‘We can’t rival Edinburgh’s do’
But our Bells party will live in memory
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