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Festival fever as Wildfire returns

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By Fiona Reid
Festival fever as Wildfire returns

RISING ROCK bands and live music-hungry fans will descend on the region later this summer for the return of Wildfire Festival.

After cancelling last year due to unprecedented lockdowns, the highly anticipated three-day event is welcoming festival-goers back to Wanlockhead from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 1.

But those still hoping to snap up a ticket for this year’s Wildfire – which is the UK’s highest festival, held 1531 feet above sea level – are being encouraged to move fast as organisers have reported weekend passes are nearly sold-out and accommodation in the area is almost fully-booked up.

Upcoming Welsh outfit Florence Black will deliver a metal-fuelled headline set on the Friday night after the stage is warmed-up by sub-headliners Sirens Fall. The top pick the following night will come from Trucker Diablo from Northern Ireland with Scarlet Rebels as support. The final night is set to see Scottish solo act Jason Sweeney close the weekend with Revival Black as special guests.

Other acts taking to the stage across the weekend are Verity White, Victorius, Clipe Circle, White Raven Down, Electric Black, North Atlas and Ravenbreed, to name a few.

A potpourri of grassroots rock artists from up and down the country, Wildfire Festival hopes to play its part in reigniting the live music scene and bringing together artists and fans for the first time in over 15 months.

Festival organiser Dave Ritchie said: “This year Wildfire will be part of the healing and recovery process, as we re-emerge from months of lockdown. The grassroots scene that is so close to my heart has suffered greatly and I’m keen to help as many bands as I can to get back on their feet. Perhaps most important though, music fans need that chance to re-connect and see each other again in a welcoming and safe environment. The sound of recorded music helped many people cope with the long days of home isolation and now it’s time for the magic of live music step in to lift spirits and help people to socially re-connect. We’ve re-shaped the event this year so it is fully outdoors, social-spaced and limited on numbers so people can enjoy the magic of live music but in a safe, friendly and supportive way.”

Sunday headliner Jason Sweeney added: “I am thrilled to be playing Wildfire Festival this year as I step out into the world of rock as a solo artist. I have fantastic memories of playing the festival before and it’s phenomenal to have the opportunity to create more new memories.

“ I will be turning it up to 11 when I close the festival, these are good times.”

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