Jura Music Festival – Jura Whisky

THE JURA MUSIC FESTIVAL (with a difference)

For the first time since its inception, the Jura Music Festival was to go ahead without the ferry-loads of fans, the midnight drams, and the community dances. We were tasked with creating a unique, immersive experience for the islanders and the worldwide viewers; to bring this joyous occasion into people’s front rooms without losing any of the impact of live Scottish traditional music and, of course, a whisky or two.

The Festival Map

What is a staple of any festival experience? The Map. It lays everything down in a birdseye view, tells you where to find your favourite things and imbues a visual sense of what the festival is all about. This is what we used as our online host. A colourful, vibrant map that held every single piece of content that we created. Displayed in Jura brand colours of orange and blue, this immersive site could take you from booming music sets to chilled out ASMR landscapes in the click of a button. For the user, it was the one-stop-shop that allowed them to navigate the island without leaving their home. Once we had the map designed and the process settled, it was time to plot out the content. What would people miss the most about the Jura Music Festival, and how could we provide all of that for this one-off experience?

The Music, The People, The Landscape

Well, the first one maybe explains itself. The marriage of Jura Whisky and Scottish traditional music is a tight one, so we set about finding 5 bands that would bring the best tunes to the best bits of Jura. Get Archie McAllister and Sileas Sinclair to bring their flowing set to the foot of the Paps. An iconic backdrop with a soundtrack of strings and piano. Talan, a trio of islanders from Islay and Jura, serenade the Sound of Islay from the Daimh Sgeir Ruins as the CalMac ferry whirr by. Lorne MacDougall & Friends to bring the brilliant sound of pipes to Corran Sands, just up the coast from Craighouse. Trail West to turn heads with their toe-tapping set on the Craighouse Jetty, and Talisk to fill the Jura Distillery with their modern take on the traditional genre.

The key with the music was to provide a full sense of Jura, visually and audibly. There are challenges to filming music halfway up a hill in 60mph winds, but more about that later!

Early on in the creative, we pinpointed the importance of the people, the lifeblood of Jura, and the festival. Whenever we go to festivals, it’s the locals that hold all the secrets and the keys to make a good time a great time. This is where the ‘Islander Stories’ was born. We would sit down with various people of the island and hear what makes Jura so special to them, what Jura Whisky means to the area, and why the Jura Music Festival stands apart from any other experience on the island.

We lined up organisers, residents, and ferry captains to chat about what makes it all come together, and we would give them the same prominence on the map as the music itself. Without the people, there’d be no festival. And without the festival, there’d be no music.

And that takes us to the final part of our content gathering. The Landscape. While we explored the brilliance of Jura with the band backdrops, we had to allow it to tell its own story as well. Something becoming ever more popular at festivals are ‘chillout zones’, somewhere to take yourself and have a breather. So we planned just that. We sit a camera down in various parts of the island and record the organic island noises in ambisonic sound. The whistling of the wind, chirps of birds, and lapping of waves with a stunning lookout to the island.

Pop the headphones in and spend five minutes on Jura, whenever you want to.

All of these pillars would also be caught in photography, allowing for static assets to help drum up the noise before and after the festival’s release.

The content was all plotted out, now it was time to capture it. FIRE UP THE CALMAC.

A Trip To Jura

We assembled a crack team of videographers, producers, a photographer, a sound guy, and a sound tech and headed for Jura.

We were delighted to get Film Scotland on board with their huge wealth of experience in this field, but there are always some unique situations on shoots like these. Every band set had its own challenges, but thanks to the wizardry of sound technicians and videographers we created some really special films. Archie McAllister’s set at the foot of the Paps, for example, was filmed in 60mph winds and scattered showers, about 300 metres from the road and on boggy terrain.

But everyone pulled together, as we did for each element of filming, and got the job done well.

PRO-TIP: Wear waterproofs even if it’s sunny because you might fall down a soaking bog divot.

It was an all-action 4-day trip with 12 separate films to create, running from one part of the island to another and capturing everything we needed to. The reality is though, on an island as beautiful as Jura and with everyone bending over backwards to help, it was a real joy to create. After a year of local shoots, or no shoots at all, getting back out there for a great client and fun creative was a pleasure for everyone involved.

Pop it into Post.

12 different shoots were not for 12 different films. As this was an all-encompassing social and digital event, we set about creating numerous assets for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Teasers, trailers, cutdowns, full sets, interviews. The works. The amazing team at Bloc Creative eventually ended up helping us to supply 50 video assets, fully graded and ready for sharing with the world of Jura Whisky followers and fans. 

As well as all this our photographer, Rob Brady, provided a similar number of still assets to supplement and bring it all to life. The look for the photos and videos was to be bright and vibrant, but with a filmic and nostalgic vibe.

The results were then supplied to the client and the festival was launched in September 2021 for the viewing public to feast their senses on.

Now, who’s for a well-earned dram?

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