Feast of festivals in store for Angus music fans

Alternative rock band Ash headlined last year's MoFest.
Alternative rock band Ash headlined last year's MoFest.

Angus music fans have a feast of live gigs to look forward to as the county’s festival programme gets into full swing.

The summer schedule promises not to disappoint, offering a broad appeal to lovers of all genres, from rock to classical and traditional to jazz.

Kirriemuir blazed the trail for this year’s programme by hosting the 10th and hugely successful Bon Fest at the end of April which attracted a record international crowd of AC/DC fans who travelled to ‘The Wee Red Town’ to pay tribute to Bon Scott, former band frontman, who was born in the town.

As well as staging a wide range of live acts, the festival also saw the unveiling of a statue of Bon Scott which will be a focal point for fans in the future.

Montrose will be next in the spotlight over the weekend of May 27-29. Now in its ninth year, MoFest has enjoyed a growing reputation on the live music circuit and year on year has attracted more and more visitors to the town. This year’s event is expected to attract more than 15,000 people to enjoy more than 120 gigs in venues throughout Montrose, with the majority of the performances being free.

Anne Jenkins, MoFest committee vice-chairman, said: “MoFest is much-anticipated in the Scottish music calendar and has been likened to Glastonbury.

“Over the years, the current and former committees have worked hard to build the MoFest brand and the festival is now well known in the music industry.”

As a result, Mo Fest successfully attracts the some of the very best acts, including Status Quo in 2014 and this year’s headliners, Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

Anne added: “Jools Holland performing at the East Links, which is a great location, will be unmissable.”

Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5 will also see free gigs held in venues throughout Forfar as part of the town’s annual music festival which, like Montrose, is growing in popularity and has consistently attracted between 50 an 80 acts across a variety of genrres annually since it started in 2011.

There are high hopes of a bumper turnout across the town this year and Runrig legend Donnie Munro has been booked for the main event at the town’s Reid Hall on the opening night.

Traditional Scottish music will feature at Arbroath Accordion and Fiddle Festival from July 1-3 July.

Steven Carcary, one of the founders and organisers of the festival, which began in 2003, said the weekend will be a highlight for traditional music fans.

He said: “Five of Scotland’s top Scottish dance bands will be attending this year’s festival. This is a weekend of traditional Scottish music and dance with a party atmosphere thrown in.”

Following its triumphant return last year after a three-year hiatus, the Glamis Prom is set to thrill against the romantic backdrop of Glamis Castle.

It returned with a bang with headliners Elaine Paige and Susan Boyle and organisers have pulled out all the stops to put together another appealing programme.

The open air event on Saturday, July 16, will feature the renowned British Sinfonietta Orchestra and an all-star cast of performers will take to the stage in the castle’s magnificent grounds.

Among the performers will be Arbroath’s own West End star and Shakespearian actor, Norman Bowman; Melanie Masson; soul songstress Mica Paris and Britain’s Got Talent’s classical singing stars, Richard & Adam.

Peter Ferguson, prom spokesman, said the evening’s programme will not disappoint.

He said: “It’s a real coup to bring Richard & Adam to Glamis. We are thrilled and excited about the programme for this year’s show and there may be a few surprise appearances throughout the evening.”

The music continues in August, with rock star Bryan Adams playing an additional MoFest concert in the town on August 7 and live music by top local bands at Arbroath Sea Fest on August 13/14.

From September 2-4, Kirriemuir Festival of Music and Song will transform the town into a traditional music mecca, with concerts by top folk groups, impromptu gigs in pubs, ceilidhs in church halls and a programme of hotly-contested competitions to find the best traditional singers and musicians.

For more information about all the events mentioned, and the full programme of events happening in Angus during 2016, as well as information about accommodation and visitor attractions, visit www.visitangus.com