Folk festival - the countdown is on

The Aqua Ceilidh is a highlight of the festival each year.
The Aqua Ceilidh is a highlight of the festival each year.

With only four weeks to go preparations for the 29th Stonehaven Folk Festival are stepping up a gear.

The Festival (July 6-9) starts with tunes and songs at an opening session at Stonehaven Town Hall, followed on Friday evening with a concert/ceilidh in the Town Hall featuring the Iona Fyfe band and singer and piper/multi instrumentalist the Jarlath Henderson Band.

The world paper n comb championships are unique to the Stonehaven Folk Festival

The world paper n comb championships are unique to the Stonehaven Folk Festival

There will be a Late night concert at the Royal British Legion and late night singarounds and sessions. Saturday and Sunday will have a full programme of activities starting from 10:30 through until the small hours.

On Saturday day time there will be workshops in the community centre, a free concert in the Market Square, storytelling, sessions and singarounds around the Town plus – unique to Stonehaven the World paper’n’comb championships. This started as a fun event but is becoming a heritage event as fewer and fewer younger people have played or even heard of the Paper’n’Comb as a musical instrument. This year’s theme is the Rocky Horror Comb Show fancy dress is optional. In the evening there is a concert in the Town Hall, with late concerts in the Royal British Legion and sessions and sinagorounds.

Sunday morning starts with another unique event - the Aqua Ceilidh in the Town’s Open Air Pool . This is followed by a series of family events in the Recreation Club including a family ceilidh and storytelling, a concert in the Market Square, workshops in the afternoon and a Tradition Bearers Concert in St Bridget’s Hall. This concert celebrates traditional, mostly unaccompanied, song from the British Isles and especially the North East with amongst others, Bothy singer Geordie Murison. The weekend finishes with a farewell concert in the Town Hall featuring local musicians Ross Hull and Cameron Grant, singer Emily Smith & Jamie McClennan and the John McCusker Band.

Festival organiser Meg Findlay said “it is always the fine detail that takes the time, but makes it all worthwhile when it all comes together. Balancing artist time for concerts, sound checks, workshops, sessions and food and Accommodation has been compared to herding cats – but it is all worthwhile once it is up and running”.

Tickets for the Town Hall concerts are available now for personal callers from Celtic Chords in Barclay Street. For full festival details please visit the web site at www.stonehavenfolkfestival.co.uk.