Published: 02/12/2013 15:13 - Updated: 02/12/2013 15:28

Festival line up brewing nicely

Returning band Little Kicks at this year's Brew at the Bog.
Returning band Little Kicks at this year's Brew at the Bog.

FESTIVAL season in the Highlands will kick off with a "bigger and better" Brew at the Bog, event organiser Yvonne Murray is promising.

Tickets are already on sale for the one day music event at Bogbain Farm just outside Inverness on Saturday 3rd May 2014.

This will be third year of the festival produced by Murray and her Northern Roots Events partner musician and broadcaster Bruce MacGregor in association with Aberdeen-shire based beer-makers BrewDog.

"I think the bands are bigger and better than before," Murray said.

"Every year we want to improve the acts that we have here and this year I’ve tried to study the artists a little bit more and this year I think we have a better spread of different styles of music while keeping the same sort of theme."

Among the acts confirmed for Brew at the Bog 2014 are Inverness band Searching For Donkeys, who were recently confirmed as support act for Simple Minds at Stonehaven’s Hogmanay celebrations, along with returning acts including Stanley Odd, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, Lewis singer Miss Irenie Rose, This Silent Forest and Beerjacket.

Also appearing are Kid Canaveral, Woodenbox, Randolph’s Leap, Jo Mango, Call to Mind, Finn le Marinel, Roman Nose, Bronagh & The Boys, The Little Kicks, Campfires in Winter, Shiverin’ Sheiks, Have Mercy Las Vegas, Kill the Waves, Wild Sun and The Broken Raves.

Other acts are still to be confirmed, including some well known names on the Scottish music scene.

DJs Ally McCrae and Vic Galloway will also return to host the stages.

As in past years, Murray is hoping the visiting acts will bring friends and fans with them to Bogbain.

Festival organisers Bruce MacGregor and Yvonne Murray.
Festival organisers Bruce MacGregor and Yvonne Murray.

"This year we definitely had a lot more locals than the first year, but our core audience is still from the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen areas," she said.

"That’s good because hopefully that means the word is getting out and we are not relying on locals so much to help the festival survive. Now we are working on getting the locals to come and enjoy it as well, but hopefully with the added elements we have this year, there are more attractions to the event. We are spoiled up here with some great muisc anyway, so hopefully these are new elements that people won’t have seen elsewhere."

These include bringing in Glasgow’s Street Food Cartel to look after the food, a guest beer bar offering alternatives to BrewDog including Mikkeller and Cromarty beers, or The Gin Club, which will be hosted by This Silent Forest all day.

The Highland Bottle Shop will also have a bottle shop on site where a selection of beers can be ordered to be posted out after the event.

Shuttle buses will run between Inverness and Bogbain on the day of the festival, and there will be a pre-festival warm-up with traditional Scottish entertainment in the Barn on the Friday night.

Tickets are available online from www.brewatthebog.com or www.bogbainfarm.com or in person at The Ironworks, Highland Bottle Shop and Creative Skate in Inverness, priced at £29 until 1st January, thereafter £35.

The price includes camping from Friday until Sunday.

Also on sale are tickets for Bogbain’s Inverness Whisky Festival on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th April 2014, which is moving out of its traditional home in the Barn to a marquee, allowing many more distilleries to be represented.

Next year will also see the return of the Inverness Whisky Festival auction, which also proved popular.

"This year, 2013, the festivals all stood on their feet nicely and the money we make, we are re-investing in both festivals to make them bigger and better," Murray added.

"The key to making any festival work is identifying a niche market. The days of doing massive festivals seem to be over, but niche festivals are working and that’s really exciting."

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