Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party

Issued by Highland 2007

Further details are announced today of the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party events taking place in Inverness on 12 January 2007. Marking an t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ùr, the Old New Year, the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party is the first major event in the programme for Highland 2007, the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture.

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party are open – and free – to everyone, providing family entertainment from 7pm until 10pm on 12 January 2007.

The first part of the evening, the Highland 2007 Launch, will commence at 7pm with First Minister Jack McConnell guest of honour at the celebrations. The event will feature:

• a dazzling display of fireworks by Pyro1, winners of the UK firework company of the year;
• the award winning Inverness Gaelic Choir in a dramatic presentation against the backdrop of Inverness Castle;
• the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Highlands in a stunning arrangement overlooking the River Ness.
• many other spectacular surprises!

Viewing areas for the Highland 2007 Launch event are situated on the west bank of the River Ness on Huntly Street, Ness Walk and Young Street. Those attending the Highland 2007 Launch are advised to access the viewing areas from the west where possible and to allow sufficient time to travel to the event.

The Lifescan Monster Street Party follows immediately after the Highland 2007 Launch event and features the thrilling Transe Expresse from Marseilles. The highlight of their performance will be a breathtaking aerial ballet performance – The Music of Angels – which will include an extraordinary rendition of the Mingulay Boat Song.

As the home of Nessie, the world’s most famous monster, the Highland capital will welcome a host of monster cousins to the Lifescan Monster Street Party. Weird and wonderful creatures of all shapes and sizes from far and wide will travel to Inverness to excite and enthrall their Highland audience. Over a dozen companies from Holland, France, Spain and England will provide entertainment in the main streets of the city centre which will all be closed to traffic. This will be one of the biggest gatherings of international street theatre ever seen in the UK.

The launch and the street party have been created and devised by Unique Events, producers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and many of Scotland’s major festival programmes.

As a result of the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party there will be a number of road closures in Inverness city centre on 12 January, coming into effect at 6.30pm. The road closures will create a safe, vehicle free, public area in the city centre.

Public car parks will remain open for the event on both sides of the river. All motorists are advised to allow sufficient travel time and to be aware the city centre roads will be closed to vehicles from 6.30pm.

Temporary bus stops and taxi ranks will be situated on Academy Street and Millburn Road for the duration of the event closures (please check with local bus companies for details).

Full details of all road closures and parking restrictions can be found on www.highland2007.com.

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party are outdoor events – please dress for the weather.

Councillor Alison Magee, chair of Highland 2007, said: “Highland 2007 represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of our culture not just here in the Highlands but across Scotland, the UK and beyond. The exciting programme for the Highland 2007 Launch and the Lifescan Monster Street Party sets the tone for the year ahead, combining elements of our traditional culture with contemporary influences as we showcase the cultural importance of the Highlands on a international stage.”

Pete Irvine of Unique Events said: “It’s a real pleasure and privilege to be involved at the beginning of this brilliant year for the Highlands and Islands. It’s also a challenge. We know a wee wind can blow down the Ness and though most of what we plan can go ahead in almost any weather, we would advise people to wrap up well. When we planned this event we did think of Hogmanay or even later in the spring but we wanted this to be a very significant night unaffected by anything anywhere else and at the very beginning of a year where there is so much happening. Of course we wanted to invite Nessie him/herself but it proved impossible to make contact. However all the other monsters were delighted to accept our invitations. It’s going to be a ball and a real night to remember.”

Michael Crowe, Managing Director of Lifescan said: “This is going to be an amazing event and LifeScan Scotland is proud to be associated with such an innovative and creative show.  This is a really exciting time for Inverness and the Highlands and we will be continuing our support throughout 2007.”

David Williams, Chief Executive of EventScotland said: “The launch of Highland 2007 provides a terrific platform for the celebration of Highland culture and for Scotland’s reputation as a premier events destination.  Our investment of £1.76 million in the year long celebration is helping to deliver a programme of events that will help to promote Highland and Scottish culture.

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party was made possible through funding from EventScotland and Lifescan (Scotland). For more information about Highland 2007 visit www.highland2007.com


For more information contact Alison Bell or Julie Corbett at Highland 2007 on 01463 702007or 07733 123037

Editor’s notes
1. To create an event arena for the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party, the city centre will be closed to all traffic for the duration. Road closures will be enforced from 6.30pm and no vehicles will be permitted access in or out of the city centre areas. Road closures in effect on 12 January 2007 from 6.30pm – 11pm will include:
Shore Street Roundabout/Chapel Street
Millburn Road/ Falcon Square Junction
Castle Street
Castle Road
Young Street 
Ness Walk

After the closures have been enforced access across the river will be via Friar’s Bridge. Parking restrictions will be enforced in the city centre from 8am on Friday 12 January to ensure no vehicles are within the event arena.

2. Highland 2007, the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture, aims to promote the Highlands as a great place to live and to visit through showcasing the unique and special nature of Highland culture past, present and future.  The project is a partnership between three principal funding agencies: The Highland Council, the Scottish Executive, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  The year long celebration of Highland culture in 2007 will incorporate an exciting range of major and community events, as well as capital projects and ‘The Highland Promise’ for young people.  See www.highland2007.com for full details. Highland 2007 is the first themed year planned by the Scottish Executive to promote Scotland as a great place to live and to visit.

3. EventScotland is the national organisation for sports and cultural events.  A joint venture between the Scottish Executive and VisitScotland, it was created to deliver the Major Events Strategy published by the Scottish Executive in November 2002. The strategy is designed to maximise the benefits of existing events, to attract new events, to showcase Scotland's assets and to encourage more people to visit Scotland to experience at first hand major sporting, cultural and arts events being staged in the country.  www.eventscotland.org

4. Production for the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party is by Unique Events Ltd. Unique Events were contracted following a competitive tendering process inviting companies to scope, design and deliver a series of events that would attract international funding to the Highlands as part of the Highland 2007 programme. As a result of their tender, Unique Events have secured significant funding for the region from EventScotland and have been contracted to design and deliver three events for Highland 2007: the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party (12 January), InvernessFest (19-29 July) and The Outsider (22-24 June).

5. Highland 2007 commercial partners include:
• LifeScan Scotland Ltd - Principal Partner
• Tulloch Ltd and Scottish Co-op - Major Partners
• Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank -  Event Partner
• Caledonian MacBrayne / First ScotRail / Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd / Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort– In-kind Partner
• Fionnar Springs / PPD Ltd / EAE Distribution - Suppliers

6. “An t-Seann Bliadhn’ Ùr” (The Old New Year) on 12 January was chosen for the launch event as it marks the end of the old year prior to the change to the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century. For many people in Scotland the end of the old year continues to be held as a special date in the calendar, and it still has a particular resonance across the Highlands and Islands today

7. Background to the Old New Year, 12 January: “In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII had the Julian calendar amended in such a way as to check the slow backward movement of the seasons. The Gregorian calendar was immediately adopted in Catholic countries and slowly in Protestant ones. In Great Britain, the change was not made until 1751, by which time the discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars amounted to eleven days: but since 1800 was not a leap year, the new and old styles of reckoning now differed by twelve days - i.e. January 1 Old Style became January 13 New Style. The change met with strong opposition from the people, who clamoured for their lost days. Well into the latter half of the nineteenth century, Scottish country folk still kept their festivals by the Old Style reckoning, and in some of the remoter parts of Shetland, the Hebrides, and elsewhere, the custom has not yet entirely died out.“ Ref: The Silver Bough; Scottish Folklore and Folk Belief; F Marian McNeill, 1957; William MacLellan

8. Major events confirmed include the spectacular Tulloch Inverness Highland Games, featuring the World Highland Games Championships, the RBS International Tattoo, European Pipe Band Championships, The Highland Quest, the Six Cities Festival of Design, the Moray Firth Flotilla and the re-dedication of Culloden Battlefield. For sports fans events such as the Adventure Racing World Championship, the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships and the 100th Camanachd (shinty) Cup Final. And traditional music events taking place around the area include The Royal National Mod and Blas Festival. 

24 Nov 2006