supper in Dumfries and Doors Open Days.

     Over 1000 businesses also benefited from the year, in particular those who proactively developed Homecoming programmes and products including Strathearn Distillery, Inveralmond Brewery and Hebridean Hopscotch, a tour company which saw its bookings rise by over a quarter (26%) this year after tying in with Homecoming Scotland 2014.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:  

      “Scotland enjoyed a breathtaking programme of more than 1,000 events in this incredible Homecoming year, touching every single corner of the country.  I am unaware of any other country in the world our size which has delivered events on such a scale and with such prowess. 

     “The Scottish people took Scottish tourism to the next level in 2014, and as we begin to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink in 2015, we must build on all we have achieved and ensure that people keep visiting our beautiful home – Scotland – for years to come.”

  • 06 January 2015

    Trio of humanitarians reach finals of prestigious Burns Award 2015

     

    Three outstanding nominees have reached the finals of a prestigious global humanitarian award, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, named after Ayrshire's most famous son, Scots Bard Robert Burns.
    Olivia Giles OBE, Sompop Jantraka and Dr Sanduk Ruit have been shortlisted for the award, which is supported by South Ayrshire Council.
    Olivia Giles is a lawyer from Edinburgh who became a quadruple amputee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia in 2002 – an illness which almost killed her. After recovering, she made a conscious decision not to go back to her old job, deciding that she wanted 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 and, through her work, she has helped hundreds of amputees regain some form of independence. 
    Dr Sanduk Ruit founded the Tilganga Eye Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1994 – the first out-patient cataract surgery facility in the Himalayan region. In 1995, along with fellow ophthalmologist Dr Geoffrey Tabin, Dr Ruit founded the charity Himalayan Cataract Project. The aim of the charity is to bring eyesight back to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay – and to do this with pre- and post-operative care that rivals the highest quality health care in the world. Dr Ruit has dedicated his life to eradicating unnecessary blindness.
    Sompop Jantraka is a Thai activist who has worked for the past 26 years to rescue children from exploitative labour, prostitution and child trafficking. In 1989 he founded the Daughters Education Programme (DEP), funding education in order to prevent vulnerable girls being forced into the sex industry. His work has directly saved young women from being sold into prostitution by poor farming families. His work proves that women can be more valuable to Thailand as educated members of the work force than as sex slaves.
    All of the finalists were delighted to hear of their nomination and shortlisting.
    Olivia said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2015. Burns' humanitarian values and global outlook both resonate strongly with me and to be associated with his name and memory is, to a proud Scot such as me, a source of enormous inspiration."
    Sanduk said: "The news has touched my soul! The RBHA award means a lot to the dozen organisations that I am involved with globally for alleviation of blindness and for the profile of Nepal."
    Sompop said: "Being nominated for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a true honour and I am humbled and delighted that I am being considered for this. I am sure all the nominees are very deserving and to have been selected is a big and welcome surprise."
    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or 'hands-on' charitable work. Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.
    This year a record number of 120 nominations were received with Olivia, Sanduk and Sompop eventually selected as finalists by the RBHA Judging Panel, chaired by Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council.
    Also on the panel are Jane Brown, President of the Robert Burns World Federation; John Cairney, actor, writer and painter; John Duncan QPM, Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire & Arran; Heather Dunk, Principal Ayrshire College; David Hopes, Director of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; David Leask, Herald Reporter; Habib Malik and Guy Willoughby former RBHA winners and STV Chief Executive Rob Woodward.
    The Herald Newspaper Group continued their media partnership with the event, promoting it widely through their publications and online.
    Councillor McIntosh said: "The RBHA has really captured people's imaginations this year and the record number of nominations is very pleasing.
    "Once again, we have three very worthy finalists in the running for the Award, each of whom undertakes far reaching and important humanitarian works, consistently putting themselves before others.
    "Rabbie's ethos and values live on here at home as well as further afield and I'm he'd have approved of each of our worthy finalists, to whom I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes, ahead of the awards ceremony on 22 January – the Bard's birthday."
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "Robert Burns is recognised internationally as a champion of social justice and humanitarianism and this legacy endures through these awards.
    "The nominees are again an inspiration. Their work and dedication are an example to us all on how to act more generously, selflessly and with greater kindness towards others.
    They join a select group of individuals – both previous winners and nominees – who have a shown an incredible generosity of spirit and drive to improve humanity for the benefit of all."
    Further information on the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award can be found at www.robertburnsaward.com and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 22 January 2015 at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

    Three outstanding nominees have reached the finals of a prestigious global humanitarian award, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, named after Ayrshire's most famous son, Scots Bard Robert Burns.

    Olivia Giles OBE, Sompop Jantraka and Dr Sanduk Ruit have been shortlisted for the award, which is supported by South Ayrshire Council.

    Olivia Giles is a lawyer from Edinburgh who became a quadruple amputee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia in 2002 – an illness which almost killed her. After recovering, she made a conscious decision not to go back to her old job, deciding that she wanted 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 and, through her work, she has helped hundreds of amputees regain some form of independence. 

    Dr Sanduk Ruit founded the Tilganga Eye Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1994 – the first out-patient cataract surgery facility in the Himalayan region. In 1995, along with fellow ophthalmologist Dr Geoffrey Tabin, Dr Ruit founded the charity Himalayan Cataract Project. The aim of the charity is to bring eyesight back to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay – and to do this with pre- and post-operative care that rivals the highest quality health care in the world. Dr Ruit has dedicated his life to eradicating unnecessary blindness.

    Sompop Jantraka is a Thai activist who has worked for the past 26 years to rescue children from exploitative labour, prostitution and child trafficking. In 1989 he founded the Daughters Education Programme (DEP), funding education in order to prevent vulnerable girls being forced into the sex industry. His work has directly saved young women from being sold into prostitution by poor farming families. His work proves that women can be more valuable to Thailand as educated members of the work force than as sex slaves.

    All of the finalists were delighted to hear of their nomination and shortlisting.

    Olivia said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2015. Burns' humanitarian values and global outlook both resonate strongly with me and to be associated with his name and memory is, to a proud Scot such as me, a source of enormous inspiration."

    Sanduk said: "The news has touched my soul! The RBHA award means a lot to the dozen organisations that I am involved with globally for alleviation of blindness and for the profile of Nepal."

    Sompop said: "Being nominated for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a true honour and I am humbled and delighted that I am being considered for this. I am sure all the nominees are very deserving and to have been selected is a big and welcome surprise."

    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or 'hands-on' charitable work. Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum that signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.
    This year a record number of 120 nominations were received with Olivia, Sanduk and Sompop eventually selected as finalists by the RBHA Judging Panel, chaired by Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council.

    Also on the panel are Jane Brown, President of the Robert Burns World Federation; John Cairney, actor, writer and painter; John Duncan QPM, Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire & Arran; Heather Dunk, Principal Ayrshire College; David Hopes, Director of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; David Leask, Herald Reporter; Habib Malik and Guy Willoughby former RBHA winners and STV Chief Executive Rob Woodward.

    The Herald Newspaper Group continued their media partnership with the event, promoting it widely through their publications and online.

    Councillor McIntosh said: "The RBHA has really captured people's imaginations this year and the record number of nominations is very pleasing.

    "Once again, we have three very worthy finalists in the running for the Award, each of whom undertakes far reaching and important humanitarian works, consistently putting themselves before others.

    "Rabbie's ethos and values live on here at home as well as further afield and I'm he'd have approved of each of our worthy finalists, to whom I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes, ahead of the awards ceremony on 22 January – the Bard's birthday."

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "Robert Burns is recognised internationally as a champion of social justice and humanitarianism and this legacy endures through these awards.

    "The nominees are again an inspiration. Their work and dedication are an example to us all on how to act more generously, selflessly and with greater kindness towards others.

    They join a select group of individuals – both previous winners and nominees – who have a shown an incredible generosity of spirit and drive to improve humanity for the benefit of all."

    Further information on the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award can be found at www.robertburnsaward.com and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 22 January 2015 at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 31 December 2014

    Torchlight Procession Launches Edinburgh's Hogmanay

     

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events on behalf of the Festival’s principle funding partner, City of Edinburgh Council, launched three days of celebrations tonight with a spectacular Torchlight Procession through the centre of the historic city. In perfect weather conditions a crowd estimated at an amazing 35,000, including a sell-out 8,500 torch carriers, were led by 32 Up Helly Aa’ Vikings from Shetland and massed pipe bands with over 100 pipers to the bonfire and a spectacular Son et Lumière display on Calton Hill.
    The event experienced record pre-sales of torches this year, and 8,500 torches were all sold out before the start of the procession.
    Pete Irvine, Festival Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said “It’s great to start the three days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with such a fantastic crowd for the Torchlight Procession. We like to think that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay puts Scotland once again at the centre of the world map, and that the experiences that you will enjoy here are because you are in a beautiful city and in the best possible company – the famously friendly Scots. We look forward to welcoming 2015 by linking celebrations taking place across Scotland.”
    The RT Hon Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: “Every year, I am immensely proud that so many people choose to share their New Year with us, and for me the Torchlight Procession blazes the way for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. This year’s Procession has supported Erskine, a charity that has been caring for Scotland’s servicemen and women since 1916. As we wave goodbye to 2014, the 100th year since the First World War, this seems to me a very fitting charity partner.”
    Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland said “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has once again started New Year celebrations around the world with the spectacular Torchlight Procession. EventScotland are proud to support the event which this year welcomes visitors from over 70 countries. A fitting close to an incredible 2014 which has seen a step change in how Scotland delivers major events.
    Celebrations continue tomorrow with the world famous Street Party. Limited tickets are still available to join the Street Party and also Concert in the Gardens (Gardens tickets only). Organisers advise revellers to get tickets early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available from the official box office, The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh from 10.00am tomorrow. Tickets for the Concert in the Gardens Enclosure, The Keilidh, The Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral and registration for the New Year’s Day Scot:Lands event are all sold out. The Loony Dook on Thursday 1st January at South Queensferry is also sold out, but spectators are welcome.

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, produced by Unique Events on behalf of the Festival’s principle funding partner, City of Edinburgh Council, launched three days of celebrations tonight with a spectacular Torchlight Procession through the centre of the historic city. In perfect weather conditions a crowd estimated at an amazing 35,000, including a sell-out 8,500 torch carriers, were led by 32 Up Helly Aa’ Vikings from Shetland and massed pipe bands with over 100 pipers to the bonfire and a spectacular Son et Lumière display on Calton Hill.

    The event experienced record pre-sales of torches this year, and 8,500 torches were all sold out before the start of the procession.

    Pete Irvine, Festival Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said “It’s great to start the three days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with such a fantastic crowd for the Torchlight Procession. We like to think that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay puts Scotland once again at the centre of the world map, and that the experiences that you will enjoy here are because you are in a beautiful city and in the best possible company – the famously friendly Scots. We look forward to welcoming 2015 by linking celebrations taking place across Scotland.”

    The RT Hon Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: “Every year, I am immensely proud that so many people choose to share their New Year with us, and for me the Torchlight Procession blazes the way for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. This year’s Procession has supported Erskine, a charity that has been caring for Scotland’s servicemen and women since 1916. As we wave goodbye to 2014, the 100th year since the First World War, this seems to me a very fitting charity partner.”

    Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland said “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has once again started New Year celebrations around the world with the spectacular Torchlight Procession. EventScotland are proud to support the event which this year welcomes visitors from over 70 countries. A fitting close to an incredible 2014 which has seen a step change in how Scotland delivers major events.

    Celebrations continue tomorrow with the world famous Street Party. Limited tickets are still available to join the Street Party and also Concert in the Gardens (Gardens tickets only). Organisers advise revellers to get tickets early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available from the official box office, The Fringe Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh from 10.00am tomorrow. Tickets for the Concert in the Gardens Enclosure, The Keilidh, The Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral and registration for the New Year’s Day Scot:Lands event are all sold out. The Loony Dook on Thursday 1st January at South Queensferry is also sold out, but spectators are welcome.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 December 2014

    Barnardo’s and Big Burns Supper Team Up for Nine Day Festival and Carnival

     

    Barnardo’s and Big Burns Supper Team Up for Nine Day Festival and Carnival
    First-ever charity partnership puts the focus on helping children
    Barnardo’s Scotland has been selected as the first ever partner charity of Big Burns Supper – Europe’s biggest winter fringe festival.
    The children’s charity has deep roots in Dumfries, where the nine-day festival takes place from 23-31 January, and provides services across the Dumfries and Galloway region of south-west Scotland.
    Young people will join together to make a huge Barnardo’s lantern which will be carried on a float at the front of the Burns Night street carnival which is a Big Burns Supper highlight. The procession will include hundreds of other lanterns, made by local people, as a contribution to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light.
    Maureen Farrell, Chair of BBS, said: “Even though we attract thousands of people from all over the UK and overseas, Big Burns Supper is a community festival at heart. One of our main roles is to give children and young people the chance to enjoy getting involved with arts and entertainment. 
    “It’s a perfect fit for us to be working with Barnardo’s Scotland which is such an important part of the community and does so much to improve young lives.”
    Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
    The partnership between BBS and Barnardo’s Scotland will allow people to donate to the charity when they book tickets online and when they attend any of the 140 shows and events taking place during the nine days around the Bard’s birthday. A donation of £3 can also be made right now just by texting the keyword BURNS to 70500.
    Festival performers include big name acts like Hue and Cry, The Undertones, Nina Nesbitt, Skerryvore and the comedian Craig Hill as well as the hugely popular Hamish the Haggis children’s show. Street collections will also take place during the carnival.
    Staff at the Barnardo’s Scotland shop in Dumfries says they are especially delighted by the link-up.
    Graham Gillies, shop Manager said: “Working in the shop, I’ve first-hand knowledge of the people in Dumfries, and they’re pretty generous. We wouldn’t be here without their donations and continue support. I’m sure they’ll be right behind the festival again this year especially when they know their contributions are going to support a local charity.”
    In Dumfries and Galloway the charity’s Hear 4 U service provides advocacy for children and young people who are experiencing emotional issues; involved with social work; the Children's Hearing System or for children and young people looked after/accommodated by the local authority. 
    Children’s Service Manager, Selwyn McCausland, said: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the first charity partners of the Big Burns Supper, we're all looking forward to being involved in the festival.  Money raised for the charity will be invested in our service which supports children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway.”
    The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All. Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.
    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

    First-ever charity partnership puts the focus on helping children.

    Barnardo’s Scotland has been selected as the first ever partner charity of Big Burns Supper – Europe’s biggest winter fringe festival.

    The children’s charity has deep roots in Dumfries, where the nine-day festival takes place from 23-31 January, and provides services across the Dumfries and Galloway region of south-west Scotland.

    Young people will join together to make a huge Barnardo’s lantern which will be carried on a float at the front of the Burns Night street carnival which is a Big Burns Supper highlight.

    The procession will include hundreds of other lanterns, made by local people, as a contribution to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light.

    Maureen Farrell, Chair of BBS, said: “Even though we attract thousands of people from all over the UK and overseas, Big Burns Supper is a community festival at heart. One of our main roles is to give children and young people the chance to enjoy getting involved with arts and entertainment. 

    “It’s a perfect fit for us to be working with Barnardo’s Scotland which is such an important part of the community and does so much to improve young lives.”

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

    The partnership between BBS and Barnardo’s Scotland will allow people to donate to the charity when they book tickets online and when they attend any of the 140 shows and events taking place during the nine days around the Bard’s birthday.

    A donation of £3 can also be made right now just by texting the keyword BURNS to 70500.

    Festival performers include big name acts like Hue and Cry, The Undertones, Nina Nesbitt, Skerryvore and the comedian Craig Hill as well as the hugely popular Hamish the Haggis children’s show.

    Street collections will also take place during the carnival.

    Staff at the Barnardo’s Scotland shop in Dumfries say they are especially delighted by the link-up.

    Graham Gillies, shop Manager said: “Working in the shop, I’ve first-hand knowledge of the people in Dumfries, and they’re pretty generous. We wouldn’t be here without their donations and continue support. I’m sure they’ll be right behind the festival again this year especially when they know their contributions are going to support a local charity.”

    In Dumfries and Galloway the charity’s Hear 4 U service provides advocacy for children and young people who are experiencing emotional issues; involved with social work; the Children's Hearing System or for children and young people looked after/accommodated by the local authority. 

    Children’s Service Manager, Selwyn McCausland, said: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the first charity partners of the Big Burns Supper, we're all looking forward to being involved in the festival.  Money raised for the charity will be invested in our service which supports children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway.”

    The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All.

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

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 16 December 2014

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL APPOINT NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

     

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced the appointment of Mark Adams to the position of Artistic Director.
    Mark Adams has been Chief Film Critic for respected film trade magazine Screen International for four years and he is also the film critic for The Sunday Mirror. With over 25 years’ experience as a film programmer, journalist and reviewer, Adams has attended all the key international film festivals and has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International, as well as many national newspapers in the UK.
    He was Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London, was Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, and has programmed for numerous film festivals around the world.
    Adams said; “I’m thrilled to be helping the Edinburgh International Film Festival develop and grow and am looking forward to bringing new, challenging, entertaining and exciting cinema to the city. This is a great festival that deserves its recognition and can only get better and better.”
    Ken Hay, CEO of EIFF commented; “We are delighted to have Mark joining the team. His passion for film, his fantastic experience as a programmer, journalist and critic, along with his reputation in the UK and internationally, make him the ideal choice to drive the future success of the Festival.”
    Natalie Usher, Director of Film and Media at Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted by the news of Mark's appointment. EIFF is a key event in Scotland's cultural calendar, delivering inspirational, world-class cinema experiences to audiences and providing an excellent platform for emerging and established filmmakers. Mark has the commitment, vision and drive to build on the festival's strengths and ensure its continuing success.”
    Ben Roberts, Director, BFI Film Fund said; “Congratulations to both Mark and the Festival on this appointment. He has the experience, the charm and the passion for film festivals to make a big impact at EIFF. I'm excited to see his first edition in 2015”
    Mark will begin his role as Artistic Director in March next year.

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) today announced the appointment of Mark Adams to the position of Artistic Director.

    Mark Adams has been Chief Film Critic for respected film trade magazine Screen International for four years and he is also the film critic for The Sunday Mirror. With over 25 years’ experience as a film programmer, journalist and reviewer, Adams has attended all the key international film festivals and has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International, as well as many national newspapers in the UK.

    He was Head of Programming at the National Film Theatre in London, was Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, and has programmed for numerous film festivals around the world.

    Adams said; “I’m thrilled to be helping the Edinburgh International Film Festival develop and grow and am looking forward to bringing new, challenging, entertaining and exciting cinema to the city. This is a great festival that deserves its recognition and can only get better and better.”

    Ken Hay, CEO of EIFF commented; “We are delighted to have Mark joining the team. His passion for film, his fantastic experience as a programmer, journalist and critic, along with his reputation in the UK and internationally, make him the ideal choice to drive the future success of the Festival."

    Natalie Usher, Director of Film and Media at Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted by the news of Mark's appointment. EIFF is a key event in Scotland's cultural calendar, delivering inspirational, world-class cinema experiences to audiences and providing an excellent platform for emerging and established filmmakers. Mark has the commitment, vision and drive to build on the festival's strengths and ensure its continuing success.”

    Ben Roberts, Director, BFI Film Fund said; “Congratulations to both Mark and the Festival on this appointment. He has the experience, the charm and the passion for film festivals to make a big impact at EIFF. I'm excited to see his first edition in 2015”

    Mark will begin his role as Artistic Director in March next year.

    Category: International Events

  • 15 December 2014

    Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds calls for home crowd to support British swimmers at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships

    Four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds and Glasgow-born European Champion Andrew Mullen today (Monday 15 December) launched the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships and stressed the importance of ‘home advantage’ for British swimmers.

    Simmonds, Britain’s most recognised Paralympian, is just one of 650 swimmers from 50 countries who will converge on Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre for next summer’s prestigious event which will run from 13-19 July.

    The World Championships, which are staged every two years, are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games and will see the world’s best male and female para-swimmers – including Ellie and Andrew - in action.

    Tickets are on general public sale from today (Monday 15 December) via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015 priced at just £10/£15 for Adults for Heats/Finals, while all Under-16s go free (t&c’s apply).

    Event organisers expect families to pack Tollcross to the rafters to ensure a repeat of the amazing support witnessed at the venue during Glasgow 2014.

    Ellie Simmonds, who has won 13 World titles and 10 European titles, as well as having 10 World Records to her name, is looking forward to competing at Tollcross – the scene of the hugely successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    She said: “I’m so excited about the home World Championships. Home support was so important during the London 2012 Paralympics and I really love it when the crowd cheer us on. I hope that we get big audiences so we can show them how brilliant our sport is.

    “Glasgow will be my fourth World Championships and I think it will be really special. I love competing at the top level. Racing fast is the best part of my sport but this will be made even better with a great crowd getting behind the team.

    “The world’s best will be coming to Glasgow for this competition and it would be great if we could make the first British-held World Championships the best one yet.”

    Glasgow-born European record holder Andrew Mullen is looking to continue his form from this summer’s European Championships where he won four Golds and two Silver medals. He also hopes that competing in Glasgow will work to his advantage.

    He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd here at Tollcross. I’ve was born here so I know how passionate the Glasgow residents are about sport.

    “I saw how great the support was for swimming during the Commonwealth Games and I really hope that we get the same support in July. I was really proud of my city this summer. The Games were great and I know that the World Championships will be just as exciting.”

    Mullen will be joined by fellow Scot and European Silver Medallist Scott Quin.

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: "We are coming to the end of what has been an outstanding year of sport for Glasgow but as we look ahead to 2015 we will be celebrating Glasgow's continued reign as a world-class sporting city.
    "Our portfolio of international sporting events will continue to grow and events such as the IPC Swimming World Championships will ensure we build on our reputation for delivering the standard of competition that is now expected by spectators at our events.
    "I have no doubt that the Glasgow crowds will turn out on force to support these fantastic world championships and will be roaring on our home-grown talent led by Ellie and Andrew."

     The British Gas GBR Para-Swimming Team is likely to include Paralympic, World and Commonwealth Champion Ollie Hynd and seven-time European Champion Stephanie Slater.

    In addition, some of the World’s best para-swimmers including 12-time Paralympic Gold Medallist Jess Long (USA), eight-time Paralympic Champion Jacqueline Freney (AUS), Paralympic and World Champion Marc Evers (NED) and three-time Paralympic Champion Andre Brasil (BRA) are expected to attend

    Across seven days of breath-taking competition there will be 172 medals up for grabs with athletes competing in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Individual Medley, Freestyle Relay and Medley Relay across 14 different classes, with distances ranging from 50m-400m.

    Tickets are now available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow

  • 10 December 2014

    Big Burns Supper Unveils Festival ‘Within a Festival’ for North-West Dumfries

    Big Burns Supper plans a “festival within a festival” to let communities in north-west Dumfries enjoy more of the fun during January’s nine-day event.

    Acts, including the award-winning Skerryvore folk-rock band and the amazing Canadian vocal group Countermeasure, will put on free pop-up shows in the area. There will also be performances of the Hamish the Haggis children’s show – and much more will be announced in coming weeks.

    Today (9, December) saw Provost Ted Thompson launch the initiative, which will also involve an outreach programme to get more young people and adults from Lochside, Lincluden, Summerhill and Stakeford taking part in the Burns’ Night street carnival and the rest of BBS.

    The launch saw performers in carnival costume and Hamish get together, with partners involved in the project, at North West Church on Lochside Road.

    Councillor Thompson said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council is fully supportive of Big Burns Supper which is a major highlight of the year and we want to see everyone get a chance to take part and enjoy the fun.

    “Taking the festival to the community is brilliant and it’s great to get more people from north-west Dumfries taking part in the carnival and all that’s going on during the nine days around Burns Night.”

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

    As 2015 is the UNESCO Year of Light one of the main features of the carnival will be lanterns made and carried by people from all across the region. The outreach initiative will see 16 lantern making workshops take place across north-west Dumfries.

    A free minibus is also being organised to get people to and from the festival so they have easy and environmentally-friendly access to the 140 events which are taking place during BBS from 23-31 January.

    Graham Main, Big Burns Supper Festival Artistic Director, said: “Our festival within a festival in north-west Dumfries really sums up the spirit of Big Burns Supper. The whole idea is that it is for the community, created by the community and we want everyone, of every age to have the chance to get involved – no matter where they live.

    “We are really looking forward to announcing which other acts will be putting on performances in north-west Dumfries – and we can promise people that they have some real treats in store.”

    Partners taking part in the project include include  Building Healthy Communities; YMCA Streetworkz Team; Summerhill Community Centre; Irvine Housing Action Group; DG2 Cafe; Dumfries NW Church; HMP Dumfries; Key Housing; Dumfries Sling Library; CLD Adult Learning (North West Resource Centre), The Big Lunch, Lincluden and Lochside primary Schools,  and Maxwelltown High School.

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

    The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.

    For further information, go to 2014.bigburnssupper.com

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 10 December 2014

    Sir Chris Hoy to receive BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award

    Sir Chris Hoy will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year live on BBC One and BBC One HD.

    Sports Personality of the Year 2014 takes place on Sunday 14 December at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. This is the first time the star-studded event has been in Scotland, so it is fitting that the Scottish cyclist will be handed this prestigious award.

    Sir Chris Hoy, who announced his retirement from competitive cycling in 2013, is Great Britain’s most successful Olympian, with six gold medals and one silver, and is also an 11-time world champion. 

    Sir Chris says: “It’s a huge honour to be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. I never thought I’d see my name alongside the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, David Beckham, Seve Ballesteros and others who’ve received this incredible honour and it makes it even more special to be receiving the award in Scotland.”

    After winning a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Sir Chris picked up his first Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004. Four years later in Beijing, he became the first British Olympian for 100 years to claim three golds at one Games.

    Following his historic hat-trick of medals, Sir Chris was voted 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and was given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list, capping an extraordinary 12 months for the track cyclist from Edinburgh.

    In 2012 at his home Olympic Games in London, Chris won his fifth and sixth gold medals confirming him as the most successful athlete in British Olympic history. His incredible career saw him represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, winning two gold and two bronze medals.

    Now in retirement from cycling, he has turned his attention to motor racing.

    Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport, says: “As a former BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner, Sir Chris Hoy has been a tremendous ambassador for sport and, although he has retired from cycling, continues to be an inspiration to young athletes. It’s fantastic that he is, not only being recognised for his exceptional achievements, but also that it is being awarded to him in his home country, Scotland.”

    For further information about BBC Sports Personality of the Year, go to  www.bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality

    Category: International Events

  • 08 December 2014

    an Lanntair to bring in Hogmanay with celebrated local artists Willie Campbell and Mànran

     

    From 29 November – 2 January an Lanntair will host a series of Hogmanay events to welcome in the New Year - dance workshops will take place in the run up to two music-filled ceilidh events on 31 December and 2 January.
    an Lanntair’s Hogmanay is part of the Year of Homecoming and is funded through Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland that celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture,
    Renowned singer-songwriter and Hebridean local Willie Campbell & Friends – The Open Day Rotation and Duncan MacKinnon - will toast Hogmanay with the audience at a Hogmanay Ceilidh on 31 December, from 11pm onwards.
    Mànran will also be performing in the western isles this Hogmanay, welcoming the New Year with their own unique blend of Gaelic and English traditional and contemporary music on 2 January with a Family Ceilidh from 5pm and a late-night show from 10pm (over 18’s only). 
    In the run up to these two Hogmanay Concerts an Lanntair will host four ‘Treading on Toes’ ceilidh dance workshops to help rusty dancers brush up on their ceilidh skills!
    These festive sessions to help you get in the mood will be from 2-4pm on 29 November at Bays of Harris Community Centre, two on 6 December at the Bridge Community Centre in Stornoway and the Uig Community Centre and one on 13 December at Carloway Community Centre.
    Alex Macdonald, Head of Programming for an Lanntair said, “Scotland boasts a wide variety of Hogmanay celebrations and it is a wonderfully busy time for events, celebrations and Scottish traditions. Having such fantastic local talent on display as part of this will make for a fantastic Winter Festival for an Lanntair.”
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception.
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. 
    So once again we are encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events – including an Lanntair in Stornoway.”
    Willie Campbell came to widespread attention co-fronting indie contenders Astrid, and also as a founding member of Gary Lightbody's Reindeer Section. His current creative guise, The Open Day Rotation, have released two critically acclaimed albums. 
    Willie said, “I'm delighted to be performing at Hogmanay in an Lanntair this year. It's a special time of the year in Scotland when so many come together to celebrate, good to take the bells in with family and friends again this year.”
    Tickets:
    Willie Campbell and friends: £10.00
    Manran: Family Ceilidh - £4/£7 & Evening Ceilidh - £12.00
    Treading on your Toes dance workshops: Free
    All tickets are available at www.lanntair.com, by calling our box office on 01851 708 480 or by dropping into an Lanntair at Kenneth Street, Stornoway. 
    Programme:
    Hogmanay Ceilidh with Willie Campbell and Friends, 30 December, 11pm
    Family and late-night Ceilidh ft Mànran, 2 January, Family Show 5pm, Late Show 10pm
    ‘Treading on Your Toes’ Ceilidh Workshops: dates tbc
    29 November, Bay of Harris Community Centre, 2-4pm
    6 December, Bridge Centre, Stornoway 2-4pm
    6 December, Uig Community Centre, 2-4pm
    13 December, Carloway Community Center, 2-4pm

    Scotland is renowned as the home of Hogmanay - to celebrate this an Lanntair has gathered together some of the Outer Hebrides’ best musicians to bring in the bells in Stornoway. 

    an Lanntair will host two music-filled ceilidh events on 31 December and 2 January to celebrate Hogmanay.

    an Lanntair’s Hogmanay is part of the Year of Homecoming and is funded through Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland that celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture.

    Renowned singer-songwriter and Hebridean local Willie Campbell & Friends – The Open Day Rotation and Duncan MacKinnon - will toast Hogmanay with the audience at a Hogmanay Ceilidh on 31 December, from 11pm onwards.

    Mànran will also be performing in the western isles this Hogmanay, welcoming the New Year with their own unique blend of Gaelic and English traditional and contemporary music on 2 January with a Family Ceilidh from 5pm and a late-night show from 10pm (over 18’s only). 

    Alex Macdonald, Head of Programming for an Lanntair said, “Scotland boasts a wide variety of Hogmanay celebrations and it is a wonderfully busy time for events, celebrations and Scottish traditions. Having such fantastic local talent on display as part of this will make for a fantastic Winter Festival for an Lanntair.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for its spectacular Hogmanay celebrations and the close of what has been an eventful and historic year for us will be no exception. Scotland’s Winter Festivals: St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night – are perfect opportunities to highlight all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our warm and friendly welcome. So once again we are encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us to see out this incredible year in style at one of our Hogmanay events – including an Lanntair in Stornoway.”

    Willie Campbell came to widespread attention co-fronting indie contenders Astrid, and also as a founding member of Gary Lightbody's Reindeer Section. His current creative guise, The Open Day Rotation, have released two critically acclaimed albums. 

    Willie said, “I'm delighted to be performing at Hogmanay in an Lanntair this year. It's a special time of the year in Scotland when so many come together to celebrate so it feels good to take the bells in with family and friends again this year.”

    Tickets:

    Willie Campbell and friends: £10.00

    Manran: Family Ceilidh - £4/£7 & Evening Ceilidh - £12.00

    All tickets are available at www.lanntair.com, by calling the box office on 01851 708 480 or by dropping into an Lanntair at Kenneth Street, Stornoway. 

    Programme:

    Hogmanay Ceilidh with Willie Campbell and Friends, 30 December, 11pm

    Family and late-night Ceilidh ft Mànran, 2 January, Family Show 5pm, Late Show 10pm

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 02 December 2014

    Burns Unbound! returns to National Museums Scotland

     

    National Museums Scotland has a jam-packed programme of events for all ages lined up for the festive season – including ceilidhs, ‘crafternoons’ and carol singing at the National Museum of Scotland, wreath-making workshops and Burns Unbound! at the National Museum of Rural Life, and even the chance to meet Santa on board a Boeing 707 at the National Museum of Flight. 
    Burns Unbound!
     Date: Sat 24-Sun 25 January
     Times: 10:00-17:00
     Venue: National Museum of Rural Life
     Cost: Included in museum admission. Adult £6.50/£5.50, Child £3 (under 5 free). Family (2 adults, 2 children) £17.00. National Museums Scotland and National Trust for Scotland Members and National Art Pass holders free
    Release your inner bard at the National Museum of Rural Life with a celebration and exploration of all things Burns. Enjoy a packed programme for all the family including music, local food and drink, storytelling and mice! See nms.ac.uk/burns for details. Burns Unbound is supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
    National Museum of Rural Life
     Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, East Kilbride G76 9HR

    National Museums Scotland has a jam-packed programme of events for all ages lined up for the festive season – including ceilidhs, ‘crafternoons’ and carol singing at the National Museum of Scotland, wreath-making workshops and Burns Unbound! at the National Museum of Rural Life, and even the chance to meet Santa on board a Boeing 707 at the National Museum of Flight. 

    Burns Unbound! 

    Date: Sat 24-Sun 25 January 

    Times: 10:00-17:00 

    Venue: National Museum of Rural Life 

    Cost: Included in museum admission. Adult £6.50/£5.50, Child £3 (under 5 free). Family (2 adults, 2 children) £17.00. National Museums Scotland and National Trust for Scotland Members and National Art Pass holders free

    Release your inner bard at the National Museum of Rural Life with a celebration and exploration of all things Burns. Enjoy a packed programme for all the family including music, local food and drink, storytelling and mice! See nms.ac.uk/burns for details.

    Burns Unbound is supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.National Museum of Rural Life Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, East Kilbride G76 9HR

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 27 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1435 Edinburgh Banghra Crew return to the stage

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

    1505 Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe return to the stage

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

    1615 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre

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

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

    1745 Byre Youth Theatre return with more street theatre

    1800 Madras College Pipe Band parades along South Street

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 26 November 2014

    Perth’s first St Andrew’s Day Celebrations

     

    As part of the Perth and Kinross Winter Festival, organised by Perth & Kinross Council, the first ever St Andrew’s Day Festival will take place on 30 November from 10 am – 5 pm with celebrations stretching from Auchterarder to Perth.
    Celebrations of St Andrew’s Day in Perth itself will feature live music from the world-renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers, family-friendly entertainment throughout the day, workshops and a street market offering the best in Scottish food and drink. 
    The City of Perth St Andrew’s Day Celebrations are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events supported by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 
    On the day there will be the chance for everyone to take part in bagpipe workshops with the Chillies and join in a street ceilidh led by Gla’, performing recent chart hits in Gaelic.
    There will also be street entertainment throughout the day, traditional Scottish storytelling, artisan crafts and the chance to enjoy the performances by the Julie Young Highland Dancers. 
    Perth and Kinross Provost Liz Grant said: “St Andrew’s Day marks an important day in the calendar and with all the wonderful events happening in the area and as part of the Winter Festival we will truly celebrate the very best of Scotland’s rich heritage and culture.” 
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome. 
    “That’s why, once again, we are encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including the St Andrew’s Day Festival in Perth, which has an exciting line-up of St Andrew’s Day themed activities.”
    There will be a host of foodie treats on offer from around Perthshire at the food market with food demos, delicious tasters, delis and more.
    The Gin Bothy, known for their raspberry infused and mulled gin, will launch their new ‘Bothy Gin’ at this year’s St Andrew’s Day Festival. The Gin Bothy, creation of Kim Cameron-Gall who uses a bothy in Angus to make the gin, is just one of many specialist and high quality food and drink producers taking part in this year’s festival. 
    Kim Cameron-Gall commented: “I’m very excited to be part of the St Andrew’s Day Festival. I’m very passionate about Scottish Food and Drink and can’t wait for the chance to launch The Gin Bothy’s newest gin. The Festival sounds great and I’m a bit of a Red Hot Chilli Piper fan so I’m very excited!”.
    Nicki Martin and Gill Murray from Perthshire's new online magazine Small City, Big Personality will join Perth's city centre St Andrew's Day Festival with their first #SmallCityRecipes roadshow. Featuring some of the area's best loved chefs and mixologists, their programme includes food and drink demonstrations, recipe ideas and produce sampling from businesses across Perthshire. The pair will be encouraging visitors to try out their tasters, get involved in the demos and sign up to the website's monthly #SmallCityRecipes newsletter that pulls together their weekly seasonal recipes and guest chef features.
    The provost and everyone in Perth will close the day with Provost’s Liz Grant’s St Andrews Day address followed by a parade by Perth and District Pipe Band.
    The celebrations in Perth & Kinross will begin earlier in the day in Auchterarder with Perth & Kinross Council’s annual St Andrew’s Day parade and church service. The parade led by the Community School of Auchterarder Pipe Band and comprising members of the Society of High Constables of Perth, representatives from youth organisations and local schools alongside community representatives, Councillors, Chief Officials of Perth & Kinross Council and invited guests will participate in the parade to Auchterarder Parish Church, and attend the service.
    To find out more about what’s on offer visit http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/10139/Perths-1st-St-Andrews-Day-Festival 

    As part of the Perth and Kinross Winter Festival, organised by Perth & Kinross Council, the first ever St Andrew’s Day Festival will take place on 30 November from 10 am – 5 pm with celebrations stretching from Auchterarder to Perth.

    Celebrations of St Andrew’s Day in Perth itself will feature live music from the world-renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers, family-friendly entertainment throughout the day, workshops and a street market offering the best in Scottish food and drink. 

    The City of Perth St Andrew’s Day Celebrations are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events supported by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland. 

    On the day there will be the chance for everyone to take part in bagpipe workshops with the Chillies and join in a street ceilidh led by Gla’, performing recent chart hits in Gaelic.

    There will also be street entertainment throughout the day, traditional Scottish storytelling, artisan crafts and the chance to enjoy the performances by the Julie Young Highland Dancers. 

    Perth and Kinross Provost Liz Grant said: “St Andrew’s Day marks an important day in the calendar and with all the wonderful events happening in the area and as part of the Winter Festival we will truly celebrate the very best of Scotland’s rich heritage and culture.” 

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

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

    There will be a host of foodie treats on offer from around Perthshire at the food market with food demos, delicious tasters, delis and more.
    The Gin Bothy, known for their raspberry infused and mulled gin, will launch their new ‘Bothy Gin’ at this year’s St Andrew’s Day Festival. The Gin Bothy, creation of Kim Cameron-Gall who uses a bothy in Angus to make the gin, is just one of many specialist and high quality food and drink producers taking part in this year’s festival. 
    Kim Cameron-Gall commented: “I’m very excited to be part of the St Andrew’s Day Festival. I’m very passionate about Scottish Food and Drink and can’t wait for the chance to launch The Gin Bothy’s newest gin. The Festival sounds great and I’m a bit of a Red Hot Chilli Piper fan so I’m very excited!”.

    Nicki Martin and Gill Murray from Perthshire's new online magazine Small City, Big Personality will join Perth's city centre St Andrew's Day Festival with their first #SmallCityRecipes roadshow. Featuring some of the area's best loved chefs and mixologists, their programme includes food and drink demonstrations, recipe ideas and produce sampling from businesses across Perthshire. The pair will be encouraging visitors to try out their tasters, get involved in the demos and sign up to the website's monthly #SmallCityRecipes newsletter that pulls together their weekly seasonal recipes and guest chef features.

    The provost and everyone in Perth will close the day with Provost’s Liz Grant’s St Andrews Day address followed by a parade by Perth and District Pipe Band.The celebrations in Perth & Kinross will begin earlier in the day in Auchterarder with Perth & Kinross Council’s annual St Andrew’s Day parade and church service. The parade led by the Community School of Auchterarder Pipe Band and comprising members of the Society of High Constables of Perth, representatives from youth organisations and local schools alongside community representatives, Councillors, Chief Officials of Perth & Kinross Council and invited guests will participate in the parade to Auchterarder Parish Church, and attend the service.To find out more about what’s on offer visit http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/10139/Perths-1st-St-Andrews-Day-Festival 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 25 November 2014

    FARAH RETURNING TO GREAT EDINBURGH XCOUNTRY IN JANUARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 25 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 20 November 2014

    St Andrew’s Weekend at the Storytelling Centre

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 19 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 19 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Category: International Events

  • 18 November 2014

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

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

    Who is it for?

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

    Programme structure and dates

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

    The content

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation

    Project Management

    Risk Management, safety and security

    Marketing, PR and sponsorship

    Greening of Events

    Managing people

    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 17 November 2014

    PODIUM Programme events for Legacy 2014 participants

     

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • 17 November 2014

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay announces glittering programme

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 17 November 2014

    GLASGOW TO HOST THE WORLDS FOR A FURTHER SIX YEARS

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Category: International Events

  • 14 November 2014

    Scotland to host 2017 World Badminton Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 12 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For more information go to visitscotland.com

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

    Homecoming: Station Stories by Sven Werner

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

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

    Ae Spark o’ Nature’s Fire

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

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

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

    The Home Strait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

  • 11 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 10 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 07 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 07 November 2014

    Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open secured through to 2020

    Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open secured through to 2020

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

    Category: Golf

  • 06 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Some volunteers are eligible for free tickets to selected shows.

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 06 November 2014

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

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

    Scottish Events and Festivals Association

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

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

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

    The Speakers

    Scott Taylor, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

    Stuart Turner, Events Director, EventScotland

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 05 November 2014

    Emirates Arena to host Davis Cup

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    Glasgow School of Art students unveil giant MTV logos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR 2015 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 04 November 2014

    Scotland’s Golf Coast launches inaugural ‘Saltire Trophy’

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

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

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

    Scotland’s Golf Coast - The Saltire Trophy

    24th – 28th November 2014

    www.golfeastlothian.com

    Monday 24th November

    10.30 onwards   Gullane No.1

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

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

     Tuesday 25th November

    09.30 onwards  Dunbar Golf Club

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

    Wednesday 26th November - Rest Day

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

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

    Thursday 27th November

    09.30 onwards  Longniddry Golf Club

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

     Friday 28th November

    09.30 onwards  The Renaissance Club

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

     18.30    Prize-Giving Dinner, The Renaissance Club

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

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

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

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

    www.golfeastlothian.com

    Category: National Events

  • 03 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    THE SEEDINGS FOR THE 2014 SCOTTISH OPEN GRAND PRIX

     

    Men’s Singles

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

     

    Women’s Singles

    1 Kirsty Gilmour (Sco)

    2 Beatriz Corrales (Spa)

     3 Linda Zetchiri (Bul)

     4 Karin Schnasse (Ger)

     5 Kaori Imabeppu (Jpn)

     6 Sashina Vignes Waran (Fra)

     7 Natalia Perminova (Rus)

     8 Anna Thea Madsen (Den)

     

    Men’s Doubles

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

     

    Women’s Doubles

    1 Stefani & Gabriela Stoeva (Bul)

    2 Carla Nelte & Johanna Goliszewski (Ger)

    3 Imogen Bankier & Kirsty Gilmour (Sco)

    4 Phyllis Chan & Alex Bruce (Can)

     

    Mixed Doubles

    1 Robert Blair & Imogen Bankier (Sco)

    2 Max Schwenger & Carla Nelte (Ger)

    3 Peter Kaesbauer & Isabel Herttrich (Ger)

    4 Niclas Nohr & Sara Thygesen (Den)

    5 Toby Ng & Alex Bruce (Can)

    6 Jonathan Nordh & Emelie Fabbeke (Swe)

    7 Ronan Labar & Emilie Lefel (Fra)

    8 Gaetan Mittelheisser & Audrey Fontaine (Fra)

    Category: International Events

  • 03 November 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 03 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 30 October 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 30 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 28 October 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals

  • 24 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Festival Director Peter Broughan said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said:

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

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

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

     

    Category: National Events

  • 23 October 2014

    One Year to Go | World Gymnastics Championships, Glasgow

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

    Category: International Events

  • 21 October 2014

    Casting opportunity for the MTV EMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 20 October 2014

    Watch Tiree Wave Classic 2014 Highlights

     

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

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

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

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

    Watch now >>

     

    Category: International Events

  • 17 October 2014

    Enchanted Forest Surpasses All Box Office Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 16 October 2014

    Stirling announces line up for Hogmanay 2014 Celebrations

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 15 October 2014

    Expert Access Officer to present at the International mountain biking conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 13 October 2014

    Cultural Hat Trick for The Enchanted Forest

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

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

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

    Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest commented:

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

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

    For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 13 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 13 October 2014

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

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 09 October 2014

    Scottish Paranormal Festival - A scarily good way to enjoy Halloween

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 08 October 2014

    MTV EMA SEATED TICKETS TO GO ON SALE VIA PUBLIC BALLOT

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ticketholders under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 08 October 2014

    World Solo 24 Hour MTB Championships 2014

     

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

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

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

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

    Watch a teaser trailer here.

    Category: Industry News

  • 07 October 2014

    MTV Celebrates the 20 Greatest Moments in MTV EMA History!

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Badminton Scottish Open Early Bird Tickets

     

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

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

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

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

    Read more here.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Scotland Amongst "Global Elite" Event Destinations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 06 October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 06 October 2014

    Nominations open for Robert Burns Humanitarian Awards 2015

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Previous winners of the RBHA include: 

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

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 02 October 2014

    Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran to Rock MTV EMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 02 October 2014

    Elemental Enchanted Forest Exceeds Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 30 September 2014

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Oban Winter Festival, 21 - 30 November 2014 

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

     

    The Saltire, East Lothian, 26 – 30 November 2014 

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

    Glasgow Loves St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2014

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

     

    St Andrew’s Day in Edinburgh, 30 November 2014 

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

     

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

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

     

    Stirling’s Hogmanay, 31 December 2014 

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

     

    Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness, 31 December 2014 

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

    Big Burns Supper,  23 – 31 January 2015 

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

     

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

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

     

    Robert Burns Humanitarian Award, 24 January 2015

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

     

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

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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 30 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 30 September 2014

    Nicki Minaj to host MTV EMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 26 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 25 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 22 September 2014

    Forthcoming GENERATION Events

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 22 September 2014

    Golden girl Myers secures European title

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


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

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 19 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 18 September 2014

    Regan confident Hampden Park will be perfect venue for EURO 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 17 September 2014

    Four Scottish Clubs Win Ryder Cup ‘Ultimate Venue’ Status

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    FESTIVAL ARTISTS GATHER FOR ONE BIG PICTURE

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 16 September 2014

    The 2014 MTV EMA Nominees are in!

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

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

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

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

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

    #EMABiggestFans1D
    #EMABiggestFans5SOS
    #EMABiggestFansJustinBieber
    #EMABiggestFansNickiMinaj
    #EMABiggestFansArianaGrande

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Sir Alex Ferguson Backs EURO 2020 Bid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Watch the interview in full here

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Japan joins long list for Glasgow European Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 16 September 2014

    Funding Sees Forest First for Tree Top Performers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 15 September 2014

    Crowd Science in Action Seminar

     

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

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

     

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 11 September 2014

    GEBRSELASSIE RETURNS TO DEFEND BANK OF SCOTLAND GREAT SCOTTISH RUN CROWN

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

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

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

     Asked whether he might be able to improve his Scottish all-comers’ half marathon record in Glasgow on 5 October, Gebrselassie replied: “Who knows? The weather was not bad last year but there was a little bit of rain towards the end and it was a little bit windy in another part.

     “So maybe, with better weather this year, I can run faster. What was important last year was not the time but to win the race. It was my first ever race in Scotland and I wanted to win it. This year, we will see. I cannot indicate at this stage what time I am going to run.

     

    “I had a problem earlier this year - I had a small surgery to my knee – but that is gone now.  My training is going well. When you are an older athlete you have to be serious in your training and in how you take your rest and how you are preparing, but I am still doing well at 41.”

    That is the age that Jo Pavey will be when she lines up for the women’s race in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run – returning to the city where she won a 5,000m bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games as a 40-year-old mother of two.

    “Age does not matter,” insisted Gebrselassie. “It is just a number. Jo Pavey showed that when she won her bronze medal in Glasgow and then won the European 10,000m title in Zurich. If you ask her, she will say it was not her feet or her legs that won her those medals; it was her heart.

    “I think what Jo has done this summer is amazing.  Some athletes complain at the age of 30 or 31 that they are getting tired. Jo is a good example of what you can do when you get older – and maybe myself too.

    “Running is more than just competing. It is more than just winning. It is a passion. That is why I like running in races like the Great Scottish Run and the other Great Run races around the world – the Great North Run in Newcastle, the Great Manchester Run, the Great Ethiopian Run and so on.

    “The organisation is perfect and the races are full of many people who have that passion for running. Running every day, or most days, helps them with their lives. It is the same for me.”

    Alasdair Gardner, Regional Managing Director Scotland, Commercial Banking, Bank of Scotland: “We are proud to again support the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and the runners who take part. It is an honour to welcome Haile Gebrselassie back to Glasgow for the second time. Attracting such a high profile athlete is testament to the ever growing calibre of the event and we hope Haile will help inspire the next generation of runners in Scotland. We wish Haile all the best for his race and look forward to seeing if he can better last year’s performance and break his own Scottish record!”

    The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is still open for entry via the website www.greatscottishrun.org

    You can follow the event on twitter @GreatScotRun using #greatscottishrun

    Category: International Events

  • 10 September 2014

    One Year to Go | FEI European Eventing Championships

     

    This time, next year, Europe’s best event riders will compete for medal glory at the FEI European Eventing Championships, Blair Castle, Perthshire.  Tickets are now on sale for this high-profile event, which will be held on Scottish turf for the first time ever.  
    A critical qualification event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio means that the stakes are high. While Germany has been successful in recent years, Britain will be pulling out all the stops on home soil.  A team silver medal at last month's FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will have fired a warning shot across the German bows, and a place on the home squad is the next hot ticket that all top British riders will be gunning for.  Blair Castle will provide an ideal backdrop to this action whilst further demonstrating Scotland as the perfect stage for events. 
    Alongside the Eventing competition there will be showing classes, show jumping and mounted games. The Bruadar Country Fair will offer visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of weird and wonderful demonstrations each day, plus there is a shopping village which will host 200+ stands.  
    Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to witness world class sport in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations!

    This time, next year, Europe’s best event riders will compete for medal glory at the FEI European Eventing Championships, Blair Castle, Perthshire.  Tickets are now on sale for this high-profile event, which will be held on Scottish turf for the first time ever.  

    A critical qualification event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio means that the stakes are high. While Germany has been successful in recent years, Britain will be pulling out all the stops on home soil.  A team silver medal at last month's FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) will have fired a warning shot across the German bows, and a place on the home squad is the next hot ticket that all top British riders will be gunning for.  Blair Castle will provide an ideal backdrop to this action whilst further demonstrating Scotland as the perfect stage for events. Alongside the Eventing competition there will be showing classes, show jumping and mounted games.

    The Bruadar Country Fair will offer visitors plenty of entertainment with a wide range of weird and wonderful demonstrations each day, plus there is a shopping village which will host 200+ stands.  Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to witness world class sport in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations!

    Visit here.

    Category: International Events

  • 09 September 2014

    First Nominees Announced for the 2014 MTV EMA in Glasgow

    MTV EMA season is underway!  MTV has revealed the first four nominees for the Best UK & Ireland Act: Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and One Direction.  And for the first time ever, MTV is putting an EMA nomination in the hands of the fans via social media – music lovers everywhere will have the power to help select the fifth nominee for Best UK & Ireland Act. 

    Fans can tweet and vote from the following list of artists to earn the fifth nominee spot. Remember everyone has to tweet #MTVEMA + one of the below hashtags to vote:

    #NominateArcticMonkeys

    #NominateRitaOra

    #NominateTheVamps

    #NominateCheryl

    #NominateColdplay

    #NominateCleanBandit

    The wild card Twitter vote is open until 14 September 2014 @ 10:59 BST. All “2014 MTV EMA” nominees will be announced and voting will open on 16 September 2014 at 11:00 BST.

    The “2014 MTV EMA” will broadcast on MTV channels around the world Sunday, November 9th at 9:00PM CET* from The Hydro in Glasgow.  The MTV EMA – MTV’s global celebration of the hottest stars in music – recognizes artists from around the world and across genres, and brings together music fans everywhere for a one-of-a-kind experience in the weeks leading up to and at the show. 

    The 2014 MTV EMA marks the first time that the show will be held in Glasgow, Scotland and has received support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. Further details for the show, including ticketing and performers will be announced by MTV in the coming months. 

    Category: International Events

  • 09 September 2014

    The Big Music Project Live in Glasgow Next Weekend

    The BPI is one of the partners delivering a unique music industry day at The Arches in Glasgow on Sunday 21st of September. It’s part of The Big Music Project using the UK’s biggest music and entertainment brands in an ambitious programme that aims to transform the lives of young people in Scotland and around the UK.

    Funded by The Big Lottery Fund, the project launched in April and has created 100 youth club Hubs and 1,000 young Big Music Project Champions who have received accredited training and professional support and will go on to create music projects for their local communities. Later in the year there is a national music competition, culminating in a final as part of BRITs Week 2015 and with prizes including sessions at the iconic Abbey Road studios.

    More immediately though is the forthcoming day on the 21st. This offers a journey from the glamour of the BRIT’s red carpet to a backstage marketplace that includes a range of interactive stalls from all parts of the Scottish music industry and beyond. There’s also a programme of panels and have-a-go sessions and a main stage line-up that includes emerging talent, great Scottish artists and special guests. Amongst the latter are appearances from Plan B and a DJ set from Chase & Status, with more artists to be announced in the next few days.

    The aim is to not only give young people a brilliant day out, but also to give them a better view of all the different parts that make up the music industries and point them to the training, education and jobs that are available.

    For details of the project overall and the day in particular, there’s much more information at www.thebigmusicproject.co.uk

    The day is aimed at 14-25 years olds, admission is free and it gets underway at 11.30. Tickets can booked at the website www.thebigmusicproject.co.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 September 2014

    Clash of the Clans at Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

    It’s a spectacle not seen in the Scottish Highlands for hundreds of years, but the hills will once again be filled with clansmen leading a passionate charge through the countryside on September 28. Almost 2,000 runners from the length and breadth of Britain – and further afield – will pledge their allegiance to their clans in an effort to lift the title in the Clan Challenge at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running.

    Runners in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and River Ness 10K and 5K and Corporate Challenge 10K  have been encouraged to align themselves with their family clan, or one they have a connection with, in an effort to discover which clan can gather the largest number of competitors.

    Runners from all across the UK have accepted the challenge to join their clansmen on the shores of Loch Ness, and international runners have also grabbed themselves a piece of the action.

     Three runners from Brazil are set to take up the Clan Challenge, travelling across the Atlantic to run the Baxters River Ness 10K. The trio of runners will represent the MacDuffs, historically one of the oldest clans in the Highlands, in the hope that their effort will clinch their clan the hotly contested top prize.

    There are also international foot soldiers from Australia, North America, Europe and Hong Kong all taking up arms to represent clans as diverse as Douglas, Sutherland and MacDonald.

    Runners taking part in the Baxters Festival of Running are encouraged to wear a touch of tartan as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 as they run through some of Scotland’s most glorious scenery.

     Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “There has been a fantastic response to the Clan Challenge, and we are delighted that so many runners have chosen to declare their loyalty to their clans. Around a quarter of all the runners who have signed up to take part in the various events are Clan Challenge participants.

    “It is brilliant to see people from around the world connecting with their Scottish roots, and coming together to celebrate their heritage in one of the most spectacular locations in Scotland.

     “This year’s Festival of Running is set to be the best yet and we look forward to welcoming seasoned runners and newcomers alike to take part in the races that are taking place throughout the day.

    “Those who don’t want to run but still want to join in the fun are more than welcome to visit the Event Village in Bught Park, Inverness where they will be able to cheer on the participants as well as seeing live music, the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre, a sports expo and lots of activities for children.”

    The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running takes place on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and entries are open until Monday, September 8.Find out more about the day at www.lochnessmarathon.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon

    Category: International Events

  • 08 September 2014

    Nominations open for the Get Inspired Unsung Hero award ahead of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    Nominations for the 2014 Get Inspired Unsung Hero award are now open. The award is a highlight of BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which takes place this year on Sunday 14 December at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow.

    Now in its 12th year, the award recognises those who have gone above and beyond in contributing to sport in their local community. They don’t have to play sport either – they could be the coach, volunteer, kit person, the cheer leader, the grounds man – they just have to be a person you think deserves praise for their efforts as part of your team or sporting activity.

    There will be 15 regional winners of a Get Inspired Unsung Hero award from across the UK, with the overall winner announced and presented with their trophy live on stage at this year’s highly-anticipated BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

    The award is being supported by the BBC’s Get Inspired initiative; launched online following the 2012 Olympic Games the website works with sports bodies to encourage audiences to find out more about sports and activities participation or becoming a volunteer www.bbc.co.uk/getinspired.

    The nomination period is open from Monday 8 September – Monday 20th October. Further information and nomination forms can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero.

    BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater said: “The Get Inspired Unsung Hero award is one of the highlights of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. It’s a great opportunity, particularly in such a busy sporting summer, to celebrate those who don’t make the headlines but whose contribution deserves to be recognised.

    “BBC Sport’s initiative Get Inspired is a natural supporter of this award – an initiative which promotes sport and activities across the UK and how people can get involved. The website had over one million unique visitors in July and the ‘Things to Do’ page received more than 275,000 views during the Commonwealth Games alone. This is testament to the enthusiasm of our audience to seek out sporting opportunities on their doorstep.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 08 September 2014

    CAPITAL SCOTLAND BREAKFAST SHOW STARS BATTLE IT OUT FOR JUDO HONOURS

    Capital Scotland Breakfast Show presenters Des and Jennie have been getting ready for the Glasgow European Judo Open at the Emirates Arena on October 4 with lessons from some Team Scotland Commonwealth Games Gold medallists. The presenters were put through their paces by Kimberley and Louise Renicks who will be competing at the event and by Euan Burton.

    Des and Jennie visited Judo Scotland’s headquarters at Ratho near Edinburgh where they learned what to expect from a judo match before being taught everything from how to tie their belts to throws and holds they needed before taking on the Renicks sisters. You can hear how they got on during the Capital Scotland Breakfast Show on Monday 8 September.

    5 Glasgow 2014 Gold Medal winners, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze Medallists will be part of the 26 strong Great Britain team which will compete at the Championships on Saturday October 4. Teams from all over the world will be in Glasgow for the biggest Judo only event in the UK in 2014.

    All event and ticket information can be found at www.glasgowopenjudo.com. Tickets start from £5, and concessions are available to children aged 15 and under, senior citizens and disabled spectators. For further information please contact events@britishjudo.org.uk or please call 01509 631695.

    Des said: “I was terrified when we were told we’d be facing Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists in a Judo match but we got some amazing hints and tips from some of the best Judoka in the world. I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to be amongst Judo’s elite and will be cheering on the Renick sisters and the whole British team on October 4.”

    The European Open Judo is a partnership between Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and EventScotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2014

    Forth Bridges Festival attendees have an appetite for a party as Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch sells out

    The tables are set, the menu selected and the drinks ready to be poured as over 650 attendees who snapped up tickets to be part of the ‘Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch’ event get ready to party. Taking place this Saturday 6 September, the spectacular ‘sold-out’ culinary event which is a key part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations and the Forth Bridges Festival will take place against the panoramic backdrop of the Forth Bridges in South Queensferry. 

    Lunch guests will enjoy a picnic-style menu designed by celebrity chef Nick Nairn as well as an exciting line-up of live entertainment featuring street entertainers  and ceilidh bands.  The party amosphere can also be enjoyed by non-lunch ticket holders also at the Forth Bridges Festival Food and Drink Market taking place on South Queensferry High Street on both Saturday 6 September (11am-7pm) and Sunday 7 September (11am-5pm) as part of the ‘Flotilla on the Forth’ celebrations.  The Flotilla will see over 150 vessels of all different shapes and sizes travel along the Firth of Forth in front of North and South Queensferry.

     Over 30 exhibitors will offer locals and visitors to South Queensferry the chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and tasty smells of a variety of high quality products at the Food and Drink Market. Exhibitors over the two days include:

    Babu Bombay Street Kitchen -  offering a variety of homestyle curries to enjoy throughout the day

    Chocolate Waffle Company – delicious Belgian style waffles

    Equis Ice Cream - the fourth generation of the Equi family carries on the tradition of fabulous ice cream

    Hubertus Game - wild venison and seasonal small game sourced from highland estates

    Manna House Bakery – artisan and craft bakery at its best

    Mutley Crepes – offering a wide range of sweet and savoury crepes

    Smoak Limited - Texan-style, slow-smoked BBQ brisket and pulled pork

    Perthshire based Strathearn Distillery will also be sampling their selection of high-quality gins, including their specially commissioned ‘Homecoming Scotland 2014’ gin infused with Scottish thistle and heather to capture the spirit of Scotland during this special year.  Border Tablet will also be showcasing their specially branded ‘Year of Homecoming’ tablet over the weekend. 

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is a wonderful, mouth-watering way to celebrate the 50th birthday of a true Scottish icon. I am delighted that so many people, including myself, will be on the Forth to take part in this historic Homecoming event, enjoying delicious Scottish produce in the most spectacular of settings.”

    Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch is just one of the events taking place to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Forth Road Bridge which is taking place from 4 – 13 September.  Both the lunch event and the Food and Drink Market are also part of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight taking place between 6 – 21 September.  Visitors to the once in a lifetime finale event on Saturday 13 September will enjoy a spectacular firework and Torchlight Procession lighting up the Forth Road Bridge in style.  The event will see fireworks and thousands of torches light up the Forth Road Bridge celebrating 50 years since the bridge opened. 

    Tickets are being snapped up to become one of the 2,014 torch-bearers forming a river of fire across the bridge to Fife before returning to a giant ‘Bridge Party’ in South Queensferry.  Party-goers will enjoy an exciting programme of live music headlined by legendary Scottish rockers Big Country and special guests Bwani Junction, who last year famously performed at the top of one of the bridge’s 156m towers. A range of first-class food and drink will be available to buy within the arena.

    A highlight for those taking part in the Torchlight Procession and those attending the Bridge Party will be the spectacular fireworks finale, launched from the Forth Road Bridge at precisely 10:06pm in recognition of the structure’s 1,006-metre main span. The fireworks display will be set to music, with Bridge Party & Torchlight Procession ticket-holders enjoying the very best experience of this one-off spectacle with a magnificent view of the bridge and the soundtrack amplified throughout the party arena.

    For more information and tickets for the finale event please visit www.forthbridgesfestival.com

    Category: International Events

  • 04 September 2014

    How to Create an Effective and Successful Blog for your Event

    The School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Edinburgh Napier University, is hosting a workshop on the use and effectiveness of blogs in the Scottish Festival and Events Industry.

    The increased use of blogs has not only affected communication channels but also the way that festivals and events are promoted and consumed. To date, there has been little research into the effectiveness of the use of blogs within events, despite the fact that with decreasing funding and increased competition for sponsorship more events are looking to the use of digital media as a way of engaging customers and communicating to a wider audience.

    This workshop aims to share best practice on the usage of blogs in the Scottish Festival and Events Industry from both a management as well as a blogging practice perspective. The workshop will also offer insights and advice on how to develop and capitalise on blogging for events.

    Event details

    Monday 29 September 2014
    10am - 1pm
    Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University

    This is a free event but spaces are limited. If you would like to attend, please register here. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 September 2014

    New Scottish Paranormal Festival launched

    The first ever Scottish Paranormal Festival is to be held in Stirling, and will be 'the biggest, the most ecclectic and the most significant' paranormal festival in the UK. 

    The inaugral event will take place  at venues across the city from 30 October to 2 November, ncluding the Scottish Paranormal Film Festival at the Tolbooth. The four-day festival will feature events about ghosts, UFOs and aliens, and speakers including academics, enthusiasts and declared sceptics.

    Among the special guests lined up for the event are Native American federal officers and real-life X-files operatives, the Navajo Rangers and UFO filmmaker, James Fox.

    The main festival will take place in the Albert Halls, the Tolbooth, The Smith Art Gallery & Museum, and Cowane's Hospital. Visitors can also venture out on the famous Ghost Tours conducted by the 'Happy Hangman' through the graveyards and streets of Scotland's former capital. 

    For more information visit: www.paranormalscotland.com

    Category: National Events

  • 02 September 2014

    World Sheepdog Trials in Tain kick of Highland Homecoming celebrations

    The population of one of Scotland’s oldest Royal Burghs could almost double over the next four days as the Highland village of Tain prepares to host the country’s first ever World Sheepdog Trials.

    From 3-6 September, an estimated 3200 people will visit Fearn Farm to watch 240 competitors from 25 nations herd up to 700 sheep, in the battle to be named top dog.

    Part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 funded events programme, the annual global competition, which is held every three years, is billed as “the Olympics of the sheepdog world”, with competitors coming from all across Europe as well as the USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and Japan.

    As well as attracting a number of international supporters, the event is also expected to draw visitors from across the country, providing a significant boost to the local economy.

    Organised by Scottish members of the International Sheep Dog Society, the event will begin with an Opening Parade and Civic Reception in Tain this evening (2 September). As well as the official contest, which concludes on Saturday, spectators will also be treated to trial demonstrations, vintage farming displays and trade and craft stalls.

    The 2014 World Sheepdog Trials in Tain marks the beginning of Highland Homecoming, a two-month celebration of the very best in heritage, culture and sport in North Scotland.

    Supported by a Homecoming fund of £170,000, the packed programme of events includes:

    Blas Festival (5-13 September)

    Highland Military Tattoo (5-7 September)

    Inverness Highland Meeting which includes the world’s biggest Highland Games event – the Masters World

    Championship (12-14 September)

    Camanachd Cup Final, where two of the country’s top Shinty teams battle it out to take home one of

    Scotland’s oldest sporting trophies (13 September)

    Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running ( 27 -28 September)

    Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival – Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), returns to Inverness for the first time since 1997 (10-18 October)

    The world-class downhill tracks at Fort William’s Nevis Range, hosted by WEMBO World Solo 24Hr MTB

    Championship (11-12 October)

    Inverness Street Theatre Festival (16-18 October)

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “What is fantastic about Highland Homecoming is that it showcases the very best in Scottish tradition and culture against the breath-taking backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to welcoming the world over the next two months and I am sure this packed programme will offer something to suit all tastes.

    “2014 has been a unique year for Scottish tourism, we’ve had Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and later this month we welcome the Ryder Cup to Gleneagles but I guarantee the passion, pride and sportsmanship will be just as enthralling in Tain this week. Events such as the 2014 World Sheepdog Trials, highlight the value of our tourism industry by boosting the local economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.”

    For full details on Highland Homecoming visit: www.homecomingscotland.com/highlandhomecoming

    Category: International Events

  • 01 September 2014

    Final Festival Finale

     

    The 2014 Edinburgh International Festival comes to a close tonight with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, marking the final event of Sir Jonathan Mills’s eight year tenure as Festival Director.
    2014 has been acclaimed as an outstanding year for the International Festival, with critical and popular successes across the board, including The James Plays by Rona Munro, Inala featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pina Bausch’s Sweet Mambo, Back to Back’s Ganesh versus the Third Reich and a much lauded Usher Hall concert series, playing to an 80% capacity overall. 
    Audiences have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the Festival taking more than £3.15 million in ticket sales income, passing the £3million mark for the first time.   
    Jonathan Mills said “The true measure of success is the audience’s experience and we’ve received so much great feedback. There has been a fantastic atmosphere at shows across the Festival. I’m really delighted that the James Plays have been such a hit, and wish the National Theatres of Scotland and Great Britain, and the other shows now transferring from the Festival to London and around the world, the very best of luck. 
    “Our audiences from Scotland, the UK and 75 other nations around the world have greeted our artists with huge warmth, with so many of those artists telling me how exciting it is to play to such enthusiastic and knowledgeable audiences, and enjoying their visit to Edinburgh immensely. 
    “Once again we’ve been treated to the world’s finest artists sharing their creativity and their work, which has ranged from the epic to the intimate, from east to west and everywhere in between. I am thrilled that we are able to offer a wide range of ticket prices to our Festival goers for such wonderful experiences, and make it something everyone can get involved and immersed in.
    “I am also delighted with our work this year on extending the Festival’s reach, making us even more accessible both to those already here and further afield through media and digital partnerships. We created over 50 podcasts and films with Sinfini Music, offering people exploring our music programme the richest possible information, which has attracted  over 8,000 listens from over 50 countries. We also streamed beautiful intimate rehearsal moments with Patricia Kopatchinaskaja, Kronos Quartet, Michael Houstoun, and Collegium Vocal Gent in association with the Guardian; while BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from The Queen’s Hall each weekday morning and will also broadcast a week of concerts recorded during this Festival from 15 September.”

    The 2014 Edinburgh International Festival came to a close on Sunday with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, marking the final event of Sir Jonathan Mills’s eight year tenure as Festival Director.

    2014 has been acclaimed as an outstanding year for the International Festival, with critical and popular successes across the board, including The James Plays by Rona Munro, Inala featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pina Bausch’s Sweet Mambo, Back to Back’s Ganesh versus the Third Reich and a much lauded Usher Hall concert series, playing to an 80% capacity overall. 

    Audiences have packed theatres and concert halls across the city, with the Festival taking more than £3.15 million in ticket sales income, passing the £3million mark for the first time.   

    Jonathan Mills said “The true measure of success is the audience’s experience and we’ve received so much great feedback. There has been a fantastic atmosphere at shows across the Festival. I’m really delighted that the James Plays have been such a hit, and wish the National Theatres of Scotland and Great Britain, and the other shows now transferring from the Festival to London and around the world, the very best of luck. 

    “Our audiences from Scotland, the UK and 75 other nations around the world have greeted our artists with huge warmth, with so many of those artists telling me how exciting it is to play to such enthusiastic and knowledgeable audiences, and enjoying their visit to Edinburgh immensely. 

    “Once again we’ve been treated to the world’s finest artists sharing their creativity and their work, which has ranged from the epic to the intimate, from east to west and everywhere in between. I am thrilled that we are able to offer a wide range of ticket prices to our Festival goers for such wonderful experiences, and make it something everyone can get involved and immersed in.

    “I am also delighted with our work this year on extending the Festival’s reach, making us even more accessible both to those already here and further afield through media and digital partnerships. We created over 50 podcasts and films with Sinfini Music, offering people exploring our music programme the richest possible information, which has attracted  over 8,000 listens from over 50 countries. We also streamed beautiful intimate rehearsal moments with Patricia Kopatchinaskaja, Kronos Quartet, Michael Houstoun, and Collegium Vocal Gent in association with the Guardian; while BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from The Queen’s Hall each weekday morning and will also broadcast a week of concerts recorded during this Festival from 15 September.”

    http://www.eif.co.uk/

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Midge Ure to play at Ryder Cup Gala Concert

    Midge Ure has just been annouced to perform at The Ryder Cup Gala Concert. The Ultravox front man will perform the 80s classic Vienna at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on 24 September.

    The Concert will unite contemporary music talent including Nina Nesbitt, Jake Bugg, Twin Atlantic, Amy MacDonald, Danny Wilson, Texas and Nile Rodgers on the same stage with Scotland’s leading arts agencies – the Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, National Theatre of Scotland and RSNO, who will share a stage for the first time. 

     The “Brits Meets the Proms” concept developed by Kim Gavin was an inspired decision to ensure the performances were as memorable and of high calibre as the golfing event itself and on Wednesday 24 September, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow will play host to an awe-inspiring fsion of vibrant colour, stunning lighting and spectacular performances for the one-off Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

     

    Tickets for the concert are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    MTV Breaks in search for young talent

    Have you got talent, but need a break to prove it? Well, this is your year! MTV is throwing open its doors to give you the chance to show the world what you've got. MTV wants to give you your first break – on a global scale at the EMA in Glasgow this November.

    There are four roles available:

    A budding photographer to work the red carpet - we’ll kit you out with exclusive access and you’ll also get to cover a Music Week gig, and see your photos in our MTV coverage.

    An awesome camera person to shoot on the red carpet and film a package that will go out on MTV around the world.

    A skilled costume designer to work backstage with our design team and create their own costume to feature in the EMA.

    A savvy social media correspondent to take over the MTV Music Twitter account. They’ll keep the UK up to speed on the EMA action through their live Twitter commentary.

    These really are breaks into an industry so as well as seeing your work on MTV, you’ll work alongside an industry mentor, who will mentor you after the EMA. MTV will handle your travel and accommodation costs. To top it all off they’ll film your talent in action and air it on MTV around the world.

    Read more at the MTV EMA website, and before you enter, check out the full terms and conditions here

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Iconic Ryder Cup Trophy to visit “four corners of Scotland”

    The Ryder Cup Trophy is to visit ‘the four corners of Scotland’ on an Official Trophy Tour which begins next week. Teeing off at Edinburgh’s OMNI Centre from 10am to 7pm, this Thursday, 4th September, members of the public will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most recognisable sporting trophies.

    The Ryder Cup Trophy will then travel by helicopter over the following few days making stops in the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Argyll, Isle of Harris, Shetland and Aberdeenshire, before arriving at Gleneagles, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

    The week-long tour, in partnership with VisitScotland, will take in the nation’s spectacular scenery at the most Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western courses participating in the ClubGolf programme. The wider legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup is also important with participating courses also being chosen for their tourism and environmental connections.

    At each location, members of the public will have the opportunity to see and have their picture taken next to, The Ryder Cup Trophy. The experience can be shared online with the hashtag #rydercuptrophytour. The tour will conclude with the arrival of The Ryder Cup Trophy at The Gleneagles Hotel, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup, on Wednesday 10th September.

    The launch event at Edinburgh’s OMNI Centre will also incorporate the unveiling of a large-scale installation welcoming The Ryder Cup back to Scotland, the Home of Golf. The striking image of one of Scotland’s ‘Big Five’ – a Golden Eagle – carrying the iconic Ryder Cup trophy ‘back to Scotland’, will adorn the exterior of The OMNI Centre in Edinburgh until the end of September and is sure to become a real talking point within the city, and beyond with visitors being encouraged to share pictures of the installation across social media.

    Richard Hill’s Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said:

    “The Trophy Tour is about sharing the magic of The Ryder Cup and bringing one of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies to the doorsteps of fans and members of the public across the country. It also highlights just how wide reaching the legacy effects of the event will be. One of the foundations of this has been the ClubGolf programme and we are delighted that some many young Scots now have the chance to take part in a sport that offers a lifetime of exercise and camaraderie.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “As we prepare to host The 2014 Ryder Cup, the legacy and economic benefits are set to be felt right across Scotland, not just in the accommodation sector but also travel and transport, Scottish food and drink suppliers, attractions and a wide range of businesses throughout the industry. This amazing and ambitious Trophy Tour will see this historic golfing prize travel to four magnificent corners of the country, taking in some of the most spectacular and geographically remote golf courses in the world, while also representing the various legacy benefits associated with hosting The Ryder Cup in Scotland, including junior golf, golf tourism, golf events and Green Drive.

    “From St Medan Golf Club in Dumfries & Galloway to Whalsay Golf Club in Shetland, the instantly recognisable Ryder Cup Trophy brings with it a real sense of excitement, drama and prestige. Beginning the tour by unveiling a striking image of a Golden Eagle on the side of the Omni Centre is also apt and will provide a fitting start to the trophy’s journey around Scotland. I would encourage everyone get out there to see this iconic trophy and to find out why Scotland is the Home of Golf!”

    The Ryder Cup Trophy will visit the following locations:

    4th September, Edinburgh Omni Centre, 10am to 7pm

    7th September, Roxburghe Golf Club, Scottish Borders, the location of the first legacy events for The 2014

    Ryder Cup, the Scottish Seniors Open in 2003, 10am to 12pm

    7th September, St Medan Golf Club, Dumfries & Galloway, the most Southerly ClubGolf participant, 12.40pm to 4pm

    8th September, Machrihanish Dunes, Argyll, Golf Environment Certified and extremely proactive in promoting Scottish tourism, 9.30am to 11:30am

    8th September, Isle of Harris Golf Club, first ClubGolf programme in The Western Isles, 1pm to 4pm

    9th September, Whalsay Golf Club, Shetland, Most Northerly and Easterly ClubGolf programme in Scotland,

    10am to 11.30pm

    9th September, Braemar Golf Club, Aberdeenshire, the highest golf club in the UK, 1.30pm to 4pm

    10th September, Gleneagles Hotel, host of The 2014 Ryder Cup

    For more information on the event and to keep track of the Official Trophy Tour follow @rydercup or like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RyderCupEuropeanTeam

    Category: International Events

  • 29 August 2014

    Largest ever Mòd Fringe announced!

    Almost 70 events will take place in and around Inverness next month as The Royal National Mòd  brings its biggest fringe in the event’s 122 year history to the Highland Capital.

    Taking place in Inverness from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October alongside the competition based events, the Mod’s own fringe programme begins with a torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court on the Friday.

    Over the next week there will be concerts by artists including Skipinnish, Cruinn and Skerryvore, street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, a children’s disco, come and try sessions and a ceilidh.

    Highlights include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden Court Theatre.

    Hosted in association with Blazin’ in Beauly and under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles, the concert will feature over 100 fiddlers, including stars of the fiddle world, plus local groups, adding up to what organisers believe will be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.

    A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I will take place on Wednesday 15th October, with musician Erik Spence creating a piece of music to accompany the poem Bantrach Cogaidh, written by the late Rev. John Macleod. Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will also contribute.

    Other highlights include musical performances at Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, while the Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part on the Saturday morning.

    Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd itself will feature more than 200 competitions in Highland dancing, Gaelic music and song, sport, literature and drama, bringing thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland and the UK and overseas competitors from the USA, Australia and Canada.

    John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said that the variety of venues available in Inverness had made it possible to host the Mod’s biggest ever fringe.

    "It’s a great way to celebrate being in the city for the first time since 1997," he continued.

    "Having a fringe event keeps the atmosphere going all week and allows Gaels and non-Gaels to experience the fun of the Mod."

    Inverness Provost, Councillor Alex Graham, said the combination of the formal Royal National Mòd competitions and the fringe would give Inverness the world’s premier Gaelic festival.

    "I am delighted that the fringe programme includes both traditional and contemporary events in venues and places of historic interest," he added.

    "All these have Gaelic at their core and are aimed at attracting residents, competitors and visitors.

    "The Mod fringe events will complement the increasing use of Gaelic in the area, create a unique atmosphere, and generate an economic boost to the City and inner Moray Firth area in the middle of October during this special Year of Homecoming Scotland."

    The Royal National Mòd is supported by Highland Council, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

    Paul Bush, chief operating officer for EventScotland said: "The Royal National Mòd is a key part of our annual cultural events portfolio and in 2014 is one of the centrepieces of the Highland Homecoming programme.

    "Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the extensive fringe programme at this year’s Mòd will showcase our rich Gaelic heritage through the week of the event."

    For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Tickets now available for Judo European Open

    One of the most prominent venues of the Commonwealth Games has fully reopened to the public and is already getting ready for its next big event. The Emirates Arena is already planning to welcome back some of the stars of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when it hosts the European Open Judo Championships in early October.

    5 Glasgow 2014 Gold Medal winners, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze Medallists will be part of the 26 strong Great Britain team which will compete at the Championships on Saturday October 4. It will be the biggest Judo only event in the UK in 2014.

    All event and ticket information can be found at www.glasgowopenjudo.com. Tickets start from £5, and concessions are available to children aged 15 and under, senior citizens, and disabled spectators. For further information please contact events@britishjudo.org.uk or please call 01509 631695.

    The Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome hosted the track cycling and badminton events during the Glasgow 2014 commonwealth Games making it one of the most used venues of the Games. The Velodrome, Gym and Spa reopened to the public last week with the arena opening to the public today (Monday August 25).

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said:

    “These world class venues have performed brilliantly in front of a global audience during the Commonwealth Games but are now being used again by the people of Glasgow. Some of the very best international athletes are once again making plans to compete in Glasgow and the European Open Judo Championships will be another great opportunity to see Commonwealth Games athletes in action.”

    The European Open Judo is a partnership between Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and EventScotland. 

  • 28 August 2014

    Glasgow Welcomes The 2014 Ryder Cup

    An official Ryder Cup fan zone is to be set up in the city’s Merchant Square next month to encourage golf fans to make the most of the event as Glasgow extends a special warm welcome to its visitors.

    One of the most anticipated events in the sporting calendar, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland this year for the first time in more than 40 years, and Glasgow plays host to the Gala Concert as a curtain raiser for the week.

    Thousands of ticket holders have already booked to stay in the city during the week of the tournament, which takes place at Gleneagles from September 23-28. 

    Nearly 7,000 hotel room nights have been booked in the city during the event, which Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) believes will inject more than £1 million into the city’s economy; providing a welcome boost to the city’s hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.

    GCMB, in partnership with Ryder Cup Europe and VisitScotland, will host the official fan zone event in Merchant Square from Friday to Sunday, September 26-28. A city guide is being produced to be handed out to ticket holders highlighting what’s on offer in Glasgow.

    The official fan zone will feature live coverage of the tournament shown on a big screen and an interactive golf zone. The fan-zone will be family focused during the day with golfers, and beginners of all ages able to test their skills in the Gleneagles golf simulator, get tips from the on-site golf professional and practice putting on the green. There will also be a photo booth for fans to take pictures and share on social media their support for Team Europe or Team USA.

    In the evening bars and restaurants will provide a fun and welcoming party atmosphere for golf fans returning from Gleneagles. Visitors and residents can soak up evening entertainment from DJs and live music performances in Merchant Square from Federation of the Disco Pimp, One Night Wonders and The Reel Time Ceilidh Band over the three nights.

    Glasgow will host the star-studded 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, which will be held on Wednesday, September 24, at the SSE Hydro.

    The Gala Concert celebrates the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup with a concert that brings together a flavor of The Brits with The Proms. Top names in golf, music and the arts will unite for one evening as the European and USA teams are introduced to the audience live on stage for the first time.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau will today (Thursday, August 28) address Glasgow businesses to discuss ways in which they can maximise the commercial opportunities of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, said: “Building on the success of the best-ever Commonwealth Games, The 2014 Ryder Cup gives the city another opportunity to showcase globally the fantastic welcome that it extends to its visitors.

    “Glasgow will once again be in the spotlight as the city gears up to welcome an influx of golf fans attending this, the biggest tournament in golf. Visitors will be looking for more than just golf during their trip and we want them to make the most of their time in the city and experience all that it has to offer. Our official fan zone in Merchant Square will provide a focal point for visiting golf fans and Glasgow residents to watch live coverage of the tournament, try out the interactive golf zone and enjoy welcoming evening entertainment. The 18th hole may be at Gleneagles, but the 19th hole will be in Glasgow.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency delivering Scotland’s Ryder Cup commitments, said: “Following the success of the XX Commonwealth Games Live Zones in Glasgow, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people, the official Ryder Cup fan zone in Merchant Square will be the place to be in Glasgow.

    “Thousands of ticket holders and media will be staying in Glasgow during the week, and the fan zone will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome. From live coverage of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to photo booths, putting greens and a golf simulator, the buzz of the fan zone will reflect the excitement felt right across Scotland as we prepare to host the best ever Ryder Cup!

    “With The Ryder Cup Gala Concert set to take place on Wednesday September 24 at The SSE Hydro, it’s certainly shaping up to be a very exciting week for Scotland.”

    Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup promises to be a magnificent festival of sporting excellence. It attracts a huge TV audience around the world who will all see the delights Scotland has to offer. It is great that golf fans, youngsters and families will be able to get caught up in the magic of The Ryder Cup through the Glasgow fan zone.”

    Jennifer Morrison, Operations Manager for Merchant Square, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming visiting golf fans to Merchant Square for the official fan zone for the Ryder Cup in Glasgow. We’re anticipating a real buzz in the Square as our visitors, and also residents enjoy the great atmosphere.”

    Category: International Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Wigtown provides the perfect stage

    High-octane motorsport and the literary arts do not necessarily go hand in hand but next month Wigtown will play host to the GWF Merrick Stages Rally and the renowned Wigtown Book Festival.

    Both are supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council under its Major Festivals and Events Strategy, 2014-2017. 

     Despite tough financial conditions, the local authority has prioritised investment in major events to generate economic benefits and to bring cultural and sporting drama to the region.

    On Saturday, September 6th, drivers and co-drivers from across the country will battle for honours on the sixth round of the 2014 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship.

    The Merrick Stages will again be based at the former county buildings, which provide the perfect backdrop for the Friday night scrutineering, and the start/finish the following day.

    The rally route will comprise seven classic stages in the Galloway Forest Park, including those at Drumjohn, Auchinleck, Balloch and Arroch Hill.

    From September 26th, Scotland's National Book Town will host a world-class line-up of writers and broadcasters, including Clare Balding, Kate Adie, Margaret Drabble, Jonathan Miller and Kirsty Wark.

    The award-winning festival, which runs until October 5th, has become one of the UK's best-loved literary events, with music, theatre, food and visual arts all added to the mix.

    The book festival and the rally have been warmly welcomed by the local community, and have become mainstays of the area’s diverse economy, attracting thousands of visitors.

    At a launch ceremony in the town today (Tuesday, August 26th), Councillor Colin Smyth, chair of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee, and the region's Events Champion, said:

    “We are committed to a sustained and ongoing programme of support to help grow major cultural and sporting events in Dumfries and Galloway. We value hugely the work of events organisers and events organisations to create fantastic cultural festivals and sporting drama. Wigtown is a gem of a town, regenerated through its Book Town status, and provides the perfect backdrop for both the Rally and the Literary Festival.”

    Said Merrick Stages Clerk of the Course, Graham Bisset: "We are delighted to have secured additional backing from Dumfries and Galloway Council, which recognises the rally’s significance and contribution as a major event within the region. We look forward to increasing collaboration to develop the event and motorsport within the region in conjunction with the Council and the people of Galloway".

    He went on: "The warm welcome we get every year from Wigtown adds to the spirit of the rally. We've also got the benefit of the beautiful setting of the restored county buildings, the bowling green opposite, and the town square, all of which help characterise the event".

    Category: National Events

  • 28 August 2014

    Dumfries and Galloway Council ‘Proud to Fund Stimulating, Thoughtful and Irreverent Book Festival’

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is to make a grant of £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Company for the 2014 Book Festival.

    The Festival’s 2014 Programme features authors such as Margaret Drabble, Sarah Maitland and Damian Barr and broadcasters including Clare Balding, Penny Junor, Kate Adie and Kirsty Wark. The ten day Festival features more than 200 events, and is choc a bloc with children’s author readings, film and music events too.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “I am delighted that the Council is awarding £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Trust to help deliver the 2014 Book Festival. The event is a magnificent promotion of Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, and is always stimulating, thoughtful and irreverent. There is a terrific line up of talent for the 2014 Festival, with something for everyone, and that will encourage thousands of visitors to flock to Wigtownshire.”

    “The Council is proud to contribute £37,000 of funding to the Festival, because we are so aware of its benefits, including the direct economic impact of £2million it generates for the regional economy. Our Major Festivals and Events Strategy is really important in building successful, sustainable, memorable festivals in our region, which is safeguarding the cultural vitality of Dumfries and Galloway, and developing year on year our stock of international events.”

    A 2013 Economic Impact study commissioned by the Wigtown Festival Company established that the Festival is responsible for stimulating an extra £2m for the regional economy each year. There were more than 7500 unique visitors to the 2013 Festival, and the majority of these – 57%, came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway. The Book Festival has now, together with the Wickerman, reached the milestone of being worth more than £2m for the local economy.

    Category: National Events

  • 22 August 2014

    Extension discussion boost for Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

    First Minister Alex Salmond has opened discussions with Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) and the European Tour to extend AAM’s sponsorship of the Scottish Open until 2020.

    The tournament, one of the European Tour’s flagship events, has gone from strength to strength with spectator numbers up by a quarter since 2011, and a Memorandum of Understanding to enter talks was signed today.

    The negotiations seek to extend AAM’s sponsorship beyond the current 2017 contract and continue to build on the already strong reputation of the Scottish Open.

    The First Minister made the announcement at North Berwick Golf Club which will host next year’s inaugural Scottish Open pre-qualifying tournament. The 54-hole qualifying tournament will take place the week before the Scottish Open, being staged at Gullane, and will offer six Championship places to Scottish golfers.

    The First Minister said:

    “Scotland is the Home of Golf; the historical origins of the game, our magnificent courses and stunning scenery all cement that reputation to fans across the globe. And with The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles just weeks away, the eyes of the golfing world are falling on Scotland.

    “The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open has gone from strength to strength and is one of the most anticipated competitions on the Tour by players and fans alike.

    “Aberdeen Asset Management’s tremendous support has had a huge hand in the tournament’s growth and the opening of these negotiations will hopefully see that fruitful partnership continue.”

    George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said:

    “Naturally, we welcome the opportunity to further develop our sponsorship agreements with our Title Sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and The Scottish Government – our longest partner in Scotland – for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

    “Following the initial agreement, announced at Edinburgh Castle in March 2012, our partners have gained outstanding value from their association with the Scottish Open and The European Tour. As we strive towards our agreed vision for the 2020 Scottish Open, I have no doubt that the continued commitment, drive and vision of Aberdeen and the Government, working in partnership with The European Tour, will continue to enhance this superb Championship each year.

    “On behalf of The European Tour, I would also like to thank North Berwick Golf Club for agreeing to host the pre-qualifying tournament for the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open – North Berwick is a fitting links test to begin our inaugural Qualifying tournament and I am sure it will produce six worthy winners of a place in Scotland’s National Open.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland and EventScotland, which manages Scotland’s investment in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, said:

    “As the lead agency delivering Scotland’s commitments around The 2014 Ryder Cup, VisitScotland has supported more than 50 Scottish golf events since 2003 and the announcement to open discussions on extending sponsorship of the Scottish Open until 2020 is testament to this. Hosting incredible events like the AAM Scottish Open not only generates millions for the economy, but they also continue to strengthen Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf.”

    Category: International Events

  • 22 August 2014

    Date and venue change gives Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open a boost

    First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland will be rescheduled and take a prime spot in the Ladies European Tour calendar from next year.

    Staged at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, it will immediately precede the Women’s British Open from 2015, mirroring the current set up on The Men’s European Tour. The unique agreement, brokered by tournament promoters WSM Communications, has created a successful strategy for the development of the championship and will result in an increased prize fund to €500,000 in a three year deal, to 2017.

    The tournament has grown in stature since it was established in 2007 thanks to funding from Aberdeen Asset Management and EventScotland, which signalled the start of a strong partnership in support of golf events in Scotland.

    The First Minister said:

    “The Scottish Open now attracts the world’s top players as the challenge of the links game is viewed as the perfect preparation for the following week’s Open Championship. In fact, we can now claim that the past four winners, including Rory McIlory this year, have all taken part in the Scottish Open the week before – Scotland is the key to Open glory!

    “The movement of the Ladies Scottish Open will place the tournament in a similar position and raises the profile of the women’s game, which is currently flourishing in Scotland. Catriona Matthew, the defending Ladies’ Scottish Open champion, continues to act as a wonderful ambassador for our game, Kylie Walker is the leading Scot in Europe, and Carly Booth, Vikki Laing and Pamela Pretswell continue to light up the game.

    “I am confident that the test of Dundonald Links will prove to be a huge draw for more top female golfers to come to Scotland and hone their links game.”

    Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of The Ladies European Tour said:

    "The Ladies European Tour is delighted to secure the renewed commitment for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland, which now establishes itself as one of the main events on our International schedule, through t