Bon Fest Weekend


Ride On!

Bank Holiday Weekend May 2013…

I thought I might break this blog entry down into the component key times of Bon Fest and the Dundee Dance Event - a la Heb Celt Fest week style.

I had a sensible Friday for once. DD8 Music had decided that instead of running Bon Fest Friday-Saturday, it should run over Saturday-Sunday instead - thus allowing fans to travel up for the bank holiday weekend. So, instead of heading down The Salty Dog for some JD&C and some funky grooves, I opted to stay home and gather my energy for the (rest of the) weekend.

So: heading into Kirriemuir on Saturday morning surprisingly un-refreshed (now I understand what Frank Sinatra meant), my DD8 “boss” and I got cracking on setting up the moving Bon Scott Stage. This was one of the exhibits kicking off the Bon Fest festivities: months of DD8 (and H&S!) meetings culminating in a recreation of the music video “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n Roll)” through the streets of Kirriemuir. The video was shot from multiple angles (a camera mounted on the truck, one operated by a member of DD8 Music and a fixed one in a nearby dentist’s surgery) - as well as by everyone with a point-and-shoot or smartphone.

Me and my DD8 boss Graham Galloway setting up the Bon Fest 2013 Long Way To the Top Music Video floating stage

Me and my DD8 boss Graham Galloway setting up the “Long Way To the Top” Music Video moving stage

Besides the “OH PLEASE NOT NOW!” problem of the switch mode power supply in the mixing desk not liking the 300 Volts @ 57Hz the gen-set spat out, we rode off and rocked on at precisely 1PM, as planned. If you look closely at this YouTube clip, you can see me - purple hood and groovy hat and all - multitasking at the front of the lorry: mixing - and hanging on for dear life…
Apologies if the sound isn’t quite right - mixing on the back of a moving truck after a 20 second sound check is a new experience for me!

Watch the official DD8 Music Long Way To The Top music video HERE.

Buon Scotch recreating Long Way To The Top in Kirriemuir Town Square at DD8 Music Bon Fest 2013

Buon Scotch recreating “Long Way To The Top” in Kirriemuir Town Square

After performing a working pub crawl (helping with PA systems for Bon Fest bands in local pubs whilst enjoying the odd ale or three), we moved into Kirriemuir Town Hall on Saturday afternoon to assist audioWAVE with PA and Joe Hawke with lighting. We were using a D&B C4 system with JBL SRX subs - and countless kilowatts of PAR cans. :)

DD8 Music: Bon Fest in Kirriemuir Town Hall - load-in and setup

DD8 Music: Bon Fest in Kirriemuir Town Hall - load-in and setup

DD8 Music: Bon Fest in Kirriemuir Town Hall - with a few fans rocking out

DD8 Music: Bon Fest in Kirriemuir Town Hall - with a few fans

If only I’d had the time for a shot on the AC/DC pinball machine that had been installed in The Roods bar especially for Bon Fest.

DD8 Music Presents Bon Fest 2013 at Kirrie Town Hall: Buon Scotch DD8 Music Presents Bon Fest 2013 at Kirrie Town Hall: Buon Scotch

Sound by audioWAVE, lighting by Joe Hawke. ROCK ON! \m/

In the wee small hours of Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, after all was said and done, I headed off to my mate Ciarán’s comfy sofa in front of a roaring fire…

A well earned rest in front of my mate Ciará n’s fire after bon fest was finished - if only we had some whisky

A well earned rest in front of my mate Ciarán’s fire



I awoke some hours later on Sunday Morning, wondering why Ciarán had also chosen to sleep on the sofa - instead of his bed. I had a very busy day ahead of me.

You see, not only had I volunteered for Bon Fest, I had also agreed to supply disco and party lighting for the Dundee Dance Event being held in The Salty Dog pub. There was no doubt in my mind (or my boss Graham’s for that matter) that with all the hard rock, funky grooves, lights, monster PA systems, AC/DC lager, Salty Dog Cocktails and monumental bus journeys with umpteen bags worth of lighting and sound gear that this was going to be a night to remember - but possibly for the wrong reasons. What I - and you - have to remember is that both of these events were “work”, and as such, I had to maintain a reasonably professional attitude.

Stevie’s festoon & scanner install: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event Stevie’s festoon & scanner install: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event

Stevie’s festoon & disco install: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event

Fortunately, for those that know me best, my working attitude is fully able to integrate work and play with no nasty side effects. :)

As I am for the moment restricted to public transport, I had to move several loads of lighting equipment (festoon harnesses, lamps, scanners, a vorma, a verin, LED strings, power strips etc) into Dundee on a bus… with a single bus ticket… on a Sunday Afternoon!

Stevie’s festoon & scanner install: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event Stevie’s festoon & scanner install: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event

Stevie’s disco lighting: Salty Dog does Dundee Dance Event

If planning and executing my ideas for lighting weren’t enough, the stress, anxiety and sheer adrenaline of music sure helped things along… Fast forward to Sunday Night and I had to navigate my way from Dundee to Kirriemuir, only to find that the bus terminated in Forfar. Frantically, I managed to score a lift to Kirriemuir at the eleventh hour, almost literally.

DD8 Music presents Bon Fest 2013: B/O/N The AC/DC Show DD8 Music presents Bon Fest 2013: B/O/N The AC/DC Show

DD8 Music presents Bon Fest 2013: B/O/N The AC/DC Show

I’ve bored you with the gory boring details of load-outs before. I’ll try not to do it again.

This was a very mad weekend, which although knackered me for a month, has been immense fun. Both B/O/N (The AC/DC Show) and Buon Scotch rocked Kirriemuir - and DD8 had a lot of rewarding fun recreating “It’s A Long Way To The Top”. As always, I have been able to use my skills and techniques to add value to events and learn more cool stuff along the way. My work is fun, but I think I’ll stick to doing one gig at a time in future.

Photos of the event are in my photo gallery.

It’s A Long Way To The Shop If You Want A Sausage Roll. :)


One more thing…

DD8 Music plans to honour the memory of Bon Scott by erecting a bronze statue in Kirriemuir, his hometown.

Please take a moment to view the DD8 Music Bon Scott Statue page.

DD8 Music have provisionally announced Bon Fest 2014.


There is something else…


Stevie’s Top 20

  1. “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n Roll)” by AC/DC
  2. “Hells Bells” by AC/DC
  3. “For Those About To Rock” by AC/DC
  4. “Back In Black” by AC/DC
  5. “T-Shirt Sun Tan” by Stereophonics
  6. “Phorever People” by The Shamen
  7. “Last Jungle” by Sub Focus
  8. “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis
  9. “Bring It On Down” by Oasis
  10. “Half Man Half Machine” by Goldie Lookin Chain
  11. “Apathy” by Goldie Lookin Chain
  12. “Dog Train” by The Levellers
  13. “Sell Out” by The Levellers
  14. “Yawn” by APB
  15. “Flawless (Sharp Hammerhead Remix)” by The Ones
  16. “God Is Dead?” by Black Sabbath
  17. “Love’s A Loaded Gun” by Alice Cooper
  18. “Fizzle Tickler” by Opiuo
  19. “Suicide” by Motörhead
  20. “One More F*cking Time” by Motörhead

Permaculture time…