Shuffle Down festival will bring music back to Larbert’s Dobbie Hall

Husband-and-wife team Laura Donaghy Toner and Rikki Toner are organising the Shuffle Down one-day music festival at Larbert's Dobbie Hall in May. Picture: Michael Gillen
Husband-and-wife team Laura Donaghy Toner and Rikki Toner are organising the Shuffle Down one-day music festival at Larbert's Dobbie Hall in May. Picture: Michael Gillen
  • New indoor music festival will take place on Saturday, May 23
  • All proceeds will be donated to MND Scotland
  • Broken Records, Dead Man Fall and Alfa 9 among bands on the bill

A new one-day music festival might borrow a name from a Larbert dance craze of old - but its line-up is definitely looking to the future.

Shuffle Down takes place at the Dobbie Hall on Saturday, May 23, and will showcase some of the best contemporary Scottish groups as well as providing a platform for up-and-coming local acts.

Dead Man Fall are among the bands already confirmed to play the event on May 23

Dead Man Fall are among the bands already confirmed to play the event on May 23

Edinburgh’s critically acclaimed folk-rockers Broken Records will headline the main hall while in the second room De-Fence records boss Gavin Brown will perform a rare live set, as well as curating the rest of the line-up.

Also appearing on the main stage is Stoke’s heavyweight psychedelic rock band Alfa 9 and the fast-rising Dead Man Fall - who recently found fame when their music was promoted on Craig Feguson’s prime time American chat show.

Among the district-based bands appearing are new boys Dillinger and Larbert-based The Gravity Boys, most of whom are better known as Viva Stereo.

The indoor event harks back to the days of the ‘Dobbie Shuffle’ - a dance style that became popular in the 1960s - when the Larbert venue hosted regular live music nights.

The organising committee is made up of close friends who are all working very hard to make the event a success and raise money for charity

Rikki Toner

But the principal motivation of its organisers is to raise cash for a cause close to their hearts.

Led by husband-and-wife team Rikki and Laura Toner - along with committee members Brown, Stephen Corbett, Jilly McKenzie, Graham McQueen, Iain Whittington and Ryan Gilmour - all proceeds from the indoor festival will go to MND Scotland.

“Laura lost her uncle to Motor Neurone disease a few years ago, and after seeing firsthand how dreadful the disease is she has since help raise tens of thousands of pounds for MND Scotland,” said Rikki (37).

“The rest of the organising committee is made up of close friends who are all working very hard to make the event a success and raise well needed money for the charity.”

Rikki, who works as a mechanical engineer when not promoting music, was inspired by the laid-back nature of other indoor festivals such as the series of events organised by the Fence Collective at Anstruther Town Hall in Fife.

“They had a really relaxed atmosphere - and you don’t need to worry about the weather,” he added.

As well as live music, Shuffle Down will feature stalls selling second-hand records, music artworks and other arts and crafts.

Fans looking for a break in between bands will be able to relax in the Shuffle Lounge or sample a range of locally-produced craft beers on sale at two bars.

A street food tent will keep hungry gig-goers satisfied with a range of gourmet sausages, venison burgers and veggie alternatives on sale, with produce provided by local butchers R. Brown & Sons.

Due to licensing restrictions, the festival is only open to those aged 18 and over, but organisers hope to lower the age limit for future events.

Tickets, priced £17 plus booking fee, are available from The Steeple box office in Falkirk High Street and from Stirling Cycle Hub at Stirling railway station.

For more information and to view the full line-up, visit www.facebook.com/shuffledown.