DURING Johnny Lynch’s Fence Records days, he organised a Guy Fawkes event called Flamin’ Hott Loggz. From that point on, each subsequent show required a title more ridiculous than the last, although Howlin’ Fling was not the organiser’s initial choice for his latest venture.
“It was called something really crap for ages,” he explains. “I was gonna call it ‘Get Lost’, you know, because the label is Lost Map. Everyone told me it was a crap name.”
Over the last six months, Lynch has been busy establishing Lost Map Records while organising the label’s first music festival. Howlin’ Fling will take place on Lynch’s adopted island, Eigg, over the weekend of 18-20 July. All of the artists on Lost Map will perform, including Kid Canaveral, eagleowl, Monoganon and the Pictish Trail. And the still-to-be-announced headlining acts, he confides, are two of the biggest bookings Lost Map or Fence has ever had.
Howlin’ Fling’s unique location is certainly something that makes it stand out from the crowded summer calendar. Lynch, who has previously lived in both Edinburgh and Fife, moved to Eigg soon after his first visit.
“The scenery and the lifestyle and the people are just amazing, and I was completely and utterly in love with it. I’ve not wanted to leave, really. It’s such a beautiful, remote place.”
Arranging music festivals on the island seemed like the next logical step for Lynch and the labels he represented. Away Game took place in 2010 and 2012, with Howlin’ Fling picking up the baton in 2014. Lynch is confident that similar festivals will continue every two years for the foreseeable future, if not annually.
It also helps that Eigg’s islanders have reportedly welcomed the events, and the influx of music fans, with open arms. Locals have volunteered to help with everything from building stages to manning bars and supplying wood for campfires.
“It’s a definite community effort, which is an amazing thing,” Lynch says. “You feel less like you’re imposing on people’s lives, because they want to be part of it and they see it as a good thing. This year, we’re planning on doing a few extra little performances around the campfire, as well as a few hidden performances that will feature on walks around the island, so people have to discover it a little bit more.”