Sarah Cruickshank, Daniel Gillespie, Stewart MacLennan, Julie MacLennan
Tiree Music Festival picked up its third award of the year at the recent prestigious Thistle Awards.
At a stunning awards’ ceremony held in Stirling Castle, TMF collected the award for ‘Best Cultural Event’, beating off stiff competition from major events such as the Glasgow Film Festival. This award follows on from the regional award at the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards in October while TMF also retained the award of ‘Best Small Festival’ in Scotland at the Scottish Event Awards in September. TMF has rapidly grown in the space of a few years to become Scotland’s best kept secret on the summer festival scene, however that secret could now be out due to the trio of awards collected in 2013.
“We are just stunned to collect this award”, said TMF Director Daniel Gillespie. “Winning the regional award was a big enough shock to us, so to win the National award is just something we would have never dreamed of when starting the festival in 2010. We have a very special team that commits so much of their time and energy to the festival – this award is testament to all their hard work over the past 4 years.”
TMF has created a huge economic boost to the island of Tiree. An independent report by MKA Economics estimated that the festival had generated £493,197 for the local region with 76% of the 1500 attendees travelling from outwith the region to enjoy the festival held on the island dubbed the ‘Hawaii of the North’.
It is this stunning location and island atmosphere that fellow TMF Director Stewart MacLennan feels makes the event so special. “TMF isn’t just a festival, it is an island adventure. So many people feed back to us that they have never seen such stunning beaches or landscape. This combined with the friendly island atmosphere and great music are the key reasons people tell us they want to return Tiree and TMF.”
Planning is already under way for TMF2014 – the first three day event in the festival’s history and will be held from the 18th–20th July.
Before that, there is the possibility of a fourth award of 2013 for TMF as the festival is shortlisted for ‘Event of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards, held on the 7th December in Aberdeen.
The Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) have announced this year’s finalists in 15 categories, each in the running to receive a coveted 2013 HITA award at the ceremony and dinner to be held on 4th October in Inverness.
The eight year old regional tourism awards programme received more entries this year than ever before and the judging panel emphasised the volume of quality submissions, identifying the 2013 short listing process as the most competitive yet. Marina Huggett, chair of the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards said:
“It is with great pleasure that on behalf of our independent judging panel we can reveal the 2013 HITA finalists. What is particularly exciting about this year’s qualifiers is that they have been selected from a wealth of truly award winning entries. Our judging panel have communicated that in addition to receiving the highest number of entries this year from across the Highlands and Islands, the overall quality has been of an extremely high caliber, clearly demonstrating the increasingly outstanding work that tourism businesses are delivering throughout our region.”
The finalists for the Best Cultural Event Award are the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Elgin and Tiree Music Festival.
The Defenders, Tiree’s incredible / awesome / amazing (delete as appropriate) rock band, are back with a Vengeance.
Featuring three members of the original line-up – Gordon Scott on vocals and rhythm guitar, Bruce Kemp on lead guitar and Iain MacDonald on bass they are joined by Bernie Smith Jnr on drums, while the inexhaustible Frances Woodhead on backing Vocals provides some (much needed!!!) glamour.
The Editor didn’t manage to see their first full performance at the Rags to Riches event, but caught up with them on the Community Village Stage at TMF where they played a blinding set including several classics by Primal Scream,The Undertones and Buzzcocks, before finishing the set with the Bo Diddley classic “Who do you love?”. The Editor loves his classic punk and rock, so in his humble opinion The Defenders were the highlight of TMF 2013.
Unfortunately, due to illness, The Defenders were not able to perform on the Sunday, and having seen the set-list it would undoubtedly have been another cracking show. Gordon is on the road to recovery now, and I for one can’t wait for their next performance.