Global stars including Of Monsters and Men and Jake Bugg, together with friends Foy Vance, Willy Mason and Iain Archer, gave electrifying performances last night at Bushmills Live – the festival of handcrafted whiskey and music which took place among the barrels at the Old Bushmills Distillery.
The intimate two-day festival on Ireland’s north coast was attended by just 500 music and whiskey fans from around the world, including attendees from countries spanning from the USA to Bulgaria and Portugal to Russia.
Artists more used to playing to crowds of hundreds of thousands, such as Of Monsters and Men and Jake Bugg, performed a series of small gigs in centuries-old buildings at the Old Bushmills Distillery, where the art of whiskey-making has been practiced for generations.
Of Monsters and Men’s Ragnar thorhallsson said: “Last night was unlike any other gig we’ve played before. We have performed in many venues in cities all around the world, but this one, in a whiskey distillery, was something very special. The atmosphere was great and we loved it. We would be honoured to play here again.”
Jake Bugg added: “I’ve played many gigs but never thought I’d be playing in a whiskey distillery and it was pretty cool. Good to see my mate Iain Archer – happy birthday.”
These global superstars were joined by emerging indie artists Bear’s Den and Sons and Lovers, together with David C Clements and VerseChorusVerse, recipients of the inaugural Bushmills Live Legacy Fund. This is a trust of GBP20,000 set up by Bushmills(TM) Irish Whiskey and Third Bar, an artist development company run by last year’s headliner, Snow Patrol’s lead singer, Gary Lightbody and Davy Matchett, curators of the fund.
Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, Colum Egan, said: “This was an incredible night for Bushmills Irish Whiskey and for music lovers. Last night, we welcomed both globally-established artists and emerging talent to our home on Ireland’s north coast. Their music, like our whiskey, represents the very best in hand craftsmanship. He added: “It was fantastic to see so many friends come to the distillery, enjoy the music and of course share a glass of Bushmills.”