It was quite a mysterious one, being the first of it’s kind in Aviemore we weren’t too sure what to expect.
The website said get there early so that we did, come two o’clock we were in the queue of the first hundred or so campers ready to get our highland on!
After being wrist-banded and zipping through the search tent, using the art of distraction and luckily having a lovely but lax searcher, we were in!
Then came the picking of where to place our pop up home for the next few days. Not too close to the bin but then close to the arena, plus trying to pick somewhere where no-one can pitch right in your front door. NOT EASY.
Being far too excited to faff about we opted for just off the path (Would always recommend- nobody wants to be navigating a sea of guy ropes trollied at two am…).
The arena didn’t open until 7pm so we quickly set up house, made busy cooking soup and popping prosecco (the only contraband we snuck in, for anyone wondering why wedashed through security #thuglife).
Come 7pm we were bagpiped into the main arena by local ‘Spud the Piper’ setting the highland theme right from the off. He was followed by local rock-y band Hunter and the Bear who we enjoyed whilst devouring a freshly fired haggis pizza from Woodburns.
We ate A LOT that night with at least three dinners and some cookies and cream fudge from The Kilted Fudge Company! It was just all so good!
The rest of the first night consisted of the amazing atmosphere created by local band Tweed with highland dancing too, and then getting low to the hilarious DJ set that followed (there was Blu Cantrell- I was happy).
Friday was just as fun.
Through arguing with the most persistent and anal stewards (but nice and just doing their jobs) I have EVER encountered, we bonded with the neighbours! We made friends with some excellent people from all over the country and ended up spending most of our time in their lovely company.
South African pop trio Beatenberg were a huge highlight during the day and their fresh sunny-sounding music got us in the festival mood!!
Sadly. It was all a bit of a tease.
After listening to the delightfully Scottish local folk singer Rachel Sermanni, The Very Best came on to absolutely kill it, and with them they brought the rain!
But they also brought on 75% of Mumford and also the violinist from Noah and the Whale! So I really wasn’t complaining.
They weren’t the only act with a surprise up their sleeve.
One performer I was looking forward to tons was King Charles, I first heard about him when he played in Portsmouth a few years ago and all my pals went nuts.
Later I listened to his little gem of a debut album, and saw what all the fuss was about.
His set was utterly incredible, then to top it off out strolls no other than MARCUS MUMFORD to play his backing, I mean. Come. On.
It actually turns out Marcus is producing KC’s second album, so there’s some exciting food for thought…
That live set is probably one of the best I’ve seen, second only to the glory that was Mumford on the Saturday night. Sadly we never made it to Ben Howard headlining as potential hypothermia and starvation had set in. Ah weel.
After setting off into Aviemore with our new-found festival family we stopped at The Old Bridge Inn where Mumford played way back when and pretty much the reason the festival happened at all.
The band fell in love with the area and so when they set up their music/events brand ‘Gentlemen of the Road’ it’s no wonder they stopped their tour over here!
I mean look at it!
Saturday’s music was just swell.
With Lianne La Havas and Jack Garratt serenading from afar and then heading once more into the fray of the main stage for;
Maccabees – Primal Scream – MUMFORD.
All I will say is it was excellent. I cried a bit.
Eventually, as it always does, Sunday sadly rolled around.
We packed up, popped the tent down, said our goodbyes and trundled home.
Fingers crossed the Gentlemen of the Road stop this way again.