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  • 04 August 2015

    Stirling Highland Games celebrates the Year of Food and Drink by showcasing Scottish award winning producers

    Stirling Highland Games which attracts an international audience and is one of central Scotland’s most visited cultural events, is celebrating the Year of Food and Drink by bringing together a number of Scottish producers and suppliers to showcase their wares in a new Visitors marquee. 

    Stirling’s premier highland games is on Saturday 15th August and prides itself on working with producers and suppliers to bring more than your standard burger and chips to an outdoor event. Visitors will have mouthwatering choices like Scottish red tractor chicken fillet, Perthshire pulled pork, Honey salted beef, BBQ pulled jackfruit and Aberdeen Angus steaks. Plus and as part of our Scotland Food and Drink showcase you will be able to sample and purchase some of the food and drink producers products in our Visitors Marquee including Stirling Whisky Shop, The Wee Fudge Company, Kelvin Valley Honey, Cochrane Cottage, Perthshire Oatcakes and Gigha Smoked Halibut.

    The Stirling Highland Games is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “The Stirling Highland Games is a wonderful event, celebrating our rich heritage. For 2015, to celebrate the Year of Food & Drink we are delighted to be supporting a celebration of the best in local and Scottish produce. 

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Stirling Highland Games is a fantastic example of how events can drive domestic tourism and economic benefits for a region.”

    Indeed with Stirling Highland Games attracting huge interest from out with the area, online ticket sales have overtaken last year’s already and this is something the games committee are keen to build on as not only is it an enjoyable day out watching one of Scotland’s oldest sports, it’s a family day out with kids entertainment, quality food and drink and all at an affordable cost.

    Event organiser, Matt McGrandles said, “We have worked really hard to bring back this event over the last 2 years by engaging with businesses to support it, building our presence in the highland games arena and by making sure our food and drink suppliers and producers offer our visitors the very best Scotland has. To be part of the Year of Food and Drink campaign is wonderful for our whole team and we are delighted to play our part by showcasing some of Scotland’s award winning producers.”

    Discounted tickets are available online at www.stirlinghighlandgames.com or you can purchase them at the gates on Saturday 15th August.  

     

    Photo courtesy of Bill Robertson

    Category: National Events

  • 03 August 2015

    Wickerman Fans the Flames of Festival Success with 2016 Early Bird Ticket Release

     With the sun-drenched celebrations of this year’s Wickerman Festival still glowing in the minds of music fans, organisers have announced the release of a limited number of Early Bird tickets, frozen at 2015 prices.

     From 9am today (Saturday 1st August) until midnight on Saturday 31st October, fans will be able to snap up tickets exclusively via Skiddle for next year’s festival, which is scheduled to take place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July 2016.

    Early Bird prices stay at the same rates as the 2015 festival:

    Weekend adult tickets: £110

    Weekend concession tickets: £55

    Saturday adult tickets: £72.50

    Saturday concession tickets: £35

    Free entry for children aged 12 and under

    VIP weekend adult tickets: £160

    VIP weekend concession / child tickets: £30

    Caravan / campervan pitch: £55

    Caravan / campervan pitch with electric hook up: £105

    Full price 2016 tickets will go on sale from 1st November and will be available to buy online from Skiddle.com and selected outlets.  Please note under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.

     With this year’s festival hailed as one of Wickerman’s finest thanks to its brilliantly eclectic line up and an arena packed with relaxed fun and family-friendly entertainment, the festival team want to thank Wicker fans for bringing what was undoubtedly the best festival vibe of the summer to the sunny fields of Dundrennan.

     20,000 music fans enjoyed a wonderful two-day treat of music and festivities, with highlights including the legendary Jimmy Cliff, The Waterboys, Squeeze, Lulu, Tom Odell, The Sonics, Stereo MCs, The Vaselines, BMX Bandits and some of the hottest rising stars of Scotland’s music scene. 

    The Early Bird ticket offer will run from 09.00 on Saturday 1st August until midnight on Saturday 31st October 2015 and will be exclusive to Skiddle. For further information visit: www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk.

  • 03 August 2015

    Festival Site 50% Bigger for Foodies Festival's 10th Anniversary Celebrations at Edinburgh Inverleith Park 7,8,9th August

     

    Festival Site 50% Bigger for Foodies Festival's 10th Anniversary Celebrations 
    at Edinburgh Inverleith Park 7,8,9th August
    Foodies Festival’s flagship event returns to Edinburgh Inverleith Park next weekend 7,8,9th August, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a three-day showcase of Scotland’s finest culinary talents and regional produce as part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland. 
    Following the success of last year’s Edinburgh Foodies Festival - which welcomed 34,000 visitors - organisers are expanding the festival site by 50%, making room for new food and drink theatres, an extended Producers Market and a huge selection of street food for visitors to feast on.
     
    The Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin-star, celebrity and top local chefs, who will cook their favourite summer recipes, inspiring visitors to recreate these dishes at home and experiment with new flavours and ingredients. Chefs confirmed include:
    Michelin-star Marcello Tully - Kinloch Lodge
    Jamie Scott - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner
    Adam Handling - Adam Handling at Caxton voted Scotland’s Chef of the Year
    Fraser Allan - The Pompadour by Galvin
    Mark Greenaway – Restaurant Mark Greenaway
    Paul Wedgwood – Wedgwoods
    Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore
    Jian Wang - Chop Chop
    Graeme Pallister – 63 Tay Street
    Colin Findlay - Melville Castle
    Ian McAndrew - Blackaddie 
     
    Highlights of the Festival:
    New Wine and Champagne Theatre: Experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe guide visitors through this season’s best bubblies from around the world, while beer expert Melissa Cole is on-hand in the New Craft Beer Theatre with food and beer pairing masterclasses. 
    New Tasting Theatre: Festival-goers can learn new skills and discover new flavours with masterclasses in Bee Keeping, Sushi Rolling and Sausage Making, and chocolate experts Coeur de Xocolat host ‘How to Sniff Chocolate like a Rockstar’ classes, which leave participants tasting chocolate for hours. 
    Street Food Avenue: A feasting hub at the heart of the festival which takes visitors on a flavour adventure around the world. Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, French and African are just some of the cuisines visitors can tuck into at communal tables in the Feasting Tent.
    Cake & Bake Theatre: A haven for passionate bakers with Scotland's top cake makers and patissiers sharing their tips for baking delicious summer cakes. Visitors can also enjoy 3D cake modelling, Chocolate Making and Sugar-Craft masterclasses and a complementing Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells bakes, jams, and the latest baking gadgets. 
    Artisan Producers Market: With over 200 artisan producers from Scotland and across the UK to sample and shop from, selling everything from award-winning Salted Caramel Cheese to Pink Raspberry Gin, festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with samples and for what to buy to take home and enjoy - the perfect setting to meet the producers and share their passion for quality food and drink. 
    Chilli Market: A destination for those who like it really hot, selling UK grown chillies and face-meltingly spicy sauces. And for those foolish enough, the famous Chilli Eating Competition challenges contestants to try and break the current record of 16 million scoville eaten to win the Chilli Eating Crown - that's 6400 times the average chill heat! 
    Childrens Cookery Theatre: Little foodies can explore their taste buds and learn basic cooking skills in 'Picnic in the Park' themed masterclasses with Kiddy Cook, who will show them how to make finger sandwiches, fruit jellies and chocolate bugs. 
    New Spaghetti-Eating Competition: Pairs of contestants - friends and strangers - race from either end of a 4 meter spaghetti to be crowned 'Lady and her Champ'. 
    After a day of feasting and fun, foodies can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm's Teapot or Captain Morgan Mojito Galleon.

    Foodies Festival’s flagship event returns to Edinburgh Inverleith Park next weekend 7,8,9th August, celebrating its 10th anniversary with a three-day showcase of Scotland’s finest culinary talents and regional produce as part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland. 

    Following the success of last year’s Edinburgh Foodies Festival - which welcomed 34,000 visitors - organisers are expanding the festival site by 50%, making room for new food and drink theatres, an extended Producers Market and a huge selection of street food for visitors to feast on. The Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin-star, celebrity and top local chefs, who will cook their favourite summer recipes, inspiring visitors to recreate these dishes at home and experiment with new flavours and ingredients.

    Chefs confirmed include:

    Michelin-star Marcello Tully - Kinloch Lodge

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner

    Adam Handling - Adam Handling at Caxton voted Scotland’s Chef of the Year

    Fraser Allan - The Pompadour by Galvin

    Mark Greenaway – Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Paul Wedgwood – Wedgwoods

    Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore

    Jian Wang - Chop Chop

    Graeme Pallister – 63 Tay Street

    Colin Findlay - Melville CastleIan McAndrew - Blackaddie  

    Highlights of the Festival:

    New Wine and Champagne Theatre: Experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe guide visitors through this season’s best bubblies from around the world, while beer expert Melissa Cole is on-hand in the New Craft Beer Theatre with food and beer pairing masterclasses. 
    New Tasting Theatre: Festival-goers can learn new skills and discover new flavours with masterclasses in Bee Keeping, Sushi Rolling and Sausage Making, and chocolate experts Coeur de Xocolat host ‘How to Sniff Chocolate like a Rockstar’ classes, which leave participants tasting chocolate for hours. 
    Street Food Avenue: A feasting hub at the heart of the festival which takes visitors on a flavour adventure around the world. Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, Argentinian, Indian, Mexican, French and African are just some of the cuisines visitors can tuck into at communal tables in the Feasting Tent.
    Cake & Bake Theatre: A haven for passionate bakers with Scotland's top cake makers and patissiers sharing their tips for baking delicious summer cakes. Visitors can also enjoy 3D cake modelling, Chocolate Making and Sugar-Craft masterclasses and a complementing Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells bakes, jams, and the latest baking gadgets. 
    Artisan Producers Market: With over 200 artisan producers from Scotland and across the UK to sample and shop from, selling everything from award-winning Salted Caramel Cheese to Pink Raspberry Gin, festival-goers will be spoilt for choice with samples and for what to buy to take home and enjoy - the perfect setting to meet the producers and share their passion for quality food and drink. 
    Chilli Market: A destination for those who like it really hot, selling UK grown chillies and face-meltingly spicy sauces. And for those foolish enough, the famous Chilli Eating Competition challenges contestants to try and break the current record of 16 million scoville eaten to win the Chilli Eating Crown - that's 6400 times the average chill heat! 
    Childrens Cookery Theatre: Little foodies can explore their taste buds and learn basic cooking skills in 'Picnic in the Park' themed masterclasses with Kiddy Cook, who will show them how to make finger sandwiches, fruit jellies and chocolate bugs. 
    New Spaghetti-Eating Competition: Pairs of contestants - friends and strangers - race from either end of a 4 meter spaghetti to be crowned 'Lady and her Champ'. 

    After a day of feasting and fun, foodies can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm's Teapot or Captain Morgan Mojito Galleon.

    www.foodiesfestival.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 30 July 2015

    The World’s Orienteering Elite To Do Battle In The Highlands

    The world of international orienteering is heading to Scotland as the elite of the sport get ready to do battle for nine World Championship titles. 

     From Friday 31 July to Saturday 8 August The 2015 IOF World Orienteering Championships (WOC2015) and the 20th edition of The Scottish 6-Days, two of the world’s most renowned orienteering events, will be staged alongside each other in the Highlands and Moray. Together they comprise the largest orienteering event ever held in the UK, and one of the largest sporting events to be held in Scotland in 2015.

     Up to 400 of the world's best orienteer athletes from 51 nations [with Cameroon, Egypt, Nepal and Uganda attending a world Championships for the first time]; and up to 5,300 club orienteers and enthusiasts from all over the world, will compete in both competitions.

     At the end of a week of close fought and tactical racing on some of the finest, yet physically and technically demanding orienteering terrain the UK has to offer, worthy world champions in individual and team sprint, long and middle distance and relay disciplines will have been crowned.

     British athletes are likely to feature highly in the WOC 2015 results. The Great Britain team is amongst those at the top of the international rankings and of its 22 athletes (many from Scotland), there are real medal hopes. One of these is Scott Fraser who took the silver medal in the Sprint discipline at WOC 2013.  He is ranked 21 in the Sprint World rankings just behind fellow British athletes Kristian Jones and Murray Strain in 19th and 20th respectively.  Graham Gristwood, a Middle and Long distance specialist, is ranked 30 in the World overall.  Catherine Taylor who will be competing in the Middle, Long and Forest Relay, is ranked 17th in the Sprint World rankings and 18th overall. With such a strong pool of talent within the squad the British relay teams will also be looking to podium in the sprint and forest races.

     Orienteering has traditionally been dominated by the Scandinavian nations, where it is considered the ‘national sport’. However, in recent years, French and Swiss athletes have broken through and have had an impressive series of wins.   Thierry Gueorgiou FRA, who won seven of the nine World Championship Middle titles between 2003 and 2011, is ranked 4th in the world. Daniel Hubmann, CHE, World number 2, is searching for a World Championships Middle gold medal to go with his previous Sprint and Long titles.

     Paul McGreal, WOC 2015 Event Director, said: “Together with The Scottish 6-Days, The 2015 World Orienteering Championships will deliver an international festival of world-class orienteering aimed at everyone from elite and club athletes and support teams to enthusiastic spectators, families and visitors keen to soak up the great atmosphere and camaraderie that the sport generates.

     “The areas and arenas we are using for the races are amongst the finest that can be found anywhere in the world, and will provide a challenging test for the best in the world, as well as an exciting and inspirational experience for spectators.  WOC2015 and Scotland is going to present the sport in its true competitive and accessible light.”

     Scotland is the perfect stage for hosting major international sporting events and 2015 marks the third time that the country has hosted the World Orienteering Championships.  The previous occasions were in 1976 and 1999.

     The eyes of millions will be on the 2015 World Orienteering Championships and Scotland with world-wide live television coverage, recorded highlights and feature packages being produced at the event.  BBC Alba will also be broadcasting live coverage of a number of races and BBC Scotland’s Adventure show are producing a full length feature focusing on the Long race at Glen Affric, considered by many as the blue riband event of the World Championships.

     WOC2015 and Scottish 6-Days have great support from a wide range of organisations including British Orienteering in partnership with EventScotland, the International Orienteering Federation, The Highland Council, The Moray Council, Scottish Orienteering, Scottish 6-Days Orienteering and many others.

     Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive from British Orienteering, said: “British Orienteering are excited at the prospect of the world’s best orienteers coming to Scotland to enjoy the challenging courses that have been set for them. The World Championships are a great opportunity for our elite orienteers to enjoy a home championships and to provide their overseas competitors with a glimpse of the great orienteering countryside that can be found in Scotland. I’m sure members of the public living in the area and local businesses will also be looking to see what orienteering has to offer.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “With athletes from 51 nations attending, the World Orienteering Championships  and The Scottish 6-Days highlight Scotland as the perfect stage for events of global significance. The stunning natural landscapes of the Highlands and Moray lend themselves perfectly to the sport and I’m sure all 5,500 competitors, including the world’s elite athletes, will relish the challenge that lies ahead.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 July 2015

    Who will be top dog at the International Sheep Dog Trials?

    The most prestigious sheep dog competition in the world is coming to Dumfries & Galloway on 10-12 September.  The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 will be held at Meikleholm Farm.  Thousands of spectators are expected to attend to watch the most highly skilled sheep dogs in the world compete for the title of Supreme International Sheep Dog Trial Champion 2015 – the highest accolade in the International dog trial circuit.

    The International lands in Dumfries & Galloway at a time when the profile of sheep dog trialling has never been higher, with ITV’s celebrity sheep dog show, ‘Flockstars’, hitting TV screens on 30th July.

    Increasingly regarded as a spectator sport for all ages to enjoy, sheep dog trials take core, traditional shepherding skills and showcase them in a spectacle of tough manoeuvres that test the skills of each competing dog and handler to the limit. 

    Event Organiser and Chairman of the International Sheep Dog Trials, Fiona McMillan from Moniaive, says Dumfries & Galloway is an ideal host venue for the event.

    “Dumfries & Galloway has a long association with sheep farming and the skills demonstrated by these competitors are used regularly to manage flocks.  It is more than 35 years since this competition was last in Annandale, and I’m delighted that it has returned this year.”

    More than 13,000 visitors attended the 2014 International Sheep Dog Trials which were held in Wales and were believed to have injected £2.5million into the respective local economy.  Organisers are aiming to achieve similar results for Dumfries & Galloway in September, and to help realise this the event has received funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals & Events Fund and from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Event Champion said:

    “I’m delighted to see an event of such regard choosing to take place in Dumfries & Galloway.  The Trials create a wonderful opportunity for us to let visitors and TV audiences see all that Dumfries & Galloway has to offer.

    “This is a sport that plays well to Dumfries & Galloway’s strengths – beautiful scenery, a rich agricultural heritage and a fantastic tradition of appreciating and promoting traditional rural skills and crafts.”

    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said:

    “I hope that as many people as possible -  from the local community as well as from outwith the region - will come along to Meikleholm for The International Sheep Dog Trials, which promises to be a really entertaining, unmissable event.  The Trials are expected to attract thousands of visitors so will not only provide important benefits for businesses here and our local economy, but also offers us a great opportunity to showcase this beautiful region and the wonderful range of things to see and do which Dumfries & Galloway offers.”  

    The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 take place on 10-12 September at Meikleholm Farm, half way between Moffat and Dumfries.  Day tickets cost £8 and children under 14 can attend free of charge.  Tickets are available from www.internationalsheepdogtrials.org.uk and they can also be purchased during the Moffat Sheep Races on 9 August and at the Galloway Country Fair on 22-23 August. 

  • 29 July 2015

    Countdown to new boutique festival MugStock

    Scotland’s newest boutique music and arts festival is waging war on unscrupulous summer weather!

    MugStock runs August 7th, 8th and 9th in Mugdock Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow.

    “The weather this summer has been so erratic” says Festival Director Alan Govan, “that we have made some changes in the main entertainment areas - literally covering ourselves against all possibilities! We’ve moved our two main stages into marquees presenting Mugstock as the best “Scottish-summer-proof” Festival you can get.

    “With an third stage being outdoor, impromptu happenings around the site, guided walks, woodland rambles, storytelling, mountain biking, willow weaving and archery, festival happenings will be best served under a blanket of blue sky and sunshine but will occur whatever the weather!”

    MugStock is a grassroots, non-profit, volunteer-led organisation. The event is supported by Stirling Council and EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.   The festival offers an eclectic lineup of great acts from established international bands and unaccustomed raw talent to local legends.

    MugStock will be headlined by Californian experimental world fusion group Beats Antique, making their very first Scottish appearance.

    The programme also features UK festival favourites Dodgy, heavy rock trio The Amorettes, solo guitar wizard Preston Reed, hi-octane fusion outfit Orkestra del Sol, folk sensation Siobhan Wilson and many more. There are also theatre, circus and children’s activities such as woodland walks, pond-dipping and crafts. Children aged 12 and under can get in for free!

    MugStock is on Glasgow’s doorstep with bus transport on offer for just £5, but its country park location offers a relaxed rural vibe. Full details on performers and tickets are available from mugstock.org

    Category: National Events

  • 29 July 2015

    Glasgow to host 2016 British Olympic Swimming Trials

    Glasgow has just been announced as host for the 2016 British Olympic Swimming Trials. Following the hugely successful 2014 Commonwealth Games and the associated developments, the Tollcross International Swimming Centre is a world class venue and the perfect stage for another prestigious event.

    It recently hosted the IPC world championships, welcoming some of the world’s best disabled athletes.

    High calibre athletes will be competing from across the UK. However, there are some particularly strong Scottish contenders such as Hannah Miley, Robbie Renwick, Dan Wallace and Ross Murdoch, all hoping to make the Olympic team.     

    “For me it’s going to bring back lots of great memories as I came up through the ranks at the pool and then experienced the amazing atmosphere it provided at the Commonwealth Games,” said Murdoch.

    “I know it’s a great pool and I expect the swimmers will be supported by a passionate crowd who love their swimming. It’s a world class facility which will help the swimmers pursue their Olympic goals.”

    Taking place between April 12 – 17, this will be the first time in many years that Trials will be held outside of England. Sheffield hosted between 1996 and 2008 followed by London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. 

    Category: International Events

  • 28 July 2015

    Developing Skills for a Stronger Scottish Events and Festivals Industry

    On the morning of Friday 4th September SEFA will be hosting a seminar at Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh Napier University, focusing on skills development. The seminar will explore the skills development needs of the industry, with particular focus on the development of modern apprenticeships and the embedding of the national occupational standards (NOS). Key speakers will present current thinking and best practice to enable you to get a better grasp on how your company/business could support the initiative. This will be followed by a panel of key Scottish industry experts who will debate how we can work together to develop skills for the future success of our industry.

    If you have a vested interest in the future of the event and festival industry make sure you do not miss this event!

    Register today at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/developing-skills-for-a-stronger-scottish-events-and-festivals-industry-tickets-17806649167?aff=savethedate

    Category: Industry News

  • 28 July 2015

    Doune The Rabbit Hole to showcase an array of festival food and drink

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, is celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink in style by inviting some of the country’s most unique and diverse food and drink companies to showcase their produce at this year’s three day event.

    The festival, which runs from August 21st-23rd, is hosting an array of local food and drink vendors celebrating cuisines from all over the world including authentic Japanese food from Edinburgh-based Harajuku Kitchen and handmade sour dough traditional pizzas from Kingussie’s street food vendor, Woodburns Espresso Pizza. Drink will be supplied by Thistly Cross, the award winning Scottish Farmhouse Cider from Dunbar and Glaswegian craft beer makers, Williams Bros Brewing Co. who brew the popular ‘Fraoch’ Heather Ale.

    Other food vendors include Haggis Haggis, Wild Rover Food, Colin’s Coffee and Tchai-Ovna – a speciality tea house in Glasgow. Musical acts performing at the festival include a host of both Scottish and International talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic Fusion band.

    With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere.

    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole community Interest Group said:

    “This festival provides an opportunity to showcase Scottish music and arts talent, but is also a brilliant opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible food and drink produced on our doorstep. This year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever with a fantastic line up of musical talent, arts and crafts stalls and classes to experience and lots of family friendly activities for the kids to enjoy too. The sense of community-spirit is what makes Doune The Rabbit Hole so special and seeing so many amazing examples of Scottish culture in one place is very exciting.”

    Additional funding from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has enabled Doune The Rabbit Hole to extend their offering this year.

    Liz Buchanan, Regional Director at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting this unique festival again, especially during this Year of Food & Drink when visitors can sample more Scottish culinary delights as part of the experience.

    “VisitScotland is working hard with partners in Stirling to grow the area’s £400m tourism industry by making the area a destination of choice for a high-quality, value-for-money and authentic visitor experience. Doune the Rabbit Hole makes a great contribution to that effort, and I’d urge everyone to head ‘Doune’!”

    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 28 July 2015

    World’s top teams line-up for the Aviva Tour of Britain

    The Aviva Tour of Britain will feature the biggest line-up of UCI WorldTeams to race in the UK this year, as nine of the world’s best teams head to Britain in September.

     Headlining the 20-team list are Team Cannondale Garmin, who won the 2014 Tour of Britain with Dylan Van Baarle and the Etixx Quick-Step team of Mark Cavendish and World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski. Top level British interests are represented by Team Sky.

     The other six UCI WorldTeams that will race in the 2.HC ranked Aviva Tour of Britain – the first time the race has been sponsored by Aviva, the largest insurer in the UK – are BMC Racing, IAM Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Team Lotto NL Jumbo and Tinkoff – Saxo.

     Those nine, plus MTN Qhubeka, have been in action in the Tour de France, winning 13 of the 21 stages, and will line-up with six rider squads in Beaumaris on Anglesey for Stage One on Sunday 6 September.

     “This is undoubtedly the strongest line-up of teams to have appeared in the Aviva Tour of Britain,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director.

      “The Aviva Tour of Britain presents a fantastic opportunity for British fans to see what will be the best line-up of teams and riders to race in this country this year. In 2014 we saw Michal Kwiatkowski, Sir Bradley Wiggins and the BMC Racing Team all go on to win World titles immediately after the race and are sure that this year’s Tour will provide an equal platform for riders going on to target the World Championships.”

     Fans of the domestic racing scene will also be able to get behind all six of the country’s UCI Continental teams, including 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series Champions Madison Genesis and last year’s Elite Road Series winning squad Team Raleigh GAC, and also cheer on a Great Britain Cycling Team racing on home roads.

     Three squads, ONE Pro Cycling, co-owned by former England cricketer Matt Prior, Team WIGGINS, the personal team of World Hour Record holder Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Cult Energy will make their Aviva Tour of Britain debuts this September. They will also be joined by two further UCI ProContinental teams – MTN Qhubeka and Team Novo Nordisk.

     The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    For the full list of teams for the Aviva Tour of Britain visit the website

    Category: International Events

  • 24 July 2015

    Tontine Lane transformed into pop-up market for Merchant City Festival

     

    Glasgow's Tontine Lane has been transformed into a bustling street market as part of the Merchant City Festival. Starting tomorrow (25th July), the pop-up market will bring a number of street food stalls, urban bars and live art performances to this historic Glasgow spot.

    The team behind Candleriggs Square and Fish Plaice will be in charge of this entire project as they look to replicate the success of their previous food and drink ventures. Seen by many as the perfect location for a lively pop-up market, a number of different attractions will be on display here during the festival.

    The iconic Tontine Garage has undergone a facelift before being be reopened as a sleek, trendy metropolitan bar serving a range of Summer cocktails and spirits. The market itself will boast a Belgium Beer café, a number of Scottish Street food stalls, an open-roof cinema, a range of art installations and an elevated stage on which Glasgow's best up-and-coming bands and DJs will be performing. 

    Overlooking the entire market will be Douglas Gordon's 'Empire' sign. The Turner Prize winner's sign will illuminate the entire area, surrounded by industrial buildings and factories, giving a 1960s Steel Town feel. The latest addition to the already well-establish Merchant City Festival, it’s hoped hordes of Glaswegians and art lovers will flock in their droves to the city’s newest, urban attraction.

    Performances and activity will be held at venues and stages across the Merchant City from Saturday July 25 until Sunday August 2 bringing a mix of entertainment and markets to the streets for everyone to enjoy. 

    Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival promises to be nine days of outstanding events and entertainment that will deliver something for everyone. Where else can you find dancing JCB’s, the finest food and drink, street entertainment, music and laughter as part of hundreds of live events and performances. The Merchant City Festival is showcasing everything Glasgow has to offer as welcoming and generous hosts over the next nine days and is unmissable for local people and visitors alike.”

    Internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemmingway returns to the Merchant City Festival to discuss ‘generous design’ and its benefits for our communities. For the very young there is a Happy Feet dance-a-long and for devotees of Northern Soul, there’s a chance to learn the steps before immersing yourself in Elaine Constantine’s film charting the rise of youth culture which transformed the UK in the1970s.

    The first anniversary of the Commonwealth Games will be celebrated with 2 weekends of come and try sports in George Square on the 25th and 26th of July and 1st and 2nd August as part of the Merchant City Festival. Several Commonwealth Games medallists will be appearing at George Square over both weekends.

    The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: "The Merchant City Festival is a fantastic event for all to enjoy.  With attractions showcasing the produce of local businesses and traders, I am delighted that The Scottish Government has been able to support the festival as part of the Year of Food and Drink. Following the huge success of Homecoming 2014 and the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games, Scotland continues to welcome the world through events such as the Merchant City Festival.  With so many events for everyone to enjoy across the entirety of the Festival from street theatre, music, comedy and of course Scotland’s outstanding natural larder and quality produce, I would encourage everyone to come along and join the celebrations.”

     Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “The Merchant City Festival is always a welcome and anticipated event in Glasgow’s festivals calendar.  Spotlighting emerging and established talent the streets will once again come to life with a vibrant and varied programme of exciting theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film and fashion.  The festival builds on the energy of Festival 2014 during the Commonwealth Games and continues to be one of Scotland’s most engaging outdoor festivals, attracting both local and national audiences.”

     The full programme is available at www.merchantcityfestival.com

    Image: Cloaked in history, Tontine Lane will be the home of a new pop-up market, offering delicious traditional Scottish street food and irresistible home-brewed craft beers.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 23 July 2015

    NEAR RECORD ENTRY FOR THE WORLDS AS PIPE BANDS PREPARE TO COMPETE IN GLASGOW FOR THE ULTIMATE PRIZE

    230 bands have entered the World Pipe Band Championships which are being held in Glasgow on 14th and 15th August 2015. In total 15 nations are expected to be represented at The Worlds as they are affectionately known when they return to Glasgow Green next month.

    More than a hundred bands will travel to Scotland to compete from countries all over the world including bands from Austria and Malaysia for the first time. Bands from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, England, Oman, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands will also attend. More than 50 bands are coming from outwith the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    Glasgow Green is expected to welcome up to 8000 pipers and drummers when the World Pipe Band Championships return to the city. Advance tickets for the Grade 1 Arena where the best Pipe Band in the world will be crowned are also expected to sell out well ahead of the event.

    Tickets for the event range from as little as £2 for a concession ticket on Friday August 14 to £28 for a ticket for the Grade 1 competition on Saturday afternoon where the battle for the World Championship will play out. Family tickets for 2 adults and up to 3 children on Saturday August 15 cost just £43 while children aged 5 or under won’t be charged. Hospitality packages for Saturday are also available. For further information please go to www.theworlds.co.uk

    Live streaming of the event will be available via www.theworlds.co.uk on Friday August 14 and via the BBC website on Saturday August 15. BBC Scotland will also broadcast television highlights post event.

    The Worlds complete a week-long celebration of piping in Glasgow with Piping Live! bringing the best contemporary and traditional performances to the city from 10th to 16th August. For more information please visit www.pipinglive.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 July 2015

    One Year On from Glasgow 2014, Scotland is a destination for world class events

     

    Securing Major Events
    Glasgow 2014 helped Scotland become recognised as a world class major events destination. 
    The Games were an essential element of a wider strategic goal to boost Scotland’s tourism and events industries and EventScotland worked with partner organisations to use the Games as a catalyst to secure further Major Events for Scotland, both before and after 2014. 
    Alongside this goal, new state-of-the-art venues built or refurbished to stage the Games meant that Scotland was able to secure major events for many years to come. 
    To date 37 national and international events have been secured, with an estimated economic impact of over £14m. 
    This year’s World Gymnastics Championships at The SSE Hydro Arena and the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre are two examples of events secured. The World IPC Championships are staged every two years and are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games. The Tollcross International Swim Centre hosted the hugely successful and popular swimming competitions at the 2014 Games, as well as the 2013 Duel in the Pool between the USA and the European Allstars.
    16 July 2015 marked 100 Days to Go until the world’s greatest gymnastics event is here, The World Gymnastics Championships, 23 Oct – 1 Nov. Ambassadors Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith were at the 100 Days To Go event in Princes Square Shopping Centre earlier in the month. Louis Smith said: “Glasgow delivered an unbelievable Commonwealth Games just over one year ago. There was a great vibe in the city and I really loved being part of it all. 
    “But it’s all about the World Gymnastics Championships now and I can’t believe it is now 100 days to go. It’s all becoming very real and I’m sure Glasgow will once again deliver an incredible event.” 
    You can find more case studies of major events here
    Games For Scotland and the Queen’s Baton Relay 2014
    EventScotland supported local authorities from 2010 to 2014 through the Games For Scotland funding programme. 
    The programme gave local authorities the resource to develop a range of exciting activities and events to celebrate Scotland’s role as host of the Games and give young people and adults the opportunity and the inspiration to engage with sports and cultural activities. 
    The programme was part of Legacy 2014 - the Scottish Government initiative to inspire Scots to lead more active and healthy lives.  
    Games For Scotland events gave participants the opportunity to try some of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports or dance alongside cultural activities. 
    In 2014 the overarching objective of the programme was to give organiser the opportunitys to commemorate the Queen’s Baton Relay’s journey through Scotland by holding themed events on the day when the QBR visited their area. 
    Building on the excitement of the QBR’s countdown to the Games, the Games for Scotland programme enhanced community celebrations across the country, with more than 340,000 people taking part in Games for Scotland activities during the QBR’s journey. 
    All 32 local authorities took part in the programme
    16 local authorities held events in all 5 years
    More than 500,000 people took part in the programme, with participants increasing year of year, from over 35,500 in 2010 to more than 340,000 participants in 2014. 
    138 events supported over 5 years
    Over £1.2m awarded by EventScotland
    2014 was a year like no other for the Scottish events industry, for a flavour of events in 2015 watch this #PerfectStage

    Securing Major Events

    Glasgow 2014 helped Scotland become recognised as a world class major events destination. 

    The Games were an essential element of a wider strategic goal to boost Scotland’s tourism and events industries and EventScotland worked with partner organisations to use the Games as a catalyst to secure further Major Events for Scotland, both before and after 2014. 

    Alongside this goal, new state-of-the-art venues built or refurbished to stage the Games meant that Scotland was able to secure major events for many years to come. 

    To date 45 national and international events have been secured, with an estimated economic impact of over £18.6m by 2020. 

    This year’s World Gymnastics Championships at The SSE Hydro Arena and the IPC World Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre are two examples of events secured. The World IPC Championships are staged every two years and are the biggest event on the calendar for para-swimming outside of the Paralympic Games. The Tollcross International Swim Centre hosted the hugely successful and popular swimming competitions at the 2014 Games, as well as the 2013 Duel in the Pool between the USA and the European Allstars.

    16 July 2015 marked 100 Days to Go until the world’s greatest gymnastics event is here, The World Gymnastics Championships, 23 Oct – 1 Nov.

    Ambassadors Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith were at the 100 Days To Go event in Princes Square Shopping Centre earlier in the month.

    Louis Smith said: “Glasgow delivered an unbelievable Commonwealth Games just over one year ago. There was a great vibe in the city and I really loved being part of it all. 

    “But it’s all about the World Gymnastics Championships now and I can’t believe it is now 100 days to go. It’s all becoming very real and I’m sure Glasgow will once again deliver an incredible event.” 

    You can find more case studies of major events here >>

     

    2014 was a year like no other for the Scottish events industry, for a flavour of events in 2015 watch the trailer >>

     

    View the Scottish Government's news release and see the full report

     

    Image from Duel in the Pool 2013

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 21 July 2015

    FIFTY DAY COUNTDOWN TO THE LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

    Final preparations are being made with just 50 days to go until the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle from 10-13 September 2015. 

    To mark this important milestone the Blair 2015 team will be joining together online with the event partners, event sponsors and all involved to help celebrate.

    Equestrian Team GBR published the greatly anticipated long list last week, with 17 nations entered - watch this space for further announcements. 

    This important championship forms part of UK Sport’s major events programme. It is investing around £40million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 100 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, which has a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    As well as the thrilling eventing competition, Blair Castle will host an additional four arenas of competition and family entertainment, including Pony Club Mounted Games, Highland Pony showing and British Showjumping competitions, plus the unique Bruadar Country Fair.   In addition, the extensive shopping village will cater for all tastes, with culinary delights, fashion accessories and country gifts being just some of the things on offer.

    Don’t miss out on this memorable weekend in the Scottish Highlands that is attracting Europe’s top riders who will assemble at Blair Castle to contend for the top honour of Individual and Team European Champions. To find out more information and to book your tickets from the online box office please visit the website www.blair2015.com

    Category: International Events

  • 17 July 2015

    TOLLCROSS GEARS UP FOR BIGGEST WEEKEND SINCE GLASGOW 2014 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

    Tollcross International Swimming Centre is set for its biggest weekend of sporting action since playing a starring role in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

     With 45 gold medals up for grabs over Saturday and Sunday and children under 16 being given free entry (conditions apply), Tollcross is set for an action-packed final weekend at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

    The heats start at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday with the finals taking place at 6pm. And two of the biggest stars of the event so far, Glasgow boy Andy Mullen and Edinburgh’s Scot Quinn, are urging the home crowd to turn out and help make the final weekend one to remember.

     Tollcross has been transformed into a world-class competition venue for the event, with underwater cameras, specialist timing systems and a temporary seating block which has increase the venue’s capacity to 3,500 spectators, all currently in place.

     Around 600 swimmers from 68 nations will compete over the course of the week, with a global television audience watching at home.

    Tickets for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships are available from the venue and www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Glasgow2015 and start from as little as £10 for the heats and £15 for the finals with children under 16 going free (8 free Junior tickets per each full paying Adult). Day and weekend passes are also available.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 July 2015

    Apply Now - Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design 2016 events fund closes 24 July

     

    We are still accepting applications for funding through a dedicated fund for 2016, celebrating Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, a year-long programme of activity beginning on 1 January and lasting until 31 December 2016, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as its hidden gems.
    Home to ground-breaking innovators, scientists, engineers, architects and designers for hundreds of years, Scotland will showcase the creative and innovative minds that continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe and the modern world we live in today.
    Supporting events from a minimum award of £4,000 up to a maximum award of £20,000, funding will be awarded to create new event activity or enhance existing event programmes  that reflect the themes and support the objectives of the year.
    Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “From our first Year of Homecoming in 2009 to our current Year of Food and Drink, the people of Scotland and our visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy our most valuable and celebrated assets. To build on this momentum, the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund will be used to deliver a series of events that take place across the country and throughout the year to celebrate all that is great about Scotland.”
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “2016 has been designated as a themed year in which Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased and celebrated.  Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, galvanise partners and create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its valuable attributes.”
    2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. Last week it was announced that £400,000 funding has been secured to support the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture. The Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland, and is designed to boost appreciation and understanding of our built environment. 
    The programme, which will be announced in due course, will comprise hundreds of events throughout Scotland, including exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, competitions and community projects as well as educational initiatives and conferences.
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Festival of Architecture 2016, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
    The deadline for Applications is Friday 24 July 2015
    To download an application form and guidance please click here >>

    Photo credit: Edinburgh International Science Festival 2014

    We are still accepting applications for funding through a dedicated fund for 2016, celebrating Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design.

    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, a year-long programme of activity beginning on 1 January and lasting until 31 December 2016, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as its hidden gems.

    Home to ground-breaking innovators, scientists, engineers, architects and designers for hundreds of years, Scotland will showcase the creative and innovative minds that continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe and the modern world we live in today.

    Supporting events from a minimum award of £4,000 up to a maximum award of £20,000, funding will be awarded to create new event activity or enhance existing event programmes that reflect the themes and support the objectives of the year.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “2016 has been designated as a themed year in which Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased and celebrated.  Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, galvanise partners and create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its valuable attributes.”

    2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. Last week it was announced that £400,000 funding has been secured to support the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture. The Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland, and is designed to boost appreciation and understanding of our built environment. 

    The programme, which will be announced in due course, will comprise hundreds of events throughout Scotland, including exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, competitions and community projects as well as educational initiatives and conferences.

    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Festival of Architecture 2016, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    The deadline for Applications is Friday 24 July 2015.

    To download an application form and guidance please click here >>

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 16 July 2015

    Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party Tickets on Sale Now

    Tickets for the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party will go on sale tomorrow, Friday 17 July 2015 at 10.00am. Last year a sell-out 75,000 revellers from over 70 countries joined the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the capital and organisers promise another stellar line-up to party into 2016 with a new Street Party experience including additional entertainment and increased arena space for crowds to ‘bring in the bells’.

    Revellers can soak up the festival atmosphere, when the city centre comes alive with live music and DJs from multiple stages, giant screens and attractions throughout the arena. Set against the historic Edinburgh Castle, the hourly Teaser Fireworks will launch the celebrations at 9pm until the spectacular Midnight Moment.  A  coordinated Countdown to the Bells before the magnificent Midnight Fireworks see over six tonnes of pyrotechnics launch from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill, with images beamed to TV screens around the world to an estimated audience of over 1 billion people. Back on the street the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne, described as Scotland’s gift to the world, will help welcome in the New Year at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is an ambassador for Scotland, showcasing Edinburgh as the Home of Hogmanay all round the world.  With visitors from over 70 countries, Hogmanay promotes Scotland as an all year round visitor destination and the Perfect Stage for Events.”

    Tickets for the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party are priced at £25.00 (incl. booking fee) and locals can once again take advantage of discounted tickets. A limited number of Early Bird Street Party tickets will be available to EH Postcode residents at only £19.00 (incl. booking fee) – an discount of almost 25%.

    Full details of all the entertainment and the line-up of artists across all the stages at the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party will be announced in early October.

    Tickets are available on-line from www.edinburghshogmanay.com or over the phone at 0844 573 8455.  Tickets for the outdoor ceilidh event will be available in August, and tickets for Concert in the Gardens will be released for sale in September.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 July 2015

    Largs Viking Festival adds Food and Drink Festival to the line-up

     

    This year’s Largs Viking Festival will run from Saturday 29 August to Sunday 6 September. 
    To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, a Scottish Government initiative led by VisitScotland, the Festival organisers are excited to introduce a food and drink festival, profiling local produce and hosting cooking demonstrations and more throughout the week. There will also be a Scottish Craft Fayre and a Global Market.
    The Viking Village will open every day from 11am to 5pm.  The Village will re-enact a real 13th Century Viking village to show the influence of Vikings on Largs. Features of the Viking Village will be re-enactors the Swords of Dalriada and demonstrations of cooking; spinning, dyeing and weaving; pole lathe; forge; moneyer; Fletcher, Church, Viking traders; weapons display and have a go archery. 
    School groups are encouraged to visit the interactive Village and experience how the Vikings lived. School Packs will be available to download from the Festival website from 18 August. 
    Owl Magic will be with us every day, weather permitting, and is an opportunity to see, touch and get photographed with a wide variety of these hand reared, beautiful and inspiring birds. On both weekends there will be aerobatic and static displays, on-stage entertainment and a variety of street performers on the Promenade.  A fun fair will also be present on the Promenade Car Park throughout the Festival.
    Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The Largs Viking Festival is always a highlight of the local events calendar and this year’s event promises to be a delicious mix of culture and cuisine as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.  2015 is a chance to shine a light on our outstanding produce and authentic dining experiences. This event is a great way to whet the appetite of visitors and encourage them to discover more about the mouth-watering culinary delights we have right here on our doorstep.”
    Linda Young, Festival Secretary, said “We are pleased to support Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink by promoting local produce and putting on cooking demonstrations through the week. We also have a goal to educate local children about the culture and history of Largs and in the Village children have the opportunity to learn in an authentic Viking environment that brings history to life.’ 
    Linda added “The Board are extremely grateful to North Ayrshire Council for funding and for erecting the Village, to Kelburn Wind Farm Community Fund, VisitScotland, Awards for All and SSE who have given their financial support towards the costs of running the Festival.”
    The Viking Village will open every day from 11am to 5pm. Tickets can be bought on site and are £5 for adults and £2 for children under 16 and concessions (over 60’s and students). Under 5’s go free. 
    Entry gives admission to the Village throughout the day of purchase. 
    School groups are encouraged to visit the Village and bookings can be made now through Vikingar! Tel: 01475 689 777.

    This year’s Largs Viking Festival will run from Saturday 29 August to Sunday 6 September. 

    To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, a Scottish Government initiative led by VisitScotland, the Festival organisers are excited to introduce a food and drink festival, profiling local produce and hosting cooking demonstrations and more throughout the week.

    There will also be a Scottish Craft Fayre and a Global Market.

    The Viking Village will open every day from 11am to 5pm.  The Village will re-enact a real 13th Century Viking village to show the influence of Vikings on Largs. Features of the Viking Village will be re-enactors the Swords of Dalriada and demonstrations of cooking; spinning, dyeing and weaving; pole lathe; forge; moneyer; Fletcher, Church, Viking traders; weapons display and have a go archery. 

    School groups are encouraged to visit the interactive Village and experience how the Vikings lived. School Packs will be available to download from the Festival website from 18 August. 

    Owl Magic will be with us every day, weather permitting, and is an opportunity to see, touch and get photographed with a wide variety of these hand reared, beautiful and inspiring birds.

    On both weekends there will be aerobatic and static displays, on-stage entertainment and a variety of street performers on the Promenade.  

    A fun fair will also be present on the Promenade Car Park throughout the Festival.

    Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The Largs Viking Festival is always a highlight of the local events calendar and this year’s event promises to be a delicious mix of culture and cuisine as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.  2015 is a chance to shine a light on our outstanding produce and authentic dining experiences. This event is a great way to whet the appetite of visitors and encourage them to discover more about the mouth-watering culinary delights we have right here on our doorstep.”

    Linda Young, Festival Secretary, said: “We are pleased to support Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink by promoting local produce and putting on cooking demonstrations through the week. We also have a goal to educate local children about the culture and history of Largs and in the Village children have the opportunity to learn in an authentic Viking environment that brings history to life.’ 

    Linda added “The Board are extremely grateful to North Ayrshire Council for funding and for erecting the Village, to Kelburn Wind Farm Community Fund, VisitScotland, Awards for All and SSE who have given their financial support towards the costs of running the Festival.”

    The Viking Village will open every day from 11am to 5pm. Tickets can be bought on site and are £5 for adults and £2 for children under 16 and concessions (over 60’s and students). Under 5’s go free. Entry gives admission to the Village throughout the day of purchase. 

    School groups are encouraged to visit the Village and bookings can be made now through Vikingar! Tel: 01475 689 777.

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 15 July 2015

    Eventing squad named for home Europeans

    With a home European Championships on the horizon for Great Britain’s eventing athletes, British Eventing senior selectors have announced the squad of twelve that will compete on home soil at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Blair Castle, Scotland (10-13 September 2015).

    Part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio series, supporting British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016, this summer’s event is the last major Championship before the Olympic Games, where GBR will be represented having already qualified a team spot after the World Equestrian Games last year.

    The squad sees five athletes making their senior team debuts, whilst four of those selected have previously competed at a home Europeans, after riding at Blenheim in 2005.

    To read the full release and view the selected squad visit the Blair Castle website. 

    Category: International Events

  • 15 July 2015

    VisitScotland hails multimillion pound Homecoming Scotland 2014 success

    Homecoming 2014 generated £136 million of additional revenue to the Scottish economy and encouraged more than 326,000 visitors from outside of Scotland to travel to the country, it was revealed today (Wednesday 15 July 2015).

     The independent research, commissioned by VisitScotland, was presented by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing on a visit to Glasgow, a city that played a key part in the success of the year.

    The key findings in the comprehensive study from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development include:

    £136m net additional revenue generated for Scotland

    326,000 visitors from outside the country who cited Homecoming as the primary reason for traveling to Scotland in 2014

    £94 million net additional expenditure by visitors

    4.6 million attendances at more than 1000 Homecoming 2014 events

    1,336 net full time equivalent (FTE) jobs generated by visits associated with Homecoming 2014

    The figures show how events such as Bannockburn Live, the John Muir Festival (including ‘Home’ at the Kelpies), Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo, Forth Bridges Festival and Highland Homecoming ensured the second year of Homecoming extended the benefits brought to Scotland alongside the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

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

    Homecoming 2014 sought to motivate ancestral Scots, the people of Scotland and all those with an affinity to Scotland to visit the country and engage in five distinct themes associated with the country: ancestry, creative, active, natural, food and drink.  The first Homecoming was held in 2009.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

    “Scotland welcomed the world in 2014 and this report shows the substantial impact that Homecoming 2014 had on the Scottish economy.

     “The Homecoming celebrations were used to showcase Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. This was achieved through a year-long programme of over 1000 events designed to welcome visitors from around the world in a celebration of the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural heritage. I am pleased it had something for everyone with events taking place in every Local Authority across Scotland.

     “The Scottish Government aims to continue building on this legacy, through a second series of themed years that spotlights some of Scotland’s greatest assets.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

    “2014 was quite simply an incredible year.  Not only did we host some of the world’s greatest sporting events – the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup – we did the best thing a country can ever do, we celebrated ourselves!  From culture to food and drink, nature to ancestry, more than 1000 events across the country showed the world just how incredible Scotland is – and visitors from home and abroad flocked to see us.

     “Of course, the real success story of 2014 was the Scottish people – they welcomed the world with a friendly smile ensuring that everyone who visited became an ambassador for the country. Thank you to every single person who made Homecoming 2014 the outstanding triumph it was.”

    To view the report, go to http://www.visitscotland.org/pdf/EconomicEvaluationHomecomingScotland2014.pdf

    Category: Industry News

  • 15 July 2015

    ISLAND SET FOR A TIREE-FIC MUSIC FESTIVAL

    Tiree Music Festival (17-19 July) is gearing up to treble the capacity of Tiree as they bring the multi-award winning festival to the island for the sixth year alongside a host of artists including The Fratellis, Funbox and Skerryvore.

    1700 tickets for Scotland’s Best Small Festival sold out in under five hours following festival organisers unveiling the most diverse event line up yet. As well as performances from established acts, the award-winning ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) will sponsor the ‘Calmac Live Lounge’ which will host acoustic sets from up and coming singer- songwriters including xx.

    This year’s festival will feature three stages Cairn Capital Main Stage, Tiree Trust Top and Stage, which will sit alongside the Calmac Live Lounge. This year the Big Top and Stage will also receive funding from EventScotland, a team in the VisitScotland Events Directorate.

    Those who weren’t lucky enough to snap up tickets can soak in the sights and sounds as BBC ALBA will record highlights and performances from the island festival for the first time, providing an insight into the charm and colour that makes the festival and the island so appealing. Transmission dates will be confirmed in due course but it is expected that highlights will air over the course of several weekends in late-July to early-August.

    Festival Director Daniel Gillespie says: “As each year goes by we are astounded by the support we receive from not only CalMac, Cairn Capital and Tiree Trust but also from festival go-ers and artists who get involved and help make the festival the success that it has been over the past five years.

    “Those attending this year are in for a real treat with our beach party hosted by Funbox on the Friday, The Fratellis headlining on Sunday night and some impromptu surprise collaborations added to the mix.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Tiree Music Festival this year, with additional funding for the Big Top and Stage.  Festivalgoers this weekend will be treated to a fantastic line-up of music, from contemporary Scottish rock bands to traditional folk acts, all within the island’s idyllic setting. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the Tiree Music Festival we can proudly boast to have one of the UK’s most exciting and diverse music festivals."

    Category: National Events

  • 14 July 2015

    Spectacular Edinburgh route and Floors Castle Finish to be highlights of Aviva Tour of Britain in Scotland

    Further details of the Scottish stages of this year’s Aviva Tour of Britain have today (Tuesday 14 July) been confirmed, with British Cycling’s premier road cycling event set for a spectacular route through the heart of the Scottish capital and a stage finish at Floors Castle in Kelso, on separate days.

     Edinburgh will host the Start of Stage Four on Wednesday 9 September from Holyrood Park, with the route then heading past the Scottish Parliament and up the Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle, the first visit by a national Tour to Edinburgh since May 1999.

     A day before, on Tuesday 8 September, Floors Castle, the home of the Duke of Roxburghe, outside Kelso in the Scottish Borders will host the Stage Three Finish. It will be the fourth visit for the modern Tour of Britain to the Scottish Borders, but the first time that the area has hosted a stage finish.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “Scotland is gearing up to welcome the Aviva Tour of Britain and the top international cyclists and enthusiasts it brings with it from around the world.” 

     “Scotland is the perfect stage for events with a global reputation for cycling and I’m certain the stages unveiled today will offer up some of Scotland’s most iconic and picturesque locations as a backdrop across the handlebars, as well as a fantastic spectator experience for all ages.”

     The first of the two day’s racing in Scotland will begin south of the border in Cockermouth, Cumbria, crossing into Scotland at Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway. The route then passes through Canonbie and follows Liddesdale, with Newcastleton hosting an intermediate YodelDirect Sprint, sponsored by parcel delivery company Yodel.

     The first SKODA King of the Mountains climb will come on the B6357 in Wauchope Forest with a second following soon afterwards on the A7 outside Hawick.

     The route then takes in Selkirk and Melrose before the third and final SKODA King of the Mountains climb in the Eildon Hills with Stage Three descending back to the Tweed Valley via St Boswells for the run in to Kelso along the A699.

     Crossing the River Tweed and past the remains of Kelso Abbey, riders will tackle a short section of cobbles through the square inside the final kilometre before the finish close to Floors Castle on the Roxburgh Estate.

     Councillor Stuart Bell, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “The Scottish Borders is Scotland’s leading cycling destination, and it is therefore fitting that the Aviva Tour of Britain visits our area on two consecutive days this year, including the sensational spectacle of some of the world’s top cyclists racing over Kelso’s cobbles and into the grounds of Floors Castle for our first ever stage finish. The Tour arrives in our area just days after the first commercial services run on the Borders Railway and this will enable more visitors than ever to come and see this world class event.”

     After Stage Four departs from Holyrood Park Wednesday 9 September the route will showcase some of Edinburgh’s most famous sights, heading past the Scottish Parliament and up the Royal Mile through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town towards Edinburgh Castle.

     The route will descend from the castle along Johnston Terrace continuing via Melville Drive through The Meadows back to Holyrood Park, passing below Arthur’s Seat and east out of the city.

     Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “This will be the first time in history that the UK’s most prestigious cycle race traces the winding streets of the Scottish Capital and it’s going to be a spectacular sight. As the starting point and host city of the Scottish stage and with the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyrood House and ancient volcano Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh is the place to be to experience the thrill of the Aviva Tour of Britain.”

     After leaving the city of Edinburgh on Wednesday 9 September Stage Four will race through East Lothian, the first time the Aviva Tour of Britain has visited, passing Musselburgh race course and following the coast through Prestonpans and Cockenzie and Port Seton.

     Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the UK’s most prestigious cycle race is coming to East Lothian – and to have a sprint and King of the Mountain in our area will, I’m sure, draw a large number of spectators. The cyclists will be passing through some beautiful East Lothian landscapes too so I’m sure it will be a treat for those watching on television as well.”

     Stage Four continues in East Lothian through Pencaitland and Gifford, with the latter also hosting an intermediate YodelDirect Sprint. A final Scottish SKODA King of the Mountains climb will come in the Lammermuir Hills  above Whiteadder Reservoir.

     The route then crosses back into the Scottish Borders for the second day, racing through the centres of Duns and Coldstream, heading on south into Northumberland, via Wooler, Alnwick and Warkworth for the finish in Blyth.

     Chief Executive for Scottish Cycling Craig Burn says:

     “Scottish Cycling are delighted to see the return of a national tour to Scotland’s Capital City in it’s two day visit to Scotland. Scottish Cycling is continuing to see an upsurge in interest in all areas of cycling. The Aviva Tour of Britain is a great showcase for cycling in Scotland and the hard work of the daily activities of our 178 clubs and the 600 plus events staged annually by our clubs and members.”

     The Aviva Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: International Events

  • 10 July 2015

    GB orienteers to do battle for World Championships places

    As Scotland prepares to host The 2015 IOF World Orienteering Championships (WOC 2015) - from 31 July to 7 August 2015 in the Highlands and Moray – a number of Britain’s top elite orienteers will battle it out this weekend for the final spots on the GB squad; and the honour of competing in a World Championships on home soil.

     The final GBR test races for WOC 2015 will be staged on Deeside and in Moray from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 July.  There will be a middle distance race at Torphantrick on 10 July (from 1700) and a long distance race at Glen Tanar on 11 July (from 1200).  The forest terrain races will be followed by an urban sprint in Elgin on the morning of Sunday 12 July (from 0805).

     British athletes will be competing with international orienteers from Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Poland, USA, New Zealand and Ireland who have been on training camps in the UK.

     While the overseas runners have no selection issues at stake for these races they will be out to set the standard for the British team. They will also stand to gain vital familiarity of the tough forest terrain of Darnaway and Glen Affric and the challenging urban landscape of Forres and Nairn that they will encounter at the World Championships in August.

     As host nation of the 2015 Orienteering World Championships GB can select 3 men and 3 women for the urban sprint discipline and the forest-based middle and long distance races.  These disciplines are orienteering’s equivalent of the 5,000-metres, 10K road race and marathon, often with athletes specialising in each one.  

     Additionally there are 3 places up for grabs for men and women in the forest relay, and 2 men and 2 women for the urban relay team. Relay team members are sometimes the same athletes that run in the individual races, but often there are relay specialists whose skills are well-suited to the unique demands of running in an orienteering relay where race mentality and calmness under pressure plays such a massive part. That is a big dilemma that the selectors have to wrestle with.

     Liz Campbell, the GB Performance Coach said: “We will finalise the team after Sunday’s race. Then the full team will come together a few days before the first WOC races to complete our final preparations. The athletes and staff are all looking forward to this big opportunity with excitement and determination.”

     A number of athletes have already been been selected for the GB team. Men - Scott Fraser – Sprint; Graham Gristwood - Long / Middle and Alasdair McLeod – Long.  Women - Charlotte Ward – Sprint; Hollie Orr – Middle / Mixed Sprint Relay / Forest Relay; Catherine Taylor – Long / Middle / Mixed Sprint Relay / Forest Relay and Claire Ward – Long / Forest Relay

     The remaining places in the team, including reserves, will be announced the week beginning 13 July 2015. 

    Category: International Events

  • 09 July 2015

    £400,000 funding for Festival of Architecture

     

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced £400,000 of funding to support the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture.
    The Festival will be an international celebration of design and creativity designed to highlight Scotland’s architecture and the quality of our built landscape.
    The Festival of Architecture will take place from March to October 2016 and will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    The Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland, and is designed to boost appreciation and understanding of our built environment as well as highlighting the economic, social and cultural importance of good architecture.
    The programme, which will be announced in due course, will comprise hundreds of events throughout Scotland, including exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, competitions and community projects as well as educational initiatives and conferences.
    Announcing the funding Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The RIAS Festival of Architecture will highlight the richness and breadth of Scotland’s architecture and the world quality of our built landscape.
    “It will be a nationwide event, showing how architecture touches everyone’s lives and engaging with Scots and visitors to Scotland – whether they have a professional involvement in architecture, or a passing interest.
    “Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture. This funding from the Scottish Government and VisitScotland will allow the Festival of Architecture to connect Scottish communities and visitors with our architecture through events & exhibitions, Scotland-wide.
    “The 2016 Festival of Architecture will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations which will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity to boost tourism in every corner of Scotland.”
    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture 2016 said: “This support for the Festival of Architecture 2016 is an important recognition of the potential of this eight month-long event. The Royal Incorporation and our 62 other partner organisations are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary values Scottish Architecture so highly and that the Festival will be a key part of the themed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    “This Festival is a national celebration, notably of great architecture, but also of how the work of architects improves people’s lives. It has the potential to transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment, engaging local communities, young and old alike, with the artform which has been called “the mother of the arts”. By improving people’s appreciation and understanding of architecture we all have the potential to improve Scotland. It will also be great fun!”
    Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture and a major tourism asset, with an estimated £187m spent by visitors viewing architecture and buildings on trips to our inspirational country. This Festival is a key part of the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design in 2016 and we are really excited to see the activity and events planned. One of the big aims of the festival is to make architecture more accessible to both young and old, encouraging everyone from adventure-seeking families to seasoned design experts to engage with this artful science and discover exciting and innovative developments, buildings and structures across the country. Scotland is a nation of pioneers and it’s high time we shouted about it!”
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Festival of Architecture 2016, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced £400,000 of funding to support the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture.

    The Festival will be an international celebration of design and creativity designed to highlight Scotland’s architecture and the quality of our built landscape.

    The Festival of Architecture will take place from March to October 2016 and will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland, and is designed to boost appreciation and understanding of our built environment as well as highlighting the economic, social and cultural importance of good architecture.

    The programme, which will be announced in due course, will comprise hundreds of events throughout Scotland, including exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, competitions and community projects as well as educational initiatives and conferences.

    Announcing the funding Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The RIAS Festival of Architecture will highlight the richness and breadth of Scotland’s architecture and the world quality of our built landscape.

    “It will be a nationwide event, showing how architecture touches everyone’s lives and engaging with Scots and visitors to Scotland – whether they have a professional involvement in architecture, or a passing interest.

    “Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture. This funding from the Scottish Government and VisitScotland will allow the Festival of Architecture to connect Scottish communities and visitors with our architecture through events & exhibitions, Scotland-wide.

    “The 2016 Festival of Architecture will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations which will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity to boost tourism in every corner of Scotland.”

    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture 2016 said: “This support for the Festival of Architecture 2016 is an important recognition of the potential of this eight month-long event. The Royal Incorporation and our 62 other partner organisations are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary values Scottish Architecture so highly and that the Festival will be a key part of the themed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    “This Festival is a national celebration, notably of great architecture, but also of how the work of architects improves people’s lives. It has the potential to transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment, engaging local communities, young and old alike, with the artform which has been called “the mother of the arts”.

    "By improving people’s appreciation and understanding of architecture we all have the potential to improve Scotland. It will also be great fun!”

    Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture and a major tourism asset, with an estimated £187m spent by visitors viewing architecture and buildings on trips to our inspirational country. This Festival is a key part of the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design in 2016 and we are really excited to see the activity and events planned. One of the big aims of the festival is to make architecture more accessible to both young and old, encouraging everyone from adventure-seeking families to seasoned design experts to engage with this artful science and discover exciting and innovative developments, buildings and structures across the country. Scotland is a nation of pioneers and it’s high time we shouted about it!”

    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Festival of Architecture 2016, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 09 July 2015

    Final Line-up Revealed for Doune The Rabbit Hole

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its final line-up for this year’s festival, taking place at the Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire from August 21st-23rd.  Final acts include Earl Gateshead, a legendary Trojan Sounsystem selector with Dub and Reggae vibes and Ceephax Acid Crew, a Techno and Drum and Bass electronic sound from British artist, Andy Jenkinson.

    These new acts will perform on a brand new Dance/Dub and Reggae stage introduced to the festival for the first time this year. The unique stage, called the Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee stage, will showcase both Dance and Dub/Reggae music, interchanging between the two music genres throughout the festival.Other acts completing the line-up include Edinburgh-based Reggae DJs, Riddim Tuffa Sounds, Samson Sounds, an African hi-life and Blues group from Glasgow, a Funk, Boogie, Modern Soul and House fusion from Benedek and Ron Van De Kerkhof which offers a refreshingly different, deep sound. All of these acts will perform on the newly introduced stage.  These new additions will join an array of both Scottish and international talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic fusion band, to perform at the three day event. 

    Other acts gearing up to perform at Doune include The Ex, an experimental Punk band from the Netherlands, alternative Scottish Hip Hop group called Stanley Odd from Edinburgh, inventive Glasgow group, The Phantom Band and Fatherson, an Indie band from Kilmarnock known for their melodic anthems who created a stir in 2014 as over 8000 revellers watched them at T In The Park.

    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group said:“We are very excited to be introducing the brand new Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee stage to Doune the Rabbit Hole this year and to host such fantastic and eclectic acts on this stage. This new addition really highlights our commitment to offering a musical style to suit all tastes. The Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee stage will play music that reflects the vibe of the festival throughout the weekend, which means that people will never know what to expect next and it will always feel fresh. It’s set to be pretty special!“

    2015 is set to be a fantastic year of musical talent for Doune The Rabbit Hole and we are incredibly excited to welcome such a range of international acts and those who have formed right here in Scotland. There are so many unique acts performing that there is a musical genre and style for everyone’s tastes, so there’s lots to soak up and enjoy at this year’s event.“

    Established in 2010, the family-friendly festival will be lighting up the Cardross Estate near the Lake of Menteith, and, as well as welcoming the cream of Scotland’s talented music scene and an array of international artists, the festival will host a vibrant mix of workshops for both adult and children, arts, craft producers and quality Scottish food and drink suppliers.

    The event also recently secured funding from Creative Scotland which will go towards making the event even bigger and better than previous years attracting great acts and growing the event year-on-year.With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere. Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend. 

    Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015 is supported by EventScotland, a team in VisitScotland's Event Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:“We’re delighted to be supporting Doune The Rabbit Hole this year. Festival goers can enjoy an amazingly eclectic line-up, from great international acts to home-grown talent. And with live music alongside storytelling and activities, the programme features something for all ages and tastes. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Doune the Rabbit Hole is a great boost for Stirling, giving visitors and locals the chance to enjoy some great Scottish bands and contemporary music from across the world in the spectacular natural scenery of the Cardross Estate.”For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 09 July 2015

    Wickerman Reveals New On-Site Activities and Wicker Waistcoat Theme

    Scotland’s hottest summer party, The Wickerman Festival, has today announced a sizzling selection of new on-site activities and its 2015 fancy dress theme – Wicker Waistcoasts.

     Organisers are encouraging revellers to pay homage to Wickerman’s Festival Founder, Jamie Gilroy, by donning his signature look – a flamboyant Festival waistcoat. In keeping with this year’s fancy dress theme, the mini ‘gateman’ Wickerman statue, which welcomes visitors at the Festival entrance, will don a bespoke waistcoat, which was handcrafted by Edinburgh-based designer Vixy Rae. 

     From spectacular sites and family favourites, to al fresco adventures and nail biting rides, Wicker fans can expect a whole host of on-site attractions to enhance this year’s stellar music line-up. New features for 2015 include a 40 seat Wee Green Cinema and a Karaoke Taxi, so wannabee performers can belt out a few classics. Adrenalin junkies can enjoy a high speed, bird’s eye view of the site by riding Europe’s first mobile zip wire, whilst photo fanatics can capture those special Wickerman memories with their friends in a new campervan photo booth.

     A whole host of weird and wonderful entertainment will take Wicker fans by surprise this year, visitors are encouraged to listen out for the screech of burning rubber and make way for Granny Turismo - the first and only granny shopping trolley dance display team. Also bouncing into the spotlight will be Australian performance troupe Icarus, whose giant kangaroo stilt act is guaranteed to stun spectators.

     Wickerman 2015 will also provide a feast of treats for families with free festival admission for 12 year olds and under. A new Festival Circus is set to wow the crowds with a series of shows hosted in an eye catching big top. Fans can even try out some of the skills for themselves in a series of circus workshops.

     For £3 per day, children can enjoy a host of fun activities in Wickerman’s dedicated Children’s Area. All admission charges will be donated towards the education of James Okeyo, an African orphan who the festival have sponsored since 2011. Storytelling sessions, singalongs, art workshops and puppet shows are just some of the highlights that will keep children (and those accompanying them) entertained.Once again, Festival fans in need of some downtime can kick back and enjoy The Retreat, where a variety of relaxing treatments will be on offer. Alongside the retreat, revellers can enjoy a series of Yoga and Qigong sessions.

     Further adding to the merriment and returning to Wickerman will be the 7stanes Display Team, who offer mountain bike taster sessions, the much-loved headphone disco, soccarenas, a climbing wall, glass sledging, bouncy castles, fairground rides, laser quest, segway riding, a bucking broncho and site sherpas.

     Festival fans will find it easy to keep connected this year as WIFI will be available across the site in addition to phone and tablet charging facilities and an enhanced food offering. Visitors will be able to take a culinary tour around the world by visiting Wickerman’s new street food area. Mexican burritos aromatic Indian cuisine, world class burgers, Austrian vegetarian dishes, fresh Thai fayre, freshly baked gourmet pies, Brazilian BBQ and speciality sausages are just some of the mouth-watering delicacies on offer. Foodies with a sweet tooth can also look forward to an array of home baked cakes, fruity bubble tea and lots of real dairy ice cream. 

     Jennie Camm, Wickerman Festival Director comments:

    On-site activities can really enhance a Festival experience, so this year our team have placed a huge focus on improving the site and adding some exciting new additions to ensure the best all round Wickerman experience

     From our varied selection of food retailers to a whole host of unusual entertainment and exciting activities, we are confident that all age groups will really embrace our fantastic new attractions and enjoy Wickerman’s fun and friendly vibe.”

    Category: International Events

  • 09 July 2015

    ROSS READY TO DIVE IN TO GREAT SCOTTISH SWIM CHALLENGE

    Swim star Ross Murdoch was on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond today (8 July) to meet some fellow swimmers ahead of this year’s Great Scottish Swim.

     Set to take place in beautiful Loch Lomond on 29 August for the third consecutive year, the Great Scottish Swim gives participants the chance to swim in the picturesque surroundings of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

     The distances range from a half mile course for those twelve and over to a one mile, two mile and even a gruelling five kilometre “half – marathon” swim, for seasoned swimmers looking to test themselves.  

     Commonwealth Games gold medallist, swimmer Ross Murdoch, was on hand to offer some top tips to the Gray / Connell family from Glasgow - three generations who are set to take part in the half mile distance. Headed up by Gordon Gray (55), the team also includes his son David (31) and grandsons Dylan and Darren Connell (14 and 12).

     The family were joined by Jane Turner (68) from Renfrew who is taking part in the Great Scottish Swim for the first time. Jane will be taking part in her first open water swim to fundraise for Macmillan as thank you for the care support they provided her daughter in her battle with cancer.

     Local Balloch boy Ross, who won the gold medal in the 200 metre breaststroke at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will be tackling the highly competitive one-mile elite race, going up against some of the world’s best open water swimmers.

     Ross, said: “It was great to meet Jane and the family today ahead of the Great Scottish Swim. I commend Jane for coming out of the pool and heading for the open water - trying something new a little later on in life is a big achievement. In terms of the family, seeing three generations take to the water is fantastic and really encouraging for the sport of swimming, both indoor and open water.

     “Swimming in Loch Lomond is an incredible experience, the setting is so beautiful and it’s great fun on the day with an incredible atmosphere. With four distance options available there is a swim to suit all ages and abilities, and I would encourage everyone to dive in to the challenge and take part in the Great Scottish Swim.”

     Swimmer Gordon Gray added: “Meeting Ross and listening to his top tips has been good motivation for the Great Scottish Swim in August. I’ve taken part in the swim five times previously but it will be the first time we have swam together as a family and we are all really looking forward to it.

     “I encouraged my grandsons to get involved in swimming from a young age and this year we decided to swim together and try to raise money for charity along the way. We will be swimming for The Beatson Cancer Charity as a ‘thank you’. They’re a local charity and the treatment and support they provided to my mother prior to her death a few years ago was tremendous.”

     Jane Turner added: “It’s been great to meet Ross today and to be in the surroundings of beautiful Loch Lomond. I swim five days a week but have never tried open water swimming before. I am really looking forward to the big day on 29 August and hopefully raising lots of money for Macmillan with every splash.”

     Over 2,000 people are set to take the plunge at this year’s Great Scottish Swim on Saturday 29 August.

     Alex Jackson, event director of the Great Swim Series at organiser Great Run Company said, “It’s great to have a big swimming star like Ross Murdoch here to support some of our participants before they take on the challenge of the Great Scottish Swim.

     “I look forward to welcoming Jane and the Gray/Connell family along with thousands of other swimmers from all around the UK to the shores of Loch Lomond on Saturday 29 August to take part in this iconic event. Entry is still open so grab your wetsuit and join us!”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: The Great Scottish Swim is a fantastic example of why Scotland truly is the perfect stage for events. Over 2,000 swimmers from across the UK will take to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park to experience open water swimming challenges in scenic surroundings which are second to none.   This is a great event for participants and spectators alike.”

     Mairi Bell, Head of Tourism at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “We’re delighted that Loch Lomond is the venue for the Great Scottish Swim for a third consecutive year and it’s particularly fitting that Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ross Murdoch, a local boy from Balloch, is swimming this year.

    Not only is it a great event to be part of, it brings a huge economic boost to the local area and gives us the opportunity to showcase the National Park as a premier location for outdoor recreation opportunities. We’re really looking forward to another successful year”. 

    This year, the National Park Authority and Scottish Swimming have teamed up to provide coaching sessions on Sunday 23 July.  Professional coaches will help you perfect your technique ahead of the big event.  The one-hour sessions are great for those looking to try open water swimming for the first time or for experienced swimmers to build confidence and improve performance.  For more information and to book, visit: www.scottishswimming.com

     The Great Scottish Swim is the fifth and final event in the Great Swim Series, Europe’s biggest open water mass participation swim series that sees more than 20,000 swimmers compete in five events in lakes, lochs and urban docks across the UK.  

     Entries to the event are open at www.greatswim.org/Scotland 

    Category: International Events

  • 08 July 2015

    Charities reap benefits of 2014 Ryder Cup

    Official Charities have reaped the benefit of their association with The 2014 Ryder Cup. Quarriers, Perth & Kinross Disability Sport, Friends of St Margaret’s and The McGinley Foundation have raised in excess of €1m, which will leave a lasting legacy across Scotland and Europe.

     In addition, over 50 non-official charities stretching across the globe from the US to Australia have also benefitted from donations of ticketing and memorabilia inventory allowing them to raise an additional €200,000 for their organisations taking the grand total raised as a result of The 2014 Ryder to in excess of €1.2m (£972,820).

     The Official Charities operating within Scotland were appointed by Ryder Cup Europe following nominations from key stakeholders including the Scottish Government, The Gleneagles Hotel and Perth & Kinross Council.  Quarriers, Perth & Kinross Disability Sport and Friends of St Margaret’s were awarded the status of Official Charity and given a complimentary allocation of general admission tickets and hospitality packages by Ryder Cup Europe.  The Official Charities capitalised on this inventory raising in excess of €520,000 through a variety of initiatives, auctions and sales prior to the Match week.

     Further fundraising events and activities staged by the Scottish Official Charities, either collectively or individually, created an additional €112,000 of charitable revenue.

     The McGinley Foundation, the Foundation of victorious European Captain Paul McGinley also raised significant funds, just over €315,000, in the run up to the week of “Glory at Gleneagles” through the use of additional ticketing and hospitality awarded to him as Captain, as well as appearance fees and prize money from the events that he participated in as Ryder Cup Captain.

     Further monies were collected for the Official Charities exclusively on-site at Gleneagles through the sales of merchandising such as Official Match Programmes, Official Posters and Tartan Charity Ribbons giving each charity a share of over €76,000 raised, taking the total raised by and for the Official Charities over the €1m mark.

     The money raised will be used to develop the care and services of the various organisations.  In the case of national social care charity Quarriers, these funds will help expand the development of its Coaching For Life initiative – a unique service which uses the principles of sport to work with and inspire young people affected by homelessness.  Coaching for life was launched as a result of its association with The Ryder Cup and helps hundreds of young people across Scotland to work towards a brighter future.

     Friends of St Margaret’s Hospital, based in Auchterarder, will focus the funds they have raised on improved care and equipment to benefit patients at the Hospital with the purchase of new state of the art patient handling equipment to move patients disabled by stroke and other disabling conditions as well as upgrade remaining hospital beds with modern hydraulic units designed for increased patient comfort and ease of nursing usage. Additional spaces for young disabled people to take part in sporting activities will be funded through Perth & Kinross Disability Sport as they are now in a position to employ a dedicated individual to promote and improve activities for athletes with a physical, learning or sensory disability. The hope is to drive disability sport to new levels.

     Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said: “It has been our privilege to support our Official Charities over the last 18 months. A key focus for The 2014 Ryder Cup was the legacy to Scotland as well as to golf and the links with local and national Scottish charities was an important part of achieving that.

     “We commend the Official Charities within Scotland, as well as The McGinley Foundation, for all of their hard work in achieving the sums raised and in time the additional services and care that have been born out of their association with this year’s Matches.

     “The support of non-official charities is an important aspect to charitable elements of the Matches and we are pleased that organisations across the globe from Europe to Australia have also benefited.  Thank you to everyone who contributed however small or large your donation was.”

    Paul Bush added: “The 2014 Ryder Cup was a terrific success for all involved and showed what Scotland can do on the world stage. It is fantastic to see that this success has extended to the wonderful charity work undertaken by the charity partners of The 2014 Ryder Cup and I am delighted to see that these great causes benefitted from their association with the event.

     “There are many reasons why we look to host the biggest and best events in world sport in Scotland from increasing tourism revenue to promoting the country on an international stage. But the fact that charities can reap the benefits of these international events is yet another terrific example of the advantages of staging big events.”

    Category: International Events

  • 06 July 2015

    Autumn storytelling spectacular Dragon Quest launches

    The dark woods of Monikie Country Park in Angus are set to come alive throughout October, with the launch of Dragon Quest. 

    A theatrical, mystical spectacular is being created within the woods of Monikie from Thursday 8 October to Sunday 1 November 2015 (excluding Mondays).

    Vision Mechanics, the Edinburgh theatre company behind ‘Big Man Walking’, ‘Giants in the Forest’ and ‘Embrace’, is creating the story-telling event, which will see the woods lit up and inhabited by huge, illuminated installations against a backdrop of music and giant figures.  The show will incorporate cutting-edge ‘Augmented Reality’ technologies alongside traditional treats to wow family audiences and leave lasting impressions on visitors.  

    Audiences will not only be amazed and intrigued by the impressive, interactive physical installations on offer but, through a downloadable App, enjoy a wider, high-tech experience.  By capturing images, they will trigger animations on their smart phones or tablets, seeing fairies, hovering flies and goblins as they walk through the woods on their search for an ancient dragon that has supposedly come to rest there.

    Dragon Quest has been supported by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said, “We are delighted to be supporting Dragon Quest, which includes funding for the event’s gaming app development. Monikie Country Park presents a perfect setting for people looking for something different to do on an autumnal evening, and I hope this immersive and interactive event will encourage the local community and visitors to Scotland, to experience the diverse natural beauty of this fantastic landscape at night.”

    Councillor Jeanette Gaul, Angus Council’s Vice-Convener of Communities added, “We are delighted to support and host this unique event and welcome Dragon Quest to Angus. Monikie Country Park is the ideal venue to set the scene for a magical spectacle for all the family.  We are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the county – and further afield – and I know it’s going to thrill and delight every visitor to the woods.” 

     Further information, including ticket availability, will be released in due course via the Dragon Quest website – dragonquest.org.uk and Facebook page - facebook.com/DarkWoodDragonQuest.

    For more information, please contact Vision Mechanics – telephone (0131) 554 8923, email info@visionmechanics.org or website www.visionmechanics.org.

    Category: National Events

  • 03 July 2015

    David Wilkie and Scott Quin open street art pool in the centre of Glasgow ahead of the IPC Swimming World Championships

    Scottish swimming legend David Wilkie and Scottish para-swimming European silver medallist Scott Quin today opened a street art swimming pool in Glasgow’s city centre ahead of July’s IPC Swimming World Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    David Wilkie, MBE, won 1976 Olympic Gold in Montreal and is the only person to have held British, American, Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic swimming titles at the same time.

    Scott Quin currently trains at Edinburgh’s Warrender Club, where Wilkie also trained. Quin, who won his first international medal in the 100m breaststroke SB14 at the IPC Swimming European Championships in 2014, has been selected for the British team in Glasgow and aims to make his mark on the world stage from 13-19 July.

    Quin said: “To have a legend like David Wilkie here today to support us is a real inspiration and it’s great seeing so many people turn out. It’s encouraging going into the Worlds. We really need the home crowd to come along and support us this year.”

    Tickets are on general sale at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/glasgow2015, priced at £10/£15 for adults and free for under-16s (terms and conditions apply).

    The IPC Swimming World Championships is the biggest para-swimming event outside of the Paralympic Games and brings together over 580 swimmers from nearly 70 countries for what will be a week-long celebration of world-class sport.

    David Wilkie said: “The IPC Swimming World Championships are one of the major events in the swimming calendar and it’s great to see the people of Glasgow come out today to show their support for the event and for our para-swimmers ahead of this summer’s Championships.

    “The Commonwealth Games last year was massive for sport and para-swimming in Glasgow and we will all be looking forward to the famous ‘Tollcross Roar’ that drove so many of the home athletes to success. It will be an unforgettable experience.”

    The event 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 includes four-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, Paralympic, World and Commonwealth champion Ollie Hynd and Glasgow swimming ace Andrew Mullen.

    In addition, some of the world’s best para-swimmers including 12-time Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long (USA), Paralympic and World champion Marc Evers (NED) and seven-time Paralympic champion Andre Brasil (BRA) will also compete.

    Across the seven days of competition there will be 152 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.

    Category: International Events

  • 02 July 2015

    Lulu set to support worthy cause at Wickerman

    One of the country’s best loved rock and soul voices, the legendary Lulu, is set to perform a special charity gig this July at Wickerman, Scotland’s hottest summer music festival.

     In addition to an evening appearance on the main Summerisle Stage on Friday 24th July, Lulu will also perform an intimate acoustic set that afternoon to raise funds for Maggie’s, the charity which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.

     Festival revelers will have the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with Lulu at the performance and take part in a Q & A with the iconic singer afterwards. The charity gig will take place at 5pm on Friday in Pianoman Tent– a new Festival feature for 2015.  The limited gig spaces will be on a first come, first served basis and donations will be encouraged on the door to help fund the vital work that Maggie’s Centres carry out for cancer patients and their families throughout the UK.

     Lulu commented:

    “I’m looking forward to performing a few acoustic songs and answering questions from the audience in the Pianoman Tent at this year’s Wickerman.

     The songs will be performed in a different style to the ones that I will be performing later that evening on the main stage. Knowing that this intimate performance will be for a truly worthy cause is fantastic and I look forward to being a part of it.”

     Often described as an ‘oasis’ for people with cancer and their family and friends, Maggie’s Centres are staffed by a team of qualified professionals, including Cancer Support Specialists, Benefits Advisors, Nutritionists and Psychologists who can support in whichever way best suits. It will also house a designated chill out zone where people in need can enjoy some rest and recuperation, practice yoga and listen to poetry.

     The new Pianoman Tent will house a dedicated Maggie’s team offering a drop in service throughout the day to offer anyone affected by cancer practical, emotional and social support.

     After dusk the venue will be transformed into a lively piano bar which will showcase a selection of the finest pianists, all of whom will be donating their time to support the charity. Artists topping the bill will be one of Scotland’s busiest party duos, Bleeker, and Edinburgh’s Fingers piano bar legends Marc the Piano Guy and Paul Crompton.  The piano itself was also kindly donated by Glasgow’s McLarens Pianos.

     After her own personal journey battling breast cancer, the Pianoman Tent is something very close to the heart of Festival Director, Jenny Camm.

     Jenny Camm, Festival Director, commented:

    “Having the Pianoman Tent at the Festival for the first time this year will be incredibly special and we hope it will provide an informal environment for those affected by the disease to find support in the day time and then to let their hair down and have some fun as the sun sets. It’s a real privilege to have Lulu supporting the charity by playing this unique gig and it will certainly offer Wickerman fans something a little different to kick off their weekend with us.”

     In addition to the Pianoman Tent Wickerman will also raise funds for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity with a brand new on site retro BlushBooth campervan, where festival lovers can pay a donation for some specially branded Wickerman snaps of themselves.

    Wickerman is one of the UK’s best-loved independent music festivals and is now entering its 14th consecutive year. With nine stages featuring an eclectic and exciting mix of leading artists, alternative acts and up-and-coming talent, the two day summer party caters for all musical tastes.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 July 2015

    Spectacular day for Piping at Forres

    Forres gave a Piping welcome for each of the 105 Pipe Bands who competed in the European Pipe Band Championships, sponsored by Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky held in Forres on Saturday 27 June, and the large crowds who came to the park to enjoy the day.

    Winners in grade 1 were Field Marshal Montgomery, second Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia and third St Laurence O’Toole from the Republic of Ireland.

     Johnstone came first in grade 2, grade 3A was won by City of Discovery, grade 3B by Portlethen and District; 4A by Methil and District; 4B Lanark and District.   Novice Juvenile winners were Dollar Academy.

    The Adult Drum Major title was won by Alicia Dickson Hamilton from Matt Boyd Memorial,

    Zoe McDowell from Aughintober won the Juvenile grade and Abigail Wenlock from Cullybackey won the Junior grade, her first ever championship.

     Full results are on the RSBPA website –www.rspba.org.

    Organised by Forres Events Ltd, the event was a great family day out with over 120 trade stalls. The Craft and Retail Village included a Johnstons of Elgin sponsored Craft Marquee. The Walkers Shortbread sponsored Food and Drink Marquee and Food and Drink Village featured some of the finest produce of Moray and the surrounding area.

    The World’s Tattie scone championship was won by Cardiff born, Senior Aircraftman Sam May from Catering Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, with his ‘Taffies’ Tattie Scone with smoked bacon and smoked Dorset cheese as his ingredient, 2nd was Norma Breathet a farmer from just outside Nairn with the ‘Lorne pipe’ with Lorne sausage and carmelised chutney.   Third was Elgin High School Teacher Ross Tyrbis with ‘KFT Kentucky Fried Tattie’ scone with mixed herbs and spices. 

    Shirley Spear, the current Highlands and Islands Ambassador for Food and Drink and owner of the Three Chimneys in Skye and one of the Tattie Scone judges said:   “There has been a fantastic number of entries and an amazing assortment of flavours and tastes – some more unusual than others.”

    Ian Widdowson, chairman of Forres Events Ltd said:  “Absolutely delighted that the sun has shone, the park has dried up and lots of people here are having a wonderful day. The park has a busy feel about it and everywhere you look there a lot of smiley happy faces.”

    Chieftain Mark Laing said:  “This has been a wonderful day, everybody has enjoyed themselves and the atmosphere is fantastic.   I am sure that Sir Alexander would be very happy to see this feast of colour and traditional music and be pleased to see his gift to Forres being put to such good use.”

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said:  “This is now our third year in Forres and each year the event has been better than the last,  Forres Events have taken piping championships to a new level and we are delighted to have signed the contract for a further 3 years in this wonderful location.   I look forward to seeing you next year.” 

    The Federation of Small Business best stall was awarded to Alan Macritchie of Ullapool Box Creations who said of his win:  “Really delighted to have won, lots of good products around and lots of competition so well chuffed to win.”

    Pearl Hamilton, Branch Chair of Moray and Keith Federation of Small Businesses said:  “We were impressed with the way Alan dealt with customers, the sustainability of his product and his knowledge of where his product came from together with the fact that he uses a lathe.  A very impressive and worthy winner against some strong competition.”

    George McIntyre a Trustee of The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation who were supporting the Education Centre said: “The park is a lovely natural setting for one of the largest single day events in Moray and such a colourful event.   I think it gets better every year.  The education centre gives youngsters a taste of the pipes and I think it is tremendous to have all these people who are giving up their time to encourage youngsters to take up the pipes.” 

    Angus Robertson whose tattie scone was hot chilli scone with olives and chilli said:  "Piping at Forres has wowed the crowds once again, with thousands flocking to Forres to play and thousands more to spectate. The event has rapidly become a major fixture in both Moray and the piping world's calendar. The organisers and volunteers who make it tick have done a great job.

    "The sound of the pipes and drums on such a phenomenal scale is really incredible and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone there."

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “We were delighted to support the European Pipe Band Championships with additional funding for the second year running.  Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Championships has developed itself as a standout event in the north-east of Scotland.”

    “The sight and sound of pipers always present a fantastic appeal for all ages. The combination of the warm Moray welcome, the scenic historical backdrop of Forres and world class piping on offer ensured that locals and visitors travelling from far and wide experienced a memorable day of wide-ranging entertainment at this year’s Championships.”

    Category: National Events

  • 30 June 2015

    Historic Racing Cars Tackle Scotland's Oldest Race Track

    Around 100 historic racing cars from across the UK will be tackling Scotland's oldest permanent racetrack in Bo'ness in September as they follow in the path once raced by legendary Scottish drivers such as Sir Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.

    The two day event takes place at Kinneil Estate on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of September and features a range of legendary cars from as early as 1904 right through to the 1970s including AC, Lotus, Bentley, Morgan, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Austin Healey, Porsche, Cooper and Triumph.

     The Bo'ness Hill Climb was established in 1934 and racing regularly took place, including British Championship meetings, attracting top drivers from across the UK including Sir Stirling Moss, until 1966 when the circuit was closed.

     In 2008, a group of dedicated enthusiasts (the Bo'ness Hill Climb Revival Ltd) re-opened the racing track with the help of Falkirk Council and staged the first competition at Kinneil for over 40 years.

     This year, highlights include:

    *       Historic racing action on both days

    *       An aerial display by an aerobatic bi-plane

    *       A huge classic car show with trade stands

    *       Colin McRae WRC Focus on display

    *       Scotland v England Hill Climb Challenge match

    This year will see a recreation the 1953 Hill Climb Challenge between Scotland and England with two teams of drivers battling it out against the clock for the team prize. The 1953 event was broadcast live on BBC television and the 2015 recreation will be shown on Motors TV.

     Iain Scott, Chair of Falkirk Community Trust said: "The Trust is very proud to be associated with the Hill Climb. It is an amazing sight and has proved popular with locals and visitors from all over the world who come back year after year.    It is a pleasure to work with such a great group of volunteers whose hard work and careful preparation ensure that all goes well on racing days.  Now bring on the good weather!"

    The 2015 Bo’ness Speed Hill Climb is funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland's Events Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Bo’ness Speed Hill Climb with additional funding which will enable increased promotion, as well as the introduction of a new spectator grandstand at the event. Bo’ness, and indeed Scotland has a great history of motorsport and I’m certain the programme highlights unveiled today will not only provide a memorable spectator experience for all ages across the two days, but will once again place Scotland on the map as a perfect destination to celebrate automotive and motor sporting heritage.”

     Kenny Baird, Chairman of BHCR said: "The event opens on Saturday 5th September at 9.30am for practice sessions with competition runs in the afternoon.  This format is repeated on Sunday. The classic car show is also open on both days.

    Entry to the event is £10 for adults per day and is free to accompanied children under 15.  Early Bird pre-event discounted tickets are available online. Unaccompanied under 15s will not be allowed entry for safety reasons. Dogs cannot be admitted to the venue either.

    Food outlets are available on site as well as memorabilia and trade stands and displays of classic cars of all ages."

     Visitors should note that part of Kinneil Estate will be closed for the weekend. More information from www.bonesshillclimb.org.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 30 June 2015

    OVER 50,000 ADMISSIONS FOR 69th EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    The 69th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) drew to a close on Sunday night having screened 134 new features over the 12 day Festival.  More than 50,000 admissions represent a nine per cent increase on 2014.  An additional 14,600 people enjoyed the Festival’s two weekends of outdoor screenings, as part of Film in the City.

     The Festival sold tickets for its venues across the city, which included the EIFF’s home at Filmhouse, its venue partner Cineworld, and at Festival Theatre Edinburgh, the Traverse, Dominion Cinema, Odeon Lothian Road, Royal Lyceum Theatre and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.

     Ken Hay, CEO Edinburgh International Film Festival, commented; “There have been some truly memorable moments at the Festival this year, from the spectacular opening night World Premiere of THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, Ewan McGregor’s sold out In Person at the Lyceum, the skype Q&A with the stars of our Documentary Award Winning Film THE WOLFPACK, the sensational screening of BACK TO THE FUTURE with the RSNO performing the score live, and the opportunity to meet filmmaking legends, Haskell Wexler and Johnnie To.  Our audiences have obviously responded to our rich and diverse programme and we are thrilled to see the increase in admissions.”

     Winning films this year included Andrew Haigh’s 45 YEARS which picked up The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL won the Award for Best Film in the International Competition and THE WOLFPACK was presented with the Award for Best Documentary Feature which received its European Premiere at the Festival.  The Audience Award was won by BIG GOLD DREAM: SCOTTISH POST-PUNK AND INFILTRATING THE MAINSTREAM.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 June 2015

    Less than a week to go - competition to design 2016 logo closes midnight 12 July

     

    Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013, Nico Krijno
    There are now less than 2 weeks left to enter the competition to design the identity for Scotland's next Themed Year - promoting Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    As Scotland looks to its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016, VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, is putting young design talent at the heart of plans and is inviting young creatives in Scotland to design the official logo used to promote the year.
    The designer whose logo is selected will win up to £3,000 towards materials, tools or activity to support their own professional development in the design sector.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of events, festivals, business conferences and exhibitions aimed at attracting participation and engagement from visitors and locals, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as some of our unique hidden gems.
    The winning design will become the official logo for the forthcoming themed year and will be used across multiple channels by VisitScotland and partner organisations across national and international promotional activity throughout 2015 and 2016.
    The competition is a great opportunity for a young creative to add a design to their portfolio that has the potential to be seen by millions of people and become highly recognisable during the year. The winner will also be able to see their logo design carried across a programme of major and special events due to take place throughout 2016.
    The judging panel, consisting of experts from across the themed year sectors, will look for a contemporary, eye-catching, practical design that can be used across a variety of different channels and alongside partner logos. 
    Entries to the competition must be from individuals aged between 16 and 25 years of age, who are resident in Scotland. For more information click here >>
    Designs should be submitted via email to communications@eventscotland.org. 
    The closing date for entries is Sunday 12 July 2015 (at midnight). The winning design will be announced thereafter. 

    Photo: Issey Miyake and Callum Innes at Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013, part of Edinburgh Art Festival, hosted by Ingleby Gallery. Photo by Nico Krijno.

     

    There is now less than a week left to enter the competition to design the identity for Scotland's next Themed Year - promoting Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    As Scotland looks to its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016, VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, is putting young design talent at the heart of plans and is inviting young creatives in Scotland to design the official logo used to promote the year.

    The designer whose logo is selected will win up to £3,000 towards materials, tools or activity to support their own professional development in the design sector.

    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of events, festivals, business conferences and exhibitions aimed at attracting participation and engagement from visitors and locals, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as some of our unique hidden gems.

    The winning design will become the official logo for the forthcoming themed year and will be used across multiple channels by VisitScotland and partner organisations across national and international promotional activity throughout 2015 and 2016.

    The competition is a great opportunity for a young creative to add a design to their portfolio that has the potential to be seen by millions of people and become highly recognisable during the year.

    The winner will also be able to see their logo design carried across a programme of major and special events due to take place throughout 2016.

    The judging panel, consisting of experts from across the themed year sectors, will look for a contemporary, eye-catching, practical design that can be used across a variety of different channels and alongside partner logos. 

    Entries to the competition must be from individuals aged between 16 and 25 years of age, who are resident in Scotland. For more information click here >>

    Designs should be submitted via email to communications@eventscotland.org. 

    The closing date for entries is Sunday 12 July 2015 (at midnight).

    The winning design will be announced thereafter. 

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 19 June 2015

    NATIONWIDE EVENTS TO CELEBRATE MULTI-CULTURAL SCOTLAND

     

    Multi-cultural celebrations will play an even greater part in the 2015 Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals thanks to new funding announced today.
    A BEMIS Scotland fund of over £52,000 - provided with support from the Scottish Government - will be used to arrange events across the country celebrating ‘Scotland’s mosaic of communities and evolving heritage’. 
    This programme will form part of the ‘Year of Food and Drink 2015’ and Scotland’s Winter Festivals in 2015/16. The majority of the fund will be available to local, diverse community organisations across Scotland to enable them to celebrate Scotland using their own unique cultural characteristics

    Multi-cultural celebrations will play an even greater part in the 2015 Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals thanks to new funding announced today.

    A BEMIS Scotland fund of over £52,000 - provided with support from the Scottish Government - will be used to arrange events across the country celebrating ‘Scotland’s mosaic of communities and evolving heritage’. 

    This programme will form part of the Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16 programme. The majority of the fund will be available to local, diverse community organisations across Scotland to enable them to celebrate Scotland using their own unique cultural characteristics.

    Groups interested in applying for funding should contact BEMIS Scotland at festival@bemis.org.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 18 June 2015

    RED CARPET ROLLED OUT AS ROBERT CARLYLE AND STARS OPEN 69TH EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    Edinburgh, 18 June 2015 – EIFF Honorary Patron Robert Carlyle took to the red carpet at Festival Theatre Edinburgh last night as THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, Carlyle’s feature film directorial debut, opened this year’s 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).  Joining him on the red carpet from the film (in which he also stars) were fellow cast members Ashley Jensen, Kevin Guthrie, Brian Pettifer, Samuel Robertson, Tom Courtenay, James Cosmo, Martin Compston and Stephen McCole. Joining EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams at the World Premiere were Festival jurors Amy Berg (Director; International Juror), Archie Panjabi (Actor; International Juror), Kenneth Turan (Critic; Michael Powell Juror), Karen Gillan (Actor, Director; Michael Powell Juror), Ian Hart (Actor; Michael Powell Juror), Denis Lawson (Actor; Documentary Juror), Jo Hartley (Actor; Documentary Juror), Jacqueline Lyanga (AFI Festival Director; Documentary Juror), Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Director; Shorts Juror), Dolly Wells (Actor; Shorts Juror) and Jaime Winstone (Actor; Shorts Juror). Other guests in attendance were Sophie Kennedy Clark (The Marriage of Reason & Squalor) Shauna McDonald (Filth), Cal Macaninch (Banished), Ewen Bremner (Banished), Iain De Caestecker (Outlander; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander) and Sam Heughan (Outlander).

     Following the screening of Carlyle’s darkly humorous Glasgow-set thriller, during which the audience enjoyed ice cream provided by Graham’s The Family Dairy, guests partied the night away at The National Museum of Scotland, nibbling on ‘Party Time Must Have’ - irresistible Scottish sausage rolls & favourite brown sauce; ‘Glasgow Spice’ - vegetable pakora & blood red spicy onions and ‘Sticky Bun Night’ - Jimmy's Favourite’s boxed up sweets. Canapés were washed down with Coors Light (EIFF’s Official Beer Partner), from a special Coors Light bar, plus Grolsch, Blue Moon, Inverarity Morton speciality wines and award-winning Gordon Castle Gin.  A pop-up barber’s bar offering “Cut Throat Shaves” and “Wee Tidy Ups” provided by Ruffians ensured all gents were freshly groomed for the party and a photobooth, provided by EIFF Official Airline Partner American Airlines, enabled guests to capture their special night on film. As the party came to a close, guests were transported by EIFF’s Official Vehicle Partner, Peter Vardy.  Guest beauty and grooming was provided by Charlie Miller Hairdressing and the Lauren Gollan Academy of Make-Up Artistry.

     The evening marks the start of the 12 day Festival which will host 24 World Premieres in the Capital, as well as special events, screenings, live performances and much more. Highlights include EIFF Honorary Patron Seamus McGarvey who returns with his cinematography ‘In Conversation’ series with two-time Academy Award® winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler; LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT which will be introduced by Ewan McGregor and Director Rodrigo Garcia at Festival Theatre on Sunday; the European Premiere of BEREAVE starring Malcolm McDowell and Jane Seymour; the English-language version of UNDER MILK WOOD, a beautiful film adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ iconic classic starring Rhys Ifans and Charlotte Church; for families, the UK Premiere of Disney Pixar’s latest animation INSIDE OUT; the World Premiere of LEN AND COMPANY from Tim Godsall;  THE MARRIAGE OF REASON & SQUALOR starring Rhys Ifans and Sophie Kennedy Clark; powerful and moving romance SAND DOLLARS; MANSON FAMILY VACATION from director J. Davis; THE CIRCLE which screens as part of The Young and The Wild strand; POLSKA, music documentary following legendary musician Fish; family drama BLOOD CELLS; Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer’s real-life comedy DOLL & EM; brothers Paul and Ludwig Shammasian’s THE PYRAMID TEXTS starring James Cosmo;  actress Talulah Riley’s debut as writer/director, SCOTTISH MUSSEL, and Empire magazine’s world famous Podcast returns to the Festival with special guests.

     Based on the book “The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson” by Douglas Lindsay, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON is a dark comedy that tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences. Complicating matters further, Barney’s mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own, causing a bloody and comedic chain of events. While Barney clumsily tries to cover his and his mother’s tracks, the local police inspector Holdall (Winstone) fights his own battles within his inept homicide department as he tries to solve the crime of the century. A black comedy of errors unfolds as the police try to capture the murderer at large. The film will be released nationwide on 24 July 2015 through Icon Film Distribution.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 June 2015

    Scotland to host prestigious European rugby finals in 2017

    Scotland has been chosen to host rugby’s 2017 European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup finals it was announced today.

     European Professional Club Rugby, the organising body for the tournaments which represent the pinnacle of club rugby in Europe, announced the award in Geneva.

     The two matches, which will be played in May 2017 over the same weekend, will be hosted in Edinburgh, with the European Champions Cup Final scheduled for BT Murrayfield. The venue for the European Challenge Cup Trophy is still to be decided.

     Scottish Rugby developed the bid to bring the cup finals to the country in partnership with the Scottish Government and Event Scotland and welcomed the decision of the EPCR board.

     Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs said: “I am absolutely delighted we have been chosen to host the prestigious European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup finals in Scotland.

    “It is a real endorsement of the work Scottish Rugby and its partners have achieved and will create a fantastic sporting weekend in Edinburgh and bring fans to the city from across Europe.

    “We have a great track record of putting on world-class events, including the highly successful hosting of the previous European Cup finals in 2005 and 2009 at BT Murrayfield and this award will give us a further chance to showcase the passion for rugby and international sport here in Scotland.”

     Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: ““After what has been quite a successful season for rugby in Scotland with Glasgow being crowned Pro12 champions and Edinburgh reaching the final of the European Challenge Cup, this announcement will keep the feel good factor in the game going.

     “Staging the 2014 Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup has shown Scotland is well equipped to host major events. BT Murrayfield is one of the world’s top sporting arenas and it is a fitting venue to stage the pinnacle of European club rugby.

     “Congratulations to the SRU and I’m sure we all look forward to welcoming fans to the capital in 2017 and showing what Edinburgh, and Scotland, has to offer.”

     VisitScotland Chairman, Mike Cantlay, said: “Securing the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup for 2017 is a major boost for Scottish Rugby and for Scotland as a whole. These two events are the culmination of the rugby season and will bring in thousands of visitors from the countries of participating teams.    Event tourism is crucial because it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides an international shop window for Scotland.   

    “In 2009 the then Heineken Cup brought in over £12m of direct additional spend to Scotland and these two events will certainly generate even greater impact.    

    “The media profile will be superb as well and with television coverage across Europe and beyond these events offer a great opportunity for us to demonstrate that Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events.”

     This year Twickenham hosted the European Champions Cup Final between French clubs Toulon and Clermont, with the Stoop, home to Harlequins RFC, as the venue for the European Challenge Cup final which was contested between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester.

     Lyon has been chosen as the host city for the events in 2016.

    Category: International Events

  • 15 June 2015

    Belladrum introduces Deliciously Bella Feasting Tent

     

    EAT TO THE BEAT AT BELLA WITH CLAIRE MACODNALD – SKYE CELEBRITY COOK CURATES ‘DELICIOUSLY BELLA’ RESTAURANT AT FESTIVAL
    Highland celebrity cook Claire MacDonald has concocted a new recipe for enjoying Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival this year (Beauly Inverness-shire; 6-8th August). The creator of the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge Hotel in Skye is curating the ‘Deliciously Bella' feasting tent at the festival, where diners can enjoy a restaurant experience and the best produce the Highlands has to offer!
    Supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland, ‘Deliciously Bella’ will feature gourmet breakfasts and four sittings a day for a lunch/ dinner menu created by Claire. The feasts will take place on long banqueting tables in the new woodland area of the festival, and will serve as the perfect setting for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, or just an excuse to spoil yourself with a delicious Highland’s meal!
    “It’s going to be a case of ‘Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve Got Love In My Tummy,” said festival promoter Joe Gibbs. “Although Bella already offers one of the best selections of outdoor catering around, we felt there was demand from some of our audience to get around a table and eat the finest that the Highlands can offer. Naturally we went to our Highland super star cook Claire to curate this for us.”
    The menu will feature many local producers to highlight the bounty of local produce in the Highlands area including the Cromarty Bakery, who will bring flour power to the meal with a range of their artisan breads, served with Hebridean sea salt, Cullisse cold-pressed rapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar. 
    There will be surf-and-turf each day including seafood platters of west-coast langoustines, scallops and crab from the Scottish West Coast Langoustine co-operative. 
    On Friday, the turf will be mouthwatering seared fillets of 28 day matured Highland beef, and on Saturday there will be cutlets and slow-roast legs of Highlands lamb over an open fire, from Fraser Brothers butchers in Dingwall. 
    Vegetarians will have Claire’s delicious walnut pastry, pink peppercorn and three cheese tart, with cheeses supplied by Connage Dairy, as well as salads galore with produce from Wester Muir Fruit Farm, Macleod Organics, potatoes from the Black Isle and many more! Wine and other drinks will also be on offer throughout.
    On top of this there will be a rolling brunch menu with offerings such as Kedgeree with Herbredian Smoke House salmon, Fishcakes from the Isle of Ewe Smoke House, Harry Gow bakery treats, and omelets from The Egg Box in Cromarty! Wine and Highland ales will also be available. 
    “In true Bella style, this must be the only restaurant in the world where you’ll be welcome in your Wellie boots while you listen to a string quartet and round off four courses with deep fried Mars Bar bites which are Claire’s favorite treat!” Said Joe. 
    Tickets are available for the four sittings at: http://bit.ly/bella15tix
    The Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 celebrates the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce. Enjoy brilliant moments packed with regional delights and discover the landscapes, people and culture that make our food heritage so unique. Come and experience it and taste the very best Scotland has to offer.
    Already announced for Belladrum’s music line-up are The Proclaimers headlining the new Thursday night bill on the main stage, with The Correspondents, Keston Cobblers Club, Scooty & The Skyhooks and Bite Night also on the Thursday bill. Manic Street Preachers headline Friday night and   Kaiser Chiefs headline the Saturday. Also featured are: The Stranglers; New Model Army; Rival Sons; Martha Reeves & The Vandellas; Villagers; Hayseed Dixie; Stornoway; Drenge; King Cresote; Fatherson; Eddi Reader Honeyblood; John Langan Band; RURA; Vigo Thieves; Vukovi; Neon Waltz; JP Cooper; Louis Berry; James Brown Is Annie; Silver Coast; Adam French; Hector Bizerk; Miss Irenie Rose; AKAska; The Dolly Parton Story; The Skull Kids; Sliga; Elephant Sessions, Jamie Lawson; Have Mercy Las Vegas; The Shee; Rhythm Wave; Iain McLaughlin & The  Outsiders; Dorec-a-Belle; Caledonian Ceilidh Trail; Head North KLOË; Manran; Martin Stephenson & The Daintees; MacFloyd; Tantz; Torridon; Coco & The Butterfields; The New Madrids; Blackbeard’s Tea Party; Dizraeli & The Small Gods; Goat Roper Rodeo Band; Rusty Shackle and Junebug. 
    Belladrum 2015 takes place in the beautiful Highland surroundings of Belladrum Estate, near Beauly in Inverness-shire. The independent festival has built a reputation for its eclectic line-ups, its offbeat non-musical entertainments and its all-ages approach. The festival won a VisitScotland Thistle Award in 2009 and is a past winner of the Grassroots Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards, the festival industry’s ‘Oscars’.

    Skye celebrity cook Claire MacDonald curates Deliciously Bella restaurant at festival

    The creator of the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge Hotel in Skye is curating the ‘Deliciously Bella' feasting tent at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival this year (Beauly Inverness-shire 6 – 8 August), at which diners can enjoy a restaurant experience and the best produce the Highlands has to offer!

    Supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland, ‘Deliciously Bella’ will feature gourmet breakfasts and four sittings a day for a lunch/dinner menu created by Claire.

    The feasts will take place on long banqueting tables in the new woodland area of the festival, and will serve as the perfect setting for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, or just an excuse to spoil yourself with a delicious Highland’s meal!

    “It’s going to be a case of ‘Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve Got Love In My Tummy,” said festival promoter Joe Gibbs.

    “Although Bella already offers one of the best selections of outdoor catering around, we felt there was demand from some of our audience to get around a table and eat the finest that the Highlands can offer. Naturally we went to our Highland super star cook Claire to curate this for us.”

    The menu will feature many local producers to highlight the bounty of local produce in the Highlands area including the Cromarty Bakery, who will bring flour power to the meal with a range of their artisan breads, served with Hebridean sea salt, Cullisse cold-pressed rapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar.

    There will be surf-and-turf each day including seafood platters of west-coast langoustines, scallops and crab from the Scottish West Coast Langoustine co-operative.

    On Friday, the turf will be mouth-watering seared fillets of 28 day matured Highland beef, and on Saturday there will be cutlets and slow-roast legs of Highlands lamb over an open fire, from Fraser Brothers butchers in Dingwall.

    Vegetarians will have Claire’s delicious walnut pastry, pink peppercorn and three cheese tart, with cheeses supplied by Connage Dairy, as well as salads galore with produce from Wester Muir Fruit Farm, Macleod Organics, potatoes from the Black Isle and many more! Wine and other drinks will also be on offer throughout.

    On top of this there will be a rolling brunch menu with offerings such as Kedgeree with Herbredian Smoke House salmon, Fishcakes from the Isle of Ewe Smoke House, Harry Gow bakery treats, and omelets from The Egg Box in Cromarty! Wine and Highland ales will also be available.

    “In true Bella style, this must be the only restaurant in the world where you’ll be welcome in your Wellie boots while you listen to a string quartet and round off four courses with deep fried Mars Bar bites which are Claire’s favorite treat!” said Joe.

    Tickets are available for the four sittings at www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk/tickets  

    Already announced for Belladrum’s music line-up are: The Proclaimers headlining the new Thursday night bill on the main stage, with The Correspondents, Keston Cobblers Club, Scooty & The Skyhooks and Bite Night also on the Thursday bill. Manic Street Preachers headline Friday night and   Kaiser Chiefs headline the Saturday. Also featured are: The Stranglers; New Model Army; Rival Sons; Martha Reeves & The Vandellas; Villagers; Hayseed Dixie; Stornoway; Drenge; King Cresote; Fatherson; Eddi Reader Honeyblood; John Langan Band; RURA; Vigo Thieves; Vukovi; Neon Waltz; JP Cooper; Louis Berry; James Brown Is Annie; Silver Coast; Adam French; Hector Bizerk; Miss Irenie Rose; AKAska; The Dolly Parton Story; The Skull Kids; Sliga; Elephant Sessions, Jamie Lawson; Have Mercy Las Vegas; The Shee; Rhythm Wave; Iain McLaughlin & The  Outsiders; Dorec-a-Belle; Caledonian Ceilidh Trail; Head North KLOË; Manran; Martin Stephenson & The Daintees; MacFloyd; Tantz; Torridon; Coco & The Butterfields; The New Madrids; Blackbeard’s Tea Party; Dizraeli & The Small Gods; Goat Roper Rodeo Band; Rusty Shackle and Junebug.

     

    Belladrum 2015 takes place in the beautiful Highland surroundings of Belladrum Estate, near Beauly in Inverness-shire. The independent festival has built a reputation for its eclectic line-ups, its offbeat non-musical entertainments and its all-ages approach. The festival won a VisitScotland Thistle Award in 2009 and is a past winner of the Grassroots Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards, the festival industry’s ‘Oscars’.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 15 June 2015

    Excitement builds for Edinburgh's inaugural Cake Fest

    Teams of cake makers to descend on the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Sunday 21 June to create a 70m2 edible map of the city

    Amateur and professional cake makers have taken up their mixing bowls to help create well known monuments from across the city out of sponge, chocolate, icing, biscuit and other ingredients.  The Royal Yacht Britannia, the Scott Monument, the Victorian Palm House, Portobello Promenade and, of course, Edinburgh Castle are just some of the 50-plus sites that will make up the edible Cake Fest map that will sit on the lawn of Inverleith House. Once complete the map will be admired by the crowds before being cut up and shared.

    Cake Fest is supported as part of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland.

    Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government Culture Secretary said: “Cakefest at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh provides a fantastic opportunity for our visitors and local communities to come together in a unique celebration of the Year of Food and Drink and also the capital’s world famous architecture and landscapes. As we progress through the summer months there is no better time to sample some of Scotland’s excellent fresh, local produce at the many events across Scotland celebrating the Year of Food and Drink.”

    The event also receives financial support from Edinburgh Tourism Action Group and GreenCity Wholefoods. Parts of the map will be created with sponsored ingredients from Tunnocks and Walkers Shortbread.

    Cake Fest is the brainchild of Edinburgh-based food innovator Simon Preston. He said: “Cake Fest is all about getting friends, families and colleagues together to bake and to celebrate good local food. The response has been huge and we signed up over 50 volunteer baking teams in no time. All the key landmarks, like the Balmoral Hotel and the National Monument, have been claimed but it’s also wonderful that Cake Fest brings lesser known buildings into the spotlight, like Lamb’s House in Leith. Each baker brings their own handwriting to their cakes and many add a dash of artistic license and humour too, it’ll be amazing to see all that passion and creativity close up.”

    Cake Fest Edinburgh forms part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s annual Midsummer celebrations. 

    Elinor Gallant, Public Programmes Manager at the Garden said: “We are delighted to be hosting Cake Fest on Inverleith House Lawn, which offers one of the best views across Edinburgh’s skyline, acting as an ideal backdrop to this ambitious cake map of the city. Our late opening for Midsummer has become an annual tradition, and we look forward to welcoming all the bakers and cake eaters to what promises to be a spectacular event.”

    Once the edible map is complete and before it is cut up and shared, baking teams will be asked to choose their favourite cake. The Bakers Choice Award will be presented by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

     As well as the Cake Fest Edinburgh map, there will be food and drink stalls from some of Scotland’s best producers, and free entertainment until late into the evening.

    Cake Fest Edinburgh is a free event taking place on Sunday 21 June from 12noon on the Inverleith House lawn at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. For more information visit cakefest.org.uk  

    Category: Industry News

  • 15 June 2015

    Just under 1 Month to Go to IPC Swimming World Championships

    Just 1 month to go before the world's greatest para-swimmers come to Glasgow for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships! Watch a trailer now.

    Category: International Events

  • 12 June 2015

    CREATIVE PLACE AWARDS 2015 Winners announced

     

    The communities of Stornoway and the islands of Lewis and Harris, Forres Area and Moniaive/Glencairn Parish, have each won a Creative Place Award.
    The Awards were announced to a packed audience at an evening awards ceremony, which took place at Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk (Wednesday 10 June, 2015), in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. The event was arranged by Creative Scotland in partnership with EventScotland and Falkirk Community Trust.
    Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work and
    imagination that contribute to the cultural life of Scotland’s communities is recognised and rewarded
    It is the aim of the Creative Place Awards to provide inspiration for people and visitors by encouraging and celebrating the exceptional creative programmes that are taking place in towns, villages and communities across the country and supporting the development of projects that might not otherwise get recognition.
    As well as attracting tourists and inward investment, creative and cultural activity helps to support and shape our communities and places – fostering and reinforcing people’s sense of identity and community cohesion.
    Creative and cultural projects can deliver real benefits to communities across Scotland. These rewards can be maximised through partnership working, particularly across sectors such as business, planning and culture.
    WINNERS:
    STORNOWAY AND THE ISLANDS OF LEWIS AND HARRIS awarded £125,000 Stornoway and the surrounding villages will use the award for a programme to present and profile a route of artistic and cultural experiences into, throughout and beyond the town, so that Stornoway becomes a recognised gateway to the creative community of the Outer Hebrides. Key activities include innovative and creative residencies in Stornoway Port Authority, the new Lews Castle Museum and Archive and other key local businesses and venues; traditional and contemporary Gaelic music and performing arts events in intriguing and unusual places; commissioning works to create an arts trail and route through the town; curated exhibitions in pop up venues; walking and Segway tours incorporating digital storytelling; specialist creative business support and a programme of staff development for all partners to raise the quality of the visitor experience.
    Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of an Lantair, said: “We are overjoyed with this result. What a wonderful opportunity this is to celebrate the incredible, creative Gaelic community of Stornoway and the outlying islands of Lewis and Harris. We are delighted and cannot wait to get our
    project - ‘Bealach’ - off the ground, which will see a dynamic partnership from across our community come together to create a route and gateway to Gaelic arts experiences into, throughout and beyond the town of Stornoway. There will be innovative residencies, Gaelic music compositions, productions and performances, trails, exhibitions, tours, bilingual digital storytelling, mentoring for emerging artists, and much more. We would like to thank Creative Scotland and the judges for this fantastic opportunity, which will bring wide reaching recognition to the distinctive, world class Gaelic culture and heritage of our creative island community.”
    FORRES AREA awarded £100,000 The Forres area community will use the award to support and promote local arts participation in Culture Day 2015; Findhorn Bay Arts Festival 2016; Project ARTS; and Culture Café events. Culture Day is an open doors carnivalesque cultural extravaganza that has previously showcased over 100 arts and cultural organisations in Moray. Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is a spectacular celebration of arts and culture, showcasing artists of national and international renown. This project would build on previous work, offering an enhanced programme and providing a funding pot to assist local artists to develop work and take part. Project ARTS aims to support the creation of a wide range of public art and creative work, which connects with local businesses and community in Forres area. Culture Café would be a regular event held at different locations, focusing on network and development functions in Forres area.
    Kresanna Aigner, Director at Findhorn Bay Arts, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Forres Area has won a 2015 Creative Place Award! This award celebrates and acknowledges the creative energy and assets of the Forres area and sets us at the top of our game on a National level. “The Forres Area Creative Places programme builds on the capacity of the area’s vibrant creative sector by seizing the momentum and energy generated by recent projects and events – now is the time and Forres Area is the place! “Our Creative Place programme will showcase high quality, professional visual and performing arts, from small to large scale, and will widen and strengthen partnerships across communities and business. The resulting projects will delight, enthuse and engage a wide range of new and
    existing audiences, whilst raising awareness of the cultural, social and economic benefits to the area.”
    MONIAIVE/GLENCAIRN PARISH awarded £50,000 The award will be used to connect existing cultural activities under three programme strands: visual arts, music and literature. This would support the work of creative professionals based in Moniaive; expand opportunities for people living in Moniaive to be involved in creative activities and promote creative work to attract visitors and support local businesses.
    Peter Roberts, said: "The organisers of Moniaive Festival Village are elated to win this award. Arts and culture are really important in supporting the social and economic wellbeing of Moniaive, and this award will enable us to do even more to build a sustainable future for this buzzing little community. We will use it to connect creative professionals with the wider community in a programme combining artist-led community-based arts activities with new works by practising artists. This work will focus on three 'big ideas' in visual arts, literature and music. It will also provide a platform for longer term regeneration projects."
    Responding to this evening’s announcement, Janet Archer, Chief Executive at Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Moniave/Glencairn Parish, Forres Area and Stornoway and the islands of Lewis and Harris on winning this year’s Creative Place Award. It is such a privilege to be able to share the passion and depth of commitment these communities are making through arts, creativity and culture.
    “The written entries, the inspiring films and the audio pieces we received from all nine finalists made this an extremely enjoyable, but difficult judging process. They all acted as powerful testimonies to the difference creativity is making to people everywhere and all the finalists should be fiercely proud of their achievements.
    “We were bowled over by the quality of the submissions received this year - 32 entries from communities in Scotland, across 21 different Local Authority Areas. This is the highest number of entries we have received since these awards began four years ago, I’m not exaggerating when I say that the standard has never been higher.”
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who presented the award to winners, Stornoway commented: “The Creative Place Awards celebrate all that is best about our communities in Scotland and recognise the hard work and imagination driving the cultural life of communities all over the country. There are exceptional creative programmes taking place in towns, villages and communities across the country and these awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to supporting the development of projects that might not otherwise get recognition, and tonight’s awards are a celebration of that. Creative and cultural activity helps to support and shape our communities and places – fostering and reinforcing people’s sense of identity and community cohesion and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the exciting work this year’s three prize winners have planned.”
    Representatives from the three communities received the awards at tonight’s ceremony hosted by broadcaster Janice Forsyth. The winners of each category received cash awards to enable them to enhance and promote their creative activity throughout 2015/16.
    The Creative Place Awards winners were chosen by a Jury panel made up of: Janet Archer, CEO at Creative Scotland, (Chair of Jury panel); Jim Tough, Executive Director at the Saltire Society; Iain Caimbeul, CEO at Bòrd na Gàidhlig; Vic Galloway, Presenter; and Julie Fowlis, Musician.
    Falkirk was selected as the host of this year’s awards after winning a Creative Place Award in 2014. Falkirk community are using their Award to support a project called Acts of Discovery, offering audiences a fresh look at the area and its cultural offering. Based on the themes of people, routes and pathways, Acts of Discovery builds on and complements Falkirk’s cultural offering.
    Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism for Falkirk, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. We are delighted to pass the baton on and hope that this award enables each winner to truly celebrate the creative talent of the people living and working in their area.
    Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We would like to congratulate all of this year’s Creative Place award winners. I remember that wonderful moment a year ago when Falkirk was
    announced as a winner and the excitement we all felt when we realised the cultural journey that we had ahead of us. We have created a wonderful legacy for Falkirk through Creative place and we wish tonight’s winners every success.
    EventScotland has been a partner of the Creative Place Awards since 2012.
    Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “The Creative Place Awards are a fantastic way of promoting and celebrating Scotland’s wealth of creative talent. I would like to congratulate Moniaive, Forres and Stornoway on their outstanding achievements, and hope it leads to more visitors coming to see what these ‘Creative Places’ have to offer. Creative industries are a core part of Scotland’s tourism offering, and each of the shortlisted places can be proud of their contribution to our global reputation.”
    Rhona Corscadden, Senior Events Manager at EventScotland, said: “Applications for the awards this year were particularly strong, with the final shortlist representing the breadth and depth of creative talent Scotland is home to. These awards recognise the role our communities play in our cultural sector, and the associated grants will allow them to continue to develop and realise their ambitions in the arts.”

    The communities of Stornoway and the islands of Lewis and Harris, Forres Area and Moniaive/Glencairn Parish, have each won a Creative Place Award.

    The Awards were announced to a packed audience at an evening awards ceremony, which took place at Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk (Wednesday 10 June, 2015), in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. The event was arranged by Creative Scotland in partnership with EventScotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

    Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work andimagination that contribute to the cultural life of Scotland’s communities is recognised and rewarded.

    It is the aim of the Creative Place Awards to provide inspiration for people and visitors by encouraging and celebrating the exceptional creative programmes that are taking place in towns, villages and communities across the country and supporting the development of projects that might not otherwise get recognition.

    As well as attracting tourists and inward investment, creative and cultural activity helps to support and shape our communities and places – fostering and reinforcing people’s sense of identity and community cohesion.

    Creative and cultural projects can deliver real benefits to communities across Scotland. These rewards can be maximised through partnership working, particularly across sectors such as business, planning and culture.

    WINNERS:STORNOWAY AND THE ISLANDS OF LEWIS AND HARRIS awarded £125,000 Stornoway and the surrounding villages will use the award for a programme to present and profile a route of artistic and cultural experiences into, throughout and beyond the town, so that Stornoway becomes a recognised gateway to the creative community of the Outer Hebrides.

    Key activities include innovative and creative residencies in Stornoway Port Authority, the new Lews Castle Museum and Archive and other key local businesses and venues; traditional and contemporary Gaelic music and performing arts events in intriguing and unusual places; commissioning works to create an arts trail and route through the town; curated exhibitions in pop up venues; walking and Segway tours incorporating digital storytelling; specialist creative business support and a programme of staff development for all partners to raise the quality of the visitor experience.

    Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of an Lantair, said: “We are overjoyed with this result. What a wonderful opportunity this is to celebrate the incredible, creative Gaelic community of Stornoway and the outlying islands of Lewis and Harris. We are delighted and cannot wait to get ourproject - ‘Bealach’ - off the ground, which will see a dynamic partnership from across our community come together to create a route and gateway to Gaelic arts experiences into, throughout and beyond the town of Stornoway. There will be innovative residencies, Gaelic music compositions, productions and performances, trails, exhibitions, tours, bilingual digital storytelling, mentoring for emerging artists, and much more. We would like to thank Creative Scotland and the judges for this fantastic opportunity, which will bring wide reaching recognition to the distinctive, world class Gaelic culture and heritage of our creative island community."

    FORRES AREA awarded £100,000 The Forres area community will use the award to support and promote local arts participation in Culture Day 2015; Findhorn Bay Arts Festival 2016; Project ARTS; and Culture Café events. Culture Day is an open doors carnivalesque cultural extravaganza that has previously showcased over 100 arts and cultural organisations in Moray. Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is a spectacular celebration of arts and culture, showcasing artists of national and international renown. This project would build on previous work, offering an enhanced programme and providing a funding pot to assist local artists to develop work and take part. Project ARTS aims to support the creation of a wide range of public art and creative work, which connects with local businesses and community in Forres area. Culture Café would be a regular event held at different locations, focusing on network and development functions in Forres area.

    Kresanna Aigner, Director at Findhorn Bay Arts, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Forres Area has won a 2015 Creative Place Award! This award celebrates and acknowledges the creative energy and assets of the Forres area and sets us at the top of our game on a National level.

    “The Forres Area Creative Places programme builds on the capacity of the area’s vibrant creative sector by seizing the momentum and energy generated by recent projects and events – now is the time and Forres Area is the place!

    “Our Creative Place programme will showcase high quality, professional visual and performing arts, from small to large scale, and will widen and strengthen partnerships across communities and business. The resulting projects will delight, enthuse and engage a wide range of new andexisting audiences, whilst raising awareness of the cultural, social and economic benefits to the area.”

    MONIAIVE/GLENCAIRN PARISH awarded £50,000 The award will be used to connect existing cultural activities under three programme strands: visual arts, music and literature. This would support the work of creative professionals based in Moniaive; expand opportunities for people living in Moniaive to be involved in creative activities and promote creative work to attract visitors and support local businesses.

    Peter Roberts, said: "The organisers of Moniaive Festival Village are elated to win this award. Arts and culture are really important in supporting the social and economic wellbeing of Moniaive, and this award will enable us to do even more to build a sustainable future for this buzzing little community. We will use it to connect creative professionals with the wider community in a programme combining artist-led community-based arts activities with new works by practising artists. This work will focus on three 'big ideas' in visual arts, literature and music. It will also provide a platform for longer term regeneration projects.

    Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “The Creative Place Awards are a fantastic way of promoting and celebrating Scotland’s wealth of creative talent. I would like to congratulate Moniaive, Forres and Stornoway on their outstanding achievements, and hope it leads to more visitors coming to see what these ‘Creative Places’ have to offer. Creative industries are a core part of Scotland’s tourism offering, and each of the shortlisted places can be proud of their contribution to our global reputation.”

    Rhona Corscadden, Senior Events Manager at EventScotland, said: “Applications for the awards this year were particularly strong, with the final shortlist representing the breadth and depth of creative talent Scotland is home to. These awards recognise the role our communities play in our cultural sector, and the associated grants will allow them to continue to develop and realise their ambitions in the arts.”

    Category: Industry News

  • 12 June 2015

    A Question of Science Quiz at Glasgow Science Centre 22 October

     

    The fifth annual A Question of Science Quiz makes its anticipated return to Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 22nd of October. World-renowned sport scientist Professor Greg Whyte OBE is this year’s guest of honour.
    Professor Whyte Greg has worked with David Walliams, Davina McCall and Eddie Izzard amongst others to make 'ordinary people achieve the impossible' in amazing feats of sporting achievement and endurance. He’ll also talk of the way that events like the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games drive uptake of sports to deliver a lasting legacy of improved health and wellbeing. 
    Greg joins our elite group of high-calibre speakers, including Brian Cox, Sir Robert Winston and Dara O Briain all of whom have hosted our annual Question of Science evening. Find out about previous A Question of Science events.
    Individual and table for 10 tickets can be purchased here

    The fifth annual A Question of Science Quiz makes its anticipated return to Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 22nd of October. World-renowned sport scientist Professor Greg Whyte OBE is this year’s guest of honour.

    Professor Whyte Greg has worked with David Walliams, Davina McCall and Eddie Izzard amongst others to make 'ordinary people achieve the impossible' in amazing feats of sporting achievement and endurance. He’ll also talk of the way that events like the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games drive uptake of sports to deliver a lasting legacy of improved health and wellbeing. 

    Greg joins our elite group of high-calibre speakers, including Brian Cox, Sir Robert Winston and Dara O Briain all of whom have hosted our annual Question of Science evening. Find out about previous A Question of Science events.
    Individual and table for 10 tickets can be purchased here

    Category: Industry Info

  • 11 June 2015

    Competition Now Open to Design the Logo for 2016 Themed Year

     

    COMPETITION OPENS FOR 2016 THEMED YEAR LOGO DESIGN
    Calling all young creatives in Scotland!  Fancy seeing your design used as the logo promoting Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design?
    As Scotland looks to its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016, VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, is putting young design talent at the heart of plans and is inviting young creatives in Scotland to design the official logo used to promote the year.
    The designer whose logo is selected will win up to £3,000 towards materials, tools or activity to support their own professional development in the design sector.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of events, festivals, business conferences and exhibitions aimed at attracting participation and engagement from visitors and locals, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as some of our unique hidden gems. 
    The winning design will become the official logo for the forthcoming themed year and will be used across multiple channels by VisitScotland and partner organisations across national and international promotional activity throughout 2015 and 2016. 
    The competition is a great opportunity for a young creative to add a design to their portfolio that has the potential to be seen by millions of people and become highly recognisable during the year.  The winner will also be able to see their logo design carried across a programme of major and special events due to take place throughout 2016.
    Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: 
    “Scotland’s incredible influence on the world has encouraged invention, inspired creativity and fired the imagination of generations. It is fitting that for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, VisitScotland are creating the opportunity for young talent in Scotland to design the logo for a year that will be used to encapsulate all that is great about Scotland.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: 
    “This is a fantastic opportunity for a young creative mind to show their vision and skills to the world. Scotland has a rich history in innovation, architecture and design and we will be looking for an exciting logo which reflects this. The themed years have been a huge success and the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will capture the imagination of visitors from all over the world.”
    The judging panel, consisting of experts from across the themed year sectors, will look for a contemporary, eye-catching, practical design that can be used across a variety of different channels and alongside partner logos. 
    Entries to the competition must be from individuals aged between 16 and 25 years of age, who are resident in Scotland.
    Visit http://www.eventscotland.org/funding/year-of-innovation-architecture-and-design-2016/logo-competition/ to download an Entry Form, Design Brief and full Terms and Conditions. Designs should be submitted via email to communications@eventscotland.org. 
    The closing date for entries is Sunday 12 July 2015 (at midnight).   The winning design will be announced thereafter. 

    Fancy seeing your design used as the logo promoting Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design?

    As Scotland looks to its Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016, VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, is putting young design talent at the heart of plans and is inviting young creatives in Scotland to design the official logo used to promote the year.

    The designer whose logo is selected will win up to £3,000 towards materials, tools or activity to support their own professional development in the design sector.

    The winning design will become the official logo for the forthcoming themed year and will be used across multiple channels by VisitScotland and partner organisations across national and international promotional activity throughout 2015 and 2016. 

    The competition is a great opportunity for a young creative to add a design to their portfolio that has the potential to be seen by millions of people and become highly recognisable during the year.  

    The winner will also be able to see their logo design carried across a programme of major and special events due to take place throughout 2016.

    Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s incredible influence on the world has encouraged invention, inspired creativity and fired the imagination of generations. It is fitting that for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, VisitScotland are creating the opportunity for young talent in Scotland to design the logo for a year that will be used to encapsulate all that is great about Scotland.”

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a young creative mind to show their vision and skills to the world. Scotland has a rich history in innovation, architecture and design and we will be looking for an exciting logo which reflects this. The themed years have been a huge success and the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will capture the imagination of visitors from all over the world.”

    The judging panel, consisting of experts from across the themed year sectors, will look for a contemporary, eye-catching, practical design that can be used across a variety of different channels and alongside partner logos. 

    Entries to the competition must be from individuals aged between 16 and 25 years of age, who are resident in Scotland.

    The closing date for entries is Sunday 12 July 2015 (at midnight).   

    For more information click here >>

    Category: Industry News

  • 10 June 2015

    Events Fund For Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design 2016 closes 24 July

     

    NEW FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR 2016 THEMED YEAR
    £200,000 event fund launched to celebrate Scotland’s 
    2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
    A brand new £200,000 events fund created to develop activity to celebrate Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design has been launched by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
    Applications open today (Wednesday 10 June, 2015) for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for a 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design event grant up to £20,000.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of activity beginning on 1 January until 31 December 2016, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as its hidden gems.
    Home to ground-breaking innovators, scientists, engineers, architects and designers for hundreds of years, Scotland will celebrate just some of these contributions during 2016, as well as showcasing the creative and innovative minds that continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe and the modern world we live in today.
    Supporting events from a minimum award of £4,000 up to a maximum award of £20,000, the funding will be awarded to create new event activity or enhance existing event programmes  which reflect the themes and support the objectives of the year, promoting Scotland, celebrating our achievements, encouraging participation and engagement and boosting tourism. 
    Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: 
    “From our first Year of Homecoming in 2009 to our current Year of Food and Drink, the people of Scotland and our visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy our most valuable and celebrated assets. To build on this momentum, the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund will be used to deliver a series of events that take place across the country and throughout the year to celebrate all that is great about Scotland.” 
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: 
    “2016 has been designated as a themed year in which Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased and celebrated.  Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, galvanise partners and create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its valuable attributes.”
    “We are delighted to launch the dedicated 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund which will help deliver a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector during this special year.”
    2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year.  The planned Festival of Architecture will connect Scottish communities and visitors with architecture through events and exhibitions, Scotland-wide.  The National Museum of Scotland turns 150 years old and will open ten new galleries showcasing Scotland’s internationally important collections of decorative art, design, fashion, science and technology.
    NVA's plans to resuscitate Kilmahew woodland and St Peter's seminary, the modernist architectural masterpiece will gain pace, the creation of the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee will continue to take shape, and the new Queensferry Crossing - set to be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world - will officially open.
    Applications open for 2016 funding:          Wednesday 10 June, 2015 
    Total Funding:                                              £200,000
    Deadline for Applications:                           Friday 24 July, 2015
    Events who wish to apply can do so online by visiting www.eventscotland.org/funding/year-of-innovation-architecture-and-design-2016

    A brand new £200,000 events fund created to develop activity to celebrate Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design has opened today (Wednesday 10 June, 2015) and is now welcoming applications from the events and festivals sector across Scotland for events grants up to £20,000.

    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of activity beginning on 1 January until 31 December 2016, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as its hidden gems.

    Home to ground-breaking innovators, scientists, engineers, architects and designers for hundreds of years, Scotland will celebrate just some of these contributions during 2016, as well as showcasing the creative and innovative minds that continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe and the modern world we live in today.

    Supporting events from a minimum award of £4,000 up to a maximum award of £20,000, funding will be awarded to create new event activity or enhance existing event programmes  which reflect the themes and support the objectives of the year, promoting Scotland, celebrating our achievements, encouraging participation and engagement and boosting tourism.

    Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “From our first Year of Homecoming in 2009 to our current Year of Food and Drink, the people of Scotland and our visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy our most valuable and celebrated assets. To build on this momentum, the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund will be used to deliver a series of events that take place across the country and throughout the year to celebrate all that is great about Scotland.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “2016 has been designated as a themed year in which Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased and celebrated.  Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, galvanise partners and create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its valuable attributes.”

    “We are delighted to launch the dedicated 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund which will help deliver a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector during this special year.”

    2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year.  The planned Festival of Architecture will connect Scottish communities and visitors with architecture through events and exhibitions, Scotland-wide.  The National Museum of Scotland turns 150 years old and will open ten new galleries showcasing Scotland’s internationally important collections of decorative art, design, fashion, science and technology.

    NVA's plans to resuscitate Kilmahew woodland and St Peter's seminary, the modernist architectural masterpiece will gain pace, the creation of the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee will continue to take shape, and the new Queensferry Crossing - set to be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world - will officially open.

    The deadline for Applications is Friday 24 July 2015


    To download an application form and guidance please click here >>

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 June 2015

    An Lanntair Fèill Biadh: Food Festival

     

    An Lanntair Fèill Biadh: Food Festival – 
    Biadh an Dè an-Diugh: “Yesterday’s Fare Today”
    Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th of July 
    This summer, as part of the Year of Food & Drink, An Lanntair will celebrate the culinary culture and history of the Isle of Lewis. The fèill (festival) will bring local chefs, producers, writers, musicians and the community together in an eye-opening and mouth-watering programme of events.  
    On Friday evening, there will be a set restaurant menu with local celebrity chef Alasdair Macleod, who will talk diners through local delicacies and traditional desserts along with live entertainment from local musicians and a special drinks menu at the bar. 
    Seconds Out:  Saturday will open with a true heavyweight contest: the Lanntair Open Duff-Off!  The winner selected in a blind tasting by an expert panel.  After which, the knives will be out - for butchery and fish-filleting demonstrations; how to poach an egg (or how to poach a deer or a salmon);  how to salt herring;  the black, bloody art of black pudding;  the hidden depths of seaweed;  what (or who) makes the perfect scone, the ideal oatcake?  There will be stalls, local producers, film-clips, music and debate ... all this and more.  
    Scotland’s Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The An Lanntair food festival is the perfect opportunity for people on the Isle of Lewis to reconnect with food and culture. Scotland has a fantastic natural larder, that lends itself to some of the freshest, tastiest produce in the world and the Year of Food and Drink is the ideal platform for people to start rediscovering and appreciating what’s on their doorsteps.
    “Eating local, in-season produce not only means you’re getting the freshest and best products, you’re also helping the local economy and giving a boost to hard working farmers and producers.”
    If you have any ideas or want to be involved we want to hear from you. We would like to hear about your recipes, tips, tales, family favourites and traditions from your local area. If you have anything you would like to contribute please contact Roddy Murray at roddy@lanntair.com
    Fèill Biadh has received support as part of the Year of Food & Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. The Year of Food & Drink Scotland 2015 celebrates the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce. Enjoy brilliant moments packed with regional delights and discover the landscapes, people and culture that make our food heritage so unique. Come and experience it and taste the very best Scotland has to offer.
    For more details please visit the website at www.lanntair.com 

    Biadh an Dè an-Diugh: “Yesterday’s Fare Today”

    Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th of July 

    This summer, as part of the Year of Food & Drink, An Lanntair will celebrate the culinary culture and history of the Isle of Lewis.

    The fèill (festival) will bring local chefs, producers, writers, musicians and the community together in an eye-opening and mouth-watering programme of events.  

    On Friday evening, there will be a set restaurant menu with local celebrity chef Alasdair Macleod, who will talk diners through local delicacies and traditional desserts along with live entertainment from local musicians and a special drinks menu at the bar. 

    Seconds Out:  Saturday will open with a true heavyweight contest: the Lanntair Open Duff-Off!  The winner selected in a blind tasting by an expert panel. After which, the knives will be out - for butchery and fish-filleting demonstrations; how to poach an egg (or how to poach a deer or a salmon);  how to salt herring;  the black, bloody art of black pudding;  the hidden depths of seaweed;  what (or who) makes the perfect scone, the ideal oatcake?  

    There will be stalls, local producers, film-clips, music and debate ... all this and more.  

    Scotland’s Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The An Lanntair food festival is the perfect opportunity for people on the Isle of Lewis to reconnect with food and culture. Scotland has a fantastic natural larder, that lends itself to some of the freshest, tastiest produce in the world and the Year of Food and Drink is the ideal platform for people to start rediscovering and appreciating what’s on their doorsteps.

    “Eating local, in-season produce not only means you’re getting the freshest and best products, you’re also helping the local economy and giving a boost to hard working farmers and producers.”

    If you have any ideas or want to be involved we want to hear from you. We would like to hear about your recipes, tips, tales, family favourites and traditions from your local area. If you have anything you would like to contribute please contact Roddy Murray at roddy@lanntair.com

    Fèill Biadh has received support as part of the Year of Food & Drink, an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. The Year of Food & Drink Scotland 2015 celebrates the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce. Enjoy brilliant moments packed with regional delights and discover the landscapes, people and culture that make our food heritage so unique. Come and experience it and taste the very best Scotland has to offer.

    For more details please visit the website at www.lanntair.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 05 June 2015

    EIFF ANNOUNCES 2015’s JURIES AND GUESTS

    Guests from around the world will be attending the 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), ranging from internationally acclaimed directors and producers through to some of film’s most recognisable actors, the Festival announced today. 

     The Festival’s main Juries will judge five award categories: The Michael Powell Award for Best British Film; Best Performance in a British Feature; Best International Feature; Best Documentary; and Best Short Film.  Jurors include actress/director Karen Gillan (whose short film Coward shows at the Festival); actress Natascha McElhone; veteran film critic for the LA Times, Kenneth Turan; award-winning director Amy Berg (whose films Prophet’s Prey and Every Secret Thing screen at EIFF); actress Archie Panjabi; director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (whose feature The Stanford Prison Experiment shows at the Festival); actress Jessica Hynes; actor Denis Lawson; Jacqueline Lyanga, director of the AFI film festival in Los Angeles; and actress Dolly Wells (who stars in Black Mountain Poets, 45 Years and Doll & Em 2, all showing at this year’s EIFF).

     Other awards include The Student Critics Jury Award, supported again this year by James and Morag Anderson; The McLaren Award for New British Animation, supported by the British Council; and the EIFF Audience Award.

     EIFF Artistic Director Mark Adams said: “We very much look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world to help us celebrate this year’s fantastic programme of films and events. It’s a huge honour for us to welcome some amazing filmmakers and acting talent, and for us to be able to share this with our audiences throughout two fantastic weeks of cinema here in Edinburgh in June.”

     This year’s Festival is also brimming with guests who will attend screenings of their films. These include: EIFF Honorary Patron Robert Carlyle, Ashley Jensen, Kevin Guthrie, Brian Pettifer, Martin Compston, James Cosmo and Tom Courtenay among the guests for the Opening Night World Premiere of The Legend of Barney Thomson, while Ruth Negga will be attending with other guests from the film for the Closing Night World Premiere of Iona.

     As well as taking part in an In-Person on-stage interview with radio and television broadcaster Edith Bowman, actor Ewan McGregor, with director Rodrigo Garcia, will also introduce his new film Last Days in the Desert. Actor Rhys Ifans will be on hand at several films he features in, including the world premiere of drama Len and Company, Welsh film Under Milk Wood; and the world premiere of the feature cut of Sky Arts TV series The Marriage of Reason & Squalor.

     Alexander Skarsgård and Bel Powley will be in Edinburgh for the UK premiere of the acclaimed drama The Diary of A Teenage Girl, while German director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) will attend the screening of his new film 13 Minutes.  Model and actress Sophie Kennedy Clark will attend for The Marriage of Reason and Squalor and Stephen Tompkinson and Keith Allen will attend with their film Hector.

     Director Asif Kapadia (Senna) will attend the screening of his much-anticipated documentary Amy. Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola and Dolly Wells will attend a special screening of the full season of their hit TV series Doll & Em, while actor Denis Menochet (Inglourious Basterds) will attend the UK premiere of Norfolk.

     Singer/songwriter (and sometime actor) Fish, from rock band Marillion, will be in town for the premiere of documentary Polska. Director/actress Talulah Riley will attend the world premiere of her directorial debut Scottish Mussel, along with many of the cast and crew, while Scottish legend James Cosmo will also attend the world premiere of his new film The Pyramid Texts.

     As previously announced Asian Film Awards Academy presents In Person: Johnnie To, financially supported by Create Hong Kong and Hong Kong Film Development Fund, and supported by Brand Hong Kong and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London.  Malcolm McDowell, Neil Innes and Jane Seymour will also present In-Persons at the Festival, and acclaimed cinematographer and EIFF Honorary Patron Seamus McGarvey will be in conversation with two-time Oscar winner Haskell Wexler.

     Scores of other cast and crew from many of the films screening at this year’s EIFF will also attend the Festival, allowing a rare opportunity for audiences to quiz them about their projects. Updates and full details of extra guests and events can be found on the EIFF website,www.edfilmfest.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 04 June 2015

    Glasgow Science Festival hosts pop up restaurants to highlight Scottish Langoustine

     

    Scotland’s unsung ‘scampi’ will be the toast of the Glasgow Science Festival this year as we celebrate this delicious indigenous seafood and ask why more people on the continent buy Scottish langoustine than here at home.
    As part of Creel to Meal, which is supported as part of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland, marine biology researchers from the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation will serve up a feast of langoustines, or Nephrops norvegicus, at two exciting pop-up restaurants to encourage more people to seek out, eat and enjoy Scottish seafood.
    The curated dinners will take place at the city’s most experimental venues, Stravaigin (Thursday 4th June) and the Drygate Brewery (Thursday 11th June).
    At Stravaigin, guests will tuck into four course seafood-themed spectacle of langoustines and the delicious ‘bycatch’ hauled up in the creels - crabs and squat lobsters.
    At Drygate, it’ll be ‘posh scampi’ and chips all round with a flight of beers created in the micro-brewery to get the taste buds tingling.
    Through the events, project partners Glasgow Science Festival, the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation will share the fascinating journey of this sustainable food source and how these giant shrimp get from West of Scotland waters to our table.
    As well as raising awareness of the provenance and value of Scottish langoustine, which was regarded at by-catch forty years ago and is now seen as world-class seafood, the partners will share their latest research developing best practice environmentally sensitive creel fishing methods to help protect this industry into the future.
    Creel to Meal builds on a wider, decade long research programme by the University of Glasgow and partners looking into the potential of langoustines to sustain the Scottish fishing industry in the face of dwindling white fish stock.
    Creel to Meal will also be a highlight of the Festival’s popular Science Sunday drop in open day, which will be held on campus at the University of Glasgow Hunter Halls and Hunterian Museum on Sunday 14th June. Science Sunday regularly attracts over 7,000 participants.
    Creel to Meal is one of a number of food and drink events in this year’s Tasty Science strand, which celebrates the science of food, drink, flavour and innovation.
    The events, which are designed to engage the dining audience with aspects of sustainability, ecology and the future of the food and drink sector in Scotland, include two looking at the chemistry of botanicals and gin-making.
    Molecular level canapés and delicious cocktails will be the order of the day at Gin-o-Mics with Glasgow Polyomics and Scottish craft producers at The Griffin on Thursday 4th June.
    Glasgow Distillery and Glasgow Science Festival will lead a lip-smacking tasting experience at Gin and Botanicals at Siempre Bicycle Café on Friday 5th June.
    A picnic in a summer meadow or fish and chips by the seaside? What makes the perfect meal? After working with cutting edge chefs Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria, psychologist Professor Charles Spence will dish up the latest on the emerging field of gastrophysics at the University of Glasgow on Sunday 7th June.
    For further information about Glasgow Science Festival, visit www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk

    Scotland’s unsung ‘scampi’ will be the toast of the Glasgow Science Festival this year as we celebrate this delicious indigenous seafood and ask why more people on the continent buy Scottish langoustine than here at home.

    As part of Creel to Meal, which is supported as part of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland, marine biology researchers from the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation will serve up a feast of langoustines, or Nephrops norvegicus, at two exciting pop-up restaurants to encourage more people to seek out, eat and enjoy Scottish seafood.

    The curated dinners will take place at the city’s most experimental venues, Stravaigin (Thursday 4th June) and the Drygate Brewery (Thursday 11th June).At Stravaigin, guests will tuck into four course seafood-themed spectacle of langoustines and the delicious ‘bycatch’ hauled up in the creels - crabs and squat lobsters.

    At Drygate, it’ll be ‘posh scampi’ and chips all round with a flight of beers created in the micro-brewery to get the taste buds tingling.

    Through the events, project partners Glasgow Science Festival, the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation will share the fascinating journey of this sustainable food source and how these giant shrimp get from West of Scotland waters to our table.

    As well as raising awareness of the provenance and value of Scottish langoustine, which was regarded at by-catch forty years ago and is now seen as world-class seafood, the partners will share their latest research developing best practice environmentally sensitive creel fishing methods to help protect this industry into the future.

    Creel to Meal builds on a wider, decade long research programme by the University of Glasgow and partners looking into the potential of langoustines to sustain the Scottish fishing industry in the face of dwindling white fish stock.

    Creel to Meal will also be a highlight of the Festival’s popular Science Sunday drop in open day, which will be held on campus at the University of Glasgow Hunter Halls and Hunterian Museum on Sunday 14th June. Science Sunday regularly attracts over 7,000 participants.

    Creel to Meal is one of a number of food and drink events in this year’s Tasty Science strand, which celebrates the science of food, drink, flavour and innovation.

    The events, which are designed to engage the dining audience with aspects of sustainability, ecology and the future of the food and drink sector in Scotland, include two looking at the chemistry of botanicals and gin-making.

    Molecular level canapés and delicious cocktails will be the order of the day at Gin-o-Mics with Glasgow Polyomics and Scottish craft producers at The Griffin on Thursday 4th June.

    Glasgow Distillery and Glasgow Science Festival will lead a lip-smacking tasting experience at Gin and Botanicals at Siempre Bicycle Café on Friday 5th June.

    A picnic in a summer meadow or fish and chips by the seaside? What makes the perfect meal? After working with cutting edge chefs Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria, psychologist Professor Charles Spence will dish up the latest on the emerging field of gastrophysics at the University of Glasgow on Sunday 7th June.

    For further information about Glasgow Science Festival, visit www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 04 June 2015

    BIG NAMES ANNOUNCED FOR STAR-STUDDED BLOODY SCOTLAND 2015

    As the literary world celebrates Agatha Christie’s 125th anniversary, this year’s Bloody Scotland festival pays homage to crime writing past, present and future. Martina Cole, Linwood Barclay, Ian Rankin, Arne Dahl, Val McDermid, Lindsey Davis and Ann Cleeves are amongst the major names confirmed to attend the most star-studded edition of the Stirling-based crime writing festival to date.

     The festival, which showcases the best of Scottish and international crime writing in the historic and ancient town centre of Stirling, will run from 11 – 13 September this year. Some of the most famous crime authors in the world are coming to Stirling to talk about their books, events celebrate Scotland as the perfect location for crime writing and the scientific aspects of crime fiction, and the festival joins in the Agatha Christie celebrations with an extra special event.

    In a huge coup for the festival, Martina Cole, one of the biggest names in international crime fiction, whose books have sold over ten million copies in the UK alone, will offer Bloody Scotland audiences an exclusive sneak preview of her soon-to-be-published novel Get Even, in conversation with Guardian columnist Erwin James. Speaking about the festival, Ms Cole said: “I’m a big fan of Scotland: I’ve always had a great reception there and I love the rugged beauty of the country as the views are so different from the flat rolling countryside of England.  I’m very excited about coming to Bloody Scotland with a sneak peak of my new book and looking forward to discussing it with Erwin James: he’s a good friend.”

    Linwood Barclay, author of thirteen novels including the international best-sellers Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window and No Time for Goodbye, comes over from Canada for a UK exclusive event, to close the festival in style.  Lindsey Davis, the phenomenally popular creator of Roman detective Falco, is guaranteed to fill Stirling’s Albert Halls as she introduces her new novel Deadly Election.  Arne Dahl, possibly Sweden’s most famous crime fiction export, returns to Bloody Scotland following the huge success of his series about the Intercrime Unit on BBC4.  Ian Rankin teams up with Philip Kerr, author of the Bernie Gunther novels, to discuss what happens when your lead detective becomes even more popular than you are. Ann Cleeves will not only be appearing at the festival, but will be taking a group of readers on a trip to Shetland immediately after the festival proper finishes for a tour of the landscapes that inspired her Jimmy Perez novels and the hugely-acclaimed BBC TV series. Denise Mina teams up with award-winning South African-based novelist Belinda Bauer to discuss the creations of intelligent, character-driven fiction.

    The science of crime comes under the microscope this year. The festival celebrates Agatha Christie’s anniversary with an exciting event looking at the grande dame of crime fiction’s obsession with poisons. Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of the book A is for Arsenic, and Christie expert Ragnar Jonasson, who has been Christie’s Icelandic translator since he was seventeen, will discuss the art of chemistry Christie used to kill the vast majority of her ‘victims’. Leading authors Val McDermid and Lin Anderson discuss the science of forensic evidence: Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod novels show her years of research into forensic and scientific detection, while McDermid has recently published a fascinating non-fiction work, Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime

    As ever, Bloody Scotland includes lots of events that don’t quite conform to the standard book festival template. After its huge popularity in 2014, the festival restages its Scotland vs. England all-crime-writers football match, with team captain Ian Rankin and star strikers Chris Brookmyre and Doug Johnstone already confirmed for the Scotland squad.   Whose Crime Is It Anyway? sees comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli and a live audience force authors Caro Ramsay, Kevin Wignall and Brookmyre to improvise the plot of a novel live onstage. The festival will also be taking over Stirling’s famous Curly Coo pub for a night of song and comedy hosted by a number of authors.

    Scottish crime writers including William McIlvanney, Doug Johnstone, Craig Robertson and Neil Broadfoot look at what make Glasgow and Edinburgh such distinctive settings for noir fiction, while a special true crime event looks sees Tom Wood, one of the leading officers in Edinburgh’s notorious World’s End Murders case, in conversation with journalist Bob Smyth, who covered the case extensively.

    There are also a number of events celebrating crime fiction’s next generation. Bestselling author Alex Gray presents her choice of the best new crime books around (and their authors); highly acclaimed debut novelists Lucy Ribchester (The Hourglass Factory) and Not The Booker Prize-winner Simon Sylvester (The Visitors) make first-time appearances with their alternative takes on the genre, and the Pitch Perfect event offers new writers the chance to pitch their novels and get advice from a panel of publishing experts. The festival also teams up with other established crime writing organisations, including Nordic Noir, Brighton’s Dark & Stormy Festival and the authors’ collective Killer Women.

    Finally, the festival will also include the fourth annual Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year Award – a gala dinner in the company of major crime writers. Last year’s winner, Peter May, will be opening the festival in conversation with Val McDermid. 

    Category: National Events

  • 01 June 2015

    A HUNDRED DAYS TO THE LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

    The final countdown begins for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 held at Blair Castle from 10-13 September; this spectacular event in the iconic Scottish Highlands is sure to provide a truly memorable experience for all involved and an event not to be missed.

    “With just 100 days to go the team at Blair Castle are ready to welcome all competitors, visitors and volunteers to one of the most prestigious equestrian events in this year’s eventing calendar,” said

    Alec Lochore, Event Director.  “We have been building up to this landmark date and are incredibly lucky to be working with some fantastic sponsors and event partners, who like us, are looking forward to the months ahead and the final preparations for this major championship in September.  It will be a privilege to welcome some of the best riders in Europe who will assemble at Blair Castle to contend for the top honour of Individual and Team European Champions.”

    This important championship forms part of UK Sport’s major events programme, which is investing around £40million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 100 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, which has a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    To mark this important milestone we are offering the chance to win four general admission season tickets, a season car pass and Black Dog Tipi accommodation for the event. To be in with a chance of winning you need to share a creative photo of your ‘100 days to go sign’ on one of the socials channels, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #Blair2015.

    As well as the thrilling eventing competition, Blair Castle will host an additional four arenas of competition and family entertainment, including Pony Club Mounted Games, Highland Pony showing and British Showjumping competitions, plus the unique Bruadar Country Fair. In addition, the extensive shopping village will cater for all tastes, with culinary delights, fashion accessories and country gifts being just some of the things on offer.

    The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 provides a unique opportunity in the heart of Scotland to enjoy the best competitive experience in the most beautiful and breathtaking surroundings.  Make sure you buy your tickets now and visit Scotland for this special occasion.  Ticket sales are very strong and ahead of expectations so book your tickets now from the online box office on the website www.blair2015.com

    Category: International Events

  • 01 June 2015

    Taste of Grampian source of delight for Scottish chefs

     

    With Taste of Grampian looming large this weekend it’s a chance for not only the public to sample and discover new local produce but for one man it’s the perfect opportunity to seek out potential suppliers for his award-winning restaurant.
    Richard Yearnshire is Executive Head Chef at Ardoe House Hotel.  His passion for local produce and researching Scottish food heroes has been challenging and time consuming but it is a labour of love for Richard and his team.  Richard explains; “We wanted to have a menu at Ardoe that was genuinely 100% created using Scottish produce.  We have the most fantastic food literally on our doorstep yet the majority of it is sent to London restaurants or exported abroad.  I wanted to show that it is possible to have everything on your plate from a supplier in Scotland. It’s a win-win situation, championing local suppliers whilst ensuring that our food is as fresh as possible.  A prime example is that when the fishing boats come in to Peterhead market in the morning, it can be bought and at the hotel by the afternoon and on your plate by the evening.  You don’t get fresher than that.”
    Richard has been all over Scotland looking for suppliers.  With his team of chefs, some as young as 18, Richard took the rare step these days to invest time in getting them out and about by taking them en masse to fruit farms, Peterhead fishing market and slaughter houses so that they could understand fully all the processes of where the food they create at Ardoe comes from.   At Charleton Fruit Farm in Fettercairn his chefs even picked their own fruit and created their own desserts when they got back to the hotel.  On a visit to Ingram’s Farm in Inverurie the team got to see the environment and the genuine wellbeing for the cattle and sheep.  Richard adds; “I wanted them to understand the life cycle of the animals, the short miles to the slaughterhouse and how the cows were processed and hung.  It’s important that my team have respect for the food we are making and understand what is involved before it arrives ready for us to use in the kitchen.”
    Many of the suppliers were difficult to find.  Richard received one tip off from someone in Wales about a pig farm literally four miles from the hotel in Maryculter that had a Mangalitsa breed, perfect for succulent pork.  Other suppliers were only selling at Farmer’s Markets but Richard has persuaded them to now sell to him direct.  Richard continues; “I’ve found some amazing producers throughout this process and I can now proudly say that our organic chickens come from Grampian, Crème Fraiche from Perthshire, hand-churned butter from Forfar and we even get our rapeseed oil from Inverurie.  As seasons vary we will reflect that on our menus.  We plan to create a herb and vegetable garden at the hotel so that we can get fresh produce all year round.  We’re even about to install some bee hives in the grounds so that our honey at breakfast will be as fresh as you can possibly get.”
    So with Taste of Grampian around the corner, it is a prime opportunity for Richard to see 130 local suppliers all under one roof.  Richard adds; ”I’m looking forward to seeing some diverse and new products that could become regular suppliers to Ardoe.  Alternatively I’ll also be happy to be approached by any standholder that has a product they think should be on one of my menus.”
    The public will be able to sample some of the produce on the Ardoe House Hotel stand 234 in the Exchange Exhibition where they will be cooking hand-dived scallops from Isle of Skye with black pudding from Ellon in a local chilli oil vinaigrette dressing.  Richard will also be doing a demonstration cooking Peterhead fish on the Seafood Stand in the fish market area at 11.40am.
    As it is Scotland’s Year of Food and drink, celebrate the very best local food and drink at Taste of Grampian this Saturday, 6th June at Inverurie.  Organised by Prime Event Management, there will be over 130 food and drink exhibitors, a new BrewFest marquee and celebrity cookery demonstrations with Jean Christophe Novelli, BBC British Bake-off winner Nancy Birtwhistle and finalist Norman Calder.  There is ongoing family entertainment throughout the day and the P&J motor show.  Entry to Taste of Grampian is free.  Car parking is £5.

    With Taste of Grampian looming large this weekend it’s a chance for not only the public to sample and discover new local produce but for one man it’s the perfect opportunity to seek out potential suppliers for his award-winning restaurant.

    Richard Yearnshire is Executive Head Chef at Ardoe House Hotel.  His passion for local produce and researching Scottish food heroes has been challenging and time consuming but it is a labour of love for Richard and his team.  

    Richard explains; “We wanted to have a menu at Ardoe that was genuinely 100% created using Scottish produce.  We have the most fantastic food literally on our doorstep yet the majority of it is sent to London restaurants or exported abroad.  I wanted to show that it is possible to have everything on your plate from a supplier in Scotland. It’s a win-win situation, championing local suppliers whilst ensuring that our food is as fresh as possible.  A prime example is that when the fishing boats come in to Peterhead market in the morning, it can be bought and at the hotel by the afternoon and on your plate by the evening.  You don’t get fresher than that.”

    Richard has been all over Scotland looking for suppliers.  With his team of chefs, some as young as 18, Richard took the rare step these days to invest time in getting them out and about by taking them en masse to fruit farms, Peterhead fishing market and slaughter houses so that they could understand fully all the processes of where the food they create at Ardoe comes from.  

    At Charleton Fruit Farm in Fettercairn his chefs even picked their own fruit and created their own desserts when they got back to the hotel.  On a visit to Ingram’s Farm in Inverurie the team got to see the environment and the genuine wellbeing for the cattle and sheep.  

    Richard adds; “I wanted them to understand the life cycle of the animals, the short miles to the slaughterhouse and how the cows were processed and hung.  It’s important that my team have respect for the food we are making and understand what is involved before it arrives ready for us to use in the kitchen.”

    Many of the suppliers were difficult to find.  Richard received one tip off from someone in Wales about a pig farm literally four miles from the hotel in Maryculter that had a Mangalitsa breed, perfect for succulent pork.  Other suppliers were only selling at Farmer’s Markets but Richard has persuaded them to now sell to him direct.  

    Richard continues; “I’ve found some amazing producers throughout this process and I can now proudly say that our organic chickens come from Grampian, Crème Fraiche from Perthshire, hand-churned butter from Forfar and we even get our rapeseed oil from Inverurie.  As seasons vary we will reflect that on our menus.  We plan to create a herb and vegetable garden at the hotel so that we can get fresh produce all year round.  We’re even about to install some bee hives in the grounds so that our honey at breakfast will be as fresh as you can possibly get.”

    So with Taste of Grampian around the corner, it is a prime opportunity for Richard to see 130 local suppliers all under one roof.  

    Richard adds; ”I’m looking forward to seeing some diverse and new products that could become regular suppliers to Ardoe.  Alternatively I’ll also be happy to be approached by any standholder that has a product they think should be on one of my menus.”

    The public will be able to sample some of the produce on the Ardoe House Hotel stand 234 in the Exchange Exhibition where they will be cooking hand-dived scallops from Isle of Skye with black pudding from Ellon in a local chilli oil vinaigrette dressing.  Richard will also be doing a demonstration cooking Peterhead fish on the Seafood Stand in the fish market area at 11.40am.

    As it is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, celebrate the very best local food and drink at Taste of Grampian this Saturday, 6th June at Inverurie.  

    Organised by Prime Event Management, there will be over 130 food and drink exhibitors, a new BrewFest marquee and celebrity cookery demonstrations with Jean Christophe Novelli, BBC British Bake-off winner Nancy Birtwhistle and finalist Norman Calder.  

    There is ongoing family entertainment throughout the day and the P&J motor show.  

    Entry to Taste of Grampian is free.  Car parking is £5.

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 29 May 2015

    Paul Bush Appointed As Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman

    Last night, Paul Bush OBE, was appointed as the new Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS). Paul, who leads Scotland’s major events strategy with VisitScotland and EventScotland, takes over from Michael Cavanagh, who completed his tenure, following an eight year stint, leading the organisation in the build up to Team Scotland’s most successful ever Commonwealth Games at Glasgow 2014.

    Paul, who has been on the CGS Board for the last four years as an independent non-executive Director and was Team Scotland Chef de Mission in 2006, will now lead the strategic direction of the organisation.

    Delighted to have been appointed by the member sports, Paul Bush said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to have been appointed as Chairman of CGS. I am passionate about Scotland and Scottish sport and I look forward to working closely with the professional staff and Board to build on the momentum of Glasgow 2014, further enhancing the strategic, financial and commercial position of CGS.

    “I am committed to effective partnership working and look forward to working closely with the member sports, to ensure they and their athletes are best placed to enjoy continued success at future Commonwealth Games.

    “Scotland has a strong reputation in the Commonwealth Games movement and I look forward to representing CGS at international level, to ensure we retain and extend our sphere of influence on the world stage.”

    Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Paul has worked tirelessly heading up VisitScotland’s Events directorate, with his dedication and vast sporting experience helping to secure and deliver numerous high-profile events for this country, notably including a number of championships in Commonwealth Games sports and The 2014 Ryder Cup. I would like to congratulate him on being elected Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland. Nobody deserves this opportunity more and I know he’ll do a fantastic job as the team looks to build on the success of Glasgow 2014.”

    Paul will be supported in his new role by newly elected Vice Chair, Maureen Campbell. Maureen has been Chair of Scottish Swimming since 2006 and is Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Trust. She is also former swimmer, representing Scotland at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

    Two new Board Directors were also voted in by the 24 member sports in attendance.

    Alasdair MacLennan, President of Scottish Cycling and cycling team manager for Team Scotland at the last four Commonwealth Games has been appointed for a four year term. With more than 40 years in the sport as an athlete, coach and administrator he is looking forward to adding value to the CGS Board.

    Susan Jackson, 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in shooting and former CGS Athletes’ Representative, was also successful in gaining selection. In her professional life, Susan is a Chartered Accountant and runs her family business. Previously she worked in the corporate finance team at Deloittes for 12 years before joining the Winning Scotland Foundation as a senior director.

    Outgoing Chairman, Michael Cavanagh was thanked by the sports in attendance for the outstanding job done and in response he said: “It has been a privilege, not just to serve as CGS Chairman, but to have had the good fortune to lead this great sporting family at such an exciting and successful time in our history.

    “CGS has come a very long way over the last eight years and it has been fantastic to see the extensive interest and competition for the Board positions to support the organisation going forwards. I would like to wish Paul, Maureen, Susan, Alasdair and the other Board members all the very best for the future.”

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 28 May 2015

    Doune The Rabbit Hole unveils more acts for 2015 Festival

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has announced more acts joining the line-up for this year’s festival, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 21st-23rd.  New acts include The Ex, an experimental punk band from the Netherlands and an alternative Scottish Hip Hop group called Stanley Odd from Edinburgh.

    These new additions will join an array of both Scottish and international talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic fusion band, to perform at the three day event. 

    Other newly announced acts include 17-year-old Kiran Leonard, a unique young musican from Oldham and a dark psyche rock band called Cosmic Dead whose sprawling riffage will captivate the crowds at this year’s festival.

    Other acts gearing up to perform at Doune include inventive Glasgow group, The Phantom Band and Fatherson, an indie band from Kilmarnock known for their melodic anthems who created a stir in 2014 as over 8000 revellers watched them at T In The Park. Adding a splash of international flavour to the line-up is Bristol based ‘world music’ group Zun Zun Egui, featuring musicians from Mauritius and Japan and introducing their unique, funky fusion of reggae and hi-life sounds to festival goers.

    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group said:

    “This year’s line-up continues to welcome more and more diverse and exciting acts. 2015 is set to be a fantastic year of musical talent for Doune The Rabbit Hole and we are incredibly excited to welcome such a range of international acts and those who have formed right here in Scotland. There are so many unique acts performing that there is a musical genre and style for everyone’s tastes, so there’s lots to soak up and enjoy at this year’s event.“

    Established in 2010, the family-friendly festival will be lighting up the Cardross Estate near the Lake of Menteith, and, as well as welcoming the cream of Scotland’s talented music scene and an array of international artists, the festival will host a vibrant mix of workshops for both adult and children, arts, craft producers and quality Scottish food and drink suppliers.

    With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere. Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend. 

    Jamie added:

    “There is a real sense of community-spirit at our festival and I guarantee you make friends for life at Doune The Rabbit Hole. It is pretty rare to find a festival that embraces a family-friendly culture. Where else would you see everyone, from toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?”

    Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015 is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland. Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We’re delighted to be supporting Doune The Rabbit Hole this year. Festival goers can enjoy an amazingly eclectic line-up, from great international acts to home-grown talent. And with live music alongside storytelling and activities, the programme features something for all ages and tastes. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Doune the Rabbit Hole is a great boost for Stirling, giving visitors and locals the chance to enjoy some great Scottish bands and contemporary music from across the world in the spectacular natural scenery of the Cardross Estate.”

    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 28 May 2015

    The Highland Council launches Events Innovation Challenge Fund

    The Highland Council Event Innovation Challenge Fund has now launched for events in the Highlands taking place between 1 September 2015 to 31 March 2016 with a deadline of 17 July for applications.

    The primary purpose of the challenge fund is to support the growth of those events that have the potential to grow from being locally to regionally significant, or even to become of national importance.

    For background information and criteria details visit here.

    Category: Industry Info

  • 27 May 2015

    Scottish Thistle Awards introduces Best Sporting Event Category

     

    New Awards Category Welcomes Entries From Even More Events
    Enter your event now for one of the event categories in the Scottish Thistle Awards 2015/2016.
    Best Cultural Event or Festival and Best Sporting Event celebrate events that provide a platform for Scotland to show off its greatest assets. 
    Entries for all categories are quick and simple and close on 6th June. 
    For over 20 years the Scottish Thistle Awards have been recognised as our tourism industry Oscars. The Awards are based on 5 regional programmes, with the winners proceeding to a National Final.
    Entries are open to organisers of new or established events of any scale. The event must have taken place within the last 12 months and outcomes must already be known at the time of submission. 
    Last year, regional winners of the Best Event or Festival Award were Edinburgh International Science Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival and The Enchanted Forest, with the latter winning the National Award. 
    The 2014/2015 National Awards ceremony took place on 5th March 2015 at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow, hosted by TV and radio star Edith Bowman.
    We're also encouraging those in the events industry to nominate individuals for the Young Ambassador Award. This award recognises the passion and dedication of young people under 30 and the contribution they make to Scotland's tourism industry.
    Please follow the link below to enter. Finalists will be announced 18th Septemeber.

    Enter your event now for one of the event categories in the Scottish Thistle Awards 2015/2016.

    Best Cultural Event or Festival and Best Sporting Event celebrate events that provide a platform for Scotland to show off its greatest assets. 

    Entries for all categories are quick and simple and close on 6th June. 

    For over 20 years the Scottish Thistle Awards have been recognised as our tourism industry Oscars. The Awards are based on 5 regional programmes, with the winners proceeding to a National Final.

    Entries are open to organisers of new or established events of any scale. The event must have taken place within the last 12 months and outcomes must already be known at the time of submission. 

    Last year, regional winners of the Best Event or Festival Award were Edinburgh International Science Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival and The Enchanted Forest, with the latter winning the National Award. 

    The 2014/2015 National Awards ceremony took place on 5th March 2015 at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow, hosted by TV and radio star Edith Bowman.

    We're also encouraging those in the events industry to nominate individuals for the Young Ambassador Award. This award recognises the passion and dedication of young people under 30 and the contribution they make to Scotland's tourism industry.

    Finalists will be announced 18th September.

    Enter Now >>

    Category: Industry News

  • 27 May 2015

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL UNVEILS 2015 PROGRAMME

     

    New Artistic Director Mark Adams announced this morning at Filmhouse in Edinburgh details of the programme for the 69th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 17 to 28 June, will showcase 164 features from 36 countries, including 24 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 16 European Premieres, 84 UK Premieres and 2 Scottish Premieres.
    The Festival boasts 134 new features, with highlights including the UK premiere of Asif Kapadia’s striking documentary AMY, about the life of music legend Amy Winehouse; the latest Disney-Pixar animated sensation INSIDE OUT, screening as the Festival’s Family Gala; Arnold Schwarzenegger as a tormented father tending his zombie daughter in MAGGIE; Andrew Mogel & Jarrad Paul’s THE D-TRAIN, starring Jack Black and James Marsden; while John Cusack and Paul Dano play different aged versions of Beach Boys legend Brian Walker in masterful music film LOVE & MERCY. Classic Screenings will include a rare outing for Noel Marshall’s ROAR, a legendary bizarre cult 1981 big cat movie.
    This year’s EIFF will also be presenting a series of In-Person events, which will see illustrious names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival, including local hero Ewan McGregor, who will attend with his new film LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT; Jane Seymour and Malcolm McDowell, both in Edinburgh for their starring roles in BEREAVE; cult Hong-Kong director Johnnie To, with his accompanying feature EXILED (supported by Create Hong Kong and Hong Kong Film Development Fund; and Brand Hong Kong and Hong Kong Economic Trade Office), and EIFF Honorary Patron Seamus McGarvey who returns with his cinematography ‘In Conversation’ series with two-time Academy Award® winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

    New Artistic Director Mark Adams announced this morning at Filmhouse in Edinburgh details of the programme for the 69th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 17 to 28 June, will showcase 164 features from 36 countries, including 24 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 16 European Premieres, 84 UK Premieres and 2 Scottish Premieres.

    The Festival boasts 134 new features, with highlights including the UK premiere of Asif Kapadia’s striking documentary AMY, about the life of music legend Amy Winehouse; the latest Disney-Pixar animated sensation INSIDE OUT, screening as the Festival’s Family Gala; Arnold Schwarzenegger as a tormented father tending his zombie daughter in MAGGIE; Andrew Mogel & Jarrad Paul’s THE D-TRAIN, starring Jack Black and James Marsden; while John Cusack and Paul Dano play different aged versions of Beach Boys legend Brian Walker in masterful music film LOVE & MERCY. Classic Screenings will include a rare outing for Noel Marshall’s ROAR, a legendary bizarre cult 1981 big cat movie.

    This year’s EIFF will also be presenting a series of In-Person events, which will see illustrious names from the world of film interviewed live on stage at the Festival, including local hero Ewan McGregor, who will attend with his new film LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT; Jane Seymour and Malcolm McDowell, both in Edinburgh for their starring roles in BEREAVE; cult Hong-Kong director Johnnie To, with his accompanying feature EXILED (supported by Create Hong Kong and Hong Kong Film Development Fund; and Brand Hong Kong and Hong Kong Economic Trade Office), and EIFF Honorary Patron Seamus McGarvey who returns with his cinematography ‘In Conversation’ series with two-time Academy Award® winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

    A special In-Person talk celebrates the 60th birthday of one of Britain’s eminent animators, Barry Purves, and multi-talented musician, writer and comedian, Neil Innes will present A Half of Innes, a live In-conversation event with musical accompaniment.

    Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “We are delighted to be presenting such a thrilling, fun, challenging, provocative, exciting and balanced programme. There really is something for everyone and we hope that filmgoers will get a lot of pleasure out of this year’s Festival.”

    Category: International Events

  • 26 May 2015

    SWISS AND NORWEGIANS FLY IN TO PREPARE FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Two of the leading nations taking part in the World Orienteering Championships in the Scottish Highlands this summer have taken the opportunity to acclimatise at the Scottish Championships.

    Norwegian and Swiss male and female stars were competing at the championships at Ardnaskie near Taynuilt in Argyll on Saturday, where the men’s race was won by Switzerland’s Daniel Hubmann and the women’s by Norway’s Silje Ekroll Jahren, a former world championship bronze medal winner.

    Hubmann, a four-time world championship gold medal winner, finished ahead of three Norwegian athletes with Scotland’s Alasdair McLeod fishing in fifth place 5.33min behind the winner.

    In the Women’s event Scotland’s Hollie Orr was just 0.02sec behind her Norwegian opponent with another home athlete, Jessica Tullie, finishing in third place 2.48min off the winning pace.

    While Hubmann took control of the men’s event before the half-way mark and retained it to the end, the women’s race was a much more tightly contested event.  Swiss athlete Judith Wyder was the early leader before Orr took over through two control points – however, she lost just over a minute at the 5th control and dropped back to 7th place.

    Orr recovered by the control 23 of the 25 to take the lead – only for her Swiss opponent to edge ahead at the final control to snatch victory.

    Category: International Events

  • 21 May 2015

    Major new study sets out a ten year strategy to sustain and strengthen Edinburgh’s world leading Festival City status

    Thundering Hooves 2.0, an ambitious new strategy with a series of recommendations to sustain and strengthen Edinburgh’s status as the world’s leading Festival City was unveiled this morning.

    The study considers and assesses the significant achievements since the ground-breaking 2007 Thundering Hooves report as well as the local and global opportunities and threats relevant to the future development and sustainability of the festivals, and proposes a reinvigorated strategy and action plan.

    The study was commissioned by the Festivals Forum to review progress on Thundering Hooves and to chart a new course for the next ten years and has been funded by the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, VisitScotland, through its EventScotland team, Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. Festivals and Events International (FEI) and BOP were appointed in July 2014 to undertake this major piece of work.

    Edinburgh’s Festivals, with the support and collaborative leadership of the Festivals Forum and Festivals Edinburgh will have a vital role to play in leading new dialogues, developing new approaches and shaping another ten years of innovation, collaboration and programming excellence. 

    A full copy of the report is available for download from www.edinburghfestivalcity.com/about/documents

    Photo:Edinburgh Art Festival 2015. Tara Donovan

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 May 2015

    Family Festival and local food and drink on offer at Scottish Cup Final 30 May

     

    SFA offers reduced ticket prices for Inverness CT v Falkirk Cup Final 30 May
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle take on Falkirk in Scottish football's showpiece event - the William Hill Scottish Cup Final on 30 May. Who will win the oldest national trophy in the world this year?  
    It's the perfect day out for all the family at Scotland's national stadium. Neutral tickets are also available.  
    Ticket includes free entry to the Tescobank Family Festival, taking place 12pm-2pm at nearby Lesser Hampden with photos with the Cup, free football inflatables, giveaways and much, much more.
    The Scottish FA has received support for the Semi Final (18 & 19 April) and the Cup Final this year through the Year of Food and Drink events programme to offer enhanced catering at Hampden Park. The funding has given Hampden the chance to introduce new catering, focusing on introducing food that is locally and sustainably sourced and offering healthy options. The funding is also going to towards staff training, increasing staff awareness of the provenance of food. 
    It was also recently announced that the Scottish FA are being awarded funding in the second round of the Year of Food and Drink events programme to support the improved catering on offer at the SFA European Qualifiers, which will take place on 7th September and 8th October this year. 
    The Scottish FA, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk announced at the end of April that they will offer reduced ticket pricing for the Cup Final. The agreement means that children, students and senior citizens will be able to attend the showpiece game on May 30 for just £5. It will therefore cost a family of four from just £60 to attend the match at the National Stadium. 
    Concessions will also be available for the first time in the North Stand, with the best seats in the house priced from just £10.
    The prices were agreed by all parties with the aim of encouraging neutral supporters to watch the final and enjoy the occasion, as well as ensuring that every Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk fan can attend the game.
    SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "This year's William Hill Scottish Cup final promises to be a wonderful occasion, one that will capture the imagination not just of Falkirk and Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans, but their respective communities at large.
    "On behalf of the Scottish FA, I would like to thank both clubs for their positive contributions to the plans for the final, and wish them the best of luck on May 30th."
    Premiership high-flyers Caley Thistle are aiming to win the competition for the first time in the club's 21-year history, while the Championship Bairns are aiming for their first Cup triumph since 1957.
    The Highlanders boast an average home attendance of just 3,800 and Falkirk only 4,300.
    Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron said: "This will be very much a 'family final' and with youngsters able to attend for £5, I hope supporters will feel that the pricing meets their pockets and that it also appeals to neutral followers.
    "I'm pleased that we, Falkirk, and the Scottish FA were able to reach a timely and amicable agreement on ticket prices, and we've already received an impressive volume of enquiries as the countdown to the final gathers momentum.
    "There will be a major exodus from the Highlands on the day plus we'll have supporters travelling from a range of countries. It should be a memorable occasion."
    Falkirk executive director Ronnie Bateman added: "There has been a huge number of enquiries about tickets already, not only from our own supporters, but from neutrals.
    "I think everybody realises it's going to be an exciting afternoon of football and a game which will be in the 'not-to-be-missed' category.
    "We've had fruitful talks with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and the Scottish FA, and all parties are committed to making sure that fans get their tickets with ease, and at an affordable price, for what promises to be a great family day out."

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle take on Falkirk in Scottish football's showpiece event - the William Hill Scottish Cup Final on 30 May. Who will win the oldest national trophy in the world this year?  

    It's the perfect day out for all the family at Scotland's national stadium. Neutral tickets are also available.

    Ticket includes free entry to the Tescobank Family Festival, taking place 12pm-2pm at nearby Lesser Hampden with photos with the Cup, free football inflatables, giveaways and much, much more.

    The Scottish FA has received support for the Semi Final (18 & 19 April) and the Cup Final this year through the Year of Food and Drink events programme to offer enhanced catering at Hampden Park.

    The funding has given Hampden the chance to introduce new catering, focusing on introducing food that is locally and sustainably sourced and offering healthy options. The funding is also going to towards staff training, increasing staff awareness of the provenance of food. 

    It was also recently announced that the Scottish FA are being awarded funding in the second round of the Year of Food and Drink events programme to support the improved catering on offer at the SFA European Qualifiers, which will take place on 7th September and 8th October this year. 

    The Scottish FA, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk announced at the end of April that they will offer reduced ticket pricing for the Cup Final.

    The agreement means that children, students and senior citizens will be able to attend the showpiece game on May 30 for just £5.

    It will therefore cost a family of four from just £60 to attend the match at the National Stadium. Concessions will also be available for the first time in the North Stand, with the best seats in the house priced from just £10.

    The prices were agreed by all parties with the aim of encouraging neutral supporters to watch the final and enjoy the occasion, as well as ensuring that every Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk fan can attend the game.

    SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "This year's William Hill Scottish Cup final promises to be a wonderful occasion, one that will capture the imagination not just of Falkirk and Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans, but their respective communities at large.

    "On behalf of the Scottish FA, I would like to thank both clubs for their positive contributions to the plans for the final, and wish them the best of luck on May 30th."

    Premiership high-flyers Caley Thistle are aiming to win the competition for the first time in the club's 21-year history, while the Championship Bairns are aiming for their first Cup triumph since 1957.

    The Highlanders boast an average home attendance of just 3,800 and Falkirk only 4,300.

    Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron said: "This will be very much a 'family final' and with youngsters able to attend for £5, I hope supporters will feel that the pricing meets their pockets and that it also appeals to neutral followers.

    "I'm pleased that we, Falkirk, and the Scottish FA were able to reach a timely and amicable agreement on ticket prices, and we've already received an impressive volume of enquiries as the countdown to the final gathers momentum.

    "There will be a major exodus from the Highlands on the day plus we'll have supporters travelling from a range of countries. It should be a memorable occasion."

    Falkirk executive director Ronnie Bateman added: "There has been a huge number of enquiries about tickets already, not only from our own supporters, but from neutrals.

    "I think everybody realises it's going to be an exciting afternoon of football and a game which will be in the 'not-to-be-missed' category.

    "We've had fruitful talks with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and the Scottish FA, and all parties are committed to making sure that fans get their tickets with ease, and at an affordable price, for what promises to be a great family day out."

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 19 May 2015

    Visitors and VIPs turn out for the Gordon Castle Highland Games

    More visitors than ever flocked to the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair on Sunday (17th May) to enjoy an action packed day of family fun in the spring sunshine. The highly successful event took place as part of the Year of Food and Drink and included a celebration of the best in Scottish food and drink.

    As well as thousands of visitors, a number of special guests were present including a delegation from the Chinese Embassy led by Minister Jin Xu. The party met owner of Gordon Castle, Angus Gordon Lennox and his wife Zara, as well as Moray MP, Angus Robertson and MSP Richard Lochhead.

    Among the highlights of the day were the Food Court funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, where an excellent array of quality Scottish produce was on offer, and the spectacular fire stunt show, while in the heavyweight events several new records were set for the games. Gordon Castle also hosted its own stand selling its award winning products including Gordon Castle Scotland Gin and the delicious whisky cask cider, which quickly sold out.

    Angus Gordon Lennox, Owner of Gordon Castle said: “Thank you to everyone who came and took part in making the day such a success and thanks to EventScotland for their support in helping it continue to grow. We have tried to create an event with a huge variety of attractions to appeal to all members of the family, young and old, and it is wonderful that this is now one of the biggest and most exciting events of its type in the region. Visitors came from far and wide to experience the world-beating quality of our local produce and the beauty of this part of the UK.” 

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “The Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair has once again proven to be a huge success, with the event attracting thousands of visitors to Moray.   Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the Gordon Castle Highland Games is a wonderful celebration of our rich heritage and traditions.”

    Minister Counselor Jin Xu of the Chinese Embassy in the UK said: “This being my first time to Scotland, I was delighted to attend the Highland Games at Gordon Castle. It was a wonderful opportunity to appreciate and enjoy Scottish tradition first-hand. Clearly Scotland has a lot to offer in history, culture, produce and tourism, and I am certain the numbers of Chinese tourists is sure to grow, as will trade with China. A highly memorable experience in a wonderful place.”

    The Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair took place in the grounds of the historic Gordon Castle Estate on the banks of the River Spey in Moray.  It combines a traditional highland games with country fair that includes a huge range of music, food, shopping and country pursuits activities and is one of the most high profile and well attended events taking place in the region. During the earlier part of the 20th century the Gordon Castle Highland Games was a prestigious annual event regularly attracting over 30,000 visitors. It was re-launched in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

    www.gordoncastlehighlandgames.co.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 19 May 2015

    Scotland's Larder Brought to Life at Royal Highland Show

    Organisers of Scotland's iconic annual event, The Royal Highland Show, have announced the introduction of ‘Scotland's Larder Live!' a food extravaganza bringing Scotland's larder to the fore.

    Showcasing a diverse range of quality, Scottish produce (and some exciting tastes and flavours from other parts of the world), Scotland's Larder Live! will be a dynamic, experiential food show, promoting and celebrating our food provenance, regionality and seasonality.

    Featuring over 120 producers and showcasing the very best of Scottish produce, the event will ambitiously reposition and refresh the Food Hall by building interactivity and visitor engagement and bring to life the main consumer message of ‘farming equals food'. It will be a lively, stimulating, informative and interactive area full of smells, sights and samples.

    It was announced on Friday [15th May] that the Show has received support through the Year of Food and Drink initiative, delivered by VisitScotland. The Show has received funding to produce a new ‘Food To Go' map which will provide showgoers with information about the event's on-site catering, helping visitors to find delicious food for lunch, dinner or a quick bite. Each 2015 Food To Go provider will have passed the Year of Food and Drink Food Charter, meaning showgoers can rest assured their food is responsibly sourced and, where possible, bought locally.

    The Cookery Theatre - this year featuring top chefs such as Neil Forbes, Paul Wedgwood, Craig Wilson, David Haetzman and Fred Berkmiller - will have a theatrical element, with chefs and celebrities being challenged to whip up a dish against the clock. Tastings and talks will give showgoers the opportunity to meet some of Scotland's finest producers with plenty of audience engagement and participation.

    Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: "The Food Hall at the Royal Highland Show is, without doubt, always one of the most popular places to visit. Having it rebranded this year as Scotland's Larder Live! really puts the focus - and rightly so - on our fantastic natural larder

    "We have some of the best, freshest, tastiest products in the world, and given that we are celebrating the Year of Food and Drink, I think producers at this year's Show will be going all out to give visitors their best taste of Scotland, and I would strongly encourage those coming to the show to speak to the producers to hear how our food is made, and to try something new. I think it will really prove to people that local, in-season produce that is available on their doorstep is among the very best you can get." 

    Show Manager, David Jackson, explains: "42% of visitors come to the Royal Highland Show to enjoy the food and drink. This year we want to appeal to and attract a new and bigger urban consumer audience by developing and growing our food and drink offering whilst remaining true to our core values. 

    "The Royal Highland is the only food event in Scotland that links together the farmer, the food producer - sometimes one and the same with farm diversification - and the consumer. With over 120 food and drink producers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK, the Royal Highland is Scotland's Larder Live!"

    The Year of Food and Drink is all about celebrating Scotland's natural larder and the people, landscapes and culture behind our iconic food heritage. Food is an integral part of the visitor experience in Scotland and this year is the opportunity to showcase local cuisine and provenance.

    The Royal Highland Show takes place from 18th - 21st June with RBS, a proud partner since 1981.

    www.royalhighlandshow.org.uk

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 19 May 2015

    McRae and Meeke – Both Winners

    It was entirely fitting that Alister McRae should take the victor’s spoils for the first ever ‘McRae Rally Challenge’ at Knockhill, but Kris Meeke stole the hearts. The World Rally star took time out of a hectic World Championship schedule to drop in on this special event and it as just as emotional for him to drive Colin McRae’s former Citroen Xsara works rally car as it was for the crowd of almost 10,000 rally fans to see him in it.

    There were miles of smiles at the end of the two day event held at the Fife based motor racing complex to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Colin McRae and Derek Ringer’s World Rally Championship title victory, the first ever for a UK crew. Supported by Beatsons’ Building Supplies and EventScotland the event provided a fitting tribute, much appreciated by the thousands of fans who poured into the Fife facility over two days.

    This was an event where memories were re-visited and new memories made and so it was quite appropriate that Alistair McRae won the event outright from Lancastrian rising star Aaron Newby.

    Going into the final stage, McRae had a 9 second lead over Newby. “I did get one fright,” said Alister, “we came over a brow in the rain and the car stepped out at the back dragging me off the road into the mud, but I spotted a gap in the trees, went through that, and popped back out on to the stage.”

    As for Newby: “I’m just pleased to have finished. Competing in this event amongst all these names and these cars was just awesome. To come away with second place was more than I could have hoped for.”

    There was one more performance worthy of event. Amongst the additional attractions was stunt driver Terry Grant who completed a full lap of the undulating, 1.3 mile hillside circuit on two wheels in his Mitsubishi Lancer. 

    McRae Rally Challenge Top Ten:

    1, Alister McRae / Craig Ritchie,  Proton Satria,  32 minutes 24 seconds 

    2, Aaron Newby / Paula Swinscoe,  Subaru Impreza,  33:36

    3, John Rintoul / Ross Hynd,  Hyundai Accent WRC,  17:19 

    4, John Paterson / Craig Wallace,  Ford Escort II,  33:38

    5, Quintin Milne / Stephen O'Hanlon,  Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9,  33:47 

    6, John MacCrone / Alasdair MacCrone,  Ford Fiesta R5,  33:56

    7, Tom Morris / Ashleigh Morris, MG Metro 6R4, 34:05

    8, Ian Paterson / Helen Brown,  Subaru Impreza N10,  34:19 

     9, Gordon Shedden / Stuart Loudon, Ford Escort, 34:25 

     10, Alan Kirkaldy / Garry Muir,  Ford Escort,  34:27

     

    Category: Motorsport

  • 15 May 2015

    Taste Away! Full Year of Food and Drink events programme revealed

     

    Scotland’s first ever salmon festival, a fayre in honour of the humble bumblebee, and a midnight snack at the Edinburgh Festival, are just some of the enticing events visitors will be able to sink their teeth into later this year.
    This morning in Inverness, (Friday 15 May) Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing unveiled the tasty programme, running from June to December, which will continue the Year of Food and Drink festivities.
    2015 is a celebration of Scotland’s delicious dining experiences and outstanding local produce, with numerous mouth-watering events taking place across the entire country, including a series supported through a dedicated Year of Food and Drink events fund.
    New to the funded-event menu are Fèill – Food Festival (3-4 July), Butefest (16-19 July), Edinburgh Food Festival (29 July -2 Aug), Shetland Reel Music Festival (14-16 Aug), Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre (30 Aug) and Scotland’s Salmon Festival (2-5 Sept).
    A number of existing or established events will welcome an additional edible element in celebration of the Year of Food and Drink including: The Royal Highland Show (18-21 June), the Turriff Show (2-3 Aug), Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (6-8 Aug), Scotland’s Boat Show (9-11 Oct) and Dundee Science Festival (31 Oct-15 Nov).
    Designed to help enhance Scotland’s culinary reputation and increase awareness of the country’s rich natural larder, the Year of Food and Drink is led by VisitScotland, with support from Scotland Food & Drink, on behalf of the Scottish Government.
    It is estimated that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £1700 per minute to the economy. Events provide the perfect opportunity for Scots and visitors to Scotland to experience the nation’s renowned local produce in the country where it was made.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 has already excited and surprised visitors and locals with many fantastic events showcasing the best of Scotland’s produce. This diverse new programme of mouth-watering events, many of which have been created especially for 2015, will give even more people the chance to enjoy our fabulous produce and help boost the phenomenal success of our world-renowned food and drink sector.”
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Since it started in January, the Year of Food and Drink 2015 has tempted thousands of locals and visitors alike to sample Scotland’s culinary offering, which is fantastic news for the country’s thriving tourism industry. As well as supporting the funded programme, we are also working with a number of events across the country through our Partner Programme to ensure that there are plenty of mouth-watering ways in which people can get involved in this exciting year.
    “2015 is the year we use strengths and assets, like our rich natural larder, to take Scotland to the world.”
    On behalf of Scotland’s Salmon Festival, Dr Melanie Smith, head of research and postgraduate development at Inverness College UHI, said: “We’re delighted to have secured funding support from Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, creating an excellent opportunity for Scotland’s Salmon Festival to work alongside fellow recipients throughout the country to promote the food and drink we’re so proud of producing.
    “Organised by Inverness College UHI and representatives from the Scottish salmon industry, September’s festival will explore and celebrate the story of the iconic Atlantic salmon in Scotland. The programme is set to include an International Symposium, a casting competition and a fair, offering a unique occasion for everyone from academics and fishing fanatics to families and foodies to celebrate Scottish salmon together.”
    Scotland Food & Drink Project Manager Fiona Richmond commented: “It is great to see the announcement of further funding for events taking place as part of the Year of Food and Drink programme. This represents invaluable support, helping events to improve their food and drink offering. The Year promotes the fantastic natural larder and talented producers that make Scotland a Land of Food and Drink while building on the tremendous success of our industry and momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland in 2014. What greater opportunity to serve an excellent local food and drink offering to visitors and Scottish residents alike.”
    All funded events will now go through a workshop to help develop their Scottish and local food and drink offering and enhance the visitor experience.
    A total of £272,825 has now been dedicated to events funded as part of the Year of Food and Drink. The event fund is administered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. The Community Food Fund, which is managed by Think Local on behalf of the Scottish Government, has contributed £150K towards the overall fund for 2015.
    For more information visit mediacentre.visitscotland.org/pressreleases/taste-away-1161760
    Taste of Grampian - 6 June
    Royal Highland Show- 18-21 June
    Fèill – Food Festival- 3-4 July
    Tarbert Seafood Festival- 4-5 July            
    Seafest - 4-11 July
    Isle Hamefairin’ 2015 - 11-12 July              
    Hebridean Celtic Festival - 15-18 July
    ButeFest - 16-19 July
    Merchant City Festival - 24 July – 1 August
    Edinburgh Food Festival - 29 July – 2 August
    Turriff Show - 2-3 August
    Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival - 6-8 August
    Shetland Reel Music Festival - 14-16 August
    City of Elgin BID Food & Drink Festival 2015 - 22 August
    Galloway Country Fair - 22-23 August
    Largs Viking Festival - 29 Aug- 6 Sept
    Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre - 30 Aug
    Massed Pipe Bands Day                30 Aug
    Scotland’s Salmon Festival - 2-5 Sept
    Craft Beer Rising - 4-5 Sept
    Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival 2015 - 5-6 Sept
    Country Fair - 6 Sept
    SFA European Qualifiers - 7 Sept & 8 Oct
    Best of the West - 12-13 Sept    
    Scotland’s Boat Show - 9-11 Oct
    Balmaha’s Braw Weekend - 24-25 Oct   
    Dundee Science Festival - 31 Oct – 15 Nov            

    Scotland’s first ever salmon festival, a fayre in honour of the humble bumblebee, and a midnight snack at the Edinburgh Festival, are just some of the enticing events visitors will be able to sink their teeth into later this year.

    This morning in Inverness, (Friday 15 May) Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing unveiled the tasty programme, running from June to December, which will continue the Year of Food and Drink festivities.

    2015 is a celebration of Scotland’s delicious dining experiences and outstanding local produce, with numerous mouth-watering events taking place across the entire country, including a series supported through a dedicated Year of Food and Drink events fund.

    New to the funded-event menu are Fèill – Food Festival (3-4 July), Butefest (16-19 July), Edinburgh Food Festival (29 July -2 Aug), Shetland Reel Music Festival (14-16 Aug), Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre (30 Aug) and Scotland’s Salmon Festival (2-5 Sept).

    A number of existing or established events will welcome an additional edible element in celebration of the Year of Food and Drink including: The Royal Highland Show (18-21 June), the Turriff Show (2-3 Aug), Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (6-8 Aug), Scotland’s Boat Show (9-11 Oct) and Dundee Science Festival (31 Oct-15 Nov).

    Designed to help enhance Scotland’s culinary reputation and increase awareness of the country’s rich natural larder, the Year of Food and Drink is led by VisitScotland, with support from Scotland Food & Drink, on behalf of the Scottish Government.

    It is estimated that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £1700 per minute to the economy. Events provide the perfect opportunity for Scots and visitors to Scotland to experience the nation’s renowned local produce in the country where it was made.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 has already excited and surprised visitors and locals with many fantastic events showcasing the best of Scotland’s produce. This diverse new programme of mouth-watering events, many of which have been created especially for 2015, will give even more people the chance to enjoy our fabulous produce and help boost the phenomenal success of our world-renowned food and drink sector.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Since it started in January, the Year of Food and Drink 2015 has tempted thousands of locals and visitors alike to sample Scotland’s culinary offering, which is fantastic news for the country’s thriving tourism industry. As well as supporting the funded programme, we are also working with a number of events across the country through our Partner Programme to ensure that there are plenty of mouth-watering ways in which people can get involved in this exciting year.

    “2015 is the year we use strengths and assets, like our rich natural larder, to take Scotland to the world.”

    On behalf of Scotland’s Salmon Festival, Dr Melanie Smith, head of research and postgraduate development at Inverness College UHI, said: “We’re delighted to have secured funding support from Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, creating an excellent opportunity for Scotland’s Salmon Festival to work alongside fellow recipients throughout the country to promote the food and drink we’re so proud of producing.

    “Organised by Inverness College UHI and representatives from the Scottish salmon industry, September’s festival will explore and celebrate the story of the iconic Atlantic salmon in Scotland. The programme is set to include an International Symposium, a casting competition and a fair, offering a unique occasion for everyone from academics and fishing fanatics to families and foodies to celebrate Scottish salmon together.”

    Scotland Food & Drink Project Manager Fiona Richmond commented: “It is great to see the announcement of further funding for events taking place as part of the Year of Food and Drink programme. This represents invaluable support, helping events to improve their food and drink offering. The Year promotes the fantastic natural larder and talented producers that make Scotland a Land of Food and Drink while building on the tremendous success of our industry and momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland in 2014. What greater opportunity to serve an excellent local food and drink offering to visitors and Scottish residents alike.”

    All funded events will now go through a workshop to help develop their Scottish and local food and drink offering and enhance the visitor experience.

    A total of £272,825 has now been dedicated to events funded as part of the Year of Food and Drink. The event fund is administered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    The Community Food Fund, which is managed by Think Local on behalf of the Scottish Government, has contributed £150K towards the overall fund for 2015.

    For more information visit mediacentre.visitscotland.org/pressreleases/taste-away-1161760

    Taste of Grampian - 6 June

    Royal Highland Show- 18-21 June

    Fèill – Food Festival- 3-4 July

    Tarbert Seafood Festival- 4-5 July            

    Seafest - 4-11 July

    Isle Hamefairin’ 2015 - 11-12 July              

    Hebridean Celtic Festival - 15-18 July

    ButeFest - 16-19 July

    Merchant City Festival - 24 July – 1 August

    Edinburgh Food Festival - 29 July – 2 August

    Turriff Show - 2-3 August

    Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival - 6-8 August

    Shetland Reel Music Festival - 14-16 August

    City of Elgin BID Food & Drink Festival 2015 - 22 August

    Galloway Country Fair - 22-23 August

    Largs Viking Festival - 29 Aug- 6 Sept

    Wilton Lodge Park Bee Fayre - 30 Aug

    Massed Pipe Bands Day                30 Aug

    Scotland’s Salmon Festival - 2-5 Sept

    Craft Beer Rising - 4-5 Sept

    Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival 2015 - 5-6 Sept

    Country Fair - 6 Sept

    SFA European Qualifiers - 7 Sept & 8 Oct

    Best of the West - 12-13 Sept    

    Scotland’s Boat Show - 9-11 Oct

    Balmaha’s Braw Weekend - 24-25 Oct   

    Dundee Science Festival - 31 Oct – 15 Nov         

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 15 May 2015

    Scotland rewarded for sport destination marketing effort

    Following an incredible 2014 in which Scotland welcomed the world, the national tourism organisation has been awarded the ‘Sport Tourism Destination Marketing Award’ at the European Sport Tourism Summit, held at Thomond Park Stadium in Limerick (Thursday 14th May). 

    Awarded to EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland, the accolade follows a year in which Scotland hosted the ‘best ever’ Commonwealth Games, a hugely successful Ryder Cup, and a leg of the IAAF Diamond League; amongst an annual portfolio which featured a number of globally recognised major events.

    The European Sports Tourism Awards recognise and rewards innovation and achievement in sports tourism across the continent. The awards are a key part of the annual European Sports Tourism Summit, which sees CEOs, directors and key decision makers from the world of sport and tourism come together to discuss the fastest growing global tourism sector.

    Other destinations shortlisted for the award were: Welcome to Yorkshire, VisitEngland, London & Partners, VISITFLANDERS and Wild Atlantic Way.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland 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 an elite group of global event destinations. 2014 was pivotal in terms of delivery, but also significantly through marketing, which helped us to maximise the benefits associated with our world-class portfolio.

    “This award recognises the achievements of the team, not only in 2014, but over the past decade since the inception of EventScotland to position the country as the perfect stage for events. Scotland is perceived by global federations and rights holders as a destination that can host successful events, reach a global audience and add significant value to brands; which puts us in an enviable position within a fast moving marketplace.” 

    Mike Cantlay OBE, 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. We have capitalised on our success throughout 2014 and used our events programme as a launchpad into 2015, a year which sees us delivering an outstanding programme including three world Championships, a European Championships, two golf majors and the Davis Cup to name but a few.”

    “The world of sports destination marketing is an increasingly competitive field, and we are proud to have been recognised by the industry for what was an incredible year in Scotland. We will not rest on our laurels, and will strive to continue our work at the forefront of the global tourism, sport and marketing industries as we continue to take Scotland to the world and welcome even more visitors to our magnificent country.”

    Category: International Events

  • 14 May 2015

    THE OPEN CELEBRATES SCOTLAND’S YEAR OF FOOD AND DRINK

    The Open is celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015 by selecting 20 Scottish producers to supply this year’s Championship at St Andrews.

    Food at the 144TH Open, from 12-19 July, will range from sustainably sourced fish from Peterhead in the North East of Scotland to Quality Meat Scotland - Specially Selected Pork from the South West of the country.

    The Open’s commitment to the Year of Food and Drink, led in partnership by VisitScotland and Scotland Food & Drink, means the country of origin will feature prominently on Open Hospitality menus including Scotch beef and lamb, Scottish smoked salmon and Scottish artisan cheeses. Sustainable sourcing is also guaranteed through supply endorsement by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Red Tractor scheme, Freedom Food and Fairtrade.

    Around 200,000 spectators are expected to attend The Open this year making the Championship one of the largest signatories to Scotland’s Food and Drink Charter for Events. The eight-point agreement is designed to promote sustainability, regional and seasonal dishes, healthy options and value for money.

    More than 10,000 people will enjoy all day hospitality packages at The Open. Twelve tonnes of locally-sourced fresh fruit and vegetables will be used and 12,000 portions of fish and chips will be consumed on course over the week.

    Michael Wells, Director – Championship Staging at The R&A, said, “We are constantly enhancing the spectator experience at The Open and delivering the finest, locally-sourced produce is part of this commitment. We are delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and we look forward very much to welcoming golf fans from around the world to enjoy some wonderful Scottish fare at this year’s Championship in St Andrews.”

    VisitScotland Chairman, Dr Mike Cantlay OBE said, “I’m delighted that The Open, one of the greatest golfing events in the world, is helping showcase our delicious produce to the thousands of visitors it brings from across the UK and overseas. It is only fitting that the high quality culinary offering matches the world class sport on show.  Scotland is globally recognised as the Home of Golf, and the Year of Food and Drink is a chance for us to use our authentic dining experiences and rich natural larder to enhance our reputation as a land of food and drink too.”

    The Open's agreement to provide sustainable, local and healthy food choices, through Scotland's Food and Drink Charter for Events, is part of The Open's continuing commitment to hosting a sustainable event.

    Category: International Events

  • 13 May 2015

    Colin’s Car for Kris at the McRae Rally Challenge

    There won’t be a dry eye in the house when rally fans see what the Citroen World Rally Team has planned for the McRae Rally Challenge. They are planning to bring a Citroen Zsara World Rally Car to the event for Argentine Rally winner Kris Meeke to drive.

     And it’s not just any Citroen Zsara, this one will look exactly as it was when Colin McRae drove for the French Team 12 years ago.

     Given the unique nature of this event being staged to commemorate the 20th anniversary of McRae’s World Rally title, Citroen have decided to make their own special tribute to McRae by having the vehicle liveried as it was 12 years ago when he drove for the team. A fitting gesture which only goes to highlight the esteem in which Colin was held the world over by his colleagues, competitors and fans.

     The significance of Kris Meeke driving a Citroen in Colin McRae’s colours will provide the Knockhill crowd with a truly mesmerising spectacle.

     Two weeks ago, at the end of the final stage of Rally Argentina, on one of the toughest events in the World Rally Championship calendar, and on the occasion of his first WRC victory, an emotional Meeke’s first thoughts were not about himself. His first words to the waiting pack of journalists and photographers were: “The one person who I owe the most isn’t here. This one’s for Colin.”

     Because of that, when Meeke fires up the Zsara and drives it out of the Paddock on to the track for the first time on Saturday 16th May he will undoubtedly be met by a groundswell of popular support and a huge wave of emotion .

     There will also be another surprise for rally fans at this two-day McRae Rally Challenge which is being supported by Beatsons’ Building Supplies and EventScotland.

     Colin’s brother Alister is flying in from Australia, where he now lives, to take part. Until now his choice of car has been secret, but it can now be confirmed that he will be driving a Proton Satria, similar to the car in which he won the 2011 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

     Coincidentally, the Malaysian based car manufacturer originally contracted with a north of England based motorsports engineering company to develop its range of World title winning rally cars. Based at Bakewell near Sheffield, Mellors Elliott Motorsport (MEM) is one of the UK’s top development and preparation experts. More recently, the team has been developing a new generation of Proton rally cars with English built Millington engines and the MEM team has confirmed that they will be bringing one of these rather special new cars north for Alister to drive.

     Full event details and timetable for this remarkable and memorable event can be found on www.Knockhill.com with discounted tickets available on line up to midnight of Friday 15th May or at the gate each day.

    Category: National Events

  • 11 May 2015

    WORLD PREMIERE OF ‘IONA’ TO CLOSE 69th EIFF

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announce Scott Graham’s beautifully shot drama, IONA, will close the 69th edition of the Festival on Sunday 28 June at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh where it will receive its World Premiere. 

    Shot entirely on location in Scotland, the film stars Ruth Negga (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Douglas Henshall (Shetland), Tom Brooke (The Boat That Rocked) and Michelle Duncan (Atonement), with remarkable debuts by two young Scottish actors, Ben Gallagher and Sorcha Groundsell. IONA is director Scott Graham’s second film following his award winning Shell in 2012.

    Director Scott Graham said: 'I discovered many films and filmmakers at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Edinburgh was my home all through my twenties and it was in venues like Filmhouse and the Cameo where I learned the value of the stories we tell and the emotions we share. I'm thrilled IONA will have its premiere here and doubly thrilled it will close the Festival. What an honour.'

    Part coming-of-age story and part returning-home drama, Graham’s striking and enthralling film is set against the stunning backdrop of the Hebridean island of Iona. Named after her birthplace, Iona, played by Ruth Negga, returns to the island with her teenage son to seek refuge from a violent crime in Glasgow. Iona's return exposes her tormented son Bull to a way of life she rejected when she left the island as a teenager and sends a shock wave through the family she left behind.

    Mark Adams, Artistic Director of EIFF said: “We are thrilled to be closing this year’s Festival with Scott Graham’s lovely, moving and enthralling Iona.  He is a striking cinematic talent and the film will wrap this year’s Festival in the perfect way.”

    IONA is produced by Margaret Matheson and co-produced by Gunter Hanfgarn. The film is executive produced by Christopher Collins, Lizzie Francke, Ian Davies and Rebecca Long and is set for release in the UK later this year. The film is co-financed by the BFI and Creative Scotland.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 07 May 2015

    Scottish Podium One / Two At British MTB Marathon Championships

     It was a Scottish one / two in the women’s race at The 2015 British National Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, supported by EventScotland, staged in Selkirk in The Scottish Borders on Saturday 02 May. 

     Kerry MacPhee (28) - Rock and Road Cycles, the 2014 Scottish National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion, a top 15 finisher at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, took the British title after a very closely fought race that saw her complete the 75km course, with 2300m of climb, in 04:31:08. Lee Craigie (35 - Inverness) – Cannondale UK, the British XC MTB Champion 2013, took second place, two minutes behind MacPhee, in 04:33:20. Melanie Alexander - Contessa Scott Syncros – matched her 2014 third place finish in a time of 04:50:09.

     Kerry MacPhee, from Stirling, said: “I am absolutely delighted, super chuffed with the win, but still quite shocked.  I worked really hard for it and have been putting in some solid training ahead of the cross country World Cups coming up.  As a cross country rider I wanted to get ahead from the start in order to avoid any problems at the more technical sections.  I passed Lee [Craigie] on the first climb and kept that position to the end.  The plan paid off.  What a great day!”

     Local rider Isla Short (18) - Novus OMX Pro Team – from Cardrona, the 2014 British National Junior XC MTB Champion, crossed the finish line in fifth (05:07:02).  Sally Bigham - Topeak Ergon Racing Team, the 2014 British MTB Marathon Champion who was hotly tipped to retain her title in 2015, was forced to pull out of the race due to illness.

     It was a very close race in the men’s British Marathon Championships event with only three minutes separating the top four riders over the 75km distance.  Ben Thomas (26) - Trax – Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team, a mountain bike endurance specialist, was the eventual winner of the coveted red, white and blue British National Championships jersey in a time of 3:46:50. Dan Fleeman - Sportgrub-Kuota, last year’s champion, was a mere 15 seconds behind Thomas (03:47:05) and Giles Drake - Leisure Lakes Bikes.com - filled the final podium spot (03:48:30).

     Ben Thomas from near Reading said: “A win at the British Marathon Championships was a massive goal for me, the main target for 2015.  I first visited competed in the race 4 years ago; I finished 4th and picked up that ambition of winning the title. I had a great ride on some fun and not too technical trails.  I am really looking forward to racing my next marathons in Europe wearing the stripes!”

     The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, organised by Durty Events as part of the ever-popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon open cycling event, saw 89 of the UK’s Elite endurance riders take to the challenging 75km single lap course on some of the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer, testing all riders to the limit.

     The Selkirk MTB Marathon saw a further 500 sportive riders take on one of 25km, 50km and 75km single-loop and fully waymarked courses.  They all set off together alongside the Elite riders in a mass start from Selkirk High Street.  The routes took them down the valleys and over the hills of the stunning Scottish Borders through Bowhill Country Estate, Yarrowford and Ettrick Valleys, the Forestry Commission’s Yair, Elibank and Traquair forests and the Southern Upland Way.

     Paul McGreal from Durty Events, organisers of the Selkirk MTB Marathon and British MTB Marathon Championships, said: “We’re extremely happy with how the Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon went at the weekend. The riders loved the fantastic trails we have in the Borders, both natural and man-made, though it’s fair to say a few of them were pretty shattered by the end of their rides.

     “The presence of the British Championships brought an extra buzz to the event, as ‘regular’ riders got to line up against stars from the Commonwealth Games and elsewhere.  Seeing Scots on the podium was particularly pleasing.

     “We’re extremely grateful to our event partners, including Scottish Borders Council, EventScotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and Powerbar for making the event happen. Similarly, we were really pleased to see how local Borders’ businesses got on board and engaged with the event.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for mountain biking with all disciplines catered for amongst some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

    “This weekend’s British National Mountain Bike Marathon Championships once again placed Scotland and the Scottish Borders on the map, welcoming both elite mountain bikers and enthusiasts from all over the country to put their skills to the test, whilst enjoying some of the best tracks and trails the region has to offer.”

    Category: National Events

  • 07 May 2015

    Public catching on to World Orienteering championships this year

    Communities from throughout the Highland and Moray regions are being informed and encouraged to play their part in one of Scotland’s major sporting events of the year.

    Organisers of the World Orienteering Championships and Scottish 6 Days events which combine to form ‘Highland 2015’ have been talking to community groups, clubs, businesses ahead of an influx of thousands of visitors to their doorsteps from July 31 to August 7 this year.

    A presentation was made to businesses connected with Tourism in Moray and Speyside at a seminar at the Andrew Graham Bell Centre in Elgin last month, while presentations have been made and are being planned to Community Councils in Moray and the Highlands.

    Meanwhile shops in the centre of Nairn are planning to decorate their windows during Highland 2015, which will open the international orienteering events in the town and nearby Forres on the weekend of July 31 to August 2.

    Mike Rodgers, who is the Moray regional development officer for the Scottish Orienteering Association, said: “I have already been in touch with community councils in Moray and their members have been very welcoming and keen to learn more about Highland 2015, with many surprised at the depth and breadth of the championships happening on their doorsteps.

    “People are becoming excited about the prospect of welcoming thousands of the finest orienteer athletes from around the world as well as club athletes and enthusiasts of the sport who will competing in every age group and at every possible level at centres throughout the Highlands.”

    Paul McGreal, who is Director of the World Orienteering Championships 2015, added: “A great deal of interest is now being shown in the championships and we are delighted to see the response from people throughout the Highlands to what they are recognising will be an amazing spectacle.

    “At the Moray/Speyside Tourism Seminar in Elgin we presented some film of the World Championships held in Italy last year and that brought home to people just how fantastic it is for Scotland to be hosting the World Championships.

    “Excitement is certainly building now that we have just a little over three months before the Highlands welcomes the orienteering world – we are anticipating a wonderful time for all with typical Scottish hospitality in abundance.”

    Nairn-based professional officer for Scottish Orienteering, Colin Matheson, is anticipating thousands of visitors to the town during the opening weekend – and has revealed that local business leaders will be offering prizes to businesses that dress up their shop fronts for the occasion.

    He said: “The Association of Nairn Businesses are offering prizes for the “best themed window displays” during the championships.

    “Cash prizes of £100 and £50 will be given to the charity of choice for any business judged to have the best window display.”

    Mr McGreal added: “We are delighted to learn of the initiative in Nairn and would be delighted to hear of ideas from other businesses around the Highlands and Moray who might have similar ideas to help celebrate the championships.”

    The video footage being shown to business and community groups can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87yFPDaad6Q.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 May 2015

    The ‘Real’ Stig at the McRae Rally Challenge

    From Flying Finns to Speeding Swedes, the McRae Rally Challenge in two weeks’ time will have something for everyone.

    The latest rally star to sign-up for the challenge is Swedish former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist.

    The entry list is now pretty much finalised (and will be issued shortly) for the two-day ‘McRae Rally Challenge’ on 16/17 May which is being supported by Beatsons’ Building Supplies and EventScotland, to commemorate thje 20th anniversary of Colin McRae and Derek Ringer becoming the first Brits to win the FIA World Rally Championship.

    Blomqvist will drive the original Group B Audi Quattro Sport in which long time rival Hannu Mikkola scored numerous outright rally wins in 1982. The car is now owned by the flamboyant English rally driver Steve Perez.

    In fact multiple British Rally Champion Perez will be bringing two cars to the event, the Audi for Blomqvist, and an ex-works Ford Focus WRC that he will drive himself. Like Blomqvist, the Chesterfield based driver has huge experience of rallying from the forests of the UK to the vast plains of central African Safari Rallies – so Knockhill will hold no fears!

    Additional entries have come from even further abroad – the Isle of Mull, with the island’s top rallying exports, Calum Duffy and John MacCrone confirmed as entries! 8 times Mull Rally winner Calum Duffy will debut his new Subaru Impreza while M-Sport Ford test driver John MacCrone will have a Ford Fiesta - of some sort!

    Of particular interest to Scottish rally fans will be the appearance of three times Scottish Rally Champion Ken Wood whose exploits over the years have endeared him to rally followers right across the nation. He has been loyal to British Leyland products ever since he started rallying in a Mini and was the envy of the works British Leyland rally team when he turned his own Triumph TR7 V8 and Rover SD1 into rally and championship winning cars when the professional ‘works’ team struggled. He was also the first privateer to score a rally win in an MG Metro 6R4.

    Ken’s stubborn determination to stick with ‘British Leyland’ products has resulted in his most unusual rally car yet – a self-built, rear wheel drive, Triumph Dolomite with a V6 engine!

    Another poignant entry has come from Quintin Milne which is very appropriate for this event. Quintin’s own style of flat-out driving has often been compared to that of the former World Champion. But perhaps there is an easy explanation for that.

    Quintin’s father Donald Milne was a successful driver in the 1980s and was instrumental in the young McRae’s early success when he provided rally cars and sponsorship to enable the ambitious youngster to contest more events and broaden his experience.

    When Quintin built his own Vauxhall Nova and set out on the road to rallying, Colin McRae was there to instruct and support. So when you see Milne’s Mitsubishi Lancer appear on the stage this weekend, take a couple of steps back, just in case!

    The Battle of the BTCC Boys

     They are more used to going door handle to door handle at the major circuits of the BTCC, but Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden has now been joined by young rising star Aiden Moffat who races in the 2015 BTCC championship in a Laser Tools backed Mercedes Benz. 19 year old Aiden is no stranger to competition cars as he has grown up racing karts and cars since the age of 11.

    What will make the “battle of the BTCC boys” even more interesting is that both Gordon and Aiden are entered in Mk2 Escorts and for both, it’s their first ever rally event.

    Stuart Gray, Knockhill Events Director added:  “The McRae Rally Challenge has already exceeded expectations with the amazing entry list and content, probably marking it as one of the best single venue rally events ever seen in the UK. There are so many ex World, British and Scottish champions entered and to have to the added dimension of two Scottish BTCC stars in Mk2 Escorts, it will be great to see who comes out on top.”  

    Category: National Events

  • 01 May 2015

    Success in Sochi!

    SportAccord Convention is the annual gathering of over 2,000 leading representatives from international sport which provides a unique platform for EventScotland and its strategic partners to nurture relationships within the world's sporting community.

    With major events secured by EventScotland and partners confirmed through to 2021, there was a clear level of sustained global interest at the convention which was held in Sochi, Russia from 19-26 April.

    The Scotland partners attended a busy week of meetings and networking events to promote Scotland as the perfect stage for events, along with the ever-popular whisky tasting event held on the Scotland stand partnered with Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Edinburgh. For more information on whisky tasting services and whisky dining opportunities please click here

  • 01 May 2015

    Gourock Highland Games chieftain announced

    Inverclyde Council has announced that the Chieftain for this year’s Gourock Highland Games will be long term campaigner for the elderly, Nell McFadyen, and this morning Provost Robert Moran welcomed Nell to Greenock’s Municipal Buildings to make the announcement.

    Nell has been campaigning for and supporting Inverclyde’s elderly residents for over twenty years and her accomplishments have been recognised nationally on numerous occasions; she was awarded a MBE, has visited 10 Downing Street and attended the Queen’s Garden Party.

    She is Chair of the Inverclyde Elderly Forum and was the founding member, now honorary president, of Inverclyde’s Your Voice, an organisation which aims to empower local people to influence the planning, development and provision of local services, specifically focusing on underrepresented groups who face discrimination and social exclusion.

    Provost Robert Moran said: “The position of Chieftain of the Gourock Highland Games is a fantastic way of recognising the achievements of an Inverclyde resident and Nell has achievements in abundance. Nell has worked tirelessly for a great many years ensuring the elderly are looked after, treated with respect and I am thrilled that we are able to recognise and celebrate all she has done.”

    Speaking on her appointment as Chieftain, Nell said: “I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity. I never expected to be recognised in this way so I was very surprised when I was asked, but I am extremely honoured and very much looking forward to what I am sure will be a great day.”

    This year’s Gourock Highland Games is set for Sunday 10th May at Gourock Park, Inverclyde. Gates open at noon when there will be pipers, highland dancers and heavyweight competitors entertaining spectators all afternoon.  Also as part of Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink celebrations and with support from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, there will be a wide array of Scottish produce on offer plus fantastic activities to keep children entertained. Further information can be found at www.gourockhighlandgames.org.uk.

    Category: National Events

  • 01 May 2015

    AVIVA BECOMES TITLE SPONSOR OF THE TOUR OF BRITAIN AND THE WOMEN’S TOUR CYCLING

     

    Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has announced it is taking on the title sponsorship of the most prestigious male and female professional cycling road races in Britain. The races will be renamed the Aviva Tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour as Aviva takes on the sponsorship from Friends Life, which became part of the Aviva group earlier this month.
    At the launch event in Piccadilly Circus, the new Yellow Jerseys for both races were unveiled. Among the guests there to mark Aviva’s new sponsorship were Olympic champions Dani King and Chris Boardman and Chief Executive of race organisers Sweetspot, Hugh Roberts.
    Aviva already has a long history of supporting a variety of different sports and currently has sponsorship deals in place with Premiership Rugby, Norwich City Football Club and the Aviva Stadium in Ireland.
    Dani King, Olympic gold medal winner in the 3km Team Pursuit at London 2012, said:
    “Taking part in the first ever Women’s Tour last year was incredible. To see so many people out on the streets to support the riders was a real buzz and I think this year’s race is going to be even better. To have Aviva on board as title sponsor, with their history of sport sponsorship, can only be a good thing for cycling.”
    Chris Boardman, gold medal winner at the 1992 Olympics, said:
    “Last year I did a lot of work around both these races, but particularly the Tour of Britain. The race helped to elevate cycling to a whole new level, and a large part of that has to go down to the sponsors.
    /mfs
    AVIVA BECOMES TITLE SPONSOR OF THE TOUR OF BRITAIN…. PAGE 2 OF 3
    “The introduction of a household name like Aviva as title sponsor gives the event a further boost. I was at the final stage of the Tour of Britain last year when it was a circuit around central London and the atmosphere was incredible. I have a feeling it’s going to be even better this year.”
    Karen Burrell, Marketing Delivery Director at Aviva, said:
    “Cycling is a passion that has gripped the towns and cities across the country and we’re proud to be sponsoring both the Aviva Women’s Tour and the Aviva Tour of Britain. Aviva actively supports the communities we operate in and we have a long history of successful sporting sponsorships which we are now looking to build on with cycling. We are excited about how we can bring this partnership to life both for our customers and our employees.”
    Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Sweetspot, the race organisers, said:
    “Having a title sponsor last year helped us to take both events to a new level, reaching more communities and spectators than ever before. Now we have Aviva on board and I think we’re going to see something really special. Last year we had some of the biggest names in cycling taking part in the Tour of Britain, like Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwaitkowski and we expect the same profile of riders to take part this year.
    “For the Women’s Tour, last year’s race was the first one, but already it is being held up as an example to cycling organisations around the world of how a female cycling event can be a success. Making it the Aviva Women’s Tour will only enhance that and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event this June”
    The sponsorship deal not only takes in the Aviva Tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour, but also the Aviva London Cycle, which takes place on same day as the final stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain, and the Aviva Tour Ride, a sportive in Worcestershire in October.

    Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has announced it is taking on the title sponsorship of the most prestigious male and female professional cycling road races in Britain. The races will be renamed the Aviva Tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour as Aviva takes on the sponsorship from Friends Life, which became part of the Aviva group earlier this month.

    At the launch event in Piccadilly Circus, the new Yellow Jerseys for both races were unveiled. Among the guests there to mark Aviva’s new sponsorship were Olympic champions Dani King and Chris Boardman and Chief Executive of race organisers Sweetspot, Hugh Roberts.

    Aviva already has a long history of supporting a variety of different sports and currently has sponsorship deals in place with Premiership Rugby, Norwich City Football Club and the Aviva Stadium in Ireland.

    Dani King, Olympic gold medal winner in the 3km Team Pursuit at London 2012, said:

    “Taking part in the first ever Women’s Tour last year was incredible. To see so many people out on the streets to support the riders was a real buzz and I think this year’s race is going to be even better. To have Aviva on board as title sponsor, with their history of sport sponsorship, can only be a good thing for cycling.”

    Chris Boardman, gold medal winner at the 1992 Olympics, said:

    “Last year I did a lot of work around both these races, but particularly the Tour of Britain. The race helped to elevate cycling to a whole new level, and a large part of that has to go down to the sponsors.

    “The introduction of a household name like Aviva as title sponsor gives the event a further boost. I was at the final stage of the Tour of Britain last year when it was a circuit around central London and the atmosphere was incredible. I have a feeling it’s going to be even better this year.”

    Karen Burrell, Marketing Delivery Director at Aviva, said:“Cycling is a passion that has gripped the towns and cities across the country and we’re proud to be sponsoring both the Aviva Women’s Tour and the Aviva Tour of Britain. Aviva actively supports the communities we operate in and we have a long history of successful sporting sponsorships which we are now looking to build on with cycling. We are excited about how we can bring this partnership to life both for our customers and our employees.”

    Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Sweetspot, the race organisers, said:“Having a title sponsor last year helped us to take both events to a new level, reaching more communities and spectators than ever before. Now we have Aviva on board and I think we’re going to see something really special. Last year we had some of the biggest names in cycling taking part in the Tour of Britain, like Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwaitkowski and we expect the same profile of riders to take part this year.

    “For the Women’s Tour, last year’s race was the first one, but already it is being held up as an example to cycling organisations around the world of how a female cycling event can be a success. Making it the Aviva Women’s Tour will only enhance that and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event this June”

    The sponsorship deal not only takes in the Aviva Tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour, but also the Aviva London Cycle, which takes place on same day as the final stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain, and the Aviva Tour Ride, a sportive in Worcestershire in October.

    Category: International Events

  • 30 April 2015

    Glasgow to stage HOST CITY 2015 conference and exhibition

    HOST CITY 2015, which aims to become the biggest EU-based conference and exhibition for cities, cross sector event owners and event suppliers, is to take place in Glasgow on the 9th and 10th of November.

    The first HOST CITY, held in London in 2014, brought world class speakers and delegates from IOC, FIFA, World Expo, MOBO, ITU (Triathlon), FIS (Skiing) and numerous cities. It was acclaimed as the optimal environment for cities and events owners to network with and learn from peers in the business of bidding for and hosting cross sector events.

    HOST CITY 2015 will build on this unique dialogue between cities and rights holders of sporting, cultural and business events by creating a much larger platform.

    A new platform for Cities, Event Owners and Suppliers to work together
    Calls have been intensifying for a one-stop event where city representatives, destination marketers, event owners and suppliers can all meet.

    HOST CITY 2015 addresses this need and Glasgow is the perfect destination for enabling the event to fulfil its ambition of becoming the largest conference and exhibition of cities and cross-sector events.

    Matthew Astill, CEO of Cavendish Group, which owns HOST CITY, said: "In an increasingly competitive global market, a growing number of cities are hosting a wider range of events to attract a greater share of global trade, talent, tourism, and investment.

    "HOST CITY 2015 provides the platform for cities, event owners and suppliers to work together to bid for and host the greatest range of events at any single gathering in the EU. We are especially delighted to commit to HOST CITY growing up in Glasgow over the next three to five years.”

    Sir Craig Reedie, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee and keynote speaker at HOST CITY in 2014 said: "I am pleased to see that the HOST CITY 2015 will be coming to Glasgow, building a platform for the growing marketplace of cities staging many different types of events. I enjoyed speaking at the inaugural 2014 conference and I look forward to doing so again in Glasgow.” 

    A top events destination
    HOST CITY 2015 will take place at the University of Strathclyde’s new state-of-the-art Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in the heart of Glasgow.

    Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: "We are delighted that HOST CITY 2015 will be held in Glasgow.

    "Cities need a forum where they can meet the owners of all kinds of events and plan their future hosting strategies. The market for sports, cultural and business events is growing at a rapid rate and we anticipate that HOST CITY will develop into a major conference and exhibition for cities and cross-platform events.

    "Glasgow is one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities with a phenomenally diverse, annual cultural calendar and we’ve been named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for the past nine years – a reputation that we’ve built through a strategy of attracting the best international events and conferences, continued investment in state-of-the-art facilities, the launch of a dedicated Major Events Charter and a powerful city brand.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: "We are delighted HOST CITY 2015 is set to take place in Glasgow, this November. Scotland, and indeed Glasgow has a strong track record and international reputation as the perfect stage for major events and I have no doubt this prestigious event will once again place Scotland on the map as a pre-eminent destination for major cultural, business and sporting events.”

    What's it about?
    The conference and exhibition will focus on how cities and rights holders can work together to bid for and host sporting, cultural and business events. These range from mega events such as the Olympic Games and World Expos to major business, scientific and cultural events.

    HOST CITY 2015 is set to include VIP speakers from event owners: IOC, CGF, FIFA, sports federations, BIE, MTV, EU Capital of Culture, Rock in Rio, major scientific congresses; city event leaders from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Japan, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA and many more.

    Speakers who have confirmed their intention to speak include: Dimitri Kerkentzes, Chief of Staff, Bureau International des Expositions (World Expos); Tessa Jowell, Former Secretary of State, Olympics, UK; Antonio Arimany Fernandez, Director General, International Triathlon Union; Louise Martin, Honorary Secretary, Commonwealth Games Federation; Alexander Koch, Corporate Communications Manager, FIFA.

    Rights holders will announce plans for their events and share insights on bidding for and hosting their properties. Cities will share their experiences of building a portfolio of sports, business and cultural events that attract investment and benefit society.

    With a mix of panel discussions, keynote addresses and case studies focussed on mega events, transport, security, business and cultural events, HOST CITY 2015 highlights the issues and opportunities facing everyone in the business of city events.

    Press coverage of HOST CITY Bid to Win 2014 included: The Telegraph, Daily Mail, O Globo, Bloomberg, Associated Press, ESPN, Fox Sports, USA Today, Huffington Post, Star Africa, Yahoo, China Sports, Indian Express, Yomiuri Shimbun, Sports Illustrated, Washington Times, Kyiv Post, La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Omnisports, MSN, beIN Sports, Eurosport, Fox Sports.

    Who Should Attend?

    City representatives, destination marketing organisations, national sports and event bureaus;

    Owners of all large-scale events and exhibitions (sports, business, science and culture);

    Suppliers of infrastructure, technology and services for events.

    Cavendish Group looks forward to welcoming you to HOST CITY 2015 in Glasgow on the 9th and 10th of

    November, 2015.

    For more information visit www.bidtowin-hostcity.net

    Book your place and discuss speaking, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities with Ben Avison at +44 (0) 7876 682072 or ben.avison@hostcity.net

    Category: National Events

  • 29 April 2015

    PIPERS TO BE MAIN ATTRACTION IN GLASGOW THIS SUMMER

    The world’s biggest week of piping launched today, Tuesday 28th April, preparing for all eyes to be back on Glasgow this summer as 50,000 music fans, families and tourists head to the city to enjoy the 200 events and 8,000 performers that make up Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and The World Pipe Band Championships, taking place from 10-16 August. 

    The events were launched on board the iconic Glasgow City Sightseeing Tour bus in George Square, where pipers and drummers lined the open-top level of the bus, giving the bustling streets of the city a glimpse of this summer’s main attraction.

    Last year was one of the busiest in recent years for Glasgow, as tourists remained in the dear green place following the Commonwealth Games, with many extending their stay to catch Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships festivities.  Now athletes of a musical nature will return to the city, as the world’s biggest week of piping launches its most exciting programme yet. 

    Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival is the biggest festival of its kind in the world and the week-long celebrations will see over 200 events take place in various venues across the city from August 10 – 16.  In exciting news for 2015, the festival will return to George Square after a two year absence from the space.  Musicians will perform in the square daily and the festival will bring the best pipers and musicians into the heart of the city.  As well as the annual Pipe Idol competition and International Quartets competition there will also be special concerts on the Thursday and Friday night of the festival, featuring unique and never seen-before collaborations between musicians from Piping Live! and abroad.   The festival will also celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink with a new ‘Pipers Market’ in George Square, showcasing the very best of fresh, local, Scottish produce. 

    Piping Live! boasts a diverse programme and is famed for its evening concerts, which not only showcase the best pipers and pipe bands from across the globe but also celebrate multi-instrument traditional musicians and bands including the Scott Wood Band, Finlay MacDonald and Chris Stout, Fred Morrison  and Borja Baragano, who are all performing at this year’s festival. 

    Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “It’s year 12 of Piping Live! and the festival continues to grow.  We annually attract tens of thousands of people to the city and last year Piping Live! had an economic impact of almost £2 million to the city – so you could say we’re the summers main attraction.  The festival programme for 2015 is hugely diverse – whether you are looking for a family day out, are a seasoned piping or traditional music fan – Piping Live! has something for you.” 

    The World Pipe Band Championships will return to the picturesque Glasgow Greenon 14th-15th August, where the best pipers and drummers from across the world will congregate for the ultimate competition. ‘The Worlds’, as they are affectionately known, have been associated with Glasgow for more than 60 years and will see around 220 bands compete across the two days.  It will be an exciting competition as Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band of Belfast will be fiercely defending their crown - having won the title the last four years in a row. The Grade 1 qualifiers take place on Friday 14th August with the full competition will being held on Saturday 15th August. 

    The Worlds offer a great family day out, with children under 5 gaining free entry, a special children’s zone, Highland Dancing, Highland Games and a variety of food and drink on offer.

    Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “The World Pipe Band Championships have always been a terrific mix of passionate competition and family fun, and this year looks to be better than ever.  It’s a unique event and a terrific platform to celebrate the vast pipe band talent from across the world. 

    “We can’t wait to welcome music lovers and families back to the city to enjoy the sheer hard work all our participants go through to clinch the ultimate prize in pipe band music.”

    Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow is home to an enviable, diverse and ever-growing programme of annual major events and festivals. Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships are firmly at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural calendar every August, offering thousands of piping fans from across the UK and overseas the chance to experience a spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. Moreover, both events generate significant economic benefit for the city and their continuing popularity reinforces Glasgow’s reputation for successfully hosting major international events.”

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

    Category: International Events

  • 27 April 2015

    Countdown to the 2015 Loch Fyne Food Fair on its 25th anniversary

     

    There are just a few weeks to go until the Loch Fyne Food Fair, 16 & 17 May, taking place next to the world renowned Loch Fyne Oyster Bar near Cairndow, Argyll.
    Having started in 1990, the Food Fair is the longest-running outdoor food event in Scotland, and to celebrate its 25th year the Loch Fyne team are pulling out all the stops. 
    Happily, this special year for the Fair coincides with the Year of Food and Drink and the Fair has received support from VisitScotland and EventScotland to expand the programme and feature workshops based around food and drink. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “As Scotland’s longest-running outdoor food event, the Loch Fyne Food Fair is a superb showcase for the fantastic food and drink produced in Argyll and across the country. With the double celebration of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and the Fair’s 25th anniversary, I am sure that visitors this year will be in for a special treat.”
    The Fair works closely with Food From Argyll to attract local producers, alongside old and new friends from further afield.
    Alongside Loch Fyne Oysters’ own seafood stands, producers including the Real MacKay Stovies, Great Glen Game, Fyne Preserves, Home Ground Coffee Co and Rare Breed Scotch eggs will host stalls.
    Hands-on workshops will run on both daysand Take One Action’s brand new bike and solar-powered Wee Green Cinema  will show a series of short films based on food from the local area and further afield.
    Virginia Sumsion, Marketing and Events Manager at Loch Fyne Oysters commented on the Food Fair saying: “This year’s Fair will give visitors a unique experience. As well as the chance to learn how to shuck oysters from Loch Fyne shellfish experts, fair-goers can try their hand at bread-making and cake-decorating with the guidance of local experts.”
    She continued: “The BarrowBand, who very uniquely write, perform and sing about fruit and vegetables, will be there to entertain visitors and the drinks enthusiasts can learn how to distil gin with Spencerfield Spirit Company and explore ales with Fyne Ales.”
    Music has always played an important role in the event and this year will feature Inveraray & District Grade 1 Pipe Band, up and coming local ceilidh band Heron Valley and talented local band, The Camans. And with Bute Community Band appearing with their Swing and Concert Bands,there will be no lack of entertainment to help digest the food and drink.
    The Fair provides support for the local community; local schools, childcare organisations and trusts such as Auchindrain Museum will man stalls providing lively and entertaining activities.  
    There’s plenty to keep children entertained over the weekend as well. Argyll Adventure will bring their Climbing Wall and Laser Storm activities and there will be rides for the young and young at heart.
    A craft tent with more than 16 craft workers and ales supplied by Fyne Ales plus a wine bar with specially selected wines add the final touches to a great day out for all ages.
    Loch Fyne Food Fair began in 1990 to celebrate local food and drink, notably oysters from the clear, fertile waters of Loch Fyne. Over the years, the Food Fair has built up a loyal following and attracts new visitors to this unique corner of Argyll each year. 
    Packed with brilliant moments, the Year of Food and Drink is a celebration of the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce and the landscapes, people and culture that make our food heritage so unique.
    Loch Fyne Food Fair is located next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Deli near Cairndow PA26 8BL. The Oyster Bar opens at 9am, lunchtime bookings can be made by calling 01499 600 482. Stalls are open at 11am – 6pm. Admission is free (parking £3 per vehicle).

    There are just a few weeks to go until the Loch Fyne Food Fair, 16 & 17 May, taking place next to the world renowned Loch Fyne Oyster Bar near Cairndow, Argyll.

    Having started in 1990, the Food Fair is the longest-running outdoor food event in Scotland, and to celebrate its 25th year the Loch Fyne team are pulling out all the stops. 

    Happily, this special year for the Fair coincides with the Year of Food and Drink and the Fair has received support from VisitScotland and EventScotland to expand the programme and feature workshops based around food and drink. 

    Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “As Scotland’s longest-running outdoor food event, the Loch Fyne Food Fair is a superb showcase for the fantastic food and drink produced in Argyll and across the country. With the double celebration of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and the Fair’s 25th anniversary, I am sure that visitors this year will be in for a special treat.”

    The Fair works closely with Food From Argyll to attract local producers, alongside old and new friends from further afield.Alongside Loch Fyne Oysters’ own seafood stands, producers including the Real MacKay Stovies, Great Glen Game, Fyne Preserves, Home Ground Coffee Co and Rare Breed Scotch eggs will host stalls.

    Hands-on workshops will run on both daysand Take One Action’s brand new bike and solar-powered Wee Green Cinema  will show a series of short films based on food from the local area and further afield.

    Virginia Sumsion, Marketing and Events Manager at Loch Fyne Oysters commented on the Food Fair saying: “This year’s Fair will give visitors a unique experience. As well as the chance to learn how to shuck oysters from Loch Fyne shellfish experts, fair-goers can try their hand at bread-making and cake-decorating with the guidance of local experts.”

    She continued: “The BarrowBand, who very uniquely write, perform and sing about fruit and vegetables, will be there to entertain visitors and the drinks enthusiasts can learn how to distil gin with Spencerfield Spirit Company and explore ales with Fyne Ales.”

    Music has always played an important role in the event and this year will feature Inveraray & District Grade 1 Pipe Band, up and coming local ceilidh band Heron Valley and talented local band, The Camans. And with Bute Community Band appearing with their Swing and Concert Bands,there will be no lack of entertainment to help digest the food and drink.

    The Fair provides support for the local community; local schools, childcare organisations and trusts such as Auchindrain Museum will man stalls providing lively and entertaining activities.  

    There’s plenty to keep children entertained over the weekend as well. Argyll Adventure will bring their Climbing Wall and Laser Storm activities and there will be rides for the young and young at heart.

    A craft tent with more than 16 craft workers and ales supplied by Fyne Ales plus a wine bar with specially selected wines add the final touches to a great day out for all ages.

    Loch Fyne Food Fair began in 1990 to celebrate local food and drink, notably oysters from the clear, fertile waters of Loch Fyne. Over the years, the Food Fair has built up a loyal following and attracts new visitors to this unique corner of Argyll each year. 

    Packed with brilliant moments, the Year of Food and Drink is a celebration of the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce and the landscapes, people and culture that make our food heritage so unique.

    Loch Fyne Food Fair is located next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Deli near Cairndow PA26 8BL.

    The Oyster Bar opens at 9am, lunchtime bookings can be made by calling 01499 600 482. Stalls are open at 11am – 6pm. Admission is free (parking £3 per vehicle).

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 27 April 2015

    Thousands of cyclists complete Etape Loch Ness

    Back for its second year and on a bigger scale, Etape Loch Ness saw thousands of cyclists take part in the closed-road sportive on the shores of the world’s most famous loch today (Sunday, April 26).

    With the event selling out all of its 3,300-plus places, the 66-mile traffic free route leading from Inverness around the iconic loch was buzzing with riders.

    The fastest male rider was Jamie Henderson from Limits Technology in a time of 2 hours 51 minutes and 35 seconds. The fastest female cyclist was Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Team Scotland member Lee Craigie from Cannondale UK in a time of 2 hours 57 minutes and 33 seconds.

    There was also a special prize for the quickest male and female riders to the top of the Glendoe summit outside of Fort Augustus. Jamie and Lee jumped off their bikes at the finish line in central Inverness to be crowned King and Queen of the Mountain.

    Jamie completed the King of the Mountain stage in 19 minutes and 56 seconds, while Lee, from Inverness, took 23 minutes and 10 seconds. They were each presented with a red polka dot jersey.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “After getting off on such a strong footing last year, we’re pleased to say that this year’s event was bigger and better.

    “The swell in numbers was fantastic, and the many months of planning and organisation have clearly paid off, as we’ve had some very positive feedback from participants.

    “A big thank you goes to all of our partner agencies, communities along the route and to the public for their support today and in the planning stages of Etape Loch Ness. Together we are helping to put this area on the map as a world-class destination for cycling all year round.”

    The threefold growth of Etape Loch Ness has provided a boost for its official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, with over a hundred thousand pounds raised for the cause.

    Local businesses have also scored, with accommodation providers, shops and eateries enjoying an off-season economic spin off.

    The first of the cyclists got underway at 6.20am on the route from Inverness, passing through Drumnadrochit, Invermoriston, Fort Augustus and Dores before returning to the finish line in the Highland capital.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, says: “2015 has been another hugely successful year for Etape Loch Ness, with the event attracting thousands of participants to take part in the closed-road sportive. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Etape is a great boost for Inverness and the surrounding area.”

    Ian Lulham from Macmillan Cancer Support adds, ‘We are really pleased that the second Etape Loch Ness has lived up to expectations. With hundreds of riders choosing to support Macmillan through taking part in this event, their fundraising will help us to continue to support people affected by cancer.”

    The second quickest male rider was Gavin Beaton from Moray Firth CC in 2 hours 55 minutes and 59 seconds while third was Paul Gallacher from Fife Cycling 2000 in a time of 2 hours 56 minutes and 14 seconds. The second fastest female was Ingrid Kidd from Angus Bike Chain in 3 hours 7 minutes and 11 seconds, while Rachel Crichton was third fastest in 3 hours 18 minutes and 06 seconds.

    Registration of interest for the 2016 Etape Loch Ness can be made on the website at www.etapelochness.com

    Regular updates appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 23 April 2015

    Car-azy Weekend Ahead at the McRae Rally Challenge

    Scottish motor sport fans are gearing up for the biggest rallying celebration since Colin McRae and Derek Ringer won the 1995 World Rally Championship. It’s been 20 years since their victory celebrations rocked the historic county town of Lanark to its foundations. Taking centre stage this time is Knockhill Circuit in Fife next month over the weekend of 16/17 May.

    The commemorative ‘McRae Rally Challenge’ celebrating Great Britain’s first ever outright world rally title and supported by Beatsons’ Building Supplies and EventScotland will incorporate a huge variety of attractions, combining static displays with dramatic on-stage rally action.

    Additions to the running order are being added daily, but the planned timetable of events is now beginning to take shape (see below). The entertainment will commence on Saturday morning the 16th of May with two on-track parades by members of the Ford Owners Club and the Subaru Owners Club which will be followed by the tyre shredding antics of top stunt driver Terry Grant.

    Once the track marshals have cleared away the ‘debris’ from Terry’s antics there will be an on-track parade of Group B rally cars. Something that will stir the memories of older rally followers while stimulating the hearts and souls of younger fans.

    This will be followed by a parade of ‘Colin’s Cars’. Knockhill has managed to gather the biggest collection of competition cars ever seen in Scotland which have been driven by the 1995 world champion during his meteoric career.

    During the lunch break, there will be passenger rides for visitors who want to find out first-hand what the sport of autotesting is all about. This is motor sport at its most basic, teaching precision driving skills against the clock in bog-standard production cars.

    At the same time, the Knockhill race track and perimeter roads will be converted into a Special Stage for the big action event of the weekend, the ‘McRae Rally Challenge’. The competition will be organised by members of Coltness Car Club, the club to which all three members of Scotland’s rallying royalty, Jim, Colin and Alister belonged.

    There will be five competitive runs over the Stage during Saturday afternoon and then on Sunday a further five Stages interspersed with more parades and demonstrations.

    Filling in the gap on Saturday evening, a ‘Rally Forum’ chat show will give fans and visitors a chance to hear the people behind the steering wheel. Throughout the weekend, Colin Clark, the World Rally Radio reporter, will attempt to broadcast news and interviews over the Knockhill PA system and local FM station, but even he might struggle to be heard over the assembled horsepower!

    The whole event promises to provide a nerve-jangling, ear-tingling, memory jogging exercise in automotive nostalgia. In other words an event not to be missed by motor sports fans.

    Adding to the spectacle will be an additional display of cars recalling six times British Rally Champion Jim McRae’s own rallying exploits and those of former British champion and FIA Asia Pacific Champion Alister McRae.

    Jim will be undertaking Course Car duties during the rally whilst Alister will be competing alongside another celtic hero, Kris Meeke who is taking a short break from his World Rally Championship duties to contest the ‘McRae Rally Challenge’.

    Category: National Events

  • 23 April 2015

    The Endurance Mountain Biking Elite Head To The Scottish Borders

    On Saturday 2 May up to 100 elite endurance cross country mountain bike riders from throughout the UK will descend on Selkirk in the Scottish Borders for the 2015 British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, supported by EventScotland.

    Leading British endurance athletes will take on a challenging 75km single lap course on some of the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer. It includes a fantastic mix of flowy natural and man made singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads, lung and thigh busting climbs, grin-inducing descents; and some of the very best trail centre downhill tracks at Innerleithen, in their bid to claim the coveted red, white and blue British National Championships winner’s jersey (in both male and female classes).

    Heading the Scottish charge in the women’s race will be Lee Craigie (35) – Canondale UK - from Inverness, the British National XC MTB Champion 2012 and 2013 and the highest placed Scottish female rider at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Hot on her heals will be local rider Isla Short (18) - Novus OMX Pro Team – a rising star of mountain biking from Cardrona in the Scottish Borders, the 2014 British National Junior XC MTB Champion who took seventh place in the 2014 Junior World Championships.

    Competition comes from a strong English contingent including Sally Bigham - Topeak Ergon Racing Team - the reigning British MTB Marathon Champion who came second in both the European MTB Marathon Championships and the Cape Epic in 2014, Verity Appleyard - Brotherton Cycles - who won the 2014 Three Peaks Cyclocross, the UK’s toughest cyclocross event; and Jo Munden - Team Cycle Kingdom - the 2014 British MTB Masters Champion.

    Among those fighting for the men’s title will be reigning British Marathon Champion Dan Fleeman – Metalek-Kuota, the endurance cyclist Richard Dunnett, who in 2012 came second in the first ever World Cycle Race, cycling 145 miles per day unsupported and completing the extreme challenge in an impressive 124 days, 13 hours and 25 minutes; Ben Thomas - Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team – who set a new course record to win the 2014 End to End Mountain Bike Challenge in the Isle of Man, completing the 46-mile (75km) course in a time of two hours 44 minutes and 36 seconds; and Welshman Dan Evans (33) – Cannondale UK & Team Elite - the 2014 British Hill Climb National Champion.

    Riders flying the flag for Scotland include Rab Wardell (29 ) -  Dirt School – a World Cup cross country and international cyclocross racer who dominated the Scottish cyclocross scene in 2014, winning the Scottish Series and Championships titles.  Alongside him will be Andy Barlow, Scottish and British Cross Country MTB Champion in 2009, Trans Scotland  Solo Winner in 2007 and  Scottish Junior Downhill mountain bike Champion in 1997. They will be joined by Edinburgh based Rory Downie, an Xterra triathlete, who was the 2012 ETU U23 European Champion and finished tenth in the European Tour and 19th at the ITU World Championships in his first year as a professional triathlete in 2014. 

    The Marathon Championships is being organised by Durty Events as part of the ever-popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon open cycling event.  The Selkirk MTB Marathon has a choice of three single-loop and fully marked courses (approx. 25km, 50km and 75km), all setting off from Selkirk High Street and visiting the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick.  The epic sportive event has something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike. 

    On the evening of Friday 1 May 2015 Durty Events are also 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, supported by Scottish Borders Council, 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

    Category: National Events

  • 23 April 2015

    Ayrshire Larder Heads to 2015 Ayr County Show

     

    Organisers of the Ayr County Show are looking forward to a show packed with local food and drink this year as they host a brand new marquee dedicated to local producers and retailers, the Taste Ayrshire Marquee.
    The 172nd Ayr County Show takes place at Ayr Racecourse this year on Saturday 9 May.
    Dozens of producers, curated by Taste Ayrshire, will host stalls including; hand-roasted coffee supplier Roundsquare Roastery, luxury dairy ice cream from Woody’s, restaurant Jacques’ Table, traditional handmade confectionary from Threepwood Fayre, tasty spreads and mixes at everythingCHILLI, delicious cookie mixes from All That’s Delicious, Aye Love Real Food, Arran Brewery, the Island Cheese Company from the Isle of Arran, Nethergate Tamworth, A. D. Rattray whisky suppliers, award-winning hard Ayrshire cheese producer Barwheys Dairy, Cedar Cottage Country Foods and Annie’s Delicious Bakes.
    The 2015 Ayr County Show is receiving support as part of the Year of Food and Drink, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland.
    Cook School Scotland will also take part in the event, hosting a pop-up kitchen where their chefs and Ayrshire College students will cook up some delicious meals using local, in-season produce.
    Ayr and District Beekeepers’ Association will also be hosting a stall to highlight the important link between the wellbeing of bee colonies in the area and the production of food and drink.
    The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) Children’s Corner will be promoting the Get Ayrshire Growing project, which provides free vegetable-growing kits to schools across the whole of Ayrshire & Arran. RHET are taking the farm into the classroom by giving pupils first-hand experience of growing crops in their own school grounds, giving them a chance to learn more about where their food comes.
    RHET will host a competition open to all Ayrshire schools as part of the Show - ‘Grow, Cook & Eat’ – and there will be a number of exhibits displays for everyone to enjoy. 
    Not forgetting Rheeta the fibre-glass milking cow who will get a mooove on to be at the Show and teach nursery and primary children about dairy farming.
    Chair of Taste Ayrshire Willie Mackie said: “We’re looking forward to taking part in this year’s Ayr County Show.
    “We will have a great variety of Ayrshire food and drink in our marquee showcasing just some of the fantastic produce that is available on our doorstep.”
    Val Russell, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Taste Ayrshire and Ayr County Show to showcase what this area has to offer.
    “The Taste Ayrshire Marquee gives an ideal platform for producers to sell their delicious produce and we are pleased we have a good variety on display.
    “We’re looking forward to what will be a great event.”
    Cook School Scotland Lisa Parker, Marketing & Events Manger said: “We are delighted to be included in the Taste Ayrshire Marquee at this year’s Ayr County Show. Last year was the first year that we had been at the show and it’s a great day out for the whole family. The Cook School chefs will be on stage throughout the day demonstrating how to cook a great range of recipes. We will also be adding a Cook School BBQ this year cooking with delicious fresh local produce.” 
    Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “Ayrshire produces some of the finest food and drink to be found anywhere in Scotland. The Ayr County Show is the ideal opportunity for visitors from near and far to discover the delicious local produce on offer as we celebrate our Year of Food and Drink.”
    Ayr County Show is one of the largest County shows held in the West of Scotland and is a celebration of the countryside, with livestock judging, trade stands, craft displays and family entertainment all taking a leading role in the event.
    Packed with brilliant moments, the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 celebrates local produce and the fantastic food and drink to be found across the country, as well as the people, landscapes and culture behind Scotland’s food heritage.
    Pre-Show Admission Tickets are now available to purchase online at www.ayrcountyshow.co.uk

    Organisers of the Ayr County Show are looking forward to a show packed with local food and drink this year as they host a brand new marquee dedicated to local producers and retailers, the Taste Ayrshire Marquee.

    The 172nd Ayr County Show takes place at Ayr Racecourse this year on Saturday 9 May.

    Dozens of producers, curated by Taste Ayrshire, will host stalls including; hand-roasted coffee supplier Roundsquare Roastery, luxury dairy ice cream from Woody’s, restaurant Jacques’ Table, traditional handmade confectionary from Threepwood Fayre, tasty spreads and mixes at everythingCHILLI, delicious cookie mixes from All That’s Delicious, Aye Love Real Food, Arran Brewery, the Island Cheese Company from the Isle of Arran, Nethergate Tamworth, A. D. Rattray whisky suppliers, award-winning hard Ayrshire cheese producer Barwheys Dairy, Cedar Cottage Country Foods and Annie’s Delicious Bakes.

    The 2015 Ayr County Show is receiving support as part of the Year of Food and Drink, delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland.

    Cook School Scotland will also take part in the event, hosting a pop-up kitchen where their chefs and Ayrshire College students will cook up some delicious meals using local, in-season produce.

    Ayr and District Beekeepers’ Association will also be hosting a stall to highlight the important link between the wellbeing of bee colonies in the area and the production of food and drink.

    The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) Children’s Corner will be promoting the Get Ayrshire Growing project, which provides free vegetable-growing kits to schools across the whole of Ayrshire & Arran. RHET are taking the farm into the classroom by giving pupils first-hand experience of growing crops in their own school grounds, giving them a chance to learn more about where their food comes.

    RHET will host a competition open to all Ayrshire schools as part of the Show - ‘Grow, Cook & Eat’ – and there will be a number of exhibits displays for everyone to enjoy. Not forgetting Rheeta the fibre-glass milking cow who will get a mooove on to be at the Show and teach nursery and primary children about dairy farming.

    Chair of Taste Ayrshire Willie Mackie said: “We’re looking forward to taking part in this year’s Ayr County Show.“We will have a great variety of Ayrshire food and drink in our marquee showcasing just some of the fantastic produce that is available on our doorstep.”

    Val Russell, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Taste Ayrshire and Ayr County Show to showcase what this area has to offer.

    “The Taste Ayrshire Marquee gives an ideal platform for producers to sell their delicious produce and we are pleased we have a good variety on display.

    “We’re looking forward to what will be a great event.”

    Cook School Scotland Lisa Parker, Marketing & Events Manger said: “We are delighted to be included in the Taste Ayrshire Marquee at this year’s Ayr County Show. Last year was the first year that we had been at the show and it’s a great day out for the whole family. The Cook School chefs will be on stage throughout the day demonstrating how to cook a great range of recipes. We will also be adding a Cook School BBQ this year cooking with delicious fresh local produce.” 

    Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “Ayrshire produces some of the finest food and drink to be found anywhere in Scotland. The Ayr County Show is the ideal opportunity for visitors from near and far to discover the delicious local produce on offer as we celebrate our Year of Food and Drink.”

    Ayr County Show is one of the largest County shows held in the West of Scotland and is a celebration of the countryside, with livestock judging, trade stands, craft displays and family entertainment all taking a leading role in the event.

    Packed with brilliant moments, the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 celebrates local produce and the fantastic food and drink to be found across the country, as well as the people, landscapes and culture behind Scotland’s food heritage.

    Pre-Show Admission Tickets are now available to purchase online at www.ayrcountyshow.co.uk

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 23 April 2015

    Etape Loch Ness brings cycling spectacle to the Highlands this weekend

    The roads around one of the most famous lochs in the world will be taken over by more than 3,300 cyclists who have snapped every last place for Etape Loch Ness 2015.

    The sell-out closed road event will see riders of all abilities set off in the early hours of this Sunday, (April 26) on a 66-mile course which circles the iconic loch.

    Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, Etape Loch Ness has attracted an increased number of participants.

    They will be cycling on traffic-free roads, amidst some of the most spectacular Scottish landscapes, and facing a number of challenges along the way, including the King of the Mountain - a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height with a 12% gradient.

    The influx of cyclists from all over Scotland and further afield will bring an off-season tourism boost for local accommodation providers, eateries and shops, with many cyclists bringing their family and friends along to enjoy a short break in the Highlands.

    A large number of the participants will be cycling on behalf of the sportive’s official charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, and it’s hoped that £120,000 will be raised to make a real difference to people living with cancer and their families.

    The event provides a fantastic spectacle for residents and visitors along the course, and on the final two miles through Inverness city centre alongside the River Ness at the Event Hub at Eden Court Theatre.

    Organiser Malcolm Sutherland encourages the public to get behind the cyclists and give them some welcome encouragement as they make their way round the route.

    Malcolm says: “After months of planning, we’re now on the final stretch, and all set for Etape Loch Ness this Sunday.

    “We’ve had tremendous support from local businesses and communities and we hope we can repay them with a great event that really helps put the Highlands on the map.

    “Everything points towards Etape Loch Ness 2015 being another great success story for the area.”

    The first wave of riders are due to set off on Sunday morning at 6.20am from Bught Park in the Highland capital. The fastest riders home are expected to cross the finishing line from 9am onwards, with the bulk of riders crossing the finishing line between 9am and 1pm.

    Efforts have been made to keep road closures to a minimum to minimise their impact on local communities and people travelling on Sunday morning. The list of closures is as follows:

    A82 Inverness to Drumnadrochit (A831 junction) 5.40-8.05am

    A82 Drumnadrochit (A831 junction) to Urquhart Castle 6.40-8.15am

    A82 Urquhart Castle to Invermoriston 6.20-9.05am

    A82 Invermoriston to Fort Augustus (B862 junction) 7.05-9.35am

    B862 Fort Augustus to B862/B852 Junction 7.15-10.55am

    B862/B852 Junction to Lower Foyers Junction 7.45-11.05am

    B852 Lower Foyers Junction to Dores 7.50-11.55am

    B862 Dores to Holm Roundabout 7.45am-12.25pm (left lane closure only)

    Holm Roundabout to Eden Court, Inverness 8.45am-12.40pm (left lane closure only)

    Ian Lulham from Macmillan Cancer Support says Etape Loch Ness will be a huge fundraiser for the charity. He adds, “We are really looking forward to this weekend, and seeing the distinctive green jerseys of 750 Team Macmillan riders in action.

    “We are immensely grateful to Etape Loch Ness for choosing Macmillan as the event’s charity partner, and are very proud of the efforts of all our cyclists in raising vital funds that will make a real difference to people living with cancer and their families.”

    Etape Loch Ness is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, and Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, says:  “We are delighted to be supporting Etape Loch Ness, as part of our ongoing commitment to cycling. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and visitors and residents alike can expect an exciting, action-packed sportive this weekend, set against the backdrop of breath-taking Scottish landscapes.”

    Those who live, or are visiting the following villages, are urged to get out and give the riders a cheer as they go past. Riders are expected at the following times:

    Drumnadrochit – riders expected through the village between 6.55 -8:05am

    Invermoriston – riders expected between 7.25 – 9am

    Fort Augustus – riders expected between 7.40 – 9.25am

    Foyers / Inverfarigaig – riders expected between 8.15 – 11am

    Dores– riders expected between 8.40 – 11.45am

    All spectators are encouraged to come along to the Event Hub at Eden Court to welcome riders home, with riders expected between 9am and 1pm.

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

    Category: National Events

  • 22 April 2015

    EIFF ANNOUNCES OPENING FILM

    Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to announce EIFF Honorary Patron Robert Carlyle’s feature film directorial debut, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, will open the 69th edition of the Festival on Wednesday 17 June, where it will receive its World Premiere. 

     

    Directed by and starring Robert Carlyle alongside Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone, the red carpet will be rolled out at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, where the stars and filmmakers will attend the Opening Gala with the darkly humorous Glasgow-set thriller, kicking off the 12 day Festival.  Tickets for the film’s Public Screening on Wednesday 17 June at Festival Theatre go on sale on Wednesday 6 May.

    Visit here.

    Category: International Events

  • 22 April 2015

    Excitement builds in the countdown to the World Orienteering Championships

    The countdown to Scotland’s major sporting event of the year is entering its final 100 days with athletes from throughout the world preparing to descend on the Highlands for the World Orienteering Championships.

    Scotland’s reputation as the ideal hosts for major events was firmly underlined by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year.  Now it is the turn of the Highlands and Moray to extend famed Scottish Hospitality to the thousands of competitors and spectators taking part in World Orienteering’s showcase event.

    Running alongside the Scottish 6 Days – for which 4000 entries have already been received – the World Championships will bring the attention of the world on stunning venues from the opening events in Nairn and Forres on July 31 to the final event at Glen Affric in the Highlands on August 7.

    WOC2015 Director Paul McGreal said: “A great deal has changed since the last time the World Orienteering Championships came to Scotland in 1999.  The sport has grown in stature throughout the world and this is reflected in the growing quality of our world championships over the years.

    “As well as the elite athletes competing there are many thousands taking part in the Scottish 6 Days – and ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible we will have hundreds of volunteers from around the UK and beyond.

    “We will have fantastic arenas set against the backdrop of some of the world’s most incredible scenery – but, above all, we will have the people of the Highlands who are renowned for their welcome to visitors.  The stage is just about set for thousands of people in the Highlands and Moray and millions more looking on through live television coverage – in just 100 days we aim to showcase Scotland and our sport to the world.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland who are supporting WOC2015, said: “With just 100 days to go until the Highlands and Moray welcome the World Orienteering Championships, excitement continues to build with athletes around the globe preparing for their visit to Scotland. 

    “We have a strong track record and international reputation as the perfect stage for major events and I have no doubt that the Championships will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the sport and our event delivery credentials.”

    Category: International Events

  • 20 April 2015

    Eat Your Words! Borders Book Festival Year of Food and Drink celebration revealed

     

    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival launches its biggest ever programme today, with over ninety public events featuring a dazzling line-up of stars from public life and entertainment, as well as the world of books, and an expansion of the festival site to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.
    The festival, which is sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, has attracted some of our best-known writers, actors, broadcasters and all-round good eggs to the Borders in June, and appearing for the first time this year will be Patricia Hodge, Celia Imrie, Andrew Marr, Jonathan Miller, Dom Joly, Michelle Mone and Terry Waite; meanwhile political giants Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown will also be appearing, in two major events.
    Familiar and much-loved faces returning to the festival for sell-out events will include James Naughtie, Peter Snow, Rory Bremner, Sally Magnusson and Chris Brookmyre, all speaking in the beautiful surroundings of Harmony Garden in Melrose in the Scottish Borders, from the 11th-14th June 2015.
    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival will celebrate the Year of Food and Drink in 2015 with an exciting new venue, Eat Your Words, an expansion of the festival site to include a specially-created food and drink-themed tented village in the Orchard opposite Harmony House, and a bustling outdoor street market on St Mary’s Road.
    New venue Eat Your Words will host household names from the world of food and drink, including food writers Sue Lawrence and Prue Leith, and wine guru Nikki Welch, as well as live music events of jazz, Americana and swing presented in association with Galashiels based MacArts; while the Born in the Borders Street Market on St Mary’s Road, connecting the two sites, will offer the best in local, fresh produce for sale in a colourful covered market.  
    The Orde Café will provide delicious tea/ coffee and cakes, whilst our fabulous new bar, The Book Bar, will offer a selection of Borders beers, gin and tonics or simply a chilled glass of bubbles.  The Brewin Dolphins Borders Book Festival is supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, delivered by EventScotland and VisitScotland.
    To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, The festival will be embracing all things Alice; with events for adults including an exclusive one-off performance featuring Rory Bremner, John Sessions, John Bird and Patricia Hodge, and a host of events for children including treasure hunts, storytelling, and the infamous White Rabbit appearing in costume to meet children throughout the weekend.
    Following sell-out concerts in London and New York, The Really Terrible Orchestra provide another hot ticket at the festival. The orchestra, founded by festival regular Alexander McCall Smith, claim they are ‘so bad that they’re good’ and have become an overnight sensation.  Further highlights include the announcement of the winner of the sixth £30,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which features such fiction luminaries on its shortlist as Martin Amis, Helen Dunmore, John Spurling and Hermione Eyre.
    For the younger audience, there is the ever popular Family Book Festival running throughout the Saturday and Sunday, with additional events taking place on Friday afternoon.  This year includes fun-filled events with best-selling children’s writer David Almond; well-known illustrator Nick Sharratt and firm favourites Vivian French, David Melling and Gill Arbuthnott.   The packed programme also has children’s workshops and craft activities, storytime and rhymetime, as well as pop-up music theatre and storytelling from Scottish Opera.
    The Family Day pass will be available, where for £35, five family members can enjoy any number of events on either the Saturday or Sunday.  It’s the ideal way to make the most of the Family Book Festival.
    In addition, on Thursday 11th June primary schools from across the Scottish Borders will attend the Schools Gala Day, sponsored by Knight Frank.  Pupils will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of tailored events including: a Jekyll and Hyde workshop by the National Library of Scotland; Battle of Britain with historian James Holland and other fun events with Vivian French, Barry Hutchison and James Campbell.
    The festival appreciates the thoughtful and creative support of headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin, the ongoing sponsorship and backing of Scottish Borders Council and Creative Scotland, and the welcome support of EventScotland and VisitScotland through the Year of Food & Drink 2015.
    Alistair Moffat, festival director, said:
    “We’re proud to present our biggest, most diverse and most tasty Book Festival programme ever.  We can, hand on heart, say there is something to entertain everyone over the weekend, whether its opera, politics, adventure, history, cookery or simply superb fiction.   Thank you, as always to our headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin, Scottish Borders Council and all our supporters for helping to make this possible.”
    Jonathan Tweedie, Head of Brewin Dolphin’s Edinburgh Office said:
    “We are looking forward to another great literary weekend in Melrose. The programme for 2015 offers another wonderful celebration of writing, with authors from a great variety of genres gathering in the Borders to share their stories and their expertise; we are thrilled to have such illustrious names joining us again this year.”
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: 
    “With high calibre speakers appealing to people of all ages and interests, I have no doubt this year’s Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival will be another huge success. 
    “The festival makes an important contribution to promoting books and reading to young people,         and to the local economy. The addition of Eat Your Words is a wonderful way for the festival to           celebrate the relationship between food, drink and books as part of Scotland’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink.”
    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival (11th-14th June) celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and the Year of Food & Drink 2015 as part of their biggest programme ever, announced today.   
    Tickets now on sale via box office 0844 357 1060 or online at www.bordersbookfestival.org.
    Pictured:  Arabella Brett (11 years old) as Alice, Oli & Gus as The Mad Hatter and White Rabbit.
    Image © Lloyd Smith

    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival launches its biggest ever programme today, with over ninety public events featuring a dazzling line-up of stars from public life and entertainment, as well as the world of books, and an expansion of the festival site to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.

    The festival, which is sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, has attracted some of our best-known writers, actors, broadcasters and all-round good eggs to the Borders in June, and appearing for the first time this year will be Patricia Hodge, Celia Imrie, Andrew Marr, Jonathan Miller, Dom Joly, Michelle Mone and Terry Waite; meanwhile political giants Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown will also be appearing, in two major events.

    Familiar and much-loved faces returning to the festival for sell-out events will include James Naughtie, Peter Snow, Rory Bremner, Sally Magnusson and Chris Brookmyre, all speaking in the beautiful surroundings of Harmony Garden in Melrose in the Scottish Borders, from the 11th-14th June 2015.
    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival will celebrate the Year of Food and Drink in 2015 with an exciting new venue, Eat Your Words, an expansion of the festival site to include a specially-created food and drink-themed tented village in the Orchard opposite Harmony House, and a bustling outdoor street market on St Mary’s Road.

    New venue Eat Your Words will host household names from the world of food and drink, including food writers Sue Lawrence and Prue Leith, and wine guru Nikki Welch, as well as live music events of jazz, Americana and swing presented in association with Galashiels based MacArts; while the Born in the Borders Street Market on St Mary’s Road, connecting the two sites, will offer the best in local, fresh produce for sale in a colourful covered market.  

    The Orde Café will provide delicious tea/ coffee and cakes, whilst our fabulous new bar, The Book Bar, will offer a selection of Borders beers, gin and tonics or simply a chilled glass of bubbles.  

    The Brewin Dolphins Borders Book Festival is supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, delivered by EventScotland and VisitScotland.

    To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, The festival will be embracing all things Alice; with events for adults including an exclusive one-off performance featuring Rory Bremner, John Sessions, John Bird and Patricia Hodge, and a host of events for children including treasure hunts, storytelling, and the infamous White Rabbit appearing in costume to meet children throughout the weekend.

    Following sell-out concerts in London and New York, The Really Terrible Orchestra provide another hot ticket at the festival. The orchestra, founded by festival regular Alexander McCall Smith, claim they are ‘so bad that they’re good’ and have become an overnight sensation.  

    Further highlights include the announcement of the winner of the sixth £30,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which features such fiction luminaries on its shortlist as Martin Amis, Helen Dunmore, John Spurling and Hermione Eyre.

    For the younger audience, there is the ever popular Family Book Festival running throughout the Saturday and Sunday, with additional events taking place on Friday afternoon.  This year includes fun-filled events with best-selling children’s writer David Almond; well-known illustrator Nick Sharratt and firm favourites Vivian French, David Melling and Gill Arbuthnott.  

    The packed programme also has children’s workshops and craft activities, storytime and rhymetime, as well as pop-up music theatre and storytelling from Scottish Opera. The Family Day pass will be available, where for £35, five family members can enjoy any number of events on either the Saturday or Sunday.  It’s the ideal way to make the most of the Family Book Festival.

    In addition, on Thursday 11th June primary schools from across the Scottish Borders will attend the Schools Gala Day, sponsored by Knight Frank.  Pupils will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of tailored events including: a Jekyll and Hyde workshop by the National Library of Scotland; Battle of Britain with historian James Holland and other fun events with Vivian French, Barry Hutchison and James Campbell.

    The festival appreciates the thoughtful and creative support of headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin, the ongoing sponsorship and backing of Scottish Borders Council and Creative Scotland, and the welcome support of EventScotland and VisitScotland through the Year of Food & Drink 2015.

    Alistair Moffat, festival director, said: “We’re proud to present our biggest, most diverse and most tasty Book Festival programme ever.  We can, hand on heart, say there is something to entertain everyone over the weekend, whether its opera, politics, adventure, history, cookery or simply superb fiction.   Thank you, as always to our headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin, Scottish Borders Council and all our supporters for helping to make this possible.”

    Jonathan Tweedie, Head of Brewin Dolphin’s Edinburgh Office said: “We are looking forward to another great literary weekend in Melrose. The programme for 2015 offers another wonderful celebration of writing, with authors from a great variety of genres gathering in the Borders to share their stories and their expertise; we are thrilled to have such illustrious names joining us again this year.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “With high calibre speakers appealing to people of all ages and interests, I have no doubt this year’s Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival will be another huge success. 

    “The festival makes an important contribution to promoting books and reading to young people, and to the local economy. The addition of Eat Your Words is a wonderful way for the festival to celebrate the relationship between food, drink and books as part of Scotland’s 2015 Year of Food and Drink.”

    The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival (11th-14th June) celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and the Year of Food & Drink 2015 as part of their biggest programme ever, announced today. Tickets now on sale via box office 0844 357 1060 or online at www.bordersbookfestival.org.

    Pictured: Arabella Brett (11 years old) as Alice, Oli & Gus as The Mad Hatter and White Rabbit.

    Image © Lloyd Smith

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 17 April 2015

    Edinburgh awaits second serving of Create Eat Whisky

    Food event pioneers Jelly and Gin return with new concept

    After last year's hugely successful launch, Create:Eat:Whisky is back. Jelly and Gin has teamed up with HAIG CLUB Single Grain Scotch Whisky to create an immersive experience, putting whisky cocktails at centre stage during Whisky Month, a key part of the Year of Food and Drink.

    Create:Eat:Whisky's inqruisitive guests will embark on a unique whisky adventure, travelling through an array of multi-sensory settings whilst sampling cocktails alongside small edible items; each designed to enhance the different environments from 14 - 17 May.

    Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said:

    "As one of the events funded as part of the Year of Food and Drink, this event is a perfect blend of innovation and inspiration, offering visitors a hugely unique whisky experience and introducing new audiences to our national drink."

    Jelly and Gin's Business Director Aoife Behan commented:

    "Create:Eat:Whisky is totally unique. These events attract people who wouldn't normally drink whisky as well as seasoned connoisseurs. We've had guests come that said they didn't like whisky but were intrigued by the concept. They leave with a totally different outlook on how whisky can be enjoyed. This event alters people's perceptions of something so engrained in our culture. One with the ultimate goal of giving people an experience they'll remember."

    For more information go to www.jellyandgin.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 17 April 2015

    Mhor Fun For Everyone at Mhor Festival: 23 - 24 May 2015

     

    Scotland’s best-loved small festival is back for a fourth year with music, magic and a massive celebration of the Year of Food and Drink. 
    Mhor Festival at Loch Voil in Balquhidder offers a packed line up of activity and entertainment over the Bank Holiday Weekend in May, with support from Glengoyne Whisky, Cuddybridge Apple Juice, Pol Roger Champagne and many more.
    The festival kicks off on Saturday with the Whisky Galore Raft Race on the loch, a celebration of Whisky Month, with participants competing for £100 prize money.  The afternoon offers musical entertainment for all tastes and lots of family friendly fun for children including arts and crafts workshops, dance workshops, trapeze artists and the always-messy omelette challenge. 
    The centrepiece of the weekend is the legendary Festival Feast with five top chefs each cooking a course, giving food lovers a unique opportunity to sit down to an epic meal.  The chefs taking part are: 
    Fred Berkmiller from L’escargot bleu and blanc in Edinburgh, making his Mhor Festival debut
    Roy Brett, Ondine, the award-winning seafood chef returns for his fourth year at the Feast
    Michael Smith, the Michelin starred winner of BBC’s Great British Menu makes the journey from his home on Skye to take part
    Neil Forbes, Café St Honore, Scotland’s current Chef of the Year
    Tom Lewis, Monachyle Mhor, on his hometurf, the man responsible for the whole weekend extravaganza
    Those not attending the feast will be spoilt for choice on Saturday night with improved camping facilities, more entertainment and food on offer than ever before – giving the feast a run for its money. The fire performers and a zip wire are just some of the exciting things to enjoy.
    Sunday morning starts gently with a panel of top journalists and commentators reviewing the newspapers over bacon rolls and coffee in front of an audience.
    Budding bakers young and not so can young can compete in the fruit and veg themed Mhor Bake Off and take part in a tutorial on how to make an honest loaf of bread with Tom Lewis, with prizes up for grabs for the winners. 
    For an early evening refreshment, A Play, A Pint & A Pie is by Lou Prendergast this year. A one-man play based on a self-proclaimed ‘man’s man’ with the gift of the gab and a penchant for Elvis. 
    Festivalgoers can then dance the night away on Sunday evening with the Scottish Ceilidh Allstars followed by live Motown music from The Soul Foundation. Live DJ’s will then open up The Club keeping the music playing right into the night. 
    Food and drink is at the heart of the festival and there’s plenty to choose from for all tastes: Oyster Bar, Pimms and Champagne bar, Whisky Bar, The Salad Bar, The Big Barbeque cooking up meats from the family farm, a Hog Roast, Fish and Chip Truck and a vintage tearoom serving afternoon tea. 
    The food producers market will take place on both days in the barn and will offer everything from pies, pastries, popcorn and preserves to whisky, jewellery, sea salt and apple juice. Forth Valley College students will be supporting hospitality, front of house and the kitchen. The Salon Services team will add a touch of glamour to the Festival with a hair and make-up pop-up pamper parlour in the meadow. 
    The festival’s spectacular setting on the shores of Loch Voil are ideal for enjoying the great outdoors but in the event of bad weather, the festival will move under cover to two large barns. Lochside camping will be available on both nights.
    Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said:
    “The Mhor Festival always promises to be a fantastic day out for the family with plenty of choice for visitors.
    “The festival is a great celebration of local culture and a platform for showcasing local produce. I’m pleased to see that will continue this year in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. We have a fantastic natural larder, iconic, fresh products, strong global brands, and excellent provenance credentials which I hope people will have the chance to experience at this year’s festival.”
    The Festival has received additional support from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and is part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, an initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland. 
    Mairi Bell, Head of Visitor Experience at the Park said: 
    “The Mhor Festival is an excellent example of a family friendly event that showcases some of the best food and drink from around the National Park.  The festival is one of the real highlights in the Park’s event programme and we’re really pleased to be a part of it this year. “
    Diane Creed Head of the Department of Hospitality and Salon Services at Forth Valley College, said: 
    “The Mhor Festival has established itself as one of the best events on the Scottish summer entertainment calendar and we are delighted to form this exciting partnership with them. Teams of students from our Hospitality and Salon Services will be working at the event preparing and serving food and offering hair, nail and beauty services and treatments and they can’t wait to get involved. The Mhor Festival is an excellent platform for our students to show just what they can do and they will benefit immensely from the experience.”
    Mhor Art, a collection of contemporary artwork from up and coming, young Scottish artists from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee will be on display and available for sale throughout the weekend. Works include painting, printmaking and design. Curated by Joshua Barr.
    Past years’ themes have been The Diamond Jubilee and Commonwealth. This year is inspired by Tom and Lisa’s recent trip to India with VisitScotland, the theme is ‘A Taste of India...Festivalgoers are welcome to dress up in their Bollywood best. 
    Mhor Festival is organised by the Lewis family, who run award-winning Monachyle Mhor and Mhor 84 motel.  The festival takes place at Monachyle Mhor Hotel, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Perthshire, FK19 8PQ.
    For more information or to book, go to www.mhor.net; call 01877 384 622 or email monachyle@mhor.net.

    Scotland’s best-loved small festival is back for a fourth year with music, magic and a massive celebration of the Year of Food and Drink. 

    Mhor Festival at Loch Voil in Balquhidder offers a packed line up of activity and entertainment over the Bank Holiday Weekend in May, with support from Glengoyne Whisky, Cuddybridge Apple Juice, Pol Roger Champagne and many more.

    The festival kicks off on Saturday with the Whisky Galore Raft Race on the loch, a celebration of Whisky Month, with participants competing for £100 prize money.  The afternoon offers musical entertainment for all tastes and lots of family friendly fun for children including arts and crafts workshops, dance workshops, trapeze artists and the always-messy omelette challenge. 

    The centrepiece of the weekend is the legendary Festival Feast with five top chefs each cooking a course, giving food lovers a unique opportunity to sit down to an epic meal.  The chefs taking part are: 

    Fred Berkmiller from L’escargot bleu and blanc in Edinburgh, making his Mhor Festival debut

    Roy Brett, Ondine, the award-winning seafood chef returns for his fourth year at the Feast

    Michael Smith, the Michelin starred winner of BBC’s Great British Menu makes the journey from his home on Skye to take part

    Neil Forbes, Café St Honore, Scotland’s current Chef of the Year

    Tom Lewis, Monachyle Mhor, on his hometurf, the man responsible for the whole weekend extravaganza

    Those not attending the feast will be spoilt for choice on Saturday night with improved camping facilities, more entertainment and food on offer than ever before – giving the feast a run for its money. The fire performers and a zip wire are just some of the exciting things to enjoy.

    Sunday morning starts gently with a panel of top journalists and commentators reviewing the newspapers over bacon rolls and coffee in front of an audience.

    Budding bakers young and not so can young can compete in the fruit and veg themed Mhor Bake Off and take part in a tutorial on how to make an honest loaf of bread with Tom Lewis, with prizes up for grabs for the winners. 

    For an early evening refreshment, A Play, A Pint & A Pie is by Lou Prendergast this year. A one-man play based on a self-proclaimed ‘man’s man’ with the gift of the gab and a penchant for Elvis. 

    Festivalgoers can then dance the night away on Sunday evening with the Scottish Ceilidh Allstars followed by live Motown music from The Soul Foundation. Live DJ’s will then open up The Club keeping the music playing right into the night. 

    Food and drink is at the heart of the festival and there’s plenty to choose from for all tastes: Oyster Bar, Pimms and Champagne bar, Whisky Bar, The Salad Bar, The Big Barbeque cooking up meats from the family farm, a Hog Roast, Fish and Chip Truck and a vintage tearoom serving afternoon tea. 

    The food producers market will take place on both days in the barn and will offer everything from pies, pastries, popcorn and preserves to whisky, jewellery, sea salt and apple juice. Forth Valley College students will be supporting hospitality, front of house and the kitchen. The Salon Services team will add a touch of glamour to the Festival with a hair and make-up pop-up pamper parlour in the meadow. 

    The festival’s spectacular setting on the shores of Loch Voil are ideal for enjoying the great outdoors but in the event of bad weather, the festival will move under cover to two large barns. Lochside camping will be available on both nights.

    Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said:

    “The Mhor Festival always promises to be a fantastic day out for the family with plenty of choice for visitors.

    “The festival is a great celebration of local culture and a platform for showcasing local produce. I’m pleased to see that will continue this year in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. We have a fantastic natural larder, iconic, fresh products, strong global brands, and excellent provenance credentials which I hope people will have the chance to experience at this year’s festival.”

    The Festival has received additional support from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and is part of the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, an initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland. 

    Mairi Bell, Head of Visitor Experience at the Park said: 

    “The Mhor Festival is an excellent example of a family friendly event that showcases some of the best food and drink from around the National Park. The festival is one of the real highlights in the Park’s event programme and we’re really pleased to be a part of it this year.

    Diane Creed Head of the Department of Hospitality and Salon Services at Forth Valley College, said: 

    “The Mhor Festival has established itself as one of the best events on the Scottish summer entertainment calendar and we are delighted to form this exciting partnership with them. Teams of students from our Hospitality and Salon Services will be working at the event preparing and serving food and offering hair, nail and beauty services and treatments and they can’t wait to get involved. The Mhor Festival is an excellent platform for our students to show just what they can do and they will benefit immensely from the experience.”

    Mhor Art, a collection of contemporary artwork from up and coming, young Scottish artists from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee will be on display and available for sale throughout the weekend. Works include painting, printmaking and design. Curated by Joshua Barr.

    Past years’ themes have been The Diamond Jubilee and Commonwealth. This year is inspired by Tom and Lisa’s recent trip to India with VisitScotland, the theme is ‘A Taste of India...Festivalgoers are welcome to dress up in their Bollywood best. 

    Mhor Festival is organised by the Lewis family, who run award-winning Monachyle Mhor and Mhor 84 motel. The festival takes place at Monachyle Mhor Hotel, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Perthshire, FK19 8PQ.

    For more information or to book, go to www.mhor.net or check out Monachyle Mhor Hotel Facebook page at www.facebook.com/monachylemhorhotel?fref=ts 

    Call 01877 384 622 or email monachyle@mhor.net

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 16 April 2015

    Worlds Tickets On Sale

    Tickets for the 2015 World Pipe Band Championships being held at Glasgow Green are going on sale at 10am today (Wednesday April 15). The event which has been associated with Glasgow for more than 60 years will be staged across 2 days on the 14th and 15th of August when up to 8000 pipers and drummers are expected to compete.

    Tickets for the Grade 1 arena, which give ringside seats while the top bands compete for the title of World Champions are going on sale along with general admission tickets for both days. Around 220 bands are expected to compete across the 2 days with entries traditionally coming from around the world for what is the pinnacle of pipe band competition.

     Tickets for the event range from as little as £2 for a concession ticket on Friday August the 14th to £28 for a ticket for the Grade 1 competition on Saturday afternoon where the battle for the World Championship will play out. Family tickets for 2 adults and up to 3 children on Saturday August 15 cost just £43 while children aged 5 or under won’t be charged. Hospitality packages for Saturday will also be available at a later date. For further information please go to www.theworlds.co.uk

    The Worlds, as they are affectionately known, are a showcase for some of the finest pipe bands, pipers and drummers from around the world. The event also features Highland Dancing, a Highland Games, a children’s zone and a dedicated food village.

    Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival will also return once again to venues across Glasgow between August 10 – 16, bringing spectators from across the world to the city for the biggest festival of its kind in the world.  In exciting news, this year the festival will return to George Square, in the heart of the city, where pipers will be performing all day.  They will also be holding over 200 events across Glasgow, with venues as varied as the performers - from workshops to masterclasses, ceilidhs to concerts and street performances bringing the city to life. Piping Live! will also be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink with a new Pipers Market showcasing the very best of fresh, local, Scottish produce. 

    Early bird “Golden Tickets”, giving music fans access all the festivals’ coveted evening concerts, are now on sale for Piping Live!  As well as this, the £90 package gives festival goers free entry to the Piping Live! festival club and a free tshirt.  Available from www.thebagpipeshop.co.uk and to collect from The National Piping Centre now.

    The World Pipe Band Championships are organised by Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and the RSPBA with support from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and VisitScotland through its EventScotland team. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and The World Pipe Band Championships is undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights on our annual portfolio. It is a must-see for any visitor to the country and there is a strong pull for visitors from around the world to be part of this spectacular celebration of Scottish culture and heritage.” 

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2015

    Getting into the Spirit of Adventure…Whisky Month events create an appetite for exploring Scotland

     

    It’s known as the ‘water of life’, it’s a cultural icon, has David Beckham as a fan, and sometimes only a wee dram will do - whisky is as much a part of the Scottish landscape as golf, Shetland ponies and tartan bagpipes. 
    As Scotland continues to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink 2015, this May sees the return of Whisky Month, a unique programme of events celebrating Scotland’s national drink and the people and landscapes behind it.
    One of the best-loved whisky festivals in the country, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off the Whisky Month festivities from 30 April to 4 May.  With a packed schedule with everything from comedy to ceilidhs, masterclasses to music, its events attract thousands of visitors per year. 
    As well as the Spirit of Speyside Festival, Whisky Month will see events taking place right across the country, presenting the perfect opportunity to get a taste for the Scottish landscape.  Events include:
    Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Highlands - 30 April – 4 May
    The festival is one of Scotland's most popular whisky events, inviting visitors to celebrate Scotland's national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging choice of whisky-inspired events. From the chance to attend ‘Whisky School’ to see just how it’s made, to enjoying music with a ‘wee dram’.  
    Create:Eat:Whisky,  Edinburgh - 14-17 May
    Create:Eat:Whisky is back.  Jelly & Gin has teamed with Haig Club (launched in 2014 by David Beckham) to create an immersive experience that puts whisky cocktails centre stage. Guests will take a journey through different multi-sensory settings and drink cocktails, each designed to match its environment. Using sound, light, small edible items, aroma and other environmental factors, guests will be transported from mountain top to roaring fire, with an unexpected final destination.
    The Hive and the Still at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - 15 May 
    A unique event that pairs botany and whisky, visitors can taste some of Scotland’s best produce with whisky and honey tastings as well as a choice of street food, learn the science behind whisky, as well as enjoy entertainment including live music, a silent disco and craft activities.
    World Whisky Day, worldwide - 16 May
    World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. Events are taking place all over the globe.  Join the party on Twitter using the hashtag  #worldwhiskyday or visit www.worldwhiskyday.com to register an event.
    Whisky Stramash, Edinburgh - 23-24 May
    Described as ‘an event of mystery, entertainment, comicality and madcap pioneering’, visitors can certainly expect the unexpected at this event in Scotland’s Capital and a huge array of whiskies to sample from Scotland and abroad is almost guaranteed.
    Mhor Festival, Perthshire - 23-24 May
    Mhor Festival presents food, drink, music and theatre and will bring together producers including Glengoyne, Deanston and Auchentoshan distilleries in the grounds of Monachyle Mhor Hotel.  Spread over two days the festival will encompass foraging walks along the Rob Roy Way, lunch in Mhor Barn with whisky sampling and a whisky pairing evening at the Great Scottish Feast with food prepared by star Scottish chefs.  The festival also offers family activities, live music, a ceilidh, a bake-off competition, a raft race and a market.
    Islay Malt and Music Festival, Islay -  22-30 May
    Each year the Islay Malt and Music Festival offers a diverse programme featuring traditional music, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling and whisky tasting. All of the Islay distilleries have open days throughout the week of the festival offering the ideal opportunity for visitors to indulge in a taste of whisky. 
    To help encourage even more visitors to sample Scotland’s whisky offering during this dedicated month, VisitScotland has also launched a new series of eBooks hosted on www.visitscotland.com. Each book will focus on one of the country’s five distinctive whisky-producing regions in Scotland - Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Highland - and the specially created guides explain the reasons why Scotch whisky is so different from distillery to distillery. Alongside information on each venue, the eBooks provide useful information for visitors including opening times, address and contact details.  
    The distilleries eBooks can be downloaded at www.visitscotland.com/distilleries-guides  
    For more information on the Year of Food & Drink 2015 and Whisky Month, please go to: www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland  

    It’s known as the ‘water of life’, it’s a cultural icon, has David Beckham as a fan, and sometimes only a wee dram will do - whisky is as much a part of the Scottish landscape as golf, Shetland ponies and tartan bagpipes. 

    As Scotland continues to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink 2015, this May sees the return of Whisky Month, a unique programme of events celebrating Scotland’s national drink and the people and landscapes behind it.

    One of the best-loved whisky festivals in the country, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off the Whisky Month festivities from 30 April to 4 May.  With a packed schedule with everything from comedy to ceilidhs, masterclasses to music, its events attract thousands of visitors per year. As well as the Spirit of Speyside Festival, Whisky Month will see events taking place right across the country, presenting the perfect opportunity to get a taste for the Scottish landscape.  

    Events include:

    Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Highlands - 30 April – 4 May

    The festival is one of Scotland's most popular whisky events, inviting visitors to celebrate Scotland's national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging choice of whisky-inspired events. From the chance to attend ‘Whisky School’ to see just how it’s made, to enjoying music with a ‘wee dram’.  

    Create:Eat:Whisky,  Edinburgh - 14-17 May

    Create:Eat:Whisky is back.  Jelly & Gin has teamed with Haig Club (launched in 2014 by David Beckham) to create an immersive experience that puts whisky cocktails centre stage. Guests will take a journey through different multi-sensory settings and drink cocktails, each designed to match its environment. Using sound, light, small edible items, aroma and other environmental factors, guests will be transported from mountain top to roaring fire, with an unexpected final destination.

    The Hive and the Still at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - 15 May 

    A unique event that pairs botany and whisky, visitors can taste some of Scotland’s best produce with whisky and honey tastings as well as a choice of street food, learn the science behind whisky, as well as enjoy entertainment including live music, a silent disco and craft activities.

    World Whisky Day, worldwide - 16 May

    World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. Events are taking place all over the globe.  Join the party on Twitter using the hashtag  #worldwhiskyday or visit www.worldwhiskyday.com to register an event.

    Whisky Stramash, Edinburgh - 23-24 May

    Described as ‘an event of mystery, entertainment, comicality and madcap pioneering’, visitors can certainly expect the unexpected at this event in Scotland’s Capital and a huge array of whiskies to sample from Scotland and abroad is almost guaranteed.

    Mhor Festival, Perthshire - 23-24 May

    Mhor Festival presents food, drink, music and theatre and will bring together producers including Glengoyne, Deanston and Auchentoshan distilleries in the grounds of Monachyle Mhor Hotel.  Spread over two days the festival will encompass foraging walks along the Rob Roy Way, lunch in Mhor Barn with whisky sampling and a whisky pairing evening at the Great Scottish Feast with food prepared by star Scottish chefs. The festival also offers family activities, live music, a ceilidh, a bake-off competition, a raft race and a market.

    To help encourage even more visitors to sample Scotland’s whisky offering during this dedicated month, VisitScotland has also launched a new series of eBooks hosted on www.visitscotland.com. Each book will focus on one of the country’s five distinctive whisky-producing regions in Scotland - Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Highland - and the specially created guides explain the reasons why Scotch whisky is so different from distillery to distillery. Alongside information on each venue, the eBooks provide useful information for visitors including opening times, address and contact details.  

    The distilleries eBooks can be downloaded at www.visitscotland.com/distilleries-guides  

    For more information on the Year of Food & Drink 2015 and Whisky Month, please go to: www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland  

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 14 April 2015

    CDM Regulations Update

    The events industry is working with HSE to help organisers and suppliers with the new Construction, Design & Management (CDM) 2015 regulations.

    A group of event specific associations are soon to release details of

    -          A set of industry specific guidance

    -          A number of free to attend CDM education roadshows

    -          An event specific CDM app and web based solution

    The three associations who have been working and engaging closely with the Health & Safety Executive over the last two years are the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), the Association of Event Venues (AEV), and the Association of Event Organisers (AEO).

    More information available from Event Industry News:

    http://www.eventindustrynews.co.uk/meetings-incentivetravel-conference-exhibitions-news/industry-associations-drive-towards-minimal-impact-from-cdm-regulations/?utm_source=website&utm_campaign=wordtwit&utm_medium=web

    Category: Industry News

  • 14 April 2015

    FIRST HOME ATHLETES NAMED FOR WORLD ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS

    The first four members of the UK team to compete in the World Orienteering Champions in Moray and the Highlands have been named.

    Selectors have decided that four UK athletes have already done enough to merit early selection for the championships which take place from July 31 until August 7.

    Competing on home soil when the Sprint race takes place in Forres on the opening weekend of the championships will be Edinburgh athlete Scott Fraser.

    Scott will be seen as a major medal hope in the Championships having already tasted success at this level when he won a silver medal in the 2013 championships at Vuokatti in Finland.

    Joining Scott in the UK squad will be Stirling-based athlete Graham Gristwood, who will compete in the long distance race.  Graham, originally from Woking in Surrey, was a member of the UK’s gold medal winning relay team in the 2008 championships held in the Czech Republic.

    For the women’s squad competing in the middle distance race will be Glasgow athlete Hollie Orr, who will be looking to improve on her 31st placing at that distance in the 2014 championships held in Italy.  Also achieving early selection is Whitby-born athlete Catherine Taylor who will compete in the long distance race at WOC2015.

  • 13 April 2015

    Discover the May Festival: Booking opens for popular Aberdeen event expected to attract thousands of visitors

     

    Tickets have been released today (Monday April 13) for a popular festival which will enable audiences of all ages to experience the joy and inspiration of books, music, film, science, food, history, nature, sport and more in the glorious setting of Old Aberdeen.
    The May Festival, organised by the University of Aberdeen, will return from May 29 to 31. In 2014 it attracted more than 9,500 visitors and this year it will encompass a greater range of topics and areas of interest than ever before. 
    The Festival will take audiences on a journey of discovery where they can hear exciting journeys to the top from adventurer Matt Dickinson, one of only a handful of British climbers to scale Everest’s north summit, former Newsnight host and journalist Gavin Esler who will draw on his experiences of interviewing the world’s most powerful people, and Patrick Miley, coach and father of one of Scotland’s most successful swimmers, Hannah Miley.
    Now in its third year, the Festival builds on the success of the Word Festival and literary events will once again be at its heart with acclaimed writer Michel Faber, whose novel The Crimson Petal and White was dramatised for TV, and award-winner David Mitchell who has twice been listed for the Booker Prize and whose novel Cloud Atlas was adapted for a film starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. 
    There will also be a session dedicated to the poetry of the late Iain Banks hosted by his good friend and novelist Ken Macleod and an event celebrating Scottish urban myths and legends with storytellers Sheena Blackhall and Grace Banks. 
    Tales of a different kind will be shared by Matt Lewis, now an award-winning novelist, who will recount his extraordinary story of survival at sea following the sinking of a boat where 17 of the crew were lost, and producer Oggy Boytchev who will detail what it is like to work with journalists including the BBC’s John Simpson in war-zones around the world. 
    Film and music will once again feature strongly with Notting Hill director Roger Michell explaining what it’s like to work with stars including Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and performances from the internationally-renowned Edinburgh Quartet and PJ Moore of the band Blue Nile. 
    There will be a strong Scottish flavour running throughout the Festival with ‘Fiddle at Sea’ exploring the importance of music among Scottish sailors, and a look at the poet W.B Yeats in Scotland.
    The country’s culinary delights will be showcased with a dedicated strand supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, an initiative led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, which will see nutritionists team up with the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson to create delicious healthy meals, a wild food forage, a produce market and a whisky tasting. 
    The Festival will also cover major current issues with a debate on the future of the NHS hosted by BBC health correspondent Eleanor Bradford, expert analysis on Scotland in the wake of the General Election, a discussion on how we can feed an ever-growing population and a look at the future of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. 
    For those wanting to get hands-on there will be a fun session to help crafters of all abilities knit their own ‘Broons’, a ‘farm to fork’ cookery demonstration and an introduction to Scottish step dancing.
    Many events in the programme are free or low-cost and there will be a host of drop-in sessions as well as entertainment around King’s College campus and walking tours around Old Aberdeen, the Cruickshank Gardens and Aberdeen Sports Village. 
    In addition to the main Festival programme, the free Marathon Oil Children’s Festival will run throughout Saturday and Sunday (May 30 and 31) with events to inspire young minds ranging from a campfire party to an animal roadshow and rap and street poetry workshops. 
    Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Aberdeen, said: “For 2015, May Festival is about discovery – audiences can discover more about their world, history, science, culture and current issues.
    “It is also a chance to discover more about the University and the role it plays in discovery, as well as your own individual potential.
    “Many events will be hands-on or run on a drop-in basis to allow people to get a flavour of many different areas of interest.
    “We really will have something for everyone from literature, music and film to science, the environment, sport, food and drink and current affairs – and we’ll even host some in Gaelic. It is the Aberdeen festival catering for all.” 
    Tickets for all events can be booked from today (Monday April 13) by visiting http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival/ or through the Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122. 
    Donnie Scott (10) discovers King’s College campus which will host the May Festival

    Tickets have been released today (Monday April 13) for a popular festival which will enable audiences of all ages to experience the joy and inspiration of books, music, film, science, food, history, nature, sport and more in the glorious setting of Old Aberdeen.

    The May Festival, organised by the University of Aberdeen, will return from May 29 to 31. In 2014 it attracted more than 9,500 visitors and this year it will encompass a greater range of topics and areas of interest than ever before. 

    The Festival will take audiences on a journey of discovery where they can hear exciting journeys to the top from adventurer Matt Dickinson, one of only a handful of British climbers to scale Everest’s north summit, former Newsnight host and journalist Gavin Esler who will draw on his experiences of interviewing the world’s most powerful people, and Patrick Miley, coach and father of one of Scotland’s most successful swimmers, Hannah Miley.

    Now in its third year, the Festival builds on the success of the Word Festival and literary events will once again be at its heart with acclaimed writer Michel Faber, whose novel The Crimson Petal and White was dramatised for TV, and award-winner David Mitchell who has twice been listed for the Booker Prize and whose novel Cloud Atlas was adapted for a film starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. There will also be a session dedicated to the poetry of the late Iain Banks hosted by his good friend and novelist Ken Macleod and an event celebrating Scottish urban myths and legends with storytellers Sheena Blackhall and Grace Banks. 

    Tales of a different kind will be shared by Matt Lewis, now an award-winning novelist, who will recount his extraordinary story of survival at sea following the sinking of a boat where 17 of the crew were lost, and producer Oggy Boytchev who will detail what it is like to work with journalists including the BBC’s John Simpson in war-zones around the world. 

    Film and music will once again feature strongly with Notting Hill director Roger Michell explaining what it’s like to work with stars including Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and performances from the internationally-renowned Edinburgh Quartet and PJ Moore of the band Blue Nile. 

    There will be a strong Scottish flavour running throughout the Festival with ‘Fiddle at Sea’ exploring the importance of music among Scottish sailors, and a look at the poet W.B Yeats in Scotland.

    The country’s culinary delights will be showcased with a dedicated strand supported as part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, an initiative led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, which will see nutritionists team up with the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson to create delicious healthy meals, a wild food forage, a produce market and a whisky tasting. 

    The Festival will also cover major current issues with a debate on the future of the NHS hosted by BBC health correspondent Eleanor Bradford, expert analysis on Scotland in the wake of the General Election, a discussion on how we can feed an ever-growing population and a look at the future of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. 

    For those wanting to get hands-on there will be a fun session to help crafters of all abilities knit their own ‘Broons’, a ‘farm to fork’ cookery demonstration and an introduction to Scottish step dancing.

    Many events in the programme are free or low-cost and there will be a host of drop-in sessions as well as entertainment around King’s College campus and walking tours around Old Aberdeen, the Cruickshank Gardens and Aberdeen Sports Village. 

    In addition to the main Festival programme, the free Marathon Oil Children’s Festival will run throughout Saturday and Sunday (May 30 and 31) with events to inspire young minds ranging from a campfire party to an animal roadshow and rap and street poetry workshops. 

    Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Aberdeen, said: “For 2015, May Festival is about discovery – audiences can discover more about their world, history, science, culture and current issues.

    “It is also a chance to discover more about the University and the role it plays in discovery, as well as your own individual potential.

    “Many events will be hands-on or run on a drop-in basis to allow people to get a flavour of many different areas of interest.

    “We really will have something for everyone from literature, music and film to science, the environment, sport, food and drink and current affairs – and we’ll even host some in Gaelic. It is the Aberdeen festival catering for all.” 

    Tickets for all events can be booked from today (Monday April 13) by visiting www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival or through the Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122. 

    Image: Donnie Scott (10) discovers King’s College campus which will host the May Festival

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 10 April 2015

    Doune The Rabbit Hole Announces 2015 Festival Line-Up

     

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its line-up for this year’s festival, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 21st-23rd. An array of both Scottish and international talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic fusion band, will be performing at the three day event.  
    Other newly announced acts include inventive Glasgow group, The Phantom Band and Fatherson, an indie band from Kilmarnock known for their melodic anthems who created a stir in 2014 as over 8000 revellers watched them at T In The Park. Adding a splash of international flavour to the line-up is Bristol based ‘world music’ group Zun Zun Egui, featuring musicians from Mauritius and Japan and introducing their unique, funky fusion of reggae and hi-life sounds to festival goers. 
    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group said:
    “Every year our line-up of musical talent gets bigger and more eclectic and 2015 is no different. We are incredibly excited to welcome such a range of acts from around the world as well as bands that have formed right here in Scotland. There are so many unique acts performing that there is a musical genre and style for everyone’s tastes, so there’s lots to soak up and enjoy at this year’s event. For anyone who loves festivals, creativity and unforgettable experiences, Doune The Rabbit Hole is a must-see!”
    Established in 2010, the family-friendly festival will be lighting up the Cardross Estate near the Lake of Menteith, and, as well as welcoming the cream of Scotland’s talented music scene and an array of international artists, the festival will host a vibrant mix of workshops for both adult and children, arts, craft producers and quality Scottish food and drink suppliers.
    With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere. Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend.  
    Jamie added:
    “There is a real sense of community-spirit at our festival and I guarantee you make friends for life at Doune The Rabbit Hole. It is pretty rare to find a festival that embraces a family-friendly culture. Where else would you see everyone, from toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?”
    Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015 is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland.
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Doune The Rabbit Hole this year. Festival goers can enjoy an amazingly eclectic line-up, from great international acts to home-grown talent. And with live music alongside storytelling and activities the programme features something for all ages and tastes. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Doune the Rabbit Hole is a great boost for Stirling, giving visitors and locals the chance to enjoy some great Scottish bands and contemporary music from across the world in the spectacular natural scenery of the Cardross Estate.” 
    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk 
    For further information contact Fraser Kirk on 01738 658187 or email f.kirk@volpa.co.uk 

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its line-up for this year’s festival, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 21st-23rd.

    An array of both Scottish and international talent including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic fusion band, will be performing at the three day event.  

    Other newly announced acts include inventive Glasgow group, The Phantom Band and Fatherson, an indie band from Kilmarnock known for their melodic anthems who created a stir in 2014 as over 8000 revellers watched them at T In The Park.

    Adding a splash of international flavour to the line-up is Bristol based ‘world music’ group Zun Zun Egui, featuring musicians from Mauritius and Japan and introducing their unique, funky fusion of reggae and hi-life sounds to festival goers. 

    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group said:“Every year our line-up of musical talent gets bigger and more eclectic and 2015 is no different. We are incredibly excited to welcome such a range of acts from around the world as well as bands that have formed right here in Scotland. There are so many unique acts performing that there is a musical genre and style for everyone’s tastes, so there’s lots to soak up and enjoy at this year’s event. For anyone who loves festivals, creativity and unforgettable experiences, Doune The Rabbit Hole is a must-see!”

    Established in 2010, the family-friendly festival will be lighting up the Cardross Estate near the Lake of Menteith, and, as well as welcoming the cream of Scotland’s talented music scene and an array of international artists, the festival will host a vibrant mix of workshops for both adult and children, arts, craft producers and quality Scottish food and drink suppliers.

    With an event capacity of only 1000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere.

    Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend.  

    Jamie added:“There is a real sense of community-spirit at our festival and I guarantee you make friends for life at Doune The Rabbit Hole. It is pretty rare to find a festival that embraces a family-friendly culture. Where else would you see everyone, from toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?”

    Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015 is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Doune The Rabbit Hole this year. Festival goers can enjoy an amazingly eclectic line-up, from great international acts to home-grown talent. And with live music alongside storytelling and activities the programme features something for all ages and tastes. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Doune the Rabbit Hole is a great boost for Stirling, giving visitors and locals the chance to enjoy some great Scottish bands and contemporary music from across the world in the spectacular natural scenery of the Cardross Estate.” 

    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2015, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk 

    For further information contact Fraser Kirk on 01738 658187 or email f.kirk@volpa.co.uk 

     

    Category: National Events

  • 10 April 2015

    European Rugby Semi-Final coming up

     

    Next week Scotland will host its first ever European Rugby Semi-Final as Edinburgh Rugby face Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday 17 April (kick off 7.45pm) at BT Murrayfield. It promises to be an exciting fixture and Edinburgh are looking for as many fans as possible to help cheer on the squad as they aim to be the first ever Scottish team to reach a European final!
     
    Tickets are selling at a record rate for this historic game. Buy before midnight on Thursday 16th April to take advantage of the discounted pre match day price. Visit edinburghrugby.org for more information

    Next week Scotland will host its first ever European Rugby Semi-Final as Edinburgh Rugby face Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday 17 April (kick off 7.45pm) at BT Murrayfield. It promises to be an exciting fixture and Edinburgh are looking for as many fans as possible to help cheer on the squad as they aim to be the first ever Scottish team to reach a European final!

    Tickets are selling at a record rate for this historic game. Buy before midnight on Thursday 16th April to take advantage of the discounted pre match day price. Visit edinburghrugby.org for more information

    Category: International Events

  • 10 April 2015

    Spring Fling Arrives in Edinburgh

    Fine Art Society Edinburgh and Scotland’s premier open studio event teams up to showcase Dumfries and Galloway.An exhibition by some of the best-established and emerging artists and makers from Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studios event – has opened today in Edinburgh.

    The Spring Show Dundas Street Gallery exhibition is at The Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, 
    until 25 April. It is organised by Dumfries and Galloway-based Spring Fling in partnership with the Fine Art 
    Society Edinburgh.   More than 150 people attended a special preview at the gallery last night.  
    Among those taking part are the jeweller Joanne Garner – who is from Dumfries and Galloway but currently lives
    and works in Edinburgh, portrait painter Kate Knott and photographer Laurie Campbell, who has a passion for
    creating images from lost and forgotten items from everyday life. 
    Please visit here.

    Category: National Events

  • 06 April 2015

    Mountain Bikers Needed To Take Care of Trails Across Scotland

    Mountain bikers are still needed for Scotland’s largest co-ordinated trail repair day on Saturday & Sunday 11th & 12th April . The initiative is a pilot, involving 13 different sites across Scotland, to assess demand for greater support for mountain biking trail repair groups and understand if mountain bikers can play an active part in protecting, and enhancing, the path network which they enjoy.

    The initiative is being co-ordinated by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), a project based within Scottish Cycling which is aiming to grow mountain biking in a sustainable manner. Graeme McLean the project manager of DMBinS explains why it is important that the weekend is a success “We mountain bikers have, mostly unfairly, a reputation as a group who enjoy the amazing network of paths and trails across Scotland without helping to repair or maintain them. The ‘Take Care of Your Trails’ weekend  is a fantastic opportunity to show that mountain bikers are responsible and are willing to put something back into the trails they enjoy.”

    The weekend will also be a great opportunity for those who haven’t been involved in trail repair to get started. Alasdair Eckersall, Ben Lomond Property Manager/ Ranger Naturalist at National Trust for Scotland, will be running a session on Ben Lomond “We are looking forward to mountain bikers helping us repair sections of the path on a route we know is used quite frequently by bikers. We will be able to accommodate anyone on the repair days and would especially enjoy sharing our experience of path repair and building with new volunteers. “

    To view the locations, get involved and make a difference sign-up for the day across Scotland at www.DMBinS.com/takecareofyourtrails

    Category: Industry News

  • 01 April 2015

    Longines take Title Sponsorship of the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle

     

    LONGINES TAKE TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF THE FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 AT BLAIR CASTLE
    Blair Castle International Horse Trials is delighted to welcome Longines as title sponsor of the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015, to be held at Blair Castle in the Scottish Highlands from 10 – 13 September. 
    Longines is already an FEI Top Partner and by taking title sponsorship of the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 the Swiss watchmaker is strengthening its association with one of the most thrilling equestrian disciplines and one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the eventing calendar for 2015.   
    “To have attracted Longines as our title partner is extremely rewarding,” said Alec Lochore, Blair 2015 Event Director. “Longines has consistently shown its passion for equestrianism. It has recognised the symbiosis between a sport that requires precision and skill and its own equally traditional, skilful and precision-dependent brand. I look forward to working closely with the company in the months ahead.”
    The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 follows closely on the heels of last year's highly popular Scottish-hosted Commonwealth Games. Ticket sales are very strong and ahead of expectations and with Longines commitment to be title partner the stage is set for a truly great sporting competition. 
    Sarah Troughton, Senior Trustee of The Blair Charitable Trust commented on the announcement, “Everyone at Blair Castle and Atholl Estates is extremely pleased to hear that Longines will be the title sponsor for the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle. We all look forward to working with their team to make this an exciting and memorable event”.
    “We see this partnership as an excellent opportunity to strengthen our links with the equestrian world and with eventing in particular,” said Mr Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice-President and Head of International Marketing. “We are proud of our association with such a skilful sport, a sport which illustrates the core values of our brand, namely Elegance, Tradition, and Performance. We know that the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle will be a great occasion and we look forward to playing a key role in ensuring its success.”
    The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle forms part of UK Sport’s major events programme, which is investing around £40million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 100 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, who have a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    Blair Castle International Horse Trials is delighted to welcome Longines as title sponsor of the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015, to be held at Blair Castle in the Scottish Highlands from 10 – 13 September. 

    Longines is already an FEI Top Partner and by taking title sponsorship of the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 the Swiss watchmaker is strengthening its association with one of the most thrilling equestrian disciplines and one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the eventing calendar for 2015.   
    “To have attracted Longines as our title partner is extremely rewarding,” said Alec Lochore, Blair 2015 Event Director. “Longines has consistently shown its passion for equestrianism. It has recognised the symbiosis between a sport that requires precision and skill and its own equally traditional, skilful and precision-dependent brand. I look forward to working closely with the company in the months ahead.”

    The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 follows closely on the heels of last year's highly popular Scottish-hosted Commonwealth Games. Ticket sales are very strong and ahead of expectations and with Longines commitment to be title partner the stage is set for a truly great sporting competition. 

    Sarah Troughton, Senior Trustee of The Blair Charitable Trust commented on the announcement, “Everyone at Blair Castle and Atholl Estates is extremely pleased to hear that Longines will be the title sponsor for the FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle. We all look forward to working with their team to make this an exciting and memorable event”.

    “We see this partnership as an excellent opportunity to strengthen our links with the equestrian world and with eventing in particular,” said Mr Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice-President and Head of International Marketing. “We are proud of our association with such a skilful sport, a sport which illustrates the core values of our brand, namely Elegance, Tradition, and Performance. We know that the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle will be a great occasion and we look forward to playing a key role in ensuring its success.”

    The Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 at Blair Castle forms part of UK Sport’s major events programme, which is investing around £40million of National Lottery funding to bring up to 100 world-class events to Great Britain to help build a strong legacy from London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Championship is also supported by EventScotland, who have a longstanding relationship with the team at Blair Castle.

    Category: International Events

  • 31 March 2015

    Construction, Design and Management Regulations

    The new Construction, Design and Management Regulations (CDM 2015) come into force on 6 April 2015.  The revised regulations will have implications for event organisers.

    Does your event have an element of construction for example a stage or gantry?  It’s recommended that you familiarise themselves with the new regulations. CDM 2015 are the main regulations for managing health, safety and welfare on all construction projects.   These regulations define who is responsible for what according to different roles (client, designers and contractors).

    Changes include that small and medium size construction businesses will have to make a construction phase plan and manage health and safety. 

     Useful links

    -       The legislation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/51/contents/made

    -       CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) has a useful page and video on the changes to safety regulations: http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/

    -       The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published draft guidance on the new regulations.

    Category: Industry Info

  • 31 March 2015

    Strong British Team announced for IPC Worlds

    An 18-strong British contingent has been named to face the rest of the world at the IPC Swimming World Championships from 13 – 19 July in Glasgow.

    Four-time Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds will be returning to world level competition after securing her place on the team for her fourth World Championships.

     Bethany Firth is set to make her international debut for Great Britain after breaking three world records on her way to qualifying for the competition.

    She dominated the 200m Individual Medley, 100m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke during the four-day British Para-Swimming International Meet.

    The most experienced member of the team is Sascha Kindred who has competed at every IPC Swimming World Championships in his twenty year career.

    Simmonds is excited to return to action in Glasgow for the World Championships and is relishing the chance to face the world just a year out from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

    “I’m very excited to be named on the team for the World Championships in Glasgow,” Simmonds said. “It’s so great to be part of a world class team and competing at my fourth World Championships will be a real honour.

    “The World Championships always has top class fields with top class athletes. I expect there will be some great racing and great rivalries.

    It will be tough for anyone to win medals with everyone in the world there. The USA are always strong and the Brazilians will be wanting to swim well ahead of their home Paralympic Games next year so there should be some great races.”

    National Performance Director Chris Furber believes this team will have the potential to produce results under pressure in Glasgow.

    “The team we have selected is strong and reflects the goal of the competition which is to win gold medals and qualifying slots for Rio.

    “There were some really excellent performances last week in Glasgow and I know the athletes have gone back to their home programmes to continue to work hard as we move closer to the Worlds.

    “The expectation is that the standard of Para-Swimming in the lead up to Rio is only going to improve exponentially and we have based our standards this year on this which is why we have a smaller team than previously in this cycle.

    “Having a smaller team allows us to give focused and individually tailored support to swimmers who have demonstrated gold or multi-medal potential.”

    Head Coach Rob Greenwood added: “As British Para-Swimming we are in a great place on the coaching front. It was fantastic to see so many of our top coaches at last week’s trials but it did make the process of coach selection a difficult one. 

    “The coaches selected offer a great variety of experiences, knowledge and personality all adding to the dynamic of the team. I'm sure the coaching team in Glasgow will help our athletes to deliver their peak performance."

     

    The British Para-Swimming Team consists of:         

    James Crisp - City of Sheffield         

    Jonathan Fox - City of Manchester Aquatics

    Thomas Hamer - City of Manchester Aquatics/National Performance Centre

    Oliver Hynd - Nova Centurion           

    Sascha Kindred - Leominster

    Andrew Mullen - Ren 96        

    Scott Quin - Warrender Baths Club   

    Jack Thomas - Swansea University 

    Jessica-Jane Applegate - UEA Norwich       

    Claire Cashmore - Wyre Forest SC/ National Performance Centre            

    Bethany Firth - Ards SC        

    Charlotte Henshaw - Nova Centurion           

    Tully Kearney (R) - Boldmere           

    Susannah  Rodgers (R) - Beckenham          

    Hannah Russell - Woking/National Performance Centre     

    Eleanor Simmonds - Loughborough University

    Stephanie Slater - Preston SC/National Performance Centre          

    Alice Tai - Bournemouth Collegiate School    

    Category: International Events

  • 31 March 2015

    Programme announced for Edinburgh Art Festival’s 30 July – 30 August 2015

     

    PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED FOR EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL’S 12TH EDITION
    30 JULY – 30 AUGUST 2015
    Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) today announces its 2015 programme, combining ambitious presentations of Scottish and international contemporary art alongside major solo and survey shows of artists from the 20th century and historic movements. As the UK’s largest annual festival of visual arts, attracting nearly 300,000 attendances in 2014, EAF will this year present over 40 exhibitions across more than 30 of Edinburgh’s leading museums, galleries and institutions, as well as artist-run spaces and unexpected pop-up locations. Continuing its support for the next generation of Scottish artists, this year for the first time the festival will issue an open call for proposals by early career artists to be selected by critically acclaimed Scottish artist Christine Borland.  
    Highlights include:
    Internationally-renowned artists introduced to UK audiences for the first time, including the first exhibitions in Scotland by Phyllida Barlow, Hanne Darboven and Kwang Young Chun; the first solo exhibition in a public gallery by American artist John Chamberlain and the first large-scale solo show in the UK by New York-based Tara Donovan. 
    New work by Scotland’s leading contemporary practitioners, including Toby Paterson at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and Sara Barker at Jupiter Artland; alongside two comprehensive surveys of Scottish art through the centuries at City Art Centre and The Queen’s Gallery.
    Major art historical surveys including Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, the pioneer of Pop Art Roy Lichtenstein, 18th century portraiture by Jean-Étienne Liotard presented across the National Galleries of Scotland, in addition to much-loved Scottish artists John Bellany at Open Eye Gallery and Joan Eardley at The Scottish Gallery.
    A strong focus on photography, contemporary and historic, including David Bailey at Scottish National Gallery, a major survey of the invention and development of photography in the Victorian period at National Museums Scotland, new work by political duo Kennardphillips at Stills and Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant at Edinburgh Printmakers. 
    New work commissioned as part of the EAF 2015 commissions programme, presented across the city in unexpected and forgotten locations by emerging and established artists, including Charles Avery, in partnership with Ingleby Gallery where the artist is subject of a new solo exhibition, and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd.
    A newly-launched open call to early career artists which will provide a platform for a minimum of three Scotland-based artists, selected in close collaboration with Christine Borland, who was commissioned in 2013 to create a new work for EAF’s programme.
    Exhibitions by the next generation of talent in Scotland and beyond, including Samara Scott and Lauren Gault at Jupiter Artland, France-Lise McGurn and Beatrice Gibson at Collective and a group show at one of Edinburgh’s newest venues, The Number Shop.

    Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) has announced its 2015 programme, combining ambitious presentations of Scottish and international contemporary art alongside major solo and survey shows of artists from the 20th century and historic movements. As the UK’s largest annual festival of visual arts, attracting nearly 300,000 attendances in 2014, EAF will this year present over 40 exhibitions across more than 30 of Edinburgh’s leading museums, galleries and institutions, as well as artist-run spaces and unexpected pop-up locations. Continuing its support for the next generation of Scottish artists, this year for the first time the festival will issue an open call for proposals by early career artists to be selected by critically acclaimed Scottish artist Christine Borland.  

    Highlights include:
    Internationally-renowned artists introduced to UK audiences for the first time, including the first exhibitions in Scotland by Phyllida Barlow, Hanne Darboven and Kwang Young Chun; the first solo exhibition in a public gallery by American artist John Chamberlain and the first large-scale solo show in the UK by New York-based Tara Donovan. 

    New work by Scotland’s leading contemporary practitioners, including Toby Paterson at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and Sara Barker at Jupiter Artland; alongside two comprehensive surveys of Scottish art through the centuries at City Art Centre and The Queen’s Gallery.• Major art historical surveys including Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, the pioneer of Pop Art Roy Lichtenstein, 18th century portraiture by Jean-Étienne Liotard presented across the National Galleries of Scotland, in addition to much-loved Scottish artists John Bellany at Open Eye Gallery and Joan Eardley at The Scottish Gallery.

    A strong focus on photography, contemporary and historic, including David Bailey at Scottish National Gallery, a major survey of the invention and development of photography in the Victorian period at National Museums Scotland, new work by political duo Kennardphillips at Stills and Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant at Edinburgh Printmakers.

    New work commissioned as part of the EAF 2015 commissions programme, presented across the city in unexpected and forgotten locations by emerging and established artists, including Charles Avery, in partnership with Ingleby Gallery where the artist is subject of a new solo exhibition, and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd.

    A newly-launched open call to early career artists which will provide a platform for a minimum of three Scotland-based artists, selected in close collaboration with Christine Borland, who was commissioned in 2013 to create a new work for EAF’s programme.

    Exhibitions by the next generation of talent in Scotland and beyond, including Samara Scott and Lauren Gault at Jupiter Artland, France-Lise McGurn and Beatrice Gibson at Collective and a group show at one of Edinburgh’s newest venues, The Number Shop.

    http://www.edinburghartfestival.com/

     

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 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.”