VIDEO: ‘Thank you, for everything’ – Huge outpouring of emotion from thousands of fans as Runrig play last ever shows

It was an emotional weekend for thousands of Scots music fans as one of the country’s most famous and best-loved bands played their final ever shows.

The foot of Stirling Castle was the setting for Runrig’s “Last Dance” as the Celtic rockers, who formed on the Isle of Skye in 1973, played two sold-out concerts on Friday and Saturday evening.

© Andrew King/Runrig
Thousands gathered at Stirling Castle for Runrig’s final two shows.<br />Photo courtesy of Runrig/Andrew King.

Some 45,000 people are said to have flocked to City Park for the gigs, which both lasted more than three hours and saw support from the likes of Julie Fowlis and the band’s former frontman Donnie Munro.

© Jim Mailer / Whyler Photos
Runrig on stage during their final show at Stirling Castle on Saturday evening.

Runrig fans from across the world made their way to Stirling for the gigs.

Emotions were running high among both band members and the crowd alike, with beloved guitarist Malcolm Jones shedding tears on stage as the band addressed the crowd at the end of the shows.

Runrig took the time to thank their fans and many others who have formed part of their story as the curtain was brought down on more than 45 years of music.

The identical setlists on both Friday and Saturday were full of classics including Skye, Alba, Protect and Survive, The Stamping Ground, Pride of the Summer and Every River.

Fans embraced and shed tears as both gigs ended with rousing renditions of Loch Lomond and an acapella version of Hearts of Olden Glory.

© Jim Mailer / Whyler Photos
Saturday’s crowd for Runrig’s final ever show.

The event was one of the biggest the Scots rockers have ever staged.

Runrig rose to fame in the early 1970s with a mixture of Gaelic and English language songs celebrating Scotland’s culture and landscape. Throughout the years the group amassed a huge, loyal fan base across the world.

The band’s incredibly popular version of Loch Lomond has become an unofficial Scottish national anthem sung by both rugby and football fans at national games.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, the band simply posted: “Thank you, for everything”.

The post prompted an outpouring of emotion from Runrig-lovers, who had took to social media across the weekend to share photographs and videos of the final two shows.

On Monday afternoon, the band took to Facebook to address fans.

The group posted: “What a weekend. Two shows that none of us will ever forget. As we’re sure you can imagine, we have been inundated with messages (into the thousands) from all of you wishing us the best for the future.

“These mean a lot to us and we’re going to try to read all of them but, regrettably, we simply can’t reply to everyone. Please accept our apologies for this.

“We’d like to thank all of our past members, without whom we couldn’t have come so far.

“So thank you Blair Douglas; the late Robert Macdonald; Donnie Munro; Pete Wishart; Richard Cherns and Campbell Gunn.

“We would especially like to thank our ex-manager, somebody who, in years gone by, would walk through brick walls for us – the late Marlene Ross.

“From the early development of the band, we’d like to thank Iain Macdonald, Niamh Mackay and our old friend, colleague and record producer – the late, great Chris Harley.

“We’d like to thank our road crews, again far too many to mention over the years. Some we’ve had a fleeting relationship with and others have stayed for the duration and were still with us over the weekend.

“From within our own organisation, there are two people that we simply couldn’t exist without: in our office in Aberdeen, Mike Smith; and our seventh member, our rock, our minister without portfolio but master of everything, the indefatigable Mark Green.

“In addition to all of the above we must thank our families for supporting us through all the years and for putting up with us being away for so long! We couldn’t have done it without you.

“And to you, our dear friends and audience, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for the 45 years of memories you’ve given to us. We will not perform on stage as Runrig again, but the music lives on.

“Our social media pages will remain active indefinitely and we will continue to update you with news of any legacy projects.

“Once again: thank you, for everything. And, for now, goodbye.”

Runrig also said a DVD of the gigs will be released.

Announcing The Last Dance in September last year, Runrig’s percussionist and main songwriter Calum Macdonald said: “This has been an enormous and difficult decision for us, but through the machinations of longevity and circumstance, we feel that the timing is now right, for a positive and celebratory conclusion.”

Videos of the gigs were also posted to Youtube: