Don’t you want me Stoney? ask OAITS organisers

The stage has been getting assembled this week for Open Air in the Square

The stage has been getting assembled this week for Open Air in the Square

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Organisers of the Stonehaven Open Air in the Square Hogmanay concert have made a last appeal to keep the event going, after it was revealed that slow ticket sales almost led to the event being cancelled.

The small group of volunteers who organise the event, along with family members and friends came up with money from their own pockets to pay costs at the beginning of this week, and they have said that, while the ‘show will go on’ for this year, more sales are needed to ensure the future of the annual event.

With only one day to go there are still tickets left for Stonehaven’s Open Air In The Square starring 80s pop icons The Human League, award-winning folk group The Peatbog Faeries, X Factor contestant Emily Middlemas, Scots singer/songwriter Carrie Mac and popular radio DJ Harry Butler.

The volunteers have also appealed for a benefactor or sponsor to help out with covering costs if there is to be a shortfall.

A spokesperson said today: “Last year with Simple Minds we sold out in record time but this year it has been a good bit slower. We are a wee bit disappointed tickets did not fly off the shelves quicker but there is still time to join the fun by buying tickets up until tomorrow night.

“If we had sold all the tickets the there would have been a bit of a surplus which would have been good news. We have been sellling tickets all over the UK but for some unknown reason people in the immediate area have been holding off.

“Once again the small band of dedicated committee members have worked so very hard to bring this huge event off for the benefit of the town and it would be a real shame if we did not sell out and cover the massive costs involved in staging a bumper party like this. People don’t seem to understand the amount of time, effort and stress for a small group of ordinary people organising something on this scale.

“But between this, the Fireballs in the old town, the fairground at the leisure centre car park, ceilidhs and other events we have put Stonehaven on the map as one of the top fives places in the UK to celebrate the New Year.”

The spokesperson added: “Throughout the year we, as a charity, have organised fundraising events, sold advertising and applied for grants to help meet the substantial bills we face but it is an uphill struggle trying to make ends meet. That’s why we would ask any individual, businesses or organisations in the area to help us out financially.

“We have provided brilliant Hogmanay fun for tens of thousands of revellers over the past few years and it would be a huge pity if we could not carry on through lack of support.”

Tickets are still available online at www.oaits.org and at Ma Simpson’s music shop in Evan Street, Stonehaven where there is no booking fee. They will also be available at Number 44 (the Royal Hotel, Stonehaven) today (Tuesday) and on Hogmanay.

The three members of The Human League, who were propelled back into the charts this year by AFC fans adapting “Don’t You Want Me Baby” to “Peter Pawlett Baby”, recently said they were really looking forward to giving the crowd a great time at Stonehaven Square on Hogmanay.

On her first visit to the town, teenage singer Emily said: “I am so so excited about coming to Stonehaven on Hogmanay. It’s a lovely place and the people are so friendly.

“Since X Factor I had been busy nearly every day of the week but I can’t wait for Stonehaven at New Year. I have been listening to The Human League and will definitely be joining the crowd singing along to ‘Peter Pawlett Baby’.”

Transport group First is laying on special buses from Aberdeen to Stonehaven on Hogmanay and also from Forfar, Brechin, Laurencekirk, Montrose and Inverbervie.

The fun fair will be operating near the beach through to New Year’s Day with everything from dodgems to waltzers. There will also be a number of mini rides for little ones and a selection of side stalls.