Unique chance to take part in one-off virtual MOK Fest

Rhuvaal performing on Davaar Island. Photograph: Raymond Hosie.
Rhuvaal performing on Davaar Island. Photograph: Raymond Hosie.

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Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (MOK Fest) organisers are calling on the community to get involved with this year’s virtual festival, as plans for the one-off August 19 to 23 event are announced.

Musicians, bands, performers and local businesses are being invited to take part in this year’s virtual event – a change from the usual festival arrangements due to the coronavirus pandemic – by performing or sending in short videos.

As part of the promotions for the event, the festival launched its first recording session on August 16 with local band Rhuvaal performing on Davaar Island with the backdrop of its lighthouse.

Despite weather worries, Rhuvaal and MOK Fest helpers, with the assistance of the staff from Davaar Island Cottages, got equipment to the island to record and film a set to be streamed during the virtual festival.

Rhuvaal’s Raymond Gosling said: ‘We were absolutely delighted to be asked by the MOK Fest team to take part in the first virtual MOK Fest weekend. This was our first time together as a band since going into lockdown and our first performance since the end of September 2019 so it means a lot to us to be able to do this for you all.

‘When Iain [Johnston, event manager] told us about his plans to have our set filmed on Davaar, we were in agreement with this straight away, not only because it is a key feature of the area but the setting of the lighthouse and opening to Campbeltown Loch connects well with our debut single The Harbour.

‘We had planned for 2020 to be the band’s biggest year to date, with the release of our debut EP Horizon earlier this year and celebrating our fifth year as a band. Since forming in 2015, the MOK Fest team has shown us great respect and has supported us massively so it was a privilege to take part in the 2020 virtual festival.’

In an unprecedented move the virtual festival has set up a temporary recording studio in the Officers Mess at MACC Business Park where bands can record safely. It is free to use and gives bands a great opportunity to record a set for the virtual festival in a safe environment.

Alternatively contributors are encouraged to submit their own videos – the festival is looking for 15 to 30 minute sets from performers.

MOK Fest is working with CalMac and Explore Kintyre and Gigha on exciting promotions for the virtual festival and the new Kintyre66 project which will launch early next year. The promotions are planned in the run-up to the event and include a live-streamed performance to the International Space Station – watch this space for more information in the next few weeks.

The festival is also looking for local businesses to take part in the event by sponsoring a night or sending in a 30 to 45 second video advert which will be shown over the festival.

The virtual festival will include at least five concerts featuring bands from across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the USA as well as many local favourites, many of whom were set to perform live at this year’s cancelled MOK Fest.

Many of the concerts will have guest hosts and each will be themed to tie in with the concert that would normally have been held that night – Wednesday August 19: Beinn an Tuirc Virtual Gaelic Night; Thursday August 20: Virtual Young Folk Night; Friday August 21: Virtual Ceilidh Night; Saturday 22: Virtual West Coast Rocks Concert; and Sunday August 23: Virtual Dalriada Connections Concert and, at night, Virtual Survivors Night.

Past footage from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 festivals as well as video montages of photos taken over the past 20 years will also be shown.

Event manager Iain Johnston of JIG Events said: ‘We were really disappointed at having to cancel this year’s MOK Fest due to the coronavirus outbreak. We felt it was still important we held something over the dates for this year’s event and, after some thought, we decided to run a virtual festival.

‘As plans developed, CalMac and Explore Kintyre and Gigha came on board as partners to help promote the event and help develop our audience and social media reach. From this, came the idea of the lighthouse session and the live-streamed performance to the space station. MACC Business Park then offered us the use of the Officers Mess as a recording studio which meant we could offer bands a safe place to record their sets for the event.

‘We are grateful to everyone who has offered their time and venues to help make what we believe will a unique one-off event. We will be posting and publishing regular updates online on how to take part and how to view each concert over the next few weeks.

‘If you are a band, performer or business and you want to get involved please drop us an email or a message on Facebook and we’ll get back to you. The event starts on Wednesday August 19 – we’ll see you there.’

Performers or businesses interested in taking part can email mokfest@hotmail.co.uk or message the festival’s Facebook page for more information.

MOK Fest's temporary recording studio at MACC Business Park. Photograph: Iain Johnston.
MOK Fest’s temporary recording studio at MACC Business Park. Photograph: Iain Johnston.

Rhuvaal performing on Davaar Island. Photograph: Raymond Hosie. NO_c30virtualmokfest01

MOK Fest’s temporary recording studio at MACC Business Park. Photograph: Iain Johnston. NO_c30virtualmokfest02