Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – Opening Ceremony

I want to start by saying: WOW. Despite the chronic Glaswegian moaning on both Facebook and Twitter, I have absolutely loved the buzz surrounding the Commonwealth Games and in particular, the opening ceremony. I wasn’t one of the thousands in the crowd at Parkhead Stadium, but I was lucky enough to be in the crowd at the BBC studios at the Glasgow Quay.

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I’m always attracted to shiny things!

My friends and I met up on Argyle Street and walked round to the venue. The sun was splitting the trees and showed off the city and Scotland in its best possible light. We crossed the squinty bridge with its views of the river Clyde, the city, the quay, SECC and SSE Hydro and the iconic Finneston crane. It was a gorgeous walk in the sunshine – along with many other excited people adorned with t-shirts, flags and so much excitement.

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We arrived at the studies and queued for a fair while – the queue went right round the corner and we couldn’t see how long it actually was – but judging by the crowd inside later it must’ve been pretty long! Every time the line moved you felt the excitement in the crowd! When we got inside, this is what the venue was set up like for us:

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We started off with the bar, well because that’s what Glaswegians do. When in Rome, eh? We then properly started off the night by going to the main outdoor stage to see the live acts. The show was presented by the least funny comedian I’ve ever encountered (his only material for about 10 minutes was asking where people were from) but if it turns out I’m wrong and he isn’t actually a comedian I will take this back. Finally, the live acts kicked into action!

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The show kicked off with a cheerleading squad which took me back to my days of being obsessed with Bring It On – AH SAID, BRRRRR! ITS COLD IN HERE! (I couldn’t resist.)

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Then we moved onto Soul Nation who performed funky tunes and soulful sing-a-long songs – they were amazing! I loved their rendition of ‘Higher and Higher’ as well as their Commonwealth song ‘Rise Up’. Everyone was swaying, clapping and then full blown dancing by the end. My friends who have me on Snapchat certainly enjoyed their snaps!

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My second favourite part of the whole night: The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. What an amazing performance!

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The cover of ‘We Will Rock You’ was good fun!

I have seen videos of them on YouTube and loved it, but seeing them live was just amazing! Take a look at my Instagram to see my video clips of them performing. It doesn’t hurt that they’re a not bad looking bunch of fellas in kilts!

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We then moved on to the big screen to watch the ceremony itself. There were deck chairs available to sit on, but most of us stood and watched.

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In a way I’m glad I was at this viewing instead of the actual ceremony as the screen lets you see details and hear properly. We got to watch the Red Arrows fly above Parkhead, and then excitedly wait the 30 seconds for them to come fly over us, and watch them fade beautifully into the distance.

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My two favourite moments were both entertaining in their own ways, but also completely and utterly Scottish (if not purely Glaswegian).

1. Nicola Benedetti playing Loch Lomond (a song that gets me emotional and I tend to cry at it at the best of times) on her violin and the entire crowd at the Quay singing along. It was one of those ‘huge group of strangers coming together’ type of beautiful moments.

2. When Prince Imran of Malaysia, the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, came on stage and some guy shouted “Oaft, Prince has let himsel’ go!” – it was hilarious! That coupled with his struggle with the baton and the friendly banter of people shouting “Ye had ONE job!” – Glasgow humour at its absolute best!

Generally, watching the event amongst a great crowd – and of course the beautiful weather ended the day in a beautiful sunset; with a cold wine in my hand, it was a beautiful thing!

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There is always a downside to every story, and mine is that I found an amazing place to stand and film the arrival of the baton to the Quay and catch the sparklers going off. As with any fantastic place to stand for photographs, you’re probably violating the security rules. I managed to get this great filming spot, zoomed in perfectly, kept a steady hand and avoid being moved by security. This wonderful video….oh no, I didn’t press record, did I? Devastation.

My battery died before I could shoot the fireworks as well, but to be honest it gave me a rare experience of not watching such exciting beauty through a lens and I stood at the side of the Clyde and just enjoyed that moment.

Well done Glasgow – what a truly fantastic show. Ignore the haters. I loved it, especially Karen Dunbar and the dancing tea cakes!

Reminder: I hope you’ve voted for me in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, and have entered my competition to win a Bowmore Whisky set! CLICK HERE!

2 thoughts on “Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – Opening Ceremony

  1. Can’t believe Glasgow didn’t make Chilli Pipers the central feature of the opening ceremony – visited Scotland a couple of years ago and came across them by accident – spent the rest of the trip around your wonderful country listening to them on car CD: how iconic and modern, also fantastic musicians…have since purchased more CD’s & their DVD. Who’s going to promote them to the world if you don’t? They should come to Womadelaide!
    Great that you all had such fantastic games!

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    • They definitely should’ve been performing at the ceremonies – I’m glad they weren’t as I got to see them live, but they’re amazing and show off our traditional music in a modern way like you said! You should tweet them and see if they’ll go – they jet set all over!

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