Folding away Big Tent and looking to future

3012154 SSHC big tent 'The Proclaimers on stage - The Big Tent, Falkland
3012154 SSHC big tent 'The Proclaimers on stage - The Big Tent, Falkland

Fife’s largest eco festival has become a ‘victim of its own success’ resulting in the event being shelved permanently.

Big Tent Festival in Falkland, which was launched by the Centre for Stewardship in 2006, got so big it eventually drew in more than 10,000 people.

Big Tent

Big Tent

But organiser Falkland Centre for Stewardship says it has become increasingly difficult to stage it and raise enough funding due to its scale and popularity.

And that has prompted them to bring the curtain down, saying the festival will not return in ‘the foreseeable future’.

The event took a year out in 2013 and was expected to return this year, but that will no longer happen.

Instead, the organisers plan to focus on a series of events and activities across the year.”

Man making fire

Man making fire

Big Tent was launched in response to the G8 summit at Gleneagles and quickly grew in size and reputation.

Billed as ‘Scotland’s greenest festival’ it was known for its live music featuring artists such as The Proclaimers, Rosanne Cash and King Creosote.

As well as live performances, the family friendly festival - last held in 2012 - also included arts and crafts, storytelling , and local food and drink promotions.

But the charity behind it, which received financial support from Fife Council and EventScotland, now wants to concentrate on smaller events across the year.

Ninian Stuart, stewardship director, said: “We have not always held the festival every year and there was no assumption we would always do it.

‘‘Big Tent has become a victim of its own success.

“It was great to see it develop and have more people coming along but it’s not possible for us to make it larger.

‘‘It has grown to such a scale that we would have to make it bigger by bringing in more marquees, bigger stages and more perimeter fencing.

‘‘But if we did that there would be other things we could not do.

‘‘There is a clash between the drive for making the festival bigger while at the same time holding onto our core principles.”

He said more funds would also be needed and it was already a challenge in the current economic climate to raise the funding to meet the costs involved.

“It also takes a huge amount of time to organise and we are doing a range of other activities such as our ‘Living Lomonds’ project so we wouldn’t be able to give it the proper time and attention,” he said.

“There is a sadness about it because we did build up a very loyal audience and a lot of people had grown to really love it.”

He added: “But at this point in time we are using our energies in other ways.”