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Get to Belladrum early – and hang on for Torridon's finale – to catch all the magic

By Features Reporter

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Kenny Smith with Torridon on the new Hothouse Stage at Belladrum last year.
Kenny Smith with Torridon on the new Hothouse Stage at Belladrum last year.

There's a super-positive response from Torridon's main man Kenny Smith when you want to know what is the magical something that keeps him returning to Belladrum – always as a performer these days and much in demand to get the party started anytime anywhere – and to be literally the last act of the festival – as the band has become one of the essentials on the line-up.

"There are so many magical things about Bella, its probably easier to focus on what's NOT magical!" he laughs.

"Bella's family-friendly atmosphere is unique to the area, and this embeds a culture of like-minded people, ready to gather together and enjoy what Scotland has to offer in terms of great food, drink and entertainment.

"By promoting and supporting SO many local artists and community groups, the whole weekend becomes action-packed with high-end entertainment and gives many local talents their first taste of the big stage.

"This has been crucial in our enjoyment of the festival, and indeed has been integral in our musical roadmap to become a staple diet of our summer festival schedule.

"Everyone embraces Bella's annual different themes so well in fancy dress, face/war paints and this adds to the beauty and hype of the musical event.

"For us personally, to meet with so many friends, family and fellow musicians on our doorstep is such a privilege and enjoyment, that we keep feeding off this staple diet, and come back for more each year.

"To be involved in so many Saturday night finale shows too is an incredible thing to be part of, and we are so grateful to Bella for having us as part of their team."

Then Kenny shares a tantalising little secret about their now traditional 'last song' of the festival ...

"We never actually know what song is being prepared for us for the finale, until the Saturday afternoon, so it keeps everyone sharp and on their toes for the moment of madness in changing over from the headline act's stage backline to a couple of monitors, mics and stands that we have – a huge task, vastly unseen and not thanked for enough – by the Limelights front of house and stage teams!"

When it comes to Kenny sharing secret treasures of the festival with others?

"There are heaps of hidden gems," he responds. "So focussing on one would be difficult, but I would encourage people to come in to the festival site early each day and see the early acts, many of which are having their first crack at the big stage, so to support them would be huge.

"But there is such top talent on very early every day across all the stages.

"As a band our favourite place is the legendary Tomatin Shed where traditionally we would perform sporadically around 7pm every Friday evening – an amazing atmosphere in such a small place, and you never leave empty handed!!

"Obviously our main set is one we would selfishly promote, on Saturday night down on the Garden Stage this year!"


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