THE first Montrose Music Festival has been an “astounding success” according to organisers, who are already turning their attention to next year’s event.
The Angus town was alive with the sound of music at the weekend, with more than 70 free gigs at a number of venues throughout the town.
The festival was given a top-class launch on Friday evening by headlining group The Average White Band, who played to a sell-out crowd in the town hall.
Support was provided by young up-and-coming Dundee band The Floor, who won their place on the bill after a competition held throughout Angus and the Mearns.
On Saturday some of the performing artists across a wide variety of styles and genres, ranging from Celtic to funk and indie, entertained crowds at an open air stage on the High Street.
Many of the town’s music and performance groups also turned out to provide family entertainment throughout the day.
Organising committee chairwoman Lynda Paton said the tempo had been expected to slow on Sunday, but this had not been the case.
“Every venue has been packed and it couldn’t have gone better,” she said. “A year of planning has paid off in the most fantastic manner.
“The only problem was the rain today – Sunday – but that hasn’t put people off at all. One venue was full for 45 minutes before the gig because people wanted to be sure of getting a seat.”
It was estimated that about 5,000 people would be brought to the area and Ms Paton said hotel rooms in the town had been at a premium.
Not only did the event draw artists from throughout the country, it also attracted an international audience with fans coming from as far afield as Canada, the United States and Japan.
“We’ve had families, individuals and ex-pats coming from all over. It all bodes well for a fantastic festival in 2009,” Ms Paton said.
“Planning for next year will begin at the end of June and we’re hoping to throw out a few surprises and attract a few more big names.
“We feel we’ve set the bar high this year, but we aim to beat that and make it bigger and better.”