MacPhail: celebrating the Tiree Music Festival

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The 10th Tiree Music Festival fires into action this weekend and it will be one to remember.

I hope I don’t tempt the weather gods, but the forecast is predicting calm, sunny days and blue skies.

TMF has not been blessed with good conditions in recent years but whatever the weather has thrown at this multi-award-winning event, the music, the atmosphere and the welcome have shone through and conquered the elements.

Back in January, I wrote about the Ten Years of TMF concert at Celtic Connections and, as we approach the actual event itself, the excitement is building and I’m compelled again to feature it here.

Having been born and brought up on Tiree, it is with pride that I have watched the conception, growth and development of the festival and I have been lucky to have played at most of the events since the first in 2010.

Running an event like this in an accessible area of the mainland is a considerable undertaking, but to do so on a remote island with the added costs and logistical difficulties involved is to be greatly admired.

Having seen the success of Barra Live back in our own early days, I took tentative steps then to look into the possibility of running a similar event on Tiree. When the initial quotes for tents, stages, sound gear and security came in – never mind everything else – I was very quickly put off the idea and took it no further.

Daniel Gillespie, Stewart MacLennan and the TMF team have proved year after year that it can be done and I take my proverbial hat off to them for the way in which they have achieved this.

This small event has been consistently punching way above its weight in terms of its influence on the wider music industry and the awards it has won. The calibre of the bands that over the years have graced TMF has been of a very high and the kind of audience it attracts is in perfect balance with the type of family -friendly atmosphere that an event like this should create.

Because of the Skipinnish 20th anniversary events this summer, we made the decision at the end of last year that we wouldn’t do any other gigs or festivals so as not to play too often to potentially the same audiences. There are only so many times that people would want to listen to our racket.

It was the right decision at the time, but with TMF a few days away, I am seriously regretting that move now.

It will be nice to be there as an audience member and just relax and enjoy the party, but I think given the extra special atmosphere of the 10th year celebration, I am going to be wishing we were on stage singing songs about Tiree, on Tiree, to a Tiree audience.

I have a feeling =this will be the best TMF to date. The line-up has been built perfectly and the anticipation is running high.

If the weekend is also blessed with sunny days then TMF 2019 will be the talk of generations to come.