Fears of Overseas Criticism if Bannockburn Event is Scaled Back Even Further

| January 31, 2014

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By: Rodger Moffet – ScotClans

There are concerns that the already beleaguered Bannockburn Live event scheduled for the end of June this year may suffer even more set backs with one of the event days possibly being cancelled altogether.

Yesterday what was described by a Visit Scotland spokesperson as a technical issue with the online ticketing site has emerged to be part of a complete structural rethink of the event by the company behind the three-day celebration of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Last year the event was dealt a significant blow when it emerged that Stirling Council had penciled in National Armed Forces Day on the same day as the opening of the Bannockburn event. The National Trust for Scotland who run the Bannockburn site were furious about these plans which were made without their being informed. A few weeks ago it was discovered that the NTS had stepped back from the organisation of the live event with Visit Scotland taking charge and working with the Events Company, contracted to deliver the reenactment.

A representative from events company Unique Events said: “The contract between Unique Events and the National Trust for Scotland has recently been assigned over to Visit Scotland. Consequently, we are taking this opportunity to look at the overall offering for what will be a significant event in Stirling and, following the announcement of National Armed Forces Day, assessing the logistics required to ensure the success of both events.”

However members of the public yesterday were left confused when they were unable to purchase tickets for the Monday event. While a Visit Scotland representative explained that this was down to a ‘booking provider error’ enquiries with the Booking agency TicketSoup revealed that the decision to drop this day from the Schedule had been removed from sale at the ‘promoter’s request’.

With many tickets already sold and some tickets costing up to £75 this news has caused considerable anger and upset both here and overseas, many people have made travel plans including large clan groups and the whole event has once again been thrown into confusion.

President of US Clans Organisation COSCA said: “Again, why can’t Scotland understand that they must COMMUNICATE with us on these matters.  We are about to spend tens of thousands of dollars to hop over to this probably congested mess and we need DETAILS”

Representatives from Unique Events have said that they will make announcements once further details have been confirmed and Visit Scotland are intending to brief clan organisations shortly.

Category: Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Rodger is the owner of ScotClans.com. ScotClans is Scotland's largest clan resource funded via website retails sales. 'We are independent and represent the unofficial voice of the clans"

Comments (4)

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  1. Ewan Simpson says:

    Want to know the truth about what happened then read on?

    The National Trust were working on this for five years, it was set to be a spectacular event commemorating Scotland’s greatest victory against the English, so how come it’s been scaled back, why are overseas visitors turning away in droves and why is there so much uncertainty into an event which is fast becoming an embarrassing PR disaster?

    Well here in Scotland we have the small matter of a referendum on independence happening on September 18th. But what has that got to do with things I hear you ask?

    Here is the sequence of events roughly as they happened.

    First the Labour/Tory Stirling Council administration (who are unionists and anti-independence) announce that the Clan Gathering must be scaled down because they don’t have the money and anyway Stirling could not cope with a large event such as Bannockburn 700.

    At the same time as this was being announced, unknown to the public, and without Council agreement, the Provost of Stirling, Mike Robbins who had connections with the MOD was applying for Stirling to host National Armed Forces Day. A national even which attracts up to 70,000 people. All the evidence points towards the Provost did this to undermine the independence referendum by dumbing down the feel good factor that Bannockburn 700 event was bound to have brought about.

    A few months later Provost Robbins had a face to face meeting with armed forces minister Philip Hammond. Sources inside the MOD have told us that the application for Stirling to host NAFD was a done deal at that meeting. It’s was all about inflicting as much damage to the independence referendum as possible. A month or so later Stirling was announced as the winner of the application. This was all done single-handedly by the Provost without Council approval but it is extremely unlikely that none of his council colleagues knew anything about it. They just kept quiet.

    At the next full Council meeting the SNP councillors expressed their anger and opposition as to how an application like this could be made without proper due process and the chance for the application to be scrutinised properly. The Tory/Labour councillors just laughed and shrugged their shoulders. Even more alarmingly at that meeting it turns out the Tory/Labour administration were looking for at least £250,000 to host the event with a total bill of up to£800,000 being a possibility. This was voted through by the administration despite massive objections from the SNP.

    Behind the scenes the National Trust were furious about matters as they had spent 5 years organising this event only to have it undermined by the two unionist political parties. They wanted nothing more to do with it so handed it over to Visit Scotland to take over.

    Shortly after, the council SNP group, who control the audit committee (probably not for much longer) asked for a full audit into the Provosts bid and the process surrounding it. If he is found guilty there will be calls and strong reason for him to be sacked as Provost. However his party and the Tories control Stirling Council so you can be sure they will try to reinvent the rules to protect the Provost.

    So there you go folks, that is why we are where we are, why our once-in-700 years anniversary is being jeopardised with overseas visitors have been treated disrespectfully and why we are a laughing stock.

    But there are a few things you can do:

    1. Write/email Stirling Council councillors to voice your disgust.
    2. Write/email every Scottish newspaper/ tv station you can find to complain.
    3. Spread the word via social media what a despicable bunch the Stirling Council Tory/Labour administration are.
    4. If you live in Scotland Vote Yes on September 18th

  2. George W. Douglass says:

    Most of us from “overseas” see Bannockburn as Scotland’s greatest moment. To diminish this anniversary celebration in whatever way seems unforgivable. Even if it serves some political cause such action seems ironically unpatriotic.

  3. Robert Harris says:

    We have already booked & payed for our accomadation & trip, we will be playing our pipes & drums at Stirling Fri June 27th no matter what the politics.

  4. Stuart Young says:

    Of course you could look at this differently in that there will be more people in Stirling than if we only had the Bannockburn Live/Bannockburn 700/The Homecoming/The Gathering. This is a great opportunity to get those who are attending the NAFD on the Saturday to attend on the Sunday. Visit Scotland should be pushing a deal to do both. Stirling will be the centre of all activity that weekend and be awash with folk. The area should benefit financially from having three events in three days. Yes, it’s a shame that we aren’t having the Monday but it could be worse.
    I will be there with my family and we intend of having a fantastic time. I hope I see you all there!