Bad weather ‘hit hopes of Bute jazz boost’

The Tim Saul Quartet, plus invited guests, close the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival. (Pic - Karen Keith)
The Tim Saul Quartet, plus invited guests, close the 2015 Isle of Bute Jazz Festival. (Pic - Karen Keith)

The chairman of the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival has admitted that bad weather hit hopes of an increased attendance at the 2015 event.

An initial assessment carried out by the festival committee this week indicates that the footfall at this year’s event, which ran from May 1-4, was roughly the same as in 2014.

But wet and windy weather put the island’s ferry services on amber alert on Sunday, deterring potential jazz day-trippers from risking a visit to Rothesay.

The weather also meant the Castle Picnic had to be transferred to the Pavilion for the third year running which was extremely disappointing.

“The forecast was so bad that we took the decision on Friday, which meant Historic Scotland could stand down an additional member of staff, who was going to have to travel from West Lothian,” chairman Tim Saul said.

“Friday, the first day of the festival, is usually quieter, but there was a decent crowd to see first timers Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra at the Pavilion, while there were rave reviews for the Deke McGee Band and we will certainly be looking to get them back again.

“Perennials who once more drew good audiences included Richard White’s Fivers, the Brownfield/Byrne Hot Six, the Nova Scotia Jazz Band, the Chicago Teddy Bears, Savannah Jazz Band, Havana Swing and the ever popular Rose Room who were back after missing last year’s event because of another commitment.”