The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, is set of go head to head with some of the country’s best known cultural events this Friday evening, for the title of Best Cultural Event at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards in Stirling.

Already laying claim to the title of Best Cultural Event at the Scottish Event Awards held in Glasgow in September the event, which is run by the Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company, is hoping for a repeat performance this Friday as they face off Glasgow Film Festival, Bloody Scotland Festival and Tiree Music Festival who have all been shortlisted as national finalists in the category.

Record breaking visitor numbers of just over 40,000 visitors attended the event in 2013 and its positive economic impact is cemented as the major driver of tourism to the area in Autumn.

Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest commented:

“We are truly delighted to be representing Perthshire at the national Scottish Thistle Awards. The Enchanted Forest continues to grow and develop as an event and this year demonstrated a 30% increase in visitor numbers, over 90% of whom cite the event as their main reason for visiting the area.

“It’s a major contributor to the local tourism economy, which is a commendable position for any event that is run by a very small number of volunteers. To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is, in itself, recognition of their hard work and dedication to making The Enchanted Forest a success.”

For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has stated today that The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event and Scotland’s premier sound and light show, is a must see event for visitors to Scotland.

The statement comes as organisers confirmed that over 38,000 tickets have been now sold for this year’s event, setting new box office records, and selling out in record time.

Visiting the event at the weekend with his family he commented:

“The Enchanted Forest is a spectacular and incredibly popular event, which attracts tens of thousands of people to visit Perthshire each year. I hear it has already surpassed all previous box office records and it’s not hard to see why.

“My family and I had a wonderful time at the Enchanted Forest and it fully demonstrates how Scotland’s magnificent landscape can create wonder and awe.”

The Enchanted Forest now attracts visitors from all over the UK and, indeed, the world and the positive impact on the local area is estimated to be in the region of £2 million economic benefit this year.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment added:

“In this, The Year of Natural Scotland, we have the chance to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural strengths and show the world the beauty of our landscapes and forests.

“The success of The Enchanted Forest has a knock-on positive effect on the local economy and I would encourage the local tourism sector to seize the opportunity this provides to showcase to visitors all that this fabulous area has to offer.”

Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest 2013, commented:

“We are simply delighted that this year’s event has surpassed all targets set for it, and has sold out completely. It’s a testimony to the hard work and efforts put in by the local Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company in managing and delivering the event. We are so happy we can play our part in attracting over 38,000 people to the area at this time of year, and in putting Scotland’s magnificent forests firmly on the international map as a must see event.”

The 2013 show “absorb” has been designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan including Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, music by RJ McConnell, and a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales. Together they have created a dazzling and engaging show which celebrates the stunning woodland setting of the event and appropriately marks the Year of Natural Scotland.

The event runs until Sunday 27th October. For further information about the Enchanted Forest visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Organisers of The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event and Scotland’s premier sound and light show, confirmed today that ticket sales for their twelfth show have already surpassed last year’s record breaking box office figures and that they are now on target to extend a warm Highland welcome to more than 35,000 visitors this year.

The event attracted a record breaking 30,500 visitors last year and this year the Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company that organises the event have already extended capacity for the shows twice, adding on an extra night and opening up a new twilight show earlier in the evening, to accommodate the unprecedented demand.

Organisers are now encouraging members of the public, specifically those planning to attend in the final week of the show, to buy their tickets now or they risk being disappointed.

Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest, commented:

“The demand for tickets at box office this year has been unprecedented. Sales are up almost 40% but we are fast running out of available tickets so, to avoid disappointment, we’d advise those last-minute purchasers not to delay and to book their tickets now.

Last year we had a lot of people travel significant distances to attend the event who had not purchased their tickets in advance, and with many shows close to capacity and now selling very quickly indeed, we’re keen to ensure that everyone has a positive trip to Pitlochry and that they get to see the show.”

The event attracts visitors from all over the UK and, indeed, the world and the positive economic benefit to the local area this year is estimated to exceed £2million for the first time in the show’s history.

The 2013 show “absorb” has been designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan including Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, music by RJ McConnell, and a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.

The event runs from Friday 4th October – Sunday 27th October. For further information about the Enchanted Forest visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event and Scotland’s premier sound and light show, launched last night in an array of dazzling colours to a select audience of press and VIPs at Forestry Commission Scotland’s Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.

The twelfth event in the series is on course to smash all previous box office records, with organisers reporting that advance ticket sales are up over 50% on the previous year.

The 2013 show “absorb” has been designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan including Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, music by RJ McConnell, and a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales. Together they have created a dazzling and engaging show which celebrates the stunning woodland setting of the event and appropriately marks the Year of Natural Scotland.

Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest 2013, commented:

“We have worked especially hard this year to ensure we deliver a show that is both creative and visually stunning. Every year the remarkable natural woodland of Faskally Wood provides our canvas and inspiration and we really hope our audience members enjoy their visit.

“Thanks to funding from Event Scotland we have been able to extend the reach of the show this year into new markets and I am certain that new visitors to the event from the North East of England, as well as from closer to home, will find the experience both breath-taking and unique.”

Pete Wishart, Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire, formally opened the show on Wednesday night, commenting:

“This is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s finest cultural events which just continues to go from strength to strength. Last year it attracted over 30,000 visitors to Highland Perthshire, an essential boost for the local economy, but it also showcases the natural beauty of Scotland right across the globe. The Enchanted Forest is a must see event for any visitor to Scotland in the Autumn.”

Budding photographers visiting The Enchanted Forest this year will also have the chance to submit their own digital artwork to an esteemed panel of judges for the event’s first ever photographic competition. The winner will receive vouchers for photography kit as well as see their winning image displayed as a special guest exhibit in Perth Museum and Art Gallery’ Big Roots Exhibition, which features images of big trees from the local area.

Derek Allan commented:

“Every year our visitors send in literally hundreds of photos on social media and we thought it would be fantastic if we could reward them for their photographic efforts. We are very lucky to have secured Anna Henly, an award winner at the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, to act as our guest judge and we very much look forward to seeing everyone’s interpretations of The Enchanted Forest this year.”

The event runs from Friday 4th October – Sunday 27th October. Tickets are in very high demand this year with many shows already sold out.

For further information about the Enchanted Forest, the photographic competition and to book tickets, visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk
— ENDS —

The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, has been named Best Cultural Event at this year’s Scottish Event Awards in Glasgow.

Beating off stiff competition from the Wickerman Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, the event took the title at a sparkling Gatsby style black tie event held in the Crowne Plaza on Thursday evening.

It is the second time the event has claimed this title at The Scottish Event Awards, and it’s their second Cultural win this year, having picked up the Regional Thistle Award for Best Cultural Event in June.

Record breaking visitor numbers and its positive impact on the local community in 2012 sealed the deal for the judges, who recognised the ongoing success of the event as a major driver of tourism at a national level, as well as the event’s international reach which saw TV crews attend the event from Russia, France and press coverage across the globe including Die Welt, National Geographic Traveller and other international publications.

Derek Allan, producer of The Enchanted Forest commented:

“The Enchanted Forest continues to go from strength to strength and we are truly thrilled to receive this award for a second time. Every year we stretch the creative impact of the event and it’s rewarding to know that our efforts are recognised.”

The 2013 show, absorb, opens to the public on Friday 4th October and has been designed by Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes and with music by RJ McConnell, which includes a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.

Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2013 are selling quickly. For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

The multi-award winning sound and light show The Enchanted Forest opens this week and, thanks to Fife outdoor clothing company Keela International, a party of enthusiasts from the region will be getting the first opportunity to set foot in the forest as part of the national Britain on Foot campaign.

The Britain on Foot campaign is specifically aimed at encouraging more people to explore the great outdoors through walking, cycling, or climbing, and to create a healthier nation.

Keela International have been producing garments designed for the outdoor sector for the last 30 years and, as partner to the national campaign, identified The Enchanted Forest as a potential event that would both achieve the aim of getting people into the great outdoors, as well as creating an enjoyable night out for people.

Alan Knox, retail manager with Keela International commented:

“The outdoors can sometimes be a little bit daunting, but The Enchanted Forest is a unique event that gets people interacting with the outdoors without any of the preconceptions they might have about how they have to dress, or what they need to take with them. It seemed like the perfect match to encourage people to get outdoors and we’re delighted that they have been able to assist us in making this happen.”

The group will attend an exclusive preview night on Wednesday October 2nd, prior to the show opening to the general public on Friday 4th October, and will be among a small number of competition winners to see this year’s show before anyone else. Over 32,000 visitors are expected to attend during the show’s 23 night run throughout October, many of them travelling a significant distance to attend.

The annual Perthshire Big Tree Country event celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and was recently named Best Cultural Event at the VisitScotland Thistle Awards ceremony held earlier this month, adding to a raft of awards won over the last few years.

The 2013 show, absorb, has been designed by Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes and with music by RJ McConnell, which includes a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.

Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest commented,

“We are very happy to support the Britain on Foot campaign in this way – the event is all about encouraging people to enjoy the beauty of the Autumnal forest at a time of day that people wouldn’t normally be in forests, and at a time of year where people are more likely to stay indoors. We’re grateful to Keela International for organising this trip and look forward to welcoming their visitors to The Enchanted Forest.”

The Enchanted Forest will take place from Friday 4th – Sunday 27th October 2011 at Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.

To purchase tickets please visit www.EnchantedForest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light show, will be spreading its roots this Autumn thanks to funding from the Year of Natural Scotland which is intended to help extend the event’s reach to the Northern English market.

The funding will help boost the event’s annual marketing campaign, allowing it to venture into the Newcastle and North East Region for the first time, in a bid to attract even more visitors to see the Autumn spectacle which takes place in October every year.

The Perthshire event has become a mainstay of Scotland’s tourism calendar and marketing manager, Tricia Fox, had identified the North East Region of England as a market for expansion:

“The event has always attracted visitors from the North East of England so it was a clear area for us to identify as having potential for growth. We’re expecting over 32,000 visitors to attend the event this year and we very much welcome being able to extend our message to a brand new audience. If you think about it, in just 3 short hours you can travel by train from the centre of Newcastle to the heart of an Enchanted Forest in Scotland – that’s got to be worth spreading the word about!”

The Enchanted Forest is organised by Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company under the Perthshire Big Tree Country brand. Founded in 2002 with just 3000 visitors attending in its first year, the event now attracts more than ten times that number of visitors with almost 31,000 visiting the show last year.

The 2013 show, absorb, has been designed by Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes and with music by RJ McConnell, which includes a specially commissioned orchestral piece in collaboration with composer Jon Beales.

Later this month the event will also compete for the titles of Scotland’s Best Cultural Event and Best Large Event and organisers are hoping for a reprise of their success in 2011 when they took home a commendation for Best Large Event, the trophy for Best Cultural Event and beat off stiff competition from all the other category winners to take the title of Event Management Grand Prix, firmly cementing the show as one of Scotland’s top events.

Derek Allan, Producer of The Enchanted Forest said:

“We’re delighted to receive funding from Year of Natural Scotland to raise awareness of the event in the North East of England. Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company has always pushed the boundaries with this event and it’s rewarding to be able to continue to extend awareness of the stunning Highland Perthshire scenery and this very special event.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:
“We are delighted to support The Enchanted Forest as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013. Visual artists continue to be inspired by our country’s unique natural heritage and The Enchanted Forest is set to be a stunning celebration of art in nature that shows Scotland is the perfect stage for events”

For further information about The Enchanted Forest and to purchase tickets, visit The Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Organisers of the multi-award winning sound and light show The Enchanted Forest have reported that tickets are flying out the door four times faster than in previous years.

Over 30,000 tickets went on sale on the 14th June and demand has been so high this year that ticket sales are now over four times higher than they would normally be at this point in time.

Tricia Fox, marketing manager for The Enchanted Forest commented:

“This truly is unprecedented levels of demand and bodes well for a sold-out show this Autumn. The message clearly needs to get out to people that advance booking of tickets is a must if they want to secure the date and time of their choice and, in particular, if they are intending to travel any distance to the event.”

Responding to an already burgeoning demand for the event organisers had already decided to extend the event’s usual 23 night run to include an additional night, specifically catering for tourists holidaying in the area during the English mid-term holidays.

The 2013 show, absorb, has been designed by Scottish lighting designer Kate Bonney and sound designer RJ McConnell, and will include a new orchestral piece which has been specially commissioned, by composer John Beales.

Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest commented:

“The level of demand for tickets for this year’s event is very exciting – the creative team are really looking forward to presenting absorb this Autumn – it’s reassuring to know that our audience are looking forward to it too.”

The annual Perthshire Big Tree Country event celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and was recently named Best Cultural Event at the VisitScotland Thistle Awards ceremony held earlier this month, adding to a raft of awards won over the last few years.

The Enchanted Forest will take place from Friday 4th – Sunday 27th October 2011 at Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.

Tickets are now on sale and advance booking is advised. For further information please visit www.EnchantedForest.org.uk

Over 30,000 tickets have gone on sale this weekend for the multi-award winning sound and light show The Enchanted Forest.

Responding to burgeoning demand for the event that attracted almost 31,000 visitors in 2012, organisers have announced an extension to the event’s usual 23 night run to include an additional night to cater for tourists holidaying in the area during the English mid-term holidays.

The annual Perthshire Big Tree Country event celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and was recently named Best Cultural Event at the VisitScotland Thistle Awards ceremony held earlier this month, adding to a raft of awards won over the last few years.

The 2013 show, absorb, has been designed by Scottish lighting designer Kate Bonney and sound designer RJ McConnell, and will include a new orchestral piece which has been specially commissioned, by composer Jon Beales.

Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest commented, “We are looking forward to this year’s event which will be held in the glorious Autumnal setting of Faskally Wood. It’s always a challenge for the creative team to reinvent the canvas of the event but we have been working on some very exciting concepts for this year’s show which we are certain will deliver the wow factor that our customers expect from us as well as showing new aspects of Faskally Wood that returning visitors may never have seen before.”

The Enchanted Forest will take place from Friday 4th – Sunday 27th October 2013 at Faskally Wood near Pitlochry.

Tickets are now on sale to the general public. For further information please visit www.EnchantedForest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, has been named Best Cultural Event at this year’s Regional Final of the North East of Scotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards. The event will now go forward for the region to compete in the national final later this year.

Picking up three nominations, including The Year of Natural Scotland’s Best Nature Based Experience Award and Best Marketing Campaign categories, it was for Best Cultural Event that the judges felt it excelled most, beating off stiff competition from Perthshire Amber.

Record breaking visitor numbers in 2012 sealed the deal, recognising the ongoing success of the event as a major driver of tourism at a national level, as well as the event’s intermnational reach which saw TV crews attend the event from Russia, France and press coverage across the globe including Die Welt, National Geographic Traveller and other international publications.

The Scottish Thistle Awards recognise excellence in the Scottish tourism industry and aim to reward the exceptional efforts made by even more tourism businesses throughout Scotland.

VisitScotland works closely with winners to tailor make a package of benefits to best suit the winners’ needs. This could include, amongst many other options: entry into the Quality Assurance scheme, advertising, promotion in a VisitScotland Information Centre, promotion in VisitScotland PR activity.

Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2013 are set to go on sale to the public mid June. For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, will be hoping for a hat trick next month having been shortlisted in no less than three categories at this year’s Regional Final of the North East of Scotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards. If successful the event will secure a place in the national final later this year.

The Enchanted Forest has picked up nominations for The Year of Natural Scotland’s Best Nature Based Experience Award category and Best Cultural Event, as well as being shortlisted for the second year running in the Marketing Campaign of the Year Award, and will be keeping its branches crossed that record breaking visitor numbers in 2012 will seal the deal in recognising the ongoing success of the event as a major driver of tourism at a national level.

This year’s Scottish Thistle Awards, which recognise excellence in the Scottish tourism industry, aims to recognise the exceptional efforts made by even more tourism businesses throughout Scotland.

The Enchanted Forest is not the only major Perthshire event nominated which includes Perthshire Amber and the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia.

The ceremony for the North East region takes place on 4th June at Battleby in Perthshire.

The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate excellence across the industry with special emphasis on quality and enhancing the overall visitor experience. VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme seeks to capitalise on this further and aims to position Scotland as one of the world’s best visitor destinations.

VisitScotland will work closely with winners to tailor make a package of benefits to best suit the winners’ needs. This could include, amongst many other options: entry into the Quality Assurance scheme, advertising, promotion in a VisitScotland Information Centre, promotion in VisitScotland PR activity.

Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2013 go on sale mid June. For more information visit www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Following high anticipation from prospective participants, entries opened today (29th January) for the sister event to the highly successful Etape Caledonia, the new Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia which will take place on 18th August 2013 in Cheshire.

Organisers IMG also revealed the full beautiful and inspiring entry level route, which winds through the West Cheshire countryside taking in highlights such as Beeston Castle, Delamere Forest and Little Switzerland.

Two weeks ago, Dame Sarah Storey launched the new closed road sportive and since then excited riders have been able to register their interest in the new 69 mile event. The event website www.etapemercia.co.uk has seen high levels of traffic so places are expected to be snapped up quickly. Pitlochry based Etape Caledonia cold out in just 72 hours when it went on sale in 2012.

Participants can now enter the event at www.etapemercia.co.uk. In addition to general entries, 400 free charity pledge places will be available to those willing to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. With strong links to charity partners, the Etape Series has also been instrumental in encouraging participants to raise well in excess of £1.5million over its seven year history for its title charity partners.

The Etape Mercia route starts and finishes with a lap of the famous Oulton Park racing circuit, which is home to the British Superbikes Series. The route loops around the stunning Beeston Castle – a Medieval Castle on a rocky outcrop from the time of the English Civil War- before winding north through the countryside. From this point, riders then hit their first hill before passing through the amazing Delamere Forest giving some incredible views on the way. The route then winds its way back to Oulton Park for a final victory lap before finishing on the circuit’s finish line and your well deserved medal.

Full details of the route can be found here: http://etapemercia.co.uk/coursemaps.html

Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Series ambassador Dame Sarah Storey said: “I’m so excited to see the interest building for this fantastic cycling event in my local area. I was up on the route recently and it really is spectacular.

“It is a mass participation event, it’s non-competitive, and people will have their own little personal goals that they will want to achieve and that’s perfect and it is what sport is about. It is about doing the best you can and enjoying yourself in the process.”

The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia has set the standard for sportives in the UK. All of the events, which include Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines, enjoy closed roads, excellent support and awe inspiring routes. The organisers are challenging riders to try and claim a hat trick by riding all three events in the series, Etape Mercia for entry level, Etape Caledonia for seasoned riders and the toughest sportive in the UK, Etape Pennines.

Marie Curie Cancer Care, the event’s charity partner, is encouraging all participants to raise funds for the charity. Marie Curie provides free hands-on nursing care to people with a terminal illness, enabling them to spend their final weeks, days or hours at home, in familiar surroundings with the people and things they love close by.

Top tips and updates can also be followed on Facebook at EtapeSeries or on Twitter, using @etapeseries and the hashtag #Bethefirst.