Stonehaven Folk Festival programme

Tickets for the 24th Stonehaven Folk Festival have now been on sale for the past three weeks and can be bought through various channels.

Stonehaven has become one of the major folk festivals in Scotland. With this in mind this year’s programme is a coming together of artistes and events from all over.

The committee has been working hard to ensure the selection of artistes, workshops and concerts will appeal to their audiences. Ticket prices have not increased from last year. Weekend tickets do not include workshops.

The festival kicks off on Thursday July 5 at 8.30pm with a session in the Upper Town Hall led by local ceilidh band Cabrach. Last year’s session was a resounding success so we encourage all musicians to go along and join in the music and banter.

The concerts in the Town Hall, all hosted this year by Frank Robb, start on the Friday night with a selection of local artistes. The Barbara Dymock Band, Barbara being one of the finest Scottish revival singers, along with band members Martin MacDonald and Carol Anderson will be performing a mixture of songs. Continuing the traditional theme, Sinsheen, consisting of two talented singers Christine Kydd and Barbara Dymock will be treating the audience to a variety of self-penned songs.

Christine will continue on stage as instrumental duo Kydd Wilkins with Frances Wilkins, who plays the concertina. Next up will be Blyde Lasses (Glad Girls), Frances Wilkins and Claire White a dynamic young female duo singing traditional Shetland songs and tunes on fiddle and concertina. The concert will be followed by the traditional Ceilidh with Dance McCabre supplying the music.

The Saturday night concert is a lively mixture of folk, experimental, exhilirating instrumental epics and folk rock. Old Blind Dogs take the stage to perform their energetic mix of songs and tunes, stirring pipes and polished vocals. Brian McNeill, founder of the Battlefield Band, one of Scotland’s best known ensembles, will be performing his own songs mostly about Scotland’s rich past and future. Thalla, with local Stonehaven lad Cameron Ross on fiddle, Ally Forsyth on piano and Michael Ferrie on piano will share with the audience their folk and experimental music.

Sunday night concert concludes this year’s festival with The Paul McKenna Band playing their contemporary interpretation of songs, Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie, an innocative duo from Scandinavia and Scotland and the Fred Morrison Trio. Fred plays the Highland pipes, Border pipes, uilleann pipes and low whistle.

The Tradition Bearers concert, hosted by Geordie Murison on Sunday afternoon in St Bridgets Hall, has an equally exciting line-up with an Irish flavour this year. Performing some of her well researched and nearly forgotten Orcadian songs will be Sarah Jane Gibbon. Traditional Irish singer and one of Ireland’s best known singers Len Graham will be offering traditional Irish songs mostly from the north of Ireland. Native Aberdeenshire singer of bothy ballads and muckle sangs Jock Duncan is another national treasure who will be joining the tradition bearers on stage. Another well known Scottish folk revivalist, Anne Neilson will complete the line-up. The festival fringe events have been arranged for Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting with the Plain Stones on Saturday at 12pm in the Market Square hosted this year by Kenn Clark. Running alongside this, in the Belvedere at 12pm will be the SC&T Slow Session hosted by Sandy Tweddle.

At 4pm the World Paper ‘n’ Comb competition takes place hosted by Frank Robb in St Bridget’s Hall.The theme this year is The Sixties. There will be an Afternoon Singaround in the British Legion at 2pm and at 10.30pm there will be the Late Night Singers Club, again in the British Legion.

Sunday starts off with the Aqua Celidh at 11am at the Open Air Swimming pool. This year the music is being provided by The North East Collective. So go along for another ‘Splashing White Sergeant’! The Cowie Family Fun Day will take place at the Putting Green at 1pm followed by The Chorus Cup at 2pm in the Belvedere Hotel, hosted by Liz Clark and Isla Duncan.

The festival is running ‘Come and Try’ workshops again this year. Please check the notice board in the Upper Town Hall for times and venues.

Throughout the festival weekend there will be sessions in various pubs and venues for those who enjoy more informal musical gatherings. Watch out for the ‘Sessions Welcome’ signs.

Tickets are available by the following means Email: Phone: Hilary Cooper 0776 581596. Post: Hilary Cooper, 136 Forest Park, Stonehaven, AB39 2FF (including stamped address envelope). Cheques should be made payable to Stonehaven Folk Festival Postal Bookings. In Person at Celtic Chords Traditional Music Shop, 8 Barclay Street, Stonehaven. Booking forms are available from the Tourist Board and hotels in Stonehaven.