06 September 2019
Craigie Hillfest had been sun-kissed for the previous three years. But Perth’s boutique festival looked like being a wash-out when gales whipped rain into the faces of the team applying the finishing touches to the golf club’s popular annual event.
Luckily, normal service was resumed by the time the gates opened and more than 800 music lovers rocked up to savour a bill showcasing Perth talent and bands lured from further afield.
And It’s been hailed “the biggest and the best yet.”
While she’s still catching her breath, battle-hardened organiser Pauline Harrier’s thoughts are already turning to next summer.
“It was another fantastic event and the feedback has been brilliant,” she said.
“While Fish of Marillion fame was our headliner, we deliberately gave a number of talented local bands a chance to show just how good they are and they seized the opportunity.”
Once again, veteran ska band The Rude Boys rolled back the years to turn in a pulsating, brass-fueled set, with fresh versions of old favourites “Uruguay” and “Explain” hitting the mark.
Americana rockers The New Madrids also set a blistering pace, trying to make up time lost by the morning deluge threatening to throw a spanner in the works.
Bands including The Carloways, The Sandemans, The Irritable Owls, The Foosties, Walt Disco and others kept the crowd entertained on the main stage and in the clubhouse.
Hillfest was again backed by main sponsors Kilmac and a string of local businesses, including Campbell Dallas, Momentum Warranties, Bannermans Colour Studio, GS Group and Mark Berwick Motors.
And with the Heavens opening, the team might have been tempted to construct an ark along with stage, bars, marquees and seating.
“The morning was grim,” admitted Pauline.
“The Perthshire Sound and Light team had to set-up in the worst of the weather. They were heroes, along with Fraser McDonald and the Hill team.
“David Fleming was responsible for setting-up three bars this year and those, along with the clubhouse and Ruby the Camper Van were busy long into the night.
“The converted horsebox selling three varieties of ‘The Lost Orchards’ cider being produced by David Hay and three other Carse of Gowrie farmers was another successful innovation. They are replanting acres of orchards and have already won recognition at the International Cider Awards in London.
“Luckily the sun came out in the afternoon for more than 800 festival goers. That is a record attendance, three times more than our first festival. We must be doing something right!”