Follow VisitScotland

The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert launches with arts and music extravaganza

Press release   •   Jul 18, 2014 14:05 BST

The European and USA Ryder Cup teams will head a showpiece event including top music acts, a full orchestra and Scotland’s major arts bodies to create a truly unique, once in a lifetime concert. Plus, more exciting names still to be announced!

Organisers of The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, DF Concerts & Events on behalf of VisitScotland, announced today (15th July) that Jake Bugg, Texas, Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt, Eddi Reader and Midge Ure will join Scottish Ballet, RSNO, NTS and Scottish Opera as the first names to be announced for The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert. Today’s announcement will whet the appetites of culture fans with further additions as well as a headline act still to be announced.

As golf fans from across the globe gather in Scotland to experience The 2014 Ryder Cup (23-28 September), top names in golf, music and the arts will unite for one evening only to create an unmissable and extraordinary event.

On Wednesday 24 September, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will play host to an awe-inspiring fusion of vibrant colour, stunning production and spectacular performances for the one-off The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert.

Curated by celebrated Creative Director Kim Gavin, whose portfolio includes the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, Take That Progress Live Tour (2011) and the Concert for Diana (2007); world renowned talent from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland will share the stage for the first time with contemporary artists and select acts will perform unique collaborations with a full orchestra from the RSNO. With very special artists still to be announced, today’s news gives an insight into one of the most exciting shows ever staged in Scotland.

Flashes of fashion, bespoke short films and never-before-seen live performances will build the tension and excitement around The 2014 Ryder Cup as the audience is introduced to the European and USA Teams, meeting for the first time live on stage alongside captains, Paul McGinley and Tom Watson.

The Concert is a signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme and celebrates the start of The 2014 Ryder Cup which takes place 23-28 September and is supported by EventScotland, the national events agency and a directorate of VisitScotland, and Ryder Cup Europe.

A much-anticipated event in the sporting calendar, this year, The 2014 Ryder Cup returns to Scotland for the first time in more than 40 years and only the second time in its history.

At the age of just twenty, Jake Bugg is one of British music’s hottest properties. The singer/songwriter released his self-titled debut album, in late 2012 and hit the number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. Since then, it has been certified Platinum in the UK. A stunning live performer, Jake’s hits include ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Two Fingers’ and he was the penultimate artist to headliners Arctic Monkeys at this year’s T in the Park festival.

Having sold over 35 million albums to date, Texas are one of Scotland’s most successful musical exports and hitmakers. Collaborating with the RSNO for the first time, the audience will see the band perform a selection of their hits as they’ve never been seen before in the UK.

Almost three years and over 300 gigs since the release of their silver-selling, debut album, ‘Free’, catapulted them from clubs to sold-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and the Main Stage at T in the Park, with new album, ‘Great Divide’, Radio 1 favourites Twin Atlantic have made a mainstream record that marries their incredible energy live with a more mature approach to songwriting that acknowledges their long-held love of pop.

Lead singer Sam McTrusty managed to get his hands on the Ryder Cup trophy and had this to say, “I’ve just been holding the Ryder Cup! Golf has been part of my life longer than music has and in more of a personal way. But golf has really taught me lots – everything I’ve learned from golf I’ve then put into being in a band. You don’t stand on the tee and hit the ball straight 330 yards without practising for years before that.

“After holding that trophy, I feel… accomplished, man! Honestly, I’m a bit spoilt and I get to play a lot of big shows every year now. But that was a once in a lifetime opportunity”

One of Scotland’s most exciting new talents, Nina Nesbitt, joins the bill, adding a touch of glamour. The ‘selfies’ singer has gained a huge fanbase whilst taking her sun soaked folk-pop around the globe and debut album ‘Peroxide’ charted at Number 11  in the UK. 

Known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career, Eddi Reader is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts. In 2003 she showcased the works of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns and is one of Scotland’s best loved talents.

Midge Ure is perhaps best known for writing Vienna when he was lead singer with Ultravox continues to perform around the world and is recognised as the musical force behind Live Aid. Plus, Danny Wilson will reform especially for the evening to perform ‘Mary's Prayer’.

Even bigger names will be unveiled over the coming weeks and the concert is set to have the flavour of The Brits meets The Proms.  Select solo performers will be backed by a house band led by Mike Stevens, who is musical director for Take That and Gary Barlow and writes with Annie Lennox.

Bringing together four of Scotland’s national arts bodies for the first time under the roof of a world class venue, The Ryder Cup Gala Concert will delight and astound.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is Scotland’s national symphonic ensemble and is one of the country’s five National Performing Companies. Representing Scotland around the world, The RSNO is made up of some of the country’s most talented classical musicians and throughout its history, has played an integral part in Scotland’s musical life, including performing at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament building in 2004.

For the first time live on stage at the SSE Hydro, Scottish Ballet, Scotland's national dance company will perform a passionate duet sequence from Jealousy. Choreographed by James Cousins, winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award set up by director and choreographer Matthew Bourne OBE, Jealousy is a powerful duet, set to the haunting melody ‘O God protect me’ from experimental composer Ben Frost.

Jealousy takes its inspiration from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel written from the viewpoint of a man who suspects his wife of adultery. Jealousy offers an intimate viewpoint of a passionate and obsessive relationship, and will be performed by Scottish Ballet principal dancer Sophie Martin and soloist Victor Zarallo.

National Theatre of Scotland will present an excerpt of critically acclaimed show, ‘Glasgow Girls’.  Based on a true story, Glasgow Girls follows a group of seven teenage girls whose lives are changed forever when they arrive at school one day to be told that one of their friends - and her asylum seeking family - have been forcibly taken from their home to be deported. Sunday Express recently described it as “staged and performed with an integrity that makes it the most politically engaged and enraged British musical since Blood Brothers, but it is even more raw and heart-breaking because it is entirely true.”

Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Andrew McTaggart will perform Dark Island, a traditional Scottish song, arranged and accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark.

The RSNO will also be playing a selection of the works of renowned composer Craig Armstrong, providing the soundtrack to a bespoke short film created by Kim Gavin, especially for the audience on the night. Armstrong's score for William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet earned him a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music and an Ivor Novello. His composition for Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge! earned him the 2001 American Film Institute’s composer of the Year award, a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and a BAFTA. Armstrong was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Original Score in 2004 for the biopic Ray.

The evening will be set in the impressive surroundings of Glasgow’s brand new Hydro Arena, which has already played host to some of the biggest names in the world of music and offers the perfect space to showcase this exquisite event.

Kim Gavin, Executive Producer of the show said, “The Ryder Cup is one of the most exciting events in the sporting calendar and to have the opportunity to work on two of the biggest sporting events in the world (Ryder Cup and London 2012 Closing Ceremony) is a dream come true for me. What’s really exciting about working on this show is the fusion of live music and culture plus I’m a huge sports fan too so this ticks all the boxes. It’s going to be a really special night”.

Said Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts & Events, “When we first discussed the concept for The 2014 Ryder Cup Gala Concert, a stand out objective was to put on a show that Scotland had never seen before and was as unique as the Ryder Cup event itself. Working with Kim and one of the world’s leading production Managers Chris Vaughn to turn the vision into reality has been a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to see it all come to life when September rolls around! Golf, music and arts fans alike are in for an incredible evening of entertainment”. 

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop said: "The 2014 Ryder Cup is a once-in-a- generation opportunity to see Scotland host one of the biggest sporting events in the world which will also leave behind a lasting legacy for Scotland.  I'm delighted that the state of the art Hydro Arena will play host to the Gala Concert and the exciting line up performing during this signature event within the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme will undoubtedly showcase Scotland on the world's stage."

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, lead agency for delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup on behalf of Scotland, said:

“The 2014 Ryder Cup is an incredibly exciting, important event for Scotland, so we had to create a celebration concert that was unique, bringing together in one place the culture, history and sporting tradition of our remarkable country.  The concept of merging the classical with the contemporary is inspired, stirring the audience to embrace all sides of Scottish culture, and of course, golf is a huge part of that. 

“The 2014 Ryder Cup will enhance and showcase Scotland as the ’Home of Golf’, and with its broadcast  reach of a staggering 183 countries across the world, it will inspire a generation not just to play golf on our shores, but experience all that our country has to offer from  events to business to leisure.  The legacy is infinite.”

Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director said: “The Gala Concert is the curtain-raiser for The 2014 Ryder Cup and is the first chance to welcome the players of the European Team and the USA Team to Scotland.

“Bringing together the country’s proud golfing heritage with a variety of Scotland’s most celebrated musical and cultural artists, this event offers something for everyone and presents a unique opportunity to sample the special atmosphere of The Ryder Cup.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx