Crowds gathered in Glasgow today to watch Scotland’s largest puppet come to life.
Standing at 10 metres tall, Storm wowed thousands in the city centre as part of Celtic Connections’ one off festival within the festival, Coastal Connections.
The puppet is designed to carry a message of putting the environment first, and protecting the seas and shorelines that carry so much rich folklore.
Eight puppeteers controlled every stride and movement of the puppet, which was hand made from recycled and natural materials.
Storm and the one day festival are two major live events marking Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, a year long celebration of the lifeblood that makes Scotland’s landscape so special.
Storm’s procession through the city centre was accompanied by a series of tracks by Scottish folk singer and musician Mairi Campbell and Dave Gray.
Watch Storm awaken LIVE right here on Facebook! Storm will walk through the streets of Glasgow this Saturday 18 January marking Coastal Connections Day officially open. If you can’t make it along to see the ten metre tall giant in person, you can watch the live stream here on our Facebook page instead! Tune in from 9am (GMT) to catch every moment of her in action.#storm2020 #ccfest2020 #ycw2020
Posted by Vision Mechanics on Saturday, 18 January 2020
Along the way, Storm was also joined by pop up performances from the Dileab choir and the Campbeltown Pipe Group.
The parade culminated in a dance performance on the steps of the Royal Concert Hall by students from Glasgow’s Kelvin College Performing Arts Programme in striking costumes carrying the bold “we make change” message.
The event was live streamed across Celtic Connections and Vision Mechanics channels capturing the atmosphere at the event on camera for those unable to be there in person with hundreds tuning in.
And here is STORM! Created by @VisionMechanics to celebrate #YCW2020, Storm will open our Coastal Connections Day this Saturday. She will wake up at the Clyde and make her way through the city to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall – route map to be published later today. #ccfest2020 pic.twitter.com/VxRT9yy2ge
— Celtic Connections (@ccfest) January 14, 2020
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “What an exciting way to kick off Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. Storm carries an important message of caring for and celebrating our oceans and their wildlife.
“I look forward to seeing her continue her journey around Scotland, giving communities a chance to celebrate their connections to our coastlines and to work together to protect our waters for future generations to enjoy.”
Talking about the success of Storm’s debut appearance, Vision Mechanics Artistic Director, Symon Macintyre, said: “Storm is the culmination of two years work, planning and making. Seeing her finally walk through Glasgow feels like a very exciting start to 2020.
“She’s come into her own and is making us all very proud already – try avoiding her blue eyes as she looks around and bears witness to the city! She’s here with a message about our oceans, a huge reminder of how we owe them everything and now is the time to stand up and protect Storm and her home. I must say thank you to the Year of Coast and Waters Team and Celtic Connections for hosting her.”
Celtic Connections Creative Producer, Donald Shaw, said: “Celtic Connections has always had strong links with the unique music and heritage of the seas, waters and shores of Scotland.
“Coastal Connections is a fantastic way to kick-start Scotland’s Years of Coasts and Waters, with musicians from more than 20 islands, coasts and peninsulas performing across the day for our festival within a festival.
“Storm has launched Coastal Connections in spectacular celebratory style, launching a vibrant, exciting day of celebrations and culture for the people of Glasgow.”
Storm’s debut appearance is one of 300 events featured in Celtic Connections 2020 programme which continues through to Sunday 2 February.
Plans for Storm to tour Scotland throughout the year are underway with a lineup of confirmed appearances including Falkirk, Skye and Oban expected to be announced in the coming weeks.