Music legends Simple Minds will be headlining Open Air in the Square

OAITS 2013
OAITS 2013

The headline act for this year’s Open Air in the Square event in Stonehaven has been announced as 80’s chart toppers Simple Minds.

The Glasgow band, who shot to fame with their number one hit “Don’t you forget about me” will headline the Market Square party - which runs in tandem with Stonehaven’s world famous Fireballs ceremony on December 31.

Last year the event attracted 5000 revellers from home and abroad when the Red Hot Chilli Pipers topped the bill. This year it is hoped Simple Minds will attract even more people.

A Simple Minds spokesman said the group were looking forward to celebrating New Year with their fans at the home of the unique Fireballs swinging festival.

Spokesman for Stonehaven Festivals and Events Committee, David Lawman, described having the band headline as a “dream come true.”

He said: “We are thrilled and delighted these music legends have agreed to come to Stonehaven for our big Hogmanay party.

“Last year when we revealed our plans, they said it couldn’t be done. But with a great deal of effort from our small but dedicated team of volunteers, we pulled it off in grand style, staging a Hogmanay party that was a complete sell-out and second only to Edinburgh.

“This year we will be bigger and better ... and once again help boost Stonehaven’s economy. Already two of the town’s hotels are fully booked and requests for tickets have been received from the USA and Europe and we hope to provide all age groups with a memorable night.”

The event will cost more than £200,000 to stage and the organisers are looking for as much sponsorship as possible from local and national businesses, including the chance of company VIP packages.

As a bonus to locals 1000 tickets are to be released at Stonehaven’s Feein’ Market this Saturday (June 1) at the reduced price of £20. After that tickets will be £30 plus booking fee. There will also be 500 children’s tickets for 12’s and under on sale at £15. After the Feein’ Market these tickets will also have a booking fee applied.

On June 2 the price will go back to £30 plus booking fee. From June 3 tickets will be available online at and from Celtic Chords music shop in Stonehaven’s Barclay Street.

The organisers also intend having support acts to keep the party swinging until Simple Minds take the stage. This year the family festival will be spread over two days with a celidh on New Year’s Day and other events. It is also hoped to lay on bus transport from various outlying areas from Aberdeen to Montrose.

Simple Minds are frontman Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie and Ged Grimes. They evolved from a post-punk art rock band influenced by Roxy Music into a grand, epic-sounding pop group.

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