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Forres Fest organiser Andy Macdonald would love to double the size of the audience following a sell-out first event at Mosset Park

By Garry McCartney

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THE TEAM behind the first successful Forres Fest promise it will return - even bigger and better!

Chief organiser Andy Macdonald, who also runs the MacMoray event in Elgin, admitted he would love to double the size of the audience after a maximum of 1200 tickets were sold for Saturday’s seven band bill at Mosset Park.

He said: “It went really well! The crowd were fantastic and everything flowed nicely from start to finish.

“Just one of the many highlights for me was the two young girls highland dancing in front of the stage during Torridon’s performance of ‘Highland Girl.’”

He added: “The crowd was in high spirits - everyone was really happy. My mood is determined by the audience so when they’re buzzing I’m buzzing!

“It was a real community event but we welcomed hundreds of visitors too. If anything makes me want to to it again, it’s the feedback - the response has been overwhelming.”

Andy is meeting co-organiser and Forres Mechanics fundraiser, Sandy Aird, to confirm how much was made for club funds.

Andy said: “We will discuss how it went, the money raised and the potential for making it an annual event.

“We agreed to give it a proud, Scottish feel, and we think it worked! Moving forward, I would like to continue this, along with visiting bands, but who knows what’s in store?

“I always listen to the guests and take on board what they say s let’s see what happens.”

Ideally, Andy would want a capacity of 3000 for future Forres Fests.

He said: “To achieve that, we’d need to knock down an eight metre wall at Mosset Park for potential emergency evacuations.

“There is more than enough room to add more people and still have enough personal space to enjoy ourselves!”

However, Sandy is not convinced the gig could have been any better!

He said: “All the bands were great and the Bay City Rollers were worth waiting for. They got everyone singing and dancing.

“The accounts aren’t done yet but all of the proceeds will go towards the ongoing costs of running Forres Mechanics Football Club.”

Bay City Rollers manager John McLaughlin confirmed the headliners had an “amazing” time at the show.

Crowds at the Bay City Rollers.Forres Fest 2024 - held at Mosset Park. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Crowds at the Bay City Rollers.Forres Fest 2024 - held at Mosset Park. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The headliners were preceded by Dave Finnegan’s Commitments, Torridon, Clanadonia, Tweed, Be Like Pablo and Reliever.

Parking was available at the old Tesco car park on Gordon Street. Stalls and vans beside the stand and around the pitch sides sold refreshments, merchandise and crafts. There was also a raffle, fairground attractions, hair braiding, face painting, tarot reading and a licenced bar.

Local mum-of-two and college lecturer, Cat James, thought the bands were excellent.

She said: “It was good for a first time event.

“The kids’ entertainment was OK - mine were a bit disappointed by the funfair as there was only one small ride, and adults couldn't go on which meant Alex (3) couldn't as too little to go on his own.

“The drinks were expensive at £5 each and there was no Prosecco! There wasn’t a great range and the VIP tables were limited.

“But other than that, it was amazing to see kids having space to play football etc in a relaxed family environment.

“We didn't see any trouble and would go again, but just not book VIP next time.”

Local greenkeeper and father, Ross Macleod, also had a great day.

“There was something for the whole family,” he said. “Hopefully Forres Fest will become a regular event. My highlight was probably Torridon.

“Improvements-wise, a DJ or music on between the bands would help to keep the atmosphere going.”

Finally, festivals aficionado Emily MacDonald thought Bay City Rollers were a “really good” act to send everyone home happy.

She said: “I spent a lot of time with a group of ladies down from Keith - Rollers mega-fans and great craic! They were in awe of Woody the bass player - pretty much like me and my friends with Brandon Flowers from The Killers!

“My daughter Darcy (10) and her friend Charlotte (12) danced during the headline set!

“The VIP area could be improved and the women’s toilets in the stand needs seats … But apart from that, we all had a great day!”

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