Knockengorroch Music Festival has been hailed a knock-out success after becoming the first music festival of its kind in Scotland to be held virtually, organisers believe.

The festival, due to take place in the Galloway hills last weekend, was forced to change course due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was hosted on Zoom and featured artist performances from the original line-up.

Organisers now believe ‘Virtually Knockengorroch’ is paving the way for Scottish musical festivals post COVID-19 by live-streaming on multiple platforms.

Lizzy Treacy, Crew Co-Cordinator at Knockengorroch, said: “When Knockengorroch festival co-producer Katch Holmes approached me to help with an online festival, I was keen, but curious as to how it could work.

“After quick research, Katch realised that the platform to deliver the event exactly how she wanted did not yet exist, or was prohibitively expensive. Knockengorroch’s looming dates minimised time to research the full scale of possibilities, so she settled on Zoom as the closest platform capable of hosting the vision.

“The participatory nature of Knockengorroch has always marked it out and Virtually Knockengorroch was no exception. Festival guests were invited to dress up along this year’s theme of ‘celestial beings’, attendees participated in workshops and guests could create their own campsite breakout rooms if they wanted to chat between sets.”

Attendees watched the interactive live concert in wellies and raincoats, with some even pitching garden tents and making campfires to mark the occasion.

Afro Celt Sound System, one of the bands performing, premiered a brand new song, ‘the Lockdown Gorroch Reel’, written especially for the festival while members performed in individual Zoom windows live from their living rooms.

Simon Emmerson, from Afro Celt Sound System, said: “It was an amazing experience.

“If this is part of the future of live entertainment in a post COVID-19 world, count us in.

“It was inspiring, magical and generated a very moving sense of togetherness and solidarity so needed in these dark and fractured times.”


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