It has been 3 years since the Stirling Highland Games event attracted visitors from around the world to the city, so it’s encouraging to hear their new Grandstand tickets are being snapped up by overseas visitors coming to Scotland.
There is no question that the Stirling Highland Games organisers are feeling the pinch just like all the other official highland games in Scotland. It’s been a tough 3 years for all small events providers, not just having to deal with the pandemic but now having to navigate their way through securing sponsorship as well as dealing with the massive hikes in event supply chain costs.
With so much at stake this year for these important sporting cultural events, Stirling’s President Matt McGrandles explains why.
“It’s a real balancing act just now as we bring the event back to life this year. We are hugely appreciative to our funders that are supporting the event as without them we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver it. Add in the benefits that businesses in Stirling will start to see again from the additional spend from visitors attending and it’s a win win. It’s encouraging to see that over 90% of the new Grandstand tickets being bought are by visitors from overseas and I expect these to sell out before the end of the month.”
Stirling has managed to hold onto its faithful supporters including Specsavers Stirling and Active Stirling but the support from EventScotland is allowing it to add additionality with grandstand seating, encouraging more opportunities for the organisers to attract a different demographic.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to support the Stirling Highland Games through our National Events Programme to facilitate their grandstand seating for 2022. Scotland is one of the best places in the world to experience events and it is most encouraging to see international visitors snapped up tickets for such a uniquely Scottish event.”
Back in 2019 when the event attracted 5500 visitors, almost 50% of the tickets were snapped up by people from the US, Canada and across Europe including Germany and France. The event offered a full day and evening experience however there will be no live music in the evening this year so although the organisers have had to tweak the schedule, the great experience offered to visitors during the day remains a key priority.
If you manage to secure a ticket then you can expect a full day of highland games competitions including highland dancing, heavyweights, track and field as well as the new para-athlete competition and The Bruce Challenge which is exclusive to Stirling.
There is a new Traders Village Marquee planned with up to 30 arts, crafts, food and drink producers all showcasing their products under canvas, and great to shelter in if it rains.
Stirling is one of Scotland’s best known historical cities and visitors to the city will help the tourism sector with a much-needed economic boost. As Stirling’s leading outdoor cultural sporting event, there is so much available for visitors to enjoy throughout the weekend.
Neil Christison, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The Stirling Highland Games is always a highlight of the local events calendar, attracting visitors from near and far. As well as a host of exciting sports, visitors can also sample the very best local food and drink, while at the same time supporting the strong charity ethos which sits at the heart of this exciting event.
Highland Games are an important part of the rich tapestry of Scotland’s cultural identity and are a popular draw for international visitors. More than that, they provide a welcome boost to local economies, with accommodation providers, shops, restaurants and local businesses all benefiting.
“Tourism is an important part of the Forth Valley economy. Major events like this help support the industry’s recovery from the pandemic supporting local jobs, businesses and communities as part of a wider ripple effect.”
Matt also added, “Highland games across Scotland really need their local’s support. Ticket prices are usually for a whole day of entertainment, making these events some of the most affordable attractions. I hope people can get behind their local games and buy a ticket. It will greatly boost the morale of what is sometimes a thankless job.”
Stirling Highland Games is a member of the Royal Scottish Highland Games Association and since 2014 has been delivered on the 3rd weekend of August as part of Scotland’s highland games schedule. This year’s date is Saturday 20th August with gates opening at 10:30 and the final pipe band performance closing the event off just before 17:00.
Tickets can be bought online in advance via the event website www.stirlinghighlandgames.com