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Arbroath Sea Fest brings fishing heritage to life
On Saturday, the Provost of Angus, Cllr Helen Oswald, spent the afternoon at Arbroath Sea Fest, where she found out first hand why the event was presented with the Angus Ambassador Tourism Award 2013 at the annual award ceremony.
After being met by Arbroath Sea Fest committee members Peter Donald and Alistair Martin, the Provost was given a tour of the bustling site, including a look behind the scenes, where she met event manager Eleanor Whitby of Red Pepper Events and Arbroath Sea Fest treasurer, Lynn Cameron.
“This weekend is the culmination of a year of planning and preparation,” Lynn told the Provost. “We pride ourselves on providing something for everyone, from the traditional fishing boats in the harbour to the sandcastle competition to the first Arbroath Sea Fest Strongman Competition.”
After looking round the many stalls, the Provost made her way to The Reaper, one of several restored fishing boats which had sailed to Arbroath to participate in the festivities. The Provost was welcomed on board by Ian Murray, retired fisherman and crew member of The Reaper, the Fife herring drifter which is the flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther.
Next stop for the Provost was Arbroath’s RNLI Lifeboat. RNLB Inchcape. “The commitment of the RNLI volunteers who crew the lifeboat and those who are involved in fundraising for the RNLI, including the Lifeboat Ladies Guild who sell cream teas at Sea Fest every year, is quite amazing,” said the Provost.
While listening to the Milenberg Jazz Band, Arbroath Sea Fest committee member Peter Donald explained to the Provost that the two-day event started in 1997, with the aim of highlighting the town’s maritime history and traditions, as well as providing a showcase for local organisations, community groups and businesses.
“Over the years, Arbroath Sea Fest has gained a reputation for being a great family day out and, as a result, attracts high numbers of visitors from across Scotland – as well as a sprinkling from further afield,” continued Peter. “As a result, Arbroath Sea Fest benefits the local economy while also enhancing the town’s reputation as a seaside destination. We were delighted when this was recognised in November 2013, when Arbroath Sea Fest was presented with the Tourism Angus Ambassador Award.”
As the Provost prepared to leave Arbroath Sea Fest, Fairweather Rigg Sea Shanty started singing on one of the two stages providing live music throughout the weekend. “Where else would you hear sea shanties being sung in their natural environment – by the sea?” asked the Provost. “There are so many different things to see and do at Arbroath Sea Fest.
“Arbroath Sea Fest is a great event for the local community, for local businesses and for Angus, while also giving the people of Arbroath and the surrounding area a chance to touch base with their fishing heritage, either by visiting one of these marvellous fishing boats or simply tucking into a freshly-made Arbroath Smokie.”
Below Fairweather Rig perform a Sea Shanty at Arbroath Sea Fest 2014
You can find out more about Fairweather Rig on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairweather-Rig-Scotlands-Shantymen/592714444177743
See also The Limelight Company Flash Dance in the harbour http://dundeechannel.com/blog/limelight-flash-mob-arbroath-seafest-2014/
Click the photo below to play the video
Arbroath Sea Fest all set for August 2014
Following the success of last year’s exciting programme of live music by top local performers, Arbroath Sea Fest 2014 will be showcasing the musical talents of singers, groups, musicians and dancers from far and near.
“We’re on the lookout for all types of performers to entertain the crowds at this year’s Sea Fest, which will be held on 9/10 August at Arbroath Harbour,” said Lynn Cameron, one of the members of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee.
“Whether it’s rock, sea shanties, pop, Scottish, Country & Western or any other form of music, if you have what it takes to make the thousands of visitors to Arbroath Sea Fest dance, sing-along, clap their hands or tap their feet, get in touch with our Event Manager, Eleanor Whitby, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,” continued Lynn, who added that Eleanor is also the contact for stall holders who would like to book a place at Sea Fest.
Several of the slots on the Sea Fest stages have already been allocated, with highly-popular local group the Declaration Band playing on Saturday, August 9, when the Condor Military Wives Choir will also be performing. “In addition, Arbroath Sea Cadet Band and Arbroath Instrumental Band will be playing on the quayside,” said Lynn. “We’ll also have performances on stage and around the marina by the talented pupils from Arbroath’s musical theatre school, The LimeLight Company.”
Mike Carlin from LimeLight revealed that their preparations are already underway for this year’s Sea Fest. “We’re thrilled LimeLight’s going to be involved in Sea Fest again,” he said. “Last year’s Sea Fest weekend was fantastic fun – whether we were braving the Scottish weather to sing Summer Holiday in the refreshing rain, performing on the open top bus as the sun came gleaming from behind the clouds or dancing with our Party Flashmob in the scorching sun, LimeLight had a blast!”
Chris O’Mara from LimeLight added that this year, LimeLight’s involvement will be even bigger and better. “We’re planning more flashmobs and more performances,” said Chris. “Taking part in such a high profile event is a wonderful, worthwhile experience for all our performers, who range in age from 3-21. It’s also a great opportunity for us to promote our current shows – ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ and Michael Brandie’s ‘Deception’ – while also raising money for Cancer Research UK.
“We’re going to do all we can to help make this year’s Sea Fest even more spectacular than last year!”
For further information about this year’s Arbroath Sea Fest, visit www.arbroathseafest.co.uk.
There’s lots to do at Sea Fest and below you can see the videos recorded when presenter Erin Linton went aboard one of the visiting ships in Arbroath Harbour at Sea Fest 2011.
Arbroath Sea Fest Goes Back To 1940
Arbroath Sea Fest’s organisers have revealed that, inspired by the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Angus town’s wartime donation of a Spitfire, Arbroath Sea Fest 2012 is to have a Second World War theme.
“The Sea Fest Committee felt strongly that such a significant part of Arbroath’s relatively recent history – which also highlights the generosity of the people of our town – be commemorated at Sea Fest on August 4/5,” said Ralph Barnett of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee.
To highlight the Second World War theme, Ralph explained that there will be a variety of special attractions at this year’s Sea Fest, including displays of 1940’s vehicles and artefacts from Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club and Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, music, song and dance from wartime days and a trip back in time with a special production by Arbroath Abbey Timethemes. “The Sea Fest Committee, supported by Event Director Eleanor Whitby, are currently pulling together a strong programme which will certainly add to the fabulous buzz that occurs in Arbroath during Sea Fest weekend,” said Ralph, who is a new member of the Sea Fest Committee.
“In my previous career as a journalist, I frequently wrote about Sea Fest; as a member of the Arbroath Lifeboat’s crew, I’ve participated in several Sea Fests; and, last year, I spent a great weekend working on a pleasure boat, taking Sea Fest visitors to the Bell Rock and the cliffs. No matter what hat I’m wearing, I’m always struck by how much everyone enjoys Sea Fest and I’m very excited to be so closely involved in the organisation of this fantastic event.”
Ralph stressed that, as well as the wartime-themed attractions, Sea Fest will continue to feature an excellent variety of things to see and do– and a few exciting additions to the programme are in the pipeline. “Of course, Arbroath’s annual celebration of its maritime history and heritage will also include our usual eclectic selection of sea-going vessels,” continued Ralph. “And there will be opportunities to buy shellfish and fresh fish, as well as Arbroath Smokies straight from the barrel, courtesy of Iain R. Spink, or from one of the nearby smokehouses.”
Event Director Eleanor Whitby stressed that, although preparations are well underway, there are still lots of opportunities available for participation in Sea Fest 2012. “If any local people, businesses, groups, charities or organisations would like to take part in Sea Fest, perhaps by performing on one of our stages, taking a stall or providing a demonstration or exhibition, please email me atEleanor@redpepperevents.com,” said Eleanor, who added that Sea Fest is supported by Angus Council Community Grant Scheme.
Arbroath Councillor Donald Morrison was delighted to hear about the Committee’s plans for this year’s Arbroath Sea Fest. “Arbroath Sea Fest’s continued success – and the boost it provides to the local economy – is all thanks to the hard work of this small group of local volunteers,” he said.
“Sea Fest is a mainstay in the Arbroath – and Angus – tourist calendar, attracting large numbers of visitors to the town from far and wide. After spending an afternoon at last year’s Sea Fest, which was very well-attended, I saw clearly the knock-on effect of this superb event, with a great many people visiting the local shops, pubs and restaurants. Here’s to another successful Sea Fest weekend!”
For more information about Arbroath Sea Fest 2012, visit www.arbroathseafest.co.uk.
Changes At The Top For Arbroath Sea Fest Committee
After twelve years as Chairman of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee, at the AGM on Tuesday, April 24, Alistair Martin handed over the reins to a new chairman, local businessman Marco Macari.
“We can’t show Alistair enough appreciation for everything he has done to ensure Arbroath Sea Fest has become one of the most successful and popular annual events in the east coast of Scotland, with a fabulous programme of special attractions and lots of fun for all the family,” said Marco.
“Alistair has been involved with Sea Fest since its early days and he has devoted so much time and energy without reward or recompense to ensuring the success of this weekend celebrating Arbroath’s links to the sea. On behalf of the committee and everyone who has ever attended Arbroath Sea Fest, I would like to say a massive ‘Thank you’.”
Marco added that Alistair is to remain a member of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee and that a new Vice Chair, Peter Donald, has been appointed. “With the Seafront Spectacular no longer on the calendar, Arbroath Sea Fest is now the summer festival in Arbroath and the surrounding area and I am determined to continue Alistair’s good work,” continued Marco, who has been a member of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee since 2005.
“Sea Fest is a wonderful, feel-good weekend which provides a fantastic opportunity for local people to meet up with friends old and new while also showcasing Arbroath’s fishing heritage, harbour, local produce and musical talent, as well as generating tourism and income. I’m certainly looking forward to being at the helm.”
As preparations begin in earnest for Arbroath Sea Fest 2012 – which will be held on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5 - Marco stressed that the search is currently underway for new Sea Fest committee members. “To ensure that Sea Fest remains an exciting, dynamic occasion which attracts over 30,000 people from near and far year after year, we desperately need new people to join our committee,” said Marco. “We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers with lots of ideas on how we can ensure Sea Fest continues to develop – and continues to live up to its excellent reputation.”
Potential committee members should contact Sea Fest Event Manager Eleanor Whitby by emailingEleanor@redpepperevents.com. For more information about Arbroath Sea Fest 2012, visitwww.arbroathseafest.co.uk.
Invite magazine launches at Westport Penthouse Dundee
A brand new events magazine for Scotland launched in Dundee tonight. Invite magazine was launched by managing director Eleanor Whitby to invited guests who attended from all over Scotland. We spoke to Eleanor asking how the concept came about and what her hopes are for the new publication.
Click the photo below to watch the video
Arbroath Sea Fest – The First 15 Years
The organisers have announced that Arbroath Sea Fest will take place on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5, 2012 – and, as this will be the 15th anniversary of this highly popular event, they’re hoping for a highly successful weekend.
“Over the years, Sea Fest has attracted thousands of visitors to Arbroath,” said Alistair Martin, chair of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee, the dedicated group of local volunteers who are behind this major tourist attraction. “Last year, about 30,000 people attended Sea Fest, ensuring a considerable boost to Arbroath’s economy while also providing a timely reminder of Arbroath’s connections with the sea.”
The concept of Arbroath Sea Fest was first aired during an informal meeting between two members of Arbroath Business Association, Alan Wallace and Harry Simpson, and a member of Angus Council’s Economic Development Unit. “We were chatting about how to encourage more visitors to Arbroath, help local businesses and promote the town when the idea of a festival celebrating the town’s strong links with the sea surfaced,” explained Harry Simpson.
“We suggested this to Arbroath Business Association and it was decided that, in partnership with Arbroath RNLI, Arbroath Fisherman’s Association, Arbroath Community Council and Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, Arbroath Business Association’s annual summer fête would be transformed into a two-day, large-scale festival.”
Councillor Bob Spink was one of the many local people who soon became involved in the exciting new project. “Many others in Arbroath shared my good impression of the town and were keen to highlight how much Arbroath could offer as a place to live, locate a business or visit on holiday,” recalled Cllr Spink. “In addition, Arbroath Sea Fest was, potentially, an excellent way of capitalising on the tremendous tourism potential of Arbroath’s fishing heritage.”
In July 1997, the first Arbroath Sea Fest was held. “It was wonderful to see so many people at the harbour, enjoying a day out in Arbroath,” recalled Harry Simpson, who estimates that about 15,000 people attended the inaugural Sea Fest.
After three successful years, Arbroath Sea Fest became a limited charitable company and Arbroath Business Association’s involvement ceased. “That’s when I became involved,” explained Alistair Martin. “Since then, and with the support of the excellent committee, Arbroath Sea Fest has continued to grow, with ever-increasing numbers of stalls, visitors and special attractions.”
Cllr Spink was a member of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee until 2009 and retains a keen interest in the event. “Sea Fest’s a very good day out – and it’s certainly lived up to its original aim of attracting people to the town,” he said.
Sea Fest Event Manager Eleanor Whitby confirmed that Sea Fest brings a mini-tourist boom to Arbroath every August. “Statistics show that, during the weekend of Sea Fest, Angus benefits from a good increase in tourism figures, with local accommodation providers fully booked well in advance,” said Eleanor.
The Provost of Angus, Ruth Leslie Melville, has attended several Sea Fests. “Arbroath Sea Fest is a marvellous, happy family event which is appreciated – and attended – by the people of Arbroath, people across Angus and beyond. Hats off to all those involved in this event, who take on these responsibilities out of civic pride and commitment to the Royal Burgh of Arbroath.”
For more information about Arbroath Sea Fest 2012, visit www.arbroathseafest.co.uk.
Thousands of people flocked to Arbroath Seafest for the annual celebration of the town’s maritime heritage
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