by Margaret Chrystall
THE Jocktoberfest beer’n’bands festival returns this weekend after selling out earlier than ever for its fourth year.
This year’s Wild West theme has proved popular, said Black Isle Brewery’s David Gladwin who has hosted the event at the beer company’s base at Allangrange near Munlochy since 2011.
“We pretty much sold out last year, but not as early as this,” he said of the 1,000 capacity two-dayer which hit maximum sales last Tuesday.
“We try to cap it at the same level each year to keep it a nice, small family-friendly event.”
This year’s festival fields 28 acts with a ceilidh feel to Friday night – plus the chance to catch much talked-about Inverness band Lionel and a funk and soul DJ set to close the night.Saturday sees a full line-up of rock and roots bands and acoustic acts.
Saturday sees a full line-up of rock and roots bands on the main Dutch Barn Stage, while the Hayloft Stage has a bill of acoustic acts.
Music programmer Steve Robertson said: “I couldn’t be more pleased at the level and quality of acts coming to play Jocktoberfest this weekend.
“We have everything from top Scottish act Victorian Trout Conspiracy to the alternative rock sound of Chris Devotion and The Expectations. There’s the brilliant folk of Dante from Perthshire to top locals acts The Whiskys, Lionel and Silver Coast.
“We’ve got a great shindig on Friday with the stomping ceilidh band Tweed to get everyone warmed up.”
Some special one-off beers have been brewed for this year’s event and food includes organic lamb-burgers .
Black Isle Brewery’s David Gladwin said: “We’ve got some unsigned beers and we’ve also got some beers served fresh from oak sherry casks.
“The burgers are from Hebridean lamb that we rear here on the brewery, fed through the winter on the grain from the brewery mash tun. So they’re born, raised and eaten here!”
“The Wild West theme this year seems to be been a good one – it really seems to have appealed to people this year.
So we’re expecting cowboys, cowgirls and maybe some Native Americans.
“We’ve even got some neighbours riding over on horses. So anyone else who wants to ride their horse over – or a mule – would be welcome to bring their horses with them.
“Hopefully the weather will hold and the idea is to drink some good beer, enjoy some good food and listen to some excellent music.”
David himself will be dressing up too.
“I always do – my spurs are ready and I’m polishing up my sheriff’s badge as we speak!
“For us it’s an end of summer wind down so we enjoy having a big party at the brewery!”
So just those stetsons, chaps and spurs to sort out then, y’all...
The site is open from 6pm today (Friday).
And the full music line-up looks like this:
Lionel (start the music), The Whiskys, Tweed and DJ Dan Tierney (funk and soul set).
Dutch Barn Stage: Autumn Sun (openers), Delta Mainline, Chris Devotion & The Expectations, Sara Bills & The Hasbeens, Silver Coast, Loby Dosser And The Rank Badyinz, Ashley And The Cosmonauts, Garden Of Elks, The Little Mill Of Happiness, Dante, Verona, Red Kites, Victorian Trout Conspiracy, Hoodja
Hayloft Stage: Conor Johnstone (openers), Hollie Atkinson, Winnie, Dr Wook, Gabbro, Craig Robertson, Esperi, Meeshelle, Michael Cassidy, The Rogues.
Get full info: www.jocktoberfest.com
And keep in touch: Twitter: @jocktober and Facebook: www.facebook.com/jocktoberfest