Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Pub granted extra hours for Bonfest
ONE of Kirriemuir’s most popular pubs, the Three Bellies Brae, has been given extended hours for the annual influx of ACDC fans to Bonfest over the last weekend in April.
The town’s population will almost double for the three-day celebration of Bon Scott, the local baker’s son who became the frontman of one of the world’s biggest bands after his family emigrated to Australia.
Three Bellies Brae’s owner Lindsey Wilson told licensing board members: “I’ve been involved with Three Bellies Brae since 1999 and owned it since 2020.
“We pride ourselves on a very well run pub and don’t tolerate any nonsense.
“We are very careful to police people’s departure so they are not just put out on to the street and left to their own devices.”
She added: “This application is purely in relation to Bonfest. It’s an absolute lifeline to the businesses in Kirriemuir.
“Last year, there was an estimated 6,000 people and we need to, as a town, make sure we can cater for that.
“It would be commercial suicide for the businesses if the festival outgrew the town.”
The pub was seeking 10am opening on the Saturday morning of Bonfest, 2am opening on Friday and Saturday nights and until 1am into Monday morning.
“I don’t expect it to bring any more turnover.
“The idea is to dilute the business that is there over more hours.
“Buses come from Dundee with festival visitors, and they arrive at 11, so if we could get an extra hour, that would be very helpful.
“On the Friday and Saturday nights there’s currently only one premises that is licensed till 2am, so another premises would help dilute everybody coming out of one place or having nowhere to go.”
Former board chairman Craig Fotheringham said he had no hesitation in backing the bid.
“I know this premises very well. It is very well run,” said the Tory councillor for the Monifieth and Sidlaws ward.
“I know what Bonfest brings to it and I have seen it buzzing, so I am fully in support of this.”
SNP councillor Lloyd Melville added: “An extension may be granted by the board for a special event of local or national significance, and I think Bonfest certainly fits the bill.”