Global events team ready to create and deliver Glasgow 2014 Opening and Closing Ceremonies


August 11th, 2012

The leading global events agency behind some of the most memorable public events worldwide has been appointed to deliver the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Organising Committee of Glasgow 2014 can today (12 August) confirm it has awarded the contract to Jack Morton Worldwide, whose track record includes the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006, as well as the critically-acclaimed ceremonies at the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The agency was also tasked with delivering the live celebration sites at key locations across London for the Royal ‘Wedding of the Century’ of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Working with the Mayor of London’s Office, it created day-long live events around the capital for more than 200,000 people.

In collaboration with Glasgow 2014, Jack Morton Worldwide will now conceive, plan and deliver both the Opening Ceremony which takes place on 23 July, 2014 in front of a live audience of 60,000 at Celtic Park and the Closing Ceremony which will be held at Scotland’s National Stadium, Hampden Park, before a live audience of up to 44,000 on the 3rd August.

Both Ceremonies will be viewed by a potential international TV audience of more than one billion – an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland on a global stage and also to celebrate its relationship with the extended family of Commonwealth Nations.

Jack Morton Worldwide will have a budget of £14million to deliver both events and will soon begin the search for both established and emerging talents in Glasgow and across Scotland to help bring these iconic moments to life.

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremonies normally include:

  • The arrival of the Head of the Commonwealth
  • The Parade of Nations where Glasgow officially welcomes the Commonwealth Nations to the Games
  • The epic end of the Queen’s Baton Relay, which will visit every Commonwealth Nation before travelling throughout Scotland in the lead up to the Games
  • The arrival and welcome of thousands of athletes from across the Commonwealth.

The Closing Ceremony gives Glasgow, as host city and Scotland as host nation, the opportunity to leave a lasting image as the flag is handed over to the Gold Coast, hosts of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as create a celebratory atmosphere for athletes, spectators and volunteers.

Jack Morton Worldwide’s appointment follows an exhaustive procurement process to find a creative delivery partner able to produce these extraordinary and complex events.

Glasgow 2014 is keen maximise the opportunity represented by the Ceremonies to create a meaningful legacy for the city. It will also help link the domestic creative industries with their counterparts across the Commonwealth in a genuine cultural exchange programme.

A key highlight of Jack Morton Worldwide’s bid was the demonstration of its wealth of experience in supporting and working with local talent, and its commitment to helping Glasgow 2014 achieve its legacy aspirations.

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee said:

“The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games represent a unique and unprecedented opportunity to inspire national and international audiences with a dynamic and vibrant experience of Scotland.

“They are also one of the highlights of a Games and this investment has the potential to bring direct economic benefits to our creative industries, boosting jobs and contract opportunities in one of Scotland’s high-growth sectors.

“Jack Morton Worldwide has an impressive track record of culture, creativity and legacy and the profile they have created at global events speaks for itself.

“I forward to seeing plans now being developed further, particularly since it will be engaging with the creative sector in Scotland to make sure we truly showcase the country at its best.”

Dr Bridget McConnell, Director of Ceremonies, Culture and the Queen’s Baton Relay at Glasgow 2014, said:

“Glasgow and Scotland have the pride, passion, commitment and talent to produce Opening and Closing Ceremonies which showcase the very best of both city and nation to the world.

“What we are charged with delivering is a vision of both Glasgow and Scotland which reflects not only our outstanding cultural legacy, but the creative talent which, today, is recognised as being among the finest on a global stage.

“Glasgow’s track record in hosting successful, major events is second to none and I’ve no doubt that by marrying our cultural creativity with a leading global events producer, we will put on a show that lives long in the memory.”

Scottish Government Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said:

“As host of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland’s offer to the world and will be real highlights of the Games. I’m also pleased to see that this investment will bring benefits to our vibrant creative industries in the run-up to 2014.”

David Zolkwer, Director of Public Events, Jack Morton Worldwide and Head of Ceremonies for Glasgow 2014, said:

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Glasgow 2014 to deliver unique 21st Century Ceremonies that will capture the true spirit of the city and the region. I’m particularly looking forward to engaging with both the creative sector and the extended community to create Ceremonies that make Scotland proud and inspire the watching world.”

Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:

“The Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be tremendous events, with both occasions something to look forward to and savour. These are truly unique opportunities for Glasgow and Scotland to showcase what we can do, and given our success at the Closing Ceremony of Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, the strength or our creative and events sectors, and the experience and expertise of Jack Morton Worldwide, I am sure we are set for something very special.”

Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:

“The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony is a landmark occasion for the athletes as they march into the stadium and in being in front of a home crowd in 2014 will make this particularly special for Team Scotland. So I am particularly delighted that Jack Morton Worldwide, with their first class track record of staging such events, has been chosen by Glasgow 2014 for this important and prestigious role.

“The Opening Ceremony in particular sets the tone for the rest of the Games and I am confident that with their commitment to incorporating local talent, they will showcase the best of contemporary Scotland, set against our colourful history and traditions, at the same time embracing the values of the Commonwealth as we welcome the other 70 nations, regions and territories to Glasgow.”