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Get ready to join Homecoming Scotland 2014, a year long celebration!

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A huge flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe’s biggest brass band festival, and a star-studded concert to mark the start of the Ryder Cup  are just some of the events that will form Homecoming Scotland 2014.

Hundreds of new and established events will take place throughout Scotland during 2014 to celebrate the very best of Scottish food and drink, active pursuits, nature, and cultural and ancestral heritage.

Events will take place across Scotland throughout the year for Homecoming – from Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo in the Outer Hebrides to the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival in Moray, Tweedlove Festival in the Scottish Borders to the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway, there is something taking place in every corner of Scotland.

Homecoming Scotland 2014 will feature brand new events as well as existing events which will include new and exciting Homecoming additions to their planned programmes for 2014.

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director, said:

“There is no doubt that 2014 will be an extraordinary year for Scotland, showcasing the country as a modern, dynamic nation with a global reach; a creative nation with a rich heritage, and an innovative nation with style and prowess.

Homecoming Scotland 2014 will present a year-long, packed programme of unmissable events from mass participation to small community activity and will be a fantastic opportunity to place the spotlight on our greatest assets.”

New events include:

John Muir Festival

April 17 – 26, Across Scotland

The festival will celebrate the life of John Muir who is seen as the father of the modern conservation movement, as founder of America’s National Parks. As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, The John Muir Festival will take place along the length of the John Muir Way, a new national pathway that

stretches from Dunbar in the East to Helensburgh in the West.

The festival will see community participation, artist-led events and large-scale public performances come together to celebrates the life and legacy of this remarkable man in a scale fitting to his achievements.

European Festival of Brass

April 26 – May 4, Perth and Kinross

Europe’s biggest brass band festival will be staged in Scotland in 2014. The European Festival of Brass will welcome players and visitors from across the continent.

Forth Bridges Festival

September 4 – 13, Fife and Lothians

In 2014, the Forth Road Bridge will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will host a one off special event as part of Homecoming 2014. Called the Forth Bridges Festival, the event will be a transport extravaganza across land, sea and air, and is set to include a floatilla passing under the Forth’s Road and Rail bridges, a firework display over the bridges, a parade, and a world record attempt for the largest sit down lunch.

During the festival, visitors can also join a torchlight procession illuminating the Forth Road Bridge, enjoy Scotland’s natural larder at a Scottish food and drink market, and watch a spectacular firework and light show which will close the festival.

In addition to the main festival, there will also be a unique opportunity for visitors to make trips to the top of the Forth Road Bridge towers during a few select weekends in 2014.  The tickets will go on sale later in 2013. In honour of the year in which the Festival will take place, there will only be 2014 tickets available for this exclusive experience.

Bannockburn Live

June 28 – 30, Stirling

700 years after Scotland’s most famous battle, experience the biggest ever re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn at Bannockburn Live.

The National Trust for Scotland’s three day spectacular includes a  re-enactment of the battle,  an array of themed villages, where visitors can enjoy everything from Scottish food and drink to sports, crafts and literature, exciting outdoor activities, an action packed children’s programme, a main contemporary music stage and more.

See, taste, smell, hear and discover medieval life in the historical encampments, then watch Robert the Bruce and Edward II lead their armies to battle at Bannockburn Live.

World Sheepdog Trials

September 3 – 6, Tain, Ross-shire

The World Sheepdog Trials, featuring 240 competitors from 24 nations world-wide, will be staged  in Scotland for the very first time in 2014.  This sheepdog trial is about showing the care, skill and dedication of a man or woman working with their dog on a flock of sheep as has been done for hundreds of years.

Ryder Cup Opening Concert

September 24, Glasgow

A once in a lifetime concert which will celebrate the very best in Scotland’s music, film, fashion and culture on a global stage, which will feature a host of stars from both sides of the Atlantic.

Findhorn Bay Arts Festival

September 24 – 28, Moray

Findhorn Bay Arts Festival will ‘Bring Home Macbeth’ as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
The festival programme will celebrate both the myth and the reality and will feature a world premiere of Macbeth: the Red King, in a stunning, 21st century site-specific, promenade performance in which the magic and mayhem of Shakespeare’s Macbeth are brought to life within the grounds of Moray’s magnificent Brodie Castle.  Situated around one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines, the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival will present a dynamic programme of arts and cultural events.

The setting for Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is the Moray Firth – this spectacular coastline has been named in the top 12 of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled coastlines in the prestigious National Geographic Society’s Traveler Magazine. The events will be taking place in and around the coastal villages of Findhorn and Kinloss, the historic market town of Forres and at the magnificent Brodie Castle.

Established events with a Homecoming Scotland 2014 twist include:

Tweedlove Bike Festival

May 24 – June 8,  Scottish Borders

TweedLove is the UK’s fastest growing cycling festival, held every year in the beautiful Tweed Valley. With the country’s best purpose-built mountain bike facilities and an amazing network of historic paths and quiet country roads, the area is the perfect stage for cycling.  2014 will introduce a major new international mountain bike race.

East Neuk Festival

June 27 – July 7, Fife

East Neuk Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary with 10 days of music, literature, family events and art in its biggest ever programme. The festival will reach out to the world as international artists gather in this beautiful coastal spot.

The Wickerman Festival

July 25 – 26, Dumfries and Galloway

Celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014 by attending Wickerman – one of Scotland’s best loved independent music festivals.  Featuring an eclectic mix of leading artists, alternatice acts and up and coming talent, ths two day summer party is an unmissable event for music lovers.

Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo

August 8 – 9, Outer Hebrides

A Hebridean extravaganza of world class piping, dancing, singing and music over two days in August 2014. Beneath the beautiful Lews Castle, the Tattoo begins on Friday evening with performances from nine pipe bands from Canada, the Highlands, the Islands and beyond. Dancers from all over the Hebrides will converge on Stornoway to entertain the crowds accompanied by a Samba Band. A horse parade organised by the local Pony and Riding Clubs will add more excitement to the evening. The evening will conclude with the massed Gaelic choirs, massed piping and a spectacular fireworks display.

Saturday will be carnival day in Stonorway with pipe bands and floats parading through the town. In the evening a grand concert will be held in the new Lochside Arena featuring the best in piping, Gaelic and contemporary music of the Hebrides.

For further information please visit www.visitscotland.com