We must have Riverlights to help lift winter gloom

by Colin Campbell
Some of the light shows produced in Inverness in recent times have been brilliantly spectacular.

IF councillors turn down plans for a special lights show in the city centre this winter they will be guilty of criminally curmudgeonly behaviour.

The worse the virus situation looks – and it seems virtually everything of significance has some kind of link to it just now – the more Inverness is in need of reasons to be cheerful.

What is being proposed would lighten and brighten the centre, would make it a more appealing and welcoming place to visit and would lift morale and mood.

There can be no reason whatever to turn this down.

The money would come from funds already saved from the cancellation of the Winter Festival so overall not an extra penny would be spent.

The Riverlights programme would involve “eyecatching light shows and projections mounted at city buildings and locations”.

That could involve Inverness Castle, Abertaff House, Inverness Town House, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, the Northern Meeting Park, and Eden Court Theatre.

But this is no free gift or easy handout to Gerry Reynolds and his events team. In coming up with this scheme, they are putting pressure on themselves.

The public will not be at all impressed if Riverlights is off-beam and flickers and fades into a disappointing flop.

They will expect value for money, they will expect the illumination to match the hype, and they will expect Riverlights to be an uplifting and eyecatching success.

Those behind this programme will be expected to deliver spectacular results.

The Eden Court Christmas panto’s been cancelled, the winter festival’s been cancelled, and there’s even been wild talk of “Christmas being cancelled” due to virus restrictions.

It seems everything’s being cancelled. Inverness needs an alternative to the bleakness and the blackout and what’s being proposed can provide it.

In our erratically performing council the events team has a solid record of delivering what’s expected of them.

Some of the special effects spectaculars they’ve previously put on have been little short of breathtaking, and there’s no reason to believe they would fail to make a resounding success of Riverlights.

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