Simple Minds have just four days to go...

Jim Kerr launches Open Air in the Square at Dunnottar Castle last week
Jim Kerr launches Open Air in the Square at Dunnottar Castle last week

Announced back in May, launched in June, a police objection and a mad dash for last minute sponsors...Open Air in the Square is finally upon us.

Eyes around the globe will be on Stonehaven and more than 6000 revellers will descend up the town with tickets for one of the biggest events in Kincardine and Mearns.

With four days to go, it’s been full steam ahead for the Open Air in the Square committee to get everything ready for the event.

Chair Michelle Ward told the Mearns Leader what it was like to be in the home straight for the event.

She said: “You have no idea how thrilled we are to be only four days away from bringing one of Scotland’s home grown global legends to our wee town - Stonehaven.

‘‘We are absolutely excited to be working with Stonehaven Fireballs once again to bring you the second largest Hogmanay event in Scotland.

“Simple Minds finally caved in after four months of negotiating, we then had the magnificent launch at Dunnottar Castle - selling out within a week - and we thought we had it in the bag.

“Then, boom, we had a police objection to overcome, that cost us four crucial months. We had to cancel all our fundraising activities, we missed grant application deadlines and lost our sponsors.

“At the beginning of October we were facing a £100k deficit, but we didn’t give up, we were committed to delivering this event and there was no way we were going to embarrass Stonehaven or the North-east by cancelling this event so we carried on.

‘‘We have managed to reduce most of the deficit but we are extremely grateful to Simple Minds and our production team who have been behind us every step of this journey.

“We are very grateful and humbled by the people of Stonehaven, local business and community groups and the media. We saw the whole town come together in support of this event when we were facing our difficulties and this is what motivated us to carry on.

“Above all our biggest debt of gratitude must be to Stonehaven Fireballs, who actually launched the public campaign in our support.

“We would also like to thank CP Cases and Stork who have come forward as 11th hour sponsors and, of course, Aberdeenshire Council - especially Willie Munro, Susan Odlin and Peter Robertson - who have gone beyond the call of duty and supported us throughout. We would also like to thank all 12 cuncillors for their support.