As noon struck, festival organizers posted a cryptic announcement: “Secret set added – 7:45 pm at Tiny Changes x Gardeners Cottage.”
Rumors soon spread around the site at the Royal Highland Center in Ingliston, with festival-goers wondering who it might be.
Walking out to rapturous applause, The National seemed truly humiliated as their performance approached.
Alt-rockers from the USA, headlining the festival, performed a small acoustic set, which included tracks Sorrow and About Today.
Addressing the crowd, Aaron Dessner of The National said, “It’s been a pleasure to support Tiny Changes. Scott was a very close friend of ours, and like you guys, we were big fans of Frightened Bunny.
“We were devastated when he left.
“This charity is amazing and we want to do everything we can to raise awareness about mental health because we all struggle with it.”
Hutchison, who was 36 when he passed away in May 2018 after taking his own life and battling depression for years, performed at the original Connect Festival back in 2007 on a similar stage.
Tiny Changes was founded in memory of the singer-songwriter and is Scotland’s very first national child and youth mental health charity to fund projects and ideas that help young people feel better, raising over £4,500 over the course of festival weekend.
Speaking after The National’s surprise performance, Kara Brown, CEO of Tiny Changes, said: “National’s performance on the first stage of Tiny Changes at the Connect Festival – a stage similar to the one Scott played from behind – is something we will remember forever and this is the perfect solution. ending with an incredible weekend of live music helping young minds feel better.”
Jeff Ellis, CEO of Promoters DF Concerts, said: “A grant from Frightened Rabbit asking The National to host a secret set at our Tiny Changes Gardeners Cottage is what Connect Festival is all about – a completely unique experience and recognition of friendship. and connections.
“Fans were surprised by the truly special acoustic set to see twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger honor their friend Scott Hutchison with a stripped-down version of ‘About Today’ and ‘It Doesn’t Help’ in one of the most intimate scenes of any festival in the UK.
“It was a moment that I will never forget and it was very much in the spirit of the festival.”