It was the night that thousands of fans had been looking forward to – and dreading – and only the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond would have been a more perfect location.

Runrig – that most Scottish of folk rock bands – performed their last-ever show against the backdrop of Stirling Castle last night. The event, which was titled The Last Dance, took place over Friday and Saturday, and original frontman Donnie Munro took to the stage for the occasion.

Around 52,000 fans flocked to Stirling over the two days, each with their own reasons to say farewell. The tickets had sold out only minutes after going on sale, with fans complaining that they had been snapped up by ticket resellers, for five times the original price.

Runrig, which are known for their Gaelic-language songs as much as the anthems that are sung as a climax to so many special occasions, were formed in 1973 on the Isle of Skye. Their roots have acted as an inspiration for some of their most popular songs, and it’s no surprise that they have a large fanbase hailing from their Hebridean heartland (that word, incidentally, being used as the name of one of their albums, in 1985).

Demand was so great that Scottish airline Loganair put on extra flights from the Western Isles to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The band, which started by playing wedding receptions, are most widely known for their first single Loch Lomond. The instantly recognisable track spent five weeks in the charts in 1983, and it is still a go-to tune to end parties and weddings. But it is their wider body of work – 14 studio albums in total – that their fans were celebrating last night.

Katherine Street, who attended Friday’s show at Falleninch farm in Stirling, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. They played non-stop for over three hours. It was a superb venue with the backdrop of Stirling Castle. It was very well organised, very memorable, and I think the Runrig members were very moved by it.”

The appearance of Munro was also a massive selling point. He left the band in 1997 to pursue a career in politics and went on to become a solo performer, but he was back, just like the old times and to the delight of the faithful.

“Donnie also did a couple of numbers with the Glasgow Island Choir. It’s probably the best one I’ve been to, and I’m not a huge Runrig fan, but that was a great night with a great crowd”, said Street.

The six-strong band have undoubtedly made a large contribution to Scottish music and culture. The Canadian vocalist Bruce Guthro, who has toured with the band for 20 years, said: “All of it has been special. It’s almost impossible to pick certain highlights – it’s just been a great journey.”

This morning, many will be sad to see the band go their separate ways, but The Last Dance was a fitting send-off, and something that will be remembered for years to come.


Michael Buchanan @BBCMBuchanan Aug 17

Message to Hebridean tourists this weekend: Sheep have been sheared, peats brought home. There's fish in the sea, and whisky behind the bars. You'll need to look after yourselves though - all the locals are off to #Runrig

Tommy MacLean @tommymcln Aug 16

Let the shenanigans begin last person off the island switch the lights off #glasgow #Runrig

Vicki Provan @vicki_provan 17h17 hours ago

Listening to the #Runrig concert from my back garden with a wee tear in my eye #TheLastDance #Stirling

Abigail McIntosh @abi_mcintosh 15h15 hours ago

There’s something beautiful about standing in your back garden and listening to Loch Lomond live #Runrig

Ellie ? @storybookgirl 15h15 hours ago

Okay, so I know this #Runrig concert is kind of a big deal, but I can hear it from my house and I’m not okay with that. I didn’t sign up for this, please stop.

Mark Mitchell @balmediecats 4h4 hours ago

Thoughts go out to the good people of Stirling who will have to endure a second night of 2 hours of ear torturing highland pub level rock. #runrig