Battling over Bannockburn Live event

I have asked VisitScotland for my money back following the Bannockburn Live vent. I list the day’s events for the Buchanan family.

11:10am – Depart Glasgow.

12pm – Join queue of traffic to gain access to parking near Bannockburn Live site.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

12:35pm – Pay £7 for access to car park; no stewards to 
direct drivers to available spaces; find space in parking area after driving round fields where there are no available spaces.

12:45pm to 1:30pm – Wait in queue to purchase tickets; queue formed to the south of ticket booth for tickets; people arriving from the north joining ahead of those waiting.

1:35pm – No concessions for non-waged; those in retirement and those in further education pay full price.

1:36pm – Pay £101.80 for entry.

1:40pm – Wander round venue to find face painting, tents for clans, food and beer tents, live stage; re-enactment of battle, small stage.

1:50pm – Note 20 or so children in queue for face-painting; what seemed like thousands waiting in queues for food; thousands queuing to gain access to re-enactment of battle.

1:55pm – Part of the group start waiting for burgers; two of us set off to find stimulation for child aged six.

2:20pm – Find no children’s activities bar face-painting; no children’s tents bar one commercial vendor selling foam axes and swords; refused access to re-enactment area where wooden swords and shields are said to be on sale; access denied because of the queuing in place for entry to re-enactment area.

2:25pm – Return to group to discuss options; from the lack of movement in the burger queue, estimated time to front of queue another 45 minutes.

2:30pm – Talk to stewards; told that it is about two-hour wait to gain access to re-
enactment area – with no guarantee that we will see the re-enactment.

2:35pm – Ask to speak to someone in management; told at media tent that there would be no names and addresses given out, but that my personal details would be noted for the purposes of a reply to my complaint: that the event was so poorly organised and managed that I consider that I have received nothing in return for my £108.80.

2:40pm – Leave venue.

Stuart Buchanan

Newton Mearns


I attended the Bannockburn Live event on Sunday with my family, and I have to say that your front page coverage of the event (30 June) bears no resemblance to my experience of the day. It was quite simply a wonderful
day out.

The atmosphere was very laid-back and happy. The speakers, music, entertainment and food was all fantastic. The sun shone for most of the day, which allowed people to sit on the grass to listen to the music and have picnics.

We did not have to queue long to get into the car park, and the cars were always moving. We did not have to queue to get in. We had bought our tickets in advance.

The longest waits we had for food and at the bars were about ten minutes, which we did not think unreasonable.

We never had to queue for the toilets. We did queue for about half an hour to see the battle re-enactment, but the sun shone, and we blethered to people around us.

It was not a huge problem, and it certainly did not spoil our day in any way. Perhaps that aspect of the day could have been organised differently – not sure how.

I have certainly queued longer at rugby matches, the Highland Show on occasions and theme parks. Is Wimbledon not famous for the queues that develop?

I’m sorry if people did not enjoy Bannockburn Live on Saturday. Sunday was brilliant, and I think your own journalist Fiona Shepherd summed it up well. It was a “grand family day out”.

Christina Oliver

Arbirlot Road


Three of us attended the Bannockburn Live event on Sunday and I do not recognise your description of chaos. We arrived at about 11:30am, were dropped off at the entrance by car, without delay or problem, strolled through the entrance gates without stopping and wandered around the site freely.

We attended the 2pm battle re-enactment, going through the entrance gate at about 1:30pm, and easily found a space, with an excellent view, and no over- crowding. I did not hear anyone grumbling or complaining, and, unless I had wanted steak, the queues for food and drink seemed modest. I waited no more than three minutes to be served drinks.

We shared a picnic table, with a view of Stirling Castle past the statue of Bruce, with an Australian and an American who both said they were enjoying the event.

The participants in the battle re-enactment were genuine enthusiasts who were happy to chat and answer questions after their performance. Those we spoke to were very knowledgeable about the history of the event they were portraying.

All in all, an excellent and relaxing day out in a good- natured, sober, family atmosphere.

John Chalmers