Set against the backdrop of beautiful Scottish mountains, the three-day festival once again will take place at the historic Scottish village of Wanlockhead between Friday 30th July and Sunday 1st August. At 1,531 feet above sea level, Wildfire stands tall as the highest festival in the UK. The long-standing Scottish rock and metal festival will be a sell-out this year, with accommodation throughout Wanlockhead and the surrounding area now fully-booked for the weekend.
This year’s festival takes on extra special significance at a time when the country is re-emerging from a succession of national lockdowns. The last 15-months have been catastrophic for the grassroots music scene – most bands have been unable to play, many working musicians have struggled to put food on the table and essential grassroots venues have faced closure. Wildfire this year will help the recovery of the scene and the rebuilding of consumer confidence, as the festival presents a weekend of live music in a Covid-secure, family-friendly environment.
Rising Welsh rockers Florence Black will headline Friday with As Sirens Fall as sub headliners. From Northern Ireland, Trucker Diablo will headline Saturday with Scarlet Rebels in main support role. Scottish artist Jason Sweeney will close the weekend, headlining the Sunday evening with Revival Black as the special guests.
Whilst organiser Dave Ritchie continues with his mission to give main stage opportunities to young bands from all corners of the UK, Wildfire Festival also invests in the grassroots Scottish scene. Joining Jason Sweeney on the main stage this year will be fine Scottish bands North Atlas, Clipe Circle and Victorius.
The full line-up of bands confirmed to play the three-day weekend festival (in alphabetical order)
A New Tomorrow
As Sirens Fall
The Autumn Killers
Bad Day Blues Band
Jack J Hutchinson
Mike Ross Band
White Raven Down
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.”
The sense of excitement among bands to get up to Wildfire this July has been palpable:
Ian George, singer of Wildfire debutants, Amongst Liars, commented: “We are so excited about Wildfire Festival – the opportunity to play and watch music in a beautiful open space is going to be one of the best feelings ever after so long of not having live music. It has been a really tough year for grassroots venues and festivals, so Wildfire opening up like this with such an amazing line up of new and rising bands is really something special – and it’s important for the scene at large.”
Scottish artist and Sunday headliner Jason Sweeney commented “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”
Wildfire veteran Hoss Thompson of Cumbrian rockers Thirteen Stars said: “We have long held Wildfire in very high esteem. Dave is a true Rock n Roll missionary, seeking and reaching out to new bands and more established bands alike. His love of and enthusiasm for the grassroots music scene is both vital and infectious and especially prescient given this is the start of things hopefully returning to normalcy after a period of great tumult.”
White Raven Down return to Wildfire for the second time year. Stuart Bailey comments: “Wildfire is a well-organised, family-friendly festival that supports grassroots bands and rising artists. It’s a joy to perform there and is invaluable for connecting with fans and friends alike. We simply cannot wait to return to Wanlockhead this July”
Jason Doveston of As Sirens Fall adds: ‘In a world where live music disappeared entirely, festival slots come at a premium. We feel really honoured to be part of this line-up alongside so many emerging artists who get to showcase their talents once again. So excited for Wildfire!”
Once again, the festival has been supported by Marshall, Natal, Great Music Stories, Eden and WDFD Records.
For full details on this year’s Wildfire Festival, how to get there and the bands that will be on stage visit http://www.wildfirefestival.co.uk
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