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Glasgow 2014 Ceremonies


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just re-posting my review on the live chat


good bits.


the volunteers - even if it's not the first time these events had volunteers, this OC highlights them even more


chair dance and athletes parade - i loved that sequence. it's so inventive and welcoming. i also love that they gave athletes chairs. it might be a good idea for the olympics


the countdown - a bit of london 2012 but still great


cris hoy and the baton- no words, jut a funny bit of misfortune


the proclaimers- :wub::rolleyes:



bad bits



the john barrowman fever dream about Scotland - it felt more like that opening of eurovision rather then a games. (and not even that final. it semi-final 2). and who was that girl? is she the host?


no flower of Scotland :(:angry:


susan boyle- you had one job :angry:



meh bits



unicef- a great organization but it looks like they were hijacking the whole ceremony every time they pop-up


sign-bearers -Scottish terriers are cute but are too small to put the name of the country in it.


rod stewert- amy macdonald sounded better. what a way to waste money


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I'm a bit late for the party, but here are my thoughts after having watched at least major parts of the ceremony last night on YouTube:

Good resp. great bits/aspects:

* The inclusion of traditional Scottish music, I found the violin playing of the "Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond" that accompanied the flag segment with the crowd singing along particularly moving and classy

* The flag segment in total was very nicely staged, and of course it was nice to see Ian Thorpe in it at this stage in time. Was it just me or does he have a noticeably "gay walk", now that he's officially out and has that burden lifted off his shoulders? ;)

* The LED screen and the lighting at Celtic Park, very impressive respectively atmospheric

* The Scotties as "placard bearers" - such a cute, self-ironic and refreshing idea!

* The enthusiasm of the crowd

* As a great contrast: The impressive minute of silence for the victims of MH17

* Prince Imran's laugh when he struggled with the baton - and even more so, the Queen's reaction; she seemed so relaxed and jolly - and I think she looked better and fitter than two years ago in London, even if she is two years older now and aged 88!

* Alex Salmond's warm and refreshingly short speech without instrumentalising the event for political (especially separatist ;)) purposes

* The overall approach to create a laid back, warm and down-to-earth ceremony

Bad bits/aspects:

* That Barrowman segment; while I applaud the idea of demonstrating most other Commonwealth countries tolerance towards homosexuality with that kiss, I found the whole segment dispensable and unoriginal. We have seen something like that in Sydney, in Vancouver, in the ESCs in Malmö in 2013 and in Copenhagen this year. And now, yet again, in Glasgow. For heaven's sake, get some new ideas, you ceremony folks! After the fifth time, such "Oh, look, we are so self-ironical and put all the clichés about our country in one segment" segments are tiring and unfunny as hell.

* Yet another techno DJ for the parade of nations

* The blunders: Susan Boyle and the baton glitch

* The ceremony was a bit too laid back, and as Matty already stated in his great comment, it never lost that telethon feel completely. The constant UNICEF ad-like videos were dispensable, disruptive and unnerving. Those were the moments where the ceremony could also not hide the fact that it was rather low budget. Other low budget ceremonial makers have performed better already, I think. Videos were used a bit too often, the start of the ceremony felt very low budget with that quirky Barrowman segment, and so on...

Side notes:

* The singing of "God Save The Queen" as national anthem was really surprising for me (as someone who is by far no expert on CWG opening ceremonies), I definitely expected "Flower of Scotland" - and was relieved that the anthem and the Queen itself were received warmly by the Glasgow audience.

* Colin Jackson (who appeared in the UNICEF video before the Europe segment at the parade of nations) sure can't hide (acoustically) that he's gay. ;) I detect another case of "Everyone knows it, but he's still in denial".

Overall, I was a bit disappointed after remembering Glasgow's quite great handover segment in Delhi. On the other hand, there were quite a few great moments, as stated above - and I hope that one or the other will stick in people's minds over the years, although I have some doubts about that. I think that all in all, Glasgow did a decent job, but nothing more. It could definitely have been better.

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That's a great review there Olympian, I agree with much of it.

The bits of the ceremonies they did well, which there were many...... they did really well.

I've watched the ceremonies a few more times since, and it's one of those rare times when I've actually watched the protocol segments more than the main artistic.

The flat entrance part was fantastic, especially the pure emotion on the face of Nicola Benedetti as the crowd sang along to her. Magic.

The thing is, the opening artistic (I use that term with tongue planted firmly in cheek) portion wasn't original. Original for an opening ceremony yes, but it followed the pattern of the Australiana/Canadiana portions of Sydney and Vancouver's closing ceremonies. Even more so, it really was much like Malmo's interval action during Eurovision.

Nothing wrong with that, it works well in the closing (even though I think the concept is starting to get a tad stale), but just not for an opening.

I'd be interested to know how the budget o 14m pounds lined up against other ceremonies budgets of the COm Games.

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* Yet another techno DJ for the parade of nations

Side notes:

* The singing of "God Save The Queen" as national anthem was really surprising for me (as someone who is by far no expert on CWG opening ceremonies), I definitely expected "Flower of Scotland" - and was relieved that the anthem and the Queen itself were received warmly by the Glasgow audience.

The thing is with the DJ- they've now confirmed over several games that the principle of using dance music around 120-130 bpm works well for both the pace and the mood of the parade. In this case the use of local flavours of music was rather well done, I thought.

As for the National Anthem- she'd still be independent Scotland's queen, and she's still head of the Commonwealth- and she's still better at opening puzzle batons than most men, so why not ....

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I liked it better on 2nd viewing. But you could feel it was a 'budget' production. Well, it was about Scots after all. ;)

- Awfully dull outfits for the home team. The Indian turbans were the most handsome!!

Secret about the Scotties: there were only like a dozen of them...but they were quickly 'recycled.' Rushed back to the end of the line!! ;) Or that's what TV commentator...to use a pun, wagged.

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I also want to add one thing: The PA announcers also seemed a bit too informal in style for my taste. While I liked Athens' idea of creating less formal, more emotional public announcements ("Ladies and gentlemen, friends from all over the world...") a lot, I still prefer a bit of gravitas and solemnity in the announcements (which Athens got exactly right). Glasgow's announcements sounded a bit too much like in a regular European TV show, it was that very laid back "Hey there, neighbour, do you want to come over to my house and have some barbecue and maybe watch a DVD afterwards?" style that put me off a little, I'm afraid. I think one should still feel (also in the announcements) that this is the moment the host city was waiting for all those years, that this is the moment where there can show off proudly what they have to offer to the world in terms of hospitality, history, culture etc..

I also prefer a simple but solemn "Australia!" to a "The Price Is Right"-like "Come on in, Australia!" during the parade of nations. Less is more sometimes.

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I'd be interested to know how the budget o 14m pounds lined up against other ceremonies budgets of the COm Games.

Melbourne had a Aus$55 mil budget for its 2006 Ceremonies. I think the Indians had a probably bigger budget. I bet they (Glasgow) also saved a lot on the motley costumes which made it look like a very messy Sydney and to some degree, Melbourne shows.

Skipping the 5-bldg demolition saved a bit of dough. They wouldn't have had to pay for the clean-up. ;)

Where were Sean Connery, Alan Cummings and Jean Brodie?? And Barrowman's not quite an authentic Scot.

The thing is, the opening artistic (I use that term with tongue planted firmly in cheek) portion wasn't original. Original for an opening ceremony yes,

I'm wondering if it was a last-minute replacement. Remember, weren't they supposed to open with the building demolition? I don't know if that would've worked out at all. To see buildings crumble for an opening of an Opening Ceremony? Glad they junked that idea at the last minute. Actually, Barrowman's segment was like an Oscar opening number but the daylight setting made it look a little cheesy.

The queen was wearing the same outfit as when that stupid baton left Buckingham Palace. I guess she hand't changed outfits in 3 months?? :lol:

Overall though, I liked the earnest, direct-to-the TV-viewer, cinematic tone and approach Zwolker used. And at least the tone was consistent throughout. I think they did a good job...but they need to change the logo and that lifeless "baton." I'm sure they will have to change it when Charles or William wears the crown. ;)

Let's see what Korea will spring on us next month. They missed with the Sochi handover but I think did a great job with the Paralympics handover.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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The thing is with the DJ- they've now confirmed over several games that the principle of using dance music around 120-130 bpm works well for both the pace and the mood of the parade. In this case the use of local flavours of music was rather well done, I thought.

As for the National Anthem- she'd still be independent Scotland's queen, and she's still head of the Commonwealth- and she's still better at opening puzzle batons than most men, so why not ....

But in an independent Scotland, they would play "Flower of Scotland", right? ;) I get the point actually: Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom, and as such, "God Save The Queen" of course still is also its national anthem and should be performed at such an occasion in place of "Flower of Scotland". But I wondered what the separatist movement thought about the use of the anthem.

Regarding the DJ thing: Well, Vancouver also managed to create a modern and somewhat engaging soundtrack for their parade of nations, without using a techno DJ. And even if that music would be out of fashion today: But already Kurt Edelhagen, the arranger of Munich 1972's parade of nations music, knew that 114 bpm is the ideal musical tempo for a human being in order to walk as relaxed as possible. Apparently, by today's standards, he would have to speed up his music a little, but back in the days with at least 122 teams parading in Munich, it worked extremely well and got a lot of praise - and, of course, it was no techno music. ;) So I have some doubts that we would need a techno DJ again and again in an opening ceremony. I think this is something that can get very tiring if it's repeated too often.

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Melbourne had a Aus$55 mil budget for its 2006 Ceremonies. I think the Indians had a probably bigger budget. I bet they (Glasgow) also saved a lot on the motley costumes which made it look like a very messy Sydney and to some degree, Melbourne shows.

Skipping the 5-bldg demolition saved a bit of dough. They wouldn't have had to pay for the clean-up. ;)

Where were Sean Connery, Alan Cummings and Jean Brodie?? And Barrowman's not quite an authentic Scot.

oddly enough Alan Cummings and Sean Connery are two actor who endorse Scottish independence how don't actually live in Scotland. #politics

But in an independent Scotland, they would play "Flower of Scotland", right? ;) I get the point actually: Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom, and as such, "God Save The Queen" of course still is also its national anthem and should be performed at such an occasion in place of "Flower of Scotland". But I wondered what the separatist movement thought about the use of the anthem.

Regarding the DJ thing: Well, Vancouver also managed to create a modern and somewhat engaging soundtrack for their parade of nations, without using a techno DJ. And even if that music would be out of fashion today: But already Kurt Edelhagen, the arranger of Munich 1972's parade of nations music, knew that 114 bpm is the ideal musical tempo for a human being in order to walk as relaxed as possible. Apparently, by today's standards, he would have to speed up his music a little, but back in the days with at least 122 teams parading in Munich, it worked extremely well and got a lot of praise - and, of course, it was no techno music. ;) So I have some doubts that we would need a techno DJ again and again in an opening ceremony. I think this is something that can get very tiring if it's repeated too often.

we forget the london 2012 did not use a DJ for their parade of nations.

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I'm wondering if it was a last-minute replacement. Remember, weren't they supposed to open with the building demolition? I don't know if that would've worked out at all. To see buildings crumble for an opening of an Opening Ceremony? Glad they junked that idea at the last minute. Actually, Barrowman's segment was like an Oscar opening number but the daylight setting made it look a little cheesy.

The queen was wearing the same outfit as when that stupid baton left Buckingham Palace. I guess she hand't changed outfits in 3 months?? :lol:

Overall though, I liked the earnest, direct-to-the TV-viewer, cinematic tone and approach Zwolker used. And at least the tone was consistent throughout. I think they did a good job...but they need to change the logo and that lifeless "baton." I'm sure they will have to change it when Charles or William wears the crown. ;)

Let's see what Korea will spring on us next month. They missed with the Sochi handover but I think did a great job with the Paralympics handover.

I get the feeling it may have been.

I struggle to see how the demolition would have fit in to the show that we got

Official information released showed that it was to take place after the countdown, at which time after they'd been imploded, dry ice would fill the arena, as if the rubble was falling in there aswell It was supposed to be a sign of Glasgow recognising its past and moving in to the future.

They then said that they would be moving in a different direction.

Interesting with the Melbourne budget, it certainly seemed like a show that had a decent one. I wonder how big a chunk of the cash goes to rigging up an extensive fly wire system (which Glasgow didn't have), in addition to the pretty complex stage system (which was a bigger deal that the ground cover in Glasgow).

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One of the musical highlights of the opening ceremony was the fantastic cover of 500 miles by Sleeping at Last. I know it wasn't credited in all of the broadcasts, but you can find it on iTunes.

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we forget the london 2012 did not use a DJ for their parade of nations.

True, but the kind of musical mix London chose for its parade sounded quite similar to what the techno DJs put on these days in other opening ceremonies. It was Sochi's parade minus that big emphasis on techno, but with much electronic music.

One of the musical highlights of the opening ceremony was the fantastic cover of 500 miles by Sleeping at Last. I know it wasn't credited in all of the broadcasts, but you can find it on iTunes.

That's truly a great one. I missed that segment - must have skipped it because I didn't have enough time to watch the complete ceremony right from the beginning to the end.

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I also want to add one thing: The PA announcers also seemed a bit too informal in style for my taste. While I liked Athens' idea of creating less formal, more emotional public announcements ("Ladies and gentlemen, friends from all over the world...") a lot, I still prefer a bit of gravitas and solemnity in the announcements (which Athens got exactly right). Glasgow's announcements sounded a bit too much like in a regular European TV show, it was that very laid back "Hey there, neighbour, do you want to come over to my house and have some barbecue and maybe watch a DVD afterwards?" style that put me off a little, I'm afraid. I think one should still feel (also in the announcements) that this is the moment the host city was waiting for all those years, that this is the moment where there can show off proudly what they have to offer to the world in terms of hospitality, history, culture etc..

I also prefer a simple but solemn "Australia!" to a "The Price Is Right"-like "Come on in, Australia!" during the parade of nations. Less is more sometimes.

I see what you mean with this.

Personally, I didn't mind the Glasgow opening ceremony announcer - who was Zoe Diamond (useless piece of information), that can be heard on the BBC World Service.

It probably did fit the form of this opening ceremony.

Likewise, I liked Anthony Davis doing the stadium announcements for Manchester 2002, though I'm sure many people would have found him annoying, and Layla Anna-Lee doing the London opening ceremony.

They all just seemed to have the right voices that suited those particular ceremonies.

The Commonwealth Games have of late had the slightly more informal welcomes.

Manchester included the spectators with them all yelling *hello......* as each nation came out. It worked well.

I still think the opening moment of the Manchester 2002 opening, while not traditional in nature, is one of the best that I have seen. So much energy packed with that ... *Welcome to MANCHESTER*

On the other hand, like you I loved the warm and motherly nature of the Athens 2004 ceremonies announcers, particularly the *from the Olympic stadium of Athens...... Goodnight* at the opening ceremony.

Certainly has changed when the same announcers seemed to be trucked out to every opening ceremony around the world, especially the female French voice.

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Secret about the Scotties: there were only like a dozen of them...but they were quickly 'recycled.' Rushed back to the end of the line!! ;) Or that's what TV commentator...to use a pun, wagged.

I mentioned this in the "live chat" thread.

There were 41 dogs, 30 of which were used twice. BBC's Clare Balding was with the handlers, so got the exact numbers...

https://twitter.com/clarebalding

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I mentioned this in the "live chat" thread.

There were 41 dogs, 30 of which were used twice. BBC's Clare Balding was with the handlers, so got the exact numbers...

https://twitter.com/clarebalding

I want one again!

Had one when we were kids...totally fearless protector of the family.

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we forget the london 2012 did not use a DJ for their parade of nations.

Well, they did (High Contrast, aka Lincoln Barrett from Cardiff), but he prepared the set in advance, as a set of digital files, with options for changes built in (which is one reason why the CD differs from the actual parade lineup- the other main reason being, of course, rights clearance).

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The thing is, the opening artistic (I use that term with tongue planted firmly in cheek) portion wasn't original. Original for an opening ceremony yes, but it followed the pattern of the Australiana/Canadiana portions of Sydney and Vancouver's closing ceremonies. Even more so, it really was much like Malmo's interval action during Eurovision.

Nothing wrong with that, it works well in the closing (even though I think the concept is starting to get a tad stale), but just not for an opening.

I'd be interested to know how the budget o 14m pounds lined up against other ceremonies budgets of the COm Games.

Bizarrely, I think the real "artistic portion" of the Glasgow OC was the UNICEF appeal. They knew that a presentation of a national culture which includes David Hume and Adam Smith was going to be a hard sell, so they pretty much abandoned that approach.

On the budget- dont forget that the 14 million GBP is for both opening and closing.

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Talking of Manchester another thing that was underwhelming was the arrival of the baton. As it is no Olympic Torch they need to do much more than just bring it in the stadium - Manchester had the beautiful aerialist arriving from above on a balloon which has not been topped, whilst Melbourne had the fantastic final relay along the relay, something I thought at one point Glasgow might be about to rip off, but no, they just ran in with it with no fan fair at all. The less said about the final relay inside the stadium the better.

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Talking of Manchester another thing that was underwhelming was the arrival of the baton. As it is no Olympic Torch they need to do much more than just bring it in the stadium - Manchester had the beautiful aerialist arriving from above on a balloon which has not been topped, whilst Melbourne had the fantastic final relay along the relay, something I thought at one point Glasgow might be about to rip off, but no, they just ran in with it with no fan fair at all. The less said about the final relay inside the stadium the better.

The music was fantastic for it though, can't fault that. However I didn't entirely get the little twirly bits and pieces as it changed hand.

But yeah, I was hoping for something a little bit more interesting, after what we had in Manchester and Melbourne.

I know it's hard to jazz up the baton, but we have the glowing light in the baton, surely they could have incorporated that somehow.

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The music was fantastic for it though, can't fault that. However I didn't entirely get the little twirly bits and pieces as it changed hand.

But yeah, I was hoping for something a little bit more interesting, after what we had in Manchester and Melbourne.

I know it's hard to jazz up the baton, but we have the glowing light in the baton, surely they could have incorporated that somehow.

One of the best Baton arrivals I ever saw was 1990 when Double Olympics champ Mark Todd rode out into the stadium on Carisma with the Baton in his hand and then handed it to Peter Snell for the final circuit...I don't think its ever been topped for emotional effect.
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It has bee, today, one week from the opening Ceremony and now I'd like to share my feelings about it. Well, I still find It was boring... but after I highlighted, the ceremony totally had a free way to show the segments. Despite being totally Scotish centered with no a "universal language" as OC tend to be, it gave an original and unique style. Tha dancing chair segment was the most visual one of the whole ceremony. The parade, indeed, was the most entertaining part of the ceremony, which finally gives the real sense of an OC: the Athletes parade. Puppies carrying the countries names, instead people, was so adorable and cute. Too original and it surely will be a new idea for future ceremonies as it was to present countries by continents. Nevertheless, the tiresome clips about UNICEF were sort of nerve racking... giving the feeling it was a sort of Telethon....

Anyway it is not a ceremony who I can watch once and again, since the opening musical segment - which could seem a Scotish spin-off of the Frankie & June say Thanks Tim segment - for me could be too far for my own environment to catch its spirit... Not as it happens to me with the 2011 Pan American Games OC which I can watch once and again... or may be, it was definitely BORING!!! not suitable for an Opening Ceremony, in my own opinion. Besides, the hostess - the blond short hair girl - was not so nice to give a welcome... what I mean for "not so nice" I reffer she has no the needed charm to catch the attention of audiences.... she sounded sometimes sort of unfriendly, despite having the concept of "friendly games"...

A different ceremon, too local, too Scotish which could set up a model for future ceremonies: to localize a lot in their own culture and avoid cliche ceremonies due to their "universal language".... It's a matter to watch next years, as London did...

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  • 1 year later...

I was going to post this this morning but forgot.

Looks like leaving the demolition out was a good decision seeing as they didn't collapse completely as intended.

Games organisers missed a trick not putting this guy behind the camera too...

http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/Hilarious-video-Listen-to-man-curse-after-6566316.php

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