‘We can’t ri­val Ed­in­burgh’s do’

But our Bells party will live in mem­ory

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

praised the fire­works spec­tac­u­lar but some were con­cerned about its im­pact on pets

A se­nior coun­cil­lor this week de­fended Stir­ling’s Hog­manay show fol­low­ing some crit­i­cism of the qual­ity of the en­ter­tain­ment served up.

Chris Kane ad­mit­ted the shows on the Cas­tle Es­planade could not hope to ri­val the Ed­in­burgh spec­tac­u­lar.

But the com­mu­nity plan­ning and re­gen­er­a­tion con­vener said Stir­ling’s fam­i­ly­ori­en­tated Hog­manay party – with two fire­works dis­plays – would live long in the mem­ory of the to­tal of al­most 4000 who at­tended the Stir­ling Coun­cil-or­gan­ised events. The first, aimed at par­ents with fam­i­lies, ran be­tween 7.45pm and 9pm and cost £6 for a ticket or £20 for a fam­ily of four. En­ter­tain­ment was pro­vided by Stir­ling band The Cobalts and rock choir Soul Na­tion and they again fea­tured at the later show which took Stir­ling into the new year with fire­works dis­plays above the cas­tle and Wal­lace Mon­u­ment. It was head­lined by singer/song­writer Mark An­gels, a fi­nal­ist on TV show Let It Shine. Tick­ets for the later show were £10. Both shows were com­pered by Cap­i­tal Scot­land DJ Fat Brestovca.

Those the Observer spoke to on the night praised the coun­cil for lay­ing on a Hog­manay event aimed at fam­i­lies and the ma­jor­ity of those post­ing on so­cial me­dia thought the fire­works dis­plays were `awe­some’.

Colleen McMil­lan posted: `The fire­works were both fab but I can’t say they same about en­ter­tain­ment. The DJ was ab­so­lutely rub­bish and why no Scot­tish mu­sic? Auld Lang Syne or Loch Lomond would have been nice.’

Kenny McKaig added: `En­ter­tain­ment was ab­so­lutely dire. DJ Fat hadn’t a clue. It was like some last­minute thing that was put to­gether. Re­ally dis­ap­pointed. Fire­works were good.’

Claire Brom­ley Hughes wrote: `The Cobalts were ace and to­tally stole the show from Soul Na­tion which was ba­si­cally just a fancy karaoke set. The singers in Soul Na­tion were great but let down by not hav­ing a band be­hind them.’

Those who crit­i­cised the fire­work dis­plays were un­happy about the noise they cre­ated and its im­pact on pets.

Alexan­der Richard­son said: `No one gave a damn about an­i­mals and that money would have been bet­ter spent.’

Colin Gray added: “Fire­works might have been amaz­ing but they were also ex­ces­sively loud. Didn’t any­one think about the ef­fects this ex­ces­sive noise would have on pets or local wildlife.”

How­ever Graeme Ale­jan­dro Flynn said: `The fire­works were lovely to look at and brought a good at­mos­phere to the new year. For any­one with an­i­mal rights is­sues: you should have gone to the vets for ad­vice or tablets. My dogs were fine and watched with me.’

Coun­cil­lor Kane, Labour mem­ber for Stir­ling East and a for­mer com­piler of the Observer’s en­ter­tain­ments page and Cen­tral FM pre­sen­ter, ac­knowl­edged there had been crit­i­cism of the en­ter­tain­ment but said: “I de­spair some­times at com­ments on so­cial me­dia.

“If we’d booked Paul Mc­Cart­ney, res­ur­rected Elvis Pres­ley and got them jam­ming at Stir­ling Cas­tle, some­body would still com­plain on Face­book that we’re not do­ing enough to at­tract the younger gen­er­a­tion.

“With ever in­creas­ing pres­sure on local au­thor­ity bud­gets, the days of be­ing able to jus­tify the money to at­tract big-name acts are a dis­tant mem­ory, par­tic­u­larly when the ca­pac­ity on the es­planade is lim­ited to around 2000 peo­ple.

“What our Hog­manay cel­e­bra­tions have shown this year is that big­ger names don’t al­ways bring bet­ter fun.

“I think some­times we draw in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­par­isons with Ed­in­burgh, which runs an event for 100,000 peo­ple with a multi-mil­lion pound bud­get. I thought there was a re­laxed fam­i­lyfriendly at­mos­phere on the es­planade, which is a con­trast to the fran­tic Ed­in­burgh `wow’ fac­tor.

“Plus, af­ter hear­ing The Cobalts at the cel­e­bra­tions – a band who formed af­ter meet­ing at a mu­sic work­shop at the Tol­booth – I wouldn’t be sur­prised if we see them head­lin­ing at Ed­in­burgh in the fu­ture.”

Re­gard­ing the com­plaints about noise from the fire­works dis­turb­ing pets, Coun­cil­lor Kane said: “I am not im­mune to the con­cerns. I am a dog owner my­self and I know it can be a prob­lem but hav­ing an of­fi­cial dis­play, which hap­pens at a set time and for a set du­ra­tion, is prefer­able to rock­ets blast­ing off ran­domly from back gar­dens.”

Gui­tar sound Stir­ling band The Cobalts played Hog­manay

Rock choir Soul Na­tion served up pop clas­sics

Fam­ily fun Peo­ple queue for the first of the two shows on the Es­planade

Awe­some’ Most

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