Connect Music Festival 2022: The National play ‘secret’ show in memory of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison
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As midday struck, festival organisers put out a cryptic announcement: ‘Secret Set Added - 7:45pm at the Tiny Changes x Gardeners Cottage’.
Rumours soon swirled around the site at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, with festival-goers wondering who it could possibly be.
Walking out to rapturous applause, The National appeared truly humbled as their set approached.
The US alt-rockers, who were headlining the festival later in the evening, performed a short acoustic set, which included the tracks Sorrow and About Today.
Addressing the crowd, The National’s Aaron Dessner, said: “It’s a pleasure to support Tiny Changes. Scott was a really close friend of ours, and like you guys, we were huge fans of Frightened Rabbit.
“We were devastated when he left.
“This charity is amazing, and any awareness we can raise for mental health, we want to do that because we all struggle with it.”
Hutchison, who was 36 when he passed away in May 2018 after taking his own life and years of battling depression, performed at the original Connect Festival back in 2007 on a similar stage.
Tiny Changes was founded in the singer-songwriter’s memory and is Scotland’s very first national children and young people’s mental health charity, funding projects and ideas that help young minds feel better – and raising over £4,500 during the course of the festival weekend.
Speaking after The National’s surprise set, Kara Brown, CEO of Tiny Changes, said: “Having the National play the inaugural Tiny Changes stage at Connect Festival – a similar stage to one Scott played at back – is something we will remember forever and the perfect ending to an incredible weekend of live music, helping young minds feel better.”
Geoff Ellis, CEO of promoters DF Concerts, said: “Grant from Frightened Rabbit asking The National if they’d do a secret set at our Tiny Changes Gardeners Cottage is what Connect Festival is all about – a totally unique experience and an appreciation of friendship and connections.
“Fans were surprised with a truly special acoustic set, seeing twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger, honour their friend Scott Hutchison with a stripped back version of About Today and This isn’t Helping, in one of the most intimate stages of any festival in the UK.
“It was a moment that I’ll never forget and was extremely fitting with the ethos of the festival.”