A rocking connection between Scotland and Australia was made even stronger today, as plans were announced about an attempt to twin Kirriemuir in Angus with Fremantle in Western Australia. The two towns are already linked by their connection with AC/DC rock god Bon Scott. Bon started his life in Kirriemuir, and his grave is in Fremantle, and now both towns have bronze statues commemorating Bon in pride of place.
To celebrate this connection, and the possibility of becoming “Friendship Towns”, members of local councils from both towns made a virtual handshake today at their respective statues. Councilor Hannah Fitzhardinge from Freemantle and Chair of Kirriemuir Community Council Jenni Brown chatted over a live stream connection. Accompanying Hannah in Fremantle were the driving force behind their statue, Doug Thorncroft and the statue’s sculptor Greg James. Joining Jenni in Kirriemuir were Jayne Grewar and Graham Galloway, both representing DD8 Music, the community group behind their statue and also the annual Bonfest music festival that is held in the town every year in Bon’s honour.
Graham Galloway from DD8 Music spoke about the potential for permanent connection between the two statues “Myself and Doug have been speaking for some time about the possibility of having some kind of constant live link up between the two statues, and our livestream today has shown the potential for that. It would be great if perhaps some telecom firms might like to get involved in sponsoring this.”
Jenni Brown, chair of Kirriemuir Community Council said “We have been in correspondence with the Mayor of Fremantle with a view to Twinning Kirriemuir & Fremantle and as we have the strong link with Bon Scott, the approach was greeted very positively. It would be fantastic for tourism & businesses in Kirriemuir if we could strengthen the bond between ourselves & Fremantle. Today's live link up between the 2 statues was hopefully just the start of many joint ventures between us”.
Mayor of Freemantle, Brad Pettit commented “Both Bon Scott’s statue and grave are major tourist attractions in the City of Fremantle and I would love to see this further celebrated across national borders.”
The livestream was also an opportunity to announce that for the second year running Bonfest will be supported by EventScotland, and that the event will also celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Graham Galloway said “We are delighted that once again Bonfest is being supported by EventScotland. Their help has been crucial in allowing the festival to grow over the past two years, and we are honored to be part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”
Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Kirriemuir is the perfect stage to celebrate the life and work of one of Scotland’s most influential and best-loved musicians and we’re delighted to again be supporting the Bonfest to do this.
“In the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, it’s great to see the festival explore Bon Scott’s heritage, and connections to both Freemantle and Kirriemuir. I’m sure AC/DC aficionados will be encouraged to make the journey to Kirriemuir to see where Bon spent his formative years, as well as experience all that the wider Angus and Scotland have to offer.”
This year’s Bonfest takes place over the 28-30th April in Kirriemuir, and sees a genuine AC/DC legend, drummer Phil Rudd, headlining. Phil will be playing songs from his new Head Job album and will hopefully be performing a few AC/DC classics as well. Phil joins Stinger on the main stage on the Friday night, Live/Wire, Screaming Eagles and Solar Sons on Saturday 29th and AC/DC UK, Hayseed Dixie and Dave Arcari on Sunday 30th.
As well as the evening concerts the festival will see three full days of free live gigs in local venues. Bonfest, which sees AC/DC fans from all over the world descending on the sleepy rural Scottish town, celebrated its 10thanniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the £55,000 life sized bronze statue of Bon. This was 100% funded by the worldwide AC/DC fanbase, and has become a year round attraction to the town. For more information head to the festival website www.bonfest.com