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'14 Reasons to be in Stirling this June

Press Release   •   Feb 04, 2014 00:00 GMT

Fourteen will be the number on everyone’s lips this June as Scotland prepares to host three world-class events over one weekend in Stirling commemorating the 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn (1314).

From Friday 27 – Monday 30 June, all eyes will be on the historic city and its surrounding area as it hosts a spectacular weekend of events including Pipefest (27 June), the Armed Forces Day National Event (28 June), Bannockburn Live (28-29 June) and an exclusive, private programme of activity to engage with clans and their families (30 June), all supported by Homecoming Scotland 2014.

VisitScotland has today announced new information about the Bannockburn Live extravaganza which will now take place over two days, with extended hours from 10am – 7pm each day (previously 10am-5pm).  This change allows for significantly more event activity to take place than originally planned, and ensures operational coordination with Armed Forces Day on the Saturday.

Ticket prices will remain the same, meaning more value for money, and children under 5 years will now be allowed free into the event.

Commemorating 700 years since one of the most famous battles in Scottish history, VisitScotland, working with Unique Events, The National Trust for Scotland and partners, has unveiled details of Bannockburn Live which includes:

  • A large scale battlefield involving over 300 re-enactors who will recreate the three extraordinary battle re-enactments a day on the Bannockburn battlefield, the largest event of this nature ever seen in Scotland. Battle re-enactments will take place at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm and be choreographed by Clanranald, famous for their work on Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator, Robin Hood and Thor 2.
  • Encampments that evoke the preparations for battle in medieval times including a fully operational kitchen, blacksmiths, armouries and living quarters.
  • Clan and Family Village - with 40 clans from Scotland, the UK and overseas who will tell their own stories. Clan people and the general public will be able to trace their own Scottish roots at an on-site genealogy centre.
  • Food & Drink Village - specially curated by Scotland Food and Drink where high quality, seasonal and local artisan food and drink will be available to sample and buy. There will be discussions and demonstrations on food in both historical and contemporary contexts.  The main bar in this ‘village’ will serve selected artisan beers and other drinks. There will be a large area for outdoor eating and drinking.
  • ‘Storyville’ - where Scotland’s story will be told through music, song and spoken word. On the stage there will be performance and debate across a wide variety of genres and topics both historical and current. There will be many interactive games and activities for children.
  • The Main Stage featuring folk and contemporary music throughout the day.
  • Craft stalls and demonstrations, many of which are of a historical and medieval nature.

Visitors are being encouraged to explore all three of the events over Stirling’s Big Weekend as Bannockburn Live will now run for an extra two hours each day, allowing people to easily get involved with all the activity happening over the weekend.

Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister said:

“With Pipefest, Armed Forces Day and Bannockburn Live all taking place on the last weekend in June it’s going to be a packed few days of Homecoming 2014 related activities for all the family. Delivery of this exciting programme of events will be complementary and will ensure the best possible experience for both local residents and visitors to the Stirling area. 

“Homecoming is the chance for Scotland’s communities to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural and ancestral heritage. I’ve already purchased my family ticket for the event and there’s plenty of time for others to buy theirs. With battle re-enactments, music, theatre and food it’s going to be a fantastic celebration of Scottish culture.”

VisitScotland assumed lead responsibility for the management of the event at the beginning of January.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

Once the capital city of Scotland, Stirling and the surrounding area is steeped in history and culture and it is fitting that it plays host to what will be three of the most poignant and awe-inspiring events of the year.

“VisitScotland wanted to ensure that locals, visitors and businesses alike benefitted from this big weekend on the Homecoming calendar, and ensure a smooth and safe event operation for all.  What we have ended up with is bigger, better and bolder than ever before and we hope everyone can’t wait to get a taste of all the action over the three days.” 

Clans and their families will be given private access the new state-of-the-art Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre on Monday 30 June. VisitScotland and the National Trust for Scotland will work closely with the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (CoSCA), Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and the Highland Clan Partnership Group (HCPG) to develop this exclusive special event.

Sir Malcolm MacGregor, convenor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs said:

"We look forward to giving a huge welcome to the many clans and families who are coming to Scotland in 2014 and in particular to the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn. To commemorate such an important date together, as clans and families, will make the event truly memorable and historic. To have exclusive access to the new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre is an exciting development for our valued kinsfolk from around the world.”

Pete Selman, ‎Director of Properties & Visitor Services at the National Trust for Scotland said:

“With Bannockburn Live now led by VisitScotland and co-ordinated through a joint steering group, we can ensure that the different activities and events on offer in Stirling come together as a complementary package of unrepeatable experiences.

“Reviewing the Bannockburn Live programme in order to ensure it dovetails with the rest of Stirling’s programme was the right thing to do at this stage, before the significant marketing and ticket sales efforts were under way. It had always been planned to begin the most intense promotional activities for the event from February onwards and the new arrangements have been announced at just the right time.”

Pipefest Stirling takes place on the evening of 27 June 2014, officially kicking off Stirling’s Big Weekend.  Marking the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, this magnificent parade (involving thousands of pipers, drummers, Highland dancers and clans) will start from the gates of Stirling Castle at 6.30pm and proceed through the city led by Pipe Major Ian Duncan and the Atholl Highlanders – Europe’s only private army.

The Armed Forces Day National Event will take place in Stirling on 28 June 2014, enabling the local community to lead the nation in honouring UK Armed Forces personnel past and present.  It will be the sixth national event since 2009, and the second to be held in Scotland, after Armed Forces Day in Edinburgh in 2011.

Mike Robbins, Provost of Stirling Council said:

“As part of Stirling's most exciting weekend ever, we're looking forward to recognising and celebrating the contribution made by our Armed Forces with spectacular displays and activities for all the family - it will be a great day out, and a truly fitting tribute to the men and women, past and present, of the army, navy and airforce.

“With this, and all the other events taking place over the weekend, there will be something for everyone, so we're getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors to Stirling. I know they're going to have a wonderful time!”

Tickets are available for Bannockburn Live at www.bannockburnlive.com/ Adults £20; Children (under 14) £12.50; Family ticket £55.00; King’s Ticket £75.00; Children under 5 yrs go free. Up to 20,000 tickets are available for the weekend.

Due to capacity, the new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre (opening in March 2014) will not be open to general admission ticket holders during the Bannockburn Live event. The visitor centre will only be open to Bannockburn Live ‘King’s Ticket’ ticket holders who will be permitted exclusive access as part of their ticket package. Pipe Fest and Armed Forces Day are both free to the public.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Kate Turnbull, VisitScotland Press Manager: kate.turnbull@visitscotland.com, 0131 472 2324

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/ 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx