A full weekend of folk music and fun for all the family in Girvan

The Friel Sisters.
The Friel Sisters.

Scotland’s friendliest festival is here again and promises a full weekend of traditional folk music and fun for all the family.

This year’s 43rd Girvan Traditional Folk Festival runs from Friday, April 28 to Sunday 30 and the Craic never stops with three days of concerts, ceilidhs, open sessions, competitions and children’s events in the friendly atmosphere of the Ayrshire coastal town.

This year’s artists include Sylvia Barnes and Sandy Stanage, The Friel Sisters, Kathy Hobkirk, Steve Turner, Carol Anderson and Rosie Lindsay and festival favourites The Tattiehowkers Ceilidh Band.

Also appearing are Oakum Row, Susana Tornero, Chris Miles and Gary Matthews, Francy Devine, Trapeze Entertainment, Haggerdash and Failte.

Friday night’s opening concert features Sylvia Barnes and Sandy Stanage, Susana Tornero and Steve Turner with a late singaround starting at 10pm. Saturday sees the Bobby Robb tribute singers concert and there are family and farewell concerts on the Sunday night.

The festival also features a tribute concert to Bobby Robb on Saturday afternoon – Bobby, with others, was instrumental in founding both the Folk Festival and Folk Club in Girvan way back in time. Both are still going strong.

There are also traditional competitions, the William Grant Open Sessions in venues throughout the town and children’s events. Also this year is a new workshop on the tradition of folk tales and music within theatre. Come along for a workshop that will explore - through improvisation, storytelling and music.

Festival chairman Graham Charlton said: “This year’s Girvan Folk Festival will be up there with everything that has always been best about Girvan; sun, sea, sand and of course, the very best of traditional folk music, song and dance. The weather is guaranteed and everyone is sure of something to suit their taste whether it’s the many pub sessions, fabulous concerts with the best of performers – new and established – or workshops to develop your skills or try something new. The 43rd Girvan – another great weekend.”

Weekend tickets are £40 or £35 concession with one-day inclusive tickets from £20 and £12 for individual concerts. To buy tickets go to www.girvanfolkfestival.co.uk

This year the festival is also offering a free bus to and from the festival from Girvan’s outlying areas; Ballantrae, Barr, Pinwherry, Pinmore, Colmonell, Lendalfoot, Dailly and Barrhill. The festival’s official recommendation for those camping is the Strathaven Caravan Site in Girvan, or check availability with other local camping sites online. The campsite at McCreath Park is no longer in operation.

Festival Programme

Friday 28th April:

8pm Opening Concert. Westcliffe Hotel

Evening - from 8pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with The Friels and Haggerdash The Vaults; Failte and Oakum Row at Bevy’s Bar a.k.a. Anchor Bar

10.00 pm Late singaround: Catholic Hall

Saturday 29th April

11am Songwriting and Traditional Singing Competitions, Westcliffe Hotel

12.30 pm Susana Tornero - Stories and Songs in the Catalan Tradition, The Town House

1.00 pm - 4.00 pm Circus skills workshop - Trapeze Entertainment Catholic Hall

1.30 pm - 3.00 pm Guitar workshop Carrick Buildings

2.00 pm The Quiet Singaround, The Town House

2.00 pm Bobby Robb Tribute Concert with Maggie Miller, Pat Lappin, Kathy Hobkirk , Haggerdash and Heather Heywood. (part funded by Glasgow TMSA) Queens Hotel

2.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: The Scotia Band at The Vaults; McGill & Co. at Bevy’s/the Anchor Bar; Failte. Flynn’s Boatyard

7.30 pm Evening Celebrity Concert with Oakum Row, Sylvia Barnes and Sandy Stanage, and The Friel Sisters with Hajime Takahashi and Eamonn Nugent Girvan Academy

8.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with McGill &Co at The Vaults; Failte at Westcliffe Hotel

8.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with Haggerdash. Bevy’s / Anchor Bar

11.00 pm Late Night Extra - Chris Miles and Gary Matthews, Carol Anderson and Rosie Lindsay, Kathy Hobkirk , Francy Devine and the Tattiehowkers Ceilidh Band. Catholic Hall

Sunday 30th April:

11.00 am Story Telling and Verse Recitation competitions Westcliffe Hotel

12.00 pm - 1.30 pm Traditional Singing workshop - Kathy Hobkirk and Maggie Macrae. A discussion about how and why we sing traditional songs. Carrick Buildings

12.00 pm - 1.30 pm Scots Fiddle workshop - Carol Anderson. Hints on style through learning one Scottish fiddle tune. Carrick Buildings

12.00 pm - 1.30 pm Mandolin workshop - George Butterworth. George will get you playing new tunes and encourage beginners. Carrick Buildings

1.30 pm - 3.00 pm The Story of the Red Flag and other political songs workshop - Francy Devine. Carrick Buildings

1.30 pm to 3.00 pm Family Ceilidh with Trapeze Entertainment, Susie Kelly, Maggie Macrae Catholic Hall

2.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with Failte. The Vaults

2.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with The Scotia Band . Bevy’s/ Anchor Bar

2.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with Haggerdash Flynn’s Boatyard

3.30 pm Open Stage Westcliffe Hotel

4.00 pm Folk Group competition Westcliffe Hotel

7.30 pm Farewell Concert with Sylvia Barnes and Sandy Stanage , Failte, Chris Miles and Gary Matthews, Carol Anderson and Rosie Lindsay, Haggerdash. Catholic Hall

8.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with Oakum Row The Vaults

8.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with Barstools Westcliffe Hotel

8.00 pm The William Grant Sessions: Session with The Tattiehowkers Bevy’s/ Anchor Bar

10.30 pm Farewell session: Final Session with the weekend guests. Catholic Hall