Exactly two hundred days since mass gatherings were halted in the UK as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers of The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s pioneering sound and light show, are lighting up the skies of Pitlochry and surrounding area to mark what would have been the start of their 2020 event on 2 October and to signify their support for the local community.
The much-loved event, which normally attracts 80,000 visitors a year to Highland Perthshire, was cancelled due to the pandemic and the prohibition of events and mass gatherings. Normally providing a significant boost of over £7.6 million to Highland Perthshire every year, the event will be sorely missed by the local economy.
Organisers behind the event, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, will mark what would have been the start of their 19th show on the weekend of 2nd – 4th October with a nightly laser show over the skies of Pitlochry to be viewed safely from the living room windows and back gardens of the local residents, in line with current restrictions. The bold beacon of hope is intended to signal to the local community that, although the 2020 event has been cancelled, there are big plans afoot for the 2021 show, the 20th anniversary of the trail-blazing event.
The planned activity includes the temporary erection of an 5 metre sized illuminated Enchanted Forest logo right at the heart of Pitlochry, signaling to fans that tickets for the 2021 show will be available to purchase from The Enchanted Forest website from 10am on Monday 5 October.
Although the event is not taking place this year, the annual charitable giving of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust is still taking place. This year the Trust has donated £68,000 to 29 local projects, the seventh year in a row the event has given back to the community in which it finds its home. This has included much needed COVID-19 rescue funds to The Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, both of which have been directly impacted by the pandemic. Tayside Mountain Rescue, will also receive a donation of £10,000 from the Trust in return for their practical assistance in the siting of the night sky laser show.
Keith Moncrieff, Chairman of The Enchanted Forest, said: “Whilst we totally understand the reasons, we are extremely disappointed that The Enchanted Forest is not able to run this year. I know so many people will be feeling the loss of the event, in many ways. For this reason, we have decided to mark what would have been the start of the event on 2 October with a fantastic laser show, which will run every night over what would have been our opening weekend. At the heart of Pitlochry our illuminated logo will take pride of place outside the Visit Scotland Pitlochry iCentre this weekend. Our team are already making plans for the 2021 show and we are determined that for our 20th anniversary show, the lights will shine.
“We are also delighted that, despite these challenging circumstances, we have still been able to support 29 local projects financially, which we hope has been a welcome boost given the unfortunate loss of income that Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire will experience due to the cancellation of the 2020 event.”
Tickets for The Enchanted Forest 2021 will be available to purchase at enchantedforest.org.uk from 5 October at 10am.