You can’t have a music festival without some rain and mud – but neither came remotely close to interrupting the opening day of Butefest 2017.
The forecast promised showers, and we got a few, but the day was also packed with great live music across all stages.
First impressions also underlined how much work had gone into raising the bar for the 2017 event.
The site was busier, there were more stalls, and cool finishing touches – from funky signage to a cinema, from the kids’ zone to the coloured lights which strung the length of the park, and illuminated the way home at the end of a great day and night.
Where else would you find a door in the middle of the festival, or comfy armchairs with bales of hay to put your feet on, or rowing boats parked in the middle of the park, just next to a glitter ball atop three giant poles?
Directions painted on to pavements made it easy to find for first time Butefesters - the ferries were reporting brisk business all day - and, once again, it was a family friendly occasion, with kids still running round the campsite fire down near the main stage as darkness set in.
Musically there was plenty to choose from - from the singer-songwriters in the harlequins den to smashing indie rock in the marquee and great Scottish/Irish sounds on the main stage.
Highlights? Amy Lou’s musical mash ups stood out, Rebel Westerns kicked the main marquee into life, and there were great sets from The Youth and The Young, and Heron Valley who had the audience engaged from the very start.
The Dangleberries also proved that no tune was beyond their bagpiping skills, with a unique rendition of the Black Eyed Peas ‘I Got A Feeling’ acting as a calling card to the main stage. Will.I.Am would surely have grabbed a set of pipes and joined in ...
They added in a rousing ‘Blame It On Me’ by George Ezra, a more traditional ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ and then signed off with a crowd pleasing version of Kings Of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire.’
Back in the marquee, Feet Of Clay were excellent, while Lemonhaze drew a huge crowd as darkness fell.
That left just time for a return to the main stage to catch the Wedding Present close the opening night. The rain dutifully held off as long as possible to wrap up a richly entertaining opening day.
>> Saturday’s line-up includes The RPMs, The Begbies and the Countess of Fife – Fay Fife, lead singer of The Rezillos –on the main stage with headliners The Chair.
The Minstrels Marquee includes Fifers The Johnstown Flood and the Coaltown Daises plus The Skys from Lithuania.
>> Watch footage of The Dangleberries, Heron Valley and The Wedding Present on the Buteman’s Facebook page.