Highlands & Islands

Public 'expect' high profile events in Highlands

Singer Amy MacDonald
Image caption Singer Amy MacDonald is among Belladrum's headline acts this year

People in the Highlands have higher expectations that the region should be hosting events of a high profile and standard, according to a new report.

The RockNess and Belladrum festivals along with concerts by Sir Elton John, Rod Stewart and the Proclaimers have been held in the last five years.

Highland Council officials said this had led to "great expectations" among the public for quality events.

They said festivals and performances were also important to the economy.

The report comes as the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival opens near Beauly. It headline acts include singer Amy MacDonald and the band Feeder.

Events coming up include performances by Westlife and contestants from ITV's X Factor singing contest at Cawdor Castle, near Nairn.

The past five years have also seen Runrig play at Drumnadrochit and the Proclaimers perform in Bught Park in Inverness.

Highland Council also hosts summer and winter festivals.

Scotland's Housing Expo - an exhibition of more than 50 innovative properties in Inverness - was another event flagged up as another key crowd-puller.

In the report to next week's Inverness City Committee, officers said the events were important to the local economy.

They said: "Approximately 30,000 people attended the RockNess music festival which was held over a period of three days.

"The Belladrum music festival is also going to attract approximately 12,000 people.

"These events bring significant economic benefit to much of the city with many of the hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, and shops doing good business."

They added: "The other more intangible benefit is through the raising of the Highlands as a place to hold events.

"The more events that take place the greater the interest from promoters."

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