Butefest: Music festival gears up for return after pandemic hiatus

A POPULAR island festival is set to return this summer after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

First held in 2015, ButeFest has grown from a local event attracting 600 people to a festival with a capacity of 2,000 people, attracting people from across the UK and generating hundreds of thousands of pounds for the local economy.

Around 70 acts line up to perform on three stages over the weekend, alongside craft workshops and stalls selling local and Scottish produce.

Performers include bagpipe superstars the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, pop favorites Scouting for Girls, Gaelic folk band Mànran and indie folk band Elephant Sessions, plus upcoming talents such as Rothesay, The Upbeat Beatdown and the indie talent of Greenock Fallen Arches, who have hosted the festival every year since its inception.

The festival also champions a strong volunteer program with a team of around 100 volunteers helping to make ButeFest’s return a reality this year.

Volunteer Joanne Cowie, who lives in Bute, said she learned a lot from the experience.

“It’s been amazing over the years to see so many members of our community come together to organize this event,” she said. “I had never been to a festival before volunteering for ButeFest. I liked the idea of ​​being on the welfare team and being there to help others, so I said I would help. I’ve been there ever since. »

Fraser Lindsay of The Upbeat Beatdown said the festival return gave the band a creative direction.

“Playing ButeFest before has given us, as a group, a whole new lease of life,” he said. “We found an open and enthusiastic audience who, although the majority had never heard of us before, were more than ready to join us on our musical journey across genres. Coming back to the festival this year has given us a real focus and creative spark and we can’t wait to share our new material with everyone.

Butefest president Hazel Mulholland said the festival was a community and communal event.

“We are extremely lucky to have the support of the island since our inception,” she said. “Having built on the festival’s success year after year, we look forward to bringing the event back this year – locals and visitors alike can expect a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.”


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