Issue 118 of the magazine is out now! This issue contains articles on Geoff Lakeman, Tony McManus, Steve Ashley, Buttons & Bows, Fara, the National Youth Folk Ensemble, Diddling & Fiddling and Open Tuning on the Guitar; obituaries for Paddy Bort and Mike Ward; live reviews of the Packie Manus Byrne Centenary Weekend and The Transports; news, reviews and an extensive festival section with a full listing of festivals for the rest of the year.
Knockengorroch Festivals were born from a love of the land, excellent roots music and celebrating the good times - presenting music, arts and workshops in a beautiful mountain riverside meadow in South West Scotland. They promote multi-cultural forms and musical genres, highlighting the connection between roots music and the lands and people that created it. Music from all continents is presented alongside the best in Scottish talent to showcase music in both traditional and contemporary fields.
Ireby is a small farming village with a population of about 160. It is situated on the north west edge of the Lake District National Park; 12 miles from Keswick and Cockermouth and 18 miles from Carlisle. With a range of music to suit most tastes, performed in small intimate venues and a main stage venue restricted to just 650 people, Ireby festival presents an unforgettable and unique atmosphere and is considered among the best for those with a real love for live music. This is the 15th Ireby Festival and over the years it has developed a reputation for selling out early, so be sure to react fast to be part of one of the few festivals where the actual love for music and one another is still the main point of focus.
Between May 25 and 28, an estimated 50 acts, totalling over 200 musicians, will converge upon Stromness in Orkney’s West Mainland for the 35th festival. The festival comprises 36 ticketed events, across 20 venues in 14 different towns, villages and parishes, and is one of the highlights of the Scottish folk calendar. It boasts a huge line-up of guests from Orkney, Scotland and further afield.
Moniaive, the ‘Hill of Streams’ (from the Gaelic monadh-abh), nestles in stunning countryside where the three glens of Craigdarroch, Dalwhat and Castlefairn meet. It’s a bustling village with a long history and strong community spirit. It has always been popular and notable visitors over the centuries include King Robert the Bruce, King James IV, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert Burns. This year sees the 16th Moniaive Folk Festival in the town, and the line-up boasts a mix of well known faces and newcomers. Guests include The John Langan Band, Radim Zenkl, Top Floor Taivers, Ryan Young & Jen Butterworth, Ewan McVicar, Artie's Tartan Tales, Clydebuilt Puppets and The Moniaive Village Ceilidh Band. There are dances, competitions, ample camping, and much more.
Doc Rowe has, for many years, been amassing an archive of material documenting British folk culture and customs. Following confirmation of Arts Council support, it has been announced that there will be an exhibition of artworks inspired by this archive.
A Suffolk pioneer in safeguarding East Anglia’s unique folk music heritage has recently announced her retirement from conducting the business of one of the region’s top musical charities. Katie Howson set up the Stowmarket-based East Anglian Traditional Music Trust (EATMT) together with musician and archivist husband, John, after the couple spent years recording and playing alongside ‘endangered’ traditional East Anglian singers, dancers and musicians.
In response to the almost complete disregard for North East traditional music, song and dance in the Regional Case for Culture, prepared by the 12 local authorities in the North East of England, Kathryn Tickell and Andrew Davidson have worked together and formed a new community interest company called Magnetic North East. The core purpose of MNE is to celebrate and promote the identity of the North East of England through music, arts, culture, heritage and creativity.
Edinburgh Folk Club has been meeting in The Pleasance Cabaret Bar every Wednesday night since 1994. However, late in 2015 the club was told by the Edinburgh University Student Association, who own The Pleasance complex, that the venue would be undergoing major refurbishments and would be closed for a year. A trail around potential venues for a new venue (surprisingly few!) ensued, and now, the club has begun meeting in Summerhall.
Five people who have made key contributions to the folk arts are the latest recipients of Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Pete and Sue Coe, the musician and dancer who were founders of Ryburn Three Step, Maggie Fletcher, a leading musician on the English country dance scene, and long term EFDSS and folk dance volunteers and advocates Mike Wilson-Jones and Mary Wilson-Jones have all been chosen to receive the awards.