Buskers to take to the Boaty MacBoatface stage at Belladrum Festival

This story appeared in The National on Saturday 30 July 2016.

ONE of the stages at next week’s Belladrum Tartan Heart music festival will be named Boaty MacBoatface, inspired by the viral phenomenon.

The title was the overwhelming favourite in a public online poll to name a new UK polar research ship earlier in the year, gaining almost four times the number of votes of its nearest competitor.

However, the result was non-binding and the vessel was eventually named after national treasure Sir David Attenborough, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year.

These events motivated organisers at Belladrum, near Beauly, to use the discarded nickname for one of its new festival stages.

“The original campaign was highlighted to us and we followed it with interest and amusement,” said Sam Barker, one of the organisers.

“We thought it was a bit of a shame that the vessel wasn’t named after the public sentiment, so we had a discussion with Caledonian MacBrayne about the new busking stages we were bringing to the festival and this was one of the names that came up.

“We thought it was a brilliant and fun name for a stage.”

The festival, which runs from August 4-6, will feature, on its main stage, music from the likes of The Darkness and Two Door Cinema Club, while Boaty MacBoatface will be one of three smaller stages, sponsored by CalMac.

The ferry operator allows emerging artists to perform on their Caledonian MacBrayne services.

“They have an amazing project called Calmac Culture which supports young musicians and gives them access to gigs,”added Barker.

“We were involved in the judging of the Calmac Culture final at King Tut’s [Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow] earlier in the year and we are extending that partnership to bringing some acts to the busking stages across the festival.

“The busking stage is actually a bit of a misnomer.

“They are programmed by the festival but they are smaller busking slots as opposed to the main stages.”

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