On 14 July 1990, over 30,000 people gathered in Stirling to celebrate A Day for Scotland. Held in Fallen Inch Field, in the shadow of Stirling Castle, this huge outdoor family friendly festival combined music, politics, theatre and comedy under the theme of national pride.
Organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress and Stirling District Council, headliners included Runrig, Hue & Cry, Deacon Blue and The Shamen; as well as folk luminaries such as Dick Gaughan and Hamish Henderson.
30 years on, Stirling University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Scottish Political Archive are hosting an online event on Tuesday 14 July to commemorate A Day for Scotland’s important role in Scottish political history. Speakers include Festival Organiser Lisa Whytock, musician Pat Kane from Hue and Cry, cultural critic and journalist Stewart Smith and Dr Peter Lynch from the Scottish Political Archive.
Dr Peter Lynch said: “Billed as ‘a Festival for Our Future’, A Day for Scotland was a key event not only for Stirling, but in linking popular culture and politics in the campaign for a Scottish parliament. Organised by the STUC and Stirling District Council, flyers promised ‘a positive celebration of Scottish life — which says we must decide our future — no-one else!’ The political overtones were unmissable and raised a stir. Not least with the local MP, Michael Forsyth, a Scottish Office minister in the Thatcher government. Controversy and all, the event was widely viewed as a major success.”
Dr Scott Hames of the University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities added: “Cultural activism played a key role in the campaign for devolution, and A Day for Scotland is a fascinating example. It gave the STUC and pro-devolution campaigners a chance to connect with a much greater audience outside of party politics and a means to connect with young people and communities through the voices of musicians. It also paved the way for large pop concerts at Stirling Castle from the mid-1990s.”
The event organisers hope the commemorative event will inspire people across Scotland to share their own memories and photos of the day with them.
Archivist Sarah Bromage said: “Our A Day for Scotland collection includes photographs, leaflets, backstage passes and even a Festival hoodie! We are really looking forward to sharing these and to hearing people’s memories of the day; as well as hopefully collecting more photographs and other artefacts for the archive. You can send us your memories at firstname.lastname@example.org”
To book a free place at the event visit Eventbrite.