Butefest is a fantastic music festival.
Last summer’s event had everything – great weather, fantastic music, a smashing atmosphere, and fab food and drink.
It may be one of the smaller festivals in terms of numbers attending, but it’s perfect for the island.
And it has the potential to grow.
It also brings people across to Rothesay where they spend money in local cafes and bars as well as filling the guest houses and hotels.
Highlights last year? Well, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five dleivered the zap of energy every festivbal needs late on a Sunday afternoon – the buzz which followed their set could be felt hours later.
The Magic Numbers were fantastic, RAintown’s Lady Antebellum-esuqe sound was glorious and, as a long-standing fan of Tom McRae it was fantastic to see him peform on the main stage.
Trips into the small acoustic tent were also wonderful – there were truly talented folk to be found playing there, and it had a mystical, chilled-out vibe.
The second stage was also a showcase to see bands that were maybe new to you – The Begbies, among others, played a cracking set.
But it wasn’t just the music that made Butefest stand out.
The atmosphere was laid-back, the event was pitched perfectly at families with plenty of activities to let the kids run themselves ragged with joy, and whole weekend just worked,.
That took a huge amount of effort behind the scenes by a small team of volunteers. With a solid, hugely successful year two now behind them, they can start the process all over again for the 2017 festival; one the island can all look forward to.
The first bands have been confirmed for the island’s big music festival now entering its third year.
And music fans have much to look forward to.
Butefest was hailed a huge success last summer, and gave a shot in the arm to the island’s ecomnomy as visitors poured off the ferries for three days of live music and entertainment.
It also enjoyed golden sunshine as acts as diverse as The Magic Numbers, The Rezillos, and Skerryvore headlined the main stage.
Now the first six acts for 2017 have been unveiled for the event which runs from July 28-30 at King George V playing fields.
Making their Butefest debut are The Wedding Present, one of the UK’s best loved indie bands.
Championed by the late John Peel, they exploded out of Leeds in the mid 1980s with their debut album ‘George Best’ named in honour of the legendary footballer – his picture adorned the album cover – and they gained a reputation for bitter-sweet love songs driven by some thundering guitars.
Led by David Gedge, the band won many admirers as they explored different styles of music, including eastern Europe folk, and in 1992 they made the headlines as they released 12 seven-inch singles, one per month.
They are joined on the bill by Butefest newcomers, Glasgow band Harry and the Hendersons, plus fellow Scots, Elephant Sessions, winners of best up and coming act at the 2014 Scots Trad Music awards.
Also announced this week was Manran, another impressive Scottish act with a great reputation for playing live.
Butefest 2017 will also mark the return of The Youth And The Young who made such an impression with their set 12 months ago, and the unforgettable Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five who simply blew the Sunday bill to bits!
The yellow-clad band delivered one of the stand out perfoemances of the 2016 festival, and return by public demand.
The organisers have still to unveil a host of bands to complete their line-up – and they are looking forward to another great event.
Hazel Mulholland, chairman of ButeFest, said “I am delighted that ButeFest is back for a third year.
‘‘Our committee of volunteers are working hard to ensure we continue to bring the best family friendly festival we can for everyone to enjoy, as well as encouraging people to stay a bit longer in our beautiful Bute and Argyll area”
Tickets are already on sale, and the organisers have stuck with the offer of free entry to under fives, and passes at £5 for those under the age of 11.
They have also confirmed the return of the popular family tickets.
Tier two tickets are still available until March 31.
Full ticket info, and purchases can be made online at www.butefest.co.uk or locally – saving the price of booking fee – from Musicker and The Dressing Room.