In a bid to boost the economy of the island of Tiree and show off its natural beauty, musician Daniel Gillespie and friend, Stewart MacLennan decided to start a small music festival back in 2010.
Daniel, who founded local band Skerryvore, had travelled to many festivals all over the world and it was this that sparked the idea for the first Tiree Music Festival.
“We started the festival to share our island’s amazing natural beauty and showcase its vibrant musical offering with visitors from all over the world," he said. "What started as a bit of a dream for myself and co-founder Stewart MacLennan back in 2010 has become an annual celebration and calendar-favourite for so many people."
Their shared goal of the Tiree Music Festival resulted in a 600-capacity sell-out pilot event which was, as it is now, a family-friendly festival with a creative programme for young people and their families, including workshops, sport, music and culture.
Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength resulting an consecutive sell-outs since 2010.It has also grown in capacity each year until 2016, when it reached the target maximum capacity of 2,000 (three times the population of the island) – a number that will not increase, meaning that the Tiree Music Festival will remain a small and intimate offering.
The festival offers a diverse programme with a mixture of genres including folk, pop and indie. Artists across the years have included The Fratellis, Dougie MacLean, Sharon Shannon, The Levellers, Capercaillie, Sandi Thom and Eddi Reader.
Thanks to their connection to the island and the festival, Skerryvore have played every one of the festivals and are headlining again this year.
With its beautiful beaches with white sands, turquoise sea and famous surf, Tiree is often dubbed the "Hawaii of the North”, making this festival venue not only one of the remotest in Scotland but one of the most beautiful, so it's easy to see why it has become a firm favourite each year for festival goers from all over.
The island also lays claim to more days of sunshine than practically anywhere else in the UK, but it's still advised to dress for all weathers - this is Scotland after all.
Since its inaugural weekend, the festival has won nine national awards including Best Small Event at the Scottish Event Awards (2012, 2013 and 2016), Best Cultural Event at both the Highland & Island Tourism Awards (2013 and 2015) and the Scottish Thistle Awards in 2013. It has also won Event of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2013 and also the Best Small Event at the UK Event Awards in 2014.
Tiree Music Festival turns 10
Celebrations for the tenth year started in January with a show at Celtic Connections in Glasgow -TIREE: A Toast to 10 Years of Tiree Music Festival. The night was hosted by Tiree locals Skerryvore and Trail West alongside a number of musicians who played at the festival over the last ten years.
When tickets went on sale earlier this year, they sold out in record breaking time with 750 early bird tickets selling out in just 52 minutes and all Glamping and Campervan tickets selling out in just 10 minutes.
Daniel said: “It’s an incredible feeling to be looking forward to celebrating our 10th Tiree Music Festival. Now 10 years on, with nine national event awards under our belts and a devoted army of visitors, volunteers and artists who come back year on year, we are so excited to unveil our 10th edition – a TMF we promise will be our biggest and most memorable yet!”
Stewart added: “TMF10 is going to be incredible. We would like to say a huge thank you for the incredible support of so many people – visitors to the festival, volunteers who make it all possible and artists who continue to support our wee festival. We can’t wait to celebrate 10 years with you all and we’re so looking forward to sharing what amazing artists and projects we have for you for TMF10.”
When is the Tiree Music Festival 2019 and who is playing?
This year's festival takes place from Friday 12 - Sunday 14 July and, thanks to record breaking sales, tickets are now sold out.
There are two stages - Cairn Capital Big Top Tent and the Elevate Stage plus film screenings and acoustic performances at CineMore77.
Artists playing include: Skerryvore; Tidelines; Sandi Thom; Callum Beattie; Jill Jackson; Manran; Niteworks; Trail West; Face The West; Gunna Sound; Funbox; Heron Valley; The Tumbling Souls; Gentlemen of Few; plus many more.
More info on the schedule can be found here.
How is 10 years being celebrated?
As well as the packed line-up, the festival has teamed up with the Tiree Whisky Company to produce a specially commissioned small batch Speyside Single Malt whisky to commemorate 10 years.
The whisky was put into cask around the same time as plans for the first ever Tiree Music Festival were taking shape and now, ten years on, about 380 bottles will be available to celebrate the milestone.
How can you get there?