Published: 09/05/2014 16:42 - Updated: 09/05/2014 17:02

Brew at the Bog will be back and bigger

Randolph's Leap were among the mains stage entertainment at Brew at The Bog.
Randolph's Leap were among the mains stage entertainment at Brew at The Bog.

BREW at the Bog will return next year, but in a slightly different format after the organisers declared themselves "absolutely delighted" with its first sell out year.

"This is us at full capacity and it’s worked really well, but I think this is the last year in the current format," Yvonne Murray of Bogbain’s Northern Roots Events said.

Some 3000 fans converged on the 19th century farm steading at Bogbain two miles south of Inverness on Saturday for a day of music featuring 38 acts on four stages.

Even the weather cooperated. Miss Murray and partner Bruce MacGregor could even be spotted refreshing themselves with ice cream at one point, unlike past events which even saw a flurry of snow.

Although rain did start to fall towards the evening, it did little to dampened the enthusiasm of the festival-goers, the majority of them visiting from outside the Highlands.

Headlined by Admiral Fallow, Stanley Odd and King Creosote, the bill ranged from the electronica of the mysterious Roman Nose to the Celtic fusion of Elephant Sessions and vintage rockabilly of Shiverin’ Sheiks, with the bluegrass sounds of Have Mercy Las Vegas inspiring an impromptu barn dance outside the barn while inside Ardersier rockers Call to Mind warmed up for their set.

For the most part the programme seemed to go as planned although the late arrival of singer-songwriter Roddy Woomble of Idlewild fame saw him lose his main stage slot to up and coming act Friends in America, who were clearly delighted at their promotion. Woomble and his band, on the other hand, not only found themselves squeezed onto a smaller stage, but battling poorer sound quality.

Fatherson were revealed as the festival's secret act on Saturday afternoon.
Fatherson were revealed as the festival's secret act on Saturday afternoon.

Some music fans also found it difficult entering and exiting the festival’s gin bar through the often packed barn, which served as the festival’s second stage, while the acoustic performers in the gin bar also struggled to be heard.

A limited number of food concessions also presented an issue to be looked at for next year, but over all, Mr MacGregor said he was overwhelmed by the positive response.

"What I love is that I recognise so many people who came in the first two years and they always stop for a chat," he said.

"It has a really organic feel and I hope that never changes. Yvonne hit the nail on the head with her choice of acts. People coming here aren’t glory hunters after big name bands. They are here because they love music."

With Brew at the Bog and last month’s Inverness whisky festival out of the way, the couple can now concentrate on their third festival, the more traditionally themed Northern Roots Festival, which takes place at Eden Court and in the centre of Inverness on the weekend of Friday 30th and Saturday 31st May.

"Every year we get to this stage and think: why on earth do we do three festivals one after another," Mr MacGregor said.

"But it’s actually better doing it that way because you have that impetus."

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