News Archive

Quarter of a million plus watch virtual Highland Games


With over 250,000 views within the first 48hrs, the partners involved in organising last weekend’s Virtual
Highland Games have been delighted with the positive online response they have seen and the heartfelt
support that has been given towards highland games across Scotland and further afield.
Left with no live highland games across Scotland this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a partnership
involving the Scottish Highland Games Association, Braemar Royal Highland Society organisers of the
Braemar Gathering, Aberdeenshire Council, VisitAberdeenshire and EventScotland came together to run and
produce this, hopefully one off event, with the thought to keep our traditional events alive and to make sure
that a visit to a real highland games is on everyone’s calendar for 2021.

Recorded on August 29 behind closed doors within the grounds of the Braemar Gathering, filming took place
of track, dancing, piping and heavy events. Producers Braemar Media then used recent footage of the Hill
Race and Tug of War competitions to pull together a great programme which gave a virtual audience from
across the world a taste of a day out at a highland games.

President of the Braemar Royal Highland Society David Geddes said, “This was a great team effort and I
have to commend and thank those who came together at short notice to work towards Saturdays event.
“Plans were only hatched in July when we came out of lockdown, and there were a number of times due to
changes in local guidance and rules that we weren’t sure if we would be allowed to film at the end of August,
however our luck held out and we had a great day of filming with everyone very conscious of being socially
distanced. I must admit it was a very strange atmosphere in the grounds where normally we would expect
over 16,000 on a games day, the stands were empty and the silence very noticeable.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have had from the competitors and athletes involved and
from our Kindred Gatherings of Aboyne, Ballater and Lonach who along with the SHGA and the other
partners have helped to push this event out across the country and world helping to keep the focus on
Highland Games and to let folk know we are still here, and that visitors should consider adding a visit to one
or two of the games that go on across Scotland to their plans for 2021.
“We are also very grateful to his Royal Highness the Duke of Rothesay who attended the opening ceremony
as Patron of the SHGA,lending his and the Royal Familiy’s support both on the day of filming and over the
weekend to the virtual event.

“I hope that those who have taken the opportunity to look at the event have enjoyed this taster, and come
back for more. Over the coming weeks we will release more footage of the day on Youtube, Instagram and
Facebook and if anyone would still like to see the footage they can visit our Facebook page or use the
#virtualhighlandgames to access the supporting images sent from those who joined in.
“Our games and gatherings are a big day for the communities where we live, and very much about being
able to meet and greet family and friends, we very much look forward to a safer time when we are once
again able to share a dram and a handshake and to welcome old friends and

Published: 2020-09-15 19:58:29