Scotland's first ‘Covid-safe festival’ reveals plans for comeback in 2022

Organisers of Scotland's first "Covid-safe festival" have vowed to bring the event back in 2022 after completing a run of five events since May.

The Capers in Cannich festival was created in response to the shutdown of live events. Picture: Paul Mitchell
The Capers in Cannich festival was created in response to the shutdown of live events. Picture: Paul Mitchell

Capers in Cannich, which was created in direct response to the pandemic, was announced after a year of lockdown restrictions.

When the outdoor festival was launched at Invercannich Farm, in Inverness-shire, in May, strict two metre distancing was being enforced on all live events, making normal events financially unviable.

Capers festival goers stayed in luxury bell tents with a private garden space and ordered food and drink on an app-based system to their socially-distanced bubbles on the campsite, at picnic tables or in front of the main stage.

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    Four further editions of the music and glamping event, Scotland’s first live music festival this year, were staged against the backdrop of the Glen Affric countryside.

    Now organisers are aiming to build on its success by announcing dates for 2022 within the next few months.

    The Eves, Mànran, Scooty and the Skyhooks, Cameron Barnes, Hò-rò, Katie Gregson Macleod, Keir Gibson and the Calum MacPhail Band all performed at the last festival of the summer at the weekend.

    Capers in Cannich was launched by Karl Falconer, who runs the catering business Highland Hog Roasts from his farm, and his family.

    Festivalgoers stayed in luxury belltents at Capers in Cannich.

    He said: “The final Capers in Cannich weekend certainly lived up to expectations and it was wonderful to see so many people choosing to end their summer on a high with us at a memorable event with such a warm atmosphere.

    “It’s been a hectic year becoming the new kid on the Scottish festival block and we’ve put so much hard work into delivering not one, but five incredible events.

    “We’d like to thank everyone who supported and believed in Capers right from the off, despite the challenging climate we were operating in – none of it would have been possible without the team, volunteers, suppliers and wonderful artists.

    “We’re now extremely excited to build on the success and legacy of Capers in Cannich and see the event will evolve next year as restrictions continue to change.”

    The final edition of Capers in Cannich for 2021 was staged at the weekend. Picture: Ryan Balharry

    Manran musician and BBC Scotland presenter Gary Innes said: “It was terrific to headline this beautiful Highland festival and the work and effort that had gone in to making it such a safe and memorable experience for the audience and musicians must be commended.

    "It’ll be terrific to see how the festival now grows after being created in such challenging circumstances. We certainly hope we can once again be part of this unique event in coming years.”

    Caroline Gilmour, one half of The Eves, said: “We had a brilliant time at Capers. It’s a gem of an event with a spectacular backdrop. It was so lovely to see families relaxing and enjoying the music together.

    "This was only our second live show since before the pandemic and it really did give us such a boost to see so many people dancing and having a great time.”

    Trad stars Manran played at the Capers in Cannich festival at the weekend. Picture: Ryan Balharry

    Hò-rò musician Sean Cousins said: "It felt so good to be back on stage after a tough 18 months of not knowing when we’d be back.

    "Seeing an audience dancing and singing to your music is one of the best feelings there is and we’re so grateful to Capers in Cannich for making that possible again."

    Cameron Barnes was one of the main draws at the Capers in Cannich festival. Picture: Ryan Balharry