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Inverness DIY promoter Stephen Baikie makes a home for Outsiders at music and art festival in Mad Hatters

By Kyle Walker

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BRINGING together music and art for one night only at Mad Hatters this Sunday, Outsider Art Fest is spinning a lot of plates.

And for the promoter – Stephen Baikie of Earth-616 Promotions – it’s meant a lot of work. “Oh yes!” he laughs. “Many, many sleepless nights!”

A lot of work is an understatement. Sunday night’s Outsider Art Fest sees music from headliners Twin Heart, WRTHLESS, Crashes, Alkanes, Witch of the Vale, Forgetting the Future and Monsters in the Ballroom.

Alongside all of these will be exhibitions from local artists Claire Maclean, Leah Davis and Discobeast.

“The sort of initial idea was because I always sort of envisioned doing something like this.” Stephen explained. “I would have liked to have had something with 40-plus acts but that’s by-the-by.

“It was just one of these things where I felt there was an opportunity almost, a gap – why doesn’t anybody do art and music together?

“It seems a bit crazy, because you’ve got all these incredible bands with this incredible artwork, but then it’s sort of left to the side as advertising – so why not just combine the two?

“And also it all stems back to my promotions name – Earth-616 – which is a nod to Marvel! So hopefully one day I’d like to have comic book artists up, but right now I’m keeping it local, keeping it independent.”

While the gig will be a massive and joyous culmination for Stephen and his work as an independent promoter, the night will be somewhat bittersweet as the night doubles as headliners Twin Heart’s second-last gig.

Stephen is glad that he gets to give the band a good send off, but there are regrets as well. “It’ll be their final headline gig. I don’t know what else I can say. There shall be manly tears!

“This was actually before they announced they were breaking up! They agreed to it and then as they announced their final batch of shows Outsider was part of them and yeah...

“I got the news when everybody else did – I think that was a conscious decision from the band not to tell anyone. That was kind of sad to find out!”

Outsider Art Fest takes place at Mad Hatters, Inverness on Sunday. Doors open at 5pm and tickets cost £14. Go here for more information or to buy tickets.

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