Shows still go on despite disrupted ferry services

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Tiree Music Festival goers made the most of last Friday’s ferry delays.

Weekend events threatened by a broken down ferry all went ahead with participants delivered behind schedule but in time to enjoy the festivities.

‘Lifeline’ services were arranged when CalMac’s MV Isle of Lewis was taken out of action with an engine problem on Friday.

The disruption saw a wedding on Barra under threat, with the bride-to-be on the island and the band, catering and flowers left stranded in Oban.

The wedding was on Saturday but family members and guests were also booked on Friday’s ferry – which would have been the last sailing before the ceremony.

It was feared they wouldn’t make it in time but CalMac scheduled the MV Isle of Mull to make the journey at 6.30pm on Friday night.

A CalMac spokesman said: ‘We apologise for the technical issues that took the MV Isle of Lewis out of service.

‘We introduced a temporary timetable that ensures that lifeline services to Barra were maintained with minimal disruption elsewhere in the network.’

Ollie Sharp from the band Rock and Reel, who were playing at the wedding, has however called on CalMac to do something about the mechanical issues on their ageing fleet, and quickly.

‘I cannot now stress enough, you have to sort something out,’ he said in an email to the ferry providers.

‘We don’t travel to the islands very often but if the boats have managed to break down four times on us this year alone, how many times do they actually break down and why has nothing been done?

‘It turned out to be the most amazing weekend. The venue was incredible, the weather was stunning and we partied long into the night – all three nights. I am just so happy it all worked out.’

The disruption did not appear to bother the hundreds of passengers sailing to Tiree Music Festival. Their sailing had been due to leave Oban at 6.15am on Friday but went at noon instead.

In the meantime, festival goers set up camp outside the ferry terminal and made the most of the gorgeous weather.

Iain McPhillips from Glasgow told The Oban Times: ‘Well that’s ferries for you. What can you do?

‘We have already made a few friends this morning. Some folk are playing music, others are having a few beers and getting to know others going to the island so it’s been a bit of a social event in itself.’

Ferry services were back to normal on the morning of Monday July 15 with  amended timetables operating on the Oban-Coll-Tiree route to accommodate festival goers.

 

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