There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation brewing in Montrose, as music fans from across the UK get ready for Montrose Music Festival 2015.
It is widely tipped to be the biggest event in the festival’s eight-year history.
With just over a week to go, the organisers are making the final preparations.
David Paton, chairman of Montrose Music Festival (MoFest), said: “We’re really excited about MoFest 2015. There are lots of different elements to this year’s festival.
“It’s jam-packed with out of this world entertainment, making it a truly special weekend for visitors, music lovers and performers.”
Headlining MoFest weekend is Northern Irish indie rock band, Ash, who will kick off the weekend of music. Performing a number of their well-known hits, Ash are sure to have the Montrose Town Hall bouncing on Friday, May 22, with support from Glasgow-based rock trio, The Amorettes and local band, If All Else Fails.
MoFest returns to 25 venues with 100 bands performing more than 210 free gigs.
There are 14 new acts confirmed for the weekend. New to the line-up is A Right Couple O’ Charlies, Beltur, Bloodshot, The Brothers Reid, The Coaltown Daisies, Copperlungs and Worlds Apart, while Montrose Music Festival welcomes back popular acts including: Buffalo Soldiers; Headroom; KJB; KWAK; Last Orders; MoFest veterans, Late Landing; and The Holy Ghosts who supported Status Quo at MoFest 2014.
The MoFest Dome will host intimate acoustic sets while the High Street main stage will be in action on Saturday and Sunday, giving guests two days of music with bands of all ages and genres.
Also new this year is the ‘Market Street’, a space entirely dedicated to the very best local food and drink.
MoFest is working in partnership with Event Scotland to support the Year of Food & Drink 2015, showcasing the best of Scotland’s larder. From Scottish salmon sushi to the specialist craft brews, hog roast and a cocktail tent, there will be plenty of opportunities to sample the very best Scottish produce.
David Paton said: “We’re thrilled to be adding a local food and drink aspect to this year’s festival.
“We’ve vendors coming to showcase a range of Scottish produce from Scottish salmon sushi to a local brewery, which coupled with a chill-out tent with acoustic music sets, will create a relaxed environment from which to enjoy the festival.”
Back by popular demand is the Shop Window, where some of the weekend’s artists will perform short slots to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
MoFest’s selfie competition also makes a return. The individual who posts the best selfie of the weekend on MoFest’s Facebook or Twitter page will win a camera.
Returning for a second year, Festival Chaplains will be providing a friendly face for festival goers. Andrew Burns, the co-ordinator of the Festival Chaplains, explains: “We’re looking forward to heading back to MoFest this year. Over the weekend volunteers from local churches in Dundee and Montrose will help festival goers in a range of ways. We will be handing out water, flipflops and ponchos and providing a listening ear or a friendly ‘hello’ for those who need it.”
The festival will draw to a close with the renowned Survivors’ Night on Sunday, May 25.
Anne Jenkins, MoFest secretary, said: “As we go into our eighth year, we have been reflecting on how far MoFest has come. From its humble beginnings to now being widely regarded as the biggest free music festival in Scotland.
“The eclectic mix of bands we’ve attracted over the years has been unbelievable. We’ve had Average White Band, Deacon Blue, we’ve had Ocean Colour Scene, The Fortunate Sons, The Proclaimers, Dr Feelgood, Skerryvore, Eddi Reader, Toploader, Chris Helme, Amelia Lily, Stooshe, The Loveable Rogues and the unforgettable Status Quo. This year, we host Ash, Cast and Madness – it’s going to be incredible!”
Montrose Music Festival was established to make live music more accessible, and year on year it’s developing and growing. The impact on Montrose, the local economy and local businesses of hosting the music festival is positive.
Allan James, general manager of The Park Hotel, said: “Montrose Music Festival has been fantastic for businesses in the town and we are no exception. The atmosphere in the venues and in Montrose itself is great and although rushed off our feet, we still get to listen to a lot of good, live music. Our bedrooms are full, the bars are busy all day and bar meals and dinners in the restaurant are non-stop. Although the venues pay the bands that play, the income the weekend brings in makes it very worthwhile being involved in. I hope it will continue to grow in future years and bring even more people into Montrose.”
Dave Metcalfe, of Burnside Breweries, one of the stall holders at this year’s ‘Market Street’ said: “As part of Burnside Brewery’s growth strategy for 2015, we have focussed on supporting local events, one of these being MoFest.
“Burnside Brewery is proud to have a presence at MoFest, so that we can show the local community our range of quality and locally produced Beers.
“The brewery was established in 2010, primarily serving the trade directly, until December 2014 when we opened a shop for a short two week period.
The response and support from the local community was fantastic! We then decided to apply for a full premises licence for the shop, which we are due to obtain in early June.
“The decision to take a stall at MoFest was an easy one to make. It will be an ideal opportunity to show the local community our product range directly.”