EventScotland

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  • 30 June 2016

    STREET SOCCER SCOTLAND v EDINBURGH AIRPORT - WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

    Edinburgh Airport has today released Street Soccer Scotland v Edinburgh Airport - a short online film - to back Team Scotland at the forthcoming Homeless World Cup.

     Street Soccer Scotland v Edinburgh Airport stars footballers form the men’s and women’s Scotland teams and also features former Scotland international goalkeeper Alan Rough, STV News’ chief anchor John MacKay, Scottish Government Sports Minister Aileen Campbell, James Robertson (9) and Josh McDonald (8) from Hutchison Vale Community Sports Club, record-breaking long-distance British cyclist Mark Beaumont, Partick Thistle FC’s mascot Kingsley and Scotch Beef’s mascot Hamish the Highland Cow.

     David Duke, the founder and Chief Executive of Street Soccer (Scotland), said:

     “All the players had a great time making the YouTube promo – and it is a fantastic way of celebrating our partnership with Edinburgh Airport.

     “The players are all now fully focussed on the main event and our opening game against Hong Kong in George Square in Glasgow on Sunday July 10 – we really believe we can do well and make everyone in Scotland proud.”

     Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, said: 

     “Street Soccer Scotland and Edinburgh Airport have much in common – we both have big international ambitions and we aim to be the very best at what we do. 

     “This is a great partnership and we are proud to be backing David Duke and the young men and women who will be wearing the dark blue and bidding to win the Homeless World Cup.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 June 2016

    FULL PROGRAMME FOR ALL NINE DAYS OF THE MERCHANT CITY FESTIVAL 2016 UNVEILED

     

    collaboration between Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus. Surge also features a beautiful sculptural performance from Dudendance, a riotous musical performance with Punk-it and dozens of outdoors street theatre shows throughout the opening weekend. For full information about Surge and details of where to see performances and where to buy tickets please visit www.merchantcityfestival.com 
    Vintage, the celebration of classic design curated by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, returns across the final weekend of the Merchant City Festival bringing a Vintage Car Boot Sale, a Tea Dance, Charleston Brunch and a celebration of the music of David Bowie and Roxy Music called Oh! You Pretty Things! Tickets and full information can be found at www.merchantcityfestival.com 
    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is celebrated across the nine days of the Merchant City Festival with a series of events that includes a two day signwriting masterclass from Mike Meyer, a peek behind the scenes of the design and build of the new V&A Museum in Dundee, the launch of fashion accessories brand NU BLVCK’s first autumn / winter collection, walking tours and workshops, films and a discussion around Scotland’s design talent and the contribution they make to the economy. 
    Councillor Philip Braat, Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival programme is packed full of top quality performances, workshops and events as well as a huge programme of live music, comedy, street theatre and much more. The festival has become firmly established in Glasgow and Scotland’s cultural calendar and with a high quality programme and top class acts and performers coming in 2016, its reputation will be enhanced still further. There is something for everyone at the Merchant City Festival and we look forward to welcoming you.” 
    The very top floor of a car park in Duke Street is the venue for a performance of new dance work Of Riders and Running Horses while Aerial Edge return to the Merchant City Festival with a new circus show called Dreams. Acclaimed  choreographer Janis Claxton brings world premiere and MCF commission Pop Up Duets which will appear in bars and cafes across the Merchant City.  LEAP Sports brings an acrobatic performance with a twist with Strong Lady Productions, Seattle’s Moisture Festival comes to the Britannia Panopticon, and The Briggait will present A Variety Circus Bash as a conclusion to the Merchant City Festival. 
    The full programme including dates and times of performances, details of the opening weekend Carnival, ticket prices where applicable and where to buy them can be found at www.merchantcityfestival.com 
    VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director Liz Buchanan said: “The Merchant City Festival epitomises the diversity, colourful vibrancy, fun and excitement of Glasgow and its thriving cultural scene. This year’s nine-day event looks set to be even bigger and better than ever, featuring a packed programme of superb and diverse entertainment encompassing fashion, visual arts and music to food and drink and family activities.
    “Fabulous Scottish creativity and originality underpin this year’s festival and we were delighted to provide support through our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 events fund to ensure there are lots of opportunities to celebrate Glasgow’s love of style and design, as well as the city’s importance as a cultural hub which inspires and nurtures talent across so many areas. I hope that as many people as possible will come along to experience this unmissable highlight of Glasgow’s annual events calendar.”
    Also coming to the Merchant City Festival this year are a Brazillian/Caribbean carnival, bringing together artists and groups from across the city and across the world, the hugely popular family zone in Merchant Square,thanks to support from Merchant Square/Clydebuilt, a site specific opera in Sloans Bar, Edinburgh Fringe comedy previews and the return of the hugely popular Brunswick Street Party and Blackfriars stage and the food and craft markets. 
    Music performances include appearances by X-factor winner Matt Cardle, The Penman Jazzmen, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, four nights celebrating Glasgow’s Unesco City of Music status in Merchant Square, and there is a chance to play a Steinway piano on the stage of the City Halls for Lids Open Day. 
    As always, the Merchant City festival promises fun for the whole family throughout. For 2016 there is Family Storytelling at the Tron Theatre, building Balloon Powered Classic Cars, Open Days at Greyfriars Garden and Artcamp from Catalonia.    
    Throughout the Merchant City Festival, local bars and restaurants will also be offering specially created food and drink. Brewdog will be bringing their beer truck, called Truck Norris, to the festival. Ad Lib in Ingram Street will host a Chilli Con Carne festival and on Saturday 6 August enjoy the Virginia Courtyard Festival. 
    Gaelic projects are also coming to the Merchant City Festival including the return of Airc, the Gaelic Hub at The Briggait which involves impromptu performances and workshops, a curated programme for 12 to 18 year old called Staing and an exhibition called Le Muirn.    
    The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Creative Scotland. 

    The full programme for all nine days of the Merchant City Festival, featuring all world premieres, dazzling performances and wonderful entertainment has been unveiled. Among the highlights are the return of Surge and Vintage to the Merchant City Festival, a dedicated strand celebrating Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, dance, comedy, music, performance, food and drink and much, much more. The Merchant City Festival starts on 30 July and runs until 7 August 2016. 

    The Merchant City Festival, which has been utilising animating the streets and venues of the Merchant City since 2002, will get underway on Saturday 30 July when Surge, the festival within a festival run by Conflux returns with an outstanding programme of performance and street art. Among the highlights are Block, a collaboration between Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus. Surge also features a beautiful sculptural performance from Dudendance, a riotous musical performance with Punk-it and dozens of outdoors street theatre shows throughout the opening weekend. For full information about Surge and details of where to see performances and where to buy tickets please visit www.merchantcityfestival.com 

    Vintage, the celebration of classic design curated by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, returns across the final weekend of the Merchant City Festival bringing a Vintage Car Boot Sale, a Tea Dance, Charleston Brunch and a celebration of the music of David Bowie and Roxy Music called Oh! You Pretty Things! Tickets and full information can be found at www.merchantcityfestival.com 

    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is celebrated across the nine days of the Merchant City Festival with a series of events that includes a two day signwriting masterclass from Mike Meyer, a peek behind the scenes of the design and build of the new V&A Museum in Dundee, the launch of fashion accessories brand NU BLVCK’s first autumn / winter collection, walking tours and workshops, films and a discussion around Scotland’s design talent and the contribution they make to the economy. 

    Councillor Philip Braat, Chair of the Merchant City Festival Committee said: “The Merchant City Festival programme is packed full of top quality performances, workshops and events as well as a huge programme of live music, comedy, street theatre and much more. The festival has become firmly established in Glasgow and Scotland’s cultural calendar and with a high quality programme and top class acts and performers coming in 2016, its reputation will be enhanced still further. There is something for everyone at the Merchant City Festival and we look forward to welcoming you.” 

     

    The very top floor of a car park in Duke Street is the venue for a performance of new dance work Of Riders and Running Horses while Aerial Edge return to the Merchant City Festival with a new circus show called Dreams. Acclaimed  choreographer Janis Claxton brings world premiere and MCF commission Pop Up Duets which will appear in bars and cafes across the Merchant City.  LEAP Sports brings an acrobatic performance with a twist with Strong Lady Productions, Seattle’s Moisture Festival comes to the Britannia Panopticon, and The Briggait will present A Variety Circus Bash as a conclusion to the Merchant City Festival. 

    The full programme including dates and times of performances, details of the opening weekend Carnival, ticket prices where applicable and where to buy them can be found at www.merchantcityfestival.com 

    VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director Liz Buchanan said: “The Merchant City Festival epitomises the diversity, colourful vibrancy, fun and excitement of Glasgow and its thriving cultural scene. This year’s nine-day event looks set to be even bigger and better than ever, featuring a packed programme of superb and diverse entertainment encompassing fashion, visual arts and music to food and drink and family activities.

    “Fabulous Scottish creativity and originality underpin this year’s festival and we were delighted to provide support through our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 events fund to ensure there are lots of opportunities to celebrate Glasgow’s love of style and design, as well as the city’s importance as a cultural hub which inspires and nurtures talent across so many areas. I hope that as many people as possible will come along to experience this unmissable highlight of Glasgow’s annual events calendar.”

    Also coming to the Merchant City Festival this year are a Brazillian/Caribbean carnival, bringing together artists and groups from across the city and across the world, the hugely popular family zone in Merchant Square,thanks to support from Merchant Square/Clydebuilt, a site specific opera in Sloans Bar, Edinburgh Fringe comedy previews and the return of the hugely popular Brunswick Street Party and Blackfriars stage and the food and craft markets. 

    Music performances include appearances by X-factor winner Matt Cardle, The Penman Jazzmen, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, four nights celebrating Glasgow’s Unesco City of Music status in Merchant Square, and there is a chance to play a Steinway piano on the stage of the City Halls for Lids Open Day. 

    As always, the Merchant City festival promises fun for the whole family throughout. For 2016 there is Family Storytelling at the Tron Theatre, building Balloon Powered Classic Cars, Open Days at Greyfriars Garden and Artcamp from Catalonia.    

    Throughout the Merchant City Festival, local bars and restaurants will also be offering specially created food and drink. Brewdog will be bringing their beer truck, called Truck Norris, to the festival. Ad Lib in Ingram Street will host a Chilli Con Carne festival and on Saturday 6 August enjoy the Virginia Courtyard Festival. 

    Gaelic projects are also coming to the Merchant City Festival including the return of Airc, the Gaelic Hub at The Briggait which involves impromptu performances and workshops, a curated programme for 12 to 18 year old called Staing and an exhibition called Le Muirn.    

    The Merchant City Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Creative Scotland. 

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 27 June 2016

    Forres welcomes thousands for European Pipe Band Championships

    Forres gave a piping welcome for around 120 Pipe Bands and 50 Drum Majors who competed in the European Pipe Band Championships, held in Forres on Saturday 25 June to a crowd of thousands who came to the park to enjoy the day.

     Winners in grade 1 were St Laurence O’Toole from Eire; second Field Marshal Montgomery from Northern Ireland and third Inveraray and District.   

    Grade 2 winners were the Pipes and Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

    Grade 4A was Lanark and District

    Grade 4B was Johnstone

    Grade 3A was the Lewis Pipe Band.

    Grade 3B was local band 2622 (Highland) Squadron RAF.

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

     Elgin Pipe Band won the Grade 4B Drumming.

     Sixty Highland dancers also competed.

     Organised by Forres Events Ltd, the event was a great family day out with over 100 trade stalls including a craft tent and Food and Drink Marquee and Food and Drink Village featured some of the finest produce of Moray and the surrounding area.

    Dr Donnie Munro who thoroughly enjoyed his day as Chieftain said:  “Visitors enjoyed themselves very much and I congratulate the founders for the legacy that they have left and offer my congratulations to the people of Forres for their support of the event – they deserve to have a real sense of pride in what they have achieved with this event.”

     The World’s Tattie scone championship was won by Nichola Smith from Elgin with her Heart of Courage scone with fruits of Moray as her special ingredient.  Second was Ali Jamieson from Forres with prawn cocktail and third was Julie Hill from Kinloss with her wee Scottish breakfast featuring haggis, black pudding, lorne sausage and bacon. Winner of the new David Urquhart trophy for the best original scone was Adrienne Milne (13) of Elgin Academy with cheese and chilli. The trophy is in memory of the late David Urquhart who was a Director of Forres Events Ltd, the company that runs Piping At Forres.

     One of the two Tattie Scone judges, David Gow of Harry Gow bakers said: “It’s been a great day, a good standard of cooking and some very innovative ideas.   I was particularly impressed by the scone produced by Adrienne Milne who won the junior category.”

     Other competitors were Angus Robertson MP with his Red Hot Mexican scone with chilli and cheese; Richard Lochhead MSP with BLT scone with bacon and leeks; Douglas Ross MSP with In a Pickle with pickled onion, Ian Urquhart with ‘Family rules’ with smoked salmon and Major General Seymour Monro, Director of the Highland Military Tattoo with Tattoo Bombshell with chilli chorizo.

     The Federation of Small Business best stall was awarded to Hellygog from Logie Steading near Forres who won a certificate and £150 cash prize.

     Alan James, Chairman of Forres Events Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation who run the event around the championships said: “We have had a fantastic day here in Forres. I am amazed and delighted at the standard of the bands, drummers and Drum Majors, young and old who have come here to today in the north of Scotland to compete and entertain all the visitors to the Grant Park. All around, the Park has been busy with all the trade stands appearing to have had a good day and lots of smiling, happy  faces. It’s been a spectacular event and I would like to thank all of those who have supported us over this extraordinary year, particularly our sponsors, stallholders and volunteers without whom we could not stage the event.  I also wish to thank all the competitors, their supporters and all the visitors who came to Forres, and of course the people of Forres for supporting  this event.   This is my first year as Chairman after the terrible loss of Ian Widdowson earlier this year when we were still mourning  the loss of our friend and colleague David Urquhart and I am sure that we have done them both proud.”

     Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said:  “Yet again we have a fantastic event here at Forres.  It’s just a great atmosphere and the bands love coming here and they love being here.The event has grown year on year with bands increasing and this is testament to the organisers here and to the people of Forres and the wider community who provide such wonderful support to the event.      In 16 years and 90 events I have not seen anything like the support we get from the community here.”

     Angus Robertson MP said: “"Once again Piping at Forres has delivered an amazing spectacle as thousands of pipers and drummers descended on Forres for the European Pipe Band Championships.

     "This has rapidly become a must see event in the north of Scotland's summer calendar, attracting visitors and locals alike in their droves to the town.

     "It's great for Forres, great for culture and great for our local economy! A brilliant family event."

     Richard Lochhead MSP said:  “This event goes from strength to strength and is a major boost for the local economy. Forres was looking stunning in the sun and the thousands of visitors were clearly impressed by how well everything was organised and the hosting committee and sponsors deserve huge credit for such a successful event. Indeed, its success is a huge tribute to the late David Urquhart and Ian Widdowson both of whom were instrumental in securing the championships for Forres."

     Rhona Corscadden, EventScotland Senior Event Manager, said: “Occasions like Piping at Forres, which is supported by EventScotland’s International Funding Programme, demonstrate the nation’s love for our unique culture and heritage, and I am delighted to be among the thousands in attendance in the stunning setting of Grant Park today.

     “This event has been a terrific celebration of the pipes, with over 120 bands, including current and former world champions, creating a magnificent spectacle and superb day out for all the family, reinforcing Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events worldwide.”  

    Category: International Events

  • 27 June 2016

    HOMELESS WORLD CUP ANNOUNCES OPENING FIXTURES FOR GLASGOW 2016

    THE Homeless World Cup Foundation today (27 June 2016) announces the opening games of the 2016 Homeless World Cup, which kicks-off on Sunday 10 July 2016.

    Scotland’s men will face Hong Kong in the opening fixture (1300 BST), followed by Scotland women against Norway, immediately afterwards (1325 BST).

    The games take place in the heart of Glasgow, on George Square, which will be turned into a spectacular stadium venue for the duration of the tournament.

    Scotland’s games will form part of a celebration which Glasgow is sure to get behind as the seven day football festival kicks-off.

    Ahead of the first match, a short, colourful ceremony will take place to open the 2016 tournament.

    And before that, the 512 players from across 52 countries will parade through the city from their base at Glasgow Caledonian University. Along with coaches and key support staff, they’ll make their way through the city and down into George Square, via Renfield Street and The Tron with the aid of the Williamwood and Johnstone Pipe Bands.

    Other notable fixtures on opening day include a mouth-watering fixture featuring men’s holders Mexico against Argentina (1625 BST), whilst the same nations feature against each other in the women’s tournament (1800 BST).

    Of the other home nations in the women’s tournament, Wales face the Netherlands (1645 BST) and England take on Greece (1740 BST), on the first day. The men’s competition sees England open up against Russia (1355 BST), whilst Wales are scheduled to open up against Canada (1400 BST). 

    100,000 spectators are expected to visit the Homeless World Cup during the week-long festival, with organisers stating it will be, “the most inspiring place on the planet”. Entry is free & no tickets are required, albeit it is expected at key times (particularly when Scotland play) it will be very busy.

    The Homeless World Cup arrives in Glasgow as part of a three way partnership between the Homeless World Cup Foundation, the Scottish Government (delivered via EventScotland), and Glasgow City Council (delivered via Glasgow Life).

    Every game (416) from the Homeless World Cup will be live on homelessworldcup.org and YouTube. Selected international outlets will stream games via EverSport. Coverage will be produced by host broadcaster, QTV Sports. Broadcaster Rory Hamilton will lead match commentary.

    In Scotland, STV is the home broadcaster, and will show extensive live coverage on STV Glasgow, STV Edinburgh and the main STV channel.

    This includes the opening ceremony along with Scotland men and women’s opening games. Thereafter there will be live games every night at 1700 BST, and a magazine programme hosted by Peter Martin at 1830 BST. The Finals of both men’s and women’s tournaments will also be shown live, on 16 July from 1900 BST. Two highlights programmes are scheduled for the main STV channel on 14 July and 17 July.

    A comprehensive list of all opening group fixtures are available on www.homelessworldcup.org.

    Mel Young, president and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup comments:

    “Today is a key milestone in the journey towards Glasgow 2016, when the tournament really starts to come alive. We’re sure the people of Glasgow will give Scotland rousing support during the tournament, and that the same Scottish spirit, will be extended to all our visitors.”

    Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said:

    With the announcement of these opening fixtures the excitement is really starting to build. The Scottish Government is proud to support the Homeless World Cup. I believe it’s one of the best examples of the power of sport to bring people together and change lives for the better.”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

    “Scotland may not be at Euro 2016 but the Tartan Army will still be able to see our men and women in action this summer at the Homeless World Cup. Excitement is building with today’s announcement of the official fixture list giving fans details of all matches.

    “There will be no more inspiring place to visit than George Square when the action finally gets underway early next month. It will be a fantastic celebration of football in one of our most iconic locations and I have no doubt that it will be a big hit with people of all ages.”

    Renowned sports journalist and one half of STV’s City Channel’s Peter & Roughie, Peter Martin said:

    “I’m looking forward to bringing all the action from the Homeless World Cup to viewers from across Scotland on STV Edinburgh and STV Glasgow and also the STV Player. With two highlights programmes planned for STV’s main channel, it’s fantastic that such an inspirational event is being given such prominence so that people can support the Scotland teams no matter where in the country they are.”

    Former Scotland striker Gordon Smith, who will co-present coverage of the Homeless World Cup with Peter Martin adds:

    "I'm looking forward to co-presenting coverage of the Homeless World Cup on STV. It promises to be an inspirational tournament with some incredible stories, kicking off with Scotland's games against Hong Kong and Norway. Hopefully thousands of people will come down to George Square over the course of the week to be part of what's sure to be a brilliant event."

    Team Scotland men’s player William McGeouch (55) from Glasgow comments:

    "Now it's starting to feel real. We cannot wait to walk out in front of a packed stadium on George Square to kick-off the Homeless World Cup. For all of us it's been a journey of hard work, and now we're excited to get things started against Hong Kong."

    Team Scotland women’s player Krissi Rodgers (25), also from Glasgow says:

    "Norway will present a really tough test, but we're feeling ready for the challenge. For all of us involved in Street Soccer Scotland's programmes this is a real journey. We've got fantastic team spirit, and we hope that, along with the support of the nation we will go far into the tournament."

     Key opening timings are:

    12.15pm          Teams will being their parade from Glasgow Caledonian University, along and down via Renfield Street, through past The Tron and then into George Square

    12.30pm                      Opening ceremony will begin as the players arrive and take their seats in one section of the stands

    12.40pm          The 64 captains will enter the main stadium and parade their 52 flags, one by one. Scotland will arrive last

    12.50pm          The Homeless World Cup men’s and women’s trophies will be presented to the crowd following live music from an artist to be announced 

    1.00pm                        Kick-off – Scotland v Hong Kong (men) followed by Scotland v Norway (women) 

    Category: International Events

  • 24 June 2016

    Highland golf events drive economic success

    Around 70,000 golf fans are set to flock to some of the north of Scotland’s most iconic courses in the coming weeks, providing a significant impact to the local visitor economy.   

    VisitScotland is investing a total of £1.4 million into events at Aviemore, Lossiemouth and Inverness which kick off a summer of nine professional golf events across the country.

    The SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart all take place over the next three weekends, with each event receiving funding support from the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate as part of the golf legacy programme from The 2014 Ryder Cup

    The SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge, which has been supported by VisitScotland since 2006, takes place this weekend (23 – 26 June) and is designed to leave a legacy by providing the opportunity for the next wave of Scottish touring professionals to advance to the next stage in their careers.

    The event, which is free to attend, takes place at Spey Valley Golf Club in Aviemore and will feature a host of family activities as well as a chance to see the best up-and-coming players in the world.

    The Hydro Challenge is followed by the the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier in Lossiemouth, Moray the following weekend (2 – 3 July).

    The free-to-attend event is part of the PGA of Scotland’s Tartan Tour Series with a £50,000 prize fund and five qualifying spots for the Scottish Open the following weekend up for grabs.

    In 2015, local amateur Calum Hill was one of the five qualifiers to earn a place in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open where he played a practice round with eventual champion Rickie Fowler.

    The final event sees return of the biggest golf event to take place annually in Scotland, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, Inverness (7-10 July). 

    The tournament, which occupies an envied position on the golf calendar, the week before The Open, boasts one of the strongest fields of any European Tour event with names such as Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson and Scotland's world number 24 Russell Knox, born in nearby Inverness, all set to tee off at Castle Stuart.

    Castle Stuart will also be showcased to a massive North American television audience thanks to a broadcast deal with NBC and The Golf Channel.  

    The event is the only regular European Tour event to be shown live on US network television with this year being the fourth consecutive year that the tournament has been broadcast in the US.

    As part of the agreement, VisitScotland’s ‘Spirit of Scotland’ cinematic adverts will also be screened throughout NBC’s coverage.    

    Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director said:

    “These high profile sporting events have an immense impact on tourism in the Highlands and surrounding areas, attracting golf fans from across Scotland and beyond. 

    “Events are a vitally important part of the local visitor economy with the ripple effect of event tourism felt in shops, hotels, restaurants and a wide variety of other businesses across the region.

    “Golf tourism is worth £220m to the country annually and hosting fantastic events like the ones here in the north of Scotland in the coming weeks only enhance further our country’s reputation as the Home of Golf.”

    HIGHLAND AND MORAY GOLF EVENTS SUMMER 2016

    Date: 23 – 26 June 2016

    Event: SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge

    Location: Spey Valley Golf Club, Aviemore

     Date:  2 – 3 July 2016

    Event: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Pre-Qualifier   

    Location: The Moray Golf Club, Lossiemouth

     Date: 7 – 10 July 2016

    Event: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open

    Location: Castle Stuart, Inverness

    Category: International Events

  • 22 June 2016

    Round-the-World Cyclist Mark Beaumont Gearing Up for Ballater Cycling Festival

    Record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont is gearing up to promote the benefits of cycling at the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival in September.

    The long-distance cyclist, who is known for completing an 18,000 mile round-the-world cycling challenge and who has tested the 100 mile route of the Etape Royale on a Penny Farthing, is supporting the Festival, which is takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September.

    The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is the latest addition to an exciting summer of events for the Ballater area. It takes places from 16 -18 September to complement the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale – one of Scotland’s most scenic and challenging closed route cycle sportives, starting and finishing in Ballater which aims to promote the benefits of cycling to people of all ages.

    The 100-mile circular route of the Quliter Cheviot Etape Royale takes participants on a traffic-free journey through historic Royal Deeside and Aberdeenshire, Moray’s Whisky Country, and back along the banks of the picturesque River Dee, allowing cyclists to take in the breathtaking scenery present throughout the region. For those who don’t feel quite up to the full distance, there are also 45 and 65 mile routes available.

    A series of family-friendly events and activities are on offer over the course of the weekend, such as a mountain bike skills circuit and a bike roadshow featuring weird, wonderful and wacky bikes from the past and the present. Those participating in Etape Royale are being encouraged to bring their families along to enjoy the festivities and the rest of what Ballater has to offer.

    Many local businesses are getting involved by organising activities for the weekend of the Festival. Both Cycle Highlands and The Bike Station will be offering bike rental and providing mechanical support to cyclists. Whilst the cafes in Ballater are extending their opening hours and will also be transformed into European street-style cafes, enabling customers to enjoy their food and drinks outside.

    David Wright of Aberdeenshire Council, says, “The whole of Ballater is looking forward to welcoming cyclists and their families to this year’s Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival.

    “Mark Beaumont is such a well-known name in the world of cycling and we’re confident that he will do a brilliant job in encouraging more people to take an interest in cycling, either as a hobby or as an alternative method of transport.

    “The entire weekend will be a celebration of all things cycling and there are plenty of activities for all the family to get involved in. For those who aren’t interested in bikes, there will be a farmer’s market on the Saturday, a climbing wall, and zorbing. A ceilidh has also been organised to welcome visitors to the area at the Victoria & Albert Halls on the evening of Saturday 17 September.

    “The weekend will help to highlight the excellent selection of cycling routes available in Ballater and Royal Deeside. The entire area is a cyclist’s dream, as there are scenic roads and recreational routes, plus plenty of mountain ranges for the adrenaline seekers to enjoy.”

    Richard Watts, owner of Cycle Highland and chairman of Ballater Business Association, says, “The Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Cycling Festival combines cycling and family fun into one weekend. Family members of the participants will be able cheer them on as start and finish Etape Royale in Ballater. Whilst the cyclists are away, visitors to the Festival can enjoy the wide range of activities, food and music events on offer.

     “It’s very inspiring to see local businesses getting behind the Festival by organising events which will enhance the overall experience for both visitors and residents of Ballater. This is the first year that the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is being held and the whole community is getting involved, so the atmosphere in the village over the weekend is certainly not to be missed.”

    The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September in Ballater. Supported by EventScotland and official charity sponsor Marie Curie, the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale gets underway on Sunday 18 September, the cycle sportive covers 100-miles and an ascent of 2,996m. For more information, visit: www.etaperoyale.com

    Category: National Events

  • 22 June 2016

    Friday fun guaranteed at Cowal Highland Gathering

    Cowal Highland Gathering’s Friday night gig, which was held for the first time last year, is back by popular demand.

     The Gig at the Gathering, sponsored once again by Argyll Ferries, proved a major hit with locals and visitors alike in 2015, and organisers are warning it is likely to be sold out well in advance this year.

     The event will not only feature top class ceilidh music but also a bar provided by McEwan and a specialist whisky and gin bar provided by Argyll Vintners plus a choice of food from Danny’s Snacks.

     As was the case last year, the Gig will be held in the Stadium’s Ceilidh Tent, and will be headlined by world famous ceilidh band Skipinnish, ably supported by the ever popular Heron Valley from Strachur and the Western Isles’ Trail West.

     Tickets for last year’s event were being snapped up within hours of the details being unveiled, and Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns is confident the same will happen this time around.

     “We introduced this event last year to complement all the other various attractions over the Gathering weekend, and there seemed to be a buzz about it from the moment the details were announced,” he added.

     “The evening itself was fantastic – great crowd, great atmosphere, great food, drink and music and a great way to get everyone fired up for the Gathering’s famous Saturday entertainments. 

     “We’re expecting not only many of the people who had tickets for last year’s Gig to want to come again this time around, but also lots of people who weren’t lucky enough to have been here last year but have heard about it and don’t want to miss out again. 

     “Tickets are limited and are likely to sell out fast, so I would recommend that anyone wanting to book their place at a fantastic night out buys theirs soon to avoid disappointment nearer the time.”

     "Last year's inaugural Gig at the Gathering was great fun, a huge success and a fantastic addition to the Cowal Gathering weekend," said Argyll Ferries marketing executive Laura Wohlgemuth. 

     "We are proud to continue that headline sponsorship from 2015 to this year and are absolutely sure that, with a new bigger venue, it will be even better.

     "It shows every sign of becoming an annual firm favourite."

     This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering runs from Thursday 25 – Saturday 27 August.

     For information or to book tickets, please visit the Gathering’s website at www.cowalgathering.com or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 21 June 2016

    RECORD CROWDS MAKE FORT WILLIAM MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP BEST EVER

    A record number of fans attended the 15th year of downhill mountain bike racing in the Scottish Highlands in what is being described as the best ever Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup.

     

    Organiser Rare Management has today revealed almost 22,000 fans attended the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour, over the course of the weekend (June 3 – 5), making it the most well attended UCI World Cup in Scotland yet.

     

    Taking place on the uncompromising slopes of Aonach Mor and the Nevis Range, riders and fans enjoyed glorious sunshine as part of a thrilling weekend of mountain bike action which saw Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton and South Africa’s Greg Minnaar storm to victory in the women’s and men’s finals.

     

    As the only UK leg on the UCI World Cup circuit, 8,300 fans watched the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour and downhill qualifying on Saturday (June 4), which was up 23 per cent on last year’s weather affected opening day.

     

    The record for a single day attendance was smashed on the Sunday (June 5), when 10,800 fans crammed into the Nevis Range finish arena, with an atmosphere to match any sporting event, anywhere in the world.

     

    Following the event’s success, the UCI has confirmed that the Mountain Bike World Cup will return to the Scottish Highlands in 2017 on 3 - 4 June.

     

    Event organiser, Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “This year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has surpassed all of our expectations thanks to the biggest ever crowds, emotional farewells, stunning gravity action and of course the glorious weather.

     

    “The event is a huge celebration of a sport that continues to grow in popularity thanks to the success of home grown riders such as Rachel Atherton who won her third Fort William World Cup title at the event. We’re thrilled by the number of fans from around the world who came out to support all of the elite riders and make 2016 the best we’ve ever experienced in 15 years.” 

     

    More than a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago, delivering a £33m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

     

    Peter MacFarlane, managing director at the Nevis Range, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many mountain bike fans to the Nevis Range. Not only did we see record numbers of spectators over the weekend, but we also had a record number of enthusiasts stay on beyond the weekend to test their skills on the downhill track when it reopened to the public.

     

    “The event has a massive economic impact on the Lochaber area – the hotels are filled to capacity over the weekend and all the local pubs and restaurants are packed each night. It is one of the busiest weekends of the summer for Fort William.”

     

    The multi-award winning event, which is supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, was the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar and this year marked the last competitive appearance of former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat.

     

    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been a tremendous success once again for both Fort William and Scotland, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the world’s best downhill riders. For spectators, the World Cup is second to none in terms of action and excitement, proving why Scotland truly is the perfect stage for major sporting events."

    Leader of The Highland Council’s Lochaber Committee, Councillor Thomas MacLennan, said: “As well as being a top sporting event, it’s been a great weekend away for anyone wanting to get close to the action and soak up some of the thrill and buzz of the sport in a spectacular location and I’d like to thank the community for making everyone feel so welcome. A bonus this year was the weather which was hot and sunny and really capped a successful weekend.

    “Fort William has developed an international reputation as the spiritual home of the sport, offering some of the best and most gruelling courses in the world. We have been delighted to work with the organisers to make sure the Highlands benefits from the increased number of visitors during the event, as well as showcasing our spectacular scenery to people across the world through the global media coverage the event attracts. The economic benefits are well recognised and have firmly placed the Highlands and Scotland on the world map for mountain biking and the organisers should be congratulated for once again delivering a top world-class event. We look forward to welcoming back competitors, their supporters and spectators.”

    To watch all of the highlights from the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William 2016, go to redbull.tv or for more information visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk

    Category: Cycling

  • 21 June 2016

    FESTIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE LAUNCHES POP-UP CITIES EXPO

     

    THE FESTIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE LAUNCHES POP-UP CITIES EXPO
    5 city pavilions installed at Mound Square
    www.foa2016.com @foa2016 #PopUpCities
    Edinburgh’s Mound Square will be transformed into a village of city pavilions from 21 June until 17 July as Pop-Up Cities Expo arrives in the Capital.  The impressive installation is a headline event of the Festival of Architecture and part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  The 5 metres square city pavilions represent Bergen, Dundee, Rotterdam, Vilnius and host city Edinburgh.  The event is free to the public and open from 10am – 10pm daily.  
    Leading the way, Edinburgh invited architects to compete for the Edinburgh pavilion, with the winning submission designed by Konishi Gaffney Architects. Dundee’s pavilion was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates.  The Tokyo-based architect’s V&A Museum of Design is currently under construction at its site on the new Dundee waterfront. This temporary pop-up structure will be the first-ever Kengo Kuma building to be completed in the UK.
    The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Curator Neil Baxter, CEO of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) was inspired by the pop-up villages in Budapest and has carefully chosen some of Europe’s most progressive cities to take part.  Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.
    Festival of Architecture 2016 is a year-long, Scotland-wide celebration of Scotland’s fantastic built environment.  Over the year there are over 400 events planned and to date over 350,000 people have attended a Festival event.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:
     
    “The RIAS Festival of Architecture is an important element of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. 
     
    “As well as celebrating Scottish achievement, the Year will explore new, emerging ideas on architecture and design and lets us share these with our International counterparts. The Pop-Up Cities exhibition will communicate innovative ideas to the public in interesting ways, capturing the public’s imagination.”
     
    Neil Baxter, CEO of RIAS said:
    “The Festival of Architecture 2016, like Scotland itself, is international in its outlook. We are delighted to welcome three European cities and architects from five nations to participate in our outdoor summer show in the Capital. These pavilions are superb works of architecture, all very different and all reflective of the very best of contemporary international design. Now please bring on the sun!”
    Cllr Ian Perry, Convener of the Planning Committee, the City of Edinburgh Council, said: 
    “Edinburgh is well known internationally for its iconic skyline and architecture and I am delighted we are hosting this prestigious event. I would encourage everyone to go along and see the pavilions on display.  I am delighted that Konishi Gaffney, an Edinburgh architect, is promoting innovative design from this city alongside that from other participating cities.”
    A series of talks are planned as part of Pop-up Cities Expo as follows:
     
    Cities Talks
    6 - 7 July 2016
    Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
    Hour-long presentations from each of the featured cities (programme to be announced)
    Tickets - free of charge
     
    Cities Symposium
    11 July 2016
    The Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
    A morning gathering of senior representatives, architects, artists and designers from the featured cities (programme to be announced).
    Tickets - free of charge
     
    For more information on the Festival of Architecture and full event details go to www.foa2016.com 

    5 city pavilions installed at Mound Square

    www.foa2016.com

    @foa2016 #PopUpCities #IAD2016

    Edinburgh’s Mound Square will be transformed into a village of city pavilions from 21 June until 17 July as Pop-Up Cities Expo arrives in the Capital.  

    The impressive installation is a headline event of the Festival of Architecture and part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  

    The 5 metres square city pavilions represent Bergen, Dundee, Rotterdam, Vilnius and host city Edinburgh.

    The event is free to the public and open from 10am – 10pm daily.  

    Leading the way, Edinburgh invited architects to compete for the Edinburgh pavilion, with the winning submission designed by Konishi Gaffney Architects. Dundee’s pavilion was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. The Tokyo-based architect’s V&A Museum of Design is currently under construction at its site on the new Dundee waterfront. This temporary pop-up structure will be the first-ever Kengo Kuma building to be completed in the UK.

    The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Curator Neil Baxter, CEO of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) was inspired by the pop-up villages in Budapest and has carefully chosen some of Europe’s most progressive cities to take part.

    Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.

    Festival of Architecture 2016 is a year-long, Scotland-wide celebration of Scotland’s fantastic built environment. Over the year there are over 400 events planned and to date over 350,000 people have attended a Festival event.

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said: “The RIAS Festival of Architecture is an important element of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations.  

    “As well as celebrating Scottish achievement, the Year will explore new, emerging ideas on architecture and design and lets us share these with our International counterparts. The Pop-Up Cities exhibition will communicate innovative ideas to the public in interesting ways, capturing the public’s imagination.” 

    Neil Baxter, CEO of RIAS said: “The Festival of Architecture 2016, like Scotland itself, is international in its outlook. We are delighted to welcome three European cities and architects from five nations to participate in our outdoor summer show in the Capital. These pavilions are superb works of architecture, all very different and all reflective of the very best of contemporary international design. Now please bring on the sun!”

    Cllr Ian Perry, Convener of the Planning Committee, the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh is well known internationally for its iconic skyline and architecture and I am delighted we are hosting this prestigious event. I would encourage everyone to go along and see the pavilions on display. I am delighted that Konishi Gaffney, an Edinburgh architect, is promoting innovative design from this city alongside that from other participating cities.”

    A series of talks are planned as part of Pop-up Cities Expo as follows: 

    Cities Talks

    6 - 7 July 2016

    Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

    Hour-long presentations from each of the featured cities (programme to be announced)

    Tickets - free of charge 

    Cities Symposium

    11 July 2016

    The Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LRA

    Morning gathering of senior representatives, architects, artists and designers from the featured cities (programme to be announced)

    Tickets - free of charge 

    For more information on the Festival of Architecture and full event details go to www.foa2016.com 

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 20 June 2016

    Full ticketing details for 2016’s Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time are announced

    Standard Life is today announced as title sponsor of the flagship Opening Event of the Edinburgh International Festival, in a partnership which will continue for three years until 2018. This year’s Opening Event, by Tony-award winning 59 Productions - creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project which opened the 2015 International Festival - has been named the Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time.

    This announcement marks the foundation of a new partnership between Standard Life and the Edinburgh International Festival over the next three years. With a mutual commitment to excellence, ambition, creativity and innovation, this partnership allows both organisations to celebrate their shared home of Edinburgh on an international stage.

    Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time is a free, outdoor artwork which will see the western façade of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock used as the canvas for digitally animated projections inspired by the city’s past, set to a specially compiled soundtrack by Scottish rock band Mogwai. Celebrating the start of Edinburgh’s summer festival season, the event takes place on Sunday 7 August, at 10.30pm and can be viewed from a specially created arena on Castle Terrace. Free tickets for the event arena are available from the International Festival from Monday 11 July. A second limited release of free tickets will be made available on Monday 1 August, with a very limited release of final tickets the day before the event on Saturday 6 August.

    Deep Time charts 350 million years of Edinburgh history, uncovering the unique geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity, exploring the intellectual legacy of the city – in particular the work of renowned Edinburgh scientist and thinker James Hutton – and celebrating the people who live and work in the city.  59 Productions will use cutting-edge 3d animation and projection techniques to create the event, working in partnership with academics from across the University of Edinburgh. Experts from science, arts and humanities will lend their expertise to help tell the story of the earth and the ideas behind Hutton’s theory of Deep Time.

    The partnership will support the International Festival in advancing its ambitions for future Opening Events, which will continue to deliver new and innovative work showcasing pioneering productions made in Scotland. Standard Life chooses sponsorships and partners who reflect its commitment to excellence and to helping people achieve their ambitions. By supporting the International Festival through this new sponsorship the company continues to build its investment in its home city and its people, and to advance its global brand.

    Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life, said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh International Festival in our sponsorship of this exciting and very unique Opening Event. We are a global business which is very proud of our Scottish roots and the pioneering ideas which have been developed here. This exciting highly visual and visceral event is another great example of innovative and creative work which will be enjoyed by the live audience and millions of others through the power of social media and online.’

    At the event launch Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome on board such a dynamic sponsor for our Opening Event. Standard Life is one of the world’s most forward-thinking financial organisations, whose continued engagement in the cultural life of Edinburgh and Scotland is instrumental in supporting work created here on a global stage, and makes them a natural partner for the International Festival. Standard Life has shown itself to be innovative and creative in its sponsorship of major events, and we look forward to working together to offer the people of Edinburgh and beyond a spectacular start to the summer festival season.’

    Paul Bush OBE, Visit Scotland’s Director of Events, said: ‘Following the huge success of The Harmonium Project in 2015, we are delighted that the Edinburgh International Festival has secured Standard Life as title sponsor for this year’s opening event, Deep Time. Supported through initial investment from EventScotland’s International Programme and other partner agencies, the International Festival has been able to develop these fantastic events, which now have secured a partner of global standing. Encompassing Edinburgh’s earliest origins right up to the present day, Deep Time will touch upon many of the key themes of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and bring together the skills and expertise which demonstrate why Scotland is the perfect stage for events’. 

    Leo Warner, Creative Director of 59 Productions and director of Deep Time said: ‘We are delighted to be returning to Edinburgh as newly-appointed Artistic Associates of the International Festival and are excited by the creative possibilities enabled by this new partnership with Standard Life. Deep Time gives us an opportunity to build on the success of The Harmonium Project and to create a spectacular event that is more deeply connected to the story of the city. Long-term partnerships like these allow us as artists to take bold creative decisions that advance our understanding of theatricality, spectacle and new technology, so we can continue to inspire and surprise our audiences’.

    For more information including how to book visit: www.eif.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 17 June 2016

    European Sports Federations already looking ahead to 2022 European Championships

     

    The European Sports Federation members of the European Championships Board have confirmed their intentions to take part in the 2022 edition of the multi-sport event.
    The Board members of the European Sports Federations of athletics (European Athletics), swimming (LEN), cycling (UEC), gymnastics (UEG), rowing (FISA), triathlon (ETU) and golf (ET & LET) all committed in principle to participating in 2022 after preliminary discussions on the host venue selection process for future editions of the championships.
    In 2018, the existing senior European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will be brought together for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin, with a new Golf Team Championships also being introduced onto the European stage.
    European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, co-chair of the European Championships Board, said: "There is already great interest from cities, regions and countries in the hosting of the 2022 European Championships, which shows the value of our innovative concept – for the sports and the bidding cities. It is obvious why all the participating sports want to carry on in 2022 as the European Championships is a sustainable event that brings together our existing championships without adding to a crowded calendar, and this is very attractive and affordable to a wide range of host cities."
    Fellow co-chair Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: "The inaugural edition in 2018 will deliver to the participating sports huge benefits in terms of aggregation, through a higher profile and reach through our media agreements with the European Broadcasting Union. This will ensure our long-term financial security as we are confident the championships will go from strength-to-strength through 2022 and beyond."
    Aileen Campbell, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: "This is a huge vote of confidence by the sports in this exciting new concept which we warmly welcome as we work to project Scotland as the perfect stage at the inaugural event in 2018."
    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "As Host City to six of the sports taking place in 2018 we are sure many other European cities will be interested in staging the 2022 European Championships due to its sustainable model,
    broadcast reach and potential to deliver meaningful economic, sporting and social legacy."
    The seven participating sports in the European Championships met in the German capital Monday for their regular Board meeting.
    The Board also received updates from 2018 hosts Berlin and Glasgow and Working Groups related to the overall timetable, brand, and ceremonies, celebrations and shared experiences. The next Board meeting will be in Rome on 27 October 2016.
    Around 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin through 7-12 August 2018 as part of the European Athletics Championships, while approximately 3,025 athletes will compete in Glasgow in the other six events between 1-12 August.
    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which holds the broadcast rights on all platforms, has already confirmed coverage across the top five markets for 2018, with BBC in the United Kingdom, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Televisions in France, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain. These countries represent a major part of the potential television audience of 1.03 billion.
    The European Championships is collectively run by the participating European Sports Federations and all decisions are made by the European Championships Board, which is jointly chaired by European Athletics and LEN. Each Federation is independently responsible for their own sport within the concept and all decisions to participate are taken in full compliance with the decision-making processes and governance rules of each Federation.
    www.europeanchampionships.com

    The European Sports Federation members of the European Championships Board have confirmed their intentions to take part in the 2022 edition of the multi-sport event.

     

    The Board members of the European Sports Federations of athletics (European Athletics), swimming (LEN), cycling (UEC), gymnastics (UEG), rowing (FISA), triathlon (ETU) and golf (ET & LET) all committed in principle to participating in 2022 after preliminary discussions on the host venue selection process for future editions of the championships.

     

    In 2018, the existing senior European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will be brought together for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin, with a new Golf Team Championships also being introduced onto the European stage.

     

    European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, co-chair of the European Championships Board, said: "There is already great interest from cities, regions and countries in the hosting of the 2022 European Championships, which shows the value of our innovative concept – for the sports and the bidding cities. It is obvious why all the participating sports want to carry on in 2022 as the European Championships is a sustainable event that brings together our existing championships without adding to a crowded calendar, and this is very attractive and affordable to a wide range of host cities."

     

    Fellow co-chair Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: "The inaugural edition in 2018 will deliver to the participating sports huge benefits in terms of aggregation, through a higher profile and reach through our media agreements with the European Broadcasting Union. This will ensure our long-term financial security as we are confident the championships will go from strength-to-strength through 2022 and beyond."

     

    Aileen Campbell, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: "This is a huge vote of confidence by the sports in this exciting new concept which we warmly welcome as we work to project Scotland as the perfect stage at the inaugural event in 2018."

     

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "As Host City to six of the sports taking place in 2018 we are sure many other European cities will be interested in staging the 2022 European Championships due to its sustainable model,broadcast reach and potential to deliver meaningful economic, sporting and social legacy."

     

    The seven participating sports in the European Championships met in the German capital Monday for their regular Board meeting.

     

    The Board also received updates from 2018 hosts Berlin and Glasgow and Working Groups related to the overall timetable, brand, and ceremonies, celebrations and shared experiences. The next Board meeting will be in Rome on 27 October 2016.Around 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin through 7-12 August 2018 as part of the European Athletics Championships, while approximately 3,025 athletes will compete in Glasgow in the other six events between 1-12 August.

     

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which holds the broadcast rights on all platforms, has already confirmed coverage across the top five markets for 2018, with BBC in the United Kingdom, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Televisions in France, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain. These countries represent a major part of the potential television audience of 1.03 billion.

     

    The European Championships is collectively run by the participating European Sports Federations and all decisions are made by the European Championships Board, which is jointly chaired by European Athletics and LEN. Each Federation is independently responsible for their own sport within the concept and all decisions to participate are taken in full compliance with the decision-making processes and governance rules of each Federation.

     

    www.europeanchampionships.com

    Category: International Events

  • 17 June 2016

    Last chance to nominate for the Scottish Thistle Awards

    Pictured: Edinburgh Marathon Festival – 2015/2016 Central South East Regional Winner, J Thomson Colour Printers Best Sporting Event)

    Whether it’s a musical weekend that stirs the soul, an endurance race to push you to your limits or a weekend of unforgettable sporting adventures, once again you can have your say in recognising the cultural and sporting events that deliver unforgettable experiences in Scotland.

    Deadline for nominations is midnight tonight (Friday 17 June 2016)

    Held annually, the Scottish Thistle Awards celebrates success, excellence and quality within the Scottish tourism industry and nominations are now open for 2016/17. 

    Using an online application form, nominations can be submitted by individuals, others in the industry or by the public across 15 regional categories including Best Cultural Event or Festival and Best Sporting Event. 

    Each category has been aligned with the Scottish Tourism Strategy 2020, reinforcing links between the industry and the prestigious awards programme.

    The Scottish Thistle Awards, now in their 24th year, are led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and sportscotland.

    Click here to nominate, enter or for further information about the Scottish Thistle Awards 2016/17.

    The awards are based on 5 regional programmes with the category winners of each region progressing to the National Finals for the ultimate accolade of National Winner.

    Nominations close at midnight on Friday 17 June

    Entries close on Friday 1st July

    The full list of national Scottish Thistle Award categories 2016/2017 is as follows:

    • Most Hospitable Hotel
    • Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House
    • Best Holiday Accommodation
    • Best Informal Eating Experience
    • Best Restaurant Experience
    • Friendliest Pub/Bar
    • Best Cultural Event or Festival
    • Best Sporting Event
    • Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience
    • Working Together For Tourism
    • Best Visitor Attraction
    • Hospitality Hero
    • Innovation in Tourism
    • Regional Rising Star
    • Regional Ambassador

    Category: Industry News

  • 16 June 2016

    Edinburgh International Film Festival opens with Tommy's Honour World Premiere

    The 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival opened last night with the World Premiere of Tommy’s Honour. Director Jason Connery and stars Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Jack Lowden (War and Peace) were all in attendance at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
     
    Shot on location, the film tells the enthralling true story of pioneering father and son duo Old Tom and Young Tommy Morris, the founders of modern golf in Scotland.
     
    Director of Events at VisitScotland, Paul Bush OBE, said: “Tommy’s Honour celebrates Scotland’s beginnings as the home of golf, an accolade we are proud of to this day. The stunning shots of Scotland’s east coast absolutely highlight why we are the perfect stage for golfing events and much more.” 

    The 2016 Edinburgh Film Festival is supported by EventScotland and runs until Sunday 26 June. It showcases 61 features from 46 countries including 22 World Premieres, 5 International Premieres, 17 European Premieres and 85 UK Premieres.

    Click here for more information.

    Photo: Pako Mera © EIFF

    Category: Film

  • 15 June 2016

    The golden age of distance running – Japanese pensioners to achieve 15-year dream of taking part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

    Twenty-one Japanese pensioners – the oldest of whom is 80 – are about to achieve their dream of taking part in the iconic Baxters Loch Ness Marathon after spending the past 15 years limbering up.

    Seasoned runners from the Full Hyaku Club will finally be able to find the time to travel to Scotland and complete the 26.2 mile course around the world famous loch because they are now retired.

    But they have certainly not been idle while waiting to make the trip from the Land of the Rising Sun - most of the Tokyo-based club members run marathons every weekend.

    The oldest member of the contingent is 80-year-old Shigeru Asano, while Hitoshi Ishimori is the baby of the group at the tender age of 61.

    Full Hyaku Club member Tsutomu Kaji says his team mates cannot wait to arrive in the Highland capital of Inverness on September 25, and get under starter’s orders for the marathon event.

    He adds, “They first heard about the Loch Ness Marathon 15 years ago trough a Japanese marathon magazine and they really wanted to go. But they were all working and just didn’t have the time to travel such a distance.

    “Now they are all retired so they all have time to run. They have waited so long to be able to take part, and they are very excited. They are so looking forward to arriving in Scotland and seeing Loch Ness.”

    Full Hyaku translates as to run a marathon 100 times or more, and to do so happily. All members must have run at least 100 marathons, and tend to run 26.2 miles every weekend.

    There are about 400 members of the club – most of them are in their 70s – and one even held a world record for continuously running over the course of 100 days. The club supports runners of all abilities, but especially those who are middle or back of the pack marathoners.

    Distance running has an incredible heritage in Japan. It took off after the Second World War – decades before other nations caught on - during the rebuilding process.

    It was commonplace for companies to set up running teams to raise morale amongst their workforce, and as many running events were sponsored by newspapers, it resulted in huge amounts of coverage which captured the public’s imagination.

    Although Kenya and Ethiopia are now considered home to some of the world’s best marathon runners, Japan produced many world class athletes and dominated during the 60s and 70s.

    However, even in a nation obsessed with distance running, members of the Full Hyaku Club are considered to be legendary.

    “I am sure to have so many older marathon runners will be unusual at the Loch Ness Marathon, but even here in Japan the club is out of the ordinary,” adds Kaji.

    Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running race director Malcolm Sutherland says the organising team is looking forward to welcoming the Japanese contingent.

    “We have had one or two runners from Japan over the years – last year we welcomed 81-year-old Koichi Kitabake – but this is by far the biggest group that we have seen,” says Malcolm.

    “The club has an incredible pedigree – they are clearly very passionate about running - and we are honoured that they have kept the Loch Ness Marathon in mind after all these years.

    “I think they are truly inspirational. From the very first year we held the marathon, we wanted this to be an inclusive event. Whether you are going to run in under three hours or take over seven; whether it is your 100th marathon or first; whether you are 18 or 80 – everyone will be made to feel welcome and we will celebrate everyone’s achievements.”

    The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running also comprises the River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge and River Ness 5K as well the Wee Nessie fun run for pre-school children.

    Guaranteed places are available for the marathon until 1 July, with charity, club and overseas places available thereafter. Entry for the 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, 5K and Wee Nessie will remain open until September.

    The finish line is based around the Event Village at the Bught Park in Inverness, where runners and spectators can enjoy the Baxters Food and Drink Fayre, a Sports Expo, live music and activities for children.

    The lead charity partner of the event is Macmillan Cancer Support, and there are five lead affiliate charities - Alzheimer Scotland, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, Highland Hospice, MND Scotland and MS Society Scotland. There are also 20 other affiliate charities partnering with the event.

    Find out more about the day at www.lochnessmarathon.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon

    Category: Athletics

  • 15 June 2016

    Scotland’s Boat Show 2016

    Scotland’s Boat Show 2016 (SBS16) takes place at Kip Marina this October on the 14th, 15th & 16th of October with new exhibitors and attractions all set to delight the expected 16,000 visitors.

     Already the largest boat show in Scotland and the largest brokerage show in the UK, SBS16 is proud to be part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and has received support from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Scotland’s Boat Show again this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the show will undoubtedly prove popular with visitors who will not only get to see the great array of boats of all shapes and sizes on display, but will get to experience the fantastic programme of on-water taster sessions, music, food and drink exhibitors and children’s activities on offer.”

     Leading the way with new boats at SBS16, Inspiration Marine Group are building on the success of last year’s show and increasing their Hanse Yacht exhibition. The range on display will be further enhanced this year with the Scottish debut of their newest model, the Hanse 315, which is European Yacht of the Year, plus, a chance to step on board the stunning new Hanse 505.

     Michael Schmidt & Partner are already predicting a record show and prompting Miles Stratton to say

    “Following on from what was arguably the UK’s largest brokerage boat show in 2015, Kip Boat Sales are looking forward to an even bigger event this year. 2016’s show will be the biggest ever line-up of quality used yachts and motorboats for sale in the UK!”

     Stan Prosser of Marine Sales Scotland is another major exhibitor who is expanding his already impressive display of powerboats and motor yachts this year, “Scotland’s Boat Show ranks as the most important show in the North of Britain and each year we have seen a massive increase in both visitor numbers and sales. For anyone interested in buying or selling, Kip is the place to be and this year Marine Sales Scotland will have our biggest ever display.”

     On shore there are many new exhibitors situated both in the RYA Scotland Pavilion and the new ‘Get On The Water’ Pavilion which will be the complete novice’s introduction to sailing, boating and all other types of water sports.

    Inside, visitors will be able to find everything they need to know to try or buy a boat, jet skis, canoe or windsurfer for the first time. Prestigious dinghy builders Hartley Boats, as well as expanding their main exhibition stand to become the biggest at SBS16, will also be exhibiting three entry level boats in the get On The Water Pavilion and offering beginners a chance to try them out or to take advantage of an exclusive show package that gives them everything from life jackets to lessons! 

     Elsewhere on shore there are new additions to the cars on display as, for the first time, we welcome both Lamborghini and Tesla, who join Porsche and Morgan to complete a remarkable display of iconic motor vehicles for visitors to enjoy.

     Finally, Scotland’s Boat Show are delighted to welcome West College Scotland as a major partner as they present the newly expanded Scottish Food & Drink Pavilion. With unique Scottish food and drink producers in a ‘street market’ style setting, plus a live demonstration kitchen and stage area where visitors can enjoy displays from a renowned Celebrity Chef working with the Hospitality Students of West College Scotland. The identity of the mystery chef will be revealed shortly but, suffice to say, his popularity means that advance tickets for the demonstrations are expected to be highly prized!

     Scotland’s Boat Show 2016 at Kip Marina, Inverkip takes place on the 14th, 15th & 16th October 2016 – for more details on exhibiting or visiting visit www.scotlandsboatshow.co.uk or call 01475 521485

    Category: National Events

  • 15 June 2016

    Spectacular solstice festival brings celebration of arts and science to Dumfries & Galloway

     

    Spectacular solstice festival brings celebration of arts and science to Dumfries & Galloway
    A summer solstice festival is expected to attract crowds to Dumfries and Galloway for a spectacular midsummer celebration of art, science and music. 
    The three day festival at the Crawick Multiverse – Scotland’s world-class cosmic artland – and neighbouring Sanquhar will bring together leading artists and scientists with members of the community. Highlights include the official unveiling of a new mosaic from the globally-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks; the opening of an exhibition featuring his work alongside that of artist, designer and performer Alex Rigg; and a series of fascinating science lectures. 
    The Duke of Buccleuch, who funded the £1million, 55-acre Crawick Multiverse, said: “The summer solstice marks the first birthday of this unique site which, once a coal mine, has become a truly inspirational artland representing exciting discoveries and theories of the universe.  There is no better way to celebrate its tremendously successful first year than a weekend dedicated to celebrating art, science, and the fusion of the two – with the local community right at the heart of the festivities.”
    The festival kicks off on Friday, June 24, with the opening of the collaborative Landscape of Waves exhibition hosted by A’ the Airts at Merz Studios in Sanquhar. Charles Jencks’ work reveals how the landscape and skyscape are made up of waveforms; while Alex Rigg will present costume created in response to the site and give an insight into his approach for making performance and design. 
    Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, will inspire artists and scientists alike with a talk at Sanquhar town hall on ‘Our Universe in Pictures, Poetry and Music’. Dame Jocelyn is credited with having discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy – one of the most significant discoveries of the 21st century.
    Saturday, June 25, will feature lectures around the theme ‘Our Sun, Our Star’ at Sanquhar Town Hall, organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, featuring: Professor Ineke De Moortel of the University of St Andrews, Professor Yvonne Elsworth FRS of the University of Birmingham, Professor Lyndsay Fletcher of the University of Glasgow and Professor Jim Wild of the University of Lancaster.
    On Sunday, June 26, the Festival of the Solstice comes to the Crawick Multiverse – an unforgettable showcase of performances by regional schools, artists and community groups. A stunning new addition to the site will be unveiled – Charles Jencks’ mosaic entitled Sun Flare – Earth Shield. It represents the ‘dance of life and death’ between solar flares and the protective rotation/electromagnetism of the Earth.  
    Visitors will also enjoy pipers and Riding of the Marches before the day culminates in a not-to-be-missed performance from Alex Rigg and his acclaimed theatrical dance company Oceanallover entitled ‘Not to Scale’. The performance explores form and movement derived from microbes, bacteria and insects too small for the eye to see alongside giant structures of human construction.  At 6pm the Collision of the Galaxies / Burning of the Multiverse will be represented through a fire display and a musical performance in the Crawick Multiverse’s desert.
    For more information or to buy tickets for the summer solstice festival activities, visit www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk.  You can keep track of what’s happening at the Crawick Multiverse via the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawickmultiverse or check out @CMVerse on Twitter. 

    A summer solstice festival is expected to attract crowds to Dumfries and Galloway for a spectacular midsummer celebration of art, science and music. 
    The three day festival at the Crawick Multiverse – Scotland’s world-class cosmic artland – and neighbouring Sanquhar will bring together leading artists and scientists with members of the community. Highlights include the official unveiling of a new mosaic from the globally-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks; the opening of an exhibition featuring his work alongside that of artist, designer and performer Alex Rigg; and a series of fascinating science lectures. 
    The Duke of Buccleuch, who funded the £1million, 55-acre Crawick Multiverse, said: “The summer solstice marks the first birthday of this unique site which, once a coal mine, has become a truly inspirational artland representing exciting discoveries and theories of the universe.  There is no better way to celebrate its tremendously successful first year than a weekend dedicated to celebrating art, science, and the fusion of the two – with the local community right at the heart of the festivities.”
    The festival kicks off on Friday, June 24, with the opening of the collaborative Landscape of Waves exhibition hosted by A’ the Airts at Merz Studios in Sanquhar. Charles Jencks’ work reveals how the landscape and skyscape are made up of waveforms; while Alex Rigg will present costume created in response to the site and give an insight into his approach for making performance and design. 
    Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, will inspire artists and scientists alike with a talk at Sanquhar town hall on ‘Our Universe in Pictures, Poetry and Music’. Dame Jocelyn is credited with having discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy – one of the most significant discoveries of the 21st century.
    Saturday, June 25, will feature lectures around the theme ‘Our Sun, Our Star’ at Sanquhar Town Hall, organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, featuring: Professor Ineke De Moortel of the University of St Andrews, Professor Yvonne Elsworth FRS of the University of Birmingham, Professor Lyndsay Fletcher of the University of Glasgow and Professor Jim Wild of the University of Lancaster.
    On Sunday, June 26, the Festival of the Solstice comes to the Crawick Multiverse – an unforgettable showcase of performances by regional schools, artists and community groups. A stunning new addition to the site will be unveiled – Charles Jencks’ mosaic entitled Sun Flare – Earth Shield. It represents the ‘dance of life and death’ between solar flares and the protective rotation/electromagnetism of the Earth.  
    Visitors will also enjoy pipers and Riding of the Marches before the day culminates in a not-to-be-missed performance from Alex Rigg and his acclaimed theatrical dance company Oceanallover entitled ‘Not to Scale’. The performance explores form and movement derived from microbes, bacteria and insects too small for the eye to see alongside giant structures of human construction.  At 6pm the Collision of the Galaxies / Burning of the Multiverse will be represented through a fire display and a musical performance in the Crawick Multiverse’s desert.
    For more information or to buy tickets for the summer solstice festival activities, visit www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk.  You can keep track of what’s happening at the Crawick Multiverse via the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawickmultiverse or check out @CMVerse on Twitter. 

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 14 June 2016

    EVERY BAND A WINNER AT PIPING AT FORRES

    A hamper full of goods from Moray and the surrounding area will be given to each of the 127 Pipe Bands competing at Piping At Forres, sponsored by Benromach Speyside Single Malt Whisky, to raffle or auction towards the costs of attending Pipe Band competitions.

     As well as putting in many hours of practice, competing bands must pay for accommodation, food and transport which can mean considerable costs for bands, especially those who have ferry or air fares to pay.   Even local bands have to meet the costs of transport and catering. 

     The companies who have contributed to this exclusive Piping At Forres Hamper include:  Benromach Speyside Single Malt Whisky; Ashers of Nairn; Baxters of Fochabers;  Gardiners of Scotland;  Gordon & MacPhail;  Hamlyn’s Oatmeal and Porridge Oats; Mackay’s jams; Nairn’s Oatcakes; Speyside Water;  Johnstons of Elgin;  Mackie’s of Scotland;  Summer House Drinks; Deans Shortbread; Walkers Shortbread and Windswept Craft Beers.

     Joanna Taylor, a Director of Forres Events Ltd, which runs the event as not-for-profit said:  “This is a wonderful way of supporting the pipebands who make a considerable effort to be here and showcasing the great produce we have in Moray and the local area.  We are very grateful to the companies who have contributed to the hamper and we hope the bands will take these hampers back home to raffle and use the money to come back to Forres on Saturday 24 June 2017.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is known the world-over for the quality of its food and drink offer, so it is terrific that all bands competing at Piping at Forres will leave with a wonderful hamper to contribute towards their fundraising efforts.

     “This terrific gesture from some of Scotland’s most famous suppliers will help each band, including those who have travelled from far and wide, to cover some of their costs and we’re sure that this taste of Scotland will prove very popular with the eventual recipient.”

     This weekend (18/19th) is the last chance to buy advance tickets online or in shops.  From Sunday tickets will only be available at the event at the full price.

     Until Saturday 18 June in shops and 19 June online tickets at advance prices are available at Beaver Travel in Forres and Elgin; Brodie Countryfare; The Bookshop, Logie Steading; Brambles Boutique, Nairn; Ewe & Me, Aberlour and Grantown-on-Spey or online at www.pipingatforres.com.   Tickets are in the form of wristbands allowing the ticket holder to exit and enter the park throughout the day.

     Advance ticket prices offer a saving over the price of tickets sold on the day as follows:-

     Adult (18-59)                                      £11.00   (£13.00 on day)

    Youth (12-17)                                     £7.00       (£8.00 on day)

    Senior Citizens (60 +)                      £10.00  (£11.00 on day)

    Children under 12                            Free of charge when accompanied by an adult, although they must                                                         be in possession of a wristband.

    Family  Ticket                                     2 adults, 2 youths             £30.00  (£32.00 on day).

     In addition to the Piping there will be a Retail & Craft village and a Food & Drink village, including a Walkers shortbread sponsored marquee featuring some of the finest produce in Moray and the surrounding area.   Brodie Countryfare  café will be serving teas and coffees in a seated area.  There will also be beer tents, including craft beers, fairground areas, and other entertainment and stalls for all the family including the World Tattie Scone Championship.

     Anyone interested in volunteering at the event who has not already done so is invited to contact Sandra MacIver on volunteer@pipingatforres.com.

     Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the Title Sponsor of the Championships which will be held 25 June 2016 in Grant Park, Forres.  

     

     

    Category: International Events

  • 14 June 2016

    Dragon spectacular returns to Monikie Country Park

    It may be Summer, with long days and light nights, but trolls, a fairy glen and even a path of spiders are set to take up residence in the dark woods of Monikie Country Park this Autumn.

    Following the success of the inaugural DragonQuest, which attracted over 5,000 visitors last year, tickets are now on sale for the follow-up Augmented Reality (AR) light show ‘Dragon Matrix’.

    The theatrical, mystical spectacular will see visitors embark on a quest to track six dragon stones, stolen from the Museum of Dragons, a brand new fantastical installation located in the woods of Monikie from Wednesday 5 until Monday 31 October 2016 (except 10, 17 & 24).

     The eagerly-anticipated tickets, for which there has been a waiting list since earlier this year, are now on sale via www.ticketsource.co.uk/angusalive or the Webster Memorial Theatre in Arbroath.

     Vision Mechanics, the Edinburgh theatre company behind ‘Big Man Walking’, ‘Giants in the Forest’ and ‘Embrace’, is creating the event, which will once again see the woods lit up and inhabited by huge, illuminated installations against a backdrop of music, stunning lighting and giant figures.

    Symon Macintyre, Artistic Director, Vision Mechanics said, “Again, the show will incorporate cutting-edge Augmented Reality technologies alongside more traditional, theatrical treats.  Last year, through a mobile App, visitors could capture and reveal a collection of amazing creatures. This year, there are many more and they talk, so visitors are once again urged to bring their smart phones and tablets.  By downloading the Dragon Matrix App in advance, they can chance their luck on the Path of Spiders, see flying fairies, sneaky spiders and terrible trolls.”

    ‘Dragon Matrix’ is supported by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.  For the first time, the event is also supported by The Space, which works with artists and arts organisations to create great art and reach new audiences using digital technologies and platforms. From learning and skills through to funding and commissioning, it supports the best new and original talent from the UK. The Space was founded by the BBC and Arts Council England.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, VisitScotland, said, “The Augmented Reality show will once again capture the imaginations of visitors with its spectacular display of light, sound and visuals this autumn. Through the stunning setting of the Monikie Country Park and the creative talents of the organisers at Vision Mechanics, Dragon Matrix shows why Scotland truly is the perfect stage for events."

     Kirsty Hunter, ANGUSalive Chief Executive said, “The dark nights of autumn seem far away as we all enjoy some warm summer sun, but ANGUSalive is already counting the days until the dragons return to Angus for Dragon Matrix.  Last year’s event was a tremendous success with those who enjoyed the thrill of the dark wood extravaganza giving the experience fantastic reviews.  Monikie Country Park provided the perfect setting, with location and event complimenting one another brilliantly. We are delighted the dragons will be coming to visit us again and look forward to welcoming them back to Monikie.”

     Fiona Morris, Chief Executive and Creative Director of The Space added, “I’m delighted that The Space is supporting Dragon Matrix in 2016, Scotland’s year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Our investment will help the event increase its reach and engagement digitally, ensuring even more people are able to enjoy and explore this exciting experience.”

     Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/angusalive.

    Tickets are also available from the Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1AW - telephone 01241 435800, email info@webstertheatre.co.uk or via www.webstertheatre.co.uk.

    The Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-6pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm. On performance nights, the Box Office hours will be extended, changing to Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-7.30-pm and on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm-7.30pm.

    Further information is available at:

    Website – dragonmatrix.org.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 10 June 2016

    EIFF ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET FOR SPECIAL GUESTS

     

    Guests from around the world will descend upon the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) this month to celebrate its landmark 70th Edition, taking place between the 15th and 26th June. An incredible mix of award-winning filmmakers, acclaimed producers, and on-screen stars have been confirmed to attend the Festival with a host of leading names set to attend special events and premieres and participate on the star-studded competition juries.
    Hollywood star Meg Ryan will visit the Festival with her directorial debut ITHACA; Tom Riley will attend the World Premiere of STARFISH, and Robert Sheehan will return to the city with the cast of Goa-set thriller JET TRASH.
    Diane Henderson, EIFF Deputy Artistic Director said: “In this special year we're proud to welcome so many exciting and talented guests from all over the world. Some we're lucky enough to welcome back and others are here for the very first time. If you'd like the chance to rub shoulders with your favourite actor, director, animator or producer, or the opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow, then EIFF has it all. Join us at a screening, a Youth Hub event, or pop into EIFF HQ at Filmhouse, where guests and audiences will mingle until late every night of the Festival.”

    Guests from around the world will descend upon the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) this month to celebrate its landmark 70th Edition, taking place between the 15th and 26th June. An incredible mix of award-winning filmmakers, acclaimed producers, and on-screen stars have been confirmed to attend the Festival with a host of leading names set to attend special events and premieres and participate on the star-studded competition juries.

    Hollywood star Meg Ryan will visit the Festival with her directorial debut ITHACA; Tom Riley will attend the World Premiere of STARFISH, and Robert Sheehan will return to the city with the cast of Goa-set thriller JET TRASH.

    Diane Henderson, EIFF Deputy Artistic Director said: “In this special year we're proud to welcome so many exciting and talented guests from all over the world. Some we're lucky enough to welcome back and others are here for the very first time. If you'd like the chance to rub shoulders with your favourite actor, director, animator or producer, or the opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow, then EIFF has it all. Join us at a screening, a Youth Hub event, or pop into EIFF HQ at Filmhouse, where guests and audiences will mingle until late every night of the Festival.”

    Confirmed for the Michael Powell Jury are In Person-participant and star of screen and stage Kim Cattrall; talented Spanish filmmaker and actress Icíar Bollaín; and actor Clancy Brown, who will also be in attendance for the special 30th anniversary screening of the new 4K version of Scottish favourite HIGHLANDER where he will also be present to complete a Q&A following the screening. Also on juror duties this year are Braveheart-star Angus Macfadyen who will sit on the International Jury, and also present screenings of his directional debut MACBETH UNHINGED, as well as actor Sadie Frost and Matt Mueller, editor of Screen International. Veteran producer Steve Abbott, Fife-native Dougray Scott, who stars in horror-thriller THE REZORT which premieres at EIFF, and Doctor Who favourite Freema Agyeman will sit on the Documentary Jury, and acclaimed short film producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson, film development executive Hilary Davis and filmmaker Ashley Horner will be judging the Short titles in competition.

    Participating in the much-anticipated In-Person Events will be cult indie auteur Kevin Smith, talking through a career that includes the likes of Clerks, Dogma and Red State. The filmmaker, a previous winner of the Audience Award at Edinburgh, will be joined on-stage by his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, rising star of his latest comedy YOGA HOSERS. Smith will also attend both screenings of YOGA HOSERS with his daughter, chilling horror anthology HOLIDAYS, and BATMAN: THE MOVIE. In addition to the aforementioned Golden Globe-winning Kim Cattrall, audiences will also have the opportunity to hear from the prolific Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, whose MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE screens at the festival and Outlander star and iconic on-screen figurehead of the Cinéma du look movement Dominique Pinon, who will also be attending the screening of the film that made his name, the seminal kaleidoscopic thriller DIVA, introducing the film alongside its iconic director Jean-Jacques Beineix, whose BETTY BLUE is also set to screen over the course of the festival.

    Hollywood legend Meg Ryan will be in attendance at the Festival with the directorial debut of her elegant and moving period film ITHACA, which features a cameo from her Sleepless in Seattle co-star Tom Hanks; Golden Globe-nominated Dundee native Brian Cox has two films premiering at the Festival, and will be in Edinburgh for both THE CARER and THE FORSAKEN while indie darling Robert Sheehan will return with the cast of hedonistic thriller JET TRASH. Other notable guests gracing the Festival this month include Will Poulter, Sebastian de Souza, Preston Thompson, Alma Jodorowsky and director Chris Foggin all in attendance for the screening of coming-of-age drama KIDS IN LOVE, which stars Cara Delevigne; director Rebecca Miller, in town to present love triangle comedy MAGGIE’S PLAN, starring Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke; Brady Corbet, director of feature debut psychodrama THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER; filmmaker Jean-Paul Rappeneau for the UK Premiere of French drama FAMILIES; Hans Petter Moland, director of A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH and much-loved Golden Globe-nominated star of dystopian thriller THE WHITE KING, Jonathan Pryce. EIFF patron James Cosmo will also join Clancy Brown at the HIGHLANDER screening; director Nick Love will be in attendance of the screening of AMERICAN HERO; and the legendary filmmaker Lizzie Borden attend a screening of her film REGROUPING, which has only been screened to the public four times, once in 1976 when it premiered at the EIFF. Mark Cousins will be at the Festival to present the UK Premiere of his provocative new work, BIGGER THAN THE SHINING, and Ian Megibben, Cinematographer of FINDING DORY will be here to present the film and launch EIFF’s YOUTH HUB with a special animation event; HOW TO SEE THE SEA, CRAFTING THE LIGHTING OF FINDING DORY.

    Celebrated musician Anton Newcombe, (Brian Jonestown Massacre), will join Director Philip John for the World Premiere of MOON DOGS for which he provided the fantastic soundtrack. They will be joined by the cast including Jamie Sives, Niall Greig Fulton, Shauna Macdonald, Jack Parry Jones, Tam Dean Burn, Christy O’ Donnel and Tara Lee. Michael Smiley will be in attendance supporting the screening of MY NAME IS EMILY and Tom Riley will attend the

    World Premiere of STARFISH. Further guests will be confirmed in due course and will be announced on the Festival’s official website.

    www.edfilmfest.org.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 09 June 2016

    Entries open for the UK Event Awards 2016

    Now in their 7th successful year these awards exist to recognise and reward those often behind the scenes. Whether you are an event organiser, promoter, supplier, in-house team or venue the UK Event Awards is your platform to shine in 2016.

    To register to enter visit: www.ukeventawards.com

    Category: Industry News

  • 07 June 2016

    KINGSBARNS GOLF LINKS SOARS TO CHART SUCCESS

    Kingsbarns Golf Links has recorded an unprecedented leap in one of golf’s most respected course rankings. The significant move, which resulted in the renowned European Tour venue jumping 10 places and entering Golf World’s top 10, firmly establishes the North East Fife course as one of the UK’s must-play golfing venues.

    The impressive hike is published in the July issue of the magazine which features the listing in a dedicated golf travel supplement. It is also the first time the Top 100 Golf Courses in Britain & Ireland directory has been produced using a modified set of criteria and a revised, more transparent marking system.

    “Kingsbarns has had a strong presence in the Top 100 since it became one of the list’s highest-ever entries immediately after it opened,” explained Chris Bertram, Golf World’s Top 100 editor. “There has always been a great deal of fondness for the links, with plenty among the panel eager to see it rise into the top 10.”

    He continued: “One of the benefits of the newly-adopted marking system is its ability to pinpoint themes more accurately. Kingsbarns scored predictably highly in the aesthetics category but also in terms of its overall design and memorability. For more than one panellist, it was in their top three and its entry into the top 10 feels like a move that will become established rather than fleeting.”

    Kingsbarns, which has co-hosted the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for over a decade and will stage the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017, has become a firm favourite among both panellists and some of the world’s greatest golfers. Three-times Major winner Rory McIlroy described it as “a great golf course”, while Colin Montgomerie said “all 18 holes at Kingsbarns are wonderful”.

    This latest commendation detailed in the biennial poll is particularly noteworthy as it not only represents a 10-position jump but also propels the links into the hallowed surroundings of the top 10 best courses in Britain and Ireland. As Kingsbarns chief executive Alan Hogg pointed out, the move is especially significant given the calibre of courses it joins.

    “We are delighted to be recognised in such a prestigious list with some of the very best golf courses in the world. I think it is especially significant that we moved so many places within the top 20 itself,” he said. “To rise up so far in one edition represents a remarkable endorsement from the highly experienced and knowledgeable Golf World panellists. It’s not something we take lightly.”

    Although the course and the facilities that surround Kingsbarns have remained relatively unchanged since it opened, there is an ongoing programme of improvement designed to refine the look and feel of the course. As Hogg noted, the Golf World poll will provide a new source of inspiration to deliver the optimum golfing experience.

    “We continually seek to improve the golf course without disturbing the original Kyle Phillips design,” he said. “The transparency of Golf World’s modified criteria will give us a good insight into how we can further improve the presentation of the course and the levels of service we provide.”

    In addition to providing pay-and-play links golf facilities and hosting some of golf’s biggest names, Kingsbarns recently welcomed golf’s governing body’s state of the art test centre which shares its highly-spec’d driving range. The new R&A Ball and Equipment Test Centre will house ball and club testing and research as part of the R&A’s worldwide responsibilities to the game of golf.

    This association with excellence has created a growing reputation for unforgettable golfing experiences which are reflected in the latest Golf World findings. “The ethos behind Kingsbarns has always been about creating memorable golfing experiences where a few shared hours on the links can mean so much,” noted Art Dunkley, director of Kingsbarns Golf Links. “It has always been our aim to be regarded as one of the best, so this particular accolade is especially pleasing.”

    Category: Golf

  • 06 June 2016

    Rich praise for Fort William after best ever World Cup

    The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William was hailed as the ‘best yet’ as glorious weather and high-octane action combined to create the most memorable of events over the weekend. 
     
    British rider Rachel Atherton demonstrated her unmatched prowess over the Highland course as she took home her ninth consecutive title to a rapturous home support.
     
    In the men’s contest, Greg Minnaar, the most successful downhill biker of all time, ensured a carbon copy of last year’s final result, holding off America’s Aaron Gwin to take top honours.
     
    An estimated crowd in excess of 10,000 within the finishing bowl welcomed the riders home, producing a magnificent spectacle which demonstrated that Fort William remains the finest spectator experience for mountain bike enthusiasts worldwide.
     
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Fort William holds a special status within the sport of mountain biking, and it’s not difficult to see why following the incredible scenes over the weekend.
     
    “The event continues to grow in size and stature and is an example of tremendous organisation and presentation that is completely unmatched in the sport.
     
    “Congratulations to the team at Rare Management for delivering yet another sensational Fort William World Cup and one that will live long in the memory for all of those in attendance. It’s a clear example of what makes Scotland the perfect stage for events.”

    Following her victory, the ninth in-a-row on the World Cup circuit, Atherton lavished praise on the Fort William and the passion of the home support. She said: “Fort William is so incredible. I struggled here as a younger rider, and it took a long time to get to grips with the track. I was second here six times, and then suddenly it clicked.

    “You’ve got to be so strong and so tough here – Fort William’s the only track I race completely out of control! There’s something about it that makes you ride on the edge. You can do that though because the crowd is cheering and saying your name all the way down and that makes you not want to crash, it really makes you dig deep and want to stay on.


    “It’s such a family event here at Fort William, there are so many families here with their kids that all ride and all the kids know the riders’ names. It’s so incredible, and so different to any other race. It just keeps getting better every year!”


    The Mountain Bike World Cup is supported by EventScotland.

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 06 June 2016

    Craig Gordon a Big Hit as Badminton World Championships tickets go on sale

    THE COUNTDOWN to Scotland’s biggest badminton event for 10 years began in earnest today when tickets for the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 went on general sale.

     

    And to celebrate the occasion BADMINTONscotland unveiled their first World Championship Ambassador, Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who was a keen badminton player before turning his attention to football.

     

    Craig was joined by BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell MSP, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life Councillor Archie Graham OBE and Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events.

     

    Craig came across from Celtic Park to the Emirates Arena to help launch the tickets sales but also to make sure the launch of BADMINTONscotland’s ‘Shuttle Time Big Hit’ Development Festivals went with a swing.

     

    Over the next 14 months the Festivals, which are part of the BWF’s successful global Shuttle Time development programme, will play a big part in the build-up to the World Championships to be staged at the Emirates Arena form 21-27 August next year and will then be a key part of BADMINTONscotland’s Legacy programme with the aim of getting thousands of primary schoolchildren taking up the sport.

     

    The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 is being delivered in partnership between BADMINTONscotland, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport.

     

    Craig, who helped Scotland internationals Robert Blair, Rebekka Findlay and Caitlin Pringle put more than 200 children through their paces at the inaugural Festival before taking part in a fun mixed doubles, said: “It is so exciting to see such a large number of youngsters trying their hand at badminton and I hope they all come back to the Emirates in August next year to see the world’s best players in action. That would be a great way to inspire them.”

     

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland said: “Everyone knows Scotland has a great track record of producing major events, having staged World Championships in Glasgow in 1997 and 2007 and the Commonwealth Games badminton competition in 2014.

     

    “We know from previous experience how popular these events are in Scotland so I’d encourage people to be quick off the mark to get their tickets for the 2017 World Championships before the best seats sell out.

     

    “But just as important as the event itself is the legacy it will leave. We set a lot of store by our existing Play Badminton Festivals and the new Big Hit programme will be no exception.

     

    “The aim is to get more and more schoolchildren throughout Scotland playing a game they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.

     

    “We are delighted to have signed up Craig as our first Ambassador for the World Championships and we will be unveiling more Ambassadors in the next 14 months as we look forward to making the 2017 World Championships the best yet.”

     

    Tickets for the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 are on sale just weeks after Glasgow was named in the world’s top 5 at the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards – the longest established and globally recognised rankings of the world’s top sports hosts.

     

    Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, said: “This is yet another top sporting event heading to Scotland, and I’m sure these tickets will be selling out fast. Many people won’t have seen badminton played live before, but this is a golden opportunity to see the world’s best players at close quarters. Badminton is the world’s fastest racquet sport, so this promises to be a thrilling spectacle.

     

    “I’m delighted to see that there’s a strong legacy programme attached to the competition. If we can use the World Championships as a catalyst to get more people playing badminton, that really will be a great result.”

     

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships is one of the biggest sporting events taking place in Glasgow next year and will see the world’s very best players go head to head in the Emirates Arena.

     

    “It is the biggest event in world badminton and builds on the success of our international events programme, which has helped secure Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s top five sporting cities.

     

    “Demand for tickets will be exceptionally high. The people of Glasgow love sport and I have no doubt that they will turn out in large numbers for what promises to be a week of unmissable badminton.”

     

    Go to www.glasgow2017.com for tickets and further information or contact the Box Office on 0141 353 8000.

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 02 June 2016

    A slice of golf arrives in the city

    Two of Scotland's top class golf events will be promoted during unique city centre activity by Scotland's Golf Coast. 

     

    Scotland’s Golf Coast are hosting the Golf Coast Village Interactive Zone in St. Andrew’s Square from the 16th – 19th June, 10.00 – 18.00 to offer members of the public in the capital an opportunity to find out more about what’s going on on Scotland’s Golf Coast this Summer.

     

    There will be a range of activities and challenges for all the family to enjoy, and a great opportunity to win an exclusive trip to Scotland’s Golf Coast. Get tips from the staff at the Nike Performance Fitting Centre at Archerfield Links, who will help sharpen your golf skills; take the challenge of the Long Drive Contest, and kids can get involved with our mini putting area, crazy Golf Zone and Go Kart Track, provided by East Links Family Park. Foxlake Adventures will be providing Segways, offering a taste of family adventure. There will also be a range of clinics, with some famous faces dropping by to give hints and tips.

     

    This will be a fun-filled event, a great taster of golf and much much more and you can hear all about the area and the fantastic tournaments taking place this summer. Scotland’s Golf Coast welcomes the Paul Lawrie Match Play, Archerfield Links Golf Club (4th - 7th August 2016), the Boys Amateur Championship to Muirfield and The Renaissance Club (9th - 14th August 2016) and the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open to Archerfield Links (19-21 August 2016).

     

    Scotland’s Golf Coast is a truly authentic golfing experience and a celebration of the history of the game. The area not only features the oldest course in the world at Musselburgh Links; but was also the location of the first Ryder Cup played in Scotland in 1973, at Muirfield: a course that inspired Jack Nicklaus to construct Muirfield Village in Ohio.

     

    Scotland’s Golf Coast also has a diverse offering of accommodation to offer golfers and their families, providing the perfect opportunity to rest, relax and unwind before enjoying another round of golf. It is a dream for visiting golfers, with all accommodation providing easy access to golf courses. Golfers will be spoiled for choice with 5-star luxury hotels, family-run bed and breakfasts, self-catering apartments or even centuries-old stately homes all on offer. No matter where you choose to stay and what activities you choose to do, you are always guaranteed a very warm welcome and an authentic experience on Scotland’s Golf Coast.

     

    To find out more about Scotland’s Golf Coast, visit www.golfeastlothian.com

    Category: International Events

  • 02 June 2016

    SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS GEARS-UP TO HOST UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP

    The Scottish Highlands will come alive with the sound of thousands of cheering mountain bike fans this weekend (4 – 5 June), when the world’s fastest downhill riders go head-to-head at the Fort William stage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour.

     More than 200 of the sport’s elite stars will join over 19,000 fans as they descend on the iconic Nevis Range for an exhilarating weekend of high-speed action as riders race against the clock down the slopes of Aonach Mor.

     British hopes for home soil success are high with 2015 World Champion, Rachel Atherton, going for her third successive world cup circuit win this season while facing tough competition from rivals and fellow Brits, Manon Carpenter and Tahnee Seagrave, in the elite women’s race.

     Local rider Greg Williamson, from Inverness, along with Teesside’s Danny Hart, will be determined to follow-up their recent world cup form as they try to secure their first ever Fort William title in the men’s downhill, battling it out against Rachel’s brother Gee Atherton, himself a two time winner of Fort William World Cups (in 2010 and an emotional double victory with Rachel in 2013).

     The British men will face stiff competition however, going up against a host of current and former World Cup champions, including 2015 overall champion, American Aaron Gwin, and last year’s Fort William champion, South African Greg Minnaar.

     Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said: "I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders.

     “The track is fierce - long, fast and brutal - with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”

     Supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, the multi-award winning event is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar and will this year include new technical features and jumps on the infamous 2.8km downhill course.

     This year’s event also marks the last competitive appearance of former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat. The fan favourite, known on the circuit as ‘Peaty’, is retiring from World Cup racing at the end of the current downhill season following a career spanning 20 years and including 17 World Cup wins, 52 World Cup podiums and one World Championship.

     Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team.

     The World Cup Village will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors, whilst a fine selection of food and drink stands will keep the crowds fuelled, showcasing the best of Scottish produce.

     Tickets are still available for the event costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 01 June 2016

    World-class artists descend on Cupar

    Cupar Arts Festival is to return this summer with a prestigious line up of contemporary artists, who will present artworks and performances in venues and public spaces across the Fife market town.  The Festival will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Running from 18 to 25 June 2016, the free festival will include works from some of Scotland’s most significant contemporary artists - including Charles Avery, Chad McCail and recently announced Scotland representative at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Rachel MacLean.

    One of the few curated visual art festivals in Scotland, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will make use of a series of unconventional spaces including hoarding on industrial sites, the town’s historic County Buildings and courtroom, Burgh Chambers and churches, and the mediaeval closes of the town.   Artworks will be exhibited both within venues as well as outside in public spaces, enabling visitors to experience the artworks by both seeking them out and by stumbling across them.  It is not only visual art that will bring this year’s festival to life, there will be an eclectic range of live music, artist events, children’s activities and poetry. 

     Festival highlights include:

     Guided tours of The Thermos Museum in which 12 suitcases unfold to reveal numerous astonishing displays.  Visitors are escorted around the museum by a mysterious and disenchanted tour guide and digression seems to rule.

     The Caravan Obscura offers visitors the chance to step inside a world of optical illusions created by artistKenny Bean using mirrors, lenses and light – all inside a caravan.

     Anthony Schrag’s Walk and Screening Event, What Lies (Beneath Cupar)? is an opportunity to participate in a piece that is part interactive tour, part performance and part film.  This explores the mysterious Lady Burn that appears and disappears beneath the town and is inspired by underground waters and the mythic place they occupy in human psychology.

     A series of performances of In BeTween UncerTainty by New Yorker, Jacqueline Bulnes and her dance company, Twistinkers.  Jacqueline returns to Cupar Arts Festival with this interactive dance piece inspired by the Greek god Hermes, bringer of dreams, guide of souls to the underworld, and master of ‘in-between’, liminal spaces. This will be performed at the Bandstand in the Haugh Park.

     Sun Dome by Mike Inglis is a geodesic dome installation combining traditional materials with new print making technologies.  The dome will be situated in Haugh Park for the duration of the festival.

     Rachel Maclean will be showing two films including a one-off screening of film Feed Me (commissioned by FVU and Hayward Touring for British Art Show 8 and supported by Arts Council England and Creative Scotland).  In addition, Rachel’s film Over the Rainbow will be screened throughout the festival.

    Juliana Capes, who is creating a colourful installation from umberellas that have been donated by local people.

     Jenny Smith, who is creating a sculpture from shadows.  She has worked with local people and asked them ‘What is Shadow?’.  Using their hand-written responses and laser cutting techniques, she’s created an artwork of shadows.

     Performances of ‘In My Bed I’m My Guru’ will take place daily.  PierGiuseppe Di Tanno is an actor and performer. His path is contamination-oriented, an investigation between the body and the speech – theatre and dance, through the experimental practice of different languages.

     Kate Downie’s work ‘Gaps, Distortions and Downright Lies’ is a constructed space in a former judges’ chambers that has been changed through painting directly onto the walls and floors.  The piece challenges viewers’ perceptions and marks an intriguing departure from her usual two-dimensional work.

     Charles Avery who has represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2007.  His work at Cupar Arts Festival will include a large ‘sea monster’ sculpture and a series of six gouache paintings.

     Maris, a well-established collaborative duo who are bringing their work Reliquary to the festival as part of a symbolic pilgrimage.  They will walk on a nine-day journey from Annat in Wester Ross to Cupar.

     An Evening of Poetry from six of Scotland’s contemporary poets: Russell Jones, who has published four collections of poetry; Aileen Ballantyne, this year’s winner of both the Mslexia Prize for Poetry; Lauren Pope, recipient of a Greenberg Poetry Fellowship whose writing has appeared in numerous journals and online publications; Jonathan Bay, who has been published in The Inkwell, Hearts and Minds and Gutter; Rebecca Tamás, who has most recently been published in The White Review, Best British Poetry 2015 and The Morning Star; Marianne MacRae, a poet and comedian working in Edinburgh.

    A series of free concerts will also take place with music from:

    Stephen Lee and Mark Small, who release their first album this June entitled ‘The EPR Paradox’.  This explores different levels of textural melancholic, ambient electronica.  The Dundee based Lee, a pianist and composer and Small, a producer, sound artist and audio engineer have plans to tour Europe.  (18 June, 4-6pm at the Festival Hub)

    David Webster and Stevie Anderson who come together to form the band ‘Sinderins’ will play a mix of surreal folk rock and carefully crafted pop music. (19 June, doors open 2pm, start time 2.30pm, exact venue TBC)

    Genre-defying act The Onion Club, which combines classical, punk, glam and gospel influences with a Weimar aesthetic to produce a style that is upfront, intense and deeply personal.  Pianist and composer Stephen Lee and singer and performance artist Pauline M. Hynd have developed a suite of original and reimagined songs with influences and interests including quantum physics, queer theory, Buddhism and punk rock.  (21 June, doors open 7.30pm, start time 8pm, at Jordan's Nightclub, Station Road, Cupar KY15 5HX)

    Wire and Wool, a seven-piece band drawing on their diverse cultures to bring to life full-on bluegrass punk and roots revival heaven. They have wowed Celtic Connections, the Southern Fried Festival in Perth and the Glasgow Merchant City Festival to name but a few. (24 June, doors open at 7.30pm start time of 8pm, exact venue TBC).

    Inge Thomson and Fraser Fifield, who will take part in one of Elm House’s ‘house concerts’.  Originally hailing from Fair Isle, Inge Thomson is an intensely melodic singer/songwriter who regularly brings her multi-instrumental textures and vocal harmonies to the Karine Polwart trio.  Inge Thomson will come together with Edinburgh-based master instrumentalist, Fraser Fifield for this concert.  (25 June, exact time TBC, The Elm, Main Street, Craigrothie, Cupar KY15 5QA).

    Families visiting Cupar Arts Festival will enjoy many aspects of the artwork and there will also a Children’s Activity Room for youngsters to engage in hands-on creative activities.  Street food from local chef, Christopher Trotter will be popular with all ages.  This will be created at a launch party on 18 June using ingredients he has selected from Fife Farmers Market, which takes place in Cupar that morning.

     Festival Director, Gayle Nelson said:

    “I’m delighted to be able to bring some of the strongest artists working today to Cupar Arts Festival this year. The festival will showcase fantastic artists, great musicians and a plethora of events for all to enjoy.  To see this outstanding programme of artists come together in this rural market town is really wonderful and I know visitors will enjoy and be stimulated by the artwork they discover.”

     Previously an autumn event, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will take place over one week in June incorporating the summer solstice.  The festival has used the longest day to inspire its theme of liminality (a precise point where one phase ends and another begins).  Artists have been encouraged to use the widest possible interpretation of this theme, allowing responses which might range from changing states in the natural world or in scientific processes, changes in the role of a historic site or building, personal transformation and development, or the interpretation of liminal within anthropology relating to ritual and myth. Liminal relates to a tipping point, a time of change as a new phase is about to be entered into.

     Cupar Arts Festival is supported with funding from the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund, EventScotland, a team within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Fife Council’s Strategic Events Investment Fund.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the Cupar Arts Festival for the first time, through our National Events Programme. It is fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the festival will not only showcase work by some of Scotland’s best known contemporary artists, but will also give visitors the chance to explore the historic town’s unique buildings and spaces.”

     For more information on the festival visit www.cupararts.org.uk.  Access to all exhibits, talks and other events is free of charge. 

    Category: National Events

  • 01 June 2016

    Historic Motor Racing and Motoring Heritage Weekend at Bo’ness Speed Hill Climb

    This year the annual Bo’ness Speed Hill Climb takes place on an upgraded track with one new exciting corner, a different finishing line position and new holding paddock location. Many changes have been made to the venue layout to ensure the meeting flows with fewer delays. The changes also mean extra improved spectator viewing points.

     Our associated classic car show has been rebranded as the Bo’ness Motoring Heritage Weekend and will feature more cars and different types of vehicles on display than ever before.

     The two-day event takes place at Kinneil Estate on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th 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 Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart, Peter Collins and Sir Stirling Moss, until 1966 when the track 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
    A huge classic car show
    Trade village
     Children’s rides and attractions
     Specialist food and craft market

     Entry to the event is £10 for adults per day and is free to accompanied children under 15.  Early Bird pre-event discounted tickets will be 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 and vintage vehicles of all ages.

     The 2016 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 once again this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for motorsport events, and the two-day event will undoubtedly prove popular with visitors who will get the chance to see a variety of classic cars in the car show as well as enjoy the historic racing action, all within the fantastic setting of the Kinneil Estate.”

    Kenny Baird, Chairman of BHCR said: "The event opens on Saturday 3rd September at 9.30 am for practice sessions with competition runs in the afternoon.  This format is repeated on Sunday. The Heritage Weekend classic car show is also open on both days.”

    “Our new venue layout should prove popular with spectators and drivers alike plus the hugely expanded Heritage Weekend show is an attraction no-one wants to miss.”

     Visitors should note that part of Kinneil Estate will be closed for the weekend. More information from -

     www.bonesshillclimb.org.uk

    Category: National Events

  • 31 May 2016

    MOBO AWARDS RETURN TO GLASGOW TO CELEBRATE 21ST ANNIVERSARY

    The highly anticipated music awards event to take place at The SSE Hydro on Friday 4th November 2016.

    Click here to watch the MOBO 2016 announcement video.

    The celebrated MOBO Awards will return to Glasgow for the fourth time on Friday 4th November, it was announced today. Pre-sale tickets are available from 09.00am on Tuesday 31st May, with general sale commencing on June 1. The awards, which were established in 1996 by founder Kanya King MBE to honour exceptional, urban talent that was often overlooked, will celebrate its 21st anniversary with spectacular musical performances from a host of world famous artists. The highly anticipated event will take place at Glasgow’s iconic SSE Hydro.

    In 2013 The MOBO Awards made history as the first music awards ceremony and live multi-artist show to be held at the newly opened SSE Hydro. Since then the venue has gone on to become the world’s third busiest arena in terms of ticket sales in 2015.

    In addition to Glasgow, the MOBO Awards have previously been held in London, Liverpool and Leeds, have been attended by over 100,000 music fans who have seen over 200 award winners among some 1,500 nominees over the years, thus making a massive contribution to UK music.The star-studded shows have featured global superstars including Rihanna, Grace Jones, John Legend, Sam Smith, Destiny’s Child and Scotland-born Emeli Sandé.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that the MOBO Awards are set to return to Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in this very special year and know that music lovers from across the city and around Scotland will turn out in force to celebrate the very best in British urban music. The EventScotland team will be working closely with partners at MOBO and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau ahead of November 4 to ensure another night to remember at the SSE Hydro, one of the world’s finest venues for live music. MOBO will be announcing an exciting line-up of renowned artists over the coming weeks who are sure to create a magnificent spectacle, once again proving that Scotland is the perfect stage for major events.”

    Kanya King MBE, CEO and founder of the MOBO Organisation, commented: “MOBO turning 21 is a huge achievement and a special time for us. Celebrating this in Glasgow, which has become our second home is an absolute joy. The MOBO Awards has changed the music industry, and helped represent a diverse range of music that is now the heartbeat of youth culture. Having given a platform to so much emerging talent which has then gone on to achieve global and commercial success is something to be proud of. We will continue to build a positive legacy that can be enjoyed by various generations to come. There has never been a more thrilling time in music than now so I look forward to making some exciting talent announcements in the lead up to the show.”

    Joe Aitken, the Head of Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Since 2009, Glasgow has been the home of the MOBOs and during that time audiences have witnessed some outstanding and memorable performances. This year promises to be yet another stand-out as we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the awards at the iconic SSE Hydro.”

    Arena tickets for the MOBO Awards vary from £25 to £45 (excl. handling charge) and will be on general sale on 1st June via www.mobo.com/tickets and www.thessehydro.com. The one day presale starts at 09.00am Tuesday 31st May.

    Category: Music

  • 25 May 2016

    DOORS OPEN FOR DUNDEE DESIGN FESTIVAL

    To mark Dundee becoming the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design in 2014, a former print works has been transformed into a temporary venue for four stimulating days of design-focused exhibitions, talks and workshops.

     Over 200 primary school children were the first to preview the Dundee Design Festival (Wednesday 25th May) before the doors at West Ward Works open to the public on Thursday 26th May. 

     The vast industrial space contains three galleries of inspiring objects and ideas from a host of Dundee-based and Scottish designers working in the disciplines of architecture, textiles, social design, digital imaging and gaming.

     The festival theme, ‘Place. Work. Folk. Design’ focuses on design for health and wellbeing and will explore the potential of design to connect communities and improve everyday lives.

     Several design led research projects will take centre-stage at the festival from designing prosthetic hands for amputees to re-designing smoke alarms.

     On the closing day of the design festival, Dr Niamh Nic Daeid, Professor of Forensic Science at the University of Dundee working with Dave Coss, a Derbyshire fire fighter involved in the 2014 Philpott case where six children died in a fatal house fire will talk about the extraordinary research behind re-designing domestic smoke alarms. And for the first time, reveal a new 10-second alarm that has had a 90% success rate in waking children.

     The announcement of the ‘Redesigning Smoke Alarms Design Challenge’ will invite Scotland’s design community to take on a design challenge that may be the first step to saving more lives.

     Visitors can also expect to see Prospect North, the Scottish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale compressed into a campervan, exhibitions from V&A Dundee, Design in Action and Maggie’s Centre.

     Other Design Festival activities include withdrawing a limited edition Dundee ‘bank note’ from NCR’s state-of-the art cash machines installed at the venue and trying out workshops in gaming, screen printing, weaving, jewellery and comic book designing.

     Visitors can also shop at the Pop-up Design Shop selling limited edition screen prints from DCA Print Studio and eat at the Jamie Scott Pop-up café serving sensational food from a MasterChef Professional at café prices.

     Some of the world’s leading design thinkers from Amsterdam, Berlin, Belgrade, Helsinki, London and New York along with international UNESCO City of Design cities Graz, Shenzen and Saint.Etienne will travel to Dundee to participate in the inaugural Dundee Design Festival.

     Dundee Design Festival is programmed as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The primary school workshops were supported by Festival of Architecture 2016.

     Sion Parkinson, Producer of Dundee Design Festival said: Dundee Design Festival will tell stories of local design with global impact, stories about what design can do when we join forces. The festival has captured a moment, where in a city the size of Dundee, people are coming together from across studios, campuses, cities and nations to help frame problems and find solutions.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Dundee Design Festival is a great celebration of the city’s status as a hub for design and innovation, and we are delighted to be supporting the event in its first year. It is fitting that in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the festival will exhibit works by some of the finest designers and makers in Scotland, and will also showcase projects from world-renowned names in a diverse programme that will no doubt attract many visitors from the local area and further afield.”

     Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Scotland said: “The Dundee Design Festival provides a unique opportunity for local residents and visitors to the city to celebrate Scotland’s designers and makers and appreciate some of the world’s leading design thinkers. The festival will further strengthen Dundee in its role as UNESCO City of Design and is a major contribution to the programme for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. This is an exciting time for the city of Dundee, a dynamic city with a strong cultural identity and a history of innovation and creativity”

    For the full programme visit www.dundeedesignfestival.com

    Category: National Events

  • 25 May 2016

    Art and Fashion Come Together for Scotland’s Top Open Studios Event

    Art and fashion have come together to show off fabulous fabrics ahead of the annual Spring Fling open studios weekend.

    One of the three large Spring Fling Rural Murals (SFRMs), across Dumfries and Galloway, has inspired the fashion shoot by photographer Kim Ayres.

    Thousands of visitors are expected to see the murals as they tour the region from 28 to 30 May to see the 94 specially-selected artists and makers who are throwing open their studio doors for Spring Fling.

    SFRM brought together teams of international artists to create three large-scale public art works across Dumfries and Galloway. It is part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Morag Macpherson, who is renowned for her textile design and is taking part in Spring Fling, was among artists who painted the murals. This gave Kim the idea of setting up a shoot which would use Morag’s mural, on a steading at Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, to showcase her hand-made silk kimono-style jackets, wrap round skirts and coats.

    Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland, which runs Spring Fling, said: “Kim’s fashion shoot in front of one of the murals was a great way to bring together all the different elements that go to make up Spring Fling.

    “There are these super murals by artists from across Europe, fabulous art and craft by some incredibly talented people, and it all takes place this weekend in one of the most beautiful regions of rural Scotland.”

    Kim, who is a member of Upland and has taken part in past Spring Fling weekends, said: “We’d originally thought of doing a fashion shoot with a big city graffiti backdrop – there’s not a lot of that in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.
    “But when Morag worked with Italian street artist Tellas to paint a big, colourful mural on the steading at Ringford we realised it would be the perfect backdrop - creating a really bold and edgy mood.”

    The plan was to have a nighttime feel with the models caught in circles of light like car headlamps. This meant waiting until 11pm for it to get dark.

    Morag is just one of 10 textile artists and designers taking part in Spring Fling 2016. Their work ranges from high-quality tweed jackets and scarves, through to cushions and wall hangings.

    Morag, who is based at the Wasps studios in Kirkcudbright, said: “We really hope that people enjoy the murals as they go round the region – it’s such an unusual and colourful project. It was lovely to be part of something that thousands of people will be able to enjoy.

    “Having the fashion shoot there was also huge fun - the way the mural and the fabrics seemed to set each other off was quite amazing.”
    SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support Spring Fling again, in our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The Rural Mural project is a wonderful celebration of Scotland’s artistic assets, promoting the works of both international and local talent.

    “The weekend promises to be a fantastic event with many coming to the region to see the artists’ striking murals, in addition to the textiles, prints, ceramics and furniture on show at the main open-studio event.”  
    The Dumfries and Galloway murals can be seen at:

    Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, near Castle Douglas: Tellas, from Rome, and Morag Macpherson created a mural on a steading near the A75. It is a colourful mix of organic shapes inspired by the sea and areas of solid colour that reflect the shades of the Dumfries and Galloway skies.

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae: On the side of a stone barn at a centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

    Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive: Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. It is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.   

    The theme of SFRM was “exchange” and as part of this the teams of artists swapped country for city and created three urban murals as gifts to the people of Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 May 2016

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVEALS FULL PROGRAMME FOR ITS MILESTONE 70TH EDITION

     

    Artistic Director Mark Adams today unveiled details of the programme for the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), taking place next month between the 15th and 26th of June. Now in its landmark 70th edition, the Festival will showcase a total of 161 features from 46 countries including: 22 World Premieres, 5 International Premieres, 17 European Premieres and 85 UK Premieres
    Highlights include the UK Premiere of the highly-anticipated Disney-Pixar animation FINDING DORY, In-Person events featuring the likes of Kevin Smith and Kim Cattrall, and the Opening and Closing Gala World Premieres of the previously announced TOMMY’S HONOUR and WHISKY GALORE!. Old classics will be re-imagined with the UK Premiere of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, with John Williams’ iconic score performed live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and the World Premiere of the newly-restored 4K version of the Scottish classic HIGHLANDER, celebrating its 30th anniversary with star Clancy Brown in attendance.
    Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: "It is a real thrill to unveil this year's programme and I am looking forward to showcasing so many great films and welcoming so many talented filmmakers to our 70th edition. As always we like to offer an incredibly broad range of work to ensure there is always something for everyone – from mesmeric retrospectives through to absorbing new short films, to 130 new features from 46 countries, rest assured this year's EIFF will challenge, provoke and entertain audiences in equal measure."
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival is a highlight of the Edinburgh Festivals’ calendar and for screen professionals and film lovers from across the world. This year’s landmark 70th Edition is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the EIFF in its own right, to showcase Scotland’s screen talent and to promote our creative industries.
    “The Scottish Government is proud to support the Festival via the Expo Fund and have provided £110,000 this year to support the development of new filmmakers and the continuation of the highly successful Talent Lab.”
    Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to EIFF for bringing us such an exciting programme, a magnificent celebration to mark the 70th year. This year’s edition is packed with the work of Scotland’s most exciting filmmaking talent alongside an impressive array of the very best cinema from around the world.
    “EIFF provides an excellent platform to connect Scotland’s filmmakers with new markets, raising their international profile. The industry programme offers a vital opportunity for
    professional exchange and dialogue, a chance to maintain existing relationships, initiate new ones and spark off new projects and ideas.
    “All together this year’s Festival is sure to enlighten, inspire and entertain.”
    This year’s BEST OF BRITISH strand includes David Blair’s heart-wrenching drama AWAY, starring Timothy Spall and Juno Temple as two lost souls seeking solace under the lights of Blackpool; Rita Osei’s debut BLISS!, following a teenage girl on a rite of passage journey of discovery across Scandinavia; Mercedes Grower’s offbeat debut BRAKES led by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding; János Edelényi’s hilariously poignant THE CARER starring Brian Cox, who will be in attendance at this year’s Festival; and Charles Henri Belleville’s hedonistic backpack thriller JET TRASH.
    Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne lead a fantastic British ensemble cast in the sumptuous coming-of-age drama KIDS IN LOVE from Chris Foggin; Philip John takes audiences on an anarchic road-trip in MOON DOGS; and twin librarians plan revenge in the quiet section in Euros Lyn’s Welsh-language THE LIBRARY SUICIDES (Y LLYFRGELL). There are also brooding Icelandic noirs PALE STAR and A REYKJAVĺK PORNO from Scot Graeme Maley; acclaimed artist Henry Coombes’ SEAT IN SHADOW, a witty and perspective study into the symbiotic relationship between an eccentric, part-time Jung-obsessed psychotherapist and his patient/muse; Joanne Froggatt starring as a woman attempting to keep her family together as her husband endures unimaginable pain in Bill Clark’s STARFISH; Ibiza-set crime thriller WHITE ISLAND from Benjamin Turner; and the Agyness Deyn-led complex dystopian thriller THE WHITE KING from Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel.
    British films in competition for the prestigious MICHAEL POWELL AWARD for Best British Feature Film and Best Performance in a British Feature Film will be selected from this strand and include 9 World Premieres, 1 European Premieres and 2 UK Premieres.
    Taking part in the series of In Person talks will be DOMINIQUE PINON of Alien: Resurrection, Amélie, and Outlander fame, whose renowned star turn in DIVA will feature in this year’s A Celebration of the Films of Cinéma du Look retrospective; legendary filmmaker JEREMY THOMAS, the prolific producer of over fifty films, including 1983’s MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE, starring the late, great David Bowie and screening at this year’s Festival; KIM CATTRALL who will discuss a career that has seen her leave an indelible mark across both the screen and the stage; and indie auteur KEVIN SMITH, creator of cult classics Clerks and Dogma will also be taking to the stage alongside the star of his latest comedy YOGA HOSERS, Harley Quinn Smith.
    The very best in new American independent cinema shines a spotlight on the boundless creativity originating from across the Atlantic. This year, AMERICAN DREAMS audiences can enjoy a host of fresh features including: a rom-com treat from Rebecca Miller in the form of MAGGIE’S PLAN, with Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore each delivering pitch-perfect performances; Meg Ryan’s directorial debut ITHACA, an elegant and moving story of a teenager delivering telegrams in World War II; the European Premiere of Rob Burnett’s THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, a charming comedy-drama that pairs Paul Rudd and rising
    British star Craig Roberts as caregiver and dependent; Paco Cabezas’ MR. RIGHT starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell as an oddball assassin; the International Premiere of fan fiction marvel SLASH; and World Premieres of Amanda Sharp’s STICKY NOTES, starring Rose Leslie, and Steven Lewis Simpson’s road trip through Lakota country NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG.
    THE DIRECTORS’ SHOWCASE strand shines a light on the latest work from some of the world’s most highly-respected auteurs, each film offering an insight into perspectives and stories from across the globe. Screening over the course of the Festival are: BLEAK STREET, Arturo Ripstein’s black and white tale of a pair of murderous Mexican lucha wrestlers; dark Danish comedy THE COMMUNE from Thomas Vinterberg; Hans Petter Moland’s gripping police thriller A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH; Giuseppe Tornatore’s THE CORRESPONDENCE, starring Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko; Isabel Coixet’s period drama ENDLESS NIGHT; Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s elegant FAMILIES; Kurdish docu-drama A FLAG WITHOUT A COUNTRY from Bahman Ghobadi; Taika Waititi’s hilarious HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, following Sam Neill and newcomer Julian Dennison into the New Zealand bush; Ira Sachs’ observational comedy LITTLE MEN; Yeon Sang-ho’s vision of zombie apocalypse SEOUL STATION; Paddy Breathnach’s VIVA, set amongst the colourful world of Havana’s drag clubs; and YOGA HOSERS, the latest madcap adventure from Kevin Smith
    This year’s EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES strand features a number of much anticipated films from the continent making their UK debuts. Notable features include: Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi’s emotive BLACK, a story of forbidden love set on the streets of Brussels driven by a mesmerizing performance from newcomer Martha Canga Antonio; Florian Gallenberger’s ‘70s-set melodrama THE COLONY with Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl; Gérard Depardieu stars in THE END from Guillaume Nicloux and SAINT AMOUR by Benoȋt Delépine and Gustave Kerven; Jihane Chouaib’s sterling GO HOME; riotous Icelandic incest comedy THE HOMECOMING by Björn Hlynur Haraldsson; gripping legal drama KALINKA by Vincent Garenq; Kadri Köusaar’s pitch-black Estonian comic gem MOTHER; and soulful coming-of-age drama SPARROWS by Rúnar Rúnarsson. The strand also boasts a World Premiere of Balazs Juszt’s supernatural thriller THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY.
    Delving further afield, the WORLD PERSPECTIVES strand delivers a global array of works from emerging and established filmmaking talents. Highlights include the European Premieres of Laos-set thriller RIVER from Canadian Jamie M Dagg; India's leading indie director Q's hilarious coming-of-age comedy BRAHMAN NAMAN, exclusive to Netflix; provocative Indian female buddy-comedy ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES from Pan Nalin; Jon Cassar’s stoic western FORSAKEN, starring father and son Donald and Kiefer Sutherland; Assad Fouladkar’s study of romance in a sharia setting HALAL LOVE (AND SEX); Kim Sang-chan’s darkly eccentric KARAOKE CRAZIES; Indie-Japanese crime drama KEN AND KAZU by Hiroshi Shoji; Diego Luna’s hog farmer comedy drama MR. PIG with Danny Glover and Maya Rudolph; Leena Yadav’s portrait of Gujurat PARCHED; and Oliver Schmitz’s courtroom conflict SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS featuring Andrea Riseborough and comedy legend Steve Coogan.
    EIFF offers the very best in DOCUMENTARIES, as the genre continues to go from strength to strength. Titles include: Andreas Johnsen’s challenging and thought-provoking documentary for foodies and environmentalists alike BUGS; Alexandru Belc’s love letter to the big screen CINEMA, MON AMOUR; portrait of electro-music star GARY NUMAN: ANDROID IN LA LA LAND by Steve Read and Rob Alexander; Mike Day’s ode to the Faroe Islands THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES; Ross Adam and Robert Cannan’s mind-bending look at two of South Korean cinemas biggest stars THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT; Johan Grimonprez’s journey into the international arms industry SHADOW WORLD; and Niam Itani’s timely reflection on the place of refugees in the modern world TWICE UPON A TIME. Also screening are the World Premieres of Niall McCann’s LOST IN FRANCE and Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer’s SANTOALLA; while sports fans won’t want to miss Fredrik and Magnus Gertten’s BECOMING ZLATAN, the study of the gloriously complex football icon Zlatan Ibrahimović.
    As the sun sets, attention turns to NIGHT MOVES, EIFF’s annual look at the chilling, bloody side of cinema. Audiences can enjoy late night showings of a mixture of scream-inducing horror, fantasy adventure, and unashamedly brash genre-fare; with screenings that include: the World Premiere of Nirpal Bhogal’s homegrown horror FIRST BORN; European Premiere of horror anthology HOLIDAYS, featuring offerings from some of the genre’s finest minds, including In Person participant Kevin Smith; UK-first showings of swords and skis epic THE LAST KING from Nils Gaup; Anna Biller’s sexploitation tribute THE LOVE WITCH; Wu Ershan’s Chinese blockbuster MOJIN: THE LOST LEGEND; Steve Barker’s trip to a Zombie Safari Park THE REZORT; Sion Sono’s Japanese sex-comedy THE VIRGIN PSYCHICS and a hypnotic screening of the rarely-seen 1973 Japanese cult anime BELLADONNA OF SADNESS from Eiichi Yamamoto, co-presented by EIFF and Scotland Loves Anime.
    This year, EIFF will host FIVE ANIMATED YEARS OF WILL ANDERSON AND AINSLIE HENDERSON, featuring Scotland’s most dynamic animation double act. The event is the first major retrospective of the duo’s work, as the pair reflect on their rapid rise and a career that has drawn critical acclaim and awards recognition in equal measure. The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation returns once again with two varied programmes showcasing the best new short animations from the UK; while EIFF once again delivers compelling INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION highlighting celebrated short work from across the globe.
    Attendees will be able to attend a raft of SPECIAL EVENTS throughout the festival. A special screening of TRAINSPOTTING will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s seminal Edinburgh-set shot of cinematic adrenaline. Also screening will be BIGGER THAN THE SHINING, a provocative new work from Mark Cousins; the first three episodes of Gaelic language drama BANNAN; and SHOOTING THE REVEL: RE-DISCOVERING EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART’S REVEL FILMS OF THE 1930S AND 1940S. The Festival will host two illustrated lectures from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning, and will gather a panel of novelists, screenwriters, and researchers together to ask WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM? Youngsters can get involved with the EDINBURGH SCHOOLS FILM COMPETITION, with winning entries screened at Filmhouse, and benefit from expert advice on GETTING STARTED IN FILM CRITICISM.
    This year’s EIFF SHORT FILM strand delivers a stunning selection of shorts from the UK and overseas. This year’s short programmes include: SIGN LANGUAGE; FRAGMENTS OF THE CITY; FLAMING CREATURES; OTHER PLANES; RADICAL TRANSMISSIONS; and VOICES FROM THE WILDERNESS. OUT OF BOUNDS offers a special programme of the newest works from UK film academies; SCOTTISH SHORTS presents a collection of shorts commissioned through the Scottish Film Talent Network’s new talent programme; while THE YOUNG AND THE WILD SHORTS promise an eclectic mix of quick-fire cinema targeted at a young adult audience. The annual edition of the Scottish Documentary Institute’s latest BRIDGING THE GAP collection will return, focusing this year on works by female directors such as Wilma Smith (THE REVIEW); Natalia Kouneli (SILENT LAUGHS); Lindsay Brown (SWAN); and Lucie Rachel (WHERE WE ARE NOW).
    As the country continues to undergo a cultural renaissance, the Festival will put its FOCUS ON FINLAND, showcasing the best features and shorts that the nation has to offer. Finland’s filmmakers are producing challenging, expectation-defying work, and audiences are responding; domestic audiences for Finnish cinema alone are one of the highest in Europe. Screening at EIFF will be: Mikko Kuparinen’s 2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING; Christy Garland’s CHEER UP; Juan Reina’s DIVING INTO THE UNKNOWN; Teppo Airaksinen’s LAPLAND ODYSSEY 2; Aleksi Salmenperä’s environmental thriller THE MINE; psychological study WAR AND PEACE OF MIND from Ari Matikainen; and a series of fiction and documentary shorts from the thriving country.
    The world of experimental film is uncovered in the ever-popular BLACK BOX strand. Screenings include the UK Premieres of American avant-garde icon Lewis Klahr’s SIXTY SIX and Mika Taanila’s bold camera-less TECTONIC PLATE. BLACK BOX SHORTS returns with four separate programmes of shorts and in a nod to the Festival’s 70th edition, this year’s strand will revisit the 1970s with retrospective screenings of Lizzie Borden’s seminal REGROUPING, with the legendary filmmaker in attendance at the Festival, and other rarely-screened gems from the period. REGROUPING is a special event bringing together filmmakers, critics, and curators celebrating one of the most important periods in EIFF’s history.
    In another telling tribute to this year’s milestone edition, EIFF plays host to 70/70 VISION: a series of screenings of iconic films in their original widescreen 70mm format. The programme includes Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY; David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA; Jacques Tati’s PLAYTIME; and Akira Kurosawa’s Oscar-winner DERSU UZALA.
    Celebrating the CINÉMA DU LOOK movement, EIFF will present a focus on the work of Jean-Jacques Beineix, Luc Besson, and Leos Carax. Films that dazzled cinemagoers throughout the 1980s and into the ‘90s will be showcased in all their poetic glory, including: Besson’s THE BIG BLUE, LA FEMME NIKITA, and SUBWAY; Carax’s LES AMANTS DU PONT-NEUF and MAUVAIS SANG; and Beineix’s BETTY BLUE and DIVA. LOOK AGAIN: A CELEBRATION OF CINEMA DU LOOK will feature several special guests in attendance.
    Audiences will also be invited to trace the lively cinematic roots of the current wave of superhero blockbusters, POW!!! LIVE ACTION COMIC STRIP ADAPTATIONS: THE FIRST GENERATION presents a colourful retrospective journey through various genres, tracing the
    evolution of the live comic strip adaptation in cinema. Bringing together cult titles from across the world, films include: Roger Vadim’s BARBARELLA; Leslie H Martinson’s BATMAN: THE MOVIE; Mario Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK; Robert Altman’s POPEYE; and two rarely screened Japanese classics based on world famous Manga comic strips, Kenji Misumi’s LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE and Junya Sato’s GOLGO 13.
    Other highlights include the launch of Filmhouse presents ADAPTING MISS HIGHSMITH, a journey into the work of one of the most adapted-for-cinema authors of all-time, a project that will roll out across the UK post-Festival. The programme will feature an illustrated talk by Highsmith’s acclaimed biographer Joan Schenkar.
    Alongside the UK Premiere of FINDING DORY, FILM FEST JUNIOR transports younger viewers around the world with age-appropriate UK Premieres THE CANTERVILLE GHOST from Yann Samuell and Kenneth Kainz’s fantasy epic THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER.
    And finally, film fans of all ages can look forward to a host of cinematic treats in the form of free St Andrew Square Garden screenings for Film Fest in the City. No ticket is required to enjoy a range of hit movies, including the likes of: THE MUPPETS; THE BREAKFAST CLUB; MINIONS; MAD MAX – FURY ROAD; FINDING NEMO; PITCH PERFECT; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS and a special dance-along screening of cult classic GREASE.

    Artistic Director Mark Adams today unveiled details of the programme for the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), taking place next month between the 15th and 26th of June. Now in its landmark 70th edition, the Festival will showcase a total of 161 features from 46 countries including: 22 World Premieres, 5 International Premieres, 17 European Premieres and 85 UK Premieres.

    Highlights include the UK Premiere of the highly-anticipated Disney-Pixar animation FINDING DORY, In-Person events featuring the likes of Kevin Smith and Kim Cattrall, and the Opening and Closing Gala World Premieres of the previously announced TOMMY’S HONOUR and WHISKY GALORE!. Old classics will be re-imagined with the UK Premiere of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, with John Williams’ iconic score performed live by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and the World Premiere of the newly-restored 4K version of the Scottish classic HIGHLANDER, celebrating its 30th anniversary with star Clancy Brown in attendance.

    Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director, said: "It is a real thrill to unveil this year's programme and I am looking forward to showcasing so many great films and welcoming so many talented filmmakers to our 70th edition. As always we like to offer an incredibly broad range of work to ensure there is always something for everyone – from mesmeric retrospectives through to absorbing new short films, to 130 new features from 46 countries, rest assured this year's EIFF will challenge, provoke and entertain audiences in equal measure."

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Edinburgh International Film Festival is a highlight of the Edinburgh Festivals’ calendar and for screen professionals and film lovers from across the world. This year’s landmark 70th Edition is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the EIFF in its own right, to showcase Scotland’s screen talent and to promote our creative industries."

    The Scottish Government is proud to support the Festival via the Expo Fund and have provided £110,000 this year to support the development of new filmmakers and the continuation of the highly successful Talent Lab.

    This year’s BEST OF BRITISH strand includes David Blair’s heart-wrenching drama AWAY, starring Timothy Spall and Juno Temple as two lost souls seeking solace under the lights of Blackpool; Rita Osei’s debut BLISS!, following a teenage girl on a rite of passage journey of discovery across Scandinavia; Mercedes Grower’s offbeat debut BRAKES led by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding; János Edelényi’s hilariously poignant THE CARER starring Brian Cox, who will be in attendance at this year’s Festival; and Charles Henri Belleville’s hedonistic backpack thriller JET TRASH.

    Will Poulter and Cara Delevingne lead a fantastic British ensemble cast in the sumptuous coming-of-age drama KIDS IN LOVE from Chris Foggin; Philip John takes audiences on an anarchic road-trip in MOON DOGS; and twin librarians plan revenge in the quiet section in Euros Lyn’s Welsh-language THE LIBRARY SUICIDES (Y LLYFRGELL). There are also brooding Icelandic noirs PALE STAR and A REYKJAVĺK PORNO from Scot Graeme Maley; acclaimed artist Henry Coombes’ SEAT IN SHADOW, a witty and perspective study into the symbiotic relationship between an eccentric, part-time Jung-obsessed psychotherapist and his patient/muse; Joanne Froggatt starring as a woman attempting to keep her family together as her husband endures unimaginable pain in Bill Clark’s STARFISH; Ibiza-set crime thriller WHITE ISLAND from Benjamin Turner; and the Agyness Deyn-led complex dystopian thriller THE WHITE KING from Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel.

    British films in competition for the prestigious MICHAEL POWELL AWARD for Best British Feature Film and Best Performance in a British Feature Film will be selected from this strand and include 9 World Premieres, 1 European Premieres and 2 UK Premieres.

    Taking part in the series of In Person talks will be DOMINIQUE PINON of Alien: Resurrection, Amélie, and Outlander fame, whose renowned star turn in DIVA will feature in this year’s A Celebration of the Films of Cinéma du Look retrospective; legendary filmmaker JEREMY THOMAS, the prolific producer of over fifty films, including 1983’s MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE, starring the late, great David Bowie and screening at this year’s Festival; KIM CATTRALL who will discuss a career that has seen her leave an indelible mark across both the screen and the stage; and indie auteur KEVIN SMITH, creator of cult classics Clerks and Dogma will also be taking to the stage alongside the star of his latest comedy YOGA HOSERS, Harley Quinn Smith.

    The very best in new American independent cinema shines a spotlight on the boundless creativity originating from across the Atlantic. This year, AMERICAN DREAMS audiences can enjoy a host of fresh features including: a rom-com treat from Rebecca Miller in the form of MAGGIE’S PLAN, with Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore each delivering pitch-perfect performances; Meg Ryan’s directorial debut ITHACA, an elegant and moving story of a teenager delivering telegrams in World War II; the European Premiere of Rob Burnett’s THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, a charming comedy-drama that pairs Paul Rudd and risingBritish star Craig Roberts as caregiver and dependent; Paco Cabezas’ MR. RIGHT starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell as an oddball assassin; the International Premiere of fan fiction marvel SLASH; and World Premieres of Amanda Sharp’s STICKY NOTES, starring Rose Leslie, and Steven Lewis Simpson’s road trip through Lakota country NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG.

    A special screening of TRAINSPOTTING will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s seminal Edinburgh-set shot of cinematic adrenaline. Also screening will be BIGGER THAN THE SHINING, a provocative new work from Mark Cousins; the first three episodes of Gaelic language drama BANNAN; and SHOOTING THE REVEL: RE-DISCOVERING EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART’S REVEL FILMS OF THE 1930S AND 1940S.

    In a telling tribute to this year’s milestone edition, EIFF plays host to 70/70 VISION: a series of screenings of iconic films in their original widescreen 70mm format. The programme includes Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY; David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA; Jacques Tati’s PLAYTIME; and Akira Kurosawa’s Oscar-winner DERSU UZALA.

    And finally, film fans of all ages can look forward to a host of cinematic treats in the form of free St Andrew Square Garden screenings for Film Fest in the City. No ticket is required to enjoy a range of hit movies, including the likes of: THE MUPPETS; THE BREAKFAST CLUB; MINIONS; MAD MAX – FURY ROAD; FINDING NEMO; PITCH PERFECT; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS and a special dance-along screening of cult classic GREASE.

    For the full release and programme visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 25 May 2016

    RECORD NUMBER OF BANDS SIGNED UP FOR PIPING AT FORRES

    A record 127 bands have signed up for this year’s Piping At Forres, sponsored by Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, to be held on Saturday 25 June in Grant Park.

    The list includes 11 grade 1 bands - from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland including the current World Champions, Shotts and Dykehead  Caledonia and 2015 European winners, Field Marshal Montgomery.    Whilst the majority of bands are from Scotland, bands have signed up to play from Denmark, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and 5 school bands from Australia. 

    Of the bands from Scotland - 35 Bands are from Glasgow and the West of Scotland, 26 from Lothian and Borders and Fife, 18 from Dundee, Perth and Angus, 28 from the North of Scotland and 6 from Ayr, Dumfries and Galloway.   Local bands from Forres, Elgin and District, RAF Lossiemouth, 2622 Highland Squadron RAF,  Badenoch and Strathspey and City of Inverness have all signed up to play in front of their home crowd.

    Chieftain for 2016 is former Runrig frontman and critically acclaimed solo artist Donnie Munro.

    The competition in Forres is now in its fourth year after the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, who run the competition, awarded the rights to Piping At Forres to host the competition until 2018.

    New for 2016 is a Prosecco bar, run by Forres Mechanics FC, which joins the Scottish Gin Bar run by the team from The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin, to add to the beer tents, that includes craft beers.  The entire competing area within Grant Park is licensed allowing adult spectators to enjoy a drink whilst watching the bands.   There will also be a Brodie Countryfare’s piping hot café, serving teas and coffees in a seated area.

    Several charities will benefit from a free stand at the event:  2Wit2 Woo, Owl Rescue; Help for Heroes;  Erskine, Morayvia;  Speyfest and RAFA.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Piping in Forres reaches its fourth year in 2016 and I am delighted to say that it continues to grow in size and stature with every staging.

    “The event plays an extremely important role in protecting and promoting Scottish culture and heritage and, of course, in attracting thousands of visitors to the Highlands to witness the finest pipers from all over Europe at their very best.

    “As in previous years, Grant Park is set to come alive with thousands of spectators and hundreds of musicians, creating a unique and spectacular day for all of those in attendance.”


    Tickets are on sale now at www.pipingatforres.com.

    Category: Heritage

  • 24 May 2016

    CLARET JUG SCHOOLS TOUR LAUNCHES GLASGOW AS FIRST PARTNER CITY TO THE OPEN

    One of the most iconic trophies in sport, the Claret Jug, is set to tour Glasgow schools this week launching Glasgow as the first Partner City to The Open. Over 1,000 primary school pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to the historic trophy ahead of The 145TH Open at Royal Troon from 10-17 July, 2016.

    The tour of local schools is part of a series of Glasgow-based activities that will celebrate the importance of the city as a transport and accommodation hub as thousands of golf fans from across the globe travel to Host Region, South Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland for The Open.

    An event impact study carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University estimates that The Open will deliver a total economic impact of £8 million to Glasgow during the week of the Championship. The city was recently ranked fifth in the world in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.

    R&A Executive Director – Championships, Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said, “The Open takes place at the great links courses across Great Britain and Ireland and the popularity of the event means that working in partnership with the closest major city is integral to the success of the Championship.

    “The people of Glasgow are renowned for the warm welcome they extend to high-profile events and we are now delighted to formally recognise Glasgow as the first Partner City to The Open.”

    Councillor George Redmond, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Jobs, Business and Investment and Vice-Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said, “As a global top five sports city, we’re delighted to have been named the first Partner City to The Open, which reflects our enviable reputation for working with the world’s leading major events.

    “From our world-class hotels and restaurants to our unrivalled shopping experience and friendly taxi drivers, the thousands of visitors attending The Open at Royal Troon can expect a thoroughly warm welcome during their time in the city, which will considerably boost our tourism economy. We look forward to playing our part in delivering what will be a great celebration of golf.”

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External affairs, said, "The Scottish Government, in partnership with VisitScotland, South Ayrshire Council, Glasgow City Council and The R&A, is working to maximise the economic benefits from the hosting of The Open at Royal Troon.

    “The priority is to promote the event within key transport hubs across Glasgow, as well as ensuring activities are delivered to encourage and inspire Scotland’s young people to take an interest in the game.

    "For everyone in Glasgow – from taxi drivers and shop assistants to hoteliers and restaurateurs – The Open provides an opportunity for everyone to play their part in extending the warmest welcome to guests from near and far.”

    A photographic exhibition will begin at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 13 June celebrating the history of The Open in the west of Scotland. It will showcase the best images from editions of the Championship held at Royal Troon, Turnberry and Prestwick, where The Open began in 1860.

    The Claret Jug will visit school assemblies at Alexandra Parade Primary, Haghill Park Primary, St Philomena’s Primary and St Rose of Lima Primary and be on display at the Glasgow Secondary Schools Citywide Golf Competition next month at Lethamhill Golf Course on 2 June. The Claret Jug tour is part of a wider schools programme in partnership with Host Region, South Ayrshire Council that will see the trophy visit schools in Ayr in the coming weeks.

    2016 marks the 20th anniversary of The Open’s Kids Go Free initiative which began at Royal Troon in 1997. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge to the Championship and discounted tickets are available for youth aged 16-21.

    Category: International Events

  • 24 May 2016

    Homeless World Cup announces first stage groups

    Scotland will face-off against Bosnia & Herzegovina in the opening match of the Homeless World Cup 2016 in Glasgow from 10 to 16 July. They will then play Egypt, Grenada, Hong Kong and Norway in the remainder of the group stages of the tournament supported by EventScotland.

    A full list of fixtures, following the draw made yesterday by Scotland national team coaches Gordon Strachan and Anna Signeul, can be found here.

    It has also been confirmed that home broadcasters STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh will will be broadcasting a number of live matches directly from George Square.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, which is managing the Scottish Government’s investment in the Homeless World Cup, said:

    “The Homeless World Cup is set to be an incredibly important event for Scotland, inviting people to the country, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience our warm welcome, and generating discussion about the issue of homelessness at all levels of society.

    “It puts Scotland at the heart of a global movement and will ensure that the eyes of the world centre on Glasgow, which we believe will be the most inspirational place on the planet over the course of the tournament.”

    For more information on the Homeless World Cup 2016, visit the official website here.

    Category: International Events

  • 23 May 2016

    Feast your eyes on Crail this June

    Crail food festival promises to deliver a mouthwatering blend of food and drink during the weekend of 10 - 12 June.  With some firm favourites returning to the festival and a host of new exhibitors including MasterChef The Professionals winner, Jamie Scott, there really will be something to whet everyone’s appetite.

    The festival, which is in its sixth year, sees the East Neuk village of Crail come to life with local food and drink producers showcasing Scotland’s wonderful larder.  With street food pop-ups, Ask the Chef tasting sessions, a chocolate larder, a children’s tea party, a producers market and a cookery theatre, it’s a great day out for the whole family.

    The festival will kick off on the evening of Friday 10 June in the Crail Community Hall with a feast of food prepared by local lassies the East Neuk Cooks, award winning Crail Ale to quench the thirst, quizzing and live music by ‘The Shiverin Sheils who combine a bombastic mix of rock’n’roll, country, gospel and 1950s pop. 

    Highlights of Crail Food Festival on Saturday and Sunday include:


    Producers Market at Crail Community Hall (10.30 - 16.00 both days)
    36 artisan stall holders will allow you to try before you buy some of the finest local cheese, chutneys, gins, and many more.


    Cookery Theatre at Crail Kirk Hall (10.30 – 16.00 both days)
    If Saturday Kitchen Live is your thing, then grab a seat at one of Crail’s live cookery demonstrations. Seating 90, it’s first come first served at the Kirk Hall to see and hear from some of Fife’s finest chefs share their cookery tips.


    Ask to Chef Tasting Sessions at Crail Legion Hall (11.00 – 16.00 both days)
    These informal sit-downs will allow festivalgoers to talk to and learn from local chefs, food writers and producers and taste their dishes.


    The Chocolate Larder at Marketgate (10.30 – 16.00 both days)
    Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier has gathered together some of Scotland’s finest chocolatiers so that visitors can talk to the makers, taste their sample boards and buy some truly artisan Scottish chocolate. 


    Children’s Tea Party at The Marine Hotel (11.00 – 16.00 both days)
    A parents’ pit stop for young (and old) legs to have some refreshments, listen to stories, have play or just relax while parents have a refreshing cup of team between venues.


    Eat, Drink and be Merry on Marketgate (Saturday 11.30 – 15.00, Sunday 10.30 – 15.00)
    A wonderful collection of food and drink will be on offer on the Maketgate to enable visitors to sit and relax, listen to acoustic music while sampling fish tacos, meatball wraps, Penman pies and much more.

    On the Saturday evening a Festival Dinner will be held at the Crail Kirk Hall where Justin Maule, a classically trained chef will be serving, amongst other things, roast pork chop, shallot crowdie and a marmalade ice-cream, created specially for the festival.  The dinner is a celebration of all things Scottish and will include cocktails, entertainment and more.

    Come back for more on Sunday with the Sunday Lunch being served (from 10.30 – 16.00) at the iconic Crail Harbour, where street food vendors and local producers will come together to host a massive picnic for visitors. Shellfish, smokies, ice cream, hog roast and vegetarian dishes will be served while you wait, all washed down with local craft beer or homemade lemonade.

    Graham Anderson, the Event Manager said:

    “Fife provides a world class offering of food and drink and what better place to enjoy it but in the historic Royal Burgh of Crail, nestled in the East Neuk.  Now in its sixth year the festival is gaining strength and popularity and we have a fantastic mix of homegrown produce on display over the weekend.  I’d urge all foodies, music lovers and those looking for a great day out to come to Crail Food Festival, you won’t be disappointed!”

     Crail Food Festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Fife Council.

     Paul Bush OBE said: 

    “We are delighted to be supporting the Crail Food Festival through our National Programme.  Graham and his team have once again developed a fantastic programme of events, showcasing the very best of the region’s local produce. It is also fitting that the festival is part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations offering both locals and visitors a chance to explore some of the East Neuk’s rich architectural heritage as part of the event.”

     An adult day pass for the festival, which includes car parking and access to all venues of the festival, is £5.  Children are free.  Tickets for the evening events are purchased separately. 

     More information and to purchase tickets visit crailfoodfest.co.uk or follow @CrailFoodFest on Twitter or like the event on Facebook

    Category: National Events

  • 23 May 2016

    Further details of Glasgow start to Tour of Britain announced

    Further details of the Glasgow start for this year’s Tour of Britain have today (Wednesday 18 May) been announced, confirming that Stage One of British Cycling’s premier road cycling event will start from George Square in the heart of the city on Sunday 4 September.

    George Square will also host a Team Presentation event on the Saturday evening, at which all 20 world-class teams competing in the race will be presented to the Scottish crowds, while taking place alongside the Start on the Sunday will be the Sky Ride Glasgow, which from Midday will give thousands of cyclists the chance to ride through the city on traffic free roads.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Cycling events like the Tour of Britain are massively important to the Scottish economy and in encouraging people to become more active, and we are delighted to bring such an inspiring event back for its opening stage in 2016.”

    “I can’t think of a better setting for grand depart of this year’s Tour of Britain than Glasgow City Centre and I’m confident that visitors to the city are going to take great delight in bidding farewell to some of the world’s top cyclists as they embark on an eight-day race around the UK, as well as getting involved in the additional activity taking place on the day.

    “After leaving the city, the cyclists are going to be treated to the scenic but challenging countryside of Dumfries and Galloway and East Ayrshire, which will demonstrate to viewers around the world why Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events.”

    Welcoming the event to the city, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “We are looking forward to what is shaping to be an incredible year of cycling in Glasgow and the Grand Depart of the Tour of Britain will be at the heart of it all.


    “Just last month Glasgow was named as one of the world’s top five sporting cities and cycling has played a major part in our rise in recent years, with a number of leading events having taken place in the city including the 2013 British National Road Race Championships.

    “We are looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s top cyclists back to our city in September. The people of Glasgow showed the world how much they loved sport during the best ever Commonwealth Games and I am sure they will turn out in their thousands for the Grand Depart."

    From George Square the opening stage will head through the city centre and through Glasgow Green and alongside the River Clyde before heading south out of the city into East Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire.  It will mark the fifth time that Scotland has hosted Stage One of the Tour of Britain. The event is supported by EventScotland, Glasgow City Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    East Ayrshire will welcome much of the Stage One route for the first time with Stewarton, Kilmarnock and Cumnock all on the route before Stage One heads into Dumfries and Galloway for the finish in Castle Douglas.

    East Ayrshire Provost, Jim Todd, said: “We look forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain cycling event to East Ayrshire in September.

    “East Ayrshire is a land of rolling hills and is the perfect landscape for cyclists to test their abilities as they explore the delights and challenges our countryside has to offer.

    “This will be a remarkable event not only for East Ayrshire, but for Scotland as a whole, as we welcome some of the top cyclists in the world to experience our stunning scenery and rich heritage first hand.”

    It will mark the third time that a stage of the Tour of Britain has finished in Castle Douglas, and the tenth time that the race has either started, finished or race through Dumfries and Galloway and local organisers will be pulling out all the stops to make it, ‘a perfect 10’.

    Dumfries and Galloway is home to rural Scotland’s only Major Festivals and Events Strategy, which has been a key factor behind the sustainable growth of superb events such as the Wigtown Book Festival, the Scottish Rally, Spring Fling Open Studios Weekend, the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and the Big Burns Supper, the Eden and Electric Fields Music Festivals and World Championship Curling and Ice Hockey tournaments.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion said, “Castle Douglas is a beautiful location for the Scottish stage Finish of this year’s Tour of Britain, and a wonderful place to visit for a cycling themed weekend.

    “Dumfries and Galloway Council will do its utmost to support the Tour of Britain, which is one of the most popular events to have ever taken place in the region. Whether you want to simply spectate or do some gentle or strenuous road or mountain bike cycling, Castle Douglas will be the place to be for cycling fans this September.”

    Saturday evening’s Team Presentation will be a free-to-attend event taking place on George Square. Further details of the timings and format for the presentation will be announced in the coming months.

    Vicky Strange, Head of Development for Scottish Cycling said, “Scottish Cycling is excited yet again this year to have the elite racing on our doorstep that the Tour of Britain brings. Glasgow has proven itself to be a cycling city over the past few years, with the Commonwealth Games and securing the European Championships for 2018, so to have the Grand Depart this year makes it all the more special.

    “Securing and staging elite racing and major events in Scotland is fundamental to achieving our Inspiration to participation strategy. We will continue to utilise events such as the Tour of Britain to build strategic partnerships with Scotland's local authorities and other stakeholders to drive our wider cycling ambitions with regards to getting more people riding bikes, be it through local clubs, participation programmes, competition or social cycling."

    To find out more about the Sky Ride Glasgow on Sunday 4 September, please click here.

    Scotland has hosted ten stages of the modern Tour of Britain in previous editions, with Glasgow last welcoming the race in 2008.  The city has hosted the race on four previous occasions, most notable the race start in 2005 and 2006, and the overall finish on Glasgow Green in 2007.

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

    Category: Cycling

  • 19 May 2016

    SUPERCARS IN TOP GEAR AS THE STIG GUEST STARS IN SCOTLAND

    Top Gear’s tame racing driver, The Stig, will be in action behind the wheel of a stunning selection of supercars to ensure Glasgow’s IGNITION Festival of Motoring is the must attend event of the summer.

    One of the star displays at the festival, to be held at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on 5-7 August, will be the Top Gear Magazine Supercar Grid, which will be crammed with Lamborghinis, Porsches, McLarens, Mustangs, Mercedes and more.

    But this will be no mere static display. At regular intervals, the supercars will be fired up and taken out on high-speed laps of the show’s bespoke street circuit to be laid out around the SECC and the nearby SSE Hydro Arena.

    The Stig will be the lead driver for the performance laps throughout the show’s three days.

    “You seldom see cars like the Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8 V10 and McLaren 675LT out on the road, but thanks to Top Gear magazine, you can go one better than that. Come to our grid at IGNITION and not only can you get up close to some of the latest and greatest cars from around the world including the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ariel Nomad, Mercedes AMG GTS, the iconic Mustang V8 and many more, but you will also be able to see and hear them in action,” said Top Gear magazine Editor in Chief, Charlie Turner.

    Advance tickets for Scotland’s three-day festival of tyre smoking, engine-revving excitement, are now on sale, with prices to suit every pocket. Single tickets bought in advance start at just £28 while a family day ticket for two adults and up to three children costs just £65. 

    Full details on all ticket prices, including special VIP entry to the show’s star-studded opening evening, can be found on the IGNITION website – www.ignitionfestival.co.uk – where you can also sign up to the event newsletter and be among the first to hear event news.

    IGNITION promises to be the most ambitious motoring event ever staged in Scotland. Presenting the best in motoring from the past, present and future as well as highlighting Scotland’s own contribution to motor sport, IGNITION is a dynamic celebration of high octane excitement.

    As well as hall after hall of cars and bikes old and new, highlights include a live action zone while there will also be display laps by iconic competition machinery including a Red Bull Racing RB7 Formula One car which will be driven by Scotland’s own Formula One hero David Coulthard.

    Coulthard will drive the RB7 on Saturday and Sunday, 6 and 7 August, Sergio Sette Camara from the Red Bull Junior team will be behind the wheel on Friday 6 August while rally legend Jimmy McRae will be demonstrating son Colin’s championship-winning Subaru Impreza. Boyzone star Shane Lynch will be drifting his supercharged Nissan 370Z and the Top Gear Live Stunt Team will be offering thrills a plenty.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The IGNITION Festival of Motoring promises to be an exciting event, and it is fantastic news that the Stig will be the lead driver for the performance laps. 

    The event is expected to attract visitors from across Scotland and further afield, for what will be thrilling weekend of motoring action that will fully utilise the outstanding facilities in and around Glasgow’s SECC."

    Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We're really looking forward to hosting the inaugural IGNITION Festival of Motoring. The announcement of the Street Circuit is incredibly exciting as it marks a UK first for Glasgow and will put the city right at the heart of the action. Today's announcement reinforces Glasgow's enviable reputation as a world-class destination which works with major event organisers to create show-stopping events that pack a real punch for audiences.”

    IGNITION Festival of Motoring is staged by the team behind the globally successful Top Gear Live events, the London Classic Car Show, Top Gear Festivals and the Chris Evans-inspired CarFest North and South family shows.

    Category: Motorsport

  • 19 May 2016

    Funding boost for Stirling’s Highland Games

    Stirling Highland Games event organiser, Matt McGrandles is delighted to announce that EventScotland has awarded funding through its National programme to help develop the growing cultural and sporting event for the Stirling area.

    “We have some big plans for this year’s event,” Matt explained. “In addition to providing a highly successful competition for athletes we want a day out at Stirling Highland Games to be an experience for our visitors.”

    “So, when they come along to enjoy the traditional highland games events this year, they will also be able to enjoy our Trade Village which includes an array of Scotland’s award winning food and drink produce, sample some craft beer at the Harviestoun draught keg beer bar, meet some Scottish Clans and give the younger audience the chance to participate in some activities with a mini highland games challenge for kids.”

    The funding secured from EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will allow Stirling Highland Games to develop its digital marketing campaign and food and drink offering. Building on the success of last year’s games the 2016 event will create more opportunities for Scotland’s Food & Drink producers to sell to a wider client base. The Stirling Games attracts many overseas visitors as well as visitors from across the UK to the region each year.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Stirling Highland Games again this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Matt and his team have brought together another exciting programme, including a strong food and drink element. Our support and will enable the event to develop and grow; delivering a significant economic impact and attracting visitors from across Stirlingshire and further afield.”

    There is definitely something for everyone at this year’s event and Stirling Highland Games Chieftain, Lesley Paterson, looks forward to welcoming you on Saturday 20th August. Discounted tickets can be purchased online up until 31st July at www.stirlinghighlandgames.com.

    Category: National Events

  • 18 May 2016

    UK’s leading city centre cycle race series heads to Edinburgh on Thursday 19 May

    Thousands of enthusiastic cycling fans will line the iconic streets of Edinburgh’s old town on Thursday 19 May 2016 when round three of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the UK’s leading city centre team cycle race series is staged in the capital.  The main race will start at 19.30 with support races and an open hill climb time trial starting at 16.00.  All races are free to spectate.

     Spectators will be looking to get the best vantage points as six of the UK’s top professional cycling teams (of five riders each) race around a challenging closed-road circuit in the heart of the capital. 

     The teams, who include defending Champions Madison Genesis, JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS, will travel to Edinburgh fresh from racing in Motherwell, home to round two of the series on Tuesday 17 May.  It the first time the unique team based televised event has held a pair of rounds in Scotland

     JLT Condor presented by Mavic extended their lead in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to make it three victories from three races (two rounds) in 2016, with Jon Mould's individual win in Motherwell helping secure the maximum 10-points.

     Evan Oliphant from Team Raleigh GAC, who are lying third in the overall team classification after round two in Motherwell, who is from Tranent in East Lothian, said: “It's fantastic to have the opportunity to have a top race on my doorstep and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in in front of friends and family.”

     Edinburgh’s fast, furious and tactical race will be staged on a new and extremely challenging 1.6-kilometre circuit that includes cobbles, a gruelling hill climb and hairpin bends The 500 metre cobbled climb up Victoria Street, which was used when the series last came to the city in 2014, will again form the centre piece of the race. In 2016 the riders will turn left at the top of the street to take in the Lawnmarket and a fast downhill section on Johnston Terrace below Edinburgh Castle, before returning to the Grassmarket via West Port. 

     Mick Bennett, The Pearl Izumi Tour Series Race Director, said: “The new Edinburgh circuit is going to make the racing even better, for the riders and for spectators.  We’ve retained the spectacular Victoria Street climb, which for me is one of the most iconic locations in the Tour Series, and now will also be racing in the shadow of the famous Castle.  It’s a hard circuit and will make for a great race.”

     The teams will tear round the circuit for a lung busting and energy sapping 60 minutes and five laps, offering some close, tactical and very spectator friendly racing.  The overall winner and the team with the lowest cumulative times will be crowned the Edinburgh Champions at a podium ceremony immediately following the end of the race.  Series leaders, both team and individual will also be announced.

     Jack Pullar from the Pedal Heaven team, a former British National Hill Climb Champion who represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, said “Edinburgh is my favourite city in the whole of the UK. I’ve had a lot of good memories there, so it’s going to be a special race for me.  I think with the new course it’s going to be even better than last time, because you take in even more of the sights, like the Castle. We were third team In Motherwell and we’re moving back-up, so I think it’s upwards from here.  As a team we should suit Edinburgh, so we’re targeting a good result.”

     Edinburgh’s Festival and Events Champion, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “Winding through the hilly, cobbled streets of the Grassmarket in full view of Edinburgh Castle, this has to be one of the most visually stunning legs of the Pearl Izumi series. Make sure you get there early to secure the best view and to cheer on the riders as they go head to head.

     “Cycling really is on the rise in the Capital with more than 16.5 million cycle trips now being made annually in the city.  As a compact, densely populated and beautiful city, Edinburgh is suited perfectly to travel by bike and high profile events like the Pearl Izumi help to promote cycling and sport in the city.”

     The free to attend, action packed event, centred around the Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle and West Bow, is brought to Edinburgh by Sweetspot, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Tour Series in 2016 and are excited about the prospect of seeing some of the UK’s finest talent battling it out through the streets of Edinburgh following a highly successful Motherwell stage yesterday.

     “The number of cyclists in the capital and across the country is on the rise and events, such as Tour Series, have an important part to play in this, encouraging people to participate in a sport that is not only terrific fun but also provides a great means of transport.”

     In addition to the main race Edinburgh will also host a corporate Pro-Am relay, sponsored by Brother UK, and other support events including an open hill climb up Victoria Street and an amateur club race that will give aspiring local club riders the chance to race on the same course as the pro-teams.  The support events begin with the The Grassmarket Scramble at 16.00 with the main event of the evening being staged at 19.30.

     There will be a small promo event village in the Grassmarket with leading cycle brands, cycling organisations and cycling events exhibiting.

     Highlights of the Edinburgh event will be shown on ITV4 on the evening of Friday 20 May and will be available via catch-up services with the ITV Player.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 May 2016

    Programme Announced: Event Marketing Innovation Seminar – Trends and Opportunities

     

    Delegates are set to hear about recent marketing innovations, event marketing concepts and future opportunities from a selection of industry-leading practitioners on Thursday 2 June.
    The seminar is being delivered by the VisitScotland Events Directorate in partnership with Edinburgh’s Festivals and Edinburgh Napier University. Only a handful of places remain and can be booked here, a waiting list will then be put into operation.
    The programme, announced today, will give you a look at how event marketeers are responding to current trends and opportunities to maximise event attendance. The seminar is designed to provide useful information to anyone involved in the organisation and/or promotion of events in Scotland.
    The Programme Includes:
    An Edinburgh’s Festivals panel where Dr Jane Ali-Knight will discuss recent marketing innovation trends and challenges with: Amanda Barry, Head of Marketing & PR, Edinburgh International Book Festival; Elizabeth Burchell, Head of Marketing & Sponsorship, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; Kirsty Tough, Marketing Manager, Edinburgh International Film Festival and; Owen O’Leary, Marketing and Communications Manager (Mat. Cover), Edinburgh International Science Festival 2016.
    Delegates will hear how to join the ScotSpirit movement and maximise the benefits for their events, with VisitScotland’s first ever global brand for Scotland in Sharing the Spirit of Scotland with Mark Irwin, Senior Brand Engagement Manager, VisitScotland.
    An introduction to the theory of events and festivals marketing from Dr Louise Todd, Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.
    Kirstie Macdonald, Client Director and Board Member at Disruptive Insight will provide an indepth look at Big Data for Events – The Future Advantage.  Following up on her fascinating introduction to the subject at the National Events Conference 2015, Kirstie will provide some key take-home messages for delegates.
    Delegates will be welcomed to the seminar by Marie Christie, Head of Development – Events Industry, VisitScotland and hosted by Dr Jane Ali-Knight Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University.
    Catering
    Tea and coffee will be provided on arrival and during the mid-morning networking break.  Lunch will be provided form 13.00pm – 14.00pm.
    Venue
    The Event Marketing Innovation – Trends and Opportunities Seminar taking place from 9.30am to 2pm on Thursday 2 June at Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus

    Delegates are set to hear about recent marketing innovations, event marketing concepts and future opportunities from a selection of industry-leading practitioners on Thursday 2 June.

    The seminar is being delivered by the VisitScotland Events Directorate in partnership with Edinburgh’s Festivals and Edinburgh Napier University.

    Only a handful of places remain and can be booked here, a waiting list will then be put into operation.The programme, announced today, will give you a look at how event marketeers are responding to current trends and opportunities to maximise event attendance.

    The seminar is designed to provide useful information to anyone involved in the organisation and/or promotion of events in Scotland.
    The Programme Includes:

    An Edinburgh’s Festivals panel where Dr Jane Ali-Knight will discuss recent marketing innovation trends and challenges with: Amanda Barry, Head of Marketing & PR, Edinburgh International Book Festival; Elizabeth Burchell, Head of Marketing & Sponsorship, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; Kirsty Tough, Marketing Manager, Edinburgh International Film Festival and; Owen O’Leary, Marketing and Communications Manager (Mat. Cover), Edinburgh International Science Festival 2016.

    Delegates will hear how to join the ScotSpirit movement and maximise the benefits for their events, with VisitScotland’s first ever global brand for Scotland in Sharing the Spirit of Scotland with Mark Irwin, Senior Brand Engagement Manager, VisitScotland.

    An introduction to the theory of events and festivals marketing from Dr Louise Todd, Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.

    Kirstie Macdonald, Client Director and Board Member at Disruptive Insight will provide an indepth look at Big Data for Events – The Future Advantage.  Following up on her fascinating introduction to the subject at the National Events Conference 2015, Kirstie will provide some key take-home messages for delegates.

    Delegates will be welcomed to the seminar by Marie Christie, Head of Development – Events Industry, VisitScotland and hosted by Dr Jane Ali-Knight Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University.
    Catering

    Tea and coffee will be provided on arrival and during the mid-morning networking break.  Lunch will be provided form 13.00pm – 14.00pm.
    Venue

    The Event Marketing Innovation – Trends and Opportunities Seminar taking place from 9.30am to 2pm on Thursday 2 June at Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus

     

    Category: Industry News

  • 17 May 2016

    SCOTTISH FILMMAKING CELEBRATED AT THE 70TH EDITION OF THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

     Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is delighted to unveil an exciting selection of Scottish titles as part of the 2016 Festival programme. Featuring an eclectic mix of features, shorts, documentaries, animations, and exclusive events, EIFF will celebrate its landmark 70th Edition by showcasing the very best in filmmaking and talent from across the country.

    As previously announced, two homegrown films will bookend the festival, with a raft of acclaimed titles screened between them. The Opening Night Gala is the World Premiere of Jason Connery’s enthralling drama TOMMY’S HONOUR, starring Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Jack Lowden (War and Peace) as the pioneering father and son duo Old Tom and Young Tommy Morris, while the World Premiere of Gillies Mackinnon’s WHISKY GALORE!, featuring Gregor Fisher (Love Actually), James Cosmo (Braveheart), Kevin Guthrie (Sunset Song), Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), and Eddie Izzard (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) will close the Festival.

    Artistic Director Mark Adams said: “We are delighted to once again cast the spotlight on great Scottish talent at this year’s festival. It speaks so much about the breadth and variety of filmmakers, craftspeople and performers that our selection of projects featuring local talent shines so brightly.

    ”Natalie Usher, Director of Film & Media at Creative Scotland, said "EIFF is a key event in Scotland's cultural calendar, offering audiences inspirational, world class cinema. With debut features like Graham Maley's thriller PALE STAR and Mike Day's breathtaking documentary THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, screening alongside Jason Connery's powerfully moving TOMMY’S HONOUR and wickedly entertaining animation from the duo Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, EIFF is recognising and celebrating the wealth and depth of home-grown filmmaking talent supported by Creative Scotland."

    EIFF audiences can look forward to MOON DOGS, the feature film debut from renowned television director Philip John (Downton Abbey, Outlander). Produced by Kathy Spiers, a former EIFF Talent Lab participant, the stylish coming-of-age tale follows the misadventures of two teenage boys (charismatic youngsters Jack Perry-Jones and Christy O’Donnell) on a road trip with Caitlin (Tara Lee) and features a wealth of Scottish talent and locations. Meanwhile, Steven Lewis Simpson’s NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG will also take audiences on a journey - this time down the winding roads of Native American country, anchored by a startling performance by 97-year-old Lakota elder Chief Dave Bald Eagle.

    Scottish actor Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) shines in the comic family drama STICKY NOTES alongside Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez and Hollywood heavyweight Ray Liotta as a struggling dancer striving to hit the big time in Los Angeles. Fellow Scot Angus Macfadyen, best known for taking on the role of Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, will bring his directorial debut MACBETH UNHINGED to the Festival. The pulsating black and white modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy brings a fresh perspective to the timeless classic.

    Emmy Award-winning Dundee native Brian Cox will be in attendance for acclaimed comedy THE CARER, in which he stars alongside Anna Chancellor and Emilia Fox, and for brooding western FORSAKEN with Donald and Kiefer Sutherland. Ayrshire-born director Graeme Maley will also be taking two brand new features to the festival, with screenings of his Nordic film noir A REYKJAVIK PORNO, and the hypnotic Icelandic thriller PALE STAR. Scottish star Dougray Scott appears in the apocalyptic thriller THE REZORT, the latest feature from director Steve Barker who’s previous films, Outpost and Outpost: The Black Sun, were filmed in Scotland.

    Animation fans can enjoy Five Animated Years of Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson, as the Festival presents the first major retrospective of the inventive, wickedly entertaining work of the world-renowned pair of Scottish animators. Notable for collaborating on the likes of The Making of Longbird and Monkey Love Experiments; their work has been recognised at festivals across the globe, each garnering an EIFF McLaren Award for Best British Animation in recent years.

    EIFF Talent Lab alumni will be making their mark on this year’s Festival as producer Irene Gurtubai and Edinburgh-based filmmaker Ben Sharrock bring the director’s deadpan delight PIKADERO to local audiences. Feted throughout the world, the absurdist comedy romance has won a string of awards to date. Additionally, fellow Edinburgh-based director and Talent Lab participant Mike Day will present his stunning documentary feature THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, which sheds a light on the impact of the modern life on the Faro Islands. The streets of Sharrock and Day’s home city are featured prominently in Giuseppe Tornatore’s profoundly moving contemplation of the nature of love and loss THE CORRESPONDENCE, while another Edinburgh based filmmaker Icíar Bollaín will bring new feature THE OLIVE TREE, written by Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty, to Festival screens.

    EIFF will also play host to two bona fide modern Scottish classics, with a special screening confirmed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s instantly iconic shot of cinematic adrenaline, TRAINSPOTTING, and a World Premiere screening of the newly 4K restored HIGHLANDER, attended by the film’s star Clancy Brown.

    Other highlights include the return to EIFF of renowned artist-filmmaker Henry Coombes, set to showcase debut feature SEAT IN SHADOW, an arresting study of an eccentric artist who doubles as a Jung-inspired psychotherapist, as well as a preview screenings of the first three episodes of acclaimed BBC Alba Gaelic television show BANNAN with cast and filmmakers in attendance, and the World Premiere of Niall McCann’s documentary LOST IN FRANCE that charts the rise and success of Glasgow-based independent record label, Chemical Underground. LOST IN FRANCE will also play an integral part of Sound + Vision, a two-day film and music event that will take place at Summerhall, as part of Film Fest in the City, over the first weekend of the Festival and will feature outdoor screenings alongside live sets from a collective of local bands.

    This year’s Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap series will focus on the theme of Women. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch Lucie Rachel’s perceptive WHERE WE ARE NOW, Lindsay Brown’s SWAN, Wilma Smith’s THE REVIEW and Natalia Kouneli’s SILENT LAUGHS.

    The Shorts Programme boasts a raft of Scottish titles, including STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA by Tracey Fearnehough and Holger Mohaupt; TRANSIT ZONE by Frederik Subei; and eight shorts from the Scottish Film Talent Network – a consortium made up of the festival’s parent body, Centre for the Moving Image, Hopscotch Films and DigiCult. Shorts screening as part of the Festival include: CROWMAN by Duncan Nicoll, DAVE by Garry J Marshall and Chris Watson, GRIMM STREET by Siri Rodnes, NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Cat Bruce, SPORES by Richard and Frances Poet, THE RAT KING by Pavel Shepan, MEET ME BY THE WATER by Raisah Ahmed, and David Cairns’ THE NORTHLEACH HORROR. Finally, Scottish titles in the animation section include Ross Hogg and Duncan Cowles’ ISABELLA; and a trio of titles from Edinburgh College of Art students: ILLUSIONS by Dominica Harrison, THE LAST DAY from Muqing Shu, and Robert Duncan’s RECORD/RECORD.

    Category: International Events

  • 16 May 2016

    COUNTDOWN TO FIRST DUNDEE DESIGN FESTIVAL 25-28 MAY 2016

    Dundee, the UK's only UNESCO City of Design, is hosting the first Design Festival from 25-28 May cementing the city's position as a leader in Design and Design thinking.

     A former print works in the once industrial heart of the city will play host to an ambitious programme of design activity including an exhibition featuring some of the most innovative design in the country.

     Focusing on design for health and wellbeing and including the best of digital, games, textiles, healthcare, social design and architecture, this ground-breaking-work will examine how design involves everyone, connects everything and makes anything possible.

     There will be a series of talks and events that echo the themes – social design, design for all, health and textiles and is part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

     The theme for the first Dundee Design Festival is “Place. Work. Folk. Design”,  exploring the potential of design to connect the city’s communities and improve our every day lives.

     The exhibition will feature projects by architecture and design agency Lateral North, models by Frank Gehry and Kengo Kuma, objects selected by Maggie’s Centre architects including Rem Koolhaas, Richard Murphy and Zaha Hadid, fashion design by Hayley Scanlan and Kerrie Aldo, games by Space Budgie, Guerilla Tea and Fox Wot I Drew, digital design by Slurrp and eeGeo, medical animation by Vivomotion plus Hands of X – a participatory project that brings amputees together with designers and makers to create prototypes of simple hand designs.

    Siôn Parkinson, producer of the Dundee Design Festival says, “The amazing opportunity this festival gives us is that we can be totally reactive to the design activity around us. As well as showcasing the brilliant designers and makers in the city, we can examine how Dundee is framing problems and finding solutions. This includes using brand new research from the University of Dundee, Abertay Universtiy and DJCAD, as well as techniques from the medical schools, looking at science that is just happening.”

    “And so the exhibition will focus on some of the great design stories emerging from Dundee right now, stories about what design can do. For example, you’ll see interactive designers working with amputees to create prototypes of prosthetic hands. You’ll see surgeons and pathologists working with medical designers to create bespoke, 3D-printed radiology masks. You’ll see game designers and animators working with cancer research charities to design games to process genetic data. You’ll see forensic scientists working with product designers to create smoke alarms designed to wake up kids in deep sleep. You’ll see landscape designers working with mental health patients to design community gardens. We’re showcasing how a city the size of Dundee makes collaboration and co-design possible.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: 

    “The Dundee Design Festival perfectly showcases Scotland’s heritage and innovation in the field, and we are delighted to support the event in its inaugural year. As Scotland celebrates the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the festival’s wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and workshops present a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals to experience the city’s vibrant culture and creativity.”

     The festival also features exhibitions by V&A Museum of Design Dundee, Design in Action, as well as playing host to Scottish Jewellery Week, a showcase of the best jewellers and silversmiths in the country.

     Highlight events include :

     Design economy and the effect of design on business is the focus on the first day of the festival Wednesday 25th May. The Design Revolution event jointly organised by V&A Dundee will showcase how design can support business innovation and economic growth, bringing international experts to Dundee to share their knowledge.Speakers including Ulrich Weinberg (School of Design Thinking, Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam) and Stephen Miller (The Design Council).

     On Thursday 26 May, Mass Assembly will bring together those who are part of creative hubs, collectives, networks and clusters from all locations, rural and urban. The forum aims to build stronger connections across Scotland and beyond, offer inspiration and practical insights to creative practitioners and producers.

     On Friday 27th May the Director of Maggie’s Centre Dundee, Lesley Howells will examine how the healing power of architecture can work whilst a team from Helsinki will discuss how design brought about social change in Finland.

     On Saturday 28th May visitors can learn from Maria Maclennan, a forensic jeweller, who spends her days examining how objects can piece together stories after death or disaster.

     There’s time in the programme to get your hands dirty with design too, including a weaving workshop with Cally Booker, a service design workshop that will help participants think about the city of Dundee and its tourism future. The Wearable Art team will be encouraging participants to design new items of clothing.

     On Saturday 28th May the workshops are aimed at the youngest in the design community, with workshops in screen printing, comic creation and designing a new game.

     On site during the festival will be a pop-up café, with locally sourced food available all day, provided by Masterchef winner, Jamie Scott.

    Visit dundeedesignfestival.com for the full four-day programme line up.

    Category: National Events

  • 13 May 2016

    GUINNESS PRO12 PLAYOFF TEAMS MAKE CAPITAL VISIT

    The captains and coaches of the four Guinness PRO12 semi-finalists were at BT Murrayfield as they prepare to battle for a place in the Guinness PRO12 Final in Edinburgh on Saturday 28 May.

    More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the Guinness PRO12 Final, which will be the first on Scottish soil.

    The first semi-final, on Friday 20 May (19:45) will pit table toppers Leinster against in-form Ulster at the RDS in Dublin, with the teams having met at the end of April in the regular season.

    And while Ulster were victorious on that occasion in Belfast, head coach Les Kiss is expecting a completely different challenge this time around, particularly away from home.

    He said: “For the last five or six weeks, we’ve been at the edge of it and we’ve had to win to get where we have to so that’s been good prep for us ahead of probably the hardest away game you could play.

    “That’s one of the challenges, I’ve always looked at the big games, the semis as close to 50/50 but history says it’s probably closer to 60/40 if you get the home advantage but that’s one of the challenges you have to come against.

    “We also know the last time we played them they were probably short a run, they will be a totally different beast.”

    Leinster sealed top spot in the table with a bonus-point victory over Benetton Treviso in their final game of the regular season, and as they prepare for a return to Dublin, second row Mike McCarthy wants to give the home fans a great show.

    He said: “We wanted that for our fans to give them a home semi but now we need to go on and win that. It will be a very tough game for us after we had a very bad day at the office up at Ulster. They are playing great rugby, so we’re under no illusions as to how tough it will be.”

    The second semi-final on Saturday 21 May (18:30) will see a rematch of the final game of the regular season as Connacht host defending champions Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground in Galway.

    And with the final taking place back in Scotland the following week, Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend believes it’s an exciting time for Scottish rugby.

    “We’re here to promote the Guinness PRO12 Final, it’s fantastic for Scottish rugby that the final is being held at BT Murrayfield, it’s great for the Guinness PRO12 that over 30,000 tickets have been sold,” he said.

    “For us it’s about getting to the final wherever that might be. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do to play better and get a chance of making that final. But it’s a great thing that so many tickets have been sold already.”

    Connacht will host a semi-final for the first time, but while they are the only team not to have previously won the competition, head coach Pat Lam is relishing the opportunity to play knock-out rugby.

    He said: “It’s play-off rugby now, we know that the other three teams have been there before and won it.

    “This is new territory for us but the way we see it, there’s a one in four chance. The biggest thing we’ve done throughout the season, we’ve worked hard to get it at home.

    “There’s no doubt it’s pretty magic at the Sportsground. Both teams have shown throughout the season that they like to play a certain game which is entertaining so if we get the weather it will be a great day at the Sportsground.”

    In a season full of surprises in the league, where there was virtually nothing to choose between the top three right up until the final weekend, it makes it impossible to pick an overall winner.

    And for Martin Anayi, managing director at PRO12 Rugby, that means there is all the more reason for all rugby fans to book their tickets to Edinburgh – no matter who you support.

    “The Guinness PRO12 Final in Edinburgh will be a spectacular afternoon,” he said. “We have four hugely talented teams that have reached the play-offs and all are worthy of gracing the final at Edinburgh.

    “Just like the regular season, it’s so difficult to call or predict who will lift the trophy in Edinburgh and that is what makes our competition so unique and so popular for supporters.

    “Whether you support one of the four teams represented in the play-offs or you are just a rugby fan keen on soaking up a special atmosphere and occasion; Edinburgh will be the place for you on May 28.” 

    To be part of a great weekend in Edinburgh, and to buy tickets, hospitality or for accommodation information for the Guinness PRO12 Final, 28 May at BT Murrayfield visit: www.pro12rugby.com

    Category: Rugby

  • 13 May 2016

    NEW SIGNATURE EVENT FUND ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 YEAR OF HISTORY, HERITAGE & ARCHAEOLOGY

    £300,000 event fund launched to celebrate Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
    Applications open today (Friday 13 May 2016) for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for a 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology event grant to create a Signature Event programme for the year.
    Scotland has a wealth of riches in history, heritage and archaeology. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology will shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.
    History and heritage is already a key motivator for visits to Scotland and an important part of the visitor experience.
    As part of the year’s celebrations, we are looking to create and expand opportunities for locals and visitors to participate and engage with event activity celebrating one or more of the themes.
    Scotland already has an enviable portfolio of existing events celebrating history, heritage and archaeology which will form a key part of the 2017 event calendar.  
    To add to this already rich and diverse programme of existing events, the dedicated 2017 History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event fund has been designed to support both new and existing events with additional elements celebrating one of more of the three themes.
    Signature Events should be high profile and support the objectives of the year which include promoting Scotland, celebrating our achievements, encouraging significant participation and engagement and boosting both local and national tourism.
    The fund will accept applications for grants from £20,000 up to a maximum of £60,000.  
    If your project does not fit the criteria of the Signature Events programme, there may be other funding routes may be available.  
    For example, The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is delighted to be an active and supportive partner in 2017’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. HLF has funds, raised through the National Lottery, available for exciting new projects to help people up and down the country explore, enjoy, and share the heritage we all care about. More information >>
    As an additional resource, a list of potential funding routes, including EventScotland funding opportunities is available.
    In addition to the Event Fund Launch, there is an introductory 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Toolkit now live on visitscotland.org, which currently includes free to use images and promotional wording. The logo pack for the year can also be requested. More information will be added to the toolkit as the year progresses.
    #HHA2017.

    £300,000 event fund launched to celebrate Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

    Applications open today (Friday 13 May 2016) for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for a 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology event grant to create a Signature Event programme for the year.

    Scotland has a wealth of riches in history, heritage and archaeology. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology will shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.

    History and heritage is already a key motivator for visits to Scotland and an important part of the visitor experience.

    As part of the year’s celebrations, we are looking to create and expand opportunities for locals and visitors to participate and engage with event activity celebrating one or more of the themes.

    Scotland already has an enviable portfolio of existing events celebrating history, heritage and archaeology which will form a key part of the 2017 event calendar.  

    To add to this already rich and diverse programme of existing events, the dedicated 2017 History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event fund has been designed to support both new and existing events with additional elements celebrating one of more of the three themes.

    Signature Events should be high profile and support the objectives of the year which include promoting Scotland, celebrating our achievements, encouraging significant participation and engagement and boosting both local and national tourism.

    The fund will accept applications for grants from £20,000 up to a maximum of £60,000.  

    If your project does not fit the criteria of the Signature Events programme, there may be other funding routes may be available.  

    For example, The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is delighted to be an active and supportive partner in 2017’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. HLF has funds, raised through the National Lottery, available for exciting new projects to help people up and down the country explore, enjoy, and share the heritage we all care about. More information >>

    As an additional resource, a list of potential funding routes, including EventScotland funding opportunities is available.

    In addition to the Event Fund Launch, there is an introductory 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Toolkit now live on visitscotland.org, which currently includes free to use images and promotional wording. The logo pack for the year can also be requested. More information will be added to the toolkit as the year progresses.

    #HHA2017

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 12 May 2016

    Double whammy ticket deal for Scottish golf fans

    Two of Scotland’s top golf events in 2016 have joined forces in an innovative move to get more spectators out on the course to support the world’s top players.

    Thanks to the unique partnership, spectators purchasing a ticket at the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield Links from 4-7 August will be given free access to the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open (19-21 August) at the same venue just a few weeks later.

    The double ticket offer will mean even greater value for spectators, who will be able to enjoy two days out for the price of one while watching some of the most famous faces in the game, including former Major Champions and Ryder Cup players.

    Both events are being supported by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate and form part of a spectacular summer of golf in Scotland during 2016, featuring nine golf events the length and breadth of the country.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “This is a tremendous example of two top-class golf events working together to encourage more spectators to take in the spectacular golf that will be on show in Scotland throughout the summer.

    “Archerfield Links is a great venue and we look forward to seeing lots of spectators lining the fairways for both the Paul Lawrie Match Play and the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open, proving that Scotland is not only the Home of Golf but the perfect stage for the world’s greatest events.”

    The Paul Lawrie Match Play is a 64-man knock out event which is part of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai schedule and promises to be a great summer event on Scotland’s ‘Golf Coast’. Ticket prices have been kept low to encourage families to come and spend a day out and watch the players showcase their match play abilities. Adult day tickets are £15, Under 18’s can enter for free.

    Paul Lawrie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for golf supporters to see two generations of golfing professionals on one of Scotland’s finest links courses in the space of 3 weeks. We have teamed up with the Senior Tour so that adults who attend the Match Play, will enjoy free entry to the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open event later in the month.

    The Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open is a superb event with a high quality field, the supporters will learn a lot from watching both events’

    Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said:  “This tremendous initiative rewards the loyalty of the Scottish golfing public to our tournaments and will enable the public to see the best of the generations in East Lothian.”

    In order to qualify for free admission, adult spectators must retain their ticket from the Paul Lawrie Match Play or show proof of purchase on the gate at the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open.

    Tickets priced £10 normally. FOC for Under-16s when accompanied by an adult. Free parking.

    To book tickets go to www.europeantour.com/tickets or call 0800 023 2557.

    Event website: www.paullawriematchplay.com

    Category: Golf

  • 12 May 2016

    FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS DELIVERS £4.13M FOR SCOTTISH ECONOMY

    The 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships contributed £4.13m to the Scottish economy according to an economic impact report conducted by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Research Centre.

    Staged within the estate of the famous Blair Castle in Perthshire from September 10-13, 2015, the event also greatly benefitted local and Scottish companies and encouraged more than 63,000 people to attend.

    Accommodation, it was shown, was a key contributor to the overall economic impact figure, with 89% of visitors staying locally for at least one evening and 25,000 bed nights being taken up in total.

    In order to compile the findings, researchers conducted 1-2-1 interviews with attendees, seeking responses on areas such as accommodation, spending, length of stay and provision of services.

    The prestigious occasion also earned 268 hours of television broadcast worldwide, delivering images of one of Scotland’s most scenic areas to almost 35m people globally.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The FEI European Eventing Championships were a tremendous occasion for Scotland and had an incredibly positive impact on both local and national economies, encouraging an influx of visitors to Perthshire.

    “The event also generated terrific exposure for one of the country’s most scenic areas through worldwide media coverage, which has created the potential for further inbound tourism, representing a significant legacy impact. We hope many of those who have been inspired by these images of Scotland take the decision to return for this year’s Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials.”

    David Holmes, British Eventing Chief Executive, said: “This Economic Impact information demonstrates clearly a significant part of the value of hosting such Championships in Great Britain. The fantastic collaboration between the team at Blair Castle, British Eventing, the BEF, UK Sport, EventScotland and Horse Scotland helped ensure the event was a success both financially, in media terms and of course for visitors and competitors”.

    Simon Morton Chief Operating Officer at UK Sport, said: “Generating significant economic impact for host cities and regions is one of the key reasons why UK Sport invests National Lottery funding into events across the UK.

    “The European Eventing Championships in 2015 was part of UK Sport’s major events programme, which is attracting 90 major events to the UK before 2023, creating a projected economic impact of £500m. We hope the Blair Castle International Horse Trials continues to grow and realise not only the sporting benefits but the impacts for the local economy as well.”

    Top level eventing will return to the estate in 2016, as the Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials, a staple on the Scottish events calendar, takes place for the 27th time from August 25-28.

    For further information, including sponsorship opportunities, log-on to www.blairhorsetrials.co.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 11 May 2016

    CYCLISTS MOVE UP A GEAR IN ANTICIPATION OF SCOTLAND’S MOST CHALLENGING SPORTIVE

    Hot on the heels of last weekend’s successful Etape Caledonia, which saw 5,000 lycra-clad cycling enthusiasts take to the scenic roads of Highland Perthshire, the North East of Scotland’s very own Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale is preparing for record numbers of entries as cyclists hang up their helmets, ice their achy muscles and limber up for their next challenge. 

    The popularity of road cycling is soaring to an all-time high with more than two million people UK-wide cycling at least once a week.  Sales of manufactured bikes has climbed by 69%* and interest in long-distance routes continues to gather pace. The Royale’s organisers, WildFox Events, predict a big rise in registration numbers in the 100mile closed road sportive over the next few weeks.

    Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling says: “Scotland is a beautiful place to cycle, whether on road or off the beaten track, and the number of people choosing to cycle across the country, for sport or recreation, has grown dramatically in the past four years.

     “Scottish Cycling has not only seen a growth in their 183 affiliated clubs and those wishing to enter the talent pathway, but in recreational cycling too. The number of people entering mass participation cycling events across Scotland increases year on year; Scottish Cycling had around 28,000 participants in events listed on its calendar last year alone”.

     A season finale for many competitive road cyclists, the Etape Royale which will take place on Sunday 18th September is sponsored by Quilter Cheviot and supported by EventScotland.  Marie Curie is the official charity partner however other charities including local initiatives along the route are also set to benefit as uniquely 10% of the registration fee is pledged by WildFox to support the communities hosting the event.

    David Loudon, Quilter Cheviot Chief Executive said, “The Etape Royale is a fantastic event set in a stunning part of Scotland. Having been involved with the challenge last year we understand how it helps to support the local economy in Ballater and surrounding communities. We feel that support is absolutely crucial this year, given the impact of recent floods. Many of our colleagues, clients and contacts are keen cyclists and we want to demonstrate our shared passion for the sport through initiatives such as this.”

     The 100 mile circular route which starts and finishes in Ballater takes participants through Moray’s famous Whisky Country and Aberdeenshire’s Royal Deeside.  The event is undeniably challenging with nearly 3,000m of ascent in total which includes conquering “King of The Mountains” the mighty Lecht, over an alpine pass on one of the UK’s highest roads.  What goes up must come down so as well the steep climbs, there are miles and miles of truly spectacular sweeping descents with panoramic views across The Cairngorms.

    Wildfox Events Managing Director and event organiser, David Fox-Pitt, who has through his company’s numerous outdoor sporting challenges raised over £30million for charitable causes to date, welcomes the opportunity to bring visitors back to the Royal Burgh of Ballater, which was hit by Storm Frank in early 2016.  A festival atmosphere showcasing local food and entertainment will welcome participants and their family and friends over the weekend. 

    David also infamously pedalled the entire route with Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont on Penny Farthings last year.  He says, “The Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale’s route is undoubtedly a challenging one, but the breath-taking scenery along the way more than makes up for it, and we know there is a vibrant cycling community in Aberdeenshire, throughout Scotland and indeed UK-wide, who are looking to test themselves on such an outstanding route.

    “Last year’s event was fantastic and this year we are building on its success with more participants signing up than ever before.  What’s more, the financial benefit and sense of community an event like this brings locally should not be underestimated.  We encourage participants to celebrate their cycling achievements together with friends and family and enjoy exploring the area and making a weekend of it.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale, as part of our ongoing commitment to cycling. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the challenging closed-road sportive will give participants the opportunity to put their skills to the test, while taking in the spectacular scenery that the Aberdeenshire and Moray regions have to offer.”

    In addition to the full 100 mile route, 65 and 45 mile options are also available starting from Rhynie and Dufftown.  All routes end in Ballater.  To find out more and sign up visit www.etaperoyale.com  

    Category: National Events

  • 11 May 2016

    Be first in the queue for the TOTAL BWF World Championships when tickets go on sale

    BADMINTONscotland is preparing for another red letter day as the countdown to the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 gains momentum.

     On April 7 Glasgow celebrated 500 days to go before the world’s best players converge on the Emirates Arena and the next milestone is the start of ticket sales.

     That comes on May 23 when fans who have registered for priority access get the chance to take the pick of the seats when pre-sale tickets go live.

     That’s a two-week head start before tickets go on general sale on June 6.

     There is still time to sign up for priority tickets. Just go to www.glasgow2017.com to be among the first in the queue.

     The World Championships will take place at the Emirates Arena from August 21-27 next year and will be the Scotland’s third World Championships following the successes of 1997 and 2007.

     Spain’s Carolina Marin and China’s Chen Long will lead the challenge at the Emirates Arena as both bid to complete a hat-trick of singles titles after their victories in Copenhagen 2014 and Jakarta 2015. They may even be heading for Glasgow as Olympic champions as gold in Rio is their big target this summer.

     Glasgow’s Commonwealth silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour will be leading the home challenge as BADMINTONscotland plans to put on an even better show than their two-week feast of badminton in 1997 when the Sudirman Cup World Mixed Team Championships was followed by the World Individual Championships, and in 2007 when the Sudirman Cup returned to Glasgow’s Scotstoun.

     Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland said: “The World Championships can’t come quick enough. We can’t wait for this latest opportunity to show what a great spectacle Glasgow can stage.

     “The city has a world-class reputation for staging major sporting events and badminton is firmly established as playing a key part in achieving that accolade.

     “But to maintain that reputation we need the support of the badminton fraternity. So why not book early and guarantee yourselves the best seats in the Emirates Arena.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “In recent years Glasgow has been home to some of the world’s biggest and best sporting events and the World Badminton Championships certainly fits into that category. Its arrival in Glasgow will help us build on our position as one of the world’s top five sporting cities.

     “New world champions will be crowned but Glasgow’s World Badminton Championships will be about much more than seven days of elite competition. It will inspire the next generation of players to fall in love with badminton helping deliver a legacy for future generations.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland has proven it is a world-leader when it comes to sporting events over the past few years and the BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 is sure to be another spectacular occasion on our event calendar.

     “The event will contribute greatly to Glasgow’s reputation as one of the world’s top 5 sporting cities and provide opportunities for citizens, both young and old, to engage with the sport.

     “For badminton enthusiasts, priority access tickets represent a terrific opportunity to confirm their attendance well in advance of the championships, and ensure they have optimum seats for witnessing the making of history from August 21-27 2017.”  

     Simon Morton, Chief Operating Officer of UK Sport, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for fans to secure their tickets for yet another thrilling event in Glasgow. This follows on from the incredible success of the Gymnastics World Championships in the city last year.

     “We are pleased to be supporting this event through our National Lottery backed Major Events Programme and have no doubt it will continue Glasgow’s fine sporting legacy in style.” 

     The World Championships promises to be one of the highlights in Glasgow’s 2017 sporting calendar and is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

     Go to www.glasgow2017.com to register your interest for the priority access pre-sale.

    Category: International Events

  • 09 May 2016

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND STUDIOCANAL ANNOUNCE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE 4K RESTORED CLASSIC HIGHLANDER

    Edinburgh, May 2016 – Edinburgh International Film Festival is proud to announce that a special 30th anniversary screening of the newly 4K restored HIGHLANDER, with special guests in attendance, will take place on Saturday 18th June 2016, as part of the celebrations marking EIFF’s milestone 70th edition. 

    One of the great action-fantasy romps of the 1980s, this freewheeling film has developed into a cult favourite, packed with quotable lines, stylish sword-fighting moments and a memorable soundtrack from Queen.

    Its interweaving storyline may well flit around from New York of the 1980s to World War II, but it has its dramatic origins in the 16th century Scottish Highlands where Connor MacLeod (Christophe Lambert) first discovers he is not like other men.  After doing battle with a rival clan he is stabbed by a strange mercenary fighter called the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), but finds that he cannot die.  Befriended and trained by the charismatic Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Sean Connery), he finds out he is part of a group of immortals who must do battle until there is only one left alive.

     Clancy Brown is acclaimed as a cult icon thanks to his mesmeric and maniacal performance as the Kurgan whilst Christophe Lambert is soulful and heroic as Connor, and Sean Connery quite sublime as the foppish yet skilful Ramirez. 

     Clancy Brown commented: “It’s taken a while, but I swore to myself that I would return again to Scotland after filming HIGHLANDER 30 years ago where I first learned of Robert the Bruce, James Macpherson, The Fortingall Yew and, most blissfully, single-malt scotch whisky."

     Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director said: “We are truly delighted to be screening this cult classic on its 30th anniversary. It is a vibrant, fun and thrilling film and just as entertaining as it was all of those years ago. Plus it features some magnificent Scottish locations. This will be a great celebratory event for the 70th edition of EIFF.”

    Clancy Brown and other special guests will be in attendance at the screening on Saturday 18th June at Cineworld, Fountain Park. The Festival is grateful to Park Circus and StudioCanal for their generous support of the screening. 

     Tickets priced £8/£6 will be on sale at 12noon on Monday 9th May and can be purchased here: bit.ly/1WjSfEm

     Restored by Deluxe London, the restoration of HIGHLANDER is based on a 4K scan of the original camera negative, followed by a full 4K workflow, with the approval of director Russell Mulcahy. The film will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 11th July complete with brand new bonus material.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 May 2016

    New Faces and Places – Spring Fling Offers Art, Craft & Lovely Countryside

    Visitors to Spring Fling 2016 can enjoy a variety of fresh venues, like beautiful Threave Garden, and work by 17 new artists and makers.

    A total of 94 participants have been selected to take part in Scotland’s premier open studios contemporary visual art and craft event, which takes place across Dumfries and Galloway from 28 to 30 May,

    Among them are newcomers such as the illustrator Cathy Sidhu whose illustrations transport people into imagined worlds full of wonder, and Kathryn King, maker of subtly textured and beautiful jewellery.

    There are also new venues to explore including the famous Threave Garden and Estate, a National Trust for Scotland property, where visitors will be able to see work by painters Catriona Taylor and first-time Spring Fling exhibitor Lucy Hadley.

    Richard Polley, Property Manager Threave Garden said: “It’s a great opportunity for people to meet two artists and see them at work; this experience will add a whole new dimension to a visit to Threave.

    “The garden looks beautiful at all times of the year, but spring is a particularly wonderful season with flowers, blossom and fresh green leaves. We will be doing special late openings on the Friday and Saturday until 8pm, so come and enjoy art, garden and food.”

    Spring Fling is a wonderful opportunity to see highly unusual places, including the studios and homes of many artists and makers, and to talk to them about their work and lives.

    While most of the artists and makers taking part in Spring Fling live and work in the region, the event is also about creating and strengthening links with people who have strong connections with Dumfries and Galloway and with its neighbouring areas.

    Clara Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “This year Spring Fling will offer a colourful mix of the new and the familiar, with 94 high-quality artists and makers throwing open their studio doors.

    “As ever it’s really exciting to welcome an abundance of fresh talent and to offer visitors beautiful new venues, like Threave Garden, to enjoy. We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the UK, and far beyond, for a wonderful and relaxing weekend break in one of Scotland’s loveliest areas.”

    The new artists and makers for Spring Fling 2016 include:

    Gwen Adair: Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries 

    What to Expect: An exhibition of current paintings, life drawings etc. She will talk about process and inspiration as well as themes and future directions.

    Gwen says: “For me, painting is about making coloured marks. My themes are quite traditional, and I tend to work quickly in an ‘alla prima’ fashion. I believe that the marks themselves should add to the image, so I use square brushes and knives to build texture.”

     Minette Bell Macdonald: The Art Hut, Hartwood Farm, Hightae, Lockerbie

     What to Expect: Watercolours of wild animals and landscapes - some framed, some mounted, or raw. There will be sketchbooks and work in progress showing methods and practices with mixed media.

    Minette says: “My paintings seek to articulate the dialogue between me and the natural world. This can be turbulent or reflective depending on my mood or nature’s. The precision of a blade of grass or the nebulous substance of clouds inspire and inform the conversation.”

     Florencia Garcia Chafuen: Auchenstroan, Moniaive

     What to Expect: Work heavily influenced by photo-journalism. Exploring the idea of nostalgia; a passion for that which is past and with strong personal association. Photographs and film that reflecting the poetry in the world.

    Florencia says: “I am a multi-disciplinery artist with a strong interest in photography, film and theatre. I studied filmmaking and theatre in my home city of Buenos Aires, Argentina and photography and physical theatre in Scotland. I make work that experiments and provokes contrasting urban with rural life.”

     Alison Critchlow: Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet

    What to Expect: Oil paintings from small boards painted outside to larger studio canvases (up to 5 feet). Sketchbooks and watercolours from the Solway, the Hebrides and Cumbria. 

    Alison says: “My recent work is about time, erosion, speed and motion. Starting outside, the landscape and especially the sea forms the basis for exploring painterly expression. I strive for the balance between representation and abstraction, between a moment caught and then reinvented in paint.”

     Lucy Hadley: Visitor Centre, Threave Garden & Estate, Castle Douglas

    What to Expect: Current illustrations and sketchbooks. There will also be an opportunity to enter a competition to win one a mounted print.

    Lucy says: “I am an illustrator whose love of the natural world is often reflected in my personal work. I use a variety of materials to create my visual language and enjoy mixing traditional mark-making techniques with modern digital practices.”

     Morgan Hardie: Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries

     What to Expect: Paintings, sketchbooks and works in progress.

    Morgan says: “My paintings explore emotion through facial expression and body structure. I paint primarily using watercolour, I enjoy layering the different colours and I’m interested in seeing the way that the colours work together in bringing depth to my work.”

     Jane Howe Redcastle Steading, Haugh of Urr, Castle Douglas

    What to Expect: Oil paintings, monotypes and plate lithographs for sale as well as charcoal/ink life drawings. Sketchbooks and printmaking books will be on show and there will be an opportunity to try a monotype using carbon paper or block printing.

    Jane says: “The human figure is integral to my work. I like the viewer to use their imagination for the ‘story’. I use layers of ink, graphite, oil bar, sometimes covering over with gesso and scraping back to show the way work has built up.”

     Kathryn King: 21, St Mary’s St, Kirkcudbright.

    What to Expect: Jewellery created using precious metals and gemstones and inspired by the maker’s love of nature, travel and architecture.

    Kathryn says: “I love creating jewels that are worn and loved. My design inspiration comes mainly from nature but also architecture and travel. There are many subtle contrasts of colour and texture are created in my collections.”

     Emily Nash: Emily’s Design Studio and Gallery, Double Doors, Lochancroft Lane, Wigtown.

    What to Expect: Lino prints, framed drawings, acrylic paintings to 3D/low relief work. Greetings cards and printed goods will be on sale.

    Emily says: “I enjoy portraying my love of animals through my work, as I have grown up on a farm and I try to create their characters in each piece. I work with various mediums as I find that with different animals certain styles are more suitable.”

     Heather M Nisbet: The Foxhole, Kirkcudbright

     What to Expect: Painting, drawing,
oils and acrylics mainly, with other media including charcoal and oil pastels. Original paintings, framed prints and greeting cards will also be available.

    Heather says: “I don’t often paint exactly what I see. Instead, each piece is a sort of jigsaw of images that I’ve sketched, all knitted together to produce a painting that I hope will evoke in the viewer a pleasant memory of something from their own experience.”

     Rosie Reid: WASPS Studios, Kirkcudbright

     What to Expect: Mosaic
painting, drawing, mixed media textile in a studio filled with colourful collages, fabric and other creative designs.

    Rosie says: “I am a lively artist who designs colourful abstract works on paper and fabric, inspired from the beauty in nature’s imperfections. I create to brighten up customers homes and wardrobes, and my own.”

     Alex Rigg: Costume: Auchenstroan Street, Moniaive

    What to Expect: An exhibition of design drawings for costume and of costume for performance. This will include design for performances that are still in rehearsal. Plus a live event in association with Dumfries Arts Festival.

    Alex says: “I am an artist making live work that includes costume design and creation. I like to work on the periphery of what is accepted or understood. Much of what I make involves collaboration and conversation with other artists from all disciplines.”

     Kaz Robertson: Zitan, Thornhill

     What to Expect: A display of jewellery and examples of work in progress. 

    Kaz says: “I am an Edinburgh-based jeweller mainly working in resin. Some pieces have magnets incorporated, other are reversible. I produce pieces which combine a bold colour palette with pattern. My jewellery is never dull.”

     Cathy Sidhu: Canonbie United Parish Church, Canonbie

     What to Expect: Watercolours, drawings, sketches and story excerpts. Also a few artworks painted on wood.

    Cathy says: “I’ve always been fascinated by what I call the ‘realm of story’ and art that belongs to that realm. It feels to me as though it is a method of transportation by entrancement and each journey we take has the capacity to enrich us.”

     Jo Walker: The Wee Workshop, Easton's Entry, Langholm

     What to Expect: Discover the sgraffito technique and see work in various stages of completion. Visitors will also have the chance to make their own little clay bird to take home with them. Refreshments, including homebaking.

    Jo says: “I grew up in Dumfries and Galloway and it was here that my love of the outdoors developed. My ceramics celebrate a love of nature, especially the often overlooked and unloved. Using the technique of sgraffito, I draw onto my pots delicate weeds and wildflowers. I also incorporate seaweed, shells and pebbles and make flocks of little sgraffito birds.”

     Clare Williams: Cut the Mustard Gallery, Langholm

    What to Expect: Quality knitwear at different stages of production, from the development/swatch stage right through to the final products. The chance to use a knitting machine and view equipment.

    Clare says: “I take inspiration from Medieval monastic and ecclesiastical architecture. I make knitted cushions and accessories with unique patterns and designs that I have created myself using a range of different yarns to create a luxury feel to everything that I do.”

     Philip Wilson: Princes St, Penpont

     What to Expect: Finished furniture and pieces in various stages of production. There will be a chance to try French polishing and demonstrations of wood turning and upholstery. 

    Philip says: “I aim to offer visitors to the workshop a chance to see pieces of furniture in progress as well as some finished pieces which will be for sale.

    I have been a designer and maker of furniture now for nearly 30 years and like to use unusual pieces of timber to compliment my designs.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 May 2016

    Whisky Month 2016 kicks off in celebration of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

     

    Whisky Month 2016 kicks off in celebration of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
    Ancient, distinct and varied - there are many reasons whisky should be celebrated. With the start of May comes the return of Whisky Month, giving visitors and locals a chance to raise a glass and enjoy the perfect blend of unique flavours and character famed the world over.
    Tours and tastings are a good fit for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, presenting the perfect opportunity to take in Scotland’s wonderful architecture, fascinating distilleries and the innovations the whisky industry has to offer.
    Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival raised the curtain on Whisky Month with five fun-filled days in the heart of our national drink’s spiritual home. There were over 500 events on the bill, from tours to food pairing, canoe trips on the River Spey and hikes up the region’s very own whisky mountain, Ben Rinnes.
    What’s on offer this month?
    Stirling Whisky Festival, 7 May, Stirling
    The 5th edition of this festival will be held at Stirling Highland Hotel, the home of Stirling’s only specialist whisky retailer.
    Two Tasting Classes will take place led by an industry ambassador and the event will launch whiskies including Scotland’s first craft-distilled whisky.
    World Whisky Day, 21 May, worldwide
    World Whisky Day is all about trying new things, and what better an incentive than an invitation to get involved in a global celebration? Whisky lovers have already registered candlelit tastings in haunted vaults, boilermaker pairings in breweries, psychoanalysis via whisky and international Scottish-themed bashes. Why not register where you’ll be raising a glass this year at worldwhiskyday.com
    The Perfect Blend: History, Whisky and Chocolate, dates throughout May, Edinburgh
    Combining Scotland’s most iconic exports, this tour takes you back in time to uncover Edinburgh’s hidden history whilst getting to grips with the national drink. During the evening you will enjoy five drams that have been specially selected by experts from Royal Mile Whiskies, accompanied by a sample of award-winning organic chocolate from local suppliers Chocolate Tree.
    Edinburgh Expert Whisky Walks, dates throughout May, Edinburgh
    Giving visitors and locals to Edinburgh the chance to take in the sights and sounds of Canongate and Holyrood every Tuesday, throughout May. Learn about the history of the Old Town and visit three of the city’s most interesting buildings, followed by a tutored tasting of four single malt Scotch whiskies from Jeffrey st. Whisky and Tobacco.
    Dramble Tours, throughout May, Glasgow
    Take in stunning architecture and stories of Glasgow’s history, industry and local character and partake in a comprehensive whisky tasting in some of the best whisky bars in the country on these fun walking tours of the city.
    What whisky are you? Take the Whisky Month Quiz
    Join the conversation #WhiskyMonth #IAD2016
    World Whisky Day © D. N. Anderson

    Ancient, distinct and varied - there are many reasons whisky should be celebrated.

    With the start of May comes the return of Whisky Month, giving visitors and locals a chance to raise a glass and enjoy the perfect blend of unique flavours and character famed the world over.

    Tours and tastings are a good fit for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, presenting the perfect opportunity to take in Scotland’s wonderful architecture, fascinating distilleries and the innovations the whisky industry has to offer.

    Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival raised the curtain on Whisky Month with five fun-filled days in the heart of our national drink’s spiritual home. There were over 500 events on the bill, from tours to food pairing, canoe trips on the River Spey and hikes up the region’s very own whisky mountain, Ben Rinnes.

    What’s on offer this month?

    Stirling Whisky Festival, 7 May, Stirling

    The 5th edition of this festival will be held at Stirling Highland Hotel, the home of Stirling’s only specialist whisky retailer.

    Two Tasting Classes will take place led by an industry ambassador and the event will launch whiskies including Scotland’s first craft-distilled whisky.

    World Whisky Day, 21 May, worldwide

    World Whisky Day is all about trying new things, and what better an incentive than an invitation to get involved in a global celebration? Whisky lovers have already registered candlelit tastings in haunted vaults, boilermaker pairings in breweries, psychoanalysis via whisky and international Scottish-themed bashes.

    Why not register where you’ll be raising a glass this year at worldwhiskyday.com

    The Perfect Blend: History, Whisky and Chocolate, dates throughout May, Edinburgh

    Combining Scotland’s most iconic exports, this tour takes you back in time to uncover Edinburgh’s hidden history whilst getting to grips with the national drink. During the evening you will enjoy five drams that have been specially selected by experts from Royal Mile Whiskies, accompanied by a sample of award-winning organic chocolate from local suppliers Chocolate Tree.

    Edinburgh Expert Whisky Walks, dates throughout May, Edinburgh

    Giving visitors and locals to Edinburgh the chance to take in the sights and sounds of Canongate and Holyrood every Tuesday, throughout May. Learn about the history of the Old Town and visit three of the city’s most interesting buildings, followed by a tutored tasting of four single malt Scotch whiskies from Jeffrey st. Whisky and Tobacco.

    Dramble Tours, throughout May, Glasgow

    Take in stunning architecture and stories of Glasgow’s history, industry and local character and partake in a comprehensive whisky tasting in some of the best whisky bars in the country on these fun walking tours of the city.

    What whisky are you? Take the Whisky Month Quiz

    Join the conversation #WhiskyMonth #IAD2016

     

    Photo: World Whisky Day © D. N. Anderson

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 04 May 2016

    VisitScotland Announced as Associate Partner of the Paul Lawrie Match Play

    The Paul Lawrie Match Play are delighted to announce that VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation is continuing to support the Paul Lawrie Match Play, now in its second year. The event will be played at Archerfield Links in East Lothian from 4– 7 August 2016.

     The 64-man knock out event which is part of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai schedule promises to be a great summer event on Scotland’s ‘Golf Coast’. As per last year ticket prices have been kept low to encourage families to come and spend a day out and watch the players showcase their match play abilities. Adult day tickets are £15, Under 18’s can enter for free. There will be fun interactive opportunities in the public village along with local food and drink retailers – all making a great day out.

     Paul Lawrie commented:

    "It is fantastic for the tournament to have the support of Scotland’s national tourism organisation VisitScotland again this year. To have a beautiful links course combined with valuable support ensures we’ll have another very extremely exciting week of match play. We look forward to working closely with them to make the most of the event at our new venue on Scotland’s Golf Coast.”

     The support is being provided by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate, which supports Scotland’s regular portfolio of world-class golf events across both men’s and ladies tours.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome the Paul Lawrie Match Play back to Scotland for a second year to add to an already fantastic summer of golf events across the country.

     “As the only straight knock-out match play event on the European Tour, it will offer golf fans in Scotland something different and provide a terrific day out for families. Paul deserves great credit for providing the impetus behind the event in addition to all the great work he does promoting golf in Scotland and we are fortunate to have such a great ambassador for Scottish golf.

     “We look forward to seeing pictures from one of Scotland’s most famous golfing regions being beamed into homes around the world, showing potential visitors why Scotland is the Home of Golf and encouraging them to visit for themselves.”

     The Paul Lawrie Match Play is one of nine major professional golf events taking place across a multitude of tours in Scotland in 2016, including four full European Tour events, the most of any country in Europe.

    Category: National Events

  • 03 May 2016

    Solas Festival unveils 2016 lineup

    Author A.L. Kennedy, GRAMMY award-winning producer Ian Brennan, David Greig’s Two Minute Manifesto, Karine Polwart and ‘new folk’ act to watch Sam Lee (BBC Radio 2 Folk Artist of the Year 2016 nominee, Best Trad track winner) are amongst performers from eight countries, including Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Somalia and Syria, to perform and speak this year at Scotland’s intimate midsummer festival for all ages.

    The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Beyond Borders’, challenging the concept of boundaries, from freedom of movement and the physical borders experienced by refugees to musical, cultural or political ‘borders’ that are part of daily life for everyone.

     Dot Reid, Vice Chair and Head of Programme, said: "This year's programme is shaping up to be our most ambitious yet. Where else would you get to do a singing workshop with Karine Polwart; question the political parties in an EU referendum hustings; party with Skerryvore and Stanley Odd; have tea with the Mad Hatter in the Little Fawn puppet caravan; and think about the refugee crisis all in one weekend? Only at Solas Festival."

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “With an ambitious programme featuring some of the finest artists and performers from across Europe and further afield, we are delighted to support Solas in 2016.

    “This year’s focus on ‘Beyond Borders’ is set to address some of the most important issues facing mankind today and will provide an enlightening experience for audiences of all ages.”The music programme features artists including the hotly tipped ‘new folk’ performer Sam Lee, multi-award winning folk artist Karine Polwart (who is collaborating with playwright David Greig on Wind Resistance at the Edinburgh International Festival in August) and contemporary Scottish bands such as Bdy Prts and Carbs.

     The literature, spoken word and performance programme will feature artists including multi-award winning author A.L. Kennedy, Hollie McNish (UK Slam champion 2009 and third in the World Slam Championships), World Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker whose debut anthology The Sunshine Kid also spawned a critically acclaimed fringe show of the same name, writers Kirstin Innes, winner of The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize with Fishnet, and Alan Bissett who will perform The Moira Monologues at Solas and at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

     Solas Festival will be part of the Refugee Festival Scotland and the talks programme will look at the refugee crisis, the refugee communities of Scotland, and what can and has been done to help those in need of shelter and protection. Key campaigners will speak such as Inderjit Bhogal who is a founder of City of Sanctuary; Alison Phipps from the Glasgow Refugee and Migrant Network will be talking about every day bordering processes as well as her recent trip to Calais; and real Glasgow Girl Amal Azzudin, famous for fighting the Home Office dawn raids, will be speaking about her experiences of volunteering in Calais and in Greece. There will also be music, poetry, and dance on the border theme including Colours of Life, a young troupe of Albanian dancers from Maryhill in Glasgow, and Palestinian poet Iyad Hayetleh, who works in the currently besieged Yarmouk Refugee camp in Syria.

     With performers from Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, England, Somalia, Syria, and Palestine, it’s more important than ever to think about Scotland’s place in the International community. The EU referendum takes place a week after the festival and Solas will be delving into questions of constitutional, political and personal identities with representatives from Scotland’s political parties, and looking at the possible effects of the result. The festival’s EU hustings will be chaired by political commentator Gerry Hassan and include contributions from RISE MSP candidate Cat Boyd; Green MSP candidate Andy Wightman and Adam Tomkins, one of the UK’s leading constitutional lawyers and a Conservative MSP candidate.

     GRAMMY award winning producer Ian Brennan, one of the world’s foremost field-recorders, will be talking about his book How Music Dies (or Lives), a virtual how-to manual on field-recording and the battle for democracy in the arts for those seeking authenticity in an age of air-brushed and auto-tuned “artists”. He travels the world in search of artists from underrepresented nations and has worked with artists as diverse as film-maker John Waters, Fugazi, Nels Cline (Wilco), the Vienna Boys Choir, Green Day, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Peaches. He has discovered and produced groups who went onto be the first international popular-music releases in the indigenous languages of their respective countries of Rwanda, South Sudan, Vietnam, and Malawi.

     The festival has always been great place for children and families, with puppet shows, family workshops and performances, circus skills, hula hoops, as well as a cinema tent. 2016 is the Year of the Dad, and award-winning journalist and writer Nick Thorpe will be discussing how breaking the patriarchal idea of women as carers and men as workers can help everyone – just in time for Father’s Day. This year will also feature discussions on parenting and childhood in the modern world. Sue Palmer, known for her books Toxic Childhood and 21st Century Boys, will talk about what children need in the modern world and what decreasing outdoor play and increasing screen time mean. Helen Minnis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Glasgow University, will also give audiences her wisdom on “weans and brains”.

     Over the last two years, Solas Festival has welcomed Scotland’s various traveller communities, with Scottish and Roma dancers, musicians, and storytellers performing. This year, sees performances from Tony Robertson and Essie Stewart. Tony grew up in a storytelling family, the son of the late great Scottish master storyteller Stanley Robertson. He’ll be joined by Gaelic storyteller Essie Stewart. Essie is the granddaughter of one of the greatest Gaelic storytellers of them all-Allidh Dall Stewart (Blind Alexander) and was first recorded by Hamish Henderson a decade before. There will also be a not-to-be-missed session in which Essie and Tony will be joined by folk musician Sam Lee who had an extraordinary four-year apprenticeship with Stanley Robertson, learning the songs of the Scottish traveller tradition. The festival also welcomes back Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre who will be sharing their great knowledge and experience of the life and work of Hamish Henderson.

    This year the festival will host a number of exciting one-off events and installations such as Take One Action’s Wee Green Bicycle and solar powered cinema and two sound installations. The Deep Sea Light created by Nick Turner envelops young audiences in a marine and coastal sound world where they meet Minke whale, porpoises, harbour seals, sea otters and other creatures. The second installation is focused on Aberdeen Music Halls, a strong example of Victorian architecture and Art Noveau design. The unique 20-month project is being created by associate sound artists Mary Ann Kennedy and Nick Turner, who will be documenting the sound spaces, and found sounds of the building, creating new music of various genres to celebrate the building’s past and future, and working with communities to maintain connections while the venue is closed.

    There will also be a special BBC broadcast direct from the site on Sunday morning.

    Category: National Events

  • 03 May 2016

    Music Programme Announced for Cupar Arts Festival

    The Fife town of Cupar is set to come alive with the sights and sounds of an eclectic mix of art and music at this year’s Cupar Arts Festival.

     The free gigs, from an array of Scottish musicians and bands, will take place during the weeklong visual arts festival, which runs from 18 – 25 June 2016 and will run alongside the main programme of art from twenty established contemporary artists.

     The festival kicks off with a free launch party on Saturday 18 June at 12 noon, with music at 4pm from electronic duo Stephen Lee and Mark Small.  The launch party also includes street food prepared by Fife’s food ambassador Christopher Trotter, who will cook with ingredients selected from Cupar farmers market that morning.  A giant pinhole camera, The Caravan Obscura can also be found elsewhere in the town.  Visitors will be able to see things from another perspective as they step inside a specially transformed caravan.

     Live music continues throughout the week with free concerts from David Webster and Stevie Anderson of Sinderins on Sunday 19 June; the eclectic Onion Club (featuring Pauline M. Hynd) on Tuesday 21 June and the upbeat bluegrass Wire and Wool on Friday 24 June.

     Commenting on the music line up Gayle Nelson, Festival Director said: “Having such a wonderful collection of live music this year adds an alternative element to this established arts festival.  We hope this collection of fabulous bands will give visitors and residents alike evenings of music to remember.”

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

    “The addition of live music from a variety of home-grown performers will provide art enthusiasts with another reason to visit one of Scotland’s most unique small towns for this year’s Cupar Arts Festival.

    "We’re delighted to support the festival in Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and welcome this extension of the festival programme, which is set to entice more people than ever to experience visual art and performance in the town’s public spaces and local venues.”

     The music line-up includes:

     

    Stephen Lee and Mark Small, who release their first album this June entitled ‘The EPR Paradox’.  This explores different levels of textural melancholic, ambient electronica.  The Dundee based Lee, a pianist and composer and Small, a producer, sound artist and audio engineer have plans to tour Europe.  (18 June, 4-6pm at the Festival Hub)


    David Webster and Stevie Anderson who come together to form the band ‘Sinderins’ will play a mix of surreal folk rock and carefully crafted pop music. (19 June, doors open 2pm, start time 2.30pm, exact venue TBC)

    Genre-defying act The Onion Club, which combines classical, punk, glam and gospel influences with a Weimar aesthetic to produce a style that is upfront, intense and deeply personal.  

     

    Pianist and composer Stephen Lee and singer and performance artist Pauline M. Hynd have developed a suite of original and reimagined songs with influences and interests including quantum physics, queer theory, Buddhism and punk rock.  (21 June, doors open 7.30pm, start time 8pm, at Jordan's Nightclub, Station Road, Cupar KY15 5HX)


    Wire and Wool, a seven-piece band drawing on their diverse cultures to bring to life full-on bluegrass punk and roots revival heaven. They have wowed Celtic Connections, the Southern Fried Festival in Perth and the Glasgow Merchant City Festival to name but a few. (24 June, doors open at 7.30pm start time of 8pm, exact venue TBC).


    Inge Thomson and Fraser Fifield, who will take part in one of Elm House’s ‘house concerts’.  Originally hailing from Fair Isle, Inge Thomson is an intensely melodic singer/songwriter who regularly brings her multi-instrumental textures and vocal harmonies to the Karine Polwart trio.  Inge Thomson will come together with Edinburgh-based master instrumentalist, Fraser Fifield for this concert.  (25 June, exact time TBC, The Elm, Main Street, Craigrothie, Cupar KY15 5QA).


     The strong musical line-up adds to the festival’s strongest-ever visual arts programme with internationally known artists like Rachel McLean, Charles Avery, Chad McCail and Kate Downie participating.  Artworks will be exhibited both within venues as well as outside in public spaces, enabling visitors to experience the artworks by both seeking them out and by stumbling across them.  One of the few curated visual art festivals in Scotland, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will make use of a series of unconventional spaces including hoarding on industrial sites, the town’s historic County Buildings, Burgh Chambers and churches, and the mediaeval closes of the town.

     For more information visits www.cupararts.org.uk.
    Access to all exhibits, talks and other events is free of charge and where appropriate on a first come basis.
     Cupar Arts Festival is supported with funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding, EventScotland, and Fife Council’s Strategic Events Investment Fund.

    Category: National Events

  • 03 May 2016

    Curtain comes down on 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival as thousands of visitors raise a glass to the region

    The final drams have been sipped at the 2015 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – but organisers are already preparing to do it all over again. The curtain came down on over 500 events last night (Monday, 2 May) and now the team behind the world famous Festival are putting plans in place for a second event in the early autumn.

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival took place over five days in the heart of Scotland’s best loved whisky producing region, drawing thousands of visitors from home and abroad for a programme combining the country’s national drink with music, food and fun.

    New records were set when tickets went on sale for the Festival’s biggest ever programme earlier in the year. Festival chairman James Campbell says this year’s gathering in whisky’s spiritual home was one of the best on record.

    He adds, “It will take us a little bit of time to find out what the overall numbers were, but the area was extremely busy for the full five days and, most importantly, everyone I saw and spoke to had nothing but great things to say.

    “To see people at these events thoroughly enjoying themselves makes worthwhile all the planning and hard work of our volunteer directors, of the Festival manager and of all the other people who give up their own time to ensure the Festival is a success. Knowing visitors will leave the area with very special memories is hugely rewarding for all of us.

     “I personally met visitors from over a dozen different countries – some who have been coming for years and others who were visiting for the first time – and it was really special to see all these visitors having such a great time side by side with local people.

    “I think visitors are always surprised by the huge range of different events, and the fact that they can have access to the people who are involved in the very heart of our whisky industry. I don’t think any other whisky festival in the world can offer what we can.”

    All eyes are now on Spirit of Speyside – Distilled, which will take place in Elgin Town Hall on September 9 to 11. It will bring together Speyside’s whisky producers under one roof on their own doorstep for the very first time.

    The event will also include local gin and craft beer, along with a wide range of food producers, showing off the huge extent of Speyside’s larder. Spirit of Speyside - Distilled will be split into four sessions over the three days, with tickets being sold for each session.

    It is hoped that the event will initially attract a more local audience, but in time Spirit of Speyside - Distilled will also become a destination for the many international visitors who attend the main event in May.

    James adds, ”The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has grown to become a phenomenal event, but we felt that it was time to add a second event which did not require visitors to undertake a great deal of itinerary planning.

    “We chose Elgin for the location because it is the transport hub for the area, with excellent rail and road links. People can come for one session or the whole weekend, but still enjoy the spirit – and welcome – for which Speyside is famous.”

    Tickets for Spirit of Speyside – Distilled will go on sale within the next couple of weeks via the website www.spiritofspeyside.com. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: International Events

  • 03 May 2016

    GLASGOW 2015 FIG WORLD GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS INSPIRES INCREASE IN PARTICIPATION

    Participation levels at gymnastics clubs and development programmes in Glasgow have increased dramatically over the past year as the city continues to reap the benefits of hosting the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships.

     Attendances at Glasgow Life’s gymnastics pathways programmes have risen from 75,251 in 2014/15 to 86,206 in 2015/16 – a 15% increase. Over the same period attendances at the city’s seven gymnastics clubs have increased from 14,321 to 18,303 – up 28%. The combined increase across all programmes is 17%. 

     The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships was one of the largest single-sport events ever to be hosted in the UK, with a record 594 gymnasts from 87 nations travelling to Glasgow. Attendances of close to 80,000 watched the action at the city’s iconic SSE Hydro over 10 days of spectacular sporting competition. A television audience of 650million watched the event across the world.

     The event was credited with setting a new benchmark for gymnastics by FIG President, Professor Bruno Grandi who said it was “even better than the Olympic Games.” Chief Executive Officer of British Gymnastics, Jane Allen, added that the event had “taken gymnastics into a new era.”

     As well 10 days of elite sporting competition the World Gymnastics Championships included significant development opportunities aimed at inspiring the next generation of young gymnasts. A total of 678 young people from the city’s Primary, Secondary and Additional Support for Learning schools took part in the Glasgow Schools Gymfest which was watched by 1,500 parents and carers.

     An innovative resource pack was also produced for primary and secondary school pupils. This proved very successful with 4,926 downloads from 41 countries. Around 500 children from Glasgow’s gymnastics clubs also attended qualifying sessions as part of a legacy initiative.

     Glasgow 2015 Championships Director, Colin Hartley, said: “The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships was an incredible celebration of world-class sporting competition, bringing the world’s greatest gymnasts to our city less than a year from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

     “But our World Championships was about much more than just elite sport, we wanted to use them to inspire the next generation of young athletes and deliver a lasting legacy in terms of increased participation.

     “We know from experience in Glasgow that sport changes lives. That is why it is so pleasing to see attendances at the city’s gymnastics programmes increase in such large numbers. That is legacy in action.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that these figures show a significant increase in participation within gymnastics clubs and development programmes, which once again proves the powerful and highly positive impact of major sporting events.

     “In addition to their crucial economic impacts, big events like the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships, and the athletes that compete in them, provide inspiration to citizens and encourage them to lead more active lifestyles.

     “Through the provision of school resources and outreach activity among clubs, a very positive spotlight was shone on the event and the sport, and the result is that we now have many more young people enjoying gymnastics across the city.

     “Hopefully we continue to see this trend in the coming years, as the legacy of the best-ever World Gymnastics Championships continues to leave its mark on the city.”

     News of the increase comes just two weeks after Glasgow moved was ranked the world’s fifth top sporting city at the 2016 SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards – the internationally recognised and longest established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts. The city finished ahead of Olympic cities including Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Toyko, Sydney and Paris.

     Glasgow was also named the number one city in the world in the Legacy category in reflection of its longstanding commitment to increasing participation and creating new sporting opportunities for citizens.

     And in a further award Glasgow was named Best Small City by population band beating Amsterdam, Calgary, Doha and Vancouver in the process cementing the city’s position as a world leading sports city. The announcement was made at the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne.

    Category: International Events

  • 02 May 2016

    The Festival of Architecture PRESENTS – The Ideal Hut Show

    The Ideal Hut Show launches its tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Saturday 30 April and runs there until 30 May, the quirky installation includes 18 garden sheds, transformed by top architects and designers from across the UK including Kelpies designer Andy Scott and Benedetta Tagliabue of Miralles Tagliabue, architects of the Scottish Parliament.  Other highlights include a tartan hut and an ‘exploded axonometric’ which is just as dramatic as it sounds.  The hut by the late David Mackay (1933 – 2014) is a very poignant reflection on the refugee crisis. 

    The exhibition is a headline event of the Festival of Architecture and a key milestone in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  From Edinburgh the exhibition will travel to Glasgow Botanic Gardens, then on to venues across Scotland, including Inverness, Dundee and Perth.

    Edinburgh, RBGE: 30 April-30 May
    Glasgow Botanic Gardens: 3-26 June
    University of Dundee Botanic Garden: 2-26 July
    Inverness Botanic Gardens: 30 July-28 August
    Perth, King Edward Street, 10-25 September

     Neil Baxter, Secretary of The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, who curated the exhibition, commented:

     This exhibition shows what architects can do when confronted by a creative challenge and a very small budget. 15 of these huts are designed by architects, two by leading artists and one by our own, Dr Who obsessive, graphic designer. They have been built, brilliantly by Jim Bryceland and Peter Dickson, both renowned Scottish craftsmen in their own right. Creative Scotland has funded the tour. We hope the public will enjoy them as much as we have and that when they are auctioned off for charity at the end of the tour we raise shed loads of cash for charity (sorry for the pun!).”

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

     Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.  Here in Scotland, we have buildings that make people look up, streets steeped in history, textiles used by the world’s most famous fashion houses and vibrant public spaces.”

     The Ideal Hut Show is a unique and innovative way of reinventing the much-loved garden shed. Transformed by a range of architects, artists and designers – some of whom, have been paramount in shaping Scotland’s very own landscapes and skylines, the event will present an interesting new experience for visitors and locals in a number of locations across Scotland.”

     The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s Regius Keeper Simon Milne said:

    “Even though we have some of Edinburgh’s finest buildings, spanning four centuries of architecture, there is always room in a garden for the humble and not so humble garden shed. It is a delight to be able to host the launch of the Festival of Architecture’s Ideal Hut Show at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with a wonderfully quirky and fun exhibition that is bound to be a big hit with our visitors’’.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 02 May 2016

    UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP RETURNS TO FORT WILLIAM IN 2016

    The multi-award winning Fort William leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour will return to the Scottish Highlands this year on 4-5 June.

     More than 200 of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 World Champions, British rider Rachel Atherton, and France’s Loic Bruni, will be competing as they race against the clock down the slopes of Aonach Mor. Work is underway to add new technical features and jumps to the infamous 2.8km downhill course, while a host of attractions will be on offer to keep fans of all ages entertained.

    Recently named by Red Bull as the number one cycling event spectators should attend in 2016, the event is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar. Since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup first came to the Highlands 14 years ago, more than a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William, delivering a £30m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

    Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team. The Red Bull athlete will be wowing the crowds with an array of tricks, which has seen the Scotsman build a huge fan base across the world.

    The World Cup Village will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors, whilst a fine selection of food and drink stands will keep the crowds fuelled, showcasing the best of Scottish produce.

    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 29 April 2016

    Festival of Architecture launches ScotStyle

     

    Voting is now open for ‘Scotstyle’ and it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite building of the past 100 years as a part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The results will be announced at the Festival’s Finale event in November and voting will take place on the festival website www.foa2016.com/scotstyle or votes can be cast in person at the touring exhibition.
    The list includes two Glasgow banks, the Bon Accord Baths in Aberdeen and Tongland Power Station in Kirkcudbright.  Also on the list are a wee concrete bothy in Sutherland (known, ironically, as the Hermit's Castle) and a fashion designer's studio near Galashiels as well as buildings on Bute, Skye, Tiree and Orkney.  More prominent architectural gems include the arches at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the Scottish Parliament and Stirling University.
    Today (Wednesday 27 April) also sees the launch of the ‘Scotstyle: 100 years of Scottish Architecture’ book, which documents each of the 100 best buildings, ten from each decade, and gives some fascinating insights into architectural trends over the past 100 years alongside the story behind some of Scotland’s most beloved buildings.  The book also celebrates the centenary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) who are curating and managing the Festival.  
    The nationwide touring exhibition will premiere at The Falkirk Wheel then tour across the length and breadth of Scotland at venues including; St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and New Lanark Heritage Centre and the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, with a debate and book signing at the Scottish Parliament during the Festival of Politics in August. 
    The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. 
    Neil Baxter CEO RIAS said:
    “Even before it starts its tour Scotstyle 2016 can boast of being the most popular ever exhibition of Scottish architecture. The demand from venues throughout the land has been huge- so much so that three versions (sponsored by Lockton, Clyde and Co and Forestry Commission Scotland respectively) will be touring for the rest of this year to over thirty venues.” 
    “The exhibition and the accompanying book were only possible through the generosity and the brilliant input of our ten expert authors. This is a unique and special celebration of 100 years of Scottish achievement.”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said:
    “From textiles and technology to architecture and fashion, Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.”
    “Scotland is world renowned for its rich, built heritage – it has buildings that make people look up and streets steeped in history. ‘Scotstyle’ presents a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit the free exhibitions taking place across the length and breadth of Scotland, whilst also being able to cast their vote in honouring some of our most treasured, innovative and iconic buildings and residences.”
    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals said: 
    “As a partner of the Festival of Architecture, we are delighted to host the launch of the Scotstyle exhibition and book at The Falkirk Wheel.  It’s fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the Scotstyle exhibition premieres on the site of one of Scotland’s most iconic and innovative structures.”
    To cast your vote, order a copy of the book and find out more about the exhibition tour, visit www.foa2016.com
    Scotstyle 100 years of Scottish Architecture 1916 – 2016 is available now from the RIAS Bookshop, Rutland Square Edinburgh and exhibition venues with a retail outlet.
    ISBN- 978-1-873190-71-5 | RRP £25 |210x210mm | softback | 240pp | full colour throughout

    Voting is now open for ‘Scotstyle’ and it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite building of the past 100 years as a part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The results will be announced at the Festival’s Finale event in November and voting will take place on the festival website www.foa2016.com/scotstyle or votes can be cast in person at the touring exhibition.


    The list includes two Glasgow banks, the Bon Accord Baths in Aberdeen and Tongland Power Station in Kirkcudbright.  Also on the list are a wee concrete bothy in Sutherland (known, ironically, as the Hermit's Castle) and a fashion designer's studio near Galashiels as well as buildings on Bute, Skye, Tiree and Orkney. More prominent architectural gems include the arches at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the Scottish Parliament and Stirling University.


    Today (Wednesday 27 April) also sees the launch of the ‘Scotstyle: 100 years of Scottish Architecture’ book, which documents each of the 100 best buildings, ten from each decade, and gives some fascinating insights into architectural trends over the past 100 years alongside the story behind some of Scotland’s most beloved buildings. The book also celebrates the centenary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) who are curating and managing the Festival.  


    The nationwide touring exhibition will premiere at The Falkirk Wheel then tour across the length and breadth of Scotland at venues including; St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and New Lanark Heritage Centre and the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, with a debate and book signing at the Scottish Parliament during the Festival of Politics in August. 


    The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. 


    Neil Baxter CEO RIAS said: Even before it starts its tour Scotstyle 2016 can boast of being the most popular ever exhibition of Scottish architecture. The demand from venues throughout the land has been huge - so much so that three versions (sponsored by Lockton, Clyde and Co and Forestry Commission Scotland respectively) will be touring for the rest of this year to over thirty venues.” 

    The exhibition and the accompanying book were only possible through the generosity and the brilliant input of our ten expert authors. This is a unique and special celebration of 100 years of Scottish achievement.


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said: From textiles and technology to architecture and fashion, Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.

    Scotland is world renowned for its rich, built heritage – it has buildings that make people look up and streets steeped in history. ‘Scotstyle’ presents a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit the free exhibitions taking place across the length and breadth of Scotland, whilst also being able to cast their vote in honouring some of our most treasured, innovative and iconic buildings and residences.


    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals said: As a partner of the Festival of Architecture, we are delighted to host the launch of the Scotstyle exhibition and book at The Falkirk Wheel.  It’s fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the Scotstyle exhibition premieres on the site of one of Scotland’s most iconic and innovative structures.

     

    To cast your vote, order a copy of the book and find out more about the exhibition tour, visit www.foa2016.com


    Scotstyle 100 years of Scottish Architecture 1916 – 2016 is available now from the RIAS Bookshop, Rutland Square Edinburgh and exhibition venues with a retail outlet.

    ISBN- 978-1-873190-71-5 | RRP £25 |210x210mm | softback | 240pp | full colour throughout

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 29 April 2016

    Big, Bold and Colourful – Spring Fling Rural Mural Welcomes the Public

    Last night saw the official launch of Spring Fling Rural Mural, the biggest, brightest and boldest project so far from the recently established Upland arts organisation.

    SFRM involved creating six large and colourful murals on three buildings in the depths of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside and three more in the urban hearts of Glasgow, Berlin and Newcastle.

    All have now been completed and the public are invited to enjoy six very different artworks in vividly contrasting locations.

    The project is part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and is also intended to shine a spotlight on Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studios contemporary visual art and craft event, which is run by Upland.

    Guests at a special launch event at The Lighthouse, in Glasgow, saw a short film about the making of the murals and had the chance to meet members of the international arts teams that collaborated on SFRM.

    Among those present were the SFRM lead artists and project managers, Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie, of Glasgow-based Recoat arts agency.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (maternity cover), said: “This has been a huge achievement – with artists from across Scotland and Europe working together to create large, colourful and fun artworks in some of the most sparsely and the most densely populated places you can think of.

    “Dumfries and Galloway has an amazing artistic community and one of our aims, through projects like SFRM and the Spring Fling weekend itself, is to provide a showcase for all that talent.

    “We hope that people in Glasgow, Berlin and Newcastle will enjoy the murals we have gifted to them. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from all across the UK and Europe to visit Dumfries and Galloway for Spring Fling, and to see our rural murals here, at the end of May.

    “This was the biggest and boldest project that Upland has run since it was established last year and shows just how ambitious we are to spread the word about the excellence of visual art and craft in our region.”  

    The key theme of SFRM is “exchange”. This has involved exchange of places and sites and of skills and ideas, bringing together some high-calibre established and emerging artists from south-west Scotland with some of the best mural artists practicing today.

    The Spring Fling weekend will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May. 

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council Events Champion, said: “Dumfries and Galloway is the inspiration for many superb artists and craft makers and Spring Fling’s Rural Murals showcase beautifully the chemistry that can exist between artist and landscape.

    “We may be a rural region but we are completely outward looking in our attempts to promote Dumfries and Galloway and welcome cultural tourists. The council is committed to creating the right conditions for artists to flourish here and I hope many people can take a road trip to visit this wonderful trio of murals.”

    SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Spring Fling Rural Mural is an ambitious project to promote the expertise of the artists and makers of Scotland’s south west to a wider audience than ever before, and we are delighted to support the event once more in our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    “We hope that, engaged by the murals in Dumfries and Galloway itself, as well as those in prominent positions in Glasgow, Newcastle and Berlin, as many people as possible are encouraged to make the trip to Scotland for what is set to be another outstanding Spring Fling event in 2016.”

    The artists and the sites in Dumfries and Galloway:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle from Germany) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

    Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

    • Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

    The artists and the sites in the cities:

    Berlin: 44flavours and Rory Laycock, created a five-storey mural at Kurfürstenstraβe 15/16 2. Hinterhof Rechts 10785. The inspiration for the work was imagined flags for a world without borders.

    Glasgow: Recoat worked with Morag Paterson to paint another five-storey work, this time in The Barras, which shows city skylines and flying geese – the inspiration is the interconnectedness of the world today. It can be seen at On the Corner, 253-257 London Road.

    Newcastle: Tellas, from Rome, and Morag Macpherson created their own large-scale work at the Toffee Factory, Lower Streenbergs Yard, Keyside, Walker Road, Ouseburn.

    Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.

    Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.

    Category: International Events

  • 28 April 2016

    PIPING LIVE! CELEBRATES THE ‘MOMENTS THAT MATTER’ 2016 HEADLINERS REVEALED TODAY

    Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival, the world’s biggest week of piping, will return to Glasgow from 8th – 14th August, 2016. The festival headliners was unveiled today by projection mapping a series of incredible images onto the National Piping Centre.

    All images were crowdsourced via Piping Live!’s social media channels to celebrate the fact that Scotland’s national instrument has provided the soundtrack for so many of life’s big moments throughout history. From marching onto the battlefield to the mesmerising opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, to wedding ceremonies and funerals; bringing in the New Year, to celebrating Scottish heritage the world over – bagpipes are always at the heart of huge moments.  Everyone has an emotional reaction when they hear the pipes begin to play – whether that be joy, sadness, nostalgia or hope – making the instrument like no other.

    Festival organisers brought the images to life by having a lone piper perform a haunting medley of the best known tunes in front of the projection, before inviting the public to enjoy this year’s big moment – Piping Live!

    Now in its 13th year, Piping Live! is the biggest festival of its kind. Attracting 40,000 people from around the globe each year to watch over 5000 international pipers perform at 150 events across the city.

    Some of the hottest names in traditional music will perform this year, including RURA, Anxo Lorenzo, Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton and the world famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

    Band performances will take place in George Square and on the steps of The Royal Concert Hall.  The annual Pipe Idol competition and fan favourite, the International Quartets competition will return to the festival, while the Pipers Market’ will be back in George Square, providing the best fresh and local food and drink from across Scotland.

     The weekend will also see the most important piping competition in the world take place in Glasgow for the 30th consecutive year, as The World Pipe Band Championships returns on 12th and 13th August. Each year 8,000 pipers from more than 200 countries travel to Glasgow Green to compete to be named best in the world for piping and this year will see Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band defend their title after becoming the first Scottish band to win the coveted title in more than a decade.

     Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live!, said: “Bagpipes strike an emotional chord with people all over the world. There’s no other instrument that can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck quite like the pipes. From major historical events, to personal moments like weddings and graduations, to shared moments of triumph like the Commonwealth Games or a cup final – bagpipes have set the scene for so many powerful memories at home and throughout the world.

     This year’s line-up is all about celebrating the rich history and international diversity of the bagpipes while heralding the future with some of the most exciting new players in the traditional music scene.”

     Ross Ainslie, performing at this year’s Piping Live!, said: “Piping has allowed me to travel all over the world and make a career out of something I love. Some of my earliest memories in piping were listening to Gordon Duncan's "Just for Seumas" album on the way to practices with the the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band in Pitlochry and I’ve been completely inspired in the music since. Piping Live! is a great week for catching up with pals old and new.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Piping Live! in 2016, an event which promotes this incredibly significant aspect of Scottish history and culture.  The pipes are recognised the world over as a symbol of Scotland and we are excited at the prospect of venues across the city of Glasgow coming alive to the sound of songs new and old for the week-long festival in August.”

     Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Every year, tens of thousands of people from across the UK and overseas are drawn to Glasgow in August as the city becomes the epicentre of world piping. Piping Live! is at the heart of that attraction, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience a truly spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. As the festival enters its 13th year, its continuing popularity reflects the quality and diversity of the programme while reinforcing Glasgow’s reputation as a world-class major events destination.”

    Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale Saturday 30th April at 9.00am and available by logging onto www.pipinglive.co.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 27 April 2016

    Brodies Invitational Returns To Gleneagles With Star Studded Line-Up

    On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June 2016, the prestigious grounds of the Gleneagles Hotel will once again play host to the must-see tennis event of the summer, with legends of the sport descending on Auchterarder to do battle for the Brodies Invitational, under the patronage of Judy Murray.

     

    The star studded line-up includes British tennis legends Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, former world number four Thomas Enqvist and Wimbledon finalist Cedric Pioline, while some of Scotland’s most talented juniors will also get the chance to play against the greats.”


    For more information on events and tickets please visit http://bit.ly/1NA0IA3

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 27 April 2016

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 Fund closes 9 May

     

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 Fund closes 9 May 
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme is designed to celebrate the spirit and fun of Scotland’s winter season, all warmed up with a range of exciting events and activity throughout the country.
    Applications for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 funding close on 9 May 2016. 
    A total fund of £390,000 is available to support a range of both existing and brand new events that provide significant opportunities to celebrate of one or more of Scotland’s three national days including St Andrew’s Day (30 November 2016), Hogmanay (31 December 2016) and Burns Night (25 January 2017).  
    For more information click here >>

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme is designed to celebrate the spirit and fun of Scotland’s winter season, all warmed up with a range of exciting events and activity throughout the country.

    Applications for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 funding close on 9 May 2016. 

    A total fund of £390,000 is available to support a range of both existing and brand new events that provide significant opportunities to celebrate of one or more of Scotland’s three national days including St Andrew’s Day (30 November 2016), Hogmanay (31 December 2016) and Burns Night (25 January 2017).  

    For more information click here >>

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 27 April 2016

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF TOMMY’S HONOUR AS THE 2016 OPENING NIGHT GALA

     

    Edinburgh, April 2016 – Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to announce that enthralling drama Tommy’s Honour will open the 70th edition of the festival on Wednesday 15th June 2016.
    Shot entirely on location in Scotland, Tommy’s Honour is based on the true story of golfing pioneer and legend Tom Morris and his turbulent relationship with his son Tommy. Acclaimed and award-winning actor Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Olivier-winning Jack Lowden (War & Peace) take on the roles of father and son and lead a fantastic ensemble cast including Ophelia Lovibond (W1A), Peter Ferdinando (Hyena) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) in the role of Alexander Boothby. Key cast will be in attendance on Opening night.
    Tommy’s Honour tells the story of Tom Morris’ relationship with his son Tommy, who showed a remarkable talent of his own and matched his father's sporting achievements. However, despite their shared passion, father and son clash over the unwritten rules of social class, culminating in Tommy’s marriage to a woman of lower standing who hides a shameful secret in her past. Tommy must choose between family loyalty and his dreams of forging his own path with the woman he loves beside him.
    Director Jason Connery commented: "It's so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, Tommy's Honour might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That's fantastic!"
    Producer Bob Last adds: “It's an honour to be back at EIFF for an Opening Gala, it means a lot to have Mark Adams and his team's support for Jason Connery and our fantastic cast's telling of an iconic Scottish story. We look forward to introducing our film to Scotland and to the Gala being the first step in taking Tommy's Honour to an international audience.”
    Producer Keith Banks also said: “Our film is a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes including father/son relationships, class struggle, deep romantic love, family love and love
    of a game and a culture. We are thrilled to be able to first showcase Tommy’s Honour to a live
    audience at such a respected international gathering via our world premiere at EIFF."
    Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are proud to be staging the world premiere
    of Tommy’s Honour. It is a beautifully made film packed with memorable moments and terrific
    performances and reflects perfectly our intention to keep on bringing great Scottish projects to our
    audience."
    Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 27th April.
    Please find a selection of images from Tommy’s Honour here: https://we.tl/siXRlrpblw

    Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to announce that enthralling drama Tommy’s Honour will open the 70th edition of the festival on Wednesday 15th June 2016.

    Shot entirely on location in Scotland, Tommy’s Honour is based on the true story of golfing pioneer and legend Tom Morris and his turbulent relationship with his son Tommy. Acclaimed and award-winning actor Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Olivier-winning Jack Lowden (War & Peace) take on the roles of father and son and lead a fantastic ensemble cast including Ophelia Lovibond (W1A), Peter Ferdinando (Hyena) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) in the role of Alexander Boothby. Key cast will be in attendance on Opening night.

    Tommy’s Honour tells the story of Tom Morris’ relationship with his son Tommy, who showed a remarkable talent of his own and matched his father's sporting achievements. However, despite their shared passion, father and son clash over the unwritten rules of social class, culminating in Tommy’s marriage to a woman of lower standing who hides a shameful secret in her past. Tommy must choose between family loyalty and his dreams of forging his own path with the woman he loves beside him.

    Director Jason Connery commented: "It's so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, Tommy's Honour might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That's fantastic!"

    Producer Bob Last adds: “It's an honour to be back at EIFF for an Opening Gala, it means a lot to have Mark Adams and his team's support for Jason Connery and our fantastic cast's telling of an iconic Scottish story. We look forward to introducing our film to Scotland and to the Gala being the first step in taking Tommy's Honour to an international audience.”

    Producer Keith Banks also said: “Our film is a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes including father/son relationships, class struggle, deep romantic love, family love and loveof a game and a culture. We are thrilled to be able to first showcase Tommy’s Honour to a liveaudience at such a respected international gathering via our world premiere at EIFF.

    "Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are proud to be staging the world premiereof Tommy’s Honour. It is a beautifully made film packed with memorable moments and terrificperformances and reflects perfectly our intention to keep on bringing great Scottish projects to ouraudience."

    Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 27th April.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 27 April 2016

    Open Camping Village to Welcome the Next Generation of Fans

     

    Open Camping Village to Welcome the Next Generation of Fans 
    Younger spectators at The 145th Open at Royal Troon this year will be able to take advantage of an innovative free accommodation option after The R&A announced plans for The Open Camping Village.
     
    Situated at the nearby Marr Rugby Club, the camping village will offer free accommodation to up to 500 ticket holders aged 25 and under, ensuring The Open experience is available to even more people.
     
    It is the first time The R&A have offered a camping option and will see two, four and six person pre-pitched tents made available including an inflatable camping bed for each guest.
    Adults over the age of 25 are permitted to book alongside children under the age of 16, while food & drink, shower facilities and free parking will also be available.
     
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It is exciting to see the introduction of a new and innovative accommodation option to attract a new generation of spectators to The Open.
     
    “The Championship attracts huge numbers of spectators from around the globe bringing significant economic impact to the region and to Scotland as a whole and any way of opening the Championship up to new audiences is to be welcomed.
     
    “We have a history of innovation in Scotland, particularly in golfing terms, so I am pleased to see the first ever Open Camping Village take shape at Royal Troon this year.”
     
    Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “There will be an exciting festival atmosphere at Troon throughout the week of The Open as thousands of people come together for a true celebration of golf. The new Camping Village will provide a fun and safe accommodation option for young people within easy walking distance of Royal Troon.
    “The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favourite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves. Our aim is to make The Open as accessible as possible and the new Camping Village along with discounted Youth Tickets and the Kids Go Free programme are key parts of this commitment.”
     
    This year sees The Open celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kids Go Free initiative, which allows children under the age of 16 free admission to the Championship when accompanied by an adult. More than 300,000 children have experienced The Open for free since the programme was first introduced at Royal Troon in 1997.
     
    Tickets for The Open are currently available at early season pricing, with prices set to rise after 31 May.
     
    Spectators can register their interest now at www.TheOpen.com/camping with bookings to be taken from early May. 

    Younger spectators at The 145th Open at Royal Troon this year will be able to take advantage of an innovative free accommodation option after The R&A announced plans for The Open Camping Village. Situated at the nearby Marr Rugby Club, the camping village will offer free accommodation to up to 500 ticket holders aged 25 and under, ensuring The Open experience is available to even more people. It is the first time The R&A have offered a camping option and will see two, four and six person pre-pitched tents made available including an inflatable camping bed for each guest.Adults over the age of 25 are permitted to book alongside children under the age of 16, while food & drink, shower facilities and free parking will also be available. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It is exciting to see the introduction of a new and innovative accommodation option to attract a new generation of spectators to The Open. “The Championship attracts huge numbers of spectators from around the globe bringing significant economic impact to the region and to Scotland as a whole and any way of opening the Championship up to new audiences is to be welcomed. “We have a history of innovation in Scotland, particularly in golfing terms, so I am pleased to see the first ever Open Camping Village take shape at Royal Troon this year.” 

     Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “There will be an exciting festival atmosphere at Troon throughout the week of The Open as thousands of people come together for a true celebration of golf. The new Camping Village will provide a fun and safe accommodation option for young people within easy walking distance of Royal Troon.“The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favourite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves. Our aim is to make The Open as accessible as possible and the new Camping Village along with discounted Youth Tickets and the Kids Go Free programme are key parts of this commitment.” 

     This year sees The Open celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kids Go Free initiative, which allows children under the age of 16 free admission to the Championship when accompanied by an adult. More than 300,000 children have experienced The Open for free since the programme was first introduced at Royal Troon in 1997. Tickets for The Open are currently available at early season pricing, with prices set to rise after 31 May. 

     Spectators can register their interest now at www.TheOpen.com/camping with bookings to be taken from early May. 

     

  • 26 April 2016

    RED BULL ENDORSEMENT GIVES FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP WINGS

     

    RED BULL ENDORSEMENT GIVES FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP WINGS
    Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull.
    Famed for its extreme descents, stunning views and hugely animated crowds, the Highland occasion has become arguably the most popular stop on the eight-event World Cup circuit.
    Indeed, it is the only World Cup event to place within Red Bull’s global top 5, being joined by occasions in Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Estonia. 
    Highland Council, BUFF and Silverline are also among the supporters of the event, which has been funded through EventScotland’s International Programme annually since 2003. 
    This year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William, will take place on June 4-5, when the town will come alive with thousands of enthusiasts aiming to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 champion Rachel Atherton and the legendary Steve Peat, who will retire from World Cup racing at the end of the year. 
    Since joining the World Cup schedule in 2002, the Downhill at Fort William has become famous as a full-on, no compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. As competitors are well aware, the 2.8km course requires superb physical strength, instant reflexes, excellent bike control, an unerring eye for the right line and a lot of bottle.
    Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections add to the challenge all the way to the magnificent finishing section, where an incredible wall of sound awaits the competitors. 
    For the spectator, the difficulty of the terrain makes for one of the most exhilarating spectacles on the mountain biking calendar and, with new features and jumps incorporated in 2016, the upcoming edition looks set to be the best yet. 
    Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said:
    "I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders. 
    “The track is fierce - long, fast and brutal - with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is an incredibly important event for Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to the Highlands and promoting Scotland’s image as the perfect stage for events covering all cycling disciplines through global media coverage. 
    “Year upon year, thousands of bikers make their way to Fort William and this incredible endorsement from Red Bull is a clear indication why. For the mountain bike spectator, there is no better experience to be had anywhere, and we should take great pride in having such a tremendous event of international acclaim in our own back yard.”  
    Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend, said:
    “Coming top in the Red Bull ranking is a fantastic endorsement of Fort William’s legendary status. We’ve got true Legends of the sport, such as Steve Peat, six-time Fort William winner Greg Minnaar and three-time World Champion Rachel Atherton competing in front of an incredibly passionate and vocal crowd, at a venue that has an unrivalled reputation within the global mountain biking community. How good is it? There’s only one way to find out. Come and join us in the Highlands on 4-5 June.”
    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. 
    For further information and tickets for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and the BUFF 4x Pro Tour, log-on to http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/ 

    Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull.


    Famed for its extreme descents, stunning views and hugely animated crowds, the Highland occasion has become arguably the most popular stop on the eight-event World Cup circuit.


    Indeed, it is the only World Cup event to place within Red Bull’s global top 5, being joined by occasions in Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Estonia. 


    Highland Council, BUFF and Silverline are also among the supporters of the event, which has been funded through EventScotland’s International Programme annually since 2003. 


    This year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William, will take place on June 4-5, when the town will come alive with thousands of enthusiasts aiming to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 champion Rachel Atherton and the legendary Steve Peat, who will retire from World Cup racing at the end of the year. 


    Since joining the World Cup schedule in 2002, the Downhill at Fort William has become famous as a full-on, no compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. As competitors are well aware, the 2.8km course requires superb physical strength, instant reflexes, excellent bike control, an unerring eye for the right line and a lot of bottle.


    Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections add to the challenge all the way to the magnificent finishing section, where an incredible wall of sound awaits the competitors. 
    For the spectator, the difficulty of the terrain makes for one of the most exhilarating spectacles on the mountain biking calendar and, with new features and jumps incorporated in 2016, the upcoming edition looks set to be the best yet. 


    Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said:
    "I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders. 
    “The track is fierce - long, fast and brutal - with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is an incredibly important event for Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to the Highlands and promoting Scotland’s image as the perfect stage for events covering all cycling disciplines through global media coverage. 
    “Year upon year, thousands of bikers make their way to Fort William and this incredible endorsement from Red Bull is a clear indication why. For the mountain bike spectator, there is no better experience to be had anywhere, and we should take great pride in having such a tremendous event of international acclaim in our own back yard.”  


    Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend, said:
    “Coming top in the Red Bull ranking is a fantastic endorsement of Fort William’s legendary status. We’ve got true Legends of the sport, such as Steve Peat, six-time Fort William winner Greg Minnaar and three-time World Champion Rachel Atherton competing in front of an incredibly passionate and vocal crowd, at a venue that has an unrivalled reputation within the global mountain biking community. How good is it? There’s only one way to find out. Come and join us in the Highlands on 4-5 June.”


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


    For further information and tickets for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and the BUFF 4x Pro Tour, log-on to http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 April 2016

    Dundonald Links to host Scottish Open for first time in 2017

    Dundonald Links, in North Ayrshire, Scotland, will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the first time in 2017.

    Located near the town of Irvine, Dundonald Links – which is undergoing major renovation works – will follow on from Castle Stuart Golf Links, the host venue for the 34th edition of Scotland’s national Open from July 7-10, 2016.

    The stunning 7,100-yard, par 72 layout was designed by the highly-acclaimed golf course architect Kyle Phillips, whose creations also include Kingsbarns, one of the three venues for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and The Grove, which will host the British Masters supported by Sky Sports for the first time this year.   

    Since being acquired by Loch Lomond Golf Club in February 2003, Dundonald Links has played host to numerous professional and amateur tournaments, including the European Tour Qualifying School First Stage, a qualifier for the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex and, most recently, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, which returns to Dundonald Links this year. 

    After hosting the 2015 Ladies Scottish Open, which featured World Number One Lydia Ko and Solheim Cup player Suzann Pettersen, the club’s owners devised plans for a structural overhaul which included the construction of a new clubhouse, scheduled for completion at the end of 2016.

    On the course itself, under the guidance of Kyle Phillips, several of the greens have been increased in size and three of the putting surfaces have been levelled in selected areas to soften their contours, thereby providing organisers with more options when setting up for tournament play.

    Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be staged at Dundonald Links in 2017. Following this year’s tournament at Castle Stuart in the north, this will ensure that Scotland’s national Open is showcased as widely as possible across the country.

    “Special thanks goes to our two partners in the Scottish Open – the title sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management, and the Scottish Government – whose joint vision and commitment to improve and expand this great tournament has enabled us to make this announcement today.

    “We also extend our gratitude to everyone at Dundonald Links for the work they have done at the golf club, and the work that they continue to do. I know all our Members will look forward to the challenge the course will present to them next July.”

    Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “Since becoming title sponsors of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2012, it has been our ambition to complete the geographical spread of the tournament by taking it to Scotland’s west coast following successful events at Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen and Gullane. We are therefore delighted with today’s announcement confirming the stunning Dundonald Links as the host venue in 2017.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, which manages the Scottish Government’s investment in the event, said: “Scotland is the Home of Golf, and as such is fortunate to have an abundance of world-class golfing venues the length and breadth of the country.

    “I am delighted that Dundonald Links, one of the outstanding courses on the west coast, will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2017 and continue the commitment of rotating the event around the country.”

    Bill Donald, General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links, said: “The course changes will enhance what was already a fantastic spectator experience, with natural amphitheatres surrounding many of the holes.

    “Crowds of ten thousand turned up for the Ladies Scottish Open last year, and we’re hoping for more of the same this year. Broadcasters around the world will be covering the final day of the tournament live, and I am sure that anyone who tunes in will be impressed with what they see.

    “It will also give us a bit of a dry run ahead of hosting the Scottish Open next year, and that is a great opportunity which many host venues don’t get. So we’ll be more than ready by the time the Scottish Open comes around.”     

    Councillor Willie Gibson, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “North Ayrshire Council is delighted to welcome the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to Dundonald Links in 2017.

    “This part of Scotland is fortunate to have so many championship golf courses capable of staging top-class events, including the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open which, last year, attracted tens of thousands of spectators. The Council, through our ‘Team North Ayrshire’ approach, has worked with our partners to bring this prestigious event here, and we look forward to delivering a first-class tournament for everyone to enjoy.”

    For 15 successive seasons, from 1996-2010, the Scottish Open was held at Loch Lomond Golf Club, the owners of Dundonald Links. During that time, Thomas Bjørn (1996), Lee Westwood (1998), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Ernie Els (2000 and 2003), Retief Goosen (2001), Graeme McDowell (2008) and Martin Kaymer (2009) all lifted the trophy.    

    Category: International Events

  • 23 April 2016

    GLASGOW WINS BID TO HOST 2019 EUROPEAN ATHLETICS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

    The European Athletics Indoor Championships will come to Scotland in 2019 after Glasgow was awarded the event by European Athletics following a successful bid.

     

    The event will be held at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, which earlier this year hosted the prestigious Indoor Grand Prix, the world’s No.1 indoor athletics event, and the British Athletics International Match from 2013 to 2015.

     

    More than 600 athletes from the 50 European Athletics Member Federation countries are expected to participate in the three-day event, making it one of the biggest sporting events ever to be held in Glasgow.

     

    Glasgow previously hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships at Kelvin Hall in 1990. More recently it was staged in Birmingham in 2007.

     

    European 800m champion and Scottish record holder, Lynsey Sharp, is confident that Glasgow can deliver the best-ever European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019. She said:

     

    “This is great news for Glasgow, for athletics in the UK in general and Scotland in particular. I’m sure it will be an amazing championships that athletes and the community will be proud to be part of. Competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to compete on home turf again.

     

    “Scotland has proved that we can host great major athletics events and I’m confident that 2019 will be the best-ever European Indoor Championships.”

     

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

     

    “We are delighted that Scotland has been awarded the right to host the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, one of the world’s most prestigious athletics events and one that will enhance the country’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.

     

    “Securing this event for the Emirates Arena, just a few months after the inaugural European Championships, cements Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s leading sporting cities and places Scotland at the very heart of European sport. We look forward to working closely with European Athletics in the coming months to deliver this landmark event in one of our flagship venues.”

    Category: Athletics

  • 21 April 2016

    CITY TO CITY MEETING, SPORTACCORD CONVENTION IN LAUSANNE

    Over 50 representatives of cities, regions and countries attending this year’s SportAccord Convention, have reached an overwhelming consensus to move forward with the formation of an international association of event hosts.

    The representatives met at the City to City session facilitated by members of a working group who have been investigating the feasibility of forming an organisation for “not-for-profit” investors to share knowledge of hosting international events.

    During the session, representatives learned from the successes and challenges of a number of recent events hosted at destinations across the world.

    Representatives also provided feedback on different models of how destinations could share knowledge and raise international standards in hosting events.  The working group will now take this feedback and develop a plan to formalise cooperation between destinations.

    Members of the working group to date include:

    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
    Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
    EventScotland
    Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority
    London & Partners
    New Zealand Major Events
    Sport Event Denmark
    USA National Association of Sports Commissions

    Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said “The very productive session at SportAccord Convention has again demonstrated the benefits of sharing experiences of hosting events.  By working together I believe all investors in major events will generate greater long term value, whether they are public bodies, rights-owners or commercial sponsors.”

    “Sharing knowledge of hosting events is very important and cooperating with other hosts in a trusted environment will benefit all of us,” said Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “Events and tourism have a hugely beneficial symbiotic relationship and this initiative can only do good for the industry.”

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 April 2016

    GLASGOW BREAKS INTO THE WORLD’S TOP FIVE BEST SPORTING CITIES

    Glasgow has continued its meteoric rise up the global rankings of the world’s top sporting cities after it climbed three places to finish fifth in the world at the prestigious 2016 SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.

    Glasgow was also named the number one city in the world in the Legacy category in reflection of its longstanding commitment to increasing participation and creating new sporting opportunities for citizens in the lead up to and beyond the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    And in a further award Glasgow was named Best Small City by population band beating Amsterdam, Calgary, Doha and Vancouver in the process cementing the city’s position as a world leading sports city. The announcement was made at the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne.

    The SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards, which are held every two years, are the internationally recognised and longest established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts. Glasgow secured a ranking of eighth in the world in 2014, having moved up one place from ninth in 2012. The city made its debut in the 2010 rankings when it finished in 11th place.  

    The news comes during a golden era for sport in the city. Building on the success of the best ever Commonwealth Games, just last year Glasgow delivered the FIG World Gymnastics Championships, the IPC Swimming World Championships and two historic Davis Cup ties. 

     The World Gymnastics Championships were credited with setting a new benchmark for the sport with FIG President Professor Bruno Grandi, saying that they were “even better than the Olympic Games”. Around 80,000 spectators watched a record 594 gymnasts from 87 nations during the 10-day event.

     In 2017 Glasgow will host the World Badminton Championships and the city will also co-host the inaugural European Championships in 2018 – an exciting new multi-sport event that will bring together the existing European events in athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon along with a new team golf event. Around 3,025 athletes will travel to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8,500 including officials, media and others.

     Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council, Annemarie O’Donnell, said: “Glasgow’s sporting reputation has never been higher. Our rise as one of the world’s top sporting cities has been secured thanks to our investment in world-class facilities, our international events programme and our commitment to increasing participation and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

     “In recent years we have spent close to £200million building new and improved sports venues such as the Emirates Arena, which has helped us attract some of the world’s biggest and best events. But we never live on past glories in Glasgow and are already looking forward to the 2017 World Badminton Championships and the 2018 European Championships.

     “To be ranked fifth in the world at the SportBusiness Ultimate Sport City Awards and to have won the Legacy Award and Best City in world in our population band is testament to our city’s love of sport.”

     Rachael Church, Head Judge and Founder of Ultimate Sports Cities, said: "It is no surprise to me that Glasgow continues to move up the rankings of the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities awards and has won the Legacy Award.

     “Glasgow is an all-rounder when it comes to hosting major sports events, choosing ones that fit carefully devised objectives while at the same time showcasing a vibrant sports-mad city. The legacy benefits of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will continue for generations to come and are to be applauded and admired."

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “In recent years, the City of Glasgow has flourished as one of the world’s leading sporting cities. Following the monumental occasion that was the XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow has continued to deliver events of international importance and earn the praise and admiration of federations worldwide.  

     “The latest Ultimate Sport Cities ranking is a tremendously encouraging endorsement for all Scottish partners who are involved in bringing major sporting events to Glasgow and, with many other significant events on horizon, we are confident that the city’s star will continue to rise still further in the future.”

     The overall top 20 is as follows.

     1 - New York

    2 - London

    3 - Melbourne

    4 - Auckland

    5 - Glasgow

    6 - Calgary

    7 - Copenhagen

    8 - Manchester

    9 - LA

    10 - Tokyo

    11 - Sydney

    12 - Berlin

    13 - Paris

    14 - Singapore

    15 - Gold Coast

    16 - Vancouver

    17 - Dubai

    18 - Amsterdam

    19 - Doha

    20 - Cardiff

     The shortlisted cities were ranked by SportBusiness’ expert judging panel, who all have extensive knowledge of sports events and the destinations that host them. The shortlisted cities were also evaluated in population bands according to the size and volume of events hosted between 2012 and 2020 alongside a range of other criteria including:

    venues
    transport and infrastructure
    accommodation
    event strategy
    government and public support
    legacy
    quality of life
    security
    marketing/promotional ability/branding.

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 April 2016

    George Square facelift revealed ahead of Homeless World Cup 2016

    A stunning arena – transforming the site - will be built with seating for 3,500 spectators around three different pitches. The “main pitch” will have seating on all four sides.

     The 48 men’s and 16 women’s sides will participate in a week-long celebration in the heart of Scotland’s friendliest city, from 10-16 July, which for the duration aims to be the, “most inspiring place on the planet.”

     It is expected that about 100,000 supporters will attend the tournament. In addition to each of the pitches, there will be space for music, merchandise and more.

     Adapting George Square is a complicated process, given a number of historic monuments and the city’s Cenotaph, which will be fully respected in the course of creating the event.

     The tournament takes place in Scotland as part of a three way partnership between the Homeless World Cup Foundation and principle funders, the Scottish Government and Glasgow Life.

     Homeless World Cup Co-Founder Mel Young comments:

     “George Square is a unique location to host this year’s Homeless World Cup. Our mission is to bring the tournament to the centre of the cities we visit, because homelessness isn’t something that should be tucked away. We need to talk about it, therefore being here was very important.

     “The nature of the site means it’s an interesting build which has involved a real multi-agency approach, particularly with our colleagues at Glasgow Life, but we’re confident that when the wrappers come off for real in July, Glasgow will be amazed – and ready to join a real celebration.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, which is managing the Scottish Government’s investment in the Homeless World Cup, said:

     “The Homeless World Cup is set to be an incredibly important event for Scotland, inviting people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience our warm welcome, to the country and generating discussion about the issue of homelessness at all level of society.

     “It puts Scotland at the heart of a global movement and will ensure that the eyes of the world centre on Glasgow, which we believe will be the most inspiration place on the planet over the course of the tournament.

     “The look and feel of the arena will, of course, have a massive part to play in this, and these artists impressions give a terrific indication of the transformation that George Square will undergo in time for the first kick-off on July 10.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

     “The Homeless World Cup will be one of the highlights of a spectacular year of sport in Glasgow. George Square will come alive as thousands of fans cheer on teams from across the globe during what is shaping up to me an inspiring and unmissable festival of football.”

    Category: International Events

  • 19 April 2016

    ALL EUROPE’S MAJOR FREE TO AIR BROADCASTERS TO TELEVISE INAUGURAL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2018

    All of Europe’s major free to air broadcasters will televise the inaugural European Championships in 2018, it was announced today.

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which holds the broadcast rights on all platforms, has confirmed coverage across the top five markets, BBC in the United Kingdom, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Televisions in France, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain.

    These countries represent a major part of the potential television audience of 1.03 billion for the event which will bring together the existing championships of some of the continent’s biggest sports for the first time and be co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin.

    Agreements to broadcast the new multi-sport event on free-to-air have also been concluded across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium and others.

    The existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will be brought together for the first time, and a new Golf Team Championships will also be introduced onto the European stage.

    Around 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin through 7-12 August as part of the European Athletics Championships, while approximately 3025 athletes will visit Scotland for the other six events between 1 – 12 August.

    This new sporting partnership will create a compelling broadcast event on the world stage every four years.

    Stefan Kürten, Director of Eurovision Services & Sports Rights at the EBU, said: “The EBU and its members are proud to be part of this milestone event for European sports on free-to-air; this event will feature the best of Olympic summer sports in Europe – all competitions for the widest public.”

    European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, co-chair of the 2018 European Championships Board said: “It is fantastic that at this early stage there is already such a huge interest and commitment from the free-to-air major broadcasters for the European Championships. We are pleased that our long-standing and valued partnership with EBU continues to pay dividends in increasing the popularity of athletics. With the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships being part of the European Championships, we will have the perfect platform to promote our sport across the continent and worldwide to what we hope is an unprecedented television audience.”

    Fellow co-chair Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: "We have brought our individual European championships together in this way to help grow broadcast and commercial opportunities and to continue to encourage participation in our great sports. I am therefore delighted that the major markets across the continent are helping ensure our partnership will be a tremendous success as we create a compelling, must-see event.” 

    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of Glasgow 2018, said: “Working with the EBU to stage this exciting new concept for some of the leading sports in Europe is one of the major reasons Glasgow was attracted to becoming one of the Host Cities and we are delighted that the major broadcasters, including of course the BBC, have shown such confidence in Scotland’s ability to work in partnership to stage what will be a compelling and entertaining product for audiences across Europe and beyond.”

    Frank Kowalski, Berlin 2018 Managing Director, said: “We are convinced that the path our summer sports have chosen to position themselves even more effectively against the power of football is the right one. We will work to create the best synergies between the sports and the two host cities. The new format will be very entertaining.”

    www.europeanchampionships.com

    Category: International Events

  • 18 April 2016

    International Artists Create Berlin Mural of Flags for a World Without Borders

    Scottish artists, collaborating with a well-known German duo, have created a large-scale mural inspired by the idea of flags for a world without borders.

    The painting, which is a gift to the city, is on a large scale, covering the side of a five-storey building.

    Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie of Glasgow’s Recoat urban arts agency, and Rory Laycock from Dumfries and Galloway, spent a week painting the bold new mural on the wall at Kurfürstenstraβe 15/16 2. Hinterhof Rechts 10785.

    Their partners were Kreuzberg-based artists and designers Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle, of the renowned 44 Flavours.

    The Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM) project is organised by the Upland arts agency in the Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway and is being staged as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The central theme for SFRM 2016 is exchange – and this has been reflected by exchanges between artists and countries and between city and country.

    Julio Rölle said: “We liked the idea of imagining the flags of a world without borders. With all that is happening in the world right now the issue of borders is hugely important – and it’s something that everyone will have their own ideas about.

    “And it’s not even necessarily about borders between countries – there are also the borders within our own minds and creativity. So we hope people will imagine their own stories about the flags and what they mean.”

    Phase 1 of this year’s SFRM saw teams of street artists from Scotland, Germany and Italy coming together to create three large murals on buildings in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.

    Phase 2 involves the same teams going urban and creating three more murals –as gifts to the cities of Berlin, Newcastle and Glasgow.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (Maternity Cover, said: “Art is a wonderful way to bring people together, and we hope this mural will bring real pleasure for people in Berlin.

    “We have been incredibly fortunate to be able to bring street artists like 44 Flavours to Dumfries and Galloway to help create murals in the heart of the Scottish countryside. It’s great to be able to respond by coming over to Berlin and working with them again to create this fantastic new mural as Scotland’s gift to the city.”

    Amy Whiten said: “SFRM has been a wonderful experience for us where we have worked with some very talented artists who have strong work ethics and a dedication to creating multi-layered beautiful murals. The artists have all learned a lot from the cultural and artistic exchange.”

    Rory Laycock, who is an emerging Scottish artist, said: “This collaboration has been amazing for me. It has raised my skill set and made me think about scale and my artwork in a whole new way. I found it really interesting to create permanent artworks that become a dialogue between you and the viewer.”

    SFRM is part of Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier visual art and craft open studios event, which will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May.  The Scottish murals will be one of the main attractions as visitors from all over the world travel between studios.

    Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.

    SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The purpose of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is to celebrate some of the most important aspects of Scottish culture, and Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project does just that in some of our most important neighbouring markets.

    “We’re confident that the creation of these stunning works by internationally-renowned artists will be an important showcase for Spring Fling and will encourage many visitors travel to Dumfries and Galloway for the event next month.”

    It is hoped that people who like the urban murals may want to visit Dumfries and Galloway for the Spring Fling weekend. The Dumfries and Galloway sites are:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

    Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

    Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

    Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2016

    TOLLCROSS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING CENTRE SET FOR SENSATIONAL WEEKEND OF ACTION AT BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre is set for one of its best weekends ever as the 2016 British Swimming Championships draws to a close.

    The British Swimming Championships is one of the final chances to see the nation’s best swimmers in action in home water ahead of the Rio Olympic Games this August.

    Friday will see one of the most anticipated events of the Championships when world champion Adam Peaty goes head to head with Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Ross Murdoch and Olympic silver medallist and home favourite Michael Jamieson in the men’s 200m breaststroke.

    Also in action on the Friday double Commonwealth Games silver medal winner Lauren Quigley, World Championships gold and bronze medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Conner and Francesca Halsall who has won medals at Commonwealth, European and world level all in action in the women’s 100m freestyle.

    Saturday will see Scottish swimming sensation Hannah Miley, who has already won the women’s 400m individual medley at this year’s British Championships, battle it out with Jaz Carlin in the women’s 400m freestyle. City of Glasgow Swim Team’s Camilla Hattersley will also be in action.

    And on Sunday former City of Glasgow swimmer Robbie Renwick leads a star studded line up in a host of events. Calum Jarvis, James Guy, Siobhan-Marie O’Conner and Craig McNally will also be competing in what promises to be a thrilling final day of competition.

    Director of Sport at Glasgow Life, Ian Hooper, said: “If the opening sessions are anything to go by we are in for an incredible final three days of action at the British Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “The atmosphere has been incredible and I am sure that will move up a level over the weekend as the country’s top swimmers continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is going to be an unmissable last few days and you can still be part of the action.”

    British Swimming Chief Executive, David Sparkes, said: “It is great to be back in Glasgow where we saw exciting new talent emerge in British Swimming in the Commonwealth Games. These exciting new stars are now fighting hard to gain selection for Rio later this summer.

    "We have been delighted to see all the Glasgow swimming fans supporting our athletes and with a few places left in the stands we hope to see a full house over the weekend."


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “With Olympic qualification at stake, the concluding sessions of the British Swimming Championships are sure to provide a hugely exhilarating experience for spectators at Tollcross, where dreams of Rio could either be realised or dashed.

    “Some of Great Britain’s strongest medal hopes for the Rio Games will be doing all they can to earn their passage to Brazil and fans from all over Scotland have a terrific opportunity to cheer on their favourites in Glasgow this weekend.”

    Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming starting at just £6 for concessions (U16 and 60+) and £8 for adults. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 concessions) start at just £22.

    The British Swimming Championships is being delivered in partnership between British Swimming and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from UK Sport and EventScotland.

    TISC has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events including the 2013 Speedo Duel in the Pool, the swimming competitions at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. It will also host the 2018 LEN European Swimming Championships as part of the inaugural European Championships, which is being co-hosted by Glasgow.

    Originally opened in 1997, TISC is Scotland’s premier swimming venue and one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe. It reopened to the public in May 2013 following a comprehensive £14million refurbishment carried out in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2016

    Dreaming of the finish – Etape Loch Ness riders get a sweet incentive on the final miles of epic cycle

    Riders taking part in endurance cycle event Etape Loch Ness will get a sweetener to entice them across the line after a bakery agreed to serve up its signature cake to cyclists as they power towards the finish.

    Harry Gow has just been announced as a support sponsor of the 66-mile sportive – and will be giving cyclists the chance to refuel at the final feed station with one of their famous dream rings.

    Dream rings – a cream-filled sweet bun topped with icing – have a legendary status in the Highlands and are one of the family bakery’s best-selling products. Now they will be served up to over 4,200 cyclists taking part in Etape Loch Ness on April 24.

    Fraser Gow, a director of the firm, says, “It’s not exactly a carrot on a stick, but we hope that handing out dream rings as the riders approach the final 10 miles will give them the push they need to start dreaming of the finish line.

    “My dad is now 81 but he still rides his bike everywhere – he gets the balance right between enjoying his cake and being active.  After cycling 56 miles to the final feed station and after taking on the King of the Mountain stage, the cyclists will have more than earned their dream ring.

    “Dream rings are one of our biggest sellers and I’ve heard of people travelling for miles across the Highlands just to buy one. Some people even claim to have a borderline addiction to them!

    “We know a lot of cyclists taking part in Etape Loch Ness will be coming from other parts of the UK and even overseas – they might think that shortbread is synonymous with Scotland, but anyone in the Highlands will tell you that our national confectionery should really be the dream ring.

    “Joking aside, we are very pleased to support an event that is encouraging people to visit the Highlands and brings a spin-off to local businesses. It’s been great to see it grow over the last couple of years, and we hope it will go from strength to strength.”

    Harry Gow will also donate chocolate crispy cake and tiffin from their new range of tray bakes – which also includes rocky road, millionaire shortbread, and cereal bars – into finisher goody bags.

    The bakery, which is run by Harry and his children Fraser, David, Jane and Sara, become the first to win the title of Scotland’s Baker of the Year in 2012.


    Harry Gow prides itself on baking everything from scratch: the bakery uses only the best ingredients and works very hard to ensure its products are every bit as tasty  - or tastier -  as homemade baking.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says the chance to refuel with the legendary local dream rings is just another reason for cyclists to fall in love with the event.

    Entry for Etape Loch Ness sold out in just 51 hours when entries opened last October – the third year in a row that the sportive has been fully subscribed.

    He adds, “If it’s not enough that riders get to cycle one of the most beautiful routes in Scotland on traffic-free roads, now they get to do it while eating one of the most amazing cakes they will ever taste.

    “Cycling is a very sociable sport: for lots of clubs that go out on runs, their route is quite often dictated by where they can stop for coffee and cake. I suppose you could say that the final feed station is the ultimate cake stop.

    “We are delighted that Harry Gow is so committed to supporting Etape Loch Ness – I have no doubt that some riders will set very fast times this year as they push towards the final feed station to grab their cake, and then on to the finish line powered up by dream rings.”

    Etape Loch Ness starts in Inverness and follows a 66-mile closed-road route around the iconic loch.

    Following the A82 along the northern side of the loch, the route passes through Fort Augustus onto the south side for the most challenging leg of the course – the King of the mountain – a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital.

    For more information visit www.etapelochness.com, or follow Etape Loch Ness on social media on Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess For further information about Harry Gow, visit www.harrygow.co.uk.

    Category: Cycling

  • 15 April 2016

    Motherwell and Edinburgh gear up for Tour Series return this May

    The Scottish rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Motherwell and Edinburgh have been officially launched along with further details of both events, which will welcome some of Britain’s top male and female cyclists to race in Scotland.

    Motherwell will begin the week on Tuesday 17 May hosting the opening round of the women’s series, plus a men’s race on the same 1.2-kilometre Hamilton Road circuit as in 2015, before Edinburgh returns to the Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Thursday 19 May with an event based around the Grassmarket and Edinburgh Castle.

    The race will take place on a new, 1.6-kilometre circuit, once again including the cobbled climb of Victoria Street as used in 2014, but this year turning left to take in the Lawnmarket and Johnston Terrace below Edinburgh Castle, before returning to the Grassmarket via West Port.

    In addition to the main race Edinburgh will also host a corporate Pro-Am relay, sponsored by Brother UK.  The event will see 10 teams of five riders, each joined by a professional cyclist, taking on the Edinburgh circuit from 18:00 in a battle of Scottish businesses and Tour Series partners.

    The Edinburgh event will also be extra special as the Brother Corporate Grand Prix will raise money in aid of former Tour Series Champion James McCallum’s Ride for Charlene, in memory of his late sister.  2011 Champion McCallum, who was among the riders on the Series’ last visit to Edinburgh, will be aiming to break Mark Beaumont’s non-stop, 38-hour, 500-mile ride around the coast of Scotland this June to raise money for Thrombosis UK.

    “Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities you can race your bike in so it’s a real privilege to have an event here, it’s really something quite special,” said James McCallum.

    “It’s one of these courses that has a bit of everything, a cobbled climb, a descent, so you’ve really got to look after yourself and not go into the red too soon, or you’ll never come back out of it. The changes they have made to the course this year are great and will make the race even more competitive.  It’ll be a better race to race, and an even better race to watch.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “I am delighted that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series is set to visit Edinburgh and Motherwell in 2016, which will allow spectators to witness some of the world’s finest cyclists first-hand and right on their doorsteps.

    “Events such as this not only inspire people to become more active but also broadcast terrific imagery of Scotland to audiences internationally, reinforcing the county’s reputation as the perfect stage for both participation and spectator cycling events.”

    It is the first time since the Pearl Izumi Tour Series was created in 2009 that Scotland has held two rounds of the unique, team based series and the second time that both Motherwell and Edinburgh have hosted rounds.

    Cllr Jim Robertson Provost of North Lanarkshire Council said: “This is a terrific event for Motherwell and for North Lanarkshire. Everyone coming along is in for a treat and, as well as top-class competition, the event will be a real family affair offering something for everyone.

    “The skill of the athletes is incredible – it’s hard to grasp the speeds involved. I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this first class sporting occasion.”

    Councillor Adam McVey said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

    "Cycling is going from strength to strength in the Capital so to play host to another major cycling event is great news. It proved to be a really popular event back in 2014 and I’m sure the Edinburgh public will be out in force to show their support for the riders.”

    Six men’s teams will compete in every round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, being joined at selected rounds by guest teams.  They are led by defending Champions Madison Genesis, alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

    Twelve teams will compete in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Motherwell, including Team Ford EcoBoost of reigning champion Nikki Juniper and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Charline Joiner and the Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa team of last year’s Motherwell winner Katie Archibald.

    The women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Motherwell will begin at 17:30, following on from Scottish Cycling’s support races, which will include Youth, Women’s and Junior and Senior Men’s races, with the men’s professional race at 19:30.

    Support events in Edinburgh will take place on the circuit from 16:00, with the Brother Corporate Grand Prix at 18:00 and the men’s professional race at 19:30.

    Highlights of both Motherwell and Edinburgh events will be shown on ITV4 on the evenings of Wednesday 18 and Friday 19 May respectively and available via catch-up services with the ITV Player.

    Category: Cycling

  • 14 April 2016

    Mountain bike legend gearing-up for emotional farewell at Fort William World Cup

    Former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat, was in Glasgow today (Wednesday, 13 April) to launch the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, set to be his last competitive appearance at the event.

    The fan favourite, known on the circuit as ‘Peaty’, is retiring from World Cup racing at the end of the current downhill season following a career spanning 20 years and including 17 World Cup wins, 52 World Cup podiums and one World Championship.

    This year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour will take place over the weekend of 4 and 5 June and promises to be more exciting than ever. Work is underway to add new technical features and jumps to the infamous 2.8km downhill course, while a host of attractions will be on offer to keep fans entertained.

    As he prepares for his final World Cup event in front of a home crowd, the 41-year-old rider from Sheffield was joined in Glasgow by up and coming young riders to announce tickets going on sale. He said: “Competing at the Fort William World Cup has always meant a lot to me and it will be an emotional day saying goodbye to the fans and riders for the very last time.

    “The atmosphere at the event is the best on the world circuit and it’s always been a proud moment riding in front of a home crowd. Winning at Fort William in 2005 is still up there as one of the best of my career and while I was really disappointed to miss out on last year’s event through injury, I promise to make my last Fort William one to remember.”

    200 of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 World Champions, British rider Rachel Atherton, and France’s Loic Bruni, will be competing as they race against the clock down the slopes of Anoch Mor.

    Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team. The Red Bull athlete will be wowing the crowds with an array of tricks, which has seen the Scotsman build a huge fan base across the world.

    Event organiser, Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “The two-day event is a huge celebration in which riders and fans come together in a family friendly atmosphere for the only UK leg on the World Cup circuit.

    “We expect this year to be extra special as the mountain bike community says goodbye to one of the true legends of the sport. The atmosphere will be electric and we’re looking forward to giving Peaty a true Fort William send-off.”

    Over a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago, delivering a £30m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

    The event, which is supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar which kicked-off in Lourdes last weekend. It was recently named as the number one mountain biking event to attend in 2016 in a Red Bull Top 10 list. 

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We have supported the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for many years now and are looking forward to the 2016 event as much as ever.

    “The event is hugely important for the Highlands and for Scotland as a whole, and we are sure that mountain bike lovers in their thousands are already making travel arrangements for this exhilarating weekend of action, which will include witnessing Steve’s final tilt at the Fort William title.”

    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: Cycling

  • 14 April 2016

    Bumper Year for Glasgow International Comedy Festival

    Over 78,000 tickets sold, critically-acclaimed performances from international stars and homegrown talent and over 40 sell-out shows - 14th successful year for the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

    As the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) closes for another year, organisers announce that the eighteen-day festival was a resounding success with 78,177 tickets sold in total – one of the highest over attendances for the event. There were 42 sell out shows altogether.

    A proudly Glaswegian event with a distinctive international flavour, on and off stage memorable moments from GICF 2016 include: Channel 4 Last Leg star Adam Hills stripping to his boxers on the Kings Theatre stage for his show which raised over £3500 for MND Scotland; US stand up and writer on Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marlena Rodriguez being introduced to haggis pizza on her first ever trip to the UK; and Whose Line Is It Anyway favourite Greg Proops receiving gifts of Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Irn Bru and homemade tablet from the audience at the recording of his cult hit Smartest Man in The World podcast.

    Performers and venues alike lined up to share their love of the festival which is now an established favourite in the comedy calendar.

    Greg Proops said: “Glasgow is the rough and tough adopted hometown I never had. The audience is the keenest, most discerning and the one I am desperate to please… Glasgow has the fairest sense of humour of anywhere on the series of islands known as the UK. I got drunk, I had fish supper and a cabbie went out of his way to tell me he had never heard of me. It was grand.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow International Comedy Festival has earned a sterling reputation for delivering an outstanding programme of events that attracts thousands of visitors each year, and 2016 was no exception. The festival brings great benefit to venues of all sizes throughout Glasgow and provides a platform for both established and up-and-coming acts to perform in a city known the world over as a centre for comedy.”

    Sarah Watson, Director of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, said: “We’re hugely proud to have delivered another successful festival, with hundreds of shows spreading laughter across the city. The most rewarding things are to look out on a theatre full of people having a great night out, and the brilliant feedback that we get from visiting performers about how much they have enjoyed visiting Glasgow. After our 14th year we are seeing the success of both large venues like the King’s Theatre and Citizens and smaller venues like Yesbar, State Bar, Hug and Pint and The Griffin running a full programme throughout the festival which will really help to consolidate the presence of the event in the city and provide a firm foundation to grow the festival over the next five years.”

    Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “This year’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival has been another terrific success, driven by its talented local team which works year-round to deliver a packed programme and attract the biggest names in comedy, from home and abroad, to our city. The Festival continues to be a standout visitor attraction on Glasgow’s annual events calendar, which not only generates real benefit for our tourism economy but reinforces our reputation as a must-visit destination.”

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival will return from 9 – 26 March 2017. Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: Comedy

  • 12 April 2016

    Exhibition Launch Gives a Flavour of Scotland’s Best Open Studios Weekend

    The annual Spring Fling Showcase exhibition was launched on Friday, featuring work from around 60 of artists, makers and designers.

    Well over 100 people turned out for a special preview at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.

    Among them were Craft Scotland Director Fiona Logue and Dumfries Provost Councillor Ted Thompson.

    The exhibitors are all artists, makers and designers who have been selected for Spring Fling 2016, which is Scotland’s premier contemporary visual art and craft open studios event.

    The showcase runs from 9 April to 21 May and is unusual because it is not only a chance to see finished works, but to discover how they were created.

    Fiona said she was “hugely impressed” by the exhibition and the way it helped people understand the creative processes that go into a piece of art or craft.

    She was also full of praise for Spring Fling and said: “I just wish I could clone it and take it to other parts of Scotland.”

    The Provost added that the arts play an important role in the Dumfries and Galloway economy, generating jobs, income and opportunities and that strong ties between the council and the creative sector are essential.

    He said: “I would very much like to thank Spring Fling for its contribution to the region.”

    Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland the arts agency which runs Spring Fling, said: “We were delighted to see such a big turnout for the launch and hear so much enthusiasm for what Spring Fling achieves.

    “We are very proud to act as a showcase for some of the remarkable creativity that there is in Dumfries and Galloway.

    “Hopefully visitors will enjoy the chance to come to Gracefield and get a foretaste of all the exciting things we have to offer for the main weekend.”

    The exhibition has been curated by Joanna Macaulay, Upland’s Events and Exhibitions Manager.

    Among the participating artists and makers at the exhibition are Morgan Hardie, Archie McCall, Fraser Irvine, Clare Dawdry, Andy Priestman, Angela Lawrence, Natalie Vardey, Amanda Simmons, Clare Melinksy, Denise Zygadlo, Morag Macpherson, Rory Laycock, Suzanne Stuart Davies, Michael Batey, Jo Gallant, Hazel Campbell, Kaz Robertson, Silvana McLean, Hannah McAndrew & Doug Fitch, Patti Lean, Hazel Campbell, Jennie Ashmore, Sarah Stewart, Davy Brown, Cathy Sidhu, Daniel Lacey.

     

    The main open studios weekend features 94 artists and makers all across the region and takes place from 28 to 30 May.

    Visit the Spring Fling website here. 

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 08 April 2016

    European Sport Tourism Awards

    The inaugural Shannon Group European Sport Tourism Awards aim to recognise and reward innovation and achievement in sport tourism from across Europe. Events, destinations and venues which have made outstanding contributions to the sport tourism industry will be acknowledged in front of a global audience of sport tourism influencers and practitioners.  Entries must be received no later than 5pm Friday 1st May.  All applications must be in English. The 2015 Awards Presentation will be hosted on the evening of Thursday 14th May in King Johns Castle, Limerick.

    For more information on how to enter http://sporttourismsummit.ie/awards/

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 April 2016

    Scottish Clan Fund Opens to Applications for 2017/18 Events

     

    The Scottish Clan Event Fund aims to support the growth of Clan events and expand the visitor experience across Scotland as a whole. The programme is open to Clans and Clan Societies organising events across Scotland which take place out with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
    2017 has been designated the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology and will celebrate Scotland's unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. The year will celebrate both intangible and tangible heritage – buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites; as well as diverse stories, traditions and culture – with a focus on engagement and participation. EventScotland are particularly keen to hear about how planned events and activities will align with and celebrate the Year.
    Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for activities taking place in Scotland which:
    - Generate economic benefits for specific regions of Scotland.
    - Attract visitors from outside of Scotland to Clan events.
    - Involve local communities by offering opportunities for public engagement and community participation.
    - Have measurable outcomes that confirm additional net spend in Scotland.
    - Benefit the Clans and Clan Societies with increased visitor numbers and increased membership.
    - Take place between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2018.
    - Grant applications must not exceed 25% of the overall event income.
    Funding is available for activities such as:
    - Strategic marketing.
    - Adding a new element to the event.
    - Hired equipment to improve the visitor experience.
    - Hired equipment to increase capacity.
    - Travel and transport to and from events in rural areas to support community engagement.
    Applicants should first register a 'note of interest in applying' by contacting EventScotland between 8 April and 20 May 2016.
    The deadline for applications is 26 August 2016.
    Click here for more information on The Scottish Clan Event Fund. 

    The Scottish Clan Event Fund aims to support the growth of Clan events and expand the visitor experience across Scotland as a whole. The programme is open to Clans and Clan Societies organising events across Scotland which take place out with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    2017 has been designated the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology and will celebrate Scotland's unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. The year will celebrate both intangible and tangible heritage – buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites; as well as diverse stories, traditions and culture – with a focus on engagement and participation. EventScotland are particularly keen to hear about how planned events and activities will align with and celebrate the Year.

    Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for activities taking place in Scotland that:

    - Generate economic benefits for specific regions of Scotland.

    - Attract visitors from outside of Scotland to Clan events.- Involve local communities by offering opportunities for public engagement and community participation.

    - Have measurable outcomes that confirm additional net spend in Scotland.

    - Benefit the Clans and Clan Societies with increased visitor numbers and increased membership.

    - Take place between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2018.

    - Grant applications must not exceed 25% of the overall event income.

    Funding is available for activities such as:

    - Strategic marketing.

    - Adding a new element to the event.

    - Hired equipment to improve the visitor experience.

    - Hired equipment to increase capacity.

    - Travel and transport to and from events in rural areas to support community engagement.

    Applicants should first register a 'note of interest in applying' by contacting EventScotland between 8 April and 20 May 2016.

    The deadline for applications is 26 August 2016.

    Click here for more information on The Scottish Clan Event Fund. 

     

    Category: Heritage

  • 07 April 2016

    500 days to go to Glasgow's World Championships

    The countdown begins in earnest today with 500 days to go until the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 come to Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August next year.

    Tickets will go on sale on 6 June but before that, fans who have registered for priority access tickets will have the opportunity to get their pick of the seats when the pre-sale starts on 23 May... and it’s not too late to get on the list if you haven’t already done so. Just go to www.glasgow2017.com to register.

    To mark the 500-day milestone former world silver medallist Robert Blair, who was also a bronze medal winner with Imogen Bankier at the Commonwealth Games, today visited the Easter Holiday badminton camps being staged by Glasgow Life at the National Badminton Academy, Scotstoun.

    The Scotland doubles star gave the children some coaching pointers and talked to them about what it’s like to play in a world championships and the magical feeling you have standing on the podium at the end of a major tournament.

    Robert said: “It was great to see the youngsters enjoying their badminton and hopefully they will get the chance to come and watch the sport’s best players when the World Championships come to Glasgow next year.”

    The Emirates hosted the highly successful badminton tournament at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and is now the established home of the Scottish Open Grand Prix every November.

    BADMINTONscotland has already organised and hosted several global events including the World Championships and Sudirman Cup in a two-week feast of badminton in 1997 as well as the 2007 Sudirman Cup.

    Now the governing body is ready to enhance its worldwide reputation for staging major events. The World Championships promises to be one of the highlights in Glasgow’s 2017 sporting calendar and is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 will be another opportunity for Scotland to prove that it is the perfect stage for major sporting events and builds upon the nation’s commitment to attract internationally-significant events year-upon-year.

    “It is with great excitement that we pass the 500 days to go milestone to this tremendously important occasion, which will not only bring hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators to Glasgow, but also inspire Scotland’s next generation to become engaged in sport for the years to come.”

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We can feel the excitement growing day by day and we want the whole city to get behind this global badminton event coming to Glasgow.

    “We want to build a lasting legacy on the back of these Championships and get more and more people of all ages playing badminton. There won’t be a better opportunity to grow the sport in Scotland.

    “For some of our youngsters the Easter Camps are the first steps in a long-lasting love affair with a sport you can play from childhood to old age. I look forward to seeing many of these youngsters at our Scottish Open Grand Prix in November and at the World Championships next year.”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “The countdown is now well and truly on for the 2017 World Badminton Championships – the next major international sporting event to be hosted in Glasgow during what is a golden era for sport.

    “It promises to be a showcase of top-class action with the very best players from across the world set to grace the Emirates Arena – the same venue that gave us so many magical moments during the Commonwealth Games.

    “But it will not just be about world-class sporting competition next summer. Events such as the World Badminton Championships will help inspire the next generation of players which is what we are seeing at camps such as todays. It will also reinforce our reputation 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.”

    Tickets go on general sale on 6 June but if you can’t wait that long go to www.glasgow2017.com to register your interest for the priority access pre-sale which starts on 23 May.

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 06 April 2016

    Edinburgh International Festival 2016 Programme Announced

    Today Festival Director Fergus Linehan unveiled the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival programme. This year’s International Festival runs from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August, welcoming 2,442 artists from 36 nations to perform in Scotland’s capital city. 

    Fergus Linehan said: ‘The International Festival is an invitation from the people of Scotland to people from all over the world to join us in an unparalleled celebration of creativity, virtuosity and originality.  The calibre, ambition and passion of the artists and ensembles in this year’s programme combined with Edinburgh’s electric Festival atmosphere, will make for an unforgettable experience for newcomers and International Festival veterans alike.’

    • Some of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles perform at the International Festival in 2016
    • Artists making their first appearance at the International Festival include Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, James Thierrée, Barry Humphries and Mogwai
    • Major productions from two of the world’s leading opera festivals, Salzburg Festpiele (Norma) and Festival d’Aix en Provence (Cosi fan tutte)
    • An epic celebration of the start of the festival season, Deep Time is an animated artwork which will transform Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle
    • Major classical music artists include Sir András Schiff, Maxim Vengerov, Daniil Trifonov, Mikhail Pletnev, Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill and Sir John Eliot Gardner
    • Celebrated director John Tiffany returns to Scotland with the European premiere of his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie
    • The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is celebrated with events across the programme and international re-imaginings of three key plays
    • Visits from world leading orchestras including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra
    • Scottish artists take centre stage in a series of concerts celebrating contemporary Scottish music
    • The Hub plays host to a nightly house show hosted by Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming
    • Events for families and young people, including two contrasting dance theatre works

    Unveiling his second International Festival programme, Linehan revealed a rich mix of world-class artists and ensembles from across the performing arts, alongside a superb showcase of Scottish-based talent.

    Major artists appearing in the programme include renowned Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, legendary Australian satirist Barry Humphries, revered conductor Herbert Blomstedt, Oscar-nominated singer ANOHNI, world-renowned ballerina Natalia Osipova, celebrated director John Tiffany, UK ensemble Cheek by Jowl, post-rock icons Sigur Rós, celebrated Scottish actor Alan Cumming, Edinburgh’s own Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers, leading conductor Marin Alsop, acclaimed pianist Daniil Trifonov, Senegal’s most celebrated musician Youssou N’Dour and work by choreographer Crystal Pite.

    The start of Edinburgh’s festival season is celebrated with a free, public outdoor event at 10.30pm on Sunday 7 August. Deep Time is a digitally animated artwork using the iconic locations of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock as the rugged canvas for projections and illuminations inspired by the city’s past. The event explores 350 million years of Edinburgh history, uncovering the unique geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity, while celebrating the intellectual legacy of the city and in particular James Hutton, the Edinburgh scientist and ‘father of modern geology’.  Hutton’s work greatly contributed to the evidence-based academic revolution of the Scottish Enlightenment and shifted modern thinking about how the world was formed. Deep Time is set to a specially compiled soundtrack of music by Scottish rock band Mogwai and is produced by Tony-award winning 59 Productions, creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project that launched Festival 2015. 59 Productions will employ cutting-edge 3d animation and projection techniques to create the event, also working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, with academics from across the science, arts and humanities faculties contributing. The event is free but ticketed, with full event and booking details released on 20 June.  Fergus Linehan also named 59 Productions as Associate Artists of the International Festival for the next three years:  ‘59 Productions have, time and again, created innovative and compelling work in the fields of music, theatre, opera, film and visual arts while pioneering the use of new technologies. We are delighted to be working with such a remarkable group of artists over the next three years.’

    The world’s foremost classical musicians gather once more in Edinburgh with 42 concerts and recitals in the Usher and Queen’s halls. Visiting orchestras include the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. Major soloists performing include pianist Daniil Trifonov, who gives three concerts throughout the International Festival, Sir András Schiff, Richard Goode, Maxim Vengerov and Mikhail Pletnev, as well as world-class singers including Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill, Stuart Skelton and Vitalij Kowaljow. On the podium, acclaimed conductors include Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézét Seguin, Marin Alsop and Donald Runnicles.  Outstanding choral moments bookend the Usher Hall opening and closing concerts, which feature the Edinburgh Festival Chorus performing Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Schoenberg’s rarely performed Gurrelieder.

    Celebrated Director John Tiffany returns to Scotland with the European premiere of his production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, running at the King’s Theatre for two weeks. Originally created with American Repertory Theatre in Boston, the show transferred to Broadway in 2013 to huge critical acclaim; Ben Brantley of the New York Times hailed Tiffany’s ‘stunning production... which promises to be the most revealing revival of a cornerstone classic for many a year to come.’ The production stars Tony-award winning American stage and screen actor Cherry Jones as Amanda Wingfield. John Tiffany’s Black Watch for the National Theatre of Scotland toured the world to universal acclaim and his Broadway production of the musical Once won eight Tony Awards. As Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland he directed The Bacchae at the 2007 International Festival. John is currently in rehearsals for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opening in London’s West End this summer, of which he is co-writer and director. 

    2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, whose work resonates throughout the programme. Three theatre companies present contrasting international perspectives on his work. Renowned theatre maker Thomas Ostermeier returns to the International Festival with a reworking of Richard III in a critically acclaimed production from Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre; Cheek by Jowl, led by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, unites with Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre for their International Festival debuts with Measure for Measure, a compelling production which draws parallels with modern Russia. British-born director Dan Jemmett and his French-based company Eat a Crocodile bring Shake, a five-piece re-imagining of Twelfth Night. The Bard’s influence also extends through the classical music programme with Shakespearean-inspired music from Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Berlioz, Strauss and Tchaikovsky in concerts at the Usher and Queen’s halls.

    A special concert series celebrates the remarkable reach and international success of Scottish contemporary music. From post-punk to post-rock, art-school infused pop, Scots traditional and modern folk, electronica and hip hop - with some events fusing music with film and animation - these concerts shine a light on the unique character of modern Scottish music and the artists working within it. The line-up includes Lau’s Martin Green working with collaborators from Portishead, The Unthanks and Mogwai in the world premiere of Flit, Greg Lawson’s monumental reworking of Martyn Bennett’s masterpiece Grit which was originally commissioned by and premiered at Celtic Connections, Edinburgh’s Mercury Prize winning Young Fathers, Glasgow electronic artist Hudson Mohawke’s production work with ANOHNI and Oneohtrix Point Never, the world premiere of Wind Resistance from folk singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, documentary Where You’re Meant To Be with live performance from Aidan Moffat, Scottish rock band Mogwai with a live performance of new album Atomic, the folk, jazz and classical Indian fusion of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and a special performance from post-punk pioneer Emma Pollock. This series is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. 

    The home of the International Festival, The Hub, will be the venue for a nightly house show which runs throughout August, as well as hosting seven intimate concerts. One of Scotland’s best-loved artists Alan Cumming takes up residence over three weeks and 20 performances, with his cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs! Alan dispenses seductive songs and intimate stories featuring very personal reinterpretations of the songs he loves to sing.

    The International Festival continues to programme work for young people and families, including two contrasting dance pieces. Fusing dance, storytelling and interactive animation, Chotto Desh is the first family show created by Akram Khan, reworked from his Olivier Award-winning autobiographical solo show DESH. Raw is a dynamic and gritty dance theatre work from Belgium’s Kabinet K, made by young people for young people. The International Festival also continues to offer great value for young ticket buyers aged 18 and under, with a discount of 50% available on selected events from the opening of ticket sales. Students in full time education are entitled to a discount of 30% from 6 July onwards, with £8 tickets available for those aged 26 and under, on the day of performance. The International Festival’s year-round work with young people includes a three-year residency at Castlebrae Community High School, now in its second year, with workshops and events as well as a bespoke mentoring and work experience programme. This summer includes a visit from International Festival artist Alan Cumming, to talk about his life as a performer and actor to pupils and staff at Castlebrae.

    Edinburgh’s summer festival season will again be brought to a spectacular conclusion on Monday 29 August with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert. Over 400,000 fireworks will burst into the sky above Edinburgh Castle, choreographed to live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska, continuing 2016’s Shakespearean celebrations with two interpretations of his best known love story, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s classic West Side Story. Ahead of the Fireworks Concert, there will also be a Schools Concert taking place at the Ross Theatre in Princes St Gardens on the morning of Monday 29 August, with school children invited from across Edinburgh to hear live music from SCO VIBE, a fusion orchestra open to young musicians aged 11–18. 

    Tickets for all events at the International Festival go on sale on Saturday 16 April at 10am, unless signed up for priority booking which opens on Wednesday 6 April at 10am.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 April 2016

    BT Murrayfield aiming for bumper Guinness PRO12 Final

    Scottish Rugby’s BT Murrayfield Stadium is on course to deliver one of the biggest Guinness PRO12 finals ever.

    Ticket allocations for the 2016 Final on Saturday 28 May, which will be hosted in Scotland for the first time, already show an expected crowd larger than the 2015 edition in Belfast, which Glasgow Warriors famously won.

    Scottish Rugby, which is hosting the Final, has teamed up with Edinburgh Council, EventScotland, MarketingEdinburgh and the Guinness PRO12 to promote the event to both dedicated rugby fans and ‘big eventers’ who travel to destination cities to be part of one-off occasions.

    Advertising campaigns are planned across Scotland, as well as Ireland and Wales, to promote what will be a great sporting occasion, combined with an opportunity to visit Edinburgh.

    A crowd in excess of last year’s Belfast Final is expected at BT Murrayfield, with thousands of tickets due to be sold as the season reaches its finale.

    With only three rounds left of the regular Guinness PRO12 season, up to six teams are still in with a chance of finishing in the top four places, which would put them in the play-offs and a chance to reach the Final at BT Murrayfield.

    Defending Champions Glasgow Warriors are currently in fourth place, with a game in hand on teams above them in the league, putting them in a decent position to finish in the top four places.

    Edinburgh Rugby set themselves the target of winning all remaining matches to push for a play-off place, with a home game versus Cardiff and two away fixtures against Irish opposition in Munster and Leinster respectively.

    Martin Anayi, Managing Director of the Guinness PRO12, said: “The Guinness PRO12 Final is the flagship event for our championship and we look forward to welcoming fans from all teams in the league to Edinburgh to watch the finale of our season against the backdrop of a great city in which they can explore and enjoy. 

    “We are delighted that supporters from across the four nations that compete in the Guinness PRO12 are supporting the event and will ensure that no matter what teams make it to the Final on 28 May that it will be a celebration of rugby and a great and memorable event to be part of.”

    Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, said: “We are very proud to be hosting the 2016 Guinness PRO12 Final at BT Murrayfield. We are fortunate to have both an amazing, rugby friendly city for fans to enjoy and an iconic stadium for them to visit at what promises to be a showpiece Final. The interest in the Final is growing every week and we look forward to welcoming the successful teams and their supporters on Saturday 28th May.”

    Tickets for the Guinness PRO12 Final (Saturday 28 May) are available now from scottishrugby.org.

    Category: Rugby

  • 05 April 2016

    SCOTLAND TO SHARE EVENTS EXPERTISE WITH INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY OFFICIALS

    Scotland will reinforce its leading position in staging major events over the coming weeks, with VisitScotland and EventScotland personnel playing key roles in a number of high-profile engagements during the month of April.

    On Tuesday April 5, Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, will deliver an address at a unique Franco-British ‘Sport is Great’ forum hosted in Paris by UK Trade & Investment, the government agency which seeks to boost the success of UK businesses in international markets. The day-long conference will bring together high-level speakers and leading voices from the French and British sports industries to debate key issues and discuss forthcoming major events.

    Specifically, Mr Bush will provide an overview of Scotland’s vision for the events industry detailed within the national event strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, and discuss the economic, social and cultural importance of bidding for and delivering major events.

    On the same day, Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will also be engaged in the French capital, at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. There, Mr Turner will advise the OECD Tourism Committee on the role played by Scotland’s events portfolio in driving tourism. 

    Later in the month, Messrs Bush and Turner will be called upon to share Scotland’s expertise at the annual SportAccord Convention, taking place at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland. From April 17-22, the World Sport and Business Summit will bring together International Federations and officials from all levels of sport and related industry sectors to discuss key challenges, address business opportunities and drive innovation.

    On ‘City Day’ (Tuesday April 19), Mr Turner will first take part in the ‘City-to-City’ gathering, attended by representatives from regions, cities and countries who are encouraged to share experiences and lessons learned. The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will form the basis of a presentation on the role played by Scottish partners in delivering that landmark event and the example this provides to other municipalities.

    Mr Bush will then play a central role in the City Forum, a ‘go-to’ event for delegates which boasts an excellent line-up of speakers who will assess the impact of sporting events. He will be joined on stage by BBC World journalist and anchor, David Eades, to discuss the process through which cities can determine which sporting events to bid for and when it’s the right time to ‘just say no’.  

    Ahead of the ‘Sport is Great Forum’ in Paris, Mr Bush said:

    “Scotland’s status as a leading event destination is now acknowledged worldwide and this has been cemented by our best practice approach to bidding for, securing and delivering major events.

    I am delighted that both Stuart and I have been asked to share the knowledge and expertise that Scotland has demonstrated in recent years through the staging of events like the XX Commonwealth Games, 2014 Ryder Cup and 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, in Paris and at the SportAccord Convention.

    “These invitations to present to some of the leading figures within the global sporting events sector about what we have learned, as well as the skills and knowledge we now possess, are a huge endorsement of the progress made by all parties within Scotland’s events industry.”

    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said:

    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport.

    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 05 April 2016

    BRITAIN’S BEST SWIMMERS SET FOR TOLLCROSS AHEAD OF RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES

    Britain’s best swimmers are set to go head to head in Glasgow next week as they continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    The British Swimming Championships takes place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre (TISC) between Tuesday 12 and Sunday 17 April and will feature the nation’s very best swimmers. It will be one of the final chances to see them in action in home water ahead of the Olympic Games this August.

    Leading the medal charge at the British Championships will be Glasgow born Michael Jamieson – who has won silver medals at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European level and former City of Glasgow swimmer Robbie Renwick – a gold medallist at both Commonwealth and World level.

    Both swimmers are looking forward to returning to the venue that has played such an important part in their respective careers and are promising the crowd will be blown away by the level of competition at the Championships. 

    Jamieson said: “It will be great to be back at Tollcross. It is such a special venue and the fans are brilliant. They always get behind us and I am sure they will raise the roof again next week at the British Championships.

    “The very best swimmers in the country will be in action so the standard will be incredibly high. It is going to be a brilliant event and I’m really looking forward to be a part of it all. It will be unforgettable for the swimmers and fans alike.”

    Renwick added: “I have so many happy memories of competing at Tollcross and it will be great to see the fans again at the British Championships. They really love their swimming and it is a pleasure to perform for them.

    “The noise is something else in the venue. Everyone was talking about the Tollcross Roar during the Commonwealth Games and I have no doubt it will be the same when we get back there next week.”

    Tickets are available from here starting at just £6 for concessions (U16 and 60+) and £8 for adults. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 concessions) start at just £22.

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “Over the years Tollcross International Swimming Centre has played host to a number of top events and the British Swimming Championships fits into that category.

    “Both Michael and Robbie know exactly what it is like to compete at Tollcross. The atmosphere is incredible and that will be the case again next week as the country’s top swimmers continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is shaping up to be an unmissable event.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “As the final opportunity to see the UK’s finest swimmers in action before Rio, the British Swimming Championships is set to be an absolutely thrilling occasion full of excitement and drama.

    “We are delighted to welcome such a prestigious event to Scotland and I’m sure that Michael and Robbie are going to relish the opportunity of competing at Tollcross in front of a sell-out home crowd once more.”

    The British Swimming Championships is being delivered in partnership between British Swimming and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from UK Sport and EventScotland.

    TISC has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events including the 2013 Speedo Duel in the Pool, the swimming competitions at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. It will also host the 2018 LEN European Swimming Championships as part of the inaugural European Championships, which is being co-hosted by Glasgow.

    Originally opened in 1997, TISC is Scotland’s premier swimming venue and one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe. It reopened to the public in May 2013 following a comprehensive £14million refurbishment carried out in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

    The facility now includes a 10-lane 50-metre competition pool, a six-lane 50-metre warm-up pool, 2,000 permanent seats and one of the largest and best equipped Glasgow Club health and fitness facilities in the city, with close to 100 of the very latest cardiovascular and strength and conditioning stations.

    TISC is one of the busiest Glasgow Club facilities in the city. Attendances at the venue stand at 1.5million since it reopened in May 2013. 

    Category: International Events

  • 01 April 2016

    Scottish Event Awards 2016 Opens for Entries

    The Scottish Event Awards is back for its 9th successive year to recognise and reward those often behind the scenes. Whether you are an event organiser, promoter, supplier, in-house team or venue the Scottish Event Awards is your platform to shine in 2016.

    Entry Deadline – 5pm Friday 20 May
    Nominations announced – 3pm Wednesday 13 July
    Scottish Event Awards – Radisson Hotel, Glasgow – 5 October


    You can find out more about the categories, register to enter and download an entry pack at www.scottisheventawards.net. New in 2016 is a public vote award for Event of the Year.  Entries will be shortlisted by the judges and sent out to a public vote to award the winner. 

    EventScotland is Headline Sponsor of the 2016 awards, Paul Bush, VisitScotland Director of Events, said:

    “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Scottish Event Awards 2016.  The awards reflect the strength of the Scottish events industry which is now worth £3.5 billion to the Scottish economy. Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events and we encourage everyone in the industry to share their excellent work and achievements by entering when the time comes.”

    For more information and to begin your entry check out www.scottisheventawards.net or contact pepe.terry@thedrum.com.

    Category: Industry News

  • 01 April 2016

    Malt and moo-sic: Speyside farmers launch bid to produce beef to rival world famous Kobe beef from Japan

    Farmers on Speyside are being urged to lead a fight back for the Scotch whisky industry after a Japanese malt was named best in the world - by feeding their cattle a daily dram.

    Watch the video here.

    A nip of our national drink - coupled with a diet of high quality feed from distillery by-products - could produce meat so succulent and tender that it will rival Japan’s famous Kobe beef.

    And it is thought that playing cattle upbeat traditional Scots music, in much the same way that Kobe herds enjoy classical sounds, will further enhance the quality of the beef.

    Now there are calls from organisers of the world renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival for local farmers to help further trial the theory.

    Thousands of visitors from all over the globe visit the annual Festival, and organisers are concerned about the level of attention being focused on Japanese whisky.

    Ann Miller, a director of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, says, “We do not believe there is anywhere on earth that produces better malt whisky than Speyside - and millions of whisky drinkers agree.

    “We were genuinely shocked and dismayed when Yamazaki was named the best whisky in the world, but we are firm believers in the old adage of don’t get mad, get even.

    “And that is exactly what we intend to do. All the signs indicate that introducing Speyside malt into a cow’s diet and using animal feed created from distillery by-products gives the meat a lovely, whisky-tinged flavour.”

    The incredible discovery was made by Speyside farmers Ali Rolfop and Joe King, who have a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

    They were mucking out a byre one evening on their farm, Ure Gullybale, near the distillery town of Keith and poured a bottle of single malt Scotch into a water trough.

    Ali explains, “I’m a big fan of two of Speyside’s most famous products – malt whisky and traditional music – and so I decided to share these with our cattle.

    “The next day, we noticed their coats were shiny and their eyes were bright. We’ve since been sharing a bottle of malt with them and we even have some local fiddlers come down to perform. We tasted the beef from the herd for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it is sensational - there is definitely a hint of whisky in the meat.”

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival takes place from April 28 to May 2 and is one of the biggest events of its kind anywhere in the world. It comprises almost 500 different events, from distillery tours to whisky tastings, from ceilidhs to comedy nights, and from whisky themed dinners to outdoor events.

    Ann adds, “With all this focus on Japan, I suppose we are a little worried that the thousands of visitors who fly in from all corners of the globe to enjoy our Festival might be tempted to go there instead.

    “But while Japan may have been able to produce some decent drams, it doesn’t have the history and heritage of Scotch whisky. We’ve been producing the best whisky in the world for generations - no beef about it – and while they have learned how to make whisky from us, we’re now learning from their farming techniques.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Comedy

  • 31 March 2016

    EUROPEAN ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS LEGACY PLANS FOR STRATHCLYDE COUNTRY PARK WILL SERVE LOCAL COMMUNITY FOR YEARS TO COME

    European Rowing Championships legacy plans for Strathclyde Country Park will serve the local community for years to come, according to the governing body for World Rowing (FISA).

    Following the federation’s first technical visit this month, Matt Smith, FISA’s Executive Director, said the Park’s loch would not only provide an excellent venue for the 2018 event but deliver economic, social and sporting legacy for the local community and host city of Glasgow.

    Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire will welcome 600 rowers as part of the inaugural 2018 European Championships, a new multi-sport event on the world stage. The Park will also host the triathlon during the 12 days of competition.

    Staged by the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin, the 2018 European Championships will bring together the existing championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as include a new Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles.

    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    With the number of television viewers for the event projected at a potential 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination.

    As part of improvements being made ahead of the event at Strathclyde Country Park, the iconic timing tower is to be extended to ensure the loch remains on the roster of world-class rowing venues well beyond 2018.

    Matt Smith said: “The Strathclyde rowing venue is one we know well as it has hosted a number of international events in recent years. With the extension to the finish tower as well as several other improvements, we are confident that it will not only provide an excellent venue for the 2018 European Championships of Rowing, but will continue to serve the community for a long time to come.

    “This is approach is very much in line with World Rowing’s strategy which prioritises a sustainable economic, social and sporting legacy that will be available to the local community and affordable for host cities. I am convinced that Strathclyde and the City of Glasgow will benefit from this rowing venue. "

    Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said: “It was a pleasure to host FISA’s first technical visit along with our partners from Scottish and British Rowing and North Lanarkshire Council.

    “We have pledged to work together to deliver not only a fantastic rowing competition which will project Strathclyde Country Park as a destination and world- class rowing venue across Europe and the wider world, but ensure that the event is delivered sustainably and to the benefit of the local community which is a priority for all the delivery partners.”

    Category: Sailing, Boating & Rowing

  • 30 March 2016

    St Peter’s Seminary illuminates Scotland on the world stage

    Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events has once again been reinforced over the last ten days with NVA’s ‘Hinterland’ offering capacity audiences of almost 8,000, the opportunity to rediscover the unique architectural features and dramatic allure of St Peter’s Seminary, and its surrounding landscape in Cardross.

    The event which was supported by EventScotland and is a key highlight of both the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture 2016, has illuminated Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way through incredible imagery and thought-provoking reviews.  Events such as Hinterland shine a spotlight on Scotland’s hidden gems and our outstanding built heritage which is a major tourism asset.  

    Of course, events of this scale don’t happen overnight.  The success of Hinterland is testament to the vision, determination and passion of many individuals involved including the creative team, the local community and the event volunteers who demonstrated real #ScotSpirit in turning an ambition into a reality, for all to appreciate.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “Hinterland offered attendees a chance to celebrate a building of world significance at a key moment in its evolution.  Whilst it was important to explore its historical context, I believe Hinterland has also left people feeling inspired by its future journey.”

    “Last week’s investment announcement presents an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues, which in turn will enable even more audiences to appreciate this hugely significant building.” 

    Commenting on his Hinterland experience, Peter Higgins, Creative Director - Land Design Studio, London said:

    “Hinterland was a triumph - it was a unique experience like nothing I have seen before.  All I ask for is more!”

    “Congratulations to all parties involved for making this happen, from the creative passion, funding support, right through to the overall event experience and operational strategy.”

    Click here for more information on the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Join the conversation using #IAD2016.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 25 March 2016

    ‘Eat Perthshire’ Launches to Give Smaller Suppliers Big Opportunities

    An initiative has been launched that brings together the varied catering services of some of Perthshire’s finest producers into a collective offering.

     ‘Eat Perthshire’ aims to provide a single point of contact for event organisers throughout Scotland looking to source catering for events with the capability to handle large numbers matched with the quality and integrity of local suppliers.  

     Developed by Perth and Kinross Council’s inward investment campaign, Invest in Perth, Eat Perthshire was established as part of an overarching plan to support an industry at the heart of Perthshire life.

     LovSushi, a firm that is part of the Eat Perthshire offering, was formed just under four years ago by Ross Brown and Fraser Potter to recreate the quality of sushi they tasted on their travels, prioritising fresh Perthshire produce wherever possible.

     The Lov brand has already expanded strongly into an events catering with 3 units including Mexican and another planned for this year. The company now employs up to 22 seasonal staff, as well as three in full time positions. Ross and Fraser have also purchased another struggling company Cochrane Cottage which offers Fat Free dressings and marinades and is developing from strength to strength. 

     Ross Brown, Director of LovSushi, said:  “The support we have had from Perth and Kinross Council has been tremendous, it has had a direct positive impact on the number of local staff we have been able to take on.

     “At times of tough cutbacks and increased pressure on key services, they have been able to offer business support also securing funding for important events – vital for businesses such as ours.

     “Eat Perthshire is especially exciting for us as we hope to gain contacts, allowing  small businesses to collaborate and prosper locally – that can only be a good thing.” 

     Other businesses confirmed as part of the offering include: Hugh Grierson Organic; Sascha and Hugh Grierson; Fraser Potter and Ross Brown; Tabla;

    Seriously Good Venison; Vikki Banks; The Wee Pie Company; Rose Martin;

    Jim Fairlie, and the Simon Howie Foods Trailer.

     Suzanne Cumiskey, Business Development Officer at Invest in Perth, said: “Food and drink is integral to the economy of Perthshire and I am personally delighted to see the support the industry is getting through truly innovative initiatives and projects.

     “Eat Perthshire is another great way of celebrating the rich produce we have on our doorstep and an opportunity to market it to the rest of the country.

     “Collaboration is great for future growth and is central to everything at Eat Perthshire. Beyond that, the recent UK Craft Distillers conference and Showcasing Scotland have showcased Perthshire firms to a larger audience.”

     Eat Perthshire will be given a dedicated page on the recently revamped Invest in Perth website and is available via www.eatperthshire.com.

    Category: Industry News

  • 25 March 2016

    ALCHEMY FILM & MOVING IMAGE FESTIVAL 2016: PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

    The 2016 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival programme has launched! Peruse http://www.alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk/2016/2016-programme/ for the full details on this year’s leading features, installations, short films and everything else in-between. Summaries of the main events are listed below.

     Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is Scotland’s international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image. Taking place from 14th to 17th April, the 4-day festival is held in the ex-industrial mill town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland. Alchemy is one of the UK’s only festivals dedicated to experimental and artists’ film, and draws an international crowd of filmmakers and fans of the genre.

     This year’s theme is the ‘Altered State including notions of transcendence, political transition and material change, mental or spiritual transformation, and excavations of contemporary counterculture. 

    The festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    The festival opens with the annual Alchemy Filmmaker Symposium features talks by high calibre and internationally recognised speakers in the world of artists’ film, including Steven Bode (UK), Bryan Konefsky (USA), Lucy Reynolds (UK) and Leighton Pierce (USA). 

    Artist’s Double Bill featuring the Scottish premieres of Red Moon Rising by Vivienne Dick (Ireland) and short films by London based artist Maryam Tafakory. Both artists work with performance, exploring issues of gender representation, visual poetics, politics and religion. Q&A with the directors present.

    Scottish premiere of White Ash (Leighton Pierce, USA) a visual journey into edges of consciousness built upon thousands of images shot on a moving stills camera. The film takes us on a journey through shifting perceptions evocative of meditative and dreamlike states. Q&A with the director present.

    In the World premiere of Silver (Allan Brown, Canada, 2015) a man from outer space sets out to free his father from a hospital. He is bathed in his own inner space of emotional closed circuits, alienation, rings, halos, loops, orbits, cycles, echoes and dream logic. Q&A with director.

    In the World premiere of Silver (Allan Brown, Canada, 2015) a man from outer space sets out to free his father from a hospital. He is bathed in his own inner space of emotional closed circuits, alienation, rings, halos, loops, orbits, cycles, echoes and dream logic. Q&A with director.

    In the UK premiere of Caspar Stracke’s time / OUT OF JOINT (Germany, 2015) the framework of the human condition is probed, by aiming to disrupt its incongruous and programmatic fate; life’s finitude marked by death. Part documentary, part science fiction, OOJ establishes a dialogue between eclectic groups of people united by a common dominator; their work is related to time reversal.

    UK premiere of Jennifer (Nina Danino, UK, 2015). The daily rituals and of an enclosed Carmelite nun are opened to us in this quietly observational and deeply contemplative film. The luminous interiority of the monastic life echoes through the choices that have informed Jennifer’s life and vocation. Q&A with the director present.

    Ettrick (Jacques Perconte, France, 2015). Made in the Scottish Borders, Ettrick traces the landscapes and machinery of the Scottish Borders Woollen mill industry, rendered in an impressionistic arc of abstract colour and movement. A UK premiere, following a recent showing at MoMa in New York. 

    Artists' moving image installations in empty shops, ex-industrial and office spaces around Hawick, including the UK premiere of Grayson Cooke’s Old Growth (Australia), using chemically degradation of film negatives to highlight ecological issues, while Belgium based Gauthier Keyaerts offers immersion into an interactive world of visuals in Fragments #43-44.

    There will be three curated film programmes by international guest curators, including Bryan Konefsky (Experiments in Cinema, USA), Emmanuel Lefrant (Lightcone, France) and Serge Dentin (Rencontres Internationales Sciences et Cinema, France).

    Our local Moving Image Makers Collective will be hosting a special screening of films made by its members. The Collective is a vibrant group of filmmakers that has enjoyed great success with a number of exhibitions and screenings throughout the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh over the last year.

    Film Performances Monteith McCollum’s Hidden Frequencies (USA) is a three movement live cinema performance exploring the history of communication technologies. The French artist Gaëlle Rouard performs live alchemical film manipulations using 16mm projectors, exploring the performative poetics of film as a material.

    Richard Ashrowan, Creative Director: “Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is now approaching its sixth edition. Our vibrant international programme includes feature films, experimental shorts, video art installations and live performances, screening around 140 films, most of which are World, UK or Scottish premieres. The Festival has grown enormously every year, attracting 850 international film submissions in 2016. We have built a strong international profile and over 50 filmmakers from around the world have confirmed their attendance this year.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland: “We are proud to support The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, one of the most revered gatherings of experimental filmmaking talent.

    Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events. The strength of this year’s programme is testament to this, showcasing works by both home and top international filmmakers and artists.”

    Category: National Events

  • 24 March 2016

    EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2016 EXHIBITION PROGRAMME 28 JULY – 28 AUGUST 2016

    Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) today announces its 2016 programme of partner exhibitions and pop-up events, combining ambitious solo and group presentations of international and Scottish contemporary artists alongside major art historical exhibitions and newly commissioned projects. The 13th edition of the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, taking place in more than 30 venues across the city, will include 43 exhibitions curated by Edinburgh’s leading museums, galleries and artist run spaces, as well as a selected programme of pop up exhibitions and events.

    Highlights will include:

    - New work by leading international artists including Damián Ortega at The Fruitmarket Gallery; an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Inverleith House, featuring work by renowned contemporary artists including Louise Bourgeois, John McCracken, Joan Mitchell and Robert Ryman; an extraordinary showcase of over 110 drawings by the celebrated post-war German artist Joseph Beuys at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s ARTIST ROOMS, shown together for the first time; and the first permanent installation in the UK by Christian Boltanski at Jupiter Artland, alongside new work by French artist Caroline Mesquita.

    - Important presentations of key figures from the Scottish art scene, including the major solo shows of Barbara Rae at Open Eye Gallery and Jonathan Owen at Ingleby Gallery; an exhibition tracing the careers of William Gillies and John Maxwell at City Art Centre; a multi-layered thematic exhibition at Dovecot Gallery, tracing Scottish art from 1945 to the present; new work by Glasgow-based Hayley Tompkins at Jupiter Artland; sculptor Kenny Hunter to be showcased at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; and a solo show by Jennifer Bailey at Collective, in addition to a new sculptural viewing tower to look into the City Observatory by Birmingham-based Simon & Tom Bloor.

    - A strong focus on portraiture: a major exhibition which traces the history of self-portraits across six centuries at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, showcasing works by influential artists from Rembrandt and Gustave Courbet to Marina Abramović and Ai Weiwei; the first solo show in Scotland of one of the 20th century's most important painters, Alice Neel at the University of Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery; self-portraits by the British photographer Jo Spence at Stills; and the major international photography award, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

    - Significant art historical survey exhibitions including the first major international exhibition showcasing the work of Charles-François Daubigny, a key figure in the development of 19th century French landscape painting, and his relationship with Monet and Van Gogh, at the Scottish National Gallery; an exhibition combining Surrealist works of art from four legendary private collections at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; a major exhibition of Celtic art at the National Museum of Scotland featuring over 300 objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled in Scotland for the first time; and an exhibition celebrating four centuries of ‘The Art of the Garden’ at The Queen’s Gallery Palace of Holyroodhouse.

    - Multi-media collaborations, including new work by Canadian duo Donovan & Siegel at Edinburgh Printmakers; and new work commissioned by New Media Scotland’s Alt-w Fund for locations including The Travelling Gallery and City Art Centre.

    - The next generation of talent in Scotland and beyond including Siân Robinson Davies at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; a group presentation from the studios at The Number Shop; the annual degree show at Edinburgh College of Art; and a group exhibition bringing together new work by Tim Dodds, Emma Hart and Susan Mowatt at Rhubaba.

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

    “As the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, we are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh Art Festival 2016. Taking place in some of the capital’s leading art spaces, it is with great excitement that we look forward to the presentation of new works by emerging artists, as well as the exhibition of significant historical pieces. With a strong free-to-attend element, and links to the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are confident this year’s festival is set to be one of the most popular among art-lovers yet.”

    For more information, visit the Edinburgh Art Festival website here.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 23 March 2016

    Hinterland captures hearts and minds

    Over the last week, NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland has been offering capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features of St Peter’s Seminary for the first time in 30 years.

    The event which is supported by EventScotland and is a key highlight of both the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture 2016, has put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time. 

    Capturing the hearts and minds of those lucky enough to have secured a sold-out ticket to the event, it has been wonderful to see the incredible images, reviews and engagement across all channels from visitors, local community and worldwide media. 

    And so today, it is with great delight that both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland have announced 4.2 million funding to continue breathing new life into St Peter’s Seminary. The investment will see key elements of the building restored whilst others will be consolidated to allow the public safe access to large scale events and performance as well as to smaller community activities. The triple-height chapel will be partially restored and converted into a 600-capacity venue while the former sacristy and crypt will be a focal point for exhibitions. It is expected that over 200 people will become involved as volunteers.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Hinterland has given audiences the first opportunity to experience the potential new purpose of St Peter’s Seminary whilst celebrating the lasting legacy of Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein’s ground-breaking architecture.”

    “Events such as Hinterland not only create lasting memories for many, but they shine a spotlight on Scotland’s hidden gems and reinforce the country’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

    “Today’s investment announcement presents an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues.  NVA’s vision to transform the building and the surrounding estate into the truly unique arts venue it deserves to be is a fitting tribute to this iconic building of world significance.”

    Click here for more information on the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 23 March 2016

    GLOBAL GOVERNING BODY ACCLAIM FOR 2015 IPC SWIMMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    IPC Swimming has commended organisers of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow after a study by Sheffield Hallam University revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback from spectators at the event.

    The report, commissioned by the championships’ funding partners, British Swimming, EventScotland, Glasgow Life and UK Sport, and carried out by SHU’s Sport Industry Research Centre, indicated 89% of the total attendance of 3,882 spectators at Tollcross International Swimming Centre were willing to recommend the spectator experience to their friends and family.

    Importantly, responses also pointed towards a tangible legacy impact of the World Championships, with around 63% of those questioned stating that they felt inspired to increase their own participation in sport and active recreation as a result of attending the event.

    The praise comes one month ahead of the British Para-Swimming International Meet at Tollcross from April 23-27, which closely follows the British Swimming Championships taking place at the same venue from April 12-17.

    Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO, said:

    “This survey is evidence of the fantastic all-round experience that spectators had in Glasgow and at Tollcross. It is highly encouraging to see that the vast majority of people who came to the competition would recommend it to their family and friends, and also that people felt inspired to do more sport.

    “Another crucial measure of success is the perceived accessibility of the Championships, from ticketing to infrastructure and training of event staff and volunteers.

    “Aside from the exciting sporting action it is crucial that major international para-swimming competitions leave behind a tangible legacy for future generations. I believe that Glasgow 2015 has fulfilled this mission.”

    Fans in Glasgow were treated to an exceptional display from 13-19 July 2015, as athletes from 65 nations took to the water. Event highlights included the toppling of no fewer than 38 world records, seven golds in seven days for Brazil’s Daniel Dias, top honours for British Swimming’s Ellie Simmonds in the 200m Individual Medley and the emergence of Tully Kearney, who won four gold medals.

    Among the other findings of the report was particularly positive feedback on event planning; disability awareness; and facility adaptations and services from respondents who reported having a long-term illness or disability.

    In the areas of Ease of Booking Tickets (79%), Ease of Booking Travel and Accommodation (73%) and Information on Accessible Facilities at the Venue (75%) around three-quarters of spectators rated these services as Very Good or Good in their responses.

    Perhaps even more encouraging were findings that no spectators with an impairment or disability provided a negative rating of Poor or Very Poor in regards to the Disability Awareness of Event Staff/Stewards/Volunteers or Disability Awareness Among Other Spectators, with 79% and 72%, respectively, returning either Very Good or Good in their feedback. 

    Crucially, the spectator experience relating to necessary facilities and services at Tollcross International Swimming Centre was also met with widespread approval. Responding to the provision of Accessible Toilets, Lifts and Ramps and Assistance in Moving Around the Venue, 63%, 61% and 67% of spectators questioned responded positively*. 

    In promotion of the Paralympic Movement in the United Kingdom, the event proved to be incredibly effective. Of those UK residents surveyed at the event, 92% ‘Strongly Agreed or ‘Agreed’ they would be more likely to follow the progress of British Swimmers in the build-up to Rio 2016 than they had for previous Olympic/Paralympic Games.

    In addition to £1.54m net additional spend for Scotland as a direct result of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, these findings are warmly welcomed by event partners, British Swimming, EventScotland, Glasgow Life and UK Sport, and indicate excellent governance and event organisation.

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

    “The IPC Swimming World Championships was a tremendous event for Scotland, bringing together the world’s finest Paralympic swimmers for an immensely exciting and entertaining meet at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “We are delighted by both the praise from IPC Swimming and the results of the study by Sheffield Hallam University, which are testament to the efforts of event partners who successfully strived to create a highly memorable experience for spectators and participants alike.”

    *N.B. Respectively, 23.3%, 24.4% and 16.7% of those surveyed responded ‘Don’t Know/Not Applicable’ in their feedback relating to the provision of Accessible Toilets, Lifts and Ramps and Assistance in Moving Around the Venue, suggesting access to these facilities was either not required or had not been used at the time of interview.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 22 March 2016

    Stars and Supercars Rev Up for Scotland's New IGNITION Festival

    One of the major names in Scottish motor sport – iconic rally driver Jimmy McRae – was guest of honour at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) this morning (Tuesday 22 March) for the official launch of IGNITION, a brand new motoring festival destined for Glasgow this summer (5-7 August).

    Supercars including a Lamborghini Huracan and Ferrari 458 Spider, and competition cars including the successful Red Bull RB6 Formula One racing car and Colin McRae’s famous Subaru Impreza rally car provided a fitting backdrop as organisers presented further plans. It was announced that the festival not only will include a special tribute to the late Colin McRae featuring several of the rally legend’s famous cars and bikes, but also that his father Jimmy, himself a five times British Rally Champion, would inaugurate the event’s bespoke Street Circuit driving Colin’s world championship winning rally car.  

    The Top Gear Live Stunt Team was also in action taking over one of the halls with an impressive display of precision driving, giving just a glimpse of what will be on offer in the live action zones at the event in August.

    Enthusing about the upcoming festival, Jimmy McRae said: “Scotland is steeped in motor sport heritage, with champions on two, three and four wheels. It’s an exciting event for Glasgow and motoring fans north of the border. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel on the Street Circuit – it will really bring the event to life and give the audience a unique experience.”

    Event Director Jeremy Vaughan, commented: “It’s an honour to have Jimmy on board for IGNITION. Jimmy won the British Rally Championship five times and still competes today in historic rallying - he really is a legend. Jimmy inaugurating the circuit in Colin's 555 Subaru WRC winning car will be a very special moment for the event and the city."

    Further highlights planned for IGNITION include power laps by BBC Top Gear’s tame racing driver The Stig, beautiful displays of classic cars and memorabilia plus homages paid to some of the world’s finest motor sporting heroes. 

    Scotland’s own F1 star, David Coulthard will also take to the specially constructed Street Circuit in the Red Bull Racing RB7, giving fans a unique opportunity to see and hear a Formula One machine up close.

    There will be further track action from race, rally and supercars – as well as bikes – to make 5-7 August one of the most exciting weekends on this year’s motoring calendar.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “As the first event of its kind to be staged in Scotland, we are delighted to be supporting IGNITION Festival of Motoring and are sure attendees are set for a thrilling experience.

    “The event is expected to attract visitors from all over Scotland and even further afield, for what will be an exciting weekend of motoring action that will fully utilise the outstanding facilities in and around Glasgow’s SECC.”

    Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We're really looking forward to hosting the inaugural IGNITION Festival of Motoring. The announcement of the Street Circuit is incredibly exciting as it marks a UK first for Glasgow and will put the city right at the heart of the action.

    “It makes perfect sense for IGNITION to make its home in Glasgow as we're a city that's always on the move and we have a history of welcoming the world's elite supercars and drivers, having previously provided the backdrop for thrilling scenes in the Fast & Furious 6 movie as well being the starting point for the iconic Monte Carlo Rally.

    “Today's announcement reinforces Glasgow's enviable reputation as a world-class destination which works with major event organisers to create show-stopping events that pack a real punch for audiences.”

    Full details can be found via the show’s official website www.ignitionfestival.co.uk  

    Category: Motorsport

  • 21 March 2016

    Date announced for Solas Festival 2016

    Set amongst the picturesque Perthshire countryside, Scotland’s weekend-long arts festival returns for its seventh year with a diverse and colourful mix of live music, cinema, poetry, visual art, performance and family-friendly fun. The festival will celebrate Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    SAVE THE DATE: 17 19 June 2016 @ The Bield, Perthshire, Scotland

    This intimate midsummer festival, with a similar cross-arts approach to Lattitude, sees the latest Scottish bands and the best trad and folk musicians perform alongside quirky performance art, award-winning spoken word and discussions as part of the talks programme – in a welcoming all-age environment.

     Attracting performers from across the UK, the festival features a theme each year and this year the focus is ‘Beyond Borders’, challenging the concept of boundaries, from freedom of movement and the physical borders experienced by refugees to some of the ‘borders’ that are a part of daily life for all of us, be they social, political, economic, spiritual or cultural.

    Solas festival chair Graham Bryce said: “We’re gearing up for our most ambitious programme of music, arts and family-friendly activities yet.  Our 2016 festival theme is ‘Beyond Borders’; whether borders are musical, cultural, geographical or political, we’ll be challenging them with the help of musicians, artists, thinkers and festivalgoers from Scotland and beyond”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the always popular Solas Festival through our National Events Programme in 2016. Set in the scenic surrounds of Perthshire and presenting a diverse weekend-long programme of family-friendly activity, it is sure to be a huge hit with lovers of visual art, performance and music.”

    Solas will host a number of exciting one-off events and will this year feature some unusual new additions. There will also be a special BBC broadcast direct from the site. More details to be announced soon.  

    Social media/links: @SolasFestival | #Solas2016 | www.solasfestival.co.uk | www.facebook.com/SolasFestival

     Solas Festival is supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Perth & Kinross Council

     

    Category: National Events

  • 18 March 2016

    Hinterland: The launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016 opens to sell out audiences.

     

    Hinterland: The launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016 opens to sell out audiences.
    Tonight, 18 March, Hinterland marks the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a large scale public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    Following the official opening in Helensburgh by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, Angus Farquhar Creative Director of NVA, David Kinniburgh Deputy Provost Argyll & Bute Council and David Dunbar PPRIAS and Chair of the Festival of Architecture, audiences will be transported to the semi ancient woodland of Kilmahew to discover St Peter’s Seminary at Hinterland.
    Local residents were among the first to rediscover the site and witness its transformation at a special preview yesterday evening (17 March). [Event experience quotes from Cardross audience to follow this evening at 9pm]
    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA presents Hinterland, the inaugural public art event in the ambitious long term plans to reclaim the future of this world-renowned architectural masterpiece.
     
    NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland will subtly re-animate one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings with monochromatic light installations, projection and a specially commissioned work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, trumpeter Bede Williams and percussionist Tom Lowe from the University of St Andrews. 
    Hinterland offers capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the building’s powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features for the first time in 30 years to coincide with the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. This is an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues due to open in 2018.
    Over sixty people have volunteered to help deliver the event;
    Sara Melville from Glasgow who helped to create one of the installations in the woodland with our event partners ACT (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) said, 
    “It was a great few days out in the sunshine! With lovely people using natural materials to create some features in the amazing landscape of Kilmahew.”
    NVA offered a range of mentorships for those interested in developing their skills in design, music and event production.  This gave the mentees an opportunity to work alongside key creative and technical staff to gain experience and insight in to what is involved in delivering major public art.   
    Ruari Lambert, who is in a mentoring partnership with NVA’s Associate Visual Director James Johnson said, “My background is in product design and mechanical engineering. It was during my degree at the Glasgow School of Art that I became involved in performance and through it found a new outlet for my need to design experiences. 
    “It’s a great opportunity to learn from James Johnson and the rest of NVA’s creative team in an incredible setting and I am certain the experience will contribute to developing my ideas in melding design and environment to create performative experiences in Scotland.”
    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (visual director), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).
    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “I am really pleased by the way local people have responded to the work we are doing at the seminary at this point in its transformation. The event has sold out and we have audiences coming from across the UK and Europe.  The subtle composition of lighting, projection and choral music beautifully echoes the site history and will give audiences a strong impression of its creative potential. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how people respond to it over the next ten days.”
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said, “St Peter’s is a building of world significance which continues to inspire and I am very much looking forward to seeing it in a new light during Hinterland. 
    “The event marks the start of the Festival of Architecture, a major part of 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the year than by seeing one of Scotland’s architectural gems brought to life in such a stunning and creative collaborative performance.”
    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, "Bringing together an extraordinary, sculptural, modernist ruin, music and creative magic within a unique, historic woodland setting, Hinterland is a superb launch event for our year-long, Scotland wide, Festival of Architecture.
    “It also presents a vision of how Gillespie, Kidd and Coia's long abandoned masterpiece might be reinvigorated to the benefit of the local community and wider Scotland. This sell-out is the first must-see highlight of this very special Festival. It will endure long in the memory as a special moment."
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said, “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”
    “NVA’s ambitious proposal to reclaim the future of the St Peter’s Seminary complex and its surrounding Victorian-designed landscape has not only gained worldwide attention and brought communities together, but ultimately the significance of the story has captured the hearts of many, far and wide.  Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the sell-out event, will I’m sure, enjoy one of the hottest tickets of the year.”
    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition, Argyll & Bute Council and EventScotland.

    Tonight, 18 March, Hinterland marks the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a large scale public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Following the official opening in Helensburgh by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, Angus Farquhar Creative Director of NVA, David Kinniburgh Deputy Provost Argyll & Bute Council and David Dunbar PPRIAS and Chair of the Festival of Architecture, audiences will be transported to the semi ancient woodland of Kilmahew to discover St Peter’s Seminary at Hinterland.

    Local residents were among the first to rediscover the site and witness its transformation at a special preview yesterday evening (17 March). 

    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA presents Hinterland, the inaugural public art event in the ambitious long term plans to reclaim the future of this world-renowned architectural masterpiece. 

    NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland will subtly re-animate one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings with monochromatic light installations, projection and a specially commissioned work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, trumpeter Bede Williams and percussionist Tom Lowe from the University of St Andrews. 

    Hinterland offers capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the building’s powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features for the first time in 30 years to coincide with the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. This is an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues due to open in 2018.

    Over sixty people have volunteered to help deliver the event; Sara Melville from Glasgow who helped to create one of the installations in the woodland with our event partners ACT (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) said, “It was a great few days out in the sunshine! With lovely people using natural materials to create some features in the amazing landscape of Kilmahew.”

    NVA offered a range of mentorships for those interested in developing their skills in design, music and event production.  This gave the mentees an opportunity to work alongside key creative and technical staff to gain experience and insight in to what is involved in delivering major public art.   

    Ruari Lambert, who is in a mentoring partnership with NVA’s Associate Visual Director James Johnson said, “My background is in product design and mechanical engineering. It was during my degree at the Glasgow School of Art that I became involved in performance and through it found a new outlet for my need to design experiences. 

    “It’s a great opportunity to learn from James Johnson and the rest of NVA’s creative team in an incredible setting and I am certain the experience will contribute to developing my ideas in melding design and environment to create performative experiences in Scotland.”

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

    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “I am really pleased by the way local people have responded to the work we are doing at the seminary at this point in its transformation. The event has sold out and we have audiences coming from across the UK and Europe.  The subtle composition of lighting, projection and choral music beautifully echoes the site history and will give audiences a strong impression of its creative potential. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how people respond to it over the next ten days.”

    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said, “St Peter’s is a building of world significance which continues to inspire and I am very much looking forward to seeing it in a new light during Hinterland. 

    “The event marks the start of the Festival of Architecture, a major part of 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the year than by seeing one of Scotland’s architectural gems brought to life in such a stunning and creative collaborative performance.”

    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, "Bringing together an extraordinary, sculptural, modernist ruin, music and creative magic within a unique, historic woodland setting, Hinterland is a superb launch event for our year-long, Scotland wide, Festival of Architecture.

    “It also presents a vision of how Gillespie, Kidd and Coia's long abandoned masterpiece might be reinvigorated to the benefit of the local community and wider Scotland. This sell-out is the first must-see highlight of this very special Festival. It will endure long in the memory as a special moment."

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said, “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

    “NVA’s ambitious proposal to reclaim the future of the St Peter’s Seminary complex and its surrounding Victorian-designed landscape has not only gained worldwide attention and brought communities together, but ultimately the significance of the story has captured the hearts of many, far and wide.  Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the sell-out event, will I’m sure, enjoy one of the hottest tickets of the year.”

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

    Photo credit: Alaisdair Smith

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 17 March 2016

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAST WEEK OF EUROPE’S LARGEST COMEDY FESTIVAL

    As the final week of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) approaches, remaining highlights include a special tour of Loch Lomond and Glengoyne Whisky Distillery with Vladimir McTavish; some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now presented in regular GICF sell-out America Stands Up, solo shows from household names like Adam Hills, Reginald D Hunter, Julian Clary and Frankie Boyle, and an evening with local star Michelle McManus.

    The Rabbie's Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Whisky Comedy Tour takes place on Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 March and sees Vladimir McTavish entertain daytrippers with an improvised commentary as they visit Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and Balloch Country Park, and receive a complimentary tour and tasting at Glengoyne Whisky Distillery as part of the event aboard a Rabbie’s Tour bus.

    The final week of GICF keeps up the pace with something to see every day for all tastes and budgets: critically-acclaimed stand up from Frankie Boyle at the Clyde Auditorium; character comedy from Scot Squad’s Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson, improv from Paul Merton and chums; the best of the US comedy scene in America Stands Up; and a debate on comedy, women and feminism with Standard Issue, are just some of the events lined up.

    Headline acts and household names set to appear include Reginald D Hunter, Adam Hills, Mark Steel, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Shappi Khorsandi and Mark Watson. Local stars are out in force with Des Clarke, Michelle McManus, Fred MacAulay and Janey Godley all performing, while the Festival continues to showcase some of Glasgow’s most creative up and coming talents including Fern Brady, Chris Forbes and Jamie Dalgleish.

    Joe Aitken, Head of Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour, so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the world’s best comedy festivals. In the last week of Europe’s largest comedy festival, I am sure that residents and visitors alike will enjoy the diverse line-up of home-grown talent and international acts set to perform across a variety of city venues.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow International Comedy Festival has once again delivered an outstanding programme, featuring some of the most exciting comedians from across the UK and even further afield. “The final week, in particular, presents a number of occasions to enjoy the unique and varied talents of a special line-up of acts and I would urge as many people as possible to take advantage of this opportunity before the festival concludes on March 27.”

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

    Category: International Events

  • 17 March 2016

    Barrel of laughs: Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival aims to find a high roller on the streets of the world’s malt whisky capital

    The casinos of Las Vegas may have their high rollers, but the streets of the world’s unofficial malt whisky capital will soon have their very own barrel rollers. Visitors to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will have the chance to compete in the ancient ‘sport’ of barrel rolling - a tribute to the warehousemen who perform the task on a daily basis.

    The event takes place in Dufftown – recognised as the hub of Scotland’s whisky industry because it is surrounded by seven distilleries, including the world famous Glenfiddich – and takes place over a 50m track.

    It is just one of many quirky events taking place at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival from April 28 to May 2 in the heart of Scotland’s best known – and best loved – whisky producing region.

    Thousands of visitors from all over the world will descend on Speyside to raise a glass to the national drink at almost 500 separate events. The programme includes distillery tours, exclusive tastings, food events, music, comedy and outdoor activities for whisky connoisseurs and novices.

    Barrel racing takes place on a closed road in the town centre of Dufftown on Sunday, May 1 and has been organised by the Dufftown and District Community Association. Nicola Alexander, a trustee of the group, says the event will offer something very different.

    She adds, “The idea came about because we wanted to do something different from all the tours and nosings and tastings, but still keeping with the whisky theme. We hope the community will come out for this event, along with the visitors, and enjoy the Festival spirit.

    “Competitors will be asked to race a 50m track and back up again, when the other member of the team will take over and do the same. The winner will be the fastest team.

    “Before the race, two experienced warehouse men from a local cooperage will show everyone how's it’s done. We hope to make this a yearly event and even get all the local distilleries to have a competition between each other.”

    The event is open to teams of two – individuals can be paired up – and there’s even prizes on offer for the fastest finishers. The action takes place under the shadow of Dufftown’s iconic clock tower from 2.15 – 3.15pm. It forms part of the wider Dufftown Whisky Street Festival, with lots of Scottish entertainment throughout the afternoon.

    For those who still have the energy, there’s the chance to take in all seven of the town’s distilleries in the 7 Stills Race. The course will take in all the famous and lesser known names and offers a varied and challenging route. The race takes place from 2pm to 6pm.

    Other quirky events on the programme include the opportunity to canoe down the mighty River Spey and sample some drams inside a tepee at the end of the trip; trying out craft skills by carving a wooden whisky tumbler and needle felting a Highland cow; and taking part in a ‘dramble’ through the Quarrelwood in Elgin where experts from renowned whisky merchants Gordon and MacPhail will discuss the importance of wood in whisky production.

    There’s also a women-only event, Whisky Women & WAGS. Dufftown whisky expert Michelle Myron will be leading a walk around the local distilleries, showing how chocolate is the perfect match for whisky. And there’s even the chance to enjoy a whisky pancake breakfast at Grantown YMCA – with a special limited edition Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival topping.

    Whisky festival manager Pery Zakeri says, “We pride ourselves on offering something for everyone, regardless of their level of interest in whisky. It’s possible to come and enjoy the Festival and the atmosphere without touching a drop – although we thoroughly recommend that all our visitors give the region’s fantastic whisky a try.

    “There are almost 500 events on the programme this year and we defy anyone not to be able to find something that they will enjoy.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now atwww.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Heritage

  • 16 March 2016

    INVITATION: CITY TO CITY MEETING FEATURING EVENTSCOTLAND, 19th APRIL 2016, LAUSANNE

    Representatives of cities, regions and countries attending this year’s SportAccord Convention, have been invited to attend the City to City session at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne on Tuesday 19 April 2016.

    The session will be hosted and facilitated by members of a working group who have been investigating the feasibility of forming an organisation for “not-for-profit” investors to share knowledge of hosting international events.

    Subjects of importance to bid cities and regions will be discussed, and all conversations will be designed to permit open exchanges of experience and ideas. Issues on the agenda will include those relating to the bid process, economic impact, legacy, governmental and private sector support, and matters of concern to any bid city or region.

    An additional topic will be the potential development of an international association or collective of cities and regions who host major events. In recent months a working group has met several times in an attempt to develop the concept to the point where all cities and regions can become involved. Members of the working group to date include:

    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
    Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
    EventScotland
    Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority
    London & Partners
    New Zealand Major Events
    Sport Event Denmark
    USA National Association of Sports Commissions

    The meeting will be held from 9:30 am to 12:30pm at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne.

    Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said “Cities like London have come to recognise the value of major events in developing our economy and society.  We are always seeking to learn from colleagues around the world and we hope to see representatives from every continent participating in the discussion.”

    “The impact of hosting international sport events has provided a significant boost to the Canadian economy,” said Rick Traer, CEO of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. “The legacy facilities provide much needed infrastructure for athletes to train and to encourage a healthy lifestyle for all Canadians. The tangible and intangible benefits of hosting these major events are important reasons for working together, sharing our knowledge and learning from the experiences of other countries.”

    Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark commented: “From a rather small country point of view I am convinced that sharing best practice and knowledge across borders and continents would benefit all of us, the right holders and the hosts as well.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “Major events make a vital contribution to the Scottish economy and, in recent years, staging some of the world’s most prestigious events, such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, has brought about substantial benefits for the nation.

    Our progress has been greatly aided by knowledge sharing and discussing best practice with other leading event-hosting nations and I look forward to the further opportunity of doing just that at the City to City session at SportAccord.”

    Category: National Events

  • 15 March 2016

    UNIFYING AND VIBRANT EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS BRAND UNVEILED AHEAD OF INAUGURAL EVENT IN 2018

    A unifying and vibrant brand has been launched by the participating sports to promote the new European Championships which will be staged for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin in 2018.

    Watch the brand launch video here.

    The dynamic Mark of a Champion is the star-like logo representing the vision at the heart of the multi-sport championships brand – to create a must-attend, must-watch experience that elevates the status of European Champions.

    With the number of television viewers for the event today revealed to be projected at 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination.

    The inspiring shapes and colours of the logo - created in partnership by the sports, Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin and broadcast partner the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - come together to represent the defining moments that create champions.

    Attending the launch of the brand in Glasgow, Great Britain swimmer Ross Murdoch spoke of his “golden moment” when he won Commonwealth Games gold in the pool in 2014 in Glasgow and said he couldn’t wait for the prospect of another chance to be a champion in front of a home crowd.

    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. A cultural, tourism and sporting partnership is also planned with the key market of Berlin.

    Almost 300,000 European leisure visitors spent £73 million in Glasgow in 2014, taking up 1.2m bed nights in the city. Of those, Germany was Glasgow’s leading European market, with 63,000 visitors spending £14m over 206,000 bed nights.

    And with sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism bringing £687m to the city in 2014, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s economic success. Almost 30,000 people are employed in tourism related activities in Glasgow, with sport supporting a further 10,000 jobs across the city.

    The multi-sport event in 2018 will bring together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon with around 3025 athletes coming to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    Ross Murdoch said: “Multi-sport events bring out the best in athletes and also in the fans who love getting behind their nation. The moment I won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will live with me forever. It was an incredible feeling and those are exactly the type of moments that will be at the heart of European Championships.“Glasgow and Scotland has shown time and time again that it has the ability and experience to deliver world-class events and I would love to make the inaugural 2018 European Championships in my home country part of my sporting journey.”

    London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and six-time world champion Katherine Grainger CBE, who narrated the brand launch film, said: “For every athlete a major championship like the Europeans is extremely important. Whether it is your first time on the team or on the podium, beating your biggest rival,  breaking records or winning gold, it all adds up to so many special moments that will stay with you for ever.

    "Bringing a number of sports together in 2018 in Glasgow and Berlin will raise the European Championships to a new level and make it even more exciting to be part of for athletes, coaches and spectators alike. l am already getting excited about 2018.  The countdown has already begun!”

    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the 2018 European Championships. This is a totally new concept in European sport, so it’s tremendous that we can be at the forefront of that, welcoming all these world-class athletes to Glasgow, and other venues across Scotland. We have a growing reputation when it comes to hosting major events like this, and I’m sure the people of Scotland will embrace these championships as only they can.”

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted that Glasgow’s vibrant personality shines through this new event brand. We have worked together with these amazing sports to create something that reflects all of our values by embracing our ambition, our strength in unity and our ongoing journey to provide opportunities for all of our citizens through the power of sport and culture.

    “The fact that the city will be hosting an event watched by more than one billion people across Europe is a golden opportunity for us to use the magical moments that the athletes, our fantastic home crowd and our many visitors will create to showcase everything we have to offer as a visitor destination.”

    Category: International Events

  • 15 March 2016

    Three World Cup medals for British gymnasts in Glasgow

    Great Britain took three medals at the 2016 World Cup in Glasgow in front a packed home crowd in the Emirates Arena.

    World Champion Max Whitlock took gold in the men’s competition after an impressive performance, finishing ahead of Brazil’s Arthur Nory Oyakawa Mariano in silver with Britain’s Dan Purvis clinching the bronze. In the women’s event, powerhouse Claudia Fragapane took the bronze behind the USA’s Mckayla Skinner and Germany’s Elizabeth Seitz.

    With three competitors and three medals, it was an impressive outing for the GB team in one of the first major competitions of the season.

    South Essex’s Max Whitlock, fresh from his historic World Championship win back in Glasgow just last year, started off strongly on the floor. With just a few adjustments on landing he opened well to score a 15.033. Moving on to the piece where he is the reigning world champion, the pommel horse, Max didn’t disappoint the home crowd and completed his routine beautifully for a world class 15.500. Over on the rings, Max continued his good form the score 14.333 and on the vault he then completed his extremely difficult triple twisting Yurchenko scoring 15.133. Staying steady on parallel bars, Max then scored 14.500 to put him well above the rest of the field heading into the final rotation. On the high bar, the piece of apparatus that denied him an all-around medal at the 2015 Worlds, Max looked calm and confident, finishing his routine for a 14.800 and all-around total of 89.299 to top the standings. 

    Max commented after: “I’m very happy my target was to do clean routines across all six pieces in my first Glasgow World Cup so I’m really happy. I really enjoy competing in Glasgow it’s a place I look forward to coming too knowing the crowd are really supportive. There’s plenty more competitions coming up quickly now and we all know what’s at stake with Rio the final aim, so to start off this way with World Cup gold is a great feeling.”

    Southport’s Dan Purvis also started off strongly on the floor, relishing the home crowd support, scoring a 14.566. Dan then had a few issues on the pommel horse and had to fight hard to stay on but fought well to keep his routine going, much to the delight of the crowd scoring 13.200. Looking to make up some ground, he then produced a solid rings routine for 14.400 and a steady vault (14.633). On the parallel bars, one of his favoured apparatus, Dan performed a world class routine for 15.166. It was then a close battle on the last piece of apparatus the high bar for podium finishes, but Dan did his job and performed cleanly to clinch the bronze medal with 14.500 and score an all-around total of 86.465.

    After receiving his medal, Dan said: “I’m pleased with the outcome, happy that I recovered after pommel horse and battled through. The crowd were fantastic, there’s always a bit of pressure and expectation in Scotland but it’s also great fun and they really encourage you. It’s a solid start to the season aiming for the British Championships; I’ll be working on pommel next week I know that!”

    Bristol’s Claudia Fragapane began her competition with a strong double twisting Yurchenko on the vault, placing second and scoring 14.466. On the bars she unfortunately had to count a fall on her first release and catch element but pushed through to score 12.500. On the beam Claudia showed some extremely impressive upgrades, including a standing Arabian somersault, a standing full twisting somersault and a flick into a full twisting somersault. Just performing one of these skills is extremely impressive; she scored 14.066 for a routine that looks only set to get better as the season continues. Claudia then finished on her best piece of apparatus, the floor where she was lying in 4th position. She didn’t hold back and tumbled her way to bronze with a score of 14.366 to total 55.398.

    Speaking to us after Claudia said: “I feel really pleased overall, first competition of the year with a few improvements to make but happy with where I am at this stage. There’s still more I can add in and work on with a big year ahead so I’ll talk with my coach and continue to train hard. The crowd were brilliant and make it so much fun to compete.”

    Full results and routine video clips can be found on the British Gymnastics dedicated event page.

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 14 March 2016

    GLASGOW “THE IDEAL SETTING” FOR WORLD FIRST STAGING OF FOUR OLYMPIC DISCIPLINE CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS TOGETHER IN ONE CITY

    Glasgow is “the ideal setting” for the staging of four Olympic discipline cycling championships at the same time in one city in a world first for the sport, according to the head of European cycling’s governing body.

    Following a visit to Glasgow to begin planning for the 2018 European Championships, the President of the Union of European Cycling (UEC), David Lappartient, said he was hugely impressed with the city’s facilities.

    And he thanked Glasgow for embracing the unprecedented plan to bring the European Championships in Track, Road, Mountain Bike and BMX together for the first time as part of the new multi-sport event.

    The events will attract 650 of Europe’s top cycling names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and a new world championship and Olympic standard BMX track to be built in the Knightswood area of the city.

    Mr Lappartient praised the plans for a ‘mini’ skills track for children and young people at the site of the new BMX facility, emphasising that it is essential to attract new young riders to the sport. A new BMX track has been a longstanding part of Glasgow City Council’s strategic plan for cycling aimed at increasing participation and providing the facilities to develop new elite talent.

    The 2018 European Championships will be staged by the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin and will bring together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as include a new golf team championships. Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    With the number of television viewers for the event projected at 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination with the cycling road race route set to showcase the city’s finest landmarks.

    UEC President David Lappartient said: “On behalf of the UEC Management Board, we would firstly like to sincerely thank the City of Glasgow authorities for their warm welcome during our recent visit to Scotland.

    Glasgow will undoubtedly be the ideal setting for the four Olympic cycling disciplines, Mountain Biking, Road, Track and BMX, which are on the sports programme of the first multi-sport European Championships."   

    Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said: “We were delighted to welcome the UEC to Glasgow for the first planning meeting for the four championships we will stage as part of this exciting new multi-sport event.

    “Staging these four disciplines at the same time in Glasgow in 2018 will not only be a spectacular opportunity for spectators to watch some of the world’s top names competing on the roads, track, mountain bike trails and BMX track, but will also showcase a sport that is integral to the city’s plans to increase participation across all types of cycling.

    Category: Cycling

  • 10 March 2016

    Cupar Arts Festival launches with prestigious contemporary art line up

    Cupar Arts Festival is to return this summer with its strongest line up of artists ever.

     Running from 18 to 25 June 2016, the programme will include works from some of Scotland’s most significant contemporary artists - including Charles Avery, Chad McCail and Rachel MacLean – placed in spaces across the Fife market town of Cupar.

    One of the few curated visual art festivals in Scotland, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will make use of a series of unconventional spaces including hoarding on industrial sites, the town’s historic County Buildings, Burgh Chambers and churches, and the mediaeval closes of the town.   Artworks will be exhibited both within venues as well as outside in public spaces, enabling visitors to experience the artworks by both seeking them out and by stumbling across them. 

    The festival line-up comprises twenty artists including:

    Charles Avery, who has represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2007, participated in British Art Show 7 and the Taipei Biennale.  His work at Cupar Arts Festival will include a large ‘sea monster’ sculpture and a series of six gouache paintings.

    Rachel Maclean, whose video work has won awards at Glasgow Film Festival and been exhibited at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, will show 'Feed Me' a new one hour film commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and British Art Show 8, who have kindly agreed to a one-off screening in Cupar. Rachel will also present a number of other short films throughout the event.

    Kate Downie, who is known for her landscape painting with works held by Glasgow's main public galleries.  In 2013 she was appointed Artist in Residence for the Forth Road Bridge.  At Cupar Arts Festival, her work ‘Gaps, Distortions and Downright Lies’ is a constructed space that will challenge viewers’ perceptions and marks an intriguing departure from her usual two-dimensional work.

    Chad McCail, who has had solo exhibitions at galleries including Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art (Sunderland), Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow) and Baltimore’s Museum of Art, will present a large-scale outdoor mural on the subject of education.

    Anthony Schrag, who is making a return to the festival, works in participatory manner and last year was commissioned to walk 2500 km from the North of Scotland (Huntly) to the Venice Biennale. His work almost always has a physical element, and this time he will be exploring what lies beneath Cupar. Inspired by the mysterious burn that disappears under the town, re-emerging several times before running into the River Eden he asks ‘What happens in those hidden, liminal places? What beasts and stories grow in those wet, dark places?’

    Maris, a well-established art collective who are bringing a copper ark to the festival, fitted with symbolic reliquaries, and as part of a symbolic pilgrimage.

    Festival Director, Gayle Nelson said:

    “I’m delighted to be able to bring some of the strongest artists working today to Cupar Arts Festival this year. The festival reveals Cupar in a completely different light, encouraging visitors to see new spaces in the town or reevaluate familiar ones in a way that is both stimulating and delightful.”

     Previously an autumn event, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will take place over one week in June incorporating the summer solstice.  The festival has used the longest day to inspire its theme of liminality (a precise point where one phase ends and another begins).  Artists have been encouraged to use the widest possible interpretation of this theme, allowing responses which might range from changing states in the natural world or in scientific processes, changes in the role of a historic site or building, personal transformation and development, or the interpretation of liminal within anthropology relating to ritual and myth. Liminal relates to a tipping point, a time of change as a new phase is about to be entered into.

     Cupar Arts Festival is supported with funding from the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund, EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through the National Programme as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, and Fife Council’s Strategic Events Investment Fund.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the Cupar Arts Festival for the first time, through our National Events Programme. It is fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the festival will not only showcase work by some of Scotland’s best known contemporary artists, but will also give visitors the chance to explore the historic town’s unique buildings and spaces.”

    Category: National Events

  • 10 March 2016

    Speyside’s hidden distillery gems open their doors for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival exclusive tours

    Whisky connoisseurs from around the globe have been scrambling for the chance to catch a glimpse inside the region’s hidden distillery gems during next month’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

    Just four weeks after event tickets went on sale, over 80 distillery tours – many of them at venues not usually open to the public – have been completely sold out, while more than 50 exclusive whisky tasting events are now full.

    But whisky fans will still find plenty of opportunity to learn more about distilleries in the region – a true powerhouse of Scotland’s whisky industry – when the Festival welcomes visitors from April 28 to May 2.

    There are still tickets on sale which will allow visitors a sneak peek inside some distilleries that are throwing open their doors just for the Festival, ranging from exclusive VIP events down to free tours where guests enjoy a dram at the end.

    And for the real aficionados, there are still opportunities to sample some rare and exclusive Speyside malts at tasting events being hosted by both world-leading brands and distilleries at the smaller end of the production scale.

    Festival manager Pery Zakeri says the speed at which tickets have sold for distillery tours and whisky tasting events has taken organisers by surprise. They expect there will be a further rush on tickets before the curtain rises on the event.

    She adds, “We know that events at distilleries not normally open to the public will sell very quickly, but the volume of tickets sold has been quite staggering. I think people now know that if they want the chance to see inside these distilleries, the only time they are going to be able to do that is during the Festival.

    “But the good news is that some tickets are available, and the quality of the events is exceptional. There are quite a few events where guests are going to be given a very rare opportunity to sample some vintage malts and take part in unique experiences for a very reasonable cost.

    “Our advice would be for visitors to make sure they book their tickets as soon as possible, because we fully anticipate that the vast majority of tours and tastings will sell out in advance of the Festival starting.”

     

    For more information on tours and what's on at Spirit of Speyside, visit the official website here.

    Category: Heritage

  • 09 March 2016

    Cutting-edge technology takes centre stage at events exhibition

    With the multi-billion industry events tourism sector a growing and important contributor to the Scottish economy, industry professionals are meeting for a day of networking, exhibitions and masterclasses at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday 18 March.

    EventIt, which is free to attend and is running as part of Scottish Tourism Week, will showcase some of the most innovative suppliers in the industry and allow participants to trial new ways to connect and engage.

    New applications for technology in the events industry will take centre stage at EventIt.  These include events-technology company N200 who will demonstrate how data can be used to engage event audiences and Edinburgh-based Pufferfish who design and develop new platforms for the display of digital content outside of the confines of traditional flat screen media.  A number of companies have developed specific apps for events including Cvent who specialise in meetings management technology and Maximillion who will be looking to interact with exhibitors and visitors via their Exhibition Explorer app.

    Visitors to the exhibition will be able to attend workshops, networking events and talks from industry experts and EventIt will also provide motivation, inspiration and practical tips for delegates.

    Networking zones will allow delegates to catch-up with peers and ConfBuzz’s ground-breaking connection techniques will enable them to make contact with those individuals most relevant to their particular organisations.

    Guest speakers include Kevin Jackson, UK President of the International Special Events Society; Kathleen Warden, Director of Conferences at Glasgow’s SECC and Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive of EICC. 


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says this event signifies the growing importance of the sector to Scotland’s future prosperity.

    “Scotland’s wide-ranging events portfolio continues to grow apace, contributing around £3.5 billion a year to the economy. EventIt will provide companies working in the events and festivals industry with an opportunity to share best practice and gain fresh insights from some of the most inspirational people in the industry.

    “It’s an added bonus that such a high-profile event is taking place during Scottish Tourism Week which highlights how important the events sector is to of Scotland’s wider tourism offering.”

    Judith Wilson, Events Director for EventIt urged companies involved in the sector to take advantage of the chance to visit a number of companies under the one roof on the same day. “This really is a fantastic opportunity for like-minded events professionals to share their experiences, as well as look ahead to the next generation of technology which is integral to the future of the events industry. I’d encourage everyone involved in the industry to come along and meet some of the brightest and best in the sector.”

    For more information on how to sign-up to attend the event, the full programme, exhibitors and masterclasses, visit the EventIt website at http://www.eventit.org.uk.

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 March 2016

    DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LINE-UP

     

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its
    line-up for this year, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 19th – 21st . Scottish
    favourites Admiral Fallow and Treacherous Orchestra as well as Welsh Songstress Cate Le Bon will
    all be performing at the three day event.
    Other newly announced acts include a whole host of Scottish talent including C Duncan, Mungo’s
    HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Emma Pollock, amongst others. Adding a
    splash of international flavour to the line-up is the Italian longtime tropical and jazz DJ, Clap! Clap!;
    Rough Trade signee, Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts; and Japanese duo, Sax Ruins, featuring worldrenowned
    drummer Yoshida Tatsuya. Not to mention the masterful Awesome Tapes From Africa
    who has performed coveted slots across the world including many a Boiler Room session, London’s
    Café Oto and our very own CCA in Glasgow.
    Described as ‘heaven’ by Clash Magazine, Doune The Rabbit Hole has been named among the
    best of family-friendly festivals by the likes of The Herald and this year will be no different. Having
    started life in 2010 near the town of Doune (hence the name!) the festival has since moved to
    Cardross Estate. Set near the tranquil Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only one!) and within beautiful
    parkland grounds, the festival will not only host a variety of local and international acts but will also
    feature an activity-packed children’s area and a dedicated family campsite. As well as this, Doune
    the Rabbit Hole has also been lucky enough to receive funding from EventScotland to help
    celebrate the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design. This grant will be used to bring a
    selection of artists and architects together to design and build a brand new stage and will feature an
    eclectic programme of new, innovative music to be curated by The Tolbooth in Stirling.
    Doune The Rabbit Hole has previously hosted a diverse bunch of acts from Glasgow indie icons
    The Pastels and SAY award winners Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat through to Optimo’s JD Twitch and
    post-electro outfit Errors. The festival is set to return with a spectacular multi-arts bill over the
    August bank holiday weekend featuring an eclectic mix of acts across a carefully curated line-up.
    Line-up so far:
    Admiral Fallow, Cate Le Bon, Treacherous Orchestra, Mungo’s HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Jeffrey Lewis &
    Los Bolts, C Duncan, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Blanck Mass, Richard Dawson, Clap! Clap!,
    Awesome Tapes from Africa, Emma Pollock, Bombskare, The Destroyers, Sax Ruins, Mickey 9’s,
    Shopping, BABE, De Rosa, Rozi Plain, Iona Fyfe Band, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Vasa,
    Sound of Yell, Woodenbox, Jo Mango, Bossy Love, Teen Canteen, The Crying Lion, Howie Reeve,
    Honey & The Herbs, Massicot, Urang Matang, The Creeping Ivies, Glad Community Choir Sings
    Bowie, Cairo Liberation Front, Upjumped Brass Band, Samedia Shebeen DJs, Hannah Lou Clark,
    Møgen, Alien Lullabies, Raza.
    With an event capacity of only 3000, 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 Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group, said:
    “There is a real sense of community-spirit at Doune the Rabbit Hole and I guarantee you make
    friends for life. It is pretty rare to find an event that embraces a family-friendly culture whilst
    celebrating some amazing music from all genres. Where else would you see everyone, from
    toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Doune the
    Rabbit Hole in 2016 and are confident event organisers have, once again, secured a line-up that will
    draw attendees from all over Scotland. Doune the Rabbit hole demonstrates exactly why Scotland is
    the perfect stage for music events by providing the opportunity for music lovers to witness terrific
    home-grown and international talent while enjoying a unique family-friendly atmosphere and
    stunning scenery.”
    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2016, visit
    www.dounetherabbithole.

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its line-up for this year, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 19th – 21st .

    Scottish favourites Admiral Fallow and Treacherous Orchestra as well as Welsh Songstress Cate Le Bon willall be performing at the three day event.

    Other newly announced acts include a whole host of Scottish talent including C Duncan, Mungo’sHiFi w/ Solo Banton, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Emma Pollock, amongst others. Adding asplash of international flavour to the line-up is the Italian longtime tropical and jazz DJ, Clap! Clap!;Rough Trade signee, Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts; and Japanese duo, Sax Ruins, featuring world renowned drummer Yoshida Tatsuya. Not to mention the masterful Awesome Tapes From Africawho has performed coveted slots across the world including many a Boiler Room session, London’s Café Oto and our very own CCA in Glasgow.

    Described as ‘heaven’ by Clash Magazine, Doune The Rabbit Hole has been named among the best of family-friendly festivals by the likes of The Herald and this year will be no different.

    Having started life in 2010 near the town of Doune (hence the name!) the festival has since moved to Cardross Estate. Set near the tranquil Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only one!) and within beautifulparkland grounds, the festival will not only host a variety of local and international acts but will alsofeature an activity-packed children’s area and a dedicated family campsite. As well as this, Doune the Rabbit Hole has also been lucky enough to receive funding from EventScotland to help celebrate the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design. This grant will be used to bring a selection of artists and architects together to design and build a brand new stage and will feature an eclectic programme of new, innovative music to be curated by The Tolbooth in Stirling.

    The festival is set to return with a spectacular multi-arts bill over theAugust bank holiday weekend featuring an eclectic mix of acts across a carefully curated line-up. Line-up so far: Admiral Fallow, Cate Le Bon, Treacherous Orchestra, Mungo’s HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Jeffrey Lewis &Los Bolts, C Duncan, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Blanck Mass, Richard Dawson, Clap! Clap!,Awesome Tapes from Africa, Emma Pollock, Bombskare, The Destroyers, Sax Ruins, Mickey 9’s,Shopping, BABE, De Rosa, Rozi Plain, Iona Fyfe Band, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Vasa,Sound of Yell, Woodenbox, Jo Mango, Bossy Love, Teen Canteen, The Crying Lion, Howie Reeve,Honey & The Herbs, Massicot, Urang Matang, The Creeping Ivies, Glad Community Choir Sings Bowie, Cairo Liberation Front, Upjumped Brass Band, Samedia Shebeen DJs, Hannah Lou Clark,Møgen, Alien Lullabies, Raza.

    With an event capacity of only 3000, 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 Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group, said:“There is a real sense of community-spirit at Doune the Rabbit Hole and I guarantee you make friends for life. It is pretty rare to find an event that embraces a family-friendly culture whilst celebrating some amazing music from all genres. Where else would you see everyone, from toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?

    ”Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Doune the Rabbit Hole in 2016 and are confident event organisers have, once again, secured a line-up that will draw attendees from all over Scotland. Doune the Rabbit hole demonstrates exactly why Scotland is the perfect stage for music events by providing the opportunity for music lovers to witness terrific home-grown and international talent while enjoying a unique family-friendly atmosphere and stunning scenery.”For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2016, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

     

    Category: National Events

  • 07 March 2016

    StAnza 2016 ends on a high after another epic year

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

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We're thrilled that 2016 has been another extremely successful year for StAnza and we were delighted to welcome a huge number of visitors over the five days, many of whom travelled a great distance to join us.

     "Many events sold out and others were live streamed to international audiences which is testament to how exciting and inspiring the programme has been this year."

     The festival was officially opened by StAnza's special guest, Fife singer songwriter James Yorkston. Guests enjoyed readings by Rebecca Sharp, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch as well as a performance by University of St Andrews a cappella group, The Accidentals. This year's opening night show was a moving performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains, a collaboration between award winning saxophonist Tommy Smith, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet, Christine De Luca.

     Among the big names from the literary world on the programme this year were Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside. They were joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt and many, many more.  

    StAnza concludes today (Sunday) after five days of over 100 events including performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations involving over 60 artists and thousands of visitors in the Fife coastal town of St Andrews.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “2016 has been another exciting year for StAnza, showcasing the very best of local and international poetic talent. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in StAnza we have a festival that engages with and inspires its audience, which is testament to the hard work of Eleanor and her team.”

     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. 2016 has been a fantastic festival for StAnza and while it's always sad when it's over, we’re thrilled to end on such a high.”

    Category: International Events

  • 04 March 2016

    Scotland set for SportAccord as seventh silver partnership is unveiled

     

    SCOTLAND SET FOR SPORTACCORD AS SEVENTH SILVER PARTNERSHIP IS UNVEILED
    EventScotland is delighted to announce that it will take centre stage at SportAccord Convention once again in 2016 as a Silver Partner of the important world sport and business summit.
    The 13th Annual SportAccord Convention is set to take place from 17-22 April at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in the scenic city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 
    This global gathering of representatives from all levels of sport will mark the seventh consecutive year EventScotland has participated as a Silver Partner, presenting Scotland as the perfect stage for events to key decision makers and sporting officials. 
    In conjunction with partners, EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will coordinate an engaging exhibition stand (No.133) which represents Scotland’s events industry for the duration of the convention. 
    This will enhance Scotland’s visibility among international sporting federations and events rights holders worldwide and follows an unprecedented period of success which saw the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup come to the country in 2014, and no fewer than three World and two European Championships hosted in 2015. 
    The 2016 European and 2020 World Men’s Curling Championships, 2017 Total BWF World Championships, 2018 European Championships, 2020 LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships and UEFA EURO 2020 are also set to take place in Scotland in future years. 
    Additionally, EventScotland is bidding on Scotland’s behalf for the right to stage the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with a decision deadline set for April 23 by the European Athletics Council. 
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “SportAccord Convention is an incredibly valuable event for Scotland, as we continue to bid for and stage some of the world’s most prestigious events properties. It allows us to showcase Scotland’s capacity for hosting sporting occasions of tremendous significance and our capability in pushing the bar ever higher in their delivery. 
    “Over the last 12 months, events like the 2015 FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix - the No.1-ranked indoor athletics meet in the world – have helped prove that Scotland really is the perfect stage for sporting events, and we look forward to discussing our future vision with colleagues at the convention in April.”
    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said: 
    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport. 
    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”
    Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional and national agendas. An exclusive 6-day event with 2000 delegates expected to attend, the Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee. 

    EventScotland is delighted to announce that it will take centre stage at SportAccord Convention once again in 2016 as a Silver Partner of the important world sport and business summit.

    The 13th Annual SportAccord Convention is set to take place from 17-22 April at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in the scenic city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

    This global gathering of representatives from all levels of sport will mark the seventh consecutive year EventScotland has participated as a Silver Partner, presenting Scotland as the perfect stage for events to key decision makers and sporting officials. 

    In conjunction with partners, EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will coordinate an engaging exhibition stand (No.133) which represents Scotland’s events industry for the duration of the convention. 

    This will enhance Scotland’s visibility among international sporting federations and events rights holders worldwide and follows an unprecedented period of success which saw the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup come to the country in 2014, and no fewer than three World and two European Championships hosted in 2015. 

    The 2016 European and 2020 World Men’s Curling Championships, 2017 Total BWF World Championships, 2018 European Championships, 2020 LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships and UEFA EURO 2020 are also set to take place in Scotland in future years. 

    Additionally, EventScotland is bidding on Scotland’s behalf for the right to stage the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with a decision deadline set for April 23 by the European Athletics Council. 

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

    “SportAccord Convention is an incredibly valuable event for Scotland, as we continue to bid for and stage some of the world’s most prestigious events properties. It allows us to showcase Scotland’s capacity for hosting sporting occasions of tremendous significance and our capability in pushing the bar ever higher in their delivery. 

    “Over the last 12 months, events like the 2015 FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix - the No.1-ranked indoor athletics meet in the world – have helped prove that Scotland really is the perfect stage for sporting events, and we look forward to discussing our future vision with colleagues at the convention in April.”

    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said: 
    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport. 

    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 March 2016

    Guest Teams announced for Melrose Sevens

    Top international sides will take part in the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on 9th April, including teams from ITALY, FRANCE, BELGIUM and EDINBURGH RUGBY. Melrose RFC is also delighted to announce the continued sponsorship from Aberdeen Asset Management as main sponsor for the 2016 event.

     SCOTTISH CLUBS appearing will be GALA, HAWICK, JEDFOREST, KELSO,, PEEBLES, SELKIRK, AYR, BOROUGHMUIR, CURRIE, HERIOTS, WATSONIANS, ABERDEEN RUGBY, HOWE of FIFE, GLASGOW HAWKS, MARR RUGBY, EDINBURGH ACADEMICALS, STEWART’S MELVILLE, STIRLING COUNTY and hosts MELROSE.

     Trevor Jackson, President of Melrose RFC said “I am delighted to announce that Melrose Sevens 2016 is to be sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and I am extremely grateful to them for their continued support. Since the first sevens at Melrose in 1883, the game has grown into a global phenomenon, and remains one of the fastest growing team sports in the world at this time. With the World Rugby series increasing in popularity each year, and the excitement of inclusion for the first time this year in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, we are delighted to welcome back Aberdeen Asset Management as sponsors of the tournament where it all began. The event will be a 24 team tournament and I am delighted that development sides from France and Italy, the Belgian national side and Edinburgh Rugby will be our guest teams for 2016.

     Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens Convener, Ian Cooper, says he is delighted with the calibre of the sides the event has attracted this year.  “The 2016 tournament looks to be an exciting programme of sevens rugby. With Europe being a topical subject just now we felt European sides would be appropriate. Edinburgh will make their debut, and looking to challenge, will be guest development sides from Italy and France as well as the Scottish teams. In addition, a national team from Belgium will see the club's policy of widening our sevens participation experience even further. With Rugby Sevens being included for the first time as an Olympic event this year in Brazil, the profile of the game has never been higher. We are also extremely grateful to Aberdeen Asset Management for their continued sponsorship. This is the fifth year they have been involved and we appreciate their support. Let's hope the sun shines on The Greenyards on the 9th of April".

     Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management commented:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens for the fifth year running and in what promises to be a momentous year for the sport.

    With both the game of rugby sevens and our company being founded in Scotland, we are very proud to be associated with this historic event and look forward to seeing the game being played in Rio come August.

    We expect the 126th edition of the Melrose Sevens to be as exciting as ever with a high calibre of local and international talent on show for the 12,000 plus spectators in attendance along with those watching live on BBC Scotland. Rugby sevens is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and this year Melrose Rugby Club will play host to its 33rd annual Junior Sports Clinic. With access to professional coaching and mentoring these young players have an opportunity to become the stars of the future, which is great to see.

    We hope you enjoy the tournament.”

     Scottish Rugby President Ed Crozier said: “What a year for seven-a-side rugby! The game invented in Melrose will be seen in Rio later this year, as rugby returns to the Olympic movement. “Melrose are rightly proud of their role as custodians of the abbreviated game and it’s terrific that they continue to use their tournament as a catalyst for the development of the game, evident from the invitations to teams from Belgium and Italy, for example. “It’s also grand reward for Marr, for the progress they’ve made up the leagues and the style of rugby they espouse, to be invited to Melrose 7s.  “And after the success of Glasgow Warriors over the last two seasons, Edinburgh Rugby now has the opportunity to display their prowess. Good luck to all competing teams.”

    Cllr David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council and local member for Melrose said: “This year’s Melrose Sevens will benefit massively from the arrival of the Borders Railway and for the first time rugby enthusiasts from all over Scotland and beyond have an opportunity to come to our region by train and experience all that Melrose has to offer.  Melrose RFC work tirelessly to put together a fantastic sevens programme and their event is a great day for all the family and enjoyed by a great many Borderers and by those from out with our region. Scottish Borders Council is pleased to play a small part in the Melrose 7s and I have no doubt that the event will be a tremendous success" 

     The Davidson Chalmers VETS Tournament

    “Davidson Chalmers is proud to continue its sponsorship of the Melrose Sevens VETS tournament for the seventh consecutive year.  Since its launch in 2008, the VETS tournament has opened the Melrose Sevens weekend, one of the UK’s biggest annual celebrations of rugby. Veterans’ events are now established as an integral part of social rugby and enjoyed nowhere more enthusiastically than in Melrose, the international home of rugby sevens.“Our long and proud track record in supporting local rugby along with a range of other events and activities in the Borders has culminated in the opening of a new office in Galashiels which further underlines Davidson Chalmers’ commitment to the area.”

    Andy Drane, Partner

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Melrose 7s is always a headline attraction on Scotland’s rugby calendar and we are delighted to support the event again in 2016 through our Beacon Programme. Melrose 7s has additional international significance this year as rugby makes its return to the Olympic Games and we are delighted that the event is set to welcome the Belgian national team and development sides from France and Italy. We are sure they’ll be treated to the finest Scottish hospitality during their visit.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 March 2016

    Scotland to host two rounds of Pearl Izumi Tour Series

    Scotland will host an entire week of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time this May, as both Motherwell and Edinburgh host rounds of Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series.

    It will be the first time that Scotland has had two venues on the calendar for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series since the series began in 2009, coming on the back of last week’s announcement that the Tour of Britain would begin in Glasgow this September.

    Motherwell will host Round Two on Tuesday 17 May before the Series returns to Edinburgh after a year’s absence for Round Three on Thursday 19 May.  As in 2015 Motherwell will also host a women’s race, which will be Round One of a newly expanded six-race calendar for Britain’s top women’s teams.

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

    “I am delighted that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series will return for two stages in 2016, building upon an incredibly varied portfolio of both participation and spectator cycling events in Scotland this year.

    “Events such as this not only inspire people to become more active but also broadcast terrific imagery of Scotland to audiences internationally, reinforcing the county’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

    Councillor Jim Robertson, Provost of North Lanarkshire, said:

    “We are very proud to host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the second year in Motherwell. Last year’s racing was tremendously exciting and the community turned out in huge numbers to support it.


    “Hosting one of professional cycling’s top events reinforces that North Lanarkshire is a top sporting venue and we are looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year to welcome all the teams.”

    In 2015 Madison Genesis took the win in Motherwell on their way to the overall title in the men’s Series, while in the women’s race Milngavie’s Katie Archibald took the individual win with Fife’s Eileen Roe third.

    Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

    “Cycling is going from strength to strength in Edinburgh so to have the Pearl Izumi Tour Series return to the city after a two year absence is great news. It proved to be a really popular event back in 2014 and I’m sure the Edinburgh public will be out in force to show their support for the riders.”

    The last time the Pearl Izumi Tour Series raced in Edinburgh there were spectacular individual wins for Jon Mould and Archibald again, while Team Raleigh were the team winners with a line-up including Scotsman Evan Oliphant.

    Craig Burn, Chief Executive for Scottish Cycling, said:

    “Scottish Cycling is excited yet again this year to have the elite racing on our doorstep that the Tour Series brings. This time Scotland gets to host not just one but two stages of the tour, giving twice the opportunity to inspire those who do not cycle to ride, and those who do, to ride more.  

    “Securing and staging elite racing and major events in Scotland is fundamental to achieving our Inspiration to participation strategy. We will continue to utilise events such as the Tour Series to build strategic partnerships with Scotland's local authorities and other stakeholders to drive our wider cycling ambitions with regards to getting more people riding bikes, be it through local clubs, participation programmes, competition or social cycling."

    Motherwell hosted the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time last May, while Edinburgh has hosted the Series once before, in 2014, based upon the Grassmarket. Additionally, the city welcomed a stage start of the Tour of Britain last year.  Further details of both events will be announced in the coming weeks, including a revised Edinburgh circuit.

    Alongside Motherwell and Edinburgh, eight other venues will host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, including Durham, Stoke-on-Trent and Ramsey on the Isle of Man, where the Series will begin.

    As well as the venues, the six top British professional teams who will race at all ten events in 2016 have been confirmed, led by reigning Champions Madison Genesis.  Joining them at all events will be 2014 champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in world cycling, focussing on a team concept that sees Britain’s professional cycling teams competing to be the fastest in an action packed, one-hour circuit race.  Highlights of every round are screened on ITV4 and available on demand via the ITV Player.

    Category: Cycling

  • 03 March 2016

    StAnza returns for another epic year celebrating the spoken word

     StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is back for 2016 with a programme which promises another epic festival for Fife.

     The annual festival which once again boasts an outstanding line-up of literary talent, gets underway. Fife singer songwriter James Yorkston will launch the festival which opens with a performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains. The performance is a collaboration between Tommy Smith, award winning saxophonist and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: "Once again we have strived to create a programme which embraces the wonderful diversity of the spoken word. This year's ambitious programme demonstrates the incredible talent within the poetry world. From our headline acts to some of the newest voices on the stage, our line-up is a vibrant and exciting mix of performance poets and artists who will no doubt make this another year to remember.”

     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 two themes. The first, Body of Poetry, looks at poetry which engages with the human body, its needs, appetites and how it changes. As part of the second theme, City Lines, the festival will have a strong focus on Architecture for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and will connect St Andrews with various cities worldwide, including Berlin as part of a focus on German poetry.

     The festival takes place from 2 to 6 March with headline acts including Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside. They will be joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt along with many, many more.

     

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “StAnza promises to be a fantastic event, showcasing the very best of both local and international poetic talent. In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, it is also fitting that the festival will include exhibitions and events focusing on architecture as part of its exciting programme.”

     Other highlights include What's the point of poetry, a poetry and photography exhibition as part of this year's German language focus, HashtagPoetry#, StAnza’s first ever festival exhibition on Instagram; To the Lighthouse, a concert inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous novel, and A Potter, a Painter and a Poet, an exhibition of the collaboration between artists Paul Tebble and Anne Gilchrist and poet Elizabeth Burns who died in August 2015. And as part of Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, architecture features strongly in StAnza’s visual art programme including Building with Words by Lucy Jones.

     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

  • 01 March 2016

    Scots urged to share #CanalMagic at Red Bull Neptune Steps ahead of 2016 World Canals Conference


    #CanalMagic – a public programme which celebrates the innovation, heritage and economic value of Scotland’s canals - will get underway at the world’s only uphill swimming race in Glasgow.
    Red Bull Neptune Steps, a high-octane swimming race which takes to the water of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Maryhill on Saturday 9th April, will be the first of six Scotland-wide events inviting residents and visitors to share their experiences of Scotland’s inland waterways via social media.
    Under the banner #CanalMagic, which is being organised by Scottish Canals and supported by the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, canalside communities and local businesses are being encouraged to record what the nation’s 137-miles of canal network mean to them.
    The public will be able to take part in a master-planning workshop for Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute in April, a design workshop in Bowling in the Spring, a drop in community consultation in Falkirk in May, the Edinburgh Canal Festival in June and the Go Wild community festival in Muirtown Basin, Inverness, in September which will feature designing, building and racing rafts on the canal.
    #CanalMagic invites canal users, from commuters who cycle along the towpath, ramblers spotting wildlife and boaters or paddlers enjoying the tranquillity of journeying along the water, to submit their ‘one of a kind’ photos and videos via Scottish Canals social media channels. 
    The best images and videos will be collated into a short film which will be screened in front of a 300-strong audience of international waterways experts, global academics and business leaders at the World Canals Conference in Inverness this September. 
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
    “With Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”
    “Scotland’s canal network acts a great resource for education, recreation, regeneration and tourism.  So whether you’re an adventurous thrill-seeker or you’re more at home taking the dog for a walk along Scotland’s canal network – the #CanalMagic programme is an innovative way of celebrating Scotland’s past, present and future, and has a real community spirit at its heart.”
    Spectators at Red Bull Neptune Steps, the toughest open water race in the United Kingdom, will be encouraged to capture and share moments from the event using #CanalMagic as 200 elite endurance athletes swim 420 metres of cold water, climb 18 metres over eight canal lock gates and push themselves to their limits in a test of speed, strength, and resolve.
    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits a year from cyclists, walkers, runners, boaters, paddlers and anglers around the world and we want to capture what makes these 250-year old heritage assets so special to them today. 
    “#CanalMagic will help showcase the role that canals play in communities up and down the country and the fantastic contribution they make to Scotland’s economy. This, in turn, will help us to continue using them in new and exciting ways to create jobs, stimulate business growth, encourage tourism and help drive regeneration across urban and rural areas.”
    He added: “Where better to launch #CanalMagic than at the world’s only uphill swimming race? It would have been unimaginable a few years ago that Maryhill would welcome 3,000 spectators to cheer on Europe’s top athletes competing in a gruelling adventure race but by the end of the World Canals Conference in September, we hope to see many more examples of how canals are being used innovatively to stimulate economic growth and deliver fantastic public value.”
    Con Doherty, world leading junior triathlete competing in the event, said: ‘it’s such a unique racing format, and will be a real test. There’s nothing else that exists like it, and it’s going to push competitors to their absolute limits’. Sign ups for entry to this year’s race will open on 1st March at 10am, opening up the opportunity for 200 participants to swim, climb, and conquer the adventure race like no other. For more information on watching the event or taking part please visit redbull.co.uk/neptunesteps.

    #CanalMagic – a public programme which celebrates the innovation, heritage and economic value of Scotland’s canals - will get underway at the world’s only uphill swimming race in Glasgow.

    Red Bull Neptune Steps, a high-octane swimming race which takes to the water of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Maryhill on Saturday 9th April, will be the first of six Scotland-wide events inviting residents and visitors to share their experiences of Scotland’s inland waterways via social media.

    Under the banner #CanalMagic, which is being organised by Scottish Canals and supported by the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, canalside communities and local businesses are being encouraged to record what the nation’s 137-miles of canal network mean to them.

    The public will be able to take part in a master-planning workshop for Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute in April, a design workshop in Bowling in the Spring, a drop in community consultation in Falkirk in May, the Edinburgh Canal Festival in June and the Go Wild community festival in Muirtown Basin, Inverness, in September which will feature designing, building and racing rafts on the canal.

    #CanalMagic invites canal users, from commuters who cycle along the towpath, ramblers spotting wildlife and boaters or paddlers enjoying the tranquillity of journeying along the water, to submit their ‘one of a kind’ photos and videos via Scottish Canals social media channels. The best images and videos will be collated into a short film which will be screened in front of a 300-strong audience of international waterways experts, global academics and business leaders at the World Canals Conference in Inverness this September. 

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “With Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”

    “Scotland’s canal network acts a great resource for education, recreation, regeneration and tourism.  So whether you’re an adventurous thrill-seeker or you’re more at home taking the dog for a walk along Scotland’s canal network – the #CanalMagic programme is an innovative way of celebrating Scotland’s past, present and future, and has a real community spirit at its heart.”

     Spectators at Red Bull Neptune Steps, the toughest open water race in the United Kingdom, will be encouraged to capture and share moments from the event using #CanalMagic as 200 elite endurance athletes swim 420 metres of cold water, climb 18 metres over eight canal lock gates and push themselves to their limits in a test of speed, strength, and resolve.

    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits a year from cyclists, walkers, runners, boaters, paddlers and anglers around the world and we want to capture what makes these 250-year old heritage assets so special to them today. 

    “#CanalMagic will help showcase the role that canals play in communities up and down the country and the fantastic contribution they make to Scotland’s economy. This, in turn, will help us to continue using them in new and exciting ways to create jobs, stimulate business growth, encourage tourism and help drive regeneration across urban and rural areas.”

     He added: “Where better to launch #CanalMagic than at the world’s only uphill swimming race? It would have been unimaginable a few years ago that Maryhill would welcome 3,000 spectators to cheer on Europe’s top athletes competing in a gruelling adventure race but by the end of the World Canals Conference in September, we hope to see many more examples of how canals are being used innovatively to stimulate economic growth and deliver fantastic public value.”

    Con Doherty, world leading junior triathlete competing in the event, said: ‘it’s such a unique racing format, and will be a real test. There’s nothing else that exists like it, and it’s going to push competitors to their absolute limits’.

     Sign ups for entry to this year’s race will open on 1st March at 10am, opening up the opportunity for 200 participants to swim, climb, and conquer the adventure race like no other. For more information on watching the event or taking part please visit redbull.co.uk/neptunesteps.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 01 March 2016

    WORLD FAMOUS DAVIS CUP TROPHY TO COME HOME TO GLASGOW

    The people of Glasgow are to be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the most famous trophies in world sport – tennis’s Davis Cup – when it kicks off a whirlwind tour of Britain in the city in April.

    Leon Smith’s men made history when they became the first British side to win the Davis Cup in 79 years with a sensational victory over Belgium in the final last November. The historic achievement followed a run of wins that started at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in March when they defeated USA in the first round. 

    Britain then overcame France in the quarter-final at Queen’s Club before returning to Glasgow in September where they beat Australia in a nail-biting semi-final. The Emirates Arena and the Glasgow fans won special praise from the players during the sensational run with British No 1 and World No 2 Andy Murray saying it was “one of the best atmospheres that he had ever played in.”

    With the final taking place in the Belgian city of Ghent due to Davis Cup competition rules, the majority of Glasgow fans had to settle with watching the event on television at home. But there is no doubting the important role Glasgow played in helping bring the Davis Cup back to Britain for the first time since 1936.

    The Glasgow ties were supported by Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Tennis Scotland. Following the historic win the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has now confirmed that the Davis Cup trophy is to go on a legacy tour of Britain, with the Scottish leg starting in Glasgow on Friday 1 April. Full details of the Glasgow event will be announced in the coming weeks.

    The event will give the army of fans who roared Britain on to glory at the Emirates Arena the chance to see the iconic Davis Cup trophy in person. The trophy itself dates back to 1900 and was made by Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston, Massachusetts. It currently stands at 110 centimetres high, is 107cm in diameter at its widest point and weighs an incredible 105 kilogrammes.     

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “None of us will ever forget the magical moments the British team gave us at the Emirates Arena on the road to Davis Cup glory. Over the course of six days an incredible 42,000 fans lived every point with the players, roaring them on to victory against the USA and Australia. The atmosphere was incredible and the Emirates Roar was born.

    “The luck of the draw meant the final was an away tie with Belgium but this tour will give our fans the chance to see the trophy that they helped win. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want as many people as possible to come along and be inspired by the trophy – not just tennis fans but also members of the public. 

    “I can’t think of a better location to start the tour than the iconic Buchanan Street right in the heart of our great city. The Davis Cup is coming home to Glasgow.”

    Visit Scotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, said: "The Davis Cup matches in Glasgow demonstrated Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events to a worldwide audience and were a terrific example of Scotland’s contribution to the tennis in recent years

    “We are delighted that the trophy is set to visit the city as it embarks on a UK-wide tour, which is fitting recognition for the role that Scotland, and particularly the hugely supportive spectators of Glasgow, played in Great Britain’s Davis Cup success.”

    Tennis Scotland’s Head of Development, Doc McKelvey, said: “We’re delighted that the trophy tour begins in Scotland and it’s extremely appropriate that it will be Glasgow that kicks things off, given the two unforgettable ties we enjoyed at the Emirates Arena last year.

    “Having the Davis Cup going to selected venues throughout the country will undoubtedly attract huge interest and hopefully encourage people of all ages to take up this great sport of ours.”

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 29 February 2016

    Idlewild set to headline Sunday of ButeFest

    Scottish Alt. Rock behemoths, Idlewild, are set to headline the Sunday night of ButeFest 2016, organisers announced on Thursday night via Social Media.
     The Edinburgh based outfit are the latest act to be added to the bill, which already boasts the likes of The Magic Numbers, Skerryvore, The Scott Wood Band, Tom McRae, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Heron Valley, Talisk, The Youth and Young, The Rezillos among many others. The second ever ButeFest will take place Friday 29th-Sunday 31st July 2016 at King George’s Field, Rothesay.
     Along with 'Tier 2' tickets going on sale this week (offering a saving up to 25% vs. the price of a standard full-weekend ticket) the organisers have this year introduced a limited number of day tickets for 2016. So, festivalgoers will still be able to take in some of the fantastic bands performing across the weekend without breaking the bank.
     As with the festival's debut, the 2016 follow-up promises to be packed with loads of activities and entertainment for the younger ButeFest'ers to enjoy too. Family entertainment confirmed so far includes Professor Pumpernickel, Fellowship of the Thistle, Ian Douglas Storyteller and Gary(Gacko)Bridgens with much more still to be announced! ButeFest 2016 is set to be great weekend out for the whole family with 'under 11's' going free and the return of the incredibly popular ButeFest family ticket deal.
     Tickets can be purchased online at www.butefest.co.uk or locally (saving the price of booking fee) from The Musicker and The Dressing Rooms. For more information about the festival and the line up so far visit the ButeFest website.
     ButeFest 2016 is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by CalMac.
     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:
    “We are delighted to be once again supporting ButeFest. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Emma and her team have brought together another strong programme this year. With a diverse and exciting line-up of music acts and entertainment appealing to people of all ages and tastes, the festival truly has something for everyone.”
     Peter Griffiths, Marketing Manager at CalMac, said:
    "It was exciting for CalMac to be involved with the first ButeFest last year and we're pleased to be able to renew that support in 2016 as the event grows.
     Although it's still early days for the organisers and there are many more acts to announce, it shows all the signs of being another great family weekend. CalMac recently won the Creative Business title at the Arts and Business Scotland Awards for its support of cultural diversity across its network - specifically for the CalMac Culture competitions and ButeFest will, this year, also show case a winner of CalMac Culture Music for the first time." 
     For all those interested in having a go at the CalMac Culture Music title, the competition is now on for budding singer songwriters and bands to try their hand at winning a slot at one of a number of festivals around Scotland, including ButeFest. Go to www.calmac.co.uk/music for full detail on key dates, how to enter and terms and conditions.

    Category: National Events

  • 25 February 2016

    Pushing the boat out: make a date with Crail Food Festival 2016

    One of Scotland’s leading food festivals, the Crail Food Festival (10-12 June), is returning with a host of activities across seven venues and a focus on the area’s fishing heritage as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    As well as offering the opportunity to taste fresh local seafood, the Crail Food Festival is this year working with the Scottish Fisheries Museum to showcase Crail’s history as a traditional fishing village. 

     With other activities including a new Parents’ Pitstop with a children’s tea party and storytelling in the Marine Hotel, as well as a showcase of local chocolatiers and bakers, the festival is appealing for all ages.

     Now in its sixth year, events are taking place across seven historic buildings in the picturesque East Neuk village.  The festival encourages visitors to explore a wide variety of locations across Crail, from the famous working harbour, Crail’s town hall (this year acting as a ticket hub) and the Legion Hall at the village’s centre to the Kirk Hall and Community Hall, where a bustling Producers’ Market is held.

     Crail Food Festival celebrates the strength of Scotland’s food and drink, in particular local Fife producers with around 80 participants are scheduled to take part.  With the return of the Producers’ Market and a series of new Food Conversations with chefs and food insiders, visitors are given a unique opportunity to find out the stories behind what they’re eating and drinking.

     A new marquee will also be placed close to the village’s historic trading marketplace with food served on Saturday and Sunday. More food stalls will be located at the iconic harbour on Sunday.

     This year, the entertainment carries on into the evening with a grand launch party on Friday evening with a smorgasbord of local produce prepared by East Neuk Cooks and a quiz.  This taste experience will be followed by live music from The Shiverin’ Shakes, who combine a bombastic mix of rock’n’roll, country, gospel and 1950s pop.  The launch party runs in addition to a new Saturday Flavour of Fife banquet with tasting menu, matching wine and guest appearances from local food producers.  Both are ticketed events with tickets going on sale via www.crailfoodfest.co.uk from 1 May. 

     Graham Anderson, the Event Manager said:

    “We’re so lucky in Fife to have such world class food and drink on our doorstep and when it’s combined with a setting as stunning as Crail, the experience really is truly memorable.  This year’s festival programme aims to showcase our local produce whilst providing visitors with more ways than ever before to get hands-on with food and drink – tasting new flavours, finding out the stories behind what they’re eating and of course, enjoying the very best of Fife.  I’d urge everyone to put the festival dates in your diary and come along!”

     Crail Food Festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Fife Council.

     Paul Bush OBE said: 

     “We are delighted to be supporting the Crail Food Festival through our National Programme.  Graham and his team have once again developed a fantastic programme of events, showcasing the very best of the region’s local produce. It is also fitting that the festival is part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations offering both locals and visitors a chance to explore some of the East Neuk’s rich architectural heritage as part of the event.”

     More information can be found at crailfoodfest.co.uk or follow @CrailFoodFest on Twitter or like the event on Facebook

    Category: National Events

  • 25 February 2016

    Scotland to start 2016 Tour of Britain

    Scotland is set to host Stage One of the Tour of Britain for the fifth time when British Cycling’s premier road cycling event pushes off from Glasgow city centre on Sunday 4 September, with an opening stage to Castle Douglas.

    Having last welcomed the Tour of Britain in 2008, Glasgow will host the Grand Depart of the opening stage, building on the success of hosting the Commonwealth Games and British National Road Race Championships in recent years.

    It will be the eighth time that Dumfries and Galloway has hosted a stage finish of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, and the third time that Castle Douglas has welcomed a finish of the race. Outside of London no other region has hosted as many stage finishes since the Tour of Britain was revived in 2004.

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

    “We are delighted that the first stage of the Tour of Britain will take place in Scotland for the fifth time and we are sure that cycling enthusiasts from all of the country will be keen to turn out in support of all competitors.

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events and Glasgow city centre will provide a fantastic setting for the riders as they push off on the first of eight days of competition, before encountering the scenic and challenging countryside of Dumfries and Galloway”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

    “Cycling has been at the heart of Glasgow’s rise as one of the world’s top sporting cities in recent years and we are looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s top cyclists back to the city for the Tour of Britain Grand Depart.

    “The people of Glasgow turned out in their thousands to cheer them on at the 2013 British National Road Race Championships and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Road Race events and it will be no different this September.”

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

    “Castle Douglas always has been serious about cycling. The town boasts three cycling shops and is proud of its history of twice previously hosting the Tour of Britain. What a great hat trick to bring this superb event back to this scenic market town for a third time!! Castle Douglas is close to beautiful mountain bike trails at Dalbeattie, Mabie and Kirroughtree forests so we believe we are a great location for Stage One of the Tour.”

    Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling says:

    “Events such as the Tour of Britain inspire those who do not cycle to start, or those who do cycle to push themselves further. The 2013 British National Road Race Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the launch of the 2018 European Sports Championships have also proven Scotland’s capability and popularity for hosting international cycling events. Scottish Cycling is incredibly excited that Scotland will be hosting the opening stage of the Tour of Britain this year, and look forward to seeing some more elite racing on our doorstep.”

    In both 2005 and 2006 the opening stage of the Tour of Britain ran from Glasgow to Castle Douglas, with Nick Nuyens and Martin Pedersen the respective winners, of both the Scottish stage and the overall race in those editions.  With the town already eagerly anticipating the arrival of the race, local organisers are confident that around 10,000 spectators will turn out to watch riders crossing the finishing line.

    Commenting on the Scottish Stage, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;

    “We are very pleased to be returning to Glasgow with the Tour of Britain after a long absence and are looking forward to working with our partners at Glasgow Life, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Cycling and EventScotland to put on a memorable start to the 2016 race.

    “The stage will take in some new roads in Ayrshire for the Tour of Britain, as used in the past by the Girvan Cycle Race, before a very scenic run in to the finish in Castle Douglas, which will look fantastic on the television coverage.”

    The Tour of Britain will finish in the heart of London on Sunday 11 September. Following on from the Scottish opening stage the race will re-start in Carlisle on Monday 5 September for a stage through Cumbria and the Lake District to Kendal.

    Subsequent stages will take the race to Cheshire, Wales and the South West of England, including a summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor and a challenging circuit race in Bristol on the penultimate day.

    For the fifth successive year fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.

    Chain Reaction Cycles continue their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, won in 2015 by Team WIGGIN’s Owain Doull, while UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the daily intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification, which Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling won last September.

    ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and sponsors of the King of the Mountains jersey, also won by Williams in 2015.

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

    Category: Cycling

  • 19 February 2016

    WORLD CHAMPIONS BACK 2019 EUROPEAN INDOOR BID AHEAD OF GLASGOW GRAND PRIX

    Pupils from Glasgow Gaelic School were given the opportunity to welcome star sprinters Richard Kilty (GB) and Kim Collins (Saint Kitts and Nevis) to Glasgow today, as many of the world’s finest athletes arrive in the city for the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.

     They were also joined by Jamie Hepburn MSP, the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, to celebrate the arrival of the world’s no.1 indoor athletics event in Scotland for the first time.

     Taking place at The Emirates Arena in this Olympic year, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix assumes extra significance in 2016 and is set to feature no fewer than 36 World and Olympic medallists, including London 2012 hero Mo Farah, who will run in the 3000m.

     As reigning World and European 60m champion and former World 100m gold medallist, respectively, Kilty and Collins are among that illustrious cast of competitors and gave pupils an insight into what it takes to become a top-level athlete.

     Both men also spoke about their love for competing in Scotland and shared their belief that Glasgow would be the perfect setting for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, as one of four cities currently bidding to host the prestigious occasion.

     A decision on the destination of the blue riband event is expected in April, following a series of evaluation visits by European Athletics in the coming weeks.

     Collins, who paved the way for Caribbean sprinters by becoming the first to win World Championship gold in Paris in 2003, said:

     “Glasgow is a really vibrant city and it is a pleasure to compete here. The atmosphere at The Emirates Arena is always fantastic and having such strong support from the home fans really helps spur on all of the athletes to perform at their very best. 

     “I think Scotland would be an ideal choice for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Facilities and accommodation in the city really are second to none and athletes are guaranteed a warm welcome in Glasgow.” 

     Kilty, who enjoyed the vocal backing of The Emirates Arena crowd on his way to winning the Scottish 60m title back in January, said:

     “I love competing at The Emirates Arena and can’t think of a better venue to host the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019.

     “Following the  2014 Commonwealth Games, there is no doubt that Scotland knows how to organise the world’s most prestigious events, as we have already experienced ahead of this week’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. I hope to be back here competing for the European title in three years’ time.”

     Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

     “It’s a pleasure to come to Glasgow Gaelic School to meet the children, and also these two world-class athletes. Kim and Richard have both achieved great things in their careers, and I’d like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy training schedules to come and talk to the pupils about what it’s like to be a top athlete.

     “Glasgow has a growing reputation as a world-class venue for athletics. This weekend’s Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena promises to be a cracker of an event, with a packed house of fans cheering on some of the world’s top stars. It’s also the ideal opportunity to showcase how well we can stage events like this in Scotland. I hope we will be successful in our bid to stage the European Indoor Athletics Championships at this fabulous venue in 2019.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said:

     “Since opening its doors to the public in 2012, the £113million Emirates Arena has played host to some of the leading events in world sport – with athletics taking centre stage on a number of occasions.

     "We have a longstanding relationship with athletics and the sport has played a key role in our rise as a world-leading sporting city over the years. Our athletics journey continues with this weekend’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix and we hope to build on that with the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships, which would see Europe’s best athletes return to the city. Our aim is to deliver a world-class event with athletes and spectators at its heart.”

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive Officer of British Athletics, said:

     “Glasgow is a world-class city for sport and tomorrow’s Indoor Grand Prix will again showcase Glasgow’s ability to stage fantastic events. It is the number one ranked indoor meeting in the world and another sold-out athletics event in Scotland. British Athletics and our partners would be proud to host the European Indoor Championships in 2019”.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 February 2016

    America's Hans Christian Andersen to perform at StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival

    StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival has always featured events for young poetry fans. From readings by children’s authors to staged performances, there is always something to delight a younger audience.

    This year is no different with the 2016 programme featuring children's fantasy writer Jane Yolan, described as America's Hans Christian Andersen. Jane brings her wonderful show Sleepy Monsters, Creepy Monsters which invites the audience to join the award-winning writer on a trip owling at midnight in the atmospheric Owl Moon and to ask How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? This delightful show promises poetic fun for all the family.

    StAnza Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone said: "At StAnza we pride ourselves in delivering a full, vibrant programme which has wide appeal to all audiences including children. We're thrilled to have Jane Yolan joining us this year with her wonderful show Sleepy Monsters, Creepy Monsters."

     As well as a specific children's event in the programme, StAnza is also active in schools across Fife and Dundee primary and secondary schools offering: writing workshop events; cross-curricular collaborations in poetry, media and art; school visits by festival poets; poetry review mentoring and online journalism projects. Their team of experienced poets and teachers and St Andrews University students engage and support young people in writing and exhibiting their own poetry, which this year connecting with StAnza’s Body of Poetry theme includes a Secondary S3 project called “Masking the Body” and a Primary P4-7 project called “Eye-Popping Poems”. This is leading to:

    an exhibition of the poetry and artwork of many local schools in the Byre Theatre and St Andrews Town Hall – a visually engaging display of poems and visual images of the face, eyes and hands
    a high-concept walk-through art installation of poem-masks by St Leonards’ Y9 pupils in nearby St Leonard’s Art Department, where the public are most welcome to visit at their open hours (visitors should report to St Leonards Main Reception – see StAnza website for more details)
    StAnza Youth Poetry Reviewers Project where senior pupils will work with StAnza mentors and 2015 Sabotage Reviews Winner, Dave Coates to write online reviews of our festival poets’ performances for StAnza Youth webpage.
    StAnza Youth Student Reporters Project where school students will follow and report on the progress of their fellow students as they engage with StAnza workshops, exhibitions and the festival week. They will produce both video and written reports for StAnza Youth webpage.
    Programmed Festival Prize giving events with Jane Yolan and StAnza’s Poet-in-Residence, Harry Man to celebrate individual pupils who have shown Excellence in Poetry in the work produced during and following StAnza in Schools projects.

    StAnza is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “StAnza is a fantastic event, with a range of activities that caters to poetry fans of all ages and abilities. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and I am delighted at the continued success of “StAnza in Schools” education programme, promoting and nurturing Scotland’s poetic talent through its variety of events and workshops.”

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

  • 17 February 2016

    LAURA MUIR LOOKING FORWARD TO GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX TEST

    Scottish 1500m record holder Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) is excited about the prospect of taking on a world class field at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, the last leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, on Saturday.

    The 22 year old will face a strong field including Canada’s World Championships silver medallist Melissa Bishop, current world leader Joanna Jozwik and IAAF World Championships finalist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg).

    Muir said: “I’m looking forward to it; it’s going to be a really top class field so I’m looking forward to getting out there and testing myself against the best in the field. It will be good experience to see where I’m at.

    “This event will allow me to test myself against a really high quality field. A couple of races I’ve done have just been in Scotland and I’ve had to run by myself so it will be good to push myself against other athletes and get into that racing mind-set again ahead of the summer.”

    This will be the first time that the Indoor Grand Prix has been staged in Glasgow following its move from Birmingham, and is also bidding to host the European Indoor Championships in 2019. Muir believes the city is ready to host such big events and build on the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    She continued: “I love competing on home soil and it’s not often you get to do it in such a big competition. It’s the biggest competition in the world for indoor meets so I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a great line-up.

    “Glasgow showed in the Commonwealth Games that support athletes get in Scotland is amazing and fingers crossed for the Euros bid in 2019. I think we’d be a great host and hopefully this weekend will show what sort of competition they can stage.”

    Muir will be one of seven Scots competing at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix along with Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton), Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna), Sarah Inglis (John Lees), Stephanie Twell (Mick Woods), Josephine Moultrie (William Parker) and Madeleine Murray (Lees).

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

    Category: Athletics

  • 16 February 2016

    Executive Certificate in Event Management - New Course Dates

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

    Who is it for?

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

    Programme content and dates

     3 day intensive programme from 21st – 23th March 2016 at Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus.

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation

    Project Management

    Risk Management, safety and security

    Marketing, PR and sponsorship

    Greening of Events

    Managing people

    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

    Cost

    £975 including 3 days tuition, course materials, and catering. To book your place on the programme please visit our E-Store.

    Please note that you may be eligible for reimbursement of 50% of this programme through Skills Development Scotland 

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

    Category: Industry News

  • 15 February 2016

    NEXT STOP SCOTLAND FOR MAJOR INTERNATIONAL SPORTING FEDERATIONS

    EventScotland will welcome some of the key decision makers within international sport over the coming weeks, as Scotland continues to bid for and secure the right to stage some of the world’s most prestigious events.

     A delegation representing European Athletics touched down in Glasgow today and will spend two days in the country as part of evaluation visits to cities bidding for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Glasgow is one of four potential hosts and, if successful, would be the first Scottish destination for a European Athletics event in 15 years.

     As well as undertaking discussions with bid partners, including the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Athletics and British Athletics, the group will tour the Emirates Arena to witness first-hand its undoubted capability for hosting the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

     The itinerary includes a visit to Scotstoun Sports Campus, which has been identified as a training venue for competitors, while Glasgow’s accommodation provision will also be assessed with a view to hosting hundreds of athletes and, potentially, thousands of tourists from around Europe.

     A decision as to the destination of the blue riband event is expected in April 2016, following a final presentation made on behalf of Scottish partners to European Athletics in Amsterdam.

     Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

     “Glasgow has a growing reputation as a world-class venue for athletics, putting the city in a strong position to secure the bid. There are very few indoor venues as good as the Emirates Arena, and we have some of the most enthusiastic fans.

     “I am looking forward to the up and coming Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, which will be an ideal opportunity to showcase how well we can stage events like this in Scotland, and hope we will see the European Athletics Indoor Championships at this fabulous venue in 2019.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

     “In recent years Glasgow has established itself as one of the world’s top sporting cities thanks to our investment in new facilities and our international sporting events programme.

     “Athletics has been at the very heart of our rise as a world-leading sporting city. This weekend’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will take the sport to a new level and we hope to build on that success with the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, which would see Europe’s top athletes return to the Emirates Arena. Our aim is to deliver a world-class event with athletes and spectators at its very heart.”

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said:

     “This weekend’s 2016 Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix has sold out months in advance, demonstrating the huge support for elite athletics there is within the Scottish public.

     “I’m delighted that Glasgow City and EventScotland decided to build on the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and previous British Athletics events held in the city by bidding to host European Athletics’ flagship indoor event at the Emirates Arena in 2019.

     “We know that, if successful, Glasgow would establish a new standard for the European Athletics Indoor Championships against which all future editions would be measured, and we hope the delegation have a successful visit.”

    Category: International Events

  • 15 February 2016

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES FURTHER DETAILS OF 2016 PROGRAMME

     Glasgow International today announces further details for its 7th edition, which opens on 8 April 2016. Over the 18-day Festival, Glasgow International 2016 will host an ambitious programme of new works, site-specific commissions, new venues, exhibitions and events at over 75 locations across the city of Glasgow. Exhibiting work by more than 220 of the best local and international artists, the 2016 Festival will further showcase Glasgow as one of the world’s most important creative hubs for contemporary visual art.

    Alongside new exhibitions and events as part of the 2016 Festival, Glasgow International is excited to announce further details on the 2016 Director’s programme, which will consider the legacy of industry and the relationship artists have to making, production and craft. Curated by the Festival’s Director, Sarah McCrory, the programme will look at a range of subjects including feminist practices, industrial legacies and what it means to be working creatively as an artist today.

    As part of the Glasgow International Director’s Programme, the Festival will stage a group show by five artists Lawrence Lek, Sheila Hicks, Alexandra Bircken, Mika Rottenberg and Amie Siegel at Tramway. The exhibition, co-designed by Martin Boyce, will focus on ideas of production, manufacture, material culture, design, history and labour. Glasgow’s cultural spaces exist predominately as a result of its industrial legacy in shipbuilding, metal-works, textiles and its role as a key trading port as many of Glasgow’s galleries and museums are reclaimed spaces born from this wealth of industry.

    Glasgow International 2016 will feature a number of solo exhibitions by both international and Glasgow-based artists, showing across the city. At the Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA, the Festival  will present a solo exhibition by German artist Cosima von Bonin entitled Who’s Exploiting Who In The Deep Sea? The exhibition brings together a series of von Bonin’s works from 2006 onwards exploring the artist’s affection for the creatures of the sea. Weaving together humour with melancholy, these works have ambiguous roles which explore art history, popular culture, craft, and feminism. The exhibition will be presented in collaboration with SculptureCenter, New York who will show a parallel exhibition of her work from September – December 2016.

    Sarah McCrory, Director of Glasgow International said: “Once again, Glasgow International brings together a wealth of respected international and Glasgow-based artists. The increased level of involvement in this edition, and the breadth and quality of the programme is testament to the continuing success and significance of this festival. We’re proud to be able to highlight and support the activity that takes place throughout the year over these 18 energetic and exciting days, and to provide focus to the important Glasgow-based artistic community.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow International Festival is an important showcase of Scotland’s thriving visual arts sector and we are delighted to support the event for its 7th edition in 2016.”

    “An array of international and local talent will come together across the city to create a varied 18-day programme which will, in many ways, reflect Glasgow’s industrial past. This theme is especially appropriate in 2016, Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I expect will spark much interest from contemporary art lovers across the country.”

    Full details of the programme can be found online at: http://glasgowinternational.org

    Category: International Events

  • 15 February 2016

    Artists and Locations Revealed for Large-Scale Scottish Rural Murals

    Locations have been chosen, and teams of Scottish and international artists selected, to create three large murals in the heart of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside next month.

    It is being staged as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Community engagement workshops are planned for 5 March, where local residents can learn more about Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM) and contribute their own ideas for the first wave of murals, which will be painted in March.

    The, sites chosen so the art can be enjoyed by visitors to the Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend on 28-30 May, are:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. The mural will be on the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators will be Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

     Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, will team up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

     Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow will collaborate with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural will be on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

     SFRM is being organised by Upland, the Dumfries and Galloway arts agency which runs Spring Fling, and project managed by Recoat. The project is also supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (maternity cover), said: “The murals will be vibrant, challenging, interesting – and if 2014 is anything to go by – enormous fun. It’s wonderful to be creating large-scale and colourful public works of art in the heart of the Scottish countryside.

    “We couldn’t have asked for better sites – a centre which cares for unwanted and abandoned animals, a pub in the heart of a village and magnificent farm building.

    “So we are really looking forward to bringing together high quality national and international street artists to work with some superbly talented artists from Dumfries and Galloway.

    “Just as important is that the same teams will then take the freshness and originality of SFRM to cities in Scotland, England and Germany – which fits in perfectly with this year’s project theme which is ‘exchange’.”

    The 2014 SFRM proved a hugely popular addition to Spring Fling. The latest project is again being managed Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie of Glasgow-based arts agency Recoat and the pair will also be the lead artists.

    Amy Whiten, Recoat manager, said: “The 2014 SFRM was one of our favourite ever projects. Dumfries and Galloway has such an amazing community spirit and there was such a warm public reaction to the work. We are really looking forward to being there again, partly because the sites are so amazing. It’s great to have these huge blank canvasses to work with.

    “Each of the sites has it’s own appeal. With Mossburn it’s the fact that this is a place that cares for unwanted and mistreated animals, so it’s a really worthwhile cause as well as a great setting.

    “Meiklewood is a working farm, and we very much liked that idea, and the building is a really interesting shape with an archway in the middle. And the Craigdarroch Arms is different again, because it’s in the middle of a community where there’s lots of footfall and passers by who will see it.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are delighted to be supporting Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project, which will provide a fantastic platform for local Dumfries and Galloway artists to work collaboratively with international talent, and to showcase their work to a wider audience.”

    After the work is carried out in Dumfries and Galloway, SFRM will take a novel twist with the same teams going to Glasgow, Newcastle and Berlin to create further works.

    SFRM is currently agreeing locations in the three cities, where they plan to get to work in March and April. Recoat and Morag Paterson will head for Glasgow, Morag Macpherson and Tellas will work in Newcastle, with Rory and 44 Flavours going to Berlin.

    For more info on the artists and workshops visit: http://www.spring-fling.co.uk/event/sfrm-spring-fling-rural-mural

    Category: International Events

  • 12 February 2016

    43 GLOBAL MEDALLISTS SET FOR GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    A total of 43 world and Olympic medallists, including Great Britain’s Olympic and world champions Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff) will compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February.

    Farah will compete against a strong international field in the 3000m including Kenya’s Paul Koech, Conseslus Kipruto and Augustine Choge, whilst Rutherford faces Paralympic F44 champion Markus Rehm of Germany in the long jump.

    The men’s 60m looks set to be one of the most competitive events of the day, as world and European champion Richard Kilty (Benke Blomkvist) takes on British teammate Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge), top ranked Brit Sean Safo-Antwi (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, 2015 world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell, as well as the world’s top two in 2016, Mike Rodgers and Cuban Yunier Perez.

    The women’s equivalent also features an exciting head-to-head as Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) goes up against world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who won 200m silver behind Schippers at the World Championships in Beijing last summer, Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago and new European junior record holder Ewa Swoboda will also be ones to look out for in the women’s 60m.

    There will be a strong British presence in the women’s 60m hurdles as European 100m hurdles champion Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) is joined by European indoor silver and bronze medallists Lucy Hatton (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell). Their international opponents will be led by world 100m hurdles bronze medallist Cindy Roleder of Germany and current world number one Kendra Harrison of the USA.

    The Scottish crowd will be sure to get behind local star Laura Muir (Andy Young), who went to second on the British 1500m all-time list behind Dame Kelly Holmes with a run of 3:58.66 in Monaco last summer. She will compete in the 800m at the Emirates Arena.

    Amongst a host of world stars will also be pole vault world champion Shawn Barber of Canada, world triple jump silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba, and European 1500m indoor and outdoor champion Sifan Hassan.

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “This line up illustrates why the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world. The Scottish fans are in for a fantastic day with so many stars of the sport from across Britain and abroad. I’m sure that this event will showcase Glasgow’s abilities to stage world-class events.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that many of the world’s finest athletes, including UK superstars Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, are set to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, the most prestigious indoor meet of 2016.

    “Their decision to compete in Glasgow in this all-important Olympic year is a reflection of Scotland’s status as the perfect stage for events, and we are certain all competitors are in for an enthusiastic reception from spectators in Glasgow on February 20.”

    Full start lists for the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be available on britishathletics.org.uk on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 February.

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

    Category: Athletics

  • 12 February 2016

    Toast to Year of Food and Drink

     

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

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

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

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

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

    The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 February 2016

    SCOTTISH GYMNASTICS LEGEND STEVE FREW LAUNCHES 2016 GLASGOW WORLD CUP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 11 February 2016

    Mickelson, McDowell and Stenson confirmed for Castle Stuart

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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



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

    Category: Golf

  • 11 February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 11 February 2016

    Whisky Month is back for 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Some ideas for joining Whisky Month 2016:

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

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

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

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

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 10 February 2016

    SUDDENLY I SEE… KT TUNSTALL AT OBAN LIVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

    LINE UP FOR OBAN LIVE 2016

    KT Tunstall

    Julie Fowlis

    Capercaillie

    Skerryvore

    We Banjo 3

    Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham

    Skipinnish

    Hunter & The Bear

    Blair Douglas

    JJ Gilmour

    Category: National Events

  • 09 February 2016

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 04 February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Heritage

  • 03 February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 29 January 2016

    EventIt – New Events Industry Trade Show for Scotland

     

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

    Category: Industry News

  • 29 January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 27 January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 25 January 2016

    Finalists revealed in VisitScotland digital competition

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

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

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

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

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

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

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

     Charles Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     The competition winner will be announced at a later date.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 25 January 2016

    Rollers Rock Big Burns Supper

     

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

    Les McKeown celebrates fantastic time at Dumfries gig.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 22 January 2016

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

     

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 20 January 2016

    GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL ‘GERES’ UP FOR 12TH PROGRAMME

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 19 January 2016

    World champion Whitlock returns to Glasgow for World Cup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    The 2016 Glasgow World Cup line-up:

    Women

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


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

    Enus Mariani
    Italy
    Age: 17
    2012 Junior European Champion

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Men

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

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

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

    Yu Cen
    China
    Age:  20
    2015 World Universiade vault champion

    Masayoshi Yamamoto
    Japan
    Age: 26

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

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

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

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

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 18 January 2016

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL PROGRAMME FOR 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Comedy

  • 12 January 2016

    Musselburgh's Riding of the Marches 2016 announces its principals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Heritage

  • 12 January 2016

    Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson to headline 2016 Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: National Events

  • 12 January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Athletics

  • 08 January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: International Events

  • 08 January 2016

    CELEBRATING THE BRILLIANT BARD’S BIRTHDAY

     
    Programme of events planned to honour Robert Burns this month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 06 January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 31 December 2015

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

     

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

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

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

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 30 December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

    Category: International Events

  • 26 December 2015

    Brits to take on world stars over 60m in Glasgow

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    Category: Athletics

  • 14 December 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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