Famous for his shiny noggin and trademark pink, black leather or Irn-Bru tartan kilts; Comedian Craig Hill flew into Inverness (Tuesday October 18th) to launch the 2011 Inverness Festivals five hour Hogmanay Party “The Red Hot Highland Fling” which he will be hosting on December 31st in Northern Meeting Park Arena on the banks of the River Ness.

Inverness Festivals LARGE1 thumb - Inverness Hogmanay 2011/2012 line up announced

Describing the whole event as having the potential to become a world famous“Mardi Gras with frost”; Hill admitted that “being offered the opportunity of being flungover in the Highlands had made his whole week” when he had been called by his agent.

Craig burst onto the comedy scene 11 years ago with a brilliant blend of gags and musical parody that saw him become a hit not only at the Fringe, but also in the many halls and theatres across Scotland where even the most well-hyped festival stars often fail to impress.His delightfully fizzy tone and sharp observational jokes, combined with his stage style, saw him become a darling of Scottish television over the last decade, and he spent several years fronting huge TV events such as Hogmanay parties and T in the Park.

Musically this year’s Fling features a fourth band for the first time in the events history and the show will start half an hour early at 8pm in order to give the crowd an extra special night to remember. Opening the show will be one of the Highlands hottest new bands Hoodja who were the stars of July’s Inverness Bunkers Festival and they will be followed by Bags of Rock; an exciting Celtic / Rock crossover band fronted by by former Red Hot Chilli Piper’s frontman Gregor ‘G-man’ James. You can see more of the band at ywww.bagsofrock.com.

Traditionally the top of the bill spot at the family friendly Red Hot Highland Fling goes to the band in the 10pm slot, in order to enable parents to get the younger members of the audience home in time for the bells, and this year the legendary Wolfstone have been chosen to turn up the heat. Since they were founded in 1989, Wolfstone have played Highland music combined with rock and roll to the delight of festival audiences everywhere and and fiddler Duncan Chisholm has promised to deliver an unforgettable set selected from their repertoire of original songs and traditional folk classics for what the band regard as a Homecoming Hogmanay gig.

Closing the show, on either side of a fireworks display to welcome in 2012, will be Skerryvore. Described as “…a living, breathing, 12-legged party waiting to happen” the band from the Isle of Tiree in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides features blazing bagpipes, fiddles and accordions and the mesmerising voice of singer Alec Daglish.

Provost Jimmy Gray said “ We may not be staging the biggest Hogmanay Party that Scotland will see this year, but thanks to the wonderful atmosphere that’s going to be created by our talented performers and the people of Inverness, I have a suspicion that we might be getting close to staging the best. The Inverness Festivals team have done a great job in delivering another red hot line up for our community to enjoy”

The Red Hot Highland Fling will return to the Northern Meeting Park at Hogmanay.

Need a taxi to get you there, call Happy Cabbies on 01463 717777


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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs