Bannockburn Live was a disappointing event, but that was partially the fault of the customers. That is the opinion of someone who attended the day on Sunday June 29, 2014, and witnessed the queues for many of the different events.
Those who attended first thing on the Sunday would have been able to do everything. They would have gotten into see the battle re-enactment, and then seen the various events happening around the venue. However, there was always the thought of “it can be done later.” In hindsight, that was certainly the wrong opinion to have, as it then meant queuing for three or more hours in the hope that spaces would still be left on the re-enactment.
However, it was not completely the customers’ faults. The organizers do have questions to answer. One of those is why were timings for re-enactments not put on the tickets? The tickets cost £22, and allowed entrance into one battle re-enactment. It would have made much more sense for the event organizers to state the timing on the ticket for the customers, instead of leaving it to chance and finding that everyone wanted to see the 2pm or 4pm showings, rather than the noon ones. It may have also been better having more showings rather than just the six over the course of the weekend, or have other parts of the battle re-enactment area available to everyone at any point in the day.
There were other parts of Bannockburn Live that were disappointing, and they were not due to the faults of the customers. While there was a lot on, it was very limiting for families with very young children. More crafts and activities for younger children would have been preferably. The puppet show first thing in the morning was excellent, and it went downhill from there. With a two-year-old in tow, it was very difficult trying to find something to keep her entertained the whole time.
The music part of the festival part of Bannockburn Live was excellent, and there was plenty of space to sit down and listen to it. The food tasted great, but there were long queues for that. Some queuing is expected, but these were extensive. It could have been organized better by putting more stalls out. The good thing about the day was that picnics could be taken into the grounds, but re-entry was not allowed so people had to carry picnic baskets around with them the whole time.
There was a storyville section that had some interactive and interesting talks, but again not much was good enough for younger visitors. It seemed most of the things for children were within the battle re-enactment area, which not all customers were able to get into. Many customers drew the line at queuing for three hours when there were other events happening. It was a waste of time, but without the re-enactment it was a waste of money.
It is a shame that the event has been hit with so many complaints. The organizers do shoulder some of the blame. However, some of the fault for a disappointing Bannockburn Live is also due to the customers.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham