The renaissance of Scotland’s leading grassroots festival, Wildfire, continues with the announcement of a second tranche of 14 bands that will play at the festival in Wanlockhead from the 28th-30th of June 2019. Only 96 tickets away from being a sell-out, Wildfire Festival’s emphatic return marks a welcome comeback for a much-loved grassroots music event, that was forced to close it doors last summer due to rising infrastructure costs.
Wildfire Festival is committed to investing in the Scottish grassroots scene – already eight local bands have been confirmed for the main stage – Concrete Kingdoms (Dunfermline), Last Alibi (Glasgow), She Burns Red (Edinburgh), Nocturne Wulf (Glasgow), Sauza Kings (Kirkcaldy), Tacado (Banchory), The Swamp Born Assassins (Glasgow) and Tantrum (West Lothian).
Further afield, Wildfire is attracting rising bands from all corners of the United Kingdom, many recognising the important role that Wildfire Festival plays in giving new bands a first opportunity to break into the festival scene. Dan Southall from These Wicked Rivers comments:
Wildfire is absolutely integral to the grassroots scene. It gives young bands the chance to meet each other – all the other bands, their fans and families. It’s a fantastic way to get a load of people with similar music interests together in one pace; talking about it, listening to it and having a great time. The work that Dave Ritchie does at Wildfire is absolutely great.
Bands from as far away as Cornwall (King Creature), Kent (Gallows Circus), Leicester (Skam) and Cambridge (4th Labyrinth) will be joining with the local talent to make this year’s Wildfire Festival a comprehensive showcase of a new generation of British rock.
14 bands announced today:
- Sauza Kings
- The Boston Shakers
- The Big Dirty
- 4th Labyrinth
- King Creature
- Revival Black
- Crooked Shapes
- She Burns Red
- Ritual King
- Gallows Circus
- The Swamp Born Assassins
First 18 bands announced:
- Redfern, Hutchinson & Ross
- Everyday Heroes
- These Wicked Rivers
- Hellbound Hearts
- Last Alibi
- Tarot Rats
- Scarlet Rebels
- Fallen Mafia
- Nocturne Wulf
- Concrete Kingdoms
A choice festival for rising bands
Steven Craven from Scottish rockers Swamp Born Assassins – who released a charity single via WDFD Records last June to support the return of Wildfire this year – commented on the special place the festival holds in the hearts of young bands:
Wildfire 2017 really started us on our journey and has led us to where we are today – by supporting us and showing us to believe in ourselves more – and we have. I would like to think at Wildfire 2019 you will see the same band, but with a different attitude and confidence when playing. We have more fun on stage and play each gig like it’s our last gig. We are so looking forward to Wildfire 2019 in June.
Wildfire Festival also has a loyal, nurturing ethos towards the bands it supports. Many get a first break as relative unknowns and rise up the bill as they evolve. Leicester band Skam made their first appearance at Wildfire back in 2013, and this year after many appearances return as Saturday night headline act. Steve Hill from Skam commented:
Dave who books the bands is on the ground running. He’s a proper rock fan, he goes out and sees lots of bands. He knows everybody. I can’t think of anyone better to put together that great Scottish rock festival.
A socially conscious music event
This year’s Wildfire Festival will see a departure from the old location of Wiston Lodge country estate to the new location in Wanlockhead village. As the highest village in Scotland, Wildfire is looking forward to giving something back to the community that will host the event, with local companies and sponsors working with Wildfire to provide food, accommodation and a place for the music to be performed. From profits made, the festival organisers will reinvest back into Wanlockhead, as they hope the event can have a lasting positive impact on the local community. Wildfire Festival remains a family-friendly event, with anyone under 16 being able to attend for free! If accompanied by adults.
Dave Ritchie, Founder and Director of Wildfire Festival commented:
We are really excited by the bands coming to play at Wildfire Festival this year. Despite the unfortunate disruptions last year, it has been amazing that we continue to attract a really high quantity and quality of talent. Wildfire Festival remains committed to helping young bands get a first step on the festival ladder. Everyone involved in Wildfire is in it for the music and we share a passion to give small and overlooked bands a meaningful opportunity. And with less than 100 tickets remaining for the weekend, we are humbled by the public’s enthusiasm for the event and what it stands for. Big festivals give fans a ‘who’s who’ of top bands to enjoy, but with the closure of so many grassroots venues we all need to remember that tomorrow’s big bands have to start from somewhere. We like to think that this is where Wildfire Festival makes a real difference to people’s lives.