Scotland boasts many great summer music festivals. Last year, a new kid appeared on the block. Or to be exact, on the machair.
Organisers hailed the maiden 2016 Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF) on the Isle of Benbecula a success with more than 3,000 attending, the majority of festival-goers from the mainland and overseas. It delivered an eclectic mix of Scottish trad, rock, folk and good-time tribute acts.
Benbecula is a tidal island lying between North and South Uist, part of a chain that makes up the Outer Hebrides, off the north west coast of Scotland. The island is dotted with lochs. On its west side, white beaches stretch for miles and on the east side, rocky inlets and secluded bays.
EDF returns this year bigger and better. As well as headliners The Silencers, acts include Niteworks, Mànran, Hunter and the Bear, Trail West, The Dolly Show and Beinn Lee Ceilidh Band.
The two-day music event lays claim to one of the most scenic backdrops of any festival, anywhere. Liniclate machair’s rolling dunes and white sandy Atlantic beach is a sight to behold.
There is a strong and noble ethos at the root of this festival. The company that organises it, made up of local business owners and volunteers, was set up specifically to benefit the local community and to encourage tourism.
The festival blurb proudly trumpets that “EDF is about a lot more than just the music. It is designed to have a fantastic community atmosphere and to attract and draw back both locals and tourists alike in the future.”
It exemplifies the generous spirit of the people who populate this Gaelic-speaking island. Visitors can be assured of three things: a welcoming hand of friendship from the locals, great music and great craic.
The Eilean Dorcha Festival takes place at Liniclate Machair, Isle of Benbecula on July 28 and 29. Tickets and more information are available here: EDF Festival