Dunnottar Woods Festival hope to inspire wider community

Organisers Morgan Taylor and Stephen Fraser are hoping to encourage the wider community to come along to the event.
Organisers Morgan Taylor and Stephen Fraser are hoping to encourage the wider community to come along to the event.

A new festival to promote local music, art, sustainable living and community spirit is to be held in Dunnottar Woods at the end of this month.

The event, which will be held over the weekend of August 30 and 31, will see local musicians descend on the quarry area of the woods, with added entertainment such as facepainting, chocolatier workshops, and the Dunnottar bodgers all on hand. A group of African drummers will also be making an appearance.

Organiser Stephen Fraser said that he was keen to reach out to the wider community to help make the event a success.

He said: “The event is primarily about the music, and there will be live acoustic sets throughout the day on Saturday, leading to DJ sets through the night. But this festival is also an opportunity for people to find out more about sustainable living, and spend time enjoying nature.

“It’s a family friendly music and art showcase which aims to promote a respect for nature and the development different ideas. There will be workshops and all sorts of things going on, and we are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to contribute. There are guys that like to use the area for their BMX biking, and they are welcome to join us and show us what they can do.”

As well as families, Mr Fraser said that there would be a party atmosphere for those who want to let off some steam, but it would be a safe environment. “We want to encourage people to have a good time, utilising the intention to go out and have fun, without doing harm to themselves and in a safer environment, which we intend to provide. We would also like to say thanks to forestry commission for giving us their backing.”

There will be a camping area for anyone who wishes to stick around for the entire 24-hour festival, which runs from 12pm on Saturday to 12pm on Sunday, and there will be on site catering, although there is a BYOB policy.

Fellow organiser Morgan Taylor said: “We want people to come along and have a smile on their face first and foremost, but we are hoping people can enjoy themselves in a healthier and more positive atmosphere.”

The event will feature a tribute sculpture, dedicated to local young people who have passed in unfortunate circumstances, as this is something close to the organisers’ hearts. Anyone is welcome to add to the sculpture with flowers, or offerings of any kind, which Stephen has requested be “as bright and as fun as possible”.

The group are looking for volunteers, including musicians, dramatists, and workshops to contribute to the line-up, as well as stewards and volunteers to help set up before the event, or clean up afterwards. Anyone who wishes to find out more can find out by searching for ‘Thistles and Faeries Community Action Project’ on Facebook, and adding themselves to the group.

Mr Fraser said that, while there is no strict entry fee, there will be donation buckets and a suggested amount of £5 for entry for over 12s. It is recommended to wear suitable clothing, and to bring a torch if you intend to stay after dark, and limited parking is available at the car park adjacent to the quarry.

The festival is the first venture for Mr Fraser’s company, Thistles and Faeries Community Action project, but there are others in the pipeline.

Permission has recently been granted for a monthly commercial market to be held in Lunan Bay near Montrose, as well as two small music festivals a year and one big festival peak summer. Details are still to be finalised on those events.