Tuesday 22 July 2014

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

A Few Images Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony
Glasgow's golden summer begins!

An event for all on a perfect sunny July day there were many festivities at the Glasgow opening ceremony – headlined with Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle, Nicola Benedetti and more to welcome all the athletes to Glasgow’s games..

I caught this fun photo of a young Scot enjoying the occasion with his Scottish flag just outside Celtic park! All great fun!
Highlights for me were Nicola Benedetti, the Scottish pipers and the Scottish ballet dancing to the Proclaimers song ‘I Would Walk Ten Thousand Miles’ and more Scottish flavours with Julie Fowlis who sang a beautiful Gaelic song

The event ranged from twee musical to everyday busking and singing on Glasgow’s city streets. There was also nostalgic pageantry and historic symbolism from Scotland’s history and of Hamish Henderson's poetic words of equality for all with Freedom Come Ye All, along with a mention of Glasgow’s being the first city to offer Nelson Mandela the freedom of the city. Film director David Puttman mentioned that in 1835 the women of Glasgow marched against slavery. An event on this scale also made history and asked those attending to text to UNICEF which raised million as the lights lit up on phones. 

The ceremony included a few firsts – the first time having the countries enter the stadium by continents worked well and each country was led in by a wee Scottie dog with their short legs racing and this was a hit with everyone!   The Queen read out the Queen’s Baton’s message which had travelled through all the Commonwealth countries since last October with a message of  friendship and hope. 

The choices of symbolism and those taking part was all to ensure a carefully thought through quilted patchwork of Scotland's image, both present and past, to the wider world. 
Music is one of Scotland's biggest exports and the concert included contemporary music such as Calvin Harris and new band Chvrches. I might have wished to see Biffy Clyro or Dougie MacLean or the Proclaimers - perhaps they might rock the closing ceremony? Scotland's imperial past was made evident in the names of the Jamaican athletes - and with Jennifer Stirling who carried in the baton.  

The song Freedom Come All Ye was a fitting choice as the song speaks of winds of change and sweeping away exploitation and imperialism - and looks to an inclusive and co-operative future. The song is a product of the 60s Scottish folk revival.  

For me a downside was that at times each segment felt so fleeting and fast, if you were not paying enough attention you would have missed it - for the generation of the short attention span!  All in all quite an occasion though.

PLUS - 23rd July Opening Parties -  
PARTY Glasgow Green – Lulu, Rab Noakes, Eddi Reader,
Kelvingrove Bandstand – Belle & Sebastian.

ALSO 31st JULY, Glasgow Green – King Creoste, album From Scotland With Love released 21st Jluy. Film of the same name with live musical accompaniment, part of CULTURE 2014. http://www.kingcreosote.com/

25th July - New Music Biennial with Lau and other composers – Royal Concert hall . http://www.newmusicbiennial.com/