Island View: Talent on our doorsteps

Layla Templeton is just one of the talented singers on Bute.
Layla Templeton is just one of the talented singers on Bute.

One point that was made to me shortly before Butefest this year is that Rothesay’s own music festival would be many young islanders’ first festival experience.

The reality of having to rely on ferries to get to and from Bute, with the last boat leaving Wemyss Bay at 7.45pm on a Sunday, combined with the costs involved with staying over on the mainland an extra night, makes it a tricky proposition for younger music fans to attend the big events in Glasgow and Edinburgh, especially in school season.

For this reason, Butefest was ideal for those who have grown up on the island and are looking to experience live music and get a taste of festival atmosphere, which Butefest brought in spades.

Another positive is that local festivals give budding musicians a chance to perform on a bigger stage than they might ever have before.

Rothesay residents Beth Swan, Layla Templeton and Douglas Zavaroni all took the opportunity to perform at Butefest this year, and were well-supported by their own community and visitors.

Smaller-scale live music events are commonplace throughout Rothesay too, with various bars hosting gigs as well as the excellent regular schedule of acts organised by Transclyde Music.

There are plenty of other experiences you can find on Bute too, if you know where to look.

I am often surprised at the range of events that take place on Bute at regular intervals, with the past few months having seen a vintage scooter rally, a crime writing festival and a broadway performance, all very well supported.

It goes to show that while Bute is a small place, you don’t have to get on the ferry to experience something new!