Homecoming Scotland: A year of brilliant moments

January 29, 2014

With more than 430 Homecoming Scotland events planned so far, 2014 is shaping up to be an action packed year for both locals and visitors. To share the sense of building excitement from those at the heart of the planning, Director of Homecoming Scotland 2014 Caroline Packman takes a look at what Scotland has in store for us.

homecoming

For those who aren’t so familiar with Homecoming, it’s a celebration of Scotland; an opportunity for each and every one of you to celebrate your ‘home’, but also for those with links to Scotland to explore their heritage. Launched under a fire and light spectacular across the country on Hogmanay, Homecoming Scotland 2014 brings twelve exciting months of fantastic events celebrating all that’s great about our country and placing the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons. What’s especially noticeable upon reflection on the calendar of events for 2014 is just the extent to which creativity permeates Scotland’s rich heritage at all levels.

 

Creative Mackintosh

Creative Mackintosh

 

The Year of Creative Scotland in 2012 was a spectacular celebration of our nation’s culture and creativity on both the international stage and across our communities and we want to build on that fantastic spirit of engagement. There were some great examples of how Scottish creativity is being promoted and preserved and the Homecoming programme itself aims to continue this by showcasing both Scotland’s traditional and contemporary creativity whether it be through new festivals, music, visual arts or heritage.

At the heart of the year lies an inspirational programme of events and festivals which fall under five themes: ancestry, natural, active, food and drink and creative.  Running until 31st December, 2014, we’ve made sure the event programme has something for everyone, whether it’s longing to hear the skirl of the bagpipes at Piping Live, sampling a traditional Highland Games, climbing to the top of the Forth Road Bridge as part of the Forth Bridges Festival, sipping on a single malt as part of Whisky Month, or mixing with the best of today’s music performers at The MTV Europe Music Awards.  We have so much to look forward to!

We’re currently showcasing the fantastic Celtic Connections which will be closely followed by a number of different events including;

  • The Glasgow Film Festival (20 Feb – 2 March)
  • Glasgow St. Patrick’s Festival (5-17 March)
  • Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival (10-12 July)
  • Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (4-21 April)
  • The International Tartan Festival (12-14 July)
  • Tin Forest (24 July – 3 Aug)
  • Piping Live! (11-15 Aug)
  • Creative Mackintosh (1-31 Oct)

 

St Patricks Day Festival

St Patrick’s Day Festival

 

For me, what makes 2014 so special is the fact that there really is something for everyone – why not have a look through the varied events programme or check out the Homecoming Scotland advert on a TV screen near you – catch it here. As well as the TV advert, a promotional campaign has been launched on radio and in print.  We also have a special Homecoming App, enabling users to search events, bookmark favourites, and check in while at events and take photos to seamlessly share with friends and family. Visitors can also download a special e-brochure.

Of course, the Homecoming programme isn’t just geared up for visitors – tourism businesses can reap the rewards too! Scotland is taking centre stage with a programme of global events that represent an unprecedented opportunity for Scottish businesses – for example, in 2009; the first Year of Homecoming saw 71% of Scottish Tourism businesses report a benefit. If you have a business in the area,  could you talk to one of the events planned about partnering up to offer discounts or special deals?   The Homecoming Toolkit is also available on visitscotland.org and contains a range of free to use marketing tools to help support events and businesses.

So all that’s left to say is get at least one event in your diary, but most of all enjoy!