Stonehaven Guide
Stonehaven Guide
Stonehaven Guide
Stonehaven Guide
General > Hogmanay in Stonehaven 2013
Hogmanay in Stonehaven 2013

Simple Minds
SCOTS rock legend Jim Kerr has thanked Stonehaven's Hogmanay party organisers for their warm hospitality during his recent visit to the town.

The Simple Minds frontman had been piped to a media launch at Dunnottar Castle for this year's Open Air In The Square event  and happily posed for photos with locals and bemused visitors at the castle and later at the harbour.

In a message to the dedicated group of volunteers who are handling the massive task of putting the Hogmanay gig together, he said:  "We enjoyed every minute of our time in Stonehaven.

"It is a wonderful thing to see people working from the heart and I am sure your event will be a true success." 

Chart-toppers Simple Minds will headline the concert on December 31 at the Market Square along with support acts.  Last Year the Red Hot Chilli Pipers were the main attraction, playing through The Bells.

This year's tickets sold out within days of them going on sale online and at Celtic Chords music shop in Barclay Street.

The singer was welcomed to Stonehaven by OAITS Committee chairman  David Lawman and committee members Michelle Ward and Lindsay Verstralen. He was greeted by Lathallan School pipe band and watched a fireball swinging demonstration by Lynn Callaghan whose dad Bill Emslie created the fiery basket specially for the occasion.

Lindsay said the organisers were slightly pinching themselves to make sure they were not dreaming.

Jim said: "I'm blown away by the chutzpah of this little place.  I like people who think big."

He also revealed many members of his family were keen to come to Stonehaven to enjoy the gig.

The event will cost more than £200,000 to stage and this year the organisers are looking for as much sponsorship as possible from local and national businesses, including the chance of company VIP packages.

Best known for their 1985 number one hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from the film The Breakfast Club,  Simple Minds evolved from a post-punk art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop group along the lines of U2.  The Glasgow band have achieved six No.1 albums in the UK as well hitting the top spot in countless other countries including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Boasting a career which spans more than three decades, they recently released "Celebrate – Greatest Hits +” which includes hit singles "Alive and Kicking", "Don't You (Forget About Me)", "Belfast Child" and "Promised You A Miracle". 

William Munro, Aberdeenshire Council's Area Manager for Kincardine & Mearns said: "I commend Stonehaven Festival and Events organisers for their vision with such an ambitious high profile event, really putting their town on a national stage.  "We look forward to working together with the community on this and other projects." The event is organised in tandem with the famous fireball swinging ceremony nearby in the Auld Toon's High Street.

Last year the Square Party attracted around 5,000 revellers.Michelle Ward, a leading figure behind the event, said Simple Minds had been on their wish list as soon as the committee started planning after last year's shindig and had been determined to sign them for the big night.

This year the family festival  will be spread over two days with a ceilidh on New Year's Day and other events.  It is also hoped to lay on bus transport from various outlying areas from Aberdeen to Montrose.

More details are available at:

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