The Highland Council has announced details of an expansion to the programme for this year’s Inverness Highland Games & Gala weekend with a number of new events being added to the city’s summer season.

The festivities will commence on Friday 19th July at 6pm with performances outside Eden Court Theatre featuring the City of Inverness Pipe Band; the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dancing and members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; before the 2019 Highlands Strongest Man and Strongest Woman Championships takes place in Northern Meeting Park.

For many spectators, the Heavy events at the Inverness Highland Games are one of the highlights of their trip to Scotland; and another day of fierce competition is expected on July 20th with Champion Jamie Gunn scheduled to return to defend his title against a top class field of Heavies. As usual the day will end with the Heavies attempting a unique event which can trace its roots back to The True Highland Games staged in 1822.

The Inverness Stonemason’s Stone weighs 252 pounds and always generates the biggest cheer if any of the Heavies have enough strength left at the end of an exhausting day of competition to lift it cleanly over a bar suspended 5 foot in the air. Less than a dozen athletes have been able to complete the task to date; although many have travelled to Inverness to try.

The Games Committee have announced that following the Opening Ceremony’s Mass Highland Fling; they will mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Inverness Royal British Legion Pipe Band by inducting the entire band into the Games’ Hall of Fame.

Making a welcome return to event will be the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and te Highland Gunners will be just one of the attractions in a show field that contains Scotland’s Biggest Inter Clan Gathering, Highland Dancing, the Exclusively Highlands Craft Fair, Horne’s Fun Fair, the Games Day Traders Village, a Sports Zone and the prestigious Solo Piping competitions organised by the Inverness Piping Society.

At the suggestion of the Inverness Youth Forum, and certain to prove very popular with young families, the Games Committee have announced that all Under 12’s will be admitted free of charge to this year’s Games; and that a new multi-event competition for junior athletes will be introduced.

Sunday July 21st will see the return of the Inverness Gala to its traditional Sunday afternoon slot with a number of events being staged simultaneously at Bught Park.

Following October’s inaugural Proud Ness, the Highland Council and the Highland LGBT Forum volunteers have been working behind the scenes on developing a format which would enable Proud Ness to accommodate the thousands of participants who are expected to take part. Proud Ness 2019 will feature a parade to Bught Park that will start around 1pm in order to enable participants from across the Highlands and further afield to participate. It is expected that the Proud Ness marchers will be joined along the way by marchers taking part in a sponsored walk for Mikeysline and by competitors in a brand new event especially for dogs and their owners.

Ruff Ness is scheduled to take place in the main stadium at Bught Park at 2pm on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the Gala Day Junior Shinty Festival organised by Inverness Shinty Club. Ruff Ness will feature a number of fun competitions which are currently being tested with varying degrees of success and laughter.

Music fans are asked to note that the Inverness Gigs musical showcase featuring four of the top young emerging bands in the Highlands is moving from its Saturday night slot to Gala Sunday afternoon. Organiser Chris Lemon has once again been given the task of ensuring that musically the showcase has something to suit all tastes. Details of the bands that will be performing will be announced on next month.

Games Chieftain Provost Helen Carmichael said “Our expanded Games and Gala Weekend programme is filled with activities and events for everybody to enjoy; and is the result of many months of work behind the scenes to create something very special indeed. I would like to thank the many local competitors, performers and volunteers for their tremendous efforts over many months in helping our Games Committee and our city’s Events and Festivals Working Group to pull this all together.
The weekend will provide a wonderful opportunity for us to highlight the very best that we have to offer here in Inverness to locals and visitors alike while delivering a much appreciated boost to both our city’s profile and economy.”

• Tickets for the Highlands Strongest Man and Strongest Woman Show cost £3 with Under 12’s admitted free.

• Tickets for the Inverness Highland Games cost £10 Adults & £5 for Seniors and Students

• Admission to Gala Sunday is free.

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We are delighted to announce that Skippinish, Torridon and Dorec-a-Belle will be performing at this year's Red Hot Highland Fling which will be hosted by Craig Hill in Northern Meeting Park Arena. We cannot wait for Scotland's biggest FREE Hogmanay Party! Don't forget to support our show by buying one of our legendary Bobble Hats at

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Looking ahead - Diary Dates 

Welcome to the Inverness Festivals News Page

Below you will find our quick guide to 2019's featured events; but don't forget that there is a lot more happening being added to our city's programme every week; as you will discover by visiting our What's On Section which is edited and updated every day by our friends at the Inverness City Advertiser.

Don't forget that you can also follow us on Twitter which is apparently where all the cool kids used to hang out.

If you would like a glimpse behind the scenes, wish to make a comment or have a question ask, can we recommend that you head over to Facebook and discover "Diary of an Event Manager" when you have a moment.


19/7/2019 Highlands Strongest Man and Woman
20/7/2019 Inverness Highland Games
21/7/2019 Inverness Gala Day
21/7/2019 Proud Ness
21/7/2019 Well Ness
21/7/2019 Ruff Ness
1/8/2019 Black Isle Show
1/8/2019 Belladrum Day 1 of 3
2/8/2019 Belladrum Day 2 of 3
2/8/2019 Moy Game Fair Day 1 of 2
3/8/2019 Belladrum Day 3 of 3
3/8/2019 Moy Game Fair Day 2 of 2
17/8/2019 The Kaiser Chiefs in Concert
23/8/2019 Madness in Concert
29/8/2019 Northern Meeting Piping Day 1 of 2
30/8/2019 Northern Meeting Piping Day 2 of 2
6/9/2019 FLOW PhotoFest (until Oct 5)
8/9/2019 Kirking of the Council
28/9/2019 ProudNess
3/10/2019 Ness Book Fest Day 1 of 3
4/10/2019 Ness Book Fest Day 2 of 3
5/10/2019 Ness Book Fest Day 3 of 3
6/10/2019 Loch Ness Marathon
12/10/2019 Inverness Comic Con
26/10/2019 Ness Islands Halloween Show Day 1 of 2
27/10/2019 Ness Islands Halloween Show Day 2 of 2
5/11/2019 Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display
15/11/2019 MonsterFest 2019 Day 1 of 2
16/11/2019 MonsterFest 2019 Day 2 of 2
17/11/2019 Christmas Lights Switch On
17/11/2019 Ding Dong Merrily Old High
13/12/2019 Winter Wonderland Day 1 of 3
14/12/2019 Winter Wonderland Day 2 of 3
15/12/2019 Winter Wonderland Day 3 of 3
31/12/2019 Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay Show

For further information please contact:
The Inverness Festivals Team
c/o Gerry Reynolds (Inverness Events Manager) 01463 785006

NEWFLASH - Have a look at this wonderful video which has been produced by VisitScotland. Nice job folks - we love it!

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REVIEW - The Red Hot Highland Fling 2018 (Scotland's Biggest Free Hogmanay Party) 
A brilliant 10,700 Flingers attended this year's IRHHF - a much appreciated and significant show of support for our event as it meant that for the first time we had overtaken the 10,000 capacity Hogmanay concert in Edinburgh and could call ourselves Scotland's #1 Hogmanay Concert.

OK - we know that they had a few more folk standing outside in the street waiting for their fireworks; but it really was a special moment in our Control Room as the numbers came in and we realised the significance of what we were hearing.

Our wonderful host Craig Hill hosted Calum Mackenzie Jones and the Trad Project, Blazin Fiddles, Tide Lines and surprise guests the Highland Voices Gospel Choir singing Auld Lang Syne. All three bands went down a storm and you check out our photo gallery elsewhere on this site for some of the great photos that we have collected from an unforgettable night.

You can also see our wee movie on the show by visiting the home page of this site.

We are delighted to announce that our official on line store is now open at and you can show your support for Scotland's Biggest Free Hogmanay Party the Red Hot Highland Fling by buying something special for someone you love

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REVIEW Winter Wonderland 
What an amazing turn out for our 2018 Winter Wonderland Show as we revealed our new look lighting scheme courtesy of our friends at Limelight Event Services. The feedback that we have received for this event has been wonderful and we have to thank each and every one of the Toddlers who turned up on the night with their parents because we have never had such a litter free event ever. You left Whin Park immaculate and we cannot tell you how appreciated that was!

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