The Enchanted Forest has been crowned Britain’s best cultural event.
The wildly-popular sound and light show at Pitlochry beat strong competition from other high-profile attractions at the prestigious UK Event Awards in London.
The Perthshire extravaganza, which celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record turnout of 70,000 visitors, triumphed over the likes of the Magical Lantern Festival in London and the Diwali Festival of Lights.
The win, for the 2015 show FLUX, is the latest in a long line of awards for the Perthshire event, which recently swept the board at the Scottish Event Awards, picking up no fewer than three titles.
The Enchanted Forest has grown from a three-night run – attracting some 1,500 visitors – to an event which attracts people and media attention from across the globe.
Each October the show turns Pitlochry’s Faskally Wood into an other-worldly experience, boosting the local economy by more than £2 million. Proceeds also help fund community groups and projects.
Last year’s FLUX show funded 27 community grants for local initiatives, as well as donating money to three chosen charities.
FLUX combined the creative talents of producer and creative director Derek Allan, lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, and composers and sound designers RJ McConnell and Jon Beales.
This year’s show, Shimmer, sold out six days after opening and more than 90% of visitors recently cited the Enchanted Forest as their main reason for visiting the Pitlochry area.
Ian Sim, chairman of the community trust that runs the Enchanted Forest, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by this accolade.
“Being named the UK’s Best Cultural Event underscores all the hard work that goes into not only putting on The Enchanted Forest, but keeping it fresh each year.
“People travel from all over the world for the show and it generates lots of positive press for Highland Perthshire. We’re proud to be driving tourists ‘into the woods’ of Pitlochry at what has always been a traditionally quiet time of year.”
Mr Sim added: “A huge thanks must go to the hard-working and talented team behind the show, from technicians, stewards and volunteers to the producers and creatives, and also our marketing agency Volpa.”
The Enchanted Forest picked up three titles at the annual Scottish Event Awards ceremony in October: best large event, the prestigious chairman’s award, and best marketing and PR strategy for its marketing agency Volpa.