It’s a year of homecoming and a year of major sporting events in Scotland. And recent years have seen Scotland’s regular summer festivals multiply. 2014 should provide opportunities. What could you cash in on?
FROM Mo Farrah at the Commonwealth Games to an all-female AC/DC tribute band at Bon Fest in Kirriemuir, there is no shortage of things going on in Scotland this summer. And whether it’s a one-off such as the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, or a regular fixture in the calendar like the Edinburgh Festival, big events and crowds of visitors mean a chance to sell everything from soft drinks and food to go to emergency items such as sunblock. (Or umbrellas and rain capes.)
Sport’s big events have been well trailed: the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (23 July–3 August) and the Ryder Cup (September 26–28) will attract people from all over the world. To make the most of this, the Scottish Government has declared 2014 a Year of Homecoming and many annual events are, for this year only, coming under that umbrella.
That means that niche events, such as the TweedLove bike festival, which started last month and runs until 8 June, gets a Homecoming banner. There is also a whole range of cultural events running in tandem with the Commonwealth Games, running throughout Scotland, to spread the excitement beyond the Clyde.
Away from all the batons and big names, the traditional summer events carry on as usual. Highland games, for example, pop up across Scotland throughout the summer. Find out if there’s an event near your store at www.shga.co.uk/events.php.
Edinburgh fits seven major festivals into each summer, starting with the International Film Festival, 18-29 June, and partying straight through until the Mela, August 29-31. Not to be left out, Glasgow’s West End Festival sprawls across the city’s western districts throughout this month, with the main parade confirmed for 8 June.
Next month it’s Glasgow’s Merchant City’s turn, with events running from 24 July to August 3 – including a huge vintage extravaganza of shopping, dancing and cocktail drinking on the weekend of 26 and 27 July.
Rockness, the music festival on the shores of Loch Ness, is taking a year off because of competition from different events. But there are plenty of other opportunities for the young people to get covered in mud or sunburned, depending on the weather. T in the Park, 11-13 July, has a stellar – and patriotic – line-up of Paolo Nutini, Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris. Dizzee Rascal and Del Amitri headline at Wickerman, rocking south-west Scotland on 25-26 July.
And proving that size isn’t everything Kirriemuir (population 6,000), birthplace of Peter Pan creator JM Barrie, celebrates its other famous one-time resident, Bon Scott of AC/DC, with Bon Fest on 15-17 August. Stock up on hats with horns.