It really was an extra special 4th year of the Summer Isles Festival! Thank you so much to all the volunteers, the musicians and everyone who came along to enjoy such an amazing weekend.
This year, the additional funding from Highland Seashore Biodiversity project allowed us to host so many extra daytime activities. This made for a fun filled day with something for everyone. I was so delighted and amazed that every activity had such a good crowd, and it was important to get there early to get a good spot for each event. The Fantastic Physics Fire Show by Fly Agaric was a highlight of the day for a lot of people, there were queues out the door of the Marquee to try some oysters from Ockran Oysters and Yungyung Kan was a star entertainer as always for the cookery demonstrations. Local artist Julia Campbell had all ages building lovely driftwood boats and Play Pieces, Warrior Blues by Bob Pegg was a popular choice also. The Festival would like to thank Highland Seashore Biodiversity project very much for this support and lets keep celebrating our coastline all year round! If you missed the Highland Seashore Biodiversity project film launch with some of my music, here is a link to it now!
A particular highlight for me was the local showcase concert on the Friday evening of the Festival. This was the first ever year that we had tried this and it certainly will not be the last. The Summer Isles Festival Youth Fund aims to support young people living in Coigach looking to develop their creative practice and this year, the Fund awarded money to four talented youngsters in the area – Joseph Peach, Mairi Buxton, Kim Maclennan and James Heaney. The local showcase concert acts as an ideal platform for up and coming artists and it is exciting to see how this develops over the years. A big thank you to Una MacGregor on the Festival committee for running the Silent Auction and Raffle which raised a healthy balance for next year’s Youth Fund!
The evening concert and ceilidh kicked off with one of my favourite Gaelic singers of all time, Kathleen MacInnes. Followed shortly by Sorren Maclean, who is definitely one to watch in the future, and I was chuffed to bits that the dance floor was full and jumping for my ceilidh band! Having Flook perform in the Coigach Community Hall was such an absolute privilege and Elephant Sessions were the perfect energetic finish to an amazing weekend all round. I am exhausted, inspired and uplifted by the level of support and general special atmosphere from the community, visiting artists and audiences. Thank you to the Festival Committee (Margaret Maclennan, Alison Sinclair, Karen Peach, Una MacGregor, Sheila Green and Richard Williams) and all the volunteers who made this event possible.
My forthcoming solo album ‘Summer Isles’ will be released early next year. Keep checking back here for regular updates! We will have a short break from the Festival but do sign our mailing list to be first in line for next year’s announcements at www.summerislesfestival.com