Scotland’s first music festival since lockdown gets underway in a field in Highlands

It may be one of the smallest music festivals ever staged in Scotland, but Capers In Cannich is also one of the most significant.

It is the first event of its kind to be staged since lockdown began in March 2020 - a potential blueprint for the industry to study and adapt as it begins the long journey back.

Running across this weekend in the heart of the Highlands, it was created in direct response to the pandemic which has put Scotland’s entire live music scene on hold for more than a year, and which continues to impact on plans for gigs and festivals big and small.

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Around 250 people headed to the green-field site at Invercannich Farm, near Beauly for a weekend of glamping and live music - all socially distanced.

Colonel Mustard and The Dijon 5 headline the opening night at Capers In Cannich - the first music festival staged in Scotland since lockdown in March 2020

The multi-coloured bell tents were spaced out, giving everyone room to relax within their bubbles, while bales of hay in front of the stage allowed fans to enjoy the music still within their own groups.

Food and drink was ordered and delivered via an app, while the afternoons were given over to exploring the countryside or enjoying everything from yoga to felt making.

And all in a perfect setting next to the River Beauly.

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Socially distanced belltents at Capers In Cannich

The event caught the imagination of locals too, with a number making full use of the hill opposite the stage to watch proceedings for free.

Morayshire band, Gordon James And The Power, had the honour of opening the event which was headlined by festival favourites, Colonel Mustard and The Dijon Five. Bein Uist also brought reels and jigs from the Isle of Uist.

“Jig, sleep,swig, repeat” was the mantra on the giant posters stage side - one any festival goer will be very familiar with, and the organisers and staff all went the extra mile to provide everything visitors needed

Gordon James And The Power soundchecking before opening Capers In Cannich

As well as the joy of hearing live music once more, Capers In Cannich offered a glimpse into how festivals can be staged safely, and enjoyably.

This weekend is also the first of eight scheduled across summer.

Modest in scale, but bold in ambition, Capers In Cannich has taken the first important step towards normality ...

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The first fans arrive for the glamping festival Capers In Cannich

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