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New festival set to entertain Inverness visitors

By Andrew Dixon

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Performers are ready for the first Inverness Bunkers Festival
Performers are ready for the first Inverness Bunkers Festival

DOZENS of local entertainers are preparing to take part in the first Inverness Bunkers Festival to mark the Scottish Open golf tournament.

Talented dancers and musicians will perform at several venues across the Highland Capital as the city does its best to give visitors the warmest possible welcome when they arrive for the event, which starts with the Pro-Am competition today.

A full schedule of events from today until Saturday will run in the city centre, inspired by the European Tour championship which is expected to attract 50,000 people when it is staged at Castle Stuart for the first time.

“Naturally, we decided to have a golf theme for our entertainment programme and we have had a lot of fun creating the first Inverness Bunkers Festival,” said city councillor Roy Pedersen, chairman of programme organisers the Inverness Festivals team.

“With so many excellent cafes, pubs and restaurants determined to welcome our visitors with some real Highland hospitality next week we are not sure how many watering holes there are on our course but Inverness is determined to be above par whenever Castle Stuart plays host to a major championship.”

Eastgate Shopping Centre will stage a craft and food fair throughout, while the golf is televised on a large screen in Falcon Square.

Inverness High Street, Church Street, the city’s Town House, Victorian Market, Abertarff House and Falcon Square will all host traditional music including performances from Inverness Festivals Band, TMC Folk, Hoodja, Highland Youth Pipes and Drums Band, plus accordionist Matthew Maclennan, as well as dance from the Elizabeth Fraser and Edith Macpherson Schools of Highland Dancing.

Other locations such as Union Street, Queensgate, Station Square and Inverness Castle will have displays by the British Legion Pipe Band, while Eden Court gardens and Columba Hotel are among the venues for the city branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Inverness Festivals Salsa Band will be at Eden Court gardens and the Inverness Gaelic Choir is set to sing at the Victorian Market and Abertarff House tomorrow, while the Pro Sound and Wildcats cheerleading, street and freestyle dance groups perform at Inverness Castle each evening.

The venues have been dubbed bunkers by the festivals team.

“The plan is for us to create a very moveable feast of entertainment,” Councillor Pedersen explained.

“If you can imagine the world’s worst golfer slicing the ball all over the Castle Stuart links and going from bunker to bunker, we will be asking many of our entertainers to wander all over the place as they go from bunker to bunker; so don’t be surprised if you find a show breaking out where you least expect it.”

* More on Inverness Festivals Band

* Our latest Scottish Open coverage

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