As final preparations and rehearsals for the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony get underway organisers have unveiled their vision for an outstanding celebration that captures the heart, soul, and true grit of the people of Glasgow.
The 'real and extraordinary' people of Glasgow and Scotland will share their story with an audience of more than one billion around the world when the Commonwealth tunes in on 23 July.
"It will feel like it is made in Glasgow. It will be distinctive, irreverent, funny, principled, sincere, personal and direct," said Head of Ceremonies and Artistic Director, David Zolkwer.
"We are going to host a party that welcomes the people of the Commonwealth into our home. Guests will arrive and gather, stories will be shared, everyone joins in and no one wants to leave - a typical Glasgow party," he added.
"The Opening Ceremony is also about 'all of us' and our collective generosity of spirit. How we can alert people to those in most need and spotlight others sharing our common wealth," added David.
Thousands of volunteers will share the limelight with world-famous names including Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Nicola Benedetti to help the city tell its own story and welcome the Commonwealth to the biggest sporting celebration Scotland has ever hosted.
On the day of the dress rehearsal, (Monday 21 July), organisers gave just a hint of what is in store but promised more surprises to come.
They unveiled a ceremony which goes beyond the walls of the stadium, and across not only the Host City but also visit locations around the Commonwealth, bringing the world to Glasgow and Glasgow to the world.
The famous Celtic Park football ground has been dramatically transformed ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Europe's largest LED screen has been installed to create a 'window to the world' for Glasgow and Scotland to connect with locations across the city, Scotland and the Commonwealth. The giant screen, which is currently being built across the whole of the South Stand at Celtic Park will be almost 100 meters long, 11 meters high and will weigh in at 38 tonnes.
A specially-designed stage floor has also been created which covers the entire pitch and includes a colourful walkway specifically designed for the athlete's parade.
David Zolkwer, Head of Ceremonies and Artistic Director said:
"Our starting point was to have the people of Glasgow at the very heart of this Ceremony. Glaswegians are warm, friendly people who like nothing more than entertaining and our promise from the start was that we would make this ceremony a conversation changer for Games and all about our guests. This is Glasgow opening its front door and welcoming the world in to share its humour, personality and hospitality."
Dr Bridget McConnell, Glasgow 2014 Board Member, said:
"The Opening Ceremony is not about a stadium show which people will sit and watch. This is a show which has engaged everyone from people in the community to our high level talent. They will perform in a way which is unexpected and not just deliver a concert. From Nicola Benedetti who has worked with community groups and will also be performing as part of Festival 2014 to the amazing Big Big Sing project which has involved 100,000 people who have been singing all over Scotland."
Sarah Gardiner, Associate Producer, Glasgow 2014 Ceremonies said:
"It was a cup of tea with David that initially took me on this journey with him. I have been involved from the very beginning and since then have had so many lovely conversations with our volunteers, talent and crew and the Opening Ceremony will be the culmination of all of that. The reaction we have had from the technical rehearsals already with standing ovations and applause for the performers shows how engaged people are and I think on Thursday morning people will be talking about how Glasgow really put on a show."
Celtic Park is being dramatically transformed ahead of the Opening Ceremony which will feature Europe's largest LED screen, a specially created stage floor which covers the entire pitch and includes a walkway specifically designed for the athlete's parade.
The Opening & Closing Ceremonies of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are being created and produced on behalf of Glasgow 2014 by Jack Morton Worldwide who also created the Ceremonies for Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. They are the team behind some of the most high profile and critically acclaimed ceremonies on four continents - including Athens 2004 Olympic Ceremonies and the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup Ceremonies.