In pictures: Glasgow showcases Scotland in colourful Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Agency Jack Morton Worldwide was tasked with producing last night's (23 July) opening ceremony at Celtic Park in Glasgow for the 20th Commonwealth Games.


The event was attended by 40,000 spectators and garnered an international television audience estimated at one billion. The ceremony was created to showcase the host city’s culture and history, as well as presenting the athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories taking part in the Games. 

Highlights of the event included Rod Stewart, who performed Rhythm of My Heart alongside singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald and hundreds of Glaswegians. Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle performed a rendition of Mull of Kintyre, and the Red Arrows marked the entrance of Her Majesty The Queen into the stadium by flying over the venue.

Well-known Scottish exports featured heavily in performances throughout the ceremony including tartan and kilts worn by peformers, Irn-Bru, Tunnock’s teacakes, a giant haggis, Scottie dogs and the Loch Ness monster.

Europe’s largest LED screen, measuring 100 metres long, 11 metres high and weighing 38 tonnes, was installed in the venue’s south stand broadcasting pictures of Scottish landscapes. It also showed footage of famous faces and local people visiting Commonwealth nations, as part of Unicef’s partnership with the Games. 

Ewan McGregor, Nicole Scherzinger, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and BBC presenter Reggie Yates appealed to the audience in video broadcasts to raise funds for the charity. Media reports have said the UK public raised £2.5m by the end of the ceremony.

David Zolkwer, director of public events at Jack Morton and head of ceremonies and artistic director for Glasgow 2014, said: "It’s Glasgow’s people who made the opening ceremony. They gave the ceremony its tone of voice, its humour, its warmth and they welcomed in the world. This is the compass that steered our ceremony, the desire to be generous hosts and to be always warm, always personal – just what you’d expect from one of the friendliest cities in the world. It has been an absolute honour to work with them."

Jack Morton will also be creating and producing the closing ceremony on 3 August at Hampden Stadium.

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