On the 4th September 2016, a unique and special gathering took place in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. Scotcon – a non-profit organization geared towards all things Scottish – were the worthy hosts of such a celebration. Heritage, honour and history go hand-in-hand with the word Scotland – so much so that many travel far and wide just to savour a snippet of it. The idea behind this momentous celebration was to have a conglomeration of all things Scottish under one roof. Consider it the ultimate toast and a way to truly raise a glass to this bonnie brave land.
Many have a romantic view of the Scots, which undoubtedly stems from the colourful history, rich heritage and vibrant cultural traditions still practiced today. Some paint the Scots as a superhero archetype. With this in mind, it is quite surprising that such an event has not already occurred. However, Scotcon happens to be the only and very first Scottish convention of such magnitude in Scotland. This could seem ironic considering the many countries that celebrate Highland Games or feature Scottish historical reenactments at Renaissance Festivals.
A mental snapshot of the Scotcon festivities appears like a scene straight from the popular television series Outlander. This image is actually spot-on, considering the fact that certain members of the Outlander cast were in fact present. The day kicked off with a riveting panel discussion from cast members Steven Cree, Graham McTavish, Grant O’Rourke, Clive Russell and Stephen Walters. Fans were delighted to partake in the Outlander cast ‘selfie session’, autograph signings, and meet-and-greet. The Youth Theatre Arts Scotland also gave a stunning performance of re-enactments inspired by this epic show.
Multiple Scotcon-goers appeared dressed to the nines in their full Scottish finery. Those feeling left out (due to the lack of kilt) could join in the shenanigans and delight in the impressive array of tartans and tweed items for sale. The celebration really covered all bases from Outlander Herbal Lip Balm and Eau De Parfum workshops to Gaelic 101, and a Clanadonia event. Metal clanked and crowds stood awestruck at the riveting sword fight demonstration from the immensely talented members of the Glasgow Academy of Historical Arts. Feet thumped on the floor as the Highland Dance competition kicked off in full swing. Hands clapped and voices cheered over The Eightsome Reel and Gay Gordons during the ceilidh dance lessons. The list goes on.
Ultimately, Scotcon was an absolute success – it was a celebration of all things Scottish, from her heritage to history, land, culture, traditions and, of course, people. This glorious gathering was an enthralling event for all and also extremely beneficial for many local charities. The festivities ended with a ceilidh fit for all the clans and was certainly a shindig to remember.
By Tori Chalmers