Festival “one of the best ever”

High Street high point: The High Street basks in sunshine as Saturday's programme gets under way with a bang.'Chris Simpson Photography
High Street high point: The High Street basks in sunshine as Saturday's programme gets under way with a bang.'Chris Simpson Photography

MONTROSE baked in some of the hottest temperatures this year at the weekend as thousands of locals and visitors partied for Mo Fest 2012.

Scottish singer Eddi Reader’s sell-out gig in the town hall on Friday night set the tone for the rest of the festival which is already being hailed as the most successful yet.

Although figures for this year are as yet unclear, previous festivals have consistently drawn more than 5,000 visitors to the town creating a significant economic spin-off for accommodation providers, restaurants and cafes.

More than 120 free gigs, the most yet, were held in pubs and bars across Montrose covering virtually all popular music genres, from jazz and blues to folk, rock, country reggae, indie and pop.

Artists included many local home-grown acts while younger performers were also given a chance to shine at the youth festival, which was held in the town hall on Sunday.

Mo Fest committee chairman David Paton said the outstanding weather was also a definite factor in helping to make Mo Fest 2012 “one of the best weekends we’ve ever had”.

He said: “The feedback we’ve had from publicans and bands has just been incredible. We had a few small issues that cropped up but nothing that affected things.

“The High Street concert was just a huge success and we even had a couple of celebrities show up. Eddi Reader came along to mingle and listen to the music and so did Kyle Falconer of The View was also there, which is great. Hopefully they’ll go off and talk about it and word will continue to spread.

“From what I’ve heard, it was probably the busiest Mo Fest we’ve had and the pubs were even busier than in previous years. At one point the Picture House had to close its doors to customers while the Market Arms had to put tables and chairs outside due to the number of people.

“The police were fantastic over the weekend too, and they were lenient with people as long as they were carrying their drinks in plastic glasses - all in all a good weekend.”

Mr Paton also praised the work put into the festival by the committee, many of whom were involved for the first time.

He added: “They really worked hard before it and over the weekend.”

l