All set for a fantastic weekend

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The long wait is finally over as the 3rd annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival gets underway this weekend.

Concerts, workshops, tune and song sessions will be taking place this 7th, 8th & 9th July in Glentrool, Newton Stewart & Minnigaff with a truly amazing line-up.

Thursday 7th July sees the festival open with the superb Macmath: The Silent Page at Glentrool Village Hall.

Nathon Jones, festival director, said “That’s followed by another outstanding concert on Friday 8th July in the new Festival Marquee venue at the Creebridge House Hotel featuring The Mermaids, from Whithorn, BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2016 - Mohsen Amini with his band - and the fantastic Rachel Newton Trio.

“Saturday 9th July opens with a concertina workshop by world famous concertina player Niall Vallely and a highland dancing workshop with local dancers, the Paula Herries School of Highland Dancing, both at the Creebridge House Hotel.

“You can then catch Rhins of Galloway Pipes & Drums at the monument gardens in the centre of town from 12noon before taking your pick from a further 8 workshops throughout the day featuring singing with Robyn Stapleton, fiddle and whistle with Claire Mann, bodhran with Michael Drain, live sound with Dave Miller and Scots Gaelic with Andrew Wilson.

“If you prefer listening rather than taking part then you’ll enjoy the Dumfries & Galloway Music Showcase on Saturday from 1:30pm at Penninghame St. John’s Church Hall which includes acts from Moniaive, Gatehouse of Fleet, Bladnoch, Stranraer and Castle Douglas plus the winners of the festival’s tune and song writing competitions. If cinema is more your thing then head along to Newton Stewart Cinema on Saturday 9th for a unique chance to see Hamish: The Movie, Scottish film maker Robbie Frasers wonderful documentary about the late folklorist, poet, activist and songwriter Hamish Henderson.

“The finale concert at the McMillan Hall on Saturday 9th July really is the icing on the cake with the amazing 4-piece band Buille, from Cork, headlining with support from the wonderful Scots singer Jim Malcolm, Mona Stewart’s daughter Fay accompanied by David Ward and the Paula Herries School of Highland Dancing.

For more information see the new Festival Office adjacent to the Belted Galloway between 10am–5pm on 8th and 9th July or reserve tickets at www.tradmusic.com or phone 01671 404924.

Nathon added: “We’ve had bookings for our concerts and workshops from all over Wigtownshire and Dumfries & Galloway as well as from further afield such as Bournemouth, Glasgow, Cupar, Liverpool and Ayr.”

“The town will be alive with music and busy with musicians, festival goers and of course all of our wonderful management committee and team of volunteers and staff without whom the festival just wouldn’t happen.”

“It’s a weekend not to be missed, right here in the heart of Galloway, so I hope you’ll pop along to one of the many events that are happening over the weekend and please make sure you book early for the concerts as it’s shaping up to be very busy indeed.”