Looking ahead - Diary Dates 
Welcome to the Inverness Festivals News Page

Below you will find details of some of the highlights that you can look forward to enjoying here in Inverness in the rest of 2014.

Events are being added to our city's events schedule every day and for the latest information please visit our Events Listings Page where you will find the latest details in our What's On Section which is edited and updated every day by our friends at the Inverness City Advertiser; and the event organisers who do such a great job in our putting on events in our community.

2014 Major Events Programme (September - December)

1 Sept Highland Homecoming Starts
2-7 Sep Nairn Book and Arts Festival
3 Sept World Sheep Dog Championship
4-6 Sept Northern Meeting Piping
4-15 Sept BLAS Festival
4-7 Sept The Highland Military Tattoo
11 Sept Masters World Championships Hall of Fame
11 Sept Highland Homecoming Show
12 Sept Masters World Championships Day 1
12 Sept Camanachd Hall of Fame Show
12 Sept Parade of the Highland Clans
13 Sept Masters World Championships Day 2
13 Sept Highland Clans Exhibition
13 Sept Camanachd Cup Final
14 Sept Kirking of the Council
14 Sept Masters World Championships Day 3
14 Sept Tomatin Toss - Guinness World Record Attempt
20 Sept Invercharron Highland Games
20-21 Sept Inverness Craft Festival
21 Sept Highland Traditional Strength Festival
26-28 Sept Turning Leaves Book Festival Kingussie
27 Sept Baxter’s Loch Ness Marathon
1-3 Oct Tomatin 54 Hole Pro Am Golf
10-18 Oct Am Mňd Nŕiseanta Rěoghail (The Royal National Mňd)
10 Oct Parade of the Gaels
11 Oct North of Scotland Highland Dancing Championships
11-12 Oct Beer N Folk Festival (Kingussie)
11-19 Oct Race The Castles Orienteering Tour
16-18 Oct Inverness BID Street Theatre Festival
18 Oct End of Mod Massed Choirs
18 Oct Shinty / Hurling International
25 Oct "Write Up North"
26 Oct The Culloden Run
30-31 Oct Halloween at Ness Islands
31 Oct Highland Homecoming Ends
31 Oct - 9 Nov Inverness Curling Festival
5 Nov Civic Bonfire and Fireworks
9 Nov Remembrance Sunday
23 Nov Christmas Lights Switch On
12-14 Dec Winter Wonderland
31 Dec Wee Hot Highland Fling
31 Dec Red Hot Highland Fling

For further information please contact:
The Inverness Festivals Team
c/o Gerry Reynolds (Inverness Events Manager) 01463 785006
Email: gerry.reynolds@highland.gov.uk

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

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Review MWC2014 

Inverness played host to the Masters World Championships over the weekend of 12-14 September 2014 and a world record number of competitors - a staggering 165 - took part in the 3 day event. The weekend featured the establishment of 3 world records in the ladies hammer events and the unforgettable sight of a successful attempt at the Guinness World Record for simultaneous caber tossing. 106 cabers were tossed and 66 were turned correctly.

During their stay the competitors took part in the inaugural Parade of the Highland Clans - a spectacular Torchlight Procession through the streets of Inverness which was enjoyed by all; visited Shinty's Camanachd Cup Final and participated in the Kirking of the Council

Following the MWC2014 Weekend - the action continues with the Highland Traditional Strength Festival and the Loch Ness Marathon; the Homecoming Highland Festival will climax with the eagerly anticipated Royal National Mod arrives to which will be feature performances around Inverness City Centre and showcase all the aspects of Gaelic language, culture, history and heritage at local, national and international levels.

The final sporting event of the Highland Homecoming Festival will be the annual Shinty Hurling International between Scotland and Ireland at Bught Park on Inverness Street Theatre Festival weekend.

And then ... just when you had thought you had seen everything ...all eyes will turn to Ness Islands for a Halloween Show unlike any other.. all the ghosts we have had in the past five years are returning to see if they can finally scare away the children of Inverness.

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Review 2014 Kirking of the Council 

The Kirking of the Council is the oldest event in the city's annual calendar of events and this year's event was full of colour and pageantry.

Led by the combined pipes and drums of the Inverness British Legion and the St Andrew's Society of Central Illinois USA Pipe bands; the Kirking parade included uniformed youth groups, veterans from the Royal British Legion, the Armed Forces and Northern Constabulary to name but a few. Joining our Councillors in their red robes were representatives of the University of the Highlands and Islands in their purple and white trimmed black robes; and competitors in the Masters World Championships.

The parade went down from the Town House to the riverside and then down Church Street to the Old High Kirk where the Reverend Peter Nimmo welcomed Provost Graham and all the officials and organisations that give so much to our city. After the service, the congregation went back to the Town House for a well deserved cup of tea with the Provost.

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Review "The Tomatin Toss" We did it! The new world record is 66 

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Preview Royal National MOD Fringe 
Am Mňd Nŕiseanta Rěoghail (The Royal National Mňd), Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, has announced the programme for their biggest fringe in the event’s 122 year history. Taking place in Inverness from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October there will be almost 70 events taking place as part of the Fringe, alongside the competition based events.

Starting with a torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court on the Friday, there is an abundance of entertainment planned for the week. There will be concerts featuring Skipinnish, Cruinn and Skerryvore (plus many more), street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, children’s disco, come & try sessions and a ceilidh - there really is something for everyone.

Fringe highlights include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden court. Hosted in association with Blazin in Beauly - under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles - the concert will feature over 100 fiddlers, including world renowned artistes, plus local groups, promising to be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland. A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I on Wednesday afternoon will be a showpiece event, with musician Erik Spence creating a piece of music to go along with the poem Bantrach Cogaidh, written by the late Rev John Macleod. Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will contribute.

Other highlights include musical performances at the area’s stunning visitor attractions Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, while The Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part on the Saturday morning.

Organised by An Comunn Gŕidhealach, one of the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisations, The Royal National Mňd is the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland and is a signature event in the Highland Homecoming celebrations. The nine day extravaganza will feature competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama, offering Gaelic speakers of all levels to compete, bringing thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland, the UK and from all corners of the globe including USA, Australia and Canada to Inverness.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gŕidhealach, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce our Fringe programme for 2014. The bread and butter of the Mňd itself is the competition side – there are more than 200 competitions to enjoy – but over the years our Fringe events have also started to grow.

“Inverness has a great variety of venues to allow us to host our biggest ever Fringe, and it’s a great way to celebrate being in the city for the first time since 1997. Having a Fringe event keeps the atmosphere going all week and allows gaels and non-gaels to experience the fun of the Mod!”

The Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham said:
“The Mňd Inbhir Nis Fringe Programme includes many varied and interesting events. These include Cčilidh Beag a Mhňd - a fun event for young children taking place in the Aquadome - dynamic street theatre in the City Centre, genealogical activities in the Highland Archive Centre and exciting exhibitions and musical recitals in the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

“The Mod Fringe activities and events complement the formal Royal National Mod Competitions and which, together, give us the World’s Premier Gaelic festival.”

Cllr Graham added, “I am delighted that the Fringe Programme includes both traditional and contemporary events in venues and places of historic interest. All these have Gaelic at their core and are aimed at attracting residents, competitors and visitors.

“The Mod Fringe events will complement the increasing use of Gaelic in the area, create a unique atmosphere, and generate an economic boost to the City and inner Moray Firth area in the middle of October during this special Year of Homecoming Scotland.
Bidh Fŕilte mhňr oirbh, I look forward to meeting you at the Mňd Inbhir Nis 2014!”

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac, said: “As main commercial supporter of the Royal National Mňd, we recognise that the Fringe has a valuable role to play in providing a colourful and entertaining backdrop to the important business of the competitions, so are looking forward to the biggest Fringe ever.”

The Royal National Mňd is supported by Highland Council, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bňrd na Gŕidhlig, EventScotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Royal National Mňd is a key part of our annual cultural events portfolio and in 2014 is one of the centrepieces of the Highland Homecoming programme. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the extensive Fringe programme at this year’s Mňd will showcase our rich Gaelic heritage through the week of the event.”

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for Fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk

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Preview 2014 Halloween Show 

The Highland Homecoming Festival will end with an event that has quickly established itself as a much loved tradition in Inverness – the family friendly Halloween Show down on Ness Islands - which will take place on Thursday and Friday 30-31st October.

Organised by Arts in Motion, Eden Court Creative and the Highland Council’s Lighting Department, this year’s show will feature an assortment of ghostly visitors the likes of which Inverness has never seen before. The reason for the spookiness reaching new heights is simple. As soon as the Highland Homecoming Festival was announced Blackbeard the Pirate decided that Ness Islands deserved its own Homecoming Festival, and before anyone could stop him he invited every Scottish ghost that has visited Ness Islands in the past 200 years to attend or walk the plank. With Ghosts, Ghouls, Aliens, Pirates, Vampires and surprises lurking around every corner or standing quietly behind you in the darkness; you may wish to take a friend who doesn’t scream too loudly and has no chance of running as fast as you can.

The 2014 Ness Islands Halloween Show is open from 6.30pm – 8.30pm and admission is free. Car parking is limited around the site so please use broomsticks where possible.

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