Montrose is widely regarded as the culture and sculpture capital of Angus, with over 20 statues of note scattered around the town. The statues are a mix of contemporary and classical works, with many from the noted local sculptor, William Lamb ARSA. Lamb was born in Montrose in 1893 and was an artist of exceptional talent.
In Montrose from the 1920s to 1940s, the studio of local architect George Fairweather provided a forum for lively debate among an artistic community that included the author Hugh MacDiarmid, and poets and novelists such as Edwin Muir, Helen Cruickshank and Fionn MacColla. The local weekly newspaper, The Montrose Review, was edited by Hugh MacDiarmid for several years.
More recently, our creative exports include internationally acclaimed film maker Anthony Baxter, creator of the award winning ‘You’ve been Trumped’ and its sequel, ‘You’ve Been Trumped Too,’ and artists James Morrison, Syd Walker whose daughter Kirsten Ritchie Walker has followed in his colourful footsteps.
The town boasts two long running dance schools: The Esk Academy of Dancing and The Gordon School of Dancing, graduates from both of which have gone on to perform in West End shows and even set up their own dance schools in the area and further afield.
Since 2008, the Montrose Music Festival, or MoFest as it has become affectionately known, has taken place annually at the end of May. It has grown in size and stature each year to become Scotland’s largest free live music festival with over 200 free gigs played over the three days in over 26 venues across the town, including an open air stage on Montrose’s historic High Street. Many of the bands and performers hail from Montrose and the surrounding areas.
In 2014 the MoFest team took a leap and held a gig on Montrose East Links with rock legends Status Quo playing to a sell-out crowd. Since then, the East Links has been host to huge industry names: Bryan Adams, Madness, Jools Holland and The Beach Boys.