Chairman David’s final MoFest in the hot seat is the biggest yet

Chairman David Paton
Chairman David Paton

It seems only fitting that, for David Paton’s swansong, the MoFest committee members have planned their biggest festival yet.

And, of course, it’s the tenth year – so why not have two headline acts?

Members of the MoFest committee.

Members of the MoFest committee.

This year’s anniversary event has been in the planning since a month after last year’s MoFest ended.

A small but dedicated committee has worked tirelessly to ensure this year is one to remember – and it’s shaping up to be just that.

However, David is hoping that people will help ensure the festival’s future.

He explained: “We’ve had to introduce new security measures this year which has increased our costs.

“MoFest brings around £800,000 into the local economy but we have to fundraise annually to meet our £30,000 costs.

“Barring the two headline acts, all of the entertainment this weekend is free.

“So we’re hoping people will pick up one of our programmes and see it, in effect, as their ticket to a weekend of fantastic music.

“Programme sales and merchandise help us stage the festival every year.

“But costs are rising so we need continued support to help us meet those costs.”

David enjoyed the first MoFest as a patron in 2008 and was delighted to become involved two years later.

Then chairwoman Linda Paton (no relation) invited him to help with graphic design for posters and leaflets.

And the following year, in 2011, Linda handed the chairman’s reins to David.

This year will be his last in the hot seat but he will still be available to lend a hand to the new committee.

David’s leaving the festival in great shape. It’s popularity has grown year on year, thanks to a joint collaboration with LCC Live which started back in 2013 when the firm helped secure Toploader as the headline act.

That partnership has since seen some of the biggest names in music grace the East Links stage, including Status Quo in 2014, Madness in 2015 and Jools Holland last year.

This year, Deacon Blue will headline on Friday night and The Beach Boys will surf the airwaves in Montrose on Sunday night, bringing the curtain down on MoFest 2017 and David’s steady chairmanship.

He said: “When I first joined the committee there were only seven of us – our numbers have swelled to 14 and we now have the support of LCC Live, which was a turning point for the festival.

“Getting such big names helped put MoFest on the national news pages and our headline events now attract four to five thousand people.

“LCC Live do a great job in attracting big names for us but there’s a huge number of local businesses who also support the festival.

“There are no fewer than 25 pubs, hotels and shops joining forces with MoFest this weekend to make sure everyone has a fantastic weekend of entertainment.”

And the music is not just for one generation.

“There’s a huge range of musical genres, from acoustic to dance music,” said David. “We try to get as many genres in there as possible so that the weekend has something for everyone.”

The headline acts alone prove that – from Scottish favourites Deacon Blue to the Beach Boys? That’s MoFest summed up!

David is very much looking forward to both.

“The ticket sales have been going well for both, with people booking one or other – as you’d expect.

“The last time Deacon Blue played here they booked two nights at the town hall, with a capacity for 950 – it will be different this year!”

When the dust settles on another MoFest on Sunday, David will turn his attention to the Montrose Playhouse Project. But he won’t forget his festival friends.

He added: “I’ll be available to advise the committee so I won’t disappear altogether!

“I’m excited to see how the festival adapts in future – and enjoying it as a patron!”