The Knockengorroch World Ceilidh will soon take place for the 16th year near Carsphairn from Thursday 23–Sunday 26 May.
The music line-up features bands which have travelled from as far as Texas and Ethiopia as well as arts, crafts and activities for all ages and persuasions. Organisers are also proud to boast that the mountain valley festival, arguably the most remote in the country, takes place under some of the brightest stars in the world.
The festival organisers are particularly excited that the Galloway valley in which the World Ceilidh has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park, meaning the festival takes place under one of the darkest skies, least affected by light pollution, on the planet. This recent accolade for its environs confirms Knockengorroch as one of the most beautiful and ‘off the beaten track’ locations for a music festival in the world, organisers claim.
Galloway is fast becoming internationally recognised for its rich natural beauty and diversity and Knockengorroch is also keen to promote the area’s recent status as one of 580 UNESCO biospheres in the world. Biospheres are places with world-class environments, designated by the United Nations to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature, hosting a rich combination of landscape, wildlife and culture with communities that care about and for their environment.
To celebrate the area’s beauty this year festival organisers are working in partnership to bring new attractions to the festival. One of which is the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory’s Planetarium which will be offering visitors a tour through the night skies. In addition the festival is hosting the RSPB to create activities to raise awareness of the abundance of different types of birds which reside in the area. And to reflect these partnerships, everyone at the festival is being encouraging to dress to the theme of ‘Birds and Stars’ on the Friday night.
Festival organiser Katriona Holmes says that “it’s absolutely brilliant that Galloway is being recognised as an internationally outstanding natural location. There are not many festivals that can claim to have the best night sky views in the world! The rationale of the biosphere status is completely along the lines of the festival’s ethos too so we’re delighted to be able to promote this accolade and shout more about this rich and beautiful area of Scotland to the wider world! The World Ceilidh affords its visitors the perfect combination of a great festival in the great outdoors. Lovely vibes under the (officially certified) darkest skies!’
The celebrated musical programme will span a multitude of genres including acts such as Asian Dub Foundation, one of the first bands to merge contemporary Western sounds with traditional Asian beats and melodies; Dizraeli and the Small Gods, a multi instrumental outfit fusing hip-hop with folk for a fresh outlook on both genres; Breabach, a young band making waves in the Scottish traditional scene who won the Scottish Folk Band of the Year at the 2012 Trad Awards; Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, four time Grammy-award nominated Texans playing authentic and soul stirring music from Southern Louisiana and Cornishman Luke Vibert, alias Wagon Christ, a lauded creative voice in electronica and ‘ambient trip-hop’.
The intimate festival, which takes place 4 miles from a public road, celebrates a symbolic re-population of the Galloway hills, with venues built from natural materials of the area and named with the ancient cattle worshipping residents of the valley in mind. Alongside the music programme there will be visual installations, theatre, comedy, dance, circus, sessions, food, healing zones, a sauna, fire shows, kids activities, solar cinema and many more activities for young and old.
Tickets and more information is available from www.knockengorroch.org.uk