VERY few summer events truly embody the tagline 'more than a festival' but that has always been the focus of Bute Fest.

Set on a tranquil island, nestled among the coastline of Argyll, the three days could easily become a week, as visitors view it as a holiday destination with a festival.

Bute Fest was first held in 2015 and has gone on to welcome the likes of We Are Scientists and Gerry Cinnamon on stage. This year they return after the Covid hiatus with Elephant Sessions, Manran, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Scouting For Girls on the bill.

The line-up also includes tremendous up and coming talent in the form of Cody Feechan, Dovv, Forgetting the Future, Primes, Sovirez, The Rain Experiment, White Novels, Christie Oliver, Maya Jane, Club Beirut and dozens more.

"It's just a special space to be," says Hazel Mulholland, one of the volunteer organisers behind Bute Fest. "Bute Fest gives people the chance to come and explore everything we have to offer here. It is ideal for anyone looking to make a proper holiday out of it and come for more than the three days.

"We're quite a small island, but we're really accessible. From Glasgow we're only 50 minutes and a 35-minute crossing, or people can take the scenic route around Loch Lomond and come over at Colintraive, which is only a two-minute ferry crossing.

"We have more than 70 bands, across three stages. Most of the line-up should have played in 2020, but we were lucky enough to carry on them over until now. We are also a family-friendly festival, with circus tents with acrobatics and things for the kids. We have storytellers as well and we try to make it inclusive for everyone.

"It's just one of the best places in the world to be, especially when the sun is out, and everyone is happy and bouncing. It's such a stunning setting."

The organisers are counting down the days until Bute Fest returns, with the island once again set to come to life on July 29-31. Indeed, the event has been missed by Bute residents who have been keen supporters since day one.

"It'll just be great to see everybody back, enjoying some really good live music," Hazel adds. "I think everyone is really excited for it.

"Our first year was 2015 and at the time we didn't really know how the festival was going to go. Then we had a hurricane that came and took us out. It feels like we've been through it all and came out the other side.

"We are really lucky to have such great local support; we wouldn't be able to do a lot of this without that. It makes such a huge difference to have that support.

"And we're a volunteer committee – no one gets paid to do it, and it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. But we do it because we love it, and it brings so much to the island every year."

Bute Fest takes place from Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31. Tickets are available online now.