Loopallu festival bows out after 15 years

Loopallu sign

The Loopallu music festival is to be staged for a final time.

The two-day event, now in its 15th year, is held in Ullapool in Wester Ross in the north west Highlands.

Organisers said increasing demand from tourists for local accommodation had made it harder for festival-goers to find somewhere to stay.

Friday’s acts include Tide Lines, Bombskare and Idlewild while Hunter and the Bear, The Vatersay Boys and Peat and Diesel will play on Saturday.

Also appearing over the weekend are ONR, The Rezillos and Astrid.

Scottish film, stage and television actor and director David Hayman and award-winning novelist, poet and playwright Chris Dolan will appear on the festival’s Literally Literary stage.

‘Like a huge private party’

There had previously been fears that the 2017 Loopallu would be the last because it could no longer access its usual site, which included access to a beachside campsite.

The festival was able to continue after moving to a new venue, Ullapool’s pier, but it was not able to offer camping.

The Wonder Stuff performance at LoopalluImage copyrightPAUL CAMPBELL
Image captionLoopallu has been held for 15 years

Earlier this year, organiser Robert Hicks told BBC Scotland that this year’s Loopallu – which takes its name from Ullapool spelt backwards – was “definitely the last”.

Ahead of this weekend’s event, he said: “I am feeling equally sad and happy.

“Happy when I look back at 15 years of some incredible stories and incredible friendships, and just what we’ve brought to the community.

“But I can’t deny it is going to be a really sad moment on Saturday night when it finally comes to an end and the last song is sung.”

Radio broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has frequently played at Loopallu with different bands.

He said he was saddened by the festival’s demise.

Radcliffe told BBC Scotland: “Held on the shores of a loch, it feels off the beaten track and like a huge private party.

“I think at a maximum it can taken only 2,500 people and that you feel like you are a member of joyous private club.”

[“source=bbc”]