Get Into the Groove (Cairngorm)

Groove Cairngorm promoter Dougie Brown guides us through what to expect from the third instalment of the annual Groove Cairngorm Festival, and selects some favourite tracks he hopes to hear up the mountain

Feature by Claire Francis | 29 Jan 2018
  • Groove Cairngorm 2018

"With Groove Cairngorm, we really want to curate a feel-good party vibe line-up [that is] quite eclectic in nature," explains festival promoter Dougie Brown. "Being an outdoors festival in the Scottish Highlands in February, we really need to make sure people have something to dance to, to keep warm!"

Returning for its third year on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February, Groove Cairngorm offers festival-goers the chance to enjoy snowsports by day up the beautiful mountains at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, before partying into the night at the apres-ski site. Example & DJ Wire are set to headline this year's event billing, which will also feature a live set from 2manydjs, plus Norman Jay (MBE), Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan, Start to End performing Daft Punk's Discovery, Ava Love, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 and more.

"We are really excited about Norman Jay as he has been someone we have been keen to entice to Cairngorm for a couple of years now," says Brown when asked which performance he's most excited about. "We think he could deliver one of the stand-out sets of the weekend. We are also really looking forward to Start to End’s live performance of Daft Punk's Discovery as we have heard nothing but rave reviews about this show."

To describe the Groove Cairngorm experience to someone who has never attended the festival, Brown says it's a unique festival experience and "the best way to help kick the winter blues... Being the only snowsports and music festival in the UK is a huge unique selling point," he continues, "and it is great to bring an event like this to the UK rather than people needing to travel to Europe for something similar." And if you're not one for snowsports, the festival still has plenty to offer, he adds: "You can spend your day taking in the music over the two stages at Cairngorm and soak in the incredible views, or take in some of the bars that nearby Aviemore has to offer."

This local connection is an important part of the Groove Cairngorm ethos – the festival have partnered with local charity The Speyside Trust, who host the apres-ski site at Badaguish. "They carry out great work with various youth groups, and children and adults with special needs, learning difficulties and multiple disabilities," says Brown. "It is important to have a local connection with the festival and we are proud to support their work."

Finally, we ask, what happens if Scotland's notoriously unpredictable weather fails to deliver any snow for the event? "There is always a slight fear that the weather does not deliver the goods," Brown responds. "Though if the worst was to happen, we would encourage everyone to explore the local area and take in the two stages of music up the mountain during the day – and what better way to drown your sorrows than joining us for an incredible night of music in a woodland clearing at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains?"

Groove Cairngorm Music Wishlist

Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
[Discovery, 2001]
"What better track to sum up a day on the mountain – when the Start to End guys play this live the place is going to be jumping."

Example – Changed the Way You Kiss Me
[Playing in the Shadows, 2011]
"Another track guaranteed to warm up the crowd! 2013 was the last time he visited the Highlands at Rockness so this is a very overdue return to the area."

Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 – Cross the Road
[Self-released, 2017]
"Walking the road across the snow is probably going to be a first for the Colonel Mustard guys and girls. You never know, we may even be able to get a snowman to join in?"

Fun Lovin' Criminals – The Fun Lovin' Criminal
[Come Find Yourself, 1996]
"Here’s hoping Huey maybe sneaks in one of his own tracks and plays this absolute classic."

Groove Cairngorm takes place at Cairngorm National Park, Aviemore, 23-24 Feb