Montrose Music Festival, or Mo Fest as it’s become affectionately known, takes place at the end of May each year in Montrose, Angus. Spread over three days, the festival has become a highly anticipated part of the live music scene in Scotland and is widely regarded as the biggest free music festival in Scotland.
The festival is run by a small group of volunteers; we are a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity. Our aim is to promote free, live music of all styles and genres to people of all ages, and at all levels, in Montrose and the surrounding area. We actively promote local artists as well as hosting musicians from across the UK.
The first Montrose Music Festival took place in 2008 and was an overwhelming success, bringing thousands of visitors to the town. The main attraction at the inaugural festival was the Friday night opening concert by the legendary Average White Band, who was regarded by many as the perfect band to open the first festival given the original AWB saxophonist Malcolm Duncan’s connection with the town.
Friday night is when Mo Fest begins, opening with our Headline act which is the only ticketed event of the entire festival. Saturday and Sunday is when you will have the chance to pick from around 200 gigs in over 20 venues across the town so there’s bound to be something to suit your musical taste.
Saturday also sees our “Big Stage” situated on Montrose High Street where you will see a showcase performance from a variety of acts that are also appearing in other venues around the town. This is always hugely popular with families of all ages coming out to enjoy the music and the many stalls and activities that are situated along the closed roads.
On Sunday the “Big Stage” and surrounding area is transformed into a showcase for the talent of tomorrow with our very popular Youth Festival, giving the young artists and bands a chance to perform on a professional stage and to a larger crowd of revellers.
As the venues wind down on Sunday evening, we host a “Survivors Night” where people can enjoy a well earned rest (if they have made it through the weekend) and enjoy some impromptu music, laughs and socialising at the end of the festival weekend.
Montrose’s unique urban layout makes its busy town centre an ideal place for this type of event. Most of our venues are within walking distance with the exception of two which are easily accessible by car, bus or taxi… and if you get lost, just look for the steeple which is the perfect meeting place next to our “Big Stage” with its dominating spire that can be seen all over the town.