Sporran dig removed as Highland games go digital


Visitors to this year’s Aboyne Highland Games will have more space in their sporrans thanks to the introduction of online ticket sales for the popular annual event.

Advance ticket sales for the August event on Royal Deeside have been introduced in response to changing consumer buying behavior and to improve efficiency at the gates on match day. Digital passes will mean visitors won’t have to dig deep in their sporrans for change to pay for entrance tickets.

Tickets purchased online cost £11.50 plus booking fee for an adult and £3 plus booking fee for children over five. Children under five will continue to be admitted free. People ordering tickets online will receive a QR code which will be scanned at the entrance to the playground.

As a special offer, the organizers have launched an early bird discount for visitors who purchase digital tickets. No booking fee will be charged on the first 2,000 tickets sold online, offering visitors a modest saving on the cost of adult and child tickets.

In addition to purchasing tickets online, visitors can also purchase copies of the event’s souvenir program at a discounted rate. Copies of the program can then be collected during the games.

Tickets will be available at the door on the day, with debit card or cash payments accepted. Entrance prices on match day will be £13 for adults and £4 for children over five.
Taking place on Saturday 6th August, on the Village Green, Aboyne, the Aboyne Highland Games are one of the highlights of Aberdeenshire’s summer events calendar. Now in its 155th year, the games welcome up to 10,000 visitors from around the world to enjoy a program of 95 traditional events, which includes Highland dancing, bagpipe and solo fiddle competitions, bagpipes, light and heavy athletics, tug of war and a hill climb.

Crowds watch the massed groups at the start of the 2019 Aboyne Highland Games (Picture: Harry Scott/Deeside Camera Club)

Alistair Grant, Chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said: “Aboyne Highland Games has always moved with the times and the introduction of online ticket sales is a further illustration of this. It reflects the evolution of consumer shopping in recent years and increases everyone’s efficiency and safety. Plus, it gets rid of that clumsy digging at the bottom of a sporran for change, where you end up scooping out the contents to get your hands on the coins.

“Tickets will continue to be available at the gates on match day, just as they have been since an entry fee was introduced in 1920. Where possible I would encourage people to go digital with their tickets this year and save a bit of money in the process – especially with the early bird discount.

“Everyone involved with Aboyne Highland Games is looking forward to welcoming people back to the games in August. With all the traditional events, around 80 trade stalls showcasing local produce and crafts, the famous clan village and a funfair, it really is a great summer day out for the whole family.

Founded in 1867, Barked The Highland Games are traditional Scottish games held annually on the first Saturday in August. The Aberdeenshire event, organized under the patronage of Granville Gordon, on the 13and Marquis of Huntly, draws crowds of up to 10,000 people each year. With a program of traditional Highland games events, including Highland dances, caber, bagpipe and fiddle competitions, the event on the town green attracts visitors from around the world and makes a significant contribution to the local economy of Deeside.

For more information or to purchase digital tickets for the Aboyne Highland Games 2022, visit www.aboynegames.com and click on “Buy tickets”.

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Jennifer R. Strohm